Great TV Shows On Netflix For Women

As you might know if you follow us on twitter, since I do almost all of our tweeting these days (almost-angry glare at Macy) that I finished watching every episode of Desperate Housewives. I absolutely loved that show, and thought there would never be another like it. Well so far I’ve been right but I have found some close competitors. So without further adou, here are some great tv shows that I would recommend to my fellow mommy bloggers… Note that these are on Netflix so when you finally get a chance to sit down and watch tv, the show starts when you do.

1. Desperate Housewives
When I told my mom I was obsessed with this show, she gave me a disapproving look as if I told her I had subscribed to Playgirl. But I assured her that it is not a “raunchy” show like she obviously thought it was. You must watch this show from the very beginning on Netflix to be as hooked as I was, because it explains everything you’ll need to know going forward.

Each episode builds off the last episodes so you’ll have to watch them in order to understand. But what happens is that you basically can’t stop with one. It’s very soap-opera-ish like that. But it’s sooo good. And by far my ultimate favorite tv series, and the one I would strongly recommend most.

2. Drop Dead Diva
I stumbled in this show when it had the word “diva” in it and I had to try it out. Basically Deb, the main character is beautiful, thin, blonde, and has everything you could ever want, but then dies in a car accident and comes back in the body of Jane, a lawyer who is ‘larger’ than Deb, and doesn’t have everything you could ever want.

This series also builds off the earlier episode, but isn’t as intense with the drama that you’d see in Desperate Housewives. Still, it’s got great humor, relationship drama, a quirky cast and a fun legal skew.

3. Monk
Okay take out the girly-aspect and fashion forward heroines and you have this show. Adrian Monk is the lead character with a “modern Sherlock Holmes” feel. He’s amazing at being a homicide detective and is way too good at his job. A contributing factor is his OCD, which compels him to notice everything that is not in place. He also has a long list of phobias that keep the show very interesting, this includes heights, germs, snakes, death, and more. I would recommend this show to someone who likes the CSI show, but wants more personality and spunk and less seriousness of course.

The episodes for this series are mostly independent, the only difference is in seasons 1-3 (I think) Monks assistant is Sharona, and in season 4 onwards, his assistant is Natalie.

4. Pretty Little Liars
My sister actually introduced this show to me when she stayed overnight one time. After watching a few episodes, I told her it was like watching my high school years on TV, okay not really but the setting is high school and there are popular girls who are way too cool. Anyways, the series is built around the murder mystery of who killed their friend, Alison. The girls keep getting weird texts from “A” giving them hints and clues and just little tidbits. It’s intense, and intriguing.

This series is built off of a sequence of episodes so you will want to start from the beginning and go in order.

Image by seasonpremiere.net5. Rules of Engagement

This is one that me and my hubby  just started watching, and we are hooked because it is so funny! It’s a sitcom with two couples and a single man (David Spade) who are all friends. One couple has been married for years, and the other younger couple just got engaged. The dynamic is hilarious, and it’s complete witty humor and is enjoyed by women and men alike. This is a good one to watch if you’re looking to get your significant other hooked on a show to watch with you!

6. Raising Hope

Image by Amazon.com

Okay, this is another show that you and your SO will like. It’s a comedy of a dysfunctional family that is raising an adorable baby, Hope. The trials and tribulations of true family problems is what keeps this show going, and it’s always an adventure. We regularly watch this show, and can’t get enough.

Hopefully this helps you in your conquest to find a great television show on Netflix. Through trial and error, I wasted a lot of time to form this list so you can learn from my mistakes 😉

Happy watching!

Hearts,
Ruby

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Avoiding the Gym – Other Fun Ways to Burn Calories

Well, hubby and I officially lost a combined amount of about 40 pounds over the last year. And after eating healthy foods and snacks, and going to the gym 6 times a week, we got a little burned out. We got too busy to go to the gym, and too busy to cook healthy meals and grocery shop twice/thrice a week and needless to say, we lost our healthy habits.

Now we’re trying to get ourselves back into the habit before fall hits and we just mope around the house doing nothing but eating junk food. But it’s hard to get back into the habit! It’s definitely more enticing to sit here at night and watch TV with a glass of wine. How do I get my butt back in gear? That’s what I’d like to know.

I got to thinking, it’s so easy to take a pill or medication each day, and before you know it – you can feel it working. So why can’t workouts be like that? You do it once a day, and before you know it, you can feel it working? So I found a solution to my problem, and a way to implement it. Here’s my plan.

1) Start with honest goals.

Let’s face it, I could set my goal to “go to the gym more” but that says nothing, and it’s so easy to blow it off. So instead, I put my goal for this week, to be to go to the gym at least 2 times. It’s starting me off slow, and it’s putting an exact amount on how many times I need to go. I told myself that this is not a suggestion, it’s required. I can pick which 2 days that will be, so the flexibility grants me a little freedom from the gym.

2) Improvise on your workouts.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: you have to make exercising fun. As much as I enjoy going to the zumba classes at my gym, I hate the drive there along with the pressure of having a schedule to meet for when they have those classes. Instead, I set up my wii to a TV in the basement so that I can stream zumba videos off Youtube. I can workout when I want, where I want, and for as long as I want.

Still not motivated to do the hard-core workouts? You don’t have to. Start slow. Make it a long, brisk walk one night, and maybe a bike ride the next. As long as you get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes, it’s a great start!

3) Try new activities that sneak in exercise.

This is the key with me. If I enjoy doing something, then I don’t pay attention to the workout my body is getting. Do your homework about the areas of your body you want to focus on, and then try a few new activities; especially things that get your cardio going for an all-around workout.

Here are some fun/entertaining ways to get exercise and enjoy it!

Let’s call this the housewives list of exercises 😉

  • Rollerblade
  • Bowling
  • Frisbee
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Hopscotch
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Walk the Dog
  • Volleyball
  • Jump Rope
  • Dancing (to the radio, or to Wii games!)
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle Boarding

Also, did you know that picking up trash in your neighborhood for 4 hours will burn roughly 2,000 calories? (According to Fitnessandobesity.com) Now that’s what I call ‘giving back’, the calories – that is. Okay that was an awful joke, I blame it on the lack of exercise.

Hearts,
Ruby

Parent’s Clothing Guilt

If there is one thing that goes hand in hand with becoming a parent, it’s feeling guilty. Whatever choices a parent makes, there is always someone just waiting to criticize or suggest better ways of doing things. Of course, the people who are best at pulling parents’ strings are the kids themselves, and they often known just what to say and what buttons to push to get their own way. A recent survey by a large shopping centre found that 94% of mums spend more on their children’s clothing than they do on their own, and have huge feelings of guilt when it comes to buying something new.

Celebrity Kids

Part of the pressure which parents feel to have their children turned out like mini-supermodels comes from the increasing media attention on celebrity children such as Suri Cruise, Harper Beckham and her brothers and Mason Disick, son of reality television star Kourtney Kardashian. The difference between celebrity children and the children of normal people is that their parents have practically unlimited funds when it comes to spending on their children’s wardrobe. Often, designers give these parents free clothes in return for the publicity when the children are photographed in their new outfit.

Special Occasion Wear

Perhaps the most surprising finding of the survey was that a third of parents will pay £100 for a single item of special occasion clothing, even if they knew a child would only wear it once. Most of these mothers only spend £200 in total on their own clothes for an entire year. Spending large sums on an outfit for a special occasion can be a canny move if you are prepared to sell the item afterwards. A quality item from Petit Bateau can sell second hand for up to 80% of its original price, allowing parents to recoup quite a lot of the initial outlay.

A dad’s perspective

David Beckham recently joked that he could not afford to retire as he had to pay for baby Harper’s wardrobe. This makes him unusual amongst Dads though, as a far higher percentage of fathers would refuse to spend large sums on a child’s outfit, and would instead take them to a much cheaper high street outlet, or a supermarket to get them new things. Dads also seem to appreciate that children grow quickly, and that super cute Petit Bateau outfit will probably only be worn once or twice before the child has grown so much that it doesn’t fit any more.

Shopping Cannily

Spending huge amounts of money on children’s clothing is not a problem as long as the parents can afford it. It does seem pointless to treat your children to expensive clothing while depriving yourself of new things, and there is a balance to be struck between the two extremes. Check out the more expensive stores and brands while they are running a sale event, or check online for vouchers and discount codes to cut the cost of your purchase before shopping. Try to balance more expensive purchases with more budget items from supermarkets and other stores.

Citations:

On the Little World website you can find amazing clothing for your children, such as the Petit Bateau range.

Fall Fashion 2012: Back to School Shopping

I have to start by saying I am in love with this fall’s fashion line-up. Everything is so cute and precious – just my style! My favorite trend however is the peplum tops. They’re meant to be paired with high-waste skirts or jeans and are absolutely adorable. Complement them with a skinny waist belt and you’ve got a lovely look. Here’s a sample set of an outfit I put together.Fall Fashion 2012

Getting into it? Here are some more adorable peplum tops to rock this fall. You can get the brands and prices by clicking on the image, it’ll take you to the image set with details.
Peplum Tops & Dresses

Peplum Tops & Dresses by mnhousewives featuring a beige shirt

I’m so in love! Just imagine the possibilities with these tops (and dresses). They are way too cute. Although hubby says that they look like ‘prom dresses from the 80s’, but what does he know?

Fashion first, right!?

Hearts,
Ruby

You Don’t Have to Scrub – Ways to Clean Your Kitchen Without Breaking a Sweat

We’ve all done it; scrubbed and scrubbed until our elbows were tired, and sweat is dripping down your forehead. But there’s no need to!

You can clean your home without scrubbing, it’s totally possible. Just read these neat little tips for a spotless, scrub-free home.

Clean Your Microwave

Fill a glass or microwave-safe bowl with water and add a splash of vinegar. Put the bowl in the microwave and set the time to 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, this little recipe will have let off steam and softened up the gunk on the microwave, and the vinegar helps to get rid of the smells as well. This little trick came from the Crafty Little Gnome.

Clean Your Oven

Start by heating your oven to 180° F for 5 minutes, then turn it off. Next, apply a paste-like mixture of 1 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup laundry detergent powder to the inside of the oven. For extra-greasy or dirty areas, apply a thicker layer. Let this mixture soak the oven for an hour, then scrape off dirt and grime with a plastic spatula. This tip came from Ask Anna.

Clean Your Fridge

Fill your sink with hot water, and mix in 1/2 cup of baking soda. Wash and rinse the trays from your fridge, then wipe down the walls and floor of your fridge. This will help clean and deodorize any smells. Don’t forget to clean your drip tray underneath the fridge. Dump any dirty water and clean any dirt.

Clean Your Sink

Make another paste-like mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Use to cover the sink and let sit for a good half hour to an hour. Rub paste in circles with a scouring pad if there are any persistent stains. Then rinse with warm water. This works wonderful for stainless steel sinks with any rusting spots or stains.

Clean Your Stovetop

I have a glass stovetop that gets dirty more often than I’d like. So here’s a tip from Behind the Studio on how to clean your stovetop easily! Combine hot water with dish soap in a bowl, and emerge a large cleaning rag. Then spread baking soda over your stovetop’s affected areas. Once you’ve done this, take out your large cleaning rag and wring out half the water. She says, “You want it to be soggy, not sopping.”

Spread out the rag to lay over the baking powder for 15 minutes (or longer if necessary). Once your time is up, swirl the rag in circles to gently move the mixture around as a ‘gentle scrub’. Wash off, dry off, and shine up with Windex!

Hope these tips help you to clean your kitchen effortlessly! Isn’t that what we all want, afterall? Happy cleaning!

Hearts,
Ruby

Arts and Crafts Using Ordinary Household Goods

Innovation In Art

We have all laughed at the notion of certain things being art. My first recollection is probably when Tracey Emin won the Turner Prize for a messy bedroom, at which point my personal cynicism towards the art world reached a peak from which it has yet to move. Parents have for generations looked to keep their children entertained in as many ways as possible without having to venture to the nearest toy store or purchase the latest world beating games console. Finding things to do around the house can seem like somewhat of an onerous task, however with a little imagination there are no limits to what one can do. Childhood recollections of Art Attack and other art related television shows should have surely taught us all of that.

We are going to look at how the humble wooden clothes peg can be used for arts and crafts around the home. Please note that there are many other things you can do, and also with the more modern plastic clothes pegs, the beauty of art is that as Tracey Emin proved, you can do almost anything and pass it off as an aesthetic wonder!

Melissa And Doug

Have you looked at the prices of wooden toys recently? They are not cheap, let me assure you! Melissa and Doug are among the most popular wooden toys, however the handy old clothes peg can play a huge part in meaning you do not have to shell out a lot of money. Using wooden clothes pegs around the house works best if you have something to go with it, such as spare fabrics, glue, and any other spare arty bits and pieces, be it paper, card, pens or whatever else.

Dress Up Time

The easiest and most fun thing to do with a clothes peg is to dress it up as a person, sort of like “The Shoe People” but with clothes pegs instead! Whether you use paint or pieces of coloured in paper to create “clothes” and facial features, you can have hours of fun with your child simply through putting some clothes pegs to a different use than the norm.

The pay off of this idea is ultimately long term too, as not only have you brought out your child’s creative side for an afternoon of fun character creation, but your child can go on to use those characters during playtime for months and possibly even years to come!

Utterly Eco provide a whole host of environmentally friendly alternatives to every products, such as the clothes peg.

Housewife Whitewater Rafting Adventure

For hubby’s Christmas gift last year, I gave him a certificate to go whitewater rafting. It’s something we’ve both wanted to do, it’s been on our bucket list so we decided to go for it! Finally we arranged to go this weekend and it ended up being a beautiful weekend for it! It was about 80 degrees and sunny as we headed out on our rafts to test mother nature.

We started floating down the Menominee river nice and leisurely, this lasted about 30 minutes before we started hitting the rapids. Before we took to the water, our guide had explained to us that there are 6 classes of whitewater, and the ones we would be going over would be class 4. The class 6 whitewater would’ve been way out of our league. Good to know!

Our first rapids were a nice test of our skills, or lack there of… We ended up getting paired with another couple our age with similar skills so we were all in it together 😉 We conquered our first rapids very well, got pounded with water, no big deal. The other girl and I were seated behind our men, and we were thankful for that after our first rapids because we were wet, but they were drenched! Up came some much larger rapids that dropped 10-12 feet then crashed at the bottom and continued along the next strip of river with other twists, turns, rocks and drops. It was like a freestyle waterpark with your destination unsure. As we hit a strip of calmer (I use that term lightly) water, applause broke out from the shore. A handful of spectators had gathered to see us plummet to our deaths, sadly they were going to have to leave disappointed as we continued down the winding river to find our next battle.

And it wasn’t long before we found another set of rapids to dive into. The raft curved, and sunk under heavy rapids, our men in front hit with a tidal wave of water as we splashed on through it. Our boat was filled with water when we finished the ride, as smiles plastered all of our faces. We had survived, though at times I wasn’t sure we would. Our guide calm throughout the whole thing, told us we could take a dip in the water before we went back to camp. We cannonballed into the water and it was beyond beautiful. The warm summer water felt amazing as we finally could let our white knuckles relax before the adventure was over.

“That was awesome!” My husband said broken-record-like on the way back. But I have to agree, it was the time of our life. Once we got back to the room, we both conked out and slept for a couple hours. The fresh air, fresh water and the thrill of it all was a lot to take in, but we would do it again in a heartbeat.

And now we’re on our way home. Leaving the next river battle for someone else to fight 😉

Hearts,
Ruby