The Sims Dine Out & Site Update

Long time, no blog posts….first it was Stardew Valley’s fault (highly recommend that little game) and then it was because I got a new job! Our weekend schedule has been very busy, and my new job means I have no time during the week. I’ve been hankering to play the Sims for awhile, so hopefully I get to do it today!

First, I wanted to get the site caught up!

  • A new Gameplay expansion is coming! I was hoping for an actual expansion pack, preferably one with family stuff, but this will do for now. The game pack expands the Sims to include restaurants. Not only can our Sims eat, have parties, and go on dates in restaurants, but they can also run their own restaurants. It promises to have lots of new recipes too. I love food-themed things, so I’m not too disappointed:TS4_695_GP03_OWNERSHIP_SCREEN_01_003
  • They are also promising a new kids-themed stuff pack. As I said, I want more family *game*play, but I don’t mind getting some new clothes and toys for the kiddos since I love playing families.
  • No more Blossom May! So my absence from the game made me once again miss the Spring challenge (:::insertagrumpyfacehere:::), so this makes Blossom May sort of useless. I’d rather spend my time finishing up the Bachelor challenge and working on Martin’s Legacy. I also have my mind on a Castaway challenge, if I can manage to find more playtime.03-31-16_9-25-04 AM
  • I’m going to be continuing to eliminate old content from this site in order to make space for the new content. I have too many followers (thank you!) to switch websites, but I don’t have enough spare cash to increase my storage space on this site. If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

Bachelor 4.3: Episode 12- Let’s Go Swimming


If you need a refresher, or if this is your first visit, head back to episode 1..

Only four participants remain. Will Dalton fall in love with one of them?

Erica makes Dalton feel at ease. He can easily see her in his friend circle….gardening, hiking, or hanging out by the campfire. But is there the potential for romance?

With Karissa, Dalton felt an immediate spark. Karissa received both the first impression save in round one, and the first kiss. But are they connecting on a deeper level?

Sabrina seems to have the full package. Dalton finds her attractive and they get along. But do they have enough common interests?

And then there is Penelope. After her many failed romantic attempts, why is she still around? Dalton appreciates her effort and values someone who is willing to work hard at a relationship.

Which of them is right for Dalton? Are any of them?

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In this episode, Round 4 starts off with a trip to the bluffs for a day of swimming.

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Erica was quick to turn the conversation flirty.

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And was the first to have some alone time with Dalton.

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Penelope joined the conversation as they discussed how they get ready for a date.

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And what sort of restaurants they like to eat at when going out.

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Obviously, Dalton would prefer to go somewhere that has grilled cheese available, in case of rain.

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Penelope’s restaurant priorities involve desserts.

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Karissa was feeling pretty bummed for much of the day.

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Karissa: It’s hard. I hate having to share you with a bunch of other people. I’m not really interested in talking to them.

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Sabrina: Hey, want to hear a joke about dinosaurs? One dinosaur asks another dinosaur ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

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Sabrina got snuggled up to Dalton, while a depressed Karissa took a nap on the rocks.

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Karissa was a bit upset she had to share Dalton on this date, and she wasn’t happy with the other girls.

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Penelope also found some alone time with Dalton.

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Dalton joined Karissa on the bench to try to cheer her up. It didn’t seem to help much.

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That evening, Erica went out to water the flowers.

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While Penelope played the piano.

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Sabrina did a bit of cooking.

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And Karissa ate some more food.

Martin Bowling: Episode 12

If you haven’t read about Martin Bowling before, go here. If you are looking for the most recent posts concerning Martin, go here.

I’m going to be posting occasional videos on my Opi’s Sims’ Facebook Page: I put a tester video up recently of Martin’s dance moves. If people like the videos, I may do them often for both stories. 🙂 The stories will still remain here in their entirety, the videos will be like bonus content!

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Raelyn was disappointed to discover only one other person was in the Garden Gnomes club. She was hoping to meet a couple people her aged who liked to be outside…instead she got this random dude (and her own dad, as Martin remains a member).

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Benjamin wants to throw really amazing parties, but in order to do that he needed two things: 1) lots of acquaintances he could invite, and 2) money for supplies. He made progress on the first by going down to the library and introducing himself to everyone he met. The latter he solved by getting a job at a retail store.

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Now that his kids were older and could manage themselves, mostly. Martin began to focus more on the Martineers. They had lost many members over the years due to old age, and he needed to recruit.

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He held a meeting at the pub, and introduced himself to several other people, but he couldn’t find anyone with the right personality.

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Benjamin and his mother watched Lost Dog’s Journey Home together during breakfast on the weekend. From the scenes it looked like it was the Sims version of Homeward Bound.

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Jade has been working hard towards getting a promotion.

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By the end of the week, Benjamin was able to throw his first house party. It went okay, but he wants to strive for better.

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Little Isaac helped clean up the trash after the party, despite being really grossed out by it (he’s squeamish like his dad).

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Speaking of Martin, he is wondering if there will ever be enough extra funds to hire a handyman, or maybe even buy a new toilet that doesn’t break on a daily basis.

Martin Bowling: Episode 11

If you haven’t read about Martin Bowling before, go here. If you are looking for the most recent posts concerning Martin, go here.

As you may recall from our last episode, Martin’s family moved to Willow Creek into a more suitable home for their size family. Both Jade and Martin were struggling to get promotions at work. Martin and Jade were beginning to feel their age and the twins are a handful.

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The kids sometimes went to the park after school to play before heading home.

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Here is a typical weekday afternoon at the Bowling house before Martin and Jade get home from work. Benjamin is dancing to the music (just like his parents!), Isaac is focused on his homework (he is slightly more studious than the other two), and Raelyn is seeing how fast she can type on the computer.

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All too soon, we were throwing a birthday party for Benjamin. The few remaining Martineers (many have passed away) were in attendance along with Salvador (Isaac’s best friend) and Damien, of course (Benjamin’s best friend).

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It was time for Benjamin to transition into a teenager…what would his grown-up aspiration be?

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Benjamin’s aspiration is Party Animal…he wants to throw and attend awesome parties. Benjamin is gregarious, outgoing and childish (but in a good way).

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Morgan, Damien, Jade and Benjamin played cards during the party.

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Jade has been trying to play more games to improve her critical thinking skills, which she needs to get promoted.

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Eventually, Jade buys a chess table to focus on her skills even more. Still no promotion, though.

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The kids are tired and bored after coming home from school.

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Both the sink and the fridge are broken, and all of Martin’s next paycheck will be going towards their repair.

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Benjamin agrees to watch a kid movie with his younger siblings…he likes that sort of thing.

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Raelyn had an embarrassing day at school, and she tells Jade all about it that night.

Thanks for reading!

Martin Bowling: Episode 10

If you haven’t read about Martin Bowling before, go here. If you are looking for the most recent posts concerning Martin, go here.

When we last checked in with Martin Bowling, the Bowlings were under some financial pressure- broken appliances, lack of promotions, a child, and another on the way.

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Well, the stress continued to increase as Jade and Martin were blessed with not just one baby, but twins! One girl, Raelyn and one boy, Isaac.

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Jade and Martin were very happy with the new additions (for the record, Benjamin was NOT). But it did put them in a bit of a bind…for now the twins could sleep in their room, but where would they put them after they grew out of their bassinets? As you can see, there is no free space in the upstairs…

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And not really much downstairs either…

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So, Martin made the decision to move the family…away from their friends and beloved Windenburg, and to Willow Creek…where they purchased a spacious one-story.

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It seemed as though the twins would be the last of the offspring…Martin was getting too old for this.

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The twin babies now shared a room with Benjamin. Several times a night, Benjamin would be awoken by their crying. He took to playing with clay in the living room instead of drawing at his desk.

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Fortunately, the twins have now transitioned. Raelyn is active, loves playgrounds and sports, likes wearing adorable tees, and wants to form a close-knit friend group like her parents.

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Isaac has a bit more swagger than his siblings. Isaac wants to talk to everyone and have loads of friends. He’ll likely be quite popular in school…as long as his peers don’t figure out how easy it is to tease him. Isaac is very squeamish, just like Martin!

Happy 16th to the Sims!

The Sims was released in February of 2000. I’ve been playing it since it’s debut, and I’ve owned every game and every expansion pack. It’s unquestionably my favorite game, even when I go through periods of not playing it…since I always come back to it.

For the 16th anniversary, the Sims 4 came out with some free content…a little tribute to each of the previous versions. From Sims 1, we got a painting of the Tragic Clown….in the Sims 1, Sonny the Tragic Clown would show up to comfort depressed Sims (but he himself was dressed and therefore made it worse). From the Sims 2, we got the Grilled Cheese Aspiration…this works similar to the Sims 2. Instead of inspiring to have a lot of wealth, a great family or success at work…Sims can just aspire to eat a lot of Grilled Cheese. For the Sims 3, the Kleptomaniac trait has returned…Sims with this trait steal randomly. We also got a gardener service NPC.

I decided to find some of my blog posts from previous versions. I didn’t blog the Sims 1, but I started blogging (and Bachelor challenges!) with the Sims 2…

Sims 2:

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I miss the University system in Sims 2, it was way better than Sims 3. I also miss the chemistry mechanic. I LOVED having my Sims tell me who they found attractive.

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From the Sims 3, I miss having seasons and holidays. I miss the random small stuff from the Generations expansion that made my Sims act like a true family…I miss the toddlers a lot too.

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I love the Sims 4 the most, though. It’s improved a lot…it runs smoother. The moods are fun and work very well. The Sims continue to become more interesting and I look forward to all the future content for this part of the Series.

Which do you prefer?


Back in the days of Sims 3, my story photos had conversation bubbles. They lacked the user interface, but they had the conversation bubbles, thought bubbles and relationship indicators, as in the above screenshot.

That changed in the Sims 4, when the standard in-game format is like this:

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As you can see, the Sims 4 screenshots lack conversational bubbles. Conversation and thought bubbles can add something extra to the stories…it helps me remember how the conversation went allowing me to be more descriptive.

Taking actually screenshots of the game and editing out the unnecessary stuff is too time-consuming to make the blog posts fun for me. So, I’ve always ruled that out. I only edit occasional images to explain or point out something (such as locations in neighborhoods).

While playing around with my Sims 4 settings, I discovered a new option…to turn leave the UI (user interface) on during screen captures. The problem is that it adds ALL of the UI, not just the fun conversation and thought bubbles….

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See? lots of clutter on the screen. Some of that information is probably fun for you to know….the relationship bar, the mood, etc….but it’s also quite distracting.

It’s really fun to see in this shot that Dalton is talking to Erica about woohoo in a rocketship. Sims say some hilarious stuff and I think the bubbles add a lot. I WISH it was like the Sims 3 where only certain items appeared in screenshots.

I can flip between both easily…in fact, if we choose to have more UI photos, we’ll likely get a mix of both. The special screenshot mode that lets you move the camera easily does NOT show the UI even when the option is turned on. I will likely still use that mode often in order to get better angles.

Anyway, I can’t decide….what do YOU think? Would you like to see the conversation bubbles? Or would the clutter distract from the story?

Let me know what you think in this poll, or below in the comments, thanks!