Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest. My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Ticket To Ride
  4. Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing
  5. Red Dragon Inn
  6. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  7. Star Wars X-Wing
  8. Red Dragon Inn 4
  9. Force of Will *card game*
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Ticket to Ride
  23. Takenoko
  24. Code Names
  25. Shadow Hunters 
  26. Dixit

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

My Health Goals

Happy First Day of Spring! It was 61 degrees on my ride home from work in the late afternoon and it was a nice change of pace. I feel on cloud nine from this wonderful day outside. As I was contemplating what to blog about I realized that I don’t write about health or wellness on this blog. Usually I write about comics and books, video games and general posts about my life. Today I wanted to write something a little different and share my health goals.

*Side Note* I love my body. My body isn’t perfect, but I adore how I look. To some, this may sound vain, but it wasn’t until my 20’s where I felt at peace with my flaws. I struggled in high school with my body image (who doesn’t?) Now I feel calm looking at myself in the mirror and acknowledging that yes, those black skinny jeans look fabulous on me.

20% Body Fat.

Last time I had my body fat tested I was at 23.8%. This is not the same as losing weight. I don’t necessarily want to change the number on the scale, just modify how my body is composed. Gaining more muscle mass is always going to be a goal of mine because I want to lower the amount of body fat I have.

More Vegetables

I eat plenty of fruit in a day, but veggies? Not so much. I love red bell pepper, carrots, broccoli yet I don’t cook enough with veggies. I have a huge sweet tooth so sometimes vegetables aren’t appealing to me. I find that when I cook vegetables with olive oil and some pepper they’re good to eat. It’s difficult for me to eat veggies raw and if you can, good for you!

Yoga/Spiritual Exercise Once a Week

I have been slacking on yoga. My workout regime is about 3 days a week of cardio and 2 days of strength training. That leaves two days of active recovery. On one of those “days off” I want to add yoga or I want to attend a yoga class at my internship site. Yoga is extremely beneficial and I feel that I need to try harder to make this happen.

I’m at a good mindset where I can set these goals for myself without feeling insecure in my body. I’m grateful to have reached that place even though it took a while to get there. I would love to hear your health and wellness goals in the comments below.

Recovering from being Overworked.

I may have hinted in prior blog posts, but I am graduating from college this spring. My life this semester has been chaotic due to interning 40 hours a week with 20 hours of my internship being paid. My two other jobs also provide me around 9-10 hours of additional paid work. By around the end of February, I was feeling drained. My friend kept messaging me to hang out with her, but I didn’t have the energy to leave my bed underneath the warm blankets. She called me out on my behavior and that’s when I broke into tears. I missed hanging out with friends, reading books all the time and playing some video games. I barely had time to maintain a social life and get the amount of sleep I desperately wanted.

After having a venting session with that same friend above, I knew something in my schedule had to change. As a result I temporarily left my coffee shop job for the time being and I’m slowly recovering from that day. I wanted to share my tips on how to catch up and unwind after feeling overworked.

Cut Something Out of your Schedule

For me, this was one out of my three jobs I was working. This upcoming weekend is the first weekend I will have without work and I’m undoubtedly ecstatic. I will be able to sleep in a little, drink my coffee and continue with my job application process. I haven’t had a morning to myself in a long time and it’s going to be relaxing.

Socialize!

Maintaining a social life is complicated. Luckily, I had some quality time with the boyfriend and saw Logan. I spent some time this past Friday playing board games with a horde of people. Being able to be out with friends and put my long week behind me really distracts me from my to-do list before graduating college.

Exercise

This is easily the first to get cut out when you’re busy, but hear me out. Exercise can help you feel less stressed by releasing endorphins which make you happy. Typically, those who include exercise often sleep better too. I feel different if I don’t exercise, so with the extra time I do have on the weekends, I’m going to make a trip to the gym.

Pep Talk

This is corny, but it helps. I drive about 35 minutes each way from my internship. In those 35 minutes I talk out my problems while also giving myself a pep talk. Additionally in the 35 minutes that I drive home, I talk about my day. Being able to talk out my own problems helps me deal with the stress of the work day.

Finally, see the family.

My goal has been to take a weekend a month to go home and stay with my mom and brother. Every time I do this, I come back refreshed for the next week. Me and my mom will watch movies occasionally and have good quality meals at the dinner table. To be able to acknowledge that I have family to go to when I’m down puts me at ease. I’m thankful that I have a loving and supportive family and I understand that not all families are like mine.

Being overworked is hard to recognize, but realize that you need your time away. Now excuse me while I snap open my 3DS and play Kirby Planet Robobot that my brother got me for Christmas that I haven’t played yet.

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Old Man Logan is Epic

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Last weekend the boyfriend came back home after visiting his parents all week. Besides eating my weight in homemade oatmeal cookies, me and the boyfriend took a date night and saw Logan. The boyfriend has been re-watching all the X-Men movies in chronological order for the first time which sparked a renewed interest in the X-Men. Surprisingly, the X-Men are the group of superheroes I know the least about because way back in 2000 when the X-Men movies premiered, I was playing with Barbies or too focused on Harry Potter. Deadpool was a success being an R rated superhero movie so Marvel set out to finally get the Wolverine the movie he deserves. I have to say for someone who doesn’t know a lot about X-Men/Wolverine, I felt that this movie captured the essence of Logan.

The titles appear on the screen along with Logan being tied up at the back of a limo. The Wolverine escapes and he attacks the men viciously after they shoot him repeatedly with a shotgun. The violence of this scene isn’t too graphic compared to Deadpool’s over the top gore. After this scene the audience starts to see that Logan isn’t healing like he’s supposed to which begs the question of how invulnerable is Logan? Logan does show humanity by the way he caters to the older Charles Xavier. Charles claims to have been communicating with a mutant which Logan doesn’t believe. Eventually Logan meets Laura and how she was stolen from a research facility that was trying to create mutants. Laura is X-23 aka. Logan’s daughter made from his stored genetic material. Laura, Charles and Xavier go on the run because of Charles wanting to protect Laura from the vile men hunting for her.

*Brief Spoilers*

I basically spoil the entire movie in a paragraph so you have been warned…

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Should this be my new workout tank top? I’m thinking Yes? Seriously spoilers below.

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The R rating from this movie stems from Logan continually using the word “fuck” and from the gore in this movie. Again, I still feel that Deadpool is way worse in regards to the violence versus Logan. The end of this movie is rather touching as Wolverine develops a powerful relationship with Laura that he is willing to die to save her. Laura watches Wolverine take his final breathes as she cries and buries him in the forest. This gives Laura a reason to get to safety and start over as a mutant free of control.

I haven’t read the Old Man Logan graphic novels, but I definitely added them to my list. Logan was epic and a loving tribute to Hugh Jackman who played this role for almost two decades. I’m curious by whether or not Laura will take over the franchise and how this movie will relate to the other X-Men movies. On a darker note the sneak peak into the new Deadpool movie is promising and hilarious in a really awful way so pay attention to that for when you see Logan in theaters ASAP.

 

Was Gears of War 4 Unnecessary?

Oh Gears of War, I will pretty much spend money on every game in this series. I try and complete every campaign on insanity even if I feel like chucking my controller out the window. Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird each had their unique personalities that turned them into an amazing team. When I heard Gears of War 4 was being developed, my initial thought was really, is this necessary? Honestly, I had a great time with this game, but I’m not certain if this needed to be created.

For those who aren’t a huge Gears of War fan, here is a brief overview of the games. Sera is the fictional planet that Gears takes place on. At the end of Gears of War 3, an imulsion countermeasure was released wiping out the Lambent and the Locust which are the evil creatures in the game. 25 years later, humanity has been effected heavily by this imulsion. Cities are walled-off to prevent the decline of humanity and “outsiders” are humans who oppose this action. J.D. Fenix (aka. Marcus’s son), Kait Diaz and Del Walker are apart of this group who travel between cities and violate all sorts of international laws.

Gears of War 4 Group

Kait, J.D. and Del (left to right)

As the group attempt to steal supplies from the C.O.G (which is the army that Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird were apart of) they’re attacked by “the Swarm” a group of creatures that are clearly not human. The group tries to find Kait’s mother who was kidnapped by the creatures.

Kait.jpg

She’s my favorite. 

Phew that’s a lot of Gears knowledge to know, but that’s all of the basics. I will say that Kait is my favorite character of the group because she’s kick ass without being too sexual. The action sequences in this game were entertaining as I’m the person who enjoys hiding in a corner and sniping enemies while the boyfriend runs in and shoots things.

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Doesn’t he look cute. “The Swarm” 

After completing this game, I was rather irritated. I still have no idea what “the Swarm” is doing. Are they invading Sera? What brought them to the planet? I have no idea. I’m thinking this will be answered in later games, but I’m still annoyed.

Overall I enjoyed the game because I like the mechanics of the Gears games. So was this game necessary? Eh… maybe. As a Gears diehard fan, I liked it. I’m probably going to collect all the collectibles and beat it on insanity, but then I will consider myself done. Now that I’m done with Gears I can devote more time to play Overwatch because it’s fantastic.

 

Bizarre Brunette Binges. . . The Following

I never used to watch copious amounts of TV shows. Moving to college I found that my free time was cut into shorter chunks of time. So I had plenty of time in that time slot for a 40 minute episode. I’m always looking for a side show to watch and thanks to Netflix and Amazon Prime, I have access to quality content. The Following sparked my interest because when the first season aired, I heard it was a thrilling show with dark characters. I gave it a watch on Netflix and soon enough the first season was finished. Yesterday, I watched the last episode of season 3 which was the series finale since The Following was cancelled. I liked the show, but as the seasons progressed, I feel the quality of the show was decreasing.

The Following.jpg

The Following opens with Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) a famed FBI agent pouring vodka into his flask. He arrested literature professor Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) for killing numerous young college women. He had been killing for some time, but Ryan was the only one who found out about his secret. Joe sees Ryan as his equal, someone who has the intelligence to keep up with his games. Joe doesn’t stay in prison for long and it’s revealed that he escapes, but has a league of followers who will kill for him. The first season revolves around Ryan trying to capture Joe’s cult members and stop Joe from committing more heinous crimes.

The relationship that Ryan and Joe have is what makes the Following a hit series. They have great chemistry together in their respected episodes. Season 1 goes by quick because every episode leaves off on a cliff hanger however, season 2 was okay. It focuses less on Joe, but on a new cult leader with her adopted children although Joe appears in the season quite frequently, but at parts he isn’t the main character. I do like the introduction of Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup), Ryan’s niece as a fellow companion. Season 3 was mediocre at best. Joe doesn’t really take front and center, and there’s this group led by someone named Eliza. I don’t know what she was trying to accomplish because the series ended, but it wasn’t the show I enjoyed back in season 1.

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OTP ❤

It’s unfortunate that the Following was cancelled, but after watching season 3, I can respect why it was. This show did help develop my OTP which is Max Hardy and special agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) because they are perfect together. If you enjoy FBI dramas/detective shows and want something that’s binge worthy, the Following should go on your list. Sure season 3 isn’t all that great, but season 1 is entertaining. I love the feeling of finishing a show because then you can devote time to more TV. It’s a never ending cycle.

 

Cruelty Free; Kat Von D Review!

Let’s be honest, my makeup skills are sub par. I can apply mascara and lipstick with ease, but contouring goes over my head. However, one of my New Year Quests was to convert to cruelty free beauty products and Kat Von D was a brand I had been eyeing for quite some time. President’s Day I browsed the website and noticed the free shipping coupon at the top of the page. I purchased the immortal lash mascara and the everlasting liquid lipstick in the shade Bow n Arrow. After using these products for a week now, I can say it’s worth it to pay a couple bucks more for these products. Kat Von D makeup is one of my favorite makeup brands I have ever used.

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kat-von-d-mascara

My first initial impression of the mascara was it washes off well. I took a shower and normally my mascara turns me into Rocket the Raccoon. This mascara washed off without leaving black stains under my eyes. Surprisingly, I didn’t even wake up with mascara particles the next morning. This mascara is easily washed off, but also lasts all day. I wear mascara to my internship and I worked out with the mascara still on. After a super sweaty 30 minute cardio session, my lashes still look the same as when I applied the mascara this morning. I also took a nap and my lashes still looked voluminous. This mascara didn’t clump my lashes which most drug store mascara brands do. I was certainly impressed with this mascara, but I’m open to trying other cruelty free products. I’m thinking about purchasing Better Than Sex Mascara next.

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Now onto the Bow n Arrow liquid lipstick. The liquid lipstick is perhaps my favorite lip product I have ever tried. I decided to test the Bow n Arrow shade before wearing it to my internship because I was looking for a lip color that was more nude. It’s a little too dark brown for me to want to wear to work, but I love the shade. This liquid lipstick doesn’t dry out my lips and provides a lot of color. I also drank my cups of coffee plus drinking out of my water bottle and there were no marks on my cup. I actually had to use a makeup remover pad to get this lipstick off which is not what I’m used to. Most of my liquid lipsticks last about two hours and I have to reapply. I didn’t have to reapply with this product.

Kat Von D creates awesome makeup products that I can’t recommend enough. The mascara is a good quality product and I’m probably going to purchase other shades of the liquid lipstick. I learned that animals don’t have to be harmed in the creation of makeup because there are so many companies switching to cruelty free.

What other cruelty free brands of beauty products do you use? I always am looking for recommendations.

 

 

Blizzard World Comic Con 2017

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*photo from Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page* 

Welcome back to Bizarre Brunette after an unplanned 11 day writing hiatus. My work schedule was chaotic and all I have been doing after work was finishing the Following on Netflix while reading books and various comics. After a relaxing weekend home I come prepared to write about a smaller local convention I attended on Saturday the 25th: Blizzard World Comic Con 2017. 

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*photo by Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page*

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*photo taken by Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page*

Look at all the Legos! These are two pictures of the Lego Hall of Justice set up. Almost every Justice League/DC Superhero is in Lego form on this display. I can’t help but notice the cute Lego Tardis making an appearance as well.

Blizzard World Comic Con is a convention that offers up tables for super cheap. Artists can display their newly minted comics, art prints and cute toys without breaking the bank. Unlike other conventions that have panels and activities, Blizzard World is a con where you spend money. I had my budget as to how much I could spend and I was determined to spread that money across as many artists as I possibly could. I only ended up spending about $30 and I went home with a couple of comics and a cool sticker which I will show you further down this post.

As for my first time being at this con, I really liked it. It was small so I felt that I could actually talk with each artist at the booths. I could learn what inspires them to create art or detailed stories. This helped make purchases that I felt really proud about. I will say that I only stayed for about 45 minutes because I blew through my money very quickly so I wish Blizzard World offered more activities besides walking around the booths. Otherwise I can definitely say that I will be back again next year.

The last part of this post is to detail what I bought because that’s always the fun part about every convention you attend.

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Phil Juliano’s book and Velma print.

This book I ended up purchasing not at Blizzard World, but through a go fund me page initiated by Phil. He ended up saving me this Velma print and isn’t it so cute?!

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Book Written by Christopher D Schmitz. 

I don’t need new books to read, but this urban fantasy book caught my eye. Apparently there are references to Cthulhu and Lovecraft stories which swayed me into purchasing this book for my shelf.

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The book on the far left is Breakwater, a comic about undersea demented tales. Dave Branch wrote a tale for this comic with more Cthulhu references which I can’t get enough of. The middle comic is produced by Mindwave Comics in Minneapolis. I have been eyeing Totem for a while because the character is a Native American superhero.  Finally, this comic on the far left has Gothic undertones about a mother rescuing her baby.

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This Avocados at Law sticker caught my eye because the Netflix Marvel shows are addicting. This sticker will immediately be stuck onto the front of my planner.

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Finally, I swiped a bunch of business cards from each table. I like eyeing local art talent in case there are kick starters to support and new books hitting the shelves.

Hopefully I will keep a regular blogging routine as I really don’t like to go almost two weeks without writing. I can’t make any promises, but I do have some ideas about posts in the coming days. I wish everyone a good start to the week!