Friday, December 21, 2012

Catch Santa at Your House

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa and Rudolph caught in the act in his or her very own home. is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos. 

In three simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus or Rudolph and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making a great gift idea even if you don't have kids yourself.

And for even more holiday magic, is giving away 2 iPads! No purchase necessary. Enter here:

My Readers Get 25% off your entire order at Use the following Promo Code at checkout SANTA2012 to instantly save: #icaughtsanta 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crocheted Frog Hat Directions

I've recently picked up my crochet hooks after an almost 20 year hiatus and I've been making hats like a wild woman. GlitterGurl asked me to make a frog hat for her bff's baby shower and I couldn't find one that was as cute as I wanted. So I looked at about 4 different ones on Etsy and Pinterest and combined the features I liked best to make the cutie pie below

I usually crochet by sight and this is my first attempt at writing the directions down legibly, so that someone other than myself can actually read them. Please bear with me. If they don't make sense, I'll try to clarify if you just ask.



Directions are written with dc, but you can use 1/2 dc for a tighter stitch. Use an F or G hook. To make sure the hat fits your little one, measure around head and divide by 3.14 That's the diameter your hat should measure after round 5.


With green yarn chain 4, join with slipstitch 

ch 2, 11 dc in ring. join to top of ch 2 (12 sts)

ch2, dc in same dc as ch 2.  2dc in each dc (24 st) join every round

ch 2, dc in same dc as ch 2. (2dc in next dc, dc in next dc) around (36 sts)

ch2, dc in same dc as ch 2 (2dc in next st, dc in next two sts) around (48 sts)

ch2, dc in same dc as ch 2 (2dc in next st, dc in next three sts) around (60 sts)

ch 2,
dc in same st, dc all the way around. (60 sts each row) Continue 9 rows of dc are done, OR until hat is desired height

Optional: Single crochet one row around bottom with contrasting color

Cheeks (make 2)

Chain 4, join with slipstitch 

ch 2, 9 sc in ring. join to top of ch 2 (10 sts)

ch2, sc in same sc as ch 2.  2sc in each sc (20 st)

leave a long tail of yarn for
sewing to hat (about 8")

Eyes (make 2)

With black yarn Chain 4, join with slipstitch

With white yarn
ch2. sc in same sc as ch 2.  2sc in each sc (20 st)

eave a long tail of yarn for sewing to hat (about 8")

Tongue (make 1)

Using pink yarn, leave a small tail (used to secure fly) ch 14, sc in second chain from hook and in each chain. (12 st)

ch 2, sc in 2nd sc from hook and then in each sc (11 sc after ch 2, 12 st across.

Leave a tail for sewing to hat

With black yarn twist a little bit to make a fly.

Place fly on tip of tongue (where the small tail from your starting point is) and roll up slightly. Use that short length of yarn to sew the fly to the curl and to keep the curl from unrolling.


Mouth (make 1)

Using black yarn, make a double foundation chain ( about 5" long

Pin all parts onto hat, tongue under mouth and mouth under cheeks. When sewing the eyes on, only sew the bottom to the hat, then take your green yarn and single crochet around one eye, joining in the middle of the two eyes and around other eye.

This pattern is the property of and may not be sold in whole or part. When sharing on your blog or website, I request that you link back to this post.  

Linking up to:

 Skip To My Lou

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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Holiday Letter Shop

Give your child a one-of-a-kind gift that they will treasure from The Holiday Letter Shop

See the joy on your child's face when they open up their personalized letter. Even the most skeptical child will be amazed.  Or send a special message to to the special someone in your life. 

There are a variety of packages starting at just $9.95 all include a Personalized Letter and Nice List Certificate, some also include activity books, stickers, ornaments and other extras. 
Get 50% off your entire order at theholidaylettershopcom.  

Use the following Promo Code at checkout: SLUSFG 

Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for sharing this with you.
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Rockford IceHogs

Rockford IceHogs Hockey games are not all about hockey, but instead about a great family experience! 

Check out Top Shot, an interactive hockey inspired shooting game located on the main concourse, and test your hockey skills. Join the IceHogs Runts Club and take your little one down to the tunnel to high-five all the players as they walk off the ice, then escort them out on the ice to help pick up chuck-a-pucks. 

Don't want to go down on the ice? You can purchase Chuck-A-Pucks and take part in one of the most exciting intermission activities where you have the opportunity to win $500 Oink Outfitters bucks and other prizes. 

Every IceHogs game offers tons of contest, raffles, and enter to wins for the whole family! 

So come check out the Rockford IceHogs, the proud American Hockey League Affiliate to the Chicago Blackhawks at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Dec 8th is Teddy Bear Toss and Glass Mug giveaway night (glass mugs are to the first 1,500 fans), everyone brings a teddy bear they would like to donate to charity and throws it out on the ice.  All bears collected, after they have dried, go to less fortunate children.  

Dec 15th is baseball hat giveaway night (to the first 2,500 fans).  

Dec 22nd is Stan Mikita Night and Mini Stick giveaway night (mini sticks to the first 1,000 fans).
Tickets start as low as $8!
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

2nd Annual #InappropriateElf on a Shelf Contest

He's baaaaaack! 

That creepy little mischievous elf we call Tank. 

Oh he's all G-rated fun and games when the boys are here.

But when they head home. . . well let's just say Tank is a wild and crazy guy! 

Last year, we caught Tank trying to hitch a ride back to the North Pole via one of our resident beavers. This was my entry last year in Baby Rabies' first ever Inappropriate Elf on a Shelf Contest and sadly I came in just outside the Top Ten with 207 votes.

My consolation prize was 'meeting' the hilariously talented Bearded Iris, whose name isn't even Iris and she doesn't have a beard! Liar, Liar, pants on fire! J/K . . . a little.

Happy Anniversary, Beautiful! Mazel Tov, Salute, Sláinte and Na Zdrowej all rolled into one!

This year, in keeping with the beaver theme, Tank . . . well just have a look yourself.

So many beavers so little time!

It appears that Tank's French is a little rusty, as he misunderstood the meaning of ménage à trois. Alas, all is well, because if a stuffed beaver is a happy beaver, then three stuffed beavers must be ecstasy. They're grinning from ear to ear and Tank looks quite satisfied as well!

Click that there elf up there to vote for me in Baby Rabies' Second Annual Inappropriate Elf Contest.
I'm entry #65.  

Voting begins December 7th and runs through Dec 18th, you can vote once per day!
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Mema Saves the Day or 10 Easy Steps for Stuffed Animal Repair

This weekend we faced a horrible tragedy. TOF's beloved Army Dog was viciously attacked by Grissom, Augie Dawg's big oaf of a dog. The boy was grief stricken to the point of threatening to send Grissom to the Animal Control. Army Dog was grossly disfigured in the attack and TOF was sure he could never be fixed.

Fortunately, this Mema is a highly talented stuffed animal surgeon! Doc McStuffins could take lessons from me.

With the help of some 'Christmas Magic' I was able to repair Army Dog and save the day!

For those times when 'Christmas Magic' won't help, I've included some super easy eye transplant tips below.

  1. Head to your nearest thrift store. Preferably on 1/2 price day.
  2. Proceed directly to the stuffed animal display. DO NOT BE AFRAID! You are immune to germs and disease because this is for a good cause.
  3. Choose a suitable candidate with eyes similar to the one that needs replacing.
  4. If you've planned ahead, the organ removal can be done in the parking lot and the donor animal can be properly buried in the thrift store dumpster. (I did not plan ahead and this step was performed in my driveway.)
  5. After cleaning the eye and removing the little plastic washer behind it, Army Dog was ready for the transplant.
  6. In this case the disfiguring hole was very large, so I started off by stitching it together a bit with matching thread.
  7. I then took the 2 part eye and placed the washer behind a little bit of stuffing to keep it securely in place. I pressed the actual eye on top and snapped it shut.
  8. Next, I tightly stitched the hole closed around and under the replacement eye.
  9. Finally, Army Dog was washed and dried, to remove all dog slobber.
  10. and placed right back where I found him before anyone realized he was gone.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Make Christmas Memories With Your Santa Story

Growing up in a Polish household we didn't make a big fuss about Santa Claus, but when I had children of my own I knew I wanted to include Santa in our celebration.
My kids would write letters and circle the toys they wanted in circulars. We'd stand in line for what seemed like hours, to visit with Santa at the mall and get the annual picture taken. The visit was quick, to accommodate the thousands of children behind us.

On Christmas Eve, we'd leave cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. The kids never fussed about bedtime on that special night. When they woke up way too early the next morning the cookies, milk and carrots would be gone and Santa left a thank you note and lots of presents under the tree.

Then it happened.

They stopped believing.

We still celebrated Christmas of course, but now the magic of Santa Claus was gone.

Until the grandmunchkins arrived!

Last year I was introduced to Your Santa Story and it was THE coolest Santa experience I'd ever seen.

Your Santa Story is a DVD customized especially for your kids.  No two are alike! Santa will mention each of your kids by name, as well as any pets you have. He'll mention the big milestones or special accomplishments of your kids too. This isn't a cheesy voice over in a generic video, Santa really talks to your kids! But even before you hear Santa, you'll have a quick tour of the stables where he keeps his reindeer. The video concludes with Santa telling the kids about one last present they missed and the location of that present. The look on their little faces will be priceless!

Your Santa Story can be purchased for $29.95 at Quantities are limited so act quickly to start making Christmas memories for your family.

Now that you've heard about one of my Christmas memories, leave me a comment below telling me one of your favorite Christmas memories for a chance to win your very own copy of a Your Santa Story DVD. This is a super fast giveaway that ends at noon on November 30th to insure delivery in time for Christmas. Please leave an email so I can reach you in the event that you win.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat and The Frog Prince, Continued

On January 26, 2013 Emerald City opens two hot new titles at their Lincoln Park home, The Apollo Theatre. Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (a Chicago premiere) and The Frog Prince, Continued (a world premiere) open on the same day and will run in repertory with each other during the winter and spring on 2013. 

After a critically acclaimed premiere at The National Theatre in London, Katie Mitchell's stage adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is crossing the pond for its Chicago premiere at Emerald City Theatre. The Cat, Fish, and Things One and Two all come to life on stage in this script that the Evening Standard calls "faithful to the chaotic exuberance of the original, yet also winningly fresh." 

Running concurrently is the world premiere of the musical adaption of The Frog Prince Continued with music and lyrics by the acclaimed Ryan Scott Oliver. Ryan Scott Oliver is a 2008 Richard Rodgers Award Winner and a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient. In addition to this commission from Emerald City, Oliver is currently writing the score for Disney Theatricals' Freaky Friday. This adaptation of the favorite John Sciezka (The Stinky Cheese Man, True Story of the Three Little Pigs) brings Ryan Scott Oliver to a Chicago theatre for development of a new script for the first time. 

Tickets: Starting at $13 for kids and $16 for adults 
Location: Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. 
Schedule: Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat January 26-May 19, 2013 

The Frog Prince, Continued! January 25-June 2, 2013
Performance times vary. Please consult calendar at

Dr. Suess' Cat in the Hat The Cat in the Hat is the perfect friend for a boring rainy afternoon. From games and mischief to Thing One and Thing Two, The Cat brings all sorts of trouble to this grey day--but will Sally and her brother be able to explain the mess to Mother? This Dr. Seuss classic leaps onto the stage with chaotic exuberance in this adaptation from the National Theatre in London. 

As the day moves from dull to daring with the help of The Cat in the Hat, Sally and her brother share a story about Learning Responsibility. The story's theme is the main educational focus for each Emerald City Theatre show. Each production seeks to access a life skill that is relevant to early learners and their grownups. A preshow activity in the lobby and the unique Grown-up Guide in every production's Playbill let families connect with the show and the story's Theme throughout their experience. Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat will explore what it means to be responsible when others are making poor decisions. 
About The Frog Prince, Continued When "happily ever after" isn't what he expected, The Frog Prince heads out for a new adventure. While searching for his true amphibian self, he meets witches from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, and Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. This musical tour through the enchanted forest is an Emerald City world premiere. 

While adventuring through the fairy tale kingdom, the royal family will share a story about Building Self-Esteem. The story's theme is the main educational focus for each Emerald City Theatre show. Each production seeks to access a life skill that is relevant to early learners and their grownups. A preshow activity in the lobby and the unique Grown-up Guide in every production's Playbill let families connect with the show and the story's Theme throughout their experience. The Frog Prince, Continued will explore what it is like to find out what it truly means to "be yourself" and be unafraid of who you are meant to be. 

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Give the Gift of Sports Illustrated Kids this Holiday Season

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kids is THE magazine for boys and girls who love sports. It presents sports the way kids want to read about them: with great action photos, easy-to-read stories about star athletes, helpful instructional tips from the pros, and humor, comics, and activities. SI Kids is a great way to encourage kids to read, and it has won highest honors from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parents' Choice Award.

Special Offer: Receive an entire year of SI Kids in print and on tablet for only $19.95! 

Need more reasons to give the gift of SI Kids this season?

Reason #1: It’s the perfect stocking stuffer. 
Reason #2: It promotes reading for children who are reluctant readers. 
Reason #3: Each issue is full of exciting stories, photos and games that are a perfect distraction while traveling. 
Reason #4: No gift wrapping – it’s delivered straight to your door.  
Reason #5: It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through. 

Take advantage of this great offer by subscribing HERE.
For more information go to:

Like SI Kids on Facebook:

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

BATMAN LIVE in Rockford

For the first time in DC Comics history, Batman - the worlds most popular DC Super Hero - is now an all-new, live-action arena spectacular which is taking the world by storm. BATMAN LIVE is a 15 million dollar stage production with an original story featuring a 43 strong cast of actors and circus trained acrobats, a 3D Gotham City landscape, a bespoke symphonic score, custom-built state-of-the-art stage, a 100 foot bat-shaped LED video wall, pyrotechnics and the impressive Batmobile, designed especially for the show by legendary racing car designer Professor Gordon Murray.

Faithfully adapted from the DC Comics characters and stories, BATMAN LIVE focuses on Robins quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero the mysterious vigilante known as Batman, much to the dismay of his protective guardian, billionaire Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows is secretly Batman. This dynamic triangle resolves itself in a non-stop thrill-ride across Gotham City that transforms Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson into the legendary crime-fighters, Batman and Robin. The adventure transports the audience from the Big Top of Haly's Circus to the depths of Arkham Asylum, and from the glittering peaks of the Penguins Iceberg Lounge to the subterranean wonders that await inside the Batcave.   

Batman Live is coming to the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford for THREE days only Nov. 30 - Dec. 2!  Save $10 use promo code: BATMAN

Disclaimer:  My family received tickets to attend the show

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The Heart of Christmas

Image Entertainment's release of The Heart of Christmas is the heartbreaking film about a family faced with losing their child and their quest to give him one last Christmas. Based on the inspiring true story that gained national attention, The Heart of Christmas boasts a stellar cast that includes Candace Cameron Bure (“Make It or Break It,” “Full House”), Jeanne Nielson (Faith Like Potatoes), George Newbern (Father of the Bride), and Erin Bethea (Fireproof). The film recently received an Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Lyrics and Music for its title song, composed and performed by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter, Matthew West, who is also featured in the film.

Dax Ryan Locke, born to Julie and Austin Locke on June 26, 2007, was diagnosed with AML M7, a rare form of leukemia, when he was 13 months old.

The Heart of Christmas is told in flashback from the perspective of Megan (Candace Cameron Bure), a successful businesswoman, wife and mother of two, the storyline unfolds when her commitment to faith and family is renewed after reading the blog of Julie Locke, (, the online journal that Julie kept after Dax was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Through Megan's narrative, we are introduced to Dax's father Austin (Eric Beck), who is deeply concerned about Dax's prognosis; the type of cancer has poor survival rates in children Dax's age. Determined to give Dax one last Christmas, Austin Locke surprises Julie and Dax with a Christmas tree- even though it's October. The neighbors quickly catch on and surprise the Locke's by showing up at their home to give Dax, his family and the community a magical night to remember.

This is a perfect movie to watch while recovering from your turkey and stuffing hangover on Thanksgiving night.  It will tug at your heart and make you hug your kids just a little bit harder at bedtime.

For further information on , the Dax Locke Foundation, visit,

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the movie and no other compensation.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Reading Eggs

I've always heard that from grades K through 3, children learn to read and then from grades 4 on they read to learn.  It's important to make reading fun while kids are learning to read.

At Reading Eggs, learning to read is enjoyable as well as very rewarding, by combining books with online reading games and activities.. Every lesson ends with a new book and a new critter to add to your growing collection.

The Reading Eggs program has been developed by a highly experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators and web developers. Reading Eggs focuses on a core reading curriculum of skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success and is suitable for children aged 3 through 12. Since launching in the United States and Canada in 2011, Reading Eggs has signed on more than 500,000 subscribers and presented more than 15 million lessons in North America.

This new world of interactive reading and writing activities will help to set kids up with positive attitudes about reading and learning for life. Receive a Free Two-Week Trial Offer. No credit card required. Visit for more details.

Disclaimer:  I received a free subscription for sharing this information.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Trick or Ringling Treat! #ChiRinglingTreat

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents Dragons invites you to Trick or Treat for a FREE Ticket to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Dragons!  Simply visit one of the 5 Halloween Ringling Treat Houses during their Ringling Treat hour:
House 1 – Bronzeville/Chicago, 4655 S. King Dr. – 3pm – 4pm
House 2 – Aurora, 1140 Symphony Dr. – 4pm – 5pm
House 3 – Crystal Lake, 66 Barrow Dr. – 4pm – 5pm
House 4 – Oak Park, 300 Forest Avenue – 5pm – 6pm
House 5 – Clarendon Hills, 124 Arthur Ave. – 5pm – 6pm
Parents who visit a Ringling Treat House with children between the ages of 2 and 12 will receive one voucher for a FREE Kid’s Ticket for each child present.  Voucher is redeemable for a ticket to any Monday – Friday performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Dragons at Allstate Arena and United Center. Voucher must be redeemed for Kid’s Ticket at the arena box office.  Additional tickets and adjoining seats may be purchased at that time.  Trick-or-Ringling Treating is available on Oct. 31 until the end of the hour noted or until 100 FREE Kids’ Vouchers are distributed at each house, whichever occurs first.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stop Zombie Mouth - Free Halloween Game Coupons!

This Halloween, ADA and PopCap Games are redefining what a Halloween “treat” can be, by giving a fun game free, instead of candy.

The American Dental Association (ADA), the leading source of oral health-related information, and PopCap Games, a leading digital games creator and a division of EA, have partnered to raise awareness of the importance of kids’ oral health in addition to providing a fun alternative to sugary treats on Halloween night.

Anyone wishing to give away PopCap’s hit Plants vs. Zombies instead of sweets for Halloween this year can download free game coupons (redeemable for the full PC/Mac edition of Plants vs. Zombies) at

The free codes can be redeemed at starting Oct. 30, but no later than Nov. 10. They are good for the PC or Mac version of the super-popular game, which normally sells for $19.95.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CHITAG Ticket Giveaway

The North Pole might as well be in Chicago the week before Thanksgiving, as over 25,000 visitors will head to Navy Pier to shop and play with thousands of toys and games on display from over 250 exhibitors. The 10th anniversary Chicago Toy & Game Fair, the largest public toy and game show in the nation, features the holiday season’s newest offerings from some of the bestselling brands in the world, as well as critically acclaimed, award-winning games from independent retailers.

If you've never been you really must go. The kids will love it! It's like being in a huge toy store and being encouraged to play!

“We’re so excited about this year’s Fair,” said Mary Couzin, founder and CEO of the Chicago Toy & Game Group which hosts the Fair as the culmination of an entire week of industry conferences and playful events. “For our 10th anniversary we’re pulling out all of the stops with more toys, giant-sized games, awesome tournaments and contests, specialty programming and much, much more. It’s like a giant interactive and bottomless toy box!”

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair will be held at Navy Pier in Festival Hall A on Saturday, November 17th and Sunday, November 18th. Highlights include:

- Giant-sized games such as: Bananagrams, Perplexus, Doggie Doo, Word on the Street, Pajaggle, and more
- Settlers of Catan North American Catan Championship
- Meet the Moshi Monsters
- Autographs from renowned toy and game inventors
- Free contests and game tournaments
- Speed Stacks sport stacking demonstrations and tournaments

Stars Wars Lunch (12 Noon – 1PM): Kids and adults alike can dress up as their favorite characters for an interactive lunch and playtime that features a Star Wars-themed Top Trumps tournament. $30/$36 kids under 12/adults. Tickets will sell out, but are available for purchase now at

Official Illinois State Yo-Yo Contest

(10AM-4PM): A dynamic performance competition (featuring ladder climbs) that will be judged by former Illinois and World Champions as well as a quarter-finalist from the hit TV shot “America’s Got Talent.” Hands-on tips for all skill levels; online and day-of registration available. Sponsored by Cat ‘n Mouse Toy Store.

Top Trumps Guinness Book of World Records Attempt (3PM): Girl Scouts from all across the Midwest will join together in an attempt to break the world record for the most people playing a single card game at one time.

Young Inventor Challenge (10AM-2PM): Nearly 200 young inventors in two age groups (6-11, 12-18) will display their original inventions of toys and games to be voted on by the public as well as professionals from the United Inventors Association of America. Previous participants have had their inventions licensed by major toy companies. Sponsored by PlaSmart.

Bring Your Grandparents Day! Children of all ages are invited to bring their grandparents to ChiTAG. Grandparents attending the Fair with their grandchildren will be welcomed into the Fair free of charge.

(10AM-5PM): Stage Performances from Radio Disney, Blues Clues LIVE! presented by Naperville’s Center Stage Players, Elan Dance Company, Music from 4 A.M., as seen on Fox-TV’s The X-Factor, Ben’s Bubble Show, Lil’ Buds Theater and more.

Boy Scouts Top Trump Tournament (9AM): Boy Scouts are admitted into the Fair an hour early.

FREE ADMISSION FOR: Teachers, librarians, members of the military, Boy/Girl Scouts in uniform, children under 3 years of age.
$10: ages 14+
$5: ages 3-13

Click here for ticket info and a $2 off coupon

Leave me a comment below for a chance to win one of FIVE Family 4 packs of tickets to attend the fair!
Be sure to leave an email so that I can contact you in the event you win. Winners will be chosen on Fridays  10-19 through 11-16.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesdays with Megan 10/16/12

Well hello there!  I know there has to be at least one reader anxiously awaiting another installment of Tuesdays with Megan.  This week we have what's called the Birthday Edition.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold and the Purple Crayon teaches young audiences that anything is possible with a crayon and a big imagination. Meet Harold, a curious four year old boy who, armed with his trusty purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. This imaginative musical uses breathtaking animation, inventive puppetry, and original music to bring Harold’s purple-hued world to life; it is perfect for introducing young children to theatre while simultaneously captivating their older companions.

Harold and the Purple Crayon will be helmed by CCT Artistic Associate Sean Graney, who directed the company’s productions of The Hundred Dresses, Honus and Me, and Hana’s Suitcase. Graney, Founding Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, is the recipient of a Career Development for Directors Program award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group, the winner of two non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, and was named Chicago’s Best Avant-Garde Director by Chicago Magazine and 2004’s Chicagoan of the Year: Theater by the Chicago Tribune.

Ideal for Ages 3+
Based on the books by Crockett Johnson
Text by Don Darryl Rivera, Lyrics by Rob Burgess, Music by Auston James, Directed by Sean Graney, Choreography by Tommy Rapley, Music Direction by Nick Davio

The Ruth Page Center for Arts 1016 N. Dearborn St. October 11 - November 4, 2012
Beverly Art Center 2401 W. 111th St. Chicago, IL November 7 -11
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts  9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL November 14-18

Building Blocks Toys is back this year to join us for Harold and the Purple Crayon with a post-show party: October 14, 11:00am. Free fun for the whole family: facepainting, glitter tattoos, yummy treats, activities & giveaways!
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS! - Ticket Giveaway #ChiRingling

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon. Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled for Ringling Bros.® Presents Dragons to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. Dragons is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real life legends that can be found only at The Greatest Show On Earth®!

Arrive an hour early and meet the animals and performers at the All Access Pre-show Power-up Party – free with your ticket! Families can join Pre-show Host Andre McClain and participate in interactive experiences such as learning juggling and balancing skills, get performer autographs, see one of Ringling Bros. majestic Asian elephant’s paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and meet the Ringling Bros. Clowns, whose side-splitting spoofs, absurd antics and comical parody are guaranteed to keep audiences roaring with laughter!

Playing Allstate Arena Nov. 1-11 and united Center Nov. 14-25. Get your tickets today at

FREE PARKING in all official Allstate Arena and United Center parking lots. Visit arena websites for more information. 

Discount offer:  Save 40% on all weekday shows and Save 20% on all weekend shows.

Promo Code:  MOM

Disclaimers:  Weekday is defined as any show Monday through Thursday or Friday matinee, not including holidays such as the day after Thanksgiving. Discount does not apply to Circus Celebrity, Front Row, or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.

Quick Facts:  Circus Celebrity seats sell out fast, as they include more than 20 minutes where you and your family become a part of the show on the Arena floor. Get these tickets EARLY if you're interested!

The shows on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 5 pm and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5 pm include post show Hispanic concerts. Ticket prices for these shows are $5 more for each price level.

Opening night tickets on Thurs., Nov. 1 at 7 pm at Allstate Arena and Weds., Nov. 14 at 7 pm at United Center are just $12!

Giveaway:  I’m giving away a family four pack of tickets to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS in Chicago. Your tickets will be good for one performance on Nov 1 at 7pm, Nov 2 at 10:30AM, or Nov 15 at 7pm. Leave me a comment below telling me what you're most excited about seeing at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS, including your email address.  I'll choose a winner via on October 17, 2012.

To increase your chances of winning, visit the blogs of my FFA friends:

I was given tickets for family to attend  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS as well as tickets to facilitate this giveaway.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesdays with Megan

I've been gone....

Way too long....

Stuff is going on....

So much stuff...

Can't really share....

Not good stuff...

But this too shall pass...


I can always count on GlitterGurl to make me smile.

So I bring you a new weekly feature here...

Tuesdays with Megan

What's it mean when I cough and have really bad head pains...sinus?


K, I'm going to CVS now...wasn't sure what to get

Ty&%&ol sinus

I figured sinuses, but wanted to make sure it wasn't a brain aneurysm.

CVS brand work?  Never mind, I read the ingredients.

Yeah...good girl
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove – A Review

Once again Disney on Ice did not disappoint even the very discriminating TC, who spent his last evening of being 2 mesmerized by the performance unfolding in front of him.  He bopped clapped and cheered on the action along with his little buddy A and A's sister Princess Poops A Lot.

The show started out with an appearance from the Incredibles and Disney skaters encouraging everyone to get up and groove.  I honestly don't think we can stress the importance of exercise often enough and I'm glad Disney thought enough of it to add it to the show.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Disney on Ice added Alice in Wonderland to the show.  I don't think I've ever seen Alice in their productions before.  I especially enjoyed the life sized, two sided playing cards-which I could not figure out were skating forward or backwards.

The skating is always so graceful and beautiful to watch.  My favorite routine was definitely Aladdin.  From all the deep royal colors of the costumes and veils, to the huge skating elephant and the magic flying carpet.  It made me feel as if I was transported, through the magic of Disney of course, directly to Agrabah.

There was plenty more in the nearly 2 hour long show, but you'll just have to go see it for yourself.

Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove is at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont through September 16. Evening shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday there is also an 11:30 a.m. and a 3:30 p.m. performance. The Sunday 7 p.m. show will be performed in Spanish. Ticket prices are $13, $20 and $25, with some $50 VIP and $70 Front Row seats. Visit to see what tickets are still available and be sure to use code MOM to save 20% off of your ticket purchase.

Disclaimer:  I was provided complimentary tickets for myself and my family, however all opinions are my own.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

CINDERELLA - Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

Experience happily ever after as Broadway In Chicago announces Emerald City Theatre's production of the beloved classic tale CINDERELLA is coming to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St) Nov. 23, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013.

The holidays have arrived, and with them the anticipated Royal Ball! Cinderella's cruel Stepmother and Stepsisters are plotting to win the heart of The Prince, but a spunky and barefoot servant girl may just become the belle of the ball. This swashbuckling Cinderella just needs a little help from her Fairy Godmother and one ratty Footman to find her happy ending.  Emerald City’s adaption of this favorite fairy tale is a musical holiday wish come true.  CINDERELLA is best suited for children ages 3-10 and their grownups.          

CINDERELLA is directed and choreographed by Emerald City Producing Artistic Director Ernie Nolan, with adaption and lyrics by Alyn Cardarelli, and music by Steve Goers.  All performances will include an age appropriate pre-show activity in the lobby and an autograph session with the cast after the performance.
“We are delighted to extend the Emerald City experience at the Broadway Playhouse’s downtown location,” says Emerald City Theatre’s Executive Director Karen Cardarelli. “ Michigan Avenue is a perfect location for a holiday family outing – the lights, shopping and a holiday musical. We couldn’t find a more perfect location for families.”

Named the 2009 and 2010 Nickelodeon Parents’ Pick Award for Best Theater Group for Kids, Emerald City creates theatre experiences that inspire early learners through play. 

Tickets for CINDERELLA at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place range from $16-$22.  A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances. Tickets are available now for groups of 15 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 Kiosk at Water Tower Place (845 N. Michigan Ave.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations (including Hot Tix and select Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts and fye stores), and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.comCINDERELLA is part of the fall 2012 Season Subscription Series, currently on-sale to the public. 
For the full performance schedule or more information, visit
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Frankenweenie Monstrous Sweepstakes

Enter the Frankenweenie Monstrous Sweepstakes for a chance to win a spooktacular vacation for four to experience all the fun of Halloween Time at the Disneyland® Resort. Plus, don’t miss The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibit only at the newly expanded Disney California Adventure Park, where you can get an up-close look at the amazing world of Frankenweenie through sets, puppets, props and more. And for a limited time Guests will be treated to a special 4D extended preview of the film at the Muppets Vision 3D Theater before Frankenweenie comes to theaters in 3D October 5th!

Visit to enter the Monstrous sweepstakes and you could win Halloween Time at the Disneyland® Resort for some frightfully family-friendly fun!


Text EDGAR to DISNEY (347639*) to enter for a chance to win. *Msg and data rates may apply. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first.

One (1) Grand Prize – A 4 day/3 night vacation for four to Disneyland® Resort and Disney California Adventure Park to experience the world of Tim Burton and Frankenweenie during Halloween Time.

Five (5) First Prizes – An Autographed Frankenweenie movie poster

FRANKENWEENIE arrives in theatres everywhere on October 5th!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Emerald City Theatre Presents - Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

Emerald City Theatre continues its 17th season with the opening of Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical adapted from the celebrated picture book by the author himself. Knuffle Bunny was adapted by The Kennedy Center and will make its Chicago premiere at Emerald City. It will play at the Apollo Theatre, located at 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., from October 6-January 6, 2013. Tickets: Starting at $13 for kids and $16 for adults

In a world where a trip to the Laundromat threatens to separate Trixie from her beloved bunny, a girl needs a hero to help - Dad. Can Trixie's parents break the code in time to rescue Knuffle Bunny? This nationally acclaimed musical written by Mo Willems brings a small heroine with big problems to the Emerald City stage.

After the great success of Emerald City's adaption of Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the company is excited to return to the author's canon. Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Honor-winning Dinosaur (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too). He also won two Geisel Medals for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?, and a Geisel Honor for We Are in a Book! His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free and Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys.

While a family errand goes unexpectedly wrong, Trixie will share a story about trusting family and friends. This theme serves as the main educational focus for the production accessing a life skill that is relevant to early learners and their grownups. A preshow activity in the lobby and the unique Parent Guide in every production's Playbill let families connect with the show and the story's Theme throughout their experience. Knuffle Bunny will explore what it means to be trustworthy and reliable for the people who matter most.

For more information, visit

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - You Don't Say

I don't mean to boast, but not everyone can say this Baseball Hall of Famer* watched their grandson catch in a Little League game.

Hint:  Pudge

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Monday, August 27, 2012

CoolSculpting Better Breakfast Challenge

The older I get, not only is it harder to lose weight, it's almost impossible to lose that stubborn fat!  Muffin top, love handles, belly paunch...yep I've got em.  And yep, I hate em!  I'm also not very enthused about spending 23 1/2 hours a day working out to get rid of them.  This interesting new procedure gives me some hope and brings new meaning to the phrase 'freezing my butt off!'

CoolSculpting is the first patented non-invasive, clinically proven procedure to selectively reduce fat layers in problem areas using a patented cooling technology. It is a safe procedure cleared by the FDA that gently cools unwanted fat cells in the body to induce a natural, controlled elimination of fat cells. This reduces bulges in treated areas of the body without harming surrounding tissue.

During the CoolSculpting procedure, a non-invasive applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat, leaving surface skin tissue unaffected. When fat cells are exposed to extreme cold, it triggers a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The result is a visible reduction in fat bulges.

  • It involves no needles, surgery or downtime. - Since the CoolSculpting procedure is non-invasive, patients can resume daily activities including work and exercise, immediately following treatment
  • It’s comfortable. - CoolSculpting patients can sit or lie comfortably and read, work on their laptop or even nap during the procedure. The procedure is performed in a medical office, under the supervision of a physician specializing in cosmetic procedures.
  • It’s convenient. - Procedures last about one to two hours, so treatment can easily be performed during a lunch hour or without major disruption to the day
  • The results are dramatic. - Patients can expect and average 20% reduction of fat in the treated areas in as soon as four weeks following treatment.  

In honor of September being Better Breakfast month, CoolSculpting is hosting a food photo contest on their Facebook page.  Entrants are asked to submit a photo of a healthy breakfast they are eating or have created for a chance to win an iPad or three runner up prizes for $100 AMEX gift cards. Deadline to enter is 8/31.  For complete rules please visit the Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Fish Games Zuma Deluxe - Giveaway

If you're a fan of PC games, I think I have found one that you'll enjoy!

Big Fish Games "Zuma Deluxe"

Like most Marble Popper Games, Zuma Deluxe is easy to learn. Instead of the typical square grid of marbles to eliminate, Zuma Deluxe features a rotating frog, that spits out colored balls you can aim in any direction. When a ball makes contact with two or more like-colored balls, they all disappear and the remaining balls move together to close the gap. Sometimes you get a power-up ball so that you can shoot faster or slow down. The goal is to prevent the colored balls from reaching the pit at the end of the maze. It starts out simple and gets increasingly more difficult to challenge your reflexes.

Big Fish Games has a huge selection of downloadable games and the best thing about them is that you can preview the game for one hour free of charge before committing to buy. That way you're not stuck with something that you really don't care for.

Big Fish would like to offer 2 of my readers a full version of one of these great games:
  • Bejeweled 2 
  • Deluxe Burger Shop 2 
  • Gardenscapes 
  • Plants vs. Zombies 
  • Zuma Deluxe  

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post
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Personalized Waterproof Labels For Kids

Back to School doesn't have to mean losing all those expensive supplies you just bought for the kiddos. Thanks to Oliver's Labels, all of TOF's belongings have a better chance of being returned to him in case he misplaces them.

They are fun and extremely durable if used properly. The adhesive is really strong and sticks to the surface even after many times of washing and submerging them under water. They can be placed in the microwave and dishwasher and won't come off.
Oliver's Labels is committed to customer satisfaction. If they make a mistake on your order, they will reprint it. If you are unhappy with your products for any reason, simply send them back within 30 days and they will happily give you a full exchange or refund. If there is ever a performance issue with any of the products, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it right, so you can shop confidently.

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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