Showing posts from April, 2015

Upcoming: Potted Potter (Harry Potter parody) at City Theatre, Detroit - and a giveaway! (ends 4/26)

*Disclosure: I received free show tickets in exchange for promoting this show. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Hey Detroit! Potted Potter, a Harry Potter parody, will be playing at the City Theatre from Tuesday, April 28th through Sunday, May 3rd. I love the Harry Potter series (both book and movies) so I'm excited to see this.

I recommend buying tickets at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, if you're close by, also - you get to avoid the Ticketmaster fees (or you can find them on Groupon for $31.88, currently - use my linkand put in "Potted Potter" in the search bar).

Read on to win a 4-pack of tickets, as well!

More info:
Potted Potter, the hit Harry Potter parody, returns to the City Theatre for a limited engagement of nine performances, Tuesday, April 28 through Sunday, May 3. Potted Potter is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).

Tickets ($42.50 and $52.50) are on sale now and can be purchased at, The F…

Movie Review: Monkey Kingdom (Disneynature)

I've actually only seen a few Disneynature films, but I enjoyed Monkey Kingdom much more than last year's Bears. The monkeys were adorable, but the movie made it into more of a story than Bears did, and there are even some humans in this film too, although only as background players, as the monkeys are the stars of the show.

The film focuses on Maya, who is a "lowborn" monkey, meaning that her life is hard. She must forage for food and isn't allowed to climb the huge fig tree in her community - that privilege is reserved for the "highborn" monkeys, including The Sisters, a group of three red-faced monkeys who rule the community, and their Alpha male, Raja. Maya meets a mate, Kumar, and later gives birth to a baby boy, Kip, which means she must work even harder to make a life for the two of them; it doesn't help that Kip gets into a fight with Raja and is thrown out before the baby is born. This is the story of a lowborn monkey "making a life&q…

Who are you when you're hungry? {My inner Cruella de Vil} #WhenImHungry

*Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

I lead a fairly busy life. I work full-time, and in my spare time, I run two blogs - this one and my book blog. My typical day looks something like this ...

8am: Wake up 8:15am to 9:15am: Check email, promote and/or write blog posts, get ready for work 9:30am - 4:30pm: Work 5pm: either dinner, the gym, or getting ready for a movie screening 5:45pm - 6:45pm: Zumba at the gym  7pm - 8pm: TV time ... maybe.  10pm: (on movie screening nights) Arrive home.
10pm - 11pm: Catch up on emails, social media, etc. 11pm: Read for a bit, if I have time. 12-12:30am: Sleep.  (and ... repeat.)
I'm usually pretty good about packing and prepping lunches for work ahead of time. Tonight I made myself some chicken stir-fry, and I had enough left over for three separate portions, which I froze and will eat at a later date. I don't always have time to stop by the su…

gMovies Review and 6-month GIVEAWAY {ends 4/22}

I recently was introduced to gMovies, which is sort of the Netflix of the Christian/family-friendly world. I hadn't previously heard of it, so I was curious to try it out. It has both an iOS and Google Play apps, so I downloaded it on my iPad Mini and started exploring.

The first movie I stumbled upon was one with Candace Cameron Bure in it! I will be watching that (Finding Normal) at some point because I loved her in Full House.

Movie Review: The Longest Ride

I try not to compare books to movies, but I just reviewed The Longest Ride over on my book blog last month, so it was hard not to compare the two this time. It's a Nicholas Sparks book, so you know the movie is going to have a couple with major differences that could possibly tear them apart (check), a few love scenes (check), and two leads that fall deeply in love (check). The movie changed muchfrom the book, including putting things out of sequence, but it still was cute and worth seeing.

Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson) is a senior at Wake Forest University who has an art internship lined up in NYC after she graduates. She meets bullrider Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) when her sorority sisters drag her to a bullriding event, and they hit it off. She tells him that she's moving to NYC at the end of the next month, so he stays away even though he really likes her; eventually, though, they are drawn back to each other. At the end of their first date, when he's driving Sophi…

Upcoming: The Illusionists at Fisher Theatre {Detroit}, April 28 - May 10, 2015

*Disclosure: I will be receiving tickets to this show in exchange for blogging about it. The opinions listed here, however, are my own.
The Illusionists will be performing at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit this April and May, and I'm excited to see them. I've never been to one of their shows, but I love magic shows - I've seen David Copperfield and Penn & Teller before, both in Vegas.

More info:
THE ILLUSIONISTS - WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE™, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, will play Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, April 28 – May 10 as part of a 20 city U.S. tour. The show had a highly successful holiday run on Broadway this past year. Tickets for THE ILLUSIONISTS are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, and online at or Tickets will also be available for purchase on Monday, February 2 at the Fisher Theatre box office.

Having shattered box office records around the world, THE ILLUSIONISTS -…

Review and $25 GIVEAWAY: Grand Opening - Granite City Food and Brewery, Northville, MI {ends 4/21}

*Disclosure: My family and I attended Granite City Northville's "mock service" and were treated to a complimentary meal. The opinions listed here, however, are my own.

I am no stranger to Granite City - although previously Troy was the only GC location in Michigan, I live within walking distance from that location, and my friends and I like to go to their happy hour. I had not been in a while, however, so I was glad that my family and I got the opportunity this past Saturday night to try out its new location in Northville.

Because this was a "mock service," there were a few rules we had to follow - we were allowed one appetizer for the table, and were able to choose from about five different apps and also entrees. No entree could be doubled (ie, each person had to choose a different entree from the other), too. My mom and I don't eat fish and my dad is a big fan of burgers, so we eventually settled on the Bruschetta Salad (Mom), Big Show Burger (Dad), and C…

J.K. Simmons talks Whiplash, filming in Detroit this summer, at benefit breakfast

I was very fortunate to attend a Q&A and "meet and greet" event with J.K. Simmons yesterday at the MotorCity Casino. He was scheduled to throw out the first pitch at the Tigers game later that day, but took some time out for charity - the Neighborhood Service Organization - and to do a sit-down with WDIV's Rhonda Walker.

Ironically, J.K. was in a movie ABOUT the Tigers, called For the Love of the Game, also starring Kevin Costner. I've added that and also HBO's TV show Oz, in which he also starred, to my viewing list now after hearing him talk about both of them.

Some quotes that I found interesting:

Rhonda Walker: "It's been kind of a whirlwind for you, I'd imagine, once you played that pivotal role in Whiplash. It's probably felt a little like whiplash - going through the awards season, going on that stage time after time.

J.K. Simmons: "It's definitely been a heightened level of attention and awareness and opportunities that it brin…

Upcoming: Blue Man Group at the Fisher Theatre {Detroit}, April 21-26, 2015

*Disclosure: I will be receiving Blue Man Group tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions listed here, however, are my own.

I'm excited to announce that the Blue Man Group will be performing at the Fisher Theatre (downtown Detroit) this month - I saw them once in NYC back in 2010, and it was a great performance.

More details:
Blue Man Group returns to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre from April 21 – 26, 2015. Tickets will go on sale Friday, January 23 at the Fisher Theatre box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at or

The theatrical tour features brand new content highlighted by classic Blue Man favorites.

The new sound, set, and video design centering around a proscenium-sized LED curtain and high-resolution screen create an entirely new, high-impact visual experience for Broadway houses across the nation.

Guest Post: Falling in love with Bollywood, no language experience necessary

Guest post by: Sunita Lancaster

I love Bollywood films! I only speak minimal Hindi, but that doesn't ever stop me. My friends always give me that "look" when I tell them about my Bollywood fascination. The singing and dancing, the over-the-top style and eyebrows, but most of all, I love the drama. The drama that you don’t need words to understand. The drama that makes you laugh or wince or snortle (that last one might just be me).

You might be wondering, like my friends, how I fell in love with these films when I often don’t understand a word that they’re saying. But the mistake my friends are making is thinking that they need to understand the words to understand what's happening. If you've never watched a good anime with the subtitles turned off or replaced the soundtrack of Return of the Jedi with your favorite pop album you’re absolutely missing out. A lightsaber duel set to Katy Perry is a life changing experience.

That’s Bollywood in a nutshell. It’s a gr…

Detroit: J.K. Simmons benefit meet and greet, Mon. 4/6 at 9am {tickets still available!}

You may have heard of someone named J.K. Simmons ... who won a Golden Globe AND an Oscar this year for his performance in Whiplash. He's a Detroit native and will be throwing the first pitch at the Tigers season home opener this upcoming Monday afternoon.

Simmons is going to be doing a small meet and greet this Monday morning at the Motor City Casino in Detroit, and it's open to the general public! Tickets are $50 per person, and can be bought here, with all proceeds benefiting the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO).

Movie Review: Danny Collins

You may know Al Pacino best as The Godfather, but he takes on a different sort of role in Danny Collins: that of an aging rock star, who hasn't written an original song in over 30 years. Pacino and the supporting cast carry this movie, and it ends up being a fun film that also has some seriousness to it.

Danny Collins (Pacino) is engaged to a woman half his age (who will be his 3rd wife) but can always count on great advice from his manager, Frank (Christopher Plummer). Danny decides he wants to cancel his tour and take some time off, perhaps to write some original songs, and he holes up at a Hilton in New Jersey. Everyone at the hotel is enamored with Danny except the hotel manager, Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening), although she eventually grows to like him. Another reason Danny chooses New Jersey is that his son, Tom (Bobby Cannavale), whom he's never met, lives nearby, along with his wife (Jennifer Garner) and young daughter, Hope (Gisele Eisenberg). Danny must figure out wh…

Movie Review: Furious 7

The Fast and the Furious crew is back for another round, with a few cast change-ups: this time, Jason Statham is playing the "big bad," as the brother of a man the crew killed in a previous movie. I'm a huge fan of Statham in general, and he usually plays "the good guy," too, so it was fun to see him pop up here.

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a policeman, is closing up shop for the night when he stumbles upon Deckard Shaw (Statham) hacking into the precinct's computer system. A fight ensues, and Shaw escapes; Hobbs decides to enlist Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his friends to find Shaw. A wealthy businessman (Kurt Russell) has an interest in finding the hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel, Game of Thrones), who controls the program God's Eye, and he promises Toretto that Toretto's crew can use the program to find Shaw if they help him find Ramsey first. Car chases and pyrotechnic stunts ensue, including some of the craziest things we've seen yet in…

Movie Review: Woman in Gold

The true story behind Woman in Gold is quite interesting, and one that I had never heard of: a woman, Adele Bloch-Bauer, is painted by a famous painter - Gustav Klimt. However, when the Nazis invade Austria, they take all of the paintings from her niece and niece's family. The painting later becomes the Mona Lisa of Austria, and ends up in a museum there; but 50 years later, Adele's niece wants the painting back.

It's been about 50 years since Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) and her husband fled Austria, which had been taken under Nazi control. Her younger self (Tatiana Maslany) had a narrow escape from the country, and she had to leave her parents and her homeland behind. She and her husband eventually end up in LA, and she asks a friend (Frances Fisher) if her lawyer son, Randol (Ryan Reynolds) could perhaps help her with a legal matter. It turns out that the legal matter will involve suing the Austrian government, in order to get her aunt's portrait back, as well as a…

Switching to Xfinity's X1 system {& enter to win a Game Of Thrones-Inspired Trip To Northern Ireland!} #XFINITYreviewer

*Disclosure: I receive discounted Xfinity products in exchange for ongoing blog posts. All opinions listed here, however, are my own.

If you know me in real life, I'm a techie - I remember the day my family and I got our first computer, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It may surprise you to know, then, that I only *just* got DVR at the end of 2014. It's definitely been a life-changer for me, and it makes my life a lot easier knowing I can record all my shows and watch them later.

I recently upgraded to Xfinity's X1 platform, and it has so many cool features - even more so than my now "old" DVR.