An Update – I’m moving!

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Well, it’s finally happened. We’re finally moving out of the USA.

For those of you who don’t know me all that well…that’s going to change in the near future I think because I planned on using the Heart1lly blog to bring updates and posts that may be a bit more personal in nature. Yeah, video games and snacks are cool, but why should you care about those when you have no clue who I am?!

At the very start of January, I posted some New Year goals onto my now-defunct Facebook. This is what they were:

  1. Read more nonfiction.
  2. Overcome my fear of Javascript.
  3. Get the hell out of dodge.

I assumed 1 and 2 would be easy-peasy to accomplish since reading is something I’ve always done, and Javascript was something I could definitely learn, right? Wrong. What happened was that I discovered Twitch streaming right after I got back from visiting my boyfriend in Finland. I was watching some streams on his bed and thought…hey, this looks fun. I bet I could do this! And then I did it. So now I have roughly 300+ lovely followers and a handful of subs and I’m committed to keep working on my stream for the rest of the year.

I really want to make it better and loads more fun. I’ve made excellent friends this way, including a couple who are going to be in the new country I’ll be living in! Life is so much easier when you have friends. Anyway, my husband (yes, husband – I’m polyamorous; more on this later) finally nabbed himself a job overseas after looking for a solid year. Job searching is the most exhausting, demoralizing thing ever. Because this man was a PhD candidate and STILL struggled hard to find a job. Granted, his line is work is fiercely competitive (aren’t they all these days?) but it was really hard to help him through this. He had so much imposter syndrome, so many doubts about his validity and whether or not he could actually get a job. It’s something I want to talk about more going forward.

Anyway, back to points and 1 and 2. I haven’t been reading very much due to Twitch, though I’m changing this. Starting TODAY, I’m challenging myself to read for 1 hour every single day until the end of the year. I want to see how many books I can get through, even if they aren’t necessarily nonfiction. I just need to read again, feel a real book in my hands and work towards improving my focus. I was at Dragon Con this past weekend (again, more on this later!) and one of the panelists for a talk I went to mentioned how humans aren’t even on the same level as goldfish anymore in terms of attention span. I always feel like I have a billion tabs open inside my mind, so this seems legit. I want to fix this.

I also want to write more…so I’ll be having those writing streams soon. Once Twitch unrolls those new updates with the tags and whatnot, I’ll be streaming writing workshops on Sundays. Hang out with me in my jammies with coffee/tea and let’s talk about the wonderful world of the written word.

As far as javascript goes…well…

I really DID try a coding camp and gave it my absolute best shot back in early winter/spring. Unfortunately, through MUCH trial and error, I learned that it just wasn’t for me. I enjoyed coding a little bit and I am glad I have a much better understanding of it, but it’s something I’ll just dabble in on the side. I was driving myself to actual insanity by trying to meet all the deadlines and it was just too much for me. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I cannot be good at everything and I do not need to stress myself out over this. I’ll stick to writing and streaming.

But, yes! We are moving to the Netherlands in October and I’m very excited because it means I’ll finally have things to post about on this blog and across my social media. I’ll be able to start up my youtube channel finally and get more into IG TV and just C R E A T E.

I always feel the need to feed the muse within and all these various forms of content creation have been satisfying that craving so far. Of course, I want to do more watercolor painting, but being on screen has brought me so much joy so far and I just want to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I also did something sort of scary recently, which was come out of the closet. As some of you know, I’m 34-years-old and I just don’t really see the need to hide who I am anymore.

I’m not into blatantly parading my personal life around (if you’re that curious, read this blog), so it’s never really come up before. People also don’t really ask me too much about my personal life, which is also cool. I don’t care either way. But I realized that I was hitting backspace a lot on my keyboard before firing off a tweet. It wasn’t healthy. By not talking about who I am and what I was feeling, it was hurting me. When people find out I’m queer, they don’t usually have too much of a reaction. Sign of the times, I guess…because I used to be absolutely tortured for it back in college. Coming out meant putting myself in the line of fire for horrible people and I was always afraid to do that.

I’ve tried to make myself more socially acceptable for people who might find me on Instagram, on Twitch, on Twitter…just anywhere. I’ve decided that I want to stop doing that. I think a lot of you follow me because I’m considered “Family friendly” and I think some of you may have stopped tuning in or listening to me because of a recent tweet in which I stated I was both queer and polyamorous. Polyamory definitely still has that negative stigma placed on it, but that’s okay. I’m not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I was never big on talking about my relationships with people I don’t know very well, and that isn’t going to change.

What this means is that I’m not going to try to hide any facets of myself anymore. Accept me, or don’t. I sincerely hope that people are still going to be around for me when they find out, but I’m realistic in knowing that it won’t jive with people and they can walk away at any point in time. It’s quite okay. I’ll keep streaming my games and travel videos in the Netherlands, and I really hope you’ll hang out with me and enjoy them.

Thanks for sticking with me this far!

 

MY CHILDHOOD

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My brain must be in need of a good nonfiction book because I’ve been playing educational games on my stream.

I picked up Pepper’s Adventure in Time again, for what probably amounts to the hundredth time since I first purchased it in 1993 when Sierra On-Line was still in its golden age of awesomeness. I really miss educational games like these. They really got me into the whole point-and-click genre and from the Discovery Series, I dove right into the King’s Quest series as I got a bit older.

Pepper’s Adventures in Time is surprisingly hilarious. The dialog is top-notch, funny, and I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE CREEPY DOG HEADSTONE IN IMA’S CLOSET. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stream the entire game all in one go because I knocked into the “out of handles!” error on Dos Box. Whomp whomp. We’ll get that fixed up asap and then we’ll be able to finish the rest on stream. You do not want to miss the finale…it’s quite the ~thing.~ Also bonus fun is having my Finnish partner hanging out playing the game with me because he’s learning American history at the same time and he’s actually enjoying it.

This game was made for ages 8+, and the fact that my chat full of adults struggled during the first ten minutes of the game really says something about the difficulty of the Discovery Series. I wasn’t exaggerating when I told my friends that it would sometimes take me a month or two to solve a puzzle. My parents loved this because it meant they had plenty of time before they were asked to shell out another $40-$60 for a PC game.

We’re going to get to Ecoquest 1: The Search for Cetus and Ecoquest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest as well! These were my favorites as a young girl, and they impacted me so much that I wanted to go to university for ecology. Unfortunately, I was discouraged from science because it had too much math. I still think about what my life would have been like if I had applied myself and just chosen the major that I wanted regardless of the math.

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These games are going to be a part of my new FAMILY FRIENDLY stream. I’ve seen loads of people doing family friend streams and wanting to watch more streams with their kids, so these games are perfect for that.

Still on deck: Bahamian snack stream (with Pirate101 instead of Sea of Thieves), A-Z challenge (which is already giving me issues because my A game isn’t working, so this got pushed back).

 

What’s new on my stream

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Apparently, it was my Twitch 2-month anniversary the other day. Whee!

I try not to get too into how many followers or views that I have. It’s hard. I think everyone struggles with this, which is why so many people decide to switch off viewers altogether. So going forward, I’ll be toggling off my viewers in hopes that it will enable me to not psyche myself out and just focus on creating decent content and fostering better communication/interaction.

So, what’s new?

Let’s see…I finished Shelter 2 on stream yesterday. It was good! A pretty solid experience that made me feel things, which is something I always enjoy in a game. I love games that make me cry, or at the very least tug at my heartstrings. So in this case, Shelter 2 was successful. It’s very cheap on Steam right now for the summer sale (which ends soon, so hurry!), and I would recommend it. I wouldn’t recommend it at full price, however. There’s just not enough gameplay or value there. But at its current sale price? Absolutely.

I still plan on doing some Sea of Thieves with Bahamian snacks. That’s coming up in July.

I will also now be adding Final Fantasy XIV as a main game! I wanted to play something on a more consistent basis, and this is one of the few games I am actually VERY comfortable with. I haven’t played it in a few months though, so it’s going to be a bit of an adjustment period as I relearn how to play! There’s a new patch out on Tuesday that looks pretty interesting.

I have a smack load of games that I want to stream for you, so I’ve been thinking about doing the A-Z challenge that I’ve seen kicking around on Twitch lately. This will start the first week of July. Hype!

A new extension has been added to my stream. You may have noticed a button on the screen. When you click it, it’ll prompt you to pick an emoji. Once you find one you like, click it and you’ll see it flutter upwards on the screen. It’s just another way to interact with the stream, and I love seeing the emojis fly! Pretty fun in my opinion.

Anyway, that’s about it for this blog post. I hope to see you all in my stream soon. I stream M, W, F usually at 10 pm EST, though sometimes I’ll sneak in an earlier stream (3 pm to 7 pm EST seems to work well for me) to accommodate other folks. Hope to see you around!

Twitch – On Deck for July!

Hey guys, here’s what I currently have planned for the STREAMS in July! I hope you join me and Archim for some fun games and snacks!

Special 200 follower special! Catnips bubbles! CATS. WITH BUBBLES. INFUSED WITH NIP. It’ll be cute!

JUST FINISHED: Gray Dawn, a psychological horror-adventure game by Interactive Stone. Check out the trailer for the game here. We really enjoyed it, though we’re still processing what we just played. It was crazy, creepy, and we still have no idea what happened but we liked it!

UP NEXT: More Monster Prom. We still haven’t managed to take any monsters to prom just yet and I’m determined.  (Wednesday, June 27th, at 10 PM EST)

ON DECK FOR JULY: Sea of Thieves featuring a very special BAHAMIAN snack stream with Tortuga Brand Coconut Rum Cake (brought back directly from the Bahamas!), Tortuga Brand Coconut Rum (maybe we’ll make cocktails with it?), Goombay Hot Sauce!

Subnautica – I discovered I love to swim! I was in the ocean and everything! It was supposed to be impossible, but I did it! Does that mean I can play ocean-related video games now? Let’s find out together!

Dark Souls 3 – This has been specially requested by some of you. Fine, alright! I’ll play it! But I’m going to be TERRIBLE at you and you know that!

Yooka-Laylee – I’ve been itching for a platformer lately. I’ve had this one for a while and just never touched it. I heard it was nowhere near as good at Banjo-Kazooie, but I think it’s worth looking into, don’t you agree?

Other games I’ll try to sneak in:  Torin’s Passage, The Sexy Brutale, Rime, who knows what else I’ll pull out of left field?

 

 

Snack Review: Simply Organic White Cheddar Doritos

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What I really wanted to eat and review was the new Taco Bell sauce packet chips, but they weren’t in our store yet. Instead, I got my hands on the new Simply Organic White Cheddar Doritos. If you’d rather watch my reaction and take on these new Doritos, please check out my Twitch highlight from May 21st!

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I have thoughts on these new Overwatch hoodies

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Jinx is putting out Overwatch hoodies.

*cues excitement*

But wait.

I don’t…think I like them.

*cues pitchforks*

Okay, please hear me out! I’m an avid Overwatch player, though this is a more recent development. The game has a huge, insanely devoted audience so it would make perfect sense for Jinx Clothing to put out a bunch of new gear to celebrate this. I’m all for it – I absolutely love their Rocket League clothing and have purchased many t-shirts from them in the past. Those t-shirts were mainly World of Warcraft-themed (which I do not play anymore), and I really miss when the company offered more licenses. Alas, this is what we get and normally I would tip my hat their design team.

But these hoodies are confusing me.

Jinx was slowly unveiling previews for the past several weeks, trickling out three designs at a time. Most of them were greeted with a warm reception, especially the Hanzo design. I’ve never played Hanzo in my life, but that design? Hoo, boy. Even I would wear that.

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They previewed a gorgeous Symmetra design with a lotus flower on the back, and even though I never play her either, I was tempted to buy the hoodie. Except…they removed the lotus flower and replaced it WITH A GIANT HAND. I’m not thrilled, and according to many people over on Twitter, I am not the only one. I was left scratching my head with some of the design choices and there was one word to describe them that kept sticking out in my mind: Inconsistent.

Some of the designs are very nice, with excellent color combinations. On the front, they have a small emblem which differs from the one on the back. Except in Sombra’s case. The emblem on the front is the same that’s on the back, and do you see where I’m getting the inconsistency vibe, now? Hanzo has a costumey sleeve that is really unique and cool, Zenyatta (my main) has…barely anything on it. It feels like a missed opportunity, as others have suggested that his orbs should be strewn around the neckline to mimic his design in-game. It’s a great idea, and I’m not sure what the designers were thinking when they made the choices they did. Did four separate designers make these and just not check in with each other?

Still, I will say this: the Jinx hoodies tend to be of excellent quality and last forever. I’ve purchased a couple hoodies from them in the past and have not been disappointed yet. While I probably won’t be picking any of these hoodies up, except for maybe Lucio’s, I’m glad that they’re making them. I hope in the future they put out more Overwatch designs or that they go back and maybe tweak some of the hoodies to represent the ultimate abilities a bit better.

The hoodies are in preview right now and are slated to be available for purchase by the fall.

What do you think of the hoodies? Will you be buying any?

Why you should visit Tallinn in the winter

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I went to Finland (again!) and Estonia this winter. Whenever I tell people where I went, I really only get one sort of reaction:

“You’re going to Finland in the winter? Why?!”

I got this question quite a bit before I embarked on another trip to Suomi in late February. I’m originally from the Northeast USA, so I’m no stranger to snow. I’ve also lived in Canada before, where we definitely got our fair share of hard winters. People who know me also know that I absolutely love snow and the thought of being in a winter wonderland for a few weeks sounded like a great idea. Who could hate that? Turns out, a lot of people. But if you’re one of those rare adults who actually love snow, read on!

We weren’t totally sure where else our trip was going to take us. It could have taken us to Stockholm or Berlin, though we had been considering Estonia despite not having any interviews there. When our other plans fell through, I jumped onto booking.com and airbnb.com to see if checking out Tallinn was even a viable option and I’m so glad it was. Not only is Estonia a gorgeous country to begin with, it’s also very budget-friendly.

For the naysayers who think that once the winter chill sets in you need to flee to Florida, I present to you four reasons why you should give the city of Tallinn a chance to impress you.

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