Gaming, Mom, Video Games, Working

Gaming in Real Life: Learning focus skills through Elder Scroll’s Skyrim

Everyone who knows me knows one thing. I have trouble staying focused. Think Dory from Finding Nemo in real life, and a person.

This is me every day. It was ten fold during both pregnancies. Often I would hear of my aloofness from leaving empty bowls in the stand up freezer, to completely forgetting what I was working on and starting something new….twenty times.

One of the reasons I love video games is the ability to focus my brain, and by focus I mean lead it down a rabbit hole of endless quest after quest, festering the need to jump from task to task.

It is also the main reason I cannot play Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto. Their rabbit holes are just way to long.

Bethesda grabbed my attention within the first five minutes of Elder Scrolls Oblivion, my first installment in the Elder Scrolls series. I was mesmerized by the scenery, the game play, the ability to leap and frolic where ever my heart chose like the cat girl I know I am deep down…OH MY GOODNESS! A BEAR!


Once the rabbit hole became too overwhelming I bounced to Fallout 3 and once again, fell in love. Once again, rabbit hole. Once again, overwhelmed.

By the time Skyim came around, the very first time, I still had the taste of all the other WRPGs that turned into rabbit holes. I threw 300 hours into it running around Whiterun, turning into a werewolf. Feeling overwhelmed, and moving on to something else.

See, back in my day (old grandpa voice with shaking cane), we didn’t have quest markers. We barely had a quest log. In some cases you had to buy the book, unless you were lucky enough to have the online access to gamefaqs. Focusing on the task at hand was easy, no shiny marker to lead you astray!

This is not to say I don’t enjoy newer titles with shiny quest markers. As a mom of two who works full time, I do not have time to Sherlock my games anymore. I LOVE shiny quest markers. Too much, hence my problem.

This year I want to work on focus. This year I want to work on a lot of things, but focus is a big one. Focus is a foundational discipline I need to work on in my life. It has always been a struggle for me and frustrating to those around me….love you guys…

“Well that is great that you want to focus, Jenn, but what does Skyrim have to do with this?” (Dad voice)

Everything. You see, Skyrim was overwhelming. It’s big, dangerous, and anxiety inducing. Quests, EVERYWHERE. Choices to be made! Why is that?

Well, one day I was standing in a town trying to find a marker on my mini map for a quest that peaked my interest.

I tried one direction, checked my map, and try another direction, but could not for the life of me figure out which way I was supposed to be going. Every direction I turned seemed to be the wrong one. So, what was my problem?

ALL MY QUEST MARKERS in Skyrim on the Nintento Switch

Do you see ALL those markers?

Yes, that is my problem and I see that now. Before you judge, let me explain.

You see, looking at it now seems pretty obvious, but I had no idea how many quests I had open, until I stopped and focused enough to truly see why I was failing to find the one I was working towards.

I figured turning off the major qyest lines would fix my problem, so I went down the list, but left the Miscellaneous quest category in case I stumble upon some little baby quest marker.

One quest and Misc. quests marked in Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch

That’s a little better, but there are still enough distraction to keep me from finding my task on hand efficiently, which is costing me precious gaming time.

One quest open in Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch

Well of course! I mean having only one quest marker on obviously will make it easier to find that one quest! Why is this taking a whole blog post?

Well, because sometimes it isn’t obvious. Sometimes youre so busy adventuring without a plan because all you know is you have an hour before the kids start fighting. Each time I start her up, I wonser around without a plan until something catches my eye. This means my Kajiht spends a lot of time dying simply because my immersion is not there. Focusing on one quest at a time, including little baby quests, is a way I can maximize that chance I get to game.

Bringing it back to real life, having goals is awesome but turning on all your goals at once can lead to chaos and feelings of being overhwlemed. Even small goals that feel like no big deal can add up quickly to become distracting, and honing in your focus on one task or goal at a time is something I’m trying to focus on in February.

Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Lavender are my favorite essential oils to use in a roller bottle to help me focus. Besides smelling amazing together, my brain tones down when I roll some on my toes and the back of my neck.

These bottle labels are the best in town 😉

While the oils do the trick, focusing does me no good when it is on the wrong things. This is where my brain power comes in to make sure my focus is directed toward being in the moment and present in whatever I am doing. Taking a step back in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Skyrim helped me recenter my focus into the game and be more productive with the time I have gaming. These concepts can be applied in the real world, whether it is focusing on time with my family, gaming, working, or school. My time will be better utilized if I use focusing as a discipline to achieve my goals.

Any  thought about your goals for February? Is focusing one of them? How are some ways your hobbies have enhanced your real life?

Note about essential oils:  If you are interested in learning more or just want to chat about oils feel free to connect with me. Let’s achieve our best selves as we journey through this life with an open heart! ❤

Disclaimer: I don’t own the games, movies or systems mentioned on my blog. All rights and copyrights ect. belong to their respective owners.


My Female Gaming Role Models

My Female Gaming Role Models: Samus Aran

Update: While we wait for the new Super Metroid in 2018, I thought I would reintroduce my Female Gaming Role Models series with the almighty Samus Aran! Originally posted 2014

Galactic Federations, Space Pirates, and Mother brains, Oh My!

If you haven’t played any of the Metroid Series, stop reading, fire up that emulator, and go!

Just kidding.

Seriously tho, you should.

I was actually introduced to the Metroid Series a few years ago by Ezrah (my fiance) with Metroid Prime for Gamecube. The mix of sci-fi with puzzles and a “fill in your map” (I absolutely love filling in maps… I could probably play an entire game just about filling maps).

Since I didn’t actually grow up with Samus Aran, I can’t tell you how she inspired me growing up. What I can tell you is how bad ass she is.

Let’s start with the very beginning. A very good place to start….


The original box art for Metroid gave no indication as to the gender of the protagonist, or if it even had one. All the box art tells you is that you are purchasing a side scroller monster shooting game. The main character could be a robot. In fact, according to the manual….


Samus is introduced to us as a male cyborg space hunter. Progressing through the game, the player has absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. There are no specific gender markers that make you question Samus’ gender identity in anyway.

Once you get to the end however, you are given the big reveal…..

image cred:

Samus is a female! Above is one of three ending reveals depending on your progression of the game. Now, before we start thinking about the “sexiness” of the costumes, remember one thing: A character being seen as “sexy” does not, and should not, diminish his or her accomplishments. Having “multiple endings”, as multiple as you can get with a Nintendo game, is a business decision on re-playability. She was also the first of her time. Not only was her game the first of its kind, bringing two genres of video games together in a unique way, she was the one of the first main female protagonist. What the developer’s did was marketing genius.

By showing off her abilities first, by the time you realize she is even female, you have already been through the whole Planet Zebes and saved it. There is no discrediting her capabilities or her motives by changing her gender. With a reveal at the end, you take away all stereotypes about females that could hinder one’s ability to relate to the character. Metroid probably would have not had the success it did, without this revolutionary idea. It may have been dismissed as another great Nintendo game if her gender was male, or may have been dismissed all together if her gender was revealed sooner throughout the plot.

Samus has a lot to be proud of. The Metroid series has sold 16.69 million copies over the years, and was blessed with the title of “the first playable human female character in a mainstream video game” by the Guinness World Records 2013: Gaming Edition.* As a mascot of Nintendo, her games and her legacy will live on for years to come.

I fell in love with the Metroid series (trust me, there are some gaming series’ I don’t love.) Having played Castlevania, I had the same excitement of filling in the maps, and finding all the loot, while battling monsters and such. As a lot of other people, I loved morph ball. As the gender of a character isn’t really an issue for me, as far as being able to relate to them, Samus being a female was an added bonus, just as Lara Croft, being…well… Lara. As I’ve said before as well, Samus being considered a “sex symbol” (which was not there original intention) in no way takes away from her contributions as a space hunter. To say that sexualizing a female is a bad thing, is weird to me, as long as its not her primary function. (No, I haven’t had the pleasure of playing Lollipop Chainsaw…)

Did you play the original Nintendo Game? What was your reaction to the big gender reveal?

Have you recently been introduced to Samus? What do you think about her as a character, or the games?

Please make sure to check out other installments of My Female Gaming Role Models, and tell your friends!


Accessory Reviews, Gaming, Video Games

Accessory Review: The Nintendo Switch Backpack

If you’re picking up the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch backpack is worth grabbing.

It’s worth picking up even if you’re not planning on getting the Switch.

It is that good.

Guys, I'm drooling...

At first glance it looks like an ordinary backpack. Simple. Elegant. Nicely padded for the shoulders.

Look at all the space!
For those that parent, it’s also big enough to double as a diaper / kids stuff bag. 

Not only does it have 4 zippers on the outside, it is completely built specifically for your console on the inside. What Nintendo system is complete without a sweet carrying case to show it off to all of your friends?

Just look at it!!
Just look at those joy-con pockets!

It is meant to not only keep your Nintendo Switch safe as you bring it everywhere with you, but also functions as a “carry almost anything else you can think of” bag. The Switch backpack console pouches have a felt lining to keep your items safe. It it even has a pocket for a pro controller.



The usefulness doesn’t stop there. Whenever we go on long car rides, or away for the weekend, we use it as our “tech bag”. With two sets of joy-cons, you have a couple extra pouches for chargers, tablets, phones, which all benefit from the nice felt lined pouches.



If you are not buying a Nintendo Switch, but know someone who is, get them a Switch backpack. They will always have a convenient way to bring their system over! 😉



Love your Nintendo Switch Back Pack? Do you use it for other things then holding the Switch? Comment below and don’t forget to follow if you would like to see more posts on accessories I’m into!


Disclaimer: Nintendo doesn’t know who I am. All opinions on my blog are my own and I don’t get any monies no matter what you do.

I just love sharing the things I love! ✌

My Female Gaming Role Models

My Female Gaming Role Models: *Guest Post* Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool?

I’ve been wanting to do a post about Coco Bandicoot, however someone already did it! So without further ado, Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by  InvaderC8!


That one word sums up one of the best series from the Playstation: Crash Bandicoot. Released in 1996 by Naughty Dog, Crash Bandicoot changed the foundations of Action platformers and was one of the highest selling games that year. It was about Crash, who started out as a normal Bandicoot, until Dr. Neo Cortex took him and was genetically enhanced to help him take over the planet. However, Crash was too carefree to be able to lead an army, so Cortex tossed him from his fortress, and decides to use Crash’s girlfriend, Tawna for his experiment. With time running out, it’s up to Crash to get through Cortex’s three islands, stop him from taking over the world and save his girl. But I’m not here to talk about Crash, even though he’s the star, and deservedly so, I’m here to talk about his little sister, Coco.

Coco B

From her introduction in CB2 and on, she was a kindhearted genius who loved her computer and helped out Crash when he was in trouble. However, after Crash Team Racing [the fourth game in the series], Naughty Dog gave the rights of the series to ”Radical Entertainment”, who decided “You know what Coco is missing? She needs a bratty attitude and have her make generally useless inventions! Oh, Oh, and, lets use her as a damsel in distress!” *sigh* You were so awesome in the beginning, Coco, and Naughty Dog won’t be able to come to the rescue. Well, with that disappointing thought in mind, I figured to do an article on why I thought she rocked in CB2 and CB: Warped.

Coco first appeared in “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” and was established as Crash’s little sister. What happened to Tawna? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyways, in the first few seconds we see her, we quickly learn her characteristics: She’s intelligent, loves her laptop and is more level headed then Crash. On his way to get her a new battery when her Laptop one dies, Crash gets caught by Cortex, who proclaims that he actually needs Crash to help him collect Crystals. It seems that the world is going to be destroyed by a force that will be generated when all the planets align, so he created the Cortex Vortex to protect it. However, it needs Crystals to work, which is where Crash comes in. While he is a good guy, Crash isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the room, so he goes with it without hesitation. Luckily, Coco doesn’t believe a word Cortex says, and hacks into his computer to try and figure out what his true motives are, which we find out late in the game….

[Skip video to 3:12:45 if it doesn’t jump on it’s own.]

With that knowledge, Crash goes and takes out the vile Doctor. See? Without his sis, Crash would have unknowingly doomed us all to worshiping Cortex. This was a nice introduction for her, and she was a valuable asset to the storytelling, but it’s in “Crash Bandicoot: Warped”, where she truly comes into her own.

Please go to at Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by InvaderC8 and continue reading about Coco!   

Thank you for the first guest post on “My Female Gaming Role Models”!


Why I refuse to stop gaming

“You’re going to have to stop playing video games.”

“Well, I  guess that’s the end of your gaming hobby.”

“You guys aren’t going to have time to play your games.”

It started when we learned of our incredible life change, pregnancy. As the pregnancy was coming to a close, it got worse. It seemed as if every time we stepped out of the house, someone would comment about how our gaming will somehow cease to exist because of this impending arrival. No more gaming…. What?

Asking me to drop gaming is the equivalent of asking me to stop eating Korean food, or better yet. Stop being Korean. Sure it’s only part of who I am, but if it was gone, there would still be a part of me missing. Why would I want to do that?

Gaming has been a significant part of my being. I’ve been doing it since I was 5. My childhood is Mario and Sonic, (and those damn pigs in Rocket Knight Adventures) My preteen years and teen angst years are Playstation. Halo was college. Halo 2 and FFXI were the beginning of Ezrah and I’s relationship. Our love grew over headshots and Maat fights. Final Fantasy XIV will be a new era for Final Fantasy MMOs along with the pregnancy and birth of our child. See gaming is more than just a hobby. I have been on countless adventures. Why would I give any of this up?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh well, now that you have a new arrival coming, you’re going to have to give up your favorite television shows!”

Neither have I.

There are so many ways your life changes when you become a parent. Why should your favorite hobbies, your core of who you truly are as a person, be different? Why should they change? Entering the world of parenthood doesn’t mean you have to shed your former self and jump into a new person. Mom is not something I became. I simply added Mom to my resume. I am still me. I still game. Ni No Kuni was my maternity leave. I plan on gaming with my son. I cannot wait for the many adventures that we will have together.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have changed. A lot. Life is about experiences. We need to take those experiences, learn from them, and grow.  There are things I find myself doing that I never thought would ever enter my mind. Apologizing to my mom, for one. I don’t smoke. I have wicked mom anxiety. We do laundry every week, clean the house almost everyday. I budget my money. I care about the things I never even questioned before. The amount of time I play each day has changed dramatically, and I can’t go buy any game I want, but I still game.

It is important to take time out to be yourself. The {insert adult mature task you “need” to do} can wait.

Yes those things are important. Yes , focusing on your child is important.

YOU are important.