Let’s Get Our Spooky On!

As you can tell from previous posts I am a big fan of Halloween, despite the lack of love I have for horror movies. Halloween is the time were all this spooky, cooky and scary stuff get to cover the shops and sooo much candy! One day I will take myself to America for Halloween either to gorge myself in their Halloween sweets or take all of the decorations home with me!

This year I am holding a small Halloween bash at my house and  obviously I’ve put together a spooky playlist, feel free to have a listen below!

Happy Halloween!!!

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The Ghost of Halloween Past

With Halloween just around the corner, expect some Halloweenish type of blog posts in the next few days. This blog post is going to tell you about some of my past costumes for the ghoulish holiday.  As  child I have been a witch, a vampire and something with a scream mask, however, I don’t have many photos of me as a child in costume.

056This photo was taken back in 2008 when I was the tender age of fourteen. The story behind this costume as Billy the Puppet (from the Saw franchise) is actually quite interesting. I was staying at my dad’s house that week as I was on half term, me and my step sister Abie had no plans for Halloween until maybe three days beforehand.  After watching Saw we ventured to eBay to buy some masks and decided that we were going to head to York and go on a ghost tour. By the time Halloween rolled around our masks were done and our costumes we were sorted.  Abie went as Joey Jordison from Slipknot and our friend Amber went as a cat and we ventured into York. Overall, the night was fun and the ghost tour was great!

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Another year, another costume! This year my mum allowed me to have a Halloween party that I shared with my stepbrother and nearly all of the guests jumped at the chance to get dressed up. This year I decided I wanted to be a demonic ringmaster, I bought a top hat and cane and my mum helped me cut up and “bloody” the shirt in our back yard. My mum and step-dad also went all out with the decorations, which was sweet of them. I honestly do not remember too much of the party but I do remember taking off my make up because this stuff was sliding off my face! I really enjoyed this outfit, it is probably one of my favourites and I would consider making it again.

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For my first year at university, I knew exactly what I was going as. Harley Quinn. I had the top made by best friends a few months back for a fancy dress party we attended (we went as Cat Woman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn). I recycled the costume and decided to use again. I didn’t feel out of place at the students’ union as everyone was really into the spirit of Halloween and a lot of people commented on my look and shoes (Joker and Batman converse). However, out of my flat I definitely went more Halloween then the rest of my flatmates.

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In 2013, I was less theatrical with my costume. My best friends at university decided that we would go as some of the characters from the TV show, The Vampire Diaries. I went as Caroline and they went as Elena and Stefan. I must say we looked great, we all had some blood dripping down our chins and a bite mark, we also bought the daylight rings the characters have in the show. To this day, I still have the ring (it is a nice ring!) Even though my costume was less Halloween and more grown up, I still liked it a hell of a lot.

And this year I shall be going as Wednesday Addams. I have a long black wig, which I have plaited but to be honest I don’t think I will be wearing the wig for long as I am not keen on wearing wigs. I already have a dress sorted, its not identical but it will do. I am quite excited for Halloween this year, what about you? Are you going to a party or dressing up at all, let me know in the comments!

Zero Hours Jobs Are Alright

I may mention politics in this post but hold on I won’t be dragging it out.

I work two zero hour jobs, in fact since I left high school all I have done is zero hour jobs and it has been very helpful to me. However, some people in the UK do not see it like that, politicians for that matter. Recently according to Independent, the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seems very much against zero contract hour jobs, it was a large part of his manifesto. But Mr Corbyn is not on his own, David Cameron (UK Prime Minster) claimed he was wanting to protect those who worked zero hours. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that zero hour jobs are not what people want and that these types of contracts can be abused by companies. I am not here to get involved with the ethics of why zero hours is good or bad, I am just going to talk about my experience.

Having a zero hours jobs means first off I can pick my own hours and now that I have two of them I can organise my life around them. Yes, not every week will be the same but my current lifestyle allows me to flexible. I am currently considering a move to a city, with zero hours I am under to no obligation to the companies I work for; I am not tied to a contract.
However, I have also seen the harsh side to the zero hours (not the extent some poor people go through). Since the end of August my first job could not provide me with hours to work (it was the same for everyone else in that company), while not earning and having very little to spend has been a slight annoyance this past month it has not been dire. However, if I was in rented accommodation and had mouths to feed it would be very different circumstances indeed.

Zero hours jobs are not as simple as black and white, there is a lot of grey area and it does depended on the company you work. I’ve been very lucky in that case. Zero hour jobs are a lifesaver to students, I think the government realises this. In summary zero hours job are alright.

48 Hours with The Sims 4

I have always loved The Sims franchise since the first Sims game out way back in 2000. Even with its poor graphics and somewhat clunky gameplay (but at the time this game was the first of its kind), I found myself enjoying the game. I shared The Sims with my brother on our grandparents’ computer; we had two expansion packs for the game Unleashed (which never actually worked) and Superstar. I progressed to The Sims 2, which is where my love for the game increased tenfold and if you are wondering, I had one stuff pack (Family Fun) and Pets. This leads me onto The Sims 3, which still to this day is my favourite of The Sims games (expansion pack wise, I have a large majority of them as well as stuff packs). However, this post is not gush over how much I love The Sims 3 it is to talk about The Sims 4.

Just over a year ago The Sims 4 was released and was hesitant to buy the game due to certain things lacking (open world, the lack of creative change in build/buy mode, oh and toddlers!). In fact, The Sims 4 faced a fair bit of criticism from fans of the game and industry experts alike. However, I must praise Maxis and EA because in (free!) updates over the past year things that should have been in the base game such as ghosts and swimming pools have been added. Maxis and EA have listened to what the fans want but still some of these things should be in the base game. Recently Origin was offering 48hours gameplay of The Sims 4 for free, so after hearing about the offer from a friend I jumped at the chance (I will link if the offer is still up). I am now going to go through some of the thoughts and feelings I had when playing The Sims 4!

First off if you are downloading this game off Origin instead of getting a disk the download will take forever (I think it took a good two hours for me). There is no “trailer” of sorts when the game is loading it just kind of opens and you can choose go to the gallery (it is the new exchange), create a sim or jump into the worlds/towns.
First let’s talk about the gallery, I love it. It is tidy, organised and some of the creators have really outdone themselves. There is no hassle adding buildings and sims to your games (unlike the hoo-ha with The Sims 3) and finding what I was want was pure bliss.
Moving on to CAS. The Sims 4 is one of the best CAS I have ever used; there is so much creativity available in CAS (minus the customisation). You get to stretch, pull and twist your Sims into any shape you are want. Yes, The Sims in The Sim 4 do have a more of a cartoonish look to them and it is not something that bothers me, it fits in quite well with the gameplay.
Next is the worlds/towns. They are small and if you have pre-existing lots in your world then your space is limited. I am aware that one of the worlds is completely empty but I just feel like maybe the worlds could have been made a smidge bigger even like The Sims 2. The actual lots I played myself were small, I didn’t have time to explore larger lots or make a house so I possibly couldn’t make judgement on that. I think for me because I love the open world aspect so much the small worlds just make me feel a little claustrophobic.

Let’s talk about the gameplay. The controls do feel heavy but after a few google searches later and a change in the controls, I was able to move more freely. A big worry for me was the loading screens when traveling to locations. In The Sims 2, I got so fed up of loading screens but thankfully that wasn’t the case this time. The Sims 4 so far has quick loading screens and the next thing you are there! Another good point that when your Sims is at another location and they go home time has carried on at the same speed. This makes the gameplay seem more realistic in my opinion. Something I didn’t really experience in my 48 hours was how the household management worked, do you sims age when you play another active household and is there are story telling mode or sorts?
I loved the emotions aspect of the Sims, I felt like I could really understand my Sims wants and needs (speaking of which I didn’t need to constantly check the wants/needs the Sims current emotion would tell me!) I think this is definitely a huge draw to The Sims 4, it shows uniqueness between Sims and none of the two days are the same. I was glad to see the interactions in work were still there, when a problem came up you could choose a course of action or you could choose how your Sims performed at work. Overall, the biggest positive for me was the multitasking! It improves the game play massively and it just makes the game easier if you get what I mean. It is something that I feel should have been in the game a long time ago.

So my 48 hours were up and I played when I could as much as I could. Overall, The Sims 4 is a decent game and I feel like with expansion packs and updates the game will improve. However, there are some things that I do miss from the game and this is why I haven’t rushed out and bought it. Saying that I am going to wait till Black Friday before I buy them game, I might be able to justify the price then. For now, The Sims 3 is still my favourite game out of The Sims series but who knows maybe in a year that may change.

I posted this on my Twitter a few weeks back. Being the Grim reaper is clearly thirsty work.

I posted this on my Twitter a few weeks back. Being the Grim reaper is clearly thirsty work.