Archive | May 2017

Sims 2 – My Favourite Game

If you’re about my age (18), maybe a bit older, maybe a bit younger, you’ll know of Sims 2. When I was younger I absolutely loved it. For a while I’ve been unable to play any PC game because I have a Chromebook for school, but more recently I’ve gotten a laptop. Now, it’s obviously not the best laptop in the world, but it runs sims 2 and I’m able to use Word and play some other games and it makes me very happy. Being able to play Sims 2 again has been like I’ve reopened and rediscovered my childhood. I have so many memories of playing that game. I loved sending sims off to university, I loved making big families, designing houses, creating stories and playing around with the pre-made families in their little houses and continuing on with their stories, and even looking up about the mystery behind the famous sim of Bella Goth.

I used to be a huge lover of custom content, I always found myself downloading nice clothes and skins and famous celebrities turned into sims from websites like Modthesims and even directly from the Sims 2 website. But playing it again, I realise I love just the original content and what got brought into each expansion pack and stuff pack. I’ll admit my favourite stuff pack was the H&M Stuff, and my favourite expansion pack was most likely Pets. I just loved being able to make pets and put them into my game, it to me added so much to the families. I’ve found myself now enjoying the more simple things within the game, I’ve not felt this need to download extra content into my game like I used to feel. I’ll admit, some more hair colour choices may be nice, I may benefit from those but in all I do enjoy the game how it is.

When I moved house I did struggle to find a lot of my packs for Sims 2, but it wasn’t until I think a few years ago I realised at the time Origin had been doing an amazing thing. I think it may have been to celebrate an anniversary of Sims 2 or something, but they released the entire collection out for FREE if you put in a certain code. I did it and that is how I’ve been playing the game. Thanks to the generosity of Origin, I’ve been able to play a game that meant so much to me in my childhood. I have played Sims 3, and as much as I loved the open world and the customisation options for every single item, I do prefer the simplicity of Sims 2. I haven’t had the chance to play Sims 4, as unfortunately I know my laptop won’t run it, but from what I’ve seen, although I know I’d enjoy it, I also know for certain that I’d go back to Sims 2 every single time. It’s a game that has meant a lot to me and honestly, I’m just glad to have it back in my life.

-Laura

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Physical Book vs eBook

There’s always been this physical book vs eBook debate from the moment eBooks became a thing, and it is something I have wanted to express my opinion on for a while.

Firstly, I want to mention that I read both physical and eBooks semi-regularly (school has been making it harder for me to find time to read. Ugh) so have had a variety of experiences with both.

My thoughts on physical books. Well, I own a lot and they’re all beautiful to look at with a variety of sizes (height and width), fonts and formatting (paperback or hardcover) and I have definitely developed a preference. I love hardcover books a lot and generally I have more luck with the fonts with hardcover, but paperbacks are so much cheaper and more easy to store because they are smaller, yet there are inconsistencies with font sizes. I don’t have the best eyes ever, I do wear glasses but I also do find myself getting eye strain if I read a book with small font for too long, I much prefer slightly larger fonts, which is something a lot of books don’t have. I love being able to look at them and I love the smell and feel of a book, but also they can sometimes be a bit difficult to take around. I don’t particularly like carrying around a physical book for multiple reasons:

  1. I am scared it’ll get damaged. I am someone who looks after my books and as much as I’m not too fussed about the spine, I do not want the front cover or back cover or any of the pages bent up from being carried around.
  2. If I finish a book, I’m stuck. I don’t have anything else because I would have only brought that book with me. Whereas with a Kindle, I have so many books to pick and choose from.

Now, my thoughts on eBooks. Generally they can be cheaper and there is a wide variety of eBooks available for free. The text size can be however you want it and 5 physical books weighs a lot more than 5 eBooks. They’re so much easier to carry around. If I’m going to be travelling, I can just stick my Kindle Paperwhite in my bag and away I go, I have a case to protect it so I don’t have to worry about damage and I have a whole load of books readily available to me and it barely weighs anything. It’s fantastic.

Overall though, if I am staying at home, I much prefer to read physical books if I can help it, the only time I won’t when at home is because I struggle with the sizing. If I am out however, I much prefer eBooks because they are so much easier to carry around. Price wise, I’m not too fussed, you can get both eBooks and physical books for fairly cheap depending on where you get them. In general, there shouldn’t really be this debate of ones better than the other and I’ve also seen people be so mean to people who specifically only read eBooks. There shouldn’t be such a divide because at the end of the day, you’re still all getting to enjoy a beautiful piece of writing. I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this however, so please let me know by writing a comment!

-Laura

Pandora – A Beautiful Addiction

A company I’ve really come to enjoy since about September 2016 (the month of my 18th birthday) is Pandora. For my birthday, I wanted something that would last a long time and something that would hold memories. When I started looking at Pandora charm bracelets, my parents knew it would be something great for me. I’d recently gotten more into wearing jewellery, as I’d bought many rings and a little bracelet from Aliexpress, and I did want to get something with quality and personalisation like Pandora bracelets.

What I love about Pandora is every piece of jewellery can hold meaning. I have a charm bracelet with 9 charms on it (all given for my birthday, Christmas or purchased with my own money) and each charm holds meaning to me. The 2 cats charm representing my two cats, the camera representing my love for photography and things like that. But it’s not only the bracelets from Pandora that I absolutely love, but the rings too.

The first thing about the rings that I love is that they actually do my size! I’m a size 48 (the smallest) and it fits perfectly and I rarely find rings that actually fit perfectly, apart from ones from Aliexpress as they have such a wide variety of sizes. But again, these rings can hold meaning to you. I have a ring that I wear every single day that I got for my birthday from my boyfriend, and it means so much to me because it was from him.

But since getting into Pandora, I’ve found myself becoming addicted. I constantly check the website for new charms I may want to one day get, or I’ll check eBay for preowned charms that may be from America originally (like the Disney ones) or ones that may be discontinued (that’s how I got my teacup charm). It’s an addiction but a beautiful one, and I love the look and meaning of all the charms, it’s one of the most personalised gifts for someone that anyone can purchase (if that made any sense) and I love it. I’d love to know if anyone else also finds this with pandora? Let me know your thoughts 🙂

-Laura

Reading Slump

Reading slump. That thing no reader wants to go through but does occasionally find themselves experiencing. With me, this happens after I’ve had to take a break from reading because I’ve not had time (because of school) and it happens so much during the exam period. My exams start mid-June and pretty much any spare moment from school and revision is spent either eating, sleeping or spending time with my family or boyfriend. I’ve not had time to read and for me it is awful.

This year I got through 3 Carrie Fisher books really quickly and after that, my reading drifted. I read 1 book with my boyfriend and another book on my own (Star Wars: Bloodlines) and after that, nothing. I don’t even know what sorta book I’m in the mood for! I can’t even really remember what I usually do to get out of a slump, but I feel like what I need is a new-release or a new want to read a certain book that I own, but that epiphany of what to read hasn’t happened yet… Ugh.

I think this reading slump will fix itself once all of my exams are done, as I would have left school and would have had a bit more relaxing time. But any relaxing time, I’ve found myself drifting further towards video games instead of books. Currently, if I want to relax, I’ll either watch YouTube or play on my 3DS or PS Vita. And although I want to do these things, I do feel a little bit guilty that I’m not reading… I really can’t think of anything to do, so I guess this post is a little bit of me asking for help.

Does anyone know ways to cure a reading slump? I will try anything after exams (end of June). Thank you guys in advance!

-Laura

Amiibo Cards – Are They Worth The Money?

If you are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll know about amiibos. For those who don’t know, they’re cards and figures that can connect to some Nintendo consoles (such as New 3DS and Wii U) via NFC (near field communication). They can add stuff into games such as Animal Crossing New Leaf, Happy Home Designer (both for 3DS) and Amiibo Festival (Wii U). The figures tend to go for roughly £10ish depending on where you get them, and the cards in the UK come in packs of 3 (1 special, 2 normal) for about £3.49 according to Amazon.
So for just over £1 per card, you’re getting an amiibo. A toy-to-life. But, is it worth it? Personally for me, I love the fauna-ecae38114593b4b3262704833282f7c174c4198025b0e4b637348cd0aa57f440Amiibo cards. As someone who loves collecting and used to collect Magic the Gathering and YuGiOh cards (as well as Vanguard), I love collecting little cards and the fact that these ones, although being more expensive, actually do something in games that I really love, it’s fantastic. I haven’t had the chance to play with them in New Leaf yet, but I have played around with Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival and they’ve been really fun.

In Happy Home Designer, you use the cards to phone up specific characters (special characters being ones you can’t design for in any other way) and then you can design their home for them. In Amiibo Festival, if you use an Amiibo Card when organising your town, that specific character can host your game, events can be made around them (such as with birthdays) and if you keep the card with you while you’re in the game, you can use them to roll the dice for you, increasing the chance of getting the specific desired number on the dice, as each character has a specific dice number on the card. Meaning in games, they can be very helpful.

In all, I think Amiibo cards are worth the money and are in general both adorable and fun. They are nice things to collect and can be great additions to certain games. So if you love collecting cards, are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll love these. It just depends on what you think of the price.

-Laura

Review – New 3DS XL Animal Crossing Pouch

So, in my review of the Mini Elite Transporter Case I mentioned that I wanted a case that’s slightly smaller so I can actually travel with it, and I came across this Animal Crossing pouch made for the New 3DS XL, but of course the new 3DS will fit in there. I saw it had 2 pockets on the inside originally for storing amiibo cards, but I guess you could put anything in there. I loved the design, it had good reviews and it is an official Nintendo product, so for £10.80, I bought it. I bought it on the 15th of April and it arrived on the 18th of April, so I’ve had it for some time and have had the opportunity to test it.

hori-animal-crossing-soft-pouch-1So, what are my thoughts? Well, it fits the New 3DS nicely and I’m able to put in a spare stylus. I use one of the bigger styluses you can get (like what came with the Dsi XL) because I just find it easier and more comfortable to hold. The two pockets fit amiibo cards but I’ve used them for game storage. The case also feels really nice and high quality and honestly, the pattern looks nicer in person than it did in the pictures. Only one side has the pattern that you can see on the picture, the other side is the plain colour. The pouch also has 2 zips which I found strange, as I’m not really sure why you’d need two for such a small case.

In all, I think it is really nice and high quality and perfect for any animal crossing fan, no matter which 3DS you have as it’ll comfortably fit both. It may seem a little pricey, but for an official Nintendo licenced product, I think it’s a good deal. The price does also keep changing on Amazon, but only by a matter of pence. I really do recommend this and it’ll definitely be the main case I use for a very long time!

-Laura

A Month With The Apple Watch – A Review

At the end of March, I got the Apple Watch Series 1 (38mm) in rose gold and since then it has been a big part of my everyday life. For a hefty price of £269, you can actually do a fair bit with it.

apple-watch-series-1-38mm-rose-gold-aluminium-case-with-pink-sand-sport-bandI used to own a Fitbit Flex, and honestly as much as enjoyed it for the basic fitness tracker, it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, and after seeing what had happened to my old Fitbit Charge and my mums Fitbit Alta, I was starting to get worried my Flex would pack in. So as I was looking into similar things not by Fitbit, I remembered about the Apple Watch. I absolutely love Apple, and over the past 7 years I’ve owned iPhones. I tried out a Blackberry and didn’t like it, and I always find myself going back to Apples technology. I have a friend who has an Apple Watch and after I looked into it not just for the fitness tracker, but for the ability to check and answer messages, phone calls, check your bank and the heart rate monitor, I asked her what she thought of it and she said she couldn’t live without it.

When I got my Apple Watch, I was completely amazed. My first week with the Apple Watch was great. Although I had to charge it every night (which to me was no issue), the battery is quite good, I can easily get through an entire day and that’s when using it at school as well. It benefited me a lot because I am able to check messages from family while in lessons when I’m not allowed my phone out, or even just when I’m letting my boyfriend play a game on my phone. And, although I’ve never been a fitnessy person, (I’m quite lazy and I mainly had the Flex just out of interest to see how many steps I did on a daily basis) but the Apple Watch has kind of made me get more determined to fill up those little fitness circles! I absolutely love this thing. One annoying thing about the watch however is that in the box there was no power adapter. It came with the cable but nothing to plug it into, which I think was a bit of a silly idea from Apple, meaning if people do not have spares around the house (luckily I did), you’ll have to spend money on that on top of the £269 you just spent on the watch itself.

Now cut to a month later, what do I think of the Apple Watch now I’m used it and have kinda gotten over the initial OMG over how cool some of the features (like the heart rate monitor and the scribble feature to answer texts)? I still love it. If my phone is in my bag or whatever at school or during days out, I’m still able to check texts, which for me is essential as it means if anything as an emergency or important comes up from my family, I’m able to check and reply without people really noticing. The fitness stuff really has become quite interesting to me though, although I don’t think I’d ever use the workout app on it, the activity app is useful. I like getting the updates telling me how I’ve been doing with my goals throughout the day and it really has gotten me more determined to try to fill up the circles. I’ve discovered though that it’s easier if I’m out with my boyfriend as I have someone to go on a walk with. The heart rate feature for me is quite useful. As someone who does have an irregular heartbeat, it’s interesting to see how it changes throughout the day and I’ve been able to work out an average for my resting heart rate, but have also figured out ways to slow it down a bit, which makes me a bit calmer about it all.

In all, although this watch is expensive, it has a lot of great features on it and there are plenty of apps available which will suit a variety of people. It’s a great little device and I honestly think it’s become a big part of my life just over this past month. I do highly recommend this watch, but if you’re a swimmer or think you’d benefit from having GPS without your phone, the series 2 (priced at £369 in Argos) is probably a better option for you. The Apple Watch is amazing and I find it so useful. Let me know if you have one and what you think of it in the comments.

-Laura