Photo Friday #25: Prettiest Girl in the Club


Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful.

–Zoe Kravitz

Today is:

National Pink Day


Custom-Content Highlights:

Skin: [LadyFB] Transgender Busty Skin
Skin: [Lemonleaf] Asian Skin
Hair: [Leah Lillith] Night Hair
Hair: [M1ssduo] Hair #01 Dope
Clothes: [DarkoSims] Sequin Dress
Clothes: [ShojoAngel] Male Fashion Set 3
Clothes: [ShojoAngel] Male Fashion Set 6
Accessory: [Leah Lillith] Cronus Earrings
Accessory: [Leah Lillith] Memories Septum Ring
Accessory: [Leah Lillith] Stiletto Nails
Accessory: [ShojoAngel] Scarfs
Accessory: [BloomsBase] Transgender Neck Fix / Transgender Neck Slider
Script Mod: [Nraas] Master Controller

#24 | #26

Posted in Photo Friday | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Teatime Tuesday #25: Blood-Orange Smoothie

Hey there tea fans, are you ready for your Tuesday cuppa? This week for National Pride Month’s Rainbow of Tea it is time to look at an orange tea, and I’ll admit, the tea I’d originally had planned for this week pulled a repeat of “green week” on me and steeped a different color at home than it had when I’d first sampled it at work! (I’m now convinced there must be something different about the water at the library!) When I made it at home to write up my review, it was red… not like, red-orange, but red-red! But considering red hasn’t been featured yet, I figured I could just slide it to next week and feature the red tea I was going to feature some other time. That still left me, however, in the need of an orange tea, and stat!

Thankfully I had a tea in my collection that had “orange” in the name, and since this one is a personal favorite, I knew it steeped a very orangy color, so I knew it wasn’t going to let me down! (Why I didn’t think of featuring this particular tea in the first place, I have no idea!) Allow me to introduce Spice and Tea Exchange‘s Blood Orange Smoothie.

This is rather spendy, but as far as I’m concerned, worth every penny! The amount already missing from that 4 oz. bag probably speaks volumes as to how much I love this tea… it has also been a hit when I share it around the workplace! It’s $23.89 for the big 4 oz. bag I have pictured, but Spice and Tea Exchange also has small 1 oz. bags available for $6.29 for those interested in sampling. But fans of sweet dessert teas are going to want the full size bag, trust me!

This tea is composed of red rooibos, orange peels, hibiscus flowers, rosehips, apple pieces, safflowers, rose petals, vanilla, and citrus flavorings. It smells like rich, fragrant orange and creamy vanilla when you open the bag… simply divine! The smell takes me right back to summers as a child sucking on a Dreamsicle.

Mmmmm….

I admittedly use just a bit extra leaf (about a teaspoon and a half to two teaspoons) because I like a really full-flavored cup of this one! I steep for about seven minutes (it’s rooibos, so a longer steep doesn’t really hurt since it is low on tannins and doesn’t really go bitter, though waiting that long is the hardest part!) using boiling water. Though rooibos is known as “red tea”, this rooibos in particular, with all those orange peels, is very orange when it finishes steeping! My camera and lighting doesn’t capture it quite as well as it actually looks!

This tea smells as good brewed as it does dry! It has this warm, pleasant, citrusy orange flavor that is naturally sweetened with vanilla tones. It is caffeine-free, which makes it a great indulgent dessert tea for any time of day, and I particularly like it at night in lieu of a sweet. It’s like getting a Dreamsicle ice cream as a warm, decadent beverage! It’s naturally sweet, but I like adding just a dash of sugar as I feel that really brings out the flavors even more!

While the tea is great straight or with a bit of sweetener, what really makes it fantastic is latte-style!

A dash of milk — I highly recommend a vanilla-flavored milk of your choice to really bring out the vanilla flavors of the Dreamsicle! — makes this tea so creamy and smooth, and even more like the orange-vanilla ice cream! Drinking it with a bit of vanilla almond milk is my favorite way to drink it, and whenever I make this for someone — often a “non-tea-drinker” or someone who “doesn’t like tea” they become hooked! Blood Orange Smoothie tea, with a bit of vanilla almond milk, became a smash at the library tea party!

Do be warned that the amazing flavor only holds up really well to that first steep — by the second steep that really vibrant orange color is pretty weak, more like a tangerine, and the taste is just meh. It just can’t hold a candle to that first amazing cup. I daresay it isn’t even worth resteeping at all, though latte-style I can sometimes manage a second steep just to make that leaf last a little longer. It’s basically like a really weak cup of orange tea on the second steep.

If you are looking for a good dessert tea, especially one you can enjoy in the evenings or before bed, and you like Dreamsicles or anything with a strong orange flavor that is still sweet, I’d highly recommend trying out this tea. It is great both plain and with milk (I haven’t tried it iced yet but have a feeling the strong citrus flavor would probably be good cold as well!)

So… it’s been a while since this librarian has talked shop about books, hasn’t it? We actually got this really awesome book about tea at the library! Cody showed it to me and Katie as he unboxed it (I have to say, the fact that those of us in Technical Services get to see all the brand-new books first before anyone else is one of the best perks of the job, heh!) and we started gushing. And then promptly requested that he order us our own copies (we can get the library discount that way… another perk of the job!)

It’s called World Atlas of Tea: From the Leaf to the Cup, the World’s Teas Explored and Enjoyed by Krisi Smith, and it retails for $35.00.

This book is 240 pages, printed on glossy paper, and is jam-packed with information on tea; everything from varieties of the tea plant, to grading and blending, to how to harvest and process tea, the history of tea, tea tools, how to brew the perfect cup, tea tasting, and then the majority of the book goes into detail on the regions of the world that cultivate specific tea leaves, with detailed maps and information about the tea from those areas and the tea culture prevalent on those parts of the world. It’s all really fascinating! Below are a few (very low-quality) sample images.

It’s a great coffee-table book to pick up and skip around, reading interesting tidbits of information on tea and looking at the absolutely gorgeous photography of tea cultivation from around the globe… highly recommended teatime reading!

Next week will be the end of our Rainbow of Tea, coming to a close with a red brew! (And no, it isn’t another rooibos!) Be sure to drop by next Tuesday, I’ll have the kettle on!

#24 | #26

Posted in Teatime Tuesday | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Photo Friday #24: Little Miracles


Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.

–Leigh Anne Tuohy

Today is:

International Day of the African Child
National Flip Flop Day
Ugliest Dog Day
Wish Fulfillment Day


Custom-Content Highlights:

Skin: [Lemonleaf] Asian Skin
Hair: [Kewai-dou] Kisaragi Low Contrast Hair
Hair: [Nightcrawler] AM Hair 07
Hair: [Quianna] Curly Baby Hair
Clothes: [Georgia] Baby Dress
Clothes: [Peacemaker] Hobo No More Bootleg Fit Jeans
Clothes: [DarkoSims] Denim Shorts
Accessory: [Daluved1] Pet Bow
Accessory: [Quianna] Adia Baby Shoes
Accessory: [Quianna] Innocence Baby Headband
Accessory: [Quianna] Tweety Baby Pacifier
Accessory: [Rusty] Eyeglasses N5
Pose: [Shianae] Friendship Poses

#23 | #25

Posted in Photo Friday | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teatime Tuesday #24: Mandarin Silk Oolong

Welcome back to another teatime! This week for National Pride Month’s Rainbow of Tea it is time to feature a beautiful yellow tea! This time I had a lot of options in my collection, since so many teas brew a lovely golden color, but this particular tea not only has a vibrant yellow color, but has become one of my favorites since first sip!

This is Art of Tea‘s Mandarin Silk Oolong, which apparently is the winner of “Best Flavored Oolong” from the World Tea Expo, and Specialty Tea Institute, Tea Association of America… and I can see why after trying this $5 sampler! I was so taken with this tea I decided to send the remainder of this sampler to my mom and buy myself a 4 oz. bag for $27.00!

This tea contains Pouchong oolong tea leaves, a lightly oxidized style of oolong typically grown in Fujian Province, China, or Taiwan, with lemon myrtle, marigolds, and natural essence of vanilla flavoring. It smells heavenly, like a sweet vanilla confection with subtle hints of citrus.

I steep this tea for three minutes using water boiled at 190 degrees F — hot, but not boiling (though increase my steep time to five minutes on subsequent steeps). The tea steeps into a very vibrant yellow color, and smells of oolong and sweet vanilla! I like just a bit of sugar to really bring out the flavor, but it is naturally sweet. “Silk” is an apt name for this tea, because it is so light and silky smooth on the tongue! It is one of those teas that just made my eyes roll back in delight from first sip! The vanilla leaves this sweet, pleasant aroma and taste, and there is just a hint of the lemon myrtle lingering on the back of the tongue with every sip. Yet at the same time, the complexity of the pouchong leaves is not lost on me, as every steep — oolong is the perfect tea to resteep! — tastes just a bit different as the properties of the leaves change. Pictured above is actually the second flush of these leaves!

I have no problem resteeping this tea at least three times (and sometimes will go for more), and notice that the flavors change slightly from steep to steep from the oolong leaves themselves; the vanilla taste does get a bit weaker but holds up surprisingly well, continuing to lend a sweet, tasty finish. The other amazing thing about this tea is it is absolutely fantastic cold or iced! Some teas you just have to dump after you cuppa goes cold, but I find I actually love sipping this tea cold, it is incredibly refreshing as a cold drink! Once my bulk leave comes in, I plan to make a big pitcher of cold brew tea in the fridge for the hot summer months, because the flavor is fantastic cold! If you are looking for a tea to try iced, I’d highly recommend this one!

Samplers of this tea are only $5, so I’d highly recommend trying this tea out if you are a fan of vanilla, or teas with a sweeter side. Even if you don’t normally like oolongs, give this one a try! This blend might just change your mind! And if you’ve never tried an oolong, I’d highly recommend this blend as a gateway into this complex and interesting tea type!

While I enjoy my third cuppa, let me share with you an interesting story about Pride in my town… that is, we have never had one. I live in a small religiously-dominated community in southern Idaho (given the proximity to Utah, I’ll let you figure out which religion) and this is not the sort of place I would describe as “diverse” in term of race, ethnicity, or non-heternormativity when it comes to sexual and gender orientation.

We have a yearly event the first weekend of June called “Western Days” that has a flagship parade, and in 2007, the Southern Idaho Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center tried to get a float entered. It was denied because, apparently, “Western Days is a family friendly event.” It was the first float to ever be denied entry. They submitted the float again in 2008, and it was accepted, however, they were restricted from having any rainbow flags on it, from passing out any information about getting help with AIDS or drugs, and they couldn’t use the letters “LGBT” in their organization name, having to use “Southern Idaho Community Center” instead, and couldn’t have any T-shirts or fliers referring to homosexuality. OUCH. One has to wonder if simply being rejected again would have been less of an insult at that point…

So that was nine/ten years ago. This year, not only is the Southern Idaho Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center allowed their float, but Magic Valley Pride also has a float, bedecked in rainbows with Drag Queens waving at the crowd proudly. They were still barred from handing out pamphlets or literature, but it’s a step in the right direction.

This last weekend, Magic Valley Pride took over the park for their own event. As Western Days packed up and left the weekend before, the park was taken over by booths in bright rainbow colors. The queer community of the highschools were taking donations for baked goods, bands were playing in the bandshell, and the night before a fabulous Drag Queen/King/Pride variety show took place at a local theater (the acts were fantastic!) And I have to say… for once, it was nice to see a little less hate in this little town that can feel so overwhelmingly oppressive and close-minded.

And here, there were pamphlets being handed out. I spoke at length with the nice lady at the PFLAG booth, and took one of her pamplets!

Change takes a while, and comes slowly… but at least progress is being made. And I think for a lot of us in the LGBTQQIAAPP+ community, that’s the best we can hope and ask for. Progress, a little at a time, over time.

Thanks for joining me for another teatime! Next week I’ll be sharing a delicious orange-colored brew as we start to wind down the Rainbow of Tea!

#23 | #25

Posted in Teatime Tuesday | Tagged | 12 Comments

The Cat Chronicles Day 54: Snowflake Eve


Ugh, Wrinkly One, what is the meaning of this? Cold stuff up to my haunches! What a miserable time to be away from a nice warm den, especially with a little one!


…And don’t think that I don’t notice she’s stealing all the pets, too. This situation is just turning from bad to worse…


Hey! Hey! Where do you think you’re going! Do you think you can just leave without petting your poor, cold cat at all?


…I’m going to ninja-kitty your ankles so bad when you come out you aren’t going to know what hit you! Mrahahaha!


Oh great food dish! The little one is shrieking like some great beast! Whatever happened in there!


.

.

.

You may smell like my wrinkly one, but you don’t look like my wrinkly one! Nope, nope, nope, that’s a whole lot of nope! I’m out of here!


Hey! Heeeeeeey, Spotted Queen! How are things with your two-legger?

What? What’s that? She is too busy with some male two-legger to give you any pets?


Just who is this male that thinks he can steal the attention away from my Queen, anyway!


Gasp! No! It can’t be! Not… not the two-legger that belongs to that pesky mutt that lives next door!


The wrinkly one’s kit isn’t thinking to take him as a mate…? This must be stopped!


Hey! Heeeeeeeeeey! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaait!


Stop! Remember me? The poor, starving stray? Just look at me, in all this cold stuff, scrounging around the fairgrounds for scraps… Isn’t it such a crime?


Don’t you want to just pet me for hours, and keep me warm, and feed me, and get me some warm milk… ooooooo. Do you have any warm milk? Warm milk sounds really good right now…


Hey! What are you doing? I didn’t even get a pet! Don’t ignore me! You are a worthless two-legger, you know that?

. . . It didn’t work. Foiled! Completely foiled!


Sigh. Now I feel depressed. What are you up to anyway, Wrinkly One? Little One? …Huh.


Ya, I uh… haven’t the slightest clue either, Spotted Queen.


Might as well bury my sorrows…


Oh hey! Bugs! Who’s the best? I’m the best!


Ooooooh Spotted Queeeeeeeen… Surprise!


Look at those two-leggers, such incompetant hunters…


Not at all like me, you know. I caught you a beetle. After dinner how about we… keep each other warm?


Mee-ow!


Unfortunately, I don’t think we were the only ones keeping each other warm that evening…


I’ve got my heterochromatic eyes on you, Mutt-lover… you better watch yourself!

Day 53 | Day 55

Posted in Cat Chronicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Photo Friday #23: White Wedding


“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

–Maya Angelou

Today is:

National Marriage Day


Custom-Content Highlights:

Hair: [Sims Hairs] Skysims Hair 043 Male-to-Female Conversion
Hair: [Skysims] Hair 092
Clothes: [BEO] Wedding Dress 26
Accessory: [Traelia] Wedding Bliss Veil Acessories
Accessory: [BEO] Wedding Bouquet
Lot: [CarlDillynson] Wedding Belle Wedding Chapel
Pose: [FreckledFemlock] I Do Poses

#22 | #24

Posted in Photo Friday | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Liebster Award

Thank you so much to Socallucyfan, author of fairy tale-inspired Sims 3 legacy Once Upon a Time and TheoriesOfHappiness, author of several supernatural, horror, and mature-themed stories for Sims 4 over at Cornucopia of Simlit for nominating for a Liebster Award! I’m deeply honored that you would think of me and my humble blog!

Rules:

1. Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the award.
2. Answer the eleven questions the person has asked you.
3. Nominate people and notify them.
4. Ask the people you have nominated eleven questions.

Answers to Questions I Received

Q. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you like to be?

A. Somewhere that the barometric pressure doesn’t change often. I get awful migraines when the barometric pressure shifts, such as when rain or snow storms move in and out!

Q. What has been the craziest moment while playing the Sims?

A. Back when I was working on my yandere (think crazed obsessive stalking girlfriend that takes competition a little too far) story, the yandere in question was in the middle of getting rid of a classmate she saw as a rival and right in the middle of the murder she whipped out her phone, autonomously, and decided to “capture the moment.” I wasn’t sure if I should be disturbed or laugh hysterically… but since I’m a Slytherin, I just ended up laughing over it. Said yandere also ended up turning her back on Grimmy and giving her own disturbing chuckle… she had so much personality!

Q. Where does your inspiration come from?

A. Most of the time, I just hop into game and see what germinates. I consider the game my co-author, and like to work with it to see what it gives me, as I find the best ideas tend to spark from the little things it throws at me!

Q. What are you wearing right now (be honest)?

A. My jammies. Whenever I’m at home on my computer, I’m always wearing my PJs!

Q. What do you love most about yourself?

A. My dark sense of humor! (Should I be admitting to that?)

Q. Who is your favorite Sim that you created?

A. Cora, the yandere mentioned above!

Q. What is/was your favorite subject in school?

A. Computers! My parents divorced just before I went into highschool, I lived with my father, and my highschool computer teacher/Business Professionals of America advisor became like a mother to me, she was just the sweetest. I still see her on occassion at the library and she is still one of the sweetest ladies I know!

Q. Coffee, tea, or neither?

A. I drank coffee for years and actually do still like it, but I had to give up caffeine for a time during a “detox” to see if it was a migraine trigger for me, and during that time, I switched to herbal teas. I became obsessed with the varieties of teas available, and found that “tea-tasting” brought back the feelings of “wine-tasting”, a hobby I had to give up years ago because of my chronic migraines (alcohol is a migraine trigger for me), so I kind of got out of drinking coffee and switched to tea. Since I determined caffeine doesn’t have any effect on my head, I now try all sorts of teas! I like flavored blends of all kinds, but don’t really care for “pure” teas (except oolongs… though I like blended oolongs, too!) I even started reviewing teas on this blog starting last January, which you can read here!

Q. Favorite season?

A. Autumn. I love the cool but not cold temperature, the brisk feel in the air, the smell of the falling leaves, and the fact you can get pumpkin food!

Q. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A. Probably all the boards that the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored.

Q. Can you say the above question three times quickly, without messing up?

A. Depends on the day. If I’m not having a migraine, sure. Today I’m 24 hours into a migraine, and I can’t say much of anything cohesive, let alone a tongue-twister!

Q. If you could go anywhere in the world without worrying about the cost of travel or a hotel, where would you go?

A. Japan, definitely!

Q. What does the Sims mean to you? Is it something personal, or just another game?

A. It started out as just another simulation game, which is one of the genres I prefer, but when I started playing it, I was surprised to see how much it engaged me and made my mind start buzzing with creative energy about the stories being woven about these little virtual people. Now, it is a creative outlet far more than a game.

Q. Do you use custom content? If so, why?

A. Yes! Since it such a creative outlet, I like seeing the creative potential others find in it as well, whether it be stretching the game to doing interesting things, making beautiful new clothing, hairstyles, and objects, or poses that create new story potential.

Q. Which Sims game is your favorite to play, and which is your favorite for writing?

A. I’ve only ever played one Sims game, which is Sims 3.

Q. What is your favorite story that you have ever wrote?

A. Remembering Earl, a Cat Chronicles spin-off I did for Purple Day Sims in December 2015.

Q. What is your favorite Simlit story that you have ever read?

A. Hmm… it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I got into writing Simlit after I found one story in particular, which was my first, Alice and Kev, and for that, it holds a special place in my heart.

Q. What genre of music do you listen to most often when writing?

A. I actually don’t listen to any music when I write! I have to have silence when I’m writing or I find it distracting and hard to find the right words. I also just tend to keep my creative spaces on the quieter side because of my chronic migraine. I do, however, sometimes listen to RainyMood.com on a very low setting.

Q. What is your favorite quote?

A. “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gunna love somebody else?” –RuPaul

Q. Who is your favorite author (of books, not SimLit)?

A. Anne McCaffrey is my go-to. Most people will say J.K. Rowling but she came a bit after my generation (I’m old, all right?) so for me, I grew up reading Dragonriders of Pern, and I still love them! I even wrote a short story that was an homage of my love of these books, The Summer I Fell in Love. A close second is Anne Bishop, as my love of writing came from spending a year playing on a play-by-post forum based around her Black Jewels series of books, and I feel like I wouldn’t have progressed onto Simlit without that experience!

Q. Favorite number in the whole world?

A. 17! I was born on the 17th, as was my sister, so it has always been my lucky number. I will pick it for everything!

Q. What is a proverb from another language that you really connect to?

A. I don’t really have a proverb I connect to, but the Japanese have a common saying or term in their language that I love, which is “tomodachi ijou koibito miman” which means “more than friends, less than lovers.” As an asexual, I kind of live in the state of being in that place, where I often think of many friends as “more than friends, less than lovers” but find that my non-Ace American friends don’t really… have this sort of relationship in their brain? It’s like they only see “friends” or “lovers” in their world, but can’t see a place for something that can exist between the two. I love that the Japanese do.

My Nominees

With my increased update schedule since the beginning of 2017 (going to weekly chapter updates,adding Teatime Tuesday and Photo Friday, and moving the Stories and Legacies Index over to WordPress) I have had next to no time to actually sit down and read Simlit anymore. These things always require “passing the torch forward” and I feel bad that I just haven’t had the chance to actually read anything new in ages… but I’m just going to do the best I can, and you’ll have to forgive me if nominations are sparse until that magical moment happens when everything falls into place and I figure out how to balance work, producing site content, managing the Stories and Legacies Index, pain from my constant migraines, and can still find the time to sit down and do leisure reading.

As always, if a site I nominated as already received a nomination for this award by now, I certainly don’t expect anyone to have to alter their acceptance posts or answer additional questions, so please don’t feel you need to on my account!

chealsycat, Chealsycat’s YouTube Channel
Weathie, The Grand Delusion
cully_c, Dalton Anderson Official Website
GaiaHypothesis, Look What We Started
ginnymalfoy22, simsonmars Simblr
Kim, Tea is a Wish Your Heart Makes
OJenn, Simthology Simblr
ra3rei, Raerei’s Fortress
Simsophonique, Simsophonique and the Sims
Twiggy, Twiggy’s Sims Adventures

Questions For My Nominees

1. What would be the title of your autobiography?
2. You and your friends start a rock band. What are you called?
3. What flavor of ice cream best represents you?
4. Would you rather fight ten duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?
5. Aliens have landed! What is your first message to them?
6. Who was your first pop culture crush?
7. Which food makes you gag?
8. What do you want to do on your first day of retirement?
9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
10. What is your favorite Halloween costume? (Or for my fellow geeks, cosplay outfit?)
11. Can you curl your tongue?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments