The Friday Five, 9/21/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This is the week where everything decides to break and/or need to be replaced, apparently. I cooked a meal in my microwave on Sunday, but on Monday it wasn't working. I took my car for an oil change last week and was told the air filters need replacing as well as the battery ... yay.

What I've been up to this week:
Hanging out with friends. Last Saturday, a friend hosted a macaron taste-test gathering, which was delicious (read about that here), and that night, I went to DTE to see Pentatonix with another friend. It was a treat to have pavilion seats at DTE for this concert because I've had lawn seats (aka, choose a spot on their lawn area) all summer. Spending money on household things. Ugh. Like I mentioned above, my (over the counter) microwave decided to break ... it acts like it cooks but doesn't ... so today I'm going to head to Best Buy to buy a new one and schedule an appointment with them to install it. I'm fortunate in that I have some Best Buy gift car…

Movie Review: Life Itself

I really don't even know how to review this one, but I'll give it a shot. Life Itself separates itself into three distinct chapters, focusing on three different heroes/heroines, and is quite different from how the the trailer might lead you to believe.

The pretty vague IMDb synopsis is:
As a young New York couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

In reality, the movie has three chapters, like I just mentioned. At the beginning of the movie, we meet Will (Oscar Isaac), who is severely depressed because his wife has "left him"—that's his wording. He has been in an institution for three months and is now out, and is doing therapy sessions with Dr. Morris (Annette Bening). We also see flashbacks of him and his wife, Abby (Olivia Wilde), and we see how happy they were; they meet in college, later get married, and then we…

Detroit macaron taste-test: Which are the best?

*NOT a sponsored post!

This past Saturday, some friends and I got together to taste-test Detroit macarons! Another friend came up with the party idea: there would be six of us, and we would each bring six raspberry macarons, and 6 of our flavor choice, with prizes for those who brought the most tasty macarons.

This gave me an excuse to check out Cannelle Patisserie, in Birmingham; I had eaten their macarons previously, at another friend's house, and they were very good, but I had never been to the actual store.

Someone had to cancel last-minute so there ended up being five of us ... multiplied by 12 macarons each ... equals 60 macarons to eat! (a tough job, but a worthy challenge, for sure!)

The contenders:
Cannelle Patisserie, BirminghamThe Blu Kitchen, PlymouthAstoria Pastry Shop, Royal Oak (and Detroit)Ellen's Bakery & Cafe, Sylvan LakeGateaux Patisserie, Dearborn
The first macarons were tried were the raspberry flavor; Cannelle for some reason did not have raspberry, so …

GIVEAWAY: $25 Fandango e-gift card to see Little Women in theaters {ends 9/24}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through Lev3L Digital. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Little Women will be in theaters next week, on September 28th, and one of my lucky winners will win a $25 Fandango e-gift card to see the movie!

About the movie:
Sisters—and dreams—are unique in their ability to inspire, encourage and change the world. For 150 years, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has motivated women of all ages to dream together and celebrate family. Coming to theaters for the first time, a modern retelling of LITTLE WOMEN brings a new generation together with their mothers, sisters and friends.

From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—are committed to always supporting each other. Yet, growing up sometimes means growing apart. An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more int…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets for Aladdin, December 12, Detroit Opera House {ends 9/21}

One of my lucky readers will win a 4-pack of tickets to see ALADDIN on Wednesday, December 12th, at the Detroit Opera House! This is the first performance of the show in Detroit. The musical will be playing at the Opera House from December 12 to January 13, 2019.

About the show: From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of ALADDIN, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

Read more about the show here. You can purchase tickets at Broadway in Detroitt or at Ticketmaster.


Be on the first to see ALADDIN in Detroit! One of my lucky readers will win four tickets to the Wednesday, December 12th, 7:30pmperformance at the Detroit Opera House.

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Friday, September 21st, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an a…

Movie Review: White Boy Rick

Last night, I attended a red carpet screening of White Boy Rick, at Emagine Novi. I didn't know much about the actual case before seeing the film, except that Rick Wershe Jr. grew up on the streets of Detroit in the 1980s and eventually became a drug dealer; because of the Detroit connection, I found the movie to be very interesting.

Richard Wershe Jr. (newcomer Richie Merritt, starring in his very first film) lives with his dad, Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey) and his sister, Dawn (Bel Powley), in a small house in Detroit. His father sells guns—not always legally—and Rick Jr. wants a better life for his family. One day, he's approached by two FBI agents (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane, respectively) who want something from him: they want him to buy cocaine so that they can get some information about the local drug dealers. Rick agrees, and later, once he's done cooperating with them, he starts buying and selling cocaine on his own, which eventually leads to his ar…

The Friday Five, 9/14/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This was another busy week, and I capped it off by attending the White Boy Rick red carpet premiere at Emagine Novi last night—check back later today for a review.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing movies and attending a red carpet premiere. On Wednesday, I used my last MoviePass "credit" of the billing period (we get to see 3 movies per billing period now) to see Juliet, Naked, at Birmingham 8, which I enjoyed a lot—I'd give it 4/5 stars. Their new recliners are quite nice, too. Yesterday, I saw White Boy Rick, at Emagine Novi, which I would give 3.5 out of 5. Cooking. I ate the majority of my meals at home this week, and I had some Blue Apron meals to cook over the weekend and some Home Chef meals to cook during the week. On Saturday night, my boyfriend and I cooked a spicy chicken dish; the chicken was okay, but the sides were great—corn with honey butter, and a coleslaw mix. On Sunday night, we cooked Mexican beef bowls, which were tasty. On Tuesday, I cooked …

GIVEAWAY: COMET & CHARGE! Space: 1999! Rocky Marathon! Godzilla Double Features! And more! {ends 9/19}

COMET TV has some great shows airing this September, including Godzilla double features. Read on below about the shows, and also find out how to win a Godzilla and Rocky-themed prize pack, including a Godzilla Funko Pop!
Airing on COMET in September:

Space: 1999 (series)

Space: 1999 officially crash landed on COMET! The residents of Moonbase Alpha were just minding their own business when the nuclear waste stored there suddenly exploded, causing the moon to hurtle into space. After passing through a black hole and a couple random “Space Warps,” you begin to wonder, is there a mysterious force guiding them?

In September, look out for back-to-back episodes on Saturday and Sunday evenings starting at 10/9 C.

Godzilla wanted to move to Saturdays. We said OK! Through September, catch the mega monster films that rocked the planet and featured Godzilla going head to head wit…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets for Chicago, October 16, Fisher Theatre {ends 9/18}

One of my lucky readers will win a 4-pack of tickets to see Chicago, on Tuesday, October 16th at the Fisher Theatre! This is the opening night of the musical.

The musical will be playing at the Fisher Theatre from October 16-21.

About the show:
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

Read more about the show here. You can purchase tickets at Broadway in Detroit or at Ticketmaster.


One of my lucky readers will win four tickets good for the Tuesday, October 16th, at 8pm performance! This is at the Fisher Theatre and is opening ni…

Pamper Me Pantry subscription box: ideal for families and children

*Disclosure: I received a Pamper Me Pantry box in support of this review. No money compensation was given and all opinions are my own. Please note, this blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Recently I received a Pamper Me Pantry box to review. The Pamper Me Pantry box is shipped and put together by The Autism Hope Alliance, which embodies hope for families facing the diagnosis of Autism through education, financial support and volunteerism.

The Autism Hope Alliance is the first non-profit foundation for Autism to emerge from the natural foods industry. Their over 100 partners include such notable brands including Applegate, Enzymedica, ECOS/Earth Friendly Products and Bob's Red Mill.

This box had a ton of products in it! It was also packed very nicely, as you can see in the picture above.

The box was launched this year, and is a quarterly gift box that families can order for a minimum donation of $39.99 to …

The Friday Five, 9/7/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This has been a short work week but has seemed long. I think I need to take a few days and just clear out my calendar—I did that on Wednesday, for the most part, which was nice.

What I've been up to this week:
Traveling. From Friday through Monday of this week, my boyfriend and I were in Knoxville, TN. I had never been before and it's a very pretty area, even though it was super hot—about 90 degrees—all weekend. We stayed with his cousins and were able to check out the Titanic museum (see picture, below) as well as The Island and a very fun (but also a bit scary) outdoor roller coaster called the Smoky Alpine Coaster. We also took a delicious Knoxville food tour—check my blog post from yesterday to read about that experience. (and if you go to the Titanic museum or do either of the two roller coasters: check Groupon first to save some money!)Cooking Dinnerly meals. On Tuesday, I cooked a teriyaki beef bowl, and on Wednesday, I cooked creamy tomato pasta. I LOVED the teriyaki bee…

Exploring the food scene in Knoxville, Tennessee with East TN Tours

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary food tour in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past weekend, I traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the first time. I have visited Nashville before, in 2014 for my first Yelp Spring Break, but that was the only part of the state that I visited. My boyfriend and I stayed with his cousins while there, and the four of us plus his great-aunt were able to go on East TN Tours' Chef's Table Tour, which was quite the foodie experience!

The Chef's Tour is a walking tour that stops at five restaurants. We met up at the Visit Knoxville headquarters, in downtown Knoxville, and after that, we were off to our first stop: Cafe Vicolo.

We were warned to pace ourselves so I only ate about half of my pork belly croissant, but it was delicious. Half of the table had ham and cheese croissants, and half had pork belly; we were also brought some lemon poppyseed muffins as well as cherry pecan muffins to try.


GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets for Something Rotten, Sept. 25 at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

One of my lucky readers will win a 4-pack of tickets to see Something Rotten, on Tuesday, September 25th at the Fisher Theatre! This is the opening night of the musical.

The musical will be playing at the Fisher Theatre from September 25 through October 7.

About the show:
SOMETHING ROTTEN! is “Broadway’s big, fat hit!” (New York Post). Set in 1595, this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first MUSICAL! With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, SOMETHING ROTTEN! is “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared!” (New York Magazine).

Read more about the show here. You can purchase tickets at Broadway in Detroit or at Ticketmaster.


One of my lucky readers will win four tickets good for the Tuesday, September 25th,…