Free Comic Book Day

May 2nd marks this year’s Free Comic Book Day!  Free Comic Book Day is an annual event where comic book shops across North America open their doors and give free books to anyone who visits (while supplies last). More than two million books will be given away to readers of all ages, with the ultimate goal of introducing a whole new generation of comic book fans.For younger comic readers, DC Entertainment will be releasing two special editions including TEEN TITANS GO! Chapter 12, based on the hit television series currently airing Saturday mornings as part of Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block, and SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP! #6, an all-new adventure featuring the Scooby gang teaming up with the Super Friends.

Additional details, including a list of participating locations, can be found at www.freecomicbookday.com

Six Flags Great America Brings Summer Early

Six Flags Great America, the premiere thrill destination for all ages in Gurnee, IL, is ready to launch its 41st season in superhero style. The park is getting ready to open April 23rd and guests will have the opportunity to be a hero to a child in the community at the Superhero Cape-A-Palooza opening weekend event. The 2017 season also marks the debut of an all-new 4D interactive thrill ride, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis.

Be a hero! When guests purchase a cape, Six Flags will donate a cape to a child patient at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Capes will be sold at the Six Flags front gate for $15 each and donated capes will be delivered by Bugs Bunny himself the week of May 2.

Super Deal  
Guests that visit on opening weekend, April 23 or 24, can purchase a ticket in advance, online only at sixflags.com for just $24.99. That’s a savings over $40 per ticket! Opening weekend tickets can only be purchased online and in advance at sixflags.com  
      
JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis  
This 4D interactive thrill ride was named by USA Today readers as one of the Top Ten New Amusement Park Attractions of the year and was most recently awarded Best New Product by International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis will open late spring.
 
 This season is going to be a fantastic year for our guests,” said park president Hank Salemi. Not only do we have world class roller coasters, but this summer we will be introducing the JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis awardwinning 4D thrill ride that features the world’s first virtual vertical loop. Our guests are in store for an amazing summer!”  
  
The best value to visit all season long, including Fright Fest, is to purchase a 2016 season pass which is on sale now for $73.99 each when buying four or more and includes one free season parking passSeason passes can be purchased online at sixflags.com.   
  
The park opens April 23 for select days with daily operation starting May 24. Visit sixflags.com for a complete list of operating hours and more information about Six Flags Great America tickets, shows, rides, attractions and events.    
  

 

A Giveaway for All Downton Abbey Fans

Its a show that takes you back to tradition, manners and upper class dinner wardrobe changes, Downton Abbey has taken us by storm and pulled us in to all of its scandal.  One of my favorite characters on the show is Mr. Bates played by Brendan Coyle. Mr. Coyle is in a new movie called Noble that is giving you the chance to win big!This giveaway is made possible by the new film, NOBLE, about Christina Noble, an Irishwoman who’s saved over 700,000 orphans in Vietnam. Deirdre O’Kane and Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates on Downtown Abbey) star in the award-winning film.

For another chance to win, enter the She is Noble contest, inspired by Christina’s story. Go to the website and nominate a heroic woman you know who’s quietly changing the world around her. You could win a free 5-day/4-night trip to Ireland!


What does it mean to be a noble woman? It’s living fearlessly and loving recklessly. Who is that
woman in your world? In your neighborhood or school or church? We want to tell her story.

I am also giving away a fantastic prize pack to sweeten the deal!   If you are a fan of the show Downton Abbey you do not want to miss this giveaway! You could win the following:



In accordance with FTC regulations, you will need a disclosure that you will receive the same prize pack. Example: “I will receive the same the same prize pack for posting this giveaway. All opinions are my own.



My Happy Place

I have a hard time with winter, I usually get seasonal blues and I hate being cold.  This year was not quite as bad as previous years but as much as I keep reminding myself that were almost in March and this is the home stretch, all I see is snow outside.  All I keep thinking about is the Florida sunshine and how much I would rather be there than here.  We were just in Orlando at the end of August and beginning of September but it seems like it was years ago and I miss it so much. Not only could I literally live on a beach but because of this….

I love Disney World and I think its one of those places that I will always enjoy.  My brother used to joke that my brain works like a Disney Movie, well if that is the case then its happy, colorful and full of fun and adventure.  This was my kids’ first time to Disney World and they have been asking non stop when we can go back.

This is about how 90% of our picture from Magic Kingdom look, with the pirate pose!
I highly recommend taking your kids before they are snotty tweens who don’t want to hang out with their parents.  This trip was planned for my little girls 9th birthday (it was a surprise) and I think it was the perfect age to take them.  My son is 5 but he walked all day in the hot Florida sun, for three days straight, with no complaints plus was tall enough to ride every ride.
I love road trips and wanted my kids to experience driving through all the states down to Florida.  We had so much fun stopping at all these crazy rest stops and restaurants.  If you drive down there, you have to stop at the Florida Welcome Center (I think that’s what its called), they have about a million brochures and the kids took one of each.  The rest of the drive to Orlando they looked through them and got so excited about where we were about to arrive.  If you have been thinking about it, just do it already, you won’t regret it I promise!
This sponsored post was made possible by SheHeard. I have been compensated for my time and work on this campaign, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

Gifts with a Purpose: North American Bear Co. Review and Giveaway

I love to see companies that give back to the community in some way.  This is why I love the North American Bear Company.  The Company was started nearly 30 years ago as a creative business enterprise of a new mother, Barbara Isenberg who was starting a family in New York City in the mid-1970’s.  She wanted to find a teddy bear with the charm of an antique toy and a modern whimsical style for her own son.  This led to the start of a toy company which created unique, high quality plush bears that would appeal to both children and adults alike.  Today, The North American Bear Company creates everything from bears to dolls to crib mobiles, and each and everyone of them are cute as a button.

When I found out I would have a chance to do a review of their items, I really had a hard time picking something, I loved everything I saw.  Then I saw their line of Make My Own Monsters….I about fell over!

Can these guys be any cuter?  They were designed by the North American Bear staff’s kids.  We chose to review Crazy Eyes and Buster.  When they came, my kids were so excited!  We opened the box to find the softest, cutest monsters in the world.  And when I say softest, I mean super soft, made of veboa.  To make it even more special, the tag has the drawing of the monster, the name and age of the child that created it, and a story written by the child describing the monster.

Here is my son smothering Buster with love 🙂
Cana loves her Crazy Eyes…with his packet of sugar!

 

and TImmy still loving on his new buddy…big kisses for Buster
The kids have been sleeping with these guys every night since they came, and drawing pictures of their own monsters.  They love that they were created by other children.  So not only are these guys cute but they are special in another way also.  A portion of My Own Monster sales is donated to Global Action for Children, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being advocates for orphans and vulnerable children in the developing world. To learn more about this international children’s organization, visit their website here.  Most of the monsters are priced at $16 and can be purchased on the North American Bear website.
North American Bear has generously offered to give one of my readers a monster of their choice!
**I was sent two toys for review purposes, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review**

Glove Steaming Week at Chicagoland Dick’s Sporting Goods

Baseball and Softball season is just about here and it’s time to start thinking about the gear your kid is going to need.  If you are in the market for a new glove, now is the perfect time to head over to your local Chicagoland Dick’s Sporting Goods where for this week only, you can get free glove steaming service with the purchase of a Mizuno Glove.  If you have ever purchased a new glove, you know that it takes time to break it in, make it soft and flexible.The kids got some pretty awesome Mizuno gloves, but as with any new, high quality glove, they were a little stiff.  We knew that we had to head over to Dick’s Sporting Goods and get them steamed so that they were ready to go.

Major League players agree, the best way to break in a glove is a combination of heat and pressure. Developed in Japan, the Mizuno Glove Steamer applies both steam heat and pressure without the at-home risk of melting the rawhide or burning yourself (like in the microwave!). The glove is game ready in a matter of minutes, which we know is important with kids’ lack of patience.

My kids were excited to see what this steamer could do.  The first step was to condition the glove and get it ready for the steamer.

Next, the glove is placed inside the steamer for about 5 minutes.  That was probably the hardest part for my son, he’s not one for waiting.

The next part was our favorite.  Once the glove is removed from the steamer, it gets to be pounded with a wooden mallet!  The very patient Dick’s employee that helped us that day let my little man pound on his glove with the mallet

The whole process took under 10 minutes, and when we were done the gloves were game ready!  My son was so excited he could close his glove much easier.

The Mizuno Glove Steamer is a free service for a week only, March 18-27 for customers purchasing a Mizuno glove.  (Steaming is also available for customers who bring in their own glove or purchase another brand but a fee does apply to those)

You can click HERE to find your participating Chicagoland Dick’s Sporting Goods location

I received two Mizuno gloves to experience the glove steaming process/results, all photos and opinions are my own.

Best Buy is the Place to Go for Action Cameras

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


The weather is getting cooler and Holiday season is just around the corner.  It is never too early to start shopping and Best Buy is the home of the latest cameras and camcorders for all those on your list who love to snap pictures and make memories.  Best Buy’s camera selection includes the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a broad assortment of accessories. GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.


GoPro HERO4 Black is the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.  I got this camera for my husband and he loves playing around with it!


Best Buy currently has the broadest assortment of action cameras from the top brands.  It’s really the only place I trust with my electronics purchases and their employees are always so knowledgeable and can answer all my questions.

Best Buy also has new action cameras unveiling soon and the full line will be available at all Best Buy stores. This launch comes in time for gadget guru’s, adventure seekers and family memory makers to upgrade to the latest technology or add them to their holiday wish list. Best Buy will also have the latest accessories and mounts to help you capture immersive footage of the moments that matter most. Be the first to share the new technology with your followers and get the inside scoop on the product features.

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

Cirque du Soleil Presents the World Premiere of TORUK

Cirque du Soleil officially premiered its new arena touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATARTORUK – The First Flight, on Monday, December 21 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.  The show will be presented there until January 3 and will then continue touring in arenas around the world.

 

TORUK – The First Flight is a live immersive multimedia spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron’s AVATAR like you have never seen it before. Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.
Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.
When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Ticket information
To purchase tickets and for the full list of cities visit
https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk.

Still Paying Full Price? Groupon has You Covered!

One thing I can say I do really well is bargain hunt.  I do not pay full price for ANYTHING.  I mean, why pay full price when you can get a discount, you just have to know where to look.  I actually prefer to shop online for that reason.  I save time and money and that makes me a happy girl.

Groupon is a site known for awesome deals, and now they are offering Groupon Coupons!  If you are a new or expecting mom, or you know someone who is, you do not want to miss these great offers from Babies R Us:

Click HERE for Groupon Coupons for 15% off Nursery Furniture, $25 off Graco car seats and travel systems, Free shipping offers and more.

If you are looking for great deals to start your Holiday shopping, Groupon has some online offers as well as in-store printable coupons for Toys R Us.  Just click HERE to check them out.

There are also some great deals from Build-A-Bear, like $10 off a purchase of $40 or more, $5 off of a purchase of $25 and more, just click HERE.

There are so many great deals on Groupon in the coupon section, just go click around on your favorite stores and take advantage of all the savings!  Its never too early to start shopping for the Holiday season either!

*This post was sponsored by Groupon, all opinions are my own.

New and Exciting Chicago-Made TV show for kids: Moochie Kalala Detectives Club

Do beluga whales really sing? Do dinosaurs and people live together? According to the grandpa (played by Tim Kazurinsky) on Chicagoland’s new show, “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club,” they sure do. The new TV show, which first airs 11 a.m. on Jan. 18, on WTTW Kids, Channel 11, sends kids on a fact-finding mission at Chicago’s top museums and cultural attractions to uncover the truth from real scientists.

With every story comes a new adventure. The first episode will follow the “science detective” kids as they head off to the Adler Planetarium to investigate the truth behind grandpa’s story about a water-guarding dragon on Mars. The kids learn grandpa was off his rocker on some facts – but right about others – with help from the Adler’s Astrophysicist & Planetary Scientist Mark Hammergren. Each of the six episodes stars one of Chicago’s most famous museums and attractions, and its scientist, zoologist or architect.

Not only does “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club” encourage kids to discover science with help from Chicago’s top museums and scientists, it also inspires exploration through partnerships with local schools. The show’s producer, Chicago’s own Dreaming Tree Films, selected six local teachers and their students to appear during the last few minutes of the show leading kids through fun, hands-on experiments! Dreaming Tree Films will also host “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club”-themed, in-school science events at numerous schools across Chicagoland this spring, and is delivering 1,000 complimentary DVDs to local public schools.

In each episode, the kids meet Chicagoland’s real celebrities, the brilliant scientists of the city’s nationally applauded cultural institutions.

  • Episode 1 features the Adler Planetarium with Astrophysicist Mark Hammergren, PhD
  • Episode 2 features Museum of Science and Industry with Physicist Dr. Olivia Castellini, PhD 
  • Episode 3 features Lincoln Park Zoo with Primatologist Dr. Steve Ross, PhD
  • Episode 4 features The Field Museum with Paleontologist Bill Simpson 
  • Episode 5 features Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House with Historical Architect Royce Yeater
  • Episode 6 features Shedd Aquarium with Marine Mammals Trainer Elizabeth Davis
Chicagoland families can also continue the adventure and scientific discoveries following each show by visiting MoochieKalala.com for easy, at-home science experiments and downloadable content, detective badges and resources for parents, teachers and schools.  
Teachers can request to receive complimentary “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club” DVDs and science activities for use in their classrooms.  To request a copy, go to MoochieKalala.com/educators.