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Netflix Originals: What’s the deal?

Netflix Originals: What’s the deal?

If you’ve got Netflix, you’ve probably seen more and more Netflix Originals popping up in your menus. However do you know what these ‘originals’ are all about? Their originals are just that…original series that are basically only available on Netflix. These range from shows created and driven by Netflix, like “House of Cards,” and  “Daredevil.”  There are also series that have been reinvented and given a second lease of live, ones Netflix picked up from cable TV and made additional seasons of, like “Trailer Park Boys” or “Arrested Development’. These series are fantastic for those of us who love a cult binge, however you may not have realised that there is also a growing series of originals for children and families!

If you are keen to know more, here is my round up of my favourite originals for Grown ups and kids!


  1. House of Cards

  1. Daredevil

  1. Gilmore Girls: a year in the life

  1. Anne with an E: for Anne of Green Gables lovers!

  1. If your game….Stranger things (season 1 and 2)

  1. THE CROWN. My absolute favourite. This is the season two teaser!

  1. GLOW. Think WWE meets Flashdance



  1. The Adventures of Puss in Boots: this is an amazing ‘choose your adventure’ show. The kids can participate in choosing the direction via their remote!

  1. From Dreamworks: All Hail King Julien Exiled

  1. For parents of the 80s and their new children!! Care Bear and Cousins!

  1. Dinotrux

  1. Ever After High

There are so many more titles to choose from….you can check them out here!

You can also browse through the amazing catalogue of titles in categories such as documentary and comedy here!

All the more reason to be nuts about Netflix!




My favourite bingeworthy shows on Netflix

My favourite bingeworthy shows on Netflix

If you are anything like me, then you rarely get the chance to have the entire house to yourself. When you do, there always seems to be this stupid Mum guilt where we put the laundry as a priority over relishing in the peace and quiet, and watching something on the telly. I literally cannot remember the last time that I had the chance to just sit down and watch my favourite shows. So much so, that I don’t even know what my favourite shows are! Well, in a week school holidays will be upon us, and I will be taking the opportunity that good old day care provides (ie. kinder still continues in school holidays). I will be putting myself first and will be spending a few hours on the couch, catching up on something other than the latest episodes of Paw Patrol.

Even though we are renovating our new home, and currently living with my Mother in Law, we have once again fallen in love all over again with Netflix. You see, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t got the latest smart TV…as long as you’ve got a mobile device and wifi. Voila! But if you don’t want to waste time trying to find out what to actually watch, then I will save you your precious TV watching time and share with you my favourite recommendations!

Totally binge worthy shows that you can’t just stop watching after one episode. Nope, these shows are for the serious netflix junkie. If you’ve got a whole day to yourself, then lay back and get ready to enjoy some TV magic….

The Defenders : super heroes with a difference. Very cool show!

Lovesick: In his quest for true love, Dylan found chlamydia. Joined by friends Evie and Luke, he relives past encounters as he notifies all his former partners.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Tina Fey’s new show follows the tale of titular character Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), who spent 15 years in an underground bunker thanks to a doomsday cult and is now living in New York City. Her mission? To pursue a normal life.

Riverdale: In a town where everything is perfect, but nothing is as it seems!

So here’s hoping that you can sneak in some time for some Netflix shows this week! Let me know if you find anything worth watching!


Choose your own adventure! Netflix Interactive Stories (and a little giveaway to boot)

Choose your own adventure! Netflix Interactive Stories (and a little giveaway to boot)

Just when you thought Netflix couldn’t be more awesome: they launch their new Interactive Stories. If you’ve ever been at school, you would be familiar with the concept of ‘choose your own adventure’. The concept is a simple one. Everyone starts the story in the same place, but at specific points along the way, the reader needs to make a decision. It may be about a character, a setting or a plot. Making small decisions transforms the story, and takes you on a journey different to the next person. The one thing that traditional television has not allowed, is the ability for it’s viewers to choose the way their show evolves, unfolds and ends. Netflix has brilliantly brought this to life with their Interactive stories.

Curious? Here is a video to explain it further:

Recently, I sat down with Ella and Hudson with Netflix loaded to out iPad. Currently, they have two interactive titles:

  • Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale
  • Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile

In our house, fairy tales rule, and so it was an easy decision to choose Puss in Boots! It begins like any regular show, where the characters begin to tell their story and set the scene. However something then changes, with Puss in Boots turning towards the audience and asking them to consider how the story will be told and unfold! Puss in Boots finds himself locked in a series of stories that he needs to navigate and find is way through. It’s like a maze where the children have control.

At one point Puss in Boots finds himself in the story of Goldilocks with the Three Bears staring at him.

The viewer is asked to make a choice of whether the bears are friends or foes. The 13 different choices throughout the episode lead to two different conclusions to the show, which is aimed at children between four and six.

The shortest path through the story makes an 18 minute-long episode, while the longest route through the options creates a 39 minute-long experience.

What I love about these stories is the fact that each time your child watches it, the story can be completely different. Your children have the chance to learn how a subtle change in character, scene and emotion can lead you to a very different outcome. It helps the children develop their attention and consider how their decisions actually effect the story. They themselves become the author and have the power to be the directors of their own show.

It is a beautiful addition to the every growing Netflix catalogue. One that I know my children really adore, and I know you will too.


To celebrate, I have combined forces with Netflix to give away 4 x 3 month subscriptions to Netflix for you to use!!! To enter, simply head over to my Instagram page here!

Ella helping Puss in Boots to make a decision!
Puss in Boots is stuck in fairy tale stories and needs your help!
Interactive Stories are available on mobile devices!


Life’s a stage with Netflix

Life’s a stage with Netflix

I’ve always been an avid lover of the theatre. There is something about heading to a show and just losing yourself for a couple of hours. Lately I’ve been obsessed with Mathilda and have had the soundtrack on high rotation, so much so that my children know the words to many of the songs. Secretly, am loving this.

What I find hard about the theatre is the fact that once you leave, you want to relive it straight away. You wish you could watch it all over again. That’s what is so good about the Soundtrack.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a Netflix Blogger event with the Stream Team –  a group of Australian and New Zealand Bloggers who love nothing more than spending a night in watching their favourite bing worthy shows. It was one of those nights were I got to meet some amazing people, and felt very lucky to be part of such a creative team. Whilst I was there I got to talking to both other writers and the Netflix team from the USA about what I loved most about the content currently in their catalogue. I shared my love of the theatre and being able to relive some of my favourite musicals, as well as watching some pretty cool documentaries that reveal the magical process of creating a broadway hit, or not from scratch.



Netflix has recently started to add more titles that feature broadway content, meaning that you can bring the love of the theatre right into your own home.  I can’t wait to see their Broadway catalogue continue to grow to include some of the most loved musicals of all time. If you too are a stage show nut like me, then you might like to spend the night in watching the following:

Netflix Rent

Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson.   The story is about a group of poor young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City under the shadow of  AIDS.  On Broadway, Rent won a Tony Award for Best Musical among others. The Broadway production closed in September  of 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances.

© Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Columbia Pictures – Annie 1982

Annie This adaptation of the smash Broadway musical follows America’s favourite urchin as she captures Daddy Warbucks’s heart with her unquenchable optimism. The best thing about this one is that it is the OLD one, the original!!!!

One of the most interesting things Ive watched, documenting the incredible highs and lows of Broadway.  MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG opened to enormous fanfare in 1981, and closed after sixteen performances.  For the first time, BEST WORST THING THAT EVER COULD HAVE HAPPENED draws back the curtain on the extraordinary drama of the show’s creation – and tells the stories of the hopeful young performers whose lives were transformed by it.

If you are yet to see Grease Live then all I will say it watch it! For the story and songs we all love, yes, but also to marvel in the incredible performance and organisation that must have gone into putting this entire show, live on national television!


Now for the little ones. To my delight we have recently been watching the new exclusive Netflix series: Julie’s Green Room.  Julie‘s Greenroom. Brought to life by the Jim Henson company, the enriching show advocates for the arts and the positive impact creativity can have on every child’s life. With an array of very special guests (Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles, and Alec Baldwin to name a few), Julie‘s Greenroom might be a show you turn on for the kids but find yourself staying until the final curtain call. Each episode the children are taught about a different aspect of the theatre. Our favourite has been learning about percussion with STOMP! A truly gorgeous show that will instil a love of musical theatre in any one!

So if you count yourself lucky to be at home alone, or with the kiddies for a while then check out some of the above. You will be singing all the way home!


What’s new on Netflix: Disney Classics

What’s new on Netflix: Disney Classics

With winter fast approaching, our days of playing and spending time outdoors are becoming a distant memory. Parks and pools are replaced with indoor cubbies and movie marathons. Think loads of pillows, thrown onto the floor, popcorn and PJs. There is sometimes nothing better than lazing around on the weekends and introducing your children to some of your childhood movie favourites. Cue Disney. I vividly remember Saturday nights at 6.30pm when Disney would be on TV. Whether it was Cinderella, Mickey or Lady and the Tramp, the iconic palace lovingly forged it’s way into my memory. It’s a memory that I’d love my children to have, as it means family. Family time together watching shows that bring song and sound to life.

Netflix are forever adding new content titles to it’s library and I’m thrilled to share (in case you didn’t already know) that they have added amazing classics including:

A Bug’s life
Finding Nemo 2
Finding Nemo 2
Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
The Incredibles
Monsters’ University (our favourite)


One movie that I just have to highlight is the Parent Trap. As a child, I was OB-SESSED with this movie. The original, that is with Hayley Mills. In case you’ve missed it (how on earth could you not know this????), Hayley Mills plays two daughters. That’s right, two TWINS. Shot seperately, and merged together (which was totally amazing back in the day). The story goes that Mum and Dad had twin girls, sadly split up, taking one daughter each (sounds awful right? Well, in the movie it’s actually quite cute). One raise in the UK and the other raised in the USA. They end up randomly meeting at summer camp (in the US, and yes…one is from a very rich background and is sent half way around the world to attend). What starts out as a love, hate relationship, ends up being a match made in heaven. The girls conspire to swap roles, to meet their long lost parent that they’ve never known. In the process they plot to get them back together, and the rest is….well….you’ll just have to watch.

These days, it’s had a remake and stars the infamous Lindsay Lohen as a child. It’s a gorgeous remake.

My cousin Lisa and I, adopted the handshake that the girls did each time the left each other. Crossing their fingers, and then crossing their arms, it became our way of saying ‘love you!’. It holds such a special place in my heart, and I cannot wait to share it with Ella.



So this weekend, as the whether turns cold and rainy…jump onto Netflix and share one of the Disney classics with your own children. It’s simply the best!

Nuts about Netflix: The Crown

Nuts about Netflix: The Crown

Since having my hip replacement, I’ve been forced to do, well nothing. Nothing involves having the chance to watch some television and get stuck into some of those TV shows on Netlfix that I never get the chance to watch. Normally it’s my kids and hubby who get to enjoy the variety of NETFLIX options, but this time around it’s me! A few days ago, I sat and watched the entire series of Netflix’s original series: The Crown. IF you are anything like me and love a good ‘royalty’ feature, then this series will knock your socks off.  A biopic drama that is based on the history of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the second, it follows her journey from teenager, to young adult, coronation and reign as Queen. Not only does it document factual accounts of her life, but it delves into the unknown, unspoken world of her intimate relationships, challenges and somewhat moving insights into her world. The life of the house of Windsor.




What I’ve loved about this series is the fact that it shows the woman, the real person behind the figure that we’ve come to know and see on our televisions and newspapers. It shows the struggle of her dual role: that of a woman and that of a Queen. A Queen, a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a woman. Her somewhat strained relationships with her family and the way in which she has to grow quite quickly into the role of Queen. It also gives a fantastic insight into the tumultuous relationship between parliament and monarchy. Travelling through many major historical events, it shows how she draws strength from memories passed, of her beloved late Father, King George and her late Grandmother.

It’s a fantastic drama that anyone with an affinity for the royal family will love. Available on NETFLIX, you can watch it anywhere, anytime!




Sydney celebrations with Netflix

Sydney celebrations with Netflix

This past long weekend, we escaped the chaos that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival and headed north to Sydney. We were lucky enough to be guests of Netflix, who held a Christmas celebration for their blogging Stream Team. I’ve felt very privileged to have been a member of this team for almost two years, as we test out and share the fantastic variety of films and television shows that Netflix provide. If you’ve been a follower of Happy Ella After, you will know that I’m a big fan. Some of the best features for families include:

  1. On demand : No waiting around for your (or your child’s) favourite show to be on. Watch it when you like!
  2. Profiles: You can create personalised profiles for each member of your family. Netflix will remember what you’ve watched, and you can even stop and pause your shows and go back to the point you’ve finished once the kids are in bed! They even suggest shows for you, based on your interests and things you’ve watched.
  3. Search function: the search function for kids is fantastic. You can find what your kids want based on the characters that appear. Easy peasy.
  4. Updates: they are forever adding new titles and series. Many of them are exclusive to netflix!
  5. Anywhere, anytime: You can watch Netflix on your TV, your iPad, your phone, your laptop!

So last weekend we headed to Sy-da-ney to catch up with some fellow bloggers and their families to have some fun… here are some shots…








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It was so much for to head north for the weekend and just enjoy being with my little family. We actually extended the day and headed to Bondi afterwards to make it a real mini break. I’ve never been to Bondi (no really, I haven’t) and I have to say that it was fantastic. Stay tuned next week for a family friendly review of this iconic city!

Thanks to the entire team for having us!

If you want to know more about Netflix, please head to the link here.