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Netflix on the Go

I am traveling this week, in Florida for a course in what might possibly be my next career. It is totally freaking me out that I might be leaving the role of full time stay at home mom. I have worn that badge with pride and it has become a huge part of my identity, but with Silas heading to full time school next year it is time for me to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. #holdme

I have never been away from my kiddos and hubby for this long. Thankfully my mom was able to join me, and let’s be honest, being in Florida when it is 7 degrees in Michigan isn’t the worst thing in the world. I am in a conference for most of the day but I soak up lunch every day sitting by the hotel pool. And driving “home” after the course I get to watch the sun setting over the ocean. But nothing is the same as being home.

Ryan and I are smack dab in the middle of binge watching White Collar on Netflix. It is such a fun show recommended to me by my friend Mary. It is a drama with the perfect mix of humor, a ridiculously handsome lead actor and story arcs that keep you hooked. It’s no Friday Night Lights, but I have given up on finding an adequate replacement. White Collar is more than entertaining in the meantime.

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What I love about Netflix is that I can watch it wherever I am on whatever I want. I have the Netflix app on my tablet or I can watch on my computer. Ryan and I can even watch together from 10 states away. I am very grateful since I have tried to watch cable TV and my WORD is it just one crappy show after another. Seriously, how do you people stomach The Bachelor???!!!!

Let’s be real, Netflix also allowed my hubby to work from home today while mommy is in Florida and the kids have a day off of school. Apparently we are never to speak of how much TV the kids watched today, but I know our Netflix got a workout today. And I am thankful that it has a TON of quality programming for kids.

If your kids need a great show to start watching, check out the new Netflix original, The Adventures of Puss in Boots. This is possibly the only cat I have ever loved. He’s quite the charmer.

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For us, Netflix is perfect for the whole family wherever we are!!

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Disclosure:  I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a one-year subscription to Netflix. Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own. This post will be linked up to Works For Me Wednesday at Giving Up On Perfect. 

What Is A Great Life?

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It is fitting that this quote floated across Facebook today. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about a woman who heaven and earth paused for because she “did her job well”. She lived this quote every single day. And she did it as a high school lunch lady.

I doubt many of you remember your high school lunch lady. They aren’t usually very memorable and kind of fade into the background at school. They rarely have as much impact as that beloved teacher who encouraged you or a coach who helped you discover your passion. But I promise you, if you went to my high school you remember Bev.

Bev passed away a few weeks ago and as word got around Facebook and email, stories started following. I visited the guestbook on her funeral home page and there were 18 pages of entries. Entry after entry telling similar stories dating back to students who attended high school in the late 60s and 70s when she first started working at the school.

Bev never forgot a name. If you passed through the halls of Marshalltown High School she knew your name. At an age where everyone struggles with feeling left out and invisible, when you walked through the lunch line or visited the concession stand at a game, Bev would call you by name and offer you a “Sweet for a Sweet.” She made every single person feel special and important.

She seemed to know what kind of day you were having and had been known to give you the “broken cookies” that she “couldn’t sell” just when you needed them. Because nothing helps heal the wounds of high school like a chocolate cookie served with a wink and a smile.

Her family stated in her obituary that a trip to the grocery store would often take hours because she would take time to chat with current and former students. She was never too busy for you. She just made you feel significant. How rare is that?

As I read the outpouring of love on Facebook and her online memorial a quote came to mind that my pastor often says:

Our desire is to live great lives, and have a great impact, so we look for great things to do. As we keep a sharp eye for “great things” to come along, we wait. We wait as we attempt to identify our unique contribution to the human race. We wait for some massive breakthrough moment. We wait to be discovered. And as we are waiting to do something great, a parade of opportunities to simply and humble do something good goes marching by. While waiting for our moment of greatness, we miss out on a thousand moments of goodness.
Here’s a thought: What if we lead great lives, not through doing great things but rather, by doing good things over and over and over again. What if the path to greatness is repetitive goodness? What if greatness is goodness compounded? I suspect that we arrive at greatness through the lengthy corridor of repeated, small, humble, acts of goodness.
This was Bev. By the world’s standards her life was a humble one as a lunch lady in a small town high school. But to any person that crossed her path her impact was great. And the thing that seemed to have the most impact was simply a smile and an acknowledgement that every person she met had value and was worth her time.
Such a simple and powerful legacy. God Bless you Bev.

 

Sunday Chat

I would like to pretend that this will be a regular gig. Old school blogging, just chatting about life. But I can’t pretend that I will do anything around here with any regularity. So we’ll just aim for it and laugh together at how far I fall from the mark. Deal?

Last Sunday was our awesome dog Griffin’s birthday. I had told the kids we would mark the day with a little present, but Hannah got it into her brain that he needed a cake. We even found adorable decorated dog cookies, but no. Nothing would suffice except a dog cake. And apparently it was up to me to make it.

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Well. The internet is FULL of dog cake recipes. So apparently this is a thing. So we made a little doggie cupcake, topped it with peanut butter and Cheez Whiz and sang Happy birthday to our dog while he stared at us wondering why his food was on fire.

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Lily started a “Girls Who Code” class last Monday. She is super into math and computers and I absolutely love this little nerd I am raising. The things she can do on a computer astound me. I am hoping she is the next Bill Gates and I can retire at 45. Of course to retire I would need work in the first place……

Last Thursday night Hannah and I went to the local Broadway tour of Annie. It was her Christmas present. I am doing my best to raise kids who love musical theatre but so far Hannah is the only one biting. But she is all in so it works. We had so much fun and listened to Taylor Swift all the way there and back. Apparently I am an 8 year old trapped in a thirty something body.

This weekend we spent all day Saturday skiing as a family. I actually stayed in “civilian clothing” and helped Silas on the bunny hill while the big kids and Ryan tackled the bigger hills. By the end of the day Silas was heading up a chair lift and keeping up with his sisters. I am so excited we are becoming a skiing family. I grew up going to Colorado almost every winter and I can’t wait to make memories on the slopes with my kids. It is quite the expensive little hobby though. Perhaps we should have chosen geocaching…..

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Today my brother’s family and my parents came over for dinner and a little round of Cards Against Humanity. Yes you heard right I played with my parents. We laughed so hard and had so much fun. We threw some cards out that were just too offensive or gross, but kept a whole lot in that definitely were cringe worthy. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard. I am not sure everyone would feel this way, but I think my family rocks that we always have so much fun together.

Watching: White Collar

Reading: The Circle

Listening to: Pearl Jam Ten (my kids HATE it, I have failed)

What’s new with you?

 

Twelve Healthy Smoothies to Help You Meet All Your Resolutions

Check out 12 Healthy Smoothies to Help You Meet All Your Resolutions

by Jill Shepherd Anderson at Foodie.com

Let’s be honest. Few of us start the new year without a plan to eat healthier/ lose weight. Who knows how long the resolution will last, but while it does one of the easiest ways to stay healthy is with smoothies. Of course if you add a bunch of sugar filled yogurt and juices, it isn’t really helping your cause. But add some veggies, keep out the sugar and throw in the fruit and you got yourself a meal.

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Mode Media, all opinions are my own. 

Brancott Estate Flight Song- Wine Without The Guilt

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Brancott Estate Flight Song. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Wine. The nectar of the gods. And by far my favorite alcoholic beverage. My love for a nice glass of wine runs deep.

When I say “nice glass of wine” I rarely mean expensive. On a rare occasion we will spring for a pricey bottle, but most of the time we go cheap. And truth be told often times I buy things because it has a pretty or funky bottle. I love my wine, but I am probably not the most sophisticated wine drinker around.

That being said, Ryan and I did go to Sonoma last year and learn a lot about different varietals. And we have definitely tasted our share of wine. Actually wine tasting is one of our favorite things to do when we travel. So I do know a bit of which I speak.

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I was recently sent samples of Brancott Estate Flight Song’s Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Over the holidays we had so many occasions where it was appropriate to bring wine and I was a little nervous to bring an untested wine to a party, but I took a little risk.

I definitely like red wines better than white but that is because, in my opinion, cheap white wines are often way too oak-y and sulfite-y for my taste (see how sophisticated I am?). But I was so pleasantly surprised by this wine. Both were very smooth with delicious fruit notes. I especially loved the Sauvignon Blanc and could totally picture myself enjoying it on my patio this summer with a delicious grilled chicken.

As I researched a little more and discovered that Brancott Estate was the first to plant and create the world’s first Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine. So it doesn’t surprise that they are doing it so well. Their Pinot Grigio was delightful too, in general I just prefer Sauvignon Blanc, but if you are more of a Grigio girl, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Everyone who sampled both wines agreed, they were very tasty. 

Now here is the thing about loving wine. If I love wine too much bad things happen. I mean obviously bad things happen if you drink too much in one sitting. But bad things also happen if you spend your summer nights sipping wine on the patio night after night. Bad things happen to your waistline. Again, I know of which I speak. #sadbuttrue

Well with Brancott Estate Flight Song, you can worry a bit less. Containing 20% less calories than other wines, you can treat yourself without breaking your new year’s resolution. Cause I can’t imagine making a long term weight loss plan that doesn’t involve the occasional glass of wine.

I am so excited that I have found this new brand of wine in Brancott Estate Flight Song. It is affordable, it won’t kill my calorie count for the day, and most importantly, it is delicious! The wine trifecta!!