Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Birthdays, Netflix and Reinventing Yourself #StreamTeam

Today is my birthday, so what better day to celebrate reinventing yourself? Birthdays are great for making a new start, setting goals, and following dreams. Birthdays are also a great time to kick back and enjoy Netflix with family and friends while you nosh on cake and ice cream. I know we did!`

Speaking of change... My mom even got in on the action for my birthday today & made a collage on social media of me now and at ages 1, 2, & 3. Recognize that toddler all these decades later?

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own.

This month, our Stream Team Theme is Reinventing Yourself, so check out some fun movies and TV show ideas via Netflix that rock that theme, and get inspired.
 Spring's a great time for new beginnings as well, birthday or not. It's crazy how much we grow and evolve as the years fly by and yet how all those past ages stay with us as well. No matter how much someone changes, some elements of their personalities and their faces are entirely recognizable.

Cha cha cha changes:
Did you catch our post earlier this month about the debut of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Click here to check our coverage out. If you caught the first few episodes, you know that the three main characters have something in common: resilience. Despite their circumstances, Kimmy, Tituss and "Jaqueline" were all able to reinvent themselves in one way or another to make it in New York City. 

Movies and TV can show kids that just because you may be quiet and shy today, that doesn't mean you can't be Superman tomorrow. Use this month's list of titles to help kids see a new side of themselves, even if it's not permanent -- after all, you can do anything for 10 seconds. (Thanks for the wise words, Kimmy.)

Now here are a few more wise words on the subject from David Bowie!


I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
and every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strain)
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I'm going through

(Turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
(Turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time

Reinvent Yourself
For your little kids:

2. Mulan
3. Turbo

For your big kids:

1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (See you can go in the Way Way Back Machine...)


6. School of Rock (Highly recommended and a fav of ours here at ChiIL Mama. Jack Black rocks!)

And for teens and parents:


1. Silver Linings Playbook  (Older Jennifer Lawrence fans will enjoy this quirky love story. I know I did!)

2. Chef

4. Catching Fire (Catching Fire is a favorite of ours along with the whole Hunger Games series)

5. Freaks and Geeks (Here at ChiIL Mama we ADORE this series and highly recommend it.)

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own. ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama next month, for more Netflix fun in Chi, IL and beyond!

Friday, March 27, 2015

WIN The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD from ChiIL Mama #Giveaway #TheHobbit

The Blu-ray release of 
The Hobbit 
The Battle of The Five Armies 
is here!

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is thrilled to be working with Warner Home Video again, and they have supplied the Blu-ray for our winner. As always, all opinions are our own.

ChiIL Mama is giving away The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies Combo Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital HD to one of our lucky readers. Giveaway open to the U.S. and Canada. 

ENTER HERE through midnight April 18th.

The final installment of The Hobbit is here! Warner Bros. is proud to bring you the Blu-Ray release of The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies

Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out if you're Brave like Bilbo!

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-Ray
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.
Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:

• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
• Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
• The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video
• Trailers

Own it on Blu-ray NOW

NOTE: The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is thrilled to be working with Warner Home Video again, and they have supplied the Blu-ray for our winner. As always, all opinions are our own. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OPENING: Redmoon Theatre's Devil's Cabaret The Next 3 Fridays (21+) #ChiILPicksList

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

This one's for the big kids AKA: adults (21+). Opening night is SOLD OUT already so stop slacking and buy your tickets before it's too late! This is going to be EPIC. ChiIL Live Shows will be there... will YOU?!


ONLY $25 (21+)
redmoon.org  2120 S Jefferson, Chicago

Also: Rumor has it, there's going to be a gay friendly Redmoon "Take Over" Via The Welcoming Committee on April 10th. It's still an open to the public (of all persuasions) show, but you can get your "take over" tickets here and rock a wrist band to find your pack! 

When TWC learned of Red Moon Theater, the 57,000 square-foot warehouse that puts on spectacle performances designed to “engineer wonder” and “promote community and creativity” … we were intrigued. When we found out they regularly bring 1,000 people to these performance events but the LGBT community was missing … we knew we had to take it over.

Experience thrilling spectacle performances celebrating the Devil’s “greatest accomplishments” - The Seven Deadly Sins - while enjoying unlimited tastes from Lagunitas' craft beer bar. A 30’ tall crane tower equipped with multiple stages will be the centerpiece within Redmoon’s massive warehouse and will feature an eclectic mix of performances by aerialists, drummers, a rock-n-roll band, DJ, video wall, unique puppets, and “a special appearance by God.”
Ready to indulge your Lust and Gluttony while celebrating Pride? It’s time to unearth all our red satin and Hot Topic getup that hasn’t seen the sun since ever, because we’re descending into a hellmouth of burlesque. Red Moon’s The Devil's Cabaret is April 10, and we’re taking over each flaming circle.

How do you find TWC in the crowd? First, meet us at the pre-party so you know exactly who you're attending with. But once you check in at Redmoon you’ll be handed a bright green wristband so that you can seek out other TWC members in the crowd that night. Redmoon can hold as many as 1,000 people and often sells out their events, but with our pre-party and wristbands you’ll find your new BFFs in no time.



Following a successful first weekend with the release of IT FOLLOWS, KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, Directed by David Zellner will kick off The “MBT” talks this Friday, March 27th. The series will continue with WHITE GOD on April 3rd and the silent film SHERLOCK, JR AND THE PLAYHOUSE on April 11th

Check out Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter​ at Music Box Theatre​!! Purchase tickets to KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, this Friday at 7:30pm, for your chance to win this great Kumiko Prize Pack, featuring a Gold USB Drive, the film's soundtrack (on cassette!), and more! Stay after for a talk back by Chicago Film Critics Association​ 

WHAT: Hosted by The CFCA (Chicago Film Critics Association) and The Music Box Theatre, MBT Talks will be led by various CFCA representing members to further support the theatrical releases of art-house, independent, foreign and classical cinema in the theatre’s fun and creative atmosphere.

WHEN: Friday, March 27th, 2015
Film begins at 7:20pm. Discussion immediately following the film in the Music Box Lounge. This MBT Talk will be led by Patrick Z. McGavin writes film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times and interviews and film festival reports for RogerEbert.com.

WHERE: Music Box Theatre Lounge
3733 North Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60613     

A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map leading to the location of a large case of money. In this darkly comedic odyssey, Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim) stars as Kumiko, a frustrated Office Lady whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. Kumiko becomes obsessed with a mysterious, battered VHS tape of a popular film she’s mistaken for a documentary, fixating on a scene where a suitcase of stolen cash is buried in the desolate, frozen landscape of North Dakota. Believing this treasure to be real, she leaves behind Tokyo and her beloved rabbit Bunzo to recover it — and finds herself on a dangerous adventure unlike anything she’s seen in the movies.

For the last three decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre screens over 300 independent, foreign, classic, cult and art films annually. Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD, VOD and television markets throughout the United States.

The Chicago Film Critics Association is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization which maintains a 501 (c)3 status. The parent association was founded in 1990 by film critic Sue Kiner after the successful launch of the Chicago Film Critics’ Awards in 1989.

The CFCA Film Festival, created and curated entirely by film critics, returns to the Music Box Theatre this year from May 1st through May 7th, 2015. http://www.chicagofilmcritics.org/

OPENING: 10 Tony Winner Billy Elliot Is Family Friendly Fun At Drury Lane Theatre APRIL 10

Tickets On Sale Now For The Regional Premiere of the Critically Acclaimed Musical 

Several years back, we had the great pleasure of reviewing the Broadway touring production of Billy Elliot and it remains one of our favorites. We can't wait to see Drury Lane's take on this extraordinary musical. Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we've been wowed in the past by Drury Lane's high production values and professionalism. Get your tickets as soon as possible for best seats and range of dates.

The International smash-hit musical BILLY ELLIOT makes its regional premiere at Drury Lane Theatre on April 10 – June 7, 2015. Opening night is scheduled for April 16, 2015 at 8 p.m.  Heralded as “A triumph! The #1 show of the year!" by Time Magazine and “Thrilling! Impossible to resist!" by The New York Times, BILLY ELLIOT follows a young boy as he trades in his boxing gloves for dancing shoes. In an unforgettable story set in a small mining town in the English countryside, a dance teacher finds a diamond in the rough when she discovers Billy—a young boy with a passion for dance who inspires the entire community. The musical phenomenon is set to an explosive score by Elton John, celebrating Billy’s journey against the odds to make his dreams come true.

BILLY ELLIOT is directed by multiple Jeff Award-winner Rachel Rockwell (Ragtime, West Side Story, at Drury Lane Theatre, Brigadoon at The Goodman Theatre), with Musical Direction by Jeff Award-winner Roberta Duchak (Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd at Drury Lane Theatre, vocal coach for Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman for the Academy Award-winning film Les Miserables). One of the most celebrated musicals on stage today, BILLY ELLIOT has been dazzling London's West End since 2005. The production is the winner of 10 Tony Awards and 10 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical. The production features a score by Elton John (The Lion King, Aida) with book and lyrics by Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated film that inspired the musical.

“BILLY ELLIOT is an incredibly emotional journey of a struggling community, a shifting country and, most importantly, a father and son relationship and my role is to tell this story in the most truthful way possible,” says Director Rachel Rockwell. “One of my main goals is to showcase this cast, in particular our two young actors playing Billy, by nurturing their raw talent to help them transform into this multi-dimensional character.”

After an extensive search, Drury Lane is pleased to announce that the title role of “Billy” will be played by two very talented Chicago natives, Nicholas Dantes and Kyle Halford. "When the casting process began we asked ourselves: are Billy Elliot's found or made?” says Artistic Director William Osetek. "After months of auditions it was clear that one must be created. The search required a young actor who brought incredible raw talent, but needed to be cultivated to stand up to the impossible task of performing the role of a young boy whose dance ability leaves one breathless.”  The two boys playing Billy have worked for months, honing skills in ballet, acrobatics and tap (not to mention acting and vocal lessons).

Nicholas Dantes                                                        Kyle Halford

Also starring is Jeff Award-winner Susie McMonagle as “Mrs. Wilksinson” (Broadway: Les Miserables at the Imperial Theatre, National Tours: Billy Elliot and Mamma Mia! and Next to Normal at Drury Lane), Ron E. Rains as “Dad” (BIG, The Musical and 1776 at Drury Lane, Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol), Maureen Gallagher as “Grandma” (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Goodman Theatre), and Liam Quealy as “Tony” (My Fair Lady at Paramount Theatre, Pirates of Penzance at Marriott Theatre). The cast also features Michael Harp as “Michael” (The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera, Chicago, Billy Elliot in St. Louis), Brooke MacDougal (Member of The Performer’s School ensemble, professional debut) and Peyton Schaffer (Les Miserables and Seussical at Drury Lane,) as “Debbie Wilkinson,” Terry Hamilton as “George” (Airline Highway at Steppenwolf Theatre), Brianna Borger as “Mum” (The King and I and Into The Woods at Porchlight Theater), Rhett Gutter as “Older Billy” (West Side Story at Drury Lane, Brigadoon at The Goodman Theatre) and Bret Tuomi as “Mr. Braithwaite” (West Side Story at Drury Lane, A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theatre).

Rounding out the cast are William Carlos Angulo, Julia Baker, Cody Bolithon, Johnson Brock, Grier Burke, Gary Carlson, Michael Di Leo, Abigail Dudich, Samantha Erne, Allison Graves, Sage Harper, Hannah Clare Horner, Raymond Interior, Amelia Grace Kuhlman, Princess Isis Z. Lang, Emily Leahy, Iris Lieberman, Ingrid Clare Lowery, Katie Malchow, Mia Moore, Ava Morse, Ashton Schaffer, Peter Scharbrough, Steven Spanapoulos, Brandon Springman, Holly Stauder, Zachary Uzarraga, Jonathan Weir, and Fred Zimmerman.

As the first regional production, an incredible artistic team has been assembled to bring this story to life, led by Artistic Director William Osetek (Next to Normal, Young Frankenstein and Spamalot at Drury Lane). Scenic design for BILLY ELIOTT was created by Kevin Depinet (Associate Designer for Tony Award winning August Osage County on Broadway, Camelot at Drury Lane) with Lee Fiskness as Lighting Designer (Resident lighting director Santa Fe Opera, Young Frankenstein at Drury Lane), Costume Coordination by Maggie Hofmann (Camelot, The Game's Afoot, and Young Frankenstein [Co-design with Erika Senase] at Drury Lane), Garth Helm as Sound Designer (Tony nomination for Pippin on Broadway, West Side Story at Drury Lane), Nick Heggestad as Properties Designer (Resident properties designer at Drury Lane) and Penny Lane Studios (Samantha Umstead and Coral Gable) as Wig and Hair Designer (Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Writers Theatre). Additionally, Christine Adair is the Dialect Coach (Broadway and First North American Tour productions of Mary Poppins) and Matt Hawkins is the Fight Choreographer (Les Miserables at Drury Lane Theatre and The Wheel and Belleville at Steppenwolf Theatre Company).
Tickets for BILLY ELLIOT are on sale now and available by calling the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111, TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or visiting www.drurylane.com. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45) and 8 p.m. ($55), Fridays at 8 p.m. ($60), Saturdays at 5 p.m. ($60), and 8:30 p.m. ($60), and Sundays at 2 p.m. ($60), and 6 p.m. ($55). Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available.

For more information on BILLY ELLIOT and the rest of the 2015-2016 theatrical season, please visit www.drurylane.com.

About Drury Lane Theatre
Drury Lane is a beautiful, unique and versatile facility that combines ideal location, functionality and elegance to make it one of Chicagoland's finest facilities. As the premier destination for dining, theatre and events, Drury Lane is home to the nation’s most spectacular Broadway – quality theatre productions. For more information about Drury Lane, please visit its website or Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Campaign Illustrates Multiple Sclerosis is an Invisible Disease Affecting People You Know, Work with and Celebrate with

When this campaign hit my inbox, I was more than happy to pass it along to our readers. My sister has MS, so understanding the symptoms and struggles and helping to find a cure hit close to home for me. She was a runner and an avid traveler back in the day, and this incurable disease has robbed her of those passions, making travel tough and warm environments, athletic endeavors, and even tasks like moving to a new place overwhelming and exhausting. She's a hero of mine, for dealing as well as she does. She's been accused by past roommates and pseudo friends of "faking it" because the symptoms aren't always visible, but they can be debilitating nonetheless. I'm happy to do anything I can to educate the general public about MS, to promote understanding and empathy. Kudos to Modern Day MS for putting a real face and back story to the statistics.

Modern Day MS is featuring one Real Person with MS every day of March for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month.

Each real unique person living with MS was asked four identical questions, plus provided a quote that inspires them to stay positive despite their currently-incurable diagnosis.  Here are a few samples.

MS is a neurological disease that affects over 2.3 million people worldwide. MS is the breakdown of myelin (the substance protects nerves) allowing the body to attack itself. The word “sclerosis” refers to the scar tissue or lesions that appear as the brain and spinal cord are damaged. The unprotected nerves cannot function as they would with normal, healthy myelin.
The damaged nerves produce a wide range of symptoms that vary in severity. Symptoms include numbness and tingling, vision problems, balance and mobility issues, slurred speech, depression and many other issues. There is no such thing as a “typical” symptom of MS because each person experiences the disease differently.

The range of participants in the Modern Day MS #RealPeoplewithMS campaign range from those that run triathlons to those living life in wheelchairs. These interesting stories are from all over the world including Australia, Wales, Scotland and various regions of the United States.
Although multiple sclerosis affects more women than men, there are eight diverse men represented in this campaign.  Ages range from as young as 22 up to 65 years old.  The willing participants include some who exclusively use natural treatments and no medication to others who are dependent on a long list of medications. 

Modern Day MS was created in November 2014 by Beth Prystowsky.  Prystowsky is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, yoga teacher and writer that created the site when she was unable to find a positive, nonoverwhelming place for herself and others to learn and understand the chronic disease.  

Modern Day MS is found at www.moderndayms.com, on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

State Farm Provides Peace of Mind for the Present and Future with Don't Worry, Retire Happy™  #AD #RetireHappyNow

We've trusted State Farm for decades, for our car and life insurance, in case of unexpected accidents. Last Wednesday I discovered State Farm also provides peace of mind for planned life events, like retirement income planning. We were invited by State Farm to come check out the launch of a brand new philosophy for retirement, ​Don't Worry, Retire Happy™ (DWRH). This struck a chord with me, since I'm in a dual freelancer household, without a corporate retirement plan or even a social security safety net, so retirement security talk does cause us more anxiety than excitement.

We have two kids to put through college, a mortgage for the next 20 years, car payments and urban living expenses to deal with, so retirement has seemed like a distant concern. Yet, my husband's hitting the big five oh this year and I'm not far behind him. So it's not too early at all to make a solid financial retirement plan.

State Farm has been on our minds a lot this past week. Yesterday, Chicago had a spring blizzard with over 5" of snow and a Subaru skidded into my Rogue at a stop light and slammed me hard. Thankfully nobody was injured and we were still able to drive, but the cars involved needed body work. Accidents are always inconvenient, but State Farm insured both vehicles involved and made the claims process pretty painless. I was impressed how quickly they set up a rental car and a body shop the same day of the accident.

If State Farm is as efficient and knowledgeable about retirement income planning as they are about protecting our cars, I'd trust them with my future as well as my present. They've partnered up with renowned industry speaker, Tom Hegna and his Seven Steps to Retirement Security for a start. He has solid advice in understandable chunks that can be customized for everyone's unique situation. Unlike traditional age charts with unrealistically high savings requirements, Tom Hegna's ideas are attainable and easy to implement.

We also have to rave a bit about State Farm's Fireside Chat format and the Next Door Chicago Cafe where we met to watch highlights of the Don't Worry, Retire Happy™ ​ television special and discuss it on camera. It was invaluable to have a talk back with real people in real time. Their life stories, questions and fears for the future put a human face to the facts and figures. My husband only half jokes that as freelancing creatives we'll have to work till the day we die, but after the Fireside Chat I'm armed with a new confidence that even in the present economy, most working Americans truly do have the time, financial resources and courage to retire happy.

We're also enamored with State Farm's Next Door Chicago Cafe. It's a welcoming space with WiFi, excellent coffee, and a host of free coaching and classes for the community. I'm so excited this innovative space exists. Now you can benefit from State Farm's skills without a car crash or negative life event happening first! Come on by and have a cup of coffee and network. Lifelong learning is amazing and essential.

During the Don't Worry, Retire Happy™ ​talk back, some of our fellow attendees admitted out loud what most of us were thinking, that traditional retirement savings talks had their eyes glazing over and the words turning to gibberish. Thankfully, Tom Hegna is a best-selling author who's not only an articulate retirement income expert, but entertaining and easy to understand.

We're huge fans of public television as a source for excellent educational content. You can catch the Don't Worry, Retire Happy™ TV special on your local public television station. The show is airing as a fundraiser and those who wish to support their local station with a pledge can receive a copy of the DVD or book + DVD. Check out more details here on social media via the Don't Worry, Retire Happy™ Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This blog post on "Don't Worry, Retire Happy™": The 7 Steps to Retirement Security", is sponsored by State Farm®. I accepted the opportunity to participate and want my readers to know that the opinions and statements expressed in this post are completely my own.

Friday, March 20, 2015

WIN Big When You ChiIL Out in Chi, IL with Dylan's Candy Bar and NEW Juicy Drop Gummies 3/21 12-4pm #giveaway

Chicago Candy Lovers get a first taste 
of new Juicy Drop Gummies 
with games, giveaways, and more 
on March 21st

Saturday, March 21st; Time 12-4; Dylan’s Candy Bar in Chicago

Here at ChiIL Mama we think sour is sweet! We adore Juicy Drop & Gummies & Dylan's Candy Bar, and we love it when our favorites play nice together. Come on out to be one of the first to try this pucker inducing treat and enter to WIN some seriously sweet (& sour) prizes here (open nationwide) through midnight 3/26 and at THIS Saturday's Chicago based event too! 

Disclosure: We're pleased to partner up with Juicy Drop and Bazooka. They have provided review samples and prize fulfillment for our giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.

Bazooka Candy Brand’s Juicy Drop is taking over Dylan’s Candy Bar in Chicago on Saturday, March 21st to challenge candy lovers’ taste buds with a first taste of new Juicy Drop Gummies. Fans will have the chance to take a turn on the Juicy Drop Prize Wheel to win fun giveaways including T-shirts, temporary tattoos, stickers, candy, and more. One lucky attendee will win a basket filled with candy and other fun prizes from Bazooka Candy Brands! Full details below.

One of ChiIL Mama's lucky readers will also WIN a Juicy Drop Gummies sampler (Estimated value $15) including all four flavors! 

CLICK HERE to enter all week.
Open nationwide through midnight 3/26 

Juicy Drop is hard-core candy dripping with attitude that puts you in control of the sour intensity so you can push your limits each and every time you dare to drop. New Juicy Drop Gummies combine delicious soft gummies featuring a special “drop zone” with the signature Juicy Drop sour gel pen allowing fans to combine the two for an amazing taste experience. 

The new Juicy Drop Gummies will challenge taste buds with an exciting line-up of deliciously sour flavors including Knock-Out Punch, Blue Rebel, Apple Attack and Watermelon Blast. Juicy Drop Gummies first arrived in stores in January 2015 with a suggested retail price of $1.60 to $2.20.

Dylan's Candy Bar Chi, IL 
Juicy Drop Gummies Event Details:

WHO: Candy lovers

WHAT: Juicy Drop and Dylan’s Candy Bar partner to offer candy lovers the opportunity to be among the first to taste new Juicy Drop Gummies. Fans will also get to play fun games with a chance to win special prizes from Bazooka Candy Brands.

WHEN: Saturday, March 21st, 2015
Noon to 4pm

WHERE: Dylan’s Candy Bar,
445 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60611

The Juicy Drop brand has always been a leading force in category innovation as evident from their most recent launch, Juicy Drop Gummies.  Juicy Drop, the #2 selling non-chocolate candy front of store¹, features a unique two-in-one candy experience that enables consumers to control their flavor intensity.  First launched in 2003, Juicy Drop Pop quickly became a mainstay in the Bazooka Candy Brands portfolio.  Juicy Drop Taffy was added in 2012, bringing the innovative taste experience into the soft and chewy segment and is the one of the first taffy candy lines that lets kids customize the intensity of their chosen flavor.   Juicy Drop Taffy spearheaded the Juicy Drop’s brand’s growth which drive the Kids Non-Chocolate category across all channels by 64² percent in a two-year period.  The Juicy Drop brand is part of Bazooka Candy Brands popular confectionery portfolio that includes Ring Pop®, Push Pop®, Baby Bottle Pop®, and Bazooka® Bubble Gum.  For more information, visit www.candymania.com.

Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of The Topps Company, Inc., is about to turn up the intensity in the gummy category.  The incredibly popular Juicy Drop® brand is expanding to now include Juicy Drop™ Gummies,  a truly breakthrough confectionary innovation that lets fans control their flavor experience.  The product combines delicious sour-sanded gummies with the signature Juicy Drop sour gel pen. Using a special “drop zone” on the gummy, consumers combine the two for an amazing taste experience.     

Juicy Drop is a powerhouse brand that continues to be a top-seller in the category – ranking #2 in front of store non-chocolate sales.The brand has also been a leading force in category innovation. Back in 2012, when Bazooka Candy Brands expanded the brand into the perennially strong taffy category, Juicy Drop™ Taffy became an instant success. The product has driven the taffy segment by contributing more than 32³ percent to segment growth since its launch and currently ranks #11 among all non-chocolate candies³ in the front of the store. Now, Bazooka Candy Brands is bringing this same successful formula to the growing gummy segment. 

About Bazooka Candy Brands
Bazooka Candy Brands is a division of The Topps Company, Inc.  Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and related cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps entertainment products include Major League Baseball, National Football League, and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company's confectionery brands include "Bazooka" bubble gum, "Ring Pop," "Push Pop," "Baby Bottle Pop" and "Juicy Drop Pop" lollipops. For additional information, visit topps.com and www.bazookajoe.com

¹According to Nielsen L52W 2/14/15 Convenience
²Taffy segment contribution: According to Nielsen L52W 10/27/12, L52W 10/26/13, L52W 10/25/14

Disclosure: Once again, we're pleased to partner up with Juicy Drop and Bazooka. They have provided review samples and prize fulfillment for our giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

SAVE THE DATES: RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles on Sale to the Public Tomorrow, Friday, March 20 at 10 AM

“The next best thing to seeing The Beatles!” The Denver Post

Featuring New Songs and High Definition Imagery for the 2015 Tour!

Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce that individual tickets for RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles go on sale to the public tomorrow, Friday, March 20 at 10 AM. Experience an all new show when the internationally-acclaimed Beatles concert, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, returns to Chicago to play the Bank of America Theatre (18 W Monroe) May 20-24, 2015.

As “the next best thing to seeing The Beatles!” (Associated Press), RAIN performs the full range of The Beatles' discography live onstage, including the most complex and challenging songs that The Beatles themselves recorded in the studio but never performed for an audience. In addition to the updated sets that include brand new LED, High-Definition screens and multimedia content, new songs have also been included with the launch of the 2015 Tour. Together longer than The Beatles, RAIN has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting. From the early hits to later classics (“I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude” and more), this adoring tribute will take you back to a time when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!

“On their feet, with arms raised high above their heads, all in the audience were swaying and singing along in blissed-out, nostalgia-powered unison! 
-- Chicago Sun-Times

“The enraptured audience relives the soundtrack of its life!”
-- Chicago Tribune

Like The Beatles, the onstage members of RAIN are not only supreme musicians, but electrifying performers in their own right.

Become a fan of RAIN on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RainTribute, follow RAIN on Twitter @raintribute, Instagram: @RainTribute and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/RainTribute

Wednesday at 7:30 PM
Thursday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM
Friday at 7:30 PM
Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM
Sunday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM


Individual tickets for RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles at the Bank of America Theatre range from $35-$75.  A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

WIN 4 Tickets & Check Out ChiIL Mama's Adventures at Springfest - Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids #OriginalPhotos #Giveaway

ChiIL Mama is thrilled to be back as press sponsor for the 4th season, for this rockin' weekly kindie music series (with adults & kids on stage). We're uniting music, art, friends and fun. Oh yeah... and some of the BEST Bloody Marys in town for the big kids AKA: adults! 

These live, one hour family friendly shows are awesome for all ages and geared toward birth through 8 year olds and their parents. Kids under 1 are free! This past Sunday was Springfest, an extra special 4 hour, multi band extravaganza with loads of free activities for kids. Check out our full photo recap below.

ENTER HERE for your shot at 4 free tickets ($24 value) from ChiIL Mama to see Environmental Encroachment at BK Kids Shows THIS Sunday at noon!! Kids under 1 always free. Shows are all ages but geared toward birth-8 year olds with parents. EE is great show for older kiddos who are over what my 11yo daughter calls the "One little ducky... two little duckies genre" too.

Did you miss EE last time they played Beat Kitchen? Did you go and have your mind blown and can't wait to see them again? Well here's your chance to catch them! Circus, hooping, juggling, theatre, performance, and lots of audience participation make this a show you do not want to miss!

Doors open at 11:00. Full bar and brunch menu too!

Don't Miss This!!!!

Concerts for Kids at the Beat Kitchen was just voted the Best Bar to Take Your Kids this year by Chicago Magazine!

Check Out ChiIL Mama's Full Photo Recap of Springfest in the Slideshow Here:

We were there for the duration Sunday, with our Instrument Petting Zoo & Rock N Roll Dress Up. My daughter, Sage, sold Girl Scout Cookies to benefit her troop. 

Beat Kitchen's Food Rocks Too!

Our friends at local art gallery, Beauty and Brawn were in huge demand with wand making. The owner's a Chicago based mom of 2, like me.

And it was truly a treat to meet Au Pairs from Germany and Sweden among other places, staffing the Cultural Care Au Pair booth and giving glitter tattoos to kids and adults too. It was great to finally meet Fit4Mom in person, as we're in a Moms in Business group together. She had a prize wheel and kids & adults could do a simple exercise like jumping jacks to win a fun ink stamper. The owner's another Chicago area mom of 2.

It's always great to see Mary Macaroni--on stage and rocking the balloon creations too. She made some incredibly cool giant rainbows and even did a custom NARWHAL (her first ever) for my daughter to give to her narwhal obsessed big brother! 

Thanks also to Mary Macaroni for the sweet magic kit. My kids have been having a blast with it for days. And the tricks are quite convincing. Highly recommend it. She sells them at her shows and they'll be available on her updated website soon, too. If your kids are too little to DO card tricks, get one for yourself and amaze your littles with your mad skills! 

It's always great to see Beat Kitchen/Subterranean owner, Gomez & his wife & three kids. We love to promote Chicago business owners & parents here at ChiIL Mama! Want to partner up on an event, giveaway for our readers or class promotions? Shoot us an e-mail!

Activities upstairs provided by:
Beauty and Brawn Gallery - Craft Station/Wand Making
Unicoi Art Studio - Face Painting
Cultural Care Au Pair - Glitter Tattoos
ChiIL Mama - Instrument Petting Zoo & Rock Star Dress Up
Fit4Mom - Spin the Wheel of Fun

Mary Macaroni - Balloon Animals

Here’s the Sweet Springfest line up. Keep an eye out for these bands in the coming fest season months. Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids will continue through spring then go on a summer break. 

Stage Line up:
11:00 - Mary Macaroni
11:45 - The Laser Comedy Show
12:00 -  Cowboy Jesus and the Sugarbums
1:00 - Future Hits
1:45 - The Laser Comedy Show
2:00 - Deep Fried Pickle Project


Be sure to check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. It's rewarding! We give away free tickets weekly and feature loads of original content, family friendly news, reviews, video interviews, live show footage and great giveaways!!

We're pleased to be newly joined by Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago as Beat Kitchen Kids Shows sponsors.


Did you miss EE last time they played Beat Kitchen? Did you go and have your mind blown and can't wait to see them again? Well here's your chance to catch them! Circus, hooping, juggling, theatre, performance, and lots of audience participation make this a show you do not want to miss!

Doors open at 11:00. Full bar and brunch menu too!

ChiIL Mama's Readers, Get Social:
If you don't already, be sure to FOLLOW ChiIL Mama on the following social media channels:
(We have weekly flash ticket giveaways, real time original content, photo & video filled event recaps, travel, product reviews, and family fun features in Chi, IL and beyond.)

ChiIL Mama's Google +
ChiIL Mama's YouTube Channel (259+ Original Videos,168,279+ views)

NPN members! Visit the Perks section of npnparents.org for details on how to get discounted tickets!


Mar 29 • 12 PM

Apr 19 • 12 PM

Apr 26 • 12 PM

May 3 • 12 PM

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama. Lots more live show footage from Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids is coming soon!

More Photo Favs: