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Legacy Family Happenings

It’s been a long time since I peeked in on my Sims 4 legacy family (we’re only on the third generation and the goal is to get to the tenth) but they were still there, waiting. I’m not really sure what I was doing with their current home, but when I started up the game I didn’t like it at all, so the first thing I did was bulldoze the lot and start their home over again. Not a big deal as they were not moving and they still kept their important things, even though I’m only three generations in they’ve accumulated quite a bit of ‘stuff’.

EA has also revamped the purchase screen so I had a clear idea of what I own (and what I don’t). I’m missing a lot of the smaller game components these days, and it’s no wonder because they seem to publish them quite frequently. I never picked up vampires because there’s no easy way to deny them from your sim world – and I don’t have Parenthood, or a lot of the stuff packs like toddler stuff, fitness stuff, bowling night stuff. All of these packs add up, and to “catch up” as it were would be quite expensive.

That being said, I AM very excited about Cats & Dogs which releases November 10th. Pets?! Yes please! This was one of my favourite things in Sims 3, along with seasons which I’m still waiting for. Included in the game is not only pets and items that cater to the animals, but the veterinary career and the ability to create your own vet practice.

Yes please.

Have you kept up with the Sims 4 game packs, expansions, and stuff packs? Which one is your favourite? Are you looking forward to pets being released? Let me know in comments and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Bootstrap Buttons (and other Coding Adventures)

I know it has been a little while since I wrote, but I was having some issues with my web host and had to take care of a few things. Hopefully it’s all in hand now and I can get back to blogging! It has also been a little while since I wrote about my adventures with Freecodecamp and learning to code – but I’m still doing that, too. Just at a much slower pace than I had anticipated. The program is fantastic and you go at your own pace, it’s just that my pace has been interrupted by life (a few times).

I’ve completed 67 challenges so far which basically means I’ve touched on almost nothing. I’ve done a little HTML, some CSS, some HTML5, and I’ve just started Bootstrap. Most of the time (so far at least) I’m able to figure out what I need to do on my own. I like the way code is written, it’s easy for me to read and see what pieces need to go where, or what I’m missing. The way these challenges are framed it’s a lot of just inserting a new variable into something that’s already in the code some place, or a version that you’ve already done. Learning where it goes and how it affects everything in real time is neat. I’m eager to get a bit deeper into things but for now I’m content with the (incredibly slow) pace I’m working at. I’m restricted to learning during naps and after kiddo is in bed which doesn’t leave me with a lot of time (it seems like there’s always something more to do) but I’m determined to stick with it so I can develop some skills.

Right now I’m just making buttons that do stuff, that stretch across a certain space, that have colour (or don’t). For a lot of my friends I know this comes easily, but I’m still proud to be picking it up now. I’ll get there.

HTML5 and CSS was 5 hours (approx) of work. Now that I’m on Bootstrap it should be another 5 hours, and then I move on to JQuery (3 hours). From there, I move to Basic Front End Development Projects, 50 hours where I’ll be building a few things. Exciting, no? Yes! If you’ve never heard of Freecodecamp before I highly suggest you check it out, and if you have any other suggestions for me to check out please don’t hesitate to post them to comments!

Now lets get back to gaming!

Slow and Steady

I love achievements. When I can’t figure out what I want to do in a game I can look at the list of achievements and usually find something that appeals to me. Since I’m playing Guild Wars 2 on a newer account that has very little completed, I decided to spend some quiet time chipping away at map completion.

As an example of how very little I have completed on this account – I may have four level 80 characters but they certainly didn’t get there from leveling the traditional way. Rather, I crafted my way to 80. I have 5% world map completion on my main – and of course I want to slowly change that.

I started out easy. I never know when I’m going to have to jump away from the PC so I wanted to begin in a city. I haven’t explored much of Lion’s Arch since the destruction (and rebuilding) after Living Season 1, so I decided that was as good a place as any. I had about 50% of the map already unlocked, waypoints visited and two vista. It took less than an hour to complete the rest, and gave me a nice 2% bump to my overall world map completion.

The best part is that it was completely relaxing and very immersive. I lost myself in the music of the zone, and just bounced around. It was exactly what I wanted to do with my time, and I’m really glad that I did. Was it character progression? Not in the traditional sense of the word, but I did get a little experience for getting it done (cities give very little, I’ve found) and again, it was fun and just what I needed. Next I’m headed to Gendarran Fields, where I have 12% of the map completed. I expect this one will take me a bit longer (hearts, so many hearts) but again it’s a fairly relaxing pace where I can just run around doing my thing and not have to focus too much.

Now I just have to find the time..

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!


Do You Use the Wishlist Feature?

Just out of curiosity, how many readers out there actually use the Steam Wishlist feature? What do you use it for?

I tend to wishlist games I want but can’t afford at the time, or want and don’t want to spend money on, or want and just.. want. Sometimes an incredibly generous friend gifts one to me and I try to return the favour as often as I can (which isn’t nearly as often as I want, I can tell you that). I try to keep the wishlist up to date and as recent as possible, weeding out games that I don’t REALLY want and that I can’t remember why I actually wishlisted (probably had something to do with a steam sale guiding my hand). My wishlist is a mixture of early access games I don’t want to forget about, and older games that I’m just waiting to go on sale.

If we’re not friends on steam yet, we should be! You can find me there as Stargrace.

Dragon Wings

In the market place today I noticed that there were some chests for sale – but the first one was free (one of each type that was being offered). I love free things (who doesn’t!) so of course I excitedly claimed them to see what was inside on each of my accounts.

I got an account bound pet, some food and oils, and some bits and bobs that you could use to claim other things – if you wanted the really good things you’d have to invest in more chests though. It just so happened that I had enough to purchase some awesome looking holographic dragon wings that fit over the backpack slot as an appearance item. Neat!

I don’t plan on purchasing any more of the chests for gems, but it was a great way to entice players to spending some gems (or gold, or real life cash) that’s for sure.

Pictured above is my Chronomancer (Mesmer) – Blesse. I haven’t played the character for quite some time, not since HoT came out I believe. I think at the time I was finding the class too difficult, and I wanted to swap back to my guardian so that’s the character I made next. I boosted a Charr ranger to 80 with my PoF boost, and I had enough random boosts to move my elementalist to 30 (from 20) which wasn’t too shabby. I also created a norn necromancer bringing the total characters on the newer account to 5, one of each race. I’ve never really played anything except my Guardian and the Mesmer, so I don’t have a lot of experience with those classes, but it’s always fun to have options.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Before You Know it, 10 Days Have Passed

There’s a saying I’ve heard a few times now since my husband left for depot, and that’s “the days are long but the weeks are short”. I haven’t seen him in 5.5 weeks now, and it’s been 10 days since I wrote here on my blog. The days are incredibly long and very difficult as I attempt to raise our 11 month old son alone, but then I look back and wonder where the time has all gone. I can only hope that I’ll have the strength to keep pushing forward like I have been. Some days are filled with nothing but tears – but they end, and the next day begins and it’s not usually as difficult as the previous one.

People keep telling me it gets easier but I’ll be honest. It doesn’t. Having my partner gone has not gotten easier at all. I cry just as much. I find doing certain things just as difficult. When my little one picks up his Cat In The Hat book and yells for ‘da da’ over and over, it breaks my heart and I cry no matter how many different days he does this. Sometimes it just doesn’t get easier and I truly believe that this is one of those times. That being said, the days DO still pass, time keeps moving forward, and so do I.

I had a bit of spare time today and I was able to log into GW2 – yay! These little moments help keep me sane. I mentioned before that I have two accounts, and I recently acquired PoF on my second (newer) account – a deluxe version of the game, which meant a new outfit and a special area I could get to. My older account has more history (Hall of Monuments, more birthdays) but doesn’t have collectors edition nor does it have any gems. Thing is, I’ve got a lot more “completed” on the old account, but a lot more perks on the newer one. If I stuck with the newer one I wouldn’t be able to catch up exactly (no hall of monuments and no making time pass faster for birthdays) but I could at least catch up in story / world discovery etc.

It was nice to play. I love looking at my characters, working on crafting, exploring the world, and just relaxing. I haven’t actually DONE a lot – I haven’t been working on my dailies and I still don’t know what I should aim towards as far as weapons go (legendary? I have no idea) but I still really enjoy myself in game. There’s still tons to do waiting for me if / when I want to work on it, and again the fact that there’s no subscription to pay for means I never really feel that much pressure. The world is beautiful, the story interesting, and I’m glad I decided to stick with it as my game of choice while life is in this really weird phase.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!


Mine vs. Theirs (Chefs Plate #3)

Today I made the third and final meal from Chefs Plate – garlic noodles with squash and spinach, and some toast with ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes. It was incredibly delicious and unlike the other two meals the portion felt huge (I had enough for 3-4 plates like the one you see above). The noodles were fresh, and now that I’ve had fresh pasta I’m not sure I can ever go back to the boxed stuff. It was light and fluffy and full of flavour.

It was one of the easier meals to cook and prepare, and as far as value goes it came closest to what I would actually consider paying $10.95 per plate for. It was also their vegetarian option, but you could always add a little chicken or something to stretch the meal out if you wanted.

Final thoughts? Well, Chefs Plate is just not aimed at people like myself. Solo parent of an infant, with no time to cook. It would be great for someone just learning, who wanted to impress themselves (or friends) with delicious meals. Someone who has a bit of time to cook, but no ideas of what to make, and of course, who has the cash. I do like that we can keep the recipes, I’ll make them again in the future using my own purchased ingredients and customizing them the way I prefer. It also gave me some good ideas, like using lime to flavour a slaw (the carrot & cabbage slaw was delicious) and how you don’t need complicated meals to have big flavour. I think the instant pot is geared at me in a much better way – less time in the kitchen, less time watching my food cook and preparing it. So I’ll look for more instant pot meals instead and maybe I’ll post one here weekly (or maybe not, I have no idea if people care that I post food things on my gaming blog).

In the end, I’m very glad I spent the $32 to try Chefs Plate out – but there’s no way I’d pay full price ($65) for three meals (6 servings total). That’s almost my entire weekly budget for groceries, and doesn’t cover lunch or breakfast (or even 7 days of dinners) or anything for my kid. That being said, if you want to give it a try you can get a discount on your first order by clicking here.

Lets get back to some gaming posts!

Theirs vs. Mine (Chefs Plate #2)

My second Chefs Plate meal was fish taquitos with a cabbage & carrot slaw. None of the ingredients were rotten this time which was nice. I was worried about the avocado because those have such a short “not ripe not ripe BAM RIPE rotten” stage, but it turned out excellent.

The food itself was fantastic and very filling – but I had a few issues. I had to grate the giant carrot and the chunk of cabbage by hand which was a pain. When it comes to value, I didn’t think that the supplies were worth $10.95 (the cost of a single plate) even if the overall meal was delicious. They sent me 2 fish fillets (very good), a small pouch of spices, a small container of sour cream, an avocado, a lime, 2 cloves of garlic, 6 flour tortilla wraps (very small), a carrot, and a chunk of purple cabbage. Now sure if you buy this stuff in the store it comes to more than $10.95 because the portions are a lot larger – but I felt like they sent me very little and I had to do all the work on top of it. I’m a busy mother of a 10 month old baby doing the solo parent thing for 6 months, cost is only a portion of what I was trying this for, time it takes to prepare the meal is another one. If the cabbage and carrots had come pre-shredded that would have made a world of difference.

For this meal I put the little guy in his bouncy chair and tried to keep him entertained long enough to make everything. I got right up to the stage where they go into the oven for 10 minutes which was pretty good. The meals all advertise to take between 25-30 minutes to make from start to finish and I find this to be pretty accurate – but I am rushing around doing things the entire time, so if you happen to work slower the meals would probably take around 45 minutes.

I’ve got one more meal to go, a fettuccini meal that I’m pretty excited about. That’ll be tomorrow (or when I can find the time to make it). I’ll do a final blog post with overall thoughts and if anyone has a question don’t hesitate to let me know.

Android Apps

Android OS gave birth to a lot of Applications. This is because developers jumped at the chance to create on the open source platform. Even though the OS is still very young, in comparison to other systems, it commands a huge chunk of the market. Since Android OS enabled the creation of mobile smart phones that could do so much at a cheaper price it became the most popular platform.

Apps for Android

The popularity of the Android OS presented a real opportunity to make money. By developing Apps for the platform anyone could make a large sum of money. With such a huge potential market it becomes very easy for companies to make money. If for example, one percent Android users pay for your app then you are in the money.

Even when there is no need to pay for the application the developers can still make money. Many online business are offering people a percentage of sales when they refer people to them. There are even real money gaming Apps that pay for referring people. Usually, these online casino are run by legitimate business people who understand that 100% of $10 is far less 10% of $10 but coming from a hundred people. That is why the top casinos offer affiliate fees for people who refer players. Because the casinos want to make money, when the referred person gets to the casino they are converted into real money players. Many premium casinos offer the players bonuses to play casino games, you can visit casinoaus casino games for more information about different types of casino games.

Brighter Future For Android App Users

Regardless of what the market holds for the developers of Android applications, it is bright for the users. There is fierce competition among developers. Everyone wants to make money and they can only do this by making the best applications. This means the Applications will only get better. Even the hugely successful applications like angry birds are getting updates. And Google is making it all better for everyone by ranking the Apps better so that the good Apps appear first.

Chefs Plate (Canada edition)

Gasp, I know, a non-gaming post, but a few folks were interested in details so I figured I’d put it here. Chefs Plate is another one of those meal delivery type things like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh where you choose from a selection of weekly recipes and they send you the ingredients and you cook it. There are tons of different plans and prices, but for Chefs Plate it’s $10.95 (CAD) per meal. I happened to have a 50% off coupon. They don’t offer meals for one person, but they did have a 2 person meal combo, so I went for that. They have 2-3-4 meal options. I went with 3. This put my order at $32 (CAD) for 3 different meals, 2 of each meal.

The box is 100% recyclable, as is everything in it (yay). My stuff arrived and it was nice and cold, even the meat. The recipes are printed on GIANT pieces of stiff paper, I wish they were more index card sized. Even if you decide not to go with further shipments (there’s no commitment here) you get to keep some (hopefully) amazing recipes.

My fist meal was grilled beef & pesto burgers with grilled mushrooms, peppers, and a nectarine salad. The facebook page claimed meals “could feed 3-4” but that’s not true, especially not for these burgers where you only get 2 buns. Ingredients are supposed to be local to Canada, but my red pepper has a big “U.S.A” sticker on it. The meat is Canadian, and I do like supporting our local farmers. Cutting into the red pepper showed me it was completely rotten inside, black mold everywhere. Gross.

The beef was *amazing* whoever they’re getting it from in Canada is doing a fantastic job. It was probably one of the best tasting burgers I’ve ever made. With the grilled red pepper and mushroom on top, it didn’t need anything else. Making the pesto by hand was a pain, you have to dice up arugula and sunflower seeds. The pesto wasn’t that great, but when you added the red wine vinegar to it, the flavours were incredible. No complaints about the burger at all.

The salad.. was nothing to write home about. The red wine vinegar was used there too and it overpowered the nectarine and the radish. Was this plate worth $10.95? I don’t personally think so.  I do have two more dishes to go, plus the second portion of this one (which I will have tomorrow) and if the steady price was $32 I’d be MUCH more inclined to purchase from them. In the meantime, at least I got some neat recipes to try out on my own.

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