Monday, October 28, 2013

Wherein I get distracted by nerdy delights ~ Nicole Game Review

This is a story about a girl and a game called Nicole. (Winter Wolves get really creative with their names - sorry, but truth!)

My downfall all started when my good friend and fellow otome lover Nim e-mailed me yesterday with a delightful surprise, one of her favourite english otome making companies Winter Wolves released a new game. Being the awesome friend that she is, once discovering that the game had a mystery to solve, she naturally thought of me and my sad sad love affair with the epic Nancy Drew games, except in Nicole alongside solving a mystery you can seduce cute boys!

So of course I was interested.

Just FYI - I kind of hate, yet love you for bringing this game to my attention Nim. :)

I was interested but after playing a few english created otome doozies I wasn't expecting anything great. With nothing else to do I decided to play the free demo... and was hooked.

Here were my first reactions to each guy introduction.

Jeff - ooh hot, five seconds later... wow he is so creepy. He is forever dubbed as Creepy Lab-boy.
Ted - aww, tsun~tsun I like you the most so far, I wanna focus on him!
Kurt - eww what a massive Jerk, I'm playing him last. I dub you Jerkface!
Darren - aww so adorable, I like you but I will play you near the end. Dubbed Megane-chan.

So these were my first reactions. Prepare to be astounded by my wishy washy feelings!

(an example of Kurt's eloquence)
After the demo I e-mailed Nim my reactions about the guys and feelings on who is the culprit that kidnaps girls on the university campus and then releases them a few days later with no memories.

My deduction at the beginning was Jeff because he was the logical assumption since he worked in a lab and experimenting on girls with his creepy personality wouldn't surprise me. (I admit I had a bit of a trauma flash back to fat pigeon creepy doctor experiments: explanation here) But I admitted I hoped it wasn't him because that would be too obvious and boring.

Since I just recently made a really big purchase (which I'll blog about another time) I have limited funds atm and was pretty iffy about buying the game, I knew I would eventually buy it - hot guys and a mystery added together with a decent storyline is a massive weakness of mine. But I was all I'll write a blog post, be productive and do a few other things first.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

Literally at the end of my e-mail  with all of the above to Nim I said 'Screw that, I'm buying it now."

I blame it on my compulsion to solve mysteries.

Now let me just quickly talk about costs. If the game was $30 I probably wouldn't have bought it. It would be on my list of things to buy when I actually get a job, then I probably wouldn't buy it anyway - I'm cheap like that. But I buy Nancy Drew games for $20 whenever one comes out so hey buying Nicole for the same price didn't bother me. (Actually $21 AUD)

So I bought the game, started playing and suddenly turned into an idiot who liked all the guys and didn't know who to choose. So naturally I was making them pretty much all like me - except for creepy lab boy - he still creeped me out until a touching moment with Ted and then I fell in love with his creepy diabolical ways - pathetic I know.

I even started to really like Jerkface by the end of the Demo, sure he was a jock with stupid one liners and constantly trying to get into the heroines pants, but he would have these rare moments where you realised that wow he did have a personality and he wasn't as stupid as everyone, especially he himself thought he was.

So after these revelations, and even though I love Ted and his tsundere ways I decided to go with Kurt first, or I wouldn't be able to seduce the other guys with peace of mind.

Yeah I have a thing for tough guy acts or assholes with a soft squishy center.

(my exact feelings for Kurt!)

Tips on Jerkface Kurt - to get his normal ending you need 900 zeal. To get his special ending you need 900 zeal and 900 clues. 

Also you need to give him all his presents. The mp3 arm brace, the football pillow, the earbuds, the underarmor and the school pennant. Why? because its fun to seduce people with material objects!

Of course due to me wanting to seduce all the guys and create my very own harem, I got the alone ending first, where I didn't get 900 clues or 900 zeal. Joy for being all alone! after getting the alone ending a few more times, I got the very bad ending...  all I have to say is, it could have been worse! So after getting that ending a few more times I got 900 zeal and 765 clues and got the normal ending, which although cute, I kind of wanted to throw up a little... but it was a nice little yay moment for heroine Nicole and jerkface Kurt.

Okay so after i got the normal ending twice I gave up and started a new game (I bow down to the skip button) and played until I unlocked the special kurt ending! YAY, finally! I think I was more excited to find out the mystery than anything else and why they did what they did, etc.

I was disappointed.

I still really liked it, and enjoyed the game immensely. I just would have liked a little bit more to the mystery. I wont spoil but I'm hoping for different mysteries or more detail into it with the other guys routes.

(This is the kiss for the normal end, special ending is much more steamy and I'll let you discover that for yourselves ;) )

The special ending while although lacking in the mystery section was really adorable with Kurt and he got to be all manly and save Nicole etc.

I applaud you Winter Wolves, Nicole so far is the best english otome game I have ever played and can't wait to play more of it and your other games.

But as an avid reader, writer and lover of mystery this is what I would have done differently - for Kurt's game anyway.

I would have had a few more interactive scenes with Kurt, just a few little ones near the end - there was a massive gap between the end and the last Kurt scene where you just constantly try to up your zeal and clues. While I understood this reason it just got a little boring.

Instead of us just knowing that the heroine 'found' clues in the stats bar I would maybe have a few scenes where we the player found some clues with the heroine so we get to to try and solve the mystery ourselves also.

Hell maybe after a few of the creepy scenes where Nicole gets those messages have her run into Kurt, so that we get more interactive Kurt action as well as have Nicole happy to see Kurt and feel relieved and 'protected' or even after run ins with Kurt have her doubt him near the end after she gets more clues and wonder why she always ran into him at those moments.... just good for the mystery!

I'm by no means an otome expert, but everyone who loves otome games should definitely check this game out! You can find more information about it here, at least check out the demo!

Next up, Creepy Lab-boy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An uneventful, evenful day.

The title of this post could be confusing, but that's the best way to describe this certain day I'll be sharing with you.

It was just a plain old boring day in the life of Kate, it was more eventful than some yet compared to the lives of many it would be considered uneventful.

After taking my delightful monster dog Luna for a walk in the morning, mother dearest and I decided to go crazy and go shopping. Fashion lovers may be all a flutter in excitement of what to come, but sorry to disappoint, we went grocery shopping.

Exciting right! No? Well sadly I get really excited to go grocery shopping these days. I attribute this to old age and possibly boredom. But really, I just love picking out different ingredients that I can use to cook up evil concoctions and other crazy things.

First stop was the local little Growers Market in South Kincumber! It's a great little place to buy fresh vegetables grown locally or from around Australia! This is the second time we bought stuff from here, but it's amazing how much longer fresh produce lasts and tastes so so much better! I highly suggest that everyone, no matter what country go out and support their local fruit and veggie stores, you wont regret it!

Then we went and did all out other necessary shopping at this place called Coles. They rejected my job application, so I'm hating on them a bit at the moment... I'm hoping it's because I'm older than the average everyday teens they like to snap up for Christmas fill and the fact that I have no experience in retail... I'll keep telling myself that anyway! ;)

Someone is bound enough to get as desperate as me and hire me eventually... another thing I keep telling myself.

So I discovered something awesome at Coles. Star Wars Kinder Surprises! I bought a three pack, love them (the toys not the chocolate - although the chocolate is great too and I like re-living my childhood memories filled with kinder surprises) and now I really want need to collect them all! Yes sad, but they look great hanging from the end of my new corkboard! :)

As you may notice, I was a bit more excited to get them out of the chocolate over eating it. I'm not going to stop until I get them all... or, or at least R2D2!

And with that this post of an eventful, uneventful day is over. Hope you weren't overly bored!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Deliciously Decadent Strawberry Cupcakes (Made with real strawberries!)

I've always loved strawberries and strawberry flavoured things, but over the last few years I've become a bit obsessed with strawberry everything and anything I can get my hands on.

From actual strawberries, to strawberry frozen yogurt, strawberry gum and strawberry body wash. I just love it.

However, one thing that I never thought would be hard to find was a Strawberry cupcake or cake recipe that used actual strawberries and no artificial flavouring that you could make from scratch.

But boy was I wrong (at the time anyway).

After a long search I finally discovered a recipe! You can find it at the lovely blog of Confections of a Foodie Bride (she has great recipes for all occasions!)

I found it in winter naturally, so when strawberries started going on sale a while back and mum brought home 4 punnets of strawberries, I jumped at the opportunity to test out this recipe, and oh my... it was amazing! I highly recommend every lover of strawberry flavoured goodies to test this out!

I've made a few adjustments to the recipe - all my adjustments will be in brackets in blue, also I black highlighted the parts where she leaves instructions for people using frozen strawberries, just highlight it if you want to see... cause it can get confusing! But if you find my version annoying, or want some extra details be sure to check out the original recipe here and her yummy butter-cream icing recipe here.

Just a warning, this makes a lot of cupcakes if you're doing it the cupcake way. I ended up freezing half of them.

I also created the name ;) not that it matters, just letting you all know!

If you decide to make these be sure to send me pictures once your done.

Now time to go resume the job hunt!

Deliciously Decadent Strawberry Cupcakes


For the strawberry puree:
  • 3 cups very ripe strawberries, hulled (or no-sugar-added frozen strawberries)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • (see FAQ above for alternate strawberry puree method)
For the cupcakes/or cake:
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature (4
    normal eggs work just fine
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted (I used just plain flour and it turned out great)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temp. (this is confusing and annoying to all the australian's out there, but stick with it - ends up amazing!)


  1. If frozen strawberries in whatever form (sliced, whole, etc) and in whatever container/bag you have them in. Pour into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and let sit. Lightly toss the strawberries occasionally to remove any pockets of excess liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use or discard (see FAQ above for alternate use of the liquid).
  2. If using fresh strawberries, just hull, slice and toss with a teaspoon or two of sugar and cover. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, until nice and juicy. (This was so easy and fun, I loved just occasionally walking into the kitchen and seeing the strawberries getting juicier!)
  3. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree. (If you don't have a food processor I imagine that you could just smush them with a fork or mortar and pestle if you have one!)
  4. Reserve 3/4 cup puree for the cake. (If you are using the cooked puree method from the FAQ above, you will only use 1/2 cup puree.)
  5. Use leftover puree to fill the cake or fold into the frosting, if desired (you will not have leftover puree if you use the cooked puree method). It's also fabulous spooned over ice cream... and eaten straight with a spoon. (I have left over puree in the freezer still! can't wait to use it for something this summer!)
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8- or 9-inch pans: spray inside with baking spray with flour (or use some sort of grease/flour combination).
  7. In small bowl, combine puree, milk (if you used the cooked puree method in the FAQ above, you'll use 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of puree; if you did not cook your puree, use 1/4 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of puree), egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs. -Add wet ingredients and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.
  8. Note: The batter will not get any pinker in the oven so if you're disappointed in the color from your berries, maybe consider adding a drop or two of pink or red food coloring. (Mine turned out brown even though I used fresh strawberries, so I think if you want yours to be pink definitely add food colouring, the brown is a light colour and not horrible but totally up to you!)
  9. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Strawberry Butter-Cream Icing

This is pretty all self explanitory, yet I halved everything in this because I always end up with too much icing and its such a waste, As you can see from my cupcake above I clearly don't pack it up high, but I'm still generous with the icing and the strawberry puree is very sweet so you can do what you want! I still had left over icing, but only a little bit and thats even after I took out the leftover cupcakes from the freezer and iced them.


  • 2 stick of butter, at room temp (half a cup of butter)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (3 cups)
  • 5 Tbsp milk* (2 and a half Tbsp of strawberry puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract* (1 tsp of puree again)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (didn't do this)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, optional (I put a dash of vanilla essence in)
  • a few drops of food coloring, optional (unlike the cupcakes the icing turned out really pink!)
  • Instead of milk and vanilla, a fresh fruit puree (like strawberries) works great.


  1. Place all ingredients in your mixer bowl. Beat on low just until you have no more dry streaks of powdered sugar. (Add a bit of food coloring/gel here, if using. If using a vanilla bean, split the pod in half, scrape with the edge of your knife, and add the scrapings to the mixer bowl.)
  2. Turn to high and whip for 3-4 minutes, until light, fluffy, and smooth, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
  3. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (I use a Wilton 1M).
  4. Extra frosting can be stored in the fridge for quite a while. Bring to room temp and whip for a couple of minutes before using.

Introduction to a Lady of Questionable Sanity, and Facial Hair.

This is a blog, well Journal really... Of a plain and ordinary young lady residing in Australia trying, and struggling to achieve her many life goals.

Well this sounds depressing already.

I'm a pretty boring person, (aren't we all?) very tall, a massive geek about a lot of things... extremely weird, very loud, occasionally obnoxious and like to think of myself as sarcastic with a side of bitchy.

The posts that will reside here will consist of my complaints while I religiously search for a job. All so I can save precious money to travel the world... hopefully next year. (dreaming big, but it's a goal!)

And by world, I mean Europe... for now at least.

I even wrote a bucket list, which I may share with you. It's not that exciting and pretty ordinary, but I'm eager to get crossing things off!

So, this lovely place will most likely be a motivational place for me to just be a little more sporadic in life and also, share my creative things with whoever gets conned into reading this and the random thoughts inside my head... so apologies in advance.

Basically this is a lovely magical land where my boredom will bore everyone else either tears, or laughter... at me, and on those rare moments, with me.

So from daily thoughts to daily photographs - well instagram photos (until I get a job and splurge my savings on an SLR) of mostly my dog Luna, nature, my bird Pterodactyl (Terry for short), books, crafty things, nail art, food, baked goods and anything else in between... perhaps even the occasional photo of a friend, or two when I go crazy and go out in the world

This is a Journal about me... Kate, an aspiring author who just wants to live a little... sporadically, and determined to do so!