Tag Archives: video games

Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

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Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies to help me relax is playing Animal Crossing, which I’m sure you all know because I talk about it enough lol. At the beginning of the pandemic when Johnny was furloughed, he played Animal Crossing so much that he could no longer do it and I have taken over on our island ever since. Unlike my husband, I have yet to grow tired of island living and play every chance I can get – especially since the game just got a huge update!

Us devoted Animal Crossing players have been waiting for this update for months and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. There are so many new things to enjoy from this update and after raving about it to Johnny, he even admitted that he might have to start playing again. Yeah, it’s that good.

The biggest things that helped to bulk up your island experience include Brewster’s Cafe, exploring islands with Kapp’n, an outdoor market at Harv’s Island, all of the gyroids, and cooking recipes in your kitchen. Not only can you cook but you can also grow crops other than pumpkins like potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, wheat, and sugarcane. You can even come up with tasty recipes when you go fishing, which makes catching endless amounts of black bass not completely useless.

What I am most excited about from the update is the outdoor market at Harv’s Island. The property behind his house will feature stands for Leif, Kicks, Jolly Redd, Katrina the fortune teller, and much more. Each stand will cost a steep 100,000 bells to activate and, sadly, you can only donate once per day so time traveling will be in order if you want all of the stands quickly. Right now, I only have Leif and Katrina but Jolly Redd is definitely next on the agenda so I can continue growing my art collection.

Another cool thing that the Animal Crossing update offers is 9,000 new items to decorate your home and island with. I am especially partial to the new goodies that you can buy with your Nook miles and have already blown almost my entire savings on my purchases. My haul included a Ferris wheel, balloon stand, carnival games, and train to create the ultimate amusement park on my island. This redecorating is going to take a considerable amount of time to do, though, because I have So. Many. Flowers. to dig up. *eye roll*

If you are new to Animal Crossing, then welcome to the party. And, if you are returning after a long hiatus, then welcome back. This update will have you logging into your island again and again just like the good old days before you abandoned your villagers completely! 😀

What is your favorite part of the Animal Crossing update? Which villagers do you have on your island? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red Loves: Game Night

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Lil Red Loves: Game Night

Hello! Prior to the pandemic, you could usually catch Johnny and I hanging out at our favorite bar called the Zephyr on a Friday or Saturday night. Now, I can’t tell you the last time we have been to a bar so it is all about nights in when we want to hang out with our friends. Johnny and I have always been avid gamers and we have a huge collection of board games and a variety of gaming systems including a Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii. With this expansive collection, game nights are now the move for our weekend activities.

While you don’t need much to make a game night a success, here are a few tips that I have found effective to make your evening even better:

Ready The Room:

Prior to hosting a game night, please do a deep clean of your space! Lol, this should go without saying but it is so true. You want your space to be the perfect set up for people to relax and have fun which means clearing clutter, taking out the trash, and doing the dreaded cleaning of your bathroom. Have fresh hand towels at the ready, light some candles or fairy lights, and prep your space to be the ultimate chill zone. (Keep in mind that if you are partaking in dranks, a guest room and comfy couches are a must so no one risks the safety of themselves and others to drive home.)

Location Is Everything:

Normally, Johnny and I will alternate which home we are having our game night at and this always works out well for us. However, if you are having multiple people over, a small apartment like mine might not cut it so that’s something to think about. If you are having guests from several different areas over, it’s best to choose a home that is it at the center of all of yours so no one has to drive super far.

Food & Drinks:

I absolutely love cooking for people so for mine and Johnny’s game nights, our friends will alternate between who is cooking dinner. This doesn’t need to be a fancy five star meal but just something tasty that everyone can enjoy. For example, I made a big pot of homemade mac n’ cheese for one of our game nights while our guests brought sides of salad and garlic bread. That being said, there is nothing wrong with ordering Chinese takeout or pizza if you want a quick and easy meal! (Also, make sure you are attentive to any of your guests with dietary needs or preferences. Last game night, our friends brought veggie burgers for their favorite Lil Red vegetarian!)

If your game night is one that tends to run longer, don’t forget the snacks. You can get creative with themed snacks like decorated cookies or cupcakes that look like the mushrooms in Mario games but a bowl of chips will also be just fine. Fruit salad, a sundae bar, and a Chex or trail mix station can also be a big hit.

For drinks, it is important to think about all of your guests because some might not drink alcohol. Always have your Britta pitcher full or water bottles at the ready as well as a variety of different sodas and juices. If you are partaking in dranks, there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned White Claw lol but you can also play bartender and make a signature drink. How about a pitcher of Sangria or white wine spritzers? Every game night house could have a different signature drink!

Playlist Perfect:

Any good game night will have some music playing in the background. For this, Johnny and I have our record player but we also have a Bluetooth speaker which we love. Remember, you don’t want the music to be too loud to disturb your neighbors or that you have to yell to talk to your friends. Just something quiet that everyone can agree on to add to the party ambiance.

Games Galore:

Now, most importantly, are the games! Are you having video gamers over? Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. will be a huge success. Board game lovers? How about a night based off of classics like Monopoly and Sorry or a co op game to solve together? Word game fans? Scrabble or Catch Phrase will go over well! Card game aficionados? Try a Magic The Gathering tournament or a casino night.

You know your guests best so it is up to you to choose the perfect selection of games to keep your evening rolling. A good rule of thumb is to avoid overly involved games that are difficult to explain or have a ton of rules. You want to play things that are easy to catch on to for maximum enjoyment for everyone. There are also some party games that can truly become annoying if you are playing with a group of people who have a ton of inside jokes that everyone might not be in on, so definitely be mindful of that.

With the tips above and your own special take on a game filled evening, your game nights will turn into an event that your friends will spend the week looking forward to. Play well and have fun!

What are your favorite games? What are your tips for hosting game nights? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

T-Shirt Time Pt. 2

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T-Shirt Time Pt. 2

Hi! Johnny and I are a very fashion forward couple and it is a rarity to see us step out in jeans and a T-shirt. However, when we are chilling out at home T-shirts are all we wear and we have quite a collection that we share with each other. Other than T-shirts of our fave local bands, my favorite Ts are, easily, our Impractical Jokers ones! I am also incredibly partial to these new ones that I added into the mix when shopping with my mom and brother:

As you all know, I am a huge fan of literally anything that Jack White does and I never see band Ts that feature any of his work on them. It was an obvious must have as soon as I saw this White Blood Cells album cover T-shirt at Hot Topic and I am tickled pink to finally have a band T of his. Not to mention that White Blood Cells is one of my favorite White Stripes albums other than all of them lolol.

Johnny and I played hella Animal Crossing throughout the pandemic and, despite not playing it nearly as much anymore, I still try to check in on our island once per week. We both live for the K.K. Slider concerts which are so hilarious to us so this K.K. band T from Box Lunch was another one that I just needed to have. Also, Box Lunch is basically the coolest store ever so do check it out if you have one in your area! 😀

My Mall Haul was a huge success and I am so happy to have some band Ts of two of my favorite artists! Haha! 🙂

What is your favorite band? What is your favorite K.K. Slider groove? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Chilling Out

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Chilling Out

Hello! These past few weekends for Johnny and I have been nice and relaxing which is a welcome change of pace after several super busy weekends in a row. I definitely know that I was feeling the effects of being on the move nonstop because I felt so exhausted throughout my work week. My job is quite mentally demanding so this on top of tired made me feel drained.

While I love going out and about with Johnny, a lot of my favorite things can be done just Chilling Out in our apartment. Like the following:

Pampering Party:

Pampering myself after a long day at work always makes me feel better. This means bubble baths, face masks, getting my nails done, and painting my toe nails. Johnny also loves to have his nails painted so I’ll usually do his fingers and toes too while the nail polish is out. Nothing pleases me more than an evening at the nail salon or testing out a new skin care product and it is a great midweek refresher until the weekend rolls around. A Pampering Party is my favorite form of self care and it gives me something to look forward to for once I get home.

Fun & Games:

Super intense video games are not relaxing to me in the slightest even though I love them. However, Pokemon Snap and Animal Crossing never fail to put me in the chill zone. Both games for the Nintendo Switch are insanely cute, laid back, and fairly mindless. They are also games that Johnny and I enjoy a lot so we play them often when we need some time to unwind. Our new hobby has been listening to The Last Podcast On The Left together and we will normally play Pokemon Snap or Animal Crossing while we have an episode on.

Soak Up The Sun:

I have been making great use of the pool at my apartment community this summer and it feels nice to be in the water and catch some rays in the evening. It is also the best time to go since it is not as crowded which makes it even more relaxing! Our apartment gets incredibly hot in the summer so I love having a pool two minutes away to cool off in. It’s hard to get in a chill set of mind when you’re sweating profusely lol!

Book Club:

Despite pretty much only reading horror and thriller novels, reading always helps me to relax and I try to finish a book at least every three weeks. Right now, I have been working on Candide by Voltaire which I have really been enjoying. Next on deck is a suspense novel by Megan Miranda called Such A Quiet Place. Nothing is better than settling in with a good book and I get transported to the chill zone as soon as I read one page.

It’s important to know what helps you to relax when you are feeling tired or stressed and the above are all surefire ways to unwind for me. Talk about an instant chill pill!

How do you like to relax? What makes you feel stressed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: It’s A Snap Pt. 2

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Fun & Games: It’s A Snap Pt. 2

Hi!!! Johnny and I love to play video games together and I look forward to every weekend when we stay up late, play games, and listen to music. One of my favorite recent releases for the Nintendo Switch is, easily, Pokemon Snap and I have been loving it since it came out in April. Despite having played every course in the game too many times to count, I always seem to discover something new and that’s what makes the game so exciting.

While every course to explore in Pokemon Snap is insanely fun, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for an update of the game every day since Johnny and I beat the main story line. And, finally, on August third my thoughts and prayers were answered with an update that made the game feel brand new again. With more settings to explore, more Pokemon, and new features to the Neo-One this update was everything I wanted it to be AND MORE.

Johnny and I spent a solid two hours this past Friday evening playing the new levels which includes a day and nighttime course of a rushing river, a desert setting, and my favorite: The inside of a tree trunk! That’s right, the Neo-One can now shrink into the size of a toy car making all of the Pokemon huge and providing for amazing photo ops. This allowed me to get new pictures of old Pokemon – some of which were four star (a-thank you!) – and update my Pokedex with brand new Pokemon like Shroomish and the adorable Foongus. 😀

The inside of the tree in the Florio Nature Park definitely took the cake for me and Johnny was partial to the river. We both agree that our favorite addition to the game was being able to photograph Psyduck because he is so goofy! Every time we hit him with a fluff fruit we were in stitches!

When I learned that Pokemon Snap would be receiving an update, I assumed a few new Pokemon would be added to levels that already existed. This exceeded what I had in mind completely and all I can think about as I write this is how I want to play some more. All I can say is bravo, brava, and bring on the next update baby!

What is your favorite course in Pokemon Snap? What is your favorite Pokemon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Brunch Babes

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Brunch Babes

Hello!! Johnny enjoyed a three day weekend for Memorial Day and we had the most fabulous date day on Sunday. Any time with my beau is my favorite but it is especially wonderful to go out and about together after over a year stuck in our apartment. Now that we are both fully vaccinated, we feel much more comfortable with seeing friends, outdoor dining, and small outings. So we spent Saturday afternoon hanging out in Lakewood with our two friends, Jeff and Jeff, and had the best brunch with the best company.

Lakewood is a very cool area and I actually used to figure skate at the rink a few minutes away from where we brunched pre-pandemic. While I was in school, I would also make the small trek up there from campus to have dinner with friends. There is amazing shopping, bars, and unique restaurants and although it is only about forty-five minutes from me and Johnny, our afternoon felt like a mini day trip.

For brunch, the Jeffs, Johnny, and I went to the Buckeye Beer Engine and had a delicious meal. The garden quesadilla I ordered was the perfect vegetarian option that included eggs, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in a spinach tortilla topped with sour cream and pico de gallo. The food was awesome but, I have to say, the mimosas were even better!

The Buckeye Beer Engine had so many mimosa flavors to choose from and I went with Peach and Blood Orange while Johnny had a Pineapple and a Cranberry drink. They were the first mimosas we have had since before the pandemic when we would have breakfast dates and it was nice to reminisce on that as we clinked our glasses in celebration with the Jeffs. The weather was ideal for an outdoor meal and it is definitely true what they say… Brunch is always a good idea.

Once we returned home from our time in Lakewood, we were visited by our friend Corey for a quick video game session. While Johnny and Corey are both incredibly skilled in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., I am pleased to say that I kicked their butts! The video game extravaganza continued long after Corey left and Johnny and I spent hours playing Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Pod Racing, and Medal Of Honor. We also just had to pepper in a few episodes of our latest obsession: Family Matters lol.

No matter what Johnny and I do together, we are sure to have a blast and it feels so good to finally be more active in the community with him again. In fact, it kind of feels like going on first dates all over again because of how long it has been since we could do anything even close to having brunch with friends. Getting all dressed up to go out with my fiance on Sunday was simply the best and I can’t wait for a lifetime of dates with him! ❤

What is your favorite meal of the day? What is your preferred brunch drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Early Birthday To Me!

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Happy Early Birthday To Me!

Hi! If you know Lil Red, then you will know that I simply cannot wait to give people their presents for gift giving occasions. My fiance, Johnny, on the other hand prefers to open gifts until the day of the birthday or holiday or at least get fairly close. So, imagine my surprise when Johnny wanted to give me my birthday presents super early. Our birthdays are one week apart from each other in June and this was an excellent development for me because I had been dying to give him his gifts!

Earlier in May, Johnny gifted me with an amazing standing makeup holder for all of my bits and baubles. And, this past week, he gave me my main gift… the original Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64!

For our one year anniversary, Johnny got me Paper Mario: The Origami King for the Nintendo Switch and this past Valentine’s Day, he gifted me with Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube. Can you tell what one of my favorite video games is? To complete my collection, I needed the Paper Mario for the N64 and I also need the one for the Nintendo 3DS. With my early birthday prezzie, I am one step closer to having all of the Paper Mario games and I am eager to give my new (old) one a try as I have never played it.

Time and time again, I am blown away by Johnny’s thoughtfulness more than anything on gift giving occasions. Whenever we give each other presents, it always seems to be exactly what we both wanted. This shows me that we are actually listening to each other when we talk and that is the best gift of all. Johnny is such fun to shop for and he received some Legend Of Zelda Amiibos as well as a blazer from his favorite website, Phix, for his birthday. Nothing was better than seeing the look on his face when he opened them and I can’t wait for a lifetime of birthdays and holidays with him. ❤

What is your favorite video game? Who is your favorite person to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Games: It’s A Snap!

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Fun & Games: It’s A Snap!

Hello! Johnny and I are both avid video gamers and have been looking forward to the release of Pokemon Snap on the Nintendo Switch for months. In fact, Johnny, myself, and my brother were literally counting down the days as the release date grew closer! I am about to age myself significantly, but I can remember renting Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo 64 from Blockbuster in my youth and have fond memories of playing it with my siblings.

Pokemon Snap for the Switch came out a few weeks ago on April thirtieth and it took me a while to finally play it. Johnny and I got the second shot of the Moderna vaccine on the twenty-ninth and we were both hit hard with side effects the following day. While Johnny played it for an hour or so, the nausea I was experiencing would not have sat well with the forward motion of the game as you cruise through different landscapes.

I was so eager to play our new game and trust and believe that as soon as I felt better it was ON! Johnny and I have already played Pokemon Snap for hours on end and are close to beating the main story line. In Pokemon Snap, you are basically a wildlife photographer for Pokemon and can make them pose and interact by playing music or throwing fruit and Pokeballs. As you gain experience and take more pictures, different levels and landscapes are unlocked and you never will play a course the same way twice.

Every time Johnny and I get to a good stopping point, it seems like we discover something new and it makes Snap so hard to put down because it’s exciting to see what will happen next. There is an abundance of courses to explore ranging from jungles and parks to caves, the beach, and snowy mountains as well as the opportunity to photograph during the day or nighttime. I am partial to the beach and jungle, myself, but each course is equally fun and unique in its own way.

The new landscapes to explore are, of course, insanely cool but my favorite part of the game is how the Pokemon activity changes as you level up. The higher your level gets in a location, the more Pokemon will appear to photograph as well as the option to take your vehicle on different routes. There’s nothing better than exploring a brand new location or level and seeing all of the new Pokemon to snap pics of for the first time. However, it can be a bit overwhelming because I always want to see absolutely everything in one go!

As soon as Johnny and I get home from work and have dinner, we have been playing Pokemon Snap until we wind down with a TV show and go to bed. We pass the controller off once the course is complete and for the entire level, we our constantly exclaiming our signature Snap catchphrases of “Woahhhhh!”, “That was a good one!”, and “Did you see that?!”

Pokemon Snap will hit you right in the nostalgia and it is both relaxing and extremely exciting at the same time. I can’t wait till my shift is over today so I can play more! 😀

What do you think of the new Pokemon Snap? What is your favorite Pokemon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have We Been Up To?

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What Have We Been Up To?

Hello! When we’re not making preparations for our wedding, Johnny and I have been enjoying lots of new games and TV shows in our downtime. Once we are both home from work and dinner is made, we like to spend our evenings with video games or laughing hysterically to old and new favorite shows. We’ve been super into the following:

Stupid Deaths:

Johnny and I purchased the party game Stupid Deaths on one of our date days and I finally had the chance to play it with a lot of people when my brother and his family visited from Georgia. It was so much fun and super easy. The point of the game is to vote on if a unique death read from a card actually happened or not and to avoid the Grim Reaper on the board. Stupid Deaths was a hit with my whole family and, despite Johnny and I being downright awful at it, it was a blast and is sure to be a hit for your next game night. I want to buy Stupid Criminals next!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Johnny recently purchased Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch and it quickly became our new favorite video game to play together. The race tracks are awesome, the character and car selection is massive, and the battle games are a hoot too! I consider myself to be highly proficient at Mario Kart 64 and Double Dash but Johnny gives me a run for my money every time we play Deluxe. It’s fun to get competitive and the first time we played it, we raced for four hours straight without even realizing it. Time flies when you’re having fun. 😀

The Promised Neverland:

While I am still looking forward to seeing the Demon Slayer movie in theaters, my attention has turned to a new anime as per my brother’s suggestion called The Promised Neverland. I just started season two and it is EXCELLENT. I can’t say much about it without giving the major surprise of the first episode away but it is a dark, fast paced show that is both gorgeous and exciting to watch. I have never seen anything like it and I just adore the kids whom the show revolves around. I have to laugh because, for the most part, I can’t stand child actors but anime children are just fine by me lol!

Schitt’s Creek:

My brother, Peter, and his wife, Megan, highly recommend Schitt’s Creek when they visited so Johnny and I decided to give it a try and I am so glad we did. It is absolutely hilarious and we were in stitches minutes into the first episode. We have only watched three episodes so far and I am itching for more. Eugene Levy and his son Daniel as well as the incomparable Catherine O’Hara are a match made in comedy heaven and it’s a trip to watch an uber rich family gone broke try to make it in the not so glamorous real world.

Ever since Daniel Levy’s amazing Saturday Night Live debut, Johnny and I have been interested in watching Schitt’s Creek. Peter and Megan’s recommendation was just the push we needed to begin watching what I have a feeling will be our new favorite comedy.

What have you been watching recently? How do you like to spend your evenings? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Fun & Games

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More Fun & Games

Hello! A few weeks ago, Johnny surprised me with a bunch of board games for us to play together and the last one in his haul arrived in the mail earlier this week. We have been having such a good time playing something other than Diablo III nonstop and are especially partial to the adventure board game, Horrified. Clearly, we enjoy more intense gaming options but that doesn’t mean we don’t like silly games too – and the latest addition to our board game collection definitely falls under that category! Check it out:

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Johnny and I are both huge Seinfeld fans and after purchasing Seinfeld Clue, he couldn’t not get the Festivus board game! Lol, Johnny and I were both in stitches just from the box and the directions. We have yet to play it because we think it would be better with more people but are excited to try it out during future game nights with our friends. As the box states several times, it really is a Festivus miracle and has inspired Johnny and I to get our own Festivus pole come the holiday season.

When we’re not saving our village from movie monsters in Horrified, Johnny has just started helping me with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I spent my childhood watching my siblings play Zelda games and while I have tried playing a few, I have never beaten one. Johnny, on the other hand, has beat them all several times and promised me he would guide me through Ocarina of Time when we inherited our friend’s Nintendo 64 and all of his old games. I’m still getting the hang of it and I am so glad to have Johnny’s expertise every step of the way.

Finally, I just beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which Johnny got me for Valentine’s Day. In my youth, I rented this game from the video store but couldn’t beat the final boss so I was thrilled to reign supreme well over a decade later lol. The Thousand Year Door was such fun to play and I can’t wait to get the N64 Paper Mario so I can have the complete collection!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite video game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah