What We’re Watching in January {Netflix StreamTeam}

Disclosure: This post is part of a yearly series in partnership with Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ll be sharing ideas throughout the year on some of the best Netflix titles to stream with your family. The content, as always, is whatever streams through my own mind! Hope you enjoy!

It's hard to work when you have the strange feeling you're being watched. #gusgus #creeperdog

Whatcha watching right now?

Between the craziness of last week and the incessant grey skies and chilly temps, about the only thing I feel like doing in the afternoons and evenings is getting lost in a book or hunkering down with the family and getting lost in a good show or a movie.

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And while I promise my list of the best books I read last year, along with a fun reading challenge I’m taking on this year, are coming, I thought I’d head into the weekend by sharing some of our favorite things we’re watching these days. I’ve partnered with Netflix for a year as a member of their #StreamTeam. It’s been such a treat for us to have access to the vast Netflix library, especially this winter. Here’s what we’ve been watching and loving lately:

Creeper Dog, a.k.a. Gus, has had an impact on what we watch. While we’ve always loved animal programs, we have a deeper appreciation for them (and much softer hearts!) now that we’re pet owners ourselves. While it’s entertaining, we always seem to glean some helpful information from pet whisperer Cesar Millan.  “Cesar 911” and “Leader of the Pack” are both available on Netflix, and give us great insight into the minds of dogs. Maybe one day we’ll get the answer to why Gus can sniff out a Smartwool sock from the deepest corners of our laundry baskets and destroy it within seconds.

The Adventures of Milo and Otis” was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I’m still a sucker for talking animals, and the kids seem to love it just as much as I did.

Puss in Boots Netflix

Speaking of talking animals, my second favorite talking animal from “Shrek” has his own show exclusively on Netflix now. “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” premiered this month and Eli gives it a big thumbs up! (Sorry, Puss, Donkey will always be my favorite.)

Tower of London

I love that the kids are getting to the age where they not only appreciate, but enjoy a good documentary. There are two in particular that we think are pretty cool, and they both happen to be produced by PBS. One is “Secrets of the Tower of London.” The Tower was one of the highlights of our trip to London last summer. Whether you’ve been or not, it’s fascinating!

221B Baker Street London

The other is more up Elena’s alley. She loves to watch the BBC’s “Sherlock” series (yes, she’s a SuperWhoLock CumberKid). The PBS documentary “How Sherlock Changed the World” is a cool look at how a fictional character managed to have very real impact on modern-day forensics and criminal investigations.

What are some of your favorite movies and shows you’re watching lately? We’d love to add them to our list!

 

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Ringing in the New Year with Your Little Party Animals

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids? Then you’ll want to check out these 4 great New Year’s Eve party ideas for kids and families! New Year’s Eve with kids | Netflix Stream Team

Disclosure: This post is part of a yearly series in partnership with Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ll be sharing ideas throughout the year on some of the best Netflix titles to stream with your family. The content, as always, is whatever streams through my own mind! Hope you enjoy!

Since having kids, whenever I get asked, “What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?” I have to resist the urge to make a Princess Kate face:

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While we were never the get dressed up and go to a fancy party types, we had our share of epic New Year’s Eve celebrations in our day. And then we became parents. Until the kids hit the elementary school stage, it was a struggle to even make it up to midnight. If we did last until 12:05, we paid for it dearly the next day. Nothing says “This will be our best year as parents ever!” like nursing a hangover or barking at your kids because you only got 4 hours of sleep on January 1st.

Now we have kids who can a) make it to midnight and b) sleep in the next morning (or at least let us sleep in without burning the house down), and so we can let the little party animals celebrate New Year’s Eve the way it’s meant to be celebrated: with food, music, friends, and tomfoolery.

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Food

For me, New Year’s Eve isn’t the night for a fancy, sit-down dinner. It’s a night for food that you can grab whenever you get tired of dancing or in between games. Think plates of cheese, cured meats, a big batch of seasoned popcorn, chex mix, chocolate covered pretzels. I’d like to say I’d put out veggies and dip … but who am I kidding? No one wants carrots on New Year’s Eve. There will be fruit, but you have to wait for more details on that one. I’m also thinking this crispy, bar-style pizza will make an appearance. We’ve been hooked on it lately, and the kids swear it tastes just like Hot Box.

Music

These are the nights Spotify playlists were made for. We have one just for parties … and by parties we mean dance parties. We might look like fools, but we love to move it, move it. It helps make up for the lack of a veggie tray, too. If the thought of making up your own moves scares you, pop a game like Just Dance in and have a family dance-off. Just make sure if you’ve birthed any of the children at the party you make a quick trip to the bathroom first. I know you know what I’m talking about. And you’re welcome.

Friends

This is the perfect time to invite friends over for a family slumber party. No one wants to worry about driving home after the ball drops. It doesn’t have to be a bed and breakfast experience for your guests. We’ve had kids on the couches and adults on an air mattress, with cereal and grocery store doughnuts the next morning. As long as there’s coffee and no one laughs at your bedhead, it’s all good. If you can’t convince any of your grown-up friends to sleep over, let the kids each have a friend spend the night. Perhaps next year their parents will feel guilty and for the first time in 12 years YOU can have a New Year’s Eve without the littles.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids? Then you’ll want to check out these 4 great New Year’s Eve party ideas for kids and families! New Year’s Eve with kids | Netflix Stream Team

Tomfoolery

We love having a game marathon on New Year’s Eve. Pull out all your favorite games, and ask any guests to bring their favorite game, too. Set up a few tables and let people move around and play around.

When it’s time for the ball to drop, pull some fun accessories out of your party hat. I like to stock up on glow sticks and sparklers in the summer. Noisemakers and silly hats or glasses are a big hit. Finally, when the clock strikes midnight, it’s time to pull out those grapes!

Yes, grapes at midnight have been a tradition in my house for as long as I can remember. It’s a Spanish tradition (and superstition) that in order to have a 12 months of luck in the coming year, you must eat 12 grapes – one at each stroke of the clock at midnight. Before the party, pre-fill small cups with 12 grapes each and then pass them out to your guests just before midnight. It’s perfect for those of us that dislike champagne and awkward kissing!

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a fabulous 2015. If you haven’t discovered it already, be sure to introduce your little party animals to one of the original party animals: King Julian from Madagascar. “All Hail King Julian,” a Netflix-original series, debuted December 19th. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll love his crazy adventures and silly antics!

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InstaOctoNovember

If that title doesn’t have you thoroughly confused, then I haven’t done my job well. What it translates to is the fact that I forgot to post InstaOctober last month, but I’m too OCD to actually skip a month. As if hordes of you will show up at my front door and say, “HEY, lady. What gives with the missing Instagram highlight reel?” But just in case any one of you are en route, here it is. And I certainly couldn’t handle missing November, or moving every post back two months, because that just doesn’t make any sense. (But this line of thinking clearly does.) I should probably stop talking.

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1. We took a little road trip up to Chicago in November for the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. When I realized Eataly was just a few blocks from our hotel, I knew a visit was in order. If it wasn’t totally disgusting and against every health code, I’d want my ashes scattered here. I’ve never had any inclination to climb cheese, until I saw this intriguing sign in the cheese department.

2. Obligatory Bean photo every tourist takes in Chicago.

3. As part of the Toy & Game Fair, Mayfair Games held a very serious, very competitive Settlers of Catan tournament. The winner earned him or herself a trip to Gen Con to compete in the Catan World Championship. I promise I’m not making that up. Mike is the King of Catan in this house, as evidenced by his very official Catan crown the kids made him last year. He wore it to the tournament, right up until he lost in the semifinal round.

4. You know how you have the strictest rules and best advice about parenting … until you actually become a parent? The same holds true about being a pet owner. I swore up and down I would never let a dog sleep in bed with me. And then Gus gave me that look, and I said, “Okay. Just this once.” And then I realized happiness really is a warm puppy. The couch is still off limits. I swear (for now).

5. Elena and I have dreams of one day entering a gingerbread creation into Conner Prairie’s annual Gingerbread Village. We inched one step closer by taking a Gingerbread 101 class together at Conner Prairie. This is one of those traditions that I realize now I started waaaaaaay too early with my kids. Twelve is good. Twelve and in someone else’s space, where they clean up after you is even better.

6. Have I mentioned Eli is in Cub Scouts this year? He begged us to let him do it, mostly because he’d heard a rumor there would be BB guns. At this point it’s more like herding cats, but he did manage to earn his Bobcat badge.

7. I took my sister and my mom on a day trip to Cincinnati for some IKEA and Jungle Jim retail therapy. On the way home I introduced them to the best fried chicken in Indiana. If you find yourself near Oldenburg, Indiana, make sure you stop at Wagner’s and have some pan-fried deliciousness.

8.  Elena played volleyball this fall. It was 2% her wanting to try it, and 98% me wanting her to find a sport (any sport!) she might like. She ended up being the only one on her team who hadn’t played volleyball for multiple seasons. You’d think that would be a recipe for disaster, but she did great. She didn’t complain (much) and she improved drastically through the season. This particular photo is her serving to get her team into the championship game.

9. I had the opportunity to work alongside Future Farmers of America from around Indiana at the Colts annual Million Meals Marathon. The Colts partner with Thrive360 (formerly Kids Against Hunger of Central Indiana) to pack a million meals that will find their way to families facing hunger in Indiana. I packed for 2 hours, along with a couple of Colts cheerleaders, blogging pals, and the Colts Defensive End Cory Redding. It was such a cool experience, and I can’t wait to do it again with Mike and the kids.

10. What every parent’s floor looks like if they have a LEGO fan in the house … just kidding. It’s actually a sea of LEGO bricks for kids to play in at LEGO KidsFest. Super fun and a cool photo op, if you don’t think about how many germy little hands have been all over those bricks.

11. Mike and I have been able to go to two Colts games this year. This picture is from a home game against the Bengals. Incredible seats and lots of fun for us. Not so much for the Bengals fans we took with us. The weekend before last we went to the Colts game in Cleveland. The horse head did not make that trip with us. We’re not stupid.

12. My friend Sacha clued us into a KaBOOM! playground build that was happening in our community. I’m a big fan of KaBOOM! and their passion for making play accessible to kids in every kind of community, so it was a very special thing to be able to help. I hauled mulch for a bit and Elena helped paint signs for the new playground.

If you’re not already following me on Instagram already, please do! You can find me there as (the one and only) AngieSix.

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