Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

So far this Irish Summer has been a bit of a washout. As I type, the wind is howling and the rain is sheeting down. We brave it when we can, and, when we can’t, we come up with indoor activities to amuse us. Sometimes though, there is nothing for it but to take out the blankets and turn on Netflix.

Here are some of our viewing recommendations this Summer. I’ve noticed a bit of a trend when comparing the adults choices to the children’s… both seem to include scifi, history and humour – not a bad mix!


Scifi – the  children were delighted to see Guardians of the Galaxy come to Netflix (this movie has a 12s rating) and it has already served them well as a ‘movie night’ option with friends.

Tech – We have introduced a bit more coding in the house this Summer, after a wonderful introduction from Galway’s Coderdojo classes. The children have loved the hour of code and have completed the Minecraft and StarWars challenges. This has sparked their coding imagination, and now they have found Gaming show (in my parents’ garage) they are completely hooked.

Gaming show IMPG

HistoryHorrible Histories is a constant entertainer in this house, even the adults have watched most of the episodes. It is amazing how the children are quoting historic facts, learned from the programme. When they finish the series they just start again from the beginning.

Humour – Apart from the giggles they get from Horrible Histories, the children are also loving the newest series of King Julien. I often pop my head in the room to find three laughing children snuggled on the couch.


Scifi – we stumbled across a scifi film called Push and loved it. It certainly deserves more than the three stars it currently has in the rating. The movie is about people with special powers, some can read minds, see the future, implant memories in people’s heads and move objects with their minds. And when the good guys and the bad guys have similar talents the story line keeps moving at quite a pace.

History – I am lucky if I get near the remote control these nights, since the second series of Marco Polo arrived on Netflix my husband has been binge watching. He is curious about the Mongol empire and enjoys the way the drama is portrayed.

Humour – The full second series of Better Call Saul is now available on Netflix. Although the plot thickens and the story gets a little darker, there is still plenty of the humour that so impressed us from the first series.


Image credit: Ben Leuner/Netflix

Regardless of what we watch, we usually round off the night’s viewing with a good belly-laughing episode of The Big Bang; It is consistently brilliant!


Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a year’s subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting regular updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed are my own.

And then I see their faces…

And then I see their faces…

Some days … I struggle with the realisation that we are going to be late.

My pleas, requests and cajoles to get dressed, find shoes, brush teeth, comb hair go unanswered; I say it once, I say it twice… by the time I get to the sixth request I am feeling my blood pressure rise.

Ultimately we do get into the car, in some form of readiness but inevitably behind schedule. As I slam the car door and start the ignition the tirade begins. The words tumble out, one on top of the other, heating the air and creating a car full of friction. The more I rant the more obvious their silence… I am cross, I am frustrated and I am on a roll. I look in the rear view mirror and then I see their faces and I realise that dressed and on time are irrelevant when there is a game to play.

Some days… I remember that there is a talent to getting lost in play.


Some days… I’m cleaning the house with a steady grumble. They are old enough to clean up after themselves. ‘The floor is not a wardrobe’ I hear myself mutter, ‘I didn’t sleep in this bed so I shouldn’t have to make it’. The words just slip out of my mouth with a life all of their own. Eventually it is the sticks and stones that break the camel’s back, literally!  What could two small boys possibly need with so many of them (sticks not camels… obviously)… and why inside the house? That’s it, I’m throwing them all out… and then I see their faces and I understand that these sticks and stones are magical elements in the mind of a child.

Some days… I remember that unmade beds make amazing forts and clothes on the floor make great stepping stones across treacherous croc filled waters. And a house full of sticks and stones could be just the talisman needed to keep our home a sanctuary.


Some days… are long days. Bed time has come and gone, and gone some more. There is a path worn from sitting room to their respective beds. This is ridiculous! Can’t a parent get any down time? They have had all day to go to the toilet/ drink water/ finish that story, so why, oh why, do they save it all up for those bewitching hours? Limits are reached, more noises are heard, steps are stomping down darkened corridors one time too many. But actually they are all asleep… and then I see their faces and I forget all bedtime mischief.

Some days… I remember that we need to be well fed and watered before embarking on a night full of dream filled adventures.


And then there are some days when I am that child… and that is when they see my face… and they smile in solidarity!

The kids

Netflix Stream Team – some current family favourites and a look at a new release

Netflix Stream Team – some current family favourites and a look at a new release

We had no internet for 11 days.

11 long days! (Feel free to pause for a moment to take in the gravity of the situation.)

It was a stressful time! The children seemed nonplushed by the whole thing until they realised something… no internet means no Netflix. Suddenly they shared my distress. They were 11 tense days but thankfully we sorted the problem and we are all back in the land of WiFi.

The children jumped straight back in to some of their favourites…

The youngest member of the family kept threatening to come down with the latest bug that is going around his school so every day he came home really tired, and I expected he was under the weather, I allowed his a little bit of Netflix until his siblings came home. He just loves Bernard and when he is not chuckling along to his antics he is learning about science and nature from Wild Kratts (two zoologists travelling the world saving animals from all kinds of perils)…. I wonder where he got those kind of interests from?


All three children have been delighted with two recent Netflix releases… All Hail King Julien and Puss in Boots. It is great to get so many options that they all agree on considering the age range is from five to 11.


We had a busy midterm break (even though the children only had two days off school), there were very active days especially as their cousins came to stay. Their days were filled with adventures, real and imagined, all embraced with equal commitment. Netflix came in handy for some chilling out at the end of such busy days. They felt like they had their own home cinema as they kicked back with some popcorn and enjoyed such movies as Arthur and the Invisibles and Spy kids. They also got to re watch an old favourite Lemony Snicket: Unfortunate Events (a movie the whole family enjoyed).

The adults were not completely left out either, we got our Netflix fix too, getting hooked into a series called Heroes. We had to pause our viewing for the whole internet less period (did I mention how stressful that was?) and were really happy to resume when all was fixed. To add to the delight we had to buy a new tv (the old one we had was verging on antique and died around the same time as the internet). Every cloud has a silver lining though and we managed to get a great deal on a new SMART TV that streams Netflix directly now (no more fiddling with wii remotes).


Speaking of life without the internet (OK, I promise, I won’t mention it again!) there is a new comedy series launching on Netflix on 6th March… Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt;

After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper – The Office/Bridesmaids) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City.  Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore. Wide-eyed but resilient, nothing is going to stand in her way.  She quickly finds a new job (working for 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski), a new roommate (Tituss Burgess – 30 Rock), and a new beginning.

I have to admit that I find comedy great for unwinding after a long day. I am really looking forward to this series for a belly full of laughs to undo any stresses of the day that has gone by. And of course, laughter is the best medicine, there is even plenty of science to prove it!

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a years subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting monthly updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed will be my own.



Ten things that parenting has taught me

Ten things that parenting has taught me

There is always plenty of wisdom to be found over on the Learner Mama blog and this week Lucy has shared ten random facts she has learner in Motherhood. I immediately started composing my own list in my head … and as it is a linky I get to share them too!


My educators in motherhood
My educators in motherhood

1. When up against the superior knowledge of a four year old… just accept that you are wrong and they are right. It does not matter how many degrees you may have in the subject… YOU ARE WRONG… accept it!

2. It seems there really is an infinite number of characters in the world, just keep having children if you don’t believe me and you will marvel at how different each child is!

3. Bed time guilt… watching the face of your beautiful sleeping child will fill you with guilt and remorse for being so frustrated and impatient during the process of trying to get them asleep in the first place.

4. However if your sleeping beauties wake in the night all guilt is forgotten and you immediately revert back to the states of frustration and impatience!

5. There is nothing sweeter than a pair of little arms wrapped around your neck in an “I love you Mommy” hug.

6. No matter how hard it might be to understand most of your toddlers words, if they decide to use a “bad” word it will come out clear as a bell, especially if in a public place.

7. It is virtually impossible to suppress a laugh when your child does use a “bad” word for the first time.

8. Throw away the parenting books and don’t ask every parent you meet for advice… remember you have millions of years of evolution on your side… no one really knows your baby as well as you do, so just relax and trust your instincts and you will know what is right! (It took me A LONG time to realise that one!!)

9. All previous eight point can be disregarded as I have learned that every thing I think I have learned since becoming a mother gets disproven by my children, eventually! They like to keep me on my toes so the rules are only the rules until someone decides to change them!

10. The capacity of your heart to love someone completely and unconditionally is infinite. There is no science to explain this one but I have learned it to be true every time I have looked into the face of each of my children for the very first time.


They are just my ten random things but it you want to find out what other people have shared, check out the linky over at Learner Mama (just click on the image below). It makes for great reading, there are plenty of points you will agree with and some that will surprise and amuse…. and if you want to share your own ten points then just join right in!


Our family celebration of Bealtaine (May Day)

Our family celebration of Bealtaine (May Day)

We were delighted with the arrival of Bealtaine (May Day) as the Sun was shining, the air was warming up and we had the hope of warmer days and garden growth.

We have been observing the “unfurling” of nature as a family… the first call of the cuckoo, the arrival of our beloved house martins, the scents and perfumes in the air as the gorse blossoms and our familiar hedgerow plans arrive one by one. The season was bursting upon us and we wanted to mark the occasion, together as a family.

The lovely Rowan Tree
The lovely Rowan Tree


Bealtaine has long been an important event in the old Celtic calendar. The Festival of Fire… it marked the beginning of Summer. We decided it was an event worth celebrating so I gathered the clan and we discussed what we wanted to do to mark the day.

The Rowan tree played a very important part in Bealtaine ceremonies and customs, thought to hold magical powers of healing and protection it was used to protect families, livestock and produce. It was an ancient practice to bring sprigs of the tree into the house on May Day eve and place some at the windows and doors to keep the house safe and bind it in the Rowan’s protective magic.

We have a beautiful Rowan tree just outside our kitchen window. Planted as a young sapling we watch it mark the passing of the seasons as it grows tall and proud. In fact we have such a liking for this tree that it inspired our third child’s name! The flowers are just emerging on the tree at the moment, soon they will delight us with their heady scent. We felt we must include it in our little celebration.

It is also customary to tie ribbon to trees on May Day and it is a good day to make wishes for the season ahead. We decided to combine the Rowan, the ribbons and the wishes into our little ceremony.

For the wishes….. I found some pretty wooden heart shapes and ribbons in a local discount shop.

It was simple to punch holes in the heart (well simple for my husband once I recruited him!) and thread them with the pretty ribbons.

These would serve as our little wish tokens.

Our little May Day "wishes"
Our little May Day “wishes”


We decorated the Rowan tree with our little tokens, each making their own wish as we did so. Obviously nobody wished for good weather, because it has been raining ever since!


Decorating our "May Day Tree"
Decorating our “May Day Tree”


We then gathered sprigs from the tree to decorate and protect our home. This part really upset our youngest who did not appreciate us cutting bits off HIS tree. He was only mildly placated when he was allowed place a sprig on the windowsill of his bedroom!


Rowan to protect our home
Rowan to protect our home


It was a short and simple ceremony, but I am so glad we did it. It was lovely to get the whole family involved in deciding how we wanted to mark this special day.

If you would like a lovely craft project for Bealtaine, check out this post on the beautiful “Where Wishes Come from” blog.


Did you do anything special to mark Bealtaine? If so let us know in the comments below!
A little Adventure

A little Adventure

We spent the last day of the Easter Holidays enjoying the great outdoors right on our doorstep.

We are lucky enough to have a lovely two mile long lane into the bog right beside our house, so we decided to take advantage of it and headed for a family adventure in the lovely sunshine.

The boys were allowed "ride shotgun" once we got into the wilderness
The boys were allowed “ride shotgun” once we got into the wilderness


We drove to the end of the lane and then walked along by the stream in search of a little waterfall we hear was nearby.

The adventure continues "on foot"
The adventure continues “on foot”


Of course there was a picnic (as all true adventurers need food). Plenty of sandwiches and a left over Easter egg for that extra treat!

Time for some food!
Time for some food!


We didn’t find the waterfall but we did find lots of other treasures.

Clockwise from top left: Grass of pernassis, a frog, violet and a hairy caterpillar
Clockwise from top left: Grass of parnassus, a frog, violet and a hairy caterpillar (see tomorrows Mystery Creature post)


Why go around the muddy puddles when you can go through them… especially when wearing sandals?

"We can't go over it, we can't under it, Oh no, we have to go through it!" from A bear hunt by
“We can’t go over it, we can’t under it, Oh no, we have to go through it!” from We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury


It is a long way back to the car, especially when you are only four and a half.

It is always good to have a back up plan
It is always good to have some alternative transport arranged!


We had a wonderful Easter break and hope you did too!
Three little words

Three little words

The lovable rogue
The lovable rogue

My four year old decided to join me in the room this morning, while I dressed.

Immediately my ego was on high alert! This guy doesn’t hold back with his critiques.

“What are you doing Mammy?”

“Getting dressed”

“Are you going to wear THAT dress?”

“Yes! Yes I am!” (starting to get very tense now)

“Can I jump on the bed?” (He is already in full flight, don’t know why he bothered to ask!)


“This isn’t really jumping you know?” … gives a good demo of dive bombing across the bed!

“Are they some kind of trousers?”

“No, they’re tights”… No one should ever have an audience when putting on tights!

“Can you walk in those?”

“Yes, funnily enough, I can!”


“Yeees???” Steeling myself for what follows….you have a WOBBLY tummy, your bum is VERY big... or maybe…

I think you are getting FAT!

Eventually… and with much reluctance, I meet his gaze…

His face breaks into an unexpected smile.

“….I love you” he says simply.

My heart melts.

With those three little words I know….it is going to be a VERY good day!