Board Games We Have

Board Games We Have

Another random mid week post. So I don’t actually play much of our physical board games anymore. Even before the lockdown, I began playing more games online. Including tabletop simulator on steam, where you can actually play board games online with your friends. It’s a lot of fun. But  I still also love the physical games that we have too. So I thought I’d share the ones Rory and I own.

Scrabble

Everyone has played scrabble right? I don’t think I need to explain how the game works, but basically you make words out of the tiles that you have. We have a travel version that was given by a family member who never uses it. It’s quite handy too, as the tiles actually clip into the board. So if someone accidentally knocks the table, they all stay there.

The Game of Life

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Another classic board game, but perhaps not one everyone has played. I didn’t play this one growing up, but Rory did. You pretty much are a little peg in a car, going through the typical milestones of adult life until retirement. I played it for the first time with him and his family, back in our very early dating days. I liked it, and decided to get Rory his own copy for his birthday. It’s fun to play, and since we’ve had it for the longest, I have lots of memories attached to it. Like Rory getting fired three times in a single game. It was hilarious.

Machi Koro

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Now we get more into the lesser known ones. I spotted this in a shop, and was immediately drawn to the art style. It looked cute, and there was a town. I didn’t get it there and then. But slowly I looked more into it, and kept umming and ahhing about it. You are a mayor, and you have to build a town before the other mayors (players) is the gist of the game. Eventually, Rory got it for me one birthday and we’ve played it a few times. It took me a while to wrap my head around, but it’s pretty fun. I have never won a single game against Rory, he’s always been a better strategist.

Pandemic

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This is another birthday present from Rory. We like games. I had played this with a friend before, and I liked that it’s a co-op. Everyone needs to work together to find the cures and save humanity before it’s too late. Also, it’s kind of funny to mention this game now, given everyone’s current situation. But anyway, this game is fairly complicated, if you’re not into these big strategy games. We tried to bring in some family to play it one Christmas, and everyone was real confused. Anyway, it’s mostly fun to play, sometimes a little stressful.

Settlers of Catan

This was a christmas present I gave Rory. I just realized that all the board games we have were gifted which is pretty neat. This is also the only game you can not play with only 2 people, so we haven’t really been able to play it as much. Which is a shame, cause it’s a lot of fun! You are settlers, competing for resources and trying to build your settlement better and faster than the others. The photos I’m using for this one are from Christmas a few years back where we all played it. We did multiple games over a few days, and it got a little competitive which was hilarious. No bad feelings from anyone in the end though!

games

So if you’re interested in any of these games, I’ve linked to their wiki page where you can have a better look at how the game works and looks. I do recommend all the ones I have, as they’re all fun! What kind of board games do you guys have? Or what have you been playing during the lockdown?

Angela.

Books I’ve Read Recently

I have been reading a lot this year. I didn’t read as much as I set for my reading challenge the past 2 years. So I decided this year to try get to 30 books. Well, so far I’ve read over 20 books so I’m well on track! I’m considering raising my goal to 50 books since I’m so proud of how well I’m doing.

I wanted to share some of the books I’ve read so far, and also, since we will be spending lots of time inside, wanted to recommend books to read, as well as get any recommendations you may have.

State of the Union by Nick Hornby

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So I randomly decided to borrow this because I had no idea what to expect. Basically, it’s like you’re just a fly on the wall eavesdropping on a struggling married couple’s weekly conversation. Each chapter takes place in a few minutes at a bar, just before the couple’s therapy session. You hear nothing of the session itself, or before it. You just drop in on them each week and get snippets of how their lives, and the therapy sessions are going. It may not be for everyone, but I couldn’t put it down!

The Planets by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

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I am fascinated by space, especially with all our friends in the solar system. This book was published in 2018 and has the most up-to-date information about all the planets. It’s also filled with so many pretty pictures, and is a companion piece to the BBC series about it (which I need to watch). So if you have any interest in space and planets, definitely pick this up.

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz (A True Story) by Jeremy Dronfield

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I’ve read my fair share of biographies and memoirs, but the ones that intrigue me the most are stories like this. Stories of everyday people going through something I could never imagine. It took me a while to read this, cause I had to keep putting it down and find something more light-hearted to do. Definitely worthwhile to read.

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

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Another book I just randomly borrowed because I liked the cover. I work with kids, and I have a baby. This book is about becoming a grandparent, something I can’t quite relate to, but it’s fun to read the perspective. It’s full of little stories and anecdotes, and it’s just super cute. I breezed through this, and still occasionally pick it up.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

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I read a lots of kids books, again for work, and for Naomi. This one just stuck out to me, I’d heard of it but hadn’t read it. It’s so cute. Basically, each colour in the crayon box are on strike for one reason or another. I loved it. I want to buy a copy for home, but it’s only paperback and I think I’ll wait till Naomi knows now to rip paper.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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This was recommended to me from Reddit, I think it was the books subreddit. They recommended it as a good fantasy series. I really enjoyed the first one, I absolutely loved the second one, and the third one was also a lot of fun. There’s been a fourth one called “A Court of Frost and Starlight”, it’s a bit shorter and nothing really happens. You do get to hear the story from the point of view of side characters which is nice. It feels like an epilogue for the main characters, and sets up the last book which is about a few of the side characters I think. I couldn’t put any of these ones down, I read them in a matter of days. It’s about a human called Feyre and how she gets involved with the world of faeries and all the courts. I’ll leave it at that, but if you’re into Young Adult Fantasy series, I really recommend these.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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I heard a lot about this book. I knew nothing about it and went in blind. It’s about the relationship that forms between the son of the President of the US and the Prince of Wales. I don’t know what it was about this book, but I just fell in love with the characters and really rooted for them. For a YA drama/romance novel, this was just so much fun.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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This was a book recommended by my library. I knew it must be popular, cause I had to wait 8 weeks to have a chance to read it. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I quickly got sucked in. Like the title says, the story is mostly about the legend of actress Evelyn Hugo and spans her personal life and career, but the lens the story is told relates to each of her seven husbands. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is seriously a must-read.

So yeah those are books I’ve all enjoyed recently. I’ve been reading on my phone a lot and borrowing e-books from my library. I don’t often do book reviews, I just normally talk about if I liked the book or not, as these things are pretty subjective. But if you’ve read any of these books, let me know! Or if you can recommend any books to me, I’d appreciate that too.

 

Stay safe.

Angela.

Random Little Things

Random Little Things

I was trying to come up with a title for this post but was struggling. I just wanted to share some things I’ve liked over the past few months. I always liked doing my monthly favourites post, and I haven’t done any pretty much in a year. So get ready for a random post where I just talk about some little things that I liked recently.

Bao Boy

I have recently gone back to work after half a year’s maternity leave. On one of my breaks, I decided to wander around and saw a few new digs. I wandered into this one, thinking it was a cafe, but it’s a Japanese style restaurant. They do dumplings, noodles and all sorts. What caught my eye was the donuts, cause I wanted a sweet pick me up. They were deep fried milk bun donuts, coated in cinnamon sugar, condensed milk, and drizzle. It was soooo good. I definitely want to head back and try some of their savoury dishes too.

Colin the T-Rex

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Another place I hadn’t visited in a while was Avalon Park. It’s a really big park near us, with an amazing playground, mini golf, grassy areas, and they recently redid the pond. It looks beautiful, but my favourite part is the t-rex in the middle. There’s a sign that says his name is Colin.

Finale Bouquet

If you’re ever in Wellington, you have to visit Te Papa. It’s the national museum of New Zealand, and there’s just so much cool exhibitions on. On my first trip with the kids there since I’ve been back, they had this new art exhibit up called the Final bouquet. It’s a simple idea, but the execution is so mesmerizing.

So yeah, these are some random little things I’ve liked recently. What’s something that made you a little happy recently?

Angela.

One Year of Our House

So we’ve owned our place for over a year now! The official milestone sort of passed us by, but I wanted to do a post to celebrate anyway.

Last September, we moved into a fairly empty house with plans to make it our own. We literally had barely anything since we previously lived in furnished flats. We had some stuff, but it looked a little sad in this bigger space. So we went shopping, got bits and pieces we needed and wanted, and slowly filled up our home.

As time went on, the house became a home. We started decorating more, adding more bits and pieces to add character and make this place ours. It was more work looking after the house sure. It’s bigger, so there’s more to clean, and we also had the outdoor area to maintain. We got used to it though, we take pride in making our house look good (most days, sometimes we get lazy).

what I wore

We put a lot more money into the house as small issues came up. We had to renovate the whole bathroom, remove a tree that was making mess in the backyard, get the garage door replaced…but that’s also part of being a home owner right? It could be a lot worse, we’re lucky that our house has been pretty well-behaved.

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Now, we’ve been here for a year. We’re comfortable and happy. We now have a little black cat living with us, and we’re starting a family. How will our house look in another year from now, or even five? It’ll probably be a lot more hectic, that’s for sure! Either way, I’m sure we’ll all be happy in our little home.

Angela.

Bump For Joy: Pregnancy Journal

I love stationary of all kinds. I came across pregnancy journals while hanging around on the internet and thought it looked like so much fun. The one that caught my eye the most was this one called Bump For Joy by Studio Oh!. It looks so cute, and I loved all the designs and prompts inside.

It breaks up the book in sections. First is Pre-Conception, which has more cute designs, as well as pages to fill in about your relationship and general tips about trying to conceive.

about us

The next section is about the first trimester. It again has lists, general advice, but also fun little things like what you’d want the nursery to look like, or ideas for maternity clothing.

first trimester

Each trimester section also has pages to write on about weekly notes, places to put photos of your bump as it progresses, as well as appointments. Basically it’s a pregnancy journal. The design of it just really appeals to me though. I’m tempted to get other stationary from this brand.

As the trimesters go on, the prompts to fill in get more related to the birth of baby. There’s even a section for Labor & Delivery. You can write ideas for your birth plan, what to pack in your hospital bag, and also, more cute designs!

labor and delivery

Finally, the last few pages are devoted to baby. There’s a section to write a letter to baby, as well as places to put photos.

baby page

As you can tell, I really like this journal. It’s so cute, and I’m having fun slowly filling it out. I can’t wait to see how it looks by the time baby arrives next year!

Have you bought any cute stationary lately?

Angela.

Winter Bucket List (Reviewed)

Back in June, I decided to create myself a little Winter Bucket List. It was very short, but since it’s been a while (woops) since I looked at it, I thought it would be fun to see how I did anyway.

Make some soup

So I didn’t technically make soup, but Rory did. I ate it, and it was good. We recently bought all these cookbooks, and tried the Pumpkin Soup recipe. It was really delicious, and a perfect wintry meal.

pumpkin soup

Try lots of bath bombs

I tried a fair few early on in Winter. I shared the ones I tried in my Bath Bombs Galore post. I haven’t tried much recently though. I like to have really hot baths, especially in winter, but I’ve had to stop. It’s not great for your skin, and also it’s not good for baby. So I’d either have to have a lukewarm bath or none at all. I can wait till next winter.

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Finish at least 2 books

I still haven’t picked up a book since May. The guilt has gone away now (although it comes back when I log onto Goodreads), as I have other activities I like to do. Cross stitching, playing games, watching tv. I just can’t get interested in any book at the moment. I’ll still try though.

Complete a few jigsaw puzzles

I did complete a Wasgij after my big 3000 one. I was going to start another one, but I go caught up in my next activity.

wasgij puzzle

Complete a cross stitch kit

I have done two! I did my little hot air balloon one, and also recently completed a garden one that I’ve just framed. I’ve started work on my bunny one.

hot balloon cross stitch

flowers cross stitch

Go to the movies

I don’t think we’ve gone to the movies since I made the original post. But there’s nothing we really want to watch.

I don’t think I did too badly. I kept it small as I knew I probably wouldn’t do too much, and I chose most activities based on what I already love. This was fun to make though, maybe I’ll make one for spring!

Angela.

 

If We Were Having Hot Chocolate

I haven’t been into coffee too much lately. Hot Chocolate has been a pretty good choice. So that’s what I’ll be having in this catch-up post.

If we were having hot chocolate, I’d talk about blogging. I have put a lot of myself into my blog, and I do love it, but most days it still feels like a lot of effort. I post a few times a week, but even with that I have a hard time coming up with ideas. I’m often quite tired after work, and I no longer have the energy to keep up with everyone else’s blog which I’m sad about. I don’t know if this feeling is going around much with others, but if it does…let me know. It’s such a strange mindset for something that I used to be so passionate about.

If we were having hot chocolate, now that I’ve got those thoughts out, I’d talk about spring. It feels like it’s so close now. We’re over the hump of winter, the sun is out for longer, and we’ve had some pretty warm days. It seems to be arriving early this year, which makes me wonder if we’re due for another really hot summer. I know you guys on the other side of the world are having a pretty intense summer. Hopefully it’s starting to cool down a little!

If we were having hot chocolate, I would mention that I’ve been addicted to these simulation apps. Specifically The Sims Free Play, and Sim City. I was very into them when they first came out, and then I got bored and stopped for years. Recently, I found my tablet again, and got back into it. It takes up way more of my time than it probably should. I can’t help it though. I love those simulation games. They give achievements, you finish quests, etc. It’s addictive! Let me know what apps or games you’re into at the moment.

If we were having hot chocolate, I’d ask how things are going with you. What are your thoughts about blogging at the moment?

Angela.

Things I’ve Learned From Owning a Cat

Rory and I have been proud cat parents for almost a month now. As someone who has never really had a pet, I feel like I’ve learnt some things. Obviously, each cat is different, so a lot of these will relate to just Shadow, while a few may be universal to those of us with feline friends.

You will accidentally walk into them

This has happened on many occasions now and I always feel so bad about it. Often, while Shadow is running around me (most often when we’re about to feed her), I’ll walk into her. I’m normally moving slow, and it doesn’t seem to bother her, but I always have to apologise to her for a few minutes before moving on.

Food comes first

Cats love their food. Or at least, Shadow really does. She was a bit funny with it at first. There were one or two days where she ate really little, then a lot. She’s gotten consistent now, and we’re making sure we’re giving her the correct amount. We feed her in the morning and in the evening. When she knows that we’re about to feed her, she gets really excited. Lots of meows, jumping around us, walking through our legs, and general excitement.

The best time to play is in the dead of night

This may be more specific to Shadow, but she is a night owl. She has started coming out more during the day to hang, but she gets most active at night. We often hear her playing with her toys at around 2 am. Jumping around, chasing and attacking her toys. Her latest favourite game is trying to catch our legs and hands under the blankets on the bed.  It’s fun when we’re all awake, but slightly alarming when she decides to do it while we’re asleep.

Noisy toys are the best

When we first got Shadow, we got a small selection of toys. Her favourite became the tiny fur mouse that had a rattle inside. Then we got her a scratch post with balls (which rattle) on it. She loved both. Her favourite one at the moment is a ring, with a ball inside. The ball has as bell, so it makes noise as it rolls around. She loves to stick her paw, and soemtimes face in the many holes to try get it. She gets really into this, and the toy often ends up flying across the floor.

You’ll fall in love with them

Shadow is so very sweet and cute. I keep saying it, but she really is. Both Rory and I have a combo of pet names for her, and we love spending time with her. Whether we’re petting her, hanging out, or just watching her play, it feels nice to have her with us.

So yeah, that’s just some random things I’ve picked up from having Shadow live with us this past month. Anyone else have cats, or ever other pets? What’s something you’ve learned from having them in your house?

Angela.

July Favourites

A lot of my favourites in this month are all about things that kept me warm.

july faves

Hourglass Foundation – I’ve talked about this a lot recently, and I even dedicated a whole post to why I have been loving this! The formula is really concentrated, so it doubles as both a foundation and a concealer. It’s made getting ready faster in the morning. I dot it where I need it, then use my beauty blender to blend it out.

Bath Bombs – Another favourite that had it’s own dedicated post. Bath bombs are such a nice way to relax, and definitely a perk of the colder season. I’ve tried a lot recently, and I always like going into the store to see what other ones have come out.

Overalls – I have been wearing these a lot lately. They’re super comfy, and useful for layering. I prefer them to my regular jeans, especially since they have around a million pockets which is always helpful.

Grey Beanie – The perfect winter accessory, a fluffy beanie with a pompom.

Wooly Boots – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned these boots before. They used to belong to my sister, but she let me take them a few years back. The inside is lined with sheep skin, so it’s super warm and comfy! I have been exclusively wearing them on all the colder days.

As a bonus favourite, I’d like to bring up Shadow, our cat!

I decided to take the feature photo of this months favourites on the floor of our bedroom. Shadow likes to hide under the bed, and as I tried to take photos, she wanted to see what I was doing.

Shadow has definitely been a favourite this month. We’ve had for a few weeks now, and it almost feels like we’re a little family 😀

What’s been one of your favourites of July?

Angela.