My Favorite Movies and TV Shows on Netflix

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite movies and shows on Netflix.

When I first got Netflix I wasn't sure if I would like it (watching TV shows after the fact seemed kind of weird) or even how much I would use it, but I'm so glad that I signed up for it. I don't watch much TV on cable anymore, and I'm impatient with commercials.

I find that it can be overwhelming trying to pick something to watch (or maybe I'm just indecisive). I'm always looking for suggestions. I love hearing what other people are watching, so I hope you enjoy my recommendations.

Mad Men

One of my all time favorite TV shows is Mad Men. I'm glad that I was able to re watch it on Netflix. I had forgotten so many of the little details week to week and season to season when I watched it on cable the first time around. It's worth watching if you like dramas.

Secret City

There's only one season (and therefore 6 episodes) of Secret City, so it's not a huge commitment. I know that it can be intimidating to start a new show if there's a ton of seasons to get through. It's set in Australia and the main character is a journalist trying to uncover the truth about the identity of a person found dead in a lake. Her investigating leads her to her ex, who works in the Australian intelligence community. If you like spy and espionage thrillers, give this one a try.

Kim's Convenience

These quick, 21 minute episodes features a Korean family who owns a convenience store in Toronto. Even thought Kim's Convenience is about a Korean family, there are a lot of similarities with my Italian family when it comes to family expectations and obligations.

Unsolved Tupac and Biggie

This show follows the two investigations that went on about the murders of Tupac and Biggie. I really liked the different timelines throughout the show – I thought it was an interesting way to tell the story. Josh Duhamel and Jimmi Simpson (he'll be familiar if you've watched Westworld) were both great in it. It's hard to believe that neither case has been solved yet.

Pine Gap

This is another spy thriller set in Australia. It focuses on a joint American/Australian team that does surveillance in Asia and has a huge impact on world politics. You're left waiting til the very end to find out how the mole on the team is – I wasn't able to figure it out. I'm really hoping that they make a second season of Pine Gap.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

If you're into travelling or food, you've probably already seen this show. I've gone through and re watched some of my favorite episodes. I like the international locations better than the North American ones because I like to see things that are different than what I'm used to. It's still hardto believe that Anthony Bourdain is gone.

Little Women

This is a recent addition to Netflix – and I'm so glad that it was added! It's my favorite film version of Little Women, even though it's the most recent. The first two are in black and white. Winona Ryder is perfect as Jo. If you liked reading the book as a kid (or an adult!), make sure that you watch this version of Little Women.

Anne With an E

There's been so many movie, mini series, and even TV shows based on the Anne of Green Gables book series, some definitely better than others. Anne's red braids are pretty iconic and make me think of red sand beaches and light houses. I think Prince Edward Island is as much a character as anyone else. I thought that the casting for this show was so well done. The actors for Anne, Marilla, and Matthew were spot on and exactly how I imagine them from the books.

Do you have Netflix? Share some of your favorite shows and movies in the comments below.

I’m Halfway Though Yoga Teacher Training!

Today I'm sharing a recap of my latest weekend of yoga teacher training. 

It's hard to believe that I'm already halfway through! My next weekend of yoga teacher training won't be til January 2019. It makes me realize how close we are to 2019 to say that. This weekend we had a few tests, so we were all a bit nervous about it. 

Friday PM

We're emailed the schedule for the weekend the week before so we have an idea of what we'll be covering throughout the weekend of teacher training. We knew that we'd be doing our practice teacher on Friday night. We were teaching each other (in small groups of 4 or 5) 30 minute classes that we'd put together for homework. I had gone through my class on my own and it came out at just over 30 minutes, which I figured was perfect as I tend to talk fast when I'm nervous. I thought that I would be when I was teaching, so it would come out right at 30 minutes.

I volunteered to go first in my group. I wanted to get it done! It ended up going by really fast because I was so nervous. Thankfully it was over before I knew it. I got some great feedback from the group about what they liked and what I can improve on next time. 

Saturday AM

Saturday morning was focused on meditation and pranayama practice (breath work), followed by a yoga nidra practice. I always learn so much from the instructor that teaches us the meditation and philosophy of yoga side of the teacher training because I didn't know much about it begin with when I signed up.

Saturday PM

We started off Saturday afternoon by taking a test – we had to be able to name poses in both English and Sanskrit, as well as identify which muscles were being contracted and stretched for each pose. It was definitely nerve wracking, but I still did alright We spent the rest of the day walking about what we'd be doing after the Christmas break and we did a short yoga practice. 

Sunday AM

We had our anatomy test first thing in the morning on Sunday. We had to know the bones, muscles, and chakras of the lower body and core. I did well on it thanks in part to the anatomy and physiology classes that I took in university. Having that background to draw on helped me a lot. After we went over the answers we did another pranayama practice and meditation. 

Sunday PM

We talked about yoga philosophy to cap off the weekend of yoga teacher training. We started off by discussing the yoga nidra that we did the day before, sharing our experiences with it. We then learned about the yamas and niyamas (they're essentially a yogic way of living). We looked at each one and how we journalled about how they manifest themselves in our lives. It was a really interesting conversation. 

Final thoughts

I went into the weekend feeling stressed because of the 30 minutes of teacher and the tests, but I ended up doing relatively well on all of them. Was there room to improve? Definitely, but I went into the weekend well prepared. I'm very glad that all my studying paid off!

I now have 5 more weeks until yoga teacher training starts up again after Christmas. As much as I love being able to immerse myself in yoga every other weekend, I'm also looking forward to some down time over the holidays. 

Life Lately: November 2018

Yoga Teacher Training 

I did two weekends of yoga teacher training this month and will do another one before the month is over. It was a month full of yoga. I taught yoga to my classmates for the first time! Although it wasn't very long, I stepped way out of my comfort zone and I think I did pretty good. 

My last weekend of yoga teacher training before the Christmas break is this weekend. It's going to be a big one because we're getting graded on leading a 30 minute yoga practice as well as taking a test covering anatomy and poses. Needless to say, there's been a lot of studying happening lately. 

I turned 36!

I celebrated my birthday this month. It was a pretty low key birthday this year, which was just what I wanted. I had a birthday dinner with my boyfriend which was delicious the weekend before my birthday and then I made a birthday cake on my actual birthday to celebrate with my family. It's hard to believe that I'm now closer to 40 than 30 now. Does anyone else have a moment of realization like that when they have a birthday?

Winston the bulldog puppy

This little bulldog puppy came into my life during November. He's not mine (he's my boyfriend's), but I'm still taking advantage of all the ear scratches and belly rubs. It's probably been around 20 years since Iv'e spent this much time around a puppy. They're adorable and it's so much fun to see them experience things for the first time, but they're a lot of work between training, cleaning up accidents, and keeping up with their high energy. 

Dinner with old friends

Earlier this month my brother and I met up with some old friends that we hadn't seen in years. We essentially grew up together, and since we've all been doing our own thing, it's been 5 or 6 years since we've all been together. We met up for dinner and talked and laughed for more than two hours. It was so good to catch up and we all decided that we're going to get together again soon. I really wish that we had gotten a photo together! 

What was the highlight of your November? Share it in the comments below. 

Lower Body and Core Workout

Today I'm sharing a lower body and core workout. 

Today's workout combines both leg and core exercises. You'll do each exercise for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. Once you've reached the end of the list of exercises, rest for as long as you need. Them complete the exercises another 2 times through. 

Walking lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot.

Dumbbell squats

With feet hip width apart and dumbbells in your hands at your sides, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, again using your glutes to propel yourself.

Crunches

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feel flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Make sure your neck stays in a neutral position. The upper back should be moving, not the neck. Slowly lay back down on the floor.

Leg press

Sit down in the leg press machine. Place your feet hip width's apart so that your knees are over top of your toes. Release the safety and push your feet away from your body using your glutes and quads. Once your legs are fully extended, slowly bring your feet back towards yourself, once again using your leg muscles to stay in control of the speed. Repeat. At the end of the set rest the platform on the safety again.

Clamshells

Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree angle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg.

Plank

The plank is very similar to the starting position of a pushup. Your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, to your heels. Just like with the pushup, if you need an easier modification, use your knees instead of your toes.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position. Jump one foot up as close to the hips as possible while bending at the knee and hip. Then jump that foot back while bringing the other foot up. An easier modification is to use a chair to put your hands on.

Bicycle crunches

Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you. 

Weekend in Review November 26 2018

It's hard to believe that another weekend is over! They always seem to go by so fast. Next weekend is yoga teacher training so I'm glad that I was able to get in some relaxation this weekend. 

Friday

My Friday night definitely wasn't a very exciting night, but it was just what I needed. I ran some errands (dropped off a prescription at the pharmacy and got some groceries). I got the ingredients to make honey mustard pork chops and peanut pork dragon noodles for dinners this week. I've made both recipes before and they're delicious. Once I got home I watched some Netflix. I'm all about the cheesy TV movies, so I ended up watching Christmas Wedding Planner. Does anyone else like these low budget cheesy movies? 

Saturday

We got a ton of snow Friday night/Saturday overnight, which meant that the roads were terrible, though it did look very pretty on the trees and grass. I had signed up for a yoga class though, so I wasn't about to miss out on yoga because of the snow. 

I had signed up for a yin and tonic class at my local yoga studio. It was an hour and 45 minutes of a yin practice. The teacher is well known in Calgary for his yin classes, so I was excited to be taking a class from him. Throughout the class there were two Registered Massage Therapists giving us mini massages.  It was such a great combination of yin yoga and massage. If you have the opportunity to go to a similar class I highly recommend it. I felt so relaxed when I left. 

I spent Saturday night reading. I started Peanut Butter Runner recommended it if I remember correctly, so I put it on hold at my library. I'm glad she did because I'm really enjoying it so far. 

Sunday

I started off Sunday morning getting some blog stuff done. I also got some studying done for my upcoming yoga teacher training test next weekend. I'm a bit nervous about how it'll go, so I'm making sure that I'm prepared by studying lots. 

My boyfriend and I got some errands done before going back to his place for lunch. We picked up some meatballs and spaghetti at Sunterra to heat up. It turned out pretty good considering that it was pre-made. 

We spent the afternoon watching movies on Netflix. The first one we watched was American Ultra with Jess Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. The second movie we watched was Deepwater Horizon with Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russel. 

Of course there was lots of time spent with my boyfriend's bulldog puppy while we were watching the movies. He got a new toy and was enjoying, considering it entertained him for an hour. 

What was the highlight of your weekend? Share it in the comments below. 

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