Friday, June 12, 2015

Get Essential Oils!

If you’re interested in purchasing any oil (specifically DoTerra brand), check out

So what the heck is an essential oil?

Essential oils are extracted from the volatile aromatic liquid compounds within nature’s beauties, such as seeds, stems, bark, roots, flowers, etc. (“plant oil” so to speak). They smell like the fragrances from plants. Some benefits you can find in essential oils are medicinal (alternative medicine), cosmetic, aromatic, food enhancing, skin treatment, cleaning product, and much more.

Why do I enjoy utilizing these magical little bottles?

I mainly use essential oils as alternative medicine, recommended to me from one of my friends who is a holistic doctor. Since all of my experiences with oil has been positive and I have even had oils provide benefits from my friends, here are my observations of the benefits I’ve noticed (in addition to what the oils are supposed to do) from the oils and the purpose of why I’d use each specific one (see below). Note, not all of the oils are going to be listed and there are further uses for the oils besides for what I am listing, but this is based on the oils I’ve used before just for example’s sake:

Basil: Whenever my allergies or nose is bothering me, I use about 2 or 3 drops worth and apply it at the top of my head, next to my eyes (in the temple area), and under my nose. You can also inhale this. Say goodbye to your itchy and/or stuffed nose! *topical/aromatic uses

Black Pepper: I haven’t actually used this oil before, but from what I’ve read, it enhances food if you use 1-3 drops. *dietary uses

Clary Sage: This magic little bottle is useful for calming me during stressful situations or helping me relax (enough to go to sleep or in general). This oil also helps me balance my emotions and uplift me when I’m in a funky mood. I use about 2 or 3 drops and rub it either on the back of my neck (while at work or in public) or under my foot (when I’m trying to fall asleep). You can also inhale this. This oil also works very well in conjunction with Lavender oil. *topical/aromatic uses

Lavender: I use Lavender oil for very similar reasons to Clary Sage, mainly for its calming/relaxing benefits. I use about 2 or 3 drops and rub it either on the back of my neck (while at work or in public) or under my foot (when I’m trying to fall asleep). You can also inhale this. This oil also works very well in conjunction with Clary Sage oil. I also know people who have used this oil in soap and body sprays because it smells quite lovely! *topical/aromatic uses

Lemon: Oh lemon oil… very tasty Lemon oil. I enjoy using 3 drops of this oil in some water or tea to wake me up, perk me up, and motivate me to drink water more. I also inhale it when I want to save the oil or when I need something consistent, especially when I’m sitting all day at work and get sleepy. This oil can also be used for home cleaning products and air fresheners. *topical/aromatic uses

Lemongrass: This loveliness saved my rear end when I was a clumsy cat and tripped over myself at a swordfighting practice twice and rolled my ankle pretty bad and could barely walk… It was probably almost sprained at that point. Thankfully I had an appointment with my holistic doctor friend 2 days later, and he had one of the ladies that works for him do some massage techniques, use a special laser to help speed the healing process of tendons, and used Lemongrass oil. Within 2 days, the injury was completely reversed and it was as if it never happened. I also use this oil to help my wrists when my carpal tunnel bothers me because it helps heal weakened or sore muscles. *topical use

Oregano: Oregano oil was recommended to me when I had an ingrown toenail that caused a wart on my toe. The oil helped the wart go down and the stinging go away… and made my foot smell like Italy *topical use

Peppermint: I used 4 drops in about 1/3 of a water bottle when my friend was having stomach pain and it helped alleviate his stomachy weirdness *dietary use

Sandalwood: I sometimes have bouts of acne on my back or neck, and putting a little dab on each problem spot helps the grossness go down *topical use

Vetiver: Vetiver is one of my favorites because my holistic doctor friend recommended that (plus Balance plus Elevation oils) because it is a grounding oil blend that reduces anxiety and balances your state of mind. I was very close to needing to go on meds and thank you to these oils and the high quality of DoTerra, I ended up not needing them. It also helps me get into a good mindset before going to my karate classes or prior to doing exercise. This oil is also useful for helping with focusing. My favorite places to apply this are on the top of the head, back of the neck where your hairline is, behind the ears, and on my wrists to be able to smell it whenever needed. The scent lasts for awhile, which helps! *topical/aromatic use

AromaTouch: This stuff smells like wintergreen and I use it when I’m giving my boyfriend massages. He always enjoys it and it enhances the value of my touch on him! *topical use

Balance: Combined with Elevation blend and Vetiver oil, these three in conjunction with each other help enable a solid state of well-being. Balance oil helps with tranquility, balance, and holistic relaxation. This oil also helps me before going to my karate or doing exercise. Like Vetiver oil, I like to apply a little bit (a couple drops per use) to the top of my head, back the neck where your hairline is, behind the ears, and on my wrists.*topical/aromatic use

Clary Calm: I love Clary Calm because it’s very helpful for balancing my super messed up hormones, especially when it’s “that time of the month”. It also helps with relaxation, but I mainly use it to rub on my stomach to ease the cramps I get, which are usually pretty bad. This one is sold as a roll on and just a teeny bit gets the job done *topical/aromatic use

Deep Blue: Deep Blue oil is super helpful for muscle and joint pain. I use this in conjunction with Lemongrass oil when my carpal tunnel is bothering me. I also use this in conjunction with AromaTouch oil (or by itself) to help with my boyfriend’s bad shoulder pain. This oil is excellent for deep rooted pains. *topical use

Elevation: I consider Elevation oil the “anti-depression” blend because it’s a mood lifting and energizing oil. For overall mood effectiveness, I use this in conjunction with Vetiver oil and Balance oil. I also apply this (a couple drops per use) to the top of my head, back the neck where your hairline is, behind the ears, and on my wrists.*topical/aromatic use

On Guard: You can use the oil by putting 4 drops in about 1/3 of a water bottle, but I ideally like the drops the best because they’re like suck on candies. Combine these with vitamin C, adequate sleep (even though that doesn’t necessarily happen all the time), a healthy diet, and exercise, and I literally haven’t gotten sick at all since January, 2014. These things are little miracle workers, especially with taking public transit to work and being around too many sick people… *aromatic/dietary use

Slim & Sassy: By using 4 drops in 1/3 water bottle, this helps me not be too tempted to eat tons of food, curbs my appetite, keeps me in control, and my favorite, it helps me delete waste from my body by triggering me to need to go to the bathroom. It helps me maintain my previously lost weight too and not think about food all the time either, especially when on the “see-food” diet sometimes. *dietary use

Whisper: This oil was a good luck charm for when I landed a new role at work because it brings out your natural jolly aromas. I basically use this oil as a replacement for perfume and I love it! *topical use

If you’re interested in purchasing any oil, check out, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send me an email at! Hope you enjoy the magicness and wonder of essential oils!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Unconventional Sport

Note, this is based on a fantasy, but all information is 100% real! What live action game can you call a “sport”, call garb a “uniform”, hit people with foam weapons, and be a giant nerd?

Um….. The adventures of Dankey Kang mcZorldo?


It's called "Belegarth”!

What the…?!?!?!? Is this LARPing?

Not really… there are other live action battle games similar to this, such as “Dagorhir”, “Nero”, and “Amtgard” that contain more LARP-ing aspects than Belegarth, but this is simply a combat game with foam-padded weapons. Even though this game is based off of Dungeons and Dragons with lots of sprinkles of fantasy, I can best compare this to an extension of point sparring in martial arts. Yes, I am also a martial artist and have been studying Shotokan Karate collectively for about 8 years. Most LARPing and lore (also known as “battle or character stories”) are a part of the community and done off to the side.

When I was living at home, my parents would always give me this weird look whenever I’d be dressed up in my garb to go to practice or have new weapons shipped to their house (because you can build or buy them). They’d be like “OMG LARP”. Eventually, I ignored their making fun of me attitude and they eventually had to accept the fact that this is something I love! Too bad for them and any other haters!

Whenever I tell people I do this “Belegarth” thing, I generally refer to it as “Medieval Combat Club” or “Medieval Foam Sword Fighting” or just sword fighting. Since the vast majority of the population has no idea what this is, I get plenty of questions. Another one of my favorites is, “is this based off of role models”? The answer to that question is “I guess”, because it will at least give people some sort of reference to draw a visual image to. The atmosphere is very “renaissance faire” like. There is no jousting though…

Well, how do you play?

In short, you can use up to two one-handed weapons or one two-handed weapon and a shield. Weapons consist of swords, bats, warhammers, axes, daggers, spears, giant swords, bow/arrows, and much more. There are other projectiles you can use such as javelins even a knitted rock shaped like a one-up mushroom. While dressed in garb and carrying around your fighting name (mine is Maron), yourself, your weapons, and your optional armor and/or helmet, enter into battle. If you hit two limbs (arms/legs) with sufficient force, hit the same limb two consecutively quick times with sufficient force, or hit in the torso, back, or butt, you “die”, meaning you are out until the next round (which generally isn’t more than a few minutes) or lose the fight, depending on whether or not you’re sparring with one other person or in a larger battle. This game is also based on the honor system, so take your hits people! There are also “heralds” (the referees) who ensure no one is cheating, and everyone is playing safely. Weapons are also checked to ensure they are properly padded and safe for combat. We don’t want anyone getting hurt… Also, make sure to wear safety glasses. I’ve heard too many stories of people getting permanent eye damage because of arrows… Eeeeewwwww!

Growing up, I was decently athletic and always involved in sports (on top of my 8 years of martial arts experience), such as fencing, track, and I could even consider Dance Dance Revolution and marching band a sport. You don’t have to be athletic or in super amazing shape to participate, though it’s nice to feel super nimble. I started doing this lovely activity with 60 extra pounds on me and was still able to play just fine. I even met someone who helped me get rid of the weight through Belegarth. How awesome is it to meet people in some “different” type of community who can help transform your life?

I also get asked if there are tournaments, winners, or losers. My best answer to that question is as long as you’re having fun, you win. You may not win the particular battle, but you still win in general. Tournaments are like Easter eggs in video games. They generally are hosted by someone at a national “event” (which can take place during an entire day or a long weekend).

Events don’t take place all the time, but they’re not too difficult to find. For example, there is a weekend event this weekend called “Armageddon”, which I am attending. For a day event, it’s generally hosted in a gym or large outdoor space and you fight, chat, and hang out for about 6 hours. Most of the time there is a feast afterwards consisting of tasty noms such as chili, kebabs, beef barley soup, and anything else that’s quite delicious (and always homemade). There are also after parties sometimes too, which are like adult versions of college parties where people know how to handle themselves and not act obnoxious. Armageddon and other events of the sort are weekend events, in which you go camping, fight, be merry, and be off the grid. It’s definitely nice to get away from responsibility and commitment land for awhile!

If you’re interested in joining this group of epic nerddom, the closest practice to here is Foster Avenue Beach on Sundays at until around sundown or when people are done for the night. You can search for “Belegarth Medieval Combat Society” on facebook, or “Morva” on facebook to find out information and updates about the practices. Belegarth is even cool enough to have Fox News come out and record us doing our thing in Elgin tomorrow (6-2-15) at Wing Park at if anyone is really interested in seeing what we’re all about. I hope to see you lovely people come out and fight, nerd up, and be merry!

Here is the awesomeness that happened on June 2 that was on Fox News:

Enjoy your adventures in nerd town!