*Giveaway!!* Enter to win Sims 4 DLC or a copy of "The Bullet Journal Method"

I’m celebrating reaching 700 Twitter followers with a giveaway!


I’ve reached 700 followers on Twitter, and to celebrate I’m doing a small giveaway. Two of the most popular topics of my posts are my Sims 4 stories, and my Bullet Journal or planning posts. To honor that, and the variety of my readers, I’m allowing the winner to choose between two prizes!

You can win either:

A Sims 4 DLC pack of your choice purchased through Origin

or

A copy of “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll. Ryder designed the time management system. It is an excellent read for anyone who values time and is trying to live more intentionally.

Thank you for reading & following!


(A Sim Challenge) Connections: Rule Post #1

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Connections is a Sims 4 challenge that I’m developing. Right now, it is more of a play style than a true challenge, but we’ll see where it goes.

It is a multiple household challenge that spans all the households in a save. Every round, you select a number of households based on the relationships of the previous round of households. The intended result is that you have a very interconnected set of households that have relationships with each other, but you are also not playing the same households over and over again. Your set of households shifts and changes as your story develops.

When I play a Legacy or another challenge that involves a single family for several generations, I get bored. However, I don’t have the time and patience to play challenges that involve rotating between all the households in a neighborhood. I get attached to individual Sims story lines and want to see them play out, so whole neighborhoods take too long. I also enjoy a bit of randomness in my game and I love playing households that I normally wouldn’t play or create.

This is the first rules post, but I anticipate there might be more in the future as a refine the challenge.

Connections Rules (as of 3/5/19)L

  1. Decide if you are going to play with Premade Sims or Sims of your own creation. I like using the premade Sims that come with the game. For my starter household, I download a household off the gallery (such as a household made for a game trailer).

  2. Setup your neighborhood. Choose your starting family. Move any other Sims you want to be involved in the challenge into that save. Personally, I don’t add anyone except my starter family. However, there is no reason why you couldn’t.

  3. Establish the number of houses you wish to play each round, and how long you want to play each house. I suggest playing each house for an in-game week and using 3 to 5 households per round. You could easily change those numbers, though.

  4. Round One (1 household)

    1. Play your starter household for your chosen time.

    2. At the end of the time (such as a week), pause the game.

    3. Score the relationships (see below).

  5. Round Two (2 households)

    1. The first household of Round Two will be your starter household

    2. The second household will be the household of the individual Sim that scored the highest at the end of Round One

    3. Play each household for the chosen time frame.

    4. Pause at the end of each household’s play through and score the relationships.

    5. Combine the scores as described below.

  6. Round Three (3 households)

    1. The first household is your starter again.

    2. The second is the highest total score from Round Two.

    3. The third is the second highest score from Round Two.

  7. Repeat with future rounds, except the Starter household is no longer automatic. So, if you are playing 3 households/round, Round Four would look like:

    1. Highest score from Round Three.

    2. Second highest score.

    3. Third highest score.

Relationship Scoring

Technically, you are scoring every Sim that your Sims know. However, you can quickly ignore anyone that is merely an acquaintance, as their total is 0. Further, we are not paying attention to relationship numbers/bars, just the labels the game generates (or if they are in a club with one of your Sims). So scoring goes pretty quick.

Here’s the scoring chart:

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  1. Ignore Sims who are living in the household that you are presently scoring. For example, if Edith and Jake are roommates, and we are scoring their relationships because we just finished playing with them, Jake doesn’t get any points for being friends with Edith.

  2. Chose the first Sim who is not a member of the household, and more than just an acquaintance. Record their name.

  3. Add the appropriate score next to their name. Scores stack. For example, if Edith works with (coworker +1) her best friend (+4) Samantha. Then Samantha’s score would be a 5. We are effectively summing the impact a Sim has on another Sims life.

  4. Score each Sim for each person in a household. Scores accumulate. If Edith has a roommate, Jake, who is “Love Birds” with Samantha. Samantha’s new score is 9 (+5 from Edith, +4 from Jake).

  5. Score all the Sims for all the households played in that Round. Scores continue to accumulate. For example, if our second household for this round consisted of Beth and Roger, and Samantha was good friends with Roger, Samantha’s new score would be 12 (+5 from Edith, +4 from Jake, +3 from Roger).

  6. Scores from different households played in the same round count. For example, if Beth is good friends with Edith, Edith will have a score of 3 this round, even though Edith couldn’t win any points from being friends with Jake since they share a household.

  7. Compare all the scores. Play the household with the Sim that earned the highest score.

Okay, so I know that probably sounded SUPER confusing. However, it is actually pretty simple and quick to do. After I finish a round in my game, I will post my score breakdown as an additional example.

I’m currently doing a play through of this challenge which you can follow along here: The Keye Family.

Connections2: Round 1- Early spring with the Keye family!

Hi!!! Thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. I also really appreciate comments, so please feel free to leave one below.

This is the first post of my new Sims series and challenge- Connections. Connections is a rotational style of gameplay with a twist. With the exception of the first house, each household that you play is determined by the relationships with the preexisting households. I will get into the details of that when we switch families.

This challenge is mostly about premade Sims that come with the game. I wanted to keep with that theme when I chose my first family. I decided on the Keye family from the Parenthood DLC trailer. I downloaded both this Maxis made family, and the Maxis made house from the trailer from the Gallery.

A few notes about how I play before I begin. First, I don’t use any custom content or mods. Second, I typically don’t use cheats. I used the money cheat with this family so I could set them up with their new home, but I do not anticipate using cheats in the future unless I need to recover from a glitch. Lastly, I typically let my Sims control the story, doing what they wish to do, fulfilling their aspirations, and responding to their actions and decisions. For some added drama, I may choose to add a randomly generated table of life events to subsequent rounds. It was not, however, used in this round.

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The Keye family has just moved into the region. They are the first house in a new area being developed known as Newcrest. There isn’t much in the way of places to visit or neighbors to get to know, but they did get a lovely new home. They are keeping their fingers crossed that more people start to move to the area soon.

Their home is a very spacious two floor with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and plenty of living space. Plenty of space is important for this growing family! A large inheritance allowed them to make this move and they are so grateful for their new life.

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Karlie is a dedicated mother and home provider. She loves cooking, food, parenting, her husband, her kids, being involved and television shows. She has a reputation for being kind and loving. She does have a bit of a perfectionist streak, however.

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Jaylen, Karlie’s husband, is a bit of a couch potato, honestly. He’s not the tidiest person either. He’s also quite clumsy. Fortunately for him, Karlie finds all of it quite lovable. Jaylen loves collecting things and plants. He’s currently making his way as a gardener.

Lori is their creative and well-mannered daughter. While polite and fairly responsible, Lori struggles with controlling her emotions. She tends to be a rather gloomy individual, and she is known to be the jealous type. She has a natural artistic talent and a wonderful imagination. She’s also very kind and attentive to her younger sisters. She’s currently going through a bit of a loud phase and music can frequently be heard pulsing from her room.

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Abbey Keye is innocent, perpetually cheerful and always does her homework. She’s energetic and loves to play outside. She is always trying to help her mother take care of her younger sister.

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Lastly, we have Aria Troublemaker Extraordinaire. Aria can be found playing in the toilet, making messes all over the house, or running naked outside. She’s always angry about something and doesn’t like to sleep during the same hours when everyone else is sleeping. She’s strong, fast and always needs to be moving. She prefers running around the house seeing what everyone else is doing and what is going on over actually sitting and playing with her toys.

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During the first half of spring, in the Keye household, most of the time was spent taking care of Aria. All of Karlie’s attention was on keeping up with the little bubble of energy. Despite Karlie’s best intentions, she couldn’t find enough time and energy in the day to really help Lori and Abbey adjust to their new school the way she had hoped she would.

Aria was pretty eager to learn to run and climb, and to go potty on her own. Karlie enthusiastically helped her to do those things. Communicating was of less interest to Aria, but Karlie made sure they worked on those a bit here and there.

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Some days, Karlie could barely keep up. The family had to fend for themselves with whatever was in the fridge as Karlie had no time to make dinner. Piles of dirty dishes littered the living room coffee table. Aria’s high chair was covered in…Aria mess. And Karlie barely had time to throw together a sandwich to keep herself going. Ahh, the joys of motherhood!

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This giant amazing house has given Lori the luxury of her own bathroom, a teenage girl’s dream. Unfortunately, an awesome house does not make up for the struggles and anxieties of moving to a new school. Lori still has no friends at her new school and is struggling to get ahead in her classes. Those stressors plus a predisposition to be gloomy, toss in a general bad day and you have a recipe for crying in the bathtub all evening. So heartbreaking!

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Of course, the sisters have been there for each other this whole time. Even little Aria who loves to dance her heart out in Lori’s room to Lori’s favorite bands. Aria, Abbey and Lori have become closer while adjusting to this new place, finding friendship in each other while friendships outside the family are lacking.

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Karlie and Jaylen decided to have yet another kiddo,. Sure, their family was a little chaotic, but they loved it that way. Aria was going to be transitioning to a child soon, so Karlie was optimistic she could handle another toddler. While Jaylen and Karlie found keeping up with Aria to be exhausting, they also found it very joyful. They are always happy!

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Some days things went well. Some days Aria and Karlie were able to eat breakfast at the same time, at the table and the table was clean! These were good days.

As Aria grows older and is able to communicate, it has become clear that Abbey aspires to be as good of a big sister as Lori is to her.

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Finally, the day arrives. Karlie gives birth in the hospital with Jaylen by her side to yet another girl. They name this one Krista. The new parents are ever so excited to have expanded their family yet again.

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Jaylen offers to take over all the parenting for a day so that Karlie can get out of the house and make some new friends in the area. She joins the Upper Crusts so she can hang out with fellow foodies (such as Clara and Hugo, pictured above). She also gets invited by a random elderly lady named Antoinette to a lounge for drinks and karaoke. Antoinette invited her to a party after the lounge, but it was already midnight and Karlie was partied out.

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Shortly after the birth of Krista, it was Aria’s turn to transition into a child. The birthday festivities were small given the lack of friends the family had made, and because they had a new born.

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As it turns out, Aria’s wild antics might not be over yet. As a child, Aria is hot-headed with poor conflict resolution skills. Not entirely unexpected given her personality as a toddler, but will her fiery temper cause some drama in this perfectly peaceful household?

Connections: Venessa Jeong (Early Fall 02)

Last Time: I introduced Venessa and she landed her first gig as an actress. Time to go on set!

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It was Venessa’s very first day of paid acting. She was nervous, but mostly excited. Her life long dream was becoming a reality. The first thing she did when she arrived was have her makeup and hair done.

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She was totally amazed at the transformation. She looked like a totally different person! The next step was to get into costume.

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And before long she had transformed into a pirate. ready to take to the high seas.

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Her first shoot went great! It was a whirlwind (and we forgot to take more photos), but it was amazing! Venessa mets loads of really interesting people and had a lot of fun. She was going to another audition as soon as she could.

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Venessa has her sights on another audition. For her next audition, and she suspects many future auditions, it’s going to be important to keep up her strength and fitness. What if a role requires dancing, for instance? She decided she needed to do more than just jogging and went to the gym.

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At the gym, she made quite the fool of herself in front of a very nice (and cute) gym trainer named Don. Despite her failures, Don was helpful and encouraging. Don and Venessa were actually getting along quite well.

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Venessa is continuing to build her social media presence which sometimes includes fierce bathroom selfies.

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As I mentioned last time, Venessa loves people but doesn’t have any friends in the area. Venessa has been chatting with everyone she meets to remedy her loneliness. She is also starting a club called the “Actor’s Guild” for local actors.

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She even invited her gym trainer over to her house to hang out. She wasn’t sure if he’d be interested, but to her surprise he enthusiastically accepted her invitation…

Next Time: Hanging out with Don and the next audition.

Connections: Venessa Jeong (Early Fall 01)

I’ll explain more about Connections in a later post. It is sort of a Sims 4 challenge, but more like a style of play. For now, though, I’m just going to introduce you to Venessa Jeong.

Venessa desperately wants to be a famous actress. Unfortunately, despite being a (young) adult, she’s never had any training in acting or other related skills. She has no experience being on a stage or performing for an audience. Still, she knows it is the life for her.

She recently moved to Del Sol Valley because it is the place to be for celebrities, and a celebrity-in-the-making like herself.

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The most important thing in Venessa’s life is her career. When she moved to Del Sol Valley, she already had an agent lined up. A few days after moving in, she was already signing up for auditions and preparing for them…which included talking to herself in front of a mirror…a lot!

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Venessa adores people. She gets along with almost everyone she meets. Sadly, she has no friends or family here in Del Sol. Fortunately, she is very good at making new ones. After practicing for her audition for hours and hours, she explored her local neighborhood.

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She bumped into her first celebrity! Not just any celebrity- Judith is a global superstar. As you might have guessed, she had no interest in giving Venessa the time of day…or an autograph…or a selfie. She did acknowledge her existence, though. And that was enough for Venessa.

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Venessa got picked up at the first audition she went to. How exciting! She didn’t expect that. All of the practice must have paid off. The new gig required her to be in good shape, so she started a workout routine.

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One of her neighbors, Caterina, invited her to a local lounge…a hotspot for meeting celebrities and Venessa met Dirk Dreamer! Dirk is a pretty well-known celebrity, but unlike Judith, Dirk was very kind to Venessa. She got an autograph, photos and a hug!

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Inside the lounge, while other patrons fawned over Dirk, Venessa cheerfully welcomed conversation with anyone willing to chat with her

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She had the opportunity to chat with Dirk more later in the evening, and he remained very kind. They discussed his interests outside of work, his day and Venessa complimented his attire before his attention was once again consumed by other fans.

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Dustin, a much less popular celebrity, was also at the lounge. Venessa was still very much interested in chatting with him, though the rest of the room was completely consumed by Dirk. Unfortunately, Dustin wasn’t as interested in Venessa’s fangirling.

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The following morning was Venessa’s first day of what she hoped would be her life career! Her first gig in acting. She was nervous, but prepared, and super excited to get on to the set.

Next time: We go on set with Venessa!