It’s Momsie’s Twelve Days of Netflix! #StreamTeam

Sing with me:

Christmas time is here…

Happiness and cheer…

Fun for all, that Momsie calls…

A time to watch a whole lotta Netflix.


Christmas means a lot of special things for my family. We decorate cookies, and so also the house, with twenty pounds of sprinkles. We argue about the Elf on the Shelf not showing up because I don’t need that kind of hassle and that Elf is shifty, and he’s clearly out to get me. We sing O HOLY NIGHT at the top of our lungs at all parts of the day, and often meow the lyrics when we forget them.

That last one is a bit embarrassing to admit, but when has that ever stopped me from sharing that with you?

Another tradition? Movies. Gobs and gobs of Christmas movies.

Let me be perfectly clear: I love all Christmas movies. If it has a Santa, and some tinsel, and maybe a talking puppy, I am THERE.

If there is a schmaltzy Hallmark storyline? I am there, with a bowl of popcorn, shouting out all the predictable plot points. (I usually watch these movies alone. I wonder why?)

If Jesus actually shows up (about 50% of the time, but you know. Santa has more pull in Hollywood. Don’t even get me started on that) I am SO TOTALLY ON BOARD. YO, JESUS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So, without further ado,  here is my yearly list a la Netflix!

Momsie’s Favorite Holiday Movies (in no particular order because I can never get that organized)




Ok, this is a Hallmarky one. She’s a sassy journalist who wears Converse shoes at the palace. Oh, yes, there’s a palace. A big one. And yes, a spoiled little sister with a disability so we feel all Tiny Tim about her. Mean little sister becomes nice within five minutes of meeting sassy Converse girl. And also, there’s a Prince. Thus the title. He’s dreamy and has a cleft jaw. And there’s a wicked ex-girlfriend and a whole lot of sparkly lights.

OH AND DID I MENTION, A MAKEOVER SCENE? It was so Pretty Woman! Except not! Because the hooker with a heart of gold theme is NOT CHRISTMASSY. That would be weird.

So, you know. This movie is not one I watched with the boys because they were over it around the time that the sparkly ball gown showed up (in the trailer). It was just me and my eggnog and that was also FINE WITH ME. MAMA ALONE.



I’m on a roll here, with the romance. This one is a repeat from my last year’s list, because oh my goodness I just love it so much. Saved By the Bell guy is cute and funny. Blonde girl is sassy, which seems to be a popular trait in all these movies. And, she learns to have good will towards man and all that. It’s a totally innovative storyline, huh?

Ok, not. This movie exists already and THAT’S WHY I LIKE IT. NO SURPRISES. LIFE IS SURPRISING ENOUGH.

It’s a “folding laundry” movie. Meaning, I can watch it and fold laundry and putter about and it’s comforting and cozy and oh my gosh I love it so. All of us parents need a “folding laundry” movie on standby. Especially when the Christmas rush has us frazzled.

3. Speaking of FRAZZLED, did you know this actually exists??


I know the trailer says it’s not an actual source of heat, but you go ahead and stand in front of it. Go on, I’ll wait. Hold your hands out towards it. Feel it? Warm, huh?!

It’s Netflix Christmas magic.

Also, just so you know:



I know it has nothing to do with Christmas, but you know. Just in case you get hot.

5. Ok, now something for the kiddies:

maxresdefault.jpgI know. It’s not exactly Christmas cheer, but it speaks, deeply, to my inner Scrooge. Like, almost too deeply. There are so many moments where I find myself silently siding with Count Olaf.

Did I just say that out loud? I did. So, allow me to redeem myself:




Disclaimer: I can’t actually get (bribe) my boys to watch anything Thomas anymore. They’re all grown up, at the massively sophisticated ages of 7 and 9. Sniffle. But, I still proclaim that ALL of the Thomas the Train holiday movies are adorable and wonderful and when you watch them you feel all warm and wonderful too. How’s that for a lot of adjectives?

You cannot go wrong. You simply can’t.

7. Also, there’s THIS:3566041.jpg

Um, so you can watch this with your 7 and 9 year olds and not get bored. And it has the woman from Mad TV. And there’s a paintball scene. So, you know, my boys think it’s Citizen Kane.

8. I also got to sneak this movie in with my boys, because Blonde had just finished reading Sarah Plain and Tall, so I told him this was the same kind of thing, all old-fashioned and old-timey and… old. But in a good way.

Also, I read ALL the Mandie books as a girl. The movies do right by the author. And they wear those cute hats and MUFFS. When did MUFFS go out of fashion? I could rock a muff, I tell you.



9. And this:


NEWS FLASH: The Christmas Candle actually ACTUALLY HAS JESUS IN IT.

10. And now, we must move on to one of my absolute favorite traditions EVER this time of year:


Sing with me (to the tune of O Holy Night):



So we start with the Great British Bake Off Masterclass, Christmas Edition. Paul makes a gingerbread house, because he can.

Paul Hollywood could make a peanut butter sandwich for all I care.

11. So, also there is this:


I mentioned previously that we decorate cookies. Every year. EVERY flipping year, my sweet boys ask if we can bake cookies and then decorate them. And I get it, boys. I really do. It’s a Christmas thing, so we make the cookies. And then, we frost them.


So, we’re just gonna skip the cookies and watch this instead, MmmK?

12. And! THIS:0a5c641e7e2e7050b86ff0dc5d55c7b9acd65ebb.png

I know. It’s not a Christmas show at all, so I added a Christmas tree for you. THE NEW SEASON IS OUT AND IT’S BRITISH RESERVE AT ITS BEST.

By the way, are you planning on traveling during the holidays? Netflix is here for you!Pack Your Phone - Parent.png

Or, if you’re thinking “It’s not about me. It’s all about the children.”


Pack Your Phone - Little Kid.png

And so, that’s it. My 12 Days of Netflix. Enjoy your viewing and Merry Christmas to you!

Oh, and also?





As a Netflix #StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the fabulousness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.


The Best Lesson Plan in the Whole World

Merry Christmas break, y’all.

I start out with glitter and cookies and reindeer magic. By the end? I’m covered in crumbs and fatigue. You know if reindeer hang out too long, it just gets… messy.

Teachers have a slightly different view of all this. know from experience. They are getting a much needed break. Unless they have children of their own, and then it’s just kinda a continuation of their lives but without a planning period.

I have been thinking lately about my favorite lesson plans. I used to write many of these. We teachers, we’re always planning, thinking, plotting, commenting, “Oh! I need to use that in my classroom!” We can’t help it. We are wired weirdly. I’m sure a science teacher could explain.

As a teacher, I was in the classroom for over twenty years. Think of it. Six classes a day, for some two hundred days, for some twenty years, with plans upon plans and more plans… YOU do the math. I don’t teach math. That’s another teacher’s department.

But as a substitute teacher, these past two years, I have come across some real lesson planning gems.

Some teachers go all Big Brother:

  1. Here is a list of all my students’ pictures, seating arrangements, allergies, likes, dislikes, deepest fears, hopes, dreams, and what they had for dinner last night. Please make sure to utilize this list throughout the day.

Or, General Patton:

  1. 7:52: start the hour with spelling and pushups.
  2. Continue the pushups into math at 8:43 on the sharp.
  3. Children will remain silent and lined up at all times.
  4. Everything on my desk needs to remain at right angles.
  5. There is no crying in math class.

Or, Unicorns and Rainbows:

  1. Hug the cherubs! Tell them I miss them! Arts and crafts for everyone!
  2. Glitter and candy!
  3. I’m on a long break but I’ll be all better soon! *twitchy laughter*

Or, my favorite:

  1. Whatever you do, don’t feed them after midnight.
  2. Good luck, kid.

I recently “subbed” at a living museum called “The Body” at our school. I was in charge of The Mouth. There is really no reason to point out the irony here, is there?

So, here I am:IMG_6186.JPG

Those scrubs are so commmmmmmfffyyy. I have a plan: I am going to start wearing scrubs all the time. That way, people will assume I am in the medical field, which is so cool,  AND I’ll be sooooo comfy at the same time. Double bonus.

Also, yes, that are gigantic nostrils looming above me.

Then, there’s this:


And as I unpacked my gigantic toothbrush and floss, I came across my lesson plans, a series of instructions for how to keep the kids seated on the huge teeth without flipping over, and that Laffy Taffy is basically the devil.

And then, of course, there was this little tidbit of information:


You know? You just don’t hear that very often in a lesson plan.

Merry Christmas, and have a very merry vacation, teachers. You deserve it.


Happy Halloween and a Guest Post!


Be my guest.

Guest post today! Squeeee!

One of the BEST parts of my job is meeting other readers and writers from ALL over the universe who actually read Momsie. Amazing, isn’t it?

Let me introduce you to Jen, a great writer, mum, and super auntie, who lives in my beloved UK (I know. I’ve never visited but one can dream.) She is also a techie and a food and crafts writer, and has great ideas to share. Since my idea of crafting for Halloween means drawing on pumpkins with a sharpie (whatever WORKS, ok?), Jen has much better input in this area.

Jen is here today to tell us about how Halloween is “celebrated” over the pond. Enjoy!


That Moment When Your Child Carves a Pumpkin Better Than You…

It’s a joy to watch your child when they are so dedicated to something. We’ve seen that Lily likes art so my hubby and I let our dear daughter carve some pumpkins with us last year for Halloween.

This year, I’m staying on the sidelines to support her love for all things artsy. I do have some Jack o’ Lantern ideas, and I torture myself more by looking at other cool and cute carved pumpkin creations and then showing them to DD. If only I could do them myself and get them to come out right.

The Typical UK Halloween

For the most part, Halloween celebrations on this side of the world are pretty much the same as anywhere else these days. You’ll see costume parties left, right and centre; there are pumpkin patches; free horror movie screenings for the community; and of course, kids roam around going Trick-or-Treating.

After doing my research with my daughter, I did find out one interesting nugget. The ‘Trick-or-Treat’ tradition began here in the UK! Don’t ask how I didn’t know that. History isn’t my strong point, after all.

A blog I’m following posted some crafts  about Halloween and shared some info about the origin of ‘Trick-or-Treat’. Apparently, in Scottish hundreds of years ago, people used to knock at homes during this season to ask for free food or other valuables. Eventually, the practice evolved into what our children love to do today during every Halloween celebration.

Something that might be more unique in Halloween here, however, is that we have a ‘Mischief Night’ celebration every November 4 wherein people engage in pranks on each other. It’s a lot of fun, but obviously you shouldn’t go overboard just in case someone gets hurt.

People gathered around bonfires, sharing scary stories is also common. Do you know the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” That’s the idea, minus the sprinkling of magic powder to make the bonfire flame bigger though.

Hello, pumpkin!

Back to the pumpkins, the only part where I’m sure I can beat Lily is on making pumpkin soup or pie, out of the scraped portions of the vegetable. Not that it’s her job, but come on; you have to let me say “I rule!” once in a while. My hubby is totally awesome at putting together epic decorations and costumes; Lily makes wonderful Jack o’ Lanterns; and me, well, you got to give me something, right?

This year I have the ‘pumpkin and caramel cake’ in my sights. Just you wait, your souls will sing from the heavenly goodness of my culinary treat.

Seriously though, the best thing for me is that we complement each other. It’s what makes the celebration much more special. Getting to watch your loved ones working together, and seeing their joyful faces when we gather around good food are always priceless moments that I will cherish every day of my life.

I believe that’s the whole point. It’s not about the decorations, costumes, and props. It’s not about the parties. It’s about the bond that you strengthen further with your family through every occasion that’s worth truly celebrating. Happy Halloween!

Exclusively written for

by Jen’s a Mom!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year. Until Your Calendar Chokes to Death.


This one is for the introverts out there. You know who you are. I mean, you wouldn’t probably tell me anyhow, because introverts.

Someday, somebody is gonna come to me and ask me for advice. I am still waiting for this to happen, but I am sure of it. It could happen any time now.

And, my friends, I will be ready.

Oh heck, I’m just gonna spill it here. Prepare yourselves. This is the best unsolicited and unwanted advice you are going to get today, mainly because I’m really tired of waiting for someone to see the fat ton of wisdom that is Momsie over here:

Ready? Here it is. It’s coming. Bet you can’t wait, can you? So, here goes.

Ahem. Momsie’s Rule to Live By and the Best Advice Ever:


Ok, before you decide that I am some sort of weirdo stuck in my house with molding boxes of Good Housekeeping  and National Geographics  and surrounded by seven cats (one for each day!) just know this: I got rid of the Good Housekeepings. You will have to tear the National Geographics from my cold, dead hands.

And, the cat thing isn’t really all that bad, right?

I have this strong conviction that we humans must only schedule one thing a day. I mean, along with normal life, like work and showering and the post office, only ONE item of social interaction must occur. For example: a friend asks you to coffee? Sure! But, if also you are set up for a church meeting that day? Then no. That’s too much. It’s just too risky.

I can only do one thing a day, people. Otherwise, my brain gets itchy and I start eyeing Pinterest boards about knitting with your cat’s fur (after he has shed it, not prior. THAT would be really weird.)

You can imagine how having children kind of blew this whole One Thing A Day plan out of the water. They have a delightful way of messing with your life, those wee ones. For example, today, we have Lego club. Then, we are going to take out a family friend out for dinner. I KNOW. THIS IS INSANITY. It only works because we do have to eat and I think the meal will involve cheesecake. I can make it through.

Also, Christmas. Christmas does not stand a chance under this One Thing Rule. There are all these gathering and parties (shudder) where people stand around and eat those little sausage thingies and do small talk.

I can’t do small talk, guys. I just can’t. It’s up there with root canals and Walmart trips on Saturday morning. It fills me with despair.

Every time I attempt small talk a tree falls in the forest and NO ONE hears it. Also, a kitten dies.

Ok. This is a bit dramatic (the lawyer was fired ages ago, but if he was here you better believe he would be rolling his eyes). This is such a horribly grim picture that I will promise, no baby animals were sacrificed during the making of this post. But, my small talk? It is just very, very bad.

Here is an example. Take a Tums, it’s a doozy.

Nice lady from husband’s work at yearly holiday party from H-E-Double you get the point: “Hi there! How are you?”

Me: “I’m here for the sausages.”

Yep. That’s all I got.

So, I guess I would like to add to my already pretty epic advice and say this:

People. Stop it with all this holiday get togethering! Just have your party in February, ok? Nobody likes February. Spread the love a bit. Stop it with the concerts and parties and making merry. It’s AWFUL! I am talked OUT! At my best, I have about ten minutes of material in me, and then you can find me skulking back to the sausages.

The sausages, they understand me.

And I’m not going to even pretend that that line isn’t going to make my husband snicker. But I’ll leave it alone. It’s not that kind of blog.