The Friday Five, 11/9/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

I am feeling a little better this week, still feverish but it's low enough that I can pop some Tylenol and go to work. This was the first week where I started to hang out with friends and do a bit more outside my house, too.

What I've been up to this week:
Eating good noms. On Saturday, a friend and I went to Urbanrest Brewing, in Ferndale, because I had been invited to try some items from the Simply Spanish food cart (pictured above). The cart is normally in Detroit, but was at the brewery for the night. They spoiled us—we must have tried like eight different plates, including their chicken paella and a ton of their sandwiches—and everything was delicious. I highly recommend checking them out. Apparently Urbanrest does food carts/trucks all the time, too—there was a Tom+Chee one there earlier in the day, which I wish I had known about, since all of the Tom+Chee locations near me, except for Canton, have now closed.Seeing a lot of movies. On Sunday, I saw Can You Ever Forgive Me…

Movie Review - The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story

Claire Foy has certainly been busy this year. Straight off of the release of First Man, she's now back in theaters in The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story, which is technically the fourth book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. I was a fan of hers from First Man, and, before that, from Netflix's The Crown, so I was curious to see how she would do in an action movie; however, she makes a very believable (and badass!) Lisbeth Salander.

Lisbeth Salander (Foy) is helping steal a computer program ... back for its owner, Frans Balder (an underused Stephen Merchant), who is afraid what will happen if the program gets into the wrong hands. The program would let anyone who has access to it also have access to all of the world's nuclear warheads, among other weapons. Complications arise and soon she needs to find Balder's son, August (Christopher Convery), who is the only one able to open the program. With help from an old journalist friend, Mikae…

UPCOMING and GIVEAWAY: A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage, Fox Theatre, Detroit, December 15

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with 313 Presents. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage will be at the Fox Theatre this December, and one of my lucky readers will win a family 4-pack of tickets for it!

About the show:
‘Tis the season to celebrate as A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage brings holiday cheer to the Fox Theatre on Saturday, December 15. The classic story will host two performances at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. as part of the Fox Theatre 2018-19 Theatre Series.

Tickets (starting at $29) are on sale now and can be purchased at, Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box office and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000.

Fox Theatre Series subscription packages and discounts for groups of 10+ are available by calling the Olympia Entertainment Group Sales Department at (313) 471-3099. Subscription packages include savings of up to 20 percent when purchasing three or more Fox T…

UPCOMING: Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Winter Tour 2018 celebrates 20 years of live performances

*Disclosure: I will be receiving TSO tickets in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This year is the FIFTH year that I will be seeing the TSO! Their concerts are always fantastic, and I look forward to them each year. In the Detroit area, they're now performing at Little Caesars Arena (Saturday, Dec. 29 at 3pm and 8pm) - see below for other cities' dates and times.

About the show:
Marking the band’s 20th consecutive year of touring, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) has announced its highly-anticipated Winter Tour 2018. TSO’s annual November-December multi-sensory extravaganza, which sells out venues year after year, has cemented the group’s status as a must-attend, multi-generational, holiday tradition. This year’s 20th anniversary tour, a presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” featuring founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill’s timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater, is s…

The Friday Five, 11/2/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

The year of The Sickness rolls on, and I'm seeing my doctor (my REAL doctor this time, not one of her associates) today. Hoping she can figure out what's wrong. I'm getting pretty tired of waking up either bathed in sweat, or having uncontrollable chills. :(

What I've been up to this week:

Having a smallsocial life, at least on the weekends. I've been plying myself with Tylenol (probably not a good long-term strategy ...) so that I can function day-to-day. Last Friday, I had a UYE (Unofficial Yelp Event) at Sedona Taphouse in Troy with a few Yelp friends, which was fun, and then on Saturday, a coworker friend was having a Halloween party which I attended. Going out to eat and also cooking. My parents came to see me on Saturday and we went to MOD Pizza, which is always tasty. On Sunday, my boyfriend and I went to The Morrie, as I had a gift card, which is also always good. I had a Home Chef delivery last week and this week I had Dinnerly ... I've only cooked one o…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 25 admit-two passes for The Girl in the Spider's Web, 11/5 at Emagine Rochester Hills

Calling all fierce, strong, fearless women!

The Girl in the Spider's Web will be screening on Monday, November 5th, at 7pm at Emagine Rochester Hills, and twenty-five of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two pass for the film!

Movie synopsis:
Fired from the National Security Agency, Frans Balder recruits hacker Lisbeth Salander to steal FireWall, a computer program that can access codes for nuclear weapons worldwide. The download soon draws attention from an NSA agent who traces the activity to Stockholm. Further problems arise when Russian thugs take Lisbeth's laptop and kidnap a math whiz who can make FireWall work. Now, Lisbeth and an unlikely ally must race against time to save the boy and recover the codes to avert disaster.

This is a new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie, and Claire Foy will be playing Lisbeth Salander. I loved her in The Crown and, more recently, First Man, so I'm curious to see what she does with the role.

Please remember that screenings ar…

The Friday Five, 10/26/18: 5 things I've been up to this week

I spent the majority of this week wrangling with people on the phone—something that ALL millennials love (/sarcasm)—because I was supposed to receive a shipment of medication like a week ago. It took the pharmacy until THIS THURSDAY to get it to me. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

What I've been up to this week:Hanging out with friends. Despite the fact that I still have a fever (like literally for THREE WEEKS NOW ... seriously???), I've been plying myself with Tylenol and leaving the house now and then. Last Friday, an Ann Arbor friend came to visit, and we tried out Loaded Links, in Troy, which you can read about here. That Saturday, two other friends and my A2 friend and I went to Rochester Brunch House for brunch and then to Yates; unfortunately, it was hailing and very cold there, so we took the cider & donuts back to my place ... only to get home and have the power go out. Which brings me to ... Having no power. The power decided to go out around 1:45pm on Saturda…

Loaded Links provides a "haute dog" experience - now open in Troy, MI

*Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary meal in exchange for this blog post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past weekend, an Ann Arbor friend of mine came to visit me, and we headed to Loaded Links, to experience their new hot dogs (or "haute dogs," as these aren't your normal Coneys!).

My friend and I had checked out the menu online beforehand, so we had an idea of what we wanted to order—and we definitely knew we wanted an order of their fried OREOs, as well as some onion rings. Loaded Links is actually giving away FREE orders of their fried OREOs through the end of October (with any meal purchase), so make sure to check that out.

What sets Loaded Links apart from your standard Coney Island is not just the toppings, but also the fact that their hot dogs are all-natural. I ordered the Billionaire Dog which was actually made with Wagyu beef, foie gras torchon, port onion marmalade, truffle mayo, and green onions, and it was delicious. Thi…

UPCOMING: The Phantom of the Opera, January 24-February 3, Detroit Opera House

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

I first saw The Phantom of the Opera in January 2017 when it came to Detroit, and it was FANTASTIC. The 2004 movie is one of my favorites, but I had never seen the show before, so I'm super excited that it's coming back to the Detroit Opera House next January.

About the show:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA are currently on sale for the triumphant return engagement at the Detroit Opera House, January 24 – February 3, 2019. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.

Tickets for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA start at $35 and will be available for purchase online at or, and by phone at 800-982-2787…

GIVEAWAY: COMET TV and CHARGE! October Hushaween prize pack {ends 10/28}

It's time for a "Hushaween" themed COMET TV prize pack giveaway!

It’s the sound… of silence!

This Halloween tune in to COMET TV as they bring you the horror classics that will send shivers down your spine. Before Buffy, before Edward, and before a certain Count, there was Nosferatu. The classic Vampire film, which is followed by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The original Phantom of the Opera.

Sure to send you to another world, COMET TV brings Space: 1999 and Babylon 5 back for classic spacey adventures! Everyday you can see Babylon 5 and Space: 1999 has back-to-back episodes on Saturday and Sunday evenings! Talk about out of this world!

So you can’t sleep? COMET TV has the solution with cult classic midnight movies airing Mon - Fri! You can pencil in Night of the Creeps, get sucked into Vampires on Bikini Beach and do your best to escape The House on Haunted Hill!

And CHARGE! has the classic series CHiPs! Join Ponch and Jon as they cruse the freeways of Los Angeles so…

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…