Facebook and Instagram – what can they do for my business?

With the advancement of technology, marketing to a bigger audience is easier than ever. What some big companies don’t do (that I’ve noticed) is treat their audience like friends or family.  A lot of big companies will post an ad and forget about it. They do it for the likes. A good social media marketing strategy means trying to build your brand, but also connecting with your clientele. Some good places to start for connecting are Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook

Facebook has many tools a company can utilize for marketing. They have:

  • Website Promotions – this leads to more clicks to your website.
  • Advertising Plans – you tell them what you want and they’ll give you a fairly cheap advertisement plan.
  • Insights – these will tell you who is looking at your page and what your clientele demographic is.
  • and Specific Demographic Targeting – are you looking for females age 18-67? Or are you looking to promote locally? Facebook allows for such choices when creating a target ad.

What Facebook also does is allow you to connect to your clients personally. You can share stories, give more information about your product or even praise an employee or client! When people like and comment, you have a chance to comment back. Commenting back shows that you are dedicated to your client base, and are around to answer questions, take in comments and promote your brand. As a consumer, knowing that I can easily talk to someone who is knowledgeable about what I’m buying is very helpful, and steers me towards making a good choice in what I’m buying. Facebook also allows for customers to review your product – which is a strong tool to use. Building a more personal relationship with your clientele can also mean better reviews!

 

Instagram

“A picture is worth a thousand words” … most people don’t want to read super long, multi-sentence posts when they are scrolling through their social media feed. They stop to look at videos, or pictures. After a long day of work, they may not want to read a long post. That’s where Instagram comes in.

Instagram is a good platform to show people who you are. You can share your product, post videos of product in use or even show personal behind the scenes shots. It gives consumers a chance to explore your company in pictures. They can like, comment and get to know you by actually seeing what you are about.

The good thing about Instagram is that it’s easy to use. It’s an easy setup, you can edit photos and post them, and then run a small ad so more people will see it. I always recommend to clients setting up an Instagram, and keeping up on it. If you get overwhelmed, a post a week should be plenty to get you started, and then you can up it as you get more experienced.

 

There are more social media platforms you can connect with clients on, but for now we will leave it at the two biggest I use. Creating a Facebook and Instagram, connecting with clients and sharing better information about your business is a good way to start your social media marketing. Remember though – social media is a tool, and nothing beats a good client-business relationship!

 

 

 

 

Updates

Hello all!

It’s definitely been a minute since I’ve updated my site! I’ve had a busy summer (what with river season in full swing and running a trip as a Swamper … more on that to come!)

Hopefully as our last trips at GCE get off the water, I’ll be able to take more time in the evenings to update everybody!

I’ve been adventuring lately as well as playing some video games!

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My pups on a hike! They look like they are about to drop a sick new mix tape!

Mostly I’ve been playing Fortnite, Destiny 2 Forsaken, Dead by Daylight and I’ve tested out the Black Ops 4 Private Beta! I’ll give you a quick review of each of these games, and hopefully give a full review in the near future!

(BTW – you can also sometimes find me streaming on Twitch. I haven’t had a consistent schedule, but I stream when I can. Taylor’s Stream)

 

Fortnite Battle Royale

I mean.. what’s not to love? I get that a lot of people think it’s childish and stupid, but I adore it. This game is FREE. You only spend money if you want to, otherwise they have free skins you can get. Money isn’t needed to play!

For a free game I am SO impressed by how Epic Games caters to it’s fans. It’s constantly updating, listening to suggestions and taking them into consideration (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a suggestion on the Fortnite Battle Royale Reddit and then seen it in game). They also keep the story interesting. Last season we had the rift open up in the sky, and a missile was launched.. this season we have a new desert oasis with different points of interest and a mysterious cube that seems to be conscious..

I love this game (and love playing with the squad) and am so glad that I had the random inspiration to download it!

Destiny 2: Forsaken

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Photo Credit: Eurogamer

Listen… I cry really easily. I can hardly watch a Disney movie without breaking into tears. Yet when it comes to Video Games, a world that I’m immersed in (if you will) I hardly ever cry. I remember bawling my eyes out at the end of Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep and crying during The Last of Us… but other than that I play like a robot. However when I played Forsaken I was in tears almost the entire time. The first part hits you with all the feels (most people know what happens, but I’m not going to spoil it) and then the emotions just keep coming.

I also like the grind that Destiny has added with Forsaken. One of my favorite parts about Destiny 1 was finding the “dead ghosts” and reading the lore. I LOVE that Bungie brought back find-able lore, and that we are able to read and access it. I feel like there are so many hints for possible future story lines in the lore as well (like… where is my girl Eris Morn?)

Gambit is a great addition to the PVP playlist! It’s something that’s different, makes you have to actually work as a team and is quite rewarding. Also – BANK THOSE MOTES, GUARDIANS!

Destiny has definitely always been one of my favorite games and I’m so glad that Forsaken made Destiny 2 feel more like home. The original game was good, but they’ve added just enough changes that the grind feels worth something now. (I’m only light 524… and I really wanna do the Last Wish raid.

You can check out my original review of Destiny 2 HERE

 

Dead by Daylight

 

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Photo Credit: Playstation Network

My gosh you guys. I thought Friday the 13th was scary. In Dead by Daylight you either play as the killer, or as the survivor. Personally I’ve played way more as the survivor because it’s the only way you can play with friends online (and lemme tell you, having someone on the other mic screaming with you just makes it more fun). Being a survivor is hard work. As a team you’ve got to avoid the killer, get generators up and running (5 to make the exit work for everyone, 2 if there is one person left so they can escape through the hatch) all the while you are helping friends who get downed and getting people off the hook.

This game has a lot of potential to be one of my favorites to play. The biggest problem I have with it is 1. matchmaking is kind of messed up right now. It takes so long to find a game if you have two or three people…  and 2. the Face camping. I get that sometimes you have to watch someone to see if their friends are going to get them off the hook, but I have literally had killers just stand right in front of me and not do anything else.. meanwhile generators were going up and other survivors couldn’t even get close to me.

I have only played as the killer a couple of times, but I do really enjoy it. It becomes fun to set up traps (I play as the hag) and watch people run away as fast as they can.

This is definitely a game I recommend grabbing!

 

Black Ops 4: Private Beta

I found a code for the private beta for Black Ops 4 Blackout, and I’m glad I did! It reminds me of H1Z1 and PUBG – except I feel like you can find a lot more gear and cooler weapons right off the bat. The map is a mix up of all the coolest Call of Duty Maps, and it’s HUGE.

The combat mechanics are great, and the guns have various advantages and disadvantages. I’ve learned that one of my friends is deadly with a 50. cal sniper, and I’m best at spray and pray assault rifles.

The beta is a blast and I think this is a game I’m going to buy.

 

Well readers, now is the time I sign off. I hope to get some more in depth reviews to you on the games I’ve played recently (Dark Souls: Remastered, Fortnite and Forsaken to name a few) but for now you get the gist of what I’m playing!

 

What are you all playing, and enjoying? Let me know in the comments!

Catch you on the flipside!

-Tay

 

5 Kanab Hikes to Please Your Adventure Bug

Dinosaur Tracks Above the Port

This is a fairly easy, uphill hike with a good trail and great trail markers. I think my total time was about 40 minutes and I went almost a full mile.  If you park at the Porta Potty, you can make your way to the hill. There is an orange rebar right where you will be able to climb up to the next level (fairly easy). You will then want to make your way to the front of the mountain and follow the trail and trail markers. Some very lovely person has set up the rock stacks to mark the easiest trail, so if you keep your eyes open you will be up to the top in no time. It’s a beautiful view, and the rocks are stacked where most of the prints are as well.

INFO:

The parking area and the mountain that the track is on are BLM land – but the hike to get up there is privately owned. Please be respectful of all of the land.

Greenhalgh Trail (Trail Canyon)

Named for two brothers who used to live up the canyon, Greenhalgh trail is also the old mail route. To get there you head north from Kanab, and across the road from the entrance to Hog Canyon is a dirt road. (You can bring offroad vehicles on it, I drive a Ford Fusion and it does fine). There is a little place to park, or if you have a 4WD you can drive down to right in front of the metal bridge. Cross the bridge, turn left and keep going until you hit a part where the road splits into 4 ways. The right path looks like it’s going up a hill, you’ll want to take that one. If you go straight and hit the two big berms, you’ve gone too far.

You’ll finally make it to the trailhead, and it’s pretty simple from there. There’s a trail that takes you up top, or you can go in through the bottom and then head up. There are Petroglyphs up there, an old Native American Ruin and supposedly the Cabin where the Greenhalgh brothers lived. All I know is that we were surrounded by cliffs, oak trees, and a frozen stream and it was beautiful! We did 5 miles in about 3 hours (we had a kid and like 5 dogs with us) and even stopped for a pre-packed lunch.

INFO:

The entirety of this trek is BLM land. You can either hike up and out or go to the end and keep going.

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My dog with some Petroglyphs found above the trail. 

Sherry Belle Trail Around Jackson Flat Reservoir

Since the beginning of the year, Jackson Flat now has a beautiful black top trail that goes all the way around it. There are two different parking areas so you can start wherever you want on the trail. It’s about an hour long walk and 3.51 miles. It has a beautiful view of the reservoir, some porta potties along the way and is a great place to take kids, pets and walk with friends. I do believe you can also bike it, skate it or even scooter it. I am so grateful that they put this trail up – it’s nice to have a place where someone can walk and enjoy the reservoir. It’s also popular! Every time I’ve gone out there I have seen people walking and running with smiles on their faces and friendly “Hello”‘s! This is a great place to go if you don’t want to “rough it”.

INFO:

Click HERE for more information

 

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Jackson Flat Reservoir during a Rain Storm

 

Peek A Boo Slot Canyon

This is a beautiful place to go hiking! It’s pretty short (used to be longer, but the climb up has since been blocked by rock and debris). You will need a 4WD vehicle to get to the starting point.

Last time we went, we took our camp chef, some food and make a little “hobo dinner” before setting out on our hike. The slot canyon is SO COOL. It gets kind of narrow, dark and cool. One of my favorite places to visit in Kanab!

INFO:

CLICK HERE for more information

Bunting Trail

Bunting trail is a beautiful place to hike! You hike for a little way and then come to almost a fork. You can continue up the creek bed (my favorite, it’s much easier) or go uphill. If you choose to go uphill there is a Petroglyph panel at the top, which is really cool to see! Going up the creek bed is my favorite because it’s always a little cooler (temperature wise) and I love to look at the rocks that are there.

This is a great hike to take dogs on, but you’ll want to leave their leashes on. I’ve seen other dogs on the trail too. It’s a good place to meet other hikers too!

 

INFO:

CLICK HERE for more information

 

Please Keep Our Trails Clean 

 

When hiking, please be considerate of others, the trail, and the environment. I try to live by the Leave No Trace 7 Principles… they are:

 

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are the bedrock of the Leave No Trace program. They provide guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts. The principles have been adapted so they can be applied in your backyard or your backcountry.

Note: click any of the headers below for a much deeper explanation of each principle.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

 

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
    • In popular areas:
      • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
      • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
      • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
      • In pristine areas:
      • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
      • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

 

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

 

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

 

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

 

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

 

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

 

Visit our Homepage to learn more about Leave No Trace program.

Copyright: The following are a selection from the Leave No Trace
Seven Principles. © 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center
for Outdoor Ethics: http://www.LNT.org.

 

Monster Hunter World: Review

 

This weekend I hunted an Anjanath… (a dinosaur that is similar to a T-Rex) that was threatening my base… with the help of some hunting friends of course! I started Monster Hunter World last weekend on the PS4. Monster Hunter World was developed and published by Capcom – and it’s definitely a blast for old timers and us Monster Hunter Newbies (like myself) alike!

In this game, you are a monster hunter. You have a set home base, can upgrade and forge your own gear and gear for your Palico (a talking cat friend who helps you when there is no one else online) and explore the “new world”. The storyline follows your adventures setting up camps, tracking certain monsters and figuring out what is going on.

Monster Hunter World can be played as a single player – but it can also be played with your friends online. The latter was a little complicated to figure out at first – but eventually, we got it. You can create a private online session (if you don’t want random people in your group) and invite your friends. Anyone who is in your session will be able to see when you post a quest (or if someone posts a quest you can see). Quests are usually not joinable until after the cutscenes, but generally, once the fighting starts you can head back from the quest or friends can join you. We usually start each mission at the same time, and whoever is watching the cutscene last is usually the person we join (by heading back from the mission and then joining them at the base) It’s a little complicated, but not bad once you get the hang of it. You can also go on expeditions (which is Monster Hunter’s version of free roam) and fire an SOS flare. Once you have fired your SOS, your friends can find it, join you and hang with you on Expeditions as well.

Side note: there is something called a “Guild Card” which basically shows your information, what gear you use and you can edit your pose, background, and welcome message. When you send your guild card to other players, they can send your Palico out (no, it doesn’t take the Palico from you if you are in the game) and gather gear while they are doing missions. It’s a really cool feature. And for you Platinum Chasers out there (a couple of my friends will know exactly who I’m talking about amongst them) it is a trophy to send your guild card to 50 people.

Monster Hunter isn’t super difficult – I soloed a couple of the harder monsters to catch up with my friends while they were offline. The difficulty does go up when your friends join you – but it’s also easier because you aren’t taking all the monster aggro. You cannot adjust the game difficulty from the menu – but that’s okay because it’s really not that hard.

Story

There is a lot more to the story then I expected there to be. I thought it would be “kill this monster” rinse, repeat. But it’s not. You are working towards a goal, there are consequences, there are reasons you are hunting certain monsters. The story isn’t as in-depth as say, the Dark Souls Series, but it’s still really good.

 

Characters

You can spend hours in the character customization screen. A lot of people have complained that the character they created looks nothing like the one that shows in the cutscenes, but mine does! I didn’t spend quite as long editing my character as I did editing my Palico.

There are a plethora of NPC’s that sell you things, help you build things, give you assignments and feed you. One of the main characters is the Handler.

+I’m just going to go on a tangent here – I DISLIKE THIS CHARACTER IMMENSELY. From the time MY Palico hugs her because it thought we were lost, I knew I wasn’t a fan. She takes credit for all my work, and when she’s actually out in the field she always ends up in trouble. Like dude – quit telling me what to do, I carry a big mean sword and you can’t even defend yourself against herbivore dinosaurs. Okay. Rant over.+

She makes your meals at camp, hands out quests and basically acts like the in-charge person.

Plus her voice is annoying.

I LOVE the Palico! Once you find some friendly Grimyalkes, they teach your Palico to speak certain species languages. They also give you more gadgets for him to use… he’s definitely a favorite. I’ve found the Coral Orchestra to be the handiest Palico Gadget, just because you Palico can grant buffs and prevent enemy buffs (raise defense and attack, plug your ears, negate environmental damage etc)

 

Music and Sound

The sound is perfect! When you are exploring the first jungle area – you can hear the sounds of a jungle… it makes the game feel fully immersive. The monsters you fight each make their own set of noises (one sounds like a pigeon and makes me giggle every time). I don’t ever have the music on, but one of my friends said the fight scene music is really cool.

 

Cinematics and Graphics

The graphics are amazing. When I first started playing I took a moment to look up at the sky and it was gorgeous… it was sunset, so a cascade of pinks, oranges, and blues filled the sky up. The monsters are detailed and realistic. You could almost imagine what they would be in real life. The areas are beautiful, and when you take time to explore each one you can see the artistry that went into each detail.

 

Gameplay and Replayability

I’ve beaten the main story. It took me about a week to beat the entire game, but it was a fun week. And – my story is far from over! I have a lot of optional quests to do – not to mention grinding! It’s still fun to hunt monsters, build gear and do investigations! I still am enjoying the game immensely though I beat it last week.

Game Info

  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC (release date to be announced)
  • Players: 1 (up to 4 online players)
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Rating T for Teen: Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Violence
  • Developer: Capcom
  • It is easy to save – and anytime you quit the game from the options menu it gives the option to save before quitting.

 

I really enjoy Monster Hunter: World – and loved learning the secrets of it! My main weapon is the Odagaron Insect Glaive (called Vice) and I dig it!

I also know some tips or tricks if you need help or are stuck, shoot me a comment below! (I have friends who played all the older versions of the games too, so if I can’t answer I bet they can!)

10/10 from me!

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things…

These are a few of the rocks that started my collection! Most of them were found right on my property, other’s were found in various places in Kanab. The turquoise was given to me, and is the only one I didn’t actually find!

 

 

 

 

20 Gift Ideas for Everyone on your List in 2017

December 1st, already? The holidays seemed so far away but now they are right here. I can’t believe it’s the time of year to be thinking about gift giving, holiday cookies, decorations, and family time.

Wait.. yes I can!

I had my Christmas tree up 2 days after Thanksgiving! I will admit I am definitely a holiday enthusiast!

Not only that, but I pride myself on being a great gift giver!

Do you need some gift ideas for the people you love? I’m here to help you out!

1. The  Kitchen Enthusiast

Ahhh. Le Kitchen. Dishes, Cooking, Creating. Sometimes though, you just want to stick something in a crock pot and call it good! You mix the ingredients together, set a timer and go about your business. 4 to 5 hours later a delicious dinner is ready.

So why not get a crockpot that is going to take care of everything?

via Amazon.com

The Black and Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker has a locking system, built in lid holder and digital controls! It also has a chalkboard surface so you can draw after you fill it! (i.e. if you are making a spinach artichoke dip, you would write “definitely not spinach artichoke dip” and no one would be the wiser so you wouldn’t have to share, right?)

For only $32.99 – you can’t go wrong! This would be the perfect gift for your foodie friend!

2. The Crafty Scrapbooker

If you have crafty friends, but you have no idea what to get them – never fear! The Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine is here!

via Amazon.com

Gone are the days your friend had to use those pesky scissors, measure each angle and try and perfect their card cutting skills! The Cricut will do that for them! It even makes vinyl stickers and personalized home decor! They can choose from their pre-made library, or connect it to their computer and upload their own design!

If you have a friend who loves creating – you can’t go wrong with this bad boy!

3. The Outdoorsy Type

You know that one friend that is always like “Maaaaan. I love being outside. Camp the other day was awesome” and all you can think about is that big cozy bed waiting for you at home?

Well – there’s even a gift for them.

via Amazon.com

The Easy Take Down Parachute Nylon Camping Hammock is the perfect gift for someone who loves to be in the trees. It’s made of a super strong material, but is lightweight so it’s easily packable! Your friend will always think of you when they get to take a nap on their easy hang – packing room friendly hammock!

4. The One Who Loves Fishing

My dad and brother are both avid fishermen. I swear sometimes they speak the fish language. They can go out fishing and come home with giant bass or trout.

So I decided to get my dad something that could up his game.

The Venterior Portable Fish Finder turned out to be the perfect gift!

via Amazon.com

This handy little fellow detects and displays water depth, fish location, weeds and plants, and rocks! It has various settings and can be applied to almost any body of water!  This is a must-have for the fisherman who is serious about locations and boat fishing.

5. The Punk Rock Loving Teenager

Is there a teenager in your life who you have no idea what to get? They wear all black, they listen to weird music (“IT’S ART MOM!”) and they seem rebellious?

Well, guess what? You could be their new best friend!

A gift card from Ticketmaster would be the perfect gift! You choose the price from $25 all the way to $250! It will be delivered to you or them – and they can pick and choose concerts they want to go to! What a deal! You could even buy two so that you could tag along to the concert with your youngun (maybe discover some groovy new music while you are at it!)

6. The Video Game Nerd

Do you have that special someone who plays a lot of video games, but you aren’t sure what system? Xbox? PS4? What are those, codes?

Don’t worry loving *insert older family relation*, there’s something that just about everyone would love to have!

The Immersive VR headset for Smartphones!  Most people nowadays have smartphones, and now with this headset, they can have a whole new virtual world right at their fingertips! Can’t go wrong with that.

 

via Amazon.com

 

 

7. The Book Lover

As a fellow book reader – I can tell you that you can never go wrong with 1. your favorite book, 2. a book that reminds you of them or 3. a Barnes and Noble gift card

However, if none of those seem good enough, I can tell you that a Reading Journal would be a good one!

If they are anything like me, a list to keep track of all of the books they have read is not only a cool achievement, but it helps them decide what to read next! Sure, there are websites that do this (goodreads.com, I definitely recommend joining) but there is something special about writing thoughts down with a pen and paper!

8. The Techie

Sure, it’s hard to shop for someone who always has the newest and coolest thing. People who love tech items usually order them (or stand in line for them) right away.

But there is one thing that would be cool and useful to receive, even if they already have one!

 

via Amazon

 

The Amazon Echo is a smart home speaker, phone call assist and personal assistant. If you have more than one that means you have more capabilities in each room of your house! Alexa the personal assistant can also check your calendar, weather, traffic and manage lists.  She has a number of other useful features (will order a pizza.. I’m sold!) and would be a great holiday gift!

9. Horror Fans

For this group, it’s easier for me to just share a list of items that would be cool for any horror lover. As a lover of horror and Gore myself – I couldn’t decide on just one 🙂

Any of these items would make really cool gifts for your average horror fan!

10. Comedy Lovers

Know someone who loves to laugh? I recommend the Funny or Die Game! 

It is a caption creating game, and has great reviews!

Another fun game, of course, is Cards Against Humanity. One of the original Adult Party Games… I definitely recommend playing with a group of people who aren’t easily offended.

11. Kids

Honestly, kids are the hardest to shop for in my opinion. There are so many different cartoons, action figures, games, and tech stuff – not to mention all the age levels of toys.

I am just going to go by what I would want if I was a kid.

an R2-D2 that you control?! How can you go wrong with that for older kids?

He has speakers, LED’s, an app that you can download to command him and many more fun things to do! It’s like a star wars fan’s dream come true! (I’m 25 and I kinda want one!)

 

via Amazon.com

 

12. The Writer

This is another one of those attributes that I feel strongly about, so I’m going to make a list that you can’t go wrong choosing from.

13. The Strong Woman

I have two here that I adore!

The Feminist Activity Book

and This T-Shirt 

14. The Budding Geologist

Another list… sorry guys, apparently a list within a list is my thing today. Listception.

15. The Beer Lover

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing worse than going to take a sip of your beer and it’s warm. Just ruins the flavor.

So when BottleKeeper came out with their product, I knew I had to have one.

I bought it, and it is a miracle! You unscrew the bottom of the bottle holder, slip your beer bottle inside and presto! Your beer stays cold!

This would make a great gift for all of your friends who are beer fans.

 

via Amazon.com

 

16. Comfy Ideas

“Alright Taylor,” you say to me as you scroll through my list. “What about the person who just likes to relax? What do I get them?”

Ha. Don’t you worry your pretty little head, I’ve thought of everything!

a SELF CARE BASKET!

First, you start with a basket of your choice! Laundry? Sure. Wicker? Whatever works.

Then you add comfort items sorta specific to the person you are creating it for.

For example, if I was making it for one of my friends, I’d include a comfy blanket, a sketchbook, some colored pencils, comfy sweats, some comfy slippers, a coloring book, a face mask, some yummy lotion, a candy she loves, a few bath bombs, and a letter to tell her how much I love her.

Image result for self care

It’s the thought, you know? The thought that someone wants to take care of you, even if they aren’t near you.

17. The Soon To Be Parents

Besides the obvious (baby clothes, wipes, diapers, equipment (is that the right word? I don’t really know anything about baby stuff)) you could always go with a keepsake!

This Baby Handprint and Footprint kit is a really cute idea!

18. The Adventurous

Give them the Gift of a Grand Canyon River Trip

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Has your loved one done almost everything? Hiked tall mountains? Been on a cruise? I bet there is one thing they haven’t tried! An 8 -day river trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon! Yes, the canyon is spectacular and beautiful from above – but a trip down the river is a completely different experience! When you travel with Grand Canyon Expeditions they take care of everything!

An excerpt from the website:

“Since a Grand Canyon river rafting trip is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, it should be an unhurried experience. Our eight-day excursions traverse the entire 277 miles of the canyon, beginning at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona (in Grand Canyon National Park), and ending at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead.

To many, the most thrilling even on a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip is riding the rapids. The exhilaration you feel as your raft plunges through the waves is a hard-to-describe experience. Only after passing through such rapids as Soap Creek, Hance, Sockdolager, Hermit, Crystal and Lava Falls can you appreciate the achievements of Major Powell and other early river explorers.

Life on one of our Grand Canyon rafting tours is pleasant. Eight days of exciting rapids, exploration, and sleeping under the stars will pass much too quickly!”

This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and one this blogger HIGHLY recommends! It’s such an amazing experience to camp along the river, go exploring, hiking, and get to know your fellow rafters without the distraction of a cell phone in everyone’s face! For those who want to get out and get back to nature, I say go for it!

For more information visit: www.gcex.com You can request a brochure, send an email or call the office with questions.

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19. The Boss Type

So if you know me, you know I adore my boss. She’s funny, sweet, easy to get along with and one of my favorite people.

I have gotten her something similar to this coffee mug

I would post what I might get her this year… but I’m afraid she’d find out and the surprise would be ruined!

20. The Gardener

Can’t go wrong with a Foldable Kneeler, some Garden Tools and maybe a cool Stack a Pot!

 

So there you have it! My list of gift ideas for almost every person in your life! If you have any other questions, need ideas or want a more personalized gift idea, leave me a comment below! If you have someone you just can’t think of a gift for, send me some of their likes and I’ll try and help you!

 

Catch ya on the flipside!

 

-T

 

Game Review: Destiny 2

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PC: Destiny Website

Console: PlayStation 4

Game: Destiny 2

Developer: Bungie

I have a lot of hours into the original Destiny.  In fact, I have 559 hours of gameplay in the Destiny 1 universe.  That’s almost 24 days of playing. So believe me when I say I was really excited for Destiny 2. I marked the release date on my calendar, planned nothing for that week and told everyone I was going to be unavailable. When it finally released … We had problems downloading. We pre-ordered from Best Buy – they didn’t deliver the code until a day later. I ended up having to download a code off of Amazon because you can’t game share between two consoles (I have one and my husband has the other – mine is the primary console but the licensing is different for Destiny 2). When I finally was able to sit down and play the game, I was way excited.

Destiny 2 started with a tribute to the original game players… showing activities you did, when you completed them and who you completed them with. By the end, I was in tears because I am a crybaby and love emotional things like that.

Destiny 2 – like its predecessor – is an online world where you can do missions, patrol planets and find adventures. We played as a fire team of 3.

Story

I played through the first couple of missions by myself (required by the game) but together in a group chat. From the get-go, it’s full of emotion and sadness.  Without giving too much away, the story is heart-wrenching, beautiful and is definitely a compliment to the first game. A lot of the missions in the first game were quick and the first playthrough I didn’t quite get why they were important. In Destiny 2, everything made sense and they explained objectives really well.

Characters

You still start off as picking a Hunter, Titan or Warlock to start. If you played the original game your character will reflect the facial features, race, gender and other discernible features that you chose in the first game.

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The Hunter – PC: Bungie

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Titan – PC Bungie

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Warlock – PC Bungie

Music and Sound

The music and sounds complemented the game really well. I usually turn the music all the way down on games but left it on for my first playthrough. It definitely made it better. When it came to character speech I was blown away. Without giving too much away, Ghost sounds different after the first mission. The humor behind certain characters makes me laugh every time. I love listening to the talk while doing a mission.

Cinematics and Graphics

I love cinematics in a game. Mini-movies that add to the mission you just did, with their beautiful graphics and drama – are my favorite. Destiny 2 had some exceptional ones. Cinematics that showed a “behind the scenes” if you will with the enemy. Cayde-6 (he’s my favorite, I’m sorry!) and humorous moments in the life of a guardian. The Graphics are A+ and the details everywhere you go were well thought out and planned. Secret caves, Vex constructs, and the social spaces are gorgeous. Each new planet is well thought out, unique and memorable.

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European Dead Zone / PC Bungie

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Io / PC Bungie

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Titan / PC Bungie

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Nessus / PC Bungie

Gameplay and Replayability

The gameplay is simple Destiny style, with a couple of changes from Destiny 1. There are some new types of missions with different activities (that almost felt a little Halo-y, but I’m okay with that).  When you finish the main story there is always something to do. The Raid, Patrol Challenges, Strikes, Strike Challenges, the Nightfall (now timed) and of course Crucible. I already have gone through the main story again with a different character and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

Game Info

  • Destiny 2 can be single player but the campaign can be easier if you have a Fireteam of 3 (or 6 if you are doing the raid – keep in mind though that matchmaking is available through guided games)
  • You are unable to change the game’s difficulty in regular play (although you can do a harder “prestige” version of the raid and nightfall), but it’s really not that hard. When I’m alone I can manage it with only a couple of deaths (if I’m thinking smartly)
  • Destiny 2 is rated T for Teen because of blood, language, and violence.
  • The main story itself is about 16 missions long (which is longer than the 1st one) and the game also has strikes, the raid, the nightfall, adventures, challenges and you can replay missions after you beat the story.
  • There are no self-save points in the game – but autosave. I’ve never had a problem with Destiny not saving my game though.
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Prestige Strike with 2 members of my clan

In conclusion, I loved Destiny 2. I think it was worth all the hype that it got pre-release. It was a good game to keep me intrigued in Bungie’s universe – and to get me back into Destiny. I love that they even made small fixes in the game – like you stay in your menu if your fireteam leader is taking you to a different activity. You can also travel to different places without having to go back to orbit.

I do wish that Crucible had a “Choose your Own” game mode like the first one (I really don’t like supremacy and hate when it comes up) and I miss the 6 man teams. However, I do really love the “Survival” game type! I played with some members of my clan recently and we worked really well as a team.

I also miss Grimoire score and hidden revivable ghosts. In Destiny 1 my Grimoire was over 5000. However, I do like being on a random planet and finding something to scan and get the backstory of.

A lot of people don’t like that you have to pay glimmer (in-game money)  to apply a shader to each piece of armor. I would agree with that. But I like that you can apply separate shaders to separate pieces of armor and do a mix and match type deal.

I like that the Trials of the Nine gives you access to the spire for wins and that you can advance up the spire as you gain more wins.

I love new characters, places, and changes to social spaces (as well as emotes!)

I’ve beaten the raid a couple of times;  it’s complicated but only took me about one round to understand what I was supposed to do. My clan works well as a team so we beat it fairly easily, but it was still challenging. Each part is a puzzle in its own – and don’t even get me started on the underbelly!

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My Hunter at the beginning of the Raid

If you haven’t picked this game up I recommend doing so if you are a Destiny fan! It’s a fun great addition to the Bungie family!

 

10/10 from me!

 

 

 

 

Wait.. we’re more than halfway through 2017?!

I know it’s been awhile since I published a post – I’ve had a busy summer. I’ve been volunteering a couple of nights a week as well as hanging with family, going to book club, going on trips (WARPED TOUR WAS GREAT) and playing a lot of video games! (I’m currently on my second playthrough of Dark Souls 3 … I’ll upload a review for that soon-ish)

I haven’t had time to sit down and write a blog post lately, but I swear I’ll start up again soon! We are already into July and the river season at GCEX is almost over! Where does the time go?

As always, contact me if you have any questions and have a great day!

New posts coming soon! 🙂

 

-T

GAME REVIEW: Tales from the Borderlands

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Background

(I do realize I’m reviewing a 3 year old game… my bad)

I love the Borderlands Game series.  I played Borderlands 1 when I first met Nick; we were just dating and I realized how much he loved video games. Instead of being a pain about it, I asked if I could play too (I played games before that obviously, Halo and stuff like that). We beat it pretty quickly and had a ton of fun along the way.

Fast forward to 2012 (2 years into our relationship) and Borderlands 2 came out. I absolutely adore this game. Nick and I played together and have beat it many times through. We’ve played all the DLC and holiday expansions. We both have max level characters, as well as many others, started in an effort to help friends (we always end up going back to the high level). The Borderlands Series is easily one of my top favorites. (My car is named Sir Reginald Von Bartelsby for hell sakes haha!)

So – for the month of May Tales from the Borderlands (episode 1) was free on the Playstation 4 Store. I figured “What can it hurt? I might as well try it.” I downloaded episode 1 and started playing – and absolutely adored it.

It’s obviously different from Borderlands 1, 2 and the Pre-Sequel. Those are first person shooters where you are a badass Vault Hunter who is large and in charge. In Tales from the Borderlands, you play as two characters, Rhys and Fiona. And you aren’t doing (a lot) of combat – you are mostly choosing dialogue, making decisions and scanning things. It takes place after Borderlands 2 and is a “Choose Your Outcome” story.  I’m 3 out of 5 episodes in – so there may be some spoilers – but not many.

Playable Characters

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Rhys is the first character you play as. Without trying to give away too many spoilers, he is smart, confident and will do whatever it takes to rise up in the Hyperion chain of command. He has a neat eye that can scan things, assess them and helps a lot when playing the game.  He’s a kind character (at least the way I’m playing him) who makes good decisions and trusts easily.

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I love Fiona. She’s the other playable character, and she is a con artist. Along with her sister, Fiona is just trying to score big. She can actually carry items in an inventory and seems to be in charge of the Money of the group. She’s a great fighter, smart thinker and I think she’d make one hell of a Vault Hunter.

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From L to R: Sasha, Rhys, Fiona and Vaughn

Main Group:  

  • Vaughn: Rhys’s best friend – accountant, nervous, funny
  • Sasha: Fiona’s younger sister and partner in crime  – brave, tough, loyal
  • Loader Bot: (Easily my favorite character) Rhys requested a loader bot at the beginning of episode 1 – and he’s stuck by us ever since. Strong, funny and helpful.

There are some other characters (INCLUDING SOME FROM THE ORIGINAL BORDERLANDS 1, 2 and Pre-Sequel! *insert heart eyes emoji here*) that join the group, help the group or … y’know…. try to murder the face off of everyone (It is Pandora)  – but it’s not hard to follow along with who is who.

PROS:

  • Good fun! I love stories in video games, and this is basically playing a Story. Telltale games did an AMAZING job.
  • The graphics are great! Cartoonish, clear and stay true to Borderlands style
  • The humor is the BEST. I don’t know what it is, but all of the Borderlands humor just gets me. This game is no different. Whether it be descriptions from Rhys’s Eye Analysis, or Loader Bot being “Coooool bro,” I guarantee you will laugh.
  • You DON’T have to know or have played any of the other Borderlands games to play this one! The story is completely different! Sure, there are some characters from the games and some history from the games in it, but you can play it as a standalone game with no prior knowledge

CONS:

  • You can rewind parts of the story, which is neat if you made a decision you think you’ll regret later, but I wish I could rewind shorter. Or at least choose where I’m rewinding back to. I hate going through a large part (you can’t usually skip anything) again because of one stupid dialogue choice I made.

In conclusion, I think this game is awesome. It’s a good, funny story with likable characters. It has just enough Borderlands that fans of the game should adore it and people who just wanna play a funny game on the world Pandora will like it too! I recommend it highly!

********** 10/10 stars from me!

Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill *Spoilers*

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.


Featured Photo Source: Collider

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Instead of a normal review, I’m going to set this up like I am answering discussion questions. That’s because I am. I wrote some questions (and borrowed some from Reddit) and answered them for my book club.

Before we go, fun fact I learned (I can’t find the source but I think it was Wikipedia)

“The inner front and back cover of the book has a repeating message written in Morse code. It reads, “Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name,” which are lyrics from the Rolling Stones song, “Sympathy for the Devil.” It refers to the novel’s themes that the devil is more of an anti-hero than a villain.” Like Deadpool?

Reddit Discussion Questions and Answers

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Q – In a story where the devil in us all is made very obvious, are there any characters who might be seen as more of an angel? Merrin might be an obvious choice, but who else?

A – I think that Terry could be angelic. When it’s his turn to confess to Ig, he tells him about Merrin’s death and starts the whole process of justice. He seems to be the only character that actually worries about Ig, and comes looking for him / offers to help. He also is the one who shows Ig exactly what happened the night Merrin got killed… I also think the book hints at this a little bit.  “She [Merrin] pointed at the statue of the angel with it’s horn. ‘Looks like your brother.’ ‘No it doesn’t,’ Ig said… although, in fact, considering it again, it did rather resemble Terry playing his horn, with his broad, clear brow and princely features.” 

Q – Does the Gospel According to Mick and Keith feel like a hopeful one? Tragic?

A – I think the Gospel according to Mick and Keith feels like a hopeful one. Ig gets to talk to Dale (Merrin’s father) and finds out information that will help lead him to why Merrin really wanted to break up. He also gets to give Glenna a chance to lead a more fulfilling life, and to no longer let men take advantage of her. It also explains what happens, and in the end Terry is convinced (thanks to the horns) that Lee, Eric and Ig are all dead. He decides to go to New York and learns Glenna is going there too. I think the two of them would be a cute couple. 

Q – What higher purpose might Lee’s flashback to the trauma and the cat serve? Furthermore, is he hallucinating?

A – I think the purpose of the flashback is to show why Lee is so messed up. It shows that when he fell off of the fence and hit the ladder, it must have knocked something in his brain loose (dudes it’s a figure of speech). I believe that he has a head trauma that makes him crazy, and that was what the book was intending to do. So you see how insane he is and what he can do without even realizing it (i.e. the cat) 

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The Discussion Questions I wrote

Q – Ig receives the horns when he burns the tree house of the mind, but why? What purpose do the Devil’s horns serve Ig? If you could grow horns and know the deepest darkest secrets of everyone around you, would you?

A – Rules of the Tree house: “Take what you want / get what you need when you leave.” I think that the horns were what Ig needed to find justice for Merrin’s murder. Having them helped him greatly and he learned everything he needed to know to find peace for himself. Personally, I think it would be cool to have the horns. It’d be interesting to know what people thought of me. Sure, I’d end up having to be secluded and not wanting to talk to anyone… but at least I’d have the company of snakes and fire. 

 

Q – In the beginning of the book, Lee fixes the cross – but Ig still gives it to Merrin. Do you think things would have turned out differently if Ig had let Lee keep it?

A – I don’t think so. Even in the book Merrin states, “I dropped it for you.” She meant for Ig to have the cross. I think somehow, even if Lee had given her the cross back she would have found her way to Ig. 

 

Q – When Lee gets blinded in one eye from the explosion, Ig comes to visit him. While talking to Ig, Lee says to Ig that Merrin will discourage him from being with Lee thenceforth. In reply, Ig says that that isn’t the case and in fact, she’s so worried that she herself wanted to visit him. And then Lee says, “I know why this happened.” “It was a shitty accident. That’s all.” Lee shook his head. “It was to remind me.” “Remind you of what?” Ig asked. Lee was struggling against tears. He wiped at the blood on his cheek with the back of one hand and left a long dark streak. “Remind you of what?” IG asked again … but Lee never got around to telling him.   What did Lee think his accident happened for? To remind him of what?

A – I believe that Lee thought that the explosion was punishment for giving up Merrin to Ig for the cherry bomb. Lee had thought that God had given him a gift to take what he wanted and instead of taking it he gave it away. It’s interesting to me too that his eye goes blind, but he still can manage to see Ig with the horns. Maybe that was a “gift” from God? 

Q – What did you think of the book?

A – I loved it. The writing is dark, beautiful and interesting. I saw the movie a long time ago and had no idea it was based on a book. Because of this I imagined Daniel Radcliffe as Ig, but things could be worse. It’s a great book for horror / fantasy fans and I highly recommend it. Joe Hill is a great author and has definitely made his own name for himself. 

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Source: IMDB