Spring Break and Netflix. Oh yes, you bet they go together.

 

 

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Parenting. When what you expect and what actually happens NEVER MATCH.

This also is the case for a lot of our silverware, all of our socks, and my six year old’s fashion choice today.  So, at least we’re consistent.

Last week was Spring Break. I kept thinking I would write THIS post when it WAS actually spring break, because Momsie is so relevant and timely, but good gravy. Spring break nearly broke me.

It all started with the take home math packet.

So, just so you know, I blame it all on my children’s teachers. They are out to get us.

I don’t even remember for sure which boy got the math packet. But I do know that when I spied it, all smushed in his R2-D2 backpack, that I felt a little flutter of excitement. It’s that Mom Buzz that I get every time I think I might have a Positive Learning Experience with one of my spawns. “Lo! Here is a math packet!” I crowed. “And, we shall learn all the things over break! This shall be a break from technology! We’ll take nature walks! We’ll work puzzles! I think I might try to learn another language! Besides Pig Latin, which is so big at our house right now!”

And on and on. Momsie went off the rails on the whole Fun and Educational thing.

At about two o’clock Tuesday afternoon, I decided to put a stop to all things educational and considered playing the Quiet Game for the rest of the break.

Anyhow.

What I did instead was realize, as I have so often before, this wonderful nugget of information:

TELEVISON. TELEVISION FIXES EVERYTHING.

Relax Moms. It’s not like we watched it from Tuesday on. But we reveled in the popcorn movie night (as one of Momsie’s favorite thing ever is her couch, and popcorn, and nighttime. They go together like constant fatigue and sweatpants, I tell you.)

And on those movie nights we didn’t watch movies. Nope. We watched… (drumroll)…

Somewhat Educational Stuff.

Which really means I just picked stuff that I like and told the boys it was that or a bath. So, they learned something, AND avoided personal hygiene. Winners all around. (?)

The kids and I watched two gems from the mighty Netflix.

Here’s the first one, that is NARRATED BY A BRITISH GUY AND YOU KNOW HOW I AM ABOUT BRITISH THINGS:

 

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In this series, The British Guy (Kevin McCloud) presents to us a strange breed of people who are “self-builders.” This means, they take strange old buildings, ones that aren’t really supposed to BE homes… and they make them into homes. Like, they “self-build” themselves right into an old movie theater.

Or, aherm, that’s theatre, if you’re British.

And, it’s bloody brilliant.

First of all, the builders usually have about five children and are obviously nutty as a fruitcake to even attempt this. But they DO attempt it, and they do so with that typical British cheerful oblivion to discomfort and mess that we Americans cannot even try to fathom. So, it’s like House Hunters International plus Property Brothers plus The Great British Bake-off when someone’s Victoria sponge slides off the table but no one even bats an eye and …oh you get the idea.

But wait, there’s more.

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Holy smokes, y’all. People are so smart. Did you know this?

Abstract: The Art of Design reminds you that the world is smushed full of really cool, innovative, interesting, creative people.  And you guys? I don’t know about you, but every once in a while, I REALLY NEED TO BE REMINDED OF THIS.

We watched the episode on automative design. And then I sent the cherubs to bed and binged on the one about architecture, and graphic design, and illustration, but had to stop because the husband wasn’t home and I knew this was one of those Family Shows to Watch All Together kind of things. I showed great self-control and watched only two more.

Or three. I lost count after the one about stage design.

Look, I know Netflix is there for you for your guilty pleasure. It’s got your Grey’s Anatomy. It’s got your kids’ Ninjago.

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If you have boys, then you know.

It’s got Santa Clarita Diet which I really want to watch but am also kinda scared. I’ll keep you posted.

 

But, Netflix also has stuff that inspires and makes us dream and imagine, and just zings with creativity. These are the kinds of shows I watch and then, when I’m not watching, I’m thinking about them. They make me… percolate. As a writer, this stuff feeds my soul.

Oh, and back to my children? They’ve been drawing up plans for flying cars for ninjas all week. So, you can thank me later, automotive industry. Two semi-brilliant thinkie types are coming your way.

All because of Netflix. 🙂StreamTeam_Red&White_BlackBackground.png

Hello, my name is Dana, and I can’t wrap presents.

Momsie, Christmas 2016:

This year I will make sure we do a meaningful and very spiritual Advent activity every day!

This year, we will not fight or argue during our Christmas break because Jesus is about to be born and he needs his sleep! Peace! Goodwill! Etcetera!

This year I will make fudge that actually ends up as fudge, not glorified frosting!

This year, I will wrap the presents BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE.

THIS YEAR WE WILL DO ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS!

 

Bet you can guess how I’m doing on my list, eh?

You know that sledding scene from It’s a Wonderful Life where George’s brother careens right into the pond? Well, that’s how our Christmas can go if we are not careful. Right. Over. The Merry Cliff.

I am pretty sure Jesus did not have this in mind.

Anyhow, what will happen is that I do make the fudge, and we eat it with a spoon and it’s YUMMO.

Also, I will make divinity for my dad because he is the best dad EVER and he’s reading this right now, and I am maintaining my status as the favorite child.

Also, I will put off wrapping because when I wrap presents? I seem to channel my inner idiot savant (what? We all have one. Don’t judge) and my presents end up looking like this:

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I would like to state for the record that there is no booze in this post. The item in the sock is “stunt liquid” – perhaps some olive oil, or a lovely bottle of Sprite. Perhaps a nice 1997. That was a good year.

Anyhow.

Wrapping. Wrapping happens. It’s unavoidable.

NETFLIX TO THE RESCUE!

Netflix has soooooo many new shows to view, I don’t even know what to start. If for some weird reason your children* are a part of this whole wrapping thing (rare, and also very painful for all involved. I mean, have you ever WATCHED a six year old try to wrap a box? It’s like green and red paint drying.) You can watch these two gems:

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Tim Allen is so JOLLY in this one. It’s perfection.

 

or : 61456a59-f862-446b-bc27-9e0fb05c8332_1-40f4d8069640ced9fde27ccd4522295b

This bunny one? It’s adorable.

And, like the tag says, “Everybody needs some bunny to love.” SO TRUE. We could all do with more bunnies to cuddle! Bunnies for everyone!

Also, the movie also stars Florence Henderson in one of her last roles, and she is so gruff and real and NON Florence Henderson-y in it;  she really was awesome in this movie. The story line is about adoption and fostering children. I am such a fan of those families who open their hearts and homes to children – even the “tough ones.” Just watch it. Bring kleenex. Or, maybe a bunny to hold onto while you watch. To wipe away the tears.

*Um, it’s also possible that the boys whilst watching the movies will be so transfixed by Christmas goodness that you can slooooooooowly slide the presents out of their sweaty little hands and then wrap those suckers for them in two seconds. I’m not saying I’ve done that, or that I’ve even done a good job IF I’ve done that, but we needed to be done wrapping that ONE BOX by 2017.

If you’re not watching with the babies, and you are also husband-free (he seems to avoid the whole wrapping thing because he knows better. I get surly. Plus, his style of wrapping, as an engineer, involves a level and measuring tape and, I think at one point there was some math formulas from an app on his phone involved) I go for the Hallmark-channely, romantic Christmas wondefulness stuff that is fluffy and happy. I like fluffy and happy. Heck, I’M fluffy and happy, so there’s that.

Here’s an example:movie-poster-back-to-christmas-563e51c486673-cb49ecc125dffb8d4491e3688e98609ba30f8aca-1“Sometimes you do get a second chance.”

That is cinema gold, people. We all need second chances, and if you’re a It’s a Wonderful Life-Ebenezer-Miracle on 39th Street kinda girl, you might realize –

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SECOND CHANCES.

Jesus would agree.

And finally? I give you my second chance at wrapping:

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My masterpiece.

 

Merry Christmas! Sit back, relax, spoon up some fudge, and enjoy the season, with the help of Netflix.

 

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Top Ten Netflix Picks for Your Family This Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving. The best holiday of the year. Wanna know why? Well, let me provide you with a list:

  1. No presents. No shopping. No wrapping. None. Nada. Zipp. Glorious.
  2. My momma’s oyster dressing.
  3. Gravy. Like, all over the place.
  4. Dressing up the dog and taking pictures of him. He loves this so much.
  5. Football. That’s more for the boys but I enjoy it as background noise. It pairs well with #6.
  6. Napping. All over the place. Like the gravy. Because of the gravy.
  7. No other plans. Like, for two whole days. No shopping, no going, no to-doing, no cleaning (except baths. There will be baths.) We are just going to … be. We will play board games and take the dog on walks and be. THIS IS AWESOME.
  8. The Macy’s Day Parade. Of course.
  9. My father in law’s Keurig. It’s elfin magic.
  10. My children’s faces when they first see the Thanksgiving table. It’s like Christmas morning, but without it being morning and there are no presents and it’s just food but you know. It’s food.

I do realize that “family” made it in the middle of the list. Should have been first, I think. I think my focus is on the NON gift giving aspect of this holiday because, holy entitlement, my children have ENOUGH STUFF.  They would disagree, of course. Little hoarders. They have an entire drawer full of half broken Chinese plastic pieces from McDonald’s Happy Meals and I swear, those Happy Meals toys procreate, y’all. The drawer is growing.

But, I digress.

Ok, so this Thanksgiving I wanted to give you another list. This one is for those of you who like to throw on a movie, or three, while you are relaxing and eating turkey sandwiches. It’s not a proper Thanksgiving for me unless there are copious movies. And, I want the kinds that make me all happy and grateful. Like a big happy hug of a movie. So, here goes:

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN NETFLIX PICKS TO MAKE YOU FEEL ALL WARM AND FUZZY ON THIS THANKSGIVING:

  1. Angel in the House. Toni Colette and Ioan Gruffud (of Amazing Grace) play bereaved parents, trying to conceive, until 7 year old Eli shows up on their doorstep. Prepare to cry. The ugly kind, but still, in a good way.a68a3700-6378-4dfe-9a89-3218246b0253_1.5eed56ebc5bb24b6654615b138e97e10.jpg

 

2.

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Love. Lessons. Loneliness. A little magic and French accents. Also, Jeff Bridges.

 

3.

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You think by #3 it might have lost its… mojo. But no. And the animation is incredible. Just a visual feast.

Also, Bryan Cranston and Dustin Hoffman and that Jack Black guy. You’re welcome.

4.

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Um… I know this isn’t exactly family fun. My kids would protest. But… I love it. Can’t help it. It’s full of schlock and silly romance  and that dude from that one show from the 80’s… Also this: my gosh people, if my dating life had been at ALL like this life would have been grand. Course, then, I would not have married the current hubs because he is so NOT that one dude from that 80’s show… But you know, reality and all. It’s here to stay.

5. 936full-miracle-on-34th-street-cover.jpgStill one of the best. The Macy’s Day parade scene? Classic. And the part with the letters at the courthouse? Still makes me cry. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

6.

 

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King Julien? He is my alter-ego. I mean, just look at him.

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7. Holy puppy chow. The cuteness. Also, watched it with my rescue dog, Hosmer, all up on my lap. He told me it was two paws up.

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8.

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Ok, the production value on this is a bit lower – it is produced by a Christian film company that is still small, and you can see that, BUT: I love films like this. I don’t care. It’s wonderful and the message is perfect for all of us. Everyone deserves second chances. Always.

 

9.

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I LOVE THIS SHOW. IT’S FOOD AND CUTENESS AT THE SAME TIME.

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And finally!!!

 

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Best adaptation ever. Best soundtrack. Best lion voice. Best witch. Best child actors. Best MESSAGE.

May we all know the deep magic.

 

Much love to you and yours this Thanksgiving. Enjoy the feasting and the festivity and cuddle up with your family and enjoy the Netflix. God bless us, everyone.

Oh, and ALSO!!! Gilmore Girls!!! They’re coming!!!! November 25th! Squeeeeee!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving, from Netflix and Momsie. 

 

Have a Scare-Free Halloween with Netflix

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Guys. GUYS! Netflix has FANTASIA!!!!

I have no clever leader here. I am simply too thrilled about Fantasia. The centaurs, cavorting! Mickey and the Sorcerer! The romantic ballet between a hippo and an alligator!

Ok, if you haven’t seen Fantasia then you have NO idea what I’m talking about. Allow me to explain:

FANTASIA! THE BEST! SO AWESOME. I CAN’T EVEN!

Sorry. Ahem. Let me try again: Fantasia is a Disney movie, made in 1940, and it’s unlike any other Disney film made. Ever. It’s a celebration of animation, art, and music. So, dudes like Tchaikovsky (thank you, spell check) and Beethoven show up.

And also, THIS DUDE:

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Try meeting up with him when you are about eight years old, in a huge, darkened theatre with a gigantic screen and soft red velvet seats and my mom’s treats from her purse because we never actually BOUGHT treats at the concessions. Don’t ask me why I thought it was important to include that detail, but know this:

Regarding the movie house concession stand: I DO THE SAME THING. My momma taught me well.  I have been known, on occasion, to bring a Diet Coke in to a movie and do the Diet Coke Cough whilst popping it open. They get you at the concessions, people. Bring your own.

ANYWAY. BACK TO FANTASIA.

We have a rule at our house – no scary or spooky for Halloween. My reasoning?  I have kind of had it with 2016 and have decided life is scary enough.

But then… I saw Fantasia in my Netflix cue and thought, “Hey, Satan coming out of a mountain on Halloween night to summon up the undead isn’t THAT awful, right? I FEEL A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT COMING ON!”

Yea, I know. Consistency is key in parenting. But, to my credit, THIS Satan has a classical score (Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky and then adapted by Rimsky-Korsakov, and if you can rattle off all that Russian in a crowd you will totally impress people. I think. Or, you might spit on them. It’s a lot of ‘S’s.) Also: Satan and the mountain is followed by this:

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Shubert’s Ave Maria.

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It’s a painting, on the screen.

Satan is banished. We are safe, and sacred, in a cathedral in the trees.

I love Fantasia. And no,  It’s certainly not a typical Halloween movie. No jack-o-lanterns. No tricks or treats. But for us, it was perfect.

And also, this year? I have my new costume idea:

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Hyacinth, the Hippo, dancing to Amilcare Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.

Perfection.

For those of you who are a bit braver, here’s a clever idea – Netflix’s savvy understanding that the doorbell can impede serious Netflix binging on all things scary. So, may I present you with  this:

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Good luck with the viewing of the 9-12 slot. I just can’t. Too skeery!

Or, if you are really up for a scare, watch Chopped, the kids’ episode, and start training your kids to step up their game because:

THANKSGIVING IS COMING. Be afraid, kids. Be very afraid.

“So… Whose dish will be on the chopping block?”

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When You Wish Upon a Disney

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There are a few things in this life that I would officially label as Annoying but Necessary.

  1. Swim suit shopping
  2. Customer representatives
  3. Kale
  4. The DMV

I have news, y’all. It’s wondrous. Like, the kind of information that makes the sun shine through the trees and little birdies alight on your fingers and then you break into song… I dunno… like a DISNEY PRINCESS MAYBE??

If you Netflix, Disney will come. And Disney will actually manage to redeem the DMV. I thought it could never be done… but yes.

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September 20th is already HERE, ya’ll! I know this because I checked. Knowing the date is important.

Anyhow, Disney cometh. All sorts of other movies are heading our way. Fishes with memory issues. Large talking bears. My childhood favorites, and new ones, for my boys to love.

Watch and wait, as the magic happens.

Ok, and while you are waiting, I will provide you with one other option for you. And stay with me here, because I assure you, this one will NOT be family viewing. But, did you know…

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Oh yea. It’s on Netflix too. You’re welcome.

But, if you don’t really like the whole shark with big pointy teeth thing? I provide you with THIS: *Dramatic flourish*

“A curious shark, with a curious talent…”

 

 

 

Let It Be.

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This post is brought to you by the Great and Mighty Netflix. Sometimes I blog for them, did you know?

But also, this post is brought to you by deep neurosis and a sudden longing for donuts with sprinkles.

Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Ok, so a few weeks back I up and left my family, just ABANDONED them, so I could wedge myself into a hotel room and work on my book. I wrote and outlined and organized and worked very hard. Also, I ate a LOT of donuts. And I NEVER HAD TO SHARE.

I wrote a book. Did you know? I wrote a book. And now, I am writing Book 2!! That’s how it works. I plan to have a whole series of Books All About MEEEE when done. (That’s a possible title).

Anyhow.

When I absconded from my poor sweet babies, they happened to get a box in the mail.

And the box was from THE GREAT NETFLIX! SENDER OF BOXES OF COOL STUFF!

I was kinda bummed. I missed it. I MISSED THE WHOLE THING. I was off all writey-writey while a box of goodness was being festooned all over our house, y’all. And, as you know, the boxes from Netflix can totally ROCK.

Ok, I don’t mean to be anti-climatic, but it was not another television. It was THIS:

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Blonde started rocking out on the harmonica. He turned into a wee version of that dude from Blues Traveler. Or ate least that is what the husband tells me, but how would I know? THE HUSBAND TOOK ABSOLUTELY NO FOOTAGE OF ANY OF THIS.

And I, of course, have now taken over the tambourine because:

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Music is my jam, y’all. Well, not really but I love the outfit and she has EARS. SOOOO cute.

So I missed all the cuteness. It was tough. The husband took absolutely NO pictures of my beloved prodigies as they started created masterpieces, so it’s like it never happened at all.

When you are a mom and you leave your children… sometimes, as much as you WANTED to leave them, and NEEDED the time away… you STILL want to be around them. You know?

I dunno. Maybe that’s just me. I had to let it be.

*cue the music*

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Netflix’s new show, Beat Bugs, is simply adorable. I mean, how could it not be?

Beatles music + cool artists + cute bugs = television magic.

(Small moment of total squee: Beat Bugs has Robbie Williams. Like, Robbie Williams from the Ego has Landed. Which was a really, really REALLY good album.)310GJFDG06L.jpg

Watch the trailer below to see the magic unfold! All the feels! I can finally explain to my kids who the Beatles are, which, as any good parent knows, is part of the trilogy of parenting:

THE TRILOGY OF PARENTING:

  1. The Beatles are the best.
  2. We will always watch the black and white Scrooge.
  3. Jar Jar Binks shall never be discussed in this household.

 

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I Went Away and Came Back Again. Episode #34

I think I’ve written about this before. But you guys. It is SO exciting! I went away!

And! Double bonus! I came back!

Last weekend I went away to write.

Does that not make me sound like Zelda Fitzgerald? I mean, without all the booze and angst about her husband and all. But still. It sounds so… writerly, doesn’t it?

Ok, so I packed my stuff:

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Important! Always include incredibly soft Netflix shirt (jammies) in blog post as Shameless Plug.

Also, I didn’t read Big Magic at all. I meant to. It is a great book and I will… but really, all I did all weekend was write or watch You’ve Got Mail. And Jaws 3. Which is in 3D, may I remind you, and has some really awesome acting in it. Basically, people shouting “Get out of the water!” and staring at horror as a gigantic fake shark slowly 3D’s its way towards them. I had forgotten how good that movie is. The shark was a little stiff but perhaps he just needed to work on his motivation.

Anyhow. I also wrote. I went to a hipster coffee shop, plunked my stuff down, and wrote my hands off.

I wrote. I wrote like the wind.

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The poor focus on this picture is not because I am a bad photographer. It’s symbolic. It’s showing you, dear reader, the very writerly PROCESS I struggled THROUGH to try and make this book something with some SORT OF FLIPPING POINT BECAUSE MY GOD PEOPLE I AM SO STUCK. I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK. IT’S NO LONGER A BLOCK IT IS MORE LIKE A BOULDER. HELLLLP.

 

 

 

So, then I administered about six cups of very strong coffee:

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And after a lot of flipping back and forth between my writing timeshare with the Facebooks, I then spread my crap out even MORE (All the while muttering: “I don’t CARE if it was annoying fellow coffee shop hipsters, this is IMPORTANT. I am a WRITER, people. THIS IS MY CRAFT.” Which really worked because people kept moving away.)

AND VOILA!!!!

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It’s my book, see! SEE! In post-its!

And also, then:IMG_5709.JPGI celebrated with carbs.

I now notice that Porters, next door, was offering nachos and a pitcher AND hiring… which I could always pursue, you know, if I can’t make it as a writer.

IMG_5724.jpgAs I had not had carbs in over a week, it’s possible this was a mistake. But I only at ONE. I promise. (Lower right, lemon cream. Oh my goodness. Heaven.) The rest of the box I faithfully shlepped home to mah babies.

Yes. I did come back to them.

And now the book is well underway, the blockage is over, and I am just spewing writing all over the place. Lovely analogy, isn’t it? Really has great imagery, doesn’t it. That, my peoples, is what we writers do.

We constantly attach too much meaning to everything and end up with poop metaphors.

It’s our thing.

So, The Second Book is on its way. I now I am thinking of some possible titles. What do you think?

All about MEEEEEE!  Part 2.

I Know I Have a Lot to Say, Don’t Leave

or maybe?

Being Me is Very Difficult Let Me Tell You Why

or my favorite:

Bottled in THREE D. THE SAGA CONTINUES.

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