Chuck E’s Say Cheese! App Makes Chuck E Cheese’s More Fun For Mom

chuck e cheese say cheese app iphone android photography fun

We recently visited Chuck E Cheese as reward for Bryan.  Now this is admittedly usually one of my least favorite places to go simply because I am usually appalled by the behavior of other kids and the sheer volume of the place.  However, this trip was actually a really nice one.  I credit two reasons, one is was the middle of a weekday so it was not at all busy.  The chaos was at a minimum so my stress level stayed low.  And also, they have a fun new app to play with.

Now, there’s no point in loading it before you go. It’s fairly large, storage wise, and you can’t do anything with it unless you are AT Chuck E Cheese’s.  It only take a couple minutes to load so you could start the install before you leave the house and it’ll be ready by the time you get there.

Once it’s loaded, just open the app and look for the “Say Cheese” signs posted through out the place.  You’ll find them on the walls, tables and even games.  In case you’re like me and don’t always read directions, you can use the help feature anytime.  But for me I just needed to read that if Chuck E didn’t pop out move the camera in and out and tap on the screen to focus.  After that we had it down and had lots of fun…that didn’t cost a single token…playing with it.



Just Chuck E

Here are some of the photos we took with Chuck E’s Say Cheese! app:
IMG_201306243093bde0-c418-4a71-ba3c-f9a3e0b2149e IMG_20130624711f8a00-457f-479e-9f0b-b320f8d40799 IMG_2013062452b243b5-5849-4d47-a202-f63d64e4d01d IMG_2013062442ff8df2-3c97-4bde-ab85-b34e1133ba38 IMG_201306246bfe0053-b8ba-4098-b613-5f82691e43a0 IMG_20130624c776cd95-ea0b-42e6-a0da-a0b4b93ccaf8 IMG_20130624ad7a662e-fda5-4cf3-84fb-9b37b50051dd IMG_20130624a4aa22d0-f3a3-407f-a01a-1f8fd8437a5e


Find Chuck E’s Say Cheese app at iTunes or Google Play Store.

chuck e cheese say cheese app iphone android photography fun icon

Have you tried Chuck E’s Say Cheese app?

I have not been compensated for this post.

Carnival Fun, Wordless Wednesday 6/19/13 #WW

The boys and I spent four hours at a local carnival with some friends enjoying unlimited rides!  We definitely got our money’s worth as it was a chilly damp day, not many other people were out so they could just stay on the rides if they wanted to go again!  Here’s a few of them they enjoyed!

carnival fun friends summer fair rides amusement local 3

carnival fun friends summer fair rides amusement local 1

carnival fun friends summer fair rides amusement local 2carnival fun friends summer fair rides amusement local 4


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Local children to enjoy two free live interactive musical show performances and special activities
Huzzah! On Saturday, June 8 Mike the Knight™ and his friends are galloping into Gurnee Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in Illinois, for special live performances of Mike the Knight and the Mission for Hidden Treasure.  The free 20-minute interactive musical adventure will also feature Mike’s dragon, Squirt, from the beloved television series on Nick Jr., and includes meet & greets, photo opportunities, giveaways and a preview of the first Mike the Knight toys from Fisher-Price.  Performances will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with special activities to run until 2 p.m. in the Gurnee Mills Show Court.
It’s time to be a knight, and do it right!  Mike the Knight and the Mission for Hidden Treasure follows Mike, Squirt and friends, as they piece together clues to discover hidden treasure.  To help Mike accomplish his mission, audience members are invited to take on special fun-filled challenges alongside Mike and Squirt and learn lessons in knightliness.  After the show, young knights in training will have the opportunity to tell Mike the Knight what knightly deeds they have done and participate in a special knighting ceremony. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in knight and princess attire and participate in all of the fun.
“A great family-friendly destination, Gurnee Mills not only offers an unmatched selection of retailers, but also events and activities to create lasting memories with loved ones,” said Chelsie Petereit, director of marketing and business development at Gurnee Mills. “We are committed to providing a unique shopping experience and encourage members of the local community to take advantage of all that Gurnee Mills has to offer.”
Mike the Knight is a new CG-animated preschool series that invites viewers into a fantastical world of castles, quests, dragons and trolls that centers on Mike, a young knight-in-training, with a bright future ahead of him.  The son of the King and Queen of Glendragon, he is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a brave and noble knight.  Co-produced by HIT Entertainment and Nelvana, the series currently airs on Nick Jr., Monday – Saturday, from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Additionally, a new line of books featuring Mike the Knight just released from Simon & Schuster, as well as an all-new toy line from Fisher-Price and Mike’s first home entertainment title, Knight in Training, recently released on DVD from NCircle Entertainment.
Mike the Knight will be touring across 15 markets through July 13.  For more information about Mike the Knight and the Mission for Hidden Treasure” and other tour stops visit  Follow Mike the Knight on Facebook ( and Twitter @MikeTheKnightUS.

Celebrate Spring Chicago with Miracle-Gro at HomeDepot #Sponsored

Thanks to Miracle-Gro and Home Depot my boys and I created some things to beautify our yard.  Available exclusively in Chicago Home Depot store and only THIS month, check out what you can do with Miracle-Gro Premium Plants Chicago’s blooms will be bigger* and better than ever this season. And with Mother’s Day around the corner one of these potted annuals or hanging baskets make the perfect gift. One that keeps on growing!

“We’ve taken all we’ve learned over the years in gardens around the globe and created thriving plants for long-lived success. From begonias to petunias, to geraniums, they’ve been cultivated with care to help you achieve beautiful results in your home or garden. And with their roots firmly planted in a custom soil blend, they have everything they need to succeed. You’ve trusted us to help you care for plants, now you can grow with us right from the start.

    • 3-month money-back guarantee


  • Fast blooms and vibrant colors that last all season



  • Available in potted annuals and hanging baskets



  • Limited time only at The Home Depot stores in Chicago


*Compared to conventionally grown plants”

Mother’s Day sounded like the perfect reason to create some pretty potted plants with Miracle-Gro premium plants, so I gathered the boys and off to Home Depot we went.

After wandering the garden section for awhile we found a great selection of Miracle-Gro plants.  The hardest part was getting the boys to agree on colors! I thought that these plants looked pretty full and healthy compared to the other available brands so I’m super excited to see what they will look like as they grow.

The Miracle-Gro premium Plants happened to be outside (on the sidewalk) at our location, not sure if this the norm or not but there were plenty of available employees in the garden section to ask for help.

Once we made our selections, which included two plants for friends and three plants for ME, we headed back inside.  There we grabbed some Miracle-Gro Potting Mix and some nice pots for our new plants.

I was very pleased that even with a little hunting for the plants, and some ‘discussion’ on which ones we wanted we were in and out with the trunk all loaded up in less than half an hour!

These are the plants we picked to give to two close friends who I wanted to honor for Mother’s Day because they have been so amazing to us helping to get the boys taken care of and to sports etc when I needed an extra pair of hands!

They boys were eager to jump in and get dirty repotting the plants in the Miracle-Gro potting soils.  We filled the pots with the soil and the boys loosened up the dirt the plants were already in to allow the roots to spread.

Once they were all done, Bryan had to give them the sniff test?  He says they smell great!

The boys had fun helping with this project and have been carefully watering the large pot that stayed with us since. I love how easy it was and can’t wait to see the pot fill in.

Since we don’t have any good locations for flowers in our yard (nothing with the right combination of location for they are safe from feet, light and soil) I am hoping we do well with our pot and maybe next spring we can add more pots to our collection so that we can add more color to our yard.

Thanks to Miracle-Gro for providing us a gift card so we could check out the Premium Plants line.  All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.

White Sox Family Field Day and Garage Sale

Spring has FINALLY sprung here in Chicago and what better way to celebrate than by getting outside with the family!

Check out Family Field Day Saturday, May 18 for a chance to play a game of catch in the outfield at  U.S. Cellular Field.  Get a player’s perspective — warm-up in the bullpens, visit the dugouts and dive across the outfield to make a game winning catch at this fun even to benefit White Sox Charities. Tickets for Family Field Day are $30 per adult and $12 per child.

Also, don’t forget to join stop by the Garage Sale located in the Patio area. You can shop for game-worn jerseys, game-used bats, pants, equipment, autographed memorabilia and more! The Garage Sale is open from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and admission is free. 

My family had a fabulous time at a recent Sox game! While I’ll always be a true blue Cubs fan we are CHICAGO sports fans and after taking in a game at the Cell we loved all that it had to offer including one thing you simply can’t do at Wrigley….tailgating!!

For ticket to Family Field Day click here.


Donley’s Wild West Town Opens for the Summer Season on May 18th

I’m really not sure how I lived in this area all my life and don’t remember ever hearing about this until about two years ago.  We still haven’t made it out to check it out personally but hope to this summer.  Have you been? I’d love to hear what you thought!
Wild West Town
UNION, Ill. – Donley’s Wild West Town, the charming Old West theme park in Union, Illinois, announced today that their 2013 summer season will begin on May 18. A family-owned business, Larry Donley, his wife, Helene, and their sons, Mike and Randy, started Donley’s Wild West Town in 1974 because of their passion for antiques. As their collections grew, they built the Wild West Town, Old West Saloon and Steakhouse, and Village Hall Banquets as additional attractions in McHenry County. Today, Donley’s welcomes families to explore a variety of rides and shows, including three daily Wild West shows, a vintage carousel from 1951, panning for gold, Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster, pony rides, a petting zoo, and the C.P. Huntington Train. It also features cowboy roping lessons, a slingshot and archery range, a pop gun shooting gallery, kid-powered handcars, venture canoeing, the Kids Korral playground and the Streets of Yesteryear Display.
Donley Auction Services is internationally recognized among collectibles’ experts with over 40 years of experience and knowledge in the field of appraising, buying and selling antiques. Donley’s fascinating museum includes a variety of cowboy memorabilia including wooly chaps, gun belts, guns, spurs lariats, and boots. It also features Law & Order death masks from dead outlaws’ faces, gold and silver mining tools, Civil War weapons, medals, a Union soldier’s diary, and Larry Donley’s personal antique phonograph and music box collection. The Charles Edison Foundation judged the collection as one of the finest Edisonia displays in the U.S.! The museum and gift shop is open Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with complimentary admission to the museum for restaurant guests.
The Old West Saloon and Steakhouse provides a family-friendly environment filled with delicious “App-Ti-Yi-Yippy-Yay-Zers!” including Prairie Fire Chicken Wings, Rattlesnake Bites, and a Crock O’Chili, a variety of sandwiches and burgers, “Fallin’ Off the Bone” BBQ Ribs, Filet Mignon and the Cowboy Rib Eye. The “Li’l Cowpokes Menu” includes kid-friendly favorites like Wagon Wheel Pizza, Miner’s Gold Mac ‘N Cheese, Grizzly Gulch Grilled Cheese, and the Get Along Little Doggie hot dog. The Old West Saloon and Steakhouse also offers a Fryday Fish Fry Dinner special on Fridays, Slow Roasted Prime Rib on Saturdays and Oven Roasted Chicken on Sundays. Donley’s also has a private dining room perfect for birthdays, showers, anniversaries, rehearsal dinners, meetings, and luncheons, which seats up to 70 people.
Donley’s Village Hall Banquets is a rustic wedding venue that is ideal for country chic and elegant nuptials. The venue, which can accommodate up to 400 guests – the largest dance floor in McHenry County, provides space for an indoor or outdoor ceremony that can be highly personalized for each bride. From their attention to the bride and groom’s wishes and individualized decorating touches to a sophisticated banquet menu and affordable wedding packages, Donley’s is the place for one-of-a-kind, unique weddings.
Donley’s Wild West Town is located in McHenry County at the intersection of Route 20 & S. Union Road, 3 miles south of the Village of Union at 8512 S. Union Rd. The park is daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 18 through August 23 (except May 20) and on Saturdays and Sundays from August 24 through October 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information call 815.923.9000 or go to

Super WHY! Live

Super WHY Live will stop in 27 cities across the U.S. in April and May, taking kids and parents on a live reading adventure traveling inside a book to find the answer to the question, “Who has the Greatest Super Power in the World?” The show is uplifting, entertaining, and educational. It features kids’ favorite literacy-powered super heroes: Alpha Pig with “Alphabet Power,” Wonder Red with “Word Power,” Princess Presto with “Spelling Power,” Super Why with the “Power to Read,” and their puppy pal Woofster. Fans who want to sing along at the show can get a head start learning the music, as the soundtrack album, Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power Soundtrack from Razor & Tie is available now at iTunes,, and retailers nationwide. For an extra special experience, You’ve Got the Power! Party Packages offer premium seats and a meet & greet with your favorite characters after the show. Super WHY! Live Tour is coming to Chicago 

Our family received complimentary tickets for promoting this tour.

FREEze Day at Brookfield Zoo, February 24th

Winter enthusiasts can bundle up and head to Brookfield Zoo for FREEze Day on Sunday, February 24—a free admission day featuring fun-filled activities for the entire family.

 Zoogoers of all ages can enjoy watching the four-legged friends and their owners from the Green Valley Dog Drivers (GVDD) demonstrate dog sledding at its best from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the zoo’s West Mall. (If snow is a no show, the sleds will be mounted on wheels.) Members of the Lemont-based organization will engage guests in games and musher talks with their canine teams.

Guests also can meet some special golden retrievers from K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs in Addison, who supported communities in the northeast United States affected by Hurricane Sandy as well as the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy.

In addition, during a special Zoo Chat at 11:00 a.m. guests can learn about the bald eagle and meet one of the zoo’s up close.

Throughout February, admission to Brookfield Zoo is free on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. A $10 parking fee still applies.

For further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

Rockettes’ Radio City Christmas Spectacular Review


I’m not sure I can find the words to accurately discribe the beauty and enchantment I experienced last Friday night while watching the Rockettes at Akoo Theater with my boys.  It was truly breath taking and magical.  Between the costumes and the kicks there was also holiday joy and amazing stage design.  

Did I mention, I took my boys who are currently 10, 9 and almost 5.  I have to admit I was a little nervous about how much they’d enjoy the show.  Honestly, at 10 the oldest isn’t yet into appreciating the beauty that is a Rockette.  But thankfully there was Santa and Christmas magic and awesome scenery so they all loved it.  Admittedly, probably not as much as this momma did but they enjoyed it nonetheless.  It made for a fabulous date night with just me and my little men and was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

And there’s still plenty of time to get tickets and see the show that runs until December 30th.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ticket Information
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, presented by Chase, plays at the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont during the 2012 holiday season for 34 dazzling performances, December 14-30, 2012. A limited number of Premium seats are available for $79.00 – $89.00 and single ticket prices range from $30.00 – $75.50. Tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular are on sale to the public at the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont box office, online at or by calling 800-745-3000. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets now by contacting Group Theater Tix at 312-423-6612.
Disclosure: I have been provided with complimentary tickets in order to facilitate a show review. 

Join Me for a #Kalahari Twitter Party Saturday at 12:30pm CST

I can’t to wake the boys up before the crack of dawn this Saturday to surprise them with a trip to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.  We’ve stayed at several other similar resorts over the years but have never been to Kalahari but have heard only wonderful things about it so I’m just as excited as I’m sure the boys will be.

I mean just LOOK at this indoor water park.  How could you NOT have fun here?

 And as I was researching the resort for our trip I was surprised to learn that they also have an indoor Theme Park. It looks like so much fun and even includes an indoor Ferris Wheel!

Kalahari Resorts in the Dells includes fun and exciting rides for both your tiny tots and older kids.

  • Their indoor waterpark recently installed a state-of-the-art Kids Play Zone named Tiko’s Watering Hole. Catered specifically for your tiny tots, this 5,000-square-foot, interactive play area features activities, slides and a 200-foot-long lazy river made just for them.
  • The indoor waterpark also features America’s first indoor super loop slides. All three slides present a near 60 foot drop, and the Super Loop Sahara Sidewinder slides takes guests on a 250-plus foot journey from high above the roof of the waterpark to the water below.
  • Our Indoor Theme Park has over 100,000 square feet of family fun with a ton of indoor attractions and activities.
  •  Kalahari Resort in the Dells uses rooftop solar panels, which heat more than 50 percent of the hot water for the resort’s facilities. While the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky features a Texlon roof, an “intelligent” roof system that allows natural light in to help heat America’s largest indoor waterpark, while also providing the ability to grow real tropical foliage.

I know you’re saying to yourself, man she’s lucky, how can I get some of her luck. Right? Well, don’t worry, I’ll be sharing details of how you you can win a 1-night stay in Hut or Desert Style Room* and Complimentary Indoor Theme Park Passes during a Live Twitter Party during our stay.  Follow me @LisaNoel03 and @KalahariResorts on Twitter or the hashtag #Kalahari and join the party on Saturday December 1, 2012 at 12:30pm CST to learn how you can win!!!

          *Terms: NOT VALID: Friday and Saturdays. Blackout dates include November 21-22, 2012, December 21-January 5, 2013, January 20, 2013, February 17, 2013, March 17-31, 2013, April 1-4, 2013, May 26, 2013, June 23 – August 18, 2013, September 1, 2013, and October 13, 2013. Please call (877) 525-2427 for availability. No cash value expires 1 year from date of issue.

        Disclosure: Our family is being hosted by Kalahari Resorts.