UniverSoul Circus brings Soul to Chicago

Last week me and the kiddos ventured to Washington Park to check out the UniverSoul Circus and boy let me tell you…we had a blast! This was baby Chance’s first time at the circus and I couldn’t be happier with the show. We danced and laughed as we became a part of the  most interactive circus ever.

I remember being a young adult and taking my little sister to the “Soul Circus” it was always a treat for me too (even though I never told her that lol). The music would always be up to date and she knew all the dance moves they were doing. Well fast forward 10 years later and guess what? We are back atthe circus this time and now she’s a college student home for her Fall break. We also have now added my 2 kids and our little sister Dionne. My mom even tagged along this time. LaToya from The Fat Girl of Fashion who happens to be one of my Blogger boos invited us to check out the show with her.

The show kept us ooohing and aahing the whole night. It was so interesting that it kept the attention of my 1 year old (which is a hard thing to do!)

Dereon and Dionne couldn’t stay seated, they danced on every song!

I don’t believe in spoilers so I won’t tell you everything that happened at the UniverSoul Circus, but be prepared to be amazed. Tricks, illusions, and entertainment for days.

The Circus will be in town until October 30, 2016. You can grab your tickets online or at the box office outside of the Big Top located at Washington Park

The kiddos had a blast as we created priceless memories with the help of the Soul Circus! Definitely check them out when they come to your city and if you are in Chicago grab your tickets today because time is winding down. 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents: Circus XTREME in Chicago!

November 5th to November 29th The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be in the Chicagoland area and the Chicagoland Mom Squad has a discount code for you!

Use code MSQUAD and buy adult tickets for only $15.00 when purchasing your tickets at Ticketmaster or the arena box offices!

I can’t wait to take Mr. Dereon and Sir Chance to the greatest show on earth!! Thanks to the Chicagoland Mom Squad for this amazing hook up.

Halloween Fun while giving back!

I’m all about kids giving back and being a part of building community. Halloween is coming up and there are so many events kids can attend this month. What better way to have a good wholesome time with the family, than giving back?

17-year old Destiny Watson, a Chicago-area student, recognized the need of the 5.4 million Americans who rely on food banks every week, and decided to take action.

On October 17, Destiny is bringing her community together to fight hunger in the Chicago area with a Halloween event at Apollo Park.  The “We Scare Hunger Trail” event will feature family friendly activities and a scary trail walk.  Destiny and her youth group, are asking local families to bring three or more non-perishable food items as the price of admission, with all proceeds going to Respond Now in Chicago Heights.


Please share this event with others and take your little ones as well. Seems like it will be a blast!

Marvel Universe Live Chicago! Limited time Promo code!

So marvel is coming to Chicago and it’s a big deal like a real big deal! I know my son is over the moon to see his fave super hero LIVE and in ACTION. Thanks to The Chicagoland Mom Squad I can share a special promo code with you that can save you LOTS of money on your tickets. But it’s only for the next 72 hours!! So hurry and grab your tickets and share this post with your friends and family so they can score this great deal too!

Use code MSQUAD for the next 72 HOURS when visiting www.ticketmaster.com and buy $12.00 tickets to Marvel Universe LIVE! playing United Center September 10 – 13


Grab your tickets because this deal won’t last long!! Thanks again to The Chicagoland Mom Squad! Like them on Facebook to stay up to date on all the future events they have the hook up on.

5 things to do with kids indoors this Winter

Chicago is a pretty cold place in the Winter and unfortunately I’m not a cold outdoor type of person. I need heat! For some reason kids are opposite they can be outside and play until their noses are numb. Since Dereon is the only child it’s a lot of times he wants to go outside and play and the next door neighbor’s kids aren’t home so he expects me or daddy to come out and play with him. Now in the Summer time I will leave my central aired house for a little fun in the sun, but I don’t stay out too long. Now in the Winter you will hardly catch me playing anything! Even though I was born in the Winter, I’m not a fan. Lol

So I started themed days with the kiddo and my husband to ensure we have fun on the days we decide to stay in. Now this list isn’t the first time you’ve done these things. We’ve all done them even in the Summer months however now that it’s Winter you need to put a little more effort into the fun:)


1. Movie Night: Ok, how many times have we all done this? A million! But kick it up a notch! Have everyone pick a movie (grab some from RedBox or go through your movie collection or Netflix). Make old fashioned popcorn that pops on the stove (kids love it)! Make sure everyone has a cozy blanket so you guys can relax while enjoying a few movies together. If your couch isn’t big enough or comfortable bulid a pallet on the floor with tons of pillows and comforters. A fun and relaxing night for all.

2. Pj Party: Everyone puts on their favorites Pajamas and get ready for a fun night! Let the kids invite one guest over for the fun. Order pizza, grab some snacks, bring out the boom box! This is the time for silly games, lots of laughing, and dancing. Parents VS. Kids in a dance battle, Truth and Dare Pajamas style, and the famous Pj fashion show where you get to walk the runway in your favorite Pjs and listen to the critics to see if you really have what it takes. Can you say fun? Be prepared to have a ball.

3. Game Night: In the Pyles’ household we play board and video games a lot together. Dereon is a big gamer and so is my husband which kinda drags me into it as well. However when we label a night Game Night my son already knows we are going to be active all night. I love to start the night off with a Wii U Dance competition (Just Dance and Michael Jackson being my favorite). After that Dennis and Dereon normally takes over the Xbox 360 and gets in to a little NBA action while I finish up dinner. Most of the time it’s nachos or tacos for that night. We then pull out the Uno Cards, Monopoly, Clue, Operation, and depending how I feel Twister LOL. The winner of the night normally talks junk until we all fall asleep.

4. Family Cookathon: Cooking with the family is fun! Even though my husband is a Chef, I still throw down in the kitchen. LOL. I encourage my son to help us cook as well and when we have our family Cookathon I make sure to cook something we all like and can all help with. For example spaghetti, garlic bread, and a garden salad. Don’t forget dessert! Maybe a cake or our favorite cookies. We have the music blasting in the kitchen and everyone gets a task to complete. Of course Dereon get the easy stuff since he’s only 7, but he likes the responbility. He cleans the lettuce, helps shread the cheese, places the garlic bread on the cooking tray, in charge of tasting the spaghetti sauce and if we bake a cake the job is 90 percent his. He adds the ingredients, mixes everything with the help of his dad and a mixer, puts the batter in the pan and we place it in the oven while he sets the timer. After the cake cools he is to decorate it. When we make cookies he’s in charge as well. Once everything is done he sets the plates and the music is turned off. We all sit down and pass the food family style while we talk about our day and the cooking process. The experience is filled with bonding and good food! Who knows the kiddo might be a Chef one day!

Bonus 5. If you’ve done all that’s mentioned above and want to push the envelope here are some more ideas I haven’t tried yet, but plan on doing this Winter!

*DIY project: Bulid something together maybe a book shelf or everyone make picture frames for Christmas gift perhaps?

*Scrapbook: Everyone works on a sheet to add to the family scrapbook or everyone can make their own!

* Karaoke night: I’m currently looking for a Karaoke machine since I’m a karaoke addict, but some game systems like the Wii and Xbox has Karaoke games you can buy and play on the system. Find fun songs that you and the kids would enjoy and get down!

It’s up to us how we spend our Winter days. You can chose to be stuck in the house bored out of your minds or you can use some of your creative juices and make a cold night in a night to remember. If you have any other cool ideas let me know. I’m all about trying new things.

Stay warm!

My evening with Janelle Monae!

Amazing! So last Thursday I was blessed to be able to attend the APM Music Series concert at The Taste of Chicago. I brought my mom along with me and we had a blast.


The great people of Illinois Lottery sponsored the event and even had a hospitality suite for their VIP guest. It was full of tasty bites and treats. I think I gained 5 pounds that night due to the sugar cookies and red potato salad!




It was great seeing so many of my blogger friends we laughed and talked until the show started. But of course when Miss Janelle Monae hit the stage all talking ceased and all eyes were on HER. Her performance was magical. The stage was set up nicely and her outfits and shoes were on point. The band had the crowd standing the entire show. With her energy, talent, and sincere heart I was completely blown away.




Janelle jumped into the audience held a cute toddler, jokingly jumped on some guys back and encouraged Chicago to stop the violence. She was down to earth and with her song lyrics she seemed transparent. I was a fan before but this event sealed the deal!


Check out their website to see more upcoming events!

Some cool and fun things to do with the kids this Spring Break!

Yes! it’s Dereon’s Spring Break, he is excited and so am I. A whole week break from uniforms, early wake ups, and strict bed times. Last year for Spring Break we took a family road trip to Alabama to see our down south family. We stopped and visited all the states we drove through and had a great time. This year unfortunately our Spring break days are all different. My baby sister DeeDee took her Spring Break two weeks ago and my teenager sister is on Spring Break with Dereon. Plus my parents requested a whole different week off for their vacation time, so this year we are playing it local. Chicago is a big enough City to get lost in. Although I was born and raised here there are so many places I haven’t been and so I try to explore them with Dereon and the hubz. It makes great family memories, which is one of my goals. Even if every year we don’t go to some distant place I want Dereon to enjoy learning and being with his family.

Anyways enough of my rambling here are some cool ideas that I have for the kiddo this Spring Break. I split them into categories because I want to do two activities in each category during the week and then have a rest and recover day!

1. Active: We have to stay active. Although we will sleep in some days (YAY!) I want us to still get up and out. Skating, Bowling, and Miniature golf are classics and family friendly. If you are in Chicago like me here are some locations you can visit:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Skating Rink & Bowling Alley

Waveland Bowl

Putting Edge Mini Golf

2. Exploring/Learning: Just because the kiddos are out of school, doesn’t mean they should stop learning. So of course museums are on the list of things to explore. Here are some great Chicago museums to check out:

The Children’s Museum

The Field Museum

MSI Chicago (Museum of Science and Industry)

3. Foodie: While we are out and about we normally stop to get something to eat. Sometimes the restaurant can be the experience. You can zone out different areas and try their cuisine. For example in Chicago we have a neighborhood called “Chinatown” it is full of restaurants, shops, and even museums all based on the Chinese. You can stay a whole day there and explore, eat, and be active. Here are some Chicago places that are fun to visit:

Rainforest Café

Chicago Chinatown

Ed Debevic’s

4. Artsy: I love going out and hitting up the CTA for a day of fun with the kiddo, but there is nothing like a day full of arts and crafts. You don’t always have to spend money to have a good time. You can explore science at home by making a volcano together. You can be chefs for the day and make cookies from scratch. You can even be active by doing some Spring cleaning or going for an “I Spy” walk in your neighborhood. There is always something to do! Never fall into that “I am Bored” trap find something to do. Here are some crafty things to do at home with the kiddos:

How to make volcano

How to make Chocolate Chip cookie

Fun ways to get active with the kids

Most importantly have fun spending time together=)

My experience at the 2014 Black Women’s Expo

This time last weekend I was walking the aisles of the Black Women’s Expo and I had a wonderful time. I’ve met so many different empowered women and brands. The event was from Friday to Sunday at the McCormick Place. The place was full with celebrities, vendors, and freebies. This year the expo celebrated its 20th year and the celebration was bigger and better. Check out some of the pictures from my weekend.

The Expo was filled with so much power and knowledge. I was really excited to be there.

I hung with so many great vendors. This was Anointed Wives Ministry CEO Felicia Houston and I.

My girl Author and Publisher Tamika Newhouse. We always have a good time when she is here.

Here I am hanging with ABC Newsman Hosea Sanders.

One of the booths at the Expo offered FREE Rapid HIV testing. I jumped at the chance to get checked out. There wasn’t a shot, just a mouth swab. Quick, easy, and pain free.

I had to grab a selfie with my girl Nikki from Nikki in the City blog. She is the sweetest.

The second day of the Expo some of my friends attended with me. Margo enjoyed the event as well.

When I tell you the Expo had everything…they really did. They even had Face painting for the kiddos. Although I didn’t bring Dereon with me. My niecey pooh Zarrie ventured out with her mom and I and she loved her Hello Kitty makeover.

I attended seminars with Biggest losers contestants and the exotic author Zane. Enjoyed live performances from many popular musical acts and a amazing dance act based off the Brazilian Carnival. BMOA passed out smoothie samples and handed free smoothie coupon out too. I think I walked off about 5 pounds the whole weekend. LOL. Overall I felt empowered and motivated to keep pushing towards my goal as a woman entrepreneur, wife, and a mom.

For more pictures follow me on Social media.

BMOA Night at the Chicago Bulls game

About two weeks ago the family and I headed to BMOA Night at the Chicago Bulls game. The Bulls VS. The Golden State Warriors. It’s was Dereon and Dionne’s first NBA game. We were able to sit courtside for the pregame warm up which was really cool because you see the players relaxed and in real form. We were able to see Joakim Noah really up close plus Jimmy Butler, and Tony Snell. Dereon was in dog heaven, even though he isn’t a real big Basketball fan he watches the Bulls games with his dad so he is aware of the big stars of the team.

If you aren’t familiar with The Chicagoland BMOA you should check them out here. They sponsor so many Chicagoland events and youth projects.

We had a great night and the Bulls won! Check out some of our picture highlights of that night:

It’s MY Birthday!

Yep! I’m a year older. I’m so thankful for making it to a new year. Millions didn’t but I did. I want to keep this short. Thank you for your support. I’m blessed to have found one of my gifts and I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

Follow me on Instagram: @arealurbanmom to see pics from my birthday celebrations this weekend!

The B day girl:)