Tuesday, December 21

Tag! Ready for Christmas

An entertaining little holiday tag from Elle.

1. What's Your Favorite Holiday Movie? My favorite movie is a bit unconventional because they're ones we made. Each year on Christmas, our family would record our mornings together as we opened our presents. We started when my sisters and I were very young and it became a tradition to watch every Christmas video, in order, together as a family. Sadly, we don't do this anymore because the tapes went missing a few years ago and we have no idea what happened to them. I really wish we could find them because it would be so fun to watch them again this year.  

2. What's Your Favorite Christmas Color? Silver, gold, and white. I really do love the white lights at night when it's snowing! It's so picturesque and elegant. 

3. Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas? PJ's for Christmas Eve, and then we would change and get all pretty for Christmas morning because the camera was on!

4. If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be? That is such a tricky question, because I always get everyone in my immediate family a present. But if I had to choose, probably my significant other because he means the world to me.

5. Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Never Christmas Eve, always Christmas morning. Some of the presents aren't even under the tree on Christmas Eve because Santa has to bring them, hee hee.

6. Have You Ever Built a Ginger Bread House? No! Now I need to! Can you make them sans dairy?

7. What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break? Everything even remotely Christmas related: Parties, Shopping, Wrapping gifts, Eating & Drinking, Spending time with loved-ones, Counting Christmas lights that pass while traveling, Standing by the fireside, Listening to Christmas music, Playing in the Snow, Playing new video games, Reading Christmas stories on Christmas Eve, the list goes on and on...

8. Any Christmas Wishes? I wish to be home for the holidays and to see my new baby nephew for the very first time. I am very excited to finally meet him.

9. Favorite Christmas Smell? The Christmas tree is the best, because we would always get a real one. Typically a Blue Spruce because those trees are my father's favorite. Followed by the smell of all the wonderful yummies that we make this time of year and the intoxicating aroma of the fireplace. I love that.

10. Favorite Christmas Meal Or Treat? Peppermint candy canes. I have to have them! I remember when I was a little girl I would put a lot of them on the back of the Christmas tree so that I could sneak them later on without anyone noticing. That, and a variety of wonderful Christmas cookies and chocolates. Perhaps I can convince my little sister to make some organic ones without dairy.

Happy Holidays! I tag everyone, so please feel free to do this as well. 
Leave a link for me if you do! I would love to hear from you all.


Wednesday, December 15

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light

Every time I hear that Akihiko Yoshida is working on a new title I get so excited. Being that he is a favorite artist of mine, I always try to play the games that he is a part of. Despite the fact that some of them might not be very good. If I really like the art, I will put up with it until the very end.

The 4 Heroes of Light unfortunately was one of those games. Earlier this year when I first heard about it, I was ecstatic. The art was fabulous and it was Final Fantasy, so I figured it would be fun. But when I played it at E3 this year the game didn't really hold my attention like I predicted it would. Perhaps it was just because I didn't want to get into the demo at the show. RPG's require a lot of time to connect with the characters and get use to the new battle systems. Besides, snuggling with my DS on a comfy couch with a hot cup of tea sounded much better. So I didn't think anything of it.

Then when the game was released, and I started playing, it happened again. I found the gameplay to be so frustrating or plain out boring. I guess this just wasn't the FF for me and sadly I didn't have anyone to play multiplayer with because nobody was interested. Maybe it would have been more fun if I would have done that.

So here are my thoughts about the game: 


- The art is stunning! Both the Yoshida illustrations and the Wind Waker meets FF Tactics in-game art style are truly enjoyable. I really like the vintage storybook feel and soft muted colors.

- Playing as animals is great fun. The designs are really cute and it's an amusing little break from the norm.

- There are a lot of good morals and messages in this game (even though they knocked you over the head with them), such as: the world is your playground, humanity is good despite sucking every once in a while, friendship for the win, etc.

- The crown system is really neat and I like the fact that your characters change their clothing depending on what you equip. Even if they looked silly sometimes because of mismatched gear.

- The Mysterious Towers are pretty fun. I got my party up to level 99 in those things but I never got to the top.


- This game is a grind! Grindy Grind-Grind! It feels very old-school JRPG. I found it boring, but necessary, to cap the character because the game is so difficult.

- Traveling at the beginning really sucked because you had to walk everywhere. Typically I don't have a problem with this, but the Overworld seemed a bit banal.

- I got stuck a lot because I did not know where to go next. (Sand Demon *cough cough*)

- Reusing assets got really old fast. Adding different bosses, enemies, and dungeons instead of revisiting them would have been great. 

- The bosses in this game are really difficult, which was not necessarily the problem. The problem is that you could get to them really fast and die because your party was under-leveled. The dungeons are not challenging enough. So you would have to go back, grind, and find equipment until your characters are thoroughly prepared.

- The music was recycled way too much for me to enjoy.

- Saving was a pain, especially for a hand held. I really wish the Adventurer and his fox partner (so cute by the way, his little yip-yip noises are adorable) were around more often.

- Extremely limited inventory was not fun at all. I never had enough things like torches on my person or having the correct weapon for a boss (but of course I had them all in the town storage).

- I would have liked to see more attention go into the story and character development. Voice acting would have been really great.

- Lastly, what is a Final Fantasy without at least one really great cutscene? Well there weren't any. They could have done some really amazing stuff for this game. Similar to how they redid III, IV or Tactics: The War of the Lions.

Perhaps some of you had a better experience with the game? If so, what did you like? Did anyone make it to the top of any of the Mysterious Towers? Does anyone know what the mythril was for? And did anyone play multiplayer mode?

Cheers and happy gaming,

Thursday, December 9


Late last evening I watched a fascinating Natural Geographic documentary on Netflix called Stress: Portrait of a Killer. I think that this really ties in to "positive thinking" from a scientific viewpoint. Basically, stress can kill you. It physically deteriorates one's body. I have really really been trying to do better myself. :) Especially around the holiday season. Remember, just take a deep breath and let things be. (Easier said than done, Claudia!) Please feel free to share any tips & tricks. How do you deal with stress?

Here's a link to the video on YouTube, if Netflix is not an option:

 (A six part series) 

Happy movie watching.

Wednesday, December 8

The Story of Electronics

The Story of Stuff project recently posted a new video called the The Story of Electronics. I really, really enjoy these little videos. They're very informative and easy to understand. It's important to get the word out the about such serious matters and these videos do a great job in doing just that.

Cheers and here's to happy, healthy living!

Tuesday, December 7

Look of the Month :: Winter 2010 :: December

December is finally here and that means another year has come and gone. My, how time fly! I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season and without further ado, here is the last and final digital face chart for the year.

The current look is:
D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 0

Color trends for this month:
Black, white, ivory, gun metal, and gold

Current motivation for the look:
Holiday parties, haute couture, and snowfall at night

Previous Looks this Year:

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.


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