May 2016 Check-in

Hello all! I hope this post finds you all well and happy! It’s once again that time – the monthly check-in!

Okay, seriously, where did the month go? One moment May is starting and now it’s almost over? As some of you may have noticed, it kind of slipped up on me. I had been sitting on all kinds of posts that I just couldn’t find the time to actually put up, but then I realized how late in the month it was! So in hopes of a fresh start for May, I threw them all up over the course of two days.

May wasn’t busy per say, but I did somehow constantly find time slipping away from me. I think it had a lot to do with my wacky work schedule this month. There was a lot going on with my job that just had me all kinds of off. That should hopefully not be happening much any more, so back to some sort of normal routine. I really would like to get back to posting maybe once a week, at least.

I didn’t play a whole lot in May. Mostly, my Stardew Valley addiction continued. However, I finally made it to year three, which is where I promised myself  I would wrap it up, so expect a review for that soon. Also, in “finishing” Stardew Valley, I finally have started playing Bravely Second in earnest. I am absolutely loving it so far!

Other plans for June? Well, I know No Man’s Sky was supposed to be coming out, but I heard it might be delayed? Not sure. Either way, it was another one of those impulse pre-orders, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully much better than my last impulse pre-order (*cough*Stories*cough*).

Also, I had talked before of maybe doing something in regards to RWBY Chibi and Red vs Blue, and I’m thinking I’ll be doing spoilerific reviews once a month for each show. That should give plenty of content to cover for each show despite episode length. Expect the first round of those some time soon.

So yeah, super boring check-in this month, but I’m sleepy and distracted after a good dinner and with the RT Podcast on, so this is where we are. Lots of love, and here’s to what will hopefully be a more reasonably productive month!

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Quinoa

I’ve had a bag of quinoa sitting in my pantry for a few months now. I originally bought it for a crockpot recipe (which went horribly awry), but that only used a tiny bit. I wasn’t sure what to do with it for the longest time, despite a friend constantly bragging to me about how awesome quinoa is and how I should be cooking with it. Well, I finally had an opportunity to use it. The other members of my household were eating beef stroganoff, and since I don’t eat red meat, I was on my own. No big deal, except that I get home super late and if I wanted to eat with them, I had to cook something quick, fast, and in a hurry. I threw some stuff together with the hopes that it would be palatable. Not only was it more than palatable, it was super filling and pretty healthy!

I present to you: Everything But the Kitchen Sink Quinoa! (You can thank my dad for that name.)

Let me also preface that I have been using spice mixes purchased from my local farmer’s market. I am going to include links to their website so that you may either purchase it (if you can afford to, it’s super good!) or so that you can get an idea of what’s in it to emulate the taste.

This recipe should yield about 4 servings. They may look small, but trust me, they are more than enough.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup Quick Cook Quinoa

1 Tomato

1 cup Chopped Onion

1 cup Chopped Green Pepper

1-2 cups Chopped and Cooked Chicken

1 tsp Coconut Oil

1 tsp Garlic Flavored Olive Oil OR 1 tsp Olive Oil & 1 clove Diced Garlic

1/2 tbsp Dak’s Original Red

1 tsp Dak’s Kaboom

3 tbsp Alfredo Sauce

Step 1) Cook your Quinoa according to the package directions.

Step 2) While your Quinoa is cooking, melt your Coconut Oil in a medium skillet.

Step 3) Add your Greep Pepper and Onion to the skillet. Cook until vegetables are slightly soft (Note: I used a pre-packaged frozen mix to save time. It is so not cheating to do this. This is supposed to be quick.) (Additional Note: If you are using garlic instead of flavored olive oil, add the garlic on this step.)

Step 4) Slice your Tomato and add the slices to your onion mixture, sauteeing until they become soft.

Step 5) Drizzel your (flavored) Olive Oil over the vegetable mix, stirring it all together.

Step 6) Add your Cooked Chicken to the skillet (Note: Once again, I used pre-cooked, pre-chopped, frozen chicken – straight from the bag to the skillet). Mix and cook until Chicken is heated through.

Step 7) Add your Original Red/Substitue Seasoning to the skillet mixture and mix until food is coated.

Step 8) Drain your Quinoa once it is done cooking, returning it to the pan if you removed it. Add your chicken & vegetable mix to the Quinoa.

Step 9) Add your Alfredo Sauce and Kaboom/Substitue Seasoning to the pot and mix until food is coated.

Step 10) Serve it up!

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So I know this looks complicated and like a lot of steps, but I promise it us super quick and super easy. I cooked it in about 15-20 minutes, and it’s enough for me to eat on for multiple meals.

In the Name of the Moon, I Am Addicted – SailorDrops review

Hi, everyone. My name is Allyssa, and I’m addicted to SailorDrops.

What’s SailorDrops, you ask? It’s the love child of Sailor Moon and Bejeweled (okay, fine, Candy Crush, whatever!) that I think deep down I always knew I wanted but never needed.

I’m not a big mobile gamer, but boredom away from home led to browsing the app story. It’s a hard sell to get me to download a mobile game. Usually they have to come pre-recommended by a friend or some such, and so it was that I found myself at a crossroads. What could I download that wouldn’t be a giant waste of my time and data? Maybe that game with a questionable looking lady that claims it is an RPG (it could be)? What about the thing that is almost assuredly a dating sim that is probably poorly written and would only let me play for five minutes before telling me I needed more tickets, which I could either purchase or wait four hours to get three more?

The outlook was bleak, my friends. Bleak! But then I saw her! The smiling face of Sailor Moon, here to right mobile gaming wrong and triumph over the evil of boredom!

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I’m always up for something Sailor Moon themed, seeing as I owe the nerd I am today to that sailor-suited heroine, so I tapped on it. Behold! I have found myself a Bejeweled clone! I love Bejeweled! So I downloaded it! Fast foreword twenty-four hours, and I’m starting to think I may have developed a serious problem. This ish is addicting!

Gameplay & Visuals

For the most part, gameplay is pretty straight-forward – match some shiny things in a row of three or more and you get points! However, SailorDrops does take a page out of Candy Crush‘s book, and while I protest Candy Crush on a very base level, I can admit they made a few positive changes to traditional Bejeweled. SailorDrops features several items that can help you, different power-ups, and several different types of level challenges. It also features a social aspect, where you can friend people and then send each other items.

Still sounding like just a Candy Crush who likes to cosplay? Well, SailorDrops also has several completely unique aspects. As you play, you unlock different senshi, meaning you get to choose which one you play as. This is more than just an aesthetic thing, as each senshi has a special attack that affects the board in a different way. There are also “boss fights,” in which by destroying blocks of a certain color, you deal damage to the enemy. As the “fight” progresses, you may wind up with fewer and fewer pieces that deal damage, so there is definitely some strategy and additional challenge to it.

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For all the praise I’m giving, that isn’t to say it’s without fault. Loading can be pretty slow. At first, I thought it was just my connection (and I’m sure sometimes it is), but after encountering the problem in multiple places on multiple internet connections, I can say I’m pretty certain that it’s an issue with the game itself.

Story, Characters, & Atmosphere

This is, admittedly, a section with scant to say; however, these things do technically exist, which is more than can be said for most Bejeweled/Candy Crush clones.

As previously stated, you get to choose which of the senshi you wish to use, unlocking more as the story progresses. There are also periphery characters such as Tuxedo Mask and Luna, who offer help from time-to-time, as well as enemies. The story is a very basic following of the original Sailor Moon anime.

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Atmospherically, well, there’s not a lot to say, but there is something. The music and sound effects are fairly decent. I play most of my mobile games with the sound off, but I actually just turn the sound on with this one sometimes because it can be cute and enjoyable. There is also some very basic voice acting -all done in Japanese, of course.

Final Thoughts

I’m not one to extol praises onto mobile games. More often than not, I think they serve a very basic function (I’m out in the world and bored senseless with nothing else to read or do), but I’m not prone to the crazes many seem to fall victim to. However, I actually think that as far as mobile games though, this is a great one. Maybe not for its originality, but definitely in its execution. It’s enjoyable, addicting, and totally appeals to my otaku side.

Granted, if it weren’t Sailor Moon, I doubt I’d be quite as addicted. However, it is, so I am. I say if you enjoy Candy Crush or Bejeweled and love Sailor Moon, beware downloading this because you will be so addicted (and plus also, you should friend me at SliceOfNerd if you do download it)!

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This Chick’s Concerns About VR Gaming and Health

Fair warning now: I’m probably going to wind up sounding like some sort of old scare-monger here, but these are the thoughts I had and felt this was an appropriate place to voice them. Also, let it be known beforehand that I’m not against VR gaming. I think it’s awesome technology, I’m interested in experiencing it once it’s more established, and I think the things that are able to be done with it outside of entertainment are absolutely phenomenal. So it is with that disclaimer out of the way that I say onward to sounding old! Continue reading

Living: The Greatest Game of All – Habitica review

To quote Sheldon Cooper, “if there were a list of things that make me more comfortable, lists would be at the top.” I’m a bit scatter-brained and a bit of a control freak. I admit it! I’m also anal retentively organized. Seriously. I make data bases in my spare time for fun. I even have a friend who thinks of me when she sees the word “database.” I can’t decide whether that’s sad or funny, or maybe a bit of both? Either way, back to the original point! I run my life by to-do lists. I like making them, I like checking them off, but that can eventually get stale. Also, I am well aware that I am not the norm in my love for organization. All the same, it’s something we all need in some capacity. So fellow nerd-type people, I present to you a fun, game-inspired take on the to-do list – Habitica! Continue reading

Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe

As I’ve stated, I love strawberries and I love smoothies. Well, when you buy a bunch of super ripe strawberries from the farmer’s market and already have quite a few super ripe bananas back at home, there’s really only one option – strawberry and banana smoothies! Also with some peanut butter because, ya know, protein.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 medium or large banana

1/2 cup Strawberries

1 tbsp Peanut Butter, crunchy or smooth

1/2 cup Coconut Milk (or your milk of choice)

1/2 tbsp Stevia (or your zero calorie sweetener of choice)

1/2 cup Ice

1) Peel your banana and break it into pieces, putting them into the blender.

2) Chop the stems off your strawberries. I also suggest cutting them in half before putting them in the blender, just to make things a little easier for it.

3) Throw in the rest of the ingredients and blend!

A Long and Tedious Journey – Stories: The Path of Destinies review

I don’t like to be negative, so I actually sat on this review for several days before finally deciding that nope, this is how I feel about this game and that’s the kind of review I’m going to have to leave. As much as I don’t want to say it, it’s with a fair amount of confidence that I say it has been quite some time since I have been as let down by a game as I was by Stories: The Path of Destinies. While the game does have some moments that made me giggle, for the most part I found myself bored and completely unimpressed, which is sad considering how excited I was to play it. Continue reading