Netflix & Binge…

So when I first heard of Netflix a few years back I couldn’t understand what the craze was all about?  After all, I religiously continue to watch Grey’s Anatomy, House Hunters, Blackish, Modern Family and many other network shows, including programs available through HBO, Cinemax and Showtime (The Affair was amazing).

So why would I need Netflix in my life?

Well, flash forward a few years and I can now completely understand.  I am OBSESSED.  So many great series and original movies to watch, and the best part is the binging (is there any other way)?  It’s also great to watch older series that were once on network TV such as Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin and The Good Place, which I had never gotten around to watching.  Even my husband has been hooked on a few series. In addition to the fan favorites such as The Crown, Outlander, Ozark and Cable Girls (all highly recommended), here are some of my off the beaten path favorites:

Schitt’s Creek – 5 Seasons

schitt's creek

By far one of the funniest series I have ever watched.  Can’t even choose a favorite character because I love them all.  A wealthy couple, video store magnate Johnny and his soap opera star wife Moira, suddenly find themselves completely broke. With only one remaining asset, a small town called Schitt’s Creek, which the Roses bought years earlier as a joke, this once-wealthy couple must give up life as they know it. With their two spoiled children in tow (who you will fall in love with) and their pampered lives behind them, the Rose family is forced to face their newfound poverty head-on and come together as a family to survive.

 


If I Hadn’t Met You – 1 Season
    
If I hadn't Met YouThis is a series I accidentally stumbled upon and the story line captivated me. It is a Spanish (Catalan) series so you will need subtitles.  If you could go back and do things differently in your life, would you?  I think we all have a moment in time when we ask ourselves that question. The plot revolves around Eduard who loses wife Elisa and their kids in an accident. Later, a mysterious woman known as Dr. Everest teaches Eduard how to travel to alternate universes, which leads him to try to find a world in which his family can be saved. It does start off a bit slow, but keep watching the ending is fantastic.  I even got our teenage daughter hooked on it as well, and she loved it.

Bloodline – 3 Seasons    
BloodlineThis series has an excellent cast, and I personally love Kyle Chandler. Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community, but their past contains dark secrets that they hope remain buried. Paranoia and mistrust build as lies pile up, alliances are shattered, and an unthinkable crime takes place. The tight-knit family’s formerly harmonious relationship deteriorates, and good people are forced to consider doing very bad things.

Dead to Me – 1 Season

Dead to MeThis is a great series starring two of my favorite actresses.  Jen’s (Christina Applegate) husband recently died in a hit-and-run, and the sardonic widow is determined to solve the crime. Optimistic free spirit Judy (Linda Cardellini) has recently suffered a tragic loss of her own. The ladies meet at a support group and despite their polar-opposite personalities, become unlikely friends. As the women bond over bottles of wine and a shared affinity for “The Facts of Life,” Judy tries to shield Jen from a shocking secret that could destroy her life as she knows it. The dark comedy explores the weirdly funny sides of grief, loss and forgiveness.

 


Living With Yourself – 1 Season

Living with YourselfPaul Rudd is one of my favorite actors, so right away I was intrigued, not only by him but by the plot as well.  Miles Elliot lives an ordinary and routine life with a wife and a job. His job is not going well and he and his wife are struggling to conceive. A co-worker, Dan, tells Miles he can improve his life by going to a spa called Top Happy Spa. Despite not knowing what the spa involves, Miles decides to take a risk and spends all of his family’s savings on a visit. Hours later, Miles wakes up buried in a forest, digs his way out and tries to return home. At home, he finds another version of him. Confused, the two Miles decide to return to the spa, which was the site of his last memory before the grave. There he discovers that he has been cloned.


Santa Clarita Diet – 3 Seasons

Santa Clarita DietThis one is so quirky and definitely worth seeing, just for laughs.  Our daughter started watching it before I did and she kept telling me I would love it.  I have always really enjoyed Drew Barrymore as an actress, but to me it felt as if Timothy Olyphant (plays Joel her husband) stole the show. His character is exceptionally funny.  The story centers around Sheila and Joel, who are living a quiet life, raising their teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, California. Their world unexpectedly changes when Sheila goes through a dramatic transformation that sends her down a road of death and destruction — but leaves her looking and feeling better than ever.

 

Velvet – 4 Seasons

VelvetAnother Spanish series so again, subtitles, but I promise it will not disappoint.  In 1958 Spain, Galerias Velvet is the place to be seen and shop and it hides one of the most wonderful love stories ever told. The love story of Ana and Alberto. She is a humble dressmaker. He is a young man destined to inherit the majestic empire of fashion that his father manages until now. Amongst fabrics and haute couture dresses that recall a dream life, both of them are willing to break the rules of that time and live their love despite of what others might try to impose them. However, destiny holds for them too many things that will put their true love to the test; so many that will even turn it into something forbidden.

 

Which Netflix series are you hooked on?  I’d love to hear…

My Signature

Happy 2020!

Happy New Year to all of my readers! I apologize, I have not been on here for a while (very busy past 4 years) but I finally have some time again to dedicate to this special place, which I have always enjoyed so much. I look forward to continue sharing travel tips, vacation planning (my personal favorite), restaurant recommendations, book reviews, gift suggestions, parenting advice, etc. I’m certainly not one to stick with resolutions but I will share this one quote, which I believe is a great one for starting the new year:

76e51c696afa63fcd4caad309d525bc3

May 2020 bring all of you many blessings, good fortune, love, health and happiness!!!

What are you most looking forward to in the coming year? I’d love to hear…

 

My Signature  

 

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day!

I love ice cream, all types really, I’m not very picky. And you know what I love even more?  Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s, which is TODAY!!!! I first fell in love with B&J when I tried their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, a gazillion years ago. I became addicted, and luckily I was in my 20’s and was able to eat all the ice cream I wanted and still not gain weight. (I wish that were still the case.. 😦 ). Fast forward a few years (or decades) and by now I have sampled many of their amazing flavors, and while it was definitely hard to choose among them, here are my top 5:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  B&J knew they were onto something big when they made the world’s first batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in 1984. Today the flavor still reigns among their all-time most popular concoctions. And how can it not be?  It’s not even one of their more complex or fancier flavors.  It’s quite simple. Vanilla ice cream with gobs (and yes, there are actual gobs!) of chocolate chip cookie dough.  My daughter LOVES this flavor too!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, introduced in 1984.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, introduced in 1984.

2. Milk & Cookies.  We also love this flavor.  It’s probably one of the best sellers for any cookie lover. Vanilla ice cream with a chocolate cookie swirl, chocolate chip & chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  Did you get that?  Yup, it’s chock full of cookies, and it’s heavenly!

Milk & Cookies, introduced in 2012.

Milk & Cookies, introduced in 2012.

3. Half Baked.  This is another one of our favorites.  Chocolate & vanilla ice creams with fudge brownies & gobs (yes again with the gobs) of chocolate chip cookie dough.  A little bit of everything, it’s just delicious!

Half Baked, introduced in 2000.

Half Baked, introduced in 2000.

4. Strawberry Cheesecake.  This is one of my all time favorite flavors, however, my daughter doesn’t care much for it (she doesn’t like cheesecake…gasp!).  Strawberry cheesecake ice cream with strawberries and a thick graham cracker swirl. Any cheesecake lover (like myself) will be thrilled with this flavor, and the graham cracker swirl, is just awesome.

Strawberry Cheesecake, introduced in 2005.

Strawberry Cheesecake, introduced in 2005.

5. Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core.  Ah…the cores!  These are some amazingly delicious flavors that B&J came out with some years ago, which each have a yummy, chocolately, caramel or cookie core in the center of the pint. Dark caramel & vanilla ice creams with speculoos cookies and a speculoos cookie butter core.  Just absolutely amazing!

Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core, introduced in 2015.

Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core, introduced in 2015.

So, do you love Ben & Jerry’s as much as we do?  If so, which are your favorite flavors?  I’d love to hear!

My Signature

 

 

 

Sunday Night Blues

As far as I can remember, I have experienced the Sunday Night Blues. It all started when I was very young and I was terrified of going to school. Once Sundays came around, I would get very anxious and my stomach would start to rumble and I would ask my parents if I could sleep with them. Of course my mom would say yes, and once I was sound asleep my dad would carry me back to my own bed. This continued for a while. Eventually I got over the fear of school (heck, I even have a MBA), and I was always an excellent student, but my dislike and anxiousness for Sundays, sadly, still exists today. I can’t explain it, my favorite night of the week is actually Thursday, not Friday like most would think. This is because Fridays have always been fun days, whether at school (in college I would always try to take a very heavy load of courses Monday through Thursday just to have Fridays off), and even at work. People are always in such a great mood on Fridays, they go out to lunch, discuss weekend plans…

And of course I love Saturdays too, a fun day to spend with family and friends, doing just about anything you want. However, come Sunday morning, and it’s a completely different story. Something inside my brain starts to shift and the feelings of sadness and anxiousness begin. The pit in the stomach feeling. Dread. Even now, that I am a mom, and I am finished with school and I’m not currently working outside the house. So I ask myself “Why do I still feel this way?” And I just cannot come up with an answer.

Well, I guess I am not alone in this after all. I recently read somewhere that even if you’re lucky enough to not hate your job, Sunday nights are rough. In a 2015 poll from the career site Monster.com, 76% of American respondents said they get Sunday-night blues…and 59% said they experience them “really bad.”

To me, Sundays feel the same as when I return from a great vacation. I always say that some of the best moments of a trip for me are the planning and anticipation. I always get very sad after returning from great trips and also feel this way right after Christmas, or when summer ends and my daughter goes back to school.  And I think that’s how I feel every Sunday night. The weekend is over. Back to the same weekly routine. Fridays are like the planning phase of a vacation, while Sundays are the end of the vacation. And I don’t know about many of you, but in my family, we all experience the Sunday Blues, so Sunday nights are not much fun. Everyone is anticipating the horrible Monday that is creeping up, sooner rather than later.

I’ve read many articles on this topic, which suggest strategies such as, identifying your triggers, better organizing your week ahead, meditation, finding a new direction and/or a new job, scheduling fun things for Sunday instead of Saturdays, etc, etc, etc…

Unfortunately, I can tell you that none of these things work for me. This is not one of those posts that will enlighten you on how to rid yourself of this feeling.  I will simply always feel this way on Sunday nights. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

Do you experience the Sunday Night Blues? If you do, what do you do to alleviate your anxiety, depression or worries? I’d love to hear.

My Signature

Leap Day Trivia

So today is February 29, and this day only comes around every 4 years!  I’ve always been a bit fascinated with Leap Day so I went digging and found some interesting trivia about Leap Years:

  • Every leap year features an extra day added to the end of February, giving February 29 days instead of the usual 28. This bonus day happens because there aren’t actually 365 days in a year, but rather 365.242190 days. To compensate for this extra time, an extra day needs to be added approximately every four years.
  • If you’re born on February 29, you’re known as a “leaper” or a “leapling.” Around 4 million people in the world have been born on February 29.
  • Leap year babies celebrate their original birthday only once every four years.
  • The chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461.
  • The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies is a club for people born on February 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.
  • February 29 became the official leap day because of the ancient Romans, who added this extra day to the Roman calendar used during the Roman Empire. Roman emperor Julius Caesar also incorporated the leap year into the calendar he created, known as the Julian calendar.
  • In Hong Kong the legal birthday of a leapling is March 1 and in New Zealand it is February 28.
  • In Taiwan, married daughters return home on leap month because it is believed that lunar month can bring bad health to parents.
  • Greeks believe getting married on a leap year will only bring bad luck. However, other cultures like Great Britain and Ireland believe a leap year is the time when women should ask men to get married instead of the usual custom of men asking women.
  • The frog is the symbol associated with February 29.
  • Leap year is also called known as St. Oswald’s Day, named after the Archbishop of York who died on February 29.
  • Head to Anthony, Texas, or Anthony, New Mexico. Both claim the title of “Leap Year Capital of the World.” To celebrate the leap year, the town in Texas holds a large festival that features square dancing, fun events, and activities on a nearby farm, and it even offers a tour through an Aztec cave.
  • Astrologers believed children born on leap year have unusual talent, unique personalities and even special powers.

So, what are your thoughts on Leap Day, do you celebrate this day in any special way? Were you born on February 29?  I’d love to hear.

My Signature

Fun Facts…

Every once in a while I come across these fun and interesting blog questionnaires.  I am a sucker for those and I think it’s a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other better.  So, here it goes:

1. Something you will…
refuse to do for the rest of your life: Stop traveling. I know many folks feel that it’s not as necessary once you’re older, but I completely disagree. I love to travel, and some of my best memories are from my trips. God willing I will have the means and health to continue traveling into my golden years.
always do forever: Continue to work on my very elaborate scrapbooks! To me, they are the best reminders of family gatherings, fantastic vacations, and important moments in our lives. I not only enjoy working on them but also love to look at them often and reminisce.

2. Something you think is…
certifiably disgusting: Oh, wow, where to start? I find many things disgusting but I must admit I really hate it when people look like they have not showered in days (and no, I am not talking about the poor homeless). I mean seriously, how hard is it to brush your hair and brush your teeth everyday, and let’s not forget some deodorant too!
absolutely amazing: My faith. It has kept me going through some tough moments in life and I am so thankful for it.

3. A compliment you’ve been given that’s made you…
feel on top of the world: That I am very creative. I love to work on many projects and have been told many times that I should start my own party planning business. I love to hear that because I put a lot of effort and time into all of my projects, and I love to see people happy with my creations.
pretty upset: Not really sure about this one, if it makes me upset then it’s not a compliment, right?

4. A name you…
hate: Ofelia. My apologies in advance to any Ofelias out there who may be reading this, but it just sounds like an old granny name. Have never liked it 😦
love: Aside from Carolina and Isabel (my daughter’s names) I also love Olivia. I always said that if I had another daughter (which I did not 😦 ) I would name her Olivia Marie.

5. Something people say about you that you…
know is entirely false: That I am very tough. Definitely not true…if anything I am one of the most emotional and sensitive people I know, I mean, I cry watching TV commercials and listening to certain church songs…many things can actually set off my waterworks!
think is on point: That I am the most organized person they have ever met, and I probably am!

6. A taste you…
can’t stand: Not sure about this one either…hmmm
can’t get enough of: Condensed milk, really, I can have it every single day, right out of the can!

7. A movie you always…
turn off immediately: any westerns, sorry, just not into them at all!
watch a million times: ooh, so many movies I love, but what the heck, I am a die hard Sound of Music fan, and I also love The Devil Wears Prada, Pitch Perfect, The Object of My Affection and Love Actually (yeah, I love my movies)!

8. Animal you…
fear: Oh I think I would hate to come across a bit rat. Just thinking about it is making the hairs on my arms stand!
need in your life right this instant: truly, none. I am just not an animal person, although who can resist a cute tiny puppy?

9. Something you…
will never ever eat: There are many gross things I have seen people eat but I don’t think I could ever put a fried tarantula in my mouth…UGH!
would eat for every meal if you were given the chance: Pasta, any type really!

10. To enhance your looks you…
would love to, but would probably never resort to: getting laser surgery to correct my vision, but would absolutely never have the courage to have someone work on my eyes! I have a huge fear of being blind and heck, I have a hard time putting on my contacts everyday!
just stick to: My regular mani/pedis. I think it’s so important for people to have nice looking hands and feet. I have been getting manicures on a regular basis since I was 16!

So, how would you answer some of these questions?  I’d love to hear!

My Signature

Valentine’s Gifts for Him

Many of you are still in New Year’s mode, but January has come and gone (I think I missed the entire month this year) and in just less than a week, it’s Valentine’s Day!  While I myself do not make a huge deal on this holiday, I know many of my readers do.  So this year I decided to round up some pretty nifty gift ideas for that special man in your life. I hope you like the goodies I came across, take a look:

  1. Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer Sunglasses, available at Bloomingdale’s, $155. Great gift for any guy on the go.
  2. Hugo Boss Polka Dot Dress Socks, available at Bloomingdale’s, $15. Very stylish and elegant socks.
  3. 50 Cars to Drive by Dennis Adler, available anywhere books are sold, hardcover $33. A perfect gift for the car lover.
  4. Fitbit Charge HR, http://www.fitbit.com, $150.  Available in various other colors too.  Perfect for the man who likes to stay fit.
  5. XO Boxers by J.Crew. http://www.jcrew.com, $18.50.  A fun pair of boxers for this day full of love.
  6. The Art of Shaving Pro-Glide Power Shave Set, available at Bloomingdale’s, $175. Another great gift any guy would enjoy.
  7. Men’s Long Sleeve I Whale You Pocket T-Shirt, http://www.vineyardvines.com, $48. This is a really cool t-shirt for the preppy guy in your life.
  8. Ralph Lauren Polo Red Gift Set, available at Macy’s, $89. Everyone loves the classic, clean scent of Polo.
  9. Ermenegildo Zegna Dot Silk Tie, available at Nordstrom, $205.  A bit of a splurge but Zegna ties are always beautiful, they’re my hubby’s favorites.
  10. Single Malt Scotch Cordials, available at http://www.sugarfina.com, $20. The gentleman’s cordial, imported from Germany. A rich dark chocolate shell holds a mini dram of Scotland’s finest.

Have you bought any Valentine’s Day gifts yet?  I hope you can get some ideas from my list. What would you like to receive?My Signature