Counting Down my TOP 10 Netflix Picks of 2017!

It’s not quite time to count down to the new year (although I know many people who can’t wait for this one to be over) but there IS still time to get in some quality Netflix bingeing time, and I’m here to help!

I watch a lot of Netflix, y’all. A lot. And not just because I’m part of the Stream Team. Being totally serious here– it helps me focus while I write, so I’ve almost always got it on during the day. My FAVORITES of the year may not all be brand new (some I discover way after they premiere, which is shameful, but kind of like finding hidden treasure)- but they are all Netflix Originals, and worthy of getting totally obsessed with.

In no particular order:

 

10. TRAVELERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring Eric McCormick (Will & Grace)

“The last surviving humans discover how to send consciousness back in time to the 21st century. Inhabiting seemingly random people, the “travelers” work together to try to save the human race.”
Season 2 premieres the day after Christmas! The first season was twisty and interesting, and I can’t wait to see what the 2nd has in store!

 

9. OTHERLIFE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A movie from Australia I discovered while perusing my recommendations one day-
“A scientist develops a revolutionary drug that alters the brain’s sense of time, creating a virtual reality directly in the user’s mind. The government attempts to take over her project, claiming the drug can solve overcrowded prisons.”
Of course, nothing goes quite as smoothly, or as planned.

 

8. GLITCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recommended Glitch before, an Australian series, but it’s worth another rec. because season 2 just started streaming a few weeks ago!

“A police officer in a small country town finds his life turned upside down when six recently deceased residents return from the dead in perfect health.”

How are they all connected? WHY are they back? What does it all mean? Both seasons 1, and 2 will leave you on the edge of your seat.

 

7. EASY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another second appearance on my recommendation list, but because season 2 just started streaming and it was fantastic!
NOT ONE TO WATCH WITH YOUR KIDS AWAKE.

“From director and creator Joe Swanberg, this Netflix-original comedy anthology series explores diverse Chicago characters, modern romance technology and culture. Scenarios include a married couple hoping to reignite their sex life, a couple looking to spice things up with another woman, and middle-aged dating. The series features an impressive array of stars, including Jake Johnson of “New Girl,” comic Hannibal Buress, actor Orlando Bloom, actress/model Emily Ratajkowski and actor Dave Franco.”

Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off, and visits characters from season 1 while adding and expanding to not just romantic relationships, but friendships and parenting- NONE of these are easy.

 

6. OKJA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“For 10 idyllic years, young Mija has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when family-owned, multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where an image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission.”

People say this is like a Disney movie for adults, and in a way, I agree. It has some of the elements- little girl who turns into a hero, animal best friend, harrowing tale. It broke my heart and gave me hope all at the same time.

 

5. MASTER OF NONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Comic Aziz Ansari and writer Alan Yang are the creators of this Netflix-original comedy, which is loosely based on Ansari’s real-life experiences. Ansari plays the role of Dev, a New York-based actor who is struggling to identify what he really wants, both personally and professionally. The series reveals glimpses of Dev’s younger years, and explores current aspects of his life, including modern etiquette (regarding texting and social media), and being young and single in the city. Other important people in Dev’s life are featured, including Dev’s parents, played by Ansari’s real-life mother and father, Fatima and Shoukath.”

It’s back for season 3, and honestly, it’s the BEST yet.

 

4. SANTA CLARITA DIET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As moms, we always feel like zombies, but what if you actually became one?

“Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star in this Netflix-original series as married realtors, Sheila and Joel, who are living a quiet life, raising their teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, Calif. 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. Barrymore and Olyphant also serve as executive producers, alongside showrunner and creator Victor Fresco (“Better Off Ted”).”

The description makes it sound a lot less funny than it is, because you WILL laugh. I can’t wait for season 2!

 

3. ALIAS GRACE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Based on the 1996 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, “Alias Grace” tells the story of young Grace Marks, a poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who is accused and convicted of the 1843 murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Stablehand James McDermott is also convicted of the crime. McDermott is hanged, but Grace is sentenced to life in prison, leading her to become one of the most notorious women of the period in Canada. The story is based on actual 19th-century events.”

I was pulled in by Grace’s story-telling. What really happened? Did she do it, or is there more going on here than meets the eye?

 

2. DARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When two children go missing in a small German town, its sinful past is exposed along with the double lives and fractured relationships that exist among four families as they search for the kids. The mystery-drama series introduces an intricate puzzle filled with twists that includes a web of curious characters, all of whom have a connection to the town’s troubled history — whether they know it or not. The story includes supernatural elements that tie back to the same town in 1986. “Dark” represents the first German original series produced for Netflix.”

German dubbed in English, it reminded me a little of Stranger Things only… well, for lack of a better word- Darker. An amazingly twisted, creepy, and fantastically done science fiction story that I finished in a few days and was SO sad when it was over.

 

1 STRANGER THINGS 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DID YOU REALLY THINK I’D MAKE THIS LIST AND NOT INCLUDE STRANGER THINGS???

“Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.”

I don’t want to give ANYTHING away about season 2 (it got spoiled for me the DAY it started streaming because people suck) so I won’t go into detail, but I loved season 2 more than season 1 and I didn’t think that was possible.

 

It was hard narrowing it down to 10 (+), because 2017 has been FULL of so many amazing shows and movies on Netflix, and they aren’t even done yet (Black Mirror on 12/29! AHH!), and because I didn’t even get a chance to watch everything I wanted to!

Honorable mentions go to: Love, The Discovery, 13 Reasons Why, Gilmore Girls: a Year in the Life, , The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, GLOW, and so many more I could honestly keep typing forever.

 

What were YOUR favorite Netflix shows & movies of 2017?

 

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Next time Someone tells you that you Don’t do Anything all day

Upon realizing I have not seen any of my friends in a ridiculously long, unacceptable amount of time, I’ve been trying to rectify it. It’s not only tough because we all now have children of different ages, but due to work schedules and other such things.

When it comes down to it, though, I have never really considered myself that busy of a person. I’m a stay at home mom who works for myself- so I don’t have a work schedule– I do have things I need to get done as far as blogging, and writing, and maintaining my social media accounts– but many of those can be done on mobile, or postponed at least for a little while. I’m basically free all the time.

When it came down to actually make the plans, to find the days we have free at the same time, we hit a wall. And not just because she works a lot– but because of me. Yes, the me with no life because I’m a stay at home mom/homebody who has nothing better to do.

She offered up Wednesday, and I said- sure! Wednesday is free…

In between the hours of 11am and 2pm because before 2pm I have to

Get the kids ready for school
Take them to school
Come home and work out
Shower
Get myself presentable

By then maybe I’d have an hour or two to hang out with a friend.

After then, I have to
Run and grab the kids from school
Bring them home and get them started on homework and help them if they need to
Help them get snacks if they need assistance
Figure out what to make for dinner and begin preparations
Do more shit around the house

In between all of that, whenever I have the time to sit down, I have to
Take care of the animals
Toss in a load or two of laundry
Feed myself
Whatever work I’ve been putting off I should probably squeeze in here at some point

Those golden two hours are nothing to sneeze at. That’s 120 minutes of complete free time to work with. Only it wasn’t. Because I forgot the day was a half day of school, and that meant I had to toss up everything I already had to do into the air to pick up the kids at 11:30 which meant the golden hours were gone, and now if my friend wanted to spend time together, it had to be with kids in tow, and my brain was exhausted just thinking about it and I thought to myself- holy shit. I really am busy.

I may not be out running errands all over town every day, or running from job to job. My kids don’t participate in sports (yet), and I don’t babysit nor do I run a carpool- but damn if I don’t have trouble finding free time.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re a mom, you’re busy. Even if people think you don’t do anything all day. Even if you don’t think you really do anything all day- you’re CONSTANTLY DOING SOMETHING. Not just for yourself but for someone else. You’re keeping the ship afloat.

Should you, at times, say ‘screw responsibility’ and make time for your friends? Absolutely. Get a sitter, or ask your significant other to stay home with the kids, but definitely. Just never let anyone tell you that you never do anything. You should probably be doing something else right now. But you’re here, reading this, taking a break. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– you deserve it!

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Weird Things you do for your kids but not Strangers

Why do I still get my kids dressed in the morning? Because they can’t be trusted to put together anything even resembling a coordinated outfit. Is it that important for them to be coordinated? Probably not, but I must do it. I can’t let them leave the house looking like it’s laundry day every day and there’s nothing left that matches that’s clean.
I mean, it IS laundry day every day, but I don’t need other people knowing that.

Do I physically help them put their clothes on? BE SERIOUS. Of course I don’t. They’re semi-capable of putting on pants without falling over. I am nearby when they get dressed in case they start freaking out about things being impossible to get right-side-out. I don’t have time in the morning to argue that they are more than able to reach into a pair of pants and pull inside out leg out. This means I get to see if clothes are buttoned wrong- something I’d obviously fix, or shirts on backwards- something I’d obviously call out.

Something called to me Thursday morning. It was out of place but not so out of place that people might notice. Without even thinking, I reached over and tucked Holden’s front pocket back into his pants because it was poking out, and… I don’t know…. why not.

Afterward, I paused for a moment and thought to myself- is that weird? Is what I just did weird? I’d never reach out and do that to someone else, or even tap them on the shoulder and say “excuse me, but your pocket is sticking out” like I would if they had toilet paper hanging out from the top of their pants, or underwear stuck to the back of their shirt by the embarrassing miracle of static cling. But I do these things for my kids because they’re my kids, and the boundaries are pretty fucking fuzzy. Possibly even nonexistent judging by the fact that they walk into the bathroom and take massive shits while I’m in the shower and that comes from a level of comfort not experienced by any other humans on earth outside of family.

  1. The dreaded finger-lick. It rids faces of grime and dirt. It tames wild hairs. It would get the police called on you if you did it to anyone other than your kids.
  2. “Do you need to poop?” – the go-to question for all parents. Whether it be a stomach ache, a sore throat, or a bad test grade. Always tempting to ask random people, because plenty of them are probably full of shit.
  3. You’re comfortable with someone, but are you- asking them whether they wiped their ass thoroughly after taking a poop- comfortable? Only my kids. Hopefully only EVER my kids. And hopefully not for much longer.
  4. Cutting up meat for your kids is okay. Cutting up meat for another adult is fucking weird. Don’t do that.
  5. The “Smell test”- it all started with taking a whiff of your baby’s butt because you suspected they’d crapped their pants and migrated into sniffing clothes you find on the floor to figure out if they’re clean or not because NO WAY ARE YOU DOING ANY MORE LAUNDRY SO HELP ME. Almost always ends in regret. Do this to a random person? Ends in a restraining order.
  6. Playing waitress- if anyone else had me running around getting them 4 different snacks they “couldn’t reach” and three different drinks, they better be tipping me generously.
  7. Booger police- DON’T PRETEND YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT. I’ll be damned if my kid walks around with snot dangling from their nose. I made them, so technically I made their boogers, so following that logic- it’s not weird. It IS weird to pick a stranger’s nose, however.

Try to remember to check your parental instincts at the door when necessary. And maybe stop checking on your kids so much. Am I talking to myself here? Yeah…. probably.

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

10 Going on 20: The Spicy Chicken Story

My oldest child, Holden, has now gotten big enough to the point where when we walk into a restaurant, the hostess either questions whether to give in an adult menu, or just goes ahead and gives him one. This makes me uncomfortable. What makes me more uncomfortable, though, is the fact that to him, it’s not even an option– EVEN THOUGH IT SAYS ON THE MENU “FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12”–according to my child, he’s “too big” for it. He is 10. He is a child. He should get the child’s menu.

In his defense, yes, he is rather large, and he eats more than I do- so a lot of times, I just relent and don’t argue because I know damn well he’s going to inhale the smaller portion and come for mine.

We were out running errands yesterday, and having a hell of a time due to holiday traffic, when we decided to stop and grab a bite to eat. Something small, since we were still going to be out for a while afterward and didn’t want anything to spoil in the car- so no leftovers.

You already know Holden wasn’t even going to entertain the idea of ordering from the kid’s menu. It was already late, and we were hungry, and there was no point in attempting to try to convince him to. After perusing the menu for a couple of minutes, Thomas and I decided to split a burger so we wouldn’t have to worry about leftovers. Holden announces he wants to try something called the “Nashville hot chicken sandwich” because, and I quote, “I’m in the mood for something spicy.”

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not like he’s never eaten anything spicy before, but I’m his mom. I know him. And I know he has the tendency to think he can handle spicier foods than he can handle- but WHO AM I TO TELL THIS CHILD WHO IS CLEARLY AN ADULT WHAT HE CAN OR CANNOT EAT? WHATEVER. ORDER IT. YOU DO YOU, GROWN HUMAN.

Once our food finally comes (it took forever), we’re ready to hoover the shit up. It’ll be lucky if we even taste it. Thomas and I split the burger and before even taking a bite, look over to Holden because we are good parents and want to make sure he can ACTUALLY handle the spicy food before we eat ours so, if necessary, we can trade him. He takes a chomp out of it, gives it a moment to settle, and gives us the thumbs up. He’s a grown ass man who can handle his spicy chicken.

Since Thomas and I were sharing our food, which- let’s be honest- the portion wasn’t worth what we paid for it- it was gone pretty damn quick. We look over at Holden, who announces that he is full.

There are approximately 3.5 bites taken out of his sandwich.

Yeah, same child who insists on eating off of the adult menu because the portions on the kid’s menus are always too small. Same child who just swore he was starving and complained through every single errand that we ran before eating because he was wasting away to nothing. Yeah- THAT kid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me: It’s too spicy isn’t it?

Holden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried this sandwich of doom, y’all. It wasn’t that spicy. Barely even tickled the nose.

Remember how when your kids were really little and they’d insist over and over again that they wanted something only to get it and yell at you that they DIDN’T want it, and act like they have no idea where you’d get such an idiotic notion? This is just to let you know that never changes, it just costs you more money the bigger they get.

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Cut Yourself some Christmas Slack

It’s totally natural to want Christmas to be perfect- especially when you have kids. But sometimes we want it to be special, and perfect, and magical, so badly that we run ourselves into the ground. We run around for weeks, maybe even months, tending to every little detail at all hours of the day and night, and make what should be a merry time of year a miserable time of year. We rack ourselves with stress, guilt, and worry.

I can’t do it anymore. And I don’t want to. I want to enjoy it at least half as much as my children, and that means cutting back, and in doing so, cutting myself some slack.

 

Every year I tell myself these things. This year, I’m determined to listen.

 

STOP rearranging the ornaments. Literally no one cares about the placement being perfect except you.

You don’t HAVE to bake the cookies from scratch. Santa doesn’t give a shit if they’re homemade.

Watching UPS tracking will not make the packages arrive any faster.

The presents don’t have to be wrapped perfectly. You could toss the crap in bags and the kids would still be just as grateful.

Naughty or nice, the kids don’t need everything on their lists. They really don’t. They’ll only even play with half of it and the rest will sit collecting dust, so you CAN just pick a few things.

If their hair or clothes get messed up before photos with Santa, it will be alright. Down the line, you’ll even laugh about it.

Traditions are still traditions even if they get “messed up” or missed for a year. AND HELLO? You can always make new ones!

If you burn the turkey, or the brownies, or the pies, or all of it, it’s truly not the end of the world.

If you’re feeling unappreciated, appreciate yourself. You’re awesome. Buy yourself a gift. Merry f’ing Christmas to you from you.

 

Sit down. Just SIT DOWN. Drink some frothy egg juice or peppermint hot chocolate- whatever tickles your pickle- take a deep breath (not of the liquid, that would be very bad) and relax. You deserve to enjoy this, too. And the less stabby you are, the happier the rest of your family will be- which is a win all around if you ask me.

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment