16

Happy All Hallows Eve! #Blogtober

Bright blessings to all on this fun day! I cannot believe I did it, today marks the end of BLOGTOBER!

I think I need to book a week of blogging, or perhaps take all of November off, I have had so much fun doing this, I have stretched my boundaries and my safe zones, had help from my lovely kittens who are always happy to paint and make a mess.

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I am so thankful with all the help I’ve had doing this, and I’m grateful people have read every day, commented and liked, its been a big encouragement to keep going.

I don’t think I have ever been so organised in my life! I will admit that I am tempted to do Blogmas even more now that I know I can do it!

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Enjoy the day, enjoy the night and of course enjoy the sweets.

Have a Jolly-olly-hollo-halloween!

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Mummy Cat

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21

October Monthly Favorites #blogtober

I did a poll back in May on my twitter, regarding doing monthly favorites for the new year, while everyone said it was a good idea, I wanted to do one for October, seeing as October is my favorite of the months..

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So here we go..

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BeautySleepy by Lush and the Vanilla and Pumpkin from The Body Shop body creams are just the best, I have been using Sleepy on not only R but on myself too and its wonderful, I have found it really relaxes me after a shitty day and I cannot get enough of it.

Vanilla and Pumpkin body lotion I put on after I have a bath, I love the smell of it, I have always been a fan of The Body Shop body lotion/butter and I feel that I need to go get a few more pots before it sells out.

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Fashion – I am not the most fashionable person in the world, I live in leggings and dresses, but I have been on the hunt for a copper colored knee length skirt for a while and I finally found one in sainsburys, I love it! its so comfortable and has actual pockets which is a plus in women’s clothing and I have been wearing it constantly! love a good skirt!

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Home – I am pusheen mad, my collection of the fat grey cat is growing and growing and when I found this cookie jar, I had to buy it! its a really nice size and is currently full of custard cremes and party rings.. expect more Pusheen in future monthly favorites!

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Treats – Its October, so naturally its also Halloween all month long, and all the stores are full of delightful treats and sweets and these are my favorite, I got some when I went to Birmingham to meet some friends and since then I have been getting a packet whenever I go shopping, they are strawberry pencils and are from Sainsburys and quite frankly, yummy!
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EntertainmentBrave is my all time favorite pixar film, its beautifully animated and the story is inspiring and I have had to buy the soundtrack too as that is equally fantastic, I highly recommend everyone sit and watch this film, it makes me cry each time I see it.

Destiny 2 was finally launched and I have been playing it a lot, the story is a little short but I am having a lot of fun doing all the side missions with my friend.

Music‘I was the one who had it all, I was the master of my fate, I didn’t need anybody in my life, I learnt the truth to late...‘ 

This is from the song ‘Evermore’ from the newly released remaster of Beauty and the Beast sung by Dan Stevens, I have had this song pretty much on repeat since I heard it and I love it, it’s just beautifully sung, the vocals are wonderful and it actually makes me a little weepy when I hear it. If you haven’t seen the remaster yet I recommend you do so!
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Random – Since I decided to do blogtober I have been writing down all my ideas into a note book, this one, I have planned all the way to January now and it has given me a new lease of life and i’m starting to really love blogging again and I cannot wait to show you all my new ideas in the new year!

My phone, its an iPhone 6 plus and I am addicted to it, but without it I wouldn’t have met such wonderful people on twitter, mainly Becca from My Girls and Me who has been there for me through a lot and I am so grateful for her friendship, one day we WILL meet up and I cannot wait for that day.

And there is my October monthly favorites, what things did you love from this month?

Until next time

Mummy Cat

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1

A to Z – Q is for Q and A.

Q and A –

Honestly with Q I didn’t know what to talk about, so i decided it would be a fun idea to do a Q and A instead, so I asked people on twitter if they would like to ask me some questions and here are a few of them..

  1. What is your favorite children’s show to put on for the kids Dinotrux, its a Netflix original that Mr S put on the once and the kids have been addicted to it ever since, its a pretty good show that covers that teamwork is sometimes best and that never judge someone if they look big and scary, you never know they might turn out to be the best friend you’ve ever had.
  2. Which show would you wish had never been made? – Topsy and Tim, I hate that show with a passion and its more annoying that the children love it, sometimes we avoid the t.v when its on so I don’t have to put up with being made to watch it.
  3. Whats the best tip you’d give to a new parent? – I have three, 1 is to get a routine in when you feel its time to do one, children LOVE routines and schedules and it really helps with getting a good bedtime down. 2 is to go with your instincts, if something feels wrong, make sure you are heard and 3 is probably never take anyone’s advice, each child is different and its hard to say ‘do this do that’ when sometimes it doesn’t work out that way :P.
  4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? – I’m a bit boring, to much of a homebody but I would love to travel to Wales and the east coast of England.
  5. Why did you start blogging? – I have always had a blog, it was on LiveJournal many many moons ago and I wanted to start it up again after reading a few mum bloggers, I said it was purely out of boredom but I think now I just really love doing it and I love having the routine of getting posts written and photographs taken.
  6. What is your favorite t.v show? – The X – Files, this one was really hard to choose as I have so many favorites haha
  7. Pineapple on pizza? – No! that shouldn’t be a thing! sorry!!
  8. what is your favorite candle scent? – I found it last Christmas, a little too late as I found it in the sales but Yankie Candle Candy Cane Forest! its minty and so lovely! I have stocked up this year haha, its just so good!
  9. what is your favorite flavor of tea? – Once again I am a bore, I love English Breakfast, Tesco does a lovely Finest range of the tea that I get a lot.
  10. where is your favorite place to visit? – A few minutes from our flat is this lovely little wood, in the spring its full of bluebells, in the summer its all dark and cool and of course in the autumn and winter its a bit muddy, but its literally my favorite place to go for walks and the children love it too!

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and that’s it, thank you to all those who asked me some questions to answer, I honestly wasn’t expecting to get any replies!

Until next time

Mummy Cat

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15

Why I love Autumn #blogtober

Autumn is by far my favorite time of year, but why do I love it so much?

I think its got something to do with my childhood, I have some fond memories of going on walks with my Nan around the town, collecting conkers and pine cones, watching their walnuts fall from their twin trees in their garden and be collected by the countless squirrels that chase around.

The colors are beautiful, the air is cool after and there is this wonderful smell that you only get this time of year.

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And then there’s Halloween, my family have never been big into Halloween, the closest my mum gets to fun is buying a bag of sweets for the odd child who will knock on the door, I loved it, I remember feeling so envious of all the spooky looking children walk up and town our street knocking on doors, My ex’s family made a huge deal about it, and would throw Halloween parties each year which was brilliant..

So once I had children I made the choice to make it fun for them, each year we get a pumpkin and I end up carving it while they sit and watch, each year we decorate the house up and buy bags of sweets for anyone who will knock, and we try each year to go to a party, this year we are busy which i’m sad about but I cannot wait for next year haha.

Autumn makes me happy, because the summer is over, and I cannot stand the heat and each year I look forward to it even more, and of course there is an added bonus of A’s birthday, she was due on the 7th November but came two weeks early on the 28th…

Autumn is the BEST time of year, do you love it too?

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Until next time

Mummy Cat

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27

Pumpkin Picking at Cammas Hall #blogtober

Its that time of year again when we visit Cammas Hall and go select our pumpkin for halloween, We visited on Sunday 22nd and the children were super excited to finally get the hands on the pumpkins.

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There was just so many to choose from, classic orange pumpkin to ghost pumpkins which the children thought was really funny, they didn’t realize you could get different colours, K grabbed one and demanded that this was ‘the’ one.

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R loved running around between the rows, she was grabbing hand fulls of hay and throwing them everywhere, the last time she came here she wasn’t walking so seeing her run about having the time of her life was lovely.

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There was some huge pumpkins this year, I don’t think I have ever seen some this big, K and A attempted to pick a few of them up.

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I then sent K off to find a perfect pumpkin to take home, I wanted to get a medium size one and he selected this lovely perfectly shaped pumpkin, he asked to put the smaller white pumpkin back and seemed pretty pleased with his choice!

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Perfect!

We left my mum in the queue to pay and decided to go for a little walk around the rest of the farm, walking through trees which I am sure was pear trees to find the sweetcorn, they did have a maise maze but it was starting to get a bit chilly so we decided to head back and find nanny and go get some food.

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Cammas Hall sells a lot of its own products too, which I love, during the summer I got lots of wonderful colourful carrots and beetroots, there is nothing more delicious than freshly picked fruit and veg

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After that, and seeing the number of people waiting in the queue for the cafe we made the choice to go get a McDonnalds, after all that fresh food we went down the processed route haha.

Cammas Hall is always such a lovely day out, they have a large outdoor play area for the children which we use in the summer months, I know its easier to head to a shop and select a pumpkin from there but if you can I recommend going along to a pick your own place.

Until next time

Mummy Cat.

 

22

Horror Games #blogtober

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Hi all, Dann here for another guest post.

Sarah asked me to, being that I run a video games website, write a nice, short piece on some horror games—about five, she said— for Halloween. I’m not that organised though, spooling off a list of about 25 games and starting to write out long segments for each rather than throwaway paragraphs. The deadline looms though, so here is the first few of the games from the alphabetical list.

It’s something I’ll gladly continue to compile if there’s a want for it,so if you (dis)agree with the list or simply enjoyed reading it then please let Sarah know and I’ll finish off the rest for ya’ll reading pleasure.

Alan Wake

Remedy are probably best known for the Max Payne series, or even their recently released Quantum Break. Regardless of how people know them however, anybody who has played any of their games knows that they always bring a cinematic brilliance to their games: from Max Payne’s Graphic Novel story and TV/Radio asides in game, to Quantum Break’s live action sequences and amazing visual finesse when deploying the protagonist’s time abilities.

Alan Wake, to me, is superior to both of those series. It merged the story of the ‘author-trapped-in-their-own-creation’ with a dark sense of humour, a game full of characters and moments far too ridiculous to be exist in reality, yet done in a way where you laugh and continue pushing back against the darkness.

My personal highlights in the title come in the form of the faux Twilight-Zone style segments which play out on the TV, the unrelenting FBI agent who continually slings insults at the titular protagonist while pretending not to know their name, and the foreshadowing delivered through the torn pages littered around the game world. Above all of those, however, is the fact that you almost always meet the villain of the ‘episode’ in the story, and when you face their possessed, shadowy form they often cite mundane and boring information in a haunting, jarred manner; the first haunts you along a path, all while talking about how healthy going for a brisk ramble can be.

While the game was definitely more of an action title than a ‘survival-horror’ there were times where ammo management was key, and if you hadn’t scavenged then you’d end up very short-handed. Strangely this became rarer the further you got along in the game, and not  through learned resource management… You see, the game is split up into chapters stylised as TV episodes, and your equipment is completely reset between them. It’s a very cool gimmick, but underlines the odd distribution of ammo in the earliest levels.

The best way to get ahold of Alan Wake these days is through the Xbox store as a download, as far as I know. There were some music licensing issues which saw the PC versions removed from select storefronts, but I’m unsure if this impacted all platforms.

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Contagion

Back in the PS2 era Resident Evil had a co-operative, multiplayer mini-series called ‘Resident Evil: Outbreak’. It had players make their way through various locations, working as a team and using their character’s unique abilities to solve problems within the levels. It was a truly amazing offering, and completely unprecedented — nothing like it had happened before.

As a big fan of the earlier Resident Evil games (Outbreak was pre Resident Evil 4, and so had the cool fixed-camera, tank controls of the earlier games) there was NOTHING that was going to stop me from playing this super-cool, co-operative Resi~ game with my friends from school.

Well, actually, there was. The PS2 Network Adapter was not properly supported in the UK. The interface was reportedly a clunky mess, the technology didn’t play well with our networks, and so—over here— it bombed hard.

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Oooh, tag yourself! I’m budget-Brad-Pitt!

ANYWAY. We’re not here to talk about Resident Evil: Outbreak, but it segues perfectly into what makes Contagion brilliant. Contagion is—at its core—co-operative, first-person, Resident Evil 2.

Slow moving zombies are the absolute business, and the game’s launch campaign took place in an overrun, locked-down police station. Enough to make fans of RE2 raise an eyebrow. Better yet, players had to make their way through the PD, scavenging bullets, not getting surrounded, and carefully moving from objective to objective, solving basic fetch-and-retreat puzzles.

It’s now four years from launch and the game has accrued a decent following. It’s gained a lot more modes and maps, including a few hold-the-fort/horde levels. Interestingly there’s also Steam Workshop support as well, although the vast majority of items there are new textures for weapons, player phones, and characters.

While I’m a little bit disappointed with the lack of Workshop supplied maps, it’s definitely worth mentioning that the pathway through the game’s maps do vary; locked doors, blocked corridors, and other objects have their locations assigned as the map loads, meaning that you can never be truly confident that you know the way through the level.

£6.99 on Steam at time of writing, Contagion is an absolute steal.

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Tag yourself! I’m guy in blue shirt with a headache!

Contagion is only available on PC for the moment, and as far as I know only on Steam.

Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition is easily one of the most divisive titles I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying throughout my many years of playing games. It captures the ridiculous quirks we awkwardly chuckled at during old movies, and the strange, ‘secret-world’ moments of most of David Lynch’s works. As a matter of fact, if you enjoyed even a smidgen of Twin Peaks then you’re likely of the mindset where Deadly Premonition will, simply, click with you.

Players control an FBI agent sent to investigate a brutal, disturbing murder in a quirky, Pacific Northwest town. It’s not just the town that is quirky, everything is. The FBI agent talks to an invisible friend, and reads messages from coffee; even the most mundane, trope citizens have quirks and secrets, and there are hidden messages everywhere.

The game is especially feature rich as well, besides from the main story there’re a lot of extra jobs and side-missions which can be completed around the game’s open-world. Not only this, but each of the characters have a routine, giving the game a feeling more reminiscent of slice-of-life games or titles like Shenmue and Yakuza over the likes of GTA & Saints Row.

The biggest negative of the game then, is the combat. Combat is a mandatory section of the game, with clunky aiming and strange warping monsters bookending most of the game’s story missions. While the game has a PS2-era aesthetic, the combination of warping monsters and early Resident Evil style tank-controls is abrupt; it’s like if Resident Evil 4’s running zombies were to be faced off with Resident Evil II’s slow-turning and rough three-height aiming. It’s no surprise that it was added in late, and it’s a shame it was.

Despite this, Deadly Premonition is definitely worth experiencing for it’s strange setting and characters.

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Deadly Premonition launched on PS3, Xbox 360, and —later— PC. I believe it remains available on each of those as we speak.

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Dead Rising

The first Dead Rising (previously Xbox 360 exclusive) was an unforgiving game which both encouraged player death and questioned almost every zombie, horror game trope. At the start of your journey the game feels unfair, and it does a pretty poor job of teaching you how to get better—feeling over-engineered at best, and unfair at worst—until it all suddenly clicks.

Where previous games had equipped you with blades and guns, Dead Rising allowed you to use hundreds of items from around the mall. Where previous games had funnelled you down a set route with no timer, Dead Rising offered an open world but with timed missions mandatory for a main-story finish. Where previous games had put two-or-three zombies into a room to force you into a little combat before you navigate onwards, Dead Rising dropped hundreds-of-thousands into an open mall and taught you that even in dozens they were really just environmental hazards.

In fact, I might go as far to say that the first Dead Rising was very much the Night of the Living Dead to the games horror scene: If you were getting killed by zombies it was because you didn’t know the rules, or you were just really unlucky. That said, you will die. You’ll die to start again with your unlocks, or you’ll die against the game’s real villains, the psychopaths: people mad or driven mad by the situation on hand.

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signing off

Dann.

21

Photograph Sunday.

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On Monday the U.k was hit by an ex hurricane, and unless you lived under a rock for that day, it was really windy and the sun turned orange!

We got our sepia sun around school run time and it was so creepy out, the children’s reactions as they walked out of school was so funny.

‘What is wrong with the sky?!’ ‘Why is the moon out?’

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That’s no moon, that is the sun!! I think I probably risked blindness by taking these photos but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap something that doesn’t happen so often.

The reason for why the sun turned red was because the ex hurricane was pulling dust and sand from the desert..

The weather can be so fascinating sometimes.

Until next time

Mummy Cat

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