Author: Janet

Updating the Video Selection

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Or, I’ve dropped Netflix.

Before you panic, yes, I did drop Netflix.  Why?  Because I wasn’t watching it.

I’ve also added BritBox along with my Acorn TV and may, or may not, continue with some of the channels I’ve added to my Roku box.

I will keep my CBS All Access because, to be dead honest, I use it a lot more than all the others put together.

The joys of streaming.  🙂

Way back when, television was pretty much at the whim of the weather, how good your antenna was and if there was any interference between your antenna and the tower where the chosen channel was broadcast.

For years people have complained about cable’s high price and limitation on the flexibility of its packages. 

Streaming allows me to choose the channels I want to watch at a price that works for me.  And, if I should choose, I can remove them without major issue.  Or resubscribe when I want.

So, yes, I dropped Netflix.  I’m looking forward to the upcoming Disney streaming service and crossing my fingers that the programming on offer is what I want to spend $ for.  If not <shrug> not a big deal, there are other places to opt into programming of interest.

For those who complain about commercials in the streaming universe, if you paid for cable, you were also paying for commercials.  Please explain what the difference is.  🙂

Flexibility, budget friendly, easy to manage.  Works for me.

Over the air antenna TV was limited to the number of stations available in your area.  When digital signals arrived, the number of channels could multiply by 3 or more, but you were still subject to the usual issues.  But viewing was free.

When cable came in, you had less issue with weather or other interference, but were stuck with the whims of the cable company and the quality of their service. 

Service and cable were often oxymorons.  Factor in the cost of the <cough> service and the reality that you were often stuck with channels you never watched and sometimes you found yourself wishing you had your old antenna back.

Streaming is a new(ish) process whereby you get your preferred television by virtue of a Smart TV, streaming service or the internet. 

I found myself watching a lot of YouTube.  Why?  I found programming that I was actually interested in, from many corners of the world.  I also found older programming that was not available anywhere else.

CBS All Access provides a lot of programming – old and new – along with original programming that you will only find there.  Their cost is reasonable and the service has proven to be extremely handy.  In my area when the winds are particularly bad, I can’t get the local over the air stations, but I can always see live programming on the CBS All Access app.

This means I can keep up with local news and weather in addition to the programming that is carried over the air for that network plus I can catch up with shows I missed.  Since I don’t record shows anymore, this is very helpful.

Categories: Movies Music Musings TV

Meal Planning Made Easier

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For lots of people planning meals is part headache and part budget killer. For folks who are on a special diet, or want to lose weight, meal planning can be a hurdle. Folks who are bored with the Tried And True and would like to add some variety to their meals can be frustrated with all the various options available.

It doesn’t have to be that way – for any of these folks.

eMeals provides weekly inspiration for dinner, makes sticking to diets and eating healthy exceedingly easy, and pays for itself several times over.

There are lots of options and flexibility is built in. Are you a Vegan? Paleo? Gluten Free? Prefer Crock Pot to regular cooking? Budget friendly? Want to take advantage of grocery pick up services? Looking for fast and healthy recipes? eMeals has you covered.

Save some money, save some time, get inspired.

Try eMeals Free for 14 Days see what they have to offer. If you would like to make grocery shopping even easier, check out the following links.

Try eMeals plus grocery delivery with Shipt

Try eMeals plus grocery delivery with Amazon Fresh

Try eMeals plus grocery pickup with Walmart

Try eMeals plus grocery delivery with Instacart

As you contemplate your 2019 resolutions, remember that one good way to help you achieve your goals is to use the tools that work. Give it a try and see what happens!


Categories: Cooking Food

You’ve Made it This Far!

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Hooray!  You made it to Christmas Eve and (we are hoping) all is well and bright.  Good Job!


Take a few minutes to enjoy what you’ve accomplished.

Happy Holidays!

Categories: Musings

Foods for Thought

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As you start thinking about your Holiday Meal(s)…

Entertaining With Beth has some great ideas not only for a Holiday Brunch, but menu items for the Big Meal.  Beth has also included some great foodie inspired gift ideas.  Just sayin’.

Oh Yum with Anna Olson has an item by item collection of recipes that could inspire your menu.

America’s Test Kitchen has brought some amazing dessert items to the table.  Million Dollar Shortbread to name but one.  By the way, if you have a Roku device the channel is FREE.  Check it out!

The Domestic Geek put together a fantastic holiday menu that is worth taking a look at.  She not only covers a variety of options, but tackles the fix-its sometimes necessary when things get a bit out of control.

These are my go to resources for ideas.  I hope they are helpful for you, too.

Categories: Food

A Return to Downton Abbey

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Like the millions of people who tuned in year after year to catch up with the Crawley’s, I find myself missing the great house this time of year.

Odd, since in the US the series ran starting in January – long after the U.K. had visited and moved on for the season.

Somehow, though, Christmas is the time I get a bit wistful to see Branson, Lady Mary, and all the other occupants of the house and grounds, not to mention the neighboring village.

There is something serene about the place.  Comfortable even in those rooms full of gilt, silk and deep carpets.

If you are a viewer of YouTube, you can see some of the DVD extras that talk about back stories and settings and characters.  For me, who does not own the DVDs, it is an interesting addition to the fond memories I have of the series.

To be honest, it makes me want to brew a cuppa and settle down in front of the telly with Amazon Video to dive in.  The entire series is there, waiting.

I am hearing bits about the new movie that is coming next year.  To be honest, I’ve not paid any attention if only to preserve some of my sanity.  There is something about the anticipation that keeps things on an even keel.

Join me, won’t you?  Settle back and dive in to watch all or part of the series.  Remember the joys and the sorrows and the amazing holidays at Downton Abbey

Categories: Music Musings TV

Taking a Breather

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I realize that most of the world is caught up in Holiday Madness right now.  Perhaps that is why I suggest that we all take a breather.

You know, prepare a simple meal, dim the lights a bit, turn on some nice music and put your feet up.  The rush to Do Something On The List can wait until tomorrow.

I was channel hopping tonight and happened to catch a good portion of a film I have heard of for years, but never saw.  Bullitt.  Yeah, that one – with Steve McQueen. 

I was, to be polite, blown away.  Great cinematography.  Fantastic characters.  A cast list that is eye popping.  And that car…that Mustang…and that chase scene…  Worth any amount you’d care to name.

Truth is, unless I owned a copy, or could find one to rent or stream, I would have missed it if I was keeping up with The List Of Things To Be Done.

In case you were wondering, I saw this wonderful classic film on Movies TV Network.  Check the site to find out where you can watch in your area.

My point is, take time for yourself right now, so you can enjoy all the festivities later.  And, if something doesn’t get done, remind yourself that it is very unlikely that it will end the world.  (You have to prioritize that list, you know.)

One step at a time.  🙂

Categories: Movies Musings TV

Returning to Cherry Tree Lane

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She’s Back

Put a note on your calendar.  December 19th is the release date of the brand new film Mary Poppins Returns.

The very first movie I remember seeing was Mary Poppins way back in 1964.  I was six.  My mother and I walked from our home to the local movie house and spent a magical couple of hours watching penguins, chalk pictures, tea parties on the ceiling and this nanny…this nanny who turned everything upside down only to turn it right side up again.

It was my first experience not only with Disney magic, but with movie magic.  It set the stage for a lifetime love of film, music, musicals, dance and tons of other connected arts.

For those who don’t know, Mary Poppins was the creation of author P. L. Travers who went on to create eight volumes of Poppins stories from 1934 until 1988.  Wikipedia has an interesting collection of information here.

Walt Disney obtained the film rights for Mary Poppins and set about creating the movie version that won several Oscars and huge box office returns.

By the way, if you want to see a rather interesting film that tells the story of the acquisition of the rights to the book and the backstory of Ms. Travers, see Saving Mr. Banks.  It will give you an insight and impression on two very formidable personalities.

There were stage versions of the story, along with rumored adaptations of other books and a remake.

The amazing Emily Blunt will be playing Poppins.  I won’t go into the rest of the stellar cast.  If you are inclined, check out imdb.com here:  Mary Poppins Returns.  The cast list is one to make your mouth water.

If you are inclined, take a step on the wild side and pick up the books.  You will find a slightly (?) different version of Poppins.  Travers’ creation is a bit more … Poppins than we were introduced to in the movie.  None the less, well worth the read.

I heard a comment the other day that made me stop in my tracks.  The com-mentor said that they had no idea they needed Mary Poppins until they found she was returning.  

In this day and age, with all the stress and angst, perhaps it is the perfect time for the nanny to return to take care of the children by taking care of the adults.

(This will make a lot more sense to you if you’ve done your home work.)

In the meantime, I’m digging out my DVD version, looking for the soundtrack and contemplating parrot umbrellas and dancing penguins.

She’s on her way…

Categories: Disney Movies Music Musings

Holiday Goodies

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I’ve been contemplating some holiday goodies lately.  I don’t do a large scale bake-a-thon because I don’t need to be eating that much sugar. 

Yeah, I know, but it sounds good, right?  🙂

Midnight Bliss Cake

One item has been returning to my mind: the Midnight Bliss Cake that Kraft and Bakers One introduced us to years ago.

Check out the recipe here:  Bakers One Bowl Midnight Bliss Cake.  I like to play with flavors, so I’m contemplating replacing the chocolate bits with Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips.

This cake is an easy to prepare show stopper that can be baked in smaller bundt pans to be wrapped and gifted.  It is moist, however, so be thoughtful of the amount of time between creation and gifting.  Wouldn’t want the cake to be stale when first bite is taken.

Cocoa Cinnamon Pound Cake

The cocoa cinnamon pound cake is another easy to do showstopper recipe that I was first introduced to by Hershey.    It has a rich flavor with a touch of cinnamon that is different. 

Check out this recipe from Cooks.com:  Cocoa Cinnamon Pound Cake.  It is also one that can be made in smaller pans for gifting.

I hope you check out these two recipes and enjoy both.  They are great additions to a dessert table, pot luck, holiday fare or for gifting.

Categories: Cooking Food Gifting

Sherlock Holmes

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Like many people, I grew up with Sherlock Holmes.

Books, movies, television, radio, Holmes was everywhere.

I have owned the Complete Collection, watched the various Masterpiece series and the movies, listened to the Old Time Radio shows.  But recently I discovered a new way to enjoy the Master Detective.

Audio – or, more accurately, audiobooks.

Stephen Fry has narrated the Sherlock Holmes collection that can be found on Audible.com.  All 62 hours and 52 minutes.  Yep, 3 days plus of some amazing stories.  🙂

Granted you can get various versions of the entire collection;  Amazon has quite a variety of ebook and print versions.  I picked up the audible version on a whim, and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

First, Mr. Fry does a wonderful job of introducing the listener not only to the series, but to the various works in the collection.  Second, his mastery of various voices used in the production is a joy – a good reader is a definite plus when listening to audio books.

The stories themselves are engrossing and entertaining.  I like to listen when I go to bed at the end of the day.  If I’m not careful, I can be up all night caught up in the story.  🙂

If you like a detective story that actually explains ‘who done it’, Sherlock Holmes is a great series to delve into.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did, actually, set the standard and the bar for what came next in the genre.

Whether you are new to Holmes or a long time fan, this version is well worth investigating.

Categories: Audiobooks Books

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