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The Friday Five, 1/22/21: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This week has seemed both slow and fast, for some reason, and I'm glad it's Friday.  Bulgogi Lime Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato/Bell Pepper Jumble, from HelloFresh What I've been up to this week: Getting more birthday freebies . A lot of them expire at the end of January, so I've been trying to use them up. Last Friday I used my $5 off at Detroit Wing Co., in Troy, and they were actually super excited I was using a birthday reward, which was fun. Yesterday I redeemed my free small pizza from Green Lantern, over on Rochester Rd. in Royal Oak—I always forget that one is there because their sit-down restaurant (one of a few, now) is in Madison Heights. What's interesting about that one is that this was my first year getting that freebie, and when you go to their site to sign up for their email list/rewards club, there's no spot to input your birthday ... so I have no idea how that happened, but I'll take it! And later today I'm stopping by Grand Travers

The Friday Five, 1/15/21: 5 things I've been up to this week

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The scale is not happy with me today, but I've been eating a lot of delicious takeout because it's my birthday week ... I plan on doing zumba today and Sunday, though, and I usually have been doing it 3-4x per week.  Adam's PB Cup Fudge Ripple, from The Cheesecake Factory What I've been up to this week: Celebrating my birthday / enjoying birthday freebies . My 34th birthday was on Wednesday, and I took the day off work and had Cheesecake Factory takeout with my parents. This is the first year in four years that I haven't been traveling for it—in 2018, I went to Disney World and Universal with my friend Sarah; in 2019, we went to NYC; and last year, my boyfriend and I went to Vegas, which is the last time I was on a plane. I still had a fun day this year even though it was definitely a quieter celebration.  Getting takeout . A lot of my takeout has been freebies, and unfortunately the scale is reflecting it. Last Friday, my boyfriend and I got Mission BBQ sandwiches;

TV review: Servant season 2, on AppleTV+

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*Note: At the time of this review, only 7 of the 10 episodes were available for press. I feel like AppleTV+ has some of the best TV shows around, yet no one ever talks about them. Fortunately, I received media access to AppleTV+ recently, and I noticed over my Christmas break that both Dickinson  season 2 and Servant  season 2 were up on the press app. Goodbye, productivity! Servant  season 1 was probably one of the most unique shows I had seen in a long time,  and the season debuted in late November 2019. M. Night Shyamalan is one of the producers, so it wasn't surprising that the series was eerie and crazy.  The S1 ending left me with a TON of questions, so I was super excited to see that season 2 was available to me on the press app! At the time of this review, I have watched 7 of the 10 episodes available—because of the pandemic, AppleTV+ was finishing up the last three episodes. Which is good, because episode 7 left me with even more questions ... at first I thought there wer

The Friday Five, 1/8/21: 5 things I've been up to this week

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I guess I wished for too much in last week's post ... I'm revising it to be: "The only thing I'm asking of 2021 is that we have no more government coups." Too much? No? Steak and parmesan salad, from Dinnerly What I've been up to this week: Taking a deep-dive into MAFS spin-offs.  MAFS, or Married At First Sight , has basically been my quarantine binge. I've been catching up on the old seasons on Hulu in-between the new seasons, but I just realized there are like 5+ spin-offs ... I watched MAFS: Happily Ever After?  which followed three of the former couples who all were pregnant at the time, and I watched a few episodes of Jamie and Doug Plus One  which followed Jamie Otis (MAFS season 1) and her husband Doug when they had just had their first baby (I follow her on Instagram and now she has another baby). However, the one that has hooked me the most so far is MAFS: Second Chances , which follows 1 man and 1 woman from season 3 whose marriages didn't

The Friday Five, 1/1/21: 5 things I've been up to this week

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Happy New Year! The only thing I'm asking of 2021 is that it is better than 2020, and considering 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, I really don't think that's asking too much.  Pierogies from Srodek's, Sterling Heights What I've been up to this week: Doing some grocery shopping.  I've been trying to keep busy since I'm off work this week, so I've been doing things I haven't done in a while or have wanted to do. Example: On Monday, I went to Kung Fu Tea to get bubble tea (not technically groceries, I know), and I actually went IN to Target to do some returns; I also went into Kroger since I had a gift card to use. On Tuesday, I went to Srodek's in Sterling Heights (on Mound Rd.) to buy some pierogies. I bought the two pictured above, which FYI come frozen, as well as some kolaczki (really delicious raspberry cookies/pastries) and some other things. On Wednesday, I went to Whole Foods for an Amazon return, but I also had some coupons for vegan h

The Friday Five, 12/25/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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Merry Christmas! I think this might be the first Christmas Day edition of the Friday Five. I feel like I didn't do much this week, but looking through my Google Photos I did, although most things were virtual, of course.  Chicago deep-dish pizza from Uncle Andy's Pizza, Clawson What I've been up to this week: Yelp Cookie Exchange event.  It's a Yelp Detroit tradition to do a cookie exchange—in the past, I went to one at a bowling alley in Ferndale, and another time they've had it in Detroit, but obviously that wasn't happening this year. Instead, Annette (our CM, or Community Manager) hosted a virtual event where she made cookies, and Yelpers were encouraged to submit their cookie recipes to her, which she then sent to us in PDF form. They also did a partnership with Castalia and Sfumato in Detroit, and Yelpers were able to pick up a cocktail from Castalia, which was paired with a signature scent from Sfumato, which was very cool. Becki B. was able to pick up my

The Friday Five, 12/18/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This week has felt super slow, but work-wise, it has been busy. Yesterday was supposed to be TV Day, where I go to Best Buy for curbside pickup to pickup the new 50" Samsung TV I bought (thank you Best Buy blogger gift certificates, which I had hoarded for a few years), but my boyfriend had to work late, so TV Day is pushed to today! My current TV is a 32" Dynex, from 2012, that I got for free with my mattress purchase, so this should be a huge upgrade. Sweet Chili Pork Tacos, from EveryPlate What I've been up to this week: Watching lots of movies at home.  Last weekend, my parents and I watched The Prom , on Netflix, which had a great cast and is based on the Broadway show; I'd give it 3.5/5 stars. On Sunday, my boyfriend and I finally watched Bill and Ted Face the Music , but IMO it wasn't that good; I'd give it maybe 2/5 or 2.5/5 stars, but he said he'd give it 3/5 stars, and that it was the same style as the previous Bill and Ted  movies . On Tuesday,

The Friday Five, 12/11/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This week has seemed SUPER long for some reason, so I'm glad it's Friday. I plan on walking later (it's going to be 46 out, heat wave! lol ...) and also using an Uber Eats credit to get some Indian food from Main Street Kitchen in Clawson. Uber Eats gave me $10 off after last week, when I ordered Thai food from Bangkok Cuisine (Sterling Heights) specifically because they had (mango?) sticky rice, then it turned out they never even had it on the menu. (FWP, I know, but I was sad ...)  Cashew beef, from Bangkok Cuisine (Sterling Heights) What I've been up to this week: Getting takeout/delivery . Maybe a little too much. Last Friday, as mentioned above, I ordered Bangkok Cuisine, Sterling Heights, from Uber Eats, because I had a $20 gift card from myVegas. I ordered sticky rice (hoping it was mango sticky rice, but not sure), cashew beef, and a Thai iced tea. The cashew beef and Thai iced tea were delicious, but no sticky rice showed up. I called the restaurant and they sa

The Friday Five, 12/4/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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I really haven't done much this week, so I was kind of surprised to see I had gained two pounds between today and my last weigh-in ... and then I remembered that Thanksgiving was last week, and then THIS week I've been eating leftovers and also takeout leftovers. Oops. However! I started doing zumba  online, with a zumba teacher that used to teach at LA Fitness in Troy, and that has been fun and also pretty good for my Fitbit numbers; I got in about 8,000 steps on Monday and Tuesday when I did her classes (compared to my usual paltry like ~2000 steps/day nowadays).  Chicken Piccata from The Cheesecake Factory What I've been up to this week: Not that much takeout, surprisingly.  I'm not seeing my boyfriend for the next 2 weeks to be safe (1 week left to go) because he went to a 10-person Thanksgiving, so I haven't had any takeout this week since Saturday; however, I am thinking about getting Uber Eats tonight, maybe Thai food, because I have an Uber Eats gift card. L

The Friday Five, 11/27/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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Didn't really do much this week, but it has been nice to have two days off of work ... since I'm not traveling at much (read: at all) this year because of the pandemic, days off work don't happen as much. (not counting my colonoscopy because ... that definitely wasn't a vacation ...)  Brown sugar bourbon meatloaf from HelloFresh What I've been up to this week: Cooking.  I had a HelloFresh box last week, and Dinnerly this week. I debated if I needed a box this week or not because of Thanksgiving, but I didn't stay with my parents this year (and won't be for my Christmas break, too) because of the pandemic so I got my box on Monday instead of Tuesday this week, and already have cooked two of the three meals. HelloFresh is always a treat for me because it's a bit more expensive than Dinnerly ... I've been getting Dinnerly for $18.96 a box which is a fantastic price (it's $38.96 normally) and I did HelloFresh for $35.96 this week, an old discount tha

The Friday Five, 11/20/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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This week seemed really long for some reason, and I also didn't do much; I spent a lot of time at home, which is both good and bad I suppose (good because I'm staying safe from the virus, bad because I get really antsy and also overeat).  Beef Banh Mi bowl, from EveryPlate What I've been up to this week: Cooking.  More so than going out. I had an EveryPlate box last week and I made the Beef Banh Mi bowl pictured above, and I had HelloFresh this week; so far I made turkey flautas with pico de gallo and lime crema, and chicken banh mi tacos. Yesterday my stomach was hating me (Crohn's) and I really just wanted something simple for dinner so I made pasta with some old (unopened) Meijer pasta sauce ... I had extra and I might try it with some pesto sauce from Kroger today for lunch.  Getting takeout. Since cases are up this week and also indoor dining is closed (not that I've dined indoor recently, but still ...), I've been laying low this week and only doing takeou

Movie Reviews and GIVEAWAY: Mulan (1998) vs. Mulan (2020) - ends 11/22

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*Disclosure: I received a digital copy of Mulan for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own. Recently I received a digital code of the new Mulan , which was released earlier this year on Disney+ but at a premium price for subscribers ($30). I had seen the older Mulan , from 1998, but not recently, so yesterday I watched both that version (on Disney+) as well as the new version. Read on for my thoughts, and also enter to win a digital copy of the new Mulan  movie! Mulan (1998) This is a beloved Disney movie, and I was curious to see if it would stand up to my memories of it. This one is a musical (the 2020 one is not) and also has some fun characters like Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy, and Cri-Kee, a "lucky cricket" belonging to Mulan.  Overall, the songs here were great, including my favorite, a toe-tapper called "I'll Make a Man Out of You" (although prior to Googling, I thought the name was "Let's Get Down to Business," as t

The Friday Five, 11/13/20: 5 things I've been up to this week

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Today is Friday the 13th, and I saw a funny meme saying something like "good luck: it's Friday the 13th, in 2020." However, 13th's are usually a lucky day for me (my birthday is Jan. 13), so we will see. A friend is having a birthday bonfire later tonight and I'm excited to get some social interaction in, even though it'll be cold outside ... the high today is 48, and on Tuesday I wore shorts because it was 75 here. #PureMichigan Selection of pastries at White Wolf Japanese Patisserie, Clawson What I've been up to this week: Eating out/getting takeout. I still am not doing indoor dining due to the pandemic, but on Sunday, a friend and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and finally tried Pumachug, in Clawson, for lunch. Afterwards we went down the street to White Wolf, which is a Japanese patisserie, and I got the extra-large macaron that you see in the bottom left of the above pic, as well as the Earl Grey creme brulee for my boyfriend and I to split