- Posts for gaming tag
March Journal | Our Prairie Nest
March Journal

March has been a month of adaptation, after losing our eldest cat, Shiva, at the beginning of February. Kobold, our cat of 12 years, seems to be coming out of her shell. She is less shy and skittish as an only-cat, and now more vocal and affection-seeking. Sometimes, we have good-natured arguments about who gets to feed her, brush her, or give her treats. Everyone in the household wants to shower her with extra love these days.

I feel like the months are flying by with how busy we have been. It would be nice to slow down a bit now that spring is here, and savor the seasonal change. I’m not sure that’s in the cards for April, but I’m certainly going to try.

I sort of got my wish last weekend when my daughter tested positive for Covid. It was the first case in our household and mild. However, it also came up right before a birthday sleepover we were going to attend. Obviously, the first thing I did was contact the host and let them know we wouldn’t be there. Then I took that weekend of nowhere to go and nothing to do, and binge-watched feel-good movies and funny TV shows, while I cross-stitched. Those two days were slow and leisurely and, since my daughter was also doing well, we were all able to enjoy the downtime at home.


I finished Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose. This book taught me far more than they taught us in school. I now have a much better understanding of the scope of the expedition, and how impressive the undertaking was from start to finish. 

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell started off well, but the “twist” at the end was predictable by that point and it didn’t end as frighteningly as I hoped. But it still gave me some nice little chills in the first half. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys gothic horror. I also read Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater. It is a sweet, magical regency faerie tale and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Finally, I read Spare by Prince Harry. As of this writing, I am about 85% through the book. I feel that it is decently written: Straightforward, succinct, short sentences, but with a lot of feeling.

Obviously Harry doesn’t know what it’s like to be someone living a truly hard life, paycheck to paycheck, wondering where food is coming from, if his electricity will be shut off, or dealing with a disability that keeps him from moving without pain everyday. But, for all the luxury and privilege he grew up with and still has, the trauma of losing his mother was huge. No one gets over that sort of loss, especially when you’re young enough that your parents are your world, and old enough to be both very attached and cognizant of the circumstances of that loss.

Also, the royals are bizarre, to say the least. Their world is so fucked up. Harry is, of course, a product of that upbringing. We need to just let the guy and his wife and kids live their lives. The same goes for the rest of the people in the royal family. We don’t even know these people. As far as I’m concerned, all of them ought to be left alone.


In March, I completed the Nebraska Football State Silhouette from Simple Wave Studio. It is very cute and simple with just three colors and “Huskers” across the middle of the state at the widest part. It’s one of two gifts for a local family. The next project is Tequila by Stitchrovia and it is adorable! It is also a gift, though I might consider stitching another one for myself.



My D&D 5e campaign continues to progress, this time with the party taking to the high seas to chase someone who may be behind the phenomena they have been told might destroy the world. I am also getting involved in a campaign with the Genesys system, so that should be fun!

Meanwhile, my significant others and I got back into playing Eco, with about 6 or 7 friends from our gaming Discord. It’s been fun to play a cooperative game together, and full of silly shenanigans. Though I’m burning out more quickly on it than I did last time. I think because I’m focused on other things that are holding my interest.

My Pokedex in Pokemon: Scarlet is complete! My daughter and I played together in her Violet world, so I could catch Iron Valiant. I also finally caught a shiny after months of playing – though before I got the Shiny Charm, oddly enough! When I saw the Golduck with the pink-red beak and webbing running toward me, I screamed like I had just “won the lottery,” as one acquaintance put it.

And catching a shiny is definitely all about luck!


I have to admit that I was disappointed with what happened during the Apogee Solstice in Critical Role, but diving into Chetney’s past in the subsequent episodes and then the way the party handled the beast was a lot of fun. We finished Book of Boba Fett, which I enjoyed immensely, and then started on season 3 of The Mandalorian.

Meanwhile, I watched every episode of History of the World, Part II and Cunk on Earth. Alas, Part II did not have the same fantastic humor as the original, which happens to be my favorite Mel Brooks movie. It was amusing, good for a giggle here and there. Cunk on Earth, on the other hand, had me roaring with laughter multiple times with each episode.


Our Spiral Scouts circle visited Fontenelle Forest in March for a mile hike. It was a chilly Sunday afternoon and only two families attended, but we had a good time. Besides the trail (we stuck to the boardwalk, but there are multiple other trails you can hike), we also checked out the educational area set up in the basement with birdwatching, lizards, turtles, frogs, and snakes, and then the Raptor Recovery enclosures.

So, Covid aside, I think March was a pretty good month!

January Journal | Our Prairie Nest
January Journal

The new year is here and I started it off with a grand total of zero resolutions and goals. That isn’t normal for me, and I am perfectly okay with this. Of course, I’m planning and working on projects, and I do have book releases with hoped-for publication dates. However, I’m not putting any pressure on myself to accomplish much of anything.

This year, I decided to change up my planner and also start a bullet journal. The planner is a nice, neutral minimalist 7×9 Essential Daily Planner with plenty of space for my Erin Condren stickers. It has a hybrid layout for the weeks – half of the column is hourly and half has free-form lines. Of all the non-Erin Condren planners I have bought, it is easily my favorite and I might be changing to it year after year.

The bullet journal is meant to complement it, because it is where I am tracking projects, events, and keeping an actual diary/journal a few days a week. I used an A5 refillable leather journal notebook that I somehow scored for only 99 cents in 2021, and then promptly set aside because I didn’t know what I would do with it. Now, I’ve set it up to also be a minimalist way to track projects, progress, start and completion dates, and thoughts. I created sections by folding washi tape over the long edges of each page and I’m very pleased with the effect.

I thought I would post little monthly summaries here, as well, so here’s how January is going so far.


I am currently reading House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. I’m about halfway through and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I like it. To be honest, I already know the plot and the twists, as well as those in the sequel. I am an ACOTAR fan. That series gave me a monstrous book hangover. I think I’m hoping for this series to hit just as hard.


I am working on “Peace Was Never an Option” by Twilight Sewn, and should have it completed by the end of the month. The only thing holding me back is that I ran out of DMC 818 while stitching the boy’s legs. However, I ordered some from 123Stitch and it should arrive soon.


I am currently DMing a D&D 5e campaign, but the controversy around the OGL and D&D Beyond is so not cool. Alternative RPG systems are looking really attractive, because why give Hasbro any money after all of that? Regardless, the campaign itself is going okay. I think. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. If you’re a DM, you know how that goes.

Also playing Pokemon: Scarlet and having a great time with it! The first, and only other, Pokemon game I played was Black, and I didn’t care for it. The entire plot of early games was to go from gym to gym, trying to beat the leaders. It was annoyingly repetitive. With Arceus and other recent games, the world of Pokemon has really opened up and I think that’s fantastic.


My daughter and I adored Wednesday, which was our holiday watch. 10/10, would watch again. Hoping for a second season! Some people didn’t care for it because it was a darker take on the Addams Family, but it hit all the right beats for me.

I’m watching Book of Boba Fett, as well. Only 3 episodes in, but I’m trying to watch it on Friday nights.


During the first weekend of the month, our third in our triad visited and we had a wonderful dinner at Indian Bistro in Omaha, followed by ice cream and walking through the Old Market. Maybe that sounds a little funny, walking around during a freezing cold winter night with ice cream, but it was marvelous. We stopped at Vinyl Cup Records, and each of us bought an album, too.

The second Friday of the month was the office holiday party at Spezia. I’ve eaten there a couple of times before, so I was glad to go again. Their food is always delicious.

There have also been Spiral Scouts meetings and a trip to the zoo, with the start of the new year. December was really cozy with a lot of time spent at home, in front of the fireplace, and January has been the opposite: so busy, for mostly good reasons. But still, I’d really like to hibernate for at least a few more weekends before spring! 😁




Stream Makeup | Our Prairie Nest
Game Stream Makeup

Playing an RPG is fun. You get together with friends around a table with character sheets, dice, and pizza, and spend 3 or more hours pretending to be someone else on an adventure.

Or you do it online from different states thanks to Discord and Roll20… and also broadcast it for the entire world to see, if they’re so inclined.

I wear makeup almost every day, but when it comes to gaming time, I need to turn it up to 11 since we’re on a stream. There are a lot of reasons for this – bad lighting, cameras that don’t really enhance, and then certain things that look better on camera than others. For example, never wear red because even if it’s a good color for you, red is known to “bleed” and may also make you look super pale, which isn’t flattering.

The makeup I wear on camera is very different than what I wear when I leave the house. Daytime makeup for me ranges from a coat of mascara to look slightly “done” to my entire face – primer, a touch of foundation below my eyes, power, bronzer and highlighter, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss. I usually keep these colors neutral or use one strong color, at most.

When streaming our D&D, Star Wars, and other games, however, I don’t want my features to fade. So here’s my gaming “look”:

Streaming Makeup - Close Up | Our Prairie Nest

As you can tell, I don’t have the best lighting and if I didn’t do anything to my eyes and lips, they would probably be unnoticable. Also, because the light is directly on my face, I like to make sure my skin tone is even (not usually an issue, but I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the possibility of people watching our gameplay).

It’s very similar to being on stage – neutral colors just won’t do. When I was in drama, we always had to use a heavy hand with our makeup, and that’s what I do on Saturday nights for gaming. I joke that I have to “get tarted up” but, honestly, no one can actually tell that I’m wearing a lot of makeup. On the other side of the stream, I look normal. But the extra layers of cosmetics are to thank for that. Here’s how I do it:

Primer – after I shower and use a light moisturizer and eye gel, primer is a must. My usual day-to-day primer is Smashbox Photo Finish, but for gaming, I use Yensa color + face Tone Up Primer Essential Glow. I like Smashbox, but Yensa? Yensa is love. It has that something extra, so I save it for special occasions, like conferences, parties, and gaming.

Foundation – I usually don’t put this all over my face, except on game nights. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless in Classic Ivory is my go-to. I follow it up with pressed powder from the same brand and product line, except in Translucent, though I use a brush to apply the powder – never a puff.

My favorite thing to play with is eye makeup, so I start with Sugar Arch Arrival Brow Definer in Taupe Tom. My brows aren’t overly plucked or waxed or anything. I just keep them tidy and natural, so the bit of brow pencil adds a little darkness and definition, and helps “frame” my face.

I normally go for Space Case eyeshadow in Messy Lochnessy. It’s a beautiful, medium evergreen with a golden shimmer to it. While I will wear it during the day, too, the way I apply it for game nights is different. During the day, I just sweep on a layer or two of eyeshadow and call it good. For game streaming, I draw a bit of a cat eye on the outer parts of both eyelids to define the edges of my eyes.

If I use a lighter-colored eyeshadow, eyeliner is a must for me. I always use black for games. Regardless of the eyeshadow color and/or eyeliner, the next thing I use is highlighter. Ciate London in Moondust gives a crazy-strong glow, so use it sparingly. Because it’s pretty powerful stuff, I use it only on my eyes. An angled eyeliner brush gives me the perfect amount to highlight the inner corners, as well as line my eyes, if I want. I also will use it just below my eyebrows.

Of course, I finish off with mascara. Normally, I keep it light, but some nights I will go for thicker, darker lashes. My absolute favorite mascara (and makeup line, honestly) of all time is Pixi by Petra Lashlift. It has a wand within a wand. I use the skinny wand everyday for lash definition, without thickness, but sometimes on game nights, I’ll use the chunky wand for volume. Of course, I always, always, always comb my lashes out. No clumps allowed.

Once eyes are done, I dust a bit of blush or bronzer, depending on my mood, season, eyeshadow, etc. just on and below my cheekbones. Then, I follow it up with a swirl of highlighter on my cheekbones and blend. I use the same brush to swipe some of the blush/highlighter blend down the front of my nose and across my chin.

All of this work gets me even skin, defined features, and a nice glow. And while I would normally balance out dark or smoky eyes with a neutral lipstick or gloss, I go strong on the lips, too. I actually prefer clear or shimmery glosses, but game night calls for some of the darker stuff, usually Ciate London Liquid Velvet in Pin Up or The Balm Creamy Lip Stain in Salut!

When it’s all said and done, I have layers of obvious – but blended – makeup on, something I would never do if I was going out in public. But the camera reduces that and, instead, shows the world a defined, polished face. That’s all I want and I enjoy the work that goes into getting myself camera-ready. 🙂