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

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

The Intern

I love any movie Anne Hathaway is in, (I’m a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada, have watched it over 20 times with my daughter). So when I saw the commercials for The Intern, I knew I  had to see it.  The Intern is a comedy that stars Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin, the founder of a fashion based e-commerce company who hires Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro), a 70-year old widower bored with retirement, as her intern. Ben is seeking something more in his life. “There’s a hole in my life and I need to fill it,” Ben explains in the opening narration of The Intern. “I still have music in me,” he adds.

So naturally, after coming across a flyer seeking senior interns for the company Jules runs, Ben simply cannot contain his excitement and decides to apply as an intern. The company, About the Fit, is ironically seeking people with a lifetime of experience instead of kids who have spent the last four years updating their Facebook status and getting drunk at frat parties. So naturally, Ben is perfect. Of course he gets the internship after an interesting interview process (being asked at age 70, “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?)” and that’s when the film takes off.

The plot revolves mainly around Jules, how she must figure out how to balance being the owner of her company while preserving her personal life as well. It’s told from Ben’s perspective, as he is her intern, and very quickly figures out her life. As can be expected, they form a great friendship based on loyalty and trust, a partnership where both learn a lot from each other.

Wouldn't you enjoy working in this environment?

Wouldn’t you enjoy working in this environment? Photo Courtesy of http://www.theinternmovie.com

The Intern was written and directed by Nancy Meyers who is well-known for “What Women Want,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “It’s Complicated. Yes, you may be thinking that it’s a chick flick, but I personally love chick flicks. This one deals with the world of work, retirement, millennials in the new workforce vs. the old school workplace. In my opinion, the message in this movie is that a lot can be learned and shared between generations. In today’s world, many think the older generation is just not “with it” simply because they don’t know how to use the latest smart phone or don’t have a twitter account. Yet this film shows us that there are still many things that the older generation can teach the so called “millennials”, that simply can’t be learned from the internet.

I will say, although I really enjoyed this film, after all I love anything these two actors are in, I did find it a bit slow at times. Having said that, I still think it was a great “feel good” film and I recommend you go check it out if you haven’t had a chance yet.

Have you watched The Intern?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

My Signature

Summer Entertaining

Well the summer is flying by and I’ve been so busy in the month of June that I haven’t had too much time to blog lately. We’ve taken several short trips and had a few important family celebrations which I’ve had to plan as well.  The summer is off to a great start and now I have some time to blog again, before our big trip next month.  I am, what some folks call, a summer baby (my birthday is in August) and summer has always been my absolute favorite season and time of year.  I love that kids are off from school, so I get to thoroughly enjoy my daughter, without having to worry if homework and assignments are done (although there is that blasted summer reading list).  Lucky for me, I live in Miami…yes, it gets incredibly hot, but I love to hang out in my pool and go to the beach pretty regularly.  As part of my summer routines, I also enjoy having friends and family over and that of course, means yummy, refreshing summer meals.

So, when I was recently contacted by the folks at Paperless Post, inviting me to participate in a link-up about summertime entertaining, I thought it would be right up my alley. Paperless Post, an online invitation website that I have used many times, provides both virtual and printed invitations and other stationary as well.  They truly have beautiful invitations, announcements and greeting cards.  Take a look at some of their summer themed invitations:

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

So, I decided to create my inspiration board with all of the items that I think would look amazing and fun for an outdoor pool or beach party.  I always feel good food is the ticket to satisfying guests and making an event memorable.  Browsing through Pinterest I found some amazingly delicious and easy recipes. And you always need to keep the kids in mind, so they are entertained as well.  Here’s what I came up with:

entertaining

1) Individual Frozen Key Lime Pies | 2) Pottery Barn Mini Lantern String Lights | 3) Beach Buckets with Shovels for Snacks | 4) Bucket of Water Balloons | 5) Ginormous Burger & Brown Bag Chips | 6) Sunscreen & Bug Spray Station | 7) Shrimp & Chorizo Bites  | 8) Strawberry Shortcake Skewers  | 9) Watermelon Refresher

Do you  enjoy summertime entertaining?  I’d love to hear your ideas…

My Signature

 

What I’m Watching …

So I‘ve been a bit bummed lately with some of my favorite shows coming to an end, such as Parenthood and Cougar Town and very disappointed in the way Revenge is heading.  Luckily, I’ve picked up a few new ones. I have now added The Slap, Secrets & Lies and The Affair to my weekly rotation of programming. First let me say, it’s very odd for me to watch any of these three shows, because I would normally be very turned off with topics such as, child abuse, child murders and infidelity. But these shows are like a bad train wreck that everyone stops to look at.

After watching the trailer for The Slap, I thought it looked ridiculous, (especially since it was replacing my beloved Parenthood). But I was intrigued, after all, who in today’s world would dare touch someone else’s child, much less, slap them?!  So, I watched the first three episodes, and I must say, I find it very interesting, and I can’t wait to see how this story develops. It also feels as if you’re watching an HBO or Showtime series, instead of a primetime NBC program. This is about more than just a child being slapped…this show deals with the intricacies of a large Greek-American complicated family, and their close friends. But primarily it examines how ordinary lives can be derailed in an instant with a quick, unplanned act. There’s also a great cast here, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Thandie Newton and Uma Thurman.

The Slap, Thurday nights at 8PM on NBC

The Slap, Thursdays at 8PM on NBC

Secrets & Lies is relatively new, I have only watched the first two episodes. The story follows Ben Crawford, a family man who discovers the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime suspect in his death. Ben then goes in search of the real killer in order to clear his name. I am very curious, because I do believe Ben, played by Ryan Phillippe is innocent (but I could be wrong). There are many other secrets involved in this story, aside from just finding who the killer of the young boy is. Great casting here too with Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis as the stars of the show.  Stay tuned…

Secrets & Lies, on Sundays at 9PM on ABC

Secrets & Lies, Sundays at 9PM on ABC

And last but not least, The Affair. To be honest, I hated this show the first time I watched it. The Affair explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship between Noah Solloway, played by Dominic West and Alison Bailey, played by Ruth Wilson, after the two meet in the resort town of Montauk on Long Island.  Although, after having watched the entire first season, I have to say, the storyline grows on you and you start to understand all of the characters’ point of view. Perhaps what I enjoy most, is that the story of the affair is told separately, complete with distinct memory biases, from Noah’s and Alison’s perspectives. It’s very well written and the season left us wanting more, with a fantastic season ending cliff hanger. I also love the roles played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson. The series recently won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Drama Series and Ruth Wilson won for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.  Looking forward to Season 2.

The Affair, Sundays at 10PM on Showtime

The Affair, Sundays at 10PM on Showtime

Have you been watching any new shows lately?  Any that you would recommend?

Sesame Street Day!

075b4bd30206a5172e75cd67c83714aeWell who knew there was a day dedicated to Sesame Street? I just recently found out and I have to say, it’s a great thing. Sesame Street Day was first established in 2009 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its original broadcast. While the special day was initiated in New York, it is now recognized by thousands of individuals from around the world. In fact, the number of followers continues to grow each year. Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969 and went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was 5 years old and of course it feels like yesterday that my teen daughter was watching Elmo and Zoe dancing on the screen.  She loved that show so much, it was the theme for her second birthday party.

Here are some fun facts about the show that you may not know:

  • Big Bird’s height is 8’2.”
  • The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.
  • In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
  • Ernie wears horizontal stripes on his sweater to make him appear more relaxed; while Bert wears vertical stripes on his sweater to make him appear more uptight.
  • Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, Grover was originally brown.
  • Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar, a nod to the character on MASH who always slept with a teddy bear.
  • James Earl Jones was the first ever guest star, he recited the alphabet.
  • All of the Sesame Street Muppets have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five.
  • The episode with Mr. Hooper’s funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.
  • In a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster revealed that back before he ate his first cookie, his name used to be “Sid”.
  • Most people know Rosita as the only Hispanic Muppet on Sesame Street, but few know what she actually is, a fruit bat.
  • The main focus of Sesame Street is a 3 apartment brownstone building (Bert and Ernie live in the basement). The show itself is filmed in Astoria, Queens, but the actual location of Sesame Street has been under debate for years (intended to be a neighborhood in Manhattan).
  • And perhaps one fact that I found very interesting was that Snuffleupagus, spent fourteen years as Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend. Whenever adults would appear, Snuffy would vanish by way of coincidence, and the grownups would disbelieve Big Bird that he ever existed. Because nobody believed Big Bird about Snuffleupagus, and parents tended not to believe their children about imaginary friends, producers were afraid that this disbelief would lead to children being afraid to speak out about sexual abuse.

I’m sure we all know someone who has learned their colors and/or letters by watching this show. So, who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Mine and my daughter’s is still Zoe (and Elmo too!)

Her two favorites!

Her two favorites!