Sunday, November 25, 2018

Netflix Christmas Streaming

Updated as of November 25, 2018 - if you're on Facebook, like the page, and you will see when there are updates.
This is what I call an act of love…

12 Neighs of Christmas - (coming December 7th) - This is a wild Christmas episode of a british show (free Rein) about a zoo - complete with family secrets and a Christmas ball!

48 Christmas Wishes - This looks pretty cute - when something happens to all the letters to Santa in one small town - the big guy's elves try to fix things up.

Abominable Christmas - Two little Abominables trying to escape an evil scientist meet a young girl and spend Christmas with her family.

All American Christmas Carol - Reviews are NOT very positive - apparently this is a bit of a twisted take on the classic "A Christmas Carol" "Scrooge" story, with Taryn Manning (of OITNB fame these days) playing the Scrooge character, and being given the opportunity to turn her life around with the help of three ghosts (one of whom is played by Meatloaf). 

Angela's Christmas - (coming November 30th) - this is an animated show based on a story by the amazing Frank McCourt - author of Angela's Ashes.  I hope this will end up being the classic I want it to be!

Angels in the Snow - a grumpy family on a Christmas vacation take in a stranded family.  There is apparently a big twist at the end, don't read the reviews if you don't want spoilers.

Bad Santa - Willie and Marcus are the absolute worst Santa and Elf, because of the fact that they are awful people, and are criminals.  This is a really dark movie, but it does have some serious sweetness at its core. This is NOT a movie for the whole family, unless your whole family is comprised of adults.

Bad Santa 2 - They're back! The worst possible Santa and Elf duo return, with the help of Kathy Bates as Willie's mom.  I haven't seen this, but the original was pretty spectacular. 

Beethoven's Christmas Adventure - everyone's favorite St. Bernard is going to save Christmas!

Believe - you had best believe it's the season of miracles - when the a factory closing threatens to cancel the town's annual Christmas pageant. 

Benji's Very Own Christmas Story - Everyone's favorite dog (well, at least in my family) Benji needs to step in to save Christmas!

Bob's Broken Sleigh - this is a newer movie (2015) - It appears that the premise is that a little elf (Bob) is trying to upgrade Santa's sleigh - something goes wrong - there is a crash (will Christmas be canceled!?!?) - and he needs help to get back up in the air. 

Bojack Horseman Christmas Special - This animated special isn't for the kids, it also probably isn't for you unless you're into the show.  

Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas, The - I haven't seen this - but the pictures showing up do look true to the original illustrations in the Cat in the Hat, and other Seussian hits.  It appears to be a cartoon - which is a big positive for me - as Mike Myer's terrifying turn as the Cat in the Hat ruined live action for me in the genre. 

Christmas Candle, The - Susan Boyle is in this historic holiday flick about a new minister coming to town and messing with some good old fashioned Christmas traditions. 

Christmas Chronicles - this is a new Netflix original for 2018 - a pair of siblings team up to help Santa after they cause him to crash his sleigh.

Christmas Cracker - This is a documentary about people who are obsessed with Christmas.  I'm king of disappointed that they didn't try to interview me, but I'll get over it. 

Christmas Crush - One question: what kind of school does their reunion at Christmas time? Seriously, I've only seen this in movies, in the real world aren't they always in the summer? This is a cute little flick, I've seen it, and it's about a woman getting to reunite with her high school crush at her reunion (at Christmas).

Christmas in the Smokies - Made for TV holiday magic, I tell you!  A woman trying to save her family's farm; an ex who is a famous musician? What more could you want? Oh yeah - it takes place at Christmas time!! 

Christmas Inheritance, The - This flick has one of my favorite tried-and-true made-for-tv holiday movie plot lines.  Star of the film must go and learn the true spirit of Christmas in a small town in order to receive her inheritance.

Christmas on Salvation Street - a widowed minister and his family move to the inner city, which will take some adjustment.

Christmas Prince, A -  It's a made for Netflix special about a journalist and a Prince, and CHRISTMAS. This movie was the biggest new holiday hit last year - looking forward to checking out the sequel!

Christmas Prince, The Royal Wedding - (coming November 30) - If you haven't seen A Christmas Prince, where have you been?? It was on everyone's list last holiday season - and coming soon - you'll be able to see the follow-up!

Christmas Project, The - When I saw the first screen capture, I thought it was a movie from the 1980s, but it was made in 2016 - some reviewers say it channels "A Christmas Story," and apparently is about four boys who have to make gifts for their bullies?

Christmas Ranch - This one's got all the big hits - naughty teen has to spend the holidays with Grandma on a ranch of all places, connects with a horse, tries to save the aforementioned ranch, learns an important lesson, and has a super merry Christmas.  I'm guessing - but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Christmas Star, A - It turns out that if you're born under the Christmas Star, you have magical powers.  In reading the description, I wasn't really convinced I wanted to watch it.  Then I checked out reviews, and noticed Kylie Minogue and Pierce Brosnan in it - needless to say, I've added this to my wish list. 

Christmas Town - I've never seen this relatively new made-for-tv looking gem.  A single mother visits her father, whose town is "Totally Consumed with Christmas" - my kind of place!

Christmas Wedding Planner - This looks like the kind of movie I would see on my Hallmark Movies and Mystery binges!  A wedding planner's life is turned upside down by a PI disrupting things.

Christmas with a View - restaurant manager and new chef butt heads in this holiday romp.

Curious George, a Very Monkey Christmas - I do love those cute little Curious George cartoons, along with the Man in the Yellow Hat, it appears the two of them are having a hard time deciding what to give each other for the holiday!

Dear Santa - I'm a sucker for Amy Acker, and this is a really cute made for TV Christmas movie about a woman who finds a little girl's letter to Santa, and ends up getting involved.

Dogwalker's Christmas Tale, A - A privileged young lady has to decide between a handsome guy and adorable dogs and her super rich boss.  What do you think she'll decide?

Dreamworks Happy Holidays from Madagascar - You get a hit of Valentine's Day and then two Christmas specials! 

Dreamworks Holiday Classics - while the word "classic" might be pushing it - only time will tell!  Four holiday tales involving your favorite (?) Dreamworks' stars - the digital casts of Madagascar, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Dreamworks Shrek's Swamp Stories - time to join everyone's favorite ogre in some fun holiday theme adventures.  Not only does this have Christmas - but Halloween as well!

El Camino Christmas - folks stuck in a liquor store robbery on Christmas Eve - I'm intrigued by the stars of this one - Jessica Alba, Dax Shepard, and Tim Allen.

Fireplace for Your Home: Classic - this has festive holiday music along with beautiful snowy scenes - wonderful for those of us anxious for winter in the middle of July!

Get Santa - Santa gets arrested? What kind of world are we living in??  Thankfully, a father-son team is going to get him out of there!

Hector - Reviews are pretty much unanimously positive about this unconventional British film about a homeless man reconnecting with his family around the holidays. 

Holiday Baggage - Time to see if getting the whole family together for the holidays will rekindle relationships. 

Holiday Breakup -  You know how your relatives give you "that look" when they find out it didn't work out with your most recent beau? These two avoid it by faking it this holiday season.

Holiday Calendar, The - This one is definitely on my list this year - a gal discovers her antique advent calendar just might be predicting the future!

Holiday Engagement - I like how this one falls alphabetically right after Holiday Breakup - a single gal hires  someone to act as her boyfriend for her family holidays.  It's a plot I've seen before, and will always take an hour and a half to watch!

Holidays - another collection of holiday themed horror shorts.  There is just one Christmas story on here, but, in general, if you like horror movies, you should give this a try.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas -  This is not the animated classic, it's the 2000 version with a terrifyingly green Jim Carey, and it does attempt to address the anti-consumerism themes of the original.  Also, there is incredibly catchy music and some fantastic hair styles.

How Sarah Got Her Wings - It's Christmas and what's an angel-in-training to do? Earn those wings!

Koala Brothers Outback Christmas, The - I'm not familiar with the Koala Brothers - but it appears it's a British show for the littles.  It is some sort of adorable claymation and I recommend it on that alone!  Seriously - who doesn't want to watch two koalas flying an airplane and tracking down their penguin friend in Antarctica? 

Kung Fu Panda: Holiday - Here is one of those newer "holiday" movies; it's winter, it's a special, meaningful holiday, etc. etc. etc. In this new arrival, Po has to deal with some wackiness, and then learn the meaning of Chris- Oops - I mean - the meaning of "Winter Feast."

Love Actually - If you love Christmas, or being a hopeless romantic, or Mariah Carey songs, or a host of other things - you will love this modern day Christmas classic!

Magic Snowflake - the Sequel to Santa's Apprentice.  So - watch that one, and then decide if you're up for a second dose.

Mariah Carey's Merriest Christmas - Say what you will about MC, she sure can belt out a Christmas tune.  This is a variety show with a bunch of other celebrities, singing, and a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Merry Kissmas - Magical kiss with a stranger! Alert! We have a magical kiss with a stranger!!

Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mickey Mouse - This is a Christmas special with a number of Disney Christmas shorts (I haven't seen this one - but I highly recommend Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, so I think this is probably worth checking out).

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Three cute Disney cartoons: Mickey & Minnie play out one of my favorite O. Henry stories: Gift of the Magi; Donald's three wacky nephews play out a Christmas version of the movie Groundhog Day; and Goofy and his son Max figure out that Santa is real.  *Most disturbing part: when all of the ducks at the table get excited about eating a beautifully roast turkey.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - I am imagining this to be the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.  According to Netflix's description it's a holiday battle between Mickey and Minnie and that mean ol' Scrooge McDuck.

Miracle on 34th Street - This is the absolutely wonderful 1994 version of this holiday classic.  I love the original, and I really feel this remake stayed so true to the message.  It's wonderful, and you should show it to your children to make sure it's a part of their childhoods.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir:  This is the Christmas special for an animated show about a girl who transforms herself into a superhero (Ladybug).

Miss Me This Christmas - To divorce or not to divorce? This film centers on a couple whose divorce is meant to be final on Christmas day (which sounds like a rather preposterous premise to me, but who am I to judge?)

Mule-Tide Christmas - This looks like a digital flick for the youngest of the youngsters.  You've got wicked goblins, a certain jolly old elf who wears a red suit, and his trusty mule.  Sounds good (for the 5-7 crowd) to me!

Nutcracker, The - a beautiful performance of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker narrated by Kevin Kline.  Worth a watch anytime.

Pee-wee's Playhouse: Christmas Special - If you're ready for a trip down mid-1980s memory lane - this is the special for you!  If Pee-wee himself isn't enough to pull you in - you've got Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frankie Avalon, Oprah, and even KD Lang to join in the fun!

Pottersville - with a name like that, it's not all that surprising that reviewers say it takes a lot of "inspiration" from It's a Wonderful Life.  If those same reviewers are to be believed - this movie is absolutely terrible, and not worth watching.

Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever - I admit that the Power Rangers have never really grown on me.  I will also admit that I sat through countless hours of them when I was a babysitter to a family with four young sons.  I might even sit through them for 23 more minutes to see this special!

Power Rangers Super Samurai: Stuck on Christmas - here we go - some more Power Rangers (for those of you who are into that sort of thing). 

Princess Switch, The - This movie is ADORABLE! I watched it on the advice of a friend, and I loved it.  It stars Vanessa Hudgens as both the Princess and the Baker - and is festive and cute and romantic.

Puppy Star Christmas - I'm guessing Puppy Stars are a "thing" and if you, or your children, are familiar with them - you're probably very excited to see them take on a rival group.

Russell Peters Christmas, A - This 2011 movie was filmed in the style of a 1970s variety show.  Guests range from Michael Buble to Pamela Anderson. I've not seen it, so I'm hoping someone will be able to give me a good review.

Santa Buddies - those rascally golden retriever pups are at it again - Christmas style!

Santa Claws - NOT the horror movie it sounds like - this one is about KITTENS!!!

Santa's Apprentice - What DOES happen when a young orphan is picked to be Santa's successor? He becomes an apprentice of course!
Search for Santa Paws, The - If you liked Santa Buddies, you definitely want to watch this prequel!  If your children like Santa Buddies, and you need an hour and a half to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, then they definitely need to watch this!

Spirit of Christmas, The - I've actually seen this one - I can't remember if it was on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel.  This hardened woman goes to stay at an Inn to sell it, but ends up meeting (and maybe falling in love!?) with a handsome ghost from the past (an actual ghost, like "boo" not just a ghost from her past).

Star, The - An animated version of the Nativity Story, starring a donkey.

Trailer Park Boys: Live at the North Pole - I think the title really says it all.

Trailer Park Boys: Xmas Special - I'm not a Trailer Park Boys fan, so I'm going to leave this to you to discover on your own.

Tree Man - a documentary about the people who cultivate the most cherished of holiday memories - Christmas Trees!

Uncle Nick - Reviews are pretty much split - people either love or hate this dark comedy - it's apparently very dirty and twisted, which means I'll probably like it. This is the story of one awful brother making his slightly less terrible sibling's holiday party a failure.

Very Murray Christmas, A - If you love Bill Murray, and appreciate what an oddball he is - I think you'd better put this on the agenda for running in the background at this year's cookie baking party (which is exactly what I did last year, and probably will do again in 2016).
White Christmas - Quite possibly the greatest movie ever made.  Fact: my sister and I can perform the "Sisters" routine in its entirety, and sing the song together on a regular basis. If you've never seen it - watch it! If you've already seen it, why aren't you watching it again???

You Can't Fight Christmas - The money guy and the Christmas spirit filled decorator are going to clash - but are they ALSO going to fall in love?

Friday, December 9, 2016

"New" House

It appears I completely forgot about my plan to blog about the home buying process.  Let me sum it up for you: it's l-o-o-o-o-o-ong. 

I am actually (very) happily settled into the new house.  We were able to move forward with the second house we had an accepted offer on.  The home inspector was only able to find one problem (the paint on the bulkhead door was chipped, and had to be repainted).  Once he got his second fee for doing the follow-up inspection, we were good to go!

We got the keys on April 15th, and Dad moved in right away.  He literally brought a small mat with him and slept on the floor in his upstairs apartment that night.  I'm not sure if it was more excitement over the new place, or excitement over not staying in our (very small) spare bedroom for four months.

We love the house - the cats are incredibly happy - they have tons of space - and huge many-windowed porches on the first and second floors - we have a huge back yard, that was already set up for a really large garden.  This year, our gardens were completely populated with seedlings people gave us, or old seeds Dad or I had from previous years.  We've already started planning out for next year.

The house itself is awesome - it was built in the late 1910s - early 1920s (I just can't remember which), and it's on an island!  A certain family member of mine told me that it's "not really an island," according to her, the fact that there is a bridge to our island means that it's not real - you have to take a boat to "real" islands.  I didn't comment on this incorrect assertion, as I like to keep the peace as much as possible, and since this has been a pretty wacky year, my silence seemed to be the right move.

I'm sure you've seen that I've updated the Netflix Christmas movie list for 2016 - I will do at least one more update before the big day.

Until then - try to enjoy a delicious moose mug of eggnog!
My Eggnog & My Tree

Monday, February 29, 2016

Moving On

Waaaaay back in January life was looking pretty grand.  We had found the house we wanted, made an offer, it was accepted, the mortgage was all set - we were looking at February 29th as closing day.

(Un?)Fortunately, the appraisal process threw a big ol' wrench in the whole thing.  It turned out the sellers had been less than honest about some aspects of the property - namely, that the "in-law suite" (with its giant bedroom, full bath, kitchen sink area, etc.) has not been used in 20 years, and so there actually isn't any heat or plumbing happening in a pretty big chunk of the house.

The mortgage broker gave it a big ol' "NOPE" on that, and we were sort of back to the drawing board.  Our Realtor approached the sellers with the opportunity to either take care of business, or accept a significantly lower offer, so we could include contracting out getting it taken care of.  No dice.

This led to a pretty darn bummed out me. 

However, like every story I ever tell, there is a silver lining.  The house we had decided on was actually the very first place we looked at.  It was perfect: it was inexpensive, and it had an entire separate suite for Dad, which were our only real requirements.  It turns out it doesn't technically have that suite, so off the list it goes.  I have noticed the property description on Zillow has changed to offering "potential" for a master/in-law suite, but the price hasn't changed.

Back to the drawing board we went!  We found an assortment of properties we wanted to check out, and sent the list to our Realtor; unfortunately, he wasn't able to schedule visits for 8 days, and by the time we got to check them out, only two of our 5 were still on the market (I had no idea real estate was such a fast moving business!). We found one more to check out, all the while slowly raising the max price we were willing to consider.  The three we looked at last Saturday were 100% dumpy slums.  Just trust me on this: they were super duper gross.  One had been my frontrunner, as it had a gorgeous and huge kitchen - all updated, beautifully painted, etc.  Unfortunately, that kitchen was what my lovely sister, Faith, referred to as "gilding the turd" - the house was literally falling apart - the floors were lumpy and bumpy because the foundation was so messed up, and we couldn't even check out the second floor apartment, because the stairs/balcony were falling off the side of the house.

We were looking at other options at home that night, and found what we both saw as *ZING* our dream house - late 1800s, huge, big yard, great neighborhood, etc.  We texted our guy right away - lo and behold, it had just gone under contract earlier that day, he still set us up an appointment to see it (which was good of him, as we were a bit sore over the fact that several properties had slipped through our fingers while he was eating sandwiches or something the previous week).  Luckily, the place wasn't as spectacular in person (I would like to write to my legislators to put a law in place that only allows photos that show a place in its actual condition be posted online).

I did mention one other spot we'd been looking at, and that we were really interested in checking it out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  So - fast forward to Monday, and I left work a bit early, Dad and Azi met me at the place, and it was perfect.  Not only was all the plumbing working - but the house is in fantastic condition, comes with all appliances, and even a warranty.  There are currently tenants in one part, but they are relatives of the sellers, so shouldn't be too much of an issue.

We walked through - imagined our lives there, etc. etc. etc.

Then, we went and looked at a place that had just come on the market, and, you guessed it, total dump! It is the kind of place that will be really amazing if someone with enough money can fix it up.  Gorgeous huge old house, with some buckets collecting water leaking through the upstairs kitchen sealing, and parts of the building appearing to want to fall off. 

We told our guy we wanted to make an offer on place number one, and he said he'd write it up and we could sign in the morning.  We were like "NOPE" - let's do this now.  So, we got our offer in, and by the next evening, the counter offers and counter counter offers were all finished, and we've officially got a contract in place.

I'm a big flabbergasted that it's still going to take a damn month and a half for the whole process, but, for now we've got the thumbs up on the mortgage (that was all settled on the previous house), and the sellers are happy.  It's time to start packing, and imagining what I'm going to paint over the wood paneling throughout my floor!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Never has the word "pending" excited me so much!  I was doing my daily stalking of the house we're hoping to buy on Zillow.  No big deal - except it IS a big deal!  It's gone from "for sale" to "this house has a pending offer."

Now, I know there are still loads of hoops to jump through, but, unless there is some crazy event that wreaks havoc on the property - I'm going to be a home owner in just over a month!

It's kind of cool - our projected closing date is February 29th.  We decided last night that we'll have to have a party every leap day (four years between parties should give me ample time to clean up and do all the baking for the next one) to celebrate our new house.

I need to do some online querying and find out when is the appropriate time to start crowing to everyone you know about your new house.  I know with pregnancy, you're supposed to wait until the second trimester, but I'm an impatient lass, and did not hold to that those eighteen years ago.

This is shaping up to be yet another wonderful day.  I think I must have known that when I put on my favorite butterfly earrings this morning.  They are adorable, and you should buy a pair.

For sale at

Monday, January 25, 2016


I'm in the midst of one of those pivotal moments in a person's life - when big changes are happening - working on buying a house!  We've met with the realtor, gone through a mortgage broker, made an offer, etc.  My take on all of it is that I feel like such a *grown up* - which is pretty incredible, when I consider the fact that I am thirty-six years old, and have officially been an adult for half of my life.

I am beyond excited about the house happening.  Of course, like all metaphorical chickens, I can't count it until it's hatched, but I feel pretty good.  That might just be my optimistic nature talking.

It's this whole adult concept that's throwing me for a bit of a loop.  I wonder if it's some "millennial" thing - where, despite the fact that I pay my bills, have had the same job for thirteen years, have raised another human being to the point that she is almost a legal adult, etc. etc., I still feel like I'm a twelve-year-old version of myself in a mid-thirties costume.  I've got my glasses, my cardigan and top that totally match (for real, they are a set), I'm wearing one of my four pairs of black 'office shoes' and my pants are wrinkled - due to a long standing belief that ironing is for losers, and people who make quilts (FYI - people who make quilts are NOT losers, I have counted myself among their ranks in the past).
Artist's Rendering of Me
Well world, get ready for grown up Jessy to come out and play!  I'm nervous at going "public" (read: posting it on facebook) about the house - and will most likely wait until we've actually got the keys in our hot little hands.  For now - the seller has verbally accepted our offer, and is signing paperwork with the realtor today. 

I'm planning on trying to document the whole process on here.  I will have to write up a big long explanation of the over two hour process of meeting with the mortgage broker, and the ridiculousness that meant we had to offer more than we wanted to because the amount of our mortgage was too SMALL for any lenders to consider us, but that's for another day.  Today, I will languish in the joy of being a REAL grown up. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Suddenly - it's Spring!

I love winter.  Don't think I'm one of those fickle Maine girls who likes snow until January 15th and yearns for hot beaches.  I am a 100% content with winter the way it is type of gal. 

However, if you've not been hiding under a rock with no wifi, you're most likely aware that winter has been mighty rough for us New Englanders this year.  2015 has not been kind thus far.

I'm ready to admit it - I've been aching for spring!  I'm tired of snow up above my waist for months, I'm tired of it being so cold that my nosehairs freeze, I'm tired of trying to calculate whether or not the oil in my tank will last, I'm tired of my car sliding around on ice.  It's gotten old.  Seeing as it's halfway through April, I consider this to be a perfectly reasonable opinion.

Incredibly, something amazing happened this week - Spring started!!!  Starting Sunday, the temperatures skyrocketed up to the high fifties and low sixties.  On Monday evening, I swear I saw seventy-one degrees on the thermometer in town - unfortunately, my phone was at home on my couch, so I don't have any proof - and the snow has been melting like.... like.... like a pair of edible panties in a sauna? Too crass? Just crass enough?

I've had my office window open all week, and with the exception of that one wretched spider I had to kill, it's been great!

My small windowsill garden seems to realize it's spring, and little blossoms  have begun - a couple of visual treats:

Shadows of Forsythia

My mystery succulent is making beautiful blossoms!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Unbucket List

It's that magical time of year again, when everyone is examining their plans and desires, and I have noticed a dramatic increase of the number of "bucket lists" I see when I'm scanning my Facebook feed.

I don't have an official bucket list - sure there are things I yearn to do before I leave the mortal coil: Skydiving, ride a mechanical bull, learn how to juggle, pull an awesome April Fools' prank, etc.

Honestly though, there are a lot of things I yearn to arrive at the pearly gates saying that I haven't done.  I have decided to name this list my "Unbucket List" - fitting title, no?

Things I wish not to do (and thus far haven't done - I can't include "lock my keys out of my car" because d'oh - I've done that one):

- Run out of gas
- Be kidnapped by a torture-obsessed serial killer
- Break a leg (in the metaphorical sense)
- Have someone overhear me describing how ugly their baby is
- Pass audible gas while making a speech
- Sever a finger or limb while using a table saw
- Become too PC for Cards Against Humanity

That's it for now - there are lots of other things I don't want to do, but I think that's a sufficient list for the start of 2015.