Monday, February 29, 2016

How to have a delicious movie night at home #LoveDoveFruits

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


I tend to blog a bit about restaurants and also take a lot of food photos - if you follow me on Instagram, most of my feed is food-related. However, I'm trying to eat better in 2016, which means cutting back on sugar and things that are, unfortunately, very yummy.

I'm also been cooking a bit more for myself, and learning that you CAN eat foods that are good for you, and also tasty! Being a "bachelorette" and living by myself, with a packed work + social schedule, I used to solely exist on frozen TV dinners, but I've found that with a little extra effort, you can have a delicious meal that's good for you, too.

The same goes for my snacks - I'm a chocaholic, so I don't want to give up my chocolate, but I'm looking for an alternative to what I would normally eat.

When it comes time for a movie night at home, then, I'm being more selective this year about foods and drinks I choose to enjoy with my movie. Even though I see a ton of movies at the theater, usually at screenings, I sometimes like to relax with a movie night at home, and watch a Blu-ray or DVD from my collection.

How to have a delicious movie night at home, while still eating well:

1. Choose a movie: either from your collection, Redbox, or a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime.


This is a selection of movies on my TV stand right now ... I've seen most of these (the four in front - Everest, Whiplash, The Visit, and Love & Mercy, I've all seen but would like to rewatch) but some, like The Blues Brothers and 90 Minutes in Heaven, I haven't had time to watch yet.

Friday, February 26, 2016

GIVEAWAY: 4-pack of Matilda the Musical tickets (Fisher Theatre, Detroit)

I first wrote about Matilda back in December, and I'm super excited to see it at the Fisher Theatre next month. I now have the opportunity for one of my lucky readers to win a four-pack of tickets to the March 9th show!

More info about the show:
"REJOICE. It is even more glorious than promised.” - New York Times

“WELCOME TO THE DELIRIOUSLY AMUSING, HEARTWARMING, HEAD-SPINNING WORLD OF MATILDA THE MUSICAL. YOU WON’T WANT TO LEAVE.” – Bloomberg News

TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year! Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End. The Wall Street Journal says, “The makers of MATILDA have done the impossible – triumphantly! It is smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun.”

MATILDA will be playing March 9-20, at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit.

March 9th is also Kids Night!

  • Pre-show activities start at 6pm - get to the Fisher early for special activities including games and giveaways (hosted by 96.3 WDVD), Matilda-themed craft making with Arts & Scraps, the science of theater and demonstrations with The Michigan Science Center, and FREE ice cream from Treat Dreams!
  • Kids tickets are FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket at full price.

Details on purchasing Kids Night tickets:
Click HERE to buy tickets now online. Use the code: KIDS.  Online tickets are only sold in pairs as half-price one adult + one child. There is a maximum of six tickets per order. You can also purchase in person at the Fisher Theatre or Detroit Opera House box office. 


At the box office, once you purchase an adult ticket at full price and a kids ticket (free), you can purchase up to two additional 1/2 price kids tickets per ADULT ticket purchased.

Other Links:

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle


I love sports movies where you eventually find yourself rooting for the main person or team to win; not just because they are a good person and/or team, but because they've gone through so much throughout the film, too. Eddie the Eagle focuses on a unique guy, Eddie Edwards, who desires to be Great Britain's first ski jumper to make it to the Olympics, and he's such a sweet and dorky guy that you can't help but to root for him, even early on in the movie.

Eddie (Taron Egerton) has known from very early in life that he wants to attend the Olympics. He starts taking ski lessons, and eventually, by the time he's in his 20s, he's very good; however, he's also a bit awkward, and he's told by the British Olympic Committee that he will never represent Britain in skiing. His Olympic dreams are dashed, or so he thinks - until he finds out about a different sport, called ski jumping, for which a Great Brit hasn't attended the Olympics for since 1929. Eddie goes to Germany to try to practice ski jumping, since it's both a hard and a dangerous sport, and eventually meets former Olympic ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who reluctantly agrees to be his coach.

Movie Review: Gods of Egypt


Apparently. Gods of Egypt stuck to basic Egyptian mythology - the Egyptian God, Set, ends up killing his brother, Osiris, and then Horus (the son of Osiris) tries to avenge Osiris's death - but it felt very Lion King to me, except more brutal, and the movie failed to hold my attention; I was actually checking my watch less than an hour into its runtime.

Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is set to become the new King of Egypt when his father, Osiris, hands over the responsibility. His uncle, Set (Gerard Butler), shows up for the celebration too ... and brings his army, because Set is planning a coup. Set kills Osiris and tears out Horus's eyes, forcing him to retreat in exile. A young Egyptian, Bet (Brenton Thwaites), decides he is going to steal the eyes back, with the help of his girlfriend, Zaya (Courtney Eaton), and therefore Horus will be able to return to his rightful place as Egypt's ruler; however, this is easier said than done.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Restaurant Review and $25 GIVEAWAY: Chive Kitchen, Farmington, MI {ends 2/28}


*Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card to try out Chive Kitchen. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I recently heard about a new restaurant in Farmington, MI called Chive Kitchen, and I was invited to check it out. My mom and I were able to stop in yesterday and we were both quite pleased with the service and our meals.

Chive Kitchen has only recently opened, within the past few months, and it caters to vegans/vegetarians, or those who would like to eat some vegan or vegetarian food. I myself am not vegetarian, and neither is my mom, but I try to eat less dairy, since it doesn't usually agree with me, and she tries to avoid red meat, so we were both excited to try the restaurant.


The interior is very welcoming - someone on Yelp called it a "European cafe-type atmosphere" and I would agree. Green seems to be one of its signature colors, which is one of my favorite colors, and the bar was set up nicely with green barstools. You can check out the menu here, although that is only a sampling of what they have, and every day there are specials to choose from, too.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Movie Review: Race

Race movie poster 2016

I'm familiar with who Jesse Owens is - I'd like to think that most people are - but I only had basic knowledge of his life before seeing Race. I found the movie to be very interesting, in that it was almost three movies in one: the life and sports accomplishments of Owens, the political climate in 1930s Nazi Germany, as well as prejudices here in the U.S. at that time.

Jesse Owens (Stephan James) is the first person in his family to attend college; his family lives in Ohio and he will be attending Ohio State. He leaves behind his girlfriend, Ruth (Shanice Banton) and their out-of-wedlock child, with the promise of soon marrying her once he saves enough money and applies for a marriage license. When he arrives at OSU, he meets the track and field coach, Lawrence Snyder (Jason Sudeikis, in his first dramatic film role), who wants him on the team. Soon, Owens is preparing to try out and qualify for the Olympics, but he must struggle with if he wants to attend or not, since it's being held in Berlin and they aren't friendly towards African-Americans there.

While this is going on, Olympic spokesperson Avery Brundage (Jeremy Irons) is considering if America even wants to participate in the Olympics this year; he goes to Germany and doesn't like what he sees (Jews being rounded up in the streets, etc.) and tells the Germans that they have to clean up their act, otherwise America may not send its athletes to the games that year, which definitely would send a message to the world.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

GIVEAWAY: $200 Fandango gift card {ends 3/17}

fandangogiftcardpin_0220162

Welcome to the $200 Fandango Bucks Giveaway!

Giveaway is hosted by

Sponsored by

Let's celebrate this spring's most anticipated movies with a fun giveaway! Looks like the spring of 2016 is going to be another great season for movie fans. There will definitely be something for everyone. 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice' (March 25), 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2' (March 25), 'The Jungle Book' (April 15), 'Captain America: Civil War' (May 6), 'The Angry Birds Movie' (May 20), and 'Finding Dory' (June 17).

fandango_family_logo
You can find more information, trailers, and even purchase your movie tickets on Fandango.com. You can find family reviews, suggestions and even fun movie themed activities on Fandango Family. Fandango is a great website for parents, and movie fans of all ages.

fandangospringgiveaway16_4

Friday, February 12, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool


I'll admit that I didn't know much about the Deadpool character before going to see this film, in which Ryan Reynolds plays the title role. The movie is also rated R, which is unusual for a Marvel film - the Avengers movies and others are usually PG-13. The movie ended up being a more tongue-in-cheek film, and it was a lot of fun although it definitely deserves its R-rating.

Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a normal guy for the most part. He has a girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), he has friends like Weasel (T.J. Miller), and, oh yeah, he's also a mercenary for hire. When he gets diagnosed with cancer, however, it's obvious that he only has a few months to live, and he leaves his girlfriend in order to spare her the pain of him dying. Then a mysterious man (Jed Rees) approaches Wade at his usual bar hangout one night and offers him an intriguing deal: he can cure Wade's cancer. Wade decides to take him up on this, but things don't go as planned; the side effects leave him feeling, let's say, not like himself, so he renames himself Deadpool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Upcoming, and a GIVEAWAY: Cinderella at the Detroit Opera House, Feb. 16-28 {ends 2/14}


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

Cinderella
 is coming to the Detroit Opera House next week, as part of Broadway in Detroit, and it should be a great show! Although I mostly see Broadway in Detroit musicals at the Fisher Theatre, I saw Newsies at the Opera House last December and it was a beautiful venue.

Show information:
RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA, the 2013 Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music, will play The Detroit Opera House for a limited engagement from February 16 - 28, 2016. Tickets will be available for purchase at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and at The Detroit Opera House and Fisher Theatre box offices starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 16.

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA combines the story's classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn't let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Restaurant Review and GIVEAWAY: Granite City at the Renaissance Center, Detroit {ends 2/15}


I'm no stranger to Granite City - I attended the Northville, MI location's soft opening last year, and I live pretty much down the road from the Troy location. So when I received an invite to the new Detroit location's soft opening, I definitely was excited to attend.


The new Granite City is Michigan's largest, of the three, and it's over 15,000 square feet, so when I first walked in, I was in awe of the restaurant's size. The restaurant has not one but TWO bars, one of which will have an outdoor patio in the summer, and when you first arrive, you walk down a long hallway to the seating areas, which makes the restaurant seem even bigger.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Movie Review: The Choice


The Choice is the first Nicholas Sparks movie I've seen in quite a while where the trailer made the movie look awful, but the film itself was actually pretty good. The past few films adapted from Sparks' books, like The Best of Me, were only okay, but The Choice makes up for those with exquisite scenery and a great cast.

Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) is a medical student from Charleston who moves to Beaufort, NC to study and intern at the hospital there. She has a tumultuous first meeting with her neighbor, Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker), after she asks him to turn down his loud music, and soon they're spending a lot of time together, even though Travis has an on-again/off-again girlfriend, and Gabby is in a serious relationship with a doctor at the hospital. Gabby and Travis's relationship continues to progress, however, and soon Gabby has broken up with her previous boyfriend and Travis asks her to marry him.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Upcoming Film: Rather to Be Chosen, February 11th at Emagine Novi (Detroit area)

I will be attending a premiere of the locally-filmed movie Rather to Be Chosen next week, at the Emagine Novi, and wanted to share with you some details about the film.

Movie Synopsis:
In time for Valentine's Day, a new romantic drama movie, Rather to Be Chosen, will premiere at the Emagine Novi on Thursday February 11th, 2016. This locally produced film follows Alex Shelby, as he encounters romance and intrigue in trying to save the family business that he has just inherited. Corruption in a new building project threatens to shut down the company. While working undercover at a the New York City branch office he falls in love with the employee he came to investigate. Alex must make a difficult decision to save his company from impending collapse or to follow his heart. The film stars Jared Withrow, Jessica Koloian, and Kristina Kaylen, along with Patricia Mauceri from ABC’s hit soap, One Life to Live.

About the filming:
This locally filmed movie was a project of Michigan based studio Crystal Creek Media. Many of the film's stars are local Michigan actors from the Detroit Metro area. The project also included talent from New York, Ohio and California. Several favorite Oakland county locations appear on screen including; Patti Engineering, Doeren Mayhew, Kaiser Studio, Joe Bologna Trattoria, Square Lake Diner, and Ward Presbyterian Church. Crystal Creek Media has also produced or co-produced the family oriented movies Creed of Gold, A Horse Called Bear and Lifestone Velocity.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why you need a smartphone in 2016 {& a giveaway!}

*This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

I actually didn't buy my first smartphone until early 2011. Before that, I actually kind of liked waiting to get home all day to check my email, or waiting until after a movie screening to get home and check it; now, in 2016, I can't imagine doing that! So many things happen all day long that I need to know about, and my smartphone is ideal for checking email, browsing Facebook, and even getting the weather for the week.


I'm also a millennial, and that means I do everything online. Banking? Done. Paying a bill? Done. Buying a phone and activating it? That used to mean I had to head to Verizon but now, you can even do that online too!


My dad got his first smartphone this year, and he loves it - previously, he had a flip phone, and the sound quality was awful; it was hard to understand him. I was very glad when he switched to his "new" phone, as now the sound quality is much better.