Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Raise a Billionaire Genius

From attachment-parenting hugs to Tiger Mom discipline, the so-called experts offer plenty of contradictory advice on how to raise the perfect child. In this hilarious parody, the authors tell parents how to guarantee their child turns out exactly as desired — no matter how ridiculous the parents’ dream

Photo Courtesy of Ulysses Press
How to Raise a Billionaire Genius is a bit different. This hilarious, not-so-expert guide to parenting will ensure your precious offspring will turn out to be exactly what you want: a supermodel, a pope, a doctor, or even Stephen Colbert.

Parents today are highly frustrated by kids who reach their mid-20s without achieving mind-boggling wealth and fame. Where is my Zuckerberg? My Bieber? What did I do wrong? Short answer — everything! How to Raise a Billionaire Genius tells mom and dad how to fulfill all their expectations and live the lives they never had through their children. Forget hugs and understanding. This book explains how to push kids, mold them, and do anything necessary to ensure they grow up to fulfill their parent’s most wildly unrealistic expectations. Starting from the moment of conception and going all the way through high school, How to Raise a Billionaire Genius includes step-by-step instructions, whimsical illustrations, and handy tips. Leaving nothing to chance, the book offers parents an opportunity to force their children into one of 19 exciting destinies — from Musical Prodigy, Pro Athlete, and Beauty Queen to Genius, Billionaire, and Super Hero.

This book offers tips on diet, education, toys, attire, and even appropriate names. For example, when raising a supermodel, author D. Hornby and Sean Campbell recommend to "make sure playdates are only with beautiful babies in the neighborhood, and always include at least an hour of catwalk crawling."

Parenting has never been so easy with How to Raise a Billionaire Genius.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Frankfort Residents are invited to the 9th Annual Ice Cream Social

9th Annual Ice Cream Social
Sunday, August 25, 2013 | 4:00 - 6:00 pm at the Frankfort Founders Center (140 Oak Street)

FREE admission (includes a Free ice cream sundae)

Good-will donations gladly accepted.

LWE Jazz Combo and free children's activities and featuring at 5:15... The PieLympics

For more information or to register your 2-person team for the PirLympics contact Chip at 815-370-8811 or No entry fee; prizes awarded!

Sponsored by The Frankfort Preservation Foundation and The Frankfort Area Historical Society. 
(Donations/proceeds to benefit FPF and FAHS)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Check Out Everything for Babies at the 2013 Chicago Baby Expo!

Family Time Magazine’s 2013 Baby Expo is on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tinley Park Convention Center (18501 South Harlem—I-80 and Harlem). It is the biggest and best event of its kind in the Chicagoland area.
            Whether you are expecting a little one or already have children, your family will enjoy this event for one-stop shopping and gear for babies of all ages. The Baby Expo always features the newest and most unique merchandise and services available for the care of babies.  Some of the featured products at this year’s expo are not yet available in stores.
            “There is nothing more precious than a baby,” states Caroline O’Connell, organizer of the Baby Expo and publisher of Family Time Magazine. “I try to get a little bit of everything for families, things you cannot get at a regular store.”
            This year’s Expo will feature booths where parents can find baby medical services, baby care supplies, stylish diaper bags, childcare centers, safe furniture, baby/children’s clothing, neighborhood parks and museums, enrichment programs, child book stores, libraries and more. Don’t miss out on our expert demonstrations about car seat safety, strollers, high chairs, pack and plays, Baby CPR, Sign Language,  Crib Bumper Safety, and more!
            Kids can have fun with all of this year’s free activities including free pony rides, Diaper Derby, and small petting zoo!  Inside there will be free dino jump bouncers, singing and dancing, face painters to create incredible designs on tiny faces and arms, balloon artists, giveaways, door prizes and more to keep your kids entertained all day long!  
            We also will be giving away a top-of-the-line car seat by Britax, Organic bedding from Nature Pedic, a top of the line stroller from B.O.B, an American Girl Bitty Baby, and a gorgeous crib from Bedrooms 4 Kids Outlet This is an annual event you surely don't want to miss! The first 3,000 people to attend the expo will receive Free Gift Bags! For more information, visit or call 815-806-8844.

For a printable copy, click here

Registration for Log Cabin Center for The Arts Classes Now Open

Registration is now open for autumn  classes at the Log Cabin Center for The Arts, located at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park.

            Fall classes are offered in Drawing, Watercolor Painting, Basketry, Weaving, Stained Glass, Stoneware Pottery, Woodcarving, Quilting, Collage, Lapidary, Poetry, Memoir Writing, Calligraphy,  Silversmithing, Knitting, Nature Photography, Gourdcraft, The Artist’s Way, Papercrafts, Family Pottery, Teen Pottery, Children’s Art, and various Folkarts.

            The Log Cabin Art Center offers 6-8 week courses plus occasional 1 day workshops.  Classes are held in three cozy log cabins in the woods, and are known for their warm and welcoming ambience.  

Pre-registration is required for classes, most of which begin in early September.   For further information, interested persons should call The Center at (708) 361-3650 or visit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Students with Autism Find Friendship and Success in the Classroom

Two students – Dylan, 19, of Joliet, and Ronnie, 19, of Morris – are your typical teenagers – they attend school, work, play video games, have sleepovers, eat pizza and talk about being roommates.

Dylan said, “Ronnie is my best friend.  I met him at Easter Seals in 2009.  We do everything together.  Easter Seals is for special people like me.  The staff teaches me how to learn and how to help people.” Dylan and Ronnie met at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago’s (ESMC) Autism Therapeutic School in Tinley Park.  Dylan has been an Easter Seals student for 10 years and Ronnie for seven years. 

Just like the 275 students that attend the Autism Therapeutic Schools locations in Tinley Park, Chicago and Rockford, Dylan and Ronnie’s local school districts contract with Easter Seals.  Nearly 100 school districts in Chicagoland, Rockford and extending into Wisconsin, partner with Easter Seals to provide individualized educational programs for students with autism and related intellectual disabilities.

Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.  It is a life-long disorder with no known cause or cure, nor a known singular effective treatment.  Autism is treatable.  People with autism, at any age, can make significant progress through therapy and treatments, and can lead meaningful and productive lives.  Challenges in the areas of communication, socialization and restricted/repetitive behaviors are typical of individuals with autism.

“Dylan and Ronnie are best friends.  It’s very rare for people with autism to have a relationship like that,” said Pamela Lord, Dylan’s mother.  “Over the past two years, as they matured, they developed their friendship.”  

 Dylan and Ronnie stretched their social skills in a big way when they traveled to Hollywood to represent Easter Seals at the 2013 Red Carpet Celebrity Style Lounge in honor of the 85th Academy Award nominees and presenters.  This star-studded event, presented by Secret Room Events, attracted many film and television stars.  Dylan and Ronnie met Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver, pop-sensation Paula Abdul, Glee’s Lauren Potter and many other celebrities.  The two students shared stories with celebs about how Easter Seals has changed their lives. 

“Easter Seals provides an alternative school placement and helps each student grow towards independence.  We offer year-round instruction.  Our programming is developed to emphasize a wide-range of curriculum and activities that are based on the specific needs of each student,” said school administrator Maryellen Bucci. 

Easter Seals has specialized staff that utilize a total communication approach (i.e. augmentative communication devices, sign language, visual cues, gestures, etc.), to maximize the learning opportunities for all students. Students participate in a wide range of activities from functional academics and life skills to vocational training and supported or independent employment. Classroom placement is determined by the age and instructional needs of students. 

Easter Seals works to empower each student to achieve peak academic performance, increase social and vocational skills, develop an effective means of communication and foster the acquisition of functional life skills for independence in the community.  Therapies available include speech/language, occupational, social work and nursing.  Other services include behavior consultation, vocational and community training, art therapy and music therapy.

Dylan’s favorite subject in school is reading, while Ronnie’s is science.  Both students have had the opportunity for community-based internship and paid employment opportunities.  Recently, both students successfully completed the Retail Employees with Disabilities initiative (REDI) program at Walgreens.  Additionally, Dylan and Ronnie work at HarrysButtons at Easter Seals, a micro-enterprise business that does both long-term and short-term contract work for local businesses and organizations. 

About Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago maximizes independence and creates opportunities for nearly 30,000 people with disabilities and other special needs to live, learn, work and play in their communities by providing a lifespan of premier services.  The organization offers a wide range of programs; some of which include: specialized therapeutic schools for children with autism, emotional behavior disorder, and/or severe learning disabilities; early intervention; inclusive child care; specialty clinics; adult job training and job placement programs for individuals with autism; and military/veterans programs. 

·       For more information about:
o    Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, visit
o   Or call 708-802-9050. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who said you had to wait until October for the opportunity to “Trick-or-Treat?”

63rd Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign Kicks Off with School Challenge

The U.S. fund for UNICEF is launching its first-ever nationwide “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF School Challenge” for teachers of grades K-6. The challenge is part of an effort to help educators inspire students to become global citizens. Winners will get the opportunity to travel abroad to see UNICEF’s program work up close.

“Teachers play an essential role in supporting UNICEF each year through the Trick-or-Treat campaign. We want to recognize their tremendous efforts by offering them the opportunity to see our programs first-hand and understand the impact their support has on children’s lives around the world,” said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. 

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF—the original Kids Helping Kids® campaign—is one of the longest-running youth volunteer initiatives in America. The campaign is an easy way for children to learn about their peers in other countries. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has developed a series of lesson plans to aid teachers in promoting global citizenship among students. This year’s theme is centered on malnutrition and hunger, the cause of more than a third of all child deaths in developing countries. To sign up or to learn more visit

From August through October 2013, teachers are asked to document how students are helping kids across the globe through the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign and then submit their entries online beginning Nov. 1, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2014. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will announce the winners in spring 2014. Five Grand-Prize Winners will be selected to travel on a UNICEF field visit to a location that will be announced later this year. They will also be awarded $1,000 cash grants for their classroom. In addition, 10 secondary winners will also each receive the cash grant award. Fifty Merit Winners will receive a Cricut® Expression Teacher’s Bundle for their classroom. 

In its 63 year history the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign has raised more than $170 million. The campaign owes its success not only to the children, parents and educators who have participated, but also to supporters such as Key Club International and interactive multichannel retailer, HSN, Inc. – via their lifestyle brands HSN, Grandinroad and Chasing Fireflies – for their ongoing commitment to the campaign. This year, UNICEF Ambassador Vern Yip will serve as a spokesperson for the 2013 Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign through the partnership with HSN. 

HSN, Inc., through its corporate giving platform, is launching an online retail store that will sell Halloween-themed items on, and to support UNICEF programs. As proud sponsor of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, HSN Inc. will donate 10 percent of the purchase price for each item sold—including a specially-designed item by renowned interior designer Vern Yip at—from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. Additionally, customers may add a donation to any purchase made online or by phone. 

“We are thankful for HSNi’s commitment to UNICEF’s mission and for their support of this year’s campaign. HSN’s collaboration with one of our most dedicated supporters, Vern Yip, is an exciting new element that showcases his creativity and ongoing contributions to our organization,” said Stern.

Items sold in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF store range in price from $7.95 to $300. Products include an “I Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” tote bag, Deborah Lippmann’s "I Put A Spell On You" Mini Nail Lacquer Set, a collection of Halloween-themed jewelry by designer Heidi Daus, an outdoor flameless candle set and more. Visit to learn more.

Now in its 19th year, Key Club International continues its support for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. To date, Key Club International has raised more than $6 million for UNICEF. All Kiwanis-family raised funds through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF will support The Eliminate Project, which seeks to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. Key Club International, a student-led service leadership program of Kiwanis International, is the oldest and largest service program for high school students.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Mount Sinai Hospital Hosts Ribbon Cutting for New Birthing Suite

Mount Sinai Hospital opened its new birthing suite, designed for mothers desiring natural childbirth, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday August 9. the suite offers advanced obstetrical services in a private, peaceful environment. 

A highlight of the new suite is a laboring tub, which offers women desiring natural childbirth a drug-free way to manage pain and relax during the early stages of labor.

"Over the years, thousands of families have chosen Mount Sinai as the the perfect place to deliver their babies," said Mount Sinai Hospital Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Karen Teitelbaum. "We're delighted to build on that legacy by offering the new birthing suite, which brings all the comforts of home into the safety and security of a hospital."

The new suite features soft lighting, a flat screen TV, a queen size bed, refrigerator, small dining area, blanket warmers and best of all, the laboring tub. The entire suite is designed to make labor and delivery a more comfortable and positive experience for parents and their babies.

"Warm water immersion in a tub during the first stage of labor helps a woman work with her body,: said Mount Sinai Nursing Director Denise Delves, RN, a nurse-midwife who was instrumental in bringing the birthing suite with laboring tub to the hospital. "It also reduces her blood pressure, and conserves her energy."

The therapeutic benefits of warm water immersion during labor have been known for centuries. Studies have shown that women who use a bath during labor have less pain and fewer epidurals.

The hospital does not use the tub for delivery, but only for the early stage of labor, and only for women who have had healthy, full term pregnancies. 

Mount Sinai Hospital, a member of Sinai Health System, serves thee medical needs of the west and southwest Chicago areas from tits location in West Side neighborhood of Chicago. As a national model for the delivery of urban health care, Mount Sinai Hospital ranks among the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide on national hospital quality measures. 

Fore more information, expectant parents and health care providers can call 773 - 257 - 2622 or visit

Friday, August 16, 2013

Give a Pint, Get a Pint!

Give a pint, get a pint -- it’s that simple. To help support local blood drive efforts, Culver’s of Frankfort is offering a complimentary pint of the restaurant’s signature handcrafted Fresh Frozen Custard to individuals who donate a pint of blood on August 19 from 9:00 am to 6:00pm at 20592 S. La Grange Rd.

"Being a good neighbor and helping make our community great is an important part of who we are at Culvers," says Justin Obriecht, owner, Culver’s of Frankfort. "We’re happy to have the opportunity to give back to Culvers Of Frankfort."

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and one pint can save up to three lives. And here in Frankfort, the needs aren’t any different.

"Whether you are a regular or first-time blood donor, right now is the time to give this important gift," says Bo Duong, Director.

Blood donors are asked to make appointments in advance by calling 815-260-2793. Every Culver’s guest who registers and donates will receive a "Give a Pint, Get a Pint" certificate for a complimentary pint of Frozen Custard from Culver’s of Frankfort.

"It’s our way of saying ’thank you’ to our generous guests," says Obriecht.

Blood is needed every day in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients and to help save lives of accident victims.

Please call Lifesource at 815-260-2793 and make an appointment today. To find out more about the donation process and to find local blood donation opportunities, visit the Lifesource donation website

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child's Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections.

How do parents ensure that their children get the best education possible - especially when US schools have become overburdened, test-driven institutions that rank only average worldwide?
Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press

 Decades of research confirm that greater parent involvement leads to better students. But what does that look like for today's busy families? What can parents and grandparents do at home - and at school- to make a difference? And how much involvement is too much?

Written from a parent's candid but balanced perspective, The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5 demystifies our daunting education system and offers insights and strategies parents need to help their children succeed. This straight-talking guide by ML Nichols, a parent educational consultant and mother of two, belongs on every family's list of back to school supplies.

The Parent Backpack benefits everyone (school administrators, teachers, parents, and  students alike) with tips and tools that help parents:

  • Understand their critical role in their kids' education
  • Communicate with teaches in respectful ways
  • Encourage a love of reading in children
  • Minimize homework meltdowns and disorganization
  • Distinguish between learning and achieving
  • Support a child who struggles
  • Help kids navigate social and bullying situations
  • Fuel children's minds and bodies so they can thrive

Full of real stories and proven strategist, The Parent Backpack is destined to be a go to favorite for families who want to make sure their kids get the best education possible.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kiddie Academy Hosts "Storytime LIVE!" on August 24

Frankfort-area locations of the educationally focused child care provider Kiddie Academy will host Storytime LIVE! on August 24, inviting Frankfort area children and their parents to come and enjoy a story highlighted by a visit from the story's lead character. Frankfort area children will see a story come to life with guest appearance by the story's lead character!

"Our Storytime LIVE! event is open to everyone - our current students, new friends who would like to learn more about us, or anyone who would simply like to share a special experience with their child, " said Renee Thompson, director of education for Kiddie Academy. "Reading together helps prepare children for school and for life by introducing new ideas and building essential speech, communication and literacy skills."

The event is free and begins at 11:00 a.m. at participating academies. The lead character from the story at each academy will make an appearance at the events, so Thompson reminds parents to bring their cameras to capture their child's smiles. Parents are encouraged to visit to find more information about Kiddie Academy's Storytime LIVE! event and to register online.

"Adding a live visit from a character in the story really helps to make Storytime LIVE! a memorable experience for the children," said Thompson. "Engaging children in a group in an exciting and enjoyable educational experience lays the groundwork for a successful transition into a school setting and a lifetime love of reading and learning."

For more information about Kiddie Academy, please visit For more information about the Storytime LIVE! event at Kiddie Academy locations in the Frankfort area, please contact:

* Saj Rizvi at Kiddie Academy of Batavia where Clifford the Big Red Dog will visit. Rizvi can be reached at (630) 761-4500, or

* Jesus Montemayor at Kiddie Academy of Crystal Lake where Clifford the Big Red Dog will visit. Montemayor can be reached at 815-893-0924, or

About Kiddie Academy:
For more than 30 years, Kiddie AcademyR has been a leader in education-based child care.  The company serves families and their children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, offering full time care, before- and after-school care and summer camp programs.  Kiddie Academy's proprietary Life EssentialsR curriculum, supporting programs, methods, activities and techniques help prepare children for school and for life. Kiddie Academy is using the globally recognized AdvancED accreditation system, signifying its commitment to quality education and the highest standards in child care. For more information, visit

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Joliet Patient Donates Artwork from John Lennon Peace Wall to Inspire Others at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross

After being diagnosed with cancer involving his spine in April of this year and undergoing five weeks of radiation treatments at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, Jim McCollum wanted to express his gratitude to his physicians and the entire care team that supported him.

“I was treated so wonderfully by my physicians, Dr. McCall and Dr. Narula, and all the staff that I wanted to honor them through my artwork donation,” said Joliet resident Jim McCollum. “When you have cancer, some people treat you coldly, but everyone at theUniversity of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital was always so warm to me and willing to accommodate my schedule to fit in my radiation treatments. I was so moved by their support that I felt it was only fitting to have the artwork’s words ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’ displayed at the Center to inspire other cancer patients as they find courage to deal with their illness.”

“We are so touched by Jim’s donation of such an optimistic piece of art that will offer notable encouragement to our patients, their families and our staff for years to come,” said Anne McCall, M.D., Medical Director for Radiation Oncology for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

McCollum and his wife, Karen, shared a passion for travel and photography for over 30 years.  In 2005, they combined that passion to create McCollum Photography. Jim is self-taught and has been taking pictures for over 50 years.  Karen graduated from the College of DuPage in 2005 with a Certificate of Photography Technology. Specializing in fine art photography, they travel the world taking photographs that capture the subtle nuances of the towns that they visit.  Their current body of work is a photo documentary of the John Lennon Peace Wall in Prague that spans a period of nine years. In addition, they operate 15 to 20 art shows a year and are co-op gallery members for Gallery 7, which is a fine art gallery located in the heart of downtown Joliet (next to the historic Rialto Theater) and features the work of nine local artists. For more information visit,

 Staff from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital pose with spinal cancer patient and Joliet resident Jim McCollum, who donated a photograph he took of the John Lennon Peace Wall in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. The graffiti artwork includes the famous song lyric “I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends,” sung by former Beatles band member John Lennon. Pictured from left to right are Kathleen Meyer, RN; Jill Wojciechowski, PSR; Eugenia Rakhno, Physicist; Deb Treadway, Receptionist; Anne McCall, MD. Radiation Oncologist;  Chris Stepaniak, Physicist; patient Jim McCollum; Melissa Wilson, Radiation Therapist;  Dan Golden, MD. Radiation Oncologist; Kim De Nardo, Lead Radiation Therapist; Joanne Harrison, Radiation Therapist; Eric Miller, Radiation Therapist; Nicki Fender, RN; and Roshelle Neal, Medical Assistant. Members of the care team not pictured are Rosie Damian, Radiation Therapist; and Dan Joyce, Dosimetrist.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicago Cubs Kid’s Club Membership Giveaway

The Chicago Cubs and Family Time Magazine have partnered up for a great giveaway!

Please tell us (1.) why your child is the Cub’s #1 Fan and (2.) the role that Family Time Magazine plays in your family’s life. Your child could win a Chicago Cubs Kid’s Club Membership!

Send in your story via email between today - August 12th - and August 15th to for your chance to win. Please include your name, child's name, and phone number in the email.

Club Membership Benefits Include:
·         Official Cubs Kids Club membership card
·         Cubs Kids Club lanyard
·         Cubs thermal lunch tote
·         Cubs mesh drawstring bag
·         Cubs baseball cap
·         Coupon for one free Wrigley Field Tour ticket (A $25 value!)
·         Front-of-the-line privileges for Kids-Run-the-Bases (All Sunday home games)

The winner will be announced on Friday, August 16th. Good luck everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Culver’s of Orland Park Team Member Awarded with VIP Scholarship

Maria Austin of Orland Park Culver’s has received a $1,000 scholarship from Culver’s VIP Scholarship Fund to pursue her educational goals.

"Maria has been a Culver’s team member for 2 years," says Justin Obreicht, owner of Culver’s of Orland Park. "We’re so proud she is being recognized for their outstanding commitment to Culver’s and their dedication to continuing her education."

Through the generosity of Culver’s franchise partners, supplier partners and friends of Culver’s, and the passion of Culver’s co-founder and the Fund’s Executive Director, Lea Culver, the restaurant has been able to help team members take positive steps toward their goals of earning a college or technical school degree since 1993.

Team members submit applications for funding and judging teams are made up of supplier partners and educators.

Since 1993, Culver’s has invested more than $2 million in student scholarships to more than 2,000 team members. For additional information about Culver’s VIP Scholarship Program, visit

About Culver’s
Culver’s serves fresh food, always cooked to order, with genuine family values to each and every guest. Culver’s is an expanding franchise system with nearly 500 independently owned and operated restaurants in 21 states. The restaurants’ award-winning customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality and freshness. Signature items include the ButterBurger®, made from fresh, never frozen Midwest-raised beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit,,, or

All trademarks belong to Culver Franchising System, Inc.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Smurfs 2 Video Game Smurfs Its Way Onto Store Shelves

Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft
Ubisoft announced that The Smurfs 2, the video game based on the Columbia Pictures' and Sony Pictures Animation's film, is now available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Wii and Wii U. A version developed specifically for the Nintendo DS, consisting in an interactive storytelling book and collection of mini-games, is now available.

The Smurfs 2 video game is a combination of action-adventure and platform gaming across over 30 levels in 6 environments. the player embodies one of the nine Smurfs featured in the movie including Jokey Smurf, Hefty or Brainy Smurf in an adventure that will transport them first to the main locations visible in the film such as Paris and the Enchanted Forest. The players will then continue their journey through the discovery of environments exclusive to the video game such as Spooky Woods, Arctic Tundra, and the Lava Jungle. The full adventure is playable cooperatively with up to 4 players (5 players on Wii U operating as Clockwork Smurf).

Players will meet and collect another 20 different Smurfs friends through the game and use them to populate the Smurf Village and also to defeat foes, facing against 12 different types of enemies and 6 bosses during the campaign including notorious Azrael and Gargamel, and newcomers such as the Naughties.

Exclusive on Wii U, a 5th player is able to join in on the action by controlling Clockwork Smurf on the Wii U GamePad to help friends and drop special items. For more information on The SMurfd 2 video game, pelase visit

Watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Help Your Kids with Language Arts

Photo courtesy of
Help Your Kids with Language Arts: A step-by-step visual guide to grammar, punctuation, and writing is designed to make all facets of the English language easy and interesting. Using an appealing and accessible illustrative style, this book covers everything from the basic concepts of grammar and punctuation, spelling, and communication skills to some of the more challenging ideas that face students today.

This book is what every frustrated parent needs. Its innovative visual approach combines colorful diagrams and illustrations with step-by-step instructions, making English language arts easier to understand than ever before. Help Your Kids with Language Arts sets out to explain in simple terms the rules of clear and effective speaking and writing. It is divided into four chapters that focus on the key English language arts topics

A good command of the English language and basic communication skills can lead to better grades in school and give a student a clear advantage over someone who is less skilled in language usage.

Help Your Kids with Language Arts is guaranteed to build confidence, reduce stress, and make the most difficult aspects of this subject simple, clear, and accessible.

Also in the same series:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reel In Some Outdoor Memories

All you need to recover from the hectic pace of daily life is a day in the great outdoors.

This season, explore the open waters for yourself by treating the entire family to the world of fishing and boating. According to a recent survey, Americans cite relaxation, stress relief, time with family, the thrill of the catch and connecting with the outdoors as what they appreciate most about fishing. Not only are these activities fun and affordable, they provide lasting memories for all to cherish.

Get Hooked on Fishing
Fishing is easy and enjoyable for the whole family. And, it's simple to get started. If you're not sure what you need or want a refresher course, is a website that helps people of all ages and experience levels learn, plan, and equip for a successful day on the water.

How to Fish - Need a beginner;s guide to fishing? The website's Fishopedia section has information about specific fish species where they live, and how to catch them. For kids, the site's Little Lunkers pages help develop fishing skills and knowledge before getting out on the water.

Where to Fish - Find your perfect local fishing and boating spot with an interactive map that guides you to your nearest park, bodies of water, fishing spots, campgrounds, and more.

Where to Boat - Download a free app to find places to launch or dock boats, including more than 35,000 boat ramps and marinas across the country.

Connect and Share - Connect with others to view and share photos, plus read expert blogs and forums to help guarantee you have the best day on the water.

Gear Up for Fun
There are just a few items you'll want to pack to enjoy your day. You can gear up with the basics- a rod and reel combo, tackle kit, and bait - at local sporting goods stores, large retailers and bait and tackle shops.

For all on-the-water festivities, be sure everyone has a life jacket, a current fishing license, and that any boat being used meets registration requirements. Licenses and registrations can be purchased for your state online.

While you're out, be sure you have proper sun protection. This includes sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect skin and eyes from the sun's rays. You may also want to bring some insect repellent.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Most people don't realize when you purchase a fishing license, you're giving back to local conservation projects, helping protect, preserve and enhance the nation's waterways for generations to come.

So, round up the kids and head outside to enjoy all the season has to offer. Remember, some of the best memories are caught while fishing and boating.

Monday, August 5, 2013

FREE Concert at Millennium Park Today!

Hosted by ABC 7 Chicago's Janet Davies, Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, the headlining performance will feature cast members from the smash hit Broadway musical MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, as well as Broadway's biggest blockbuster WICKED, and showcase additional cast performances from ELF, EVITA, FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL, GHOST THE MUSICAL, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, ONCE and WE WILL ROCK YOU. This year's concert will also feature performances by the 2013 Illinois High School Musical Theater Award recipients: John Clay III of Oak Park, Illinois, and Taylor Marie Sherry of St. Charles, Illinois. Clay and Sherry will participate in The Jimmy™ Awards in New York City, named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander, on July 1, 2013. The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert at Millennium Park is sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago and produced in partnership with The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. (Program is subject to change). The Pavilion will open at 5:15pm, one hour prior to the start of the concert. Admission is free for both the available seats in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the Great Lawn. No ticket is needed for admission.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions: Survival Tips for Co-sleeping Parents

Photo courtesy of Barnes and Noble
The clever yet sleep-challenged fathers from, the popular parenting entertainment site, found that laughter was the best way to cope with the confounding nighttime needs of newborns. The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions: Survival Tips for Co-sleeping Parents is a humorous visual catalog of ways that co-sleeping with a baby can completely sabotage a good night's sleep. Each diagram is paired with bulleted text that outlines the particulars of each position: it's Sleep Deprivation Ranking; tips for coping; side effects you'll feel the next day; and what this position reveals about the hidden "talents" of your child.

Authors Andy herald adn Charlie Capen started their blog after bonding over mutual caffeine addictions and new-baby-picture oversharing on Facebook. Only two chapters into a parenting book for fathers, Charlie dumped it in the trash and gave Andy a call for the first time. So they created the incredibly successful with the intention of doing something completely different, where you learn by learning nothing. So far, they have survived the process.

Their baby sleep positions have been widely viral on every conceivable digital space, and many new parents will be delighted with the brand-new content in this gift book. Whether given as a present to a spouse or as a shoer gift to the new parent-to-be in your life, everyone can laugh at the universally relatable humor in the book.

Safer than sleeping pills. The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions is a surefire sanity saver making those sleepless nights less daunting and more entertaining.