Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI {and enter to win Noodles for a YEAR! Ends 12/12}

Review and giveaway: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI

*Disclosure: I received a meal at the Macomb Noodles & Co. in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Back in June, I tried out some of the newest salads and other dishes at the Noodles and Company located in Royal Oak, MI. This winter, Noodles has some new mac 'n cheese and other entrees out, so I headed to the Macomb, MI location—which just recently opened—to try them.

We started out with a few appetizers, including a new-ish one that has come to be my favorite - the Korean meatballs. We also tried some of the salads that debuted this summer, and the restaurant's garlic bread, which is always good.

Review and giveaway: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI

The meatballs come marinated in a Gochujang sauce, and they're a little spicy; I don't normally like spicy foods, but they have just the right amount of spice. The two salads we tried were the Chicken Veracruz (left), and the Napa Market Salad with chicken (right).

Review and giveaway: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI

Review and giveaway: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI
Spicy Korean beef noodles

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Movie Review: Moana


In the film world, the name "Disney" is synonymous with innovative movies. Although Moana is very colorful, and has some catchy songs, it a film that is easy to forget after you exit the theater.

Moana (voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho) has always felt the call of the ocean. She lives on an island with her family, who is essentially the island royalty, and they fully expect her to become leader once she comes of age. Her grandmother, however, informally known as the island "crazy person," encourages her to listen to her heart, and fulfill her dreams. When the coconuts and fish supply start drying up around the island, Moana knows it's because of the legend of Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and actions that he took many, many years ago, and she takes it upon herself to find Maui and make everything right again, for the sake of the islanders; who she finds, however, ends up being not entirely what she expected.

Movie Review: Bad Santa 2


I wanted Bad Santa 2 to be just as good as the first one, which premiered in 2003, but as we all know, sequels rarely live up to their predecessors. This one wasn't awful by any means, but definitely not as funny as the first, unfortunately.

Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) lives a meaningless life in Arizona. He has no girlfriend, and mostly no friends, except for Thurman (Brett Kelly), who occasionally drops by to say hi. When Marcus (Tony Cox) drops by and offers him a chance to earn a cool million or $2M with him, he begrudgingly accepts, and they head to Chicago for the heist. Willie almost declines when he sees who the 3rd person in on the deal is, though - his estranged mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates), whom he hates. The place they are robbing is actually a charity, and Willie must don the Santa suit again to get an "in" there, with Marcus again as an elf, and Sunny as Mrs. Claus. There are multiple side negotiations going on, too, and Willie must make sure that he doesn't get screwed out of his share of the pot.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Upcoming: The Lion King at Detroit Opera House, February 1-26, 2017

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

THE LION KING is coming to Detroit this February, and I'm super excited about it!

As a '90s kid, I'm a huge fan of the movie, but I've never actually seen the musical, in-person. Plus, the Opera House is a gorgeous venue for the show.

More info:
Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway In Detroit announced that tickets for the long-awaited return engagement of DISNEY’S THE LION KING are currently on sale all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800- 982-2787 and at The Fisher Theatre box office. Tickets will also be available at the Detroit Opera House box office. Ticket prices start at $25. Detroit’s most eagerly awaited return will once again leap onto the Detroit Opera House stage on February 1 for a limited engagement of four weeks through February 26.

In Detroit, THE LION KING will play Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. There are also special Thursday matinees on February 2 & 23 at 1:00 p.m. Please note there is no evening performance on Sunday, February 26.

A special Open Captioned Performance will be held on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the open captioned performance may be purchased in person at The Fisher Theatre and Detroit Opera House box offices or by phone at 313-872- 1000, ext. 0.

A limited number of Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

For group sales (12 or more) please call 313-871- 1132 or email groups@broadwayindetroit.com.

Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 17 million theatergoers and grossed over $1.2 billion to date. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its Detroit return at the Detroit Opera House.

Movie Review: Loving


Before I saw Loving, I knew it was based on an actual court case, Loving v. Virginia, that sought to prohibit discrimination against interracial marriage. However, I didn't know much about the real people behind the case, Mildred and Richard Loving, and this film helped provide insight into their lives.

Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga, 12 Years a Slave) want to get married, as Mildred is pregnant, but it's unlawful to do so in their state of Virginia; therefore, they drive up to D.C. and get married there. When authorities in their county in Virginia find out what happened, they drag them out of their home in the middle of the night, to jail; Richard gets out fairly easy, but they leave pregnant Mildred there for the weekend, until her father arrives to post bail. Eventually, Richard and Mildred get their day in court, where their lawyer negotiates a deal: the 1-year prison sentence will be waived, however, the two of them cannot come back to Virginia together for the next 25 years.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


First off: I SO wanted this movie to be, well ... fantastic. I've been missing my Harry Potter fix for a while now, and the events of Fantastic Beasts take place 70 years before Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the film is very, very slow, which deters me from giving it a high rating.

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels from England to New York via boat, to accomplish some things, and he brings along some special creatures with him, in his suitcase. Due to a mix-up when he arrives, however, a "non-maj" (non-magical person, aka Muggle), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), ends up with the suitcase, and Scamander must retrieve it from him. Once he does, the two of them end up meeting Ms. Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her sister, Queenie (Alison Sudol), who will eventually end up helping them with Scamander's mission.

For those unfamiliar with the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually a textbook that he and his friends use while at Hogwarts, and Scamander is the author of said textbook. J.K. Rowling released the book in actual book form a few years ago, too, and she wrote the script here, as well; however, the movie is technically unchartered territory, since the book is more of a guidebook than a novel.

Movie Review: The Edge of Seventeen


I had heard a lot about The Edge of Seventeen before seeing it in the theater, as it was being touted as "John Hughes-esque" (ie, similar to classic teen films like The Breakfast Club, etc.) and that it was going to be the most memorable "teen" film that has premiered in a while. Although it didn't measure up to quite that level, it's still a refreshingly funny movie that is worth seeing.

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) never had many friends, even from a young age, until she meets Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), with whom she bonds instantly. Flash-forward to today, and they're both juniors in high school, with Krista still being Nadine's only friend. After Nadine's brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) throws a small party at their house, Krista starts hanging out more with him, eventually becoming his girlfriend, and Nadine can't handle it: she demands that Krista chooses, either her or her brother. Because she's now friendless, Nadine starts hanging out more with Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), her teacher, and decides to pursue her crush on Nick (Alexander Calvert), while dodging advances from Erwin (Hayden Szeto), the cute boy who sits next to her in one of her classes. Nadine's mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick) has had a hard time ever since Nadine's father passed away, too, and it's up to both Nadine and Darian to help keep her sane.