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Showing posts from 2017

Movie Review: The Star

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Full disclosure, I'm usually not a fan of "religious" movies, but with The Star's huge voice cast of A-listers, I was interested in seeing it. I'm glad I did as it ended up being a very cute film.

The Star tells the story of Mary (voiced by Gina Rodriguez) and Joseph (Zachary Levi), and how her son Jesus comes to be born (aka the first Christmas). At the beginning of the film, a voice and accompanying light comes to Mary, saying that she has been chosen to bear the Savior, and shortly after, she becomes pregnant. She marries Joseph without him knowing, but after she tells him, he's of course on board with it, though a little nervous. At the same time, a donkey (Steven Yeun) escapes from his cruel master, and ends up in the care of Mary and Joseph, where she renames him Bo.

Soon after, Mary and Joseph have to travel to Bethlehem for the census, even though Mary is 8-9 months pregnant at this point, and complications soon arise.

All of the voice cast was great…

The Friday Five, 11/17/17: 5 things I've been up to this week

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I've seen five movies this week so far and I'm hoping to see Justice League tomorrow night with my MoviePass. Fingers crossed that there are still seats left, as MoviePass doesn't let you book until the day of.


What I've been up to this week:
Seeing movies, like I said above. Last Saturday I saw The Star (check back today for my review!) with a friend; on Sunday I saw Murder on the Orient Express; on Tuesday I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; on Wednesday, I saw Wonder, which surprised me by being a great adaptation of the book, which I recently read; and on Thursday, I saw Coco, which was fantastic (check back next Wed. for my review). Lots of movies, but I actually enjoyed all of them—I wouldn't give any of these less than a 3.5/5 rating except I'd give Murder about a 2-2.5, as it's very slow and I actually fell asleep during it.Patty Burger blogger event. Patty Burger is located in the Lake Orion/Auburn Hills area, about 5 minutes away from G…

Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is definitely not your typical film. I'd classify it as a "black comedy," but it has more serious overtones than comedic for most of its runtime.

Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is tired of the Ebbing Police Department not doing anything to solve her daughter Angela's murder. She rents three billboards right outside of town, specifically calling out Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Though the townspeople sympathize with Mildred over her daughter's death, most are against her doing this, and adding the billboards sets off a chain of events which will involve suicide, broken friendships, and later, arson.
All of the acting in this movie was fantastic. My favorite two characters were McDormand, as Mildred, and Sam Rockwell, as Officer Dixon, a racist police officer who thinks he can get away with pretty much anything. Abby Cornish, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage also had good supporting roles, as Chief Willoughby's w…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 15 admit-2 screening passes for Roman J. Israel, Esq., 11/20 at the Maple Theater

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Roman J. Israel, Esq., the newest Denzel Washington movie, will be in theaters on Wednesday, November 22nd, but 15 of my lucky readers will have the chance to see it at an early screening!

The screening is Monday, November 20th, at 7pm at the Maple Theater. Seating is first-come, first-serve, so remember to arrive early to get a seat, if you are one of my winners - I recommend 6pm at the latest.

About the movie:
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when his mentor, a civil rights icon, dies. When he is recruited to join a firm led by one of the legendary man’s former students – the ambitious lawyer George Pierce (Colin Farrell) – and begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Carmen Ejogo), a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman’s career to the test.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the wi…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets for The Bodyguard, 1/16/18 at Fisher Theatre {ends 11/26}

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Back in October, I wrote a post about The Bodyguard, which will be coming to the Fisher Theatre (Detroit) this January.

Now, one of my lucky readers has the chance to win a 4-pack of tickets! Read below for the details. And as always, you can always purchase tickets to the show at the Fisher box office or on Ticketmaster.

About the show:
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, and adapted by Academy Award-winner (Birdman) Alexander Dinelaris, THE BODYGUARD had its world premiere on December 5, 2012 at London’s Adelphi Theatre. THE BODYGUARD was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards. The UK production of the musical recently completed a triumphant return run in London’s West End after a sell-out 16-month UK and Ireland tour.

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each …

GIVEAWAY: COMET TV Teen Wolf & Freaky Feast prize pack {ends 11/19}

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One of my lucky readers will win a Teen Wolf and Freaky Feast prize pack - read below to enter the giveaway!

November is here and what better time to think about friends, family and feasts? This month COMET TV is dishing out all kinds of supernatural goodness!

The Friday Night Movies feature Cowboys VS Dinosaurs and Vampires! Who knew Cowboys could kick the undead’s butt as well as prehistoric reptiles? Then we have the Jeff Bridges classic Starman and head into Deep Space!

There are also classics like Teen Wolf, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and each week on COMET TV there’s a different theme! Vampires! Ghosts! Werewolves! Oh My!

On Thanksgiving Day, COMET TV has The Freaky Feast Movie Marathon featuring Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Tune in for perfect pass-the-cranberry-sauce scenery.

FREAKY FEAST MOVIE MARATHON!
Thursday, November 23 starting at 10A/9C

Thanksgiving Day (November 23, sta…

The Friday Five, 11/10/17: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This week I've attended two theater shows and have seen three movies: Thank You for Your Serviceand A Bad Moms Christmas, both through MoviePass, and Last Flag Flying, at a screening. I'll be attending a screening of The Star on Saturday, too. I've had some time to just sit and relax too, though, which is always nice.


What I've been up to this week:
Eating out and cooking. On Friday, before Kinky Boots at the Fox, a friend and I tried out Rusted Crow, which is about a 5-minute walk from the theater. They ended up having a great happy hour—the $7 chicken nachos, in particular, were super tasty—and we also split a burger and fries. On Saturday night, my parents and I went out to Maggiano's, one of our favorite places, to celebrate their 35th anniversary. Also on Saturday, I also cooked slow cooker Thai peanut chicken, and on Sunday, my boyfriend and I cooked chicken cacciatore in my new Le Creuset pot that I won, which came out great. And on Monday, I attended an influ…

Upcoming: Broadway in Detroit announces five Broadway blockbusters, February-May 2018 at the Fisher Theatre

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Check out the Fisher Theatre's schedule for February through May 2018—there are some great shows that will be coming to Detroit!

Broadway In Detroit announced today that tickets will go on sale Sunday, November 26 for five, Broadway blockbusters that will all be appearing at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre. These productions and their engagement dates are: Finding Neverland, February 6 – 18, 2018; Les Miserables, February 27 – March 11, 2018; Cinderella, March 14 – 18, 2018; School of Rock, April 10 – 22, 2018; and On Your Feet, May 1 – 13, 2018. Please note that all show dates may be subject to change.

Tickets for School of Rock, On Your Feet and Finding Neverland start at $39. Tickets for Cinderella start at $35 and tickets for Les Miserables start at $45.


Tickets for all shows will go on sale Sunday, November 26 at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, and online at www.BroadwayInDetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at The Fisher Theatr…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 25 admit-two screening passes for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri {11/14 @ Main Art}

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouriwill be in theaters on November 17th, but 25 of my lucky readers have the chance to see it first, at an advance screening!

Screening will take place Tuesday, November 14th, at 7pm at the Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak. Seats are first-come, first-served, so make sure you get there early - I'd recommend no later than 6pm.

Bonus: Main Art has FREE parking - just look for the spaces around the outside of the theater building that have numbers on them.

About the film:
After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon—an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence—gets involved, the battle is only exacerbated.



GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, November 12th, at 11:5…

Restaurant review: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse, Troy, MI

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*Disclosure: I received a meal at Fogo de Chao in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
I was super excited to try out Fogo de Chão(pronounced "Fogo dee shown")this week in Troy. It's only about a 5-minute drive from my house, and I had been curious about it ever since I saw its sign go up a few months ago, replacing the Champps that used to be there.


Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, where meats are delivered to you tableside. You can also opt for just the Market Table & Feiojada Bar if you're more of an herbivore.

I've been to Texas de Brazil before, in Detroit, which is essentially the same concept, so I was interested in comparing it to Fogo.

When you first arrive, you enter through the lobby, which is dazzling—the whole restaurant is very upscale, and would be great for a special occasion or date night.


The first thing you'll want to do is check out the Market Table and Feiojada Bar (pictured…

The Friday Five, 11/3/17: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This has been a very long week and all I want right now is a nap, but instead I am seeing Kinky Boots downtown later, with a friend. We are going to Rusted Crow beforehand, for dinner, which should be tasty, too.


What I've been up to this week:

Winning things. On Saturday night, I believe, I got the notification from a blogger friend of mine that I had won her Instagram contest - which has a value of about $500! It includes a Le Cruset 5 qt. Dutch oven, a year's supply of bread from La Brea Bakery (12 coupons), a cutting board, an apron, and salt and pepper shakers. Not going to lie, I've been coveting Le Creuset cookware for forever, so I'm pretty excited about it. The Dutch oven retails for $250-350 on Amazon.Eating things. Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I went to IKEA and then to New Peking, for Chinese food, which is where Jay Leno recently ate and raved about. The food was pretty good, and even though there are no lunch options on Saturdays, you get a huge amount of …

Movie Review - Thor: Ragnarok

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The newest Thor movie has arrived, and I have to say that it's my favorite of the three. Between Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World(2013), and Thor: Ragnarok, this installment definitely has more humor throughout, and between that and its special effects, it's very fun to watch.

Thor's father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), has just passed away, and it's revealed that Thor and Loki have a sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Hela wants Asgard for herself, and doesn't care if she has to burn it down to do it. In the meantime, however, Thor has been kidnapped, to a planet run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), and he must fight the Grandmaster's Champion in order to stay alive. The Champion, however, ends up being the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and later, Thor and Hulk attempt to escape to get back to Asgard.

There were a lot of new faces in this film, and even though Natalie Portman doesn't appear ("It was a mutual breakup!" Thor insists), we don't really end up …

GIVEAWAY: Official Disney Princess Pley Box {ends 11/11}

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Enter for your chance to win (1) Disney Princess Box from Pley ***2 Winners!***
I've partnered with a few other bloggers to bring you this giveaway, which would be great for kids! Good luck!

Little girls love Disney Princesses. With Pley's Official Disney Princess Subscription boxes you can provide screen free entertainment to your child every month. You can sign up for 1, 3 or 6 month packages or just buy 1 of the previous month boxes. Learn more about these amazing Disney boxes here. Scroll down to enter to win a box now!
Sponsored by: Pley Hosted by: MamatheFox Co-Hosted by: The Importance of Being Rees, Lynchburg Mama,Sonya's Happenings and The Artisan Lifestyle


Entry-Form MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligation.

The Friday Five, 10/27/17: 5 things I've been up to this week

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I usually search through my Google Photos to try and remember what I've been up to every week, for these posts, but there aren't a lot to look through from this week. That means either my week hasn't been busy, which isn't the case here, or I just didn't take many photos.

I'm going to go with the latter. :)


What I've been up to this week:

Attending a reunion, of sorts. I graduated from the Residential College, part of LSA (College of Literature, Science, & the Arts) at the University of Michigan, in 2009. This weekend was the RC's 50th anniversary weekend, and I drove to Ann Arbor on Friday night to attend a tribute to The Half-Ass (real name: The Halfway Inn), which used to be a restaurant-type area where bands would also play, in East Quad, the dorm I lived in. UM got rid of the Half-Ass a few years ago when they renovated the dorm, so this was a tribute concert. After the concert, I went to Conor O'Neills downtown, with a friend, and we attend…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 4 tickets for Cirque du Soleil Crystal {on ice!} at Little Caesars Arena, January 2018 - ends 11/5

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*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Olympia Entertainment. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

When I first heard about Cirque du Soleil Crystal, last week, I was super excited—I'm a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil shows, and I've never seen one on ice before!

I have the chance for one of my lucky readers to win a 4-pack of tickets to the Wed. January 10th, at 7:30pm show, at the new Little Caesars Arena (Detroit).



About the show:
Performing at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit from January 10-14, 2018.

Crystal is the 42nd production from Cirque du Soleil and first-ever experience on ice. World-class ice skaters and acrobats take their new frozen playground by storm with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with a flurry of unexpected acrobatics. A new kind of performance as Cirque du Soleil meets the ice. We are happy to bring Crystal to Detroit at the brand new Little Caesars Arena from January 14-18 for 7-shows only.

Crystal is …

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: win a 4-pack of tickets to a screening of The Star, 11/11 at MJR Troy {5 winners!}

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The Star will be in theaters on November 17, 2017, but five of my lucky readers will get the chance to see it at an advance screening!

The screening is Saturday, November 11, at 11am at MJR Troy (Troy, MI).

About the movie:
STUDIO - Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation
GENRE - Animated
RELEASE DATE - In Theaters November 17, 2017

MPAA RATING – PG; THE STAR has been rated PG by the MPAA for the following reasons: SOME THEMATIC ELEMENTS

SYNOPSIS
In Sony Pictures Animation's The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.…

On the road again: my 2017 travels {thus far}, and some travel tips

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I was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit this year, between personal trips and my day job (editor at a B2B magazine about snack foods). I don't have any more trips planned between now and December 31, 2017, but it's possible that more could arise, especially trips to the west side of Michigan.

Here's a look at each of the trips I took this year:



1. "Beercation" in Kalamazoo: February 3-5.
 One of my good friends from college lives in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, and my boyfriend and I took a trip to see her and her husband. There are a lot of really good beer places in the area, and we hit up Bell's, Founders, and Vander Mill (a hard cider place that I like). We also checked out the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids. Very tasty trip.


2. Pizza Expo, Las Vegas: March 27-29. Work trip in which I attended Pizza Expo—and yes, literally 5+ people asked if they could come with in my suitcase for this one, ha. I was definitely pizza'd out by the end of it, but I le…

Ann Arbor weekend with the 2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD #DriveMazda

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*Disclosure: I received the use of a vehicle for a week in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
Last week, I did a ton of driving: I drove to Ann Arbor and back for a friend's bridal shower on Thursday and Friday, I drove to Clarklake, MI for her wedding that Saturday, and then to Ann Arbor to stay the night. That Sunday I drove back from Ann Arbor to Clawson, where I live. I also went to the Royal Oak beer stroll that Saturday, too, and to and from work and movie screenings that week.
I had the opportunity to try out the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD (all-wheel drive) during that week, for seven days, and I ended up overall liking the car, which is a crossover. The Grand Touring gets about 29 miles per gallon, and I only refilled it once during the entire week.

Although the Mazda CX-3 didn't have as many bells and whistles as the last car I got to try out, it's much more reasonably priced: the Sport starts at $20,110, and the Grand Tour…