Book Review Live Life Colorfully

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Thank you to wunderkind pr for sending Live Life Colorfully for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

In the midst of an ongoing, world wide pandemic and the accompanying changes we all continue to experience, it’s refreshing to dive into a book that encourages creativity and seeing life differently.

Jason Naylor’s beautiful book, Live Life Colorfully, offers respite, uplifts the spirit and fires up the creativity nestled within us all. I can’t help but smile over the bold, colorful pages as I slowly and thoughtfully thumb through the book. Each page is an invitation to bring more color, more positivity, into my life. It’s an invitation I happily accept.

Allow me to introduce you to Jason Naylor and his colorful life.

Live Life Colorfully title meme

Meet Jason Naylor

Jason is an award winning artist and designer based in NYC. He is known for his bright colors and even brighter messages of hope. Originally from Salt Lake City, he traveled to New York as a teen and felt drawn to the color, the art and the culture there.

Jason’s work has received global recognition, including the Golden Novum Design award, and he has been featured on HGTV and the Discovery Channel. In 2018, Jason was named by BUMBLE as one of the 100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers, and his colorful creations have found partnership with brands like Coach, Guess, Pepsi, and Maybelline.

Jason’s mission is to spread color and positivity around the world. His brightly colored designs and insightful words reflect his zeal for life, his quest for joy, and his love of LOVE.  His art ranges from videos to illustrations to typography to murals. And now he’s created his first book, Live Life Colorfully.

“I like to describe my color palette as electric. My art is very reliant upon messaging, often about kindness or love, but I don’t see these as something passive. I think they should be treated with passion and energy, and my palette supports that.” Jason Naylor

Those words perfectly capture Jason’s book. It’s full of that passion and energy.

Live Life Colorfully Jason Naylor
Live Life Colorfully – artist Jason Naylor

Live Life Colorfully Book

One of Jason’s strongest messages is to “live life colorfully” so it’s no surprise to discover those words as the title and theme of his new release.

The square hardcover book features rich, bold colors on pages with black  or brilliantly hued backgrounds. However, this isn’t just a book to read cover to cover or a “coffee table” book. No. This beautiful book offers insights, tips, quotes and activities…99 of them…to add joy, positivity and creativity to life.

Did you know that looking at or using strong vibrant colors lifts the spirits, stimulates the brain and boosts creativity?

Live Life Colorfully offers all of that within its pages with a mix of inspiration, tips and fun activities.  It’s the perfect gift for self help, motivation, and happiness seekers, as well as lovers of pop art and bright colors.

Live Life Colorfully page 54
Live Life Colorfully – #54 Albert Einstein quote

Sample of Pages

Take a look at some of the bright, fun pages within Live Life Colorfully.

#24 Color Your Sidewalk

How long has it been since YOU colored on the sidewalk? It’s an activity children enjoy however as adults, we either don’t take the time to play in this way or we feel foolish for coloring madly on the sidewalk.

Jason encourages the reconnection with the inner child, something I’ve been consciously doing for several years. It’s amazing how doing so fires up creativity.

Live Life Colorfully page 24
Live Life Colorfully – #24 Color Your Sidewalk

#2 Stick it to the (Hu)Man

I love the reminder on this page to leave encouraging notes around the home or office. I have a stack of colorful sticky notes, which is perfect! Often we crave words of praise from someone…anyone. We can encourage ourselves with funny sayings, words of praise or inspiring quotes.

And what a great idea for brightening a child’s room or surprising a co-worker.

Live Life Colorfully page 2
Live Life Colorfully – #2 Leave sticky notes around the house or office

#77 Four Letter Words

I love this activity. Jason writes that four letter words, also called colorful language, often refer to profane or vulgar words. However he says we get it wrong. There are many four letter words that inspire, encourage, uplift or possess deeper meanings.

Jason shares some of his favorite four letter words and invites the reader to come up with more.

Live Life Colorfully 77
Live Life Colorfully – #77 Four Letter Words

My Thoughts About Live Life Colorfully

Simply stated, I love this book. I feel energized, joyful and creative as I work through it. The quotes inspire me. And some of the pages elicit a laugh while others lead me to deeper thoughts and realizations.

There are pages on cutting out fear, making a paper airplane, growing succulents and shining as your absolute self. One activity encourages the reader to give things away. Another one discusses hugs.  There’s a helpful tip on organizing your phone apps by color and one to colorize your closet.

Jason lives life boldly, compassionately, confidently and yes, colorfully and I appreciate the gifts he offers to the world.

In the forward to the book, Jason shares these words:

“Live life colorfully is a succinct way to say ‘Be yourself, be brave, be proud of who you are, be kind, be loving and be happy!’ I hope that exploring this book will help you do just that.”

That’s exactly what the book is doing as I explore it. I randomly open to a page and read the text. If an activity is present, then I do that. During a year when my intention is to be my most authentic, creative “wild woman” self, Jason’s book serves as a powerful reminder of what that means.

Live Life Colorfully 53
Live Life Colorfully – #53 Use Colored Pens

Get Your Book

Are you ready to bring more color, creativity and joy into your life?

You can order your copy of Live Life Colorfully at Chronicle Books or through Bookshop. It’s also available at Amazon.

I believe you’ll enjoy colorizing your life!

Book Cover

 

 

 

 

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Birthday Celebrations

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My birthday celebrations began on November 7 of last year. And 63 days later, the fun activities brought me to January 9, the day of my birth. It’s been interesting. And I learned a lot, following curiosity, which is why I play this birthday game.

Check out the first post, 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday, then read on for the final installment.

Birthday Celebrations title meme

Birthday Celebrations

As with the last three birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing photos and details about some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

After the last birthday update, I only had five slips of paper remaining in the jar. Out of 63 activities, I still have about a dozen left to complete. These are scheduled out so that I make sure I do actually get them finished.

1/5/2021 Paint fingernails an unusual color, for me (completed)

Just painting my fingernails is a beyond my comfort zone activity! I don’t mind painted toenails, however I don’t like my fingernails painted. I keep my nails cut short due to the fact that I garden from spring until fall. And I don’t have the patience to wait for nails to dry. I invariably rush the process and mess up the nails right away.

After considering nail polish color options, I selected teal. My brand color, for Cindy Goes Beyond, is teal. Curious today, I checked the symbolism of that color, since it seems to attract me. Here’s what I discovered:

Teal combines the calming properties of blue with the renewing and healing properties of green. It’s a revitalizing, rejuvenating color that represents communication, intuition, empathy and clarity of thought. Those drawn to teal are open minded, like to keep options open and don’t quickly judge people or situations. They are creative and artistic. Those who like the color teal appreciate things that are different. They value their own uniqueness and don’t want to fit in with the crowd.

I’ve associated the color teal with Cindy Goes Beyond for at least four years and yet until I painted my nails that color, I never looked up the symbolism.  This is the most valuable aspect of my birthday celebrations game…I learn new things, about the world and about myself.

 

Birthday Celebrations paint nails
Birthday Celebrations – paint nails an unusual color, for me.

1/6/2021 Visit a place in Kansas I’ve never visited before (scheduled)

1/7/2021 Plan a trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee (completed)

I hoped to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee last fall. With COVID, I chose to wait until this year, perhaps late summer/early fall. Truthfully, I don’t know if traveling will be any better this year, however, I at least planned out the trip.

Gatlinburg is a picturesque mountain town in eastern Tennessee, located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are numerous resorts there, a charming downtown district and lots of attractions such as the Space Needle Observation Tower and an amusement park.

As a first time visitor to Gatlinburg, I will enjoy the abundant nature trails and scenic views. Plus, my Lauderdale ancestors resided in nearby Cleveland, Tennessee before traveling to Missouri. I plan to visit Cleveland while I’m in the area.

Birthday Celebrations Gatlinburg
Birthday Celebrations – plan a trip to Gatlinburg (Canva photo)

1/8/2021 Have a day of smoothies only (scheduled)

1/9/2021 Take a virtual flying lesson (not completed but coming up)

Celebrating the Day

On my birthday, January 9, I enjoyed the progressive lunch through town, an activity I drew on 12/7. Greg accompanied me. We visited four restaurants and enjoyed four courses, finishing with vegan chocolate cake and hot tea at Bookhouse Cinema and Pub.

Because my birthday fell on a Saturday, I had opportunity to complete several activities over the weekend.

Weather played a significant role in delaying three of the four visits to places in the four state area. I have those scheduled and new places to visit picked out. And my great nephew Ethan is giving me the virtual flying lesson. A future pilot, he has a flight simulator for me to try, to experience flying a plane. At age 16 Ethan recently flew an actual plane for the first time.

I do love this birthday game. The activities create opportunities to try new things, to learn and grow, and to have fun. This year I combined a mix of curious activities, a tribute to my Year of Curiosity, and wild woman activities as a nod to the upcoming Year of the Wild Woman. It was the perfect blend as I finished 2020 and welcomed 2021.

I’m already jotting down ideas for 64 Wild Woman Activities for my 64th Birthday.

Birthday Celebrations birthday girl
Birthday Celebrations – this is 63

Check out the other birthday updates:

Holiday Flair

Stories to Tell

Welcoming a New Year

 

Try one of these teal nail polish shades from Amazon:


 

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Fun Scottish Expressions and What They Mean

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Ah, Scotland. For me, the most beautiful country in the world. And Edinburgh, the capital city, is my favorite place to explore. The bagpipes, the castles, the green, green hills covered with heather in the summer and the language all pierce my heart. If you’ve ever watched the popular series Outlander, you’ve perhaps appreciated listening to the soft Scottish brogue too.

It takes me about 24 hours, in the country, to begin to understand that wonderful Scottish accent. And the phrases and slang are both endearing and amusing. Sit in a pub and listen to the locals talking to each other and you’ll understand why it’s one of my favorite things to do while touring the country.

These fun Scottish expressions and what they mean will help you decipher what’s said.

Fun Scottish Expressions title meme

Fun Scottish Expressions and What They Mean

Although the Scots speak English, their language is influenced by Gaelic, an older language that harkens back to the 13th century. Like other countries, there are different dialects present, from the northern Highlands to the southern Borders. However, all Scots are experts at turning a phrase, from humorous slang to hilarious cutting insults.

Lang may yer lum leek

While this phrase may sound inappropriate, it literally means “long may your chimney smoke”. It’s used as a toast to health, wishing one a long and healthy life.

Failing means yer playin’

An encouraging expression that means “at least you are trying”.

Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye

This expression translates to “what’s for you will no go by you”, meaning what’s meant to be, will be. I love this one.

Haste ye back

Used as a farewell, this one means “come back with speed” or “hurry back”.

Ah dinnae ken

Heard frequently in Scotland and on the series Outlander, this expression means “I don’t/didn’t know”. I use ah dinnae ken often when I’m speaking aloud to myself.

Fun Scottish Expressions Highlands
Fun Scottish Expressions – Ah dinnae ken how beautiful the Highlands are, until I traveled through them.

We’re a Jock Tamson’s bairns

This one means we are all God’s children. No one is better than anyone else. We are all equals.

Noo jist haud on

No, just hold on, meaning wait a minute, take your time or you are speaking too fast.

Is the cat deid?

This unusual expression means, “your trousers are too short”. Why, ah dinnae ken!

Haud yer wheesht

If you hear this expression, you need to shut up!

Och, it’s a dreich day

A reference to the weather, this means it’s a cold, wet, gloomy day. Scotland definitely has it’s share of dreich days.

Fun Scottish Expressions Glasgow
Fun Scottish Expressions – a dreich day in Glasgow

I’m fair puckled

I’m out of breath. Try this phrase next time you climb flights of stairs!

Gonnae no’ da that

Don’t do that!

Yer bum’s oot the windae

Literally, “your butt is out the window”. This one makes me laugh because I get such a visual image. It means you are lying or exaggerating.

Ma heid’s mince

“My head is mince”, meaning I’m a bit confused or mixed up.

Mony a mickle maks a muckle

I love this phrase too. Say it fast several times. It translates to “small amounts of savings soon build up to large amounts.” What a great saying to write on a travel savings jar!

Fun Scottish Expressions lass
Fun Scottish Expressions – this lass believes in mony a mickle maks a muckle. My heart longs to return to Scotland.

Aye mate, nae bother

Yes, friend, no problem. I absolutely love the Scottish “aye”.

That’s pure boggin

When something is boggin, it’s disgusting. That’s pure boggin means “that’s really disgusting”.

She’s a bonnie lass

You might know this one, as we use bonnie somewhat in the US. It means “she’s a beautiful woman”.

Dinnae be a wee clipe

This one means “don’t be a tattle tell”.

Yer oot yer face

Another one that makes me laugh, this one means “you are extremely drunk”.

Fun Scottish Expressions cheers
Fun Scottish Expressions – we dinnae get oot our faces in Edinburgh!

Mad wae it

This means “drunk”, as in Ian wiz so mad wae it.

Och, yer talking oot yer arse

You might guess this one! It means you are talking nonsense or making something up.

Peely-wally

This expression is used when someone doesn’t look 100% his best or seems out of sorts. Yer lookin’ a bit peely-wally.

Wur tearin’ the tartan

When enjoying a riveting, gossipy conversation, people are tearin’ the tartan.

Dinnae fash yerself

Outlander fans are familiar with this phrase. Jamie utters it to Claire frequently. It means “don’t worry yourself” as in, don’t get stressed or annoyed over a situation. Jamie calls Claire Sasanach. In case you wonder, that word translates to “English born” or it can refer to someone born in the Scottish lowlands or borders as opposed to the Highlands.

Fun Scottish Expressions Eilean Donan Castle
Fun Scottish Expressions – dinnae fash yerself when you visit Scotland

Which of the Fun Scottish Expressions is Your Favorite?

Did you pick out a favorite expressions? Truthfully, I love all of them and use several, privately. I enjoy Scottish films. The background scenery, the city shots and especially hearing the language all tug me energetically back toward Scotland.

Reading these expressions as I typed the words, I could mentally “hear” them spoken with a Scottish accent. It makes me feel homesick. I trust travel restrictions will ease someday and I’ll get back there.

I’ll leave you with one more fun phrase.

Better tae bust oot than rust oot.

Translation: Live every moment of life to the absolute fullest before you die.

Aye!

Fun Scottish Expressions flags

Other fun posts in this series:

English expressions

Irish expressions

 

Check out these Amazon finds. Click HERE to start a FREE 30 Amazon Prime trial.

Rent Outlander on Amazon or start a FREE 7 day trial of Starz and watch the whole series.

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Year of the Wild Woman

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A fresh, new year brings with it fresh, new possibilities and opportunities. For me it also delivers a new theme or word, a symbol and a song. These components serve as guideposts for the upcoming year.

I adopted these practices many years ago. It took me several years to realize that the companions for the year long journey chose me, rather than the other way around. Knowing this deepens my appreciation for the incredible way that life works. And, looking back at my journey over the years, I can see the progression and growth that occurred, as captured by my words, symbols and songs.

This year, 2021, is the Year of the Wild Woman. I’m extremely excited about what will unfold during the next 12 months.

Year of the Wild Woman title meme

Year of the Wild Woman – the Words

I’m typically given one word for the year. However, this year there are two…Wild Woman.

This is how the words initially came to me. Working in my garden one summer day, literally down on the ground digging in the dirt as I planted flowers, a phrase popped into my mind.

“It’s time to release your inner wild, your wild woman.”

I sat back and considered those words. “Okay,” I thought, “how do I do that?”

And thus began a journey of exploring what it meant to BE a wild woman and how to release her. You see, my inner wild woman went underground a very long time ago.

Wild Thing

When I was a teen in high school, I used my own money to purchase a pair of jeans and a jean jacket. The back of the jacket featured a magnificent lion, and the words “Wild Thing”. On the jeans the word “wild” appeared on one back pocket while the word “thing” appeared on the other. I happily wore my new jeans and jacket to school…exactly one time.

I was made fun of all day. My male friends, and many boys who weren’t even remotely my friends, teased me about being a “wild thing” or made suggestive remarks. I went home and tossed the jacket into the back of my closet, never to wear it again. I ripped the back pockets off of the jeans and continued to wear them occasionally.

What I learned that day was that being a “wild thing” was not acceptable. Wildness equaled partying, loose sexuality and out of control behavior, none of which were true about me. Although I possessed an inner wildness, and an untamed, freedom loving spirit, I pushed those deep within and learned to accept domestication.

Definition of Wild Woman

As I’ve learned what it means to be a wild woman and how to unleash my inner wildness, two books have guided me. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle and “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I’ll share more about both in upcoming posts. I love this definition of a wild woman by Clarissa:

“Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women.”

I recognize that the journey toward releasing my inner wild woman actually began about ten years ago. And I also recognize that it is indeed time to fully free mine. While I’ve known about her for a long time, I felt I wasn’t allowed to live freely as her. My growth in the last decade makes me feel that I can do that now.

In October of 2020, I suddenly realized I didn’t know my word for 2021. I asked, out loud, what my theme and/or word was. Then I laughed as the words “wild woman” popped into my head. Of course. The conversation with the Divine that began in a garden, which seems highly appropriate, concluded with these words: “Wild Woman…be who you are”. And that’s the best way I can describe what a wild woman is. She is someone who completely embraces who she is as her truest, most authentic self, and lives in that freedom.

Year of the Wild Woman shake
Year of the Wild Woman – shaking loose all that is not soul

Year of the Wild Woman – the Symbol

With the theme for 2021 established, I opened myself to possibilities for the symbol. The symbol is important to me. It connects strongly with my word or words, in this case, and it serves as spiritual taps on the shoulder as I journey through the year. When I see the symbol, it means I need to pay attention.

I considered the lioness as a possible symbol, or even the cheetah, which plays a role in Glennon’s book, “Untamed”. But no, those weren’t for me. “What about the tree?” I asked. I love trees and feel very connected to that symbol. “It’s the tree, right? How about a tree?” No tree for this year.

The symbol that came to me, through repetition and synchronicity, is the moon. The moon symbolizes feminine energy, receptivity, regeneration, intuition and mystery.

My legal name, Cynthia, is Greek for “moon goddess”. Moon goddess….wild woman…that’s perfect. As one of my 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday, I purchased a moon necklace. I’m excited to wear it this year.

As I have the last three years, I drew a representation of my year, using the wild woman and the moon elements. It rests on my bedside table, a daily reminder of who I am.

Year of the Wild Woman art
Year of the Wild Woman art.

Year of the Wild Woman – the Song

For a brief time I considered “Moon River” for my song for 2021. That song kept popping up, so much so that I even watched the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s again, which features it. I still love it and choose it as my secondary song.

When I seriously paid attention to what song chose me, I knew it was “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.

This song means a lot to me. My granddaughter Aubrey introduced the song to me years ago, as a favorite of hers. I used to do tai chi to this song. Although it may seem like a strange song to perform tai chi to, it works beautifully for me.

The fire element pairs well with my moon symbol. Fires represents creativity, passion, rebirth, desire and purification. Energetically, the fire of creativity and the moon of receptivity play important roles in my life already. And when you are “on fire” you are excited, passionate and enthusiastic. Yes, make it so.

The Journey Continues

Although 2020 made me a bit cautious about new years and what they can bring, I’m excited and optimistic about 2021. I feel like this year promises a great deal of personal growth. Not everyone will understand or even like that growth, however freeing my inner Wild Woman is the invitation and my soul is responding.

My granddaughter Aubrey asked me recently what my word is for 2021. She’s known since her toddler days that a new one accompanies me every year. When I told her “Wild Woman”, her eyes widened a bit. Curious, I asked her what those words mean to her. Without missing a beat she replied, “Yaya in the backyard, naked.”

I laughed. She’s not wrong. However, what I love about Aubrey’s answer is this. She didn’t say that a wild woman is out of control or bad or wrong. Her honest answer suggests a woman who is experiencing untamed joy and passion. Naked represents uncovered and unashamed. It’s natural and connected to nature.

I think this girl, who exhibits her own inner wildness rather well, nailed it.

Join me during this Year of the Wild Woman. We can all learn and grow together.

Year of the Wild Woman Cindy

 

Wild Woman Finds on Amazon:


 

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Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel

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The Sistine Chapel, located within Vatican City in Rome, Italy contains one of the most famous frescoes in the world. On the chapel ceiling, Michelangelo’s masterpiece inspires wonder. Security officers within the room encourage silence out of respect for the space. Truly, the magnificence of the paintings instill reverence. It’s not difficult to observe the silence.

Photos are not allowed in the Sistine Chapel either, to protect the vibrancy of the artwork. So when my daughter, grandson and I toured the room, we strove to soak it all in. Although I grew up seeing limited photos of the chapel, that someone took, I had no idea what to expect. Several things surprised me.

Check out these fun facts you may not know about the Sistine Chapel and see if any surprise you!

Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel title meme

Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel

Because we could not take photos in the chapel, I’m sharing photographs of other ceilings within Vatican City, which truly contains amazing collections of art. While not painted by Michelangelo, these ceilings inspire awe as well, when you look up.

The photo of the chapel ceiling, used here in this post, is one I purchased from the Canva site.

Where Does the Name Come From?

The chapel is named for Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned the chapel’s construction in 1475. It rests on the foundation of the original Cappella Magna (Great Chapel). The chapel’s layout is reminiscent of the Temple of Solomon, as described in the Old Testament.

Size of the Chapel

The small size of the chapel surprised me. I think because the paintings are so complex, covering the ceiling and parts of the walls, I expected a huge room. In reality, the chapel measures a little larger than a professional basketball court.

Michelangelo Covered Another Artist’s Work

When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, beginning work in 1508, he covered the original fresco on the ceiling. Artist Piero Matteo d’Amelia created a blue night sky filled with gold stars.

Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel St Peter's Basilica
Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel – this gorgeous view is in St Peter’s Basilica

Michelangelo Didn’t Want to Paint the Chapel Ceiling

Michelangelo considered himself primarily a sculpture, not a painter.  In fact, he didn’t feel qualified for such a massive project as the chapel ceiling. However, because the pope asked him to do the work, he could not easily refuse. Michelangelo even entertained the thought that his rivals set up the commission, just to see him fail.

Michelangelo Expressed His Unhappiness in a Poem

The artist disliked his commission so much that he wrote a poem about it.  His friend Giovanni da Pistoia received the lament, which included the line, “I’ve already grown a goiter from this torture, hunched up here like a cat in Lombardy.” I somehow find it refreshing that the great Michelangelo could poetically tell it like it is!

Did He Paint Lying on His Back?

Although the story suggests that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling while lying on his back, he in fact built his own scaffolding. This allowed him to stand near the ceiling, providing better precision and control of his brushes. As his poem suggests, however, the cramped working conditions and long hours looking up created physical pain for him.

St Peter's Basilica ceiling
Ceiling in St Peter’s Basilica, which is also located in Vatican City.

Four Years of Work

It took Michelangelo four years to complete the Sistine Chapel ceiling, covering 12,000 square feet of space. He left the portrait of God until last, so that he could refine and perfect his technique. A year into the painting, a large portion of the fresco developed mold. He had to repaint that section. He tried to use this setback as proof that he wasn’t the right artist for the work, however the pope asked him to continue.

Depiction of God

Michelangelo painted God as an older man with white hair and a long white beard. While this image later became common, Michelangelo was the first to portray God in this way. The angels surrounding God create an image with their spread wings that resembles a brain. Scholars think Michelangelo perhaps showed off his knowledge of anatomy.

Cover Up Those Nudes

In the 1560s Pope Pius IV ordered painted fig leaves and loincloths added to strategically cover the nudity in Michelangelo’s paintings. Fortunately, when restoration work was done between 1980 and 1999, to remove layers of grime that built up over the years, these cover ups were removed.

Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel museum
Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel – Vatican Museums contain beautiful ceilings too

The Last Judgment

Michelangelo also painted The Last Judgment on the wall above the altar. However, he returned 22 years after he completed the ceiling, to add this fresco. The artist included two figures in The Last Judgment that represent him and neither are considered flattering.

Acorn Motif

A reoccurring motif in Michelangelo’s work is the acorn. This is a nod by the artist to the patronage of Pope Sixtus IV, whose family name was Rovere, meaning oak in Italian.

Millions of Visitors

When we are not experiencing a pandemic, the Sistine Chapel draws more than five million visitors every year. If a visitor has exposed shoulders or clothing that ends above the knees, he or she is asked to cover up while within the chapel. Due to the high volume of visitors, sweat, carbon dioxide and skin flakes pose a threat to the frescoes. Methods of controlling humidity and temperature are underway.

Vatican City Hallway
Amazing ceiling in a museum hallway.

Well Worth a Visit

Our 12 day tour of Italy began in Rome. On our first full day there, we visited Vatican City. Nothing prepared me for the experience. The vast collections of art astounded me. St Peter’s Basilica moved me to tears. And the Sistine Chapel, which was near the end of our tour, truly was the highlight of an amazing half day spent exploring the vastness of Vatican City. I think my mouth involuntarily dropped open when I entered the chapel.

Is Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel worth seeing? Yes. Allot at least three hours and more if you have time. There’s so much to see and experience.

I hope the collection of fun facts you may not know about the Sistine Chapel inspires you to plan a visit. It’s a sight I’m extremely grateful for.

For now, check out this virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Sistine Chapel – a section of the famous ceiling (Canva photo)

Check out things you may not know about Michelangelo’s David HERE

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Welcoming a New Year

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

For almost two months I’ve moved steadily toward my birthday, one fun activity at a time.  Amazingly, this is my birthday week. I turn 63 on Saturday, January 9. I’m posting this update, the fourth one, with the final “what I learned” post coming in a couple of weeks.

As I did last year, somewhere in the middle of all these activities I wondered “Why am I doing this?” I question myself because these randomly selected celebrations and activities take time to complete. They add to already full days. However, they add to my life too and that’s the answer, that’s why I play this birthday game. The 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday take me beyond and make me think and help me grow.

Since my last birthday update, we’ve flipped the calendar over, saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. The theme for this group of activities is Welcoming a New Year. It seems appropriate!

Welcoming a New Year title meme

Welcoming a New Year

As with the last three birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing photos and details about some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

12/22/2020 Watch A Christmas Carol with Finley (completed)

A treasured Christmas tradition in my family is watching A Christmas Carol during the holidays. The George C Scott adaptation aired on television for the first time in December, 1984. I held my sleeping three month old baby girl, Adriel, during that first viewing. Adriel and I have watched A Christmas Carol together every year since. We are often joined by other family members, however the two of us faithfully make sure we take the time to watch it together.

On this, our 37th viewing of the Dicken’s classic, my daughter held her sleeping baby daughter, Finley Grace. The sweet tradition continues.

Welcoming a New Year A Christmas Carol with Finley
Welcoming a New Year – Finley sleeping through A Christmas Carol

12/23/2020 Plan out an entire day…and follow the plan (completed)

I am actually just completing this scheduled day…today. Even though I use a planner and schedule blog and social media posts a month in advance, I rarely cross everything off my daily “to do” list. I planned out a day from waking up to going to bed. However, I’ve had trouble picking the day to carry out this highly scheduled day due to things popping up unexpectedly and the holidays.

Last night I set my alarm for an early wake up and felt excited to see if I could complete everything on my list. When I woke up this morning, before the alarm, I knew something was off. It was. I set my alarm for PM not AM. I overslept an hour and almost postponed my scheduled day…again. But you know what? I got up and got going and by noon I was back on track, time wise.

I’m happy to say I accomplished everything on my list, even a scheduled walk at the park after lunch. While I love spontaneity and going with the flow, after this productive Monday highly scheduled days might show up more often in my planner.

Welcoming a New Year scheduled day
Welcoming a New Year – I enjoyed my scheduled walk

12/24/2020 Dance around a fire in the fire pit at night (canceled because of weather…rescheduled for 1/5/2021)

12/25/2020 Plan a solo trip to the London Christmas Markets (completed)

A trip to London during the holidays perfectly aligns with a trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. On paper I continued my holiday travels by flying from Edinburgh to London. While Edinburgh hosts one HUGE market, London features many spread out across the city.

I enjoyed researching the different markets, picking three to visit and locating suitable lodging for my visit. How magical to visit both of these cities during the Christmas season.

Welcoming a New Year London Christmas
Welcoming a New Year – and I hope the opportunity to travel

12/26/2020 Purchase reusable chopsticks (completed)

I love Thai food and vegan sushi. And I enjoy using chopsticks. Rather than continue to use and toss disposable chopsticks, I added an activity to encourage less waste. As a result, I purchased a package of metal chopsticks and a package of decorative wooden ones.

Welcoming a New Year reusable chopsticks
Welcoming a New Year – reusable chopsticks

12/27/2020 Visit a place in Arkansas I’ve not visited before (scheduled)

12/28/2020 Create a garden sculpture from found objects (not completed)

12/29/2020 Arrange a comped trip (in process)

12/30/2020 Eat only vegetables for a day (completed)

12/31/2020 Include a new tradition in my New Year’s Eve celebration (completed)

Weather prevented me from building a roaring fire in my fire pit and burning an effigy of 2020…a New Year’s Eve tradition from Ecuador. So instead I ate 12 grapes at midnight, a custom from Spain. Regardless of the activity, I welcomed 2021 with an open heart and wide open arms.

Welcoming a New Year traditions
Welcoming a New Year – 12 grapes tradition from Spain

1/1/2021 Create art for 2021 theme and symbol (completed)

I drew this activity on the perfect day. For several years I’ve created an art piece, using a sketching pencil and colored pencils, that represents my word or theme and symbol for the new year.

My theme for 2021 is Wild Woman. My symbol is the moon. I had so much fun creating art incorporating both of those things. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The framed art rests on my bedside table where I look at it often.

Welcoming a New Year themed artwork
Welcoming a New Year – I loved creating this art piece to represent 2021

1/2/2021 Create a comfort package to give to the homeless (not completed)

1/3/2021 Do a synchronized dance (not completed)

1/4/2021 Learn a phrase in multiple languages (completed)

I had fun with this activity today. With my theme for 2021, the phrase I chose is “I am a Wild Woman”. Using a translator app I translated the phrase into 11 languages: French, German, Danish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Spanish, Afrikaans, Greek, Russian and Swahili.

I’m very grateful to my grandson Dayan, who speaks Russian. Without his help my translated phrase would have read, “I am a crazy woman”. And perhaps that is true as well but it’s not my intended phrase! If any of the other translations are incorrect, I take responsibility for those. It was fun on the app to listen to the phrases in their respective languages. Use this app HERE.

Birthday Week

I have five slips of paper left in the jar. And I have a handful of activities yet to complete. Complete them I will. A few are scheduled out. And trips that canceled due to weather are rescheduled. Watch for the final birthday update on January 18.

Although I gain back some hours in the day, I feel a bit sad when the birthday celebrations come to a close. They truly are fun and I love the new experiences.

This birthday game creates a powerful incentive for staying healthy and fit. The older I become the more days I get to celebrate as I head toward the next birthday! Later this year I’ll launch 64 wild woman activities for my 64th birthday. Won’t those celebrations be fun?

Welcoming a New Year wild woman
Multiple ways to say “I am a Wild Woman”.

Birthday Updates

63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday

Holiday Flair

Stories to Tell

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Movies That Inspire You to Visit England

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Third in the Movies That Inspire Travel series, this post offers a selection of movies that inspire you to visit England. Click these links for the Italy and Ireland movie posts. I’m enjoying this series greatly as it combines two of my favorite activities…traveling and watching films. I hope you are enjoying them too. Additionally, my intention is to encourage readers to add countries to their travel lists, inspired by these amazing movies.

While I can’t travel as much right now, due to COVID imposed regulations, I can soothe the longing to do so by watching films with storylines set in the countries I love.

Grab a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy an evening watching one or two of these movies.

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England title meme

Sense and Sensibility  1995

This Jane Austen classic stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet.

The death of Mr. Dashwood leaves his widow and three daughters poor, as his son from his first marriage inherits all. The women are marginally provided for by a kind cousin. However, marriage prospects for the young women are limited. Sisters Elinor and Marianne possess different perspectives on life and different interests but they love and support each other through challenging circumstances and tangled romantic relationships.

Fun fact: Newcomer Kate Winslet was originally only considered for the small role of Lucy Steele. However, Kate really wanted to play Marianne. When she arrived for her audition, she pretended her agent sent her to read for the role of Marianne. Her reading won her the part.

Watch Sense & Sensibility on Starz or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to visit England sense and sensibility
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Sense & Sensibility

Bridget Jones’s Diary  2001

Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Gemma Jones star in this romantic comedy.

Bridget Jones struggles with self perceived imperfections. As a New Year’s resolution, she decides to take charge of her life and make changes. Keeping a diary of her thoughts allows her to discover her own personal truths. When two very different men enter her life during her year of self improvements, and both catch her romantic interest, hilarity ensues.

Fun fact: For the role of Bridget, Zellweger gained 25 pounds, learned to speak with an English accent and worked at a British publishing company for a month. No one at the publishing company recognized her. On her desk she kept a framed photo of her then husband, Jim Carrey. Her co-workers found this odd but did not mention it to Zellweger for fear of embarrassing her.

Watch Bridget Jones’s Diary on Starz or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England bridget jones diary
Movies That inspire you to visit England – Bridget Jones’s Diary

Gosford Park  2001

Gosford Park, a comedic mystery, starts Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Northam, Clive Owen and Stephen Fry.

Set in the 1930s, in an old country estate, Lord and Lady McCordle host a weekend gathering. The invitees…rich, pretentious and famous…anticipate a relaxing weekend hunting pheasant. But when a murder occurs guests and members of the below stairs staff go on the suspected murderer list. As an investigation ensues, by bumbling Inspector Thompson, each person does their best to hide his or her secrets.

Fun fact: The well received series Downton Abbey was originally planned as a spin off of this film. Instead it developed into a stand alone series inspired by Gosford Park and set several decades earlier.

Rent Gosford Park on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England gosford park
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Gosford Park

Calendar Girls  2003

This comedy stars Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton, Linda Bassett and Annette Crosbie.

Middle aged women in the Women’s Institute brainstorm ways to up the fundraising efforts for their local chapter. Last year’s calendar, featuring area bridges, only raised a little more than 76 pounds. Inspiration comes from a member’s husband, who before he dies of leukemia says: “The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. The last phase is always the most glorious.”

The women choose to sell a calendar featuring 12 local middle aged women posing nude. They hope to sell a few hundred calendars. The outcome surprises and delights them.

Fun fact; This movie is based on actual events. The real “calendar girls” were all members of the Rylstone Women’s Institute. They make guest appearances in the film.

Watch Calendar Girls on Cinemax or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England calendar girls
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Calendar Girls

Love Actually

Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Colin Firth, Kris Marshall, Martin Freeman, Johanna Page, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Lucia Moniz star in this romantic comedy.

Christmas time in London is the setting for this fun romp of a film that follows the interconnected lives of eight very different couples. Each couple deals with their love relationships and their complex lives, some doing so better than others.

Fun fact: The lake in which Firth and Moniz “swim” is actually only 18 inches deep. The actors knelt to give the illusion of deeper water. The lake was also swarming with mosquitos. Firth’s bitten elbow swelled up to the size of an avocado and required medical treatment.

Rent Love Actually on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England love actually
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Love Actually

Pride & Prejudice  2005

Keira Knightley, Matthey Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone and Carey Mulligan star in the romantic drama adapted from a Jane Austen novel.

Pride & Prejudice is the humorous and tender story of five sisters growing up in England’s Georgian era. The Bennett Family’s future happiness depends on the daughters marrying well. When the wealthy and seemingly snobbish Mr. Darcy moves into the area, for a summer in the country, the sisters’ lives are upended. Is it love in the air…or is it a battle of the sexes?

Fun fact: Macfadyen, who portrays Mr. Darcy, is very nearsighted. During the early morning scene, in the misty rain, the director stood behind the camera waving a red flag so the actor knew where to walk.

Rent Pride & Prejudice on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England pride and prejudice
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Pride & Prejudice

The Theory of Everything  2014

This biographical drama stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior and David Thewlis.

The Theory of Everything explores the life of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking. It’s also the love story of Hawking and his wife, Jane. Over the course of their marriage and life together, Hawking becomes ill with ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disorder. As Hawking defies his prognosis and makes amazing discoveries in science, his marriage is challenged to its core.

Fun fact: To prepare for the role, Redmayne lost 15 pounds, trained for four months with a dancer to learn how to control his body, met with 40 ALS patients and kept a chart tracking the order in which Hawking’s muscles deteriorated. He stood for hours before a mirror, contorting his face and between takes stood motionless and hunched over, to stay in character. And he met with Stephen Hawking once for three hours, before filming began. He was afraid to ask the physicist anything.

Rent The Theory of Everything on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England the theory of everything
Movies That Inspire You to Visit England – The Theory of Everything

Paddington  2014

This fantasy adventure stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Ben Whishaw, Matt Lucas, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi.

A young Peruvian bear, with a love for all things British, travels to London in search of a home. Around his neck is a label: “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”

Lost at Paddington Station, the bear realizes city life is not what he imagined. Fortunately, he meets the Brown Family, who kindly offer him a place to stay.  All appears to be going well until the newly named Paddington Bear catches the attention of a museum taxidermist.

Fun fact: Paddington Bear is based on an actual lone teddy bear that author Michael Bond noticed in a London store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve, 1956. He purchased the bear as a gift for his wife and later wrote a story about him. The bear’s appearance in the story…and subsequent movies…was inspired by old newsreels showing train-loads of child evacuees leaving London during WWII with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases.

Rent Paddington on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England paddington
Movies That Inspire You to Visit England – Paddington

Downton Abbey  2019

Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leach, Michelle Dockery, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton and Brandon Coyle star in this lavish period piece drama.

The film continues the story of the Crowley family and their below stairs staff at Downton Abbey, following the popularity of the long running television series. Set in 1927, the Crowleys and the Downton Abbey staff prepare for the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary while struggling with their own life dilemmas and challenges.

Fun fact: The royal visit of King George V to Downton Abbey was based on his real life visit to Wentworth Woodhouse, an estate in Yorkshire used to film the ballroom scenes in the movie.

Watch Downton Abbey on HBO or buy on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England downton abbey
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Downton Abbey

Emma  2020

This romantic drama, inspired by the Jane Austen novel, stars Anna Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Gemma Whelan, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor.

Handsome, clever and rich, Miss Emma Woodhouse is without equal in her small town. Desiring that everyone other than herself find true love, Emma moves through a series of comical mismatches and romantic missteps before discovering what real love is all about.

Fun fact: Emma and Mr. Knightley are not wearing gloves during their dance scene, while all the other dancers are gloved. Director Autumn de Wilde felt the bare hands added to the sexual tension between the two characters during their last dance.

Watch Emma on HBO or buy on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England emma
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Emma

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England

Truly, there are SO many movies with English storylines that it was difficult to limit my choices to ten. These are some of my favorites though. And several, such as Emma, have more than one version to enjoy.

All of these films increased my desire to experience England for myself. I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit this beautiful country in 2017.

Until I can return, I’ll stir my memories and create new intentions by watching British films.

What’s your favorite movie set in England?

Jack the Ripper London Tour
Seated on the top deck during our Jack the Ripper London tour.

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