6 Underrated Shows to Watch on Netflix and Hulu

With a husband that works in film, it’s only right that I have become a film and TV junkie. Before meeting him, my appreciation of film and TV was viewed in a different light than it is now. Now I truly study the acting, comprehend the writing and execution, down to appreciating the production design of a show or movie when watching. I have seen many shows over the year, some I never sought to continue cause they were cringe-worthy and not in a “can’t look away” way. I’ve put together 6 underrated shows (IMO) that I’d like my followers, readers, etc. to give a try while still on the holiday break.

6. Lost in Space

Lost in Space follows the lives of a multi-racial family, The Robinson’s,  and their life living in space and on another planet. The Robinson’s go through multiple events with their (or a loved one’s) lives at stake. It kind of reminds of Lost,  but with robot-aliens and families. I highly recommend this show for families with kids (probably over the age of 7 — but there is use of adult language), though those without kids can enjoy it all the same. We watched each episode together with our son. What we love about this show, is what we love about Bob’s Burger’s, and that’s the importance of family. The Robinson’s are a true representation of going through whatever it takes to keep the family together and safe.
(Watch it on Netflix)

5. Superstore

I’m actually shocked that more people don’t already watch the comedic genius that is Superstore, this show stars America Ferrara and features a diverse cast tackling everyday issues of the blue collar workers. If you’ve ever worked retail or a minimum wage job, you’ll find this show highly relatable. What I love most about this show is how progressive it is, ( yes, if you didn’t get that by now I am a progressive) this current seasons tackles issues in a lighthearted way that doesn’t dissuade audiences from continuing to watch. There was even a hilarious gun episode in the earlier seasons. I truly hope “the other side” watches with an open mind. It’s one of those shows that can unify us, through comedic relief. It’s woke af. Also, as a Filipino, there is representation for Filipino-American’s in this show, with a real story line and even some bits of Tagalog which we rarely ever see on American television.
(Watch it on Hulu)

4. You

This one is on Netflix now, so there’s no excuse not to watch. I had to use the badass Gif of Shay Mitchell with a glock for this one. You is truly an underrated show, and the only reason it’s not in my top 3 is because it’s a thriller and not everyone loves thrillers. This show also stars Gossip Girl alum, Penn Badgley, who plays an obsessive boyfriend type. I think what makes this show is the narration, paired with the talented acting, you truly feel immersed in a story,  which is great because the two main characters are literary lovers. This show truly takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and moments of yelling and side-eyeing at the TV. Go add this one to your list, and binge the series today!
(Watch it on Netflix)

3. The Good Place

This is another show that I’m shocked more people aren’t watching or talking about. Starring mommy favorite, Kristen Bell (though she’s not a mom or anything close in this show). The show follows the lives of Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jamila Al-Jamil, who’s been a buzz lately), and Jason (Manny Jancito) in the after life. I believe the show is in it’s 4th season, and just when you think the show’s story is going to have it’s drop-off point they stun you with creative plot lines to keep you engaged and interested. This show was one my husband and I were unsure of watching with our son. I had already watched the first 3 seasons and my son was begging to watch. We decided to re-watch the episodes with him and it turned out okay. Adult language is mostly omitted too. I feel this show opened up conversation about the different kinds of religion and beliefs out there with our son. We’re agnostic but support our kids in any belief system or religion, should they choose to adopt one (as long as it doesn’t hurt other people or the environment). Also, another show that features a Filipino character…I promise this isn’t on purpose. I believe there are only 3 shows on Network TV that feature a prominent Filipino- American (please feel free to correct me, Superstore, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and The Good Place.)
(Watch it on Hulu/Netflix)

2. The Orville

Oh my another space show.  This show is about the lives of a series of crew members from different species aboard the ship, The Orville, created by comedy legend Seth McFarland. This is one we’ve recently gotten into and one we watch as a family. Our kid is a lot more mature than most, so I don’t think most kids would be able to watch this show. The writers of this show are brilliant to say the least. They touch on what we in the sustainability world call “wicked problems”, which is laments terms means there are issues in the world, that don’t have a “stop all” solution. There are also conceptual plot lines that mirror the “deepness” of shows like Rick and Morty, that make you go “wait a minute, that was really deep…” after you’ve just laughed your ass off. The new season starts on the 30th, so I definitely recommend catching up soon!
(Watch it on Hulu)

1. The Bold Type

I’m actually so mad that this show isn’t more popular. Especially among my followers and readers, which according to insights, is mostly made up of female millennials (ages 22-34). This show follows the budding careers of journalist, Jane. Powerhouse, Kat, and aspiring artist (of sorts), Sutton. They touch on issues like the Muslim ban, me too, white privilege, and so much more. It’s astounding to me that more of my own friends don’t watch this show considering they touch on the topics of conversations that we talk about on a daily basis. My favorite story this past season was Kat, owning her blackness after being raised by ‘colorblind’ parents or the whole menstrual cup episode and the hypocrisies in the world with trying to do good but not taking into account other factors that won’t fare well in the situation. This show is beyond brilliant. It’s real, it’s raw, and it deserves so much more recognition. I’ll probably post a couple full articles on this show because I believe it deserves to be more popular than it currently is.
(Watch it on Hulu)

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How To Homeschool: Our First Week Experience


Our decision to homeschool did not receive the warmest of reception by all of our closest friends. Our immediate family (parents) supported or choice, while others scoffed at thought of us becoming teachers, with no formal teaching degree. Even when we showed them the curriculum and explained the steps, we were met with ignoring responses or just the good old “oh, okay.”. I guess it’s better to say nothing if you can’t say anything nice. Essentially we celebrated this special decision with ourselves.

Did it make us a little conscious of our decision? Yes.
Do we regret it? Not one bit.


Coincidentally, a video from the motivational speaker Prince Ea found it’s way on to my feed shortly after we had gotten all the paperwork finalized. It beautifully put in to words how we felt about traditional schooling, you can watch it here. The thing is, in addition to wanting to explore more together as a family, we were not satisfied with the stress that traditional school comes with, which you can read more about in my previous post Why We’ve Decided to Homeschool Our Kid(s). There’s clearly an issue if the second leading cause of death with children ages 10-14 is suicide.

As for his social needs, we are connecting with other homeschooling and world schooling families as well as his extra-curricular activities.

Now for how we got started with homeschooling/Worldschooling. We are currently in the state of California, so we had to follow California law and file the correct paperwork to declare Brian officially enrolled in a homeschooling program. There are a couple ways to do this, but we decided to go with a private school that handles the administrative work and follows up on the legalities but allows us too choose our own curriculum and schedule. It cost us a total of $400 to enroll into the private umbrella school.

The curriculum we use is Time4Learning.  While it isn’t perfect, we are very satisfied with the curriculum and it’s pacing (self-paced). We are also able to adjust the lesson planner. We supplement extra science with a third grade level textbook that we found online. For Language Arts we also supplement personally picked poems to critically assess together, this week it was Langston Hughes’ I, Too, America. If there are ever things we feel we need to work more on, we can just pause on the computer and use notebooks, a whiteboard, etc. to further dissect a subject.

Time management. My husband and I agreed that 4.5 hours a day/4 days a week is what would work best. We try to start anywhere from 8am-10am. We break up “school time” in 1-hour to 1-hour and a half increments. We’ve found the best way to go about this is to set a block of 5-6 hours aside to commit to his schoolwork. So we don’t have specific times or blocks for each subject (ie: at 2pm-3pm we will work on social studies) we just get what we have to get done. If we notice his focus is off we step away from the work take 10-15 minutes to shake it out and jump back in.


I keep a log of his daily work which and add very detailed notes. I specify what was taught/learned for each subject area. If we feel he needs more work in an area we spend the first 15 minutes during that subject time revisiting until we feel it’s mastered, if it’s a broad subject or a subject that will take time we note how much time was spent on it for that day and continue on with no “due date”. The great part is that we can move on when we feel it’s mastered, and if we get behind it’s okay because it’s all self-paced.

As mentioned above we are keeping it at 4 days a week, Monday-Thursday, However, because of labor day we concluded our week today, Friday. We rounded the week off with a nature walk field trip on the backside of Runyon. We plan to do 2-3 physical activity/nature walk/field trips more often. Next week, we will start implementing more of the arts into our curriculum and integrate it with social studies and language arts. I won’t be doing weekly updates but perhaps every month or few I’ll update everyone on our experiences thus far.

Should I Let My Child Play FortNite?

FortNite has been a pop-culture phenomenon for the last couple months, in my household specifically, it’s been since February 2018. A frequent question I see so often in mommy groups is whether they should allow their child to play FortNite. Usually the question is followed by a lot of misinformation. Before I continue, I want parents reading this to know that each child is different and it’s up to you to use your judgement. Personally, my 8-year-old son plays,  and my husband and I even as a squad and try to get a victory royale together. So as both a mother and actual FortNite player I want to share this information.

1. The genre of game is not First-Person Shooter, it is Battle Royale, which is a style of game where 100 players get dropped on an island to be the last one standing (or ones if you’re playing squads/duos).  In FortNite, you are also outrunning a storm. There is shooting and weaponry involved. The difference is literal viewing/perspective. In a First-Person Shooter you are seeing it as if you are the shooter. In battle royale you are controlling a character and viewing your character.

2. Theres NO GORE. Not a single drop of blood, no graphic injury, no gasping for life. There’s far more gore in a Marvel or Star Wars movie. While again, every parent is entitled to make their decisions for the kids I personally, find it hypocritical to allow blood and gore in films and shows but criticize a game with none.

3. But what about all the kids who are getting addicted? Yes, I heard the story about the mom who turned the wi-fi off because her kid got up at 4am in the morning to play FortNite. First and foremost, people need to recognize addiction as a mental illness. Addiction doesn’t just happen. Someone with an addictive personality is going to become addicted to SOMETHING, if you choose to not have it be FortNite it can/will be something else.  Boundaries and children not respecting those boundaries is not necessarily the same as an addiction. Can this game create addiction? No, again that’s something already there. Can it trigger it? YES. If your child has exhibited behaviors of an addictive personality, it’s probably best to not let them play this game.

4. The violence. The biggest turn off for most parents is the violent content of the game. Common Sense Media critics cite 13+, parents cite 11+, kids say 10+. Yes, your child will learn the names of different types of guns and grenades, if that’s an issue then don’t let them play.  As stated before there is no gore, injury, etc. When you are eliminated a hover thing comes above and teleports you back into the lobby. As violent as the game is, it’s also silly. One of the harvesting tools for materials is a pink and green balloon that squeaks when you hack away at a tree or stack of wood pallets.

5. The game offers a lot of discussion topics. If your child is not ready to handle certain discussions, it’s probably best to stay away.  Topics include: Gun Violence (why they are wrong in the real world), Gun safety (differences between handling a gun in a game and in real life — should they ever come across one) EMOTIONAL CONTROL, camaraderie and team work, etc.

Another note, chatting in the game is optional. You can turn it off so your kids aren’t talking to people and they are not talking back. On Xbox you can create parties that are for kids only, no swearing, etc. My husband and I play FortNite with our 8-year-old. It has offered us an additional activity for family bonding. We’ve personally discussed gun violence and why it’s wrong, and to our surprise last school year he wrote a poem about how gun ownership is bad in the real world. One thing we’re able to openly discuss is emotional control, often times when he is playing alone he can become frustrated to where we ask him to put the controller down/turn the game off and breathe.

Choosing to Homeschool our kid(s)

image1 2What comes to mind when you think of a homeschooling family? A religious cult-like family that wants to teach creationism and argues against evolution? Maybe it’s some hippie non-vaccinating family that’s going to dance around trees and sing about mother Earth while burning sage, perhaps it’s something else. Our family is nowhere near that. We are for one, not at all religious (though we respect everyone’s own decisions to follow a religion –as long as it does not harm or hurt people or the planet) and  yes, we vaccinate our children. We are world schoolers.

We never thought we’d be homeschoolers. But we’ve talked about it for years, and finally settled on going through with it this school year. My husband and I are fortunate enough to own and operate a business that gives us a lot of flexibility. I also work a part-time job that allows me to be flexible and put a lot of money towards our savings to see the world together (should I blog about this?). So for someone working a 9-5, homeschooling probably wouldn’t be as of much interest nor as manageable (not saying it’s impossible, just less likely).
worldschoolingWe found traditional schooling to be problematic for our family. For one, our son was bullied a lot. We teach socio-emotional understanding in our home so we allow him to cry, we dissect emotions, and discuss feelings. We don’t want to breed toxic masculinity, but that’s another topic for another day. Even in the most progressive, project based, public charter in Los Angeles, we found that bullying was something other parents weren’t bothering to prevent in their own homes. There were kids using slurs and saying things like “you’re gay” towards our child (who hasn’t even specified his attraction preference) which we also weren’t fans of hearing. I know what some people are saying while reading this— “why didn’t you just toughen him up?” We definitely teach him to stand up for himself and if someone hits him first (never initiate) you fight back! But we still didn’t care for the environment traditional schooling offered. Another thing we experienced is even with two teachers in the class room, our son still performed better with 1-on-1 teaching, actually…most students do. The most frustrating part about traditional schooling (public schools) is that students were treated more as a barter item for money than they were actual people. It was more about attendance for LAUSD to get money than it was about how my child is taking information in. There are complaints from parents across the country, and while that is a more complex topic I’m glad we no longer have to worry about it.

untitled (1 of 1)-18One of the biggest reasons we’ve decided to homeschool our son is because of the way things are taught. Here we have this beautiful, multi-racial boy, who’s learning about white American history. As a woman of color and first generation immigrant to the U.S. I know next to nothing about my own history. I wish I had gotten more of a global understanding of the world too. Also, as many parents can attest to common core is the most frustrating and idiotic thing on the planet as a base curriculum for students.  So why not private school? Private school still mandates a 9-5 style structure. While the education is said to be better, the 20k/year could be going towards experiences that can better educate a child. Not to mention the lack of socio-economic diversity. While it’s great to aspire having children who go to the school with the rich kids, thus proving you too are rich, we’d rather have our kid(s) be conscious of the different socio-economic backgrounds of others and not just one class of people (which also usually tends to be race dominant)

Okay, so what about college and the SAT and ACT. College/University isn’t mandatory for our kids but it is something we highly encourage. We talk about the different universities he could go to, what he could learn, etc. Statistically homeschooled students perform better on Standardized Tests  than students who go to traditional schools. Also, many universities favor and embrace homeschooling because of it’s benefits which you can read about here — Business Insider: Homeschooling to Havard

I will go into the logistics of homeschooling later but I am so excited to share our family’s newest adventure with you all and can’t wait to share more!