It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

This year I’m happy to announce that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo again! If you don’t hang around certain corners of the internet, you might be wondering what in the world kind of contest is THAT? Wrestling, nanobots, an attempt to cut out some bad habits?! Prior to participating, those are all actual things I assumed people were excited about participating in…

NaNoWriMo, in fact, stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an event that occurs November on the internet, where writers of all levels attempt to type, handwrite, and/or spend thirty full days writing a 50,000 word novel.

What a novel or writing means to a NaNoWriMo participant is completely subjective. Some people write one story from cover to cover, some write short stories, and some just beat the keyboard for 30 days, or approximately 1,667 words each day for a whole month. Anyone can participate, whether you share is up to you, and best of all there are absolutely no rules.

I first participated NaNoWriMo in 2010 and won that year (and three times since). Okay, won is another slightly confusing NaNoWriMo term. All it takes to WIN NaNoWriMo is to finish 50,000 words in whatever way you can. Technically you could write “the” 50,000 times and still win, but then you’d have to live with yourself. Some write to get published, some write for themselves, some just WRITE!

Then life got in the way and my writing inspiration took a nose-dive over the past couple of years. But during 2019, fairy tales took over my life and like that kind of magic, my writing inspiration returned! I’ve decided that I’ll be writing a twisted fairy tale type story come November – called “Chronicles Upon a Time“. For once, I even have the whole thing plotted and I’m itching to go!

There will be fun, there will be sweat and tears (lots of), and many long long nights trying to squeeze out every single word I can.

If you’re writing as well, come and be my buddy!

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Goodbye August! Let’s sum(mer) it all up!

Oh my!! How in the world is it the end of August? I haven’t spent much time on the computer at all this summer and I feel a bit bad for my poor little neglected blog. 🙁 Thought I’d do a little catch up post to show you where I’m at!

I’ve spent most of my summer outside running! I thought I was going to be running occasionally to keep fit etc after doing the full marathon back in June but instead I’m running more than ever – sometimes 8+ hours a week which is the majority of my free time! Right now I’m training for a half marathon race at the end of October, and then I’ll take a bit of a break for winter. My online presence is almost non-existent at the moment (eek!) to the point of worrying my internet friends, in which I’m so sorry! (but so sweet to know people have thought of me!) So a goal of mine going forward is try to maintain a better balance because a social connection is also something important.

On the bright side, with all that running I get to eat far more than ever so I’ve been baking a ton and have an ever growing list of recipes to get to! 😀

I am really finding myself missing crafting lately! I got off to such a great start this year ~ that was the point of this blog after all ~ and then just faded. I feel like I’m constantly rushed and just can’t relax enough to sit down and calmly create something. I’m excited for the snow to fall again (shh!) so I get to be all bundled up with knitting needles in hand for hours on end!

So hang just a little bit tighter, I have tons of whimsical fun things to create and share with you all! xoxo

Sugar hopes you have a great rest of the summer as well (and asks if you could perhaps cut her a slice of watermelon?!)

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Is Neopets Premium Worth It?

Neopets.com Premium Banner

If you’re a Neopets.com user, you probably have heard that it’s time for the Neopets annual premium sale! And okay, if you’re not a current Neopets user, you might be questioning if you have time-traveled a bit. Nope you’re still here in 2019 and the virtual pet website of your childhood is still thriving (honestly mostly amongst millennials looking for that nostalgic thrill)! Much like most online games these days, there are also pay to play features on Neopets – one is Neopets’ premium membership.

A big topic of conversation amongst fellow Neopians is whether premium is “worth” the cost. I have been a premium member on and off for ten years through my various levels of interest with the game, so I have experience with and without it and wanted to share my personal thoughts.

What is Neopets premium?

Neopets is still a free to play site, but some of the sites’ features are “boosted” with the purchase of a paid premium membership.

What does premium get me?

Neopets Premium Toolbar
The Toolbar shows up at the bottom of each page of the game and has links to all your favourite frequent features – like your Dailies, Featured Game (2x more Neopoints for Premium members!), and even lets you keep up to date on your stocks and shop till!

You don’t lose anything by not being a premium member. But become a member has some great features:

  • A sixth Neopet! – a few years ago, Neopets allowed ALL users to get a 5th pet slot, and premium boosts that even more by allowing you a sixth!
  • Once a year species change – turn any pet into your dream species with just a click!
  • Premium Toolbar – which has links to premium features and your dailies in one convenient spot
  • Super Shop Wizard – this super cool super wiz is well… super! It searches every shop at once (instead of just certain shops) and lets you nab rare items. If you’re on a journey to win that Kadoatie avatar or strike it moderately wealthy, this definitely helps!
  • No ads!! – some of the site ads are a bit ~interesting~ and waiting for a minute to play your favourite games can be a bit annoying, so blocking them is almost worth the cost on it’s own
  • Journal – a place to put all your cool pet customizations!
  • Premium site theme and avatar
  • Access to the super special Charter NeoBoards
  • Premium scratchcards, extra random events, double the Neopoints on certain games, bonus Neopoints and items, Space Faerie Battledome challenger… and lots more!
  • And lastly, premium helps support the site and new features!

What does it cost?

Typically Premium costs $69.95 USD (approximately $93 CAD) for a one year membership, or $7.95 USD per month.

But Neopets offers a fairly steep discount for about a month in August/September. You can become a premium member for significantly less at just $49.95 USD ($66 CAD).

So… is it worth it?

Think about it like Neopets is one of your hobbies that gives you great joy. Paying real money to play is like paying for any game you purchase “bonus” items or boosts.

Will premium make you mega rich in the game? No, not on it’s own. It can certainly assist you with your goals in the game and help you have even more fun.

Neopets does definitely have issues with customer support, glitches, downtime, it’s quite outdated, and it’s membership is declining. So there has been a bit of anxiety about the site being no longer supported (but honestly, this has been chatter for more than a decade), which are all considerations before pulling out your pocket book.

But if you play Neopets every day and you like extra conveniences, then yes absolutely! Money can occasionally buy happy times.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for premium, go to this page, which will allow you to pick your subscription period and learn a bit more!

If you perhaps stumbled upon this page and want to give Neopets a go again (do it – there’s so much more to do than ever!), click on the banner to sign up:

Sign up for Neopets

(This post and my thoughts on premium was written completely unpaid! I would absolutely love to be paid for my opinions of Neopets, but so far that dream has not come true ! :()

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Ai-Kon 2019 Haul!

This past weekend was my second trip to Ai-Kon, the annual anime convention in my lovely city of Winnipeg, Canada! I went last year and was dying to go back immediately afterwards!

I was only able to go on the Friday this year because of other plans, but I was going to make my most of my couple of hours there. Fortunately my office is just a couple of blocks away so I was able to pop over at lunch to get registered (while getting caught in a torrential downpour!) and check it out quick. Then the moment it was hometime, I ran back over to get the fun started!

I decided to dress as casual Usagi Tsukino (the civilian identity of the one and only Sailor Moon!) for an extra fun-vention and so that I could sneakily wear it to work and not have to change after! I’ve always loved Usagi’s day to day outfits in the anime because they are so easy to put together, and I had everything I needed for this one and could also play undercover as Sailor Moon. Well, sort of – the odango might have given me away a little!

My big reason for going to conventions – aside from being surrounded by a sea of other happy like-minded people – is the marketplace! I’m a big collector of everything kawaii and plushie, and having it all out in front of me is my idea of paradise!

I went a bit plushie crazy and adopted *cough* 10 new friends! Unicorns and Lopeusa’s and Korilakkumas, oh my!

Hard to believe I only got TWO Pokemon things ~ Espeon and Ditto as Sylveon. There were a lot of vendors selling Pokemon plush this year, so yay for my self control because I wanted SO MANY!

My favourite find of the day was Kojika no Latte  – a little deer plush made by Amuse! I’ve been wanting her for a very long time and couldn’t even find one on ebay so I almost passed out (fawns are my favourite :3). Finding some Molang things was cool too, because I don’t have anything of him yet.

That Unicorn no Cony is MASSIVE and so snuggly. The best thing was me struggling with her half way through downtown trying to catch the bus after!

I also found these mega cute Sanrio buttons! I was so excited to find Keroppi and Chococat pins (my favourite character!).

I also picked up a blind box! It’s a Re-Ment Sanrio snowglobe. I have terrible luck with these to be honest and always get the one that I don’t really prefer… Nothing changes! I ended up getting Marroncream ~ she’s a sweet little French bunny girl which is one of the lesser known Sanrio characters. She’s actually growing on me a bit after learning more about her so I promise the initial disappointment has passed!

Last but not least, the SWEETS! *_*

I’m still working on opening them all! The Sakura Sake Kitkits are unfortunately a bit of a disappointment :/ They smell overwhelmingly like sake, but only have the faintest Sakura taste. They’re quite refreshing, but not really what I thought. Japanese Kitkats are always very hit and miss anyways ~ but I love testing them! So far, the strawberry shake sweets and the Fujiya Milky x Sanrio chocolates are my favourite.

It was a great day! Will definitely be back next year and hope to take in more of the panels and experiences over the full weekend.

As a side note, I think I might expand my blog into reviews of toys and Japanese sweets because I adore them to a ridiculous degree. So watch out! 🙂 xoxo

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Hello Dolly! Welcome to the Big-Eyed World of Blythe!

Blythe is a gorgeous line of 12″ fashion dolls made by Japanese toy company Takara who have magical eyes that change with the pull of a string!

The Blythe doll was originally made in the 1970s by Kenner, but then discontinued due to low interest. Then the internet came along, and interest in the big-eyed beauties was reignited thanks to many very talented ladies (and gentlemen!) who customize, create clothing, personalities, and take outstanding pictures of their dolls.

I’ve been fascinated by these gorgeous girls since I first spotted pictures of them back in the early 2000s! But they’re rather on the expensive side (a typical Blythe doll will put you back $250-$400 CAD! and then considerably up from there) so not something I could rationalize until recently, so I had to obsess from a distance.

I scoured out ebay for a LONG time looking for the perfect pink haired doll, and when I saw HER I knew! This is Fleur, who is the doll called “Charlotte de Fleurs”~ with pretty bushy pink hair (which is how I daydream of my hair growing out!) and eye chips in bright blue, green, and red. She’s stolen my heart!

Since bringing Fleur home, I’ve fallen down the Blythe rabbit hole and brought home one of my other dreamies: another pinkie girl by the name of Simply Guava, and a Petite Blythe (a teeny-tiny line of the doll as the name suggests) named Cherry Berry!

My girls – Simply Guava and her pup, Fleur (Charlotte de Fleurs), and petite little Sakura (Cherry Berry)!

Want to know more about Blythe?

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