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Sims diary!


So remember how I said I was done with building Monte Vista? Yeah so I basically didn't touch the sims since then. I guess testing CAS stuff was just too overwhelming. I hate making choices!!

At least my install is still good and my BB stuff (mostly, I'm sure I'll swap a few things in and out). Anyway, the other day I was gripped by town design ideas and I realised there was more to do with Monte Vista by which I mean, starting nearly from scratch. I want to really lean into the retro stuff I already love for the sims, so it's gonna be this generically 20s-70s kind of era (you know, like in Pixar and Ghibli films most of the time...) and I'm not going to be mega strict about it but just prioritising it. It's gonna be cute!

After spending 7 years building community lots, I've also decided I want fewer. Because part of what I want to do is again lean into the rural vibes MV isn't really supposed to have (it has 2 urban centres, one is a regional capital and one is a market town as far as I can tell - but like 100 people live in the whole area because sims!) But it's fine, I generally actually prefer rural worlds in TS3 due to 1. you can (open neighbourhood my beloved) 2. the routing sucks if you build dense and 3. again you can only have 3 residents in your "city" anyway

So, so far I have: replacing the horrible rectangle park that I detest in the 2nd town with one of the houses from the town + a path (and I can build "another" house, a garage, a garden or something on the other side or just leave it for now); and, I'm keeping that awful thing I always delete, the Mucho Expresso Cafe which is on the opposite side of the pool to the hospital (and thank god, my hospital-spa remake is perfect and can just be plopped down!)

I can get several things on to that lot now: a big huge square (the half of the lot with like... a tree or something lmao) as the festival grounds, the little 2nd plaza as a market (with the veg stands), toilets in the walls (this isn't as dumb as it sounds written lmao: just the squares in the corners can be bathrooms, why not right (aside from all the rl reasons you couldn't yeah yeah I know)).

And that's just outside: in the buildings I can get some kind of eatery (WA register, diner RH rug, UL cafe bar, idk yet) on the big side and a nice small easy to decorate fast to load!!! grocers + grocery rh rug on the small side. And that leaves the upstairs, which I slightly extended on the top floor by incorporating that top balcony. I can squeeze some extra shops there - probably best NOT to have a bookshop because I remember bookshop+grocery = a LOT of sims - maybe some of my 'fake' deco shops like art shop, music shop (garden shop would be weird on 2nd floor) or maybe some 'offices' with business/crime/whatever RHs. Or I guess I could even leave it blank... I don't do that though lmao (then I wonder why my worlds crash and burn under their own weight)

I started writing this stuff in a cherrytree node before I remember oh I have a sims diary. The first line was "I'm gonna start again because I'm fucking stupid!!!!!!!!!". I suppose, most important line too lmao. But I have fun this way (somehow)

I'm thinking about HW Uni again which ughhh idk but it can be cute. Well, I think I'll keep my museum that replaces the spa in the 2nd town, so maybe something like that can go there. Or just the school?

Part of what I'm doing is I want to keep the community lots to the urban areas, but I want houses in them too (otherwise it would be weird to play, I think, if nobody lived in the city walls). So I'm thinking about a bunch of things like... swimming pool school? Library is more obvious but what if I want museum-library instead. I just don't know. (The museum can get smaller scale because of the smaller feel I'm more sensibly going for. So, it could be museum + "art gallery" (not lot assignment) on one wing, library + 'adult education' (glassblowing, easels, etc.) on the other)

The big reason I write this diary is to make my plans more clear to myself but ugh look at all those brackets lmao. Sorry if you are reading along!


I've been planning here and there. It's mostly involved trying to sort out all the (great!) Carversims deshine destencil stuff, and sort out some OEM pregnancy meshes (fairly easy 'cause most look too awful to use, I guess because free hanging fabric doesn't animate well)

I'm back to the community lot drawing board. Here are some notes I made about careers (only for my installed EPs):

  • Abandoned Warehouse (Criminal, Art Appraiser)
  • Bistro, Diner (Culinary)
  • City Hall (Political)
  • Hospital (Medical)
  • Military Base (Military)
  • Offices (Business, Journalism, Video Game Developer)
  • Police Station (Law Enforcement)
  • School (Education)
  • Science Lab (Science)
  • Stadium (Professional Sports, Sports Agent)
  • Theatre (Music)
  • Part time jobs:
    • Bookstore
    • Grocery
    • Mausoleum
    • Spa
    • (I'm pretty sure Diner and Bistro also have a part time option?)

Bookstore and Grocery can be replaced by WA registers (and the market stand), but it's kind of a shame because when I give my sims careers it's normally those. But maybe it will make me branch out :)

On my cool hospital lot that I'm going to keep (might need to redecorate a little since I scrubbed my CC) I had science + hospital + spa, mainly because the RH I was copying was science/hospital. But I have a fun idea for a retro scifi kinda restaurant (it should be a bar, if I was playing with LN) with the Atomic Age store set and stuff like that. It would be fun to tie it in with an observatory, and if I manage to build something like that, I guess it's where the science RH should go.

Like always, this is one of the points where I can't type the answers. I need to get into game and look around and see what's what and test stuff. So, goodbye :)


So far my simplfying is going pretty well! Though I have a RH I've never used before: the horse ranch thing. It puts the small one in Monte Vista if you have Pets, and I decided to put it where the school RH was: keeping the school lot and the bleachers. The lot's pretty big, so I added a little changing rooms kind of block and made it into a small gym, and that's Monte Vista's official gym now :)

There's also a small one in the hotel now I moved and expanded it. It's taken the place of the City Hall lot. I tried the Coliseum there but it never looked right. I mean, nothing does with the missing walls. Even the City Hall RH doesn't line up right! But I have a rebuilt, hm, whatever that police-military RH is, with walls (maybe from the spa?) and the City Hall rug is in there. Actually, that lot is super empty inside, though it looks great and I don't really want to add features to it. I guess I will just decorate some fake government offices :)

I think my next job is trying to redo the fishing ponds again into a Cat Jungle + cafe + petshop, and moving that down next to the hospital (a rebuild of the Hospital-Science RH that incorporates a roman baths + Spa rh rug, it is so lovely and the only thing I think I'm keeping in so many ways: in the position/mostly function of vanilla MV, from my first rebuild attempt...)

The worst thing about Monte Vista is that there's nowhere for the Coliseum. How do you mess that up? But ugh. Driving to it like the out of town American stadium... hate it. Also, I think it should be the theatre not the stadium. But anyway, I am now trying to put it on the hill - where the fishing ponds was, just up from the 2nd town. And the house that was down where I've put the ponds, just behind it. It's weird, but I can't blame myself. There is literally nowhere for the colosseum to look right. And I tried mooing it everywhere in the main town, overlapping... just looks too bad when it overlaps roads.

I've seen people saying the market stand is a suitable replacement for the Grocery RH. To an extent, but it doesn't have the same functionality. It sells 10 of a random selection of items including store fruit/veg/nuts and life fruit(!) and a few cooking/gardening books. No guarantee that you can buy eggs/tofu/whatever you need for most recipes.

I assume the stock rotates, but I don't know when. Something I do know is: if you have multiple market stands on one lot, they have their own selections. Also, you can sell to them, but only fruits/veggies, not e.g. ketchup which my test sim Simona had made :) Idk if you can sell those to the grocery RH though anyway.


Today's fun discovery is that you need buydebug to interact with the seasonal lot marker. Which means I can't use it. Silver lining: I hate it and how it works, so maybe it's not such a big deal. Also, my plans involved things like spring festival on lot A, summer festival on lot B and so on, which doesn't work very well, I'm just remembering. Some things - I think mostly the spring dance and egg hunt? - only work on designated Festival Grounds. Which means it will advertise itself to other sims and also to you the player even when there's no festival there really at all.

I've also installed the new Smooth Patch. I'm a bit nervous about bugs and poor performance. So far all I've been doing is opening my church and trying to get the SLM to work which of course it won't. However, I have seen the catalogue rotating fix from version 1 in action and it's nice to see them gently turning now haha

Maybe I just won't have festivals at all, though it's a little sad for my sims. But there's plenty to do in Monte Vista. Or there will be soon, when I make a cinema for the 100th time for my new in-town cinema+arcade. I also have the Globe theatre from Dragon Valley but maybe I'll get rid? I found somewhere it looks cute but I'm just not sure. Though, with my new strictness, I actually have a bunch of empty lots to fill!

So far I've also given up on the colluseum. It just won't look right anywhere!! So I guess I will just put a stadium rug in that little gym I built.

Actually, one thing I could do for a festival lot is like an all year fairground with all the objects. I like Sandy's neutral concessions stands, the trestle table specifically (which is already in place at the market and the church, too, though I wish very much it could be just spring and summer at the church). I'll have to think about it.

Not gotten any further with what to do with the empty lots, but I finally got off my arse and did something about the awful beach with the lot's shadow painted onto the world in dirt. I don't really want custom terrain paints, so I replaced the raked sand which I never use with MV's sand, and repaired the beach!!!


Another list for adding to my resource pages when I stop being lazy! RHs with classes (in my install, minus Uni-RHs):

  • Athletics: Stadium
  • Charisma: City Hall
  • Cooking: Bistro, Diner
  • Fishing: Grocery
  • Gardening: Science lab
  • Handiness: Military base
  • Inventing: Science lab
  • Logic: Science lab
  • Painting: School
  • Riding: Equestrian centres
  • Science: Science lab
  • Scuba Diving: Science lab
  • Writing: Office


So much building! I'm on the home stretch now (AGAIN yes I know lmao). I need to decide where to put the cinema. I want it in the main town (which is where the theatre RH is anyway) but I have a spare corner 30x20 in the 2nd town that could totally be an opera house or something, after all it's near the retired opera singer :) (Does she come from there? I think so, but I have shuffled everyone around so fully by now!) But, maybe she retired away from where she works and not next door!

But, I need something for that corner and it's all big, idk what to call it exactly, civic architecture on that side of the pool. I copied the Isla Paradiso museum for an observatory on the opposite corner (where I might move the science stuff + RH from the hospital which it is opposite, maybe move the science stuff from the big museum-school-library which is in the central spot, an extended version of... idk... either MV's library or art gallery (arcade on the front?))

I'm finally happy with the fishing ponds cat jungle-park-cafe-pet shop! I gave the new building some more, idk, lumps lmao and also I exchanged a few of the formal garden details for something more natural and lush (not all of them - it still looks formal overall). Maybe it is because I'm English but I always prefer naturalistic gardens :) The IP rhododendrons look really cute shading and kind of arching the benches on the main plaza area! (I kept picking until I got medium-small ones hehe)

I guess I could put an opera house in that corner and have a cinema separately in the main town? But, it's always back to that question of making sims use things: but also making them NOT use too many things at once or they get too spread out. I'm still not totally happy with having the theater RH separate to the fake cinema. But, I landscaped it cutely (even though it overhangs the back of the lot I put it on!) The landscaping is mostly just from the criminal RH which is what used to be there :) So I'm not really deadset on keeping it, but I do like the globe RH!!

I think I might change my weird equestrian centre + football changing rooms lot into more of a gym, which is what I assigned it as. I really liked the tennis & badminton courts on my old gym. I can keep it mostly outdoor like that. And I might build a real horse ranch lot elsewhere! There is a loottt of spare room, even though I've condensed everything so heavily. I might have room on that new gym for a martial arts room and a dance room which I don't have anywhere right now - or maybe they could go into that 3rd community lot spot in the 2nd town. But then, should I make it a 2nd gym lot? No because I don't want that. Ohhh I hate that stupid baked in football field ;_; Maybe I need to go back to my old approach there: have some tennis courts near it, and keep the bleachers, but make that a park. The gym can go elsewhere. (But where?!) I do need a real playground, right now there's only the little one at the back of the pub.

I realised I can't for the life of me be bothered to build a horse ranch (oh okay lmao, I guess for my actual life I would) so I downloaded one: Tudor Acres Equestrian Club by cutsocks. I haven't tried it yet, or decided where exactly to put it, but that's my next job when I load up the game :) cutsocks has contributed a few other lots to my Monte Vista: I copied most of his bank and the adjoining commercial building for a lot in the main town, and I also added his Italian church. I had to rebuild it a little both to my taste and to compensate for my missing EPs but it looks sooo cute :) I kept my English church too. The town is looking so pretty with all these grand buildings!

... I think I'm realising I haven't actually built a single lot for this MV. Everything is done-up MV buildings, MV RH rebuilds, rebuilds of other game lots, and these few downloaded lots (I will also mention here this beautiful garage by Flora2 - I had to redo a lot but the shell is hers and it looks soooooooo cute in MV!!) Or... maybe I built the Ultra-Luxe (I might rename it lmao)? It looks so similar to all the MV buildings, I'm not sure. Maybe it was the library once upon a time. But, it has a huge ground-floor-foundation thing for its grand steps, which I don't think anything in MV had, so idk. Cool! I built one lot. (My English church is a ripoff of sionelle's Norman-style Country Church.)

Okay, I looked at (my downloaded copy of because it's super useful!!) AznSensei's MV guide and the Ultra Luxe is definitely not the library, but I was inspired by it. But that library is so insipid isn't it? My (TACKY) grand hotel really goes the full mile. It's soooo beautiful. Have I mentioned here yet how I finally extended it fully symmetrically? In its old position, where I built it inside the main town, it could only have one balcony-wing-whatever. Now, pride of place in the break in the city wall where the City Hall RH was, it has room to... stretch its wings haha. And I gave it this super condensed, perspective-trick 'long cypress-lined driveway through the formal lawns, past the winding road' (like, 6 trees, 6 rows of grass and the winding path that leads to the lot!) and omgggggggg it's just so cute. Okay, I feel really happy knowing I built at least 2 of the top 5 lots in this world (I've decided to take full credit for the hospital RH rebuild even though it's half EA lmao).

I was just thinking that the UL has a gym (very small, just a complement to the spa) so maybe I don't need more. But, a gym lot assignment is a nice thing for the meathead sims to... meet each other. hehe :) Anyway, the MV sims are all so fit and trim, you know they are all very into exercising. It has two spas, too - two RHs and everything. I normally avoid things like that, but they are all so glamorous and serene, I think it makes sense! (Also, I love the spa as a player - fabulous money sink and way to claw back some free-playing time for your sims simultaneously! And my little simmies are so happy and pampered hehe)


Just as I was thinking I was sooo happy with the pizzeria-pub - it is beautiful, and it playtests beautifully apart from idiot sims making endless salad from the fridges, so I replaced them with the pantry shelves :D And I took out all bars and coffee machines and just put in a cafe bar upstairs next to the food register - I want to redo it. I was reading my initial notes about it and I realised I hate how the action is on two levels, even though it's SO BEAUTIFUL really I can't express how beautiful it is. It literally glows. I'll take some pics and ofc back the whole lot up very well (I recently got into the habit of renaming my library lots, I'm sooo organised now) but it's time to redo.


  • A pub needs a pool table and I'm 99% sure there's a UL one (not just the LN ones I don't have any more) that I don't have room for in this version. The downstairs is kinda full though - I guess the toilets can go upstairs?
  • Where to put my beautiful pizzeria?!
  • How to make sims use the pub without an attached restaurant? I guess I can just make it a nectary, which was my original plan? (And the downstairs is set up like that, with buying and tasting racks and a nectar merchant on the 'bar'.)
  • What to put upstairs (apart from toilets): this isn't too bad, I can make a fake home for the 'landlord' (actually it was a landlady last time I tested, but same difference!).
  • Not issue: now I will be able to find a place for my extracted deco dartboard :)

So, my only real issue is finding a new home for the pizzeria. It really is so pretty up there... it needs to go somewhere else beautiful.

There are some spare deco buildings kicking about - I haven't done anything at all with the ones adjoining the basilica, for example, but I don't think they're right for this. They look more like the offices of accountants and solicitors! The other big one right now is the shops in the former Mucho Espresso Cafe which is in its original position down in the 2nd town. But, I want this restaurant to be in the main town.

... or maybe I don't? Is the bistro at the hotel enough? No... I don't think so.

Other things I still haven't built:

  • Cinema - if it has an eating place, it won't be this
  • Potential opera house - no! The pizzeria is too casual
  • Arcade - no... the pizzeria is too nice!
  • Gym - no OHHHH unless it's not even a gym. Building in town with a pizzeria on the ground floor and stairs to some little rooms, one of which would be a chiropractor or something irl but will be martial arts and table tennis here haha. But... I don't want to limit the pizzeria to sporty sims

Maybe it does need to be in the 2nd town after all. I found out the thing that acts like a grocery RH is the food register, not the market stands like some people have said (I mean, you can buy ingredients at them, just not the full selection). It's annoying though because you don't get the separate tabs, and every ingredient is mingling with every cooked food, too... but I normally play gardeners & with the any ingredients mod so it's not a huge deal anyway. So I was thinking I would add a food register to that market, but I didn't want to draw an indoor grocery (maybe just a housewares shop). That building is big and it has lots of room for outdoor seating, too, which I thought I wouldn't use because I don't want too many cafes in this world (my automatic instinct as a builder is to build cafes for everything haha)

It does seem strange that the only eating options in town will be the bistro, when it's open, and I guess the seasons stand at the church?? But ofc this just leaves me an opportunity for another cafe hehe :) I suppose I might even leave a cafe bar or food register in the pub. Don't want those sims drinking all that nectar on an empty stomach :)

I think I might experiment with this custom resort buffet mod. Everything icarus_allsorts makes is great, but I've never used this one before, probably because I played with a resort for like 5 minutes before deciding I hated it. But I could have pub food in my pub this way without an extra npc behind the bar :) The glasses with the folded napkins are way too fancy though lmao.

One thing I'll need to check is if kids go to nectaries! They definitely came when it was a hangout. Which I guess I might leave it as :)


I haven't done any building yet, I have been working on a new homepage :) (New tab browser page homepage I mean!)

Idk if I want a diner in the new pizzeria or not. I kinda liked only having one RH restaurant for the jobs, but I miss Simona working in the local diner, also - and this new pizzeria will be local to her. (The original isn't - but until this rebuild, she worked in my american diner near her in the 2nd town.) With the icarus_allsorts mod, I can set a custom menu with just pizza and related meals/sides/desserts :) That could be fun. And maybe I would add a waiter?? It's the kind of restaurant that would have one. (And if I do, I should definitely add a fancy one to the bistro in the hotel!)

But, also, the food register would work fine there - especially in conjunction with the cafe counter. And the food register is a place to buy actual food ingredients, when I don't have a grocery RH in this world. Hmm... also, I guess something I could do is diner RH + cafe counter and maybe not bother with a waiter necessarily, the place will look 'staffed' after all - also I'll only need to put mains on the menu. Oh, thinking about it, I definitely want the cafe counter - what's an Italian restaurant without good coffee??

If I do use the RH, I don't want to use the register. I want to see sims eating the same kinds of foods on a lot, even if that's 'any'. I still haven't built/found a place for my fun Jetsons kinda bar :) That could have whichever I don't use here - though it would be an odd place to buy eggs and tofu and cookbooks... the pizzeria is not a great place for that, but it makes more sense to some degree (not a high degree - I know there are lots of restaurants that end up acting as small scale local wholesalers of specialty ingredients, but pizza ingredients are not going to be a specialty in Monte Vista, hehe!)

Maybe I need to give in and have a grocery RH. Ugh. I really liked the idea of fewer careers in town - more coworkers at each one. But I haven't had the heart to cut any main ones, and now it looks like I'll have all the part time ones too.

I could avoid it if I had some way of achieving tofu without that meat plant opportunity thing that I could never even get working. Inactives, I don't care what they're supposedly eating - and for my family, I am using the any ingredients mod anyway, but I'd just like to be able to buy some fucking tofu!! Without loading every food item in a horrible list!! Growing it would be fine. Can you get soy milk out of the store cows??? I kind of feel like you can... you can get chocolate milk at least!

It looks like you can't and to get plantable tofu I'd need some big annoying cooking overhaul... x_x


I lied yesterday, I had done some building: a new gym where the old school was, keeping the bleachers, the school RH rebuilt as the gym :) It looks good, I am just working out what things to put there apart from the obvious gym equipment: so far I am thinking definitely table tennis, dancing and martial arts, maybe rockclimbing, maybe some skating?? I don't have a big place for it this time. BUT in looking up what the difference is between the big and small rinks (apart from: big and small, obviously) I found out you can skate on ponds??? So long as they're big enough. So I really want to make a big park with a big pond! I've never seen that before.


I finished the gym that evening :) It is cute. it is a bit weird. I built the building all the way in the back left corner, mostly because it fit alongside the mini gym/changing rooms I'd already made and I wondered about joining them (like it was a newer extension). In the end I demolished the new block and replaced it with some cute basketball courts but the whole lot is strange. A kind of maze of carparks, paths and tennis courts on the front, haha. I like it though :) One of the tennis courts has the stadium RH rug. Hopefully soon I will be taking pictures :)

Trying to tune icarus_allsort's cook with any ingredient mod. I assumed because the xml didn't have all the settings in that they couldn't all be set there, but a comment there inspired me to try and add them myself. It seems like setting don't choose number of servings false there works, but not buy from fridge or don't rename.

lmao I think I'm going to have to do all of this so I can get in that dll and turn that shit off that way (or, maybe even add them as real tuning values it reads!!!!!!!). Maybe I will x_x but not rn because I am lazy

I need to do another test before I quit and reopen to build: are the buffs working now I deleted that probably clashing buffs xml mod? CHECK!!! Or something is very wrong...

That's fine, but I have some more problems. Deleting duplicated spawners without buydebug: I can use City Hall > NRaas > Master Controller > Object Stats > Local to see and delete them

I couldn't work out how to set front of lot, maybe 'cause it's just shift click not ctrl+shift or plain clicking

I grabbed a no autonomous view mod. Stop looking at the items lmao

And a note to myself: maybe just one tea table at cafe, so when sims use it at least they drink together

I love the sims :)

I didn't need to go into live mode to delete the spawners after all! I could just find them. And they hadn't doubled, or I couldn't tell so. But after all that, I think I want fewer fish spawners there anyway (after just placing the full lake set haha). I don't want to see sharks in the pond lmao, and I have little interest in making my sims fish, so I think I'll just place a common lake 1 spawner so there's somewhere to catch goldfish.

The set front of lot thing doesn't work! idk what I am doing wrong...

The MC thing was easier than that post said, though: just on the lot nrass > MC > object stats, and I could see I do have one spawner probably under the cafe but oh well lmao

I found out that the food register isn't too bad for buying food! It has tabs! Idk why I didn't think so! tofu is in the meat/cheese tab, nice and easy to find. I also found out there's no hot chocolate at the cafe bar? I guess I have a mod that adds it to coffee machines only. It's not a huge deal, there's plenty else to drink. Though I noticed it was all a bit hit and miss, but once Simona was able to order one drink in a category it seemed to work afterwards.

I mentioned Arsil's no cellphones mod 72 years ago and I gave it a quick test drive just now and I really like it! Sims still get party invites and opportunities.

More notes to self: maybe remove some tea tables from ul and ADD FIREPLACES!! add music maypole to church!

I couldn't get fireplaces to look right in the hotel, but I did the other stuff. I did add a fireplace to the top part of the Mucho Espresso Cafe, which I've made into a kind of (super old fashioned) apartment for the bookshop owner. I haven't made the bookshop yet. :) I could have put more shops up there but I'm going to try and keep it simple because I've added lots of 'fair' stuff to the big square - the store merry-go-round, the seasons kissing booths and pie contest and love tester. I like that the kissing booths will have people in who can look like they're operating the fair :)


I finished the market lot! It has a diner in the new/moved pizzeria and it works really well. I also removed the pizzeria from the pub. It's sad, but it's nice with the pool table there now :)