Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Netflix Ultimate Christmas Survival Guide



Netflix











Happy Christmas!
You’ve probably already wrapped all your presents and stocked up the cupboards with a trolley load from the supermarket.
But have you planned your family viewing, so you can slob out to a good movie/TV show after stuffing yourself? Netflix has put together a Christmas survival guide to help the festive season run as smoothly as possible.
So, whether you grab a few minutes for a time out and an episode of Orange Is the New Black via the iPad in the kitchen or you get lucky enough to marathon a few episodes of Marco Polo, make sure you make some time for you.
Hope you have a great Christmas & New Year!


THE ULTIMATE SURVIVAL GUIDE




St Stephen's Day – New to Netflix

The excitement of Christmas can only last so long, and once you’ve managed to get the relatives out of the door to reclaim your personal space, why not beat the St Stephen's Day blues with some ‘me’ time – you deserve it! 















Kids

After the kids have finished ripping open all of their Christmas presents and promptly got bored of their gifts, try some of this great content to keep them happy for a little longer















Teenagers

No matter how many times you ask, you will receive the same blank expression when you request for some help peeling the potatoes. So while they sit glued to their tablets instead of in the kitchen, why don't they watch one of these















Mum and Dad

Christmas Day has come to an end, the kids are asleep but you’ve been caught up in the rush and haven't had a minute to relax. Thankfully Netflix has lots of comedy specials so you can finish the day with a smile 















Family

After the post turkey lull and the tears from the annual family game of Monopoly have dried up, there’s nothing better than settling down to watch a great story together, with some of our favourites below














 

20 Feet From Stardom available on 26th December

 
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** I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team and I’m enjoying every minute of it **












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Friday, November 28, 2014

Reclaiming the Positive in Parenting

Today's post is part of the Moods of Motherhood blogging carnival celebrating the launch of the second edition of Moods of Motherhood: the inner journey of mothering by Amazon bestselling author, Lucy H. Pearce (published by Womancraft Publishing). Today over 40 mothers around the world reflect on the internal journey of motherhood: raw, honest and uncut. To see a list of the other contributors and to win your own copy visit Dreaming Aloud.net

Moods of Motherhood_cover_front_300


My main mood of motherhood is frustration.

Frustration in that I yearn to have great times with my kids but the reality is that it is often the opposite: we clash and start raising our voices and feel annoyed because we’re not getting through to each other.

Frustration in that I don’t have enough time to spend with my children because I have to work to pay for our house and our food.

Frustration in that I have to repeat myself a lot for them to learn simple things, such as eating food, putting on their shoes and coats before leaving the house, or picking up their things off the floor.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, some of the dense trees and brambles have parted and I can see the rest of the path through the forest more clearly, with blinding sun darting through like shards of lazer-beams.

 

Underneath, when I find time to empty my mind and breathe deeply, I find there is a sense of achievement – because I've survived this far with no major incidents and I can see they’re all turning into really happy, polite, enthusiastic and clever kids.  

When I strip myself bear of the daily frustrations, I realise that deep down I am really really proud of them.

When the daily gristle is gone, I can admire their inner beauty and abilities. If only I was able to focus on the positive and not let the negative get me down.

A Zen friend suggested that I greet my frustrations with a smile when it crops up: "Hello Frustration my old friend", which is turning out to be quite an interesting exercise for diffusing the blocks of frustration inside of me.
 
Perhaps if I repeat an affirmation every day, I will start to dwell less on the draining feelings of frustration, and more on the amazing big picture.

We’re all healthy, capable and amazing beings and together we make a strong, dynamic family.


 
The Impact of the Negative

I was reading an article the other day that said the reason people tend to remember the negative stronger than the positive is because our brains handle positive and negative information in different hemispheres, which allows negative emotions to have a longer-lasting impact.
“Bad emotions, bad parents and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, which leads to more distress," says Dr Baumeister, quoted in the article. "Those who are more attuned to bad things would have been more likely to survive threats and, consequently, would have increased the probability of passing along their genes. Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.”
So in order to survive for thousands of years, our brains have adapted to reacting quicker to the bad stuff, which probably explains why I spend the majority of my life in a hyper-vigilant state. Hyper-vigilant means I’m constantly on alert – and no, it’s not my favourite state to live in. It means I anticipate safety risks such as my kids falling or breaking something, and jump up in an instant to save them, much like superwoman! 

But if my kids tell me they got ‘Star of the week’ in school, it takes a while for it to sink past my adrenaline filter before I smile and say ‘well done’. Even slower is the next reaction, pulling myself up from my seat and going to their level and giving them a big hug and telling them how proud I am of them. 

If only I could slow down the reactions to the negative things and speed up the reactions to the nicer, positive things. I don’t think I would be half as frustrated by motherhood then. I'm working on reframing this with meditation and mindfulness.

When I somehow manage to shake off the daily frustrations of being a mum to 3 hyper kids, then I allow myself to really start to appreciate all that I’ve got. And I have got so much. I burst sometimes thinking that I managed to achieve a family in just a few short years. How lucky am I?
 

 
So I need to try to appreciate it more often. I read that psychologically we need five ‘goods’ to outweigh every one ‘bad’ thought or thing. That’s a depressing thought in itself.

If I can just find 5 good things to say to my kids instead of one negative, and try to outweigh the bad with lovely things, then maybe they won’t remember me as a bad mummy. I'm striving for better. We all deserve better.

I'm also trying to find three things at the end of each day that I am grateful for in order to raise my positive vibrations and close the day thinking happy thoughts.



 

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Book Where You Can be the Star!

There’s something really very special about a personalised children’s book. 

And Christmas creates a massive sense of magic for children who are mesmerized by all things Santa. 


Therefore a personalised Christmas book with a Santa adventure for a 6 year old boy that has just started to read ticks all the boxes.

I went online and filled in a form with a few details of my boy’s name and uploaded a picture, then a few days later a lovely A4 glossy book arrived in the post. 


The delight on his face when he saw his own picture on the front and was able to read the title: “Jago and Santa’s Irish Adventure’. He even got a personal message from Santa saying he was on the ‘good boys’ list’ and Santa was looking forward to visiting his home ‘in Aghada on Christmas Eve’. 




It thrilled him knowing that the big red man even knew about him, and then had singled him out by sending him a book. 

I think it made him feel very special and cherished.

The best things is this year he can suddenly read, so he was able to read it because the writing is big enough for him to follow. 

Ok so he might struggle to read it all in one sitting as it's quite a story, so it's a book we'll keep coming back to in the run up to Christmas - and one we'll get out every yeah until he's lost interest in the big red man.

Hopefully that won't be for another 30 years! 

To make your own book, visit www.digitalscribe.ie and enter in a few details and you can start building up your own collection of personalised children's books. Or check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/digitalscribe

















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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Netflix Instant Streaming Tonic for Kids

It’s no secret that Netflix changed our lives by giving us something to always to watch on TV.

When you have impatient kids who are melting down through exhaustion and need an instant distraction, sometimes I find a new movie or new programme is just the tonic to switch their energy.
 
In an instant Netflix means I can switch on their favourite TV show or movie and hey presto, peace is restored to our house.

The only problem I have with Netflix is the limited way in which programmes and movies are displayed. They’re bunched altogether, which is a pain, and a lot of the ‘what’s new’ is actually old content. I’d prefer a top 10 of ‘what’s new’ and ‘highly recommended’ kids shows and a separate list of movies by age and category (eg animations, real actors, Pixar, Dreamworks etc) and target audience, eg girls and boys.

Basically it’s really hard to see exactly what the best movies on offer are, so I figured I would put together a list of my family’s favouries as a starting point for newcomers to Netflix.
 
Jago's favourite: Ninjago
 
Favourite movies for all of them (aged 3, 5 & 6):

  • Cars 2
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Muppets
  • Tangled
  • A Bugs Life
Movies and TV shows:

6 year old boy’s favourite: 
  • Lego Ninjago
  • Lego Chima
  • Kicking and Screaming (American non-animation film about football)

5 year old girl:

  • Barbie Dreamhouse
  • Tinkerbell
  • Mermaids (non-animation Australian show)
  • Tangled

3 year old boy:

  • Thomas tank engine episodes and movies
  • Lego Ninjago
  • Cars 2
  • Toy Story 3 

What are your Kids’ faves?


 
 
** I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team and I’m enjoying every minute of it **


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