Board games have become somewhat of a staple in the Benda household these past few years. We’ve pushed aside Monopoly for more “indie” board games and haven’t looked back once. In an effort to drop some amazing board game knowledge on you, I’m bringing you a series where I share what types of board games are for which type of players and styles. Up fist, collaboration games.
Castle Panic is one of those kid friendly games where everyone is trying to protect their castle from encroaching orcs and goblins who are trying to destroy it. Everyone works together discussing strategy, sharing cards, and winning (or losing) together. It’s a great game that starts off pretty calm and ramps up quickly after every turn as more and more creatures emerge from the forest. The game dynamics are clear and well thought out. Plus they provide you with a little cheat sheet card so you cn remember the stages of every turn. It’s definitely defeatable among adults as we’ve done it a number of times, but it would still be fun to play with a younger crowd to help them develop more strategic skills.
Monikers is an adult game that’s best in groups of 5-6. It’s a blend of taboo and sherades done in such a way that even the shyest of game planners won’t feel the pressure to perform. Each game consists of three rounds with a deck of cards handpicked by everyone in the group. The first round you can say and do whatever you need to in order for your team to guess what’s on the card. Next round you can only use one word. The final round you can only act.
The best part? The deck of cards you use never changes throughout the whole game. After each round when all the cards from the group-made deck have been claimed by either team, they get shuffled back together and used for the next round. Suddenly the game dynamics shift and you can visibly see first-time players “ah-ha” moment as the second round begins. You’ve already seen and heard all of the cards in play be described in the first round so things get a whole lot easier, and funnier in the second and third ones. It’s an amazing game that leaves you talking about it for hours after it’s over. It takes off the pressure I for one always feel playing these types of games and you’re left with just a good, hilarious time had by all.
Escape, the Curse of the Temple has to be my favorite board game we’ve played yet. I constantly find myself convincing people to play with me as it’s only a ten minute game from start to finish. You and your friends are a team of explorers uncovering the mysteries of a secret temple by revealing tiles as you explore. Your goal is to uncover gems while looking for the exit by using custom dice to help you move around. Sounds simple until you add in the element that everyone plays at the exact same time, constantly. So everyone is rolling dice, exploring all at the same time all the while listening to an included soundtrack that builds the tension. The soundtrack tells you at two different times when you have to quickly run back to the center of the map or fear losing a dice for the rest of the game. The dice can also betray you by showing black skulls that you have to roll gold skulls in order to unlock. It’s a collaboration game of course so if you’re in the same room as another player, you can share your dice to help uncover gems together or unlock a friend who has rolled all black skulls. If you don’t clear off enough gems and escape the temple through the exit before the soundtrack ends, everyone in your party loses.
Now I know it sounds pretty complicated in a brief description, but it’s a fun, fast-paced family friendly game that people figure out after one quick round of diving into it. I’ve never felt so much adrenaline from playing a game and everyone always ends up in a panic throwing dice around trying not to get trapped when everyone is rushing back to the center of the map. It’s hilariously fun to watch as a bystander and even has expansion packs that make things more challenging once you can escape the temple like a pro.
If you want more in-depth descriptions of the games, there are actually a lot of game-plays on Youtube. I have wasted many hours watching other people play through games that it’s kind of absurd. Also, if there are any categories of games you want to see my favorites of next (games that screw your partner, strategic games, etc), leave requests in the comments.!
Yours till the board games,
When I rediscovered enamel pins a few months back, I went a little mad. I scooped up so many over the past weeks that a check-in was due. I love picking up a new pin from a place we’ve visited or getting one that somehow speaks to me. I also switched my pins over from the large tote bag to something smaller with more structure. That way my collection is easier to show off without carrying around such a massive bag.
The top corgi pin
and the introvert pin
were both gifts from Alex on my 24th birthday. We’ve been talking about getting a corgi for months now and it definitely will be happening spring of next year. This little guy is keeping my eagerness at bay as I await the arrival of our own furry pup. Nothing screams Kayla like an introvert pin. I like to imagine that’s what I’ll look like when I’m older. Still socially awkward and much rather spend time by myself.
The two planner addict
pins Alex and I created ourselves to sell at Oh, Hello. The mint green one we made exclusively for The Planner Addict box this month and I couldn’t be more proud of our efforts to expand our brand. We have a few more pins in the works for fall too!
The puffin and otter pins
are both from the same shop and were the first two pins that kicked off the obsession. I wanted something that represented something Alex and I love, so why not our favorite animals? I think it’s safe to say that the shop they originated from is a constant source for pins I’ve added to my wishlist.
I found the little unicorn
through my wanderings on Amazon and knew any pin collection wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a unicorn involved in one way or another.
The remaining pins I picked up during our recent travels. Apparently it’s quite common for zoos to have pins so I suspect a growing collection of similar pins as we tend to frequent zoos when we travel. I also snatched up an Upper Peninsula one when we went to Pictured Rocks a few weekends ago.
I’ve always had a thing for collection and I love that this one is so portable. Now to just tame the beast and stop buying so many!
Yours till the enamel pins,
I don’t talk about my anxiety a lot (read: ever) because I don’t want it defining me or becoming all consuming. And a big part of that anxiety comes in the form of this overwhelming fear of failure. Ever since I was little I have always avoided failure at all costs. I didn’t want to let my family down, my friends down, but really I just didn’t want to let myself down.
I feel like a fear of failure is a normal thing to have. That everyone has this voice in the back of their head constantly worrying about sucking. So how do I fight it? I embrace it.
Now I’m not about to say that you need to stroll hand in hand with your fear of failure and become best friends. But I know from years of failing at ignoring my fear of failure, that it’s just not going to work to pretend you’re above it. It’s better to just be honest with yourself (and others) that this fear exists, for good reason, but it isn’t going to paralyze progress.
It’s when I started talking about this fear and acknowledging that it exists with people close to me, that I started finding more comfort in, and help to fight against it. It’s definitely one of those “you’re not alone” types of situations. Everyone has this fear. Everyone. And if they think that they don’t, they just aren’t ready to face it yet.
I’m never going to feel 100% confident and secure in anything I do. It would be ignorant to believe a perfection like that exists. The fear of failure exists because there is failure in every single person’s life. There’s always something that doesn’t work out that makes you nervous to try again. Alex and I have started and failed at a handful of businesses before Oh, Hello. Who knows. Oh, Hello might still flop a year from now. But that fear of failure doesn’t stop us from giving our business our all every single day. That fear pushes us harder and makes us better business owners.
So yeah, I’m afraid of failure more now than ever before. There’s more at stake, more to lose. But I’m sure as hell not going to sit around and do nothing about it.
So fight on my friends.
Yours till the fortune cookies,
I’m the type of person that if I see a recipe online and magically have all the ingredients on hand, I’m making it that instant. I’ve been on the lookout for easy to do doughnut recipes, and nothing is easier than a muffin version! I found this cinnamon sugar doughnut muffin recipe here
, but as usual I have a few notes and opinions on the process to make them even better.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk together remaining muffin ingredients in separate bowl.
- Pour wet into dry and stir until just mixed and no large lumps are visible.
- Fill muffin tin to 2/3 full and bake 15-17 minutes or until spongy to the touch.
- Let cool in pan completely. Use a knife to pop muffins free from tin if necessary.
- While muffins are cooling, melt butter in a bowl and combine sugar and cinnamon into another.
- Dip muffin tops into butter and then roll into cinnamon sugar mixture. Brush off any clumps or excess for a smoother finish. Repeat for each muffin.
These deliciously sweet muffins are definitely a treat and amazing substitute to the real thing. Now I’m just itching to go to an apple orchard and eat a dozen of the originals. Be sure to share photos if you end up making these yourself!
A day in the life of my Erin Condren is a simple, yet tiresome one. I tote my 18-month neutral hourly around with me like a security blanket making sure I have my head on straight when the middle of the day hits. Plus it’s just gorgeous to stare at when I’m having an inspiration block. So here’s what my planner gets up to in a regular day
8:00 AM – Sitting on my nightstand as my phone alarm vibrates on top of it.
9:00 AM – On the kitchen island helping me figure out the game plan for the day.
9:30 AM – Up the stairs to my office for its big performance in whatever video I’m filming that day.
10:30 AM – Down the stairs to the Oh, Hello headquarters to keep me company as I check things off my to do list in the office.
2:00 PM – Back upstairs for a break and some Netflix in bed. Plus it needs a break after all that to do list checking.
5:00 PM – Out to dinner with Alex ready to take notes for whatever ideas we may come up with while eating.
8:00 PM – Prepping for the next day while lounging in bed catching up on YouTube videos.
11:00 PM – Getting some rest for the next big work day tomorrow.
Yours till the cat meows,