The site can now once again be accessed through the domain URL forestbalrog.com, and can also still be accessed through forestbalrog.weebly.com. Sorry for any inconvience that may have arisen through the issues with the domain, but to be on the safe side (if I run into issues with having a domain in the future) make sure that you have forestbalrog.weebly.com in your bookmarks.
Recently, I've found myself in a good place in life and realized how happy I am. I love so much and I've been shown so much love by these beautiful souls that I share a home with whom are my family, and by many other people as well. I've struggled accepting this happiness and the blessings I've been given. I've gone through a lot of dark times throughout my life and with my family's recent move dealt with a lot of stress that brought up many personal issues I've had to work through. I've learned to be able to be happy and to forgive and move on from the past. I've also learned to accept my flaws and to accept that there are things beyond my control and to do what I can, no matter how small, to try and make the world a better place. I am always working on becoming a better person, and part of that is letting my guard down a little, which is part of why I'm sharing this message. Another part of that is being positive - being thankful for the good things in life and for the people I love.
Over the years I've thought about so many things and worried so much, I've wondered why people do the things they do and why people are so cruel. I felt for a time things were getting better in the world, but in the past couple years (especially in my country) I've seen so much hate being spread around like sickness. However, it's comforting to know that my loved ones share the same ideals and beliefs as I do, and not only them, but I've seen that many other people in the world feel the same way. I want to put out little messages of hope into the universe, I want other people to realize what I discovered as well. That even though life can be difficult, it can be so wonderful. That there are good people in the world. There is goodness all around us if we take the time to notice, even if it's just something small. I want to say that, although life is hard, don't give up. There were many times that I wanted to give up and I'm thankful every single day that I didn't. I have been so blessed to have the love I have in my life and to share my life with those people, and to have even been brought together with them in the first place. I am so grateful for my two guys and my four cats and I don't know where I'd be without them, but I want to show them I love them every moment I can. I am thankful for every second I share with the people I love and for every second that I'm alive, and every hardship I ever went through has been worth it because of the love I have today. I hope that this message reaches and helps other people in some way, and if you ever feel down just remember not to give up because there is beauty in the world and there is kindness and love, even when it's hard to see it.
I also wanted to share some more positivity here. Music has always been something that helped me through hard times. First, I've shared two songs by Utada below, one of my favorite singers and known for the themes for KINGDOM HEARTS. My loves and I recently completed the series of games in time for the release of KINGDOM HEARTS III, and Utada's themes for the new game "Don't Think Twice" and "Face My Fears" have become two of my all time favorite songs. The lyrics are emotional and meaningful, and they've helped me a lot. Second, my love Suzuran introduced me to the singer MARINA a couple years ago. She's releasing a new album this month, and I felt that many of the songs from it expressed very positive messages and coincided with many of my feelings, so I thought they would be perfect to share here. Earlier today I replied on YouTube to the song explanation on her newest music video "To Be Human". I felt I was able to express some of my deepest values in my comment and I wanted to share this message with as many people as possible:
" I hope humans can learn to love one another, regardless of where we come from, what we look like, or who we love. We're all different but we're all the same, and I think that's a beautiful thing and I believe our differences actually make the world a more beautiful place, I wish more people could see that. I hope we can also come to love the earth we share and the other lives and animals we share it with. That is what I pray and hope for each day."
Below, I've shared links to "To Be Human" and some of these other insightful songs from MARINA. If you click on the videos and take a look at their YouTube pages Marina has shared lyrics and the inspirations behind these tracks and videos. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I have and that they will bring you hope as well.
The site remains under construction. I've decided to publish the changes that have been made since there's a lot more work to be done before it's complete. I still have a lot of pages to move around so things are a bit of a mess. I had a rough couple of months and after moving homes am still very behind on things and busy. I was hoping to have all the site changes done before publishing the site, but I've been having trouble catching up and want to have something updated online. I'll continue to work on moving the older pages into the new blog format.
Site is currently being renovated. All pages are being moved / updated and site layout is being revamped.
I updated the Sims Links page, reorganizing & cleaning up the page and layout. It is now a list, with details to the right of the site banner. Also added some links like Bunny Wuffles and XMSims and of course went through and checked all old links for connectivity and updated them.
To any site visitors or those who bookmarked the site under my domain, since I was unable to continue paying for a pro account with my host I am no longer able to use this site under forestbalrog.com. When I purchased it, the domain was included free for two years, but since I can't pay for the service another year I'm not able to continue using the domain. I realize I've probably lost the small amount of followers I had now since the address is now no longer usable. I am hoping to get it again after it expires next year, but only time will tell if I actually will be able to or not.
Instead of returning to my previous address of four years, "stsims.weebly.com", the address for the site will now be "forestbalrog.weebly.com". Please update your bookmarks, the site will be remaining at this address.
Just wanted to showcase some screenshots from my 4-year-old baby sister playing The Sims earlier this year! You can check out the post I made on the in-progress blog site here.
Hola! Just a little update from me.
I'm still working on all my sites. I made a lot of progress with my personal photo site, I've uploaded 7 years worth of photos in the past 4 months, so over 3,500 posts (and that's just the stuff I've chosen to share with my family/friends online)... it's been a lot of work and I had to take a couple breaks from it. If I keep at it like I have been this month I will be done fairly soon and that will give me a lot more time to work on the world/gaming and blog/library sites, as well as cleaning up the homepage. Ugh, so much work!
But, I've been playing Sims in the meantime when I can, and the past 2 months I've actually been focusing on The Sims 4, and it's been so much fun! I got my new gaming laptop to replace my desktop PC (it was at the end of its time, unfortunately) and it's been so great! Can't wait till I have a bit more time to really get in and play even more. I haven't liked a Sim game this much since I first played The Sims 2, I feel like I'm 12 again lol. If you haven't tried The Sims 4 yet, I would recommend it! (And get a gaming laptop with an SSD or Hybrid [or both, like I did], it'll change your life. Fastest computer I've ever used. Gaming is so much better. Actually, everything is better. Also, 4K & HDR is gorgeous. Have to thank my hubby and my tax return lol.)
So here's some shots of what I've been up to:
Sorry, just a little tiny preview there. Don't want to show too much yet lol.
Obviously I posted the first two Sims I made back in November, who you can see in the thumbnail on the right.
In the middle, you have my first attempt at a Self Sim I did back in December, and my childhood cat, Calie, who I started making in January.
Then to the left of that, we have my updated self Sim, from February (and tweaked in March), as well as updated Calie (I'm hand painting all of her calico pattern, but I have my other 4 cats to make as well so it's going to take some time and patience!) and I also started making my boyfriend Suzuran this month! Very excited about these, I've always loved recreating my loved ones in The Sims, I can remember doing it on The Sims (1) Deluxe back in 2004 with my bestie Kageratsu, and in The Sims 2 in 2005 with my Grandparents. Ah, sorry to ramble, nostalgia! (I'm getting old lol)
Then on the far left, we have what I made today, which is a family I made up in 2004, when I was just 11 years old (lol). It's the Royall Family, who has been off and on my site since its creation. I first made Jamie in 2004 on The Sims Bustin' Out, the first time I ever played the Sims (and of course, the other first Sim I created was myself, so you can see a pattern here haha). I later created Jamie's family on The Sims 2, they were one of the first I made in that game. I've also made them in each game (The Sims 1, 2 & 3), just like I always make a Sim of myself.
I'm excited to finish some of these important Sims and post some comparisons of them in other games, it will be interesting to see. I also got the Get To Work expansion, Open For Business was my favorite back in the day, so I'm looking forward to growing up Jamie so she can open her Bakery like she did in The Sims 2 over a decade ago.
Now, I wanted to share some shots from The Sims 3 of a house I was making for my Self-Sim and family when I first got my laptop at the beginning of February:
First off, I want to say that the game runs so much faster with my solid state drive and higher specs (I have 16GBs of RAM now also, which was a big improvement over 8). It loaded in a matter of minutes, when it used to be around 25 minutes on my other PC. However, it's still a bit glitchy and not the fastest game ever. Anyways, I found this pretty pink/redish painted plaster that I absolutely loved, and I also wanted an entire side of the house in brick. I found the perfect spot in Dragon Valley with a gorgeous view. I had a lot of trouble figuring out the layout because I liked the idea of having everything on a single floor. Well, I laid out all this furniture and decorations I was going to use on the side of the hosue (I only finished the kitchen & dining room). I was going to put in an area for growing grapes for wine in the yard (will def do that in The Sims 1). But, I got a little too excited about the Sims 4, I mean, it's so intuitive and fast and shiny and new lol. The Sims are gorgeous, it definitely has the best CAS of any game.
So I stopped working on the Sims 3 house, and now I've been working on this on and off the past couple weeks:
April 7th (that path was hard to draw lol, I'm a little rusty)
Here's a shot I took today, although I haven't worked on it for over a week.
Don't want to show too much though! But I'm super excited about how it's turning out. Unfortunately I couldn't find an old painted plaster in a pink or red like with my Sims 3 house, so I'm mixing the Tudor style tan-colored painted wall/wood panels with some Tudor style brickwork. Gorgeous so far, but now I'm wondering if I still want to keep it just one story or not. 2 Stories is a pain in real life, but Sims is a dream life so...why not?
Now, I do want to talk about some things I really like in The Sims 4.
I just bought this game in November, and it's been out since 2014. I was not impressed with the previews and figured I wouldn't be getting a new Sim game again, I mean, at that point I had already spent almost more years of my life playing the game than not and figured it was time to move on. I'm glad I decided to try it out, the pets preview is what really enticed me. As I mentioned before, Create-A-Sim is the best of ANY of the games. It is so well made and laid out. You can actually go through and sort things, for example, by what type of content, by masculine or feminine (and something really cool is that men & women can wear both types of clothing, so if you want to make a transgender Sim or a cross-dressing Sim, it's really easy!). You can sort hairstyles by length, sort through types of outfits, pants, dresses, skirts, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, etc - it's so nice. Accessories are broken up as well; glasses, earrings & bracelets are separate, and in outfits things like rings, bracelets and socks are also separated. It's just so nice and makes things so easy. Besides this, the Sims themselves are so easy to customize, and they are the best looking in my opinion. They are smooth and life-like. despite the cartoon style of the game. The cartoon style of the game really grew on me actually, especially since I'm an anime fan. I've come to the point that I try to avoid CC if I think it's too realistic and doesn't fit the graphics style. Now, don't even get me started on pets! Like I was saying above, you can actually sit there and draw on the pets. You can even color their paws, ears and noses! There are all sorts of brushes and a color palette, it's excellent! You can really recreate your own pets perfectly, or make pretty much anything you want.
As for Build Mode, you can actually search for items! Just type it in and find it. It even finds CC. We've needed that for so long! Makes decorating so much easier, especially when you're looking for that one specific item and you can't remember what category it was in. I also love that you can change the height of walls and move windows up & down.
One of the coolest features of the game in my opinion is that all of the towns (or neighborhoods) are connected within the same save. You can easily travel or move between towns without losing all of your relationships with other Sims / Family. I used to hate that in previous games. My solution in The Sims 2 was to just make one single neighborhood and create several downtowns & shopping districts as other towns, that way my Sims could move and travel without forgetting who their mother was because she lived in a different neighborhood lol. In The Sims 1 & 3, there was really no way around this. It's so nice that you can do that in The Sims 4. The only thing missing is that you are confined to only a few neighborhoods still, and you can't place lots anywhere you want (so there is a limited number of lots). However, I think it's a good enough trade off. I haven't had hundreds of Sims I made myself living in the same town for a long time so I'll take my time filling up the towns that are currently available and making them my own like I did in the Sims 3 - but this time, my Sims will be able to travel from the Forest to the Desert and the Mountain Region and still keep all their relationships.
Well, sorry for a long, rambling update. I'm just excited and having a good time, it's the first time I've spent several days actually consistently playing the game for years (without taking several-month long breaks). Looking forward to playing more and finishing up some projects! Stay tuned because I'll be updating again sooner than later.
Just added a small update to my tutorials on how to get The Sims 1 / The Sims Complete Collection to work on Windows 10.
I've now installed it on a second Windows 10 computer, my new gaming laptop this time. I've got an awesome new graphics card for my other games, and I only had one tiny issue this time getting TS1 to work. Added that info at the bottom of the page. I didn't even have any of the other issues I experienced this time around. Hopefully the info will help some fans of the classic game out.
So, just to update on this site's status...
Well, it's still here! It won't be going anywhere, but I haven't made much progress on the new version of the site. As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm planning on moving everything over to blogger. I can't afford to renew this site with Weebly when the time comes so it's not worth it to me to keep working on it. Blogger does everything I need it to do. I will be organizing my screenshots, tutorials, character info, etc by blog posts and tags, like I was attempting to do here. Of course, I will post updates here every now and then and will link once the site is finished (or nearing completion).
Now, something else I am planning to do (and have intended to do for years now) is make another site or blog where Sims 1 downloads are stored, since sites are continuing to disappear left and right and most content is long gone. It would be a bit of an undertaking but I'd love to do it (and the fact that I'm finally talking about it online after 4 years of silent contemplation means the time is sooooon....)