The Friday Five, 10/19/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

My cough is almost gone! Fingers crossed. However, I was in Chicago this week for work, and I think I strained a muscle carrying too many things at the conference I was at ... because now, when I do cough (or laugh), my breastbone area hurts. Yay.

What I've been up to this week:
Work trip to Chicago. I dragged my plague-ridden self onto an airplane for work and attended Pack Expo, one of the largest expos in North America, at McCormick Place in Chicago, from Monday through Wednesday. I did get some good meals when I was in Chicago, though, and my hotel, the Radisson Blu Aqua, was super nice. Dining out. Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to MOD Pizza for a quick meal before a friend's party, and on Sunday, we went to Imperial (see pic above). Imperial is my favorite taco place in the area, though it's not really "authentic Mexican cuisine" (it's more like American/Mexican fusion), and their hot dogs and elote (corn) are very good also.Celebrating a friend&#…

UPCOMING and GIVEAWAY: RENT, January 8-20, Fisher Theatre, Detroit

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with Broadway in Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

RENT will be coming to the Fisher Theatre again this January! I saw it there about two years ago, and am looking forward to seeing it again.

About the show:
The producers of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour has announced that tickets for the Detroit engagement, January 8 – 20 at the Fisher Theatre, are now on sale. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased online at or, or by phone at 800-982-2787. Tickets may also be purchased at the Fisher Theatre box office.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in…

Olga's Kitchen seasonal menu items: Autumn Turkey and Apple Olga {+ giveaway!}

*Disclosure: I received a meal at Olga's Kitchen in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This week, a friend and I were able to stop by the Troy, MI Olga's Kitchen location, to try out some of their new seasonal menu items, including the Autumn Turkey and Apple Olga.

Other seasonal menu items include a Kale and Roasted Apple Salad with Chicken, a Pumpkin Spice Olga Bread Pudding, and apple cider.

We of course had to start out with an appetizer order of Snackers—they are my favorite menu item at Olga's. If you've never been to an Olga's, Snackers are little seasoned pieces of pita bread, served with a mound of Swiss almond cheese on the side, and they are DELICIOUS.

My friend ordered the Autumn Turkey and Apple Olga, which is made with oven roasted turkey breast, fresh spinach, sautéed Gala apples and onions, Cheddar cheese, house-made cranberry aioli, all wrapped in an Olga pita. She said she really enjoyed it—although she could…

The Friday Five, 10/12/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This might be a quite boring edition of the Friday Five, because I'm into Plague Week 2 at this point so I haven't been doing much outside my house.

What I've been up to this week:
Trying to get better(but to no avail). I'm seeing a doctor again today because this is taking much to long to improve. I've literally been having low-grade fevers (99, 100-ish) every day and also coughing a lot. Trying out Olga's Kitchen's new seasonal menu. The one outside-the-house fun thing I did this week was that a friend and I went to Olga's Kitchen in Troy to try some of their new menu items. Check back soon for a blog post on that as well as a gift card giveaway.Watching a lot of TV. Fall TV season is back in full swing, and Better Call Saul had its season finale this week too. So far my favorite new shows are Single Parents and ManifestManifest reminds me a bit of Resurrection, which I liked before it got canceled. Many of my favorites such as Big Bang Theory, Young S…

NEW - Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player, now at Best Buy

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Best Buy. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I've had a Chromecast for a few years now, and I love it - I stream Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube videos on my TV, and it's so easy to use, too.

The newest model is now out for only $35.00, at Best Buy, and you can now check it out here.

Some key features:
All together now Watch movies, shows, live TV, YouTube, and photos streaming on your TV from all your family's devices.¹
Stream from your phone to TV Plug Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV and to power and stream your favorite entertainment right from your phone with just a tap. Watch shows, listen to playlists, and more. And while streaming, you can still use your phone as you normally do.
Works with the streaming apps you know and love Enjoy TV shows, movies, videos, songs, games, sports and more from over 2000 apps like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW. Find more at¹
Start streaming w…

GIVEAWAY: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again on Blu-ray combo pack {ends 10/11}

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again will be available on digital on October 9th, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on October 23rd. One of my lucky readers will win a copy of the Blu-ray combo pack - sing-along edition!

About the movie:
Both a prequel and a sequel, the film tells two stories: present day as Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) prepares for the grand reopening of her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) hotel and 1979 when young Donna (Lily James) first arrives on the island. Sophie learns about her mother’s exciting, fun-filled adventures with the young Dynamos, Tanya (Jessica Keenan-Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies), and how young Donna first met her three possible dads Harry (Hugh Skinner), Bill (Josh Dylan) and Sam (Jeremy Irvine) all those years ago. Deemed as “a relentlessly sunny musical romp” by Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is filled with summer fun, joy and romance that allows audiences to tap into their inner dancing queens in their own livi…

The Friday Five, 10/5/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

This is not a good start to October. On Saturday, my boyfriend started feeling sick, and then the next day, I was sick. I have been sick since then and it's about the most miserable I can remember feeling in a long time. I am picking up some medicine today, finally, so I'm hoping that helps ... it's some sort of virus, I think.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing Alec Baldwin in Ann Arbor. BP (Before Plague ...) on Saturday, I was supposed to go with my boyfriend to see a dramatic reading of Death of a Salesman at the Power Center, on UM's campus. He was already plague-stricken at that point, though, so I ended up going with a blogger friend. Alec Baldwin did a great job—I only wish they let us take pictures!Dining at Eddie V's. Also "BP," six other Yelpers and I dined at Eddie V's again on Friday night. The last time we went was during Troy Restaurant Week, and no one was really happy with the service ... a few people called the restaurant to gi…

GIVEAWAY: Win a trip to the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival, from DASANI!® #DasaniSparkling #FlavorContest

*Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #DASANISparkling #FlavorContest #CollectiveBias

DASANI® has a new contest where you can win a trip to Albuquerque - check it out below!

DASANI® Sparkling wants to join you on your next adventure. With so many flavors to choose from, DASANI® Sparkling has a flavor for every adventure you take! Speaking of adventure, October 1st through November 15th, you can enter for a chance to WIN* an experiential trip to Albuquerque, NM for the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival! Entering is as easy as 1 and 2.
Take a pic of your favorite flavor of DASANI® SparklingPost it to Instagram or Twitter using #DASANISparkling AND #FlavorContestThe Grand Prize winner will win a trip to the 2019 Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival in October 2019 for the winner plus 3 guests! The prize package consists of round trip, coach-class air transportation fo…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 30 admit-two passes for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, 10/6 at Emagine Rochester Hills {ends 10/3}

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween will be screening on Saturday, October 6th, at 11am at Emagine Rochester Hills, and thirty of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two pass for the film!

Movie synopsis, from Wikipedia:
In the small town of Wardenclyffe on Halloween Night, two boys named Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a manuscript in an abandoned house that was previously owned by R. L. Stine (Jack Black) called "Haunted Halloween." When they open it, they release Slappy (Avery Lee Jones) who plans to create the Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies. Now, Sonny and Sam, alongside Sonny's sister, Sarah (Madison Iseman) and Stine himself, must work to thwart Slappy's plot before all is lost.

Please remember that screenings are first-come, first-serve. I would recommend getting to the theater by 10am that day to get in line, if possible.


Enter to win one admit-two screening pass below. There will be 30 win…

The Friday Five, 9/28/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

I kind of feel like I didn't do much this week, but looking back at my Google Calendar I suppose I did ... last weekend was busy, anyways, and this one will be too.

What I've been up to this week:

Seeing a musical. On Wednesday, my mom and I went to the Fisher Theatre (Detroit) to see Something Rotten!, which was actually quite hilarious. I wasn't sure what to expect from the musical going in, as I didn't know much about it, but it had a lot of humor and also a few raunchy parts. Cooking and eating out. I had a Hello Fresh delivery last week, and on Sunday, my boyfriend and I made its cracked peppercorn steak, with kale and potatoes, and that was very good. On Monday I made a HF Yakisoba noodles meal, which was also good but a bit different—more of an "umami" flavor.
On Saturday, we also went to Shake Shack before a party, and that was tasty—I'm technically supposed to avoid dairy but their milkshakes are amazing. On Wednesday, my parents and I went to Noo…

MOD Pizza introduces Pizzas of the Week for October {& giveaway!}

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

Yesterday, I was able to stop by the MOD Pizza in Troy, MI, to try out their "Pizzas of the Week," which will be featured in October (one pizza per week) at MOD Pizza locations throughout Michigan.

All of the Michigan MOD locations will be donating $1 from each specialty pizza, and each goes to a designated charity partner that is making an impact in their community.

Each selected charity created their own specialty pizza to be featured on the menu at TSFR’s 11 MOD Pizza locations. The schedule for “Pizza of the Week” is as follows:

October 1-7: Grace Centers of Hope
Ann Marie LaFlamme, anchor at WXYZ, will kick off the campaign with her pizza, aptly named “The LaFlamme.” The pizza features a garlic rub, red sauce, fresh basil, Mama Lil’s Sweet Hot Peppers, mozzarella cheese and a sri-rancha finishing sauce. Her pizza will benefit Grace Centers of Hope, a faith-based organizati…

Movie Review: Little Women (2018)

I remember reading Little Women back when I was in school, but it's been quite a while. The 150th anniversary of the novel is this year, and there's now a new film version of Little Women, set in modern times. I have probably seen some of the previous films, but I don't remember any of them, so I went into this version with fresh eyes.

Four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—live with their mother, Marmee, in their childhood home. Their father is off fighting the war (Afghanistan, I believe) so it's just the five of them, and the holidays are approaching. Although the sisters often fight, they're also very close, and Little Women details their adventures, and also their highs and lows, when tragedy hits the family.

I'm going to be honest and say I didn't love this movie. It DOES follow the plot of the original book pretty closely, albeit updating things for 2018, which I liked, because eventually I opened up the Wiki page just to follow along; I found th…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 25 admit-two passes for Venom, 10/3 at Emagine Novi {ends 9/28}

Venom will be screening on Wednesday, October 3rd, at 7pm at Emagine Novi, and twenty-five of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two pass for the film!

Movie synopsis, from Wikipedia:
Following a scandal, journalist Eddie Brock attempts to revive his career by investigating the Life Foundation, but comes into contact with an alien symbiote that bonds with Brock, giving him superpowers as long as they share the same body.

This is a Marvel movie and also stars Tom Hardy, so I'm sure it will be good.

Please 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.


Enter to win one admit-two screening pass below. There will be 25 winners!

Giveaway will end on Friday, September 28th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email the next day.

Must live in the Detroit/Metro Detroit area to enter this giveaway.

Good luck!