Retro Games For Newbies

With all the new releases, it’s easy to get caught up in the appeal of shiny graphics and fast online multiplayer. However, re-releases and eshops are also great for giving newer players access to beloved older games. For those who are looking to take a dive into history, here are a couple of games to check out.


EarthBoundAn RPG classic from the SNES. Players take on the role of Ness, a young boy woken up by a strange event from space. From there, he must set out on a journey across a parody of America, collecting friends and defeating strange enemies in ultimate pursuit of ridding the world of the frightening Pigmasks.

Ultimately, the most lovely part of the game is its balance between humor and heart. The game has a childish sense of humor, with everything from piles of barf to cultists obsessed with the color blue. Through it all, though, it has a childish heart, in the most lovely sense of the word. At the beginning of the game, you leave behind Ness’ mother. Through the game, he gets homesick, and must touch in with her every once in a while. The notes you form on your journey string together to make a mother’s lullaby, which ultimately pacifies an upset child. When all is said and done, you get a post game that is quiet and sweet.

Earthbound is available for the SNES and Wii U virtual console.

Suikoden II

Suikoden-IIA cult hit for the PS1, Suikoden lets the player take on the role of a hero who rises to have an entire army under his command. After surviving a near-death experience in which the hero’s entire brigade is wiped out, players must collect party members and eventually oppose the evil prince responsible for the deed. That is a mighty task, considering there are over one hundred potential party members scattered about the realm. The whole thing is connected with a wonderfully well-written story about the pursuit of peace, with a surprising amount of the cast very well fleshed out.

Also, you get to be an Iron Chef.

Suikoden II was recently released on the PlayStation Network. The first one (which isn’t needed to enjoy the sequel) is available for download for PS3/Vita.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

the-legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-timeA timeless classic for the Nintendo 64, one of the most beloved of the long-running Legend of Zelda series. Players take on the role of the future Hero of Time, more commonly known as “Link” (the Zelda of legend is in fact the princess of the land). Tasked with a great destiny, he is pushed out of his childhood forest home and finds he must defeat the king of evil, Ganondorf. In his journey, he comes across the Master Sword, which enables him to explore the land of Hyrule in two different time periods.

Through it all, players explore many a dungeon to gain the tools to save the realm. Most important is the ocarina of the title, whose songs spark magic changes in the environment.

Ocarina of Time is available for the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and 3DS. The GameCube version is a direct port of the N64 original, but the 3DS is a full remake, which includes some tweaking, including an alteration of what was once a famously annoying water temple.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

The-Legend-of-Zelda-Majora's-MaskAnother famous Zelda title, this is a sequel to Ocarina of Time. Missing his fairy guide from the first game, Link, still a child, ventures into the land of Termia. The land is in its last days, as a giant moon hangs ominously in the sky. In three days, the moon will crash into the land, killing everyone. As you explore the doomed land, you meet the Happy Mask Salesman. His wares can help Link by allowing him to transform into other creatures. You travel through the five lands, encountering many troubled characters.

The sequel is less heroic than its predecessor. It’s very focused on grief. Each land you encounter has characters dealing with grief, in different ways. There is no kingdom to save, but fulfillment comes through helping the characters you come to care about.

Majora’s Mask is available for the Nintendo 64 and Wii. Like Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask is going to be released on 3DS soon.


How to Stay Full Longer and Keep Unhealthy Snacking at Bay

Committing to the choice to start eating healthier sounds great until you start feeling hungry. Whether you’re walking through the kitchen and making eyes at that ice cream in the fridge, or down a street with delicious scents of fried foods and sweet treats wafting your way, it’s no easy thing to turn down a treat when your stomach is growling. If you’re determined to stick it to cravings and keep on track with healthy eating, picking foods that will keep you full and give you plenty of energy is a key part to staving off boredom eating and cravings. But how can you stay full without loading up on carbs or going back for double helpings during meal time? Here are some tips to help you from turning back to potato chips and candy to fill you up between meals.

Nutrient Dense Filler Foods

When you’re finished with your meal, you should feel comfortably full, not hungry for more. If you’ve just finished and you’re already hungry, avoiding a snack is going to be difficult. There’s nothing wrong with eating until you’re full – the problem, if you’re after weight loss, is continuing to eat after you’ve already a point where you’re satisfied. To fill up faster and get more energy and health benefits from your meal, use nutrient dense filler foods. Eat the vegetables on your plate first, and try to make sure you’ve include veggies that are high in fiber. You can also take your lunches and dinners above and beyond by using a homemade, healthy broth-based soup as an appetizer to help fill you up. Include vegetables in your soup like carrots, squash, or potatoes for more density. (This kind of soup also serves as a healthy and hearty snack choice between meals.)

Use a Variety of Proteins

Replace a few meals with vegetarian alternatives

Replace a few meals with vegetarian alternatives

Meat doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t) be the only source of protein on your plate. In fact, if you’re looking to lose weight or feel less sluggish, replacing a couple meals a week with filling vegetarian options can have a great impact on your health. Heavy meats like beef and pork are fatty and, while eating them once in a while is fine for you, turning towards healthier proteins for the bulk of your meals will serve you better. An easy way to achieve getting a complete protein without eating any meat is to combine most any bean or legume with a grain. Rice and beans, hummus and pita, even peanut butter and bread. Pasta substitutes like quinoa are also good sources of protein.

Incorporate Good Fats Into Your Meals

Eat good sources of unsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, salmon and soy milk

Eat good sources of unsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, salmon and soy milk

Not all fatty foods are bad for you! Your body needs “good” fats to be properly supplied with nutrients, and unsaturated fats play a role in keeping your mood, brain function, and fatigue in check. Saturated fats, in moderation, won’t kill you, but you should strive to keep your intake limited. Good sources of unsaturated fats are avocadoes, nut butters, olives (and olive oil), fatty fish like salmon and trout, soymilk, and flaxseed. Incorporating healthy fats into your diet will help cut down on your craving for saturated fats and you’ll get the benefits of a well-rounded diet. Like everything else, you’ll get the most benefits from unsaturated fats if you intake them in moderation. Done right, they’ll help lower your cholesterol, improve your mood, clear away “brain fog,” and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Exercise Instead of Boredom Eating

03When we’re bored, our thoughts tend to start wandering toward the kitchen and what treats might be lurking inside. If you find yourself wandering over to the refrigerator over and over, hoping something to eat will makes itself known, chances are you’re more bored than hungry. You can turn the tables by picking up an exercise routine to combat boredom instead of munching on snacks. Go for a walk or jog, bust out an exercise video, or even just do some stretching when you find yourself with nothing to do or you feel like putting something else off for a little while. Your mind and body will thank you for the extra activity and time outdoors.


SEO: Do You Need To Outsource?

SEO isn’t something everyone knows about until they set foot in a marketing department, or venture into business. At the very start of building up a business, you don’t exactly NEED to use SEO, especially if you’re also advertising on newspapers or using word of mouth, but there comes a point when your business gets big enough to start mattering a lot. SEO will help you rank better on Google and other search engines, with as a result that you get more attention, more customers, and in the end, more revenue.

Plenty of companies make their living offering both SEO and SEM services, and you’ve probably had enough spam about it to last you a lifetime. The amount of spam can make it difficult to separate the real companies from the fake ones, and make you hesitant about starting. The good news, though, is that it’s not as hard as it looks, and you don’t need to hesitate.

What do you really need to make a page SEO friendly?

Make your website SEO friendly

Make your website SEO friendly

If you’ve written your own page, you might have noticed meta descriptions both for the entire page and the images you have. While you were writing it, you probably tried to make your page look the best it can, with a nice image, neatly laid-out text, and an easy-to-read cadence. SEO isn’t much different to that. All you’d need to do is make sure those meta descriptions have the correct keyword, your page title matches, and it’s present in your text in a few places. While it can be hard to define those places, there are services that will run a check on your page if you enter the URL and your keyword – many people trust MOZ with their SEO results, with its easy-to-use interface and clear results within moments of clicking update. So you know how to layout your text, and how to make sure if you’ve got it right. Then it’s up to the content. While the content itself is easy, picking a keyword is a bit harder.

Determining a keyword

Use Google AdWords to find the best keywords

Use Google AdWords to find the best keywords

While you could pick a keyword out of thin air – for example, Seattle Plumbing – the best way to find your keyword is through Google AdWords. It’ll show you exactly how many searches a keyword has, and what kind of competition there is. You can find one that suits you here easily enough. However, Google AdWords can be a bit intimidating and a little harder to use, but if you want to use it, there’s plenty of text and video guides all over the internet – just a Google search away. With that kind of information, it shouldn’t be too hard to find your keyword!

So do you need to outsource?

Once you know you don’t need that much to write your content, you have to ask yourself the question whether you want to invest in access-fees to some of the services you might need, and whether you’re willing to invest the time in writing attractive-sounding text that incorporates the keywords without it sounding too unnatural. Especially if the language your text is in is not our native language, you may not feel entirely comfortable creating new content to such specific terms. So the answer in short is no, you don’t HAVE to, but in a lot of ways it can save you time, effort, and you know you’ve got professional content. 5 Signs Outsourcing Is Right For you.

If you do choose to outsource, you need to make sure you look out for a few of the pitfalls you might stumble into that some less than reputable companies may use. First, you need to check the quality of the work. Are the keywords present correctly, used well, and does the text still sound attractive? Getting traffic on your website will mean a lot less if the visitors leave immediately. And secondly, one of the other most important things is to make sure the content is unique. Some companies will recycle text, and if your website is too similar to someone else’s, you’ll be penalized by search engines. To be sure, run the text through some websites that will compare the text, like copyscape. If you’re happy with the text, and happy with the price, you’re good to go. Outsourcing might just be for you!


All about PayPal’s Bill Me Later Feature

If you have a PayPal account (if you don’t, you should) you might have already heard about their credit feature. It’s known as Bill Me Later, or simply PayPal Credit. It’s a line of credit offered based on your credit history and approval and it offers you a way to purchase items just like you would with a credit card. The only difference is that it’s all through the PayPal website, and because it ties into the site it’s easy to select it as a payment option when you’re paying for something online. We don’t have to go into the dangers of buying too much on credit when you don’t have the money to pay it back here, but it’s important to be mindful of it. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s the best idea. You should be aware of Bill Me Later as an option, though, because it’s a great way to pay for things online if you have the credit to get yourself approved for it!

Where You Can Use It

Even people who have PayPal’s credit program sometimes aren’t aware of just how many places accept it as a payment method. Most people know that eBay takes it as a payment method for certain sellers, but stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Sears also accept it, so if you were looking to catch a great deal on any of those websites that just happens to be online only, Bill Me Later is a great thing to have. If you were looking for a present for your kids but don’t want to go and brave the store, use Bill Me Later on the Toys ‘r’ Us website to space out the purchases you make for something like Christmas presents so you can manage your money well. Even sites like Fandango, Barnes & Noble as well as the online stores for a variety of different clothing brands like Adidas and Under Armour accept Bill Me Later. If you don’t want to use your regular credit card for a purchase, Bill Me Later is a great thing to have!

Why You Should Have It

The more payment method you offer the better

The more payment method you offer the better

A better question would be: why shouldn’t you have it? If you can get a line of credit approved, there’s no reason to say no to having an extra payment method, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to keep your regular credit card for emergencies. This way, you can still shop with credit without tying up a card for something you didn’t want to use it for. In addition to all of the places it’s accepted as a payment method, it’s a good idea to have it because it has some attractive payment options that aren’t offered through many of the other major credit card providers. It has some of the same no interest offers that are offered, but it works a little different than some of the lines of credit that you might be used to. Because the feature is entirely online through PayPal’s services, the site is streamlined and easy to use, incorporating the latest and greatest in security technology to make sure that your money and personal information is safe. Lots of people think it helps them manage their money better because they have a credit card for in-store purchases and an online line of credit for online shopping. It’s good to differentiate because it helps to keep purchases separate and allow a better understanding of where your money is going when you’re spending it.


3 Tips for Long Distance Relationships

Long distance relationships are never easy. You’re missing your girlfriend and you know that she’s missing you. With all the jealousy that crops up when you’re apart, it can be hard to keep things together. If you’re in a long distance relationship right now, or you know that you will be soon, keep these tips in mind. They just might be enough to keep the two of you going strong even when all hope seems lost. If you’re very lucky and very good, you just might wind up together again.

Read Books Together

If neither of you are big readers, they swap this idea out for watching a television show together. It should be one that neither of you have seen before and one that both of you like. You can stay synced up with a +/- one tolerance for how close together you are in the story and then you can talk about it. You can read a book every night and then text each other the page number you left off on so that neither of you spoils the ending. The point of these little acts of kindness and companion ship is that forming memories together is very important for a relationship. When you’re in a long distance relationship it can be hard to experience anything together. Keeping side by side through a story is the kind of thing that keeps you together by allowing you to feel each other’s presence in your life. You’re bonding over the shared experience of reading that book or watching the TV show.

Keep the Sexual Aspect of Your Relationship Alive

Keep the relationship alive with Video Chatting

Keep the relationship alive with Video Chatting

In this day and age it’s easier than ever to keep the sexual side of your relationship alive no matter how far apart you are. Get Snapchat and send nudes safely, knowing that you’ll be notified if they try to take a screenshot of it. You can chat on Skype, you can text all the time, and you have a private phone line which means the two of you can get off over the phone as often as you like. There’s no reason for the sexual side of your relationship to lapse. Sure, it won’t be as satisfying as it was when your partner was just on the other end of your fingertips, but it will be enough to stop you two from disconnecting entirely.

Send Care Packages

Send Romantic Care Packages

Send Romantic Care Packages

Real, physical items are very important when you can’t be there in person. Even if it’s something as simple as a tiny keychain stuffed into an envelope sending your girlfriend something physical will make an impression on her. Not to mention that it’s unusual enough to get things in the mail these days that you’re adding that pleasure to the surprise of the gift. It’s not about showering her with material possessions. It’s about letting her hold something when she’s thinking of you instead of being entirely alone. These little things will keep you fresh in her mind even when times are hard and it would be easier for her to reach for someone else’s hand.