Archives For Giveaway

Great ready for another fun new series on CLA! This series is all about things happening around Detroit & the surrounding areas. Conveniently it’s going to be called “Around Town“. I’ve vow’d to myself to be more of a tourist of my hometown this summer and I’m hoping to bring all of you the down-low of what’s fun/ new and worth seeing in the area!

Starting off this new series is a fun trip towards the north-east side to Royal Oak. Myself and a fun group of bloggers hit up Blaze Pizza (Opened October 2013) to give it a try.

header_logo

Blaze pizza is the brain-child of Executive Chef Bradford (Brad) Kent, a man that grew up with a passion for food. Kent started cooking at the wee age of seven and quickly learned that food was more than just ingredients thrown together. We were told that his natural talent quickly evolved from dorm room creations at the University of Southern California to his first small plate catering company. Kent later went on to study at the culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and then studies at Cal State Long Beach earning a food science degree. So basically this guy knows his shit stuff.

Blaze-Pizza-Executive-Chef-Honored-by-Zagat

Darla, the Marketing Director for Blaze in Royal Oak told us that the company is super proud of their penchant for not only healthy, quality, fresh ingredients but also for their dough. We were told that their dough ferments for over 24 hours before being put to use. Then it’s rolled out, topped and thrown in the oven for 180 seconds (yep, 180 seconds… crazy fast!) before being pulled out, sliced and delivered to you.

The pizza dough here is a thin crust, making it quick to cook. Kent’s whole idea behind blaze was not only giving his customers a quality delicious, CUSTOM pizza, but giving them a pizza that they could order and eat on their lunch hour. Speaking of custom pizzas, one of the biggest winning points about blaze for myself was the ability to customize your pizza in smorgasbord of different ways all for $6.95 a pie. Yep, that’s right. There are no additional fees for 20+ ingredients. It’s unlimited ingredients, your way, all for $6.95.

But enough about the pitch stuff. Lets talk about my experience.

Being the over anal person that I have then tendency to be, I showed up WAY early to the event and was the first person to arrive. This worked for me because it gave me the chance to really check out the place and chat with Darla before anyone else showed up!

One of the biggest things for me with restaurants is BRANDING. And I’m pleased to say Blaze totally passed my branding test. From the exterior to the bathrooms the restaurant kept to a modern industrial theme with high integration of typography. Below are samples of the to-go pizza boxes & menu.

Branding-01

The interior of the restaurant was definitely industrial & modern with the wood and metal mix of the tables, chairs & benches. The lighting was fun industrial lights in mural colors on the outside and fun pops of red on the inside. Right now Michigan has two locations in Royal Oak and Novi (with one coming soon to Kalamazoo), and this location had a private room up front for events. The wall of windows even open up for the classic RO restaurant feel during the warmer days.

Branding2-01

Once we arrived we strapped on wristband (showing we were part of a special party) and hopped into line. Blaze has some signature pizzas on it’s menu with fun names such as the Meat Eater, Art Lover, Link In and Green Stripe. All looked very appetizing but I felt like being my own chef and decided to Build My Own.

Blaze Pizza Menu-01

The best way I could describe the building process is to say it’s very Chipotle-like. You start at one end with a staff member and choose your dough. Blaze has gluten-free dough available and they are quick to find out if your choice of the dough is for allergy reasons or a preference. Which is great, because those with allergies know that even the slightest mistake could ruin your perfectly good afternoon. Once you pick your dough and give your name you’re passed down to the next staff member to choose your sauce and cheese. (Another item to point out is that it’s great that once person doesn’t do all the pizzas, thus keeping any allergens separate for those allergic.)

Buildcookslice-01

Just like with the sauce and cheese after choosing your options you’re passed onto the meat station and then onto the veggie station. I should also mention that at each station the staff member made sure to call you by your name. Which at first was weird, but is definitely a nice touch after the first time.

Blaze also has a nice selection of salads near the checkout and I grabbed a small caesar to taste test. Once you get to check out they ring you up and offer you a smores cookie for dessert. GET ONE. And have them warm it for you by the oven (Note: maybe get the cookie after you eat and have it warmed, because it tends to cool down while you’re eating.)

You wait all of maybe 3-5 minutes for your pizza to cook. Those ovens are gunning anywhere from 400-600 degrees on any given day, talk about HOT!

They call out your name when it’s pulled from the oven. And your handed your very own pizza. Pretty much maybe 10 minutes after you get in line. SUPER FAST.

I was so hungry at this point I almost forgot to take pictures. But don’t worry! I caught myself after I saw others making sure to get their shot!

my build my own-01

Delicious looking isn’t it? Well It tasted even better than it looked. I’m pretty much a huge fan of thin crust pizza, but this was definitely by far some of the better thin crust I’ve had in a long time. The outside crust was crunchy enough that it held up the weight of the ingredients, but not overly crunchy that you broke a tooth just trying to get a bite. The dough was sweet, and flavorful and divine!

Before I knew it more than half my pizza was gone! I swear someone was stealing my slices. I definitely couldn’t have eaten all that myself, right? I tried the salad and was please that it tasted fresh and the caesar was one of the dressings I liked. But the star of the show was definitely the pizza and the crust.

Suddenly I found myself with only two slices left and I made myself put down the rest so I’d have something for lunch later this week. Plus I still had my cookie to try.

Smore Cookie-01

I thought the cookie was pretty good, but I wish I had eaten it earlier, because it and cooled down by this point and was a bit harder to bite into.

One of the bloggers attending had gluten allergies and made a custom gluten free pizza. Once we had all started eating the staff brought out more of their signature pizza pies for us to try. They also made sure to bring out a gluten-free version to compare. I was so impressed that the gluten-free version was so similar to the regular that I found it hard to distinguish the two. Can you?

Veggie Pizza-01

Because of her allergy this blogger couldn’t eat the smokes cookie that contained graham cracker. She mentioned (along with others) that Blaze should server dessert pizzas as well and the staff graciously offered to make her a dessert pizza. In fact they made dessert pizzas for everyone. This is an item totally not on their menu, but they were so eager to please and make sure that we were satisfied that they went above and beyond. Behold, the very first Smores Dessert Pizza from Blaze Pizza in Royal Oak.

Smores pizza-01

I basically wanted my own. But, I shared. #stupidmorals. I doubt they’d make these for just anyone, but maybe if they get enough feedback they’ll add it to the menu??

Overall we had a really great time. A HUGE shoutout to Chef Kent, Darla, Jeff & Tim for making us feel oh so welcome and for the wonderful meal. I will most definitely be back for more.

And here’s the kicker… Not only will *I* be back for more… but a few of you will be headed to Blaze pizza for a free Pizza Pie of your own! Courtesy of Blaze Royal Oak, 3 winners are going to win a pair (that’s two ;)) of free pizza coupons to Blaze Pizza Royal Oak! And ONE lucky winner will win a pair of Free Pizza Coupons AND a Free Blaze hat! Just like the one Chef Bradford Kent is wearing below. Great date night out spot!

Entry Picture-01

To enter to win a pair of Blaze Pizza Coupons just click the link below (it’ll jump you over to Rafflecopter). Giveaway is open until Tuesday April 15th 11:59PM and the Winners will be announced Wednesday! You can enter daily! Good luck!!

—————–>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY<<———–——

Until next time,

Signature-01

** I was offered a free meal to test out Blaze Pizza in Royal Oak without the expectation of a post or social media integration. All opinions are my own. Giveaway made possible by Blaze Pizza in Royal Oak**

 

Advertisements

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, CONGRATS TO KATHRYN!**

You know that feeling you get when you feel like you’ve somehow stumbled upon something really cool and you just can’t wait to share it with EVERYONE.

I feel that way today about today’s guest on the blog.

LOGO

I’d like for you guys to meet Song, of Song Yee Designs

A few weeks ago Song contacted me asking if I’d like to try a review of her jewelry. Pretty necklaces? Definitely peaked my interest. So I hopped over to her Etsy shop to see what all the fuss was about and literally started favoriting items within a few seconds.

Song Yee 1-01

Leaf Earrings // Quartz Necklace // Feather Necklace
Agate Slice Necklace // Czech Glass Necklace // Lotus Necklace

I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious why I like her shop. The pieces are unique, fun, in-style with trends, but classic enough to dress up and down. For example, the Agate Slice Necklace, go open up another browser and type in agate slice and see what pops up. Pretty much every home store and DIY blogger has SOMETHING with agate slice going on right now. Imagine bringing that trend to your day to day style.

Clearly I’m not the only one that thinks her pieces are crazy good either. This lovely lady was just featured on Etsy’s home page and sold-out of the featured piece (edit: this item is back in stock!!)! I love also that she offers both gold and silver options of almost every piece. Gold is really *in* right now for jewelry, but I generally stick to silver so it’s really nice having that choice. My other favorite feature of her shop is the ability to customize your piece’s length. Women are made in all shapes and sizes and I’ve fallen in love with pieces off Etsy before that I’ve ordered only to be disappointed in the length of the piece. Being able to customize your piece so it works for you and your body type is a definite plus.

I had weddings the last two weekends so I was really looking forward to purchasing a few pieces that I might be able to wear and take with me to those events. I selected the gorgeous Crystal Quartz Necklace & a fun Arrow Necklace and then impatiently waited until they arrived.

Luckily I didn’t have to wait long, Song shipped the items and they arrived to my door just a few days later! Talk about quick service.

Quartz final-01

I’m incredibly in love with the Quartz Necklace. I dressed it up for the wedding, and then dressed it down a few days later for date night. It’s so versatile for almost any outfit and I’m really glad I bought it longer in length. The chain itself is thick enough to let me adjust the size to whatever level I like best for the outfit. It’s definitely my new favorite piece.

arrow final-01

The arrow necklace is light and fun and adds charm to a plain t-shirt. I definitely recommend going long for this one though, I think I underestimated the length I’d like for it which limits my outfit choices for it. However I love the fun quirky feel of it and think it looks great with a colorful crew neck tee.

You know I didn’t just get to try on some pretty necklaces. I’m always wondering what makes creatives tick and I decided to quiz Song a bit to find out more about the designer behind the jewelry…

Justynn: Tell me about yourself…
Song: I grew up in Gold Beach, Oregon. Which is a tiny coastal town in Southern Oregon. I was always creative when I was younger  but never thought to pursue it as more than a hobby. I loved drawing, painting, and I even use to make simple beaded jewelry pieces. I went to college at Cal Poly in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California and I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. I know, completely unrelated to jewelry making… but I think my education has really helped me to understand how to run a small business from the marketing aspect to finances and bookkeeping.

J: How/ When /Where did you get your start? What motivated you? Where did your creative gene come from?
S: A little over a year ago I was shopping around for some simple, quality jewelry pieces for myself and I had such a hard time finding exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to order some supplies to make a few necklaces for myself. After that I was hooked and eventually I opened my Etsy shop in April 2013.

J: What do you primarily concentrate on with your business?
S: I love working with gemstones and wire wrapping techniques, but I also love creating simple everyday pieces that can be worn with all your outfits. Sometimes I feel like I have so many design ideas floating around and not enough time to create them all!

J: Is this Etsy shop a full time or part time job?
S: I recently moved from San Diego up to Orange County so I have been looking for a full-time job, but in the meantime my jewelry business really has become a full-time job and I love it! I wake up in the mornings excited to start working on my business and it doesn’t even feel like work!

J: What piece is your favorite and why?
S: Oh my gosh I don’t think I could choose just one! There are so many that I love but I’ll try to narrow it down to a couple. I love these Quartz Arrowhead necklaces, the color is so unique and vibrant! I also love these Moonstone necklaces, I just think Moonstone is so gorgeous in how it catches the light with flashes of blue!

Song Yee-01

J: Who are some of your favorite other Etsy sellers?
S: I love AvonnieStudio (www.avonniestudio.etsy.com) which is also located in Southern California. She makes really cute coffee mugs and other custom gifts. If you’re in the market for a custom coffee mug, check out her shop!

J: Ok, lastly, what do you want CLA readers to know about your business?
S: All aspects of my business are run by me and only me. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted in my little “studio” corner of my apartment in Southern California. I’m a perfectionist and I always make sure each piece is a high quality product!

I feel like Song’s energy is just absolutely contagious. She seems to really have found her niche and calling in the art world and I for one can’t wait to see where she goes from here. I also have my eye on a few other pieces in her shop that might just be making their way to my doorstep in the near future.

Have you checked out her shop yet? Find a piece that you just can’t live without? Great, as a fun little bonus Song is offering up 10% off any Creative Life Antics reader’s purchase from now until April 25th. Just use the promo code: CREATIVELIFEANTICS at checkout to take advantage. That’s a whole month of savings! Mother’s day is just around the corner. Don’t wait till last minute to buy your wife or mom something sparkly.

il_570xN.561233191_4auz

And if that wasn’t enough Song’s also going to giveaway her favorite necklace, the Moonstone Necklace to a CLA reader! Entering to win the Moonstone necklace is really simple, just click

——->>here<<——–

to jump over to rafflecopter. The winner will be picked on April 2nd!

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for you today. Pretty good day so far huh? New jewelry, new friend… I’d call that a winner.

Don’t forget to enter and best of luck to all of you!

Until next time…

Signature-01

Dear people in Utah. I’m jealous of you. In fact I’ve been jealous of you for a while.

See… I’m a snowboarding aficionado.  And I tend to take snowboarding trips with the family. And during one of these “trips”  a few years ago to Utah with family & a co-worker I made the greatest discovery ever.

During a meal in Midvale, UT (to which place, I honestly can’t remember) my co-worker and I stumbled upon a place called “Smart Cookie” which turned out to be a homemade ice-cream cookie sandwich stop. Basically serving gourmet ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Now, I’ve never met an ice cream cookie sandwich I didn’t like. So naturally we indulged.

BEST ICE CREAM SANDWICH EVER.

Since then I’ve been determined to find the best combination that would come even remotely close to that deliciousness.

The sandwich I “created” at Smart Cookie was a Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwich with Oreo Ice Cream. The cookie was chewy and chocolatey and the chocolate chips melted in your mouth even when the cookie wasn’t warm.

So after months of searching for a good recipe, trying them, not having them be right… searching again… I finally found the best recipe for chocolate chocolate chip cookies that replicated the one from Smart Cookie.

Creative Life Antics Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Continue Reading…

Monday Morning Mashup

August 5, 2013

SO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT… WHERE DO I START?!

I need a list…

ONE// Today is the VERY first day to vote for Season 17 on So You Think You’re Crafty! I’m auditioning and today until Thursday at 7PM EST you can vote for your top five favorites here. Now, I’d be lying if i said I DIDN’T want you to figure out which one is mine and make it your FAVORITE, but I’m not going to force you… (hard, at least). 

I cannot tell you which project is mine, but hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out.

SO GO VOTE! (please) and spread the word!

TWO// The very lovely Lizzy from Lizzy’s Luggage has not only been nominated for the Liebster Award (it’s an award passed around bloggers of smaller blogs) but she has nominated Creative Life Antics for the award as well! I’m so honored, cant wait to answer her questions and nominate some of my favorite small blogs too! I’ll be answering all her

questions on Thursday, but until then please head over and give her some love and congrats!

399287_10201777807550084_1977891769_n

THREE// I’m adding a really sweet new button to my sidebar. This makes things feel SO
OFFICIAL. Today marks the end of The Bounce Back Campaign. I’m so very proud to announce that we raised over $138,000.00 more than the goal of $500k. To say that this is the start of something big and wonderful for myself and many other bloggers is a complete understatement. I’m close to crying, this is a huge journey and a HUGE step for bloggers in general. Thank you to everyone!


FOUR
// Today my other very lovely blogging friend is another year older! A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wonderful LEEANN of Join The Gossip.

4232029536_52267cd7ef_z

FIVE// Don’t forget to enter The Nectar Collective Sponsor Giveaway (I’m a sponsor) get all the details to enter HERE.

I’m pretty sure there was supposed to be another item… but at the moment I can’t quite remember what it is…

Either way, Happy Monday!

Blog Signature

Giveaway!

August 4, 2013

Hey Everyone! I’m dropping in on a sunday (sorta unusual) to let you know that The Nectar Collective is hosting a giveaway on behalf of all her blog sponsors this month and I’m a part of it! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter & go check out these other wonderful ladies that have joined me in sponsoring this month!

august-giveaway-ladies

The Nectar Collective | Lost in Travels | Postcards from Rachel | Venus Trapped in Mars | Kayli Wanders

Treasure Tromp | 91 Dash | This Lovely Little Day | Daisy Bisley | The Wellness Doer

Creative Life Antics | Stamp in My Passport | Side Street Style | Growing Wild Ginger | Melanie Fontaine

august-giveaway-prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules

1. The winner will be contacted by email within seven days of the contest’s end.

2. Winner must respond to that e-mail within 48 hours. If they don’t respond, a new winner will be chosen.

3. This contest is open internationally!

Now I’m off to enjoy the sun… Later Alligators!

Blog Signature

Happy Monday Fans! A VERY happy Monday indeed… I’ll skip all the B.S. right away and tell you what you want to hear… I promised you a GIVEAWAY if I reached 100+ Facebook likes and I’m gad to say that it’s finally here. In-fact, I’m well-over 200 likes! First I just want to say THANK YOU! I’m so shocked at the love and support from complete strangers that I’ve received from blogging and can tell you that I’m in it for the long haul… Continue Reading…

Summer Cash Giveaway

July 9, 2013

Hey everyone! I’ve got two things for you today. First this sweet giveaway that I’m sponsoring from All My Happy Endings! Enter to win some cold-hard-cash (everyone could use some spending money in the summer!!)

$135 cash giveaway

Rules:

Giveaway starts July 8th at 6:00 am CT – July 14th at 11:59 am CT
Open to everyone worldwide 
You must have a paypal account
You must be at least 18 years to enter
All entries will be verified, so please don’t cheat.
Please take a moment to visit and thank these wonderful sponsors:
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:
I have received no compensation for this post. Please contact mandi.hulse2@gmail.com
with any questions or if you would like to take part in the next big
event.
_______ _______ _______ _______ _______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______

OK, Second item to get to today: My weekend/ Holiday Vacation wrap up in iPhone pics. (sorry, didn’t take the big-daddy camera this weekend. LIMITED PACKING ROOM PEOPLE.)

Weekend Wrap Up 07-08-13-01
That’s all for today! Back to our regular programing tomorrow with a Wishlist!
Blog Signature