I'm crazy excited for Planet Zoo!

I’m a little behind here folks, as this past weekend I just learned of the announcement of Frontier’s Planet Zoo. Within the first couple of minutes of the game play video I had happy tears and goose bumps. Shortly after four minutes, they mentioned how the animals will be unique individuals and have genetics. At that moment, I paused the video and pre-ordered the game.

I’ve always loved tycoon games from when I played Lemonade Stand in elementary school through Roller Coaster Tycoon, Airline Tycoon and Sim Tower, and up to the most recent ones like Game Dev Tycoon, Project Highrise and Twopoint Hospital. However, one of my ALL TIME favorite games is Zoo Tycoon. Wait…make that Zoo Tycoon with the Marine Mania DLC. Man, I played so much of that game. I have fallen in love with very few other games to that extent (the Sims and Stardew Valley being in that category with it).

My major in college was Environmental Science and Management, and my graduate degree is in Ecology. I love learning about animals and nature. When I was very young, I wanted to be a “dolphin trainer”. I’ve always wanted to work at a zoo or aquarium. Okay, well, technically I have worked at a zoo, but it was in the gift shop. :) In the past, I have taught Environmental Science and I’ve worked on conservation related molecular research. These days, I work in an aquaculture facility where I tend to a colony of frogs (technically a group of frogs is called an army).

Zoo Tycoon let me act out my dream job and I am far too excited for another chance to do just that! From what I have seen, the Planet Zoo team is paying a lot of attention to the things that matter to me- animal care, realistic and detailed animals, habitat construction and conversation.

139 days! The countdown is ON!

What am I Nerding Out About? March 2019 Edition

Finding time to write on the blog this week has been such a challenge! Both the work and home life have been SO busy. This post has taken me a full week to write! Ideas for blog posts are oozing out of me (my January trip to WDW, souvenirs from Disney, earring collections, sticker collections, self care posts, Sims stories, bullet journal spreads, cat and dog updates and more!), but there just isn’t enough time in the day. I have a wonderful full time job that I am super grateful for, but I really wish I could be a full time blogger! If you have a preference about what I write about next, please let me know in the comments. It will help me decide!

(All recommendations are spoiler-free.)

One of my aims for this blog is to help you find new hobbies or other means of finding more joy in your life. To that end, I give you just a sampling of what I have been enjoying lately. Let me know if anything catches your interest! Also, if you have any recommendations for me leave those in the comments too!


I recently finished One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. It is an adorable feel-good romantic comedy. I was in the mood for something heartwarming and fluffy, and that’s what I got. Don’t get me wrong, it was a page-turner and I did stay up very late one night to finish it. Also, I’m not very big on physical love scenes (yawn for me)- I’m all about emotional attachments, and this was perfect! If you are ho-hum about romantic comedies but think you might want to try one, I highly recommend giving this one a go. It is supposed to be one of her best, but I’ve never read anything else by her. Thanks to this book I might be more willing to check out a romantic book in the future.



My husband and I also just finished watching seasons 1 & 2 of “The Good Place”, an American fantasy comedy. While season 3 exists, only seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix. The show has gotten great reviews, and was highly recommended by some friends. It did not disappoint! The writing is wonderful and the actors are superb. The story is unique and is constantly moving forward. I quickly became attached to all the characters. While always funny, it is also, at times, intense and heartwarming. I LOVED it and highly recommend it! I can’t wait for season 3 to drop on Netflix.



I love organizing gatherings with my friends. However, I’ve lived, worked and gone to school in many places and I have friends all over the states these days. Getting together as a big group is much harder, but it is SO worth the effort!

Right now, I’m planning a weekend trip for some of my friends, and we are using a site that calculates the midpoint between all our homes (we are scattered from Michigan to New Jersey, and down thru Virginia). I use Doodle Polls to find out who is interested in attending and when they can make it (do this months in advance for better success!). Once I know who is going we calculate the midpoint using something like: https://www.whatshalfway.com/. And then we get a house with enough space for all of us on something like AirBnB or https://www.vrbo.com/ (I prefer the latter).

For my friends, we plan to stay at the house, play board games and chat. If you planned one for your friend group you could also explore the area, go hiking, watch movies all day, cook a meal together…whatever your particular group of friends loves to do.

It’s like having a big sleepover party with adults, and it’s amazing. I highly recommend it.


I listen to about 15 podcasts a week at the moment. I only listen to one episode of each every week as I’m not a fan of bingeing. While I enjoy all the pods I’m listening to, my current favorite is a fairly new addition to my list. I’m only about seven episodes into it, but I’m madly in love with it.

Girl in Space is a fiction audiodrama…I’d describe it as “space fantasy” maybe? It’s witty, charming, adorable, intense, fascinating…just listen to it. It’s impossible to describe exactly how dang good it is, but it is definitely worth listening to. It’s high quality with fabulous voice acting and storytelling. Also, once you listen, we can discuss throwing a party together where we watch Jurassic Park and eat cheese. (Don’t worry, that was not spoilery.)



I’ve been doing a lot of research in the area of self care, and experimenting with how to improve my own self care. It’s not just taking “me” days and allowing yourself an ice cream sundae. It involves everything from doctor’s appointments to journaling , and from budgeting to calling your mom. I’m planning on doing additional posts soon, but you can checkout my first one on: the Types of Self Care.



Two Point Hospital came out last year from Two Point Studios as the spiritual successor to the 90’s game Theme Hospital. It’s a hilarious business simulation game about running a hospital. The humor is whimsical and silly, but also quite clever with lots of wordplay. The game has a lot of detail, and they’ve already come out with quite a bit of DLC for it, so there is lot to keep you coming back. I immediately fell in love with the game, and it always makes me happy. I started playing it the week it came out, but this past weekend I returned for another fling, as I have done many times since downloading it and hope to continue doing for quite some time.

And those are just some of the things that have been enjoying recently! Thanks for reading!

Mobile Game Recommendation: Hungry Hearts Diner (free)

The last month has been a whirlwind of activity with both joyful times and sad times. Our two elderly cats (18 & 19 years old) passed away from very different reasons just over a month apart from each other. Before they passed, each needed lots of individual care and attention, and trips to the vet. Aside from the passing of Whisket and Dixee, we both had a lot going on at work and that led to many late nights getting home since we carpool. There were some joyous times as well, though, we had my parents out for Thanksgiving week, we had a Pathfinder RPG session, and we went home for a couple days to celebrate Christmas!

Before we left for home, I downloaded a few mobile games on to my tablet. I rarely play mobile games, but my desktop PC cannot come with me when I travel! One of those games was a free “Editor’s Choice” simulation game called Hungry Hearts Diner: A Tale of Star-Crossed Souls. The game had 4.9 out of 5 stars. The reviews included things like “relaxing”, “heartfelt”, “great story” and “beautiful”. I’m all about story, and love beautiful indie games, so I was intrigued and downloaded it. I’m so glad I did!

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The mechanics are a cooking-style game. However, the play is less about time and more about strategy of meal selection. There was no rushing and being overwhelmed by a timer. This game is slow-paced and thoughtful. I chose the dishes that would lead to my customer’s happiness, and that was what mattered the most. The mechanics are very simple, fairly intuitive and it is easy to play.

As you satisfy your customer’s culinary desires, you unlock their story through a conversation with them. The stories are dialogue-based, and for me they were just the right length. There was no “wall of text” but there was enough in each conversation for me to feel for the characters, and to compel me to learn more.

The only downside of this game is the stories are too short! I want more of this game, and I am so sad I am almost done with it and that there isn’t a sequel. Still, I’m super glad I found it. I loved it, and would highly recommend it to anyone enjoys cute stories and casual, easy games!