Apr 172017

My family has a fun tradition whenever we go out to the movies.  During the previews, if they show one for a movie we like and want to see – we give it a thumbs up. If it looks like a movie we want to sit out, thumbs down. Sometimes our thumbs up/down ratings during the previews are more fun than the actual movie.

Netflix caught on to the thumbs up and thumbs down rating system and have already implemented it (which you may have already noticed if you’ve watched anything on Netflix recently). You may remember that previously it was a 0-5 stars rating system, but now they’re all thumbs.

As you probably already know, Netflix caters to your entertainment preferences specifically, but when you have a full house of differing personalities and ages like mine, sometimes content recommendations can go off the rails. By setting up individual Netflix profiles for everyone in the family you can thumbs down a show like Beat Bugs without feeling bad and keep your own personal queue in tip-top shape. The new Netflix rating system and profile might just be one of the few things in your house that are uniquely yours.

Pro tip: create a “Family Time” profile so you can keep track and discover new recommendations when the whole family is watching together.

Netflix thumbs up and thumbs down rating system

But it doesn’t stop there, the personalized Netflix profile isn’t a single feature, it’s a full experience. In addition to the new thumbs interface, Netflix will also be introducing a percent match score for many of its titles. The percent match score is based on your own viewing patterns and habits—not on the overall quality of a title. It is a unique score that helps match members with their next favorite show, making your next binge just a click away. Continue reading »

Mar 212017

Spring cleaning is one of the only things that stands between you and an amazing spring. Ok, maybe it won’t ruin your whole season, but if you are anything like me, you dread it all year long and procrastinate as much as humanly possible. The reason spring cleaning is so daunting is because it’s a lot more than just the regular day to day (or weekly) cleaning – it’s a whole lot of work. To be honest, for a lot of us starting our spring cleaning takes a quite a bit of motivation. Today I am going to share some of the ways I motivate myself to get started with my spring cleaning and hope it helps you, too.


The first step to motivation before anything else is to be inspired, if you have no inspiration then you will ultimately end up like me – being lazy and skipping an entire year or two.  So go out and buy some of those home decor magazines you always avoid and throw that “my house will never look this good” attitude right out the door. Sure you may not financially be able to buy all that spendy decor, but trust me when I say it’ll give you some great ideas on how decorate your house in a way that perfectly fits your personality once you are done with the deep cleaning.  I also like to call this one “the reward system”. Once you’re done cleaning, reward yourself with a little shopping spree to liven up your living space a little bit. Continue reading »

Feb 152017

Picture this.  You and your other half are sitting on the sofa bingeing on your favorite Netflix show one night when one of you falls asleep. What do you do?  Stop watching or carry on and pretend that you didn’t notice the snoring coming from the person next to you? Netflix recently conducted a survey of more than 30,000 couples who stream, and according to the results – more and more people are opting for the latter.  The survey revealed that 46 percent of couples who stream together around the world have “Netflix cheated,” aka watched a show before their significant other has had a chance to watch it.

I guess Netflix and Cheat is the new Netflix and Chill…. Continue reading »

Jan 102017

After the kids are in bed for the night, I truly enjoy sitting down in front of the boob tube and binging on some of my favorite shows. After a day of being a mom, it’s nice to watch something that’s kind of anti-fairy tail, you know? Without a doubt, my favorite show to indulge in is American Horror Story. It is one of the craziest shows on TV and has definitely proved itself to be one of the greatest shows, ever. There are twists and turns galore and I am literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. If you need any more convincing, here are some reasons why you should be watching American Horror Story.

1. Each season is a separate story.  Each season tells a different story, beginning to end, in just 12 episodes. Each season that airs now is starting to reveal tie-ins to previous seasons. I read somewhere that in the end everything will tie in together, so it actually excites me when a connection to a previous season comes up. The the first real connection was Pepper in Season 2, Asylum. There she was a patient at Briarcliff Manor, but in Season 4, Freak Show, we saw that that Pepper was performer with Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Since then there have been many more and I am positive that there will be more to come.

2. Recurring cast. You will see many familiar faces from season to season, but since the stories change, their characters do as well. So while you see see many of the same actors each year, they may not be taking on a lead role as they did in previous seasons. You just never know. Continue reading »

Dec 202016

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, no child was complaining, not even a spouse. The gifts were unwrapped and toys played with care, while parents reveled in the peace and quiet in the air… Well, that lasted 10 minutes. We know it’s not long before the first “I’M BORED” escapes your kids’ lips during holiday break.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been in a slump due to the rainy day blues.  Instead of curling up into a ball and succumbing into boredom, there are dozens of different activities that you can do to keep yourself occupied.  Even if the weather is miserable outside, there is no reason as to why you should be miserable inside!  Below is a list of 4 great things that you can do to chase rainy day boredom away.

1. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

This is the perfect activity for families who have children that enjoy participating in activities.  A scavenger hunt is not only fun for the kids, but it is also fun for the parents.  Make a list of 20-30 items that the family will have to find throughout the house and the individual who finds all of the items first is the winner.  You can choose the prize, such as allowing the winner to pick what’s for dinner and desert that night. Continue reading »

Oct 112016

Super Simple Halloween Treats1

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I am a major Halloween lover. I am always scouring the interwebs for fun & festive snack ideas for my kids around this time of year. I love seeing their faces when I surprise them with a fun Halloween treat. Sometimes I have the treats ready when they get off the bus from school and other times I like to whip up something for family movie night.

We try to sit down as a family every Friday night and stream a movie on Netflix, so this past Friday my family munched on these spooky Halloween treats while we watched our movie. These treats are beyond simple to make, especially if you opt for pre-made rice crispy treats.

What you need:

  • 12 Rice Crispy Treats
  • Edible Eyes
  • 12 oz White Chocolate or White Candy Melts
  • Sandwich bag
  • Parchment paper

Continue reading »

Sep 182016


In our house we try to have a family movie night at least once a week. We all love spending quality time together every week, but seriously – what’s a movie night without a snack? These Easy Pork Taquitos are perfect for family movie night because they are budget-friendly, easy to make and most importantly, they are kid approved! Not only that, they are a great way to use up that leftover pork you have sitting in your fridge! Score.

Easy Pork Taquitos

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 ½ cups of roasted pork, shredded
  • 6 to 8oz of Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Continue reading »

Aug 142016

Orange Crush Cupcakes Recipe

We do a lot of family movie nights in our house.  Since the kids are out on summer vacation, we tend to do a couple of movie nights per week as opposed to our traditional Friday night movie nights during the school year.  We love snuggling up on the sofa with a yummy treat and spending time together watching movies & eating.  I recently made these Orange Crush cupcakes and knew they were perfect for the family movie night we had planned later that evening.

Here’s What you Need:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t fine salt
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 C whole milk
1/2 Cup Crush Soda

Orange Crush Cupcakes4

Directions for cupcakes: Continue reading »

Jul 262016

Helpful Things I Learned from MacGyver

MacGyver is one of the best guys when it comes to “life hacks”! There are so many great things that I learned from MacGyver; he really does give out some of the best tips and tricks! Some of these can really come in handy, others are just really clever, and some I can’t believe are even real. I suppose this is kind of tribute to the master…In today’s day and age we’re all pretty obsessed with life hacks and MacGyver was the OG of life hacks! If you’ve ever needed to remove a stripped screw, unlock a door from the outside, or turn a chip bag into it’s own bowl then this is the post for you. If you’ve never needed to do any of those things this is still the post for you, you’ll likely rest A LOT easier knowing that you CAN do all of these things just like MacGyver!

Remove a Stripped Screw

You can use a rubber band placed over the top of a stripped screw to remove it without the screwdriver slipping!

Never Leave Home Without a Swiss Army Knife

Okay so maybe leave it at home when you go to the airport but other than that you should have one. It’s got everything you need for all kinds of situations! Continue reading »

Jun 012016

I don’t know about you, but I have been known to have some pretty epic Netflix binge watching marathons.  My kids are off with their dad most Saturdays and there have been times that I have literally sat on my couch from the time I woke up until bedtime just watching entire seasons of shows on Netflix.  Seriously.

If I am going to veg out all day, I may as well do it right and binge watch shows on Netflix, right?

Sometimes I like to check out shows that I missed the first time around, sometimes I watch some of the Netflix original series and sometimes I just like to rewatch some of my favorites. Here’s what I have been binging on as of late (in no particular order).



Raised by their dad to fight supernatural forces, grown siblings Dean and Sam crisscross the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala, investigating paranormal activity and picking fights with deadly demons, ghosts and monsters.

I watch this one when it’s on regular tv, but I thought it would be fun to go back and rewatch the series from the beginning – and it was.  I love me some Sam & Dean and if you think this show might not be your thing I dare you to give it a try.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Continue reading »

 Stream Team  Comments Off on What I’ve Been Netlix Binge Watching Lately
May 182016

How to Talk to Your Child About Strangers

From tackling peer pressure to learning to achieve five whole minutes without a cell phone in hand, addressing tough topics with your kids head-on can be hard. Even with the littlest ones, it’s not always easy to explain why you can’t get them that cute puppy and why they need to be nice to their sister. But with Netflix, your kid’s favorite shows can open the door for these tricky, sometimes awkward (hello parents of tweens and teens!), conversations.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids came with a stranger danger warning attached to their brain? Every parent wants to instill the common sense of staying away from strangers into their children. However, every parent knows that isn’t possible. I wanted to share some tips with how you can talk to your children about the danger of strangers.

Talk about adults you can trust.

Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, but it’s still important to talk to them about adults they can trust. Talk to your child about who they can trust and who they can’t trust. I’m pretty straightforward with my kids and tell them that no one else will pick them up, unless I tell them that personally. I tell them that if they don’t feel right about something, then go with their gut instinct.

Talk about acceptable behavior.

It’s best to be honest with your child than to sugar coat anything. Stranger danger doesn’t just happen when your child is on his or her way home from school. Stranger danger can happen anywhere. It’s important that kids know what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Continue reading »

Apr 122016

I make no bones about the fact that I’m a huge Pee-wee Herman fan.  Ever since I saw Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in the theater when I was a kid (yes, I know I just dated myself), I’ve been hooked.  I never missed an episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings and I was so happy when I heard he was back in his new Netflix original movie, Pee-wee’s  Big Holiday!

In Peewee’s Big Holiday,  he breaks out of his comfy, small-town routine and learns how to live a little. A chance encounter with a mysterious stranger (Joe Manganiello) points Peewee toward his destiny — and an epic adventure.

My friends from Netflix sent my family an interactive Peewee Watch Kit, so that we could follow along on Peewee’s journey while we watched the movie.


In the kit were numbered boxes and detailed instructions that told us when to open each one during the movie. Continue reading »

Feb 232016

Mason Jar Brownie Cake Sundaes

When it comes to a family night in, there is one thing that’s a given in my house.  Food.

When we all huddle up under blankets on the sofa to watch something on tv, we have to have some kind of snack to go along with it. Depending on our mood, sometimes we go for savory apps, but nine times out of ten we prefer sweet treats. These Mason Jar Brownie Cake Sundaes are always a crowd pleaser.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Continue reading »

Jan 112016

Ah, 2016. A brand new year. A fresh start.

I am always looking for new adventures for my family.  I want my kids to be able to have amazing experiences. When my boys are all grown up, I want them to look back and have tons of great memories from their childhood.

One of the reasons I try to travel with my kids as much as possible is that I rarely went anywhere when I was a kid.  My mom wouldn’t fly, so we always stayed local.  I didn’t fly anywhere until I was an adult, but I am happy to be able to say that my kids have flown over a dozen times (at least) and each of them have been flying since they were under a year old.

Our family traveled to a couple of new places last year (Philadelphia and Washington DC, which was new for the kids) and while we don’t have anyplace new slated to visit this year, yet, we are planning on taking a few return trips to a couple of our favorite destinations in 2016!

First up is San Diego.  This will be our third visit and although, Disneyland is not in San Diego, it’s only a 90 minute drive and we will most definitely be getting our Disney fix while we’re out on the west coast.


We are also planning on taking a road trip back to DC this summer.  Last year we spent a week there and only got a chance to see a fraction of the sights – so we’re going back.  We actually stay with family in Bethesda, MD whenever we are down there, so we might explore a little more of Maryland while we’re there (I’m thinking Baltimore). Continue reading »

Dec 112015


I’m in my second year as a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and I’m so excited to share some Netflix love with you guys this Christmas.  Because we all know that sharing is caring…….unless it’s the flu. Did you know there are a ton of great Christmas movies and specials on Netflix that you can stream right now.

Here are my ten must see Christmas Specials that are streaming on Netflix right now:

1. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – One of my all time favorites!
2. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
3. Ernest Saves Christmas
4. A Christmas Carol – The one from 1938!
5. Christmas with the Kranks – it’s hilarious!
6. The Legend of Frosty the Snowman Continue reading »

Nov 182015

Are your kids full of excuses when it comes to going to bed?  My oldest has always been pretty good about going to bed, but my little guy on the other hand is full of reasons why he can’t just close his eyes and go to sleep. The thing is, I used those same excuses back in the day, in fact I think I invented the art of bedtime stalling, but now that I’m the mom, by 8 pm I am just too tired to argue with him.


Here are just a few of the excuses he’s given us as to why he can’t go to bed:

  • I just slept yesterday
  • I want to stay up to watch the moon
  • I’m afraid there’s a monster in my closet.
  • I just don’t feel safe
  • I need a drink
  • I have to pee (even though he just went 5 minutes before)
  • I don’t like my pajamas
  • My feet are hot/cold
  • I need a tissue
  • I need another blanket
  • There is a dog barking loudly outside

Continue reading »

Sep 222015

While school is in session, I have very little time to do what I want to do.  This year both of my boys are in different schools, each with different start and end times, so that has really thrown off my routine this year.  In addition to that, my little one plays soccer and my oldest needs to be at the dojo three or four times a week since he’s about to take his 3rd and final black belt test (it’s this Friday, so wish him luck and good skill).

While there are shows that I never, ever, ever miss like The Walking  Dead and The Blacklist, there are a whole slew of shows on my shelfie list.

What’s a shelfie you ask? We all have them – they’re the shows you’ve been wanting to watch but they’ve been sitting on the virtual shelf because…well, because like me, you’re a parent and who has the time?

There are many shows on my shelfie list, but today I am going to tell you my top three (in no particular order).

1. Scandal

A powerful team of Washington, D.C. lawyers makes scandals disappear while handling government crises and coping with problems of their own.


Continue reading »

Aug 272015

Tips For Making Homework Less Stressful

Homework has a way of being incredibly stressful on the whole family; however, there are things you can do to make it a whole lot less nerve-racking. Here are some tips for making homework time less stressful on the whole family.

Plan Ahead

It’s always nice to know what kind of homework will be coming home and when. I always try and communicate with the teacher when it comes to homework. Most teachers send an idea of what will be coming down the pipeline, which helps us prepare. It’s also nice to know if homework won’t be assigned on a particular day because this could be made into a “special” day!

Rewards are Always Welcome

Think about how many times in a day adult’s award themselves with something. It’s time to allow kids to award themselves for a job well done too! A week without fighting about homework? Let them pick their prize! Choose a reward system that works for your family and stick with it.

Stay on Schedule

It’s easy to remain stress free about homework when you know when it’s going to be done. Staying on schedule at a specific time with homework can help make this process a lot less stressful. Pick a time during the week that works every night. When a child knows what time they will be doing their homework it also takes a lot of guesswork out of their day. They know at 6 o’clock they’ll be doing homework so there’s no need to even question it. Continue reading »

Jul 212015

Summer time is full of fun and adventures for our family.  We only have a few short months of summer here in Boston and I like to keep the boys busy, busy, busy.  Whether we are at the beach, the playground, the pool, on a day trip somewhere, on vacation or even just hanging out with friends – we are almost always up to something.

Chris and I love to make memories with the boys and want them to be able to look back at their childhood and think back to all the happy times we had as a family.

Messed up selfie

Despite our silly selfie stick mishaps on our travels, staying home can definitely be fun, too.  We all love to cook together as a family and we especially love family movie nights.  We love to snuggle up on the sofa with a huge bowl of popcorn and watch our favorite movies. Continue reading »