5 PlayStation 4 Exclusives Coming in 2017

Through the years technology has advanced in a way that allows people to create so much more than we used to ever possible. One of the ways people have used technology to get creative is through forms of entertainment. Video games have grown to be a part of the entertainment industry that can create massive worlds complete with their own population, physics, and story. One of the platforms that to me has always tried to push things forward is Playstation. Every year they push out a plethora of games, and there is always enough variety that everyone can find something to enjoy. So here are 5 games coming out in 2017 that I feel are worth checking out.

1. HORIZON: ZERO DAWN

Developer: Guerilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: February 28th
Genre: Action Role-Playing
Overview: You play as Aloy, a hunter living in a world after the fall of civilization. The world has become overrun by mechanized creatures, but no one knows where they originated from. Aloy has been sheltered from these creatures her whole life and sets out to find out where they came from. At your disposal is a variety of tactics to help you survive such as melee/ ranged attacks, and stealth. As you progress through the game there is a skill tree to develop Aloy’s abilities.

2. PERSONA 5

Developer: Atlas
Publisher: Atlas USA
Release date: April 4th
Genre: Japanese Role-Playing
Overview: In Person 5 you play as a silent protagonist who was transferred to a new High School after being placed on probation. Part of the game acts as a social simulation that will have you live the life of the character through the school year developing relations with the people of Tokyo. The protagonist and some of his other class mates awaken and become masked vigilantes that fight supernatural enemies in a supernatural Palace realm.

3. CRASH BANDICOOT: N-SANE TRILOGY

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Release date: June 30th
Genre: Platformer
Overview: The N-Sane trilogy is the original 3 Crash Bandicoot games that came out in the 90’s but completely remade from the ground up. The game has you jumping, and spinning to take down enemies, destroy crates, and navigate through the levels. Along the way you will also collect Wumpa fruit that will allow you to gain extra lives. Each level has a crystal you need to collect. The primary objective for all of the games is to stop the evil Dr. Neo Cortex.

4. UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 2017
Genre: Action-Adventure
Overview: The Lost Legacy is a single player expansion for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Although you played as Nathan Drake in all the other Uncharted games, in this expansion you play as Chloe Frazer who appeared in Uncharted 2: Among Theives. The expansion will take place in India, and will feature story elements based on Hinduism.

 

GRAN TURISMO SPORT

Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 2017
Genre: Racing
Overview: This is the first Gran Turismo game to make an appearance on PlayStation 4. It will be the 7th primary release in the series, and the 13th overall release in the series. The Gran Turismo games try to deliver a  life-like racing experience.

http://www.gamesradar.com/upcoming-ps4-games/
http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/release-date/coming-soon/ps4/date

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5 PlayStation 4 Exclusives Coming in 2017

Fire hydrants, puppies and frosting… oh my!

Unique and eye-catching cupcake displays aren’t just for weddings anymore. They can be used to add a special touch to any child’s birthday. My passion for cake decorating started with my mom. Some of my fondest memories were of the birthday cakes she made. The majority of what I know about cake decorating I learned from my mom and online research. Today I will share some tips on how to put together a creative cupcake display.

Recently, one of my nephews asked for vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for his birthday. If the person you are making the cupcakes for didn’t tell you a specific flavor, select a favorite recipe or go ahead and try a new one.

When it comes to a creative cupcake display, the theme is everything. You can obtain the theme from the birthday child or if you know them well, make a list of their interests and select one or a combination of several to base the theme on. My nephew requested a puppy theme so I searched the Internet for puppy themed cupcakes and came across some great tutorials like this one by Sweet Art by Elizabeth.

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Puppy Theme Cupcakes – Image by Kelly Blazek

I also did a Google search to find additional images of puppy cupcakes to draw ideas from. By looking at tutorials and images in advance, I knew what colors to incorporate into my theme. It also allowed me to write down what kinds of piping tips and colors of frosting I would need. I have decorated cakes for many years so I already have a lot of the supplies, but if you are a beginner decorated there are a lot of resources available online that talk about the techniques and the items that are needed. Wilton and Cake Central are a few resources that have great information.

After you have your flavor(s) selected and know what you want your cupcakes to look like, it is a matter of creating the cupcake display. I always try to plan my cupcake displays several weeks in advance so I have time to gather all of the materials I need. This also allows for the display items to be done ahead of time so I can focus my attention on baking a day or so ahead of the party. I like to sketch my display and list the needed supplies in a sketchbook, but a scrap piece of paper will do just fine. Below is a list of what I needed for my nephew’s cupcake display.

  • Theme: Puppies
  • Colors: Brown, ivory, white, black, gray, red
  • Plastic table cover: Brown for the cake table
  • Cupcake stand: Wilton three-tier stand – I already owned this stand. Don’t feel like you have to purchase a stand for your display. Be creative and use boxes wrapped in gift wrap or fabric, wooden crates or items you already have. There are also great ideas on Pinterest for DIY cupcake stands. If you do want to purchase a stand, watch for coupons and sales at stores like Joann Fabric and Crafts.
  • Cupcake wrappers: Use dog theme
    Puppy Theme Side Closeup.JPG
    Puppy Theme Cupcake Wrappers – Image by Kelly Blazek

    scrapbook supplies, a template, straight edge scissors and decorative shears. You don’t have to use a cupcake wrapper, but cupcakes tend to show through the thin baking wrappers. By cutting out your own wrappers from scrapbook paper and gluing them around your baked cupcakes with an adhesive dot roller, the options are endless. As a final touch I took the stickers from the scrapbook kit and added them to the wrappers.

  • Table accents: Fire hydrant coin bank, tulle fabric for under the cupcake stands, miniature toy dogs, large and mini chalk board signs. Be creative with your accent pieces, this not only adds a personal touch to your display but the items can be given to the child as a birthday gift.

I like to set my displays up in advance and take pictures so when I go to set it up for the party I already know where everything goes. When it comes to cupcake displays you are only limited by your own imagination. Don’t just think outside of the box, get rid of the cupcake box and display those cupcakes with pizzazz.

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Puppy Theme Cupcake Display – Image by Kelly Blazek
Gallery

Ten Netflix Must Watch

Netflix

Netflix is only just only a part of my life. I know I’m obsess with the online movies and tv shows. This is just a few shows I know I hear too much about or some shows that I’ve personally love and watched over and over again. 

Shameless

This family of 6 has to survive in downtown Chicago with a very verbal abusive, ahcoloic father and a mother who never is around. Finona, who had to drop out of high school to support her brothers and sisters, try to keep the family in tacked while Frank, the father, tries to wheel them apart. Watch the show to see what kind of funny, drama filled, and crazy adventures the family goes on to survive. 


Fuller House

Everyone knows Full House that use to air all the time on Nickelodeon. The kids that everyone loves and adores DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy now live in the big house. DJ has three kids of her own and Kimmy has one. All the kid trying to get along with everyone and also DJ trying to find someone to date after her husband past away from working on the job as a fire fighter. For those people who just can’t get enough of the Tanner house residents, well this is the show for you. 


One Tree Hill

Who doesn’t like drama? One Tree Hill has drama up the wazzoo. This show will keep you on your toes. Lucas and Nathan find out that they are half brothers and trust me they couldn’t stand each other when they didn’t know. Nathan loves basketball but because of Dan, the boys father. Lucas lives with his mom and didn’t really know who his father was until he was in high school. Lucas started to play basketball with Nathan but finds out if Lucas keeps playing something bad will happen. Watch the show to find out what happens. 


Orange is the New Black

Ahh. OITNB everyone thinks that this show is just about some lesbians, well guess what, that’s only a part of it. Piper has to go to jail for something she did 10 years ago with an old girlfriend. Piper was always a goody-two-shoes, when he got into prism she didn’t know what to do, who to trust, and who to speak to without being beat up. Piper has more things to worry when it comes to prism. Will her fiancé be faithful? Will old memories come up? Watch to find out. 


iZombie

The new trend now-a-days is zombies. Have you heard of a fighting crime zombie? Well watch iZombie if you like criminal justice and zombies. Liv was your ordinary med school student until her friend made her go to this party. Her life just flipped upside down. She became a zombie. In this show, if you eat the brains from a human you get their memories. She used that skill to help solve crime with her partner, Clive. 


Walking Dead

I’m pretty sure everyone has either heard or at least seen an episode of Walking Dead. No shocker here, it’s about zombies. Rick and his family tries to survive in this apocalypse and there are many obstacles that get in the way. Do they survive? 


Pretty Little Liars

Got a secret can you keep it? That’s right, Pretty Little Liars. Who couldn’t forget the four friends trying to find out who this mysterious “A” is. Can the girls find out who is framing them for their friend dissaperance or do the girls just take the blame because there’s no evidence telling the authorities otherwise?

The 100s

100 young adults have been traveling through space for 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse. Clark is only 18 when the 100 young adults got sent back down to earth to see if it is habitable. The prisoners are the ones who are send down to earth. Do they survive or do they die one by one? 

Once Upon a Time

Fairy tales have pretty much been the foundation of our childhoods but in this show all the happy endings have been stolen away. There is a book that this 10 year old is reading and he takes real life people into the stories that is a mixture of all of the fairy tales we all know by heart. Do they get the happy endings back? 

Grey’s Anatomy 

Hospitals, love, passion, and edge breaking news is just the surface of what this show is about. Watch to see what all goes on, I know I will be. 

    Ten Netflix Must Watch

    7 Things to do in Sin City without breaking the bank.

    Why plan a trip to just go spend more money? Most people when they think of Las Vegas they just think of it as a vacation to go gamble. Why would you want to spend so much money on flights and hotels just to gamble more money away? Here’s 7 thinks you can do in Las Vegas without breaking the bank.

    Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden
    Cost: FREE

    The Bellagio has a stunning botanical garden to view. With 14,000 square feet of beautiful artwork put together by many horticulturist.  The display is changed 4 times a year. From my experience I have never been let down any any of them that were there. The 2017 themes are Chinese New Year (January 8th- March 4th), Spring Celebration (March 11th- May 20th), Summer Garden (May 27th- September 9th), and Harvest Show (September 16th-November 25th).

    Fountains of Bellagio
    Cost: Free

    While you are at the Bellagio already head out front and watch the spectacular water fountain show. I’m sure most have heard about this however there is nothing like actually being there hearing the music and seeing how high the fountains really go. Think if you seen it once you have seen it all? Think again each show just gets more spectacular then the previous one.
    The hours are:
    Monday – Friday 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. show every 1/2 hour 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. show every 15 minutes
    Saturdays & Holidays 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. show every 1/2 hour 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. show every 15 minutes
    Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. show every 1/2 hour 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. show every 15 minutes

    Shark Reef of Mandalay Bay
    Cost: Adults $20, Children $14
    Extra Specialty packages avaiable

    The Shark Reef has a large amount of sea animals. Over 2,000 of them can be viewed. You can get the basic admission and walk through the reef. Or you can buy one of the speciatly packages and have more hands on or in depth look at sea life. There are 4 additional packages, Stingray Feed, Sea Turtle Feed, Shark Feed, and Dive with Sharks. Prices of these packages vary but are available to book via the website linked above. So dive on in to a one of a kind experience.

    The Midway and Circus shows at Circus Circus
    Cost: Circus Shows are Free, Midway prices vary

    Come get the full feel of a Circus show and Circus Circus. Stop in on the Midway and play one of the 200 popular circus games. And while your are there playing don’t forget to stop and watch one of the many different circus acts. Acts start at 11am and continue at various times throughout the day. So don’t miss out on the many different performances available.

    Viva Vision Light Show Fremont Street
    Cost: Free

    This just isn’t your ordinary show. The Fremont Street screen is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and 90 feet above Fremont Street. While here you can see many different light shows each one last about 6 minuets and are ran every hour beginning at dusk. In between the shows you can shop at some of the local gift shops or visit some of the original Las Vegas Strip hotels and casinos.

    Slotzilla Zip Line
    Cost: $25-45

    Slotzill is a 12 Story slot machine zip line. There are two different ways you can fly down Fremont street. You can chose the lower line which is the Zipline or choose the upper line which is the Zoomline. The difference in the two is the height and how far you go. The Zipline is 77ft up and goes half way down Fremont Street. Where as the Zoomline is 114ft up and goes the whole length of Fremont Street. So which line will you choose? The thrill seeking heights of the Zoomline or will you take it easy with the Zipline?

    Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Forum Shops
    Cost: Free

    Not only can you view some of the amazing high end shops in Caesars Palace, or the 50,000 gallon aquarium, you can also see the Fall of Atlantis show. This is a free show that has animatronic figures who will react the myth of Atlantis. You will see 9 foot tall talking statues and effects of fire and water. The shows plays every hour starting at 11am.

    There you have it 7 things you can do while in Las Vegas without breaking the bank. Make sure to add these to your vacation list to save throwing your money in a slot machine or on the next poker table.

    7 Things to do in Sin City without breaking the bank.

    Are you credit healthy?

    Developing a healthy credit history is important for many reasons. A poor or non-existent credit history can hinder your ability to qualify for a loan, rent an apartment, pay lower insurance rates and even get some jobs! Starting with your first credit card everything you do that involves credit is part of your personal credit history. To have a beneficial credit history, you have to use credit correctly. But exactly what is “correct?” Learning how to have the correct credit can be overwhelming, here is some help…

    Starting Outcc

    If you’re just starting out and trying to obtain credit, begin with one credit card and don’t open up too many cards within the first few years. The more credit you have, the more you may end up using and the more payments you’ll have to make. If there are too many inquiries into your credit and/or new credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score.

    Credit Report

    The major credit bureaus keep files on your financial activities that impact your credit. You are entitled to one free credit report within each 12-month period from each of the three major credit bureaus.

    Your Credit Score

    As part of your credit report, your credit history is “graded” and this becomes your credit score. Maintaining a good credit score is a key factor in your ability to qualify for loans. How is your credit score determined? There are several factors:

    • 35% payment history
    • 30% amount owed
    • 15% length of credit
    • 10% new credit
    • 10% credit mix – your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

    Each credit-reporting agency has a slightly different version of your credit score, but these ranges will generally apply:

    • 700 – 850: Very good or excellent
    • 680 – 699: Good
    • 620 – 679: Average/OK
    • 580 – 619: Low
    • 500 – 579: Poor
    • 300 – 499: Bad

    If you are just starting out establishing credit, or need to improve your credit score, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Avoid maxing out credit lines on cards or loans.
    • Avoid applying for too much credit. (All those department store credit cards could count against you.)
    • Consistently make all your payments on time.
    • If you carry a balance, pay it down on credit cards or loans.
    • Satisfy any overdue bills.
    • Let your accounts age. Leave your oldest accounts open since they help increase your credit age and build good credit.
    • Pull your credit score annually. To ensure there aren’t any discrepancies on your report which could hinder your credit score.

    Your credit scores estimate how you handle your credit by using the information in your credit reports. You will want to monitor your credit score and credit report to watch for errors.  If you see any discrepancies on your credit report you will have to report these to the credit bureau.

    In conclusion, by building your credit you are able to make large purchases, rent property and event get a job.

    Resources:

    http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/whats-in-your-credit-score/

    https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/how-to-build-credit/

    Are you credit healthy?

    How to Paint a reproduction Fish

    To paint a reproduction fish, you will need a few things to start. Here is a list:

    • Fish blank (perch is a good starter)
    • Air Brush and compressor
    • Water Color pencils (middle chrome)
    • Sealer (flat gloss)
    • Pearl Ex powders (yellow, green, spring green, interference gold,)
    • Reference photos
    • Pan Pastel oil paints (pathlo blue x dark, yellow ocher, bright yellow)
    • Glue
    • Masking tape
    • Charcoal stick
    • Epo fin grip
    • Paint (candy dark green, candy bright yellow, candy paynes gray, Candy light green, Candy sail fish blue, candy red)
    • Lacquer thinner
    • Paint brush (small type a scrubber or stiffer bristle)
    • 00 steel wool
    • Gloss (triple thick glaze.)

     

    To start you will tape the fins off. You will then spray Candy Dark green lightly along top and side of fish. Clean air brush with lacquer thinner. You will then spray Candy bright yellow from the mid-section and blend it into the belly of the fish. Clean Air Brush. After this you will use the charcoal stick to outline the bars on the side of the fish. There are 6 main bars. Next you will use Candy Paynes grey to fill in the bars. Spray is mediumish. Next you will use 00 steel wool and lightly take paint off on the fish so that it’s just missing from the tops of the scales. Next you will use the Derwent middle chrome pencil draw all over the fish, up/down/side/side. Use a damp paper towel (no water running from it) and activate the water color by patting it. Next remove the tape from the fins. For the fin work we will start with candy paynes gray. Spray it dark at the base of the fin and lighter as you go up. You do this for both dorsal fins and the caudal fin. Now you take a stiff brush dip it in lacquer thinner dab some off on paper towel then use brush to rub paint back and forth on the fins. It will cause it to look splotchy. After cleaning air brush you then you candy bright yellow. Adjust spray very lightly so you can go close and spray the fingers on the fins. Clean air brush, Repeat with paint brush. Now lightly spray Candy light green on lower half of rays and fins and lightly on back of fish. Clean air brush after each use. Next Candy Paynes gray lightly on webbing of fins and dark at top of hard rays. Next use Candy Sailfish blue to deepen the top of bars and lightly between bars and down bars. Next use the pan pastel bright yellow on the belly and side of fish. Now use pathlo blue xtra dark on the bars of the fish. Now take a piece of steel wool that small, twist it and tighten it, and randomly clean scales. Next seal the fish. Now is the powder work, this is where reference plays a big part. Follow the reference but here’s the colors to use and average places to use. On the back to mid body Green, Yellow. Back and side Spring green outside edge of scales. Now seal it. Interference gold is used on the bottom half of fish.  Use yellow pan pastel to touch up the yellows on fish. Yellow ocher pastel on the head. Charcoal to create the black dots/lineage. Powder work (use reference) For paired fins Candy Bright yellow then Candy Red. Also do that on anal fin. Super glue to fish use epo grip to rebuild the fin buts. Wait a few house touch up work according to reference. Gloss the fish.

    How to Paint a reproduction Fish

    Wisconsin: Home of Beer, Cheese, & Wine??

    Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Malbec, Zinfandel; do these wines sound familiar?

    What about Marquette, Petite Pearl, Louise Swenson, Frontenac, La Crescent? Not ringing a bell?

    When people think of wine they typically think of the first set of wines listed above typically being grown and produced in world-renowned wine regions of the world such as California, Tuscany, Bordeaux, etc. But did you know that the state known for its beer, cheese, and dairy is a developing wine region itself?

    Yes, it may be hard to believe, but Wisconsin is a rapidly growing wine state. And no I’m not just referring to the fruit wines many Wisconsin wineries produce. Wisconsin can actually grow wine grapes! Yes, the Frozen Tundra has the ability to produce world-class quality wines, right here in our backyard.

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    Cold Climate grapes, such as the varietals listed above, were only developed about 20 years ago. They are still very new to the world of wine! These grapes are considered to be hybrids and are part Vinifera and part wild grape. Some characteristics of these grapes are, more acidic, fruit forward, and the vines can survive up to -30 degrees below zero (Well-suited for our cold winters here in Wisconsin I would say).

    For a full list of Cold Climate grapes visit: http://www.mngrapes.org/?page=Varieties

    Many wineries in the midwest have developed due to the success of the Cold Climate grape! Wineries have always been slowly developing in Wisconsin, that is until the early 2000s when the wine industry started to explode. Many Wisconsin Wineries were making much of their wines from fruits, Vinifera, or blends.

    A couple from Wisconsin was looking to change the way people thought of Wisconsin wines, and develop a new wine region! Steve Johnson and Maria Milano decided in early 2005 to plant some Cold Climate grape vines. Many people thought they were crazy, there’s no way you can grow grapes in Wisconsin! When they first started out there were only a few wineries in Wisconsin, today there are hundreds!

    Steve and Maria both grew up around wine and had developed a great appreciation for wine. Together, they found the perfect location, planted some vines, and started to build their winery in 2006.

    Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery opened Memorial Day weekend in 2007 and has become a well-known winery here in Northeast Wisconsin. Parallel 44 has produced many award-winning wines and continues to flourish. They have taken home Best Wisconsin Wine at the State Fair in 2014, 2015, and 2016! In 2014 it was their La Crescent, 2015 was the brand new varietal, Petite Pearl, and in 2016 Sparkler!

    Parallel 44 attributes their success to their loyal customers, as well as their geographical locational. Hence the name Parallel 44. The winery and vines are situated on the 44th line of latitude. If you were to follow that line of latitude directly east across the globe you would come across, Tuscany, Italy and Bordeaux, France, two world-renowned wine regions! With the same amount of rain fall, hours of daylight, and growing days, the 44th Parallel is the ideal place to grow grapes.

    With hard-work, determination, a passion, a vision, and some courage, Steve and Maria have went against the odds and created a taste of what Wisconsin grapes have to offer. Although growing grapes in Wisconsin, isn’t always the easiest, Steve and Maria continue to pursue their dream of creating our own wine region, here in Wisconsin.

    Want to learn more about Parallel 44 or try their wines? Follow the link below:

    http://www.44wineries.com/

    Wisconsin: Home of Beer, Cheese, & Wine??