Saturday, May 19, 2018

Let's Talk: Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery

Hello, all!

For those who know me, or have read this blog for awhile, you'll know that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. The books are my favorite books (I'm partial to Prisoner of Azkaban as my top favorite, though) and I went to pretty much every midnight showing whether it was a movie or book release. I had heard rumblings of a Harry Potter game being released that was somewhat along the lines of Pokemon Go, but I had no idea that it was already available until my friend came to lunch one day, asked me if I was playing and immediately told me to download it. Which I did, and I haven't stopped playing since.

Hogwarts Mystery is a video game developed by Jam City for mobile devices and was released at the end of April. In the game, each player gets to take on the role of a Hogwarts student, like you create your avatar and can even give yourself a wizard-y sounding name (I wasn't creative enough, so I just left mine as Heather) and then you basically just go through the seven years at Hogwarts. Aside from taking classes, you can even take part in extracurricular clubs and activities. The basic story line is that you're the sibling of a wizard named Jacob who has recently been expelled from Hogwarts for attempting to open the "Cursed Vaults", a hidden vault that's rumored to be at the school.

Throughout the game, the player has certain choices to choose from which determines the path of their character and their relationships with others. Each year is separated into Chapters: Chapter 1 is basically you getting your wand, books, etc; Chapter 2 sorts you into your house and you start taking classes, and so on.

Since the game takes place before The Boy Who Lived, we get a whole new group of familiar characters to interact with. Instead of being classmates with Harry, Ron and Hermione your peers are Bill and Charlie Weasley and Nymphadora Tonks. The game also includes the teachers as well, so you still get to bask in the glory of McGonagall (Maggie Smith even reprises her role and does the voice over), Snape and Dumbledore. And the classes! You get to participate in everything from charms and potions to transfiguration and flying.

So far, I'm enjoying this game. It reminds me a lot of back in middle/high school when everyone was super into the Sims. There are some dull parts, but that can be expected. The only real drawback I've found is that you seem to run out of Energy points really quickly and you need those points in order to finish tasks and whatnot, but I've heard there are ways to bulk up the points but I haven't found them yet. All in all, it's a nice little way to pretend I actually went to Hogwarts.

Has anyone else been playing? What do you think? Lemme know!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Let's Talk: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Hello, all!

I know I've mentioned on here before how much I love the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas, but let me just reiterate-- I LOVE the ACOTAR series. (Imagine the little clapping emoji in between each word for extra emphasis.)

I actually bought ACOTAR at my jobs book fair about 2 years ago cause I liked the cover artwork, little did I know it'd turn into one of my favorite book series. When I finally got around to reading it, I devoured it. Right from the jump, I was pulled into the story and the characters and Prythian itself. Feyre is one of my favorite characters; she's strong, fiercely loyal and always has a sassy line to throw at everyone.

Throughout the series, I grew to love Feyre and Rhysand's relationship, not just them together (which is amazing on its own) but their relationships with everyone else, especially those in their Inner Circle (Feyre and Cassian together is always fun.) I knew once the series ended I'd be losing my mind, so you can't even begin to understand how happy I was to hear it'd pick up again, this time focusing on the relationships between other characters, starting with A Court of Frost and Starlight which came out at the beginning of the month.

It's no surprise that once I received my copy in the mail, I dropped everything and dove right back into the Night Court. The story takes place a little while after the events of ACOWAR, and you can tell that everyone is still reeling from the war and trying to recoup and rebuild as best they can. Despite how low spirits might be, the Winter Solstice is near and everyone is looking forward to a little well-deserved reprieve. However, the celebration can't stop the dark feelings from creeping in, and as Feyre tries to find her footing as High Lady of the Night Court, she realizes the emotional scars run deep within those closest to her.

Even though this was only a novella, and I definitely wish I could've had more, I felt like it was a perfect way to wrap up the first trilogy. I love how Maas writes her characters in a way that makes them feel real and in a way that connects you to them. I absolutely loved coming back to these characters and seeing how each of them were doing and how they're coping (or not coping) with the trauma they all shared. Again, it was such a beautiful way to feel more for these characters. Aside from the emotion, all the great witty banter you expect from them all were there and it was just a perfect combination of humor and heart.

And the little excerpt from the next series was everything! I cannot wait to see how Cassian and Nesta fare when shoved together in close proximity because I actually love the idea of them together. They're both two stubborn, hard-headed characters and I so hope that they have a mating bond for real because I don't think anyone besides Cassian can deal with Nesta's icy (and a bit bratty) demeanor. Basically, I need the full book like, right now.

Has anyone else read this? Or any of the series? If not, I definitely recommend it!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Marvel Collector Corps: Avengers Infinity War

Hello, all!

This past weekend I saw Avengers Infinity War, and all I'm going to say about it in case someone hasn't seen it, is that I don't think I blinked throughout the entire film. Nothing that I thought would happen happened and by the end my heart was in my throat. Like any superhero movie, it had some off spots, but I thought overall it was such a great film and I need it to be next year so I can see how it all ends.

Now, onto today's post. I've been part of the Marvel Collector Corps for quite some time and I was so bummed to hear that it was being discontinued, but I knew that they'd go out with a bang and boy, did they ever. The last box that was sent out, of course, was Infinity War related, so let's get to it!

I actually really love key caps, I use them for almost all of my keys, so I was so excited to get these little babies. Also, they're just so cute.

I thought this was a scarf at first, and I was like "Huh, this must be for really tiny necks", but then I realized it's a banner. (I mean, I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I'm still just guessing.) It has a super tech heavy Iron Man on it who looks like he's in the midst of battle, and all around the edges are little circuits and Avengers symbols.

This was my favorite thing in the box because I am a mug addict. It's one of those heat changing mugs, which I've never had before but I think are so cool, so once it gets warm all the Infinity Stones show up in the Gauntlet. And you bet your bottom dollar that I watched in awe as the Stones popped up and yelled to my roommate to come see the magic. (She thought it was super cool, too.)

Last but not least was the Mad Titan himself. This is probably the biggest Pop I've ever seen; the box they sent everything in was huge and this literally took up more than half of it. Currently, it's still sitting inside its box on my floor because I have zero room for it, but maybe one day when my heart isn't so raw from what he did to my babies, I'll try and take him out.

I'll definitely miss getting this box. It was really what kick started my love of Pops and it was something I always looked forward to getting. Was anyone else a member? Or has anyone else seen the movie? Were you as upset/excited as I was? Lemme know!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

OwlCrate April Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was Shadows and Secrets, so let's dive right into it!

First up was this sticker be Jamila Mehio inspired by Adelina from The Young Elites. I actually haven't read this book, but the sticker is so nice that I think maybe now I should.

Next up was this exclusive Shadowhunter soap from Three Sisters Apothecary by Soap Cauldron. This has a really nice berry scent that isn't too overpowering. I don't usually use bar soaps, but I think I'll make an exception for this little baby.

This was my favorite thing in the box this month. I love stationery and I really love Harry Potter, so this is just perfect. The pencils, created by Jubilee Designs, each have a HP quote on them-- "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good"; "Mischief Managed"; and "Property of the Half-Blood Prince". I almost don't want to use them because they're so perfect.

I loved Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, so I was super pumped to receive an item from the series. This pillowcase, designed by Stella Bookish Art, has a really nice feel to it and the design really embodies the gritty feel of Ketterdam.

This dark chocolate and sea salt coffee was created exclusively by Bones Coffee Company and it's pretty much perfect for the theme. I especially love the design on the packaging. I'm actually not a coffee drinker, but luckily my roommate is so I can just pass this off to her.

The book this month was Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. The story centers around Enne Salta, a prissy girl who lands in the city of New Reynes (also known as the City of Sin) trying to find her missing mother. The quest to find her mother leads her to a street lord and con man named Levi, and the two try to keep their wits about them through glamorous casinos, deals with the mafia and the deep underbelly of the illicit city.

I actually started this one already, and I'm not too keen on it. Something about it just hasn't drawn me in. It's definitely interesting and unlike anything I've read before, but we'll see. Has anyone else read it? What'd you think?

I'm really excited for next months box because I think I know what the book is and it's one that I've been waiting for. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Top 5: Fictional Jobs

Hello, all!

It's been awhile since I did a Top 5 and that's just unacceptable since they're my favorite. Have you ever watched something and you're like, "I want that job"? Well, I do it all the time, so here's just a few of the fictional jobs I would love to have.

1. Dunder Mifflin: I don't care what position, I would just love to work here. I usually give Jim stares all day long at my job now anyway, so I feel like I'd be a great fit. Plus, I would kill for a front row seat to all of Michael and Dwight's antics.

2. Hogwarts Professor: For a very small amount of time while I was in school, I toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher, and I think the best place to do that would be at a magical school for witchcraft and wizardry. I'd probably lean more towards Care of Magical Creatures and then me and Hagrid could hang out all the time.

3. Luke's Diner: My parents used to own a bar when I was super little, and I would pretend to be a waitress. But since I was so young, I pretty much just brought people whatever I wanted and nothing close to what they asked for, but for Luke I would do it all. I'd also love to just be amongst the people of Stars Hollow because they're all so wacky and I love it.

4. Game Center Crown (Sailor Moon Arcade): I LOVED the arcade when I was little. I always had my birthday parties at Fun Zone, and my best friend and I would hog the Jurassic Park game and not give it up until we beat the entire thing. Add my love of arcade games with the spot where Usagi and the rest of the Sailor Scouts hang out sounds like the perfect job for me.

5. Ghostbuster: Who ya gonna call? Me, please. I'm obsessed with anything having to do with the supernatural/paranormal, so I would be absolutely down to hunt some Class 5 Full-Roaming Vapors with Venkman and crew.

What're some jobs you'd want? Lemme know!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Jurassic Park Exclusive Pops

Hello, all!

I love Jurassic Park and when I found out that Funko was bringing out a whole range of Pops based on the movie, I knew they had to be mine. My favorites of the whole set were actually two exclusives, one put out through Entertainment Earth (the Dennis Nedry/Dilophosaurus pack) and Target (the wounded Dr. Ian Malcom), so I was compulsively checking both places to see when the pre-orders were going up because I just could not miss them.

I really have to give it up to Entertainment Earth, I'd never ordered/pre-ordered anything through them before and it was just so easy. The second I saw the pre-order go up, I was able to snag one and the company even sent me update emails before it even shipped to reassure me that it was coming.

This Pop is actually one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie, so I knew I had to have it. I love how detailed it is with the acid on Nedry's face and the little shaving cream can filled with dino DNA. I also can't watch this scene without saying "Hello, Newman" to myself once the flaps on the side of the Dilophosaurus pop open.

Now, as easy as it was to get the Entertainment Earth exclusive, this one was mur-der. I read online that this one was strictly an in-store Target purchase and there would be no pre-order. I checked my local Targets pretty much every single week to no avail, and when I asked the employees they had no idea what I was talking about. Except for one little turd who pretty much told me I would never get it because once they come in, the employees buy them all up before they even get to the floor. I knew then that I would fight this kid to the death if I needed to just to get my hands on this baby.

Luckily, it didn't come to that but Target really let me down with this one so badly that I ended up having to resort to getting it from eBay and paying way more than a Pop should go for. But I neeeeeded it to be mine and it was making me crazy that I couldn't find it, so I'm alright with it. I mean, who wouldn't go to extreme measures to get a tiny, shirtless Ian Malcom?

I've never gone so crazy looking for Pops as I did for this range, but it was worth it. These make me so happy and I'm so pumped to add them to my collection.

Was anyone able to pick any up? Lemme know what you thought!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Canterbury Road Co Candles

Hello, all!

You all know I love me a good candle. What I love even more are candles having to do with books. I had heard so many great things about Canterbury Road Co, which is a candle company that makes bookish candles, and I knew I just had to try them out.

Now, I will say it took me for-ev-er to actually order from them because every time I tried, their entire stock was sold out. I was scrolling through the Explore page on Instagram one night and I had seen a post about how they just restocked, and I immediately went to their Etsy shop and picked as many as I could.

Then, a few weeks later, this little package arrived at my door and I was so excited to see what all the hype was about. Before I go into the candles, I have to commend them for their shipping tactics. I was a little nervous about how they would stand up in the shipping process because a few times I've ordered candles online they've come broken, but each candle was tightly wrapped in bubble wrap and then again in tissue paper, and none even had a scratch.

I love fruity sweet scents, so I mainly stuck to those while scrolling through the candles and I ended up choosing 4 that I thought I would really like: Reading on the Porch, Queen of Badgers, The Hinterland and The Hating Game.

Reading on the Porch is a lovely blend of blackberry, peach and sweet tea. It smells exactly like how I think a big glass of Southern sweet tea would and I know it'll be great for summertime. Once I saw the Queen of Badgers one I knew I had to pick it up (Hufflepuff pride!), and it also has a hint of blackberry along with loyalty and honeysuckle. Honeysuckle is one of my favorite scents and it blends so nicely with the blackberry.

After just reading The Hazel Wood, I knew I had to pick up The Hinterland scent which is a combo of berry brambles (are you sensing a theme?), crisp air and green apples. I'm not quite sure how they did it, but it actually smells like a fall day at an apple orchard and it's wonderful. The last one I picked up was The Hating Game which is a mix of flamethrower red and strawberry shortcake. It was the latter that sold me; I absolutely love strawberry shortcake, so that was an instant yes. It doesn't smell overtly sweet, but like a nice slice of cake.

All in all, I definitely see the appeal in these candles. I got the 4oz versions, they also come in an 8oz option, and they're the perfect size for me. I've already started burning The Hinterland one and it burns evenly and the smell isn't overpowering and spreads around the room nicely. There's a few other ones I have my eye on, so I'll definitely be coming back to this shop. You can check out their Etsy shop here.