Thursday, July 25, 2013

Good-bye Eczema; Hello Sixteen 30!

When I was 11, I was diagnosed with eczema. It sounded scary, and even more so when the doctor said I would have it my entire life, and that there wasn't any real permanent treatment. As I hit puberty, the horrible flaking skin got worse, and began to become prominent on the ONE place I was already self-conscious about: my face. The very center of my forehead, my temples, and behind my ears were all affected. I was afraid to brush the hair out of my face, and kept long bangs. I never wore a ponytail either. No lotion, cream, or ointment the doctors gave me helped, and some even made it worse!

As I aged into my 20's, it lessened, but it was still there, and I was more self-conscious than ever. When the eczema would flair up, I didn't even want to leave the house! But, two weeks or so ago, I was given the opportunity to try an amazing product that a very sweet woman makes, and I was shocked!

After only a few days of using it, the eczema was actually gone! No flairs ups, no itching, no flaking, nothing!

Sixteen 30 is a home-bound business, started by a single mother of four, with a fabulous attitude and an even better mission in life! All of her products are pure, natural and healthy, free of preservatives, colors, parabens, sulfates, or any other synthetic ingredients.

She has quite an array of products, from foot scrubs, to deodorant! She's also working on a line of baby products for that super sensitive newborn skin, without fear of harsh chemicals.  I was able to try the Dry Skin Repair Creme in Orange Vanilla and Lavender Fields.

The consistency of the creme is smooth, light, and very easy to apply. A little goes a long way as the creme absorbs quickly, leaving you feeling dry and fresh, not oily and sticky. I was able to apply the creme to my face, and immediately apply my mineral make-up! There was no caking of powder, or residue left on my brush. When I put the creme on my hands, I could pet my shedding cat right after, and none of her fur stuck on. For those of you with animals, you know how annoying that can be.

The scents are not overbearing in the slightest, and smell divine! I had a friend try the Orange Vanilla creme, and she was in love at the first whiff. If you think Bath and Body Works, smelled good, you haven't tried this stuff!

If you're looking for a completely natural body products to help your skin feel soft, smooth, and healthier than ever, than look no further! Sixteen 30 can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and if you want to buy a large jar or just get a sample, you can order from her website!

I can tell you now, I'll be using her products for a LONG time! Nothing else has ever helped my skin half as well as her scrubs, lotions, and cremes!

For my readers, Sixteen 30 is giving an exclusive discount code until August 3rd! Use code ISABELLA at checkout, and you'll receive 10% off your order (before shipping)! If you'd rather try before you buy, feel free to enter the giveaway below, for a chance to to win a sampler pack filled with all four scents of the Dry Skin Repair Cremes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Love and Lightning Bugs,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Aeronautics, Amphibians, and Archaeopteryx

If you follow this blog at any length, you know I am a museum nut. I love pretty much all museums, be they science, nature, technology, or history oriented. However, my museum  fanaticism tends to put quite the hurt on my bank account, and that's just when I pay for only me! Thankfully, there is an amazing museum in Wichita that has a little bit of everything!

Exploration Place is a mission-driven 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, supported by admissions, Membership dues, public support, and voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. They have a plethora of awesome static exhibits, and some really amazing travelling exhibits that are on display at various times during the year. 

The "wind wall", where air currents can be viewed. 
The first exhibit I always visit is Exploring Flight and Design. Since Wichita is often called the "Air Capital", the exhibit is steeped in flight history. There are a ton of flight simulators, a paper airplane run, a fuselage, a full sized plane, various other models, computer programs, and hands-on displays. The most striking feature of the room is the "wind wall". Covering the left side of the room, from floor to ceiling are 350,000 small copper and silver disks, one for each person in Wichita. There is a stand with three propellers on it, that you can move around to hit the wall, showing the air currents given off by them. It's really a thing of pure beauty. 

The Boyfriend using one of the various flight simulators in the Exploring Flight and Design exhibit. 
If you've ever wondered how difficult it was to pilot the very first airplane, there's a simulator for it! In the above photo, you're given control of the rear tail rudders, and you have to try to keep the plain level, make it climb, and make it descend. It is much harder than it sounds!

Just off the Flight exhibit, was a a new static exhibit, that took the place of the old weather lab. Called AgMagnation, it chronicles the past, present, and future of agriculture in Kansas. There is a mini silo, where you can watch a film about he history of Kansas, and look at various pictures taken all over the state. There is also a fun little "vet" area for the kids, where they can diagnose and treat diseases that affect our major agricultural breeds.

Soil samples from the different counties in Kansas.
If that's not enough, how about a ride in the cab of a combine? You can climb in, and watch how certain crops are harvested. My Boyfriend, who happens to be a farmer, sat with me and went through all the buttons, levers, and pedals, and told me what they did. 

A milking demonstration exhibit, that allows you to feel the pressure inside a milking claw, and faux milk a lovely Holstein cow named Molly.
 There is also a small section dedicated to our dairies! Since I'm looking into working at a dairy after college, I was really excited to see a Holstein standing in the far corner. There was a machine where you could answer questions about dairy products, and he cow herself gave you a fun milking experience.

On the other side of the Ag exhibit, is Exploring Our Only Home, a portion of the museum set aside to teaching about the native wildlife, ecology, and natural phenomenon that happen in Kansas.

This Common Map Turtle was very intrigued by my camera. He followed the lens all the way around his enclosure. The Common Map Turtle is a threatened species here in Kansas, with known sightings only in Neosho, Verdigris and Marais des Cygnes river drainages.
 There's a tornado simulator, various enclosures for live animals, a river run, and even a table full of the native plants and their benefits. There is a large section dedicated to viewing native insects and their life cycles. Be warned, if bugs and insects freak you out, just refrain from pulling open any drawers! That's where they are kept, safe from destructive hands. There is even a plant rubbing table, and water current manipulator!

A Broadhead Skink suns himself in his enclosure. This is another Threatened species in Kansas, which is often mistaken for a Five Lined Skink outside of it's breeding season.
 If you follow the ramp into the "sea" below, you will be taken back to the time of the Inland Sea that once covered Kansas. The walls are inlaid with faux fossils, and there is a cave you can walk through, with more native wildlife. There is even a fossil dig site that you or the kids can excavate!

Visitors are encouraged to "unearth" fossil replica's from the sea of Kansas, which existed during the late Cretaceous. For the geologically challenged, the Cretaceous ended with the Chixilub impact 65 million years ago 
 After you've gone back in time, you're given the chance to fast forward a bit, to the 1950's. The Kansas in Miniature exhibit is a massive room, filled almost completely with a single diorama. There is a single walkway around the room, which created a barrier of glass panels between you and the tiny town.

A portion of the Kansas in Miniature exhibit. The carnival in the forefront moves and lights up when "night" falls on the town.
The diorama itself depicts actual buildings and landmarks from around Kansas, There are more than 55 moving elements (swings, carnival rides, truck beds, and more), 125 buildings, 200 vehicles, and 1000 perfectly scaled people. You can see Mushroom Rock, the Town Hall from Cottonwood Fals, and even the very first NuWay!

The last exhibit I went to was by far my favorite one! There is currently a travelling exhibit called Dinosaurs Unearthed, and as a former want-to-be paleontologist, I was beyond thrilled to see the caliber of it!

The articulated skeleton of a Huayangosaurus guards the entrance to the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit. They lived during the Jurassic era, in China. The name derives from "Huayang", an alternate name for Sichuan (the province where it was discovered), and "saurus", meaning "lizard". It lived around 165 million years ago, some 20 million years before its famous relative, Stegosaurus, appeared in North America 
The exhibit features 14 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, 2 articulated full-scale skeletons, 22 fossils, and some great hands-on stuff! I was able to feel the texture of dinosaur skin and eggs, hear the sound that Hadrosaurs made when they blew air through their crests, and more!

A life sized animatronic Triceratops. This species lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, around 68 to 65.5 million years ago in what is now North America. It was one of the last non-avian dinosaur genera to appear before the mass extinction event. The term Triceratops literally means "three-horned face".
The animatronics were really well done, and so many "Jurassic Park" myths were blown away for the general public. For instance, did you know that there is fossil evidence to support the claim that juvenile Tyrannosaurus' had fine hair-like filaments all over their bodies?

Next time you're in Wichita, I HIGHLY suggest taking a few hours and exploring Exploration Place. Get the kids excited in more than video games and Facebook.

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Game of Things: Proving Our Cats Hate Us One Answer at a Time

Some of my best memories are of my family and I, sitting around a beat up card table, laughing, yelling, throwing down our cards, and having a great emotion filled evening. We would spend hours playing together, and when I got older, those times seemed to be fewer and far between. Most of my family moved on to computer, console, and online games. While I adore playing online MMO's with thousands of other players at my fingertips, you know what I still love the most? Sitting at a table with friends, snacks, and a great board game.

I tend to be pretty picky about my board games, since Monopoly has caused week long wars in my home before, so I rarely try new ones. Thankfully, I was talked into trying The Game of Things! Not only was it really simple, but it was such a great time!

The premise of the game is to figure out what who at the table wrote the various responses to a question. You would think it would be easy, but not quite. If you have a rather nerdy and sarcastic set of friends, like I do, the responses to the questions can be really interesting!

One of my favorite cards pulled during the game was "THINGS...cats think about humans." My response was "Tyrant", but every one else came up with similar words to mean overbearing human being who squishes the wills of others. We apparently don't think our cats love us very much, if at all, haha!

The scoring on this game was really simple and the gameplay was fun, light, and thankfully no one flipped a table in anger (unlike with other games that have been played in the past *coughMonopolycough*).

I would really recommend this game for a fun night with friends and drinks, or for a family wanting some bonding time. The answers can be as racy and raunchy, or as simple and family friendly, as the people you're playing with. So step away from the computer, make some party snacks, and pull out that old card table shoved in the back of the never know what great memories you're missing out on.

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Photo Challenge: Bright, and Every Day

Today's theme is "Every Day".

An unknown bird calls for a mate on my fence. This happens every day around here.
Since I missed it yesterday, the theme for the 6th was "Bright".
The sun rising this morning.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Steam in the Old West

You know, I really love the diverse nature of Wichita. Where else can you relive a day from 1872, 1861, take a ride through the ether, have ghost tours, and have a wonderful night full of freaks and floozy's...all on the same museum grounds?
Deena, Viviette, Cat, and a travelling troubadour named Sean.

A few weekends ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the annual Steampunk Day at the Old Cowtown Museum. I've covered the topic of Steampunk a few times before on this blog, but it's always such a great time to see the persona's and gadgets that others come up with!

Gregor, the museum curator, showing off his custom created bango.
Thanks to the amazing nature of Cowtown, and all the creative artists around Kansas, Steampunk day was a huge success! There were science demonstrations, shows in the saloon, tons of vendors from various airships all selling their wares, and even a movie shoot! I went with a few friends, some in Steampunk garb, like I was, and some not...but everyone had an awesome time!

My companion, Deena the Deerling, enjoying a light lunch.
Please, feel free to enjoy the photos from the Steampunk Day at Cowtown, and feel free to stop by the museum next time you're in Wichita!
A few of the Saloon Girls decided to take a reprieve from the heat.

Deena, having a romp through the woods.

Viviette, watching her companions from afar. As the swordswoman of the ship, she is always ready to draw her blade.

Being the quintessential fox, Viviette is always snooping where she doesn't belong. 

Some of the lovely people who attended the Steampunk Days at Cowtown.

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Photo Challenge: Father

Today's theme is "Father".

My younger brother on the left, and my Daddy on the right. My Dad isn't big on photos, so this is the only one I have of him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Photo Challenge: Hidden, and You

Today's theme is "You".

Since I missed it yesterday, the theme for the 1st was "Hidden".