Grand Return Event on July 22nd – Details Herein!

What’s up, Woo Crew?!? I hope you all are doing spectacular. I’m feeling pretty spectacular myself (in contrast to how crummy my back has felt since early June), and in fact I’ve been doing so well I’m pleased to announce my official return to streaming on July 22nd, 2017.

Yes, on Saturday, July 22nd from 12pm to 5pm Pacific Daylight Time, I will return to Twitch to celebrate my new Affiliate Subscription availability (can we get some subscriber hype going? Who’s gonna be the first to subscribe?!?), and to introduce you all to a game called THE LONG DARK. Some of you may be already familiar with it as it’s been in pre-release on Steam and Xbox One for a while now, but the full version (with a new as-yet-unreleased Story Mode) will be launching on all platforms (including PS4) on August 1st.

thelongdark

THE LONG DARK is a survival game set in Northern Canada where you find yourself out in the elements after a mysterious geomagnetic storm with your character having to scavenge for food, shelter, and supplies whilst steering clear of wily animal predators and punishing weather patterns. The Story Mode promises to provide more details about the circumstances which led to this apocalypse of sorts.

On Saturday’s stream, I will be playing the Sandbox mode, whish is basically just the player alone in the world, trying to survive for as long as possible. And not just any Sandbox mode – I will be playing it on the hardest difficulty available in the game – Interloper Mode. For survival game fans, this is considered one of the most brutal and challenging survival experiences a game can offer, and I am TOTALLY UNPREPARED to experience it!

Fret not, there is a method to my madness and this choice is for your benefit! Why? Well we’re gonna be gamifying this terrible idea for you all – viewers of the stream will be able to enter their guesses for:

  1. How many times my character dies (and I need to start completely over) during the stream.
  2. The longest time I’m able to survive (in days, hours, and minutes)
  3. The shortest time I’m able to survive (in days, hours, and minutes)

The viewers who have the closest guesses without going over will win prizes, including a digital copy of the game (digital copy may be region-restricted; I will update with more info soon)!

Below are the rules and stuff, so you know what to expect…

Rules for Me:

  • I will play on Interloper Mode with a Random Location start.
  • No map look-ups – if I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know where I’m going and I’ll likely die because of it!

Rules for Viewers wishing to enter the contest:

  • Must be 18 years or older and must be legally able to enter contests like this.
  • Must be a follower of the channel.
  • One entry per person. Subscribers to the channel may enter twice with different guesses if they wish. Duplicate entries from non-subscribers will be forfeit.
  • All entry guesses must be UNIQUE. You will be prompted to alter your guess on the form if someone has already entered using that precise number (this is to prevent ties, so get your guesses in early!)
  • All entries must be submitted by 3pm Pacific Time. After that entries will be closed.
  • Due to form limitations, only the first 99 entries will be counted. A link to the form will be provided once the contest starts!
  • Winners must be in chat to claim prizes. If the winner is a regular (30+ hours of prior viewing time) or a subscriber, they may be absent, but will have until 3pm Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday July 23rd to claim their prize via Twitch Whisper response.
  • If a winner is not available to claim their prize per the terms above, the prize will be awarded to the runner up until someone claims. In case of a regular or subscriber notified and non-responsive via whisper, if the runner up fails to claim their prize by Monday July 24th at 3pm Pacific Daylight Time, the prize will be forfeited and saved for a future event.
  • Entrants who fail to comply with the channel rules will forfeit their entry and risk being banned.

The Prizes!

See, this is what you’re all here for, right? Okay, so here are the prizes:

  • Number of Deaths Prize: PC Steam Code for “THE LONG DARK”!
  • Longest Survival Time Prize:  $10.00 USD Amazon.com Gift Card
  • Shortest Survival Time Prize: $10.00 USD Amazon.com Gift Card

Still with me? It looks complicated, but really it’s not. The above rules are written out just so there’s no confusion or consternation on the day of the event. We’re gonna have a blast with a new stream look, new sounds, a new game, and hopefully some new friends and the first subscribers to the channel, ever! If you’re not already following, find me on Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/wonderwez, drop a follow, and make sure to turn notifications on so you don’t miss it!

Subscriptions are Live! (Happy Birthday to Me!)

I’m celebrating my birthday this year after being stuck in the house for a couple weeks with a bad back, and it’s been a huge bummer not being able to stream for you all on the regular. Gotta be honest, my mood has been pretty low from the pain and inability to do anything except lie down on the couch all day in a very specific “position of comfort”.

But man, oh man, were my spirits lifted when I heard the news that came out today:

rocket

Twitch Affiliates (of which I am one) now have subscriptions available! Similar to Partner Streamers, we have four different tiers available:

  • $4.99/month – gain access to an exclusive emote
  • $9.99/month – gain access to the emote above and an additional emote
  • $24.99/month – gain access to both emotes above and a third exclusive emote
  • Twitch Prime Sub – gain access to the $4.99 tier emote and rewards – your subscription is FREE TO YOU with a Twitch Prime membership

In addition to the emotes (which I still need to have designed, it might be awhile because I’m sure all the artists are SWAMPED!),  I will be offering my own tiered subscriber benefits (TBD), but they’ll include things like bonus entries to giveaways/contests and other exclusives.

Before I leave this here and am done with it, we should really talk more about Twitch Prime because it is an amazing service and it has loads of benefits. Do you have an Amazon Prime subscription? If so, you can also have a Twitch Prime subscription FOR NO ADDITIONAL COST. That’s right, because Twitch is now owned by Amazon.com, members of their Prime service can link their Twitch account and gain all the benefits of a Twitch Prime sub.

These benefits include: NO ADS (woo!), in-game loot (characters, vehicles, cosmetic items, experience, etc.) for certain games (including major titles like Overwatch), discounts on games sold by Amazon, and one free subscription to any Partner or Affiliate streamer on Twitch. And on top of that you get the free shipping and movie/tv content and music via Amazon Prime, which is already a huge benefit. For me and Mr. Wez, the $99/year sub pays for itself in shipping discounts every year.

One caveat: to sub to your favorite streamer on Twitch using Twitch Prime, you have to manually resub every month. It’s kind of a hassle to remember if you plan to re-sub regularly, but fret not: anyone who subs to me using a Twitch Prime sub will get monthly reminders from me when their sub is about to expire.

So that’s that – subscriptions are live for Affiliates like me and this is a major, MAJOR step forward for the channel. This is a huge opportunity for me to earn some much-needed small income to keep up streaming for the long-term. The only bummer is that I can’t hop on right now and stream for you all to get that sub hype rolling! But fear not, as soon as my back is healed I will be back to streaming and we’ll have a big celebration together – stay tuned!

I’m a Twitch Affiliate!

affiliate

OMG you guys, this is big news for my Twitch channel! I’m now officially a Twitch Affiliate! YAY! What does this mean? It means I’ll now be able to do a bit of official monetization on stream by way of Cheering.

A few months ago I added a tip jar for those of you who generously wish to drop some monetary contributions to the channel, but for those who might be uncomfortable using a third party site, Cheering adds a more direct way to help me earn a wee bit of cash to help cover the costs of streaming. For each bit that you cheer, I receive $0.01. Yes, one whole U.S. cent! So 100 bits is $1.00, 500 bits is $5.00, etc. Note: I need to rack up $100.00 in bits (or 10,000 bits – wow, math is hard!) before I can actually accept any of the revenue from bits, so the more cheers, the better!

And that’s not all! Eventually, I’ll be able to earn a 5% commission on game sales through Twitch’s Get It On Twitch program, and you’ll be able to subscribe to my channel and I’ll even have custom emotes you can use across the entire Twitch platform! Woo!

The future is bright. I’ve always said I want to be partnered with Twitch eventually, but this opportunity to be an Affiliate really bridges the gap and helps the channel stay afloat while we continue to build up the Woo Crew. I would not have received this invite without your viewership, so THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE!! Here’s to you, and to a bright future for our little community!

1-Year Streamaversary!

megastream

It’s time, friends! One year ago, I streamed Heavy Rain to an audience of nearly zero as I began my journey as a Twitch broadcaster. This past year has been full of ups and downs, but I’m so, so happy that I’m still here, streaming, and building the #WooCrew community around the values of positivity and enthusiasm.

To celebrate this milestone, I’m streaming for 12 hours straight (a marathon effort for me!) on Sunday, February 26th from 7am to 7pm Pacific Standard Time over at twitch.tv/wonderwez. There will be 80’s music, there will be announcements, and there will be GIVEAWAYS! Below you’ll find the important information about the giveaway:

INFO:

There will be four raffles throughout the stream, for the following items:

  1. Blizzard Cute But Deadly Treasure Goblin figurine – opened, but new in box!
  2. Selected assortment of Wez’s TwitchCon 2016 pins!
  3. TwitchCon 2016 Emote Thermos – never used, new in box!
  4. $20 USD Steam Wallet Gift Card code!

RULES:

In order to participate in the raffle, you must:

  1. Be a follower of the channel and adhering to the channel rules (!rules for info).
  2. Spend 50 WezCred for a ticket (up to 5 tickets allowed per person, per raffle)
  3. Be legally allowed to win a raffle (18 years old+, not prohibited in your area, etc.)
  4. Be present in chat when the winner is announced.
  5. If you win one of the raffled items, you may not win another one during the same stream.

Failure to adhere to any of the above rules by the winner will result in a redraw.

RAFFLE DETAILS:

To enter the raffle, type in “!ticket x” in chat during the raffle window, where x is the number of tickets you want. For example, if you want to purchase 3 raffle tickets (which costs 150 WezCred), you would type “!ticket 3”. You may spend up to 250 WezCred for 5 tickets (extra chances to win!). If you’re not sure how much WezCred you currently have, type “!wezcred” in chat during the stream to check your balance.

HOW TO REDEEM YOUR PRIZE:

If you are the winner of the Steam code, send a whisper to WonderWez and she’ll send back the card code immediately. If you are the winner of any of the physical goods, you will need to whisper WonderWez your complete mailing address. Delivery times will depend on your location. Wez is not responsible for lost codes, delivery issues, or if you don’t have access to a Steam account, etc.

Again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for making this past year so much fun. I love streaming and plan on continuing as long as I can!

#WellnessWezday #3

Does doing this three times in a row mean it’s a habit yet?? I sure hope so. So this is the third installment of my weekly #WellnessWezday progress update. This is the first one I’m finding a bit of a challenge, because for some reason this past week left me a little disappointed in myself.

Which is why I’m checking myself now – there is no disappointment on #WellnessWezday, ya dork! (I’m referring to myself, of course)

Sure, I had a pretty lazy weekend and had some emotional ups and downs, but I still did some pretty awesome activities that further my desire for balance in my health and well-being.

Like last Thursday, I went out in the hot, hot August-in-Seattle heat and did some hiking at a nearby state park on the shores of Lake Washington. It was gorgeous outside, and the challenge was REAL! In actuality I think I pushed myself a bit too hard, but I did it nonetheless.

 

 

It’s here I’ll talk a little bit about mental and physical walls. I’ve worked with a personal trainer before when trying to get fit, and I know that most of us have a tendency to see boundaries a little too early when we’re working out. Most of these are mental walls. Now, there are some trainers out there who are maybe a little too gung-ho about walls being merely mental, and will expect you to push yourself past your limits. A little is okay – heck, pushing past a wall can end up feeling downright amazing! But then there are those barriers that one should respect: feeling dizzy, experiencing tunnel-vision, feeling nauseated…

Those are some barriers I ran up against last Thursday. And there was a part of me that said, “Push past it, keep walking, keeping your heart rate up will be good for you!” But then there was the healthy part of me that said, “No, you can stop to take a break and wait until your heart isn’t busting out of your chest anymore. Drink some water, stand in the shade, respect your current fitness level.”

The fact is that I’m not an athlete at peak condition. I’m a heavy-set woman in her early 40’s (I know, right???) who is slowly working her way towards better fitness. I don’t need to go balls-to-the-wall every time I set out on a nature walk. This is a struggle for me, because I get into a lot of all-or-nothing thinking with a dash (okay, a landfill) of competitiveness thrown in. If I’m not one-upping myself at each opportunity, I have an inner voice that likes to tell me I’m not pushing hard enough and that it doesn’t count if I’m not going all out.

Well that inner voice isn’t serving me well anymore, if it was ever serving me at all. And this week I allowed myself to pay attention to that voice not as “reality”, but as a facet of my upbringing and inner self that isn’t telling me the truth. A facet that isn’t showing compassion. A facet that is maybe trying to be helpful, but is like that wacky aunt who doesn’t know how to help without hurting a little, too.

This week I’m choosing to hear that voice, politely tell it to hush up, and to embrace myself – every part of myself: my resilience, my humor, my intelligence, and yes- my limits. These limits will slowly fall away and I’ll have new limits to target. That’s called progress!

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 19, 369
  • Pants Test: Some of my pants actually felt downright baggy this week. Better than too tight! Comfort is the best.
  • Personal measure of wellness: This past week was tough, felt like a slip, but I’m staying on top of it and staying positive.

 

 

#WellnessWezday #2

Well friends, we’re here for the second installment of my weekly progress update: #WellnessWezday! This past week (August 10th through August 16th, 2016) was a banner week, filled with activity and enjoying the Seattle sun while it lasts. Building on the previous week’s breakthrough involving putting shoes on (which for me is no small feat… get it???), this week was about honoring (without caving into) my limits.

What does that mean? It means that yeah, I was eager to go hiking on Thursday, but while I let my friends goad me into a trip over to Rattlesnake Ledge, I didn’t force myself to get to the very top.

 

That was tough. I tend to fall into all-or-nothing thinking, and something about not getting to the top brings up a lot of feelings of inferiority, or not finishing the job. But the reality is that I’m really out of shape. I can’t just tell my body to press on and expect it to rise to the occasion. Sure, I can push myself – going hiking alone is quite a feat for me regardless of its length – but pushing past reasonable limits would likely not lead to glory, but to injury.

I’ve ascended Rattlesnake Ledge before. Back in May of 2014 I tried it for the first time (at the peak of my physical fitness), and celebrated at the top. So when I was roughly halfway up on Thursday, it was not easy for me to make the decision to turn around. That belittling voice was trying to persuade me that the hike “wouldn’t count” if I couldn’t take a selfie at the top.

But the healthy part of me – the balanced part that is willing to live in the grey area – knew that every step counts towards the pursuit of a fitter me. And it also knew that hiking downhill is often more calamitous for me than the reverse direction, and that if I wanted to make it down without tiredly, clumsily twisting an ankle or face-planting, the time to turn around had arrived.

Other awesomeness in my week included another trip to a local beach park with the pup where, after walking laps around the pier in 80-degree Fahrenheit heat, I finally succeeded in encouraging him to get out into the lake. We played fetch into the shallow shore of Lake Washington and it was simply delightful. He loved it, and I loved it!

 

Finally, yesterday I missed my Tuesday stream for a very good reason: I was invited to do a PokeWalk with some friends from my old workplace at one of the best places to play PokemonGO in the whole world: Bellevue’s Downtown Park. I’m serious, the vibe is crazy at this park! I felt a little like a lemming, migrating with the crowd from one spawn to the next.

 

As silly as it was, I got something like nine new (to me) Pokemon and had a lot of fun getting steps and working up a sweat in a downright jovial atmosphere.

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 38,197 (+12.8% increase)
  • Pants Test: Bought some ostentatious blue pants about 2 months ago – they’re getting loose!
  • Personal measure of wellness: My feet are usually sore at the end of the day, but I’ve been bouncing back quickly!

#WellnessWezday #1

On many “weight loss blogs”, you’ll find that many bloggers opt to weigh-in on Wednesdays and call them… can you guess? Of course, “Weigh-In Wednesday”. Might as well delay a couple days and call it “Freak-Out Friday”. I kid, I kid.

In any case, that’s a mentality I want to reject here. But as a fan of alliteration, I wanted to find a way to take the overall flavor of a weekly update post and inject it with my special brand of self-care that I’m trying to embrace – one of wellness.

Over on my Twitch stream, a viewer (and new friend!) once referred to my #WarcraftWednesday streams as #WarcraftWezday, and thus the ridiculousness of “Wezday” became a thing. Because I love ridiculousness! And thus we merge the two and get the title of this weekly feature! #WellnessWezday

Every Wednesday, I will provide a review of my previous week and the positive steps I’ve taken to increase my overall health and well-being. I’m not going to nit-pick or cast shadows on what I didn’t do, I’m just going to celebrate the great stuff. We should all be doing that for ourselves more often!

And now for all the cool stuff I did this past week (August 3rd through August 9th, 2016):

The story of this past week has been putting my shoes on. Seriously. Working from home, it’s easy for me to spend days without so much as putting on socks and just lounging around in various states of pajama-wearing. It’s easy to wake up and stumble over to the computer, bleary-eyed and cobwebbed-brain and then stay there the whole day (or do a mid-day transition to the couch and then lose myself in some high-level multi-tasking involving Facebook, Twitter, free-to-play mobile games, XBOX, and Netflix. At the end of these days, especially when the weather is bright, I end up feeling like I missed out – wasted the day.

But this past week I believe I finally found the key to unlocking real health productivity: putting on some shoes! Getting dressed is one thing, that’s no big deal. But finishing by putting on some shoes and socks readies me to leave the house for errands or adventures, or even just to hop on my treadmill-desk or go outside in the backyard to enjoy some sun.

I had a big list of to-do’s I had created a couple weeks back and I’m stoked to announce that by merely methodically lacing up my shoes each day, I got to strike-through the vast majority of that list. Two of those items were “find a recipe to cook” and “go to the grocery store (for at least one meal)”. Well, turns out I found a more than one recipe because, well, check these out!

After months and months of eating whatever was most-convenient (drive thru, take out, pre-packaged stuff), preparing delicious REAL food for myself and my husband felt really, really good. And look at how beautiful that food is! I’m no food photographer, but those pictures are making my mouth water right now.

Other highlights of the week were taking my dog Benny out for multiple walking excursions. Last Thursday we walked around a local beach park where there is an abundance of PokeStops and where Benny could get ample attention for his cuteness. A bonus was seeing the Blue Angels rehearse for Seafair Weekend in the cloudless blue Seattle-in-August sky. And yesterday we walked from my house down a rather steep hill to the local Starbucks in order to enjoy my morning dose of caffeine. The round-trip yielded nearly 7000 steps, some seriously-sore calf muscles, and improved cardiovascular health!

Wrapping up this long first update post will be some quick stats to counter things like pounds or inches lost:

Weekly Stats:
Fitbit step count: 33,844
Pants Test: They fit. No drama.
Personal measure of wellness: The kindling’s caught fire and I’m fanning those flames!

Lastly, this post doesn’t include all the fun stuff I did throughout the week to further my health and wellness goals, but I do keep track on Twitter and Instagram, so follow me those places for the full effect!