Episode 7: Boundaries and Stuff – Part 5

Camilla and Amir’s date continues, this time from Camilla’s POV.

Switching up on me. That’s what I wanted to say. But if I did, I knew he’d play dumb—just like he always did. So I let it go, and moved on to saucing the pizza. At least with that, I knew exactly what I was getting. Unlike him, and this wishy-washy stuff he’s been on lately.

Especially this past week.

Take the other day, for example.

We were in bed, at the hotel, and like mid stroke, he asked what I was doing when I missed his call earlier, and why it took so long to call him back. That part wasn’t new, though—he’s always in my business, especially when he thinks I’m too compromised to deny him access—so I said, “You’re not my boyfriend, Amir.” Like I always do, but then he stopped, and in this tone that was almost offended-like, he said, “So that’s how you feel?” And it threw me off because that part was new. So I said the first thing that came to mind which was, “Is that not how you feel?” But then he got all quiet in his I-don’t-want-to-answer-your-question way—and went back to stroking like we weren’t in the middle of a conversation that he started!

And I would’ve let that go had this been his standard flavor of nosiness, but this was different, part of his new MO where he baits me into these conversations that question what we are, then backs down whenever it’s time to elaborate on what he means.

This whole thing was just… annoying and frustrating, and I just wanted him to say it—what he meant or at least how he felt— ‘cause I had a feeling… that whatever it is… it’s the same thing I’ve been feeling too.

So later that night, when he texted, asking if I was thinking about him, I made another still-not-my-boyfriend comment to see if he’d get the hint. And when his response was a request to take me out again, I thought it worked, and if I gave him the chance, he would finally say something real, but clearly I was wrong.


I grabbed two handfuls of cheese and dumped them on the pizza, followed by those tomatoes he’d finally finished slicing.

At least he did one thing right tonight.

He watched as I tossed them around, letting them fall where they wanted, regardless of where, the floor included. When I grabbed the chicken pieces and sent them flying in a similar fashion, he took the bowl from me.

“You keep this up.” He chuckled a little. “Somebody’s gonna end up with chicken and cheese and shit in their hair.”

Nobody asked for your commentary.

The chef’s assistant clapped his hands, instructing everyone to head over to the baking station. I wasn’t done topping the pizza yet, though, so I tried to get the bowl back, but he kept it away from me, adding on to his ever-growing list of tonight’s infractions— No, make that this week’s infractions.

I hate him so much.

He must’ve caught wind of my annoyance because his trademarked smirk was gone, and his tone was kind of serious—kind of like a person who wanted to have a real conversation, but I knew better than that.

But I did want my bowl back and he knew it. So the more I reached for it, the further he pushed it away.

“Camilla, look.” He followed my movements, trying to trick me into making eye contact with him.

Nope. Not falling for that again.

“What?” I kept my eyes on the bowl, reaching past him to grab it.

He blocked my attempt with his arm. “Keep doing what?”

I slapped it away, damn near at my wits’ end with his cryptic ass questions and this childish ass hand game. “What are you talking about?”

He paused, and while he thought about, whatever he was thinking about, I made another grab for the bowl, but this time, he got a hold of my hands, and within the span of like five milliseconds, I made the mistake of looking up, and got caught right in his trap.

Stay strong, Camilla…

With our eyes locked, and the backs of my hands being traced by his fingertips, my body turned into a breeding ground for goose bumps.

Stay strong, Camilla…

And as his smirk returned, my whole reason for being mad slipped away from me at an alarming rate.

Camilla… girl…

Once our fingers interlocked, he rose our hands to his mouth. “A minute ago, you said I keep doing something.” And painted slow brushstrokes with his lips against the back of mine; his gaze, never wavering. “What I’m doing?”

He knew exactly what he was doing—the looks, the hand-holding, the thing with his lips—making me feel stuff that at one time, only made me take my clothes off, but lately’s, been making me feel… different, you know, like how it feels coming off a roller coaster when you’re lightheaded, and your stomach’s all upside down, and it’s weird, but you kind of want more of it?

And it was working.

‘Cause I kind of wanted more of it, but that would require something he refused to do.

So, I snatched my hands away, breaking eye contact, so he couldn’t distract me with his stupid, sexy demon powers anymore. The pizza would survive with minimal toppings.


The class was encouraged to mingle while the oven timers kept track of our pizzas. Amir and I started out like most of the other ‘couples’, in the middle of the floor, engaged in conversations we had no real interest in. But because of that last stunt he pulled, I slipped away when he wasn’t looking, trying to keep us apart until I figured out what to do—without his interference.

When he realized I was gone, which didn’t take long, by the way, he tried to get back to me, but this one, rather thirsty woman, cornered him against the wall, forcing him to endure her shameless ass flirting instead.

Didn’t she come here with someone?

The way she was in his face, smiling, twirling her hair—I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling.

Pathetic.

At least I got what I wanted, though, space from him to think…

With me… on one side of the room… and him… on another… with her…

Is that what I wanted, though?

A flashback of him playing dodgeball with my questions gave me the answer I needed.

It is. It is what I wanted.

But watching her over there—all in his personal space, with her hand on her chest; her obnoxious ass laugh assaulting my eardrums—made it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Wait… is he really stuck over there or… does he want to be over there?

And just when I thought her behavior couldn’t get any more desperate, it did—but fortunately, a text came through, giving me a much-needed break from the gagfest taking place in front of me.

I looked down at my phone, swiping to my messages to reveal the identity of my savior.

Oh, it’s just Salim.

Oh, it’s just Salim? When did he become just Salim?

Our calls, our hangouts, were like the highlight of my days. The fun we have together is something I always look forward to. Our talks, our back-and-forths, our friendship… our friendship

I guess we really were just friends… ‘Cause if he wanted more, he would’ve said something by now… right? It’s not like he hasn’t had the chance. I mean, we have lunch together, nearly every day, and we talk just as often; that one morning we had breakfast at that fusion place, he could’ve said something then too, but he didn’t, so maybe he’s good with things being this way… And I guess… that means… I’m good with it too.


The rest of the night’s events took place in the dining room. The soft candlelight, food, and fresh cut roses placed in each of the private booths were textbook elements of a romantic dinner—but I wasn’t feeling none of it.

So I ate my food in silence; counting down the minutes until this thing was over, and I could go home and away from him.

I’m guessing my cold shoulder was too much for him because just five minutes in, he said, “Why you being so quiet with me?”

Why I’m being so quiet with you?

It took everything for me not to recount each and every smile, wink, and giggle he stood over there soaking up from Miss Desperation, but I didn’t.

I just gave him a taste of my own brand of selective memory instead. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

But because he’s Amir, instead of taking my denial for what it was, he took it as an invitation to slide up in my seat. “Ahh, so you’re not talking to me then?”

Once again, trying to work his magic to get himself out of trouble.

Definitely not falling for that again.

So I moved over, recreating the distance I intentionally put between us. “Why do you care?” I asked, looking as far away from him as the small seating space allowed. “Don’t you have someone else you rather be talking t—”

Shit.

I didn’t mean to say that. Not out loud. And definitely not to him. The last thing I needed was him thinking I was jealous— ‘cause I wasn’t. For real. I didn’t even care that he was talking to her. It was just… principle, ‘cause we came together and— I wasn’t jealous, okay?

But the damage was done already, as made evident by his stupid ass grin.

He slid back into my seat, this time with an arm resting on my side of the booth; his eyes roaming over my face, examining it, like it was the headliner of one of those exotic exhibits at the zoo. “So this what you look like when you’re jealous, huh?”

See, this is exactly what I was trying to avoid!

“No!” I gave him one hard shove for even allowing that thought to cross his mind.

He rubbed the spot on his chest where my fist left its mark, laughing victoriously— No, maniacally, like he was winning some devious game, one where the objective was to get a rise out of me… in more ways than one.

I hate him so fucking much.

Before I could react, his arm dropped, and in one swift move, he pulled me closer—the closest I could possibly get.

“You wanna know what we was talking ‘bout?” he whispered in my ear; the mere notion of his mouth being that close to me, sending tingles racing down my spine.

How is it that even when I’m pissed at him, he STILL has this effect on me?

I tugged at his arm, pushing and pulling, trying not to fall victim to another one of his spells.

“No?” I replied to his stupid question.

But struggling only made his grip tighten.

“You sure?”

And encouraged him to make his next move even bolder than his last.

“Positive.”

So I gave up. Temporarily. Which I’m sure is exactly what he wanted.


Giving up wasn’t the same as giving in, though—not in this case—but with his lips trailing slowly down my neck, and his hands in places I should’ve been too mad to want them, it was getting real hard to tell the difference.

Damn… I am falling for this again.

He traveled back up to my ear, whispering against it, the soft air that accompanied his words, setting off tiny batches of fireworks that started somewhere in my belly, but ended up where his fingers were. “So you don’t wanna hear what she said ‘bout this girl I’ve been kinda seeing?”

This girl he’s been kinda seeing? Yeah, okay.

I suppressed the moan that was fighting to escape long enough to play along. “What did she say?”

“I told her I be thinking ‘bout her all the time,” he said. “So she said I should tell her.”

Sounds like “she” knows what she’s talking about.

My eyes fluttered shut as my head titled back, giving him more access. “Why don’t you?”

He took advantage of it, sending his tongue on its own exploratory mission, braking only to answer my question. “‘Cause I don’t know if she feels the same way.”

“But what if she does?” I said, way quicker than I’d like to admit.

He laughed a little. I guess he noticed it too.

“That’s what she said.” He paused again. “So I told her we have all these things between us like, rules and shit that keep people apart.”

Okay, horny or not, I could see where this was going.

My eyes popped open and my head titled forward, just as he was making his way back up, putting us face-to-face. “And what did she say about that?”

“She said I should ask her to let me take her home.”

Let him take me home? Like, to my apartment where I live? I don’t—

He kissed me.

Before I could really analyze that thought, or weigh the pros and cons, his lips were on mine, and my hands were in his hair, and my legs were trembling, and— I really wanted to go home.

I backed away, just a little. “But what if her roommate’s home?”

He smiled in that sneaky way he does. “She told me to make sure I’m quiet.”


If you enjoyed this episode of Camilla – Vol One: Impulse, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one!


Just One of Dem Days…

Impromptu photo shoot inspired by one of my all time favorite songs by Monica — Don’t Take It Personal.

I was sitting at my desk, listening to one of my 90s R&B playlists, as usual, and Monica — Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days) came on and inspired me to make this impromptu photo shoot. Here, I imagine, she woke up, saw everything she had to do for the day and said, “Fuck that, I’m going back to bed,” lol. Guess it’s just one of dem days!

Story posts will resume soon. In the meantime, check out the story’s homepage (it just got a new makeover) to catch up on the most recent episodes and if you haven’t already, join my mailing list to receive a notification the minute a new episode goes live!


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Summer Pop – A Reshade Preset

A simple, bright and colorful preset suitable for gameplay and designed with black/sims of color in mind.

After upgrading to my new PC, I unintentionally started working on a new Reshade preset and came up with this one — a simple, bright and colorful preset suitable for gameplay and designed with black/sims of color in mind. Y’all seemed to really like it when I posted the WIP pictures on Tumblr so I’m sharing it now 😊

If you’re new to Reshade, check out this step-by-step guide that takes you all the way from installation to in game set up.


Unedited Photos (Just Reshade & that’s it!)


Things you should know:

  • This preset was designed with Reshade 4.8.2 but should work with any 4.0 series. The newest version of Reshade can be found here.
  • These photos were shot with the Twinkle Toes lighting mod installed during the Summer season on a clear, warm afternoon.

Installation Info:

  • You need the qUINT MXAO shader (you may have already installed this during your Reshade 4.8 installation. You can check your Shaders folder to see if you’re not sure).
  • You need Full Bloom MultiLut by @pictureamoebae. Check out this tutorial if you’re not sure how to download/install this.
  • Turn off Edge Smoothing (this preset does this for you) so that DOF will work properly.

Toggle Keys:

  • DOF: Caps Lock
  • MXAO: Num Key 4
  • Fake HDR: Num Key 9
  • MultiLut: Num Key 6

* To make the preset gameplay friendly, I recommend toggling off MXAO and DOF.

Troubleshooting:

  • Many users have reported having an issue where the mouse is ultra sensitive after installing Reshade. This doesn’t have anything to do with this preset or this specific version of Reshade but is a glitch caused by a setting in Origin. To fix this, open Origin > Application Settings > Origin In Game then switch off ‘Enable Origin’ in game and your problem should be solved.
  • Let me know if you have any issues and I’ll try to get them resolved for you.

TOU:

  • Don’t re-upload
  • Don’t claim as yours
  • Enjoy!

Oh, and if you use this preset in your posts please let me know @mellindi on Tumblr. I would love to see ❤

Choose your download below:

Reshade 4.8 preset | Reshade 5.2 preset | Gshade preset

Lot used in the photos is: Fruit & Ficus Restaurant by me!
*pool pictured is not included


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20 Gameplay Ideas for Family Players of Sims 4

A breakdown of some of my favorite activities that keep my sim families happy, connected and having fun!

It’s no secret that I love family gameplay. It’s what I do. I create a sim, get their life going, have them fall in love, get married, have babies — not always in this particular order — but you get the picture. So one question I get asked all the time from other simmers who also enjoy the legacy lifestyle but can’t quite figure out how to keep their sims’ lives, well, lively is what my sims actually do when I’m in game.

Sims 4, compared to its predecessors, requires a lot of imagination from the player. This makes it kinda hard to keep the motivation going especially on weekends when the whole family is home from work/school and waiting for you to give them something to do. Fortunately, I have some ideas! 20 to be exact! So keep reading for a list of fun activities to incorporate into your sims’ lives.

Some of the activities listed here requires or recommends the use of mods and/or CC, so if you’re new to installing custom content, check out this step-by-step guide.

Also be aware that I own all of the packs (with the exception of Journey to Batuu) so many of them will be mentioned here.


1. Backyard Camping

Instead of traveling all the way to Granite Falls for the yearly family camping trip, pitch a tent (or two) in the backyard and have a little camping adventure right at your sims’ house! Grab some snacks, a radio, maybe even a few books and make it a memorable night with the family. If your sims happen to own a fire pit (or you hop in buy mode to get one for them real quick) they can roast hot dogs or marshmallows and tell a few ghost stories to get everyone in the campfire spirit.

Packs needed: Base Game, Outdoor Retreat

2. Lemonade Sale

So it’s Summer time and the kids are bored at home with nothing to do. On top of that, they’ve been begging for an allowance but their parents are not trying to hear it. Well fortunately for them, they have the opportunity to make their own money by running a lemonade stand! With this Lemonade mod by icy-spicy-scalpel, kids (or any other sim, teen-elder) can set up and run a lemonade stand just like they do on TV!

*If you really want the ability to give your sim kiddies allowance, check out the Allowance Mod by ScarletsMods. I personally use this one for my gameplay and I love it.

Packs needed: Base Game, City Living

3. Picnic in the Park

Pack up your family, some BLTs or veggie burgers and head to the park for a family picnic! After a full afternoon of play, have your family settle in for lunch using this picnic set by imadako. With cushions and shirts that function as chairs, your sims can enjoy the rest of their outing relaxing in the grass together. This set also comes with a custom drink tray which has options like: hot coffee, hot tea, cold water, cold juice and other various mixtures. For pre-lunch activities, your sims can participate in things like: playing on the playground equipment for kids and toddlers, basketball and chess for everyone!

Packs needed: Base Game, Backyard Stuff (for drink tray functionality)

4. Sunday Dinner with the Grandparents

Once my sims’ develop a schedule and have their routines down pat, I’m super guilty of neglecting the rest of the family. Days and days (which are like years in sim time) can go by before I even realize that its been a good minute since we’ve seen Grandma or Grandpa. If you’re guilty of this too, scheduling Sunday Dinners with extended family is a perfect way for everyone to keep in touch and get that much needed family time together. If you have Seasons installed, you can even place the dinner on the calendar as a non-goaled dinner party so that you and your sims don’t forget. Unless your sims have the ‘Always Welcome’ reward trait or you’re using a mod like, More Welcome (scroll down to ‘morewelcome’) by bienchen83, that prevents normal activities like cooking and sleeping from being perceived as inappropriate, I suggest having your sims prepare the dinner at their house and take it with them to Grandma’s. However, if you truly want the ‘made by grandma experience’, you can download Ask to Cook for Me by LittleMsSam which allows your sim to ask any other sim to cook a meal for them. This is very useful when you want to serve a meal that’s higher than your sim’s skill level.

Packs needed: Base Game, Seasons (for calendar functionality)

5. Sleepover

Sleepovers are a great way to keep the party going way into the night! Now, the sleepover mechanics in the game are a little wonky with sims almost never actually going to sleep or sneaking out before the night is over but with the Memorable Events Mod (one of my personal favorites) by kawaiistacie, sleepover guests will actually stay the full night and even participate in a few sleepover style activities. Have your child sim invite a few friends over to watch movies, dance, pull pranks, gossip, pillow fight (yes, that’s an actual interaction that comes with the mod) all night! Also perfect for adult sims who want to spend the night partying with friends or woohooing cuddling with their significant other.

Packs needed: Base Game

6. Class Field Trip

A perfect opportunity for a full day of education! Have your child or teen sim and at least one parent, take the day off of school/work and spend the day at an educational facility. This could be a museum, art gallery, library, park, basically anywhere learning can take place! This is another activity where the Memorable Events mod comes in handy but can also be pulled off without it. If you choose to use the mod, teachers and other students will automatically spawn at the location of the field trip for the parent and student sim to socialize with. If you don’t use the mod, just be sure to invite out other sims to the field trip location to simulate an actual field trip. And don’t forget to pack a lunch!

Packs needed: Base Game, Parenthood (for sack lunch capability)

7. D.I.Y. After School Club

Child and teen sims that aren’t into drama and wouldn’t be caught dead in a scouts uniform — still need something to do after school — but those, unfortunately, are the only two after school activities we have, meaning you’re out of options, right? Wrong! You can create your own using the club feature from Get Together! With your child’s interests in mind, create a club with or without requirements (like age, trait, skill, etc…), add a few friends or other sims within their age group, set a location, some club activities and you’re good to go! In my personal gameplay, (using this method) my teen, who has the genius and geek traits, is apart of the school’s S.T.E.M. program where they meet three times a week at the neighborhood library aka the ‘S.T.E.M. Academy’ and focus on building logic, rocket science and programming skills. For extra customization, I recommend using the More Club and Holiday Icons mod by Zerbu which adds additional icons (all extracted from the game) to the club icon chooser menu.

Packs needed: Base Game, Get Together

8. Bowling + Pizza Night

Bowling makes for a fun night — especially for sims a little on the competitive side. At the bowling alley, sims (kids-elder) can challenge each other to a few rounds of bowling with the winner announced at the end of the the game. Like most other skills in Sims 4, your sims will get better overtime and even learn some cool trick shots to show off in front of their friends. Once the game is over, treat the family to pizza! A whole pizza isn’t actually served at any of the community lots in the game so the easiest way to make this happen would be to 1) have a sim order a pizza before leaving the house and bring it with them in their inventory or 2) have a sim bake a pizza using one of the custom pizza recipes, which currently includes, Buffalo Pizza and Three Cheese Pizza, from the Grannie’s Recipe Book by LittlBowBub and bring it with them in their inventory.

To make this outing more enjoyable, I also recommend, the More Fun Stuff mod by LittleMsSam that allows sims to gain social and fun while bowling with each other.

Packs needed: Base Game, Bowling Stuff

9. Farmer’s Market

This one’s perfect for your country or off-the-grid living sims. Just plop a sales table down at the park and fill it up with your sim’s fresh baked goods. Things like bread loaves, cakes, muffins even roasted turkey dinners can be sold for a profit. You can also sell produce from the garden. Couple this with Idea #2 (Lemonade Sale) to get the whole family involved.

To start a sale, drag the items you would like to sell from your sim’s inventory to the sales table then click ‘Stock Table’. The items will then spawn on the table. Click the table to set the markup price amount (if you want to increase your earning possibility) followed by ‘Tend Table’ then ‘Start Street Sale’. For best results, place the table in areas that are crowded. It takes a while but customers will show up eventually.

Packs needed: Base Game, City Living (for the sale’s table)

10. Day at the Beach

A day at the beach is a great way to unwind and have some fun during the summer season! Toddler sims can play in the water, build sand castles and play in the sand while the older family members can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, riding on jet skis, combing for beach shells and all the other activities the beach has to offer. Idea #3 (Picnic in the Park) also works great on beaches and are a perfect way to end the day.

Packs needed: Base Game, Island Living

11. School Trip Abroad

Vacations are a perfect way for sims to explore and learn about other cultures and a school trip abroad is a great way to facilitate that. Send a few teen sims (with or without an adult) or a few child sims accompanied by an adult to the destination of your choice. Have them rent a housing unit suitable for the number of sims in the group then send them out exploring. Let them experience the local cuisine and participate in cultural events. Have them take photos and write in their journals to document their experience. When they return home, they can tell their parents all about the trip!

Packs needed: Base Game, Outdoor Retreat, Jungle Adventure, Island Living or Snowy Escape — Depending on the destination

12. Seasonal Festivals

One thing I reeeeaaaaallllly miss from Sims 3 are the festivals that came around every season. Sims 4, unfortunately, does not have seasonal festivals but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own! These Seasonal Festival lots by Moonlightowl-es have everything you need to throw your own festival each season. To have these festivals become a permanent part of your sim’s lives, add them as holidays to the household calendar. On the day of the festival have your family and a group of friends travel to the festival lot for a day (or night) of fun activities. This is another activity where the Memorable Events mod comes in handy as it allows you to throw ‘Seasonal Parties’ which are perfect for this kind of event.

Packs needed: Base Game, Seasons

13. Movie Night

Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and gather around the TV for a movie night! If the weather permits (and your sims can afford it, *coughs* motherlode) place a projector screen in the backyard for a change of scenery that I’m sure your sims will appreciate. Teen sims might also enjoy snuggling up with their crush while watching the premier of College Cram, during movie night at the park. To make this event even more special and unlock some cute interactions, plan a ‘Movie Night’ using the Memorable Events mod.

Packs needed: Base Game, Movie Hangout

14. Painting/Arts + Crafts Class

The Arts Center provides the perfect atmosphere for families to let go and fully embrace their creative talents! Kids can use the activity table to draw original works of art or make seasonal crafts and adults can try their hand at painting. Sims of all ages can work on their musical skills using any of the instruments available at the facility. To finish off the outing, sims can enjoy lunch together at one of the marketstalls located right in the Arts Quarter, if playing in San Myshuno. If playing in any other world, a marketstall of your choice can be placed right on the property. I recommend the Free Staff mod by LittleMsSam to make hiring a vendor free (also works for baristas, chefs and bartenders) or the Auto Employees mod also by LittleMsSam that automatically spawns employees on the property as soon as you arrive.

Packs needed: Base Game, City Living

15. Karaoke Competition

Sims with high singing skills deserve the opportunity to showcase their talents to the world! And this is exactly what the karaoke competition is for! Have your family head out to the karaoke bar on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday nights to support the family star as they sing their heart out for the title and cash prize! Just be sure to make it there by 8pm to enter the competition.

FYI. Karaoke competitions aren’t locked to San Myshuno and are automatically held at any karaoke bar in any world on the above mentioned nights.

Packs needed: Base Game, City Living

16. Family Yoga Class

This one is more for adult sims with teen children since kids can’t use the yoga mats but a yoga class is a great way for families to bond while increasing their wellness and fitness skills. Have the family head down to the gym or spa (ones that include yoga mats) to participate in this event. If the weather is nice and your sims would prefer outdoor classes instead, place an instructor’s yoga mat along with a few regular yoga mats at any park and a yoga instructor will spawn automatically and host classes every 30 sim minutes.

Packs needed: Base Game, Spa Day

17. Ultimate Gaming Competition

The arcade is the perfect place for this kind of event! Geek sims (or non-geek sims) and their friends can gather at the local arcade and put their gaming skills to the test. Order a few snacks from the bar and play a few rounds to see who’s the real ultimate gaming champ!

Packs needed: Base Game

18. Family Reunion Celebration

One of my favorite things about playing a legacy is getting to see sims across different generations meet up and interact with each other. When caught up in the day to day though, with jobs and school and aspiration stuff, it’s easy to forget to take time out to have the entire family spend time together. To make this a regular thing that all sims can look forward to, add this special event to the calendar. Each season, have all members of your sim family spend time together doing something different. Whether it be an egg hunt in the Spring, vacation to Sulani in the Summer, family bonfire in the Fall or snowboarding in Mr. Komorebi in the Winter, your sims will appreciate bonding with each other throughout every season.

Packs needed: Base Game, Seasons (for calendar functionality)

19. Family Adventure in the Jungle

When you think of an adventure in the jungle, I’m pretty sure the first thing that comes to mind are adults, right? Well, did you know that kids can go on adventures too and are actually pretty useful? Finding hidden treasures in dig and other excavation sites is where they really shine and can help take some of the pressure off the parents who are hard at work clearing paths or solving puzzles. At the end of the trip, with personal and household inventories full of riches, your family of archaeologists will be proud of all that they accomplished together, as a family.

Packs needed: Base Game, Jungle Adventures

20. Backyard BBQ

Backyard BBQs are one of my favorite and one of the easiest summer activities for my sims! There’s barely any set up and it’s a perfect opportunity for bonding with family and friends. Just throw some burgers on the grill, play some music on the outdoor radio and place a few water activities such as: a water balloon bucket (for water balloon fights), water slide, pool or sprinklers and invite over friends and/or extended family. To make this a permanent event in your sim’s lives, make this day a holiday and add it to the household calendar. For even more fun (if space allows) place a dance floor and have sims challenge each other to a dance competition. Sims will enjoy watching and cheering on their favorite.

Packs needed: Base Game, Backyard Stuff, Seasons


And that’s it for now! What are some of your favorite family activities for your game? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Simming,
-India

credits: icy-spicy-scalpel, bienchen83, imadako, kawaiistacie, zerbu, littlemssam, bienchen83, littlbowbub, moonlightowl-es, scarletsmods


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For more mod recommendations to go along with those suggested in this article, check out the link below:

Mod Recommendations


Must Have Mods for Sims 4 Parenthood

A breakdown of some mods that are must haves for the Sims 4 Parenthood.

Parenthood is one of my favorite game packs but like all packs, there’s always something I wish there was a little more or a little less of. The mods in this article help tone down or get rid of a lot of annoying things introduced with the pack as well as add new gameplay or cosmetic changes. As a bonus, I threw in a short tutorial for enabling child support payments with MC Command Center.

Beginners: If you’re new to installing custom content, check out this step-by-step guide.

Before downloading any mods, be sure to read the full download post and follow all directions specified by the creator. Mods tend to “break” after patches so always check the creator’s website for updates.

* Parenthood pack may be required for these mods *

Make Less Mess/Clean Less Mess by Miss Puff

Ever feel like the kids and toddlers in game are constantly making messes? Like they just break out of whatever interaction they were performing just to go make a random mess? Or worse, to clean up the mess they just made for absolutely no reason at all? Well this mod helps with that by changing the autonomy of the “Make a Mess” and “Clean Up Mess” interactions making them occur less often. With this mod installed, the likelihood of messes being made or cleaned up will also be influenced by trait, mood and character value level.

Chores by littlemssam

This mod makes the bulletin board that comes with the pack useful for more than just obsessively hanging drawings and leaving notes by adding cleaning schedules for members of your sims’ household. Great for teaching your sim kids responsibility or large households which are notorious for staying dirty.

Lunchbox Replacement by aroundthesims4

Tired of brown sack lunches and want your sims to carry their leftovers in something a little more stylish instead? Well with this mod, you can choose between three super cute lunchboxes that will override the sack lunches in game. Styles include: plastic Tupperware container, kids lunchbox and dabba/canister. This is a default replacement which means it will override all lunchboxes in game. Be sure to read the directions before downloading.

* scroll down to the last three options towards the bottom of the page *

School Project is Fun for Some by littlemssam

This is a really simple mod that makes school projects a little more fun for sims based on their grade in school. As you can probably guess, A students receive a large boost to their fun motive and D and F students receive no boost at all.

No More School Project Box by Nova JY

If you and your sims happen to hate school projects no matter how fun they promise to be, this mod gets rid of them for you.

No Autonomous Set Table by littlemssam

If your sims have requested not to have fancy table settings during meals but the kids in the house refuse to listen, this mod should cure them of their mustsetthetableitis.

Parenting Skill for Teens and More by littlemssam

Ever heard the saying, it takes a village to raise a child? Well, I believe this is absolutely true and I also believe that the village should also earn parenting skills from taking care of those children. With this mod, other family members such as grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and step-siblings can all earn parenting skills when caring for and disciplining children. Also unlocks the parenting skill for teens too!

Faster Gain and Lose Character Values by Diffevair

If you tend to play on shorter or longer lifespans, this mod might be useful in helping your child and teen sims earn as many positive (or negative) character values before aging up.

No Ask for Advice — Parenthood by PolarBearSims

When you play large households, the constant need for advice can be a little overwhelming at times. With this mod, child and teen sims will no longer ask for advice unless directed to do so by you.

Lower Threshold for Parenthood Traits by tyjokr

Feel like it’s way too easy to raise well-mannered, empathetic, responsible kids? Well this mod makes it a lot easier to fall into the threshold for negative character value traits and ultimately makes you and the sim parent work a little harder to raise good kids.

No Change into Bear Costume by PolarBearSims

Okay so, I am NOT a fan of that bear costume, like at all, lol. If you feel the same way, this mod might be great for you. It prevents child sims from autonomously changing into the costume but unfortunately does not get rid of the negative moodlet that comes from not wearing it during the Bear Phase.

Bear Phase Tweak by Bienchen 83

With this mod the Bear Phase is gone! Well, not really but it’s way more bearable (lol) because with this mod, child sims will change into either a princess or pirate costume instead of those ugly bear suits. There’s two flavors; one that removes the sad moodlet completely (if they don’t wear the costume) and another that keeps the sad moodlet but weakens its intensity.

* scroll down to or search for “bearphasetweak” *

Clingy Childhood Phase Tweak by Bienchen 83

This mod prevents child sims who are going through the Clingy Phase from becoming tense from being around their siblings, grandparents or close friends.

* scroll down to or search for “clingychildhoodphasetweak” *

Granny’s Super Soup by Bienchen 83

I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love food mods so it’s probably easy to guess that this one is one of my favorites. It transforms the Minestrone recipe into a special super soup that can help fight colds and pimples and can only be prepared by sims with at least level 5 parenting skill. Also requires the Dine Out game pack.

* scroll down to or search for “grannyssupersoup” *

Parenthood Food Retexture by Utopia Sims

Check out this article for HD food retextures for all Sims 4 packs as well as custom foods your sims will love!

Parents deserve a little love and romance too, right? And if there’s parenthood, there’s a good chance pregnancy’s happening somewhere too so check out my other articles for mods all about romance and pregnancy:

5 Must Have Mods for Realistic Relationships in Sims 4
16 Mods for Better Romance & Relationships in Sims 4
Better Pregnancies in Sims 4

Enable Child Support with MC Command Center

So this has nothing to do with the Parenthood game pack but since this post is pretty much about parents and parenting, I thought I’d throw this one in there too. So MC Command Center has this really cool feature that allows parents of child sims to collect child support from the non-custodial parent (parent the child does not live with). It happens automatically and applies to all households in the world where there are children living with only one parent.

To activate this feature: Click on any computer in any sim household from live view and select MC Command Center from the pie menu:

Next select MCCC Settings.

Then Money Settings > Pay Child Support.
This determines if an additional amount will be added to the active household’s weekly bills for each child they have that does not live with them.

Select the “value” or status of the custodial parent (parent the child lives with) for child support earnings/payments to occur. Options are:
A = All
M = Married Only
U = Unmarried Only
N = None

Next, select Back then Child Support Percent.

Enter the percentage of your choice. The default is 1% and takes into account the non-custodial parent’s total worth which includes lot value plus total funds. You can choose a number between 1%-1000%. I would aim for something realistic like 3%-10% just to be safe.

And that’s it! I hope you find the mods and suggestions listed here helpful!


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Must Have Mods for Sims 4 Seasons!


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16 Mods for Better Romance & Relationships in Sims 4

A breakdown of some of my favorite mods that enhance the romance in relationships for Sims 4.

One thing I–and a lot of other simmers–feel is lacking in the game, is romance and fun in relationships. After playing for a while, things start to get real repetitive and real boring. I mean, they can only flirt, embrace, kiss, woohoo so many times before I’m ready to move on. If you’re finding yourself stuck in a state of my-sims-need-spice-in-their-lives too, read on for some awesome mod suggestions.

Note for beginners: If you’re new to installing custom content, check out this step-by-step guide.

Before downloading any mods, be sure to read the full download post and follow all directions specified by the creator. Mods tend to “break” after patches so always check the creator’s website for updates.


Click the mod’s name for the link.

Wicked Whims Attractiveness System (18+) by turbodriver

This is hands down one of the most exciting mods out there, IMO. The attractiveness feature gives each sim their own very detailed preferences ranging from: physical details like hair and eye color, body type, even thigh and butt size–if that’s your kind of thing; and non-physical details like personality type. With this mod, sims can find the sim of their dreams all on their own and it’s fantastic.

If you’re interested in this feature of the mod, but not all the other stuff, check out, Making Wicked Whims A Little Less … Wicked, to learn how to customize the settings and turn off most of the sexual parts of the mod or download Wonderful Whims, which is basically a PG-13 version of this mod.

Not sure which mod is right for you? Check out Wicked Whims or Wonderful Whims, Which is Right for You?

SimDa Dating App by littlemssam

Ever wish your sims could expand their dating pool a little? See who else is out there besides the few sims that show up at the bar every night, or that one sim that seems to work at every food stall in every world every single day? Well, this mod’s got you covered. From blind dates to one-night-stands, your sim will have more options than they know what to do with. There’s even an add-on for Wicked Whims for those of you who want some really … really fun hook ups.

Improved Relationships – Cheating & Consequences by zero’s sims 4 mods

Okay so, this one doesn’t necessarily improve romances–it does the exact opposite–because instead of letting sims get away with flirting and messing around with other sims, it provides real consequences for those who decide to stray from their relationship. Sims who are caught cheating can apologize, explain the situation, blame the other sim, and even blame their partner. Sims who were cheated on can confront their partner, confront the other sim, forgive their partner or instead fight them. Could you imagine? I can!

MC Woohoo by deaderpool

MC Command Center is amazing, we all know this–a literal godsend to this game–but did you know that there is an MC Woohoo and that it does for your sims’ woohoo life what MC Command Center does for the rest of the game? With risky woohoo, no strings woohoo (woohoo friends), birth control options, even a full-blown woohoo skill, this mod has so, so much to offer.

Slice of Life Mod by kawaiistacie

This mod does a lot of different things that add interesting and unexpected events to the game. For the purpose of this article though, I’m just going to point out the Memory System which allows sims to finally have memories–real memories–that have a huge impact on their mood. Things like: marriage, divorce, first kiss, first woohoo, being cheated on, and break-ups will actually affect their day-to-day lives. There’s also a Drunk system that allows sims to make questionable woohoo choices such as: drunk woohoo and risky woohoo.

Pillow Talk After Woohoo by shimrod101

This mod just replaces the roll over and sleep or jump straight out of bed animation that usually plays after woohoo with a cute and cuddly one instead. Great for gameplay photos!

Ask For A Romantic Massage by littlemssam

If your sim just so happens to have a massage table conveniently located in their house, they can ask for a romantic massage from a love interest. Perfect for a date night at home and will put each sim in a strong, flirty mood.

Looking for ways to spice up your sims’ dating lives? I’ve got your covered:

Passionate Romance by sacrificial

This mod adds romantic interactions to the game that are super cute to watch play out between sims who are all in lurve. Goose (from Sims 2), romantic hug and romantic selfie are just a few that are included. Install this mod before the Romance Festival and watch all the couples get all snuggly during the event. It’s so cute!

Slow Dance by sacrificial

Adds a slow dance interaction, which is so needed for weddings or dates or any occasion where sims are enjoying slow music with their significant other.

Romantic Stargaze by sacrifical

Adds a romantic stargaze interaction for couples who like to snuggle while watching the stars. Sounds like a great ending to a sweet picnic date or a night at the beach to me.

Autonomous Proposals by polarbearsims

Enables the option for autonomous proposals, making it possible for NPCs to ask your sim for their hand in marriage. MC Command Center also has this option that you can toggle on, so this mod is not needed if you play with it.

Autonomous Weddings by polarbearsims

Enables the option for autonomous weddings, making it possible for sims to marry autonomously either at a wedding arch or by eloping. Perfect if even you want to be surprised when the lovebirds tie the knot.

Risky Woohoo by polarbearsims

So this mod makes any and all woohoo risky–meaning unplanned pregnancies are almost always possible. It also includes cool things like fertility levels for sims. I know this doesn’t contribute to romance per se, but I can definitely see a one-night-stand turned unplanned pregnancy turned life long lovers–or not–kind of situation stemming from this. Makes for a pretty interesting story!

Love Email Tweak by bienchen83

When your sim sends a love email to a sim of interest, this mod makes it possible for them to be asked out on a date by their crush.

* Scroll down to or search for “loveemailtweak” for the download link *


Less Jealous by bienchen83

If you’ve ever played a sim with the Jealous trait, you’ve probably noticed it can be a bit extreme at times, and that they are often tense because of negative thoughts regarding what their partner is probably–but more than likely not–doing behind their back. This mod tones that down some so that they are more likely to be reassured by their partner’s presence.

* Scroll down to or search for “lessjealous” for the download link *

MC Command Center by deaderpool

MC Command Center comes up every time I recommend mods because it really does that much. In the case of romance and relationships, it controls all story progression with NPC relationships. Because of this mod, they can get married, have kids, cheat, have kids outside of their relationship, break up, and move out without any involvement from you. It also allows you to turn off the random flirting that happens naturally in the game if you find that kind of thing annoying.

For more mods about romance & relationships, check out:

And when your sims are ready to add a new member to their family, check out:


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Episode 91: Guests

A Few Hours Later
Downtown San Myshuno | San Myshuno

One thing Salim was really good with was Camilla and making her feel things — good things — especially when her mood was anything but positive. When she was stuck in that cycle of discouragement and self-doubt, he always had the right combination of words to get her back on track, right where she needed to be. Another thing he was just as good with was taking tough discussions and making them feel easy — like casual conversations almost — while somehow still managing to get his point across and them to some kind of understanding. It was because of this special skill set of his, that they were done talking about the responsibility-secret-keeping thing, done making up, done showering, done making up again — and out the house in under two and a half hours.

The drive Downtown though — wasn’t as easy. The roads were flooded with cars and traffic moved at a snail’s pace. It was just as bad at the baby store too. Lines wrapped around the registers, customers, strollers, shopping carts at every single turn — basically your typical last minute holiday shopping chaos.

It was like every San Myshuno resident was out getting gifts for their kids or other people’s kids, probably buying everything they could think of in hopes of giving them the best Winterfest possible. It’s what Salim wanted for the girls too — the best first Winterfest possible and now that gifts were out the way, there was just one more thing he needed to make that happen — he just had to run it by Camilla first …

Salim: So you know how Winterfest falls on our day, right?
Camilla: Yeah- they’re still coming, aren’t they?
Salim: Yeah, of course … but I was wondering though … how do you feel about sharing the day with Aahana?

Their arrangement for the girls was pretty simple. They lived with Aahana during the week and with Salim and Camilla on the weekends. Holidays were different though — something they agreed to discuss as they came up. The first one was spent with Aahana, leaving him free to go to Brindleton Bay with Camilla, but the next one — the biggest one — just happened to fall on his day and even though it was his time, and they had just spent the whole week with their mom, he didn’t want her to miss out on such a huge event in their lives.

Camilla: You mean like half the day with us and the other half with her?
Salim: [shakes head] No, I mean, everybody at our house.
Camilla: … Okay … that’s fine, we can … do that …

But he also didn’t want Camilla to feel uncomfortable in her own house and if her demeanor was any indication of how she was really feeling — she wasn’t okay with it.

Salim, dismissive: You know what- we can just figure something else out- just … forget I brought it up-
Camilla: No, it’s fine, really. It’s their first Winterfest so she should be there … I know she doesn’t want to miss it.
Salim: You sure? Cause I understand if you’re not really up for it.

She wasn’t … really sure how she felt about it. Her relationship, for lack of better words, with Aahana was okay, but that was because they were in separate cities, only communicating briefly about the girls during pick ups and drop offs. Spending an entire day together though — existing in the same space for an unspecified amount of time — was a whole different story and even though they settled their differences that day at the hospital, she still didn’t know what to expect.

Camilla: [smiles] I’m sure. I want her to come. It’s just one more person anyway so it’ll be fine.
Salim: [kisses her forehead] So what can I do for you since you’re doing this for me?
Camilla: [smiles widely] Well, I do have a Winterfest wish-list for Sephora I can send you or would you rather the H&M one? Actually, [points ahead] Bath and Body Works is right over there we can just-
Salim: [laughs] No, see I already got your gift so we’re done shopping for a good while.
Camilla, excited: What did you get me? Is that what you were looking for in the mail today?
Salim: You want to talk about what you got in the mail today or you want to wait for Winterfest to find out?
Camilla: … I’ll … wait for Winterfest.
Salim: [laughs] That’s what I thought.


Later that Evening
Salim & Camilla’s Townhouse | San Myshuno

One quick call to Aahana and just as Salim predicted — she was on board with the whole Winterfest thing — even offered to bring a dish or drinks or something. What he didn’t see in that prediction though was a call from Nura — not even 30 minutes later — wanting to know why she hadn’t received an invitation to this Winterfest event being hosted by him and the mystery woman whom she still had yet to meet.

Admittedly, he was keeping Nura away — just until he was sure she could behave herself — that she wouldn’t use meeting Camilla as an opportunity to run her off in hopes of pushing him and Aahana back together. So far though, she was doing good. Not one mention of marriage or her idea of family or anything since the girls were born. Maybe she was ready …

Salim: Come here [pulls her over]. I want to ask you something else.
Camilla: Okay.

Salim: So … you know what we talked about earlier with Winterfest and Aahana, right?
Camilla, hesitant: … Yeah?
Salim: How do you feel … about … one more guest?
Camilla: … Okay … who?
Salim: My mom.
Camilla: Oh …


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Episode 90: Sad Coffee

The Next Day
Salim & Camilla’s Townhouse | San Myshuno

No barista … No job … No happiness … No nothing … Camilla sighed heavily as she prepared her morning coffee, mulling over the current state of her life. The interview was still weighing on her — had been the entire night — making it nearly impossible to fall asleep. She tried shutting her mind off, allowing blank space to take the place of her thoughts, but that didn’t do anything. She tried counting backwards from 100 then 1000. Still nothing. Even tried identifying all the curl patterns in Salim’s hair, but like everything else, that didn’t work either. Nothing worked — so she finally gave up and took her restlessness to the sofa downstairs, where she spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how things went so wrong — so quickly.

One minute, they were talking — laughing like old friends even — the next, Sofia was all but kicking her out of her office, like she had done or said something wrong. It was right after the thing about why she left home too — that’s what did it. Telling the truth really costed her a job, her dream job, and now — she just wanted to go upstairs and back to sleep for like a week or a month or however long it’ll take for her to start feeling better, but they had plans today; Winterfest shopping for the girls, so she would just fill that little hole of sadness with coffee, average-made-at-home-not-by-a-personal-barista-coffee, at least until they were back home and all the gifts were wrapped and under the tree.

She grabbed her mug and stood in front of the living room window, watching their neighbors go about their presumably happy lives. One of them was across the street, a woman, getting into her car, Camilla was positive she was on her way to work, probably to a job that she loved too and the guy a little further down, walking his dog, he probably wasn’t stressing about the bad news he was keeping from his significant other, even the dog, she was sure he had more than two hours of sleep last night, and the mailman over there, well, he was just delivering mail, but delivering mail was still a job — something she didn’t have.

He placed a few things in their box before disappearing down the street. I bet it’s more bad news in there, she pouted, probably a letter from Webot reminding me of how I’ll never – she paused for a moment, taking notice of the floor creaking upstairs. Salim was awake, probably looking for her since she hadn’t been in bed all night. She forced a smile as he approached, pretending to be in anything but the cranky-sleep-deprived-I-hate-my-lifeand-mediocre-coffee mood that she woke up in.

Salim: [kisses her forehead] What are you down here doing? People watching? [chuckles]
Camilla: [smiles faintly] Something like that …
Salim: Did the mailman come yet?
Camilla: Yeah, he just left a few minutes ago. Why? Are you waiting for something?
Salim: Yeah … let me see if it came.

He slipped out the door and returned a minute or so later with some envelopes, store flyers and other junk mail in hand.

Camilla, curious: What was it? Did it come?
Salim: No, but some stuff for you did. [holds up two envelopes]

She reached for the envelopes and quietly read the names of the senders before frantically opening the first one. Her student loan payment was due — past due — and the bank wanted their money. She rotated envelopes and quickly opened the second, from the bank, letting her know an additional late fee had been tacked on to her credit card bill.

She was behind on everything, but was going to catch up and pay it all with her next paycheck. That was the plan … but there was no next paycheck because she messed up and got fired. And now everybody wanted money that she didn’t have and she was sleepy and hated and that coffee and just … couldn’t … stop the tears from coming …

Salim: What’s wrong? Did you get bad news or something? [reaches for the envelopes]
Camilla: [snatches them away] No- I just … [sniffles] I really hate this coffee.
Salim: Isn’t it the same brand you always buy?
Camilla: [nods slowly] Yeah …

He pulled her over to the sofa and sat down next to her, ready to get to the bottom of whatever this emotional-hormonal-mood-swing-thing was because crying over coffee was a bit melodramatic — even for her.

Salim: You want to tell me what’s really going on? Cause I know this not about coffee.
Camilla: [sniffles] I’m just having really bad morning … I didn’t sleep good last night.
Salim: Why didn’t you sleep good?
Camilla: … Just … thinking about stuff …
Salim: Thinking about stuff like?
Camilla:
Salim: Losing your job kind of stuff?

Those words, that accusation, regardless of how right it was, threw her all the way off. How did he even know that? There was no way he could’ve known that unless … somebody told him. But who told him? The only person she told was Cassandra, but she wouldn’t-

Camilla: How did you-
Salim: It doesn’t matter does it? I just know I didn’t hear it from you.
Camilla: I was going to tell you [wipes face] … I just wanted to find another job first and I had this interview at Webot yesterday, but it just … went bad and … [voice trails off] I don’t know if I’m ever going to get another job.
Salim: [chuckles softly] You’ll find another job, Camilla. Everybody’s had at least one bad interview.

Camilla: [pouts] I really wanted that job though … and I’ve had two bad interviews so I’m already doing worse than everybody else.
Salim: You’re not doing worse than everybody else. Things happen sometimes and there’s a lot of other companies just like Webot out here, and I promise you at least one, maybe two of them want you. [hugs her] So stop pouting. It’ll be alright, okay?
Camilla: [wipes face] Okay.
Salim: Now do you have anything else you want to tell me before we get into this?
Camilla: Get into what?
Salim: We have a house together now. One you’re supposed to help pay for and when you found out you couldn’t, you didn’t bother telling me. Did you really think this was going to be the end of it?
Camilla: [sighs deeply] No I didn’t …


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Camilla & Salim III

A soft and hazy photoshoot inspired by this song:

New Hair

Just wanted a reason to use this super cute hair on my favorite girl, Camilla

Up and Out Curls by leeleesims1

Other versions: shorter and ponytail (2 versions)