Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

I love all things pirates! Every year I try to do something fun or silly to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day. You can even see this post on my favorite pirate items. I’m also a big fan of rum…maybe I’m actually a pirate… You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I love Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean.

I am excited for the next installment of the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opening on May 26, 2017. To celebrate I’m giving away eight pairs of tickets to an advance screening of the movie on May 22 at the MJR Troy Grand Digital Cinema 16 at 7 p.m.

The movie starts out with Jack Sparrow on the run again and as you can see from this clip, he is still up to his old tricks. I’m looking forward to a movie marathon this week (complete with some rum) to get ready for this screening:

If you would like to join me for the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales screening for you and a guest, enter the Rafflecopter below and I will announce and contact the winners on late Friday night/Saturday morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For previous movie reviews, click here.



Brunch Bites: A Taste of Royal Oak

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Royal Oak Brunch Bites. All opinions expressed are my own.

I had a blast at last year’s Brunch Bites, so I was excited when the event coordinator reached out with tickets to this year’s event. I live in the Royal Oak area, so this is a fun opportunity to get out downtown and explore 12 different brunch destinations for food and drinks.

We kicked it off again at Bigalora with a Bigalora Waffle, house made peanut butter, banana and fresh whip cream with a Gordon Bombay Loves Brunch (Honeydew infused Bombay Sapphire, hibiscus/rose syrup, lime, soda). This was probably my favorite food item – SO GOOD!

Our second stop was at The Morrie where we chowed down on a Nashville hot chicken and waffle paired with the Lola (a Sugar Island Coconut Rum, coconut milk-bourbon vanilla simple, cold brew coffee). I don’t even like the coffee, but this was amazing. I will go on record and say this is the only coffee I will drink. The Morrie was new to brunch bites this year and I was happy to visit again.

Bastone Brewery is up next and they were another new addition this year. They served us corned beef hash with bell peppers, skillet potatoes and cheddar cheese along with a Tropical Mimosa (pineapple, orange juice, passionfruit and grenadine).

Lockhart’s BBQ is always a treat and they didn’t disappoint this year with a smoked brisket mess including smoked sausage, potatoes, onions, peppers, cheddar cheese and eggs all scrambled together. Their Poor Man’s Bloody Mary was to die for (a mix of their house made bloody mary mix combined with craft lager beer).

I had just been to Andiamo for Easter brunch so I was excited to what they were offering for Brunch Bites. They didn’t disappoint with Eggs Wellington: soft scrambled eggs, prosciutto and imported cheeses in crisp phyllo pastry with creamed leeks. They topped it off with a white sangria with fresh fruit.

No brunch would be complete without chorizo and Mesa Tacos and Tequila did not disappoint with their chorizo hash taco and Violet Beauregarde (Reposado Tequila, fresh blueberry compote, fresh squeezed lime juice, sparkling wine).

New this year was Rebel Cafe, which I hadn’t been to before. They served a mini cinnamon roll sandwich and these AMAZING brownie cheesecake bites along with a Beermosa. It was so delicious!

I was enamored with Blackfinn Ameripub’s Sea Breeze Mimosa (grapefruit, cranberry and champagne). They served a southern skillet with southern fried chicken, scrambled eggs, tasso cream, hollandaise sauce and green onions stacked on a bacon and goat cheese grit.

Pronto! served a decadent stuffed French Toast with blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cream cheese filling and caramel maple sauce. It was to die for! Their Oiu il (Yes Please!) drink included cinnamon spiced Khalua, Chambord, coffee and whipped cream.

I took a time out at Cafe Muse due to their exotic mushroom and Boursin scramble. I cannot handle anything with mushrooms so my friend got two. They served an Aperol spritz with muddled blueberries which made up for it.

Lily’s Seafood Grille & Brewery let me customize my shrimp & grits with no shrimp so I was happy. They served a Hefemosa with Whitefish Bay Wheat Beer and orange juice.

By the time we made it to Gayle’s Chocolates, they must have been out of the advertised cookies, but we got truffles and Gayle’s Homemade Haute Cocoa so all was well.

Did you attend this year’s Brunch Bites? What was your favorite pairing? This is one of my favorite events and I can’t wait until next year!

To see last year’s Brunch Bites post, click here.



Weekend Recap: I’m a Godmother

This past weekend was one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. It was also one of the most memorable. I think I mentioned a number of times to people that I felt like I was living the life of a Sex and the City character with all of the events that I was booked for. It all started on Thursday night, when I was invited to the Spring Launch Party of TBD Magazine.

TBD Magazine Spring Launch Party

TBD is a new magazine launched by Bedrock to feature the unique people, places, organizations and culture of Detroit. The Spring ebdition just came out and we celebrated with a special release party at El Club.

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I attended with my boss, Tina, and wore the Connected floral-print faux-wrap dress from my Spring Favorites post.

Frame Dinner Featuring Katoi

This was a last minute opportunity for me. My boss had tickets to go and had an event come up at the last minute so I was the lucky one who got to take her spot. Frame is a secret restaurant located in the back of JoeBar in Hazel Park. They just launched on March 31st with a month long residency with Katoi. They are going to feature different headliners for various lengths of time after Katoi. This was SO much fun! I hadn’t been to JoeBar which just opened in March either and will have to go back. Here are some of the foodie highlights for you. It seemed like coconut was the theme of the menu and I wasn’t complaining!

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Spring Fever Beer Fest

On Saturday John and I met some friends at the Spring Fever Beer Fest hosted at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market. My favorite beer of the night was (at least I’m fairly certain this was it) the St. James Ale from the Paw Paw Brewing Company. It tasted like a smooth milkshake – I was sad when they ran out of it.

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Allison’s Baptism

I was honored when my dear friend Carolyn asked me to be her daughter, Allison’s, godmother. On Sunday we participated in her baptism and it was such a great day! Just thinking of what the future holds for Allison Elizabeth gets me all emotional. Celebrations, graduation and someday even her wedding. I’m glad I get to be part of it all. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day:

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I was on a high for the rest of the day, one of my most memorable moments by far. If any of you have godchildren I would love to hear what kinds of things you do in the comments.



Detroit Review: The Morrie

I was invited to a sponsored dinner by The Morrie in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 

Last week I was invited to dinner at the recently opened roadhouse-style restaurant, The Morrie in Royal Oak. As a Royal Oak resident, I’ve been dying to go there so I jumped at the chance to check it out. The Morrie is known for its live music and being a fun place to hang out. I can see myself visiting many more times as it is about a $4 Uber ride from my house.

I had just left a long day at work and upon arriving at The Morrie (which has valet) I could tell it was my kind of place. The ambiance was cool – sort of rock n’ roll. There were record albums on our table and fun artwork on the walls, plus a place for live music.

After a long day, the first thing I wanted was a big drink. The Morrie makes classic cocktails, but they all have some sort of fun rock n’ roll name. I tried the Mai-Tai PA System, which was SO amazing! I couldn’t get over the fun tiki glass they brought it out in.

Before dinner, we tried a variety of the appetizers including the Brisket Mac, One Big Ol’ Meatball, and Kung Pao Cauliflower. Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the Brisket Mac. It was made with smoked cheddar, manchengo, sweet BBQ, crispy onion and smoked brisket. I was so pumped that it used my favorite cheese, Manchengo!

The meatball is nestled into polenta, which was so creamy and rich.

I had just come off a bout of pneumonia and hadn’t really had much of an appetite until this dinner, so needless to say I was pretty hungry! For dinner I decided to go for it with The Morrie Burger and the Sweet Potato Tots. People take note – ALWAYS frequent a restaurant with tots on the menu, especially sweet potato ones!

After dinner, I was pretty much in a food coma so I decided to try the Lola, which is made up of Sugar Island Coconut Rum, Coconut Milk-Bourbon, Vanilla Simple, and Cold Brew Coffee. I don’t even like coffee, but this was amazing!

For dessert, I decided to try the truly decadent Banana Split. Now, I did share this with someone but between the two of us we still only finished about half. There were tons of surprises in every bite – heath bar bits, peanut butter ice cream and more!

I had the best time at The Morrie and can’t wait to bring my husband with me next time! A fun bonus for you – we are giving away a $50 gift card so you can try The Morrie for yourself. Just enter the giveaway below for your chance to win.

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**The winner must be willing to travel to The Morrie in Royal Oak, Michigan to claim their prize.

Have you been to The Morrie? Let me know what your favorites are and what I should try next time!

For more Detroit reviews, click here.



Royal Oak Brunch Bites

My bestie Jen and I spent this past Saturday having a blast at Royal Oak’s Brunch Bites event and I thought I would share all of my fun pictures with you. Brunch Bites is a walking food and drink event where you get to check out 12 of Royal Oak’s brunch destinations and sample food and drink at each location.

Brunch Bites

We started our adventure at Bigalora with a Bigalora Waffle (Strawberries, Whip Cream, Pine Nuts) and a Provatelo (Tito’s Vodka, Aperol, Lemon Juice, St. Germain).

Bigalora

Stop 2 was at Pronto! with Stuffed French Toast (Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cream Cheese Filling and Caramel Maple Sauce) and Sinful Sparkling Sangria (Blood Orange, Kiwi, Mango, Strawberries, Triple Sec & Bubbles).

Pronto

Stop 3 was at Cafe Muse with an Apple and Gorgonzola Quiche and a Sparkling Spritzer.

Cafe Muse

Stop 4 was at Lily’s Seafood with a Bayou Breakfast Fritatta (Andouille sausage, crawfish, peppers and onions with a Tabasco lime hollandaise) and Milk Punch (Cognac, milk, syrup and vanilla). I didn’t try the fritatta because I’m not really into seafood, but I LOVED the milk punch!!

Lily's Seafood

Stop 5 was Gayle’s Chocolates with Mini Cookies (Oatmeal cherry pecan cookies with milk chocolate chunks and dark chocolate chip cookies with sea salt) and Organic and Fair Trade Mexican Altura Coffee. As you know I’m not a coffee drinker, so Jen got two samples of coffee.

Gayle's Chocolates

Stop 6 was Ale Mary’s Beer Hall where they served my favorite thing Candied Bacon (Thick cut bacon candied with sage maple syrup, brown sugar) and Rochester Mills Blueberry Pancake Milkshake Stout (Fuller body and sweeter palate, flavored with blueberry). This bacon was the thickest I’ve ever had; it was unbelievable!

Ale Mary's

Stop 7 was at Mesa Tacos and Tequila where they served Corn Pudding with a warm fig compote and Mas Tequila (El Jimador Reposado, Aperol, St. Germaine, Lemon). The drink was awesome but definitely strong.

Mesa

Stop 8 was at Lockhart’s BBQ where they served The Hangover (Buttermilk biscuit loaded up with scrambled eggs, bacon, bell peppers, shredded jack cheese and smothered in sausage gravy) and accompanied with a Peach Bellini (Sparkling wine with white cranberry peach juice). The Bellini was delightful! I could have drank that all day long.

Lockharts BBQ

Stop 9 was at Andiamo which had a Ciabatta Breakfast Panini (scrambled eggs layered with peppers bacon, cheddar cheese, Italian sausage gravy. They were supposed to have Bloody Marys, but they ran out and gave us a Screwdriver instead.

Andiamo

Stop 10 was La Dulce where they served a Belgian Waffle (Maple syrup and violet foam) and a Spanish Mimosa (Sparkling Wine and Citrus Juice).

La Dulce

Stop 11 was the Red Fox English Pub where they served an English Trifle (pound cake, raspberry puree, creme anglaise, and whipped cream) and Hot Maple Butter Rum (Goslings Black Seal Rum, complimented by pure maple syrup and a healthy tab of unsalted butter).

Red Fox English Pub

Last but not least is Strada with a Short Rib Hash (Braised short rib with diced potatoes, onion, green pepper, and a natural bourbon reduction) and a Serrano Gooseberry Margarita.

Strada

So after we crushed it at brunch, we decided to celebrate by stopping at Hamlin Pub, where they have my favorite M. Lawrence bubbly on tap.

Hamlin Pub

We had a blast at Brunch Bites! I hope they do this again next year!

Brunch Bites1

Next up is the Royal Oak Wine Stroll on May 14, which is the same concept but with wine. Sign me up!



Black Friday Deals for the New Homeowner

Disclaimer: I was selected for WDIV/Local 4’s Hank’s Holiday Helpers by Hay There Social Media. 

It’s that time of year again…time for some Black Friday shopping! I was selected by our local NBC affiliate to participate with their Help Me Hank segment for Black Friday shopping tips. Also tune in to Live in the D on Black Friday, to see me along with other bloggers talking about how to find the best deals on Black Friday.

Black-Friday-3D-Logo-Wallpaper

Since we are new homeowners this year, I am looking for some great purchases to furnish our home and Black Friday is a great opportunity to stock up. Head on over to Click on Detroit to see my recommendations.

If you are tuning in to Live in the D on Friday you might see my face along with some Black Friday shopping tips…



All I Want for Christmas are Kenny Chesney Tickets

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to this concert in exchange for this post. 

Breaking news! Kenny Chesney is coming to Detroit’s Ford Field on August 13, 2016 for his Spread the Love Tour with Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen and Old Dominion.

Blog Promotion - Pre-Sale

As my friend Tracy said “His concert is always the top concert of the summer.” As we are heading in to the dark and grey winter that is looming, let’s take a moment to think about wearing no shoes and getting a real good tan. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 20th at 10 a.m. So why not get a head start on your summer and lock down your tickets now?

kennylogo

Tickets can be purchased here, by phone at 877.212.8898 or at the Ford Field Box Office located at Gate G (between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday) beginning on Friday, November 20 at 10 a.m. Kenny Chesney tickets would make a great Christmas gift along with an iTunes gift card so the recipient can download all of their favorite Chesney songs.

Spread the Love 2 (FB)

While you are waiting for summer to get here, you can download Kenny’s “All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan” album and get in the holiday spirit. And while you’re making your Christmas list, you can add a great pair of cowboy boots to wear to the concert…these Sam Edelman Penny Boots ($149.90) should do the trick:

Sam Edelman Penny Boots

Have you been to a Kenny Chesney concert before? What are your favorite songs?



Hour Detroit’s Best Dressed Fashion Show

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Hour Detroit’s Best Dressed Fashion Show. Additionally, Hour Magazine is a client of my employer. All opinions expressed are my own.

On September 24, I attended Hour Detroit’s Best Dressed Fashion Show at the Fillmore Detroit and had so much fun! Upon arrival there were fun drinks and appetizers and networking with my fellow bloggers and coworkers. Now, what does one where to a Best Dressed Fashion Show? I’m not going to lie, it was a little intimidating, but I liked what I ended up with.

hour detroit 3

Hour’s Best Dressed Fashion Show is a fundraiser to benefit the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Founders Junior Council, an organization I’ve been watching for some time. They host really fun and fashionable events for the younger generation interested in the DIA. Somerset Collection also sponsored the event including the fashion show by Neiman Marcus. Prior to the event, Hour awarded 11 people in the local community  the title of “Best Dressed.” Each of the awardees has the opportunity to walk the runway as part of the fashion show (How cool is that?). You can see the full list of Best Dressed here. Two of the winners, Kacee Must and Niki Serras talk about their unique looks in the segment below:

Kacee Must is the owner of Citizen Yoga and I have actually taken her yoga class before, so how cool is that? With all of that said, I was pretty excited to arrive at the Fillmore the night of the event.

Fillmore

The Somerset Collection has created a series of short films, one of which was debuted prior to the fashion show. The way this was shot was amazing. On the website, it mentioned that this was for Fall 2014 and it looks like they have a new one for this fall.

Here are a few of my favorite looks from the runway:

Nikki Serras

Nikki Serras

Herve Leger Rebekah Fringe Halter Gown

Herve Leger Rebekah Fringe Halter Gown

The Herve Leger Fringe Gown was so chic! You can find it here for $1,790.

EscadaStrapless Bustier w/Crystals

Escada Strapless Bustier w/Crystals

I also loved this strapless top. I don’t know if I could pull off the leather leggings, but the top I could definitely see myself in. It’s Escada and you can find it here for $1,995. Feel free to send your Neiman Marcus gift cards my way, lol!

I ran into some fabulous blogger friends including Shannon from Glamorous Moms:

HOUR

I also had to snap a selfie when I got home because I was obsessed with my new Velour lashes and didn’t want to take them off.

Velour

My biggest take away from reading all of the winner profiles were their style tips. Fashion helps them to express themselves and I really want to work on my personal style in the upcoming year. What do I want my clothes to say about me?

I would love to hear what “Best Dressed” means to you!

For more Fashion posts, click here.



Fall Bucket List

I started a Summer Bucket List for the first time this year and I only did so-so at it. For fall, I learned that you have to plan everything out in advance or you won’t make it a priority so that is exactly what I am going to do for fall. In Michigan fall is so much fun with activities like Michigan football, apple orchards, cider mills, fall colors and the changing seasons. I can’t wait to get moving on these activities and enjoy this season as much as we can!

fall graphic

  • Make chili

Chili

  • Eat caramel apples

caramel apple

  • Go to a Michigan game

Michigan game

  • Eat/buy/enjoy something pumpkin – so far I’ve tried Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Spice Hostess Donuts
  • Eat cider and donuts

cider and donuts

  • Enjoy some Leelanau Cellar’s Witches Brew

witches brew

  • Have a Harvest Patch Shandy

PS Shandy

  • Go to the drive-in – We took Sport with us and saw The Martian
  • Carve pumpkinspumpkin carving Collage
  • Tailgate
  • tailgatingGo to a corn maze – we didn’t make it this year
  • Make chicken pot pie
  • chicken pot pieGo to a Halloween party
  • halloween partyGo to a haunted house – Next year people!
  • Go on a hayride – 2016 goals!
  • Go to a black wine tasting – I did this, but since it’s in the dark pictures are hard to take
  • Participate in an Oktoberfest celebration – Next year!
  • Watch a Halloween movie
  • screamRestart book club – This was amazing! We read The Widow Clicquot and I loved it!
  • Go to a Lions game – We saw the first win of the season!
  • LionsBurn a fall candle
  • fall candleVote – first time in our new house/location
  • VoteMake something in the crockpot
  • Host a Bloody Mary bar during an away game
  • Get a Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks
  • Take a trip to Chicago and see the Bears play
  • Make apple pie
  • Go to a fall beer festival
  • Bake something with pumpkin
  • Throw a fall dinner party
  • Make a Halloween or Thanksgiving craft
  • Decorate the house with a mum and/or pumpkin
  • Make pecan pie
  • Go to a fall festival
  • Bake something with bourbon
  • Use the smoker
  • Perfect John’s potato soup recipe
  • Make something with butternut squash
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go Black Friday shopping
  • Host an exchange of some sort (ornament/cookie/scarf)
  • Make a fall wreath (finish my cork wreath)
  • Bake  Christmas cookies
  • Go to the Nutcracker

What are your favorite fall bucket list activities? I am going to be adding to this list throughout the season so if you let me know your favorites in the comments.



Staycation at The Harbor Grand

Disclosure: I was provided a free night’s stay at The Harbor Grand in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Last month, I was honored to attend the Southwest Michigan Sip & Stroll Weekend hosted by Deb at Just Short of Crazy and Renee at What Mama Wants. My bestie, Jen and I decided to have a girl’s weekend and take advantage of the opportunity.

MeandJenselfie

We drove for about three hours and checked into The Harbor Grand, a full-service boutique hotel in New Buffalo, MI. When we arrived, I was surprised by how small the hotel was, which I loved! There are only 54 rooms, which make it the perfect place to stay. Jen and I got a room with an amazing balcony view! I bet this looks even more beautiful once everything has bloomed! The other feature that really stuck out to me was how updated the bathrooms were, they had whirlpool tubs and a stand up shower!

balcony view

After we checked in, we headed out for Part 1 of our wine tour which I will recap in a separate post. We came back to the hotel around 5:30 p.m. for drinks and appetizers in The Terrace Room at the hotel. I had a lot of fun with this because the Terrace Room has a rustic, Italian theme to it, complete with a waterfront view and a fireplace. We gathered around the fireplace for some appetizers, which were delicious!

the terrace room

I had fun trying a few of the drinks including this delightful Lemon Raspberry Fizz, with one of my favorite ingredients…Limoncello!

Lemon Raspberry Fizz

If we would have stayed after dark, you can order a smores kit and take that outside to make them over a real campfire. I thought that was a fun touch! We also had a lovely chat with the owner which I loved because you could tell he had a real passion for hospitality. New Buffalo is a great destination as it is halfway between metro Detroit and Chicago. It makes the perfect getaway with a little something for everyone.

After appetizers and drinks, we headed off to The Four Winds Casino (about a 10 minute shuttle ride away) and recently featured in USA Today’s Leaving Las Vegas: The best casinos outside Sin CityThis was a lot of fun and a HUGE casino, definitely providing some fun nightlife in the area.

Since we didn’t do so well at the casino, Jen and I decided to head back to the hotel and sample the movie and ice cream selection. One of the fun parts about The Harbor Grand is they offer a huge list of movies that you can rent as well as 24-hours of Ben & Jerry’s…yes you heard that correctly. We decided on Mean Girls and Chubby Hubby!benandjerrys

The next morning, we were treated to a lovely breakfast in bed care package outside our door. It came complete with mimosas for the perfect girl’s weekend!

care package

mimosas

We had such a great time at The Harbor Grand and I would love to bring John back with me next time. He would have loved it! Next time I would love to make this a long weekend and spend more time in New Buffalo. This could also be a fun stop on the way to or from Chicago. I am so glad that Deb and Renee tuned me into New Buffalo. I never would have thought to go there, but I can say with certainty that I will definitely be back soon!

Have you ever been to New Buffalo or stayed at The Harbor Grand? What was your experience like?

For the original Sip & Stroll Weekend post, click here.

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