Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go are Ad Free! Why that Matters

People see 5000 ads a day. This is way more than the 2000 ads a day people saw 30 years ago, according to the New York Times.

As if the sheer quantity wasn’t enough, over the past 20-30 years ads have become more and more deregulated, to a shocking point. For more information check out the Miss Representation documentary on Netflix. Ads are designed to make you feel nothing but negativity. They want you to feel bad about yourself so you buy their product, they want you to feel anxiety if you don’t buy their product. I remember watching toy ads as a kid and literally feeling panicked if I didn’t beg my mom for everything.  The commercials were loud, fast, overwhelming and they worked. I thought if I just got my mom and dad to buy whatever toy they were selling that I’d feel happy again. I remember even asking for things I didn’t actually want. Thats how well they worked!

While watching Hulu months ago I saw one of these toy commercials and was shocked that these were still being made, I mistakenly assumed our society had come so far since then, but apparently not. I then decided I didn’t want my kids to feel this way, so we upgraded our plan and for a mere $4 more a month we stream Hulu 99% ad free.

It was when I upgraded our plan that I realized I’d been systematically riding our home of as many ads as possible. When we first moved into our first home almost 3 years ago I subscribed to numerous magazines, now I subscribe to 1 (and it’s an annual Christmas gift- Organic Living). I somehow receive Glamour, Marie Clair and a few other women-hating magazines and either I automatically throw them in the paper recycling bin or I look at the headlines, shake my head, pray for any girls/women who read these and feel bad for themselves and then chuck them in the bin.

One word about fashion/fitness magazines, these magazine server double duty making women feel bad, not only do they body shame women who aren’t between a size 0-6, but they also make you feel poor because all of the items they showcase are ridiculously expensive so out they go! Once I realized reading these magazines only made me feel like shit and that I could stay abreast of fashion trends by knowing my own personal style and by following fashion bloggers online I felt no remorse recycling them.

We got rid of cable almost 2 years ago, going with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Go, none of which have commercials, and other than a few select shows (Fixer Upper) and some golf tournaments (for my husband) we haven’t missed cable at all. In fact when I am exposed to cable, while getting my oil changed or visiting my parents, I do not miss it because I realize the commercials negate the experience of the show for me.

Just getting rid of magazines and commercials has been HUGE. I don’t really have a specific way to measure this, but I can tell you I am more confident and I feel like I know myself way better since the clutter of commercials has mostly been removed from my home.

Now when I see an ad or commercial I know exactly what it’s doing and I know better than to fall for their trap.

And before I conclude I’d like to touch on internet ads briefly, I don’t have ads on my blog so this is my completely unbiased opinion, but I don’t mind them. Yeah they’re creepy, it’s unsettling that Facebook seems to know my Google searches and then targets ads to me based on those searches, but I honestly prefer that because odds are good that if I’m Googling something I have an interest in it and an ad on Facebook not only makes better use of my time because it’s something I’m interested in and it maybe helps me to find a better deal or product. It doesn’t try to convince me to buy something I don’t want or need. And they’re fairly innocuous, for the most part they won’t trigger seizures or give you feelings of anxiety so despite the creepiness I am mostly pro internet ads (with the caveat that I’m sure at some point I’ll regret making that statement in the near dystopian future).

If you’re interested in ads and how riding them from your home might benefit you, I highly recommend the documentary Miss Information that I mentioned above, it’s shocking, informative and will help you to better understand why we’ve chosen to remove as many ads from our home as possible.

And if you’ve done the same thing or have the same goal as I do feel free to leave comments with any idea/tips/tricks or opinions on how to achieve this goal. I’d love to hear from you!

Hour of Power

Not really but I’ve stayed at home with my son for over a year now and it took me about that long to find a balance between cleaning like a madwoman when the house was a total disaster and not cleaning at all.

The problem is when I’d spend the day cleaning because the house was a wreck I would then be too tired to enjoy it, and anyone with a toddler knows how quickly your house becomes messy again. The problem with not cleaning at all was that the house quickly became unlivable. I’d look at the mess and feel my energy levels plummet.

But there had to be a balance between cleaning all day and not cleaning at all, and I found it. I got a little portable bluetooth speaker, this is what I have, it’s great, and I listen to music or podcasts in the bedroom, kitchen or wherever I am. While I listen I clean. Sometimes I purposely pick podcasts that are around an hour, sometimes I just go until the kitchen and living room are clean.

I’ve found that at first I had to time myself because I was so behind and could have spent all day cleaning but now I’m caught up and I’ve figured out a system. I realized if I keep the living room, kitchen and dining room clean everyone feels good and keeping those areas clean usually takes me about a half hour to an hour. This usually includes dishes but doesn’t include laundry, although I’ve started implementing the same strategy with laundry. If I’ve got a good audiobook or podcast I will gladly fold clothes all day!

And at the end of the day I don’t feel angry or resentful because I only dedicated an hour (or less) to keeping the house clean. Not only that but I also fee more at peace with my environment, I feel content and happy, I feel inspired because I can concentrate on something other than the horrible messy space. My husband feels happy because he doesn’t have to do as much when he comes home, maybe a few dishes from dinner, or maybe toss the toys that escaped back into Julian’s play area but that’s pretty much it.

Now here’s the other caveat, and this is something I remember from when my brother was a toddler and something my husband has struggled with. I rarely clean up Julian’s space. Why? Because I don’t want to do it after he’s gone to bed and have him think that elves will clean up after him, I also think he’s too young to understand cleaning up, and I simply don’t want to do it, especially when I see him taking things out, throwing things and messing up his play area as soon as I can tidy it. What I try to do is join him in his play area, we read and play and then he sees me tidying up but I do not compulsively clean up his books and toys, just a little here and there. Sometimes he gets what I’m doing and helps and sometimes he just continues making messes faster than I can clean.

This is fine. And do you know why? Because I’ve accepted it. I’ve tried to limit his toys, I also try to rotate through his toys so they are new and fresh, and because the other option is madness.

If you don’t mind picking up after your toddler all day, be my guest, as for me, my kitchen is clean, the floors are usually vacuumed and I’m quite content with that.

Julian's Play Area
Julian’s Play Area – Amazingly those 5 blocks have stayed in their holder for over 24 hours now. This is truly a miracle. Please note however that the area around said blocks is a complete wreck.

Easter Bunny Madness

Last Easter my brother in law and his wife were visiting to see our son, who was nearly 2 months old at the time, and while they were here we decided to go to the mall on a rainy early spring day. When we got there we realized we could see the Easter bunny, which wasn’t something that was on my radar at the time but funny nonetheless so we did it.

Julian was gracious enough to wake up long enough to see a big furry creature holding him and look in the direction of the camera and that was that. This year we decided we should probably go see the Easter Bunny again because he’s older now and it might be more fun. Right?

We were wrong. Apparently now that he’s older and wiser he’s come to realize the Easter Bunny is terrifying and scary. So I set the increasingly upset toddler on the poor Easter Bunny’s lap and stepped away far enough to get a few photos and that was that… Within minutes after we left he calmed down and today he happily toddles around the house talking to the dogs, watching cars out the window and being generally happy.

I guess the fact that it’s a creature unlike ourselves is a little scary, or as my mom said maybe when he realizes the Easter Bunny brings candy and goodies he’ll change his tune, but either way I have to admit this year’s Easter photo is pretty funny and although I was hoping for a smile or at least not a terrified crying photo, you don’t get to choose.

Julian meeting the Easter Bunny 2017
Julian & the Easter Bunny 2017
Julian meeting the Easter Bunny 2016
Julian meeting the Easter Bunny 2016