Hey guys! I have been incredibly busy with the holidays and then finals and extracurriculars, but now I’m back. A while back, I was sent a game by the lovely Randomise company, and so a few days ago I decided to give it a go and play it. Here was my overall opinion on the game. Hope you enjoy and, per usual, don’t forget to sparkle! (Or follow all my social medias)
To start, I would like to bring attention to how adorable the packaging of this game is. From the moment I opened the envelope to reveal this adorable game I was excited to try it out. So, the game is called Randomise and the premise is that you partner up and choose whether you wish to draw, act or describe, and then choose three cards that will determine your character. You must then act, draw, or describe what you are to your partner. For each card that your partner guesses, you are assigned a certain amount of points which vary based on difficulty level. It is kind of like Headbands mixed with Charades, but with its own special spin.
On Wednesday, I sat down with my family to play the game. Overall, it was a very fun experience; everyone was laughing through most of it and getting quite competitive. I think the most appealing part of the game, at least for me, was that one is not constantly doing the same thing. Unlike other games such as charades, players are not doing the same act over and over again, but instead have three options to chose between. In addition, it is far more challenging being that there are three cards, one describing your character, one telling what you are, and a final one telling what you are doing. This does make it harder to guess, but the wonder of it is that it both makes the game last longer and more entertaining.
There were only a few criticisms that I would have on the game. For one thing, on the scoring card it was stated that you receive one point for every card guessed, one point for guessing the complete identity (what you are, what you are doing, and about you) on an easy round, and three points for guessing the complete identity on a hard round. On paper, this seems fine, but one thing I noticed when my family played was that not once was anybody able to yell out the complete identity. Whether it be through acting, describing, or drawing, we all had the tendency to define one card first before moving on to the next. So, I would suggest playing with one point earned per card guessed on an easy round and two or three points earned per card guessed on a difficult round. Also, I would increase the time allotted for describing. The drawing and acting time limits seemed doable, but we always ran out of time on the describing. Besides that, the game was great.
I, for one, am certainly going to bring this game out the next time I have friends over and don’t know what to do. Whether it be with friends, cousins, direct family, neighbors, or anyone really, this game is sure to be a hit. I am sure that old and young alike will not be able to resist laughing and will, overall, have a fantastic time. In addition, this would make a wonderful gift of laughter for any kid, teen, or adult. I am really grateful to have been able to try it out and will be sure to play it much more in the future.
2017 is finally coming down to the wire. A year ago I decided to write a review of 2016 and I ended the review with a hope that 2017 would be a better year. So, let’s look back at 2017 and remember the good times along with the bad and reflect on all the lessons we learned as people.
Americans started the year off with the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20th. Similarly, the French had their election this year starting in April and ending in May with the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron. Along with these were dozens of other elections, but the American and French particularly stood out due to the controversy around them.
This year there were also several brutal events such as the Manchester attack. On May 22, a young man detonated a homemade suicide bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killing 22 and injuring 59 others. Then, on October 1st, 58 people were shot dead in a shooting in Las Vegas and 26 additional people were killed in November at a church shooting in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. This being said, not all of this year’s horrors were man made. Starting in August, Hurricane Harvey devastated southern states such as Louisiana and Texas killing 77 people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. Then came Hurricane Irma killing 134 people in Florida and the islands south of it. Finally, Hurricane Maria hit multiple countries bordering the Atlantic ocean, most notably Puerto Rico, and directly killed 66 people but lead to the death of many more due to a lack of power, shelter, and resources, especially in island countries.
Despite these tragedies, we rose to the occasion and helped. First responders saved over 122,000 people and 5,000 pets after and during Hurricane Harvey and over 300 volunteer organizations rose to help victims of the storm. Relatives and strangers alike found room in their hearts and homes all around the United States for Irma evacuees. After the Manchester bombing, One Love Manchester was held, a concert that ended up raising millions upon millions of dollars for the families of the attack victims.
Even apart from these acts of kindness we found hope. On August 21st, Americans all across the country looked up and we saw a beautiful anomaly: a complete solar eclipse. Almost everywhere in the country you could see it, whether it be complete or partial. We watched online and read about a child born blind and deaf given the gift of being able to hear and see her mother for the first time.
We found happiness. We binged shows like Stranger Things, Riverdale, and 13 Reason’s Why. We listened to music that spoke to us like ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles. We watched the new Star Wars and the countless other movies of the year. We learned to laugh and smile an come together as a world community.
And most of all, we fought with resilience. Women raised awareness and brought attention to sexual harassment, its victims, and its effects through the ‘Me Too’ campaign. The women’s marches also took place to make it known that women are deserving of their rights and tens of millions of women marched nation wide in the United States. Also, women in Saudi Arabia finally earned the right to drive in September of this year.
So, in conclusion, if you ask me whether I think this year has been better than last, I will gladly tell you that it has. There is still kindness and hope in this world and that is what strengthens us to do good. Yes, there is bad, but there will always be bad. After all, it is the bad that truly allows us to see the good.
Here’s to 2017
Blogmas Dec. 3, 2017: 25 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit
Hey guys! I’m more than a little bit excited to say that I am going to be doing Blogmas this year on Sparklenews.com! I know that it is already the third, but I was really busy on the first and yesterday. That being said, from today up until Christmas I will be posting a new Christmas related article for you guys. Some posts will be random Christmas related articles and others will be blogs about what I did that was Christmas-y that day. So, make sure you are subscribed to the site so that you get notifications whenever a new article is posted and also, keep watch for an upcoming holiday giveaway and don’t forget to follow all of my social medias. Most of all, don’t forget to sparkle! Enjoy and Merry Christmas! 🙂
This year I decided to get super into the Christmas spirit in order to make the holiday season extra special. When brainstorming ideas on how exactly I could do this, I came up with the idea of doing something Christmas related every day starting on December first and going on up until Christmas. I got some of these ideas by looking up Christmas advent activity ideas and others were my own original ideas. Enjoy!
1. Make a gingerbread house village
2. Watch the Polar Express and drink hot chocolate
3. Attend a ballet performance of ‘The Nutcracker’
Hey guys! I wrote this poem on a sticky note I was using as a bookmark on my flight back from vacation this August. I decided to share it with you guys because I like it and it is kind of creepy so it fits in with the Halloween theme. Don’t forget to follow all my social medias, subscribe to my website, check back on Saturday for more Halloween articles, and don’t forget to sparkle! Also, if you illustrate this poem and tag @sparklenews on Instagram or @sparklenews_ on Twitter, I will add it to this post and give you a shout out!
Hi guys, it is officially fall! I am excited to be posting my first fall themed article of the year. As you may or may not know, I love to read and I especially love to read creepy books, so I decided to create a list of 6 books that I think are absolutely perfect for October. If you have already read these or they don’t interest you, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more! Also, from now on I will be scheduling articles to post every Wednesday and Saturday. Don’t forget to follow all my social medias, subscribe to my site, and, most of all, don’t forget to sparkle!
1. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
The Girl From the Well is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. It is the story of a lonely ghost named Okiku who is obsessed with numbers and wanders the globe seeking vengeance for children who died gruesome deaths as she once did. That is, until she finds a young boy named Tark who is haunted by a dark spirit. To make it more interesting, the novel is actually based off the Japanese legend of the ghost Okiku. I would definitely recommend this bone-chilling story for older teens who enjoy a scary story.
Creep Factor: 4/5
Sparkle Rating: 4/5
2. Paper Towns by John Green
In the novel Paper Towns by John Green, Quentin Jacobsen has had a crush on his next door neighbor Margo for ever, but they haven’t been close friends since they were children. Then, one night Margo takes Quentin on an amazing adventure in the night to get revenge on her friends that did her wrong just to disappear the next morning. Although Quentin is initially disappointed, he soon discovers that Margo has left him clues so that he can find her. This book is thrilling and mysterious and, overall, a great read.
Creep Factor: 0/5
Sparkle Rating: 3/5
3. Doll Bones by Holly Black
Doll Bones by Holly Black is absolutely perfect for the month of October! Three childhood friends venture to another town in order to bring a creepy bone china doll back to it’s proper grave. This book is adventurous, creepy, and heart-warming all at the same time.
Creep Factor: 3/5
Sparkle Rating: 5/5
4. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston is the horrifying true story of Ebola and it’s relative, Marburg. Preston delves into the origins of the viruses in the jungles of central Africa and how it came all the way to Washington D.C. just a few years ago. I suggest this book to people who enjoy science or a scary story but I will warn that the book gets graphic at points when talking about symptoms of the diseases. Overall, it is sure to keep readers on edge and cringing.
Creep Factor: 4/5
Sparkle Rating: 3.5/5
5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
In A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Conor O’Malley is faced with the tragedy of his mother having cancer. He slowly grows lonely as people only know him as the boy whose mother is sick and he soon becomes haunted by nightmares. One night a monster shows up at Conor’s window and says that he wishes to tell Conor three stories so that he may then tell the monster his own story: the story of his truth. This novel is overall very moving and makes for quite an experience to read. Also, for those of you who enjoy movies there is a very well made movie based on the book as well.
Creep Factor: 2/5
Sparkle Rating: 5/5
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
After a horrific attack on his grandfather, Jacob travels to a mysterious island in order to discover the truth about his grandfather’s past. On the island, Jacob explores a children’s home where his grandfather lived for a period that reveals the truth behind the stories he once told his beloved grandson. This story is not only suspenseful, but also exciting and magical.
Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m getting back in the grove. That being said, from now on I am going to be posting normal articles on Sparkle Saturdays and Wednesdays and then I am going to be starting a new page on my site sometime this week called ‘thought of the day’. Because of school work, I am not able to write as many full articles, but I will do my best to post a ‘thought of the day’ at least twice a week where I will journal a quick response to one of your questions for me or write a quick reflection on something I thought of on that given day. As always, don’t forget to follow my social medias to get all the news that sparkles and don’t forget to sparkle! Now, onto today’s post!
In late July, I received a package filled with a very generous donation of a full pack of Matcha tea single sips and a sample packet from The Republic of Tea for a review.
So, I decided to try out one of the sample packets today. The first thing that I noticed was that the tea packets had instructions for a few different ways to prepare the tea: hot, cold, or as a hot matcha latte. Being me, I decided to make the matcha latte. It was very easy to prepare, all I had to do was make a cup of hot water and stir in the tea packet with a fork and then add milk. Also, the tea was a very pretty green color when prepared.
As for the taste, the Matcha tea tasted slightly like green tea only with a slightly more subtle taste. The milk also made it very creamy and nice. I would definitely recommend Matcha tea, especially The Republic of Tea’s Matcha tea, for people who drink green tea regularly or for those who like tea lattes. In addition to its taste, I read up on Matcha tea and found out that it has quite a few benefits as well. Not only is Matcha tea good for detox, but it also burns calories and boosts energy. Overall, I was really pleased with my first cup of Matcha tea. As for you guys, the full pack of Matcha single sips will be included in the much awaited giveaway that I will be doing soon.
Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for a new fall related article and don’t forget to check my page ‘Thought of the Day’ which will be released soon! Don’t forget to sparkle!
8 Outfits Inspired by Your Favorite Movie Characters
Hey guys! With school coming up or having already started for most of you I decided to write this article to kick off my back to school series. I asked you guys on Instagram what your favorite movies and movie characters were and I took a few and made outfits inspired by them. To make sure you can get your opinion in for the next article make sure to follow all my social medias which are on the side bar or down below if you’re using a mobile device. And now, 8 outfits inspired by your favorite movie characters.
Hey guys, my road trip blog series is finally at its end! Also, I have a giveaway coming up in the next month and so far it has tea, makeup, candies, and other products included. To get updates on that, Subscribe to my website using the form to the right or down below on mobile devices. And, as usual, don’t forget to follow all of my social medias and don’t forget to sparkle!
Day 4: Saratoga, Wyoming
On day four we were supposed to leave to Jackson, Wyoming so that we could stay there and explore Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, but I ended up needing a small medical procedure, so we stayed in Saratoga. First thing that morning we called the local medical clinic and then we walked out to go get breakfast from a local shop in town. On the way I got some great pictures of the center of town.
We ended up getting breakfast at this really cute bakeshop on the street called Sweet Marie’s Bakeshop. I got a breakfast burrito and green tea latte and I must say it was delicious. If any of my tea loving readers find themselves in Saratoga, make sure you get a green tea latte from Sweet Marie’s. I dare say it was the best green tea latte I have ever had. Also, the shop was decorated very cutely and the owner left out cupcake papers and markers so that people could decorate them so that she could hang them on the wall.
After breakfast, we drove around the outskirts of town and I finally got some pictures of the pronghorn antelopes that we had seen in New Mexico and then hadn’t seen again until we hit the highlands of Wyoming. I even got a picture of a mother with its baby.
After the ride we headed to the clinic and I got a mini surgery. Although it was a bit painful, afterwards I felt a lot better. The staff at the clinic were incredibly nice and professional and I will forever be thankful for them being able to help me out. From there we went out to get ice cream from an ice cream parlor right next door to our hotel. I got birthday cake ice cream because I wanted to try a weirder flavor and it was actually really good. My sister got cinnamon and it was also delicious.
I basically needed to recover for the rest of the day so I didn’t do much, but it was a good day anyway. I watched Mean Girls and downloaded my pictures from my trip. We ended up booking another night at the Wolf hotel because it was really nice.
Day 5: Saratoga, Wyoming
We still weren’t able to leave Saratoga on day five because I needed to check back in with the doctors, but I have to say that Saratoga was really growing on me. That morning we went to Lollypops, the ice cream parlor we had visited the previous night, for breakfast. I had a Belgian waffle and an iced tea and they were both delicious. Afterwards we decided to explore the Saratoga Museum which was right next door to the clinic. For being a small town, it had a very nice museum!
Later that day we went to the Grand Encampment Museum which was in the small old mining town of Grand Encampment. The museum was fairly big and had a really cool set of old buildings they had moved out back from their original locations including old homes and businesses. We got a guided tour and were able to go into the buildings where the museum had set them up to look like how they would have during their time. It was really interesting because every building had some sort of story to go with it. For instance, there was a boarding house where somebody could pay a quarter and sleep in a bed with a ton of strangers for the night. There was also a beautiful old home which was built by one man to please his wife Ella who he had kidnapped and brought up to Wyoming after she said she didn’t want to go with him. Because it was a tour, I didn’t take a ton of pictures but I got a few.
On the night of day 5, the Wolf was fully booked so we ended up switching hotels to the Riviera which ended up being very nice too.
Day 6: Somewhere in Nebraska
The next morning, we packed up our stuff, dropped off some baked goods and a card to the medical clinic, and started to head home. On the way back down through Wyoming we stopped in Medicine Bow National Forest to take pictures.
It was actually really cool because the whole way down from Saratoga to Cheyenne there was a bike race going on. Also, on the way out of Wyoming we passed through the smallest town in America and tied as the smallest town in the world: Buford.
From Wyoming we decided to drive back down through Nebraska and Kansas and both were relatively flat states and slightly boring. We ended up staying in a hotel in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska that night.
Day 7: Home
On the morning of day seven we found this really cool place called Pioneer Village which was this really big museum. The main building was full of old cars and planes that date back to the early 1800s which was really cool. Out back behind the building there were a lot of old buildings including a church, a livery, an appliance store, and a train station which were placed in a circle to create a cute village. It was really cool to walk through everything and picture what life would have been like back in the 1800s and on into the 1900s.
After exploring the Pioneer Village we continued our trek home. Not far from the museum, we passed a farm where there must have been hundreds of cows packed together in small pens with nothing but troughs of food to eat. It was really sad to see because we had seen so many farms where cows had nice large pastures t0 graze on and then there were these cows who had nothing to do but eat. Anyway, the rest of the ride was pretty unimpressive; the landscape was very flat and there was lots of corn. The same goes for Kansas. Either way, we ended up making it home that night. I really enjoyed the road trip, even if it was cut short, and I highly suggest that you guys take it if you ever find yourselves in the area!
So yeah, that was my road trip blog finale! Prepare for upcoming back to school posts and, of course, a giveaway! I have posts scheduled for the next few weeks so be sure to subscribe to Sparklenews.com and check back every Tuesday and Friday to see those. Don’t forget to Sparkle!
Hey guys! I’m back after a week of inactivity. I have been really busy with summer reading and homework but I’m really sorry. That being said, from now on I am writing my posts ahead of time and scheduling their posting, so you can bet on the fact that there will be a new post every Tuesday and Friday for sure! So, you should definitely subscribe using the form on the side bar. For other news, I am happy to announce that I am going to be holding a giveaway here on Sparklenews.com! More information will be coming up in future articles and on my social medias so make sure to follow those and check back weekly for updates. Also, I would like to thank you all for the recent incline in views I’ve been having, I really appreciate it. Finally, don’t forget to read road trip blogs day one and two if you haven’t already! And, without further adieu, here it is: Road Trip Blog Day Three.
Day 3: Saratoga, Wyoming
On the morning of day three, we packed up and then headed out to a Target near the hotel where I ended up buying my new camera! I set up my camera in the car on the way to seven falls at the edge of Colorado Springs. Seven falls is this really cool nature place where you hike up about a mile to see the falls. Overall it was a pretty hike: there were wild flowers on both sides of the path, a small stream to the right with birds playing in it, and steep mountains of rock sloping up on either side. Sadly, although I had brought my camera with me, it ended up that it could only hold three photos without an SD card, so I needed to use my phone camera. When we got to the top of the trail there was a large rock with the falls. It was pretty, but to be honest the falls weren’t as large as I had expected. Despite this, it wasn’t disappointing considering how nice the walk had been. We took the elevator to the top of a lookout point where you could see the falls beautifully. We had actually gotten lucky with our timing because the lookout point had been closed all morning because there was a couple getting married on it and the ceremony had just ended by the time we got to the end of the trail.
Seven falls ended up taking a lot longer than we had expected, so we left for Saratoga a bit late but it was definitely worth it. So, after seven falls we went back to Target to get my camera an SD card and then headed towards Saratoga. The drive from Colorado to Wyoming was gorgeous although once we got on top of the mountains in Wyoming it was fairly flat. We did get to see more of the Pronghorn Antelopes like the ones we had seen in New Mexico though which was cool. Also, in Wyoming we came across this really pretty town with a population of 270 called Centennial and I had to stop for pictures.
I really love these pictures just because they look so unrealistic. The town was such a speck compared to the barren plains on top of the mountains in Wyoming and it looked so pretty against the mountainous backdrop. By the time we had gotten to Centennial we were only a few hours from Saratoga. From there it felt a lot longer though because we had reached Medicine Bow National Forest which is huge. To make matters worse, as it got dark it began to rain really hard and the roads curved a lot. After awhile the rain stopped and we made it to Saratoga. Saratoga has a population of 1,600 and is this really cool old town. The hotel we stayed in was built back in the 1800s and called the Hotel Wolf.
That night we ate at the Hotel Wolf Restaurant which made really good real steak hamburgers. Also, I must add that the hotel was really cool. The room was decorated very nicely and to match the old fashion utilities and atmosphere of the hotel. Despite it being old, the hotel was also very clean and well kept. The only downside was that there was no AC, but we were able to open the windows to get cool air. Overall, day three was very fun.
So yeah, that was Road Trip Blog Day Three! I hope you all enjoyed and keep watch for Road Trip Blog Days Four and Five which come out on Friday! Then, the Road Trip Blog Finale will be posted next Tuesday. Thank you for reading!
While you’re here, here are a few of my recent articles you should check out:
Hi guys, I am so happy with all the extra traffic I have been getting on my website recently! As you may or may not know, I posted Day One of my road trip blog on Thursday so if you haven’t already, go check that out now. For those of you who have read it already, here is day two of my road trip blog! Enjoy and don’t forget to Sparkle! (and don’t forget to follow all of my social medias either)
Day 2: Colorado Springs, Colorado
The morning of the second day was pretty calm. We took our time to get ready and get things packed up before heading downstairs to eat breakfast. I had received a map of Amarillo with all of the tourist attractions on it the night before and circled the ones I had already implemented in my road trip binder along with ones I thought were interesting so it was easy to know where we were headed. The first place we stopped was the RV museum. Unfortunately, when we got there we discovered that it was closed on Sundays. So, after that we headed off to the well known landmark Cadillac Ranch. For those of you who don’t know, Cadillac Ranch is ten vintage Cadillacs stuck in the ground in middle of a corn field off the side of a highway. As a man had told us on the way in, Cadillac Ranch is basically America’s Stone Hedge. We brought sharpies to sign the Cadillacs with, as is custom, just to find that they were soaking wet with spray paint. Luckily, there was a family who was leaving and giving away their spray cans. I signed the first Cadillac from the left twice and than my whole family signed one of the others. Honestly, the experience was so strangely satisfying. Especially considering there were so many people. People were coming and going CONSTANTLY.
After Cadillac Ranch, we headed back towards the center of town to explore the Route 66 Historic District. I have to say I was slightly disappointed with it because it was kind of sketchy and the image I had found on Route 66’s website didn’t turn out to be around the area. It was still really cool to see though. For our final thing to do in Amarillo, we went to the Palo Duro Canyon. Note that the pictures I took there aren’t nearly as good as the ones from before it because the camera I was using was dead and I needed to use my phone camera.
When I was planning the road trip I didn’t included Palo Duro canyon in the plans because I hadn’t seen it online, but I must say it was amazingly beautiful and I am so happy that we went. The best part was that we were able to go all the way down to the bottom of the canyon where there was a trading post. Also, in the gift shop there was a hallway made into a mini museum telling the history of the canyon and about the Native Americans that used to live there. I definitely recommend visiting it if you haven’t already. After Palo Duro canyon, we were on the road again. We passed through New Mexico on the way to Colorado and I got to see a lot of really cool rock structures and Pronghorn Antelopes. Because we spent so much time in the canyon, we got to Colorado Springs pretty late but the hotel was nice.
Thanks for reading guys! Road Trip Blog Day Three will be coming out on Tuesday so keep watch for that!
While you’re here, here are a few of my recent articles that you should check out: