The Friday Five, 7/20/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This has been kind of a disjointed week - I was in Chicago Monday through Wednesday for work, which is my last trip via plane until October, tentatively, when I go back for another work conference. I was supposed to see the Beach Boys at Freedom Hill yesterday, but had to have a medical procedure done yesterday too and I was feeling beat up from that, so I ended up skipping the concert ... it was a bummer but I wasn't feeling well enough to attend.

What I've been up to this week:
Traveling. I was in Chicago attending the IFT conference at McCormick Place for my job. I managed to fit in a tasty Italian dinner on Monday night, at RPM Italian, and I also got to see college friends who lives in the city, and their kids, on Tuesday night. I stayed at The Moxy and it was probably the most hipster hotel ever ... they call their rooms "European cozy." (see pic above)Cooking. Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I made our first ever vegetarian Hello Fresh meal, and it was quite tasty…

The Friday Five, 7/13/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

I was in Rhode Island until Tuesday this week, and then I've been working the rest of the week. I have some fun plans tonight and this weekend though, and I'm hoping to get a bit more sleep, as well.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing a musical. On Saturday, my aunt and I went and saw Mamma Mia! at Theatre-by-the-Sea, in Wakefield, RI. The musical was great and the venue was super unique, too: it's an old barn that they've converted into a theater. Seeing movies. Last week, I saw Gotti, which was about average but pretty interesting since I didn't know much about John Gotti - I'd give it 3/5 stars. Last night I saw The First Purge, which I would give 3.5/5 stars - I'm a big fan of all of the Purge movies, since I love dystopian movies (and could-be-real-life dystopian is also fascinating). Check out my previous Purge reviews here.Cooking. I ordered a Hello Fresh box for my aunt and I while I was visiting her in Rhode Island, and I also received one th…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 25 admit-2 passes for Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, 7/18 at Landmark Main Art

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot will be screening next Wednesday, July 18th, at Main Art in Royal Oak, and twenty-five of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two pass for the film!

About the movie:
After nearly dying in a car accident, the last thing Oregon slacker John Callahan intends to do is give up alcohol. Encouraged by his girlfriend and a charismatic sponsor, Callahan reluctantly enters a treatment program and discovers that he has a knack for drawing. The budding artist soon finds himself with a new lease on life when his edgy and irreverent newspaper cartoons gain a national and devoted following.

Click HERE to download your pass - you are able to get a pass for up to two people.

Screening will take place this Wednesday, July 18th, at 7pm at Main Art, Royal Oak.

Remember that screenings are first-come, first-serve, so I would recommend getting to the theater by 5pm or 6pm that day to get in line, if possible.

Good luck!

Rhode Island adventure with the Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-door #DriveMazda

*Disclosure: I received the use of a vehicle for a week in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I was in Rhode Island for the past week visiting family—my parents and I are originally from Massachusetts, and my dad's side of the family still lives in RI, and my mom's in MA. I stayed with my aunt and didn't want to have to rely on her for rides, so I was very fortunate to be able to review the 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-door while staying there.

Almost everyone I met up with over the past week remarked on how good looking this car is, and I'd have to agree. The exterior was a Deep Crystal Blue Mica color, and it was both sporty and stylish.

This is the 4th Mazda car I've reviewed, and maybe one of my favorites. The 5-door in its title refers to the fact that its a hatchback—however, I was surprised at how roomy the hatchback area was. There's also a privacy shield to cover anything you might leave in there, which was nice.


DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 25 admit-2 passes for Equalizer 2, 7/16 at Bel Air Luxury Cinema

Equalizer 2, with Denzel Washington, will be screening this Monday, July 16th, at Bel Air Luxury Cinema, and twenty-five of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two pass for the film!

About the movie:
Robert McCall learns that one of his longtime friends, Susan Plummer, has been murdered. McCall decides to return to his old ways and seek out, find and punish the perpetrators. (source: Wikipedia)

Click HERE to download your pass - you are able to get a pass for up to two people.

Screening will take place this Monday, July 16th, at 7pm at Bel Air Luxury Cinema.

The Bel Air Luxury Cinema is located at 10100 E. 8 Mile Road, Detroit.

Remember that screenings are first-come, first-serve, so I would recommend getting to the theater by 5pm or 6pm that day to get in line, if possible.

Good luck!

Review: Drybar (Birmingham, MI) provides a luxurious hair blowout experience

*Disclosure: I was treated to a blowout at Drybar in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Drybar is now open in Birmingham, Michigan! I had heard of Drybar before experiencing it this past Monday, but I had never been before. Drybar does not cut hair, but will wash and style your hair for you - perfect for a special occasion or if you want to treat yourself.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was how modern and clean it looked - I loved the design of the salon. Drybar is located right on West Maple, but you might have to get creative with parking because Old Woodward is currently under construction.

When you arrive at Drybar, you're offered snacks (they had mini cookies and other things) and a beverage. I chose a mimosa, which was a fun indulgence for a Monday. After that, you're whisked away to get your hair washed—definitely a good thing, because I had been doing some mall-walking earlier that day—and then you're brought back t…

The Friday Five, 7/6/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

I'm writing this from Rhode Island, where I'm visiting family - my family and I are originally from Massachusetts, and my dad's side of the family is from RI.

It's been hot here (same as Michigan) but it has been nice to relax and not run around as much as I usually do at home.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing concerts. I don't normally do this but I saw TWO concerts last weekend - Paramore with Foster the People, last Friday at DTE, and then Jethro Tull, on Sunday at Freedom Hill. I had lawn seats for both and I forgot how hilly the DTE hill can be ... Freedom Hill was much better. Jethro Tull was a quick 2-hour concert, as well, and we were out by 9:30pm that Sunday.Eating out. On Saturday, I went to a blogger lunch at Mr. B's—you can search for #mrbsgastropub on Instagram and Twitter if you'd like to see pics—and everything was delicious. I hadn't been to Mr. B's in quite some time, and they've rebranded as a Gastropub recently. On Su…

Opening soon: first ever Applebee's/IHOP, in Detroit {+ win a $25 gift card!}

This Wednesday, July 11th, Detroit will make history, as it opens the first-ever Applebee's/IHOP co-branded restaurant, at 555 Brush Street (at the Millender Center).
Check out the fun stuff that will be happening during grand opening day: Dancakes will be on-site creating custom Applebee’s, IHOP and Detroit-centric pancakes.Partnership with the Riverfront Conservancy Throughout the day, a percentage of food sales will be donated to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to help in its mission to transform Detroit's international riverfront—the face of the city—into a beautiful, exciting, safe, accessible world-class gathering place for all.The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC), a 501(c)(3) organization, is responsible for the establishment, improvement, operation, maintenance, security, programming and expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk and associated green spaces. Through its public/private partnerships, the DRFC will support the development of the riverfront district and f…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 10 admit-four screening passes for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, 7/7 at Emagine Royal Oak

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation will be screening this Saturday at Emagine Royal Oak, and ten of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-four pass for the film!

About the movie:
In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

Click HEREto download your pass - you are able to get a pass for up to four people.

Screening will take place this Saturday, July 7th, at 11am at Emagine Royal Oak.

The Friday Five, 6/29/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

Another busy week in the books, and it shall continue to be busy until I leave for Rhode Island on Tuesday night, to visit family there.

My boyfriend and I went to the Fennville/Grand Haven area for a quick 24-hour stay, and we stayed at the Hop & Vine Inn (review here). Grand Haven is one of my favorite Michigan cities so that was a nice treat too.

What I've been up to this week:
Traveling. As I mentioned, we took a quick trip to Fennville and also Grand Haven, mostly because I had a comped (blogger) one-night stay at the Hop & Vine Inn, which was super cute - I want to stay there again sometime soon. One of my favorite restaurants in that area is The Southerner, for fried chicken, and we went there for dinner that Friday night. Seeing movies. I feel like I write this in *every* Friday Five, but this week I've seen a lot of movies. On Sunday, I saw The Incredibles 2, which was cute (3.5/5 from me), and on Tuesday I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (also 3.5/5 stars fr…

Movie Review - Sicario: Day of the Soldado

In October 2015, I gave the first Sicario movie 3.5 stars out of 5. Since then, people have asked me why I gave such a "low" rating to that movie - in their opinions, it was worthy of a 4 or even 5 star rating. I remember the film being slow, but there were certain scenes in the movie that I still remember, almost 3 years later. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is more fast-paced, and I enjoyed it more than the first one, though I'd now like to rewatch that one.

Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) is a sicario, or a "hitman" - he technically works for the DEA, but his allegiance swings every which way. Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls him up one day because he wants to start a war between two gang families; to do that, they will kidnap Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), the daughter of one of the kingpins. While the kidnapping goes off without a hitch, the events that follow do not, and Matt soon needs to figure out where his allegiances truly lie.

Other supporting actors in t…

Review and GIVEAWAY: Grow Fragrance modern plant-based air fresheners {ends 7/4}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I recently received the chance to try out two varieties of Grow Fragrance, a plant-based air freshener: Citrus Cedar, and Lavender Blossom.

Let's be honest: if you don't already keep an air freshener in your bathroom, you're going to want to have one. Grow Fragrance is a good choice because it's 100% plant-based and toxin-free - aka, it has no phthalates, parabens, petroleum, or synthetic petrochemicals.

When you order the products online, they come wrapped up very nicely, as you can see above: there were no leaks, and no damage to the fresheners.

You can actually use the fresheners on fabrics, as well - simple spray them onto the fabrics you'd like to use.

The back of the product recommends 2-3 strays for a bathroom, and 5-6 sprays for a bedroom or office; it's nice that it only takes a few sprays to freshen up a room.

Grow Fragrance retails at $12 per product, or you can …

GIVEAWAY - Barry: Season 1 digital download, starring Bill Hader {ends 7/3}

Barry season 1 is currently available for digital download, and one of my lucky readers will win a copy!

About the show:
Three-time Emmy®-nominee Bill Hader (SNL) “gives a master-class in acting” (Indiewire) in the critically acclaimed dark comedy series, Barry: Season 1, available for Digital Download on June 18th. Hailed as “the best new comedy on television” (NPR), cast regulars also include Henry Winkler (Royal Pains), Stephen Root (True Blood), Sarah Goldberg (Hindsight), Glenn Fleshler (True Detective), and Anthony Carrigan (Gotham).

Barry (Hader) is a depressed hitman from the Midwest, and while on a job in Los Angeles, he follows his mark into an acting class and has a career epiphany when he discovers the intoxicating world of theater acting. Instantly drawn to the class and students, Barry is eager to leave his lonely, cold-hearted job behind, but as he attempts to start a new life in LA, his criminal ties won’t let him walk away, forcing him to find a balance between both w…