My Gaming Apps: Vol. 1

Hello, friends. For today’s blog, I thought I would share with you a few of my guilty pleasures, specifically, the current gaming apps that I’ve been playing on my phone. I’ll preface this post by saying that I currently own a hand-me-down Samsung Galaxy S3, and it is on it’s last leg of life. It has memory issues, crashes constantly, and isn’t good enough to play cool games like Pokemon Go. So, at the moment, these are the four games currently on my phone. I play a lot of other games, mostly hidden object or puzzle games, but they don’t stay installed for very long. These are the ones that have been here the longest, and that I play the most. Yes, they are all fairly casual games, and I know that they aren’t for everyone, but if you’re into those, read on!

Let’s begin.

1) Kim Kardashian Hollywood

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I know. I know, you guys. But let me explain. I am by no means a fan of the Kardashian/Jenner/West clan, but I am a sucker for a good fashion game… and this one is a GOOD fashion game. The character customization alone blows everything else out of the water with hundreds of fashionable outfits, hairstyles, makeup, and accessories, but it is so much more than that.

You can complete modeling/movie/TV/etc. gigs for money, fame, and K-stars. You can buy apartments, condos, and houses, and customize them. You can travel all around the world and complete gigs in exotic locales (Tokyo, Dubai, London, etc.). You can go on dates, fall in love, get married, have kids, and adopt pets. You can get exclusive clothing and accessories in weekend and holiday events. You can own your own stores to sell your own fashion line. You can shoot your own reality TV show. You can own your own hotel, gym, and club, and more. You can battle your evil rival (her name is Willow, and she is the worst) to get to the top of the food chain. You can befriend Kim, her entire family, and a few other famous folks, if that is your cup of tea. You can also compete in random fashion competitions with other users to win prizes.

There is so much content, and the game is constantly getting updated. The app can be played totally free, but there is the option to spend real money to buy energy, money, K-stars, and VIP status to make the game easier, but I’ve chosen not to give my money to a family of millionaires. If I had one major complaint, it would be that there are SO MANY ads. Every couple minutes, your game is interrupted as an ad pops up on your screen. It’s really annoying. Other than that, I’m addicted to this game, and it to this day has spent the longest time on my phone, reigning above all my other gaming apps.

2) Township

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Everyone knows what FarmVille is, yeah? Same thing. One of the hundreds of farming apps on the market, but so far, this one is my favorite. Pretty basic stuff for the most part: Plant crops, harvest crops, make things from crops, fill orders via the trains or plane, grow your town, etc. Well, this game has some fun extras that a lot of those other farming games don’t have, including Co-ops and chat windows, a zoo, mining and collecting gems and artifacts, and really cool holiday events.

There’s not much to say on this one, since everyone has played this type of this game on some platform, but it is really fun, and the graphics are cute, and I have been playing it for many, many months. Highly recommend.

3. Eden

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My most recent download, and honestly, I am addicted to this game. It’s another casual, gather/build/upgrade style game. You start out with a bonfire, and just a few settlers, and from there, you can forage in piles of leaves, sand, and rocks, hunt for animals in the woods, cook foods, go fishing, gather wood and water from the woods and creek, build and upgrade shelters, storage buildings, fields for planting crops, carpenter shops, and more. I’ve only been playing for a few days, but the graphics are gorgeous, and it is a fun, cute time waster.

My one and only complaint, is that it tends up lag a bit during bad weather scenarios, i.e. rain and storms, but that might just be because my phone is garbage.

4) Magikarp Jump

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This one is a weird one, and probably not everybody’s cup of tea. From the creators of Pokemon Go comes a silly, little game about… wait for it… Magikarp. Yep. You play a gender neutral, childlike character, who lives in a world where Magikarp are revered, and entered in jumping competitions, all across the land. You fish up your Magikarp, feed it different, upgradeable berries while it swims in it’s little pond, train it using various, random training exercises, level up it’s jumping ability, and battle other trainers. That’s about it.

The game is a bit slow, and I don’t particularly like that you can only use one Magikarp for so long (not long at all) before you have to retire it, fish up another one, and start all over. You do get bonuses o help level the Magikarp faster, and your level keeps going up, so you can keep higher and higher level Magikarp before having to retire them.

It’s got cute, bright graphics, and it a simple, casual game for young kids, as well as adults who want to waste their time. Sometimes, you can get a peek at some other Pokemon who come around to cheer on your Magikarp as well. No real complaints from me!

And there you have it! The four games currently installed on my horrible, dying phone. Hopefully I’ll be able to get an upgrade in the near future, and will be able to play some better games, but for now, I’m quite enjoying these, and recommend them all.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Little Milestones | 2 Years Old

Hello, friends! My little man’s second birthday was on January 23rd, but I have been planning another milestone post for months. It’s been a long time since I did one of these, and I wasn’t sure what all to include, since toddler milestones are SO much different than infant milestones. I no longer am tracking when he rolls over, babbles his first word, or uses a spoon for the first time… he’s mastered all of that, and so much more. I tried to look up the same type of charts that I used when he was a baby, but I guess once your kiddo reaches a certain point, the charts just don’t exist.

So, I guess I’ll wing it, and just do what I did last time!

16107237_10208157496074623_2212953149510855899_oThe Basics:
Liam turned two years old on January 23, 2016. As of now, his exact height is unknown, but he’s weighing in at around 30 pounds. He has his two year checkup on February 3rd, so I’ll be able to fill that in afterwards. He wears a size 3T top, a 2T-3T bottom (depending on the brand and how they run), a size 9 shoe, and a size 5 diaper. He’s still my gentle giant! He has all of his teeth now except for his back molars, which we believe are coming soon, based on the rivers of drool, finger nibbling, and fussiness he’s been exhibiting. He’s still tall and skinny, and we still don’t know where he gets it from!

Physical Development:
Liam is active and full of energy. He runs, jumps, hops, dances, claps his hands, sings, and can even do somersaults around the living room. He is always on the move, and hates sitting still, which makes long car rides a bit difficult. His fine motor skills and coordination are great, and he enjoys twisting the caps on and off of every bottle he comes across, throwing balls and other small objects, stacking and filling cups, blocks, etc., and hiding objects around the house. He also loves to brush his own teeth, wipe himself during diaper changes, and blow his own nose. He can also completely dress and undress himself, including zippers and snap buttons. He’s pretty independant!

15977369_10208157500874743_1856180081958901388_nEmotional & Social Development:
It’s finally happened, y’all. My son has finally come out of his shell. He still won’t run up to random strangers and demand to be held, but he is finally sharing his all of his love with friends and family that he has seen before. From high fives, to blowing kisses, to giving hugs, to dancing and jumping around, and sharing his toys, my little one has finally started to get over his anxiety and open up. It is so refreshing to see. He is also able to communicate better now, and can articulate, in his own way, what he needs, which has resulted in fewer meltdowns… unless it is something I refuse to let him have. Oh, boy.

Learning & Vocabulary:
We’ve had to unfortunately put some of Liam’s learning on hold because of some other stuff we’ve been dealing with, but plan to pick it up ASAP. Currently, Liam knows all of his basic colors, a handful of shapes, and the numbers 1, 2, and 3. He can also hold up two fingers to tell you how old he is. He knows how to turn his toys (and pretty much anything with a switch or button) on and off, and we recently got a LeapStart to help him hone in on his fine motor skills, and to help him further develop his knowledge on all things toddler.

Oh, and speaking of communication, Liam has made GREAT strides in just the last few months. His word list is long, and silly. I’ve stopped trying to compare him to every other kid I see his age, who seem to be speaking in full sentences. As he’s shown, he will do what he wants, when he is ready. And, boy, can this kid talk when he wants to. Here’s a list of all of Liam’s known words and phrases. On occasion, he has been known to combine a few, like “Bye bye, baby!” to form small sentences as well!

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See? He’s come quite a long way! I feel like I may have forgotten a few, but those are all the ones I have written down. His current favorites are “uh oh” and “pizza“. He’s been calling most foods “pizza” lately, haha. Which brings me to the next category…

16178972_10208221005022307_6057956033326460555_oFoods & Eating:
Aside from when he is sick, which he has been for a couple weeks now, Liam will eat anything and everything I put in front of him. Fruits and veggies, meat, dairy… everything. Some of his favorites include pizza, ice cream, yogurt, pineapple, macaroni with meat sauce, meatballs, carrots, mashed potatoes, and pretty much anything that I have on MY plate. He can also successfully use a normal fork and spoon without difficulty. When it comes to drinks, he likes most things, but it has been difficult getting him to drink his milk. He likes milk, but I think he just finds it boring. He’d much rather have juice, or a smoothie. Since he’s been dealing with a horrible cold, with mucus coming out of just about every hole in his head, drinking milk has been practically non-existent in this house. Hoping he starts drinking more soon. He can successfully drink with a straw, from a normal cup, and from a normal plastic bottle.15107352_10207692615652903_6837362670149185000_n

Potty Training:
We started potty training several months ago, and it was going well… then we had to put a pause on it, because there were some big changes being made in our household, and I was unable to continue. Now that things have calmed back down, we plan to pick it up again immediately. For the last month, Liam has been waking up with a dry diaper most mornings, and I’ve had success putting him on his potty, and him going. He still won’t poop on the potty, but he gets really excited when he pees in it. I’m excited to get back into it!

Naps and Bedtime Routine:
Nothing has really changed in our bedtime and nap routine, and I attribute our great success to keeping a strict bedtime and nap schedule. He still takes one nap a day, roughly 2-3 hours, sometimes a bit more or less, and he goes down without a fuss. The same goes with bedtime. He has started stalling, often needing to give daddy an extra hug or two, needing to grab one more lovey, or wanting several more sips of water, but he always gets to bed on time, and falls asleep quickly.

14947474_10207609960666580_7961387108818975879_nHe still sleeps through the night, about 12-13 hours in total, sometimes more. We have a toddler bed, but have yet to transition him to it. There’s been a lot of changes happening lately, and I don’t want to overwhelm him. He’s had some interest in sitting and lying on the bed in the past, but since we only have the one mattress, moving it back and forth is a pain. Having both beds in his room makes his room look a bit small and cluttered, but I am trying to use this crib until I can’t anymore. He hasn’t tried to climb out yet! And, truthfully, I don’t feel like our apartment is 100% child-proofed. Many of the doors are crooked, or don’t close properly, including his bedroom door. Most of our doorknobs have child-proof device on them, but if they don’t close fully, those devices are useless anyway. I think I may just be paranoid, but I’ve read too many horror stories, you know? I still feel unprepared.

Playtime and Activities:
I don’t even know where to start! Liam is at such a fun age now, where he loves to play. He’s gotten so many awesome toys for Christmas and his birthday, that I’ve had to rearrange our living room THREE times to get it all to fit in a spot. He has a play kitchen, tons of play foods and dishes, a play grill, a tool bench and tools, a play vacuum, a play cleaning set with broom, mop, spray bottle, etc, tons and tons of Mega Bloks, cars and trucks, a farm set with a TON of animals, and his current favorite, a two-sided easel with a whiteboard and chalkboard. He loves to color and draw, read books, do wooden puzzles, and recently showed an interest in Playdough as well.

Above all else, he enjoys doing the things that Kyle and I do. He loves to help with the laundry, and put the dishes away. He is no longer afraid of the vacuum, and when he sees me getting ready to vacuum the floors, he runs to get his vacuum to help. He was always stealing my broom and dust pan, so we got him his own, and he loves to sweep the floors. He was always trying to see what we were cooking, and we were afraid he would hurt himself, so we bought him his own play kitchen, and he plays with it all the time. Seeing him turn into a productive, independent little boy, right before my eyes, has been… everything. I’m getting emotional just typing that out!

Oh, and he enjoys watching cute animal videos on YouTube. I even made him his own playlist!

I suppose that’s it for now! I’ll give you all more updates as he grows, but I think that about sums up my sweet, silly, energetic boy. I am so proud of him, and he fills my heart with so much love.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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My Last 8 Selfies

Hello, friends! I was recently inspired by a very lovely mama over on the It’s A Mum’s Life 2016 blog to post my most recent, eight selfies. For those of you still living in… the age of pre-smartphones, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a selfie as “an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.” A lot of people associate selfies with vanity, or narcissism, and sometimes, maybe that’s the case… but certainly not all of the time. Continue reading My Last 8 Selfies

High School Memories

Hey, friends. I’ve been meaning to upload a vlog about everything that has been going on lately, but honestly, I’m too depressed. Kyle has been away at school for three days now, and we just found out that his classes actually last five weeks, and not three weeks, like he was originally told. Five weeks, followed by four to six weeks of driving on the road with his instructor. I haven’t been this bored, lonely, or sad, for a very long time. Luckily, I am able to Skype with him for a few minutes after his classes, but I miss him. Liam and I both do. Continue reading High School Memories

Daily Prompt 7/1/2016 | Pain and Pleasure

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/1/2016 | Pleasure]

Hello, friends. I know I’ve been a bit absent lately, and I promise I will get you all caught up on recent events, but it will more than likely be in video blog form, as I just don’t have the time, or patience, to write it all out. However, I did want to share with you all something very exciting that happened to me recently… Continue reading Daily Prompt 7/1/2016 | Pain and Pleasure

Dream Journal 6/21/16 | Dream #2: Bad Boys

Kyle and I were awoken in the middle of the night by loud hollering and talking outside out bedroom window. I peered through the blinds and saw 3 teenage boys, around 15-16 years old, standing around a car parked on the grass beneath our window. Suddenly, they all turned and stared at me, as I watched them through the blinds. One of the kids flipped me the middle finger, while the others laughed. I walked away from the window and grabbed my phone, ready to call the police. I went to the window to show them that I was going to call the police if they didn’t leave, and one of the kids started taking pictures of me through the window. Continue reading Dream Journal 6/21/16 | Dream #2: Bad Boys

Remembering Christina Grimmie

Hello, friends. I wish I had something positive to write about at the moment, but due to some recent events, I’m left feeling quite numb and sad. As many of you may have already heard, Christina Grimmie, talented YouTube phenomenon, and ex-contestant on The Voice, was shot last night while signing autographs at a hometown show in Orlando, Florida, where she was performing. The male shooter, a man who is rumored to be a deranged fan, then shot and killed himself. Christina’s brother, Mark, is being hailed a hero for tackling the shooter before any more harm could be done. Christina was in critical condition when she was brought to the hospital late last night, but her injuries were too severe, and she passed away. She was only 22.

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Christina Grimmie was such a beautiful, kind girl, and an amazing talent. She was my sole inspiration to upload videos of myself singing to my old YouTube channel, over four years ago, and I related instantly to her fun personality, and love of Zelda. She had a powerful, unique voice, amazing keyboard skills, and was known for performing in her room, in front of her iconic Sonic poster. She got her start on YouTube, performing beautiful covers of popular songs, but later moved into writing her own music. The first video that I ever watched of Christina’s was her 2009 cover of Rascal Flatt’s “What Hurts the Most”, one of my favorite songs of all time, and I was blown away. She inspired me to push past my own fears, and post my first video of myself singing on my own channel.

As well as singing covers, Christina’s channel is also filled with videos of her performing her own, original works, and a handful of music videos. She put out her first album, Find Me, on June 14th, 2011. It is bittersweet to think that just three days from today will be the 5th anniversary of the release of Find Me. She later moved onto the big time, and was a powerhouse and crowd favorite on The Voice in 2014, impressing audiences across the world with her talent. She performed in numerous concerts in the United States, as well as overseas.

Last night, the hashtag #PrayersForChristina was trending worldwide on Twitter, and many YouTubers and celebrities tweeted their support. Unfortunately, this morning, the hashtag changed to #RIPChristina, with over 1.7 million people tweeting. This is a sad day for the YouTube community, as well as the rest of the world, and many YouTubers, celebrities, and fans have posted their condolences to various social media platforms following the tragic news of Christina’s passing.

Today is a sad day indeed, as the world mourns the loss of a great talent. Today is also the 25th birthday of fellow popular YouTube star, and radio personality, Dan Howell, and I sincerely hope that he has a good birthday, despite this sad news.

Rest in peace, Christina.

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Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan