So…what are you doing to stay busy during the quarantine???

Strange times indeed.  Stuck at home, not able to hang out with your friends.  Can’t shop, can’t go to school, can’t go much of anywhere.  Think you’ve got it bad??  Well, if you do a little reading about history, this isn’t the first time there’s been a quarantine situation due to a pandemic.  Back in 1918, there was a bad form of the flu called The Spanish Flu.  Not unlike what we have going on right now, people weren’t able to go places, see friends or family or travel for fear of spreading the illness.  BUT…in 1918, they didn’t have the internet, video games, TV, grocery or restaurant delivery, Amazon, Zoom–heck, they didn’t even have a telephone!  Can you imagine how difficult that must have been?  “Here, sit there and read a book…”  The options were very limited.

Fortunately, this is over 100 years later and we have SO many options of ways to stay connected with friends and family.  At this house, we’ve spent a lot of time on Zoom, texting, staying in touch with social media–and gaming!  Mimi and her friends have stayed very busy playing Pathfinder via the internet.  If you aren’t familiar with Pathfinder, it’s a variation on Dungeons and Dragons that I’ve started playing (Flo here) with some friends and Mimi decided she wanted to try it with some of her friends as well.  I got her set up and she’s been having a great time playing with Cassandra and Christine.

Cassandra is the GM–or Game Master.  In Dungeons and Dragons this would be referred to as the Dungeon Master, but since not all games involve a dungeon, the name has kind of evolved a bit.  Cassandra has had a great time getting this adventure off the ground, even though it’s one they borrowed from my gaming group.

Christine is playing an Elf Rogue named Marwen.  I know a bit about playing elves as I’ve done my fair share of it.  Don’t you love her cat ear headphones?

Mimi being into music decided she wanted to play a dwarf bard named Marvello.  I think she spent a bit too much time watching Harry Potter movies when she came up with the name…

In order to play online, they log into a platform designed for role playing games called Roll 20.  It’s an easy to use platform if you are familiar with role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and can be adapted by whoever the GM is for what you want to play.  It’s constantly being updated so you never know what improvements might turn up!  You don’t even have to have a set of dice, there is an online dice roller with all the different ones available.  It’s super cool!

The girls were having so much fun with it, they decided they wanted to stream their games, just like they have seen on YouTube.  They are all big fans of Critical Role, a hugely popular stream of Dungeons and Dragons.  It’s a great way to expand your imagination as well as have a lot of fun with your friends!

If you are a fan of role playing games, we all highly recommend this as a great way to pass the time right now–or even when we aren’t in quarantine.  I’ve been playing this way since September when one of my gaming friends moved to Alaska and wanted to continue playing.

What have you been doing to occupy your down time?

(FYI–3HP is the streaming feed that I play with my friends, run by a friend of mine.  If you’d like to watch our streams, shoot me a message!  I’m not posting it here for fear of spamming issues, but we have a great time with it and stream about once a week.  It’s a Pathfinder 2e adventure, set in Middle Earth)

Queen’s Treasures Step Back Cupboard

Just before Christmas, my husband won a $50 Amazon gift card through his job.  He handed it to me and said I could use it for “whatever”.  It sat on the table for a couple of weeks, I figured I’d save it until I came across just the right thing.  About a week into the new year, I was looking at some of the Queen’s Treasures furniture pieces.  I’d always admired the cupboard, but didn’t feel like spending that much money on it.  But…I had a $50 gift card…AND it was on sale!! Win/Win!!! Always good when you get a nice doll furniture piece for less than $20.

I was kind of nervous about it, I’d never ordered any of their items and since it was through Amazon, I didn’t know how well it would be packaged.  This was a heavy piece and when the box arrived, I kind of held my breath.  Let me just say that The Queen’s Treasures does a great job of packaging this item, I hope they do this much with all of their furniture pieces.

Once out of the box, I was so happy I decided to order this item.  It’s really a quality piece and rivals any of the wood items made by American Girl.

The drawers are a nice size and have catches on them so you don’t have to worry about them just falling out.  If you angle them, they can be completely removed.

Plenty of cupboard space!  The only thing I wish was a little different was that maybe one of the dividers was open so you could store bigger pieces.

A shot of the back and a side view.  There is no plastic on this piece anywhere.

I asked Wendy to come stand beside it for a size comparison:

And then she added the birthday set to it so you can see how much storage space it has!

I LOVE this piece, it is so nice and has so much versatility.  You could use it in the obvious places of dining room or kitchen, but also in a family room/living room as a bookcase!  I can’t wait to come up with a space where I can put it to good use.  Mimi has been laying hints about her bedroom, but I don’t think so!

The Queen’s Treasures Collie Dog

Thanks to the blog, I’ve made some great friendships with fellow doll collectors and bloggers.  It’s always exciting when I get a package from one of them, and this past Christmas, the one I got from Xyra was full of all sorts of fun goodies.  However, one item jumped out at me immediately:

Yep, a dog that resembles my dog Laney!  Queen’s Treasures calls it a Collie puppy, but I think it works fine as a Shetland Sheepdog too, it’s the right size. I was so excited when I opened the package, I know I squealed!  Crazy part is, just a few days before that, I had been on the website looking around at their pets and saw it, but I’d already spent enough money about that time and thought to myself “I need to come back and order one of those.”  Now I didn’t have to.

Here’s a shot from the back:

And from the bottom.  Here you can see that they aren’t posable, these remind me of the older AG pets like the original Coconut.

They come with a leash

And a very nice collar!

On the outside of the box it had pictures of some of the other pets they have available.

I notice they even have the pets from the Little House On The Prairie stories!

These are cute little additions to your collection and they are very reasonably priced.  You can either buy them direct from The Queen’s Treasures although I have noticed they have much better prices on Amazon right now.  Very affordable, ranging from $10 to $20, depending on where you buy them from and which pet you pick.  I’ll be curious to see if they come out with any additional breeds later on!