#Blaugust Day Eighteen: Tips For Student Starting Uni this September

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

As some of you may know, I recently completed my degree at Sheffield Hallam University in Film & Screenwriting. It’s been one hell of a ride, and I have plenty of advice and tips to share with you- a combination of learning from my mistakes and things I found helpful.

  1. Get an NUS card. NUS cards are the holy grail for students, and they offer a huge range of discounts for students, including to Amazon, Co-op, and a ton of clothes shops. The little 5%, 10%, 20% and more can really help save your buns and save you pennies on the way.
  2. Learn your city. I honestly can’t stress this one enough! When I first moved to Sheffield, I’d only been a handful of times, and didn’t know where anything was. Thankfully, my housemate Robin gave me a tour of the city, and after a few false starts (read: I got lost) and now I’m pretty comfortable getting around. However, if you’re moving to a city you’ve never been to or don’t have friends there, get out and explore for yourself! Google some places of interest, put some comfy shoes on and and get your feet on the street. Don’t just rely on Google Maps though; you might miss out on a darling café for ages because it’s not listed.
  3. If you want to meet people, sign up for societies! If there’s one thing all universities have, it’s societies. My uni has societies for tea drinking, circus skills and Capoeira! I can just about guarantee that whatever your interest, you’ll find a society that caters to you. If there isn’t? Take initiative and set one up yourself! Not only is it a great thing to put on your CV & on job application forms, you’ll meet loads of like-minded people.
  4. Make the most of your university. My uni has several gyms, sports classes and the like at a discounted price for students. They also offer language courses you can take alongside your classes and you can start anywhere from beginner to advanced. There’s also careers assistance (which I cannot talk up and stress the importance of more) and student services for pretty much anything else you’ll need. Universities have tons and tons of resources available to their students and its definitely in your best interest to use it.
  5. Try not to get too bogged down by your work. I wish, I wish someone had told me this when I started. If you spread your work and assignments out and keep in constant contact with your tutors, you’ll find your time at uni will be MUCH easier. You DO NOT want to be like me, staying at the library from 5-10 every evening for a week because O put everything off and got lazy. The deadlines and work will be hard, but it is manageable.
  6. Be careful with your money. Around September/October (i.e. payday), all the shops in university cities go absolutely bonkers and offer a bevvy of discounts and lock-in events to students, and they always look mega appealing. However, the thing is the money you have has to last you. Take it from me, who lived off noodles, rice and cereal for 3 weeks, it’s incredibly easy to spend your money on what look like good deals (“10% off this £80 coat? How could I not?!”) and then later find yourself having nothing and either missing out on fun times or just eating rubbish until its payday again. Work out a budget, and if you can, pay your rent in large chunks so you know its taken care of and you don’t have to send creeping emails to your landlord/estate agent.
  7. You will be on your own, and that’s okay.Confession: the first week I moved away, I cried every single night due to homesickness. I was surrounded by my friends who I’d known since secondary school, but I just felt so, so alone. But, that’s okay. It does happen. After a week away and several phone calls to my family, I felt better. Moving to uni is such a big step in life, and it’s more than okay to falter a little bit. You have to remember that your family is always on the other end of a phone line, a Skype call, a letter… However, if you’re feeling homesickness really badly, get in contact with student services and request to speak to someone about it. They will help, I promise.
  8. If your classes request you to do additional viewing/reading, do it. As I mentioned in my introduction, I did a film degree and you better believe there was a ton of additional reading and viewing. Boy, was there. Most of the time, I just didn’t do it. Call it laziness or stupidity, but I skipped out on further study and missed out on an important part of the university experience; personal learning and personal-led development. Also, if you’re sat in a class of 20 people, none of which who have read or watched anything, it’s gonna get your lecturer mad AND cause several very awkward silences. A few hours a week to watch or read extra things isn’t too long out of your gaming/sleeping/drinking time after all.
  9. If you’re not happy on your course, you can drop out or move. A friend of mine went all through college, got her a-levels, got to uni and within a few months, realised she didn’t like it. So, she dropped out, picked up a job in her hometown and whenever I see her now she is the happiest, smiliest person! You don’t always have to drop out, but you can switch your course or even your university. It’ll be one heck of a huge paper trail and whatnot, but that is an option available to you.
  10. Importantly; have fun! University is not just a time for studies and embracing the next step of adulthood via education, but it’s a time to have fun. It’s a time to meet new friends, partners and make long-lasting memories and have an incredible experience. No two people’s uni experiences are the same, but I can guarantee they’ll have had an amazing time regardless.

Did you enjoy your time at university if you went? What other advice would you offer?

#Blaugust Day Seventeen: On ‘real gamers’

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

As you may know or have worked out by now, most of my friends play video games. It’s been part of what has held us together and has made for many good times, be it playing awful games with the Boyfriend-Wonder or co-oping Halo with Gina, video games have always been in my life and I’ve pretty much always considered myself to be a gamer.

However, when I was staying at Lawrence‘s over the weekend, he told me something which his brother, an amateur streamer/playthrough video maker told him; “Because you [Lawrence] only play things like The Sims and story games [Gone Home, etc] and not GTA or COD like me, you’re not a real gamer.”

My reply?

Bull. Shit.

As long as I’ve known Lawrence (which is 10 years now) he’s always gamed. We’ve played together, we’ve played apart, we’ve played different games and we’ve played the same games. He’s tried so many more games than I have, and flourishes in sandbox/story games. He has a sense of determination unlike anything I’ve ever seen in games like those. And just because he doesn’t play popular games is no right to question his relevance in the community.

And just what exactly makes someone a real gamer? It’s almost like the whole ‘fake geek girl’ nonsense again (for a great video and interesting argument, check out ALB) wherein people within an already active community start trying to act as gatekeepers to keep people out, for whatever reason they may have. It’s stupid and pointless. For a community that has bonded over a shared love of an interactive art form, we sure are fond of pulling each other part, when instead we should be celebrating our community and being excited to let new people in.

However, by no means am I ignoring the hardcore vs casual gamer argument; it absolutely does exist. There are hardcore gamers (check out any popular streamer for any game and you’ll see they play upwards of 15 hours a day) and there are casual gamers, who game every now and then. The thing is, they’re both gamers. They both play video games, albeit in different ways. But who’s gonna say that the other isn’t real because they both clearly exist, and they’re both well-known phenomenons.

Returning to Lawrence’s brother’s argument; ‘you don’t play games like I do so you’re not a real gamer.’ seems somewhat defeatist. If everyone has to play COD & GTA to be a ‘real’ gamer then heck, I’ll hand in my badge at the door. I don’t put hours into those games, but I do to others. It’s hard to argue my 350 + hour playtime on Diablo 3 somewhat cements my status as a ‘gamer’ and I’m cool (and proud) with that.

The status of ‘real gamer’ is a strange one. Anyone who plays games is automatically a gamer as far as I’m concerned. Why push people out of something they enjoy due to your own fake superiority complex?

For other thoughts on this topic, I highly recommend Asmongold’s video on gamer culture. It’s fascinating and offers a pro’s insights onto this and similar arguments.

#Blaugust Day Sixteen: 9 Happy Things

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

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Last week was a bit poopy, but this week has been out of this world! Here are some of the things that have made me happy this week:

  1. This gif

Lazy cat is lazy.

2. More news about Legion, the new WoW expansion

So it’s not big secret that Legion is the new expansion for World of Warcraft. As a lapsed player, I’m actually pretty hyped! I got real bored of WoD after a while (let’s be real, the Garrison was just Farmville on steroids)but all the Q&As, the concept art and models for the new artefacts are super exciting. I really hope that WoW can reinvigorate itself with Legion, as it does need it.

3. The seaside!

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My best friend Lawrence took me to the beach yesterday! I stayed at his on Friday night, which we spent playing Resident Evil 4 and snacking and stayed up all night. We were up bright and early Saturday morning for beach adventures, and after an hour and a half drive, we arrived in Skegness! I used to holiday there all the time with my grandparents when I was a kid, and there was so much nostalgia! Lawrence and I went through all the arcades, walked along the beach (I picked up some seashells and looked out for mermaids. There were none) took some awesome photos (see mine & Lawrence‘s Instagrams) and generally had a lovely day out! I’m incredibly grateful to Lawrence for taking me out and I can’t wait for our next adventure!

4. Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Wallaby!

Wallaby!

My adventures this weekend have been pretty crazy! This morning, the Boyfriend Wonder and his family went out to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which is a zoo populated by animals who were liberated from other zoos or places. It’s not a regular zoo, with animals in cages; it’s a place where ‘domesticated’ wild animals aren’t mistreated and have the chance to have a bit of freedom. I saw sleepy lions, sleepy tigers, playfighting polar bears and a lot more! It was a really fun day out, but sadly, it was quite warm, so by the afternoon most of the animals were snoozing in the heat. The wallabies and baboons were still a riot to watch.

5. We got a move-in date!

Sorry about the outrageous gif, but it just sums up how I feel right now! After 2 months of trying to find somewhere back in beloved Sheffield to live, the Boyfriend Wonder and I submitted our application and fees and  we got approved and given a move-in date. As of this Thursday the Boyfriend-Wonder and I will be back living in Sheffield and will have our own space again. We just have a few more forms to sign, and then Thursday is the Big Day! I’ll be without internet for a while, but at least I’ll have all my books back <3

6. Finding more cruelty free make-up brands and cosmetics

Ever since I started actively making the switch to cruelty-free brands, I’ve found myself hitting a fair few brick walls. A lot of the brands I used to love and use were NOT cruelty free. However, in this last week, I’ve discovered that top-notch make-up brand Soap & Glory are cruelty free and the brand I Love… which do incredible smelling bath products. I plan on trying out the lip gloss (if I can find a place that sells it) and some bath bubbles when I’m all moved.

7.  This beautiful planner from Ohh Deer 

I’ve seen a bunch of other bloggers showing off their beautiful new planners and dammit, I want one too! My battered old diary and abandoned bullet journal have been put aside in favour of coveting this beautiful journal. It’s only a 12-month diary for next year, but it’s so pretty! It comes with pockets, a pen slide and all sorts. I love it!

8. ASMR

I’m very new to ASMR and I haven’t actually experienced the telltale tingles you get, but goddamn, it chills me right out. Watching the video above a few nights ago put me to sleep in less than 10 minutes. Put simply, ASMR is sounds that make you feel good! For me, I get tingles when I gently scrape my fingernails across textured surfaces, or when someone else touches and brushes my hair. It relaxes me, and chills me right out. If you have trouble sleeping, or are feeling stressed (I wish I’d known about this during assignment week!) it’s a really good method to let you unwind.

9. Drama Time with Preach

This is very much a gaming/WoW specific video, but oh my lord. Preach’s Drama Time video with Ghost are hilarious. People send in their weird adventures and interactions with people in MMORPGS (usually WoW) and he does dramatic readings of them. Part of what makes it funny is that Preach’s laugh is so damn contagious and the stories are just so wild. I was crying with laughter watching these videos this week, and I strongly recommend them to any other MMO fans. As well as Drama Time videos, Preach does some superb class guides and covers pretty much everything in the WoW universe.

What’s been making you happy this week?

#Blaugust Day Fifteen: Five Fandom Friday- Five Fictional Pets I’d Love to Adopt

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

Five Fandom Friday is a blog link-up put together by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick and each week, we write things based around the prompts they give us. It’s a ton of fun and is great way to connect with other bloggers! The prompt I’m borrowing is all about fictional pets and which ones I’d adopt. For me, it was pretty easy…

1.) Puppycat

He’s so cute! He’s so surly! He’s… kind of a magical girl? The Luna to Bee’s Usagi, Puppycat is the megacute maybe-a-dog-or-a-cat from Natasha Allegri’s Bee & Puupycat series. He helps save Bee’s butt many times and has a VERY mysterious backstory, filled with love, betrayal, and magic. I’d probably spoil him rotten.

2. The Perky Pug from World of Warcraft 

I love pugs. I put up with PUGging. You can get this little cutie in World of Warcraft by dungeoning with up to 100 other players, but each dungeon is only 5-man, so it takes a while. Added bonus: you can get outfits for him and use him in pet battles…. Or just have him running around after you as you quest through Azeroth. I usually opted for the latter.

3. A Direwolf from Game of Thrones

Direwolves are essentially big, fluffy loyal wolves. This is why I love them. I love the relationship the Stark children have with their Direwolves (and it’s especially interesting in the books!) and the loyalty of them. Just look at how close Jon Snow and Ghost are. I like to think as well as being patient guard dogs they’d also be playful to some degree… Or at least put up with me constantly fluffing them.

4. Marie from Aristocats

I love the film The Aristocats. Partially for singing cats, partially for Disney nostalgia, but a lot for Marie! She’s cute, quite contrary and has some of the best lines and long-lived quotes in the film- “Ladies don’t start fights, but they do end them.”

5. Eevee from Pokémon

I love Eevee in whichever form its in, and it has always been my favourite pokémon, ever since Blue. I like having the option to evolve into a variety of different types, and I can only imagine how tricky it must be to get Sylveon in the new games. It must be said, Sylveon is definitely the cutest!

Which fictional pets would you adopt? Let me know in the comments!

#Blaugust Day Fourteen: A Series of Firsts

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

I got to thinking the other day. I’ve been gaming for pretty much as long as I can remember, so what were my first games? after much brainstorming, headscratching and a bit of Googling to try and find names, here’s what I discovered. These games set me up throughout my life and effected what I play and how I play them. An important thing to note before reading my list is that I didn’t have internet at home until I was 17.

Sony:

First game on PlayStation OneFinal Fantasy 7 by way of chocobo racing at the Golden Saucer!

Before I got my own games and started gaming myself, I used to spend hours with my Dad playing Final Fantasy 7. More specifically, chocobo racing in the Golden Saucer, which totally amazed kid-me at the time. All the bright colours and crazy music totally lured me in and I loved it! My Dad usually let me do races when he was doing boring adult stuff (usually making meals and the like) and I loved doing it… Especially when he got the golden chocobo, which he definitely lists among his gaming achievements.

First game on Playstation Two: Tekken 4

We all know now that Tekken 4 was pretty bad. Weird, nonsensical plot lines accompanied with shoddy voice acting meant the game was pretty bad… However, as a kid who had grown up kicking most people’s butts at Tekken 3, I loved the new game. I loved the non-sidescroll version of Tekken Force, and the fact that my beloved characters were all still in one piece. When I got my PS2 for Christmas one year (thanks Dad!) my Dad had convinced my Grandma to buy this for me, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Nintendo:

First game on Game Boy Colour: Wacky Races

Oh man, I’m getting nostalgia just looking through the pictures for this! Another birthday gift, my Dad got me the purple Game Boy Colour (kickstarting a life of purple accessories) and Wacky Races, because I loved the TV show. Wacky Races was your straightforward racing game. You played as any of the racers and unlocked more if you completed the hardest tournament, which then gave you a password so you wouldn’t lose your progress (I still remember it now- it’s BLDFMTZ) I think there was probably a 2P function using a link cable, but I never knew anyone with one to play.

Nintendo 64: Pokémon Stadium

How fab is that gif? I was never GREAT at that minigame, but it was always funny seeing Lickitung waddle around. When I was a kid, my friend Robin got his hands on an N64 (if only for the weekend) and we played the heck out of Pokémon Stadium! When I got an N64 for my birthday the other year, I was delighted to find that Pokémon Stadium was amongst the games I got!  I got it home, fired the console up then proceeded to get my ass kicked at every minigame by the Boyfriend-Wonder, who is apparently a pro at all of them. Grr!

Nintendo DS: The Sims 2

This game. This game was absolutely bonkers. Completely insane. It was one of the early DS releases, and as a Sims addict at the time, I asked for it along with a DS for my birthday in my early teens. I was very surprised when I fired the game up and didn’t find a sandbox game. Instead, I found a weird RPG which was super glitchy, super weird (in a fun, kooky way) and I couldn’t put it down! Your character arrived in Sims-mainstay Strangetown after your car broke down and then you suddenly owned a hotel that operated in real time. If a character checked in for 3 days, it was 3 real days where you had to cater to their every whim and generally deal with their nonsense. There was also a story mode, in a manner of speaking; there were guests would stay in the Penthouse and only leave once you’d completed all of their goals and progressions. One such character was Ava Kedavra, a bonkers goth lady who was the head of a cow cult, and had you construct a temple for her in the basement of the hotel. I could honestly talk about how fun and crazy this game was for hours on end, because despite its glitches, I still loved it.

Microsoft

Xbox 360: Resident Evil 5

As you’ve probably worked out by now, I’m a huge Resident Evil fan. By the time RE5 had come out, I had played almost the entire back catalogue and loved it. I loved the survival horror of the early games, and I loved the action and shenanigans that went down in Resident Evil 4. However, when RE5 came out… It was another story. Gone was single-player, as Capcom provided a partner, meaning you could finally face on zombies with a friend. I played RE5 a lot because for a long time, it was the only game I had. I had almost all the achievements, and collected all the collectibles, outfits, filters… You name it, I had it. I came back to this game last year when the Boyfriend-Wonder and I co-oped on a ton of games (including Aliens: Colonial Marines and Gears of War) and… Well. It didn’t stand up. The Boyfriend-Wonder couldn’t get on with it, and it paled to a lot of other games I’d played. Oh well.

Xbox One: Diablo 3

Is this really surprising? Diablo 3 on Xbox One was just an upgrade when the Boyfriend-Wonde got the Xbox One. Unsurprisingly, I have gone on to dominate it.

PC

In browser: Adventure Quest

So much nostalgia! It took almost a day of googling and brainstorming before the Boyfriend-Wonder finally remembered what it was called. Before I had internet at home, I used to go to my local library to mess around on MySpace and play Adventure Quest. I don’t remember much of it other than that I played a Rogue. I have never gone back to playing a rogue on any game I’ve played since.

MMO: World of Warcraft

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You guys knew this already.

What were your first games?

#Blaugust Day Thirteen: Afternoon Tea Week

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

It seems these days, there’s International Days of everything. Smiling. Cats. Girlfriends. Pretty much any inconsequential thing you could just about think of. Usually, I tend to watch these just go past and offer snark to whoever will listen, but this week is different. As many of you may have noticed by my spelling of colour, favourite and honour, I’m a Brit. I’m quite a stereotypical Brit in the way that I drink tea and how regimented this routine actually is. Everyone knows it’s milk last, and it’s just weird otherwise. To tie in my Britishness to International Days of Things, it’s Afternoon Tea Week this week (or so Facebook and emails from tearooms keep telling me) so I’m going to share some of my favourite nerdy mugs I’ve seen around the interwebs.

  1. These matching Sailor Moon Artemis & Luna mugs

For magical girl realness, these mugs are the best! They’re a tad expensive on Amazon where I found them, but that comes with any Japanese import. I love how their tails curl around to be the handle, and they look to be pretty solid. The packaging they come in is also mega-cute!  These mugs are super duper cute and are definitely on my wish list.

2. This Jiji mug repro from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Simple but effective! This mug is from the Studio Ghibli film Kiki’s Delivery Service (which is one of my favourite films!) and I found it on Etsy one afternoon after I’d watched the film. This mug is almost an exact replica of the mug in the film that Kiki buys for her black cat Jiji once she arrives in her new town.

3. Bron-tea-saurus cup & saucer

Puns! Dinosaurs! What else could a girl ask for? So the mug is a bit on the small side, but I’m willing to let that go based on the pun. The same shop also offers tons of other mugs and porcelain crafts which are tip top! Luckily for me, they’re based in a town nearby, so shipping won’t take an age. Huzzah!

3. World of Warcraft Blood Elf crest beer mug

Not strictly a mug (it says mug in the title, dammit!) but hey- it’s bloody awesome. Pun intended.

Now, if only I had the storage space for these bad boys…

Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments section below.

#Blaugust Day Twelve: 8 Photos of Happiness Tag!

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

I got tagged last week by the very lovely Jessica over at Pyreflies.org for the 8 photos of happiness challenge! Thanks Jessica! This is one of the more creative and fun blog challenges/awards I’ve seen, and I’m really glad to have been tagged in it. I also saw Alice of The Geeky Burrow did her nomination yesterday and her pictures were  a lot of fun. Thanks also go to Ariel for dreaming this little challenge up!

If you want to play along, here are the rules:

  • Thank your nominator/s and link them in your post
  • Link the creator (Ariel’s little corner of the internet)
  • Post your 8 photos of happiness
  • The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy
  • Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
  • Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!

Here are my pictures! These are coming from the last 3 years of pictures on my phone and on Dropbox. Enjoy!

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  1. This is from Halloween at my old job at my local cinema! I’m pictured here (in a bright pink wig!) with my boss and my friend Aaron, the barman. We got all dressed up and put spooky cobwebs and window stickers all over the place. Despite the fact that only a handful of people came in for the film, we had a lot of fun decorating and convincing people that my wig was actually my real hair.

2013-09-04 20.07.232. That time I had a kitten on my laptop! This is from a few Christmases ago when I stayed at my friend Lawrence‘s, and his kitty Marmalade was just a wee, hyperactive kitten. She loved being all up in everyone’s business, and especially enjoyed napping on my warm laptop.

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3. When Gina and I were Burger King royalty! I went to visit Gina and we had a hilarious day shopping and snarking all through the streets of Lincoln. Our highlight of the day was going to a mostly-empty Burger King and buying pancakes and fries. It was such a lovely day!

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4. Christmas shenanigans! I spent half of last Christmas with the Boyfriend-Wonder’s family, and it was an experience like no other! There was a hosueful of (mostly) Christmas loving people as well as plates and plates of yummy food. One of the highlights was when the Boyfriend-Wonder put a silly elf hat on and took a picture with me. So funny!

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5. Showing my Dad how the front-facing camera on my phone works, and ended up with this hilarious picture! It was such a funny afternoon, teaching my Dad about technology.

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6. Pictures from my Graduate Ball! Okay, this pose combination was bloody ridiculous, but it was the only picture with all 5 of us in. There are many, many pictures taken that night, but these fancy ones turned out the best. It was one of the last times I saw all my uni friends together, and I miss them so much. I love looking back on the pictures from that night and having a giggle.

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7. Being cat nap central! Any trip to my Dad’s also means seeing the cats, and they usually end up like this. Jackson likes sleeping on me (or generally being near me) and Chet gets jealous of any attention and likes to hover just in case I decide to fuss him too.

Left picture: my brother Jorah, enjoying the garden in the afternoon; right picture, my Grandma with two of her great-grandchildren, Violet & Chloe

Left picture: my brother Jorah, enjoying the garden in the afternoon; right picture, my Grandma with two of her great-grandchildren, Violet & Chloe

8. Young family members! The happiness just glows out of these pictures. Jorah is such a happy chappie, and my Grandma loves seeing her great-grandchildren and having photos taken.

I tag: Danie, Kayly, Vikki, Gwen, Sue, and Mariah!

#Blaugust Day Eleven: My Favourite Nerdy Fashion Shops

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

Nerdy fashion can cover a HUGE range of things. It could be anything from tee shirts with nerdy stuff written on it, jewellery (my personal favourite!) shoes, bags… All sorts. In the last few years, nerdy fashion as a whole has been getting more and more popular, and more and more shops have opened up. As well as this, high street shops have been known to stock a lot more nerdy stuff too- this summer’s collection in Primark has seen a huge range Game of Thrones and Harry Potter gear, all at affordable prices.

Without further ado, here are some of my favourite shops to get nerdy goodies from…

  1. Insert Coin

While Insert Coin are definitely on the steeper end of the spectrum, their clothes and accessories are so well-made and long-lasting that you get what you pay for. They sell a HUGE range of video game inspired goodies, and it’s so much more than your bog-standard stuff- there’s no tees emblazoned with Nintendo and the like here! All of their lines take direct inspiration from video games, or, in the case of the jacket above, straight up reproduce items. If you’re familiar with Silent Hill 2, you’ll see the jacket is a repro for the one that James Sunderland wears throughout the game, and the tee has a nod to the use of radios in the game. I currently own a Dr Salvador inspired tee from the Resident Evil line, and it’s one the best tees I own. Not only is it a subtle nerdy reference, it’s also made of thick cotton which is perfect for winter. Some of my current favourite lines and items from Insert Coin are the Hello Kitty collab, this Pac-Man dress, and the Resident Evil collection. I can hear my bank account whimpering…

2. Living Dead

This Australian store are predominantly known for their outrageously bright and cheerful leggings, swimwear and skater dresses, as well as their AMAZING limited collections.  They sell a pretty big range of things, including a men’s collection, accessories and are releasing a pretty boss children’s collection very soon. I don’t any Living Dead stuff yet, but if I did, it would either be one of their Sailor Scout dresses, this Eerie Skater dress,  or this Constellation skirt.

3. Look Human

This shirt has been on my wishlist literally forever because I love it so much. One great thing about Look Human is the huge range of styles you can get your shirts in. You can pick the colour (the colour of the sleeves in the shirt above can be changed) the style and by extension, the material. Look Human also has an incredible range of items, and just searching ‘video games’ pulls up these incredible results. You could just about furnish your entire house using items from Look Human, and I just might have to… I’m definitely eyeing up this baller throw cushion.

4. Jinx

Oh Jinx. How do I love you? Let me count the ways… To begin with, they stock amazing World of Warcraft gear, as you can see in the promo above! They sell clothes, toys, accessories AND have game-themed lines. I have one of their World of Warcraft hoodies (Horde, obvs) and it is mega cosy! Their Blizzard lines in general are tip-top, and they offer Men’s and Ladies selections! They ship from America (or if you’re in the UK you can catch a seller at the big MCM cons) and their stuff is pretty reasonably priced. I’m currently coveting this vest top, these Cydea socks, and this Horde wallet would be the perfect gift for the Boyfriend-Wonder this Christmas.

Where do you like to shop for nerdy gear from?

#Blaugust Day Ten: Games On My Shame Pile

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

I’m on 10 for 10 and feeling good! Today I decided to talk about games I haven’t played but really should. You know the type I mean- hailed as classics by video game nerds the world over, have won all the awards, have tons of thinkpieces written about them… I like to think that as I write this, you probably have a game in your mind.

Chances are, I won’t have played it. I’m very singular when it comes to gaming. I find something I like, and stick to it like super glue. On my old Xbox account, the only games I played were Resident Evil 5, Fallout 3, Silent Hill: Homecoming (which I never finished) and that was about it. I tend to stick with things  I know I’ll like as I hate the idea of spending money on something I won’t like, and so I prefer playing things I’m familiar with- hence why I have yearly replays of Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. In keeping this close-minded approach to gaming, I’ve cut myself off from a lot of good games, and I’m seriously regretting it…

  1. The Mass Effect series

As I write this, the Boyfriend-Wonder is scowling at me! Mass Effect is his all-time favourite game series AND one of the games that he is overwhelmingly good at (he was in the top 10% of online gamers back in the day!). I don’t have any good reason for skipping on this- almost everyone I know has played it and loved it (apart from THAT ending) and said that I’d like it. I planned on playing it last summer once I’d finished New Vegas, but real life got in the way- or rather, we got burgled. However, with news of the Xbox One’s backwards compatability, I definitely plan on playing these first chance I get!

2. The Halo series

Again, this is a series that everyone I know has played apart from me! Collectively, I’ve probably played about one game’s worth (a few chapters in Halo 2, half of Halo 4, a quarter of Halo 3…. I know, I know, it doesn’t really count!) with my bestie Gina, but I’ve never sat down and played the whole thing through from 1-4 via Reach & ODST. What I have played I know I’d love, and given that the Boyfriend-Wonder has the Master Chief Collection, I don’t have an excuse not to play!

3. Skyrim/Elder Scrolls

This one is especially strange as I used to listen to the OST for inspiration/background noise when I was doing my university work. Is there anything better than writing about film theory while Dragonborn is playing. Dovahkiin! Even stranger that I haven’t played Skyrim given I’m a huge fan of Bethesda’s other property- Fallout.

4. Any Legend of Zelda game

I’ve played Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on my DS, but let’s be honest- it doesn’t really count, right? Nothing compares to the classics. I’ve never had the console capable of playing the Zelda games until the other year, when my friend Aaron gave me his N64 for my birthday. However, I creeped myself out too much with The Haunted Cartridge creepy pasta to even consider playing Majora’s Mask

What games are on your shame pile? Which of these should I try first? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments section!

#Blaugust Day Nine: 9 Happy Things

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This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

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It’s been a poop week, but alas, I’ve still found things to make me happy.

1.) Steven Universe

After seeing this all over the internet for the last few months and promptly avoiding it, I finally gave in the other day when I was at my Grandma’s. I’m only 10 episodes in, but it is so great! I love the characters in it, the storylines and especially the music. A lot of the background music reminds me of Animal Crossing, and the theme tune is so damn catchy. We, are the crystal gems, we’ll always save the day, and even if we can’t, we’ll always find a way! 

2.) This gif

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Cat! What are you doing? I could watch this gif all day and still find it funny.

3.) Seeing family

Left picture: my brother Jorah, enjoying the garden in the afternoon; right picture, my Grandma with two of her great-grandchildren, Violet & Chloe

Left picture: my brother Jorah, enjoying the garden in the afternoon; right picture, my Grandma with two of her great-grandchildren, Violet & Chloe

On Saturday, my cousin took me and my Grandma out for lunch with his family, and we had a lovely time! My Grandma always loves seeing her great-grandchildren and it’s always nice to have a catch-up. We went to the Lincolnshire Otter, which is by far the best pub/restaurant in town, and had a great meal. After my Grandma and I went back home, I went round to my Dad’s to pick up my university certificates and generally have a gossip! We chatted about house stuff, health stuff and TV, and then we played with Jorah. Kid really likes fire engines, football and cats! I also recorded a video of my Dad’s cat Chet and put it on Instagram! Turn up the volume if you want to hear his silly miaow at the end.

4.) Bunty’s tearoom in Lincoln

Oh man, Bunty’s is the best tearoom in Lincoln by a long, long margin! When my friends and I met up earlier this week, we abandoned our original plans to try out the new waffle place in favour of Bunty’s and it was the best choice ever! We’re really familiar with the staff in there, the food is incredible and there’s a huge selection of it (especially cakes!) and it’s all vintage themed! If you’re ever in Lincoln, brave the climb up steep hill and stop by, you won’t regret it!

5.) Seeing Gina and going to watch Inside Out!

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It has been SO SO SO long since Gina and I hung out! Like, forever! I managed to save up a bit of cash and went over to Lincoln to see them and our friends and have a catch up. I stayed at Gina’s on Wednesday night, and we did what we always do- played video games, fussed their cat Mittens, drank tea and ate pizza. The next day, we went out to go and see the new Disney film, Inside Out, and it was really good! We both loved it <3

6.) Jurassic World

The Boyfriend Wonder and I just had a movie date and watched this with donuts, and it was great! While it does have its flaws, it is essentially big dinosaurs going roar and fighting each other. Fun times!

7.) Bunty’s (again!) amazing Victoria Sponge cake

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Look at that! The best cake I’ve ever had <3

8.) Jemma at Dorkface blog revealing the emoji Chrome plug-in secret

Ever since my phone updated and let me use emojis, I use them a lot. Everywhere. Whenever I can. I was really saddened to find out that there wasn’t a way to use them on Chrome, until Jemma told me (and other bloggers!) the big secret. Expect emojis in allllll of my tweets. Be warned!

9.) Seeing Autumn/Winter stuff in shops

Give me all the statement jumpers and I’ll be happy forever! As many of you know, I’m not overly fond of summer, and have been eagerly anticipating the first turn of the leaves… and the first turn of the A/W collections in shops. Roll on September!

What’s been making you happy this week?