The Nico Tribe has a new Home!

We’ve moved, after so much time here, I’ve decided to try my had at a new way of posting my content, please check us out at thenicotribe.com!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Starting a new hobby

Recently for my birthday my husband surprised me with my first Animal Crossing Amiibo cards. I’d been looking at getting some for a while, they are so cute and I wanted to see which villagers I’d get. Unbeknownst to him a new collection began brewing.

When I was younger nothing thrilled me more than being allowed to get a packet of Pokemon cards. The anticipation of waiting to see just what was in the packet I’d chosen was so exhilarating. Not much has changed as an adult.

My Husband and I began collecting Pokemon cards a few years into our relationship. Now not only do we have a pretty decent collection we are very proud of but we have also begun a little collection for our kids if they want to follow the family tradition.

Enter now Animal Crossing Amiibo cards and I am obsessed! not only are the villagers super cute and the cards can be used in game but that excitement to open a little packet of cards has come rushing back.

No Dreamies as of yet, but I cannot wait to see which cards I get next!

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every
government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Review

Expanding my Digital Library

Digitizing my life has been a new method of staying organised, it begun with planning and now we are extending into reading. Books are one my passions in life but not only are they an expensive hobby but its also one that takes up a lot of space. After moving a few times with a growing book collection I decided to find a way to make my life a little easier… enter Kindle!

With getting an iPad and getting into digital planning I decided to utalise it even more by creating a digital library using kindle. There are so many books that I want to read but there are a few I purchased recently to grow my digital library.

Romance

Losing people you love is hard.

Aurora De La Torre knows moving back to a place that was once home isn’t going to be easy.

Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be.

But a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart.

Checking out her landlord across the driveway just might cure it too.

Contemporary

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Romance

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable. Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping. As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.


Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

Fantasy

What if Meg had to become a god?

After Hercules proves he’s a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can’t be with Hercules because she’s, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus–as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest.

The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex’s current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?


Fantasy/Romance

As Jane learns that monsters are real, that legends are truth, and that the man who saved her life is an immortal knight, it’s her secret past with the Angel of Death that changes everything. 

Gods & Monsters – Book One
When the plague of all plagues begins its destruction, it isn’t a miracle cure by scientists or even our military that saves us.

No, our saviors are monsters.

Jane appears to be nothing special. In fact, she’s a sad sight to behold. Afflicted by the sorrow of her tragic past and failing marriage, the young mother of two is as terrified as every other soul when humanity faces doom. Yet, when hope seems lost, Jane does something even her estranged husband fails to–she fights. And she’s not alone.

David and his companions are what our world has dismissed as mere legend. Their duty to the human race brings them across the country, and they all know it is no coincidence when they cross paths with Jane.

As it happens, Jane is special. She’s destined to rid the world of darkness.

With monsters from every nightmare seeking her out, a noble immortal knight showing her what love truly feels like, a secret past that even Jane can’t remember, and even more powerful beings wagering the fate of her soul, Jane will embark on an epic journey to save her family and the world.

So what will happen when they realize she’s the greatest monster of them all?
 

Romance

After losing her best friend to cancer, Corinne’s life is in flux. She has moved back to Chicago, is considering her next career move (or temp job), and has absolutely no time to look for love—until a mysterious dating app called Met suddenly appears on her phone, and with it, an invitation for Corinne to reconnect with four missed connections from her past. One of them, Met says, is her soul mate…

Corinne doesn’t believe the app for a second, but when she very quickly finds herself with back-to-back blasts from the past, she’ll have to consider if maybe she’s wrong about it. The thing is, Corinne’s also been introduced to a really great guy outside the app’s influence. As their feelings for each other grow, Corinne has to wonder: With her apparent true love still out there, should she tap yes to the next match?


With help from a new group of friends, her loving if annoying family, and maybe a touch of fate, can Corinne come to terms with the loss she’s still reeling from, take control of her career, and find love along the way?

Science Fiction

Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?

Romance

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

Romance

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Romance

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Romance

Persephone’s relationship with Hades has gone public and the resulting media storm disrupts her normal life and threatens to expose her as the Goddess of Spring.

Hades, God of the Dead, is burdened by a hellish past that everyone’s eager to expose in an effort to warn Persephone away.

Things only get worse when a horrible tragedy leaves Persephone’s heart in ruin and Hades refusing to help. Desperate, she takes matters into her own hands, striking bargains with severe consequences.

Faced with a side of Hades she never knew and crushing loss, Persephone wonders if she can truly become Hades’ queen.

Romance

Persephone and Hades are engaged. In retaliation, Demeter summons a snowstorm that cripples New Greece, and refuses to lift the blizzard unless her daughter calls off her engagement.

When the Olympians intervene, Persephone finds her future in the hands of ancient gods, and they are divided. Do they allow Persephone to marry Hades and go to war with Demeter or prohibit their union and take up arms against the God of the Dead?

Nothing is certain but the promise of war.

The Perils of Lockdown

I am an Australian living in Melbourne, you may or may not know that that means I’ve spent the last 12 days in our latest lockdown. In the context of lockdowns thats not so bad, even with it being our fifth and bringing the state to a total of six months in lockdown. With all that time its fair to say that we’ve all had to figure out ways to stay entertained at home.

There have been a few activities that I have stuck to throughout but was especially dominant during this lockdown.

I played an intense amount of Animal Crossing, completing villager hunts and for the first time attempting to terraform. The little gang of Villagers that currently reside on Thasos are so cute!

Along with Animal Crossing I got deep into reading. Using my walks with my dog I completed the Audiobook for Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir as well as completing my most recent book club book ‘The Miadens’ by Alex Michaelides and moving on to read ‘The Deal’ by Elle Kennedy and ‘A Touch of Darkness’ by Scarlett St Clair

I found that the most important part of lockdown for me is to do things that bring me joy to keep a positive mental state, which is more easily said than done to be honest. Fingers crossed we can avoid another lockdown here and my thoughts and positive vibes are with anyone currently in lockdown.

Let me know what you are doing to keep yourself busy and reach out if you are finding it difficult, we are all in this together.

Life ‘To Do’

Once upon a time I would have the time to sit and write a monthly post about my intended reading plans for the month ahead. Those were the days. Now I feel as though I blink and the day is over. But I still love reading people’s TBR lists and compiling my own, even with time running away from me. 

So instead of posting a monthly TBR I thought I would share a general list of ‘what’s coming up’ where I plan to share the next few books I want to read, shows or movies I want to watch, games I want to play and things I want to cook! 

Reading

I have just picked up ‘Ransom’ by David Malouf and I am really enjoying it. Any retelling relating to Homer’s ‘the Iliad is something I can get around. 

My next reading plans include ‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid which is the next book pick for my book club. Before I move onto Lore’ by Alexandra Braken, ‘A Touch of Ruin’ by Scarlett st Clair and ‘Love and Olives’ by Jenna Evans Welch… Are we sensing a theme here?

During all this I plan to continue my re listen of the Harry potter series as well as listening too, The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Everyln Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and ‘The Hero of Ages’ by Brandon Sanderson. 

Watch

I’ve ended up watching quite a few things lately. On Netflix I finished ‘Down to Earth with Zac Efron’, ‘Dash and Lily’ as well as ‘The Crown’. We also recently watched Black Widow, which I utterly enjoyed and want to watch again and again. 

When it comes to what we are currently watching my husband and I are rewatching Schitt’s Creek which we enjoy having on when we are doing things around the house or just want to sit down for twenty or so minutes and just watch something together. 

There are a few things that are higher up on the list of things I want to watch. Series wise I want to get to ‘The Bold Type’ which I started and watched the previous seasons but I want to watch the newest season.

On apple TV I really want to get to Dickenson, it’s been on my list for so long but I just keep putting it off. 

On Disney+ my husband and I are waiting for all the episodes of Loki to come out so we can binge it together. We did the same thing with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier which I am so glad we did because I could not imagine having to wait a week between each episode! 

Play

I want to make time to continue to play ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizon’ and The Sims 4. To add to that though I want to continue playing ‘Fenyx Rising’ and I want to get and play ‘Story of Seasons: Olive Town’ 

Cook

There are so many recipes from my cookbooks that I want to make but I’ve been following ‘The Simple Housewife’ on instagram and recently explored her blog and found some amazing recipes. The ones I really want to try soon are Massaman slow cooker curry, slow cooker chicken soup and one pot creamy lemon chicken

I also really want to make again the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Magnolia cookbook, they are absolutely delicious and I have been craving them like crazy but have had no time to make them. 

My Birth Story

My birth story began a week before it was ‘meant’ too. After a discussion with my OB/GYN and my husband we decided that due to hypertension that had begun in the last few weeks of my pregnancy it was best to get this guy out a week early. 

That decision was made at our 38 week appointment. Fast forward to May 17th, we spent the day preparing the house and spending time with our dog, Archie before we left him with our friend Kyra and would return to him with a new family member. Honestly, that day went so fast. We were due at the hospital just before 5pm, I had so many plans for the day wanting to just get everything I possibly could done before we had this baby. In the end we spent most of the day getting ourselves organized and walking Archie.

At 4:15pm we headed to the hospital, after arriving and filling in the necessary paperwork we were taken to ‘Birth Suite 1’ where we made ourselves comfortable before I would be induced later that evening. It’s actually really hard to get ‘comfortable’ in a hospital room. It kind of feels like somewhere you aren’t going to be for a long time so it took us a few hours to actually settle in. 

We ended up getting something to eat – provided by the hospital – before getting changed into some comfortable clothes before my obstetrician came in to begin the induction procedure. For my induction we went with the balloon method. For a little TMI the balloon method involves a water balloon being inserted and then filled with usually around 50mls of water in 2 different balloons to open the cervix. It was definitely not comfortable. After a while I forgot that it was there which was night and we tried to settle in to sleep for the night after being told that my obstetrician would be back at around 8am to remove the balloon, break my waters and get this show on the road. 

Monday night was definitely not the most comfortable night of my pregnancy. I still had to get up and pee constantly and the balloon was causing me a bit of pain. I was given some medication to help with the pain and to help me fall asleep to make sure that I was rested for labour the following day which is something I definitely appreciated. It was a long night for both George and I, there was also a little anxiety mixed in there thinking about what the next day would bring. 

Eventually we both got some sleep and woke up to a lovely hospital provided breakfast. At around 8am my obstetrician returned to remove the balloon and begin the hormone drip that would signal to my body that it was time to kick start labour and get this thing going. 


Throughout the day midwives would come in and increase the amount of the hormone in the IV which slowly helps your body dilate at a more natural pace. It started off really chill. I was playing Animal Crossing: New Horizon on the Nintendo switch and ended up having a great conversation with one of the midwives who has kids and was curious about the game. The progress was pretty slow, which was not ideal but I was trying to just stay as relaxed as possible to let me body do its thing. 

Around lunch time I started to feel the contractions more so George and I decided to try and distract myself from the pain by watching a movie. Obviously, being in labor I got to pick the movie. I thought something funny was in order, no one needs a heavy movie while they are experiencing contractions, so we ended up watching Thor Ragnarok. 

I don’t think I’ll ever forget standing in the middle of a hospital room wearing a massively oversized mens Tee from Kmart and disposable underwear while clinging to an IV pole and dancing through my contractions while watching Thor.

We progressed through lunch using heat packs and Thor to help with the pain, however when we hit around 2pm it started to all get a little to much for me and I asked to use the gas. Initially I was using it more intermittently, for when the contractions felt particularly strong. But as the hormone drip was increased I began using it more consistently for all the contractions. 

It became really difficult to push through the contractions. I honestly thought that I must of been at least 6cm, so when my obstetrician came in to check my progress and told me I was at 4cm I was not excited! It had already been a long day. It was 3pm and I’d been ‘in labor’ since 8am. It was a little disheartening to hear but I also knew there was nothing I could do about it aside from listen to my body. 

Throughout the entire labor my blood pressure was being closely monitored as it had been quite high for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. After laboring for that long my BP began to peak higher than it had all week. With that my Obstetrician thought that the safest bet would be to get an epidural. After experiencing back to back contractions using only the gas as pain management I was 100% ready. 

I didn’t really even feel the epidural needle at that point, I was ready for the edge to be taken off these contractions. Once the epidural was in i felt fantastic! I wasn’t in any pain anymore and I felt as thought I could crush this labor. With this second wind I prepared myself to keep going. Another hour passed and my Obstetrician returned to check my progress which was when I was informed that I was still only at 4cm. To add to that, I’d been monitored more closely in that hour to make sure my blood pressure was going down and during that monitoring they discovered that Hugo’s heart rate would drop significantly each time I had a contraction. Definitely not a good sign. 

After a discussion with George and I the Obstetrician recommended a C section, with how my body was progressing and now Hugo’s distress during contractions I was on board to get him out as quickly as possible to make sure his arrival was a safe one. With the decision made I called my mum to let her know and George got decked out in scrubs to accompany me into the OR. 

It was all such a surreal experience as this point. I definitely said “I feel like I’m on Grey’s Anatomy” out loud, which is definitely very awkward and I definitely thought I was thinking that as opposed to sharing it with a team of doctors. I was rolled into the OR and we waited for the Anesthesiologist to return as he was the only member of the medical team who had headed home for the day when the decision was made. The medical team was amazing, they really put me at ease about the whole situation, chatting with George and myself and reassuring us through out the whole procedure. 

Don’t get me wrong the adrenaline was pumping! But I definitely felt that Hugo and I were in the best possible hands. 

Just before 7pm we got started and my 7:19pm Hugo James had entered the world. It was so bizarre when they lowered the curtain for me to see him. It did not feel like he had been the little nugget that was rolling around in my uterus all these months. Even as they shifted him here there and everywhere he was quiet and content. He only began to cry when the pediatrician gave him his shots while giving him a once over. 

Once he was giving the OK he was bought over and placed on me. There he sat, content as anything looking around at the world. It is definitely an experience I will not forget! 

Overall, my birth experience was pretty good. Birth is something that you really have very little control over. It comes down to trusting your body to do what it’s made to and your medical team to assist you in that – or in my case assisting me when my body decided not to cooperate. The most important thing I took from this entire experience is the importance of finding doctors that you trust, be it a GP, OB or podiatrist. Trust is key. 

Moving From a Physical to a digital planner

One of the many hobbies I have picked up over the years is bullet journaling. An important note about my hobbies is that I go hard into them, I try to get all the things I need to really enjoy and immerse myself when I am spending my time engrossed in a new activity. That being said I recently made the decision to move from physical journaling to journaling digitally. 

I began my research by looking at whether digital planning was ‘for me’. I love my bullet journal and sitting down to take the time to create different spreads. I mostly wanted to make the move to give myself a more portable option for my creative outlet as well as being able to keep all my notes, lists, spreads and memories in one easily accessible place. 

Recommendation: Research is Key! Look on YouTube and Pinterest for some great accounts 

So how did I end up getting started with digital bullet journalling/planning? The first step was research! I wanted to find the best tools for the job that were also within a reasonable budget. I first tried using my husband’s Surface tablet/PC thing with the stylus, because free, but it wasn’t as responsive as I was hoping. This led me down the rabbit hole of YouTube. Where I looked at what products the digital planner community were using, the results were that most planners used iPads and apple Pencils. 

As we all know Apple products do not come cheap, so my second step was to look into how I could go about this in the most affordable way possible. This led me to look into both second hand and new options. Making sure you research which iPads work with the Apple Pencil. I found the best list here https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT211029 

Recommendation: Look at both New and Second Hand options to find what best fits your budget

I ended up going with the first generation Apple Pencil and the Ipad (8th Generation) they are the most affordable options for me at the moment (I live in Australia for context)

8th Generation iPad

In Australia can be found at Apple, JB HiFi, Harvey Norman and Officeworks. I purchased mine from Officeworks. Sometimes you can find ones that are a bit cheaper as they have been returned but are brand new.

1st Generation Apple Pencil

Make sure that which ever iPad and pencil you choose are compatible with each other.

After finding the products I wanted to use for this digital planning journey, I began research into content creators and just how spreads and journals worked when it comes to the digital platform. The creators I have found most useful are: 

They are the most informative on all things that relate to not only digital planning but using technology in a productive and easy way in your day to day life.

What I am currently using

at the moment I am using a digital planner which I purchased from K Digital Studios Website. As I am still learning and evolving my style I wanted to try a preexisting planner with all the bells and whistles to see what aspects I use on a daily basis.

My future goal is to create my own hyperlinked planner that has contains exactly the pages that I need.

Conclusions

Overall I have found the move to digital planning relatively easy. There are definite pros and cons to digital vs physical but for this season of life I think that digital planning fits my needs slightly more.

PROSCONS
*All materials on the same place
*access to lots of different planner templates, less of a commitment to try them out
* ability to create a custom planner that suits exactly what you need
*able to take all my planning and motes with me wherever I go
*easy to transfer dates, appointments etc to calendar
*can be more expensive than physical planning
* need to keep devices charged to use them.

If you are thinking of starting a digital planner I recommend doing as much research as you can. I found it really helpful to look into what devices are most commonly used and the most accessible. It is also great to see how other people use and set out there planners to see if it is something that’s the right fit for you.

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