Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

New Family Movies From 2022 To Watch Now

Thursday, January 12th, 2023

These family films include our top recommendations from movies we loved in 2022. While you wait the release dates of new films you can escape real life with this fun family movie streaming list!

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

My family has always loved watching movies together, but since 2020, we’ve become a little obsessed with Family Movie Nights.

I am constantly on the lookout for family friendly movies new and old that might be, at the very least, acceptable to both my kids and my husband. 

(Obviously, I’m aiming for something they’ll love. But if you live with more than one person, I’m sure you understand the necessity of compromise and settling for “fine, I will sit here with you and watch this thing someone else picked but I’m gonna roll my eyes but maybe I also kind of like it but I’ll never say so and you can’t make me.”)

With a six-year age gap between my girls—one being a teenager and one a tween, both being quite opinionated—that’s no small task. It falls somewhere on the difficulty scale between fixing a meal that nobody complains about and making them both laugh at the same “dad joke.”

But I’m determined to make Family Movie Nights happen at least once every several weeks, so I persevere.

Fortunately for me—and for you—we are in a golden age of entertainment where we do not lack for options. In fact, we almost have too many options sometimes.

And with so many movies premiering or quickly appearing on streaming services, deciding what to watch has become even more complicated.

Well, you can scratch this whole issue off your list of things to worry about or be frustrated by, friends.

I’m here to help!

I have 12 movies that came out last year, along with reviews and where you can stream them.

Just like that, you’re halfway to one Family Movie Night a month!

Now you just need to pick a date and pop the popcorn!

New Family Movies From 2022 To Watch Now

New Family Movies 2022

The Adam Project (Netflix) – Are you sarcastic? Do you like action movies, buddy comedies, or time travel? If so, this Ryan Reynolds movie is for you! A time-traveling fighter pilot has to team up with his 12-year-old self to save the world, and it’s a blast. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

The Bad Guys (Netflix) – Based on a series of children’s graphic novels, this animated caper follows a group of notorious criminal animals (e.g. shark, snake, spider, wolf) who pretend to be “good” to avoid prison. I watched it with my girls and we loved it so much we watched it again with my husband so he could enjoy it, too! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Better Nate than Ever (Disney+) – A 13-year-old and his best friend travel alone to NYC so he can audition for a Broadway play. This live action musical is based on a book, and it is the most beautiful, heartwarming movie I watched last year. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Cheaper by the Dozen (Disney+) – This is a modern-day remake of the 2003 movie starring Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union as an interracial couple with a blended family navigating complicated home life, a family business, and a new neighborhood that isn’t exactly welcoming. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney+) – If you like your kids movies to come chock-full of references and jokes only the adults will get, you’re gonna like this return of our favorite crime-solving chipmunks. The jokes are nonstop and lean heavily on nostalgia, but both my youngest daughter and I had fun watching it. Voices include Andy Samberg and John Mulaney! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

DC League of Super-Pets (HBO Max) – What if the fate of the world was up to Superman’s dog and a motley crew of other pets? Enter Krypto, the Super-Dog, here to save the day! This animated movie was cute (and not dark like most DC movies). (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix) – Sherlock’s little sister is back, solving mysteries and breaking the fourth wall and (oh yeah) maybe falling in love. This period piece based on a series of middle-grade novels is sweet, funny, and actually tells a solid mystery. I hope we get many more Enola Holmes movies! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Luck (Apple TV+) – Ever wonder if luck is real and, if so, where it comes from? In this animated adventure, an unlucky young girl who’s just aged out of the foster system stumbles into the worlds of good luck and bad luck. Determined to improve her luck, she is pulled into the battle between good and bad luck, making friends and her own luck along the way. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Minions: The Rise of Gru (Peacock) – If you’ve wondered how Gru became Gru, this is your movie. If that’s never crossed your mind, it’s also your movie if you were born in the 70s or just love those crazy minions. (Banana!) This prequel to the Despicable Me movies is Gru’s origin story, and it’s both hysterical and heartwarming. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (Paramount+) – Only cats are ninjas, but Hank the dog really wants to become one anyway. He seeks out the ninja who once saved him but is now washed up and possibly high on catnip (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson). Reluctantly, the old ninja trains a new one and together (again, reluctantly) they save the cat ninja world. Full of jokes for grown-ups, this one made all of us laugh a lot. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Secret Headquarters (Paramount+) – A middle school boy and his friends discover his distant dad’s secret underground lair. Because his dad is the most powerful superhero in the world! Hijinks ensue when the bad guys come after the kids and they have to save the day. If your family likes The Adam Project, this will be a hit as well, as it stars the same kid (Walker Scobell) and another lovable, sarcastic adult (Owen Wilson). (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Turning Red (Disney+) – A 13-year-old girl enters adolescence and turns into a giant red panda. Like you do, apparently, when you’re a female in her family. She has to learn how to handle her inner panda, as well as a tricky relationship with her mom, along with the help of her friends. (watch the trailer)

A Note for Parents

Some of these movies are totally appropriate for little kids; some of them are better for older kids. Refer to Common Sense Media for parent reviews and guidance that can help you make decisions for your family.

Another note: I haven’t watched Lyle, Lyle Crocodile or Disenchanted yet. Based on reviews I’ve read and what I know of my family, we’re going to love that singing crocodile and his bonkers movie, but I don’t know for sure yet.

What’s the last movie you watched with your family?

Looking for more of the best family movies? Try these posts!

17 Movies From the 90’s You Must Share With Your Kids

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows to Cozy Up With Right Now

The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks

Friday, December 16th, 2022

Whether you are a super user or brand new, this Libby tutorial will enhance your reading life. Learn how this free ebook and audiobook reading option at your local library works. Libby invites you to the join the conversation as they build this new community.

Sometimes I create content for you, and sometimes I create content for me. This tutorial and podcast episode offered the information I needed to make the switch from the Overdrive platform to Libby.

It is no secret that the topics for our podcast and website often find a way of infiltrating my daily life. For example, one of my favorite podcast episodes we’ve ever done so far was teaching people how to the Storygraph app for those interested in leaving the GoodReads platform.

Hearing from the company’s CEO motivated me to switch from the GoodReads app over to their platform. The transcription from our Storygraph became a written tutorial for new users. The truth is, since that encounter, HUNDREDS of people every month come to the site to use this as a guide for their transition to Storygraph.

My goal is to do this AGAIN, but with a free tool from your local library!

Cue the Jazz Hands!

Today the Libby team is here to help us transition from Overdrive to Libby, learn what makes this public library tool so great, and learn how to borrow and enjoy those eBooks and audiobooks with your library card.

So if you’re struggling to switch from Overdrive to Libby like me, or if you’re looking for fun new ways to use their features, today’s post and podcast are for you.

What is the Libby App?

Libby is a free app where you can borrow ebooks, digital audiobooks, and magazines from your public library. You can stream titles with Wi-Fi or mobile data, or download them for offline use and read anytime, anywhere. All you need to get started is a library card.

How to Get Started With the Libby App

If you are just getting started with the Libby App, I wanted to provide the quick instructions on how to get started.

If you are already a user, scroll down for the Super User information that Libby has so kindly provided for our show and site.

  1. Download the Libby app on your device from the app store.
  2. Open the app and find your library. You can search for it by name or zip code.
  3. Sign in to your library account using your library card number and PIN.
  4. Browse the available books, audiobooks, and other materials. You can search by title, author, or subject.
  5. Select the item you want to borrow and tap the “Borrow” button.
  6. The item will be added to your library account and will be available for a certain loan period (usually two weeks). You can view your borrowed items in the “Loans” section of the app.
  7. To start reading or listening to the borrowed item, tap on the item in the “Loans” section and then tap the “Read” or “Listen” button.
  8. When you’re finished with the item, you can return it early by tapping the “Return” button in the “Loans” section. This will make the item available for other users to borrow.

The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks

These questions were answered by the Libby Team- what an incredible honor to share space with their team! Listen to the full episode below or check out the excerpt from today’s transcription below. I encourage you to subscribe to the Book Gang podcast to listen to more episodes like this one. Today’s show notes are located here.

If you find this episode to be helpful, your written reviews are INCREDIBLY HELPFUL to help me grow my new show.

Get to Know the Libby Experts that Answered Today’s Questions:

These three voices also run the podcast Professional Book Nerds, with new episodes that come out every Monday and Thursday.

Joe Skelley is one of the co-hosts of the Professional Book Nerds podcast and has been at Overdrive for five years. He is part of the digital book mobile team which is a truck that goes across the US and Canada that does free stops at libraries and schools and helps people get started with their library.

Emma Dwyer is also one of the co-hosts of OverDrive’s Professional Book Nerds podcast and an avid user of the Libby app. She has been at Overdrive for eight years now in varying roles, and is currently as a product trainer on the Overdrive training team, training our library partners and their staff on how to use Libby and other Overdrive products and services. 

Jill Grunenwald is the creator and the third co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast. She works on OverDrive’s marketing team as a Marketing and Communications Specialist for the North American public library. Her role is to communicate with  library partners to let them know about all the fun new services and features that Libby has to offer. 

This is an excerpt from today’s show. Where necessary, this transcription has been modified for clarity for written context. To reduce visual clutter, we have combined their three voices into one to make this tutorial easier to navigate today.

What is Libby and why are we replacing the Overdrive app?

“I just wanted to start by mentioning that Libby is made with love from us here at Overdrive.

It’s the same wonderful collection you’re already used to and built by the same people who have been taking care of you for a decade now on the Overdrive app.

We decided to build a new app after taking all of the feedback from users so it could be a fresh space.

Libby has all of the same amazing content that you can access in Overdrive, and actually some libraries offer even more types of content in Libby that you can’t access in Overdrive. But now we are working towards the sunset of that flagship app.

Libby is growing and evolving as new readers join and as existing readers make that switch. So still the same company you love, but with a cleaner and hopefully less confusing approach for everyone. “

Regarding changes that we would like to see happen, what is the most effective way to let you know if there’s something that we’d like to implement in the Libby app?

“The first thing is, what’s really cool about Libby that doesn’t exist in Overdrive is you can contact our tech support team directly anytime, anywhere.

And in the same place, you can find help and support; we also have our Suggestion Box. So in the menu, under the help and support section, there’s a button that says Get Some Help. And then, under the Common Solutions section, there is a big button that says Suggestion Box

And you can type through and say, I want to recommend titles to my library. I like this kind of feature added. Or, I find this confusing. You can send all of that feedback through. 

If you think it needs to be done, we recommend submitting that suggestion because if you’re thinking it, someone else is thinking it. And that helps our developers see what they need to prioritize.

Are the catalogs currently identical in Libby and Overdrive with our library systems? 

“Yes, the collections your libraries offer and your digital libraries in Overdrive are the same in the Libby app. 

There are those exceptions. 

You can access more content in some cases using Libby. 

There’s that extra content available, like Kanopy, which is a platform for movies and television shows. There are things like Craftsy, which is hobbies, DIY and other things, and Universal Class, which is continuing education.”

Will my current holds and loans be moving to Libby when I switch? 

“Yes, which is awesome for those of us who keep very long wait lists.

When you log into Libby and sign in with your library card, your hold will be waiting for you on the shelf in Libby, so they’ll be right there for you to okay.”

What about those Overdrive wishlists that we have? How can we transfer them?

“So happy to say that, yes, Libby will prompt you to actually move over your wishlists from Overdrive directly using one of our smart tags.

The first time you get signed in and set up, you’ll get comfortable that first day or so.

And then Libby will send a little notification in the menu that says it looks like you were an Overdrive user. Do you want to bring over your wishlist?

I mean, how easy is that?”

Can I access my Libby app from my computer or laptop? 

“Yes. You can access Libby from a browser on your laptop.

You can go to Libbyapp.com and do all the same things in the app except downloading or reading offline on your computer.

Everything you’re doing on libbyapp.com will sync to the Libby app on your phone or tablet.” 

Can I access Libby on my Android devices? 

“Yes, absolutely.

Libby is available for Apple and Android devices through the App store and Google Play Store.

You can also side-load the app onto a Kindle Fire tablet. (editor’s note: scroll down for more information on this feature)

Additionally, you can listen to your audiobooks via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Download the Libby app on those devices.

We also have direct integration with Sono speakers. So you can listen in your kitchen while making dinner or anywhere in your house with a speaker if you have one of those.

The app experience is exactly the same if you’re on Apple, or Android, or even if you’re using libby app.com, there’s only a few differences, like downloading.

The Apple version is the same as the Android version.”

When I’m in my car and I’m using your audiobook feature, am I able to download from Libby if I don’t have the internet?

“Absolutely. A lot of people do a lot of traveling with their audiobooks, and that is one thing that is really important to people when they’re doing audiobooks.

Libby’s default is to download all titles specifically when you’re connected to wifi.

So Libby, by default, won’t use your data.

That’s a feature you can turn off.

You can have Libby download pretty much anytime you’re connected to wifi or cellular data.

Still, you can turn off the unit, like you can go into airplane mode, be up in a plane, be in the car on that long road trip, and that book is downloaded onto your device now.

This is why Libby is amazing and the superior experience.

In the Overdrive app, I’m sure many of you who love audiobooks know you could occasionally lose a chunk of your audiobook because it was broken up into multiple files.

With Libby, it’s all one clean, neatly packaged file, so you’ll never lose a part of your audiobook.”

Are you taking up more storage on your device by using Libby? 

“Libby doesn’t take up more storage than the Overdrive app, and Libby has several different settings that you can adjust depending on your download preferences.

The default for Libby is to download all titles when you’re connected to a wifi connection to conserve any cellular data you might be using; if you don’t want to do that, you can again adjust this under settings and you can specify what gets downloaded.

You can say everything, no matter what will be downloaded, you can specify for titles under 20 megabytes, or you can have it download nothing.

You can go in and select what you want, and then specify to download things on wifi only.

That is the default, but you can ensure that that’s enabled, which is a setting I use pretty often.

Easy enough to download when I’ve got a connection and then have it for listening to audiobooks.”

Am I able to rate my books on the Libby app?

“Currently, there is no way to rate titles in Libby, but as we discussed at the beginning of this, our team and I take suggestions and love user feedback.

So go under the Menu, Help, Support, Get Some Help, and then there’s a Suggestion Box, and you can let them know you want to be able to rate books in Libby.”

How do tags work and have you guys witnessed any really cool tagging systems?

“I love tags, and I recognize that they can be a little daunting at first because, coming from Overdrive, you are used to having your history and your wishlist, and that’s it. 

What I’m about to say could be amazing and, also, scary for folks, but I always like to say that the limit to tags is your imagination. 

You can create a tag for, truly, anything. 

I create lists based on interest, so I always like to suggest tags for genres you love. 

If you are a mood reader, having that mystery, that historical fiction or thriller tag is helpful. 

You can truly create whatever you’d like. 

I also like to make ones for narrators I don’t love. So if I see their name again, I’ll likely read this one instead of listening to it. 

One of our teammates actually has a tag for gift-giving. 

Her father-in-law is tough to buy gifts for, but he’ll always read a book. 

So she picks things and pops them in his tag. 

So when shopping season comes around, it takes her five minutes, and she’s like, it’s mainly selfish because then she can spend more time shopping herself. 

Personally, I have a tag for my niece and I pull anything that I think she might like to make my sister’s day a little easier. 

I have a tag specifically for Reagan, and then I text it over to my sister every once in a while and just kind of keep it updated. 

I also have one for cookbooks. 

So I always have that handy if I’m in a recipe slump.”

How do I add my tag when I am wanting to tag a book? 

“Tags are super cool. You can create them either when you’re scrolling through the experience or if you’re in a curated list and you see something and think, “I don’t have a tag for this yet.”

It says Borrow, Play Sample (if it’s an audiobook), and Tag. If you tap on Tag, you see your existing tags or the option to make a new one. Also, the tags all live on your Shelf, so you can also make them from your Shelf.”

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to tag your “MomAdvice Book Club Books,” if you are reading with me this year.

I did notice that you guys also have some suggestions for tags when you’re first starting. Even something like tagging Young Adult if you’re just getting right into categories and you get more inventive over time as you begin to get more comfortable with utilizing tags?

“Yes, a tag tip for people that are maybe Libby super users or just people that are really into books – you can use a tag to keep better track of things that you want to make a note to come back to or add to your TBR list.

This advice is for super users that are working, their library’s wait lists and are borrowing things all the time. I do that as well, and that can get overwhelming at times, especially if all my holds come in at once or I just have tons of books to read, which is always a good problem!

But something I’ve been relying on recently instead of borrowing something just because I do happen upon it. If it’s available for placing a hold or if I know that’s going to overwhelm me later, I’ve been using a tag to keep better track of things that I want to make a note to come back to, but I’m not ready to take any big action with.

So I tend to get like “tap happy” in Libby, placing lots of holds or borrowing things because they’re all at my fingertips, but I’ve been relying on tags a lot more so that I can not overwhelm myself with things in Libby.”

If I want to see all the tags together, where am I able to view them? 

“You’ll see all of your tags on your shelf in Libby.

That will show your Loans, Holds, and Tags all on your shelf, but you also have the option to click into your tags and sort through your tags on that shelf page.”

What are some unique accessibility features with Libby? 

“We’re always trying to improve and refine accessibility in Libby, and we’ve made some big improvements over the last couple of years. We do quite a bit of user testing on that accessibility to get feedback from real users with those accessibility needs. 

Libby supports screen readers, keyboard navigation, voice control, and other assistive technologies. Libby Read From Here is an ebook reading mode tailored to screen readers. Voiceover or Talk-Back Mode reads the text of the books aloud. 

You can use the keyboard to tap around Libby’s interface; we have keyboard shortcuts for the e-reader and audio player to make accessing each feature and button easier. 

We also have configurable appearance settings for ebook pages, including tech scale, background page, color, and book design. 

The custom book design lets you choose a font line spacing and other settings to really personalize your reading experience. 

For those who want to personalize their audiobook experience, there are playback speed controls for audiobook speed ranging from half the Normal Speed of the audiobook to three times the Normal Speed. 

And then Dark Mode supports operating systems or browsers that provide that option. It can be based on your phone settings as well. 

If you have your phone set to Dark Mode, Libby will automatically update to be in Dark Mode as well.”

You have a dial at the bottom of your audiobook. Is that something special about Libby and what does this style do for us? 

“I think there is an accessibility element to it. In your audiobook player, up at the top, you have your overall progress, and then at the bottom, of course, you’ve got those Play and Pause buttons. And then that, that bar underneath that has those little ticks will allow you to skip around. So there are dark, bold marks for each chapter or at a major page break.

It will also show you, at the bottom, where your notes and highlights are if you’ve made notes and highlights in the audiobook. So it is overall a slider.”

When are we going to be able to recommend our books to Libby? 

“That’s the top question that we receive. Truly, we are developing a fresh solution for this feature in Libby, and we look forward to sharing more soon.

I can’t give you a solid answer, but it is coming in 2023.

We want to ensure we’ve got all those major features that everyone is looking for before the Overdrive app is sunset.

It will involve the tagging system, so it will act a little differently than what you’re used to in Overdrive, but it will have the same end product.

But for now, you can use Libby for your reading happiness and use the Overdrive app to recommend those titles while it still exists.

Or you can go to your library’s Overdrive website. Hopefully, we’ll have that new solution up and running for all of you soon.”

When are we going to be evicted from Overdrive?

“That’s funny!

The plan is to discontinue the Overdrive app in 2023. But don’t panic – we want to ensure that everyone has lots of time to prepare.

That’s why we’ve been talking about it a lot in 2022, giving people time to use both and get comfortable.

And then, certainly, knowing that we’re not going to discontinue that Overdrive app until some of those key features we’ve talked about are offered in Libby or there’s a solution to them in Libby.

It’s not just going to vanish without any notice, so keep an eye out on Overdrive social media.”

If we want to get some additional training or support on using the app, where would we access that? 

“I am so excited to help encourage and facilitate folks making the switch. 

I host monthly getting started sessions for new and transitioning users. It’s about an hour, and we will take you through the basics. 

We point out what’s different from Overdrive to Libby, and we’ll be doing that through 2023. 

I do them with my teammate Marissa, and she is, TRULY, the Libby extraordinaire. 

She’ll take you through everything you need to know, and we’ll answer your questions live. 

We’ve got a lot of amazing people. 

You’ll get a chance to have your questions answered, get support and see what Libby’s all about. 

I would also shout out our help site. We have a specific tab called Switching from the Overdrive app. It’s right up at the top of the page. You can’t miss it!

It will cover everything we cover, anything you’re looking for. 

All of our monthly sessions are recorded. So even if you can’t attend live, we still encourage you to register to receive that recording in your inbox. The help site can be found HERE.

Questions from the MomAdvice Book Club Members

Thank you to our readers for these wonderful questions that were asked for our podcast today. These will be helpful to so many!

What’s the best way to manage multiple library cards on Libby?

All your library cards live in your Menu right in the center under your Libraries. 

You can tap and see all the library cards you have; tapping on the name will also switch your active libraries. 

So it’s easy to switch back and forth between all the libraries and cards you have; even with multiple library cards, all of your loans and holds live on one shared shelf. 

No matter where you check a book out, they’ll all be on the same shelf. 

And when you run a Search, you can also tap the name of the library under the Search Field and after you tap the name of your library, you’ll see all of your libraries and can easily switch between them that way. 

When you search for a book and look at the titles details list, if you tap on the little library icon next to the titles, it will show you availability at all of your libraries.

How do you put Libby on a Kindle Fire and a Kid’s Fire Tablet?

We do have some step-by-step instructions to add Libby to Kindle Fire tablets. It is a side-load because we are still waiting for Libby to be added to the Kindle Fire app store.

That’s entirely on Amazon’s approval.

It’s a super simple step-by-step process that walks you through downloading the APK files and adding them, following the steps to your tablet.

And then Libby will function the same way on an Android device. You can find the tutorial HERE.”

How do I put Libby audiobooks on my Apple Watch to listen to without my phone nearby? 

“This is a really wonderful question.

Currently, there is not a way to play audiobooks through your Apple Watch. Still, we have heard this request, especially as the popularity of Apple watches has exploded over recent years.

And so this is a request that our Libby development team is aware of and has received. So certainly keep an eye out for future developments on the Apple Watch.

Is there a way to sync my Goodreads account to my Wishlist on Libby? 

You can export your tags from Libby into Goodreads, but there is no way to bring Goodreads into Libby.

So that is an excellent suggestion and opportunity to use our Suggestion Box and give feedback if that’s something you want to see.”

How do you guys feel about the loophole of putting your Kindle in airplane mode to keep library books from returning?

“Kindle fulfillment is tricky. When you borrow a book from your library and use the, “Send to Kindle,” feature which I have to say is the US only, Amazon fulfills it.

So that’s where it breaks from Libby or Overdrive and switches to Amazon’s fulfillment.

On our end in Libby, the app has internal timers to keep everyone honest and on or offline; it doesn’t matter if you put your device into airplane mode or change the date, Libby knows. And it keeps us honest, on or offline, with copyright policies.

What Amazon does is totally up to them, but we’re respecting those publisher agreements and copyrights, in general.”

Thank you to the Libby team for their generosity with our community! To see the show notes for this podcast today, head HERE!

To help fund the work at MomAdvice, consider joining our Patreon Book Club for our exclusive buzzy books podcast (FULLY BOOKED), author interviews, and music playlists to enhance your reading experiences. To learn head to the Patreon Book Gang! The funding helps us to create quality shows and tutorials like the one you have read today.

Looking for more ways to enhance your reading life? Check out these articles!

Join the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club (and read all year with me!)

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

Learn how to use the Scribd App (when the library holds get too long)

Learn how to get a free book every dang month

Advent Calendars for Teens That They Will Love

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022
Advent Calendars for Teens They Will Love

These advent calendars for teens and tweens are just what you need to make your holiday special. Shop this guide for fun ways to countdown to Christmas fun!

One of my favorite gifts to give my teen is their advent calendar as a Christmas gift each year. This year, we wanted to offer this year’s best calendar ideas for your kiddos in this age category, as well as those college-age kiddos that deserve a fun way to celebrate the season.

We have you covered with a few of our favorite ways to countdown Christmas in 2022. 

To keep it economical, be sure to read our suggestions for ways to reuse keepsake boxes or diy advent calendars for the season with our smart ideas for saving.

DON’T FORGET TO ACTIVATE YOUR RAKUTEN WHEN SHOPPING. HERE IS $40 back on your first purchase.

If you aren’t familiar with the program, this is my beginner’s tutorial on how to use Rakuten (and some sneaky ways I get cashback on stuff we buy all the time).

Let’s celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with these fun ideas for the season.

Interactive Teen Advent Calendars

Exit Advent Calendar Game

Exit Advent Calendar Game (The Mystery of the Ice Cave)

Trying to squeeze in some family time over the advent season? We think this advent idea is the perfect option.

Here’s the setup for this one.

Your pre-Christmas ski trip hasn’t gone as planned: Just as you are taking a break and enjoying the crystal-clear mountain air, you hear a noise and see a terrifying avalanche crashing down the mountain towards you.

This advent calendar is both an EXIT game and an adventure story: in order to free yourself from this predicament, you must open a door of the calendar each day.

Behind each door, you will find a new and exciting riddle, the solution that will bring you closer and closer to escaping the cave! Will you solve the mystery of the ice cave and find the exit?

This one has rave reviews, with people sharing how fun and interactive this was for the holidays.

I also zeroed in on one comment that shared it was a great one for “their middle-school boy.”

Don’t love the setup for the location of this game? Check out these this other option (The Hunt for the Golden Book) that the company offers.

Family Movie Advent Calendar

Christmas Movie Marathon Advent

Love Christmas movies?

This personalized box would be a fun way to celebrate.

Each box contains 24 Christmas films to watch along with a bit of interesting trivia on each movie. Reviewers praise the quality on this one and this is a perfect option for a budget-friendly option.

Fishing Tackle Advent Calendar

Fishing Tackle Advent Calendar

If you have a fishing enthusiast, this company makes creative tackle boxes to countdown the season.

Inside you will find a beautiful, compact, water resistant case under door #1. The 23 compartments to follow reveal all sorts of fantastic high quality fishing gear to fill that box up. There’s a gift everyday to help count down until Christmas.

They also make fun advent boxes for fly fishing.

Christmas Countdown Candle

Christmas Countdown Candle (Pair With a Favorite Treat)

This Christmas-scented candle offers an interactive way to countdown to Christmas. Give this with bags of their favorite candies to countdown the season. Scent options include Christmas Memories, Christmas Tree, Elf Sweat, Hot Cocoa, Mrs. Claus Cookies, Reindeer Poo, Snow Angels, and Wintery Candy Apple.

This would be fun to pair with bath bombs or fun chocolate treats for each day that they can grab out of a big jar!

NASA Socks Christmas Advent Countdown

NASA Sock Countdown

Your teen and tween has everything…but do they have SPACE SOCKS?

Our team loved these NASA-inspired advent sock collections that include cute designs like Never Forget Pluto & Occupy Mars. We also love the price point on this set at just $16.

Advent Embroidery Project

Advent Embroidery Project

Reviewers ADORE this fun embroidery project that celebrates the season with a daily interactive stitch. Honestly, this is the one that I plan my crafty teen this year.

This is designed to be a Christmas Advent project for the month of December. Each day the shop outlines a stitching lesson starting on December 1st all the way through December 24th.

Watercolor Advent Countdown

Watercolor Advent Countdown (With Classes)

Looking for an affordable advent option? This one-page digital download is a perfect option. Print out this download on watercolor paper and pair it with a watercolor paint set and follow the YouTube class to learn how to watercolor each day as a countdown to Christmas.

The content creator has created a lesson for each day and a holiday playlist to go along with these lessons. This is perfect for a beginner painter who is looking for a quiet way to celebrate the season.

Adventure Challenge Countdown

The Adventure Challenge Advent

This advent challenge is a scratch-off keepsake brimming with unique adventures that help you explore outside your comfort zone, dive deeper into your relationships, and make meaningful memories.

One reviewer left this meaningful feedback on this one- “I love my family but sometimes we really struggle coming up with things to do, especially at Christmas when we’re together for days in a row. This holiday advent calendar totally alleviates that stress. The activities are fun and creative. 10/10 would recommend.”

If you are looking for a new way to connect with your teen or tween over the holidays, this looks like a winner and costs just $25 for the whole family.

Hanukkah Scratch-Off Advent Calendar

Hanukkah Scratch-Off Advent Calendar

If you have a music lover on your hands, this is such a fun one to do together. Hidden inside this festive menorah design is your new Hanukkah soundtrack.

You’ll scratch off a flame each day to reveal a QR code. Scan the code, and your phone will download a classic song played by an emerging artist.

Click here for a Christmas version of the same scratch-off calendar filled with Christmas carols!

Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar

Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar

Do we ever outgrow LEGOS? I hope not! Our team loves this one (and own it) because these can be reused year after year.

The kit includes C-3PO and R2-D2 in festive outfits, Darth Vader in a summer outfit, plus Luke Skywalker, a Clone Trooper Commander, Snowtrooper, Battle Droid and a Gonk Droid and 10 vehicles.

Friends Advent Calendar

Friends: The Official Advent Calendar

Could this *BE* any cuter for the teen that’s discovered how great Friends is?

The One With All the Surprises (Volume 1) ended up being such a big bestseller that decided to issue a second version.

The first volume is packed with 25 days of surprises and over 40 keepsakes, ornaments, and booklets. There’s something for everyone in this set full of fun, nostalgia, and even a Holiday Armadillo!

The sequel version contains twenty-five days of surprises and brand-new unique keepsakes and trinkets ranging from fun paper ornaments to classic Friends-inspired recipe cards and more.

If you have two teens in your house, this might be a fun pair-up for the holidays!

Food Advent Calendar Ideas

I can always get behind food gifts because it isn’t something you have store year after year.

Make this evening magical by pairing it with our favorite holiday tv sitcom recommendations. These bite-sized treats and bite-sized show are a perfect pairing for teens or tweens.

Food Advent Calendars from Williams Sonoma

Williams and Sonoma Food Advent Calendars

No one does it better than Williams and Sonoma. Here are a few of our favorite options for this year!

Christmas Popcorn Advent– Over the course of 24 days, follow the poem on the back and collect all the elements to create a popcorn party you can enjoy on Christmas Eve. Behind each door, you’ll discover top-quality popping corn and seasonings from family-owned Wabash Valley Farms.

Harry Potter Advent Calendar– Starting December 1, discover everything from Lemon Sherbets and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans to gummy candies shaped like owls, cars and lightning bolts. The confection-filled calendar makes a great gift for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

Peppermint Bark Advent Calendar– Open one of the 24 doors every day to reveal a snowman, toy soldier, Christmas tree or Santa. Each crunchy treat is made of rich semisweet chocolate and creamy white chocolate with crushed peppermint candy. 

Holly Dolly Advent Calendar– Have a Dolly Parton fan on your hands? This adorable advent calendar is made for them! Every day from the first of December until the night before Christmas, you’ll discover a different treat hidden behind one of the windows. The colorful, individually wrapped candies are some of Dolly’s favorites, including chocolates, caramels, gummies and mints.

Drink Advent Calendar Ideas

Tea Advent Calendar

Tea Advent Calendar

I have a teen who loves to unwind with a cup of tea and this advent calendar option couldn’t be more perfect for her.

The Brew Company (a small business selling on Etsy) offers this gorgeously packaged bestseller option with these flavors inside: Nordic Berries and Chai, Good Morning Quince, Green Refreshment, Black Tea Chai, Lovely Liquorish, Tasty Berry, Raspberry and Fruit Basket, Japanese Sencha, Fruity Figs and Pineapple, Sweet Chamomile, Blueberry-Mint, Cool Mint, Earl Grey, Cranberries and Grenadine, Red Berry Dream, Ginger Lemon, Sweet Sea Buckthorn, Pink Grapefruit, Detox Tea, Fruity Passion, Revitalizing Treat, Rooibos Blood Orange, Mulled Wine, and Spicy Turmeric.

If these tea flavors don’t work for you, check out this landing page for loads of varieties of tea brews to celebrate the season. Not only will your teen love it, you also get the chance to support a small business.

Beauty Advent Calendar Ideas

The best way to reuse these calendars year after year is to hang on to those keepsake boxes.

Consider making this a diy advent calendar by refilling it with travel size items from your favorite budget-friendly beauty shop spot!

Bath Bomb Advent Calendar

The Bomb Advent Calendar

Did someone say TWENTY-FOUR BATHS to count down the season? This affordable advent option has 24 days of scented bath soaps & bath bombs to countdown to Christmas.

Reviewers praised the fast shipping with this company and the great value for the experience on these. It would be fun to pair with a bath pillow or bath tray for a month of self-care. 

Barber Pro Advent Calendar

Barber Pro 12 Days of Grooming

This gathering of skincare essentials includes eye and face masks for extra pampering through this busy season.

This set includes 16 sheet masks designed to hydrate, soften, soothe and brighten all skin types.

Benefit Cosmetics Sincerely Yours 12 Day Calendar

Benefit Cosmetics: Sincerely Yours 12 Day Calendar

If your child loves a good makeup fix, this advent calendar offers 12 of Benefit Cosmetics bestsellers in a travel-size. It features fun-sized versions of their brow top-sellers, mascaras, pore primers & face powders.

DIY Teen Advent Calendar Ideas

Christmas Vacation Advent Bags

Christmas Vacation Advent Bags

You serious, Clark?

This movie never gets old, does it?

These advent bags have 24 unique images inspired from the classic holiday movie Christmas Vacation. 

Keep it budget-friendly by heading to the local wholesale club to fill it with treats to pair with your favorite Christmas movies. You could also add fun beauty items for a self-care advent spin.

Advent Pocket Calendar

Personalize an Advent Pocket Calendar

A pocket calendar like this one can allow you to personalize it with your own treat ideas. Consider filling this with fun (and useful) items like lottery cards, gas station gift cards, coffee shop gift cards, bookstore gift cards, iTunes gift cards, beauty masks, mini nail polishes, favorite treats, and MALL MONEY.

Store this calendar and use it year after year.

Don’t love this design? Head here to find one that fits your kiddo’s style perfectly.

DIY Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

Printable Christmas Advent Calendar

Looking for a free option that will give you new ways to connect over the holiday season?

Make Christmas unforgettable with this cute DIY Advent Calendar. Assemble it quickly with this free printable template and easy tutorial.

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

This Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar is a favorite family tradition!

Practice a small act of kindness with your family every day to bring some true meaning to your Christmas season.

Need a starter activity? Make these blessing bags for the homeless.

Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar (FREE PRINTABLE)

Do you buy a fresh wreath each holiday season? You can turn it into a fun Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar, perfect for a tween in your life.

We provide all the free printables and instructions for the world’s cutest diy advent wreath.

This free printable advent calendar includes fun Christmas themed trivia questions for the holiday season.

Christmas Advent Cookie Cookbook

Have a teen that loves to bake? This cookie cookbook is a fun way to diy the advent fun for the season. Select a few of the recipes to do together in your kitchen. Throw on your favorite holiday records or playlist.

Don’t forget the perfect apron to go with this fun culinary twist on the season.

Be sure to scroll down for our favorite teen and tween gift guides and fun teen stocking stuffer ideas. We have updated all of our gift guides this year to make shopping this season a breeze!

Pet Advent Calendars (For Teens to Open)

Advent Calendar for Your Cat

My daughter would love opening this up for our pet as much as she would enjoy receiving a calendar for herself.

These kitten playset contains a cat collar with bell, scat teaser wand, interactive feather toy, fluffy mouse, crinkle balls, and cat springs.

Perhaps with so much entertainment, the tree will lose its appeal! Haha!

Advent Calendar for Your Dog

Have a favorite furbaby that needs to be spoiled? This contains freshly baked dog treats that are hand-decorated and made with locally sourced human grade ingredients.

Each box comes with a variety of cookies that are big and small and are either frosting drizzled, enrobed, contain plain yogurt cups, etc. to satisfy all doggie sizes and taste buds.

This is the highest rated by reviewers and the highlight for many pets over the holiday season.

Priced accordingly, but I’ll close out with this easy diy option if you are on a budget!

Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out these posts!

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love

100 unique and useful stocking stuffers (another great list to reference if you are making a diy advent calendar this year!)

Unique Gift Ideas for Tweens & Teens

unique gifts for teens and tweens (this is a popular gift guide)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, FRIENDS!

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Advent Calendars for Teens They Will Love

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022
Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You'll Fall in Love With

Spend a cozy night in with these jigsaw puzzles that are great gifts for adults AND kids. Trade in a board game night for these fun-themed puzzles that embrace bookish themes and more in their puzzle designs.

As soon as the weather turns crisp, we designate a table in our home as the puzzle table for the season. I love to have a puzzle that we can work on in those early morning hours with coffee or at the end of the day with a cup of tea.

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite puzzles we’ve done at our house and some that made my wish list this this year. We have had the best time compiling this new guide for you.

Make sure to bookmark this list for gift-giving this year. Puzzles make incredibly unique hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and holiday gifts.

DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

try this tutorial for a diy jigsaw puzzle mat

Before we dive into the puzzles, I do want to mention a few ways that we have saved A LOT of money over the years on our puzzle collection.

Three Easy Ways to Save on Jigsaw Puzzles

Find Out if Your Local Library Lends Puzzles- I can’t tell you all of the ways we have saved money over the years with our local library.

Contact your local library to see if they offer any jigsaw puzzle exchanges or if you can check out puzzles with your library card.

Start a Puzzle Swap With Friends- One of the best ways we have saved is offering a puzzle swap with our friends.

When we have coffee together, we just bring our puzzles we have finished and trade them for a fresh puzzle.

Check Deals Sites For Deep Discounts On Puzzles- I don’t think a lot of people realize that puzzle savings can be found in some unlikely places. One of the best spots to check for puzzles is Zulily for 30% or more off their puzzle collections.

If you want to buy puzzles at a brick and mortar spot, our used bookstores offer huge savings too on used puzzles as well as new.

No matter where you shop make sure that you are signed up with Rakuten and that you activate your savings before any shopping!

If you are new to the Rakuten app, this discount code should give you $30 on your first puzzle purchase! I also wrote a tutorial on how to use the app on items you regularly buy that will give you cashback rewards.

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

Best Jigsaw Puzzles For Adults With Literary Themes

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

Oh, Agatha Christie fans, this puzzle is such a treat!

In this puzzle you can spot famous characters, find crime-solving clues, and historical locations as you build the puzzle.

This has 90 clues within the puzzle including some of her most memorable characters, from Poirot and Miss Marple to Tommy & Tuppence and Parker Pyne, as well as real moments from Agatha Christie’s life!

This puzzle also includes a fold-out poster bonus featuring fun facts about the Queen of Crime and her creations.

Great American Novels Puzzle

Great American Novels Puzzle

This 1,000-piece book-themed puzzle features 24 literary classics.

It would make the perfect pairing with an audiobook of one of these classic books!

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

We have done a lot of fun comic book puzzles in our house, and they are always a hit.

I love this 1,000-piece puzzle that captures all the comic book magic when browsing those shelves.

Reviewers also shared that the puzzle pieces were fun to work with just like this gorgeous image.

The New Yorker The Strand Jigsaw Puzzle

The New Yorker Puzzle Company Collection

There are so many gorgeous puzzles to collect with the New Yorker covers. This artistic puzzle capture of The Strand is my favorite.

A few of my other favorites are this Paint by Pixels and this Leaf Peepers puzzle are two more of our favorites.

Nancy Drew Puzzle

Nancy Drew Puzzle (on sale!)

I shared this fun puzzle in my newsletter this is our family puzzle that we are working on this week.

I feel so nostalgic about my Nancy Drew mystery days so I couldn’t wait to add this to our family’s puzzle collection.

This one is a 1,000-piece puzzle recommended for ages 13 and over.

It also happens to be on sale on Zulily this week and a third of the price that I paid for it. If the offer is no longer active check here to grab it at the regular price.

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

I couldn’t adore this collection of author stamps more.

I love that this puzzle has William Shakespeare, Harper Lee, and Stephen King on one puzzle.

Pick a book from one of these famous authors to listen to on audiobook while you are puzzling.

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

I love a good gift puzzle and this is my new go-to.

In this puzzle, it is up to you to solve the crime, piece by piece.

You begin by reading the story of the incident.

Then, guided by the narrative rather than a visual reference, complete the jigsaw.

The finished image provides all the clues you need to decipher whodunit.

Pair this with a magnifying glass for a fun gift.

Other Fun Jigsaw Puzzles For Your Collection

Stranger Things Puzzle

Stranger Things Puzzle

Trying to lure a teen or tween into doing a puzzle with you? This 1,000 piece Stranger Things puzzle would be such a fun one to do together.

What a fun family night this would be with some Eggo waffles for brinner and some Kate Bush tunes.

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Design-lovers will fall in love with this shelfie puzzle.

This 1,000 Piece Puzzle colorfully highlights the living room shelf of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island living room bookcase for a chic and challenging puzzling experience.

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection (link to the whole puzzle collection- pick your favorite)

We collect Janet Hill prints and my 40th birthday gift was an ORIGINAL Janet Hill.

To say we are obsessed with this artist is an understatement.

I love that the New York Puzzle Company is offering her whimsical paintings in different puzzle sizes. This Cat Countess puzzle is on my wish list this year.

You can also find many of her art prints have been made into these fun 1,000-piece puzzles too!

If you love Janet Hill’s work, be sure to visit her studio shop to get some beautiful art for your walls.

National Parks Puzzle

National Parks Puzzle

This puzzle is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts that are craving their next adventure or want to reminisce on those camping memories.

Enjoy these national park destinations from the comforts of home with this 1,000-piece puzzle.

Challenging Puzzles For the Real Puzzle Enthusiast

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

As someone who relies on context clues from the image on the box, this clear acrylic puzzle would be an impossible one for me.

Reviewers love this clear design and say that they never get bored doing this one over and over again. It also would be a great interactive detail on any coffee table.

Geode Puzzle

Geode Puzzle

This geode puzzle is such a unique brain teaser.

The artists were inspired by how a geode’s crystalline structure is created in nature and uses a special simulation program that develops the puzzle’s image by layering color that radiates from the puzzle’s edge.

This wooden puzzle is made from birch plywood.

The New Yorker Advent Calendar Puzzle

The New Yorker Advent Calendar (24 mini jigsaw puzzles)

Can you imagine how much a puzzle-enthusiast would love this New Yorker advent calendar?

This gift set features 24 mini holiday-themed puzzles to count down the days until Christmas.

Each puzzle is a 100-piece puzzle, but doing this daily would definitely give your brain a nice workout during the holiday season.

At this price point, it would make a very special and memorable gift.

Looking for more fall activities to try? Check out these fun additions to your puzzle routine!

watch these fall shows & movies while doing your new puzzle

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

download an audiobook from scribd while puzzling

What has been your favorite puzzle to do with your family?

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows To Cozy Up With Right Now

Monday, September 12th, 2022

Stream these cozy fall movie and recommendations for the autumn season. This list of 22 cozy classics also includes some fun new releases you may have missed!

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows To Cozy Up With Right Now from MomAdvice.com

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

The moment the calendar turned to September, I started seeing posts about how it was time.

And while, yes, I saw and heard plenty of people celebrating the return of pumpkin spice season, that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m referring to all the people starting their annual rewatch of Gilmore Girls, a practice that can only logically take place in the fall.

Some shows, as well as plenty of movies and books, just give us the coziest fall vibes.

Our pediatrician just said this week that she re-reads Harry Potter every single fall.

Since I know Amy has us covered in the books department (but can I recommend The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater for anyone looking for magical, fall-ish young adult reads?), I’m sticking to movies and TV shows for your autumnal enjoyment!

(Note: You’ve probably heard of most of these, so I won’t bore you with long plot summaries. Instead, I’m saving you time by doing the research, aka scrolling through all my streaming services, and curating a list just for you!)

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows To Cozy Up With Right Now

12 of the Best Fall Movies To Try

You've Got Mail

You’ve Got Mail (Hulu) – “Don’t you love New York in the fall?” Obviously this is my number one pick! The adorable rom com doesn’t quite hold up in every way, but do I still love it? Yep. I do. What could be better than the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan?

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (Netflix) – Speaking of New York in the fall, this romantic classic highlights the city in our favorite season like none other.

Love, Guaranteed

Love, Guaranteed (Netflix) – Fabulous sweaters, scarves, and coats and plenty of colorful leaves add a coziness to this cute romantic comedy.

Practical Magic

Practical Magic (HBO Max) – Would you believe I hadn’t seen this movie about witch sisters until a couple years ago? Since then, it’s spooky season required watching for me! 

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures (Prime) – Speaking of magic, this movie based on a YA novel is gothic and dramatic in the way magical teens are dramatic. And it takes place in fall, so there you have it!

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen (Netflix) – This coming-of-age comedy has plenty of drama and jackets. The sarcasm is thick in this one, and so are the falling leaves. It’s a good fall watch!

Dead Poets Society

Dead Poet’s Society (Prime) – Seize the day to watch this boarding school drama and just try not to be inspired all over again. Plus, who doesn’t want to visit New England in the fall? (starring Robin Williams)

Knives Out

Knives Out (Netflix) – Before the sequel comes out this winter, take time to revisit Chris Evans and his sweater, Daniel Craig and his accent, and this dysfunctional family and their mystery.

The Adam Project

The Adam Project (Netflix) – Does this movie take place in the fall? I’m not sure, but they do wear jackets and it’s strangely heartwarming for a science fiction, action film. Therefore, I deem it fall appropriate!

Coco

Coco (Disney+) – This animated movie is about a young boy and his family as they celebrate the Day of the Dead. The music is catchy, the colors are vibrant, and the story is moving. What more could you ask for from Pixar?

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Hulu) – I haven’t seen this animated movie based on the Roald Dahl book, but my brother tells me it is, truly, fantastic. And the internet says it is, truly, a fall movie. I’ve bumped it up on my family’s to-watch list for this month!

And coming this fall:

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is being adapted into a movie starring Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, and Christina Hendricks.

I actually haven’t read this beloved and frequently recommended book (I know! I will read it soon! I promise!), but I hear it’s quite cozy and the trailer for the movie has characters wearing a lot of sweaters and jackets. Plus, it’s coming out on October 7. Which is in the fall. Therefore, it’s a fall movie!

NOTE FROM AMY: If you haven’t read this book, you must! I included it on our Books About Books, Bookstores, and Libraries reading list! Check this post for the full review and more recommendations.

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows To Cozy Up With Right Now from MomAdvice.com

12 Fun Fall TV Series Recommendations

Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) – A twisty mystery that keeps you guessing, the surprisingly sweet friendship between the three main characters, and all the puffy coats Selena wears make this a great fall-feeling movie.

A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches (AMC+) – This fantasy about vampires, witches, and demons that’s based on the books by Deborah Harkness is moody in every way and perfect for a spooky watch this season.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights (Prime or Peacock) – Fall means football, right? And while this show is about so much more than sports, everyone knows the most important season in Dillon is football season (aka, fall).

My So-Called Life

My So-Called Life (Hulu) – With its flannel and melancholy, fall is the perfect season for Gen X-ers. And few shows are more Gen X than this gone-before-its-time show.

Freaks & Geeks

Freaks & Geeks (Paramount+) – Speaking of short-lived shows and flannel, this is another fall-feeling show set in a school—and even has episodes about marching band and Halloween!

Good Witch

Good Witch (Netflix) – Small town witch inherits a haunted mansion in a show from the Hallmark Channel? Can it get any more fall-ish?

Charmed

Charmed (Peacock & Netflix) – Three witchy sisters, both in the original show and the reboot, say the magic word. (It’s “fall.” Fall is the magic word!)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) – What can I say? Shows about witches give me fall feels. I’m too much of a scaredy cat for this one, but if you like creepy, scary stuff, this might be for you!

Halloween Wars

Halloween Wars (discovery+) – Get crafty with this seasonal competition series featuring candy makers, cake decorators, and—are you ready for this fall-ness?—pumpkin carvers!

Anne With An E

Anne with an E (Netflix) – Like Anne, I’m so glad I live in a world with Octobers. Aren’t you?

I hope these movies and TV shows are just what you need to get into the fall mood. Grab your favorite pumpkin (or apple) spice drink and a soft blanket, and get your fall vibes on with one of these movies or shows!

What movies or TV shows do you like to watch in the fall?

This post contains affiliate links

Love these recommendations? Here are two other fun fall recommendations!

8 TV Shows with Hilarious Halloween Episodes from MomAdvice.com

8 tv shows with hilarious halloween episodes

fall date ideas for your bucket list

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Here are the signs and symptoms to look for and the resource list I wish I had when I received my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome diagnosis.

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month and I do my best to use my platform to educate and transparently share about my journey with this disease.

It has always felt like a tricky terrain to share, without sympathy or attention-seeking, but to offer the information that I wish I had years and years ago. 

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is considered a rare disease, but I think many doctors would challenge this and say that it is rarely diagnosed instead. As more awareness is raised, more and more people are able to get answers sooner for themselves and for their children.  That is what this month is all about.

I have the most common type and it is the Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Personally, I struggle with joint pain (jaw, hands, elbows, feet, hips, and neck),  frequent rib subluxations, managing wild allergic responses, heart rate fluctuations, blood pressure fluctuations, insomnia, chronic pain, and temperature regulation. 

Each person who has this has different challenges. No two patients are alike and we never want to discredit anyone’s experience that is suffering. 

Let’s quickly break down what EDS is, how to get diagnosed, and what other disorders are commonly attached to this diagnosis. If you would like to read my own diagnosis story, it is here.

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)?

The Ehler’s Danlos Society defines EDS as, “a group of hereditary disorders of connective tissue that are varied in the ways they affect the body and in their genetic causes.

They are generally characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that move further than the normal range), joint instability (subluxation [partial separation of the articulating surfaces of a joint]) and dislocations (full separation of the surfaces of a joint), scoliosis, and other joint deformities, skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal) and abnormal scarring, and other structural weakness such as hernias and organ prolapse through the pelvic floor. 

In the rare types of EDS (like vascular type), there is also the weakness of specific tissues that can lead, for example, to major gum and dental disease, eye disease, cardiac valve and aortic root disorders, and life-threatening abdominal organ, uterine, or blood vessel rupture. 

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are currently classified into fourteen types of Ehlers Danlos. In all but the hypermobile subtype (hEDS) genetics variants have been identified as the cause for the disorder and are part of the diagnostic criteria.

Some of the most common symptoms include fragile skin, skin that bruises easily, and joint pain from subluxation. 

How Is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Diagnosed?

The best place to start is with your general practitioner who can perform a simple test called the Beighton Scoring System that will assess your joint hypermobility.

Below is the test that they can do in their office and a description of the scoring system:

They also will want to document your family history (since there is an inheritance pattern) and your medical history. If this data suggests you may have the disease, they usually will refer you out to a specialist. In some cases, genetic testing is available, but it depends on the types diagnosed. 

The Ehlers-Danlos Foundation has a directory of physicians you can contact in your area. Many patients, unfortunately,  must travel to other states or countries to see a specialist. 

If you are local, this is the person that I saw for my official diagnosis.

What is The “Terrible Trifecta” 

One thing I wish had been explained to me, in this initial stage (with my general practitioner), is that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome ALONE is not usually the diagnosis.

Our specialist described each patient as a tree with many branches. EDS is the main issue, but each person has other diagnoses that go along with it. 

Most patients (including myself and my children) have “the terrible trifecta” which is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS Syndrome, and Mast Cell Activation Disorder. 

Mast Cell Activation Disorder is best managed with an allergist and I have been told that some of my joint pain may stem from this branch in my disorder. 

Depending on the severity, a cardiologist may be involved with the POTS Syndrome or an experienced PCP (primary care physician) may be able to manage it. 

POTS, for me, is the most debilitating because the dysautonomia creates a storm in my body that throws off my balance, makes my heart beat fast, causes my blood pressure to swing, and makes me feel very disoriented. When my POTS Syndrome is stable, my quality of life is much better. Stabilizing things has become the biggest challenge for my physicians and for me. 

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

 Now that you know the symptoms of EDS, I’d love to share the resource list that I wish I had when I was diagnosed. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years to manage and treat my pain. I really don’t want anyone else to have to do the same. 

This resource list is what works for me and should be discussed with your physician if it is right for you. 

Please note, I have chronic insomnia and pain that are being treated with prescription medications. I have not listed these because each person must individualize their treatment with their own physician.

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Supplements & Prescriptions 

(Note: this is the file with the recommendations for specific diets and supplements as advised by my specialist. I am only listing what has worked for me, personally. I would also encourage you to get your hormones checked because you may need intervention if you are middle-aged.)

Sagely Pill Organizer (this has soft closures and can be partnered with an app for reminders)

Allegra twice daily (to manage mast cell response- morning & afternoon)

Chelated Magnesium 100 mg, twice daily

Fish Oil

Fludrocortisone (for POTS Syndrome this has been key for me. It cut down on my dizziness and keeps my blood pressure more level. Potassium must be monitored regularly.)

2-ounces George’s Aloe (No substitutions. This has helped me more than anything I’ve taken from the Cousack Protocol. I have far less dislocations since using it. For the record, I would say that I’m a skeptic in holistic relief.)

XClear Nasal Spray (this helps some of my mast cell issues at night)

Daily Electrolytes (for low blood pressure- I do two a day)

Sleep Helpers

Cervical roll (can be added to any pillow)

Loona App (recommended by my therapist and has helped greatly)

This Mattress Pad (it adds some cushioning for my joints and helps my temperature issues)

Coop Pillow (can be adjusted based on your body’s needs- the best sleep investment I’ve made)

Working with a TMJ Specialist to Have a Custom Nightguard Made (the most expensive thing ever- worth every dollar)

EDS Books, Apps, & Medical Equipment

The Zebra Club App (teaches movement & stability skills that are as beneficial as working with a physical therapist)

Living Life to the Fullest With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (this guide can be used with your physical therapist or you can work through the exercises independently)

Curable App (Bootcamp programs & the app are both beneficial in turning down your pain responses)

Pulse Oximeter & Blood Pressure Cuff (use this data to help with your appointments or to inform you why you aren’t feeling well)

EDS Life Hacks Facebook Group (helpful encouragement with focus on positive solutions)

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Pain Management Helpers

Oval-8 Finger Splints (I just use the plastic ones, but they do sell pretty braces on Etsy)

Quell Wearable TENS Unit (here is an in-depth review on this device)

Compression Gloves

Rechargeable Hand Warmers (even used in summer when I have hand pain)

CBD & CBD Balms (this resource has a medical assistance program for low-income families and veterans. Be careful with CBD and low blood pressure- I can’t do it anymore!)

Wearables That Help

Nuboso Neural Insoles (help with balance and spatial awareness)

Girlfriend Collective Leggings (gentle compression & buttery soft- worth every dollar)

Compression Socks

True Body Bras (they help with my shoulder pain & spatial awareness)

Bomba Slippers (the only time my feet don’t feel miserable)

How I Manage Life With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Extras That Make My Life Better

Hair Towels (to cut down on blow-drying time)

Infiniti Blow Dryer (it spins so I don’t have to hold two things)

Olive & June Poppy Tool (so I can do my own nails- must be used with their nail color)

Madison & Reed Hair Color (because I don’t have enough spoons to go to a salon)

Things That Haven’t Worked For Me

Posture Bras or Posture-Driven products (they overcorrect me)

MLM Schemes 

Toxic Positivity

I hope that this resource list offers additional support and I will continue to update with items that REALLY WORK as I come across them. Please tell me, what’s helped you manage your symptoms the most?

This post contains affiliate links.

The 20 Best Family Movies to Stream Right Now

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Pop the popcorn, grab a board game, and watch the best family movies for your next memorable night together. We have you covered with family films to stream on Netflix, Prime, & Disney+.

The 20 Best Family Movies to Stream Right Now

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

My family is not one of those quiet, calm ones (do those even exist?).

I wouldn’t even try to convince you that I always love spending time with them or that hunkering down with my crew is my happy place.

That’s not us.

But while we cannot agree on where to get takeout, whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher, what snide comments about politics are over the line, what board game is the best, or who gets to use the bathroom first in the morning, we can agree to occasionally watch the same thing on the same screen.

Miraculously, we can agree that family movie nights are our favorite nights.

And, more often than not, the same people who were just fighting over who gets to sit in the comfy spot of the couch or use the softest blanket, settle down in front of the TV and have a great time together.

Sometimes, we even share the popcorn bowl without a fuss.

Because family movie night has such a calming and bonding effect on my people (and me), I’m always on the lookout for feel good stuff to watch together. And I’m here to share what I’ve found!

If you’re looking for some great family night movies, I’ve got you covered.

I’m assuming you’ve heard of (and have possibly watched a few too many times) Encanto, Princess Bride, Star Wars and every other super popular kids movie.

These are movies you might not have heard of or perhaps forgot about, and they’ve all been vetted and voted for by my family. 

FYI, my family includes my husband who doesn’t really like “kid movies,” my 14-year-old who would watch Harry Potter and Marvel movies all day long given the choice and also thinks she’s too cool for “kid movies,” and my 8-year-old who [bless her heart] is game for pretty much any movie that brings us all to the same room at the same time.

Some of these picks won’t work if you only have little kids. But if you have older tweens and teens, especially if you have an age gap like we do, you’re definitely going to find your next movie here!

ANIMATED FILMS FOR FAMILY NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Abominable (rent on Prime) – A grieving young teen discovers a yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and two friends travel across China to return him to his home, while trying to avoid capture by a corrupt collector and zoologist. Sweet and fun enough that we’ve watched it more than once.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Leap! (IMDbTV through Prime) – An orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina, so she escapes her orphanage and, after a case of mistaken identity, joins a ballet school in Paris. She befriends both a former dancer who becomes a mentor and a young inventor who becomes a friend. Takes place in late 1800s but feels modern. My youngest adores this movie!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Netflix) – A dysfunctional family embarks on a cross-country road trip, only to find themselves in the middle of a robot war. Enormously creative animation and a realistic portrayal of a family that struggles to get along even though they love each other deeply.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (rent on Prime) – A black teen boy in Brooklyn becomes the Spider-Man in his universe, then has to work with other spider-powered individuals from other dimensions to save the whole multiverse. Great adventure with character development—and incredible animation!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Vivo (Netflix) – A Cuban kinkajou and quirky tween work together to deliver a love letter and song to a famous singer. Fun adventure and sweet story with original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

LIVE ACTION MOVIES FOR FAMILY NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Flora & Ulysses (Disney+) – A girl whose parents are separated and struggling finds a squirrel she believes to be a superhero. The family bands together to protect the super squirrel from an overzealous animal control agent. Cute, big-hearted movie I actually can’t wait to watch again.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Lemonade Mouth (Disney+) – A group of high school misfits and mild rebels forms a band that inexplicably makes it big. Adorable with actual great music, and when those kids deal with family and friend issues but persevere for the music, I legit tear up. Every single time.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

The Sleepover (Netflix) – When two siblings discover their mom is a former thief in witness protection, who’s just been kidnapped, they team up with friends to rescue her. Wacky adventure and so much fun!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Spin (Disney+) – A teenage girl struggles to balance the expectations of her multigenerational Indian-American family with her new passion of deejaying. Solid portrayal of figuring out the balance between honoring your family and following your dreams, and bonus points for the diversity of characters.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Yes Day (Netflix) – Kids convince their uptight parents (though mostly the mom, sigh) to devote an entire day to saying “yes” to every idea they have. Of course the family bonds through the fun and the mess that ensue. Fun and, thankfully, didn’t convince my own kids we need to have a Yes Day at our house.

MIXED ANIMATION & LIVE ACTION MOVIES FOR FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Mary Poppins Returns (Disney+) – Of course, Mary Poppins is a classic and for a reason! But this sequel (that mirrors the original nearly beat for beat in a lovely homage) is a blast too. Catchy music that’s bound to become new classics and, like with the Julie Andrews musical, some fun animation mixed in with the live action.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Paddington (1 – Netflix; 2 – rent on Prime) – Is there a sweeter, accidentally wiser bear than Paddington? I think not. Both of these movies are a delight.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Peter Rabbit (1 – rent on Prime; 2 – Netflix) – Nobody’s accusing Peter Rabbit of being sweet and wise, but he (and his animal friends and family) are quite funny. Both of these movies are a blast.

OLDER MOVIES THAT ARE STILL GREAT FUN

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Akeelah & the Bee (rent on Prime) – A tween with a rough home life and community competes in a spelling bee to avoid detention. To her surprise she wins! Her principal encourages her to compete in the regional spelling bee and to be coached by a former professor. This one was inspired by a true story and might be eye-opening for your kids about the challenges other kids face.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Dora & the City of Lost Gold (Prime) – This one isn’t that old, but if you thought Dora was a thing of your past (and were glad), I urge you to give this movie a try anyway! It’s a funny, occasionally self-aware live-action adventure that isn’t grating like the original cartoon.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Night at the Museum (Disney+) – A single dad struggles to connect with his son and hold down a job, takes a position as a night guard for a museum that comes alive after closing. Rumors say a fourth movie is coming out this year or next, so now’s the time to watch the first three!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Parent Trap (Disney+) – I grew up on the original movie with Hayley Mills, but my family really enjoyed the Lindsay Lohan remake about identical twins who meet at summer camp and realize their parents divorced and then split them up as young girls. The hijinks are just as fun and the conclusion just as sweet in this newer version.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Race to Witch Mountain (Disney+) – My kids and husband would ask if we’re even having a conversation about family movie nights if we don’t include a movie with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. So last but certainly not least is this adventure that unites two sibling aliens, an ex-con, and a scientist as they try to escape evil aliens and corrupt government officials to get the alien kids home to their own planet. It’s a ride, in the best way!

What’s the last movie your family watched together?

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2021 Black Friday Short List

Friday, November 26th, 2021

I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday with your family. I wanted to share my short list of the top Black Friday deals I found today. If you would like anything linked up today (I’m missing), please let me know! This is the season where your visits and purchases count, and I appreciate you doing any shopping with me.

If you are signed up with Rakuten, make sure that you shop from your laptop and activate it. This will give you cashback on your purchases and, the cashback savings are HUGE today. Sign up with Rakuten to get cashback on your purchases- they are offering $40 for joining today (highest offer ever)! If you have not used this app before, you can learn all about it in my post over here. Some of the suggestions are as high as 12% cashback today. 

If you are looking for my gift guide, you’ll find it here. So many readers have sent me the kindest messages that they have been able to check the majority of their gifts off with this one. Many of the items are on sale today so start there if you need a specific gift.

Most notable deals (for me) today!:

  • Kindles are just $49.99, or you can buy 2 for $80 today
  • Today is the day to buy family games- these prices are the lowest that they will be all year. I have made a list for you of the best ones. We recommend Ticket to Ride, Catan, Azul, Mexican Dominoes, & One Night a Werewolf.
  • This is the day to buy holiday pajamas. Carter’s runs a great sale annually, and Land’s End has adorable Draper James pajamas if you covet Reese Witherspoon’s style. 50-60% off is HUGE.
  • MAGAZINES. Do not miss this offer- this is the lowest price of the year. In particular, People Magazine is just $31.98 for an annual subscription (this magazine comes weekly). This is my favorite girlfriend gift to give! 
  • If you need towels, this is the time to replace or replenish them. 
  • Nordstrom Rack has 40% off clearance items. You really should take a minute to go through those for your gift-giving! 
  • Subscriptions to entertainment services are at an all-time low. Audible is just $5.95 for the first three months, Sirius Radio will let you sign up for three months free (with no credit card activation required), and Hulu is just $.99 a month for the first year.

quick-dry towels just $4.99

Home

$15 Annual Sam’s Club Membership With Free Pie 

12-pound Faux Mink Weighted Blanket $21.24

Always Pan, $99

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1, $119.95

JCP Towels Are $2.99

Home Expressions Quick-Dry Towels, $4.99 (I’m stocking up today)

NutriBullet Blender, $59.99

Shark Power-Lift Navigator Vacuum, $169.99 (over 60% off!!)

Better Homes & Gardens 10 Pack Flip-Top Food Storage Containers, $30

draper james land’s end collection 50% off today

Clothing, Shoes, & Beauty

50% Off EVERYTHING at Old Navy

50% Off J. Crew Factory (60% off their clearance!!)

Eddie Bauer Down Parkas, $99 (come in petite and tall sizes)

Carter’s Christmas Jammies Starting at $7 a set!! 

Nordstrom Rack Extra 40% Off Clearance (huge, huge savings)

Sperry Boots, $49.97 (my favorite boots- great for wider width feet)

Land’s End Slippers $27.98 (they also have the Draper James style for the same price)

Draper James Land’s End Whole Collection 60% Off 

Men’s UGG Slippers, $52.49

Huge UGG Discounts on Their Closet Event (robes, hats, and blankets are marked at great prices)

Coach Wristlets are 85% Off Today!

ULTA Glam Beauty Boxes, $14.99

kindles- 2 for $80 (lowest price yet)

Entertainment

Kindle, $49.99 (or 2 for $80- lowest price yet)

Kindle Paperwhite (8GB), $104.99

Audible Only $5.95 For Your First Three Months

Get 3 For the Price of 2 (Amazon-on books, games, and music!!!)

Buy 2, Get 1 Free (Target- on movies, music, & books)

Magazine Deals Over 80% Off Today (People Magazine is just $31.98 for the year- this is my favorite gift to give!)

Fitbit Charge 4, $69

Azul Board Game, $15.99 (this is our new family favorite)

Marvel Villainous Board Game, $17.49

Catan, $22

Pandemic, $17.99

Ticket to Ride, $21.99

One Night Ultimate Werewolf, $12.49

Mexican Train Dominoes, $9.64

Ancestry DNA Kits, $48

Hulu $.99 a month for a year

3 months of Sirus Radio for FREE (no credit card required)

Just Dance 2022 for Nintendo Switch, $25

Cricut Maker (Save $170 today!)

60% Off Holiday Cards 

Echo Dot, $29.99

Fire TV Stick, $19.99

Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Bundle (in stock!)

Xbox One Wireless Controllers (starting at just $29.99)

Kindle Book Deals

HUGE Black Friday Kindle List

Additional Black Friday Kindle List

The Last Flight, $2.99 (I loved this)

Nine Perfect Strangers, $2.99

The Wish, $4.99

False Witness, $3.99

The Maidens, $4.99

Red, White, & Royal Blue, $3.9 (this is so cute)

The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot, $2.99 (this will be a 2022 book club book- get it)

Razorblade Tears, $3.99 (brutal, but beautiful)

Firekeeper’s Daughter, $2.99 (this is a reader’s choice for book club next year- get it!!)

Fox & I, $1.99

Leave the World Behind, $2.99

Sorrow & Bliss, $1.99

44 Chapters About 4 Men, $2.99

When No One Is Watching Us, $2.99

The Wives, $2.99

Ariadne, $3.99

The Survivors, $3.99

The Beautiful Ones, $2.99

What’s Mine & Yours, $3.99

Mistletoe & Mr. Right, $2.51

A Lot Like Adios, $1.99

Stolen, $3.99

The Windsor Knot, $2.99

Memorial Drive, $2.99

While Paris Slept, $2.99

What If It’s Us, $1.99 (I loved this)

Concrete Rose, $2.99

Afterlife, $1.99

This post contains affiliate links! Want to keep shopping? Check these posts out below:

the 2021 minimalist momadvice gift guide

 

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love 100 unique and helpful stocking stuffers

Unique Gift Ideas for the Man Who Has Everything from MomAdvice.com unique gifts for the man who has everything

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids from MomAdvice.com unique gifts for kids of any age

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Monday, July 12th, 2021

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies from MomAdvice.com

No need to pay for a theatre ticket to see these romantic comedy movies, thanks to their television status.  Try one of these tv shows that are perfect for the rom-com lover with all the meet cute feels that you have been craving.

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Do you love reading romance novels but have trouble concentrating on books right now?

Do you lament the lack of true rom coms these days (you know, the big-budget ones with Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan)?

Did you finish watching Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River or Bridgerton—and now you’re looking for another romantic comedy to fill the void?

I’m here to help!

I have a show for every kind of romantic comedy fan. 

If you love romantic comedies and want a new TV series to watch to scratch that rom-com itch, I have a dozen shows for you. (However, if you haven’t watched Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River yet, pause. Do not pass go. Watch those shows first. They’re both streaming on Netflix, and you will thank me.)

On to the rom-com shows!

 

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Like Romantic Comedies

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

If you love time travel…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

TIMELESS — Pictured: “Timeless” Key Art — (Photo by: NBCUniversal)

Timeless is an action-adventure about a team that travels through time to stop the bad guys from changing history.

But also?

It’s about a soldier and a professor on that team who seem like they might not get along, BUT THEN THEY DO.

Of course, you’ll see that coming from the first episode, but the story (like the history and the science in this show) isn’t relatively so straightforward.

It is, however, lovely—and is wrapped up with the prettiest bow at the end of its two seasons. Watch on Hulu.

 

If you love family drama…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Jane the Virgin is a show about a young woman who’s accidentally artificially inseminated.

That plot might hint at the show’s (and character’s) love of telenovelas and all their messy drama.

And this show is twisty and silly and way over the top with the drama!

But also?

What none of that tells you is how incredibly sweet and moving it is.

The characters in JTV grow and change and make you fall in love every single week.

Watch on Netflix.

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Chesapeake Shores is a Hallmark Channel family drama full of old flames and new loves, and plenty of family issues.

It’s like Parenthood, or This is Us, but less stressful.

Watch on Hallmark Movies Now.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Baker & the Beauty is an adorable show perfect for anyone looking for a quick binge or anyone who loves the famous person who falls in love with an average person trope.

An international superstar meets a baker from Miami, and sparks fly.

Her friends and his family disapprove, but they’re forced to deal with everything that comes with a star-and-civilian romance anyway.

The supporting characters are just as lovely and loveable as the main two characters, and you can’t help rooting for every single one of them (even when they’re at odds with each other).

I still can’t believe this only aired for one season, but it’s still totally worth a watch. Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love young love…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Never Have I Ever is about a teenage girl who wants to be popular and lose her virginity.

At least, that’s how it starts.

But this show from Mindy Kaling is so much more.

It’s about tricky family dynamics, and it’s about a first-generation Indian American girl trying to navigate her family’s culture with American culture and her interests and values.

And it’s about teenagers and falling in love and friendship.

It’s fun, funny, and moving. (And season 2 comes out this summer!)

Watch on Netflix.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has too much punctuation. I know.

But despite the ridiculous name and silly-seeming premise (students at the school where the HSM movies were filmed put on the HSM musical), the show is darling!

Sure, it has plenty of meta, wink-wink-nod-nod references to the High School Musical franchise.

But it also has original characters and just…TRY not to fall in love with these kids!

I watched this with my kids, and we’re excited about the second season, too.

Watch on Disney+.

 

If you love shows about friend groups…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a series (also created by Mindy Kaling; I have a type) inspired by the Hugh Grant movie.

It is not a remake or a reboot, so don’t go in expecting that!

It’s about a group of college friends, some of whom have had or will have romantic relationships with each other.

It’s romantic and funny and, at times, heartbreaking.

I loved it, and I think you might too.

Watch on Hulu.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

New Girl is one of my all-time favorites, which you might have picked up on (since I’ve written about this show before).

But it fits here too!

If you love seeing friendships develop and grow and fracture and heal, this is for you.

If you love outrageous hijinks and hilarious inside jokes, this is for you.

If you love shipping characters you know are meant for each other or watching two unlikely lovers connect, this is for you.

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love small towns…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Hart of Dixie is a funny, emotional show about a New York surgical resident forced to work in a one-doctor practice in small-town Alabama.

It’s about a love triangle—no, wait!

It’s about several love triangles!

It’s about falling in love with characters you thought you hated.

It’s Doc Hollywood as a TV series or the Gilmore Girls in the South. (It’s also about a Black man being mayor of a small town in the South, yet nobody ever mentions race. So head’s up on that.)

Watch on Prime.

 

If you love magic…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Good Witch is another show from the Hallmark Channel, and it’s about a widow who moves to a small town to raise her daughter.

Is she a witch?

Or…not?

The town doesn’t know for sure, but the (handsome) local doctor doesn’t believe it.

And yet, he’s drawn to her anyway.

Of course!

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love musicals…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is one of my very favorite shows, and for so many reasons!

It’s about a young woman who undergoes a medical test and suddenly can hear people’s emotions as if they are singing them.

It’s incredible.

The singing!

The dance numbers!

And don’t forget the friendships and family dynamics that are real and hard and lovely.

But for our purposes here today, I assure you: Zoey finds herself in a love triangle, and you will be hard-pressed to decide which guy to root for!

Rent season one on Prime; watch season two on Hulu.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The soundtrack is exciting.

It doesn’t feature singing performances like Zoey’s does.

Instead, it has the characters lip-sync and dance to songs that kinda-sorta move the story forward.

That story is about how the lives of seemingly unconnected people in Los Angeles intersect over the years.

I loved the story, and some of those connections are undoubtedly romantic!

Watch on Netflix.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

What’s your favorite romantic comedy on TV?

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter!

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies MomAdvice.com

 

 

Don’t miss these other great ideas:

 

 

 

Hilarious Comedies to Watch with your Spouse

 

 

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17 Movies From the 90's You Must Share With Your Kids

90’s Movies to Watch with Your Kids

 

 

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TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

 

When I set out to write this post for you, I made a long list of all the best marriages I’ve seen on television.

Of course, you can probably guess the top couples from tv on my list:

Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

Ben and Leslie from Parks & Recreation

Adam and Kristina from Parenthood

After all, these are the couples on everyone’s #MarriageGoals list!

As I expanded my memory and my list, though, I realized that I’d written this post before!

Yep, that’s right. Over on my blog, you can read all about my favorite TV marriages and why I think they’re great. https://marycarver.com/2019/02/best-marriages-tv-makes-great/

So today, I’m going to talk about something else.

Today, I’m thinking about the best relationships in the shows I’ve watched recently—including friendships and family relationships, not just marriages—the ones that give me #RelationshipGoals.

 

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ted Lasso #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Ted Lasso and Coach Beard

If you haven’t watched TED LASSO on Apple TV+, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.

This truly is the show we need in 2020.

It’s a sitcom about an American college football coach hired to coach a professional soccer team in the U.K., and it is the most delightful, heartwarming, hilarious show I’ve watched in years.

One of the best parts of the show is the deep, authentic friendship between Ted, the main character, and his assistant coach, Coach Beard.

The two men have such a complete understanding of one another that they can frequently speak in their version of shorthand, uttering just a few words to get a complicated point across.

They also support each other, completely and unconditionally, and it’s beautiful. 

 

Psych #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Shawn and Gus

Before the new PSYCH movie came out this summer, I rewatched the whole series.

And one thing that struck me this time around was how completely on board Gus was for all of Shawn’s shenanigans.

Sure, their vastly different personalities mean they approach life differently.

But rather than one roping the other into trouble, they really are—for the most part—equal partners in crime (or, crime-solving).

I also appreciated that when Shawn went too far, Gus called him on it.

True friends speak the truth, even when it’s hard or when they normally go along with things.

 

One Day at a Time #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Penelope and Schneider

I actually adore every relationship in the new ONE DAY AT A TIME, but Penelope and Schneider are my favorite.

Over the seasons, they’ve developed such a deep friendship, partly bonding over their personal struggles and hard-earned through some serious conflicts.

Though they come from totally different backgrounds, they have found common ground, and it’s created an affection and a bond they don’t seem to have with anyone else.

 

Sweet Magnolias #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue

The ladies of SWEET MAGNOLIAS have been friends since childhood, and it shows.

They know each other at a level we don’t always see in newer friendships, and that allows them to accept and encourage one another so completely in everything they face.

It also allows them to be honest, but loving, with each other—a gift to any woman living life and navigating decisions in career and relationships like they are!

 

Holly Hobbie #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Holly Hobbie’s Parents

If you haven’t watched HOLLY HOBBIE on Hulu, I do recommend it!

Sure, it’s a show made for and aimed at tweens like my daughters, but I loved it just as much as they did!

And while the show focuses on the children, I couldn’t help but be impressed and inspired by the parents in this show.

The mom is the breadwinner of the Hobbie family, while the dad takes on more of the daily parenting duties—and I am here for that.

They were supportive of one another and presented a [mostly] united front to their kids, and I love the way the show avoided stereotypes of dumb parents or needlessly contentious spouses.

 

Cobra Kai #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Daniel and Amanda LaRusso

I wasn’t sure about this one.

Every single main character of COBRA KAI, the Karate Kid reboot series, seems determined to make the worst decisions possible.

But while I do not love Daniel nearly as much as I did in the 80s, I do love his wife and her refusal to put up with his crap.

When he acts like a child, she rolls her eyes and gently points out a more reasonable approach to parenting, teaching, work, and his relationship with Johnny Lawrence.

And when his feud blows up their life, she draws a hard line to protect her family and restore some sanity.

At the same time, the series shows them working together as an excellent sales team at their car dealership, working through disagreements in a realistic way, and connecting like actual adults who love each other.

It’s the most refreshing part of this show.

 

Madam Secretary #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Elizabeth and Henry McCord

I will never miss an opportunity to shout the praises of MADAM SECRETARY, including the marriage portrayed by the main characters.

Elizabeth and Henry are two high-powered professional in an intense industry (politics!), but never do they neglect care for their relationship and for each other.

Even when they disagree at work or about decisions they must make, they treat one another with respect and genuine affection.

Almost every single episode of this show (which, though it ended last year, I finished watching this year so it counts) finds the McCords in their bedroom, getting ready for the day or unwinding before bed or even in bed together.

Like a normal adult person love story. (I’d like to stop feeling the need to classify fictional characters as “normal adult people,” but let’s be honest: So many TV characters are ridiculous and unrealistic and childish! That can be fun to watch, but I like the normal adult people, too.)

 

Girl Meets World #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Cory and Topanga Matthews

Most of us know Cory and Topanga as childhood sweethearts from BOY MEETS WORLD in the 90s.

I do, too, but I was re-introduced to them when my girls watched the reboot, GIRL MEETS WORLD.

The new show is just as cheesy and “Disney-fied” as the original, but also?

It’s sincere and heartfelt and lovely at times.

And the way grown-up Cory and Topanga appreciate each other as professionals, present a united front as parents, speak kindly to and about each other, joke and tease and play off each other—well, I loved it.

 

Babysitter Club #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

The Girls of The Baby-Sitters Club

I mean…could they BE any cuter?

The girls in the new version of THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB aren’t perfect.

They are awkward, they make mistakes, they feel and act insecure and jealous, and they are just as different in personality as Ann M. Martin intended.

But, they are also sweet and kind and normal kids who make the choice to develop these friendships they then rely on and nurture and protect.

It’s adorable and lovely, and those are the kind of friends I want for my girls—and myself!

 

The Unicorn #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Every relationship in The Unicorn

Don’t sleep on this fairly new CBS sitcom.

THE UNICORN is about a friend group of three couples after one of the wives dies.

The way the two couples show their love for both their widowed friend and his late wife is beautiful.

When you think of the phrase, “it takes a village,” this is what you’re probably imagining.

The three families swap carpooling duties and share meals; the kids play together (and sometimes don’t); the married couples encourage their newly single friend to begin dating but balance out their silly advice with true understanding and love.

Again, this is a show (surprisingly) about actual adults, acting like adults.

And the best kind of adults, because they’re just such incredible friends.

To be clear, they’re not perfect and their relationships aren’t conflict-free (that would be a boring show).

But they work through things and come out stronger and more loving in the end, and I think we need more of that.

 

 

So, that’s my updated #RelationshipGoals list! Who’s on YOUR list of best TV relationships?

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#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

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