Christmas, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Life, NaBloPoMo

November Blog Wrap Up

Well, I (sort of) made it: 30 posts in 30 days (well, more like 27 posts in 30 days, but who’s counting???)

So on this very last day, I leave you with a summary of the month, that didn’t make the blog.

The Elf Is Back on the Shelf

He arrived the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has already been into lots of mischief. I have a love/hate relationship with this Elf. I love being creative and making him do fun things every day, however, I hate when my “Move Elf” alarm goes off every night (and occasionally after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch!). One BIG benefit of the Elf is that Little Mister pops out of bed each morning to look for him (instead of waxing on each morning for 20 minutes how it’s not fair that he has to get up and go to school), and is dressed, fed, and teeth brushed 20 minutes before we need to leave for school.

I leave with this Elf Inspo from years past (our elf was masked in 2020 because, well, COVID):

We Decorated for Christmas

In lieu of sharing my entire living room Winter Wonderland, I leave you with one of my favorite nooks: My Ode to Boston.

I Have Completely Abandoned Any Thoughts of Eating Healthy

Who wants salad when it gets cold? Not this girl. And who can stay on track with so many reasons to have a cocktail, the multitude of cheeseboards I’ll encounter, and the ease of ordering take out instead of cooking because truly, online shopping is exhausting.

This is my favorite fried chicken sandwich from Mikro Depot, who also happens to have the very best french fries in the universe.

I mean, COME ON.

We Have Officially Become a White Board Family

I never imagined I’d succumb to the white board, let alone hang it on my refrigerator; but, here we are. Even with one kid and barely any type of sports or extra curricular activities, our white board is filled with appointments, reminders to return library books, and notes when we are eating the school lunch (LOVE the days I don’t have to make a lunch). My favorite part of the white board is when it’s gleaming – all empty and clean – and awaiting it’s monthly mark up.

I’m the Note in the Lunchbox Mom

It’s me, the Mom putting notes in his lunchbox or snack bag every day. Sometimes I wish him a good day, sometimes I draw a silly picture, and other times, I make Mom jokes:

Made that one up myself!

I Tried to Enjoy the Small Things

Whether it was reading an extra book in bed with Little Mister (and not writing a blog post for the night), or keeping the dogs outside a little extra on the morning walk to enjoy the sunrise, I tried to be present and in the moment. I think that’s my New Year’s resolution this year: be more present. Make more time for what’s important. And to clean out the hall closet.

This beautiful scene is literally in my backyard.

If you read even one of these posts this month, I hope you laughed a little, found a new favorite thing for yourself, or maybe tried a new recipe. Cheers to the end of blog month – and best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Christmas, favorite things, NaBloPoMo, shopping

2021 kk’s Favorite Things

In years past, my Favorite Things list was sparkly, colorful and fun! After the last two years of working at home, entertaining ourselves at home and not really leaving home, my Favorite Things have become a little more…practical for life at home.

It seems I could also call this edition of Favorite Things: “L.L. Bean, Take all My Money” or “Cozy Clothes That Hide Muffin Tops”.

All photos are from retailers’ websites.

L.L. Bean Sweater Fleece Coat

This Sweater Fleece Coat may look familiar as being on last year’s list because it WAS. And I LOVE IT SO MUCH that I want another one, this time in gray. It is warm, the perfect length to wear with leggings, and doubles as a coat on not-too-freezing days or afternoons by the fire pit. BONUS: it comes in Petite!

L.L. Bean Scotch Plaid Flannel Hoodie

We all need to channel our inner Eddie Vedder. I love the pattern on this plaid, more ladylike than lumberjack. And I am a big fan of the full zip…plus it has pockets!

L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Hooded Jacket

This is the type of jacket I’m always looking to put on, but I don’t yet own. Lightweight yet warm, and easy jacket to wear walking the dogs or running errands. I love this Foggy Blue color – and so does everyone else, apparently – since it’s backordered until February!

L.L. Bean Stretch RipStop Pull On Fleece Lined Pants

Fleece-lined pants. That is all.

Ok, enough L.L. Bean…

Cuddl Duds® Flannel Sheets

Is there anything worse than climbing into a bed with cold sheets in the winter??? I LOVE flannel sheets. Pair them with my electric blanket and I am in heaven. I have a problem with buying only gray clothing, so of course I love this gray plaid pattern. Bonus: these sheets are crazy on sale with Black Friday deals this weekend.

LOFT Relaxed Sweater

The other day I went to put on a sweater and I realized that I only have like 2 sweaters. It’s hard to find a warm sweater that isn’t so thick it makes you look like the Michelin Man. This sweater is thin enough to not add bulk, and loose enough to wear something underneath if it’s really cold. I love the soft blue color.

LOFT Stitchy Scarf

Yes, I am going to knit my own scarf; however, in the meantime, I need to keep my neck warm! I already have this scarf in the light pink color and it is so soft and warm that I put it on to go out and ended up wearing it inside and all day. You will not be disappointed.

Spanx Velvet Leggings

Spanx has the best leggings. I love my camo pair. These velvet leggings are a little dressier. They used to come in a beautiful cranberry color but it has already sold out! But you can’t go wrong with classic black. These tend to run small, I usually size up!

Rothy’s Loafer in Camo

I have two pairs of Rothy’s (both sneakers) and I am in love with them. You will not find a more comfortable shoe, especially one you can wear without any socks. The loafer is a little dressier, and not only am I a sucker for camo, but check out that orange stripe on the back. Perfect all around.

Mer-Sea Catalina Sweater

I already have this sweater in 2 colors, but honestly, I love it so much I’d take a third! It’s lightweight and you could wear it anywhere. It’s great for traveling because it comfortable and roomy. And today (Saturday) is the last day of the Black Friday sale where it’s 30% off! Only time a year it goes on sale!

No matter how you shop – in person or online – be safe and have fun! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

food, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

2021 Thanksgiving in Photos

Happy turkey day!

This was our Thanksgiving craft this year!

Well, in true KK fashion, things could NOT go smoothly. We started the morning with a non-working oven, but at 11am Mr. KK pulled through and replaced the lighter so we were back in business!

My oven. Taken apart. Just a mere 30 minutes before I had to preheat for the bird.

Did anyone else wake up at 5:13am and plan out the timing of the day? And then follow that up with timers set as reminders? No? Just me?

Welcome to Crazy Town, folks. Population: 1.

So once the oven was fixed we could get this day started! Not pictured below are the 1,000,000 cocktails I had.

Homemade pasta from the chef! We always look forward to the first course!

My dad – MY DAD – made stuffed artichokes this year. They were delicious! He’s hired!

This year we once again decided to fry a turkey. Oh, except the pan we fry in had holes in it (which we discovered once Mr. KK put the oil in it). And we didn’t have another pan big enough to hold the oil and the turkey so we had to improvise. Broken-down fried turkey parts it is! And they were delicious!

Our oven turkey breast – came out perfect!

We added a few new dishes to our repertoire this year:

Ina Garten’s Leek and Mushroom bread pudding replaced our usual stuffing. Highly recommend!

For appetizers, I made hummus that I put out with pita chips and veggies. Creamy and delicious!

I am so thankful that we were able to be together, and that we’re all healthy. 2021 was a weird year, and here’s hoping to be back to “normal” in 2022.

Cheers, y’all!

cocktails, NaBloPoMo

Your New Go-To Cocktail

If you don’t like Aperol, you might want to skip this blog post. Because today’s post is an ode to the orangey bitter yumminess of Aperol. Oh Aperol, I love you in a spritz in the summer, and I love you in this deliciously amazing cocktail that goes down like water (like WATER, people! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

Intro to Aperol Cocktail

Serves 1

Served up in my vintage coupe glass I found at a flea market this summer!


  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Twist of orange peel, for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass (I prefer a coupe glass). Twist the orange peel over the drink to release its oils, then drop it into the glass. (Full disclosure, I never garnish with an orange peel).


Life, NaBloPoMo

The New(ish) 2021 Me

I started blogging everyday for 30 days during the month of November a bunch of years ago. There was a real thing called “NaBloPoMo” (in case you see me mention it), which is short for “National Blog Posting Month”. They have since done away with this, but I kept up the tradition because 1. I love to write and 2. Having a goal made me accountable.

Every year I stressed myself out to meet the goal of writing a blog post every single day. Weekends we were busy? Check. Days when I was consumed with work and wanted to go to sleep at 8pm? Check. Nights when we’d go out and not get home until after 10pm? Check.

It was exhausting. But I did, because I held myself to the high standards and expectations that I HAD to do it, because I said I would do it. Even when Little Mister was just 3 weeks old, I blogged every night. There a photo of me in his nursery, typing away on my computer while Mr. KK rocked him to sleep.

I don’t know if its the residual pandemic effect, or that I’m just plain tired, but this is the first year I’ve ever missed a day blogging. In fact, I’ve missed TWO days so far this month, which is unheard of.

But last night, I just didn’t have it in me. I had a jam-packed day that started with waking at 5:30am, showering and getting dressed, sneaking in Christmas shopping at Target before picking Little Mister up from his sleepover at my parents’ house, then off to his first COVID vaccine, back home to fold laundry, then lunch and shopping with a friend, then back home for dinner and a movie – our first official viewing of The Grinch (my favorite!) this holiday season – before heading off to bed.

Last year me would NOT be cool, but 2021 me wanted to be present, watch a movie with Little Mister, and not stress herself out. And you know what? I’m okay with it.

I write these blog posts for myself; and while I hope someone reads them and maybe gets a chuckle, I want to capture these moments. Because who knows…maybe I will write that novel one day and these blog posts will prove to be very beneficial in remembering my life (since I may be in my eighties by the time I get my act together).

My early New Year’s resolution is: to be more present, and let things go. Focus on the things I want to do, that make me happy; and not stress about the things I can’t do, or can’t control.

This has proven to be especially hard when it comes to work. I am used to a life of working and working until all hours to get things finished, so much so, that it would take over my life. I have made a conscious effort to “shut down” at dinnertime, to spend time with my family, help Little Mister with homework, read together and get myself ready for the day ahead. My boss suggested that I remove my work email from my phone, but I’m not quite ready to get that crazy. I still need to know what’s going on.

This time of year, especially, requires all sorts of attention. From scouting Black Friday deals, planning out holiday meals, mentally listing out everyone’s gifts (and then shopping for them) and making sure we remember to participate in pajama day at school, bring in canned goods for the food drive and do my “Room Parent” duties and organize a class gift for the teacher – all while making sure we have our favorite sweatshirt clean for school, a little note goes into the lunch box every day and the dog gets a walk at least once a day.

I have 9 days left of blogging every day, and I plan to do my best. I have a few blog topics brewing and hope to be able to share them all. And if I can’t, I’m okay with that (and hopefully you are, too).

Kids will be kids, Life, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo

How Kids Drive Their Parents Crazy

This is a normal conversation in our house:

ME: “Little Mister, what would you like for breakfast? Waffle? Banana? Coffee cake?”

LITTLE MISTER: “I don’t want breakfast.”

(15 minutes later, as we’re getting ready to leave for school…)

LITTLE MISTER: (in tears) “Why didn’t you give me breakfast?”

ME: “You said you didn’t want breakfast!”

LITTLE MISTER: (wailing) “But I’m hungry! I can’t believe you’re not going to give me breakfast. You’re making me so sad right now!”

True story.

This is not an isolated incident. There was the time Little Mister asked for noodles for dinner, and when we gave him noodles, he freaked out because he got what he wanted for dinner.

Or the time I gave him his red sweatshirt and he said he wanted to wear his camo sweatshirt, and he cried the entire way to school because I wouldn’t let him wear his red sweatshirt.

No joke, kids can make you feel like you’re losing your ever-loving mind sometimes!

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

Apparently, you can forget about using reverse psychology, because that doesn’t work. Case in point:

One night, when Little Mister’s ears were apparently not working, we told him that he lost his screen time. “Well, guess what?” he said. “I didn’t want to watch anything anyway. I wanted to read.”

How, exactly, am I supposed to respond to that?

cooking, food, NaBloPoMo, recipe

It’s Comfort Food Season!

One of the best things about fall – besides dry and crisp weather for amazing hair days – is the comfort food. 

When the leaves start changing, so do my cravings. After six months of salad, I’m ready for warm comforting meals.

The 3 Best Soups and Chilis for Cold Weather

1. Chili

Photo from The Wholesome Dish

What constitutes a good chili can spark many debates: beans or no beans, thick or juicy, and – of course – spice level.

I have made many variations of chili over the years, many times never following a recipe and just adding what feels right to the pot. And guess what? No matter what you throw in, chili usually ends up tasting halfway decent.

Last year I came across this chili recipe. It is simple, doesn’t take all day to cook, and is really, really good.

I share with you: The Best Classic Chili Recipe, courtesy of The Wholesome Dish.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef (NOTE: I use a package of meatloaf mix here, a mix of beef, pork and veal and it adds another layer of meaty flavor)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce


  • Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir until well combined.
  • Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with all of your favorite chili toppings! I tend to put out cheese, sliced fresh jalapenos, avocado and sour cream.

2. Meat Soup

With a sexy name like “meat soup”, how could you not want to try this recipe? This recipe is from Mr. KK’s family, and is a staple during the winter. This soup brings Mr. KK back to his childhood, sitting at his grandmothers kitchen table, and – later in life – at home with his parents on a Sunday afternoon. His grandmother used to make it on the stove, but it is just as delicious (and easier!) in the Instant Pot.

And, being a family recipe, there are ZERO measurements for anything! The best kind of recipes!


  • Carrots (I use about 4-5 good sized carrots, cut into discs or half moons uniform in size)
  • Onion (The original stovetop recipe used just one full onion peeled and added to the pot; I chop an onion for the Instant Pot recipe)
  • Celery (About 2-3 stalks, diced)
  • Beef shank (The meatier, the better. If it has a LOT of meat on it, you can just use one; if it has too little meat on it, use multiple)
  • Beef stock (I use unsalted, and you use enough to cover the ingredients; you could also use a mixture of beef stock and water if regular stock is too salty)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (an actual measurement from the original recipe!)
  • “Any seasoning you may want” (I will add salt because I use unsalted stock; you can also use other dried seasonings, however, I tend to skip them and just go with gold old kosher salt)


  • Put carrots, onion, celery in the Instant Pot.
  • Put your beef shank(s) on top of the veggies.
  • Add about 6-8 cups of liquid: either the beef stock or beef stock/water combo to cover the veggies and meat.
  • Add the can of tomato sauce.
  • Add your seasonings (just salt for me!).
  • Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Manually release steamer.
  • When it’s safe, open the lid of the pot and remove the beef shanks (be careful, they may fall apart a little bit).
  • Shred the meat from the shanks into bite sized pieces and put back into the Instant Pot.

Now, you can absolutely eat this soup just like this. However, being Italian (and never truly full), we add a little pasta to our soup for make it more of a meal. The preferred pasta for this soup is: Acini de Pepe, which are small little pearls of pasta. You can find it as most grocery stores or Italian food stores.

If you are using pasta, cook the pasta separately from the soup according to the package. When cooked, add the desired amount of pasta to a shallow bowl and ladle the meat soup over it.

I then add a TON of grated parmesan cheese on top, which brings a more salty and nutty flavor to the soup.

3. Ina Garten’s Italian White Beans and Escarole

Image from The Food Network

Oh, Ina, how I love you. My girl crush is REAL.

My grandmother used to make escarole and beans (or, as we Italians pronounce it: sche-daul and beans). In her version, she put cut up pepperoni, which added a nice kick.

Ina’s version is meat free but full of flavor (likely from the 2 tons of cheese you put in). NOTE: this recipe is Ina Garten’s…I am not taking credit!


  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans white cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 large head escarole, leaves separated, trimmed, washed and spun dry
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Drain the beans, rinse and drain again.
  • In large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat (I use my Le Creuset which works perfectly).
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant but not browned (SO important).
  • Add the chicken stock, the drained beans, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • With a potato masher or large spoon, mash half of the beans in the pot and simmer uncovered another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, stack escarole leaves on top of each other and cut them crosswise into 3-inch-wide strips.
  • Add the greens to the pot, cover, and steam the greens over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender, stirring the greens into the beans about halfway through.
  • Off the heat, stir in the pecorino and parmesan cheeses, taste for seasonings and serve warm.

I can’t tell you how creamy, garlicky and delicious this dish is. It would go well with some crusty Italian bread for sure.

Happy warm and comfy eating!

Christmas, cooking, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Entertaining, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Why Am I So Behind This Year?

Yesterday, a family member asked me what they could bring to Thanksgiving. My first thought was like, ‘I’m not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet,’ and then my second thought was, ‘Wait…Thanksgiving is next week?’

Next week!

Last year at this time, the house was already decorated for Christmas, but last year was “Because, COVID” so pretty much anything was acceptable. This year, Mr. KK has given me the firm “not until after Thanksgiving” rule for Christmas decorating. So I patiently wait until Black Friday to change over our house…

Do I feel so behind this year because last year I was so ahead of the game? Did not leaving the house and having zero social life mean that I was able to kick start the holiday season? I feel like I had more gifts bought, more meals planned, more holly jolly going on.

Next weekend our little elf on a shelf arrives, his annual journey down from the North Pole, the weekend after Thanksgiving, with a box filled with goodies to kick off the holiday season: Christmas jammies, a new Christmas book, and a Christmas ornament. And, of course, the start of Elf Shenanigans for the season.

And don’t get me started on holiday shopping. I have about 3 gifts purchased, and zero ideas for everyone else.

It’s not only the feeling of being behind on the holidays, it’s the feeling of being behind on life in general. Was I always trying to juggle this much? Did I always feel this overwhelmed? Was preparing dinner every night this much of a dreaded task? (Likely, yes.) When did we start wearing all of these clothes that needed washing? How are we dirtying so many dishes? Why is the countertop constantly covered in piles of mail and ‘stuff’? And why can I never find the time to clean up/put away/wash anything?

If I was waking up early to overthink my life before, it’s in overdrive now. Mentally making lists for gifts, recipe planning for holidays, thinking through an email to send for work, remembering to send in Little Mister’s library book on Tuesdays, and his homework on Fridays.

It’s apparently time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, a mere week away; appetizers, side dishes, desserts…holiday cocktail! And right after turkey day, turn around and do it all again for Christmas…and including a mischievous elf, a man in a big red suit, and FINALLY…Christmas music.

parenting, Vaccine

The Flu Shot Fiasco

Admittedly, I don’t remember a tremendous amount from my childhood. Not for any reason other than that I think I have a horrible memory. If I look at photos I will sort of remember things – like a trip to Disney, swimming in our pool or our weeks at a beach house down the shore.

But I definitely do not remember getting vaccines. I know I got them, and I’m sure I was not happy, but that’s about it. And I’m hoping it’s the same for Little Mister, who is apparently traumatized by vaccines.

Case in point: this year’s flu shot.

This was our 7th year getting the flu shot, FYI. This was not our first flu shot rodeo.

Our pediatrician happened to hold a flu clinic on Columbus Day Weekend, and Mr. KK and I were away overnight visiting family. Little Mister’s Grandmother was gracious enough to agree to bring him to his appointment.

We are not big “we’ll just surprise him!” parents, so we talked with Grandma about sharing what they were doing on Sunday, and have a plan of attack for the day. Something like, “We’re going to go, you’re going to be brave, we’ll hold hands, you’ll get your shot, and then we’ll go for donuts!”

About 20 minutes after Little Mister’s scheduled appointment – just as we were packing up the car to drive home from New York – we get a FaceTime call from Grandma.

And Grandma was all business when we answered: “It is NOT going well.”

Apparently, Little Mister had worked himself up so much, that he was very nervous and scared it was going to hurt. He was past the point of reasoning. They were in the room with the nurse for about 15 minutes. No shot. 

Knowing it was a lost cause, we told them to just go home. Do not pass go, do not get any donuts.

From the backseat, our Little Mister pipes up in a perfectly voice to tells m: “Mom, I didn’t the shot.”

Two weeks later, we’re back at the clinic. This time, it’s just me and Little Mister.

We stand in line. 

We’re brought back into an exam room.

The nice nurse looks at our chart, then looks at Little Mister and says: “I remember you! You were here with your Grandma!” 

“That’s right!” I told her. “But this time, we’re not leaving without the vaccine.”

During the next 35 minutes the Little Mister:

  • refused to take his arm out of his fleece
  • cried
  • tried to reason with me
  • tried to negotiate with me
  • cried some more
  • wailed like I was shoving toothpicks under his fingernails
  • told me I was being unfair
  • told me he wasn’t happy with me
  • explained that he was scared
  • cried
  • shared that he wouldn’t go near the flu so he didn’t need the shot
  • asked if they gave donuts to kids who cried
  • and cried some more (at this point it could have been tears about the donuts)

When we finally got his arm out of his fleece, the nurse acted quickly. She rubbed the alcohol pad on his arm, I hugged him from behind and she stuck the needle in. We were like two CDC superheroes working together to keep kids healthy.

Little Mister was crying through all of our heroics, and after the needle went in and the nurse said, “We’re done!”, he looked at her and screamed, “THAT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL!”

Which only made him cry harder.

COVID-19 vaccine…here we come.

Entertainment, TV

Our Netflix* Favorites for 2021

*And other streaming platforms.

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is the one when Elaine is obsessed with the poppyseed muffins, and eats one every day. She’s working for J. Peterman and has the chance to go to Kenya to shoot the next catalog. But she fails her drug test because of the poppyseed muffins. When she goes to retake the urine test, she switches her urine for that of an older lady. When the results come back, Peterman tells her, “Elaine, you have the metabolism of an elderly woman.”

As I was making my list of series and movies that I’ve watched in the last year, I kept hearing Peterman’s voice in my head say, “KK, you have the movie taste of a 13 year old girl.”

What I watched in 2021

I can’t title this “my favorite shows” because I found myself watching cheesy movies to pass the time when Mr. KK was working late and I was bored. Some things I just watched because they were there.

We didn’t watch many shows in full this year. In fact, I should probably call this “Series We Started and Fell Asleep Watching” because that list is long: Queen’s Gambit, Mare of Easttown, Virgin River…

Also, this list would be longer if it included kids movies and series, which seem to overtake every TV in our house these days.

Netflix* Movies and Series I Watched Alone

*Mostly Netflix, but other streaming services too.

  • Maid. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this one.
  • Firefly Lane. Really liked this despite the fact that 1. it stars Katherine Heigl who is not one of my favorites, and 2. it’s based on a book that I hadn’t read, and you know how the book is always better than the movie…
  • Emily in Paris. Cheesy, but beautiful scenery and food. Plus, I love watching Millennials live life with a constant stream of cash that comes from jobs we know pay peanuts.
  • To All the Boys Always and Forever and Kissing Booth 3. When we’ve watched the first two, and you know the third will be bad, but c’mon, you have to finish the trilogy…
  • He’s All That. Teen angst is so addicting! And for those who want that “Kiss Me” song stuck in their heads for two weeks.
  • Yes Day. I watched this because I needed to see if it was something we could show Little Mister to break the animation cycle. It’s not the right movie for him right now, and I didn’t want to give him any ideas. Overall, it was a fine movie.
  • Afterlife of the Party. Cheesy, not particularly good, but it worked to have on while surfing on my phone and Mr. KK worked away in the office.
  • LoveHard. Again, slightly entertaining but you can take it or leave it.
  • Younger. (Season 7) Though if I’m being honest, I rewatched the first 6 seasons of the show in anticipation of Season 7. I don’t know what it is about this show, but I truly loved it. The characters (#TeamJosh!) and the premise that when you’re 40, no one wants to hire you (it’s funny because it’s true), Sutton Fosters awkward but lovable self, AND it’s the show that made me LIKE Debi Mazar. (Paramount Plus)

Hulu House Favorites

Perhaps our favorite series of the year, was one that used to be on TV a long time ago: Life in Pieces.

I can’t say enough about how awesome this show is. The characters are spot on, the writing is funny and quick, and the fact that a 30 minute show is broken up into 4 short segments (one for each family) is game changing (sometimes we only have 15 minutes left in us at the end of the night, just enough time for a few laughs before bed). I was so sad when this show ended for us.

The Mindy Project. We only recently started watching this, mainly because I’m such a Mindy Kaling fan. We’re still in Season 1, but I can see us watching this one all the way through. Bonus: seeing all of our favorite alum from The Office making appearances.

HBO Max for the Win in 2021

Most of our jointly-watched shows this year were on HBO Max, who really brought it when it came to irreverent, funny and thrilling shows.

  • Love Life. I watched this one without Mr. KK because I have a girl crush on Anna Kendrick (Hello, Pitch Perfect!). I didn’t know what to expect, but was happily surprised. Looking forward to Season 2.
  • The Sinner. It’s weird and shocking and addicting all rolled into one. Season 1 was definitely the standout for us, but the others were good too. Bravo, Bill Pullman, for playing the strangest character in 2021.
  • The Undoing. I pushed through my dislike of Hugh Grant for this one, because the story was gripping. For me to watch the whole series with not one but TWO main characters that I don’t love speaks volumes for how good the show is.
  • Flight Attendant. I wanted to watch this one because I had read the book (which was great!). The show was pretty good, too. It definitely strayed a bit from the book, but in order to make it a series (and have enough content for an apparent Season 2), it had to.
  • White Lotus. At least once an episode one of us said, “This show is so weird.” And it was weird, but in a good way. Not a lot happens in this show as far as a plot goes, but the characters have a lot of personal growth throughout the episodes. Also, I have never witnessed a human pooping into luggage before, so there’s that.
  • The Other Two. OMG, this show. We LOL’ed during every episode when we were cringing with awkwardness! Molly Shannon must be HBO’s actress du jour, as she was also the crazy mother in White Lotus. She has a more prominent role in The Other Two, which follows a family of two washed up child actors who have a younger brother who reaches Justin Bieberesque fame overnight from a YouTube video.

As we approach mid November, I’m excited for platforms to release their Christmas movies (can we please bring The Grinch back?), plus new shows (Sex And The City’s “And Just Like That”) and new seasons and episodes (Emily in Paris, Season 2). I still haven’t watched The Morning Show (HBO) or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Not to mention all the movies coming out now: Red Notice and the new James Bond.

What else should I be watching?