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Tips for the best binge watching experience + 11 shows you need to watch

This coming Friday marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. If you're young and hip, that means more socially acceptable time for cocktails — yay for youthfulness! — but for the rest of us, that just means extra darkness. It’s a nice contrast from the typical gray days of the PNW this time of year if you ask me. 👋 If you don’t have holiday party plans this weekend, here are my best tips for binge watching your way through 48 hours.

The setting

I much prefer binge watching on a couch to chair or a bed. Our is this one from Crate & Barrel, which is pretty large and can comfortably fit three to four dogs and a sprawled out human.

Dog sitting my parents’ dogs plus our two four legged friends

Dog sitting my parents’ dogs plus our two four legged friends

We have new-ish vertical blinds since the dogs destroyed our old ones (shown in the pic above) while trying to terrify our kind neighborhood mailman. It gets so dark and cozy in our living room now that we don’t have gaping, dog head sized holes in the corners! I like to turn on the electric fireplace and cuddle under a blanket.

You’re the Worst. No, not you. It’s the name of the show I’m watching.

You’re the Worst. No, not you. It’s the name of the show I’m watching.

Necessities

Here are a few must-haves for optimizing your binge watching experience.

Best pajamas ever for binge watching TV

Soft, comfy, and classy looking enough to fool you into thinking you’re not a slob after hour four of Billions.

Buy
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Luxurious and the perfect weight. Available in Costco for about half the price if you can find it in store.

Buy

Accessories

A few add ons to upgrade your experience.

Accessories+for+binge+watching

Sometimes you binge a show that your spouse is more into than you are (love you boo), and a puzzle is your saving grace. Sci-fi shows be damned!

Buy
Accessories+for+binge+watching

Puppy cuddles! Barks & Thor are not currently for sale (unless they break the new blinds — I kid!). If you don’t have a pup, it might be time to get one!

Snacks

It’s v. v. very important to keep your energy up, especially if you’re watching a thriller.

Snacks for binge watching TV

This is my current go-to bev. Most days, it’s a mocktail, but occasionally I like to add a splash of tequila (stop judging me, Charlene).

Put ice in your glass, fill up one third of the way with pomegranate juice, top with Italian soda (Trader Joe’s lemon is my favorite), squeeze a wedge of lime, and then a splash of tequila if you’re feeling feisty. Enjoy!

Snacks for binge watching TV

I like to make a snacky plate for watching TV. A little cheese, some crackers, a few nuts, olives, and something sweet is a perfect combo. The goat cheese selection at Trader Joe’s is my favorite and you can’t lose if you pick up some dolma while you’re there.

Other fantastic options: pita and hummus, chips and salsa, apples and peanut butter

Shows

Here are my favorite binge-worthy shows. Some are current with recent or upcoming seasons. Some are oldies but goodies.

What to watch on Prime Video

Hilarious, endearing, and occasionally naughty. We’re saving season 2 for our next road trip.

WATCH HERE

Delightful even if slightly predictable, I was sad when this three part series concluded.

WATCH HERE

This fast paced and thrilling show will make you have very confusing feelings about Jim Halpert.

WATCH HERE

What to watch on Netflix

I’m typically not a fan of sci-fi, but I can watch this show puzzle free.

WATCH HERE

Hilarious and absolutely absurd. I worry in my most dramatic moments that I’m Moira.

WATCH HERE

Super weird! Can’t wait for season 2, which was filmed in my public library (RIP).

WATCH HERE

Shows on Hulu

Holy geeze oh petes! Addicting, super freaky, and a little mentally draining. Take a Golden Girls break after each episode.

WATCH HERE

Supe supe super inappropriate, so if you’re reading this Mamaw: please stick to Parenthood.

WATCH HERE

I had a teensy bit of an emotional breakdown when this series ended (sorry, hubby). Worth a watch or a rewatch.

WATCH HERE

Shows on Premium Channels

I dislike all of the main characters of this show, but I can’t walk away. We have cheap access to Showtime thanks to this student deal through Spotify, but for everyone else here’s a free week trial.

I am only mildly embarrassed to admit that I watched 90% of this show one Sunday. Here’s a free week trial to HBO. I will happily pay for a (short-term) subscription when season 2 comes out.

How does your garden grow?

I've killed every green thing that's come my way for years. Over watering, no watering. Do I have some deep-seeded (see what I did there?) emotional problems?

When I was a junior in college, I managed to keep a flower that my grandmother gave me alive for an entire school year. I watered it lovingly and dutifully, and it thrived. But I didn't realize that I'd left it in my bedroom window at my sorority house until I was already home for the summer, and I didn't think it was worth making the six hour roundtrip to rescue a plant. 

I've done the impossible: kill succulents. Houseplants labeled low maintenance have died from merely being in my presence. 

My husband made me some beautiful raised garden beds the first summer after we bought our home. Things started out well, but then all of my tomatoes split and my cucumbers turned a strange shade of yellow. Slugs and bugs invaded and my houseplants gave up the ghost. I let the beds become weed farms. 

Then last summer while at the farmers market, I found myself drawn to a fig plant. I brought it home and a few short weeks later, it was struggling a little bit. My husband, bless him, suggested that I set an alarm on my phone to remember to water stuff. So naturally I rolled my eyes at him, but then set an alarm on my phone later. The fig, a lemon tree, and the newly acquired houseplants survived the winter so I decided it was time to try to give the garden a go again.

I'm so glad that I did! We're in the throes of summer and my garden is looking mighty good this year if I do say so myself. I water my garden twice a week when my alarm goes off. The cucumbers are taking over the space like the gosh darned blob. We've even had five toppings heavy salads from the lettuce I've lovingly tended!

I started some seeds yesterday for fall harvest. I labeled them (better than previous attempts) and even included the approximate harvest dates. I'm feeling a little Martha Stewart meets Little House at the moment! 

Planting seeds in egg carton | How does your garden grow? | sunshine shed | Making Stuff Monday

I planted more mesclun lettuce, some marigolds to help keep critters away, and beets. Now I just need to convince my husband to build me a few more raised garden beds!

What's your best gardening tip?