Dallas World Aquarium

These are some of the critters we saw when we went to the Dallas World Aquarium a few weeks ago. My oldest (20) was home from school and wanted to visit the aquarium before she went back to college for the rest of the summer. I was happy to hear she wanted to go!  It was cool because as we entered the building its started off looking like a zoo with land animals and a large aviary with waterfalls and water below.  We transitioned from land and air animals to water then underwater animals inside the aquarium.  These are some pictures of cool things I saw.20130527-145447.jpg

Yum, I love crab legs!  These crabs were huge!

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Just keep swimming!

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I wonder how they stand on one leg like that when they are sleeping.

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This is me doing a handstand outside the front door for the #handstand365 challenge.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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31 Days of Music: Day 1 Your Favorite Song

English: Jewel 2008-06-05

English: Jewel 2008-06-05 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a new month, and I feel like doing a new challenge. So, I’m going to post every day this month about music. Here is a link to the 30 day music challenge on my friend, Kelly’s, blog.

http://debiehive.blogspot.com/p/30-days-of-music.html

My favorite song is “Near You Always” by Jewel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuQIW529ec

It’s sweet and simple. Her words braid together to tell a story of love and desire wrapped up in rejection.  It’s about loving someone you can’t be with.  It’s hard to pick one favorite song, but this is it if I have to pick one. I wish I wrote it. I can play it on the guitar.  Here is a video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=738jD2WDCXI&list=UUVRzQa075-_RL8XgP1J8Igg&index=32

King Spa & Sauna

Sickhae @ King Spa & Sauna, Niles

Sickhae @ King Spa & Sauna, Niles (Photo credit: happy_stomach)

I had the pleasure of visiting the King Spa & Sauna for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  I heard about it from several friends, and then I saw a special discount offered on Groupon so I bought it.  It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

http://www.kingspa.com/dallas.php

I’m quite familiar with saunas and steam rooms and use them quite frequently at my gym.  The heat increases circulation and removal of toxins through sweat.  It’s also relaxing to get super-heated.  King Spa & Sauna is apparently an American version of a Korean bath house. I am not that familiar with the history, but from the articles I read about it in the Dallas Morning News, apparently these types of places are popular with traditional Korean culture.  My first impression was that it’s a huge facility, and I was surprised it’s open 24 hours a day.  A staff member was kind enough to show me around since it was my first time there, and she said that frequently Korean families will spend the night there as a special treat.  Guests remove shoes before entering into the spa, and there are separate locker rooms for men and women as well as separate lockers for shoes than clothes. I think that Koreans view shoes as dirty and need to be kept separate from other pieces of clothing.  In the women’s locker room, there are generic King Spa & Sauna uniforms, papaya colored shorts and shirts that all visitors change into during their stay.  There is a separate area with several jacuzzis at different temperatures as well as showers and an area for full body scrubs.  Naked women were everywhere.  It was definitely not a place for the modest.

The facility houses eleven unique sauna rooms;  I started off in the Pine Salt Room. It contains salt collected from pine trees which prevents aging and eliminates toxins from the blood.  It was the least hot of all the hot saunas, and the sign on the door also said it helps bad feelings to leave the body.  Lying flat on my back on my towel and a mat with a wooden cradle under my head, I relaxed for about fifteen minutes.

Next, I went into the Salt Room.  This room aids in skin rejuvenation and features 350,000 year old salt rocks hanging in cloth bags from the ceiling.  After about another fifteen minutes, I was really sweating.  I walked over to the cafe, past rows of recliners with people sleeping with towels over their eyes.  The cafe was clean and well-lit, offering free water.  The smell of bulgogi, spicy soup, and other Korean cuisine wafted through the air, and people were scattered at asian type low tables and chairs enjoying delicious meals.

Restaurant @ King Spa & Sauna, Niles

Restaurant @ King Spa & Sauna, Niles (Photo credit: happy_stomach)

 

I lost track of the order in which I visited the other rooms, but I only missed the Fire Sudatorium (the hottest room) and the Base Rock Bath Room (containing amethyst crystals, yellow soil, and slabs of Siraka with healing properties.  The Bulgama also had amethyst crystals and a stone called elvan.  It’s a very hot room that uses infrared rays for their beneficial effects.

The Pyramid Room was shaped like a pyramid, the ancient mystical structure.  Coated in 23 carat gold leaf to help cleanse impurities, this room channels energy.

Being Silly at King Spa 찜질방

Being Silly at King Spa 찜질방 (Photo credit: Taekwonweirdo)

Being Silly at King Spa 찜질방

Being Silly at King Spa 찜질방 (Photo credit: Taekwonweirdo)

 

The Oxygen Room helps with skin disorders and allergies and is made from wood that releases phytoncide.  The Yellow Soil Crystal Room helps extract toxins from the body using infrared rays and highly absorbant yellow soil.  This type of soil is unique to Korean culture.  The Charcoal Room purifies the air with negative ions.  Charcoal is a powerful detoxifying agent and neutralizes toxic substances.  The Far Infrared Room helps skin conditions and arthritis using infrared technology.

I ended my visit in the Ice Room.  After prolonged heat, the cold temperatures in the ice room help tighten pores and stimulate blood flow.  It’s a brisk way to seal the rejuvinating experiences in the hot saunas. When I left that day, I felt so relaxed, calm, and peaceful.  I’m not in touch with my Korean heritage, but I’m fascinated by what I learned that day.

I didn’t have time to eat, but next time I go back I want to enjoy a Korean meal with my spa and sauna treatments.  I did take advantage of a one hour Korean accupressure massage.  Massages for the feet or whole body are available by appointment.  And because I booked a massage that day, I got a coupon for free admission on another day.  Can’t wait to go back; I think I will go tomorrow!

 

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change of Seasons

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This is the pool at the Four Seasons in Las Colinas. It’s one of my very favorite places to be in the summer. And since summer lasts a long time here in Texas, the pool season is extended at private pools like this one.

Last weekend, my husband and I stayed there to celebrate his birthday. I stopped to take this picture because the golden leaves looked so pretty in contrast with the blue pool.

It reminds me of changing seasons because the trees are turning colors and losing their leaves as the weather gets colder. The chairs and pool are empty. In a few more months it will be warm and sunny again. And we will be back to enjoying lounging by the pool. Until then, I appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons!

My Son for President

 

My son made this thinking map at school outlining his ideas if elected for President of the United States. I love that they had a chance to think about what they would do if they won the election and had presidential power. When he first told me about it (before I saw the paper) he said, “I would hide my phone number.” Pretty clever guy. I’m not sure what made him think of that, but it’s true, presidents can’t be giving out their phone numbers to just anyone.

Then, there is the demand for free pancakes and donuts. What a socialist. Doesn’t anybody feed that kid? I eat gluten-free, so I admit I am not the first person to think of eating pancakes and/or donuts. But I do my best to remember to buy junk food and processed white flour products to meet my kids’ desires. Before seeing this assignment, I had no idea pancakes and donuts were so important to him.

I absolutely LOVE the idea of extending the weekend by one day. Americans work too much and stress out too hard. It would be wonderful to have three day weekends. He said he misses being home with me during the day like when he was little. So sweet.

Surprisingly, he gets down to some serious issues with the idea of not letting anybody cut down the rainforest. That’s my boy, a chip off the old block. He’s inherited my love for the earth and my passion for protecting the environment. He is smart enough to understand some of the science and seems to genuinely care about nature.

Lowering prices and making more jobs to build the economy…I think he must overhear the news quite a bit at our house, and obviously he is picking up on some of the key vocabulary and hearing people discussing jobs and the economy. My husband and I frequently discuss politics, and the news was constantly on during election season. I’m impressed these were areas he would address if he was elected.

Maybe he will be President of the United States one day. I would vote for him!

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30 Days of Truth: Day 12-Something You Never Get Compliments On

I never get compliments on my singing. And I sing every day! Sometimes I’m sing along with songs in the car. Sometimes I sing along with songs on my iPhone or computer, while I’m working, cleaning, etc.

If I’m driving or riding in a car, I’m pretty much always singing. I put my iPod on shuffle and see what happens. The girls like to sing too, and I allow it, but when Joe is driving, he tells them to stop. He doesn’t tell me to stop just because I’m an adult, but he finds singing in the car irritating.

Sometimes I make up my own songs. I invent silly songs that are, well, they are what all songs are..various sentences put to a tune. For example, I might sing about how much I love my kids and my husband. I might sing about feeling tired, lazy, happy, sad, or mad. It just depends on the circumstances.

I love music, always have and always will. People have told me to stop singing (I won’t name names), and it’s definitely something I don’t get compliments on. I don’t really care. I’m not trying to be a famous singer. I’m just going to keep being me and making joyful noise!

Daybook

FOR TODAY:  July 16, 2011

Outside my window…birds are singing, the lawn guy woke me up bright and early, looks like another blue sky day.

I am thinking…how much I hate having eczema.

I am thankful…for having time off during the summer. It’s such a contrast to being a full time teacher during the school year.

From the learning rooms…not much going on today since it’s Saturday.  Got Zoe started yesterday on an online textbook for preAP 6th grade math.  She worked for a long time and seemed very interested. Thomas is still learning to go one page at a time through his summer bridge workbook (loves to skip around) and is enjoying his new library books.

In the kitchen…coffee!

I am wearing…jean shorts and a turquoise tank top.

I am creating…new music.  Working on 21 Guns by Green Day (guitar).

I am going…to take the kids to see Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 2 later.

I am wondering…what I have to do to make the eczema stop flaring up.  Every day it changes. Every day there is a new patch of itchy bubbles on my hands.  I also wonder why I am the only person I know with this problem.

I am reading…the bible, Genesis 4-10 today.

I am hoping…Brent will come see us soon.  We haven’t seen him since Christmas.

I am looking forward to…spending the weekend with my family.

I am hearing… “If I Had You” by Adam Lambert   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmXQFwlD7vk

Around the house…everything is quiet. Joe took Thomas and Zoe to Taekwondo. Sierra is still asleep but has to be at work soon.  Got a lot of cleaning up done yesterday, but it seems like it’s never all done at one time except for when the maids come.  I am working on ideas for redecorating the bonus room.  We took everything down off the walls, and I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with it.

I am pondering…the stories I read today in the bible.  Will write a separate blog post about my thoughts.

One of my favorite things…my house.

A few plans for the rest of the week: gym/pool/yoga, movies, playing guitar, hopefully sleeping more tomorrow.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Dyshidrotic Eczema

 

 

Dyshodrotic Eczema:
     After taking a round of prednisone while on our beach vacation, all my eczema patches healed up. My hands were completely normal and the skin on my fingers was soft again. All the swelling went down. We stayed at a condo for a week in Destin, so we could cook most meals. In Pensacola we stayed at a hotel for three additional nights, meaning eating out for every meal. I ate lots of foods that I typically avoid due to my allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, yeast and eggs) like pizza, fried chicken, steak/cheese sub, sandwiches etc. I hoped for a miracle, that since my skin had a chance to clear up, maybe this time I wouldn’t react. I knew I was taking risks and would probably pay the price for it later. We had a couple of stressful days when we got home, and I continued eating processed foods out of convenience. Only a few days later, I saw the telltale signs of an impending flare up…
         My reactions to foods vary. Most of the time, I get what I call my ‘red mustache’ or my ‘eczema goatee.’ My lips, cheeks, chin, neck and ears start itching and burning. Other common eczema spots are in the creases of my elbows, backs of my knees, and occasionally a splattering of hives all up and down both arms and legs. I hate the facial symptoms the most, but coming in a close second is this awful curse of having dyshidrotic hand and foot eczema. Clear bubbles erupt in patches from deep under my skin and itch intensely. When I scratch, the sores break open, and the bubbles ooze clear fluid. They dry up and split, called fissures, and are incredibly painful. For a while I had a fissure on the bottom of my foot and it hurt just to walk! As I type, my feet are fine, but seven of my fingers are afflicted by this heinous disease. If I eat ‘clean’ these eruptions will subside, dry up, the skin becomes rough and scarred and takes extensive time to heal.
       I did some reading about it, and it says it’s associated with food allergies some of the time but is more commonly triggered by allergies to nickel (yes I’m also allergic to nickel too).  It often appears during times of stress, and they suggest not getting your hands and feet wet too often because of the overall drying effect.  However, there is no cure. Antihistamines and steroid creams treat the symptoms, but I think in my case my only saving grace is to stop eating processed foods and get back to an allergy free diet. It is much easier said than done!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001835/
http://www.dyshidroticeczema.net/
http://www.internationaleczema-psoriasisfoundation.org/dyshidrotic_eczema.php4

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!