Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year in Netflix #StreamTeam

As the year winds down, I always find myself reflecting on the year that is wrapping up.  What did we do as a family that we set out to do?  What were our favorite memories? What do we wish we had done more of?  You get the idea.

It's been 3 years since we dumped cable and Netflix is still our go-to for tv watching. Quite simply, Netflix is a part of our family.

2016 Netflix favorites:
January 2016, we spent a lot of time watching Making a Murderer and Nurse Jackie. The girls were loving The Dawn of the Croods.

February brought us some cozy socks, Fuller House and all the nostalgia with that I lovelovelove about family tv watching! We watched a lot of the movie Home and now we still watch Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh.

March was the month of Lego! Bionicle, Lego Friends, Lego SuperHeros, Lego City.  Lego is a GREAT way to connect my teen and little ones --they all love the blocks and the shows! Everything is awesome!

April was sibling choice for movies and Shark Boy and Lava Girl took the prize! We watched it...A LOT! 

May meant Mother's Day and finding some shows that dealt with real life concerns. The little girls stuck with Veggie Tales and Daniel Tiger, while the big kids leaned towards Project MC2 and Degrassi High. There really is an episode for everything! 

Summer started off with lazy mornings after a busy school year had ended! The girls watched PowerPuff Girls, CareBears, and Hotel Transylvania 2. I, on the other hand, had to find time to sneak away to watch Bloodline and Orange is the New Black and totally binged on 11 seasons of Criminal Minds! 

July we spent doing a lot of running around to rehearsals and practices and in our downtime, we watched a lot of Word Party, more Powerpuff Girls, and Back to the Future! We took Netflix with us on the road on vacation as well!

August we found ourselves jamming to a brand new show on Netflix --BeatBugs!  It's December and we're still watching this show! It's been a family favorite for sure!

September kids were back to school and Disney came to Netflix! Zootopia was the top watched movie in our house!  Holes and Frozen Fever and Tarzan were a few more top watched!

October meant a lot of thinking about Halloween costumes! Ideas from Netflix like Beatbugs, Pokemon, and still Hotel Translyvania 2. Masha's Spooky Stories also became a Netflix fave!
In October, I was also invited back to the #StreamTeam for another year! This was such a blessing and I'm so very grateful and honored to continue! 

November, hands down, was filled with anticipation for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life! Black Friday couldn't get here fast enough! I spent the day curled up on the couch, binging on all 4 seasons with many laughs and lots of tears.  So bittersweet! And I'm *hoping* we just may see something more! Reagan and I started watching the series together also. She was a rookie!  It also brought a new season of our favorite Beat Bugs--we can't get enough of this show!

December we watched things like the Fireplace with Holiday Songs, Fuller House Season 2  added Troll Hunters to our playlist. We love Netflix originals and are excited to see Troll Hunters and what other new shows Netflix has planned this year!  Like I said, Netflix is part of our family --Movie nights, kids shows, date nights, mom date nights, and all by myself nights! 

Thanks for a great year, Netflix!

New on Netflix.

Trollhunters: Season 1 - 12/23
Fuller House: Season 2 - Now on Netflix
Lost & Found Music Studios: Season 2 - Now on Netflix
80057171 tv sdp 1280x720
Luna Petunia: Season 1 - Now on Netflix
80116839 tv sdp 1280x720
Chasing Cameron: Season 1 - 12/27
Yo-Kai Watch Movie - Now on Netflix
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Friday, December 2, 2016

What I Wish I Knew the First Time

Yesterday my first born, my only son turned seventeen. S E V E N T E E N! I was 17 when I graduated from high school. I was 17 when I started college. How is it possible that I could possibly have a child this age?

A few nights ago, we talked about when his high school graduation is in order to plan his graduation party around out of town guests. I'm still in shock this is even a real conversation on the near horizon.

As more of these upcoming events are my reality, I find myself thinking about his early years when instead of dragging him out of bed like I have to now, I had to bribe him to stay in his bed beyond 6 am.

I used to have to say to him, "Can you please give me just 5 minutes without talking?" so I could finish whatever it was I was working on. Now I have to say, "Can you please just come out here and talk for 5 minutes?"

Given that the age range for all of our kids is from 3 to 17, I have had plenty of time to reflect on what I have done differently between my oldest and youngest... what I wish I knew, what I would have changed and done differently all those years ago.

Continued over at Pittsburgh Moms Blog.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I Don't Say Blah Blah Blah #StreamTeam

Heading into October, we are in the prime of our marching band and cheerleading seasons, so we definitely look to Netflix to cozy up with while hanging at home.  I'm not going to even pretend that snuggling on the couch or in bed watching Netflix isn't one of my favorite things to do. And Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so together is a match made in heaven!

One of Lily and Violet's favorite new shows has been Masha's Spooky Stories.  We have watched all of these episodes on repeat!

When discussing Halloween costumes this year, we talked about things like Beat Bugs, princesses, Lego characters, and especially PowerPuff Girls.  The little girls settled on Pikachu and a ghost!  Thanks Netflix for helping my girls choose!  Casper's Scare School and Pokemon just may have had some influence there!

Dreamworks Spooky Stories totally enthralled Violet whereas Lily was a little more apprehensive, so she only like to watch them with her body curled up next to mine.  I'll take it because she's growing up too fast.

Even though Halloween is only one day, we spend a lot of time before and well after Halloween watching these shows. We have been watching Hotel Translyvania 2 for a long time! Thankfully it's cute, funny, and an entire family favorite!

Here's a fun Stream & Scream Guide!
Netflix Stream-and-Scream-Guide

What are you watching on Netflix?  Any inspiration for you or your kids' costumes?

We'll still be Halloweening in our house for awhile!

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Friday, September 16, 2016

National Stepfamily Day!

Today is National Stepfamily Day!  Did you even know there was such a thing??  My son,  Andrew, and I actually moved to Pittsburgh to begin our lives with my now husband and his daughter right around this date, nine years ago. We declared it our Family Anniversary back in 2007!

I so vividly remember when the two of us arrived at our new home in the wee hours of the morning in 2007. The air was crisp--so different than the Arizona air I was used to, my body was purely exhausted from our drive across the country, yet I was still excited, a little nervous, and just anxious for everything to go smoothly and comfortably for my son.  We decided to unload the car in the morning and just grabbed essentials in order to crawl into bed...

Read  the rest over at Pittsburgh Moms Blog!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Homestyle Traditions with Ragu

It's true what they say.  Family and friends gather in the kitchen. Whether it be after school when everyone finally arrives home or a during a party, the kitchen is the place to be.  One of my favorite parts of being a wife and a mom is making delicious, nourishing meals for my family.

I am a woman who loves sentimental, tradition, and reminiscing.  One of my favorite things to eat from my childhood are my grandmother's meatballs.  I've loved them for as long as I can remember. My grandmother made them, my mom made them, and then I have continued as well.  I've tried to find one of "those" recipes that my family loves too other than my grandmother's meatballs--which they already love.  Finding Ragu's new Homestyle sauces absolutely fits right into those traditions for me. It's simply a taste of home.

I think I found it!  Crockpot Ravioli

What I love about Crockpot Ravioli is it's easy to make and makes a ton, so it's perfect for family gatherings and parties, and it's always a big hit!  Life is super busy these days where we have band, cheer, cross country, work schedules, so making something that's easy for me to make and my family loves is definitely a win win! Ragu's Homestyle Sauces makes it simple and remind me of that tradition and goodness that homecooked meals bring.

You can find lots of other recipes to try with Ragu's Homestyle Sauces here:  What to make!

For mine, even though I'm  "wing-it-as-I-go" when I cook, I've put together something for y'all to follow to try mine.

1 to 2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
minced garlic (this is entirely dependent on your taste-- I often just use garlic salt)
1 to 2 jars of Ragu Homestyle Sauce
1 can italian style diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
10 oz of fresh spinach
16oz of bowtie pasta (more if you're making lots!)
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Drain and pour into crockpot.

Add Ragu Homestyle sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 4 hours on high (6 on low).

Add spinach, cooked pasta, and cheeses the last 30 minutes of cooking and turn crockpot on high.

Mix it all up really well, then add some mozzarella on top to melt.  Serve with salad and bread!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Bittersweet Back to School

Back to school is bittersweet for me for certain.  I love lazy days we get in summer sometimes, yet I also love the routine of school. I love school supplies and organizing and yes, even filling out forms! The end of summer seems like it swoops in and bam! it's over and we're back to school.  Part of that in my family, is our August is filled with band camp, cheer camp, and practices for other activities right before school starts.  This year our kids are a junior in high school, a new middle schooler, a first grader and a two year old who wants to go to school so badly!

You can read the rest over at Pittsburgh Moms Blog...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

All You Need is Love ... #BeatBugs Netflix Giveaway #StreamTeam

While August has been a total whirlwind for us with things like band camp, space camp, cheer practice, and cross country practice, we have most definitely taken time to come together to watch Netflix. I've said before Lily loves movie night--snack set up is her specialty!

Sometimes we don't have enough time in our busy day for an entire movie, but a super fun alternative has been a new Netflix Original series--Beat Bugs!  It's inspired by the music of the Beatles and everything I hoped it would be!  My mom was a big Beatles lover, so growing up their music was a part of my own childhood.  When Andrew was a baby was when the compilation album titled "1" was released in 2000, so he also grew up listening to the Beatles.  Now, there's a new way to have my little girls continue enjoying favorites.  And let me tell you, it has worked because as soon as we get in the car Violet requests, "Lucy in the Sky, Mommy!"  Mind you, she changes the lyrics to "Lucy in the sky with-out you," but it's absolutely adorable!

Thanks to five super cute bugs named Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz, and Walter, you have the opportunity to come together right now with your family with kid friendly storylines and music of The Beatles recorded by artists like P!nk, Jennifer Hudson, Sia, and Eddie Vedder!

Beat Bugs has been in heavy rotation on our Netflix playlist ALL month long! We all love it!  After all, all you need is love.♥


I've got a quick giveaway for a 6 month subscription to Netflix!! Hurry and enter! Ends on Wednesday! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some other Netflix highlights this month:

The Little Prince & Project Mc2 Spotlight

Stream on. Take a journey with The Little Prince (August 5) and watch Netflix like a kid - with joy beyond the stars. Once you're settled back on Earth, jump right back into your childhood with the girls of Project Mc2 (August 12) and explore what it takes to achieve STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and math) with these fun experiments.
ProjectMc2 S2

New on Netflix for Kids, Tweens, Teens and Families

AskTheStoryBots 2
Ask the Storybots (8/12)
Dawn of the Croods TV SDP
Dawn of the Croods: Season 2 (8/26)
Masha the Bear S2 TV SDP
Masha and the Bear: Season 2 - Now on Netflix
Ever After High TV SDP
Ever After High: Epic Winter (8/5)
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.