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. Continue reading Jan Reviews Gaming Apps: Vol. 1
Hello, friends! I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting that much lately, I blame it on the really horrible Daily Post prompts that have been giving me zero inspiration lately, as well as my very clingy little guy, who has been teething and not doing well with it, and finally, a bit of depression from the weather, that leaves me unable to do much of anything. So, sorry about that. But aside from those things, I also recently dusted off my old Steam account, and have been playing a couple of free games, because I’m too poor for the ones that cost money! Since letting my World of Warcraft account run out, I haven’t done much in terms of gaming, and my lack of money doesn’t help much either. I thought I’d take a minute to tell you about some of the games I’ve been playing recently (all free-ish), since my kiddo is asleep and I am actually able to get to my computer for a minute or two! Let’s do it!
First up is the game Emily Is Away, an interactive story game, which I had seen several YouTubers play, and thought it looked interesting. Emily is Away is a very simple, short game, about the developing friendship/relationship between friends, you and Emily, told through an old school AIM chat screen. You play the friend, and get to choose your screen name, as well as the ability to change your AIM icon each year. There are 5 chapters, which take place during their senior year in high school, and then each following year at college. You are given 3 options for steering conversation, which affects the outcome of the story, which means there are multiple endings that you can have. I had a lot of fun playing this game, even though the story was infuriatingly relatable at times, and made me feel all sorts of nostalgic feels from my time as a confused, hormonal teenager. There really isn’t much else to say, but I highly recommend it! Good game!
And now we come to my secret addiction: hidden object games. I’ve spent more money than I’d care to admit on hidden object games at Walmart, only to completely beat them within 24-48 hours. I found a handful of decent hidden object games on Steam, starting with this one. I give you, Lost Lands. The reviews were pretty mixed on Steam, but for a free hidden obeject game, I can’t complain too much. This game is beautiful, and addicting, but it does have it’s flaws. I like that each level that you unlock has three versions for you to search in, and they seem to be random (maybe?). You have the regular mode, where it lists the objects, and you find them. Then, there is a profile mode, where you are given a shadowed profile image of the object you need to find, which gets difficult when it is a picture of a black circle, but there are half a dozen circular items on the screen. And finally, a night level, where the screen is black, and your mouth has a light around it, which you need to click and drag to find items. The click and drag is a bit clunky, which makes these levels not that fun. The items shuffle a bit each time you play a level, so they aren’t always the same, which keeps it from getting too repetitive and boring.
You are given quests by the various inhabitants of the island, and there are also random beasts you can defeat with the weapons and objects you get from levels. You can also repair random buildings and locations on the map with the items you get from the levels, which help you earn additional things, like lumber, energy, and experience for leveling. Speaking of energy, that is the biggest downfall of the game. Energy is spent each time you do a level, or open a chest to do a puzzle, and it takes a looong time to get back. Unless you buy it. That’s the catch. The game is free, but if you want to play it for longer than 15 minutes every 3 or 4 hours in a day, you need to buy energy, which can cost you real money. It is a fun game, and I recommend it, but it can be frustrating waiting for your energy to fill back up so that you can play for another 15 minutes. Still, I recommend it if you enjoy pretty hidden object games with story lines and quests.
Next up, Mystic Saga, a new hidden object game, from the creators of the Lost Lands game I just told you about. In fact, Mystic Saga is basically the same game, just… a different story. Despite being the exact same type of game, with the exact same style of play, Mystic Saga is actually much better than it’s big sister game. Energy is easier to obtain, and can be gained through completing levels quickly, which means you can play the game for longer periods of time. You can also earn energy giving items as awards from levels and defeating creatures. One thing that has been a bit frustrating is that for many of the quests, you have to collect objects from levels, which may or may not drop, to give to the merchant, or the stableman, or another character, in order to get another item from them… which may or may not drop. So you end up burning through your energy to play a level 3 or 4 times, just to trade the item to the necessary character, and then they don’t drop the item you need for the quest, and you have to do it all over again. However, one thing they did improve on was the night mode, and that you don’t have to click and drag the light anymore, it just goes with your mouse.
Overall, like Lost Lands, this game is beautiful, and is a good time waster. It has some interesting story lines, and fun quests, and I recommend Mystic Saga. The creators of both of these games also have several other games, which look pretty cool, but cost money. So you should look into those as well if you have a steady source of income, unlike me!
And finally, Mystic Destinies: Serendipity of Aeons, a brand new visual novel game. I really wanted to like this game, but unfortunately, there isn’t much of it to play at this point. The game only came out in February, and after you finish the first chapter, which is free, you have to buy whatever other content is out at this point, which was disappointing, as I finished the first chapter in around 30 minutes. You play a first year college student, whose name you get to choose, who goes through some pretty crazy stuff, and ends up getting magical powers. She handles it all much better than I would have. Her school suddenly turns into a school of magic, possibly in a different realm, and you meet a handful of attractive guys who help her with various things. At least, I think they do, since I wasn’t able to play anything after the first chapter. You also have the option of playing the story lines of each of the guys in the game, which I didn’t do, mainly because I was too frustrated to continue… I think that part is free, but I don’t actually know. Sorry.
I thought that this game was going to be similar to Emily Is Away, in that you get to choose your path and outcome, but there was none of that in the first chapter of the game, so I have no idea. The story is interesting, and draws you in, making you want to spend money to play more after just a very short time. Well, we can’t all do that, so it was a bit disappointing. The graphics are cute if you like the anime style games, and it is all shiny and new. I wish there was more free content available for download, but alas, there really isn’t. If you have money to spend, I suppose I recommend the game anyway. Let me know how the other chapters go, since I doubt I’ll ever get to play them!
That’s really it! The hidden object games are my current go-to when I need to kill a little time, or just take a breather from my fussy child. Do any of you have any recommendations for free Steam games that you enjoy? I like simulation games, sandbox games, and hidden object games. Pretty casual, since I don’t have a lot of time to invest in them.
Thanks for reading, friends!
The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/31/2016 | Roaring Laughter
“What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?”
I love laughing. I need laughter to survive. Do you enjoy laughing? Well, prepare yourselves, my friends, because I am about to introduce you to something amazing. Well, specifically, two someones. As many of you know, I am an avid YouTube watcher. I watch vloggers, gamers, and beauty gurus from several corners of the world, and I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to. A few months ago, after hearing them referenced by nearly every YouTuber that I watch, I decided to subscribe to this hilarious duo.
Meet Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal III, aka Rhett and Link, the hilarious “Internetainer” duo behind the wildly popular YouTube channel, Good Mythical Morning. Good Mythical Morning is a family-friendly YouTube show, hosted by Rhett and Link, which currently boasts an impressive subscriber count of just under 10 million. GMM releases episodes every weekday, including a “show after the show” on a separate channel, called Good Mythical More, which includes unedited, goofy commentary, additional games or challenges, and a look at the crew behind GMM. Videos on both channels are generally between 10-15 minutes long, and are family friendly, so you can watch with your kids! Don’t have time to sit at your computer and watch episode after episode of GMM? No problem. You can also download episodes from iTunes as either a video podcast, or an audio podcast. Rhett and Link also have a main channel called Rhett & Link, where they perform funny skits, create original songs and music videos, and do commercials, are usually just a few minutes long, as well as an EXTRAS channel, where you get to see all kinds of funny extras, and get to know the crew better. Their 4 channels combined have around 16 million subscribers total! That’s pretty impressive. Aside from their popular YouTube channels, Rhett and Link also have a podcast called Ear Biscuits, which you can listen to on iTunes and SoundCloud. They also put out a weekly collaboration song with various other YouTubers, called Song Biscuits.
I’m subscribed to ALL THE CHANNELS.
Now that I’ve provided you with a ton of links to add to your arsenal of awesomeness, here’s a little bit more on Rhett and Link. These two guys have been best friends since the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, you guys, and seem just as close as ever. They’re both all grown up (well, physically), are both married, with kids of their own, who sometimes make appearances on the show. The comedic chemistry between these two is amazing, and there is never a lull, or a dull moment, on their show. Whether they are tasting gross food for the sake of answering the age old question of “Will it?“, testing out ridiculous products, reading and opening fan mail, or testing out crazy theories, these two will keep your whole family laughing. They also interact with their fans frequently, across virtually every social media platform you can think of, and include them, and their fan mail, in the show. They’re seriously fantastic.
There are currently well over 1,000 videos on JUST the Good Mythical Morning channel, and I’ve been enjoying binge-watching every episode throughout the day. Even as I type this, I’m watching an episode where Rhett and Link try to eat a pizza in 60 seconds! Before that, I watched a video about the 4 biggest viral hoaxes on the internet. These guys cover everything you can imagine, in a hilarious, engaging fashion.
Once you’ve become a super fan, you can spend your hard-earned money on some seriously cool merch from their store, including Rhett’s Beard Oil, Link’s Lip Balm, and awesome hoodies.
One last time, here’s a list of most of their links and info, for anyone interested in becoming obsessed:
MAIN YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://youtube.com/rhettandlink
GOOD MYTHICAL MORNING: http://youtube.com/rhettandlink2
GOOD MYTHICAL MORE: http://youtube.com/rhettandlink3
EXTRAS CHANNEL: http://youtube.com/rhettandlink4
MERCH STORE: http://rhettandlink.com/store
Send them stuff to their PO Box:
Rhett & Link
PO Box 55605
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
Okay, I’m done. Can you tell I love these guys? Seriously, check them out! Are any of you already Rhett and Link fans? How long have you been watching?
Thanks for reading, friends!
Hello, friends! Today is Liam’s first birthday! In honor of this momentous day in our lives, I decided to write a post about Liam’s birth story, which you can read (if you want, it is a birth story after all) by clicking here.
We quietly celebrated this special day yesterday, since Kyle is working all weekend. Unfortunately, Kyle’s mother was also working, so we celebrated at home, with just the three of us. We started the day off with blueberry birthday pancakes, which were a hit, but the real treat of the day was Liam’s birthday cake!
Well… cupcake, that is.
Liam doesn’t have any allergies to eggs or anything, but I still wanted to find a cake recipe that was a little bit on the healthier side. I also don’t bake, and couldn’t really afford to go out and buy a bunch of baking supplies and ingredients, that I will never use up. After hunting around online, I managed to stumble across a “healthier boxed cake” recipe, from the Dr. Oz Show, and decided to go with a boxed chocolate cake recipe (because it had the lowest calorie count and sugar content, surprisingly), though I did have to tweak it a bit.
The recipe reads as follows:
- 1 package cake mix
- 1/2 – 1 banana, mashed
- 3/4 – 1 1/12 cup plain Greek yogurt
- water (amount not specified)1. Just use a normal chocolate boxed cake mix (that calls for you to add water, egg, and oil), but make the following substitutes:
- Instead of egg, use a mashed banana (1/2 banana per egg).
- Instead of oil, use 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt per cup of oil.
2. Then follow the instructions on the box to finish making the cake.
Now, I ended up using the recommended amount of bananas, but needed DOUBLE the amount of Greek yogurt (my recipe called for 1/2 cup of oil, but I used about 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt). Since the amount of water wasn’t specified, I used only 1/4 of a cup, but I probably could have used a bit more. I also added a bit of cinnamon to the mix, since I planned to top it with cinnamon graham cracker crumbles. It was very difficult to mix by hand, and the batter was very thick and sticky. This also made it quite difficult (and messy) to put into the cupcake liners. Usually when I bake cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc. the cooking time is fairly accurate, but I needed to take these out about 3-4 minutes earlier than called for, and they still felt slightly overcooked.
They smelled amazing, and the batter (which I shamelessly ate from the bowl) was delicious. However, it ended up not making 2 dozen, which it should have. We ended up with 16 total cupcakes, and they were yummy! The bottoms did end up being slightly overcooked, but the cake itself was surprisingly moist, all things considered. The banana and chocolate combination was really tasty, and reminded me of banana bread, or even cocoa zucchini bread, both of which I love!
I topped Liam’s birthday cupcake with whipped cream, instead of icing, cinnamon graham cracker crumbles, and a blueberry. His favorite part was the whipped cream and graham crackers, but he did finish the entire thing! He didn’t care for the blueberries, however, which were still slightly bitter and firm (which is how I like them). But overall, as you can see, he loved it!
I’ve also been snacking on the cupcakes, and love them! They are slightly better for you, as far as boxed cake mixes go, and are a good alternative for moms who can’t bake, or don’t want to waste baking ingredients that they may never use, and kiddies with allergies. I recommend!
Thank you for reading, friends!