Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Review of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer with Amiibo card reader

Like any good Animal Crossing addict, I picked up my copy of Happy Home Designer on Friday and got to work immediately. I, of course, fell in love with Lottie in an instant, and before I knew it, I had a handful of houses designed, as well as a school and a hospital. I was hooked.

However, while I'm having lots of fun so far, I don't think that this game will have the lasting power to keep me coming back for literally hundreds of hours like Animal Crossing New Leaf did. Why is that? There are a few reasons. I can't remember where I read it, but someone said it perfectly with "it's like a really great mini-game, but without a full game to go on around it." That's what it feels like to me.

Like many people have said, I wish I had my own house in the game. Some place where I can decorate it how I want, switch out items for new ones that come into stock, and expand as my progress continues. I've had a few clients ask me to do whatever I want to their house, as far as decoration themes go, but it's not the same.

Another thing that has struck me already is the lack of a rating system with completed designs. You can spend forever perfecting someone's balloon-themed abode, adding finishing touches and coming up with a creative, yet live-able floor plan, and your villager will love it and lavish you with praise. On the other hand, though, you could walk into their empty house, unbox the few pieces that they require for the design, and tell them you're done, and they'll be just as happy with your work.

I know it would be hard to judge creativity, and I know that Lyle from the Happy Home Academy in ACNL made me mad when he docked me points for straying from complete decoration collections, but there has to be a happy medium. It's clear that it's up to you to be proud of your work and that's the point of the game, but it kind of makes it feel like it's all for nothing when the townsperson doesn't really care what you do either way.

The last thing I would change would be to somehow make the collecting of furniture pieces a little more difficult. It felt so good to find the most awesome decoration to sit on an end table, spend your bells, and rush home to place it, after waiting for it to pop up in the shop or in someone's Street Pass house for weeks. In this, you get the full collection as soon as you take someone's request. It makes life easier, definitely, to have the full line of Rococo furniture for Muffy's gothic hideaway, but it doesn't feel like I'm doing much besides flipping through a catalog.

However, with all the points listed above, I do like the game a lot and there's plenty that I'm enjoying. While I said I wish for more of a hunt for prized pieces, it is pretty nice to be working on a room and not think "it would be perfect if I juuuuust had that Lovely end table." I know, a fickle review, but it's just the truth. (Wishing for more of a search for the perfect item would apply more to decorating my own home, though, not for Robbit or Goldie, necessarily.)

Another common praise of the game, that I completely agree with, is the revamped furniture placing system. It's. Amazing. You can flip, move, twist, and turn furniture pieces on a floor plan grid just with a touch of the stylus. No more pushing and pulling large couches, having to hide tables and chairs in your bag to make space to move the other stuff around the room. You can highlight a selection of furniture and move multiple pieces at once. It's pretty nifty and I hope that when there is an expansion of New Leaf or a full new game, that this mechanic is included.

Decorating outside of the houses is new and fun, too. It took me a few times to realize that I could place more than just flowers and trees in the villagers' yards, and after that, designing the exterior of the house got a lot more fun. I've created a little zen-like spa area for one client, a little flower stand, complete with greenhouse, product display, and cash tray, and a coffee patio, stocked with beans, an espresso machine, and a tiny little sink.

I'm really enjoying the jobs that Isabelle is giving me, too. When you're sick of building another big living room with a TV, bed, and sitting area, talk to the cutest little doggy in Animal Crossing and she'll assign you a different type of place to design, like a hospital, school, or shop. My favorite so far was creating a Noodle Cafe; I added tables, counters full of dishes, a barista corner next to the check-out counter, and a walled-off kitchen in the back, full of dirty plates and filled garbage bags. More assignments from Isabelle, please!

Last: Lottie. I love her. Oh, and ceiling decorations are fun, too!

I say, if you're 100% in love, borderline-obsessed with the Animal Crossing franchise, pick this game up. If your favorite part of New Leaf was designing homes, pick this game up. If you really liked the open-ended aspect of the previous game, though, running around and catching bugs, selling fruit, checking the stores daily for new items, and taking specific requests from your neighbors, maybe wait a bit to see if you can live without this entry in the series. It's not that you won't love it, but you'll find yourself getting bored and wanting more after not too long.
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maddy Lives!

A main rule I tried to follow while writing on my blog was to never, ever, ever apologize for not posting in a while, buuuut... I feel like this absence at least deserves some acknowledgement! Well, what happened between last December and now? WELL! As mentioned in the last post, my internet data situation at home is still the same, so uploading lots and lots of pictures isn't necessarily do-able at home! Looks like I promised to take my laptop to a cafe once a week to work on the blog. That definitely didn't happen ever.

Since I've posted last, I've definitely missed working on this. Having a blog like this is so fun to just work on little by little, planning out posts weeks at a time, and stockpiling entries in advance. I want to come back! Maybe rebrand a bit ... take "WEDDING" off of the sidebar as a main subject. I feel like everyone who gets married feels like they want to be a wedding planner after their big day - I definitely did - but, that wore off and all those Pinterest boards are most definitely unsubscribed from my feed. :)

So, what have I been doing? Let's see:

  • Crafting, of course. 98% crochet, with a few felt cacti (seen above) in between. I've been working on a granny square blanket since about February.
  • Working, like most people, I suppose. We've just started our busy season at work, so re-starting my blog today is not, like, the most feasible, but I do what I want, soooo.

  • Dancing! I'm in my second year of teaching belly dance at a studio in town and I love it soo much. I'm still with my belly dance troupe, too! Classes just started back up on the 9th. 
  • Running! Not as much the past month or so, but this spring through early summer, I trained for and ran a 5K! Definitely something I was very proud of. Running was awesome for both my body and brain. Well, maybe not like, my back, shoulders, and neck. Or knees and feet, or whatever. But, it was great for my HEART and brain. Running is a lot tougher on your body than I realized. 

  • Last month, took a fun, though too short, trip to Colorado with my dad and sister! 
  • I'm about halfway through Mad Men, which is all I can think about lately. I thiiink I just got past the mid-point of season four. I'm extremely tardy to the party, but at least I showed up, right? 
  • Also, I've seen Mad Max Fury Road in the theater 9 times. A notable part of the year. 

Anything else? Baby foxes, more crochet, Korean food, washi tape, kitty cats, Monster Hunter 4, Game of Thrones, new cars, coffee drinking, acupuncture, Tsum Tsums... the usual stuff. I hope to come back and talk soon! I've already started a list of posts that I want to work on. <3

xoxo, Maddy
Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is enjoying their December in the most perfectly cozy, lovely, and happy way. I'm definitely having a great break - getting lots of snacking, crafting, relaxing, and drinking coffee done.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much the past few months. Our internet data all of a sudden is majorly capped (country life!), so the amount of online time I have here is very limited. Next year, I'm planning on taking a day a week to hang out at a coffee shop - or somewhere else with free WiFi - and work on this blog. I miss it!

Here is a photo of delicious Christmas treats to help make up for my absence.

xoxo, Maddy

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Blogger on The SITS Girls

Last Thursday, I was the featured blogger on The SITS Girls, a website that is a pretty sweet resource for (as well as a network of) bloggers. Here is my entry! Thank you to all my new readers that came over to take a look after that post went up. Welcome!

Do you have any nice blogging resources that you use? Not even just for tutorials, but even just a community where you can ask for advice and see what others have to say about doing this silly thing. I find some good pins on Pinterest, too! My blogging board (full of fonts and design stuff, too) is here: Blog Yummies. Let me know what your board is in the comments.

Monday, September 15, 2014

From My iPhone: Fall is Here

Fall is here! I couldn't be happier. It's my favorite season - cool weather, layering, breaking out the thicker scarves, tights & socks, Halloween, pumpkin everything .. what is there not to love? Here are just a few things from my phone lens to show what I'm loving right now.

After I posted this photo on Instagram, a friend suggested that I try drinking it out of a pint glass with the rim lined with cinnamon and sugar. I did try it aaand - it's delicious! Try it RIGHT NOW! I'm drinking one as I type..

Honey from the Renaissance Festival. I love these little straws - a sweet snack, and they were only five for a dollar. I want more and I want to go back to the fest!

The only thing better than washi tape during Valentine's Day is washi tape during Halloween! I've used a ton of that black and white stripe tape already, and the little orange dots are super cute. Heck, they're all perfect. Thanks, Target.

Autumn colors, I'm loving you. My new floral reddish crop top + golds, tans, (pink curls), and my oh-so-professional manicure. AKA painting my nails with black NYC polish at 11pm on a Sunday night. Relaxing~

Last are the cuuuutest La La Loopsys! I love these tiny little girls. I got the pumpkin one last season at Target and just picked up the one of the left over the weekend. It's me to a t -- dressed up as a kitty, pink hair, black boots, spooky tights, and she came with a basket of hot pink yarn and a cat. What else is there to me?! Like, that's it.

What are you loving for fall? Have you instagrammed your PSL yet? Picked up some sweater leggings or started playing your favorite autumn music? (Mine is The Cure's Disintegration.) Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

7 DIY Spa Product Tutorials

I've been a sucker for wanting to create my own bath and beauty products since I was 12 reading seventeen magazine. Now, thanks to Pinterest, I can look to my heart's content at all these different tutorials on bath bars, lip balms, sugar scrubs, and soap, soap, soap. Here are some of the DIY posts on the top of my to-do list.


DIY Coffee Bean Soap


Whipped Sleepytime Rub


Rose Vanilla Soap


Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I knit! I knit something! Can you believe it? This is my very THIRD completed knitting project. The first was a bulky straight scarf, the second was a hat, and now these adorable mitts! It took very long, but I'm very proud.

I used this pattern here (free!), used Lion Brand Heartland yarn in Great Smoky Mountains, and some size 9 (I think?!) needles. All you need to know is how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. And sew up a seam on the side.

Crochet is still my favorite, but I like to knit every once in a while just to remember how to do the stitches. I love the look of the stockinette stitch, so I was glad to complete a whole project using it.

What do you think? Do you like knit better or crochet? I think crochet has a better margin for error, aka I can just rip out a few stitches or rows if I don't like how things are going - in knitting, I still haven't mastered what to do when I drop a stitch. Also, in crochet, you can chain a bunch and measure that around your wrist, head, waist, etc - in knitting, making gauge swatches for that kind of stuff is very important. Pros and cons, though! Knitting looks so nice - perfect for garments, socks, and other dainty things.
Me! MaDonna! © 2013.

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