I wanted to share a couple of good links with you today. Minimalist Mom is always a great source of info, and her most recent post included a link to a free e-book to help you cut down on your “digital overwhelm”. If you feel like you spend too much time online or using digital devices, this book might be a very helpful read. I especially love that all you have to do is click on it and it appears on your screen – no need to sign up for a newsletter or provide your email address.
Angela of Oh She Glows (who has a cookbook deal worked out – congratulations Angela!!) is one of my favorite food bloggers – I make stuff from her site a couple times a week and it almost always gets two thumbs up from my guys. I made these crackers last week, and they are awesome! I didn’t have any sesame seeds, so I used hemp seeds instead (I get those auto-shipped in bulk from Amazon every three months, and our new supply just arrived) and they turned out great. I also used the dehydrator instead of the oven, which made them especially easy to make – no need to check on them to make sure they’re not burning. But I love that Angela provides recipes that use simple appliances (like an oven) that everybody has, instead of complicated ones that require specialized equipment and gadgets. I had a dehydrator on my wish list for about three years before I bought it, and we saved in advance to pay for it. So I love to use it. But if you follow the directions in the recipe, all you need for these crackers is your oven. Enjoy! They are perfect snack food for munching on while you watch a movie. We ate them while watching the last couple episodes of Arrested Development on Netflix. (Such a good show, if you haven’t seen it yet.)
Speaking of Netflix, I’m curious as to what my readers did when Netflix announced that the streaming and DVD-by-mail were becoming two separate programs. We had been using Netflix for about two years when that change occurred. We don’t have a TV or any TV service, but we do have cable internet (necessary for our online, home-based business). So Netflix has been a perfect solution for us. A few nights a week, we set the laptop on the coffee table after the boys go to bed, and watch an episode of a TV show or a movie. The price was right and we were quite happy with the selection. More often than not, we opted for streaming content rather than DVDs. We probably averaged three or four DVDs a month with the old plan. So when they announced that we were going to have to pay extra to keep getting DVDs, we opted to just have streaming Netflix.
We rarely watch movies anymore, because they’re just too long. By the time we get the boys in bed, play a game of chess, clean up the house, etc., we might have time for a 42 minute episode of a TV show (hour-long shows are only 42 minutes if you’re watching them on a service like Netflix with no commercials). But watching a movie requires planning ahead to fit it in, or else we end up breaking it into chunks and watching it over two days (I know, we’re old and lame. But that’s ok). Recently, however, I went searching on Netflix to try to find a few newer movies that friends had recommended. And all of them are only available on the DVD-by-mail program rather than streaming. Bummer. It made me wonder for a second if it would be worth adding the DVD program, but then I reminded myself that it’s pretty easy to put the movies on hold at the library and check them out for free. Basically, the streaming Netflix is great for TV shows, but not so great for movies. Out of these five classic casino movies, only one (Croupier, from 1998) is available on Netflix as a streaming movie. The other four all require that you have the DVD program. And out of the top ten movies on this list of best comedies, none are available via Netflix streaming (and those aren’t just new movies – Hitch is from 2005 and Knocked Up is from 2007).
Back when Netflix included both DVDs and streaming in one package, it was easy to add movies to either queue and just wait for the ones that had to come in the mail. These days, we don’t use Netflix as much as we used to. Part of that is just because we’re busier (two kids instead of one, a basement that is requiring many many hours to finish, work that seems to be busier than ever…), but part of it is that there just aren’t that many movies we want to see on the streaming program. What do you think? Did you opt to have both packages, did you keep just one, or did you ditch Netflix all together? Are you happy with your choice? I haven’t really used our local library for movies since we moved to our current town, mainly because it was so easy to get movies via Netflix. But I think I might start using the library again for movies, at least until we’ve seen the ones that are currently on our “want to see” list.
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