5 Awesome Christmas Specials Currently on Netflix

I am a huge fan of Christmas movies and specials. Last year I wrote a post of my Top 5 Family Christmas Movies and this year I thought I would share 5 awesome Christmas specials. The best part is they are all currently on Netflix!

Shrek the Halls
Do ogres celebrate Christmas? Of course not! Until now at least. Shrek tries to get into the spirit of things for Fiona and the kids but when Donkey, Puss In Boots, and the whole gang show up, Shrek’s plans for a cosy family celebration go out the window.

Merry Madagascar
I think this one is actually my favourite of all 5 specials. King Julien never fails to crack me up. Just when Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melvin think they’re on their way home to New York for Christmas, Santa and his reindeer crash onto Madagascar and it’s up to the animals to save Christmas.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday
It’s the Dragon Warrior’s responsibility to host the annual winter holiday feast. When Po struggles to meet his friends’ expectations, the holiday could be headed for disaster.

Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury
As viking village Berk prepares for it’s winter holiday Snoggletog, the  dragons all suddenly fly away, accidentally taking Hiccup with them. Turns out Dragons celebrate the holiday season with their own special tradition.

Home for the Holidays
This special is a new one this year and features some awesome musical numbers. After learning about the joy of Christmas from Tip and My Mum, Oh takes it upon himself to bring the holiday cheer to his fellow Boovs.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite go according to plan and instead of spreading good tidings and cheer, they almost destroy the city.

What’s your favourite Christmas Special? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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5 Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Teachers

Are your kids counting down the days until school ends yet? Porkchop tells me there are only 2 weeks left until the end of term. TWO WEEKS! How did we end up here? I feel like the year only just started and we’re already up to class parties. Each year we get Porkchop’s teacher a present, to thank them for putting up with him  helping him to grow throughout the year. I know a lot of parents like to do this but the challenge can be finding something appropriate that the teacher would actually like to receive. To try and help, I’ve put together a list of budget-friendly gift ideas for teachers.

  1. A Plant – I know flowers are a more traditional sort of gift idea, but I think real plants are that little bit nicer, just because they last. Succulents can be a good choice because they are harder to kill. Budget friendly teacher gift ideasOr something like gerbera’s are a nice option because they’re so beautiful and bright. I’d avoid things like roses though, as they can be difficult to grow.
  2. A Handmade Christmas Ornament – I always sort of assumed teachers weren’t into these sort of presents because they get enough of them throughout the year. But a teacher friend recently told me that that’s not actually the case as most school work goes home to parents, and that personalised handmade gifts are a lovely way to look back at students from years gone by. Just make sure to include your child’s name and the year to help jog their memory.
  3. Movie Voucher – This is usually my go to gift idea for teachers. Most people enjoy the cinema and they can pick what they would like to see so it doesn’t matter that I don’t know a great deal about their interests outside of my son’s education. Easy and safe.Budget friendly teacher gift ideas 2
  4. Stationery – This is another gift I always thought might not really be appreciated but apparently not! Teachers go through large amounts of stationery (think pens, pencils, notebooks etc), so a gift of a lovely set at Christmas time will start them off right the next year.
  5. Smarties – If you’re on a super tight budget (or have just run out of time or the desire to head to the shops one more time) a packet of smarties with a cute label that reads, “Thank you for helping us become Smarties!” is a delightful gift. Who doesn’t love chocolate and a good pun?

Do you give your children’s teacher a Christmas present? If so, what are you gifting them this year?

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5 Ways to Save This Christmas

Can you believe we are just one month away from Christmas? I am super duper excited! I love Christmas but I know this time of year can be stressful and ridiculously expensive, so this week I thought I would share 5 ways to save this Christmas.

  1. Be organised – I find the best place to start is to sit down and work out a plan. What do you need to buy and what do you already have? Who do you need to buy presents for? How many Christmas cards do you need? What are you going to cook?  Write lists and cross things off as you go. How to save on Christmas
  2. Make a budget and stick to it – It can be so tempting to go overboard at this time of year, and I’m sure we’ve all done it. Save yourself the drama and figure out how much you have/want to spend before you start Christmas shopping. Then make sure you stick to it. Tip number 3 can be a great help with this, so make sure you…
  3. Shop around   – Christmas shopping can be crazy. The shops are packed and everyone is a bit frantic, particularly the closer we get to the Big Day.  Compare prices online before you head to the shops so you know who is offering the best deal before you go. Check which stores will price match and maybe you will only have to pop into one or two. See what you can order online and maybe you can avoid the shops altogether! Just check delivery times to make sure it will arrive in time.
  4. Get everyone to bring a plate How to Save this ChristmasOne of the best parts about Christmas is the food, but it can be expensive. Help reduce the cost by spreading it around. Have everyone bring their speciality. Just make sure to co-ordinate so you don’t end up with 5 Christmas hams and nothing else, unless you really, really like ham.
  5. Get a head-start on next Christmas – After Christmas sales are a great way to save money on Christmas goodies for the following year. Stock up on reduced Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations and then store them when you put the tree away so you don’t forget about them in a years time.

What’s your best tip for saving money at Christmas? I’d love to hear it in the comments.

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5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas

With just over 10 weeks left until Christmas, I’m sure we’re all looking for a way to stretch the budget that little bit further. I have quite a few posts with a number of different ways to save money, but sometimes cutting back just isn’t enough. What do you do when you have reduced your spending all you can and you’re still not quite sure how you’re going to pay for Christmas? You add a little bit more money to your budget!

Today I am sharing 5 ways to make extra money, that take little, to no effort. Be warned, none of these will earn you big bucks, but they can help you pay for Christmas this year.

  1. Swagbucks – Swagbucks is an awesome site that offers aswagbucks-share-1480-v2 variety of rewards for doing simple activities online, some of which you probably already do, such as searching the web or online shopping. In exchange for doing these activities, you receive “points” that are referred to as Swagbucks. You can then exchange these Swagbucks for a range of different gift cards. To sign up for Swagbucks click here, and we will both receive a bonus 500 Swagbucks.
  2. Cashrewards – I mentioned Cashrewards in my Another 5 Ways to Save on Groceries post. It’s a great site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases you make. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, search for the store you’re looking for and then shop online as normal and wait for your cashback to arrive. There are over 1,000 stores including ASOS, eBay, and my favourite, Woolworths. Cashrewards also gives you access to exclusive savings, coupons, offers and discounted eGift cards. To sign up for Cashrewards click here, you’ll get a $5 bonus in your Cashrewards account, and because I referred you, so will I.d2121a19aad84e729ca1c67de5c1c150-fe4e1edfbda84da984bd4464da944379_facebook_share_jpg
  3. PricePal Pricepal is another site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases. Again, it’s super simple to use, just sign up, search the store you are looking for, click the link and make your purchase. Pricepal offers both cashback and discounts from shops such as Big W, Chemist Warehouse and Groupon. To sign up for PricePal click here, we’ll both receive a bonus $5 when you earn $5 cashback.
  4. Woolworths RewardsWoolworths Rewards is something I think most people know about, but not everyone cashes in on. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, scan your card every time you shop and then you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend in store and online at Woolworths supermarkets, BWS and Caltex Woolworths fuel outlets. You will also receive exclusive offers, bonus points offers and instant savings. Each time your balance hits 2000 points you will automatically save $10 on your next shop, or you can bank your savings for Christmas. To sign up for Woolworths Rewards click here5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas (1)
  5. Flybuys Flybuys is another loyalty program I think most people are familiar with, but again not everyone utilises. It’s similar to Woolworths Rewards, in that all you do is sign up and scan your time when you shop, but instead offers points, exclusive deals, bonuses and savings from a wider range of partners that includes Coles, Kmart and Target. Flybuys also offer a variety of rewards, from flybuy dollars (which can be used for in store purchases),  appliances and movie vouchers. To sign up for Flybuys click here.

So there you have 5 ways to make a little extra money in time for Christmas. Have you already started buying Christmas presents? Or is leave it to the last minute more your style? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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Top 5 Family Christmas Movies

Two more sleeps until Christmas! I’ve mentioned before that my family loves a good movie night. One of my favourite family traditions is watching a Christmas movie then laying out the sack and setting up a snack for Santa before tucking my son into bed.  So I thought this week I would share my Top 5 Family Christmas Movies.

  1. Arthur Christmas
    We only watched this one for the first time this year and my son loved it. It’s a sweet story about Santa’s youngest son Arthur, who goes on a mission with his Grandsanta and an enthusiastic elf to deliver a misplaced present. It’s very funny and a great choice for the whole family to enjoy.
  2. Rise of the Guardians
    I know this technically isn’t a Christmas movie but it does feature the big guy in the red suit and my son tells me it’s his favourite Christmas movie so I’m including it.  It features the four Guardians , The Sandman, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny (voiced by the delightful Hugh Jackman), and Santa Claus, who must join with Jack Frost to save the children of the world from the nasty Pitch Black.
  3. Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    Based on the story by Dr Seuss and starring Jim Carrey, this movie is a hilarious family favourite. The Grinch is a green, Christmas hating, outsider with a plan to ruin Christmas for the town of Whoville.
  4. The Polar Express
    This magical movie stars Tom Hanks and follows a young boy who is beginning to doubt the existence of Santa on a journey to the North Pole aboard a train called The Polar Express as he learns about bravery, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas. I think this is a great movie for kids at that age who are starting to question the existence of Santa but still wanting to keep the magic alive.
  5. Santa Buddies
    Another sweet story about the spirit of Christmas but this time it includes puppies! The fate of Christmas everywhere is at stake as the world forgets the true meaning of Christmas. It’s up to Puppy Paws, with the help of his new friends, the Buddies, to save Christmas.

Bonus mention: The Nightmare Before Christmas
I enjoy this movie but it’s not really appropriate for little kids. Jack Skellington, the hero of Halloween Town discovers Christmas Town and is fascinated by this new holiday. He attempts to bring his newfound joy to Halloween Town but it doesn’t quite go according to plan. My sensitive 9 year old still thinks the characters are too creepy and won’t watch it but I’m looking forward to the year he will sit down and enjoy it with me.

So there you have my favourite Christmas movies. I’d love to hear your suggestions for what to watch this Christmas. Please leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Christmas movie is.