Thursday, July 23, 2015

What To Watch When You Don’t Have Cable

Life Without Cable - Blog Photo - 2015-07-22 As renters, we always had cable and internet included in our rental costs. Now as condo owners, we have to pay for those services ourselves. And let me tell you, it’s expensive! I had no idea how much internet and cable costs were until April last year, and I wrote a post about that experience. The condo we live in is set up with fibre optics, which is faster, but it ties us to either Rogers or Bell as other ISPs can’t run on these fibre optics*. Our decision was to go without cable television and just pay for internet. When people find out we don’t have cable their response is “What do you watch??…” or “Do you have a TV?”. The answers are “Lots of stuff!” and “um.. yes (Duh…)” Just kidding on that last part. I used to think the same thing when I found out people didn’t have cable. So if you’re curious what we do at Casa Watson, here it is!

We’ve been subscribers to (for about $8/month) since 2009… long before we knew anyone else using it and back when it was all grainy off-brand movies from the 90’s. It has come a LONG way since then. There are lots of lists online on what to watch, like this one by the Huffington Post. My husband and I are currently watching Orange Is The New Black season 3, but he’s watching a bunch of other shows, like House of Cards, and House of Lies. Also, the movie selections are great, as is Netflix Kids, but Benjamin is a bit too young for section.

YouTube has blown up in the last few years. I remember going on it and posting a few videos back in 2007 when there was a 3-minute limit. Now people have very successful careers being professional YouTubers! I watch a variety of channels from daily vloggers, to makeup gurus, to news-y reporters, to comic videos. If there’s something you want to learn, someone has made a video about it on YouTube. It is very easy to get caught up in a YouTube black hole. I suggest disabling the “auto-play” feature so that you have more control. Here are a few of my current favourite channels:


Network TV logos

A lot of people don’t know this, but tv stations have a LOT of shows available to stream (for free) on their websites. So in terms of Canadian stations, I’m talking about Global TV, CityTV, CTV, MTV Canada, HGTV, etc. Just look around and you’ll see what I mean. I use these stations to watch most of my cable shows that I’m “missing” by not having a traditional cable subscription. The only caveat is that you can’t watch them live. Sometimes they’re available the same day, but mostly I watch these shows the following day. Also, they’re not available online forever. Some only stay available for one week, some for a few weeks. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Using this method I watch shows like:


Kevin owns a few hundred movies on DVD. I have a few TV series on DVD. We watch them sparingly.

What We’re Missing..

Kevin loves Game of Thrones and sports. He’ll get GoT episode downloads from others and he watches sports at our parents houses when he’s there, but we don’t make special trips for it.


My biggest tip to streaming online is to download an ad blocker. It has completely changed my streaming experience! I use AdBlock Plus and it’s available on Chrome and Firefox. I cannot recommend this enough as it removes all the ads at the beginning of YouTube Videos and all the commercials from the network TV sites. Even if you’re not streaming, this removes ads from other websites. I love it.

Additionally, I have a computer tower set up to our TV. Basically our TV is acting as a giant computer monitor, so when I turn on the computer the TV opens up to my desktop. I have a wireless keyboard and mouse so I sit on my couch to do everything computer related. It’s awesome. Whenever anyone comes over they think it’s a SmartTV, but it’s just a basic flat screen.

I hope this helps you expand your knowledge of tv/video watching options outside of traditional cable! What’s available in Canada versus the U.S. varies greatly (it seems like our options are more limited) so if you’re a Canuck and have another option I’ve missed here, please feel free to share it!

*After I finished writing this post, I read a news article that says the CRTC is forcing the country’s big ISPs to allow competitors access to their fibre optic lines.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Life Updates

Hello? Anyone out there???


What a long blogging break, eh? I’ve missed blogging! I’m back today to let you all know what I’ve been up to lately!


I use Windows Live Writer for blogging and kept getting an error message when I tried to log into it. With a bit of trouble shooting today, I finally figured out how to reset my password. So yay for that! Also, typing a blog post is a lot harder these days. I’m literally typing this with one hand while holding my keyboard over my head with the other hand lol. Benjamin loves to crawl all over me. I always thought I’d blog regularly when he was napping but I’m usually running around the condo trying to get other stuff done. I really want to try to commit to a weekly blog post but it’ll probably continue to be an annual event knowing me :P


So, I have a 10 month old! Benjamin is 10 months old today. Kevin and I spent a good long while looking through my Instagram post yesterday and marvelling at how fast Benjamin has changed. The last few months have been a blur. It feels like time is flying and going by so slowly too. I’ve made a few friends in the past year (mom-friends, if you wanna call them that) for which I’m thankful! Specifically Jeanette, from This Dusty House! Conveniently she lives a few houses down so we hang out a couple times a week. Isabel is Benjamin’s bestie!!

2015-06-17 Benjamin and Isabel having a play date

We moved into the condo last August. I can’t believe we’ve been here for almost a year!! I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 2 years in the last 15 years, which just seems crazy to me. For a while I was feeling like a transient hobo and it was really getting me down. I was feeling so uninspired to decorate our last 2 places. We kept everything in boxes in our last apartment and slept with the mattress on the floor (in anticipation of the condo being completed). Eventually I told Kevin that we had to put the bed together because I couldn’t get up off the floor anymore with my huge belly. Frankly, we haven’t done much to the condo either. We had some deficiencies, one of which was a crooked wall that they came to fix, so all we’ve really done is move our furniture in and that’s it. I rearranged things in here about a dozen times, but I think it takes a while to find what works. I’m still working on furniture placement (shhh.. don’t tell Kevin).

 Kevin and Benjamin at Nana's house

I’ve been out of full-time work for over 2 years as well! After my last full time job ended I thought I’d get back into work quickly, but it never did happen. That’s another reason for the lack of decor inspiration. We’re using what money we have a lot more carefully. Once I’m back at work I think we’ll work on making this place more personalized!


So anyhow, that’s what’s up with me these days… Hopefully I’ll be back here before 2016 :)

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