Penny A Unwin

UK, North West Blog

The Sims has to be one of my all-time favourite games. If you logged onto my Origin account right now, you'd see that I have nearly reached 3,000 hours of playing, which is a lot and especially as I don't play any other games besides The Sims. You could call me somewhat of an addict. But, even though I do love The Sims and find myself glued to my computer all hours of the day, there is some parts about the game that I do find aren't so good, which I think every player who plays the game will find they love more aspects of the game over others.

If you aren't aware already or don't play The Sims yourself, then I'll explain a little bit about what the game entails and how you basically play it, which I am sure most of you already know how to play. But anyway, The Sims is basically a game made of different packs. You have the main game itself, which is known as the base game, and from there you can choose which extra additions you want to add to your gameplay. So not only does it save you money, but also allows for you to create your own experience with the different packs. Each pack is basically a little or a big add-on to your normal gameplay, so for example the stuff packs, such as Cool Kitchen Stuff, basically generates more items related to your sims kitchen with new build items and clothing. These packs normally cost around £7.99 in the UK. They then have game packs, which for example one of their packs is called Dine Out, and this allows for your sims to own restaurants and run their own restaurant, so more so for the gamers who actively like getting into what their sims do every day. These also retail for around £14.99 in the UK. And lastly, you have the expansion packs, which cost around £29.99, and these are the packs which normally add a big part to your game. So for example, City Living is one of their expansion packs and with this it gave you a whole new world to your game and instead of your sims moving out of one house into another, it allows for them to move to the city, live in apartments (or penthouses!) and see what the city life has to offer. Also, with every pack released, you will find new build items, clothing items and sometimes will find new recipes, such as with Dine Out, and things along those lines. So, overall depending on whether you are a big family player, or a destructive player who likes to kill off their sims - there is different packs to suit your tastes to make your gameplay more for you.

Since starting playing The Sims back in 2015 up until now, I have found along the way which packs are worth the money and which ones aren't. This will be different to every person, however, I don't necessarily feel that you need every game pack in order to have awesome gameplay. Which is why I have compiled this post together to say which packs I feel are worth the money and which are not. Obviously, as The Sims release new packs out every few months, this post will be updated or there will be add-on reviews about the latest packs as to whether I feel it is worth it or not, so don't worry about this post staying where it is as new packs come out, as if you are an avid sim player like me you do like to know whether the latest pack is worth purchasing or not and I want to help any fellow sim readers out there by adding my opinion into the ocean of other sim player's opinions.

The Stuff Packs
So, to start with lets jump into the puddle of stuff packs. Stuff packs as mentioned already retail at around £7.99 in the UK. These packs are necessarily to add little add-ons to your game, but overall I don't really feel like you need these in your game unless you find you're obsessed with a certain part of the game. For example, in case anyone is confused by what I mean - I am obsessed with the kitchen/cooking aspect of The Sims. I love the gameplay surrounding it as well as the build items available in order to cater your kitchen to your tastes. Therefore, Cool Kitchen Stuff would be a stuff pack that appeals to me due to the fact you get an ice-cream machine, cute aprons in the clothing section as well as cookbooks, new kitchen appliances and so forth. But would I purchase it after looking over it? Not necessarily. I do have it in my game, don't get me wrong, but if I was to repurchase it again I probably wouldn't, as I don't feel you need an ice-cream machine in order to up your cooking experience or new appliances, but if you want a refresh in terms of what the game offers then go straight ahead.

Another stuff pack I think is worth your money is Kids Room Stuff. This pack is definitely more for the family-type gamer of The Sims, as it offers you new children's games, toys, bedroom decorations as well as furniture. It is essentially a stuff pack to offer your child sims more to do than what the base game offers, so if you enjoy creating children's bedrooms or having a bunch of child sims over to your house to play games then this pack will be right up your street.

The next stuff pack I think is worth your money is Backyard Stuff. Backyard stuff as it suggests basically offers more to your family homes and their gardens, so again for the more family-type gamer. This pack offers fun slides for your back garden, outdoor drink sets, cute little garden decorations for your children as well as wind chimes and bird feeders. So if you're into the social event aspect of the game such as dinner and house parties and such, then this pack will definitely add more fun to your gameplay with more outdoor party activities as well as cute decorations to set the mood.

The next stuff pack I would say is worth your money is Vintage Glamour Stuff. If you're someone who enjoys the whole vintage themed to their housing/apartment or wants a more posh feel to their gameplay, with butlers to add to the fanciness, drink carts and long elegant dresses, then this pack is for you. Within this pack you also get fancy new wallpapers and furniture, as well as already mentioned butlers, so if you're into creating stuck-up sims or want a rich family on the block, then this pack will allow for you to do just that.

The Game Packs
Onto the game packs. Now, the gamepacks have to be my favourite packs of them all as they add more to my gameplay and allow for me to get more creative with how I can spend each of my sim's days. Unfortunately, I can't say that I wouldn't get any of the game packs available, as they all offer something new and something interesting. However, if I had to pick just one out of them all it would have to be Parenthood. Parenthood, if you're reading this on the day it is posted, is one of the newest packs to come out and is definitely one for the family-type players. Parenthood allows you to work on more of your sim's personal needs, so besides the obvious ones of hunger, bladder etc. it now allows for you to work on your sim's responsibility, manners, conflict resolution, empathy and lastly, emotional control. These allow for you to see how your sim will shape up as they become a young adult, through the use of a new skill called the parenting skill, which now allows your adult sims to tell off younger sims, ground them if needs be or just give them a time out. We also have the use of diaries now to help with emotional control, as well as new furniture, clothing and ways to tell your young sims off if they have been naughty.

Vampires which was the game pack that came out before parenthood, is also another great pack, for anyone who enjoys supernatural or simply enjoys killing sims. Vampires is also great for the creative minds, as with the added features it comes with, you can basically turn your gameplay into any type of story you want. It comes with new skills, furniture as well as a new world if you wish to keep your vampire sims away from your human sims. However, you will find them sneaking into your house at night or just roaming around the neighbourhood.

Spa Day is another favourite, but not necessarily a must which contradicts what I said before, but what I mean is, it can offer gameplay where your sims can enjoy time with friends or family, or generally if they just need a day away from the chaos of looking after a toddler back home. It offers methods of relaxation, as well as new skills and if you have a sim which is into being active or is within the athlete career, then you'll find that yoga and meditation can kind of tie in with the fitness aspect of the gameplay.

Outdoor Retreat is another firm favourite, as not only is it the only vacation type of pack available in The Sims right now, but it also offers more gameplay in terms of building skills and collecting. Outdoor Retreat is all about camping, whether that is in a tent or in the nearest lodge, but it also offers new chances of collecting new fish, insects as well as plants to add to your collection, and it also offers two new worlds, which within one of them you can go and find a hermit!

Lastly, is Dine Out, which tying in with my fascination for cooking/kitchens in The Sims 4, was definitely a pack I couldn't wait to get. Now, if you are aware of the Get To Work Expansion Pack (which is mentioned below) then you'll know about the retail aspect of that pack, which unfortunately does not tie in with this pack. Dine Out is a pack all on its own, offering something completely different to what retail does, which I will mention. Dine Out allows for you to run/own your own restaurant, or to simply place them around the different neighbourhoods which will allow for your sims to go and visit. You can customise the menu's as well as the uniforms, and you can even pick your own staff, as well as design any type of restaurant you want. 8 times out of 10, the menu choices will fit into the type of restaurant you want. If not, there is always modders out there who create recipes which you can add into your game. But back to it not tying in with retail in the Get To Work pack, that pack has a different gameplay to Dine Out, where you can attend to customers and get a purchase that way, however, with Dine Out you will find that you cannot take sim's orders or even deliver their food, which I know a lot of simmers were disappointed with, but you need to understand that it doesn't have a similar take as retail does.

The Expansion Packs
Lastly, and the biggest part of The Sims is the expansion packs. There is currently only three expansion packs available, however, I would say that they are all unique in their own way, but overall I would mainly purchase 2 out of the 3. The first expansion pack I feel is worth the big £29.99, is City Living. This pack pretty much speaks for itself, in that you essentially get apartments and penthouses, and a whole other experience compared to the likes of the other neighbourhoods. Within this pack, you get festivals, new food stalls, new collectibles, new careers and more, which I will try not to spoil for you, haha. Therefore, for £29.99 you are getting a lot for your money and you will find something new around every corner, which can be both interesting and fascinating whilst at the same time become slightly annoying (if you know what I mean), but overall it is great gameplay.

The last expansion pack I would recommend purchasing is Get To Work. This was my first ever add-on pack I bought, and even though you get less for your money with the likes of Get Together and City Living, it is definitely more for the gamers who enjoy the career aspect of the game. If you enjoy going to work with your sims and helping them build their career to get a promotion, you will enjoy this pack. However, it is a 50/50 pack, in terms of yes you can go to work with your sims, but you can only do that with 3 of the careers they offer and not with all of them. The new careers are Doctor, Detective and Scientist - which are fascinating careers, however, it would have been nice to go to work with the likes of a Tech Guru, Painter, or even an athlete as well as the other careers available in the base game. Also, with this pack they have on a career which allows for your sims to own their own retail shop. So you can sell cakes, paintings, technology, collectables, even wedding dresses! Plus, what makes it fun with the retail career is that you can mentor and train your employee's, actually make sales yourself and decorate your premise as much as you like. So, this pack does offer more to your gameplay in terms of attending their work day and even running your own shop, but overall I wouldn't really say it is a necessity, but more for those who really enjoy the career aspect of the game.

Which packs from The Sims are your favourite? Do you have them all or just the ones that tie in with your gameplay?
Recently, sheet masks are fast becoming one of my favourite ways to have downtime. They are one of the most popular beauty products on the Asian market, as well as easy to apply, easy to remove and above all doesn't require any tugging of the skin. Plus for the price for some single sheet masks, they can work out to be a cheap treat for your skin with added benefits! 

One of my favourite brands of sheet mask is Etude House. I just find their sheet masks are packed with product and they aid my skin so well when its lacking in lustre and needs a pick me up. The current sheets mask I use are the Etude House 0.2 Therapy Air 10-Piece Variety Mask. 

These sheet marks are available in single sachets, however, for £13.95 I couldn't resist going for their 10-piece set, offering a variety of sheet masks which help with brightening, moisturising and more. Plus, to help aid you in choosing the right mask for your skin, I'll be going through each mask one-by-one and sharing my thoughts on their results. So, to start with I'll be reviewing the Green Tea sheet mask as I have been buying and using this particular sheet mask a lot, and found it has helped in aiding my skin so well ever since having a bad reaction to the My Scheming Blackhead Removal Mask. You can read about my experience here

To begin with, the 0.2 Therapy Air Masks are hypo-allergenic sheets that won't irritate the skin. They deliver 7-free essence to the skin directly through the 0.2mm air sheet. They have also passed the sensitive panel test, have water purified through their 6-step filtration system, have a 1 to 2 EWG green grade which is an American non-profit environmental organisation all about evaluating chemicals and ingredients used in cosmetics. They are also free from the 7 skin irritating ingredients of Imidazolidinyl, Urea, Polyacryamide, Trethanolamine, Mineral Oil, Silicon Oil, Pigment and Fragrance. As well as with the 0.2mm sheet mask, this allows for your skin to breathe more comfortable through the remarkable air-penetration and lastly, they use natural essence oils to make you and your skin happy.

These face masks also come part of a 3 Essence labelled category. These 3 Essence categories are; The Moist Water Type Essence, The Ampoule Type Essence and lastly, The Emulsion Type Essence. These all deliver a different outcome with the moist water type face masks being absorbed lightly and freshly into the skin to refresh the skin. The Ampoule Type Essence absorbs into the skin mildly but brings powerful moisturisation and lastly, The Emulsion Type Essence absorbs into the skin smoothly with added nutrition. I like the idea behind the masks being categorised as not only does it allow for you to decide which masks suit your skin type/skin problem better but it also allows for you to try a variety of these masks to see how one differs to the other.

As I mentioned previously, I've been trialling and testing the green tea sheet mask for a few months now, especially after getting a bad reaction after using The Scheming Blackhead Removal Mask a few month back. Also, because so many have raved about the benefits of green tea both externally and internally, I thought it was a good time to see whether it worked on more severe issues than what I originally have.

After using the blackhead removal mask, I ended up getting bad dry patches on the sides of my nose just above my lips as well as a section on my chin. I found no amount of exfoliating or moisturising was helping, so I had to delve deeper into my stash to try and find something that could help heal my skin back to its original state. Having had a good reaction from sheet masks when my skin needed a little pick me up, I thought about putting this particular mask to the test to see whether it could help with the aiding of my skin, by bringing moisture back into those specific dry areas. This particular sheet mask sits in the Moist Water Type Essence category, offering light and fresh absorption to the skin. When applied to the skin it feels cooling (I recommend letting them sit in the fridge 24 hours before you use it as it feels so much nicer on the skin!), the mask sat comfortably on my face without much fuss. Also, due to the mask having quite a thin texture, it allowed for my skin to feel as though it wasn't getting claustrophobic with product so essentially had room to breathe whilst at the same let the product do its work. After I had sat with the sheet mask on my face for the recommended time and then removed it, I noticed where I had my dry patches they felt a lot less dry and as though they had, had a major moisture boost. However, this sheet mask alone did not aid at helping the dry patches disappear completely, but after using this mask a couple of times a week alongside my normal skincare routine, I did notice that the dry patches started calming down a lot quicker. As for the rest of my face which didn't need a lot of aiding in moisturising and soothing, I did notice that it helped pick my skin up by making it a lot smoother, which allowed for my makeup to sit more nicely on my skin, as well as allowed for my other skincare products to sink into the skin a lot better. 

Rating: 9/10

Have you tried the Etude House 0.2 sheet masks? Which from the range was your favourite?


Search 'pennyaunwin' on The Sims 4 Gallery
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Following on from my previous Sims 4 build of a family home, I found that building on The Sims actually brought about some down time for me to just chill out, relax and basically create to my heart was content. Once over I would never have looked twice at building anything on The Sims, due to sheer length it would take it create anything at all. However, lately, I've been really enjoying building, whether that is my own creation or simply tweaking another creator's work. I also find it makes my gameplay a lot more fun as well, as I am using my own creations and therefore it feels more special to me. But enough waffling on, and let me explain the concept I had for this specific build.

Before I start, I want to note that the base of this house build was originally built by Lukey, you can find his build here. I take no credit for the idea of the initial house build and am only sharing my little tweaks of the house. Call it somewhat of a fixer upper. I instantly fell in love with the exterior of his build and even though a few aspects of it wasn't to my liking, mainly the interior I decided to do a rebuild after gathering some interior inspiration off Pinterest and Google. 

The theme behind this build, much like my other build is to use bright colours and try and make it as family and as homey as possible, and if you haven't noticed already I do enjoy a bit of yellow and orange. What with the new wallpapers that arrived with the Parenthood pack, it would be silly for me not to take advantage of them. Now, I'm not going to lie and say it was simple trying to rebuild this house because it wasn't. It took a lot of trial and error to get each room exactly to the right scale and even though the kitchen could look a little big to some simmers, I do enjoy a rather large kitchen in any of my sim households. But adding on a somewhat small pantry did make the kitchen scale downsize a little bit better. And, yes, I am one of those crazy kitchen people - sorry! For the living room, I pretty much kept it the same to what Lukey did as I really liked his layout and the items that he used, so I decided to keep this room somewhat the same. As for the office off to the side, I wanted to create this as a place of work, whether that be homework, school projects that came with the Parenthood pack, or whether your sim has some reports to fill out after the day is done. Unfortunately, the Apple product(s) shown on the table and in the kitchen are custom content, but if you type into Google 'The Sims 4 Apple Laptop CC' it should bring a list of mods up that you can use. Now, the hallway has to be one of my favourites. I like how it hides a little walk off to the side which will take you into one of the downstairs bathrooms, but I also like the little mirror and shelving area I created as I did find this made the whole house come together as being a family home.

Going up the stairs to the bedrooms, as you can probably see I pretty much kept the hallway the same to what Lukey did in terms of design, however, I did move the stairway but I feel the whole concept that was originally created is still there. Each of the rooms is the same to how Lukey created it (I have yet to renovate the two children's rooms until they are born into the game that is why they are not featured within the screenshots, and they have also been uploaded empty for you to design them as you wish) in his videos, however I have renovated the rooms a little to my preference, mainly the master bedroom. Some custom content items have been used throughout the upstairs of the house but again, if you type into Google what you see you will generally be presented with the items shown in the screenshots. If not, I mostly get my custom content from the sims resource, sims4updates and modthesims.

To finish this build, I went over the exterior of the house and basically changed the exterior colours to something a little more bright, edited away the kids play house and renovated the back shed. I also added in some more kids outside play toys and also jazzed up the decking area, adding some fairy lights from the new Parenthood pack, an outdoor eating area with an added barbecue as well as a cute seating area for those warmer days (or when seasons arrives). I also put in some kid-friendly wind chimes and lastly, making the two empty grassy areas near the fence into a little grow-your-own-crop area. However, if you so wished, you could turn the shed into a greenhouse or even remove the jungle gym and create the original kids play house into a greenhouse. The possibilities are endless.

Share any of your family/homey builds or renovations down below!


Search 'pennyaunwin' on The Sims 4 Gallery or 'Suburban Family House'

Building in The Sims 4 has never been one of my strengths. I always find either the roofing looks weird or one side of the house doesn't balance out with another side of the house or generally, I find that the entire house looks like one big square with no character to it at all. But after hours on end of searching the gallery for a suitable house for my current sim family, and with no luck of finding one to my tastes I decided to take the challenge of building my own. 

The overall aesthetic I was going for, for this house was suburban, bright but neutral rooms and big enough to fit a family of 4 or bigger. Each room is quite spacious with an open living room, large hallways, spacious kitchen, a nursery en suite to the main bedroom, a bathroom attached to every room almost, a garage, an office as well as a movie room to the back and it also has an outdoor pool. This build can be easily adjusted to fit your tastes, as you can make the rooms smaller or enlarge each room, add a gym, another office or even create your own at-home spa. There is definitely enough space in this sims build to add or takeaway as much as you like.

The screenshots:
Living Room With A Bathroom Off To The Side

Kitchen With An Added Pantry

 Hallway Off To The Side Of The Kitchen and Upstairs Hallway Leading To The Bedrooms

Main Bedroom With An Ensuite and An Added Nursey

Kids Bedroom 1 With An Ensuite

Kids Bedroom 2

Kids Bedroom 3 With An Ensuite Which Can Be Accessed Through The Hallway

Office

Movie Room Complete With A Snack Station

Garage Complete With A Woodworking Table, Easel and Motion Gaming Rig

Back Of The House With An Added Pool

There is some custom content throughout the screenshots which has been used throughout the numerous rooms, however, to avoid placing an empty house I have replaced most of the custom content with base game content which looks similar or has a similar feel to the custom content used. But if you do want to use the custom content used within this build then I suggest looking on the Sims Resource, modthesims and Sims4updates.net

Have you done any similar builds? Do you prefer sim builds being shared on here or on tumblr? Let me know down below!
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