Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FREE MetroParent Education Expo 9/26 at DIA

FREE MetroParent Education Expo 2010

Come to an educational, fun and FREE day at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010

Join MetroParent Magazine for this educational, fun and FREE day at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, September, 2010 from 10a to 4p.

DISCOVER the best opportunities for your children's academic success from metro Detroit's educational leaders! EXPLORE the exciting galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts! Families are welcome to enjoy FREE museum entrance, FREE activities, and receive the latest and greatest information on what’s new in education from over 65 exhibitors.

Register now before the FREE snack packs run out.

CLICK HERE to pre-register.


FREE Netflix app for the iPhone and iPod Touch - Streaming Video is SWEET!

Screenshot from CNET
FREE Netflix app streams video to the iPhone

A few months ago, my son started watching Netflix movies on his Wii - for FREE! I already pay for the 2 at-a-time unlimited DVD monthly rate so the Wii streaming video of TV shows and older movies is included in my monthly price. My son loves it and he has watched all 62 episodes of "Avator The Last Airbender" and he is now on to another TV series. This feature has really been great to keep him occupied over the summer.

There is no way my son is letting me near that Wii so that I can look at any TV shows or movies, but now I don't have to bother. Netflix just came out with a FREE Netflix app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Now I can watch streaming videos anytime on my iPhone - Sweet!

All I have to do is add videos to my Netflix online instant queue and I am then ready to start watching them on my iPhone.  Right now I am watching "Have you Heard about the Morgans?". I paused the movie 45 minutes into watching it and I can go back to where I paused it and start watching from that spot anytime I want.

To use this app, you must be a Netflix subscriber and running iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later.  If you just want to test it out for FREE, you can setup a 30 day trial subscription to Netflix.

I have to get back to my movie now.


FREE Fountain Drink w/Popcorn purchase @ AMC Theaters on 9/3

FREE Fountain Drink with Popcorn Purchase at AMC Theaters on Friday 9/3

Are you going to the movies this Friday, September 3rd?  If you are going to see a movie at an AMC theater, then signup on their Facebook page for a FREE fountain drink with the purchase of a popcorn.

Thanks to Liz Parker, the movie critic at Yes/No Films, for this offer.


Monday, August 30, 2010

FREE Detroit International Jazz Festival 9/3 - 9/6

Jazzing on the Detroit River

The Detroit International Jazz Festival is taking place this weekend from Friday, September 3rd thru Monday, September 6th.   Now in its 31st year, the festival takes place over several city blocks in downtown Detroit – from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius – with five stages and 100 acts over four days. It also offers educational activities for adults and children, giant puppets, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more. And it’s all FREE.

Subtitled “Flame Keepers: Carrying the Torch for Modern Jazz,” the 31st annual Detroit Jazz Fest will pay homage to six trailblazers of modern jazz: Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Betty Carter and Gil Evans.
“The talents of these geniuses burned brightly not only through the movements they created, but also through their investment in and ‘schooling’ of young players – now seasoned and carrying the torch for their mentors,” explained Executive and Artistic Director Terri Pontremoli.

The lineup features world-renowned pianist Mulgrew Miller, trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, conductor/composer Maria Schneider and master drummer Roy Haynes, along with a host of other leading national artists, emerging artists, Detroit-based artists and outstanding student ensembles.

Branford Marsalis
Friday, September 3
Memorial Park Middle School "Big Noise"
Detroit School of Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Renaissance High School Jazz Ensemble
Take 6 with Mulgrew Miller Trio
Tower of Power
Saturday, September 4
Allen Park Middle School Jazz Ensemble
Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensemble
Carl Cafagna & North Star Jazz
Danilo Pérez Quartet
Detroit Tribute to Betty Carter
Ellen Rowe Quartet
Grand Rapids Northview High School Jazz Ensemble
Hot Club of Detroit
“Hot Pepper” with Barry Harris & Gary Smulyan
Kirk Whalum: Tribute to Donny Hathaway with special guest Lalah Hathaway
Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra with Mulgrew Miller and Gary Smulyan
Mike LeDonne Quartet
Mt. Pleasant High School Jazz Band
Mulgrew Miller & Wingspan
Muruga Booker and the Rainforest Band featuring Perry Robinson and Badal Roy
Pat Bianchi Trio
Poogie Bell Band
Salim Washington & The Harlem Arts Ensemble
Scott Kinsey Group
Terence Blanchard Quintet
Tia Fuller Quartet 
The Brad Felt NuQuartet Plus
The Chris Canas Band 
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Troy High School Jazz Ensemble
William Patterson University Jazz Septet with Mulgrew Miller
Sunday, September 5 
Brownie Speaks: The Music of Clifford Brown featuring Dominick Farinacci and Jonathan Batiste
Cousino High School Jazz Ensemble
Dave McMurray 
Dennis Tini Trio
Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Orchestra with special guest Matt Wilson
Freddy Cole Quartet
Grosse Pte. South HS Jazz Band
Jason D. Williams Show
Johnny O’Neal
Juilliard Jazz Quartet
Kenny Barron & Mulgrew Miller
Mambo Legends Orchestra
Maria Schneider Orchestra
MF Productions Defenders of the Groove with Ernie Andrews, Louis Hayes, Donald Harrison,
     Melvin Sparks, Steve Turre, Eddie Henderson, Chembo Corneil & Luke O'Reilly

Northville High School Jazz Ensemble I
Robert Hurst Quartet
Ron Kischuk & the Masters of Music Trombones
Stevenson High School Jazz Band
Tierney Sutton Band
Tribute to Ray Brown with Christian McBride, Benny Green and Karriem Riggins
Trio M: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson
Warren Mott Marauder Big Band
Wayne State University Big Band with Terence Blanchard
Western Michigan University Jazz Orchestra with Bobby Watson
Monday, September 6
Allen Toussaint
Branford Marsalis
Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet
Dave Bennett Quartet 
Detroit Jazz Fest High School All-Stars
Detroit School of Arts Jazz Ensemble with George Bohanon
Finger Poppin’: A Tribute to Horace Silver with the Michael Weiss Quintet featuring Randy Brecker
HORIZON: Featuring Bobby Watson, Victor Lewis, Terell Stafford, Edward Simon and Essiet Essiet
Ionia High School Jazz Ensemble
James Fortune & FIYA
Kurt Elling Quintet with special guest Ernie Watts
Manhattan Transfer/Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra and special guest Gerald Wilson
Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band
Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices
Triumph Church Mass Choir

Tower of Power
Click here for more info on the 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival




This weekend, I tried using the new Google Gmail feature that enables users to make FREE national phone calls.  AND IT WORKED GREAT!  So I thought I would show everyone how to use Google phone to make FREE calls...

1) Setup a Gmail Account
You must have a Gmail account to make the phone calls. If you don't already have an account, go to http://www.gmail.com/ and setup your account.

2) Setup a Google Voice Number
You must have a Google Voice number to make the phone calls. If you don't already have an account, go to www.google.com/voice to setup your account.

Google Voice has some wonderful features.  With Google Voice, you can get a transcript of all your voice messages, setup the number to ring your home, work, and cell phones so you never miss a call, and even block annoying callers. Lori Cunningham over at the Well Connected Mom blog did a wonderful write-up on how to use Google Voice so be sure to check it out.

3) Install the Voice and Video Chat Plugin on your PC
Go to http://www.google.com/chat/voice  and download the software to your PC.

4) Dial the Number
On the Gmail sidebar, choose the CALL PHONE option.  A phone keypad will appear on the screen.  Use the keypad to type in the phone you want to call and that's it.  You will hear the caller through the speakers on your PC.  You can use a PC headset or microphone to speak to the person you are calling.  For my test, I just used a cheap microphone from one of my son's toys and I came through crystal clear.

Skype, Watch Out!
Google Phone also has video capability included.  So, Google seems to be doing the major components of Skype - but all for FREE!

International Calling Available, but NOT FREE
Calls within the US and Canada are FREE.  But you can also make international calls at the following rates...

- India - 6 cent per minute
- UK landline - 2 cent per minute
- UK mobile - 18 cent per minute
- Mexico landline - 10 cent per minute
- Mexico mobile - 19 cent per minute
- France landline - 2 cent per minute
- France mobile - 15 cent per minute

- Click here for a complete list of international calling cost


Come WALK 4 FRIENDSHIP - 9/5 West Bloomfield


Friendship Circle, a not-for-profit organization that creates friendship in the lives of children and adults with special needs, will host its annual Walk4Friendship on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Walk4Friendship is Friendship Circle’s 5th annual fundraiser. An estimated 7,000 metro Detroiters will gather in West Bloomfield for a 5k walk in honor of individuals with special needs. There is no cost for registration, participation or food. All participants will receive a Walk4Friendship 2010 T-shirt. The Walk4Friendship donation goal this year is $500,000.

Following the 5k walk, Friendship Circle will host a complimentary carnival for all participants at the Applebaum Jewish Community Campus at 6600 W. Maple Rd. in West Bloomfield. The featured entertainment is the Chicago Boyz Acrobat team, which is a professional gymnastics troupe. There will also be a sports challenge, where walk participants will get to try their athletic skills against professional athletes and local celebrities. All sports challenge participants will have the opportunity to win prizes and autographed sports memorabilia.

In 2009, more than 5,000 participants and 48 corporate sponsors raised $440,000 for Friendship Circle. 100 percent of funds raised through the walk directly support the programs and services that Friendship Circle provides.

This walk is open to the public. Those interested can register and/or donate online at www.Walk4Friendship.com.

For additional information on Walk4Friendship, please contact Lifetown Director Bassie Shemtov at 248.788.7878 ext. 212 or Bassie@FriendshipCircle.org.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FREE Henry Ford Health System Hot Topics in Women's Health Seminars 9/14 9/15 9/22

Henry Ford Offers FREE Hot Topics in Women’s Health Seminars in September

Henry Ford Health System invites the public to attend “Hot Topics in Women’s Health”, a series of free seminars on important medical issues featuring Henry Ford physicians and experts. All presentations will be held 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Too Busy to be Healthy – You can find the time and energy to get and stay healthy. Come discuss strategies with a physician and lifestyle coach.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14 – Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 6777 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, lower-level conference room.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15 – Henry Ford Medical Center – Fairlane, 19401 Hubbard, Dearborn, second-floor Conference Rooms A & B.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22 – Henry Ford Medical Center – Lakeside,14500 Hall Rd., Sterling Heights, Conference Room A-2.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22 – Henry Ford Medical Center – Cottage, 159 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms, Conference Rooms 1-4.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Space is limited.  For registration and further information please call 1 (800) HENRYFORD (436-7936) or visit www.henryford.com/hottopics.

MOVIE REVIEW: Going the Distance

Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Going the Distance" with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.  

Does this real life on again, off again couple shine in this romantic story?  Let's see what Liz thinks...

I should tell you beforehand that I am biased when it comes to Drew Barrymore movies, as I am a huge fan of hers. I met her in person at the Birmingham, MI screening of "Whip It" last year, and she seemed as nice in real life as most of her characters are in her movies. Therefore, I was hoping that I would be able to give this movie a good review, and luckily it seems that I can.

Erin (Drew Barrymore, "Everybody's Fine") and Garrett (Justin Long, "After.Life") meet in New York City while Erin is there for a summer internship. They instantly like each other but Erin cautions Garrett that their relationship can only last throughout the summer, as she is returning to San Francisco in August. After they part ways at the airport, however, they realize that they like each other too much for it to just be a "summer fling," and they decide to try having a long distance relationship together. Airfare is expensive, however, and they soon find that when you are only seeing each other every three months or so, it's tough to consider it a "relationship."

Barrymore and Long have undeniable chemistry - I read a review with Barrymore in which she said that she has had the most chemistry with him than with any others she's worked with - and it definitely makes the movie work. Long's friends in the movie are funny as well - Charlie Day (TV's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") plays Dan, Garrett's roommate, and Jim Gaffigan (TV's "My Boys") plays another friend. Christina Applegate (TV's "Samantha Who?") plays Erin's loving but a bit psycho sister, and Ron Livingston ("Dinner for Schmucks") has a small role as Garrett's boss at the record company where he works.

Yes, see this movie, but there are a few caveats. First off, the movie is rated "R" for a reason - this was probably the raunchiest comedy I have seen in a while. Unlike movies like "Hot Tub Time Machine," however, the vulgarity helps make the movie funny, and it's nothing too "over the top." There's also a lot of swearing which is to be expected from an R-rated movie, and we see some partial nudity as well. The audience (mostly the women) screamed with laughter when we see parts of Justin Long in a certain tanning scene ... it was definitely unexpected but it's done tastefully, in my opinion.

"Going the Distance" opens in theaters on Friday, September 3rd.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

Blogging and the City - BlogHer 2010: BlogHer Gives Back! + Giveaway

Tutus for Tanner was one of the many ways for BlogHer conference goers to give back
Blogher helps the community

The BlogHer conference was not just about parties and learning new blogging techniques. The conference was dedicated to giving back to the community through various methods...

1) BlogHer 5k: Running for Conner
Why are these women (and a man) in tutus and running shoes? The BlogHer conference included a 5K run/walk that turned into a movement to help raise money for a little boy named Tanner who is living with a terminal illness called Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. The tutus attracted lots of attention as we 5k runners and walkers took to the street and helped get out the word about children living with terminal illness. Click here to read more about Tutus for Tanner.

2) The White House Project
The mission of the The White House Project is to get more women to run for public office. I became familiar locally with The White House Project because of Joni Hubred-Golden from the Michigan Women's Forum. Joni is raising money for The White House Project to help Michigan woman with the expenses of running for office.

BlogHer teamed with The White House Project to put on a 1/2 day training session for bloggers with aspirations to became public servants. Here are the live blogs from those sessions:

White House Project - Call to Action
White House Project - Q&A with Linda Tarr-Whelan
White House Project - Invitation to Run and Closing Remarks
White House Project - Exercising Influence at Every Level

3) The Responsibility Project
Liberty Mutual sponsored a booth in the exhibition hall where conference goers could get a professional photo with the Statue of Liberty if they took the responsibility pledge.

4) Going Green
There were many green initiatives at BlogHer'10.  The conference was free of bottled water. Filtrete donated water bottles to every blogger and PUR provided onsite water stations. If bloggers did not like the swag that was received, BlogHer had a swag exchange room sponsored by Future Friendly where the items could be traded. At the end of the conference, the unwanted items were donated to the Salvation Army. Click here to read about all the green initiatives from the conference.

5) Blogging for Change
Blogher dedicated an entire segment of training to the topic "Change Agents". Six sessions dealt with blogging to bring about change in the community:

-Screw Work/Life Balance, We Need Work/Life POLICY!
-How to Start, Engage in and Moderate Civil Political Debate
-Radical Blogging Moms
-Resource Blogging - Serving Your Community One Post at a Time
-Creating Tangible Social Change
-How to Build A Community Around Your Cause

6) International Women Bloggers risk their lives for truth
Would you still blog if your life was on the line for the things that you write about?  The BlogHer'10 International Activist Blogger Panel consisted of four women who blogged at great risk to their personal safety.  No cameras were allowed during this session.  Click here to read the live blog.

7) BlogHer Conference Bags help Women in India
Every time I go to a conference, I fall in love with the conference bag. They are usually distinctive bags designed just for the conference. The BlogHer conference bag is definitely one of my favorites. The tote bag is a feminine eco-friendly jute tote bag fully lined and a great size for carrying around all those necessities of life. But the bag also is a way to help women to free themselves from human trade.

The BlogHer Conference bags were donated by Gettington.com. The BlogHer conference bag is a specially designed version of a bag sold on the Gettington website called the Freeset Bag. These are the words from the tag on the bag -

"The Freeset Bag tells a story of a women's journey to freedom.  She used to sell her body on the streets of Kokata, India alongside thousands of other women. Trapped in prostitution, her life was full of shame. She didn't choose her profession, it choose her. Poverty robbed her of the choices, dignity and hope we all take for granted. Today she can choose to make Freeset bags instead of selling her body. She works descent hours for decent pay and is learning how to read and write. As she collects her daughter from the Freeset nursery, she knows freedom is being passed on to the next generation."

Every Freeset bag that you buy, helps a woman change her life by providing dignified employment opportunities.

One FREEISMYLIFE reader will win a BlogHer conference Freeset bag and a conference landyard.

-Fill out the information in the form below.

- One entry per person please.

- The contest ends on Monday, September 6, 2010 at 11:59pm EST.

- The winner will be selected by random number generation.

- Continental US Addresses only.

- The winner will be contacted by email on Monday, September 7, 2010. If a winner does not respond within 24 hours of the email being sent, another winner will be chosen. Contest fulfillment will be provided by FREEISMYLIFE through US mail.

- You can get 1 extra contest entry for following FREEISMYLIFE on Twitter
- You can get 1 extra contest entry for liking "Tutus for Tanner" on Facebook.
- You can get 1 extra contest entry for liking "Freeset" on Facebook.

Click here if contest entry form is not shown


Click here to read all the BlogHer'10 posts