Aloha Friday: Stress Relief

A few days ago, I felt like I was at the end of my rope.  So many stressful events happened one after another, pulling me in so many different directions that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  All I wanted to do was find a dark corner and hide from the world.  About the only thing that I felt like doing was playing Lego Batman on the Nintendo DS.

Last August, I wrote about NHL’s and my gaming addiction.  Since then, we’ve moved from Lego Harry Potter to Lego Indiana Jones and from that to Lego Batman.  I really like that Lego Batman lets you play in "Villain Mode" to help further their evil schemes… But more on that when I get around to reviewing the game.

I’ve found that, when I get stressed like this, I don’t function well.  All of my motivation to do that tasks that I need to do disappears.  Making myself complete them seems as hard as scaling a mountain.

Instead, I need escape from the situation.  Since I don’t have any friends locally, I can’t just head out with the guys.  Cooking is sometimes a stress reliever, but then I need to clean up from the cooking which adds more stress.  Watching TV will sometimes suffice, but I like being actively involved and feeling like I’m accomplishing something.

Enter video games.

Lego Batman isn’t so difficult that I’ll get frustrated by it.  And yet, it isn’t so simple that I feel like I’m not surmounting a challenge.  I can play it for a bit, allow my mind to forget all of my stressful thoughts for a time and feel like I’ve accomplished something.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: What do you do when you’re stressed?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #142

Video Game Catastrophe

2012-04-03_21-07-26_27NHL loves the Lego video game series for the Nintendo DS, especially the Lego Indiana Jones game that he recently got.  He’ll sit down and play it for hours, shattering everything in sight and besting minifig enemies left and right.  He prides himself on the progress made, new characters unlocked and new areas found.

Meanwhile, his younger brother loves doing what his older brother does.  He doesn’t quite understand how to play the game well and he can’t read the menus, but he loves sitting down with the DS and playing his brother’s game.

Can you see the catastrophe coming?

A couple of nights ago, NHL sat down to play some DS, let out a scream, and began tearing up.  We rushed over to see what was the matter.  His game was at 0% completed.  All of the hard work he had put into his game over the past two weeks was gone.  All the unlocked levels and characters, erased.  He was sent back to the very beginning and was understandably upset.

What happened was immediately obvious.  JSL had started the game to play it, hit a bunch of buttons and somehow deleted NHL’s game.  Of course, being upset, NHL yelled at his brother over this which sent his brother into tears (and running into his bed, JSL’s usual "hiding" spot when he’s upset).  A parenting split-team play ensued.  I soothed JSL and told him that we weren’t mad at him.  However, I let him know that he did hurt NHL, even though it was unintentionally, and he should apologize.  B reassured NHL that his brother didn’t mean to delete his game.  She also let NHL know that he could get everything back by playing the game again.

There were some tense moments between the brothers as JSL obviously wanted things to go right back to normal and NHL didn’t want his brother around for fear he would somehow disrupt his game again.  Thankfully, by the end of the night, they made up (hopefully for good).  JSL will now refrain from playing that game and we’ll look for another Nintendo DS game for him.

Anyone know of a good Nintendo DS game for a nearly 5 year old?

Gaming Addicts

IMGP5575I think I’m raising a pair of video game addicts.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to visit my parents.  While there, they insisted on buying the boys a gift.  I tried to steer NHL to a Transformer figure since he loves the show, but both he and JSL wanted more video games for the Nintendo DS.  At first, I’ll admit that I was against it.  We have plenty of games and I didn’t think NHL needed another one.  After awhile, though, I accepted it.  Especially after we found Lego Indiana Jones for the Nintendo DS.

NHL loves the Lego series.  He has (and has finished) both of the Lego Harry Potter games and has the Lego Star Wars game as well.  Since we recently introduced him to Indiana Jones (specifically, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark), we figured he might like this.  (Plus, I wouldn’t need to help him changing this "toy" from a vehicle to robot and back.)

JSL, meanwhile, really needed some games.  Most of the games we have for the Nintendo DS are for NHL’s skill level (if not higher).  JSL can try these, but he’s probably just going to wind up frustrated.  He wound up getting a dinosaur game that is perfect for his age level.

As soon as possible, the boys loaded up their new games and began playing.  Then, they swapped games and played each other’s games.  They’ve been playing them (or begging to play them) ever since.

That’s not it, though.  Even before this, the boys would keep asking me when a certain game was going to be released.  They counted down the days and, when it finally arrived, they waited impatiently while I downloaded and installed the playable demo.  They were hooked on the previous versions, are hooked on this version, and will likely get hooked on the mobile versions once we get our smartphones.


Yes, my boys are in love with the Angry Birds.  They’ve tossed the birds at pigs in many environments.  Now they need to take into account orbital mechanics to defeat the piiiigs in spaaace.  (Oops, sorry.  Wrong piggies.)

With all of the video games they like playing, it’s no wonder that I suspect that I’m raising a pair of gaming geeks.  I don’t know where they get it from.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to play some Lego Indiana Jones on the Nintendo DS.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week 5 Review and Giveaway


For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been working out using Your Shape Fitness Evolved for the XBox 360.  The past four weeks were dedicated to keeping track as I tried Your Shape Fitness Evolved’s various types of workouts.  This week, however, I will review the overall game as well as give what I feel is the best workout routine.

I found Your Shape Fitness Evolved to be quite an effective workout.  The paces it put me through made me sweat and left me sore the next day just like any good workout should.  There is a wide variety of workouts too to help keep your workouts from getting stale.  In addition, there are "games", such as Stack ‘Em Up, that burn calories while you play.

I did run into some issues while working out with Your Shape Fitness Evolved, however these mainly seemed to relate to the Kinect system.  Mainly, my living room was too small for Kinect.  I wound up working out with the heels of my feet nearly pressed against our couch.  This meant that I couldn’t move as freely as if I had moved a foot or so forward.  Online searches revealed that Kinect does have problems with smaller rooms.

Overall, however, I found the workouts to be very nice.  I could definitely see how regular Your Shape Fitness Evolved workouts could help as part of a weight loss regime.

Now for my "Recipe for Success".  I’d say the best workout is one that alternates what gets worked out.  The times when I did back-to-back arm or leg workouts were brutal.  In addition, I’d recommend starting slow, ramping your workout up and then cooling down with a slower routine.  For example, I’d start with a workout "games" like Wall Breaker or Juggle It.  Next, I’d use one of the Run the World courses.  After that, I’d shift to Cardio Boxing.  I’d follow this with a toning workout which works the legs such as Build Strength.  Finally, I’d cool down with some Yoga.  This routine should burn about 170 calories.


You could win a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved from Ubisoft. Simply post a comment to this blog post. You can enter multiple times by leaving one comment in each of the posts of this series: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

One week from today, on March 8th at 10pm, I’ll select one winner from across the comments posted to all five posts.  You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft and financially compensated for this Clever Girls Collective, Inc. campaign. In addition, I was loaned an XBox 360 and Kinect for the duration of the campaign. The opinions expressed above, however, are my own.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week 4 Diary and Giveaway


This week, I tried out Your Shape Fitness Evolved’s Humana Health series: Strengthen Your Heart, Active Kids, and Aging With Grace.  Each of these is targeted to a particular demographic/purpose.

Strengthen Your Heart had me moving with squat punches, knee-up punches, tap backs, jumping jack punches, kick crosses, jab knee-ups, dumbbell squats, goblet squats, and triceps skating.  All of these workouts burned 49 calories.

P1070513Next up, I tried Active Kids which is targeted more towards the younger set.  Though I did these by myself, I could picture my son doing the squat kick combos, knee-up punches, shuffle cross punches, front kick punches, squat punches, jab knee-ups, combo arms switches, jumping jack punches, and kick crosses with me.  This workout wound up burning 56 calories.

P1070517If Active Kids is aimed at younger folks, Aging With Grace is geared towards an older crowd.  This workout wasn’t strenuous but still managed to burn 49 calories using step touches, knee fronts, tap backs, Z-Steps, Open-Close, squat punches, dumbbell squats, scaptions, and braced squats.


You could win a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved. Simply post a comment to this blog post. You can enter multiple times by leaving one comment in each of the posts of this series: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. When my five week series is finished, one commenter from across the five posts will win a copy of the game from Ubisoft.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft and financially compensated for this Clever Girls Collective, Inc. campaign. In addition, I was loaned an XBox 360 and Kinect for the duration of the campaign. The opinions expressed above, however, are my own.

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