Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Microreview

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Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Microreview – 20/20!

Comment below to start a conversation about this game!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving day is a national annual holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, marked by religious services and a traditional meal including a turkey or ham. Of course each family is different, some may not attend religious services and some may not eat turkey or ham, but that’s not the point. I’ve always felt the main focus is to be together with the people you love and eat a meal together, thankful for all you have.

After all the definition of the word Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude.

This is a special day where we all express our love and gratitude for the special people, circumstances and objects of our lives. A lot of people, including myself, lose sight of how wonderful aspects of our life really are.

I’ve created a list (in no particular order) of the things I am thankful for in my life right now and I hope that I can remember, on more than just this day, what makes my life special.

I am thankful…

  • That I am alive.
  • That I am in good health.
  • That I have shelter.
  • That I have food and water.
  • That I have a husband who loves me.
  • That I have a family who loves me.
  • That I have two lovable cats.
  • That I have a job.

I am thankful for so much more, but I will stop there. Just remember that there is always something to be thankful for in your life, even if you have to bring it down to the basics.

Show your Host or Hostess some love

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Does anyone out there ever bring gifts for their host or hostess anymore?

I will admit I have been very neglectful of this when I attend gatherings at friends and families homes, but I think it’s time to turn over a new leaf, bring the classy back, and start showing our gratitude to those who go through the effort of hosting us for the day, evening or longer.

If you are feeling like you would like to get your host(ess) a gift there are a variety of gifts you can try, gifts like:

  • Beverages (Beer, cider, tea, wine, etc.)
  • Candles
  • Card or Board Games
  • Flowers (Cut bouquets or potted plants)
  • Gift Cards
  • Hosting accessories (Decorations (decor), kitchenware etc.)
  • Treats (Savory or Sweet)

Whatever you choose to give, you will be spreading warmth and cheer back to your host/hostess, who in turn will spread warmth and cheer to you and their other guests.

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe (No Oil)

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I love snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds! So delicious, easy to eat and prepare, and with numerous health benefits, who could say no? Traditionally I make large batches every year after we carve our Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and snack on them for weeks!

I do not use oil in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Salt
  • Seasoned salt (optional)
  • Water

Directions:

As you carve your pumpkins, keep all the seeds in a bowl. I find it easier to separate the seeds and pulp into two separate bowls as I go, rather than sort that mess out later.

Throw the seeds into a colander and rinse under cold water, stirring with your hands to make sure all the seeds are all rinsed thoroughly.

Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt for each half cup of seeds.

Bring the saltwater and seeds to a boil for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Coat a baking sheet with whichever nonstick cooking spray you prefer and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer.

I took this opportunity to sprinkle seasoned salt over the damp seeds. You are welcome to leave them with just the salt that was boiled into them, or add any variety of other toppings depending on your taste.

Cook the seeds until dry and crispy, this could take an hour or more. Remember to stir occasionally so the seeds get baked evenly.

Let them cool for a few minutes…then let the snacking begin!

65 Ways to be Elegant

  1. Accept compliments gracefully.
  2. Always bring a gift to your host and/or hostess.
  3. Apologize sincerely.
  4. Appreciate the arts.
  5. Arrive on time.
  6. Be a lady or a gentleman at work.
  7. Be kind.
  8. Be positive.
  9. Be quietly self confident.
  10. Be respectful of others.
  11. Be well groomed.
  12. Be well read.
  13. Concern yourself with making others feel comfortable.
  14. Do small favors for others without expecting reciprocation.
  15. Don’t boast.
  16. Don’t complain.
  17. Don’t call attention to other’s mistakes, gossip, or speak ill of them.
  18. Don’t curse.
  19. Don’t overindulge.
  20. Dress appropriately for every occasion.
  21. Chew with your mouth closed.
  22. Express empathy.
  23. Express gratitude.
  24. Give thoughtful gifts, rather than expensive ones.
  25. Give others sincere compliments.
  26. Have a fabulous signature meal you serve guests.
  27. Have a signature perfume/cologne.
  28. Have impeccable manners; say please and thank you.
  29. Have integrity.
  30. Host small dinner parties.
  31. Keep a journal.
  32. Keep your home clean and uncluttered.
  33. Keep your nails well manicured.
  34. Know thyself.
  35. Learn another language.
  36. Learn less is more.
  37. Learn proper etiquette for a variety of situations.
  38. Learn to dance.
  39. Learn to politely decline.
  40. Listen without interrupting.
  41. Maintain boundaries.
  42. Maintain a budget.
  43. Maintain good health.
  44. Move with grace.
  45. Open the door for others.
  46. Practice discretion.
  47. Practice good posture.
  48. Practice patience.
  49. Practice quality over quantity.
  50. Remember birthdays.
  51. Savor the moment.
  52. Send holiday and thank you cards and/or notes.
  53. Serve coffee or tea after meals.
  54. Show restraint in expressing anger.
  55. Sip your beverages; never slurp or gulp.
  56. Speak eloquently.
  57. Speak softly, never yell or scream.
  58. Spend time outdoors.
  59. Take responsibility for yourself and your own happiness.
  60. Think before you act or speak.
  61. Turn your mobile off at the table.
  62. Understand your own worth.
  63. Wear dresses and/or suits more often, and on dates.
  64. Wear less makeup.
  65. Write a letter rather than send an email to those you love.

Closure Microreview

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Closure Microreview – 16/20!

Closure is a unique independent puzzle/platformer video game developed by programmer Tyler Glaiel and artist Jon Schubbe, with music and sound by Chris Rhyne, that focuses on the concept of light and dark.

Closure reveals a dark world where landscapes and objects only exist when and where the light touches. Gameplay features maneuvering light sources (fixed lamps and light orbs the player can carry) to phase objects in and out and therefore manipulate the environment for platforming. Due to real-time lighting of each level, there can be various solutions to get from point A to B by manipulating portions of platforms. Keep in mind: If it can’t be seen, it doesn’t exist. It’s possible to jump through walls and fall through floors, push boxes through walls, or drop a key through floors and walls to get to the door; just remove or add light.

The main playable character is an amorphous being who explores the stories of three human characters; a factory worker struggling to escape a decrepit factory, a young woman travelling through a murky forest to reunite body and soul after a horrific car crash, and a little girl who leaves the comfort and safety of her home to chase a black cat through an abandoned carnival. Of course, these are my interpretations, many players have speculated what the plot of this game could be. Based on the title of the game I assume each character is seeking “closure”. Although the developers may have had a specific plot in mind, I believe they have left a great deal open to your interpretation.

Each story consists of twenty four levels that can be accessed through unique doors within surreal central hubs, with ten additional levels designated to the amorphous being. The objective of the 82 levels is to travel from the start of each level to a door, some doors require keys or light sources to open. If the player reaches a dead-end in a puzzle, they can push the R key (PC) or Select button (console). There’s also an additional 30 Silver Moths to collect, where if all are found, a special unlock is rewarded. If the player reaches a dead-end in a puzzle, they can press [Select] to restart the level. A special ending is awarded to those players that also manage to collect thirty silver moths hidden throughout the game.

I really enjoy unique games that really challenge the players to think. Closure is extremely thought provoking. I loved illuminating the surroundings and devolving ways to reach the door and better still, the plot behind each character. Design and sound were also really engaging, it reminded me strongly of something born of Tim Burton’s mind.

Comment below to start a conversation about this game!

Sorcery! Parts 1 – 4 Microreview

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Sorcery! Parts 1 – 4 Microreview – 17/20!

Sorcery! Parts 1 through 4 is a series of text / graphic adventure video games developed for iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows and Mac by inkle.

Choosing a male or female character, the player embarks on a text-based fantasy quest inspired by Steve Jackson’s choose-your-own-adventure novels. The gameplay of Sorcery! incorporates audio and visual interactive elements; including character icons, maps, burn-by-turn energy, a spell-casting starscape and more. Much like choose-your-own-adventure novels, the player can choose to turn back the pages (or rewind the game) if they dislike the outcome of their choices along the path.

I used to love choose-your-own-adventure books (I may still own one involving a Unicorn) and I found this game to be charming, yet frustrating. Maybe it’s my obsession with getting everything exactly right, but I found myself rewinding A LOT. And because I rewound a lot, I found myself getting frustrated and bored with the story.

Comment below to start a conversation about this game!