So Many Games, So Little Time

Hi all! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. Life has been crazy! From studying for school, to working and having a crazy schedule, it’s left me very little time to do anything else. With so many new games coming out, I decided to blog about my excitement about these games!

To start off, the Sims 4 just came out. I’ve played every Sims game since the beginning of Sims time, but I have to say I’m on the fence about even purchasing the Sims 4. Before the Sims 4 came out, I read that the world wasn’t doing to be an open world anymore and that unfortunately, we were going back to loading screens. This was supposed to be for a smoother running game if you have a lower / not so new computer, which, makes sense to me. They also removed the “toddler” life stage, and pools. POOLS. I can’t make my Sim go skinny dipping anymore, guys! 😦 Not that that was the most important part of the Sims….

I’ve been reading reviews from IGN and player reviews and I’ve seen many people who are saying that the game is basically the Sims 2, but more of a dumbed down version. User reviews on Metacritic.com also aren’t looking very good. The Sims 4 has more negative reviews than positive reviews here: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/the-sims-4

Kallie Plagge of IGN posted her review here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/09/02/the-sims-4-review?watch

Keep in mind though, that is not a full review as EA did not provide advance copies of the Sims 4 for early review, which in some peoples minds means that the Sims 4 might not be a good game to purchase anyway… I will say, I did download the demo and I was impressed with the Sims CAS. I didn’t like that I couldn’t make custom colors in Create A Style and I had to use the colors for clothes, hair and makeup that the developers decided on…

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(That’s my SIM!)

I’m torn! I have been so excited for the Sims 4 since I first saw the trailer for it. Honestly, Sim customization was enough to sell me on it. You can actually build a Sim that is essentially you, and make them closer to your actual body type and do all sorts of crazy things with them! I can’t bring myself to bite the bullet yet and buy it, and as much as it’s killing me to do so, I am patiently waiting for more reviews of the game before I make my final decision.

And FINALLY…Minecraft was accepted by Microsoft testing and will be released on the XBox One on FRIDAY!

HUZZAH!

You seriously have no idea how happy I am about this. I keep having to switch over to my 360 to play Minecraft, and I’ve been dying for it to come out on the XBox One FOREVER it seems. Yep, more of my vacation time wasted on video games…

There are so many games coming out in the next few months and it’s going to make me POOR. From Destiny to the new Dragon Age coming out, I’m going to have to put in some overtime or maybe stop with the shopping splurges at Bath and Body works… 😥

How are you all feeling about any video games coming out this fall and which ones are you most excited about?

Also, if any of you have purchased the Sims 4, what are your thoughts?

 

XO, Whitney

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For the Love of Language

 

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My recent research in college education has led me, as it has many times, to my one of my biggest passions: Language. Throughout my K-12 years I bounced around with what I wanted to study due to the fact that I have many interests. East Asian studies, art, veterinary medicine, animal behaviorism, graphic design, and English have made up the main bunch.

Even so, I always seem to make a loop and end up at the same conclusion. I love language; particularly English.

Language is what sets us apart. It is a fundamental aspect of our lives. We speak, write, and read language. It is what allows us to express ourselves in the most profound ways. It is interesting how many people might say, “Well, yeah,” as if that’s just a fact of life and there is nothing fascinating or extraordinary about language. Yet when you give it thought, imagine what language means to us.

One facet of language presents to us an escape from our lives by letting us delving into created worlds. That is reading.

My relationship with reading began well enough. I was fascinated by stories, but as a child it was visually appealing. Who didn’t love those picture storybooks?

Late elementary into middle school introduced an entirely new type of reading. No more pictures? I have to use my imagination? As a kid that grew up on Disney movies and vibrant picture storybooks, this was not how I wanted it to go. So, I decided that reading and I didn’t suit each other. Silly me.

It wasn’t until late middle school when I was roaming idly around the library that the spine of a book caught my eye. It depicted a horse, and I’ve always loved horses. As I looked at it, I read the title, “Wild Magic”. Horses, wild, and magic? What was this enticing sorcery? I checked out the book that day and was hooked.

Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic kindled my love for reading. This was the kind of reading that provided that wonderful escape from reality; the type that grips your mind and heart.

Mark Edmundson (The Ideal English Major) described it so well:

“There are people who read to anesthetize themselves—they read to induce a vivid, continuous, and risk-free daydream. They read for the same reason that people grab a glass of chardonnay—to put a light buzz on. The English major reads because, as rich as the one life he has may be, one life is not enough. He reads not to see the world through the eyes of other people but effectively to become other people.”

“Real reading is reincarnation. There is no other way to put it. It is being born again into a higher form of consciousness than we ourselves possess.”

It was through these kinds of experiences that I developed a love for language and so a love for writing. After all, the three facets of language are all interlinked.

It’s why I am writing to all of you right now, and why I plan to pursue a degree in English.

I completely geek out over language!

It’s a dream of mine to have a career where I can indulge in my passion for language (reading, writing, speaking), and to reach others through my work. I’d like to publish at least one book if not more, and I will forever to encourage others to love language.

Here are some of my favorite books/series that I recommend:

The Sevenwaters TrilogyJuliet Marillier

Heart’s BloodJuliet Marillier

The Maze Runner trilogyJames Dashner

The Immortals quartetTamora Pierce

Dragonriders of PernAnne McCaffrey

 

Britney

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Perler Bead Fever

So the blog has been pretty inactive lately. The girls and I have been busy with different things and we do apologize.

Actually, I went on vacation for a week. Three of those days were spent down at the Gulf Coast on the beach, in the sun.. Man I wish I could go back right now, haha. Another two days were filled with doing errands, some of which were in regard to my brother’s wedding. I’m a bridesmaid. And the rest of the days? Well, I reactivated my Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn subscription and played that for hours straight like a bum. A happy bum, but a bum.

Now on to the point of this post.  😉  I was recently introduced to perler beads and now I just can’t stop. I’ve always had an interest in perler beads and I’ve spotted a few geeky perler sprites in video game stores in the past. So as soon as I got my hands on some beads of my own, the fever hit me like a ton of bricks.

The perler bead fever, of course. The last few days I have been learning about the beads and practicing making my own sprites. There I was thinking that perler beads would be a walk in the park. I mean, it’s no jigsaw puzzle, but it can be challenging at times. You really have to get a feel for the melding bit of it too. Honestly, I think I finally have the technique down pretty well. And yes, there is a technique.

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So this is the part where I let everyone now that I’ve finally caved in and opened up an online shop at Etsy. For those of you that don’t know, Etsy is a crafter’s version of Ebay. Put simply, it’s the bomb-diggity.

For now I’m only selling the perler bead sprites, but I will be soon turning them into magnets, hair clips, necklaces, keychains, earrings, ect. Oh, it’s about to go down.

I only have a few perler sprites shown in the shop, but I take custom orders! So go custom order!

Here is my shop: The Krafty Kupo

I’ll post a few pictures of sprites I’ve done below, but don’t be surprised if they are the same ones listed on my shop. — Remember, custom orders!

Britney

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Alice and Cheshire Cat Makeup

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These are photos straight from my instagram it isn’t a tutorial I just wanted to share with you guys 🙂 I saw a youtube video for makeup like this by Lucyxx84 and I think her makeup is so beautiful and it inspired me to create this look. I have been wanting to do more cosplay/costume makeup for a while now and decided to practice with this today.

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I didn’t do the same colors as the Tim Burton Cheshire cat I wanted to stick with the colors of the animated Alice and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I have many different brands and types of makeup on but the main product I use when doing costume makeup is my NYX jumbo pencil in milk. I have very sensitive skin so I don’t want to use face paint so I love that the NYX pencil is so creamy so I can use it on my entire face as I’ve done in the past with my sugar skull makeup or as a base for my eye makeup. It’s also good to put on your lips on top of your lipstick to add dimension and just blend it out. For all of the lines I make I use a thin tipped liquid liner pen and go back over with pencil and black shadow. For my hair I just pin curled it and let it set while I did my makeup.

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Please let me know your thoughts on this look and if you would like to see more cosplay/costume makeup looks with in depth tutorials and if you would what are some characters you would like to see. I am always open to suggestions. 🙂

Kelly

Kirby

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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No wizarding household is complete without a copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Albus Dumbledore

Last Christmas, a friend of mine bought me a gift that I now rank in my top 10 favorite gifts of all time. He bought me, “The Hogwarts Library” book set! This is a high quality hardcover set of extra books written by J.K. Rowling that emulate the books used by Harry and his friends in the H.P. series.

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The set includes:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Quidditch Through the Ages
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard

After reading them, it was easy for me to decide that Fantastic Beasts was my favorite of the three. Why? I love animals, creature, and beasties whether they are of this Earth or reside within fiction.

The “author” is the magical beast fanatic and overall eccentric, Newt Scamander.

Newton (‘Newt’) Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1897. His interest in fabulous beasts was encouraged by his mother, who was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogriffs.”

It also features a Foreword by Albus Dumbledore as well as notes scribbled by Harry and his friends. I found these notes very amusing. They turned what would be a mundane glossary section of the book into an entertaining one!

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Notice the word “section”. While the majority of this book is a glossary of magical beasts, it isn’t everything. See below for the contents listing.

CONTENTS

Foreword by Albus Dumbledore

Introduction by Newt Scamander

About This Book

What Is a Beast?

A Brief History of Muggle Awareness of Fantasy Beasts

Magical Beasts in Hiding

Why Magizoology Matters

Ministry of Magic Classifications

An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts

About the Author

Now I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was physically holding the same book that Hogwarts’ students held. This book as an e-book just wouldn’t do it for me. So do yourself a favor and buy this bad boy and the others paperback or (especially) hardback. You’ll thank me later. 😉

On to the fun stuff! I wanted to briefly mention that I love the names of the beasts exclusive to the H.P. world. They tickle me. Like, I genuinely giggle at some of the names. So here is a short list of some of the names I find amusing.

  • Billywig
  • Chizpurfle
  • Crup
  • Dugbog
  • Erkling
  • Fwooper
  • Lobalug
  • Murtlap
  • Niffler
  • Plimpy
  • Snidget

I took the time to write a list of the beasts that interested me and narrowed it down to one favorite (because I’m a super geek) to give everyone an example of what sort of information you might find.

// Drumroll //

Antipodean Opaleye

“The Opaleye is a native of New Zealand, though it has been known to migrate to Australia when territory becomes scarce in its native land. Unusually for a dragon, it dwells in valleys rather than mountains. It is of medium size (between two and three tonnes). Perhaps the most beautiful type of dragon; it has iridescent, pearly scales and glittering, multi-coloured, pupil-less eyes, hence its name. This dragon produces a very vivid scarlet flame, though by dragon standards it is not particularly aggressive and will rarely kill unless hungry. Its favourite food is sheep, though it has been known to attack larger prey. A spate of kangaroo killings in the late 1970’s were attributed to a male Opaleye ousted from his homeland by a dominant female. Opaleye eggs are pale grey and may be mistaken for fossils by unwary Muggles.”

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Film

On September 12 2013, Warner Bros and Rowling announced they will be producing a film inspired by the book, being the first in a new trilogy. Rowling herself will be the screenwriter. She came up with a plan for a movie after Warner Bros. suggested the idea. Here is the statement released by J.K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Rowling will make her screen writing debut with this film. David Heyman, who produced the Harry Potter films, will be returning as producer for Fantastic Beasts.

  • October 2013, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe stated he would likely not be a part of the film.
  • March 2014, Warner Bros. confirmed that the story would be released as a trilogy.
  • May 2014, no director or cast member has been confirmed.
  • May 2014, according to entertainment reporter Nikki Finke, Alfonso Cuarón, who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is in talks to direct the film, but Cuarón denied about directing the film.
  • July 2014, Warner Bros. announced that J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to shoot at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in the U.K., which also happens to house the Harry Potter Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.

 

Needless to say, I am super excited about this movie! I always found the magical beasts of the H.P. world to be really odd and fascinating so let’s see which of them they decide to include. Maybe I’ll get to see an Antipodean Opaleye or a cute Kneazle!

Britney

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Current K-Drama: Trot Lovers

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This is the first post I’ve done on a Kdrama before and I think that is absolutely crazy because these shows are my primary form of entertainment. Sometime last year I did a post on kpop well I also love to watch dramas and Trot Lovers is the one I am currently watching. This is just a quick post with my thoughts on the show.

First this is my favorite type of drama. It has the dramatics of course but it is hilarious and also has romance. The cast I love them all and I am so surprisingly happy with Shin Sung-roc as Jo Geun-woo. The only other thing I had seen him in was My Love from Another Star and I hated him because you know he was the bad guy and did terrible things but in Trot Lovers he is one of the funniest actors in a drama I’ve seen in a while. Just his personality, how blunt he is and I think mainly how different in a good way he is from My Love from Another Star. I haven’t decided who I ship yet it is going to be a very tough choice between the two male leads. I will probably end up torn like with Boys Over Flowers.

I like that it has music. I loved Dream High 1 and 2. Monstar was also a great drama that centered around music. Since I love kpop so much when I know it is musically based I’m going to want to watch and this doesn’t disappoint whatsoever. The voices are very good.

From the loan sharks and how funny they are to the way Jang Joon-hyun is with Choi Choon-hee’s younger sister it makes me laugh and touches my heart. If you’ve never watched a Kdrama or are searching for a new one I highly recommend this one. It’s feel good and has such a happy vibe. If you’re also watching let me know your thoughts on the show and the cast!

Kelly

Kirby

Happy Video Games Day!

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You may or may not know that today is Video Games Day!

This day is not to be confused with it’s counterpart held on Sept. 12th, National Video Games Day, even though it’s pretty much exactly the same thing.

That being said, you know that us girls at GnG will take advantage of whatever we can to post something about video games, even if it is an “unofficial” type day.

So we present everyone with each of our 10 favorite video games of all time!

 

Note: Our lists are not in any specific order.

Britney’s

  • Super Mario World
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Pokemon LeafGreen
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Little Big Planet
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Kelly’s

  • Harvest Moon DS
  • Fable
  • Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Dungeon Siege
  • Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • Fable II
  • Lego Harry Potter
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Goldeneye 007
  • Zelda: Twlight Princess

Whitney’s

  • Tomb Raider: Underworld
  • Saints Row
  • Army of Two
  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Super Mario 3
  • Guild Wars II
  • Battlefield 4
  • Dead Rising 3
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Also!