Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo’s David

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My daughter, grandson and I toured Italy in 2017, checking many destinations and sights off our “must see” list. The colosseum and Sistine Chapel in Rome, Venice’s canals and the Leaning Tower of Pisa were on the list, along with Michelangelo’s David in Florence.

To see those places, structures and statue, after years of reading about them and studying photos, was both surreal and wondrous.

In Florence, our tour guide, Andrea, shared stories about David, one of the most amazing sculptures in the world. Andrea’s reverence and passion kept us spellbound and listening to every word as he shared from his wealth of knowledge.

I learned much that I did not know that deepened my appreciation for Michelangelo and his incredible sculpture. These are things you may not know about Michelangelo’s David. Perhaps you will learn something new as well.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David title meme

Where is the David Statue?

David is located in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. Considered the most famous statue in Florence, and perhaps the world, this magnificent work of art was created between 1501 and 1504 by a young Michelangelo, who was about 26 years old when commissioned for the statue.

The museum features other works of art by Michelangelo and art by great Italian artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and Orcagna.

We spent a couple of hours in the museum, as part of a day in Florence. One could easily spend a whole day there, studying the exhibits.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David Andrea
Our amazing tour guide while in Florence, Andrea, which is a common male name in Italy. And that’s my gorgeous daughter in the foreground.

Things You Probably Do Know About Michelangelo’s David

First, the things you probably DO know about this famous statue.

David is a depiction of the Biblical David, who killed the giant Goliath with a slingshot and a stone. Goliath taunted the Hebrew army daily…think bullying to the extreme…and because of his size, no one wanted to fight him. Although David was a youth, he accepted Goliath’s challenge to fight, one on one. Foregoing armor and a sword, David instead relied on his faith in God to help him defeat Goliath.

David is presented in all his glory, meaning the statue is naked.

The marble statue is 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches tall and weighs more than 12,000 pounds.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David first view
My first glimpse of David in the museum.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo’s David

And now for the things you may not know. I love learning facts about well known places and things. The stories add interest and depth.

Commissioned to Decorate the Roofline of a Cathedral

David was originally commissioned to stand along the eastern roofline of the Florence Cathedral. Because of the impressive quality of work, David ended up instead in a public square, the Piazza della Signoria, where it was unveiled on September 8, 1504. To protect it from weather and vandalism, the statue eventually took up residence in the Accademia Gallery in 1873. A replica of David replaced the original in the piazza.

And in 2010 another David replica graced the cathedral roofline, carrying out the intention from hundreds of years ago.

Carved From a Single Block of “Rejected” Marble

Michelangelo carved his masterpiece from a single block of Carrara marble. Two other sculptures began work on the block. Both stopped due to the poor quality and brittleness of the marble. Additionally, the marble contained strong veins running through it while pinholes riddled the surface.

When Michelangelo began his sculpture, the block of marble had sat abandoned for 40 years.

It took 40 men four days to move the completed sculpture from Michelangelo’s studio to the piazza.

A Unique Portrayal of David

Michelangelo broke with tradition in his portrayal of David. Other sculptures created a triumphant David, holding aloft the head of the giant after the battle. Michelangelo chose to show David before the battle, vulnerable and trusting in his nudity, his gaze analyzing the situation. A sling rests over his left shoulder and his right hand grasps a rock, indicating David was a leftie.

Michelangelo based David’s pose on Hercules, a hero with strong connections to Florence. Hercules appeared on the Florentine seal for centuries.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David full statue
Things you may not know about Michelangelo’s David – his pose mimics Hercules

David’s Hands and Head are Disproportionately Large

People have wondered if Michelangelo made a mistake, creating David’s hands and head larger than they should have been. However, even at a young age, Michelangelo was not a beginner artist. David was not his first sculpture. Additionally, Michelangelo studied anatomy, dissecting dead bodies to learn how muscles, bones and tissues worked.

One theory is that the large hands are a nod to David’s nickname, manu fortis, which means “strong of hand”. Our tour guide Andrea suggested another possibility. Because David originally intended to stand high above the ground, on the roof of the cathedral, Michelangelo enlarged the hands and head so that when people looked up, the proportions appeared correct.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David hand
Things you may not know about Michelangelo’s David – the hands and head are intentionally large

David is Suffering From Stress Fractures

More than 8 million visitors a year walk through the gallery to view David. All that foot traffic creates vibrations that are causing stress fractures in the marble. Frequent inspections reveal where repairs and restorations are necessary.

Blushing Queen

Queen Victoria of England received a replica of the David statue as a gift, in 1857. Shocked by David’s nudity, she ordered a plaster fig leaf made, to cover his privates. Leaf in place, the statue went on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David profile
Things you may not know about Michelangelo’s David – he’s portrayed as a leftie

Court Case

Although David has been a Florence resident for more than 500 years, the Italian government recently asked courts to determine whether David belongs to the city…or to Italy. No decision has been made yet.

Appreciation for David

My tour group spent about 30 minutes with David, as Andrea spoke passionately about him. Seeing Michelangelo’s statue was definitely the highlight of our time in Florence.

I felt strong emotions, circling the incredible sculpture. I admit that my eyes filled with tears several times.

He truly is beautiful and the artist’s genius is evident. David’s muscles show Michelangelo’s familiarity with human anatomy. The rib cage shows definition. And David’s face is extraordinary. The eyes appear to gaze intently toward his challenger. A tiny furrow creases his brow, making him seem deep in thought. His body appears relaxed and confident and powerful.

Andrea shared that Michelangelo believed God gave him the gift of releasing figures from the marble. When asked how he created David, Michelangelo reportedly replied that he simply chipped away all the stone that was not David.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to see David and learn things I did not know about him. I hope you’ve learned new things about David as well!

Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo's David in Florence
Our Florence selfie.

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Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated

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

This is a paid affiliate partnership with Decocrated. All opinions are my own.

I’m having so much fun with the Decocrated subscription boxes! With the mix and match pieces from the seasonal boxes and my own decor I can create fresh and unique vignettes throughout the house.

With summer well underway, I decided to change things up again and create something new…something very new.

Check out how easy it is, creating personal vignettes with Decocrated!

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated title meme

Summer’s Golden Glow

The Decocrated subscription boxes ship out at the beginning of each season, offering fresh decor pieces to incorporate into any decorating style.

The summer collection is built around a palette of sunshine yellow and bright blue, with accent colors of cream, black and gold. The decor in this box combines light natural wood and gold finishes with homey textiles. Check out how I styled these pieces for summer vignettes.

The featured artists for summer are Kate Aurelia and Kasey Free. This duo met in college and combine their talents to create art inspired by nature and travels. They work with a mixture of techniques, from traditional paintings to collage to digital art.

Before receiving the spring Decocrated box, I rarely used gold decor in my home. I’m more naturally drawn toward silver tones. However, that’s what I love about Decocrated. They are nudging me out of my typical decorating rut and encouraging me to expand and create something new.

Both the spring and summer boxes included gold foundational pieces. How fun it’s been, creating with these items.

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated entry table
Creating personal vignettes with Decocrated – bonus display. I love these ceramic trees from the winter box! I’ve left them out all year. Table top sign from winter box as well and black lantern from spring.

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated

Recently I noticed items for sale at Michael’s Craft Store…gold decor…that I don’t think I would have noticed prior to receiving Decocrated boxes. I circled around to those pieces several times, drawn to them. Feeling a strong a personal connection to the items, I bought them.

I’m excited to show you how I used those unique pieces with items from the spring and summer Decocrated boxes to create personal vignettes that tell my story.

Ready to see?

Kind is Gold

I relocated the mirror from the summer box to the vintage wooden chair near my armoire. The gold tray and canisters arrived with the spring box. And the yellow pillows with the reversible textured side are from summer.

I love this warm vignette, build around sunny yellows and gold. The little table top sign reads, “Kind is Gold”.

This cheerful grouping reminds me that summer is here and that kindness is, indeed, golden. The mirror in this personal vignette represents reflecting back to others that kindness and love.

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated kind is gold
Creating personal vignettes – kind is gold
Close up
I love the way the mirror reflects the light.

Hello Succulents

The summer Decocrated box included a cute gray planter containing three faux succulents. Well, that inspired me to pick up several more. And these succulents never need to be watered!

I love this fun vignette that highlights my playful side.

The “hello sunshine” print is also from the summer box. The art print is a spring item. I also enjoy using stacked books as risers to create height. From my collection of books, I look for covers that are in my color palette.

Shelf Top Vignette
Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated – playful shelf top grouping

Telling My Story with Decocrated

I used the dining room table to create a unique vignette, full of items that tell my story.

Gold Planter

The blue and white rug from the summer box creates the foundation to build upon. I added a gold place mat. The gold planter, another summer box item, anchors the left side. It’s filled with artificial eucalyptus in soft greens, grays and peach colors. The letter “C” with gold floral trim is for Cindy, of course. And the little blue flower pot filled with succulents brings a pop of color that ties in with the rug.

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated gold planter
Creating personal vignettes with Decocrated – gold planter and C for Cindy

Tiered Tray

I filled the two tier tray from the summer box with items that have meaning to me.

On the bottom shelf are two gold canisters from spring, holding more fun faux succulents. A “dream” metal stand up sign in gold reminds me to keep pursuing my dreams and more than that, to make them a priority. And tucked into the corner is a blue and gold candle holder, because being light, shining my light, is always important to me.

On the top shelf a vintage looking gold crown represents my queen symbol from last year. Looking at it, I recall the question I was divinely asked in 2019, “Do you want to be the queen of your own kingdom or a pawn in someone else’s?” I choose to be the queen of my own kingdom.

The gold hand statue reminds me “open hand, open heart”. I am open to everything and attached to nothing. There’s a gold votive holder there, shining with candlelight. And finally, hanging from the tiered tray is a golden key, my symbol for this year. Curiosity is the key that is opening doors for me.

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated tiered tray
Creating personal vignettes with Decocrated – tiered tray

Inspiration from Decocrated

After enjoying three subscription boxes…so far…from Decocrated, I can genuinely say that this company inspires me. I’ve always loved decorating and creating vignettes. Decocrated provides beautiful pieces that increase my creativity. It’s so fun to see what I can bring together, to tell unique stories.

The vignette on the dining table is especially meaningful to me. It will remain in place until it’s time to decorate for fall!

Would you enjoy receiving inspiration in a box? You can!

Click this link for the Decocrated Summer Box, and use this discount code for $15 off the price of your first box:  CINDYM15 

Or use the same code to receive $15 off a yearly subscription. Once you are a member, there are additional items that can be purchased from the online shop and a fun Facebook group of other Decocrated decorators to join.

What are you creating in your house this summer?

Creating Personal Vignettes with Decocrated table
Creating personal vignettes with Decocrated – telling my story


Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Decocrated Curated Home. I may earn a commission for items purchased through my links, all at no extra cost to you.




Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

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Road Trip Friday is back, with a fun jaunt south to beautiful Branson, Missouri for a first experience. Greg accompanied me and of course my little travel mascot, Ferni the VW van, rode along too.

It’s been six years since I last visited Branson, home to a huge variety of attractions from music shows to the Silver Dollar City amusement park to outlet malls to interesting museums. My destination for this road trip was a museum I’ve wanted to visit for years and had yet to explore.

The Titanic Museum Branson Missouri is located at 3235 W 76 Country Blvd. There is a sister museum in Pigeon Ford, Tennessee as well.

We enjoyed lunch at a near by restaurant, explored the area for a bit and then arrived at the Titanic Museum ready to board the ship!

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri title meme

Why I Chose This Museum

I first became captivated by Titanic as a child. The story both fascinated me and horrified me. I didn’t realize then that my empathic abilities caused emotional overwhelm when encountering such catastrophic events. Even though I wanted to learn more, my little heart hurt and my intense sense of justice fired up over this tragedy. How could an unsinkable ship, sink? How could there not be enough lifeboats?

Fast forward to 1997 and the blockbuster film “Titanic“. I did not want to see the movie for fear I couldn’t handle it, emotionally. Apparently I was meant to view it though. After being tricked into seeing it at the theater, I did indeed find the movie difficult to watch. I thought my heart would explode.

However, after making it through that first viewing, I watched Titanic many more times. It’s one of my favorite films. And my love affair with the story grew. I discovered beauty in the lives of those who sailed on Titanic’s maiden voyage.

The Titanic Museum Branson Missouri opened on April 10, 2006. I finally stepped onboard on July 17, 2020.


Titanic Museum Branson Museum Ferni
Ferni’s photo at the Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Due to COVID19, safety protocol that follows CDC guidelines is currently in place for this museum. Tickets must be purchased online HERE so that staff can limit the number of visitors per time slot.

Face masks that cover the mouth and nose are required at all times while in the museum. Staff wear them too. And social distancing is encouraged as well.

When we arrived I took a few photos outside. Photography is not allowed inside, and understandably so. The museum is full of artifacts and photos from the ship.

I received a text message about thirty minutes before our boarding time, asking us to remain in the car until time to board. A second text arrived a short time later, welcoming us onboard. It was time to go!

Every guest is handed a boarding pass. On the back of it is a name of one of Titanic’s passengers along with details about their life on the ship. Keep that boarding pass. You might discover more info about your person during the tour. And toward the end of the visit, you find out whether your person survived or not.

Each of us also received a device that plays informative messages about particular displays and objects in the museum. The tours are self guided and may be taken at your own pace.

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri boarding pass
Boarding passes from Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Touring the Museum

Since I can’t post any photos from inside the museum, I’ll use my words to share highlights of this fascinating experience.

The museum asks the question:

“How do you pay respect to the 2,208 passengers and crew aboard RMS Titanic?

Their answer? You tell their stories, everyday.

Titanic Stats

Titanic’s keel was laid down in Belfast, Ireland on March 31, 1909. She launched May 31, 1911 and set sail on her maiden voyage April 10, 1912.

The ship measured 882 feet in length and 92 feet in width. From her hull to the top of her stacks she stood 175 feet tall, making her the height of a 17 story building. Her service speed was 21 knots.

Titanic contained over 3 million rivets and carried 5,892 tons of coal to fuel her furnaces.

There are photographs, drawings, models and videos in the first few sections of the museum that capture Titanic coming together. She truly was an amazing ship, the queen of the White Star Line, offering the best in accommodations for her passengers.

Because Titanic was considered unsinkable, only 20 lifeboats were added, rather than the 64 the plans called for.

The Maiden Voyage

The RMS Titanic set sail carrying 2208 passengers and crew. For her first voyage she sailed with 54% of her capacity. Onboard were 324 first class passengers, 276 second class passengers, 709 third class passengers and 899 crew members. Surprisingly, 12 dogs traveled on Titanic, housed in the kennels on F deck. Only three survived, tiny dogs carried onto lifeboats by their owners.

The RMS stands for Royal Mail Streamer. Titanic carried mail, under contract with the British Royal Mail, 3,243 sacks containing 2000 plus pieces of mail each.

Titanic carried some of the wealthiest people in the world at that time, along with hundreds of immigrants from England, Ireland and Scandinavia seeking a fresh start in America. Prominent guests included American millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and his wife, Macy’s owner Isidor Straus and his wife and Denver millionairess Molly Brown.

The ship’s designer, Thomas Andrew, traveled to observe any problems and assess the performance of the ship. He went down with Titanic.

Titanic’s captain, Edward Smith, carried the rank of commodore. He intended to retire after the ship’s first voyage. He remained on Titanic as she sank.

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri entrance
Museum entrance

Father Browne’s Photo Collection

The museum is pleased to offer this incredible collection of photos from Father Francis Browne. This Jesuit priest with keen photography skills traveled on Titanic as she gathered passengers from Southampton, England, Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland.

Father Browne boarded in Southamptom and disembarked in Queenstown. He took many photographs of the ship and her passengers, including the last ever known photo of Titanic as she departed. Thanks to him we have a glimpse into Titanic’s world.

In this section of the museum, replicas of a third class room and hallway show the traveling conditions. Although they appear small and plain, they were considered extraordinary in Titanic’s day.

The Grand Staircase and First Class Suite

One of the most amazing sights in the museum is the replica of Titanic’s Grand Staircase. It is actual size and made from oak. At the top of those iconic stairs is the clock featured in the Titanic film, surrounded by two figures representing Honour and Glory crowning Time. This grand staircase, with its gold decor, glass chandeliers and stunning dome ceiling, marked the entrance to the first class section.

Additionally the staircase, which is 16 feet wide, extended 60 feet below on the ship, serving seven decks.

I loved pausing here for a moment, to take in this beautiful sight. I thought of Rose and Jack from the movie, meeting on this staircase.

Walking up the staircase, we viewed a replica of a first class suite, the one used by the Astors. Although not huge, it was much larger than the third class accommodations and nicely decorated.

Titanic Artifacts

Throughout the museum glass cases hold artifacts from the ship. These are not replicas. The items are from Titanic, obtained from families, private collections and pieces acquired by the museum. Every year they change artifacts at both museums to keep exhibits fresh.

We saw deck chairs, a life jacket, keys, a purse, silverware and silver serving pieces, baby shoes, dinner plates and serving dishes among other things. It’s amazing that these pieces remained intact. They provide a hint of the elegance of Titanic and give a peek into the personal lives of the passengers. I found the artifacts to be beautiful, in a haunting sort of way.

The Music Room

As we approached this room I heard a piano playing the theme song from the film Titanic. Sadness swept over me. Inside the room, a staff member, dressed appropriately in ship uniform, sat at the baby grand piano.

The room features large photographs of the eight musicians onboard Titanic. These men, members of a three piece ensemble and a five piece one, are well known for playing as the ship sank. The man finished playing the piano and then shared with us about each of these remarkable musicians.

Considered heroes, all eight men perished with the ship, playing music to keep the passengers calm. One second class passenger said:

“Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame.”

Titanic Museum is the only place in the world that honors the eight musicians who sacrificed their lives that night.

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri ship
Impressive replica of the ship at the Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Captain’s Bridge

As we neared the end of our tour, we explored the Captain’s Bridge with its brass instruments and large steering wheel. I noted that the wheel came from Edinburgh! Captain Smith, the officers and the quartermasters occupied the bridge. Each day the bridge crew was divided into six watches of five hours each.

Beyond the bridge we learned of that fateful night, April 14, 1912.

Four days into her maiden voyage, Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 pm. The ship steered south of the known ice field, however the crew received six warnings of sea ice in the area. Two lookouts in the crow’s nest spotted an iceberg straight ahead. With her speed at 22 knots, the ship could not turn quickly enough to avoid a glancing blow to her starboard side. Six of her sixteen compartments opened to the sea. Titanic’s “unsinkable” design could stay afloat with four compartments taking on water, but not six.

The shortage of lifeboats prompted crew to attempt boarding women and children first but in the chaos that protocol wasn’t strictly followed.  And poor evacuation management meant that many boats launched before they were completely full.

Titanic sank in 2 hours and 40 minutes, in the early hours of April 15, with more than fifteen hundred passengers and crew still onboard. Many died on the ship. Others jumped or fell into the sea, however the water temperature that night was 28 degrees. Those exposed in the water died in minutes from the cold. The survivors numbered 705.

Hands On Room and Memorial Room

Designed with the youngest visitors in mind, the hands on room offers experiences such as stories from a staff member, activity books, the sloping decks of Titanic to climb on and a container of cold water. The water is the same temperature as the sea the night Titanic sank. Putting my fingers into the water was a shock. It hurt my heart to think of people…men, women and children…struggling in that icy water.

Entering the Memorial Room is a somber experience. On one wall is a list of all of the passengers and crew. Underlined names indicate survivors. Names in italics show those people perished.

It was time to see if the people on our boarding passes survived or died.

My lady, Emma Bliss, was 45 years old. One of 23 female stewardess on Titanic, her duties included taking care of the women in first class. As Titanic foundered, an older man offered Emma a seat on one of the last lifeboats leaving the ship. He said he had lived his life, but hers was still ahead of her. That man sacrificed his life for hers. Emma survived the sinking of the Titanic and lived to the age of 93. Greg’s person, a crewman who jumped into the water and swam to a lifeboat, survived as well.

It was touching, watching museum guests look for their “people”, hoping that they survived. My eyes filled with tears as I heard one teenage boy looking frantically not for his person, but for the man’s children. “I have to find my children” he kept saying. I don’t know if he found them as survivors or not but what a poignant moment that sadly echoed a long ago reality.

Titanic Museum Branson Missouri pass 2
Greg’s boarding pass form Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Final Thoughts

I so enjoyed experiencing the Titanic Museum Branson Missouri. There is more to explore, learn and appreciate within the museum than what I shared. I’ve been reading about Titanic since my childhood and watching documentaries and I still learned new things wandering through the museum.

The staff is courteous and helpful, the displays respectful and educational and the overall atmosphere amazing. And there is a gift shop at the exit, full of fun items available for purchase.

I’m grateful that I finally toured this wonderful museum. Titanic continues to captivate me and now her story and those of her passengers and crew rest in my heart as well.

Long may she be remembered and those stories told. We must not forget.

Titanic Museum Branson Museum Cindy
Ferni and I at the Titanic Museum Branson Missouri

Road Trip Fridays

I’m loving these monthly road trips, to destinations within 150 miles from Joplin. Check out last month’s trip to Philbrook Museum Gardens in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And stay tuned for an exciting historical experience already scheduled for August!

Titanic Finds from Amazon:



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My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course

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

Thank you LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.


I’m back, with an exciting update on my blogging journey. 

Recently I worked through the How to Make Money as an Instagram Influencer course by LadyBossBlogger. You can read an overview of the online course HERE.

This post is all about the results, because, let’s be honest, that’s what you want to know. Is this course worth taking and how is it helpful?

Check out my big takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger course and how I’m extending my reach because of what I’ve learned.

My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course title meme

My Starting Point

It’s good to know my starting point, as I began this next level blogging adventure.

Eighteen months ago I shifted my focus to monetizing my blogs. Among my first tasks, increasing Instagram followers and engagement seemed extremely important. It’s just a fact of the blogging life. If you want to work with brands and get paid for sponsored posts, you must create an eye-catching, engaging Instagram business account. I’ve been fortunate to work with 40+ brands in the last year and a half. Most of those, including two national magazines, reached out to me through my Instagram account.

Initially, those brands offered products or services in exchange for blog and Instagram posts. And that’s okay. It’s a great way to learn about working with brands and creating content. Eventually paid sponsorships began coming my way.

So why take a course now, on making money as an Instagram influencer?

Because I see the value in investing in myself and my business. And I’m always open to learning from others. This course arrived at the perfect time in my blogging journey. I felt ready to boost my confidence and take blogging to the next level, as an influencer.

My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course taking notes
My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course – taking notes

How to Make Money as an Instagram Influencer Course

As a reminder, the online course is divided into nine lesson packed modules. The materials arrive via your email inbox and you may move through the course at your own pace.

  • Introduction – course overview and expectations
  • Branding –  all about creating a personal brand on Instagram
  • Content – the foundation of an Instagram post, great content
  • Pitching – creating the perfect pitch to brands
  • Brands – how to find brands to work with
  • Money – creating income as an influencer
  • Legal – all you need to know about the legal side of blogging and influencing
  • Conclusion – becoming an affiliate
  • Bonus – there are 12 INCREDIBLE exclusive bonuses at the end of the course, including checklists and how-to’s

I took lots of notes, as I am a visual learner who remembers content best when I write it down. As I worked through the lessons, and took notes, I put stars next to lessons I wanted to implement immediately. 

The coursework is arranged so that each module builds on the prior one. The lessons are easy to understand and Elaine adds lots of real life examples and provides supporting links.

I moved through the course in about three weeks. 

My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course learning
My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course – learning new things

My Big Takeaways from Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course

I could share SO MANY takeaways from the course. However, let me focus on the biggies. These are the steps I took action on.

  • Set clear working hours, create a schedule and stick to it. This is my business, after all. I want to treat it like one. I needed this important reminder. What I focus on expands. Focusing on creating a business that supports my big WHY (freedom to work remotely from anywhere in the world) is important so I have established a schedule that works for me.
  • From the lessons on defining a target audience, two big takeaways, among many: think of ONE person I know well and create content for her, keeping her needs, wants and desires in mind. And, use persuasive copy writing techniques that create curiosity. Brilliant suggestions!
  • Don’t preach. Tell a story. I immediately shifted my captions on Instagram, sharing more personal stories rather than just offering information. I’m still working on improving in this area, however I’m loving the results.
  • Interact with brands and influencers every day. It’s all about building relationships, right? Right! Tag brands I love when using their products and mention them in posts and stories.
  • I’ve done the research, as Elaine suggests, to define my market demographics. With an Instagram business account, that info is available. I’m learning from those who visit my profile and interact.
  • I’ve also better defined the purpose of my Instagram account. Knowing what I hope to accomplish helps me create better content that matches my intentions.
  • There are too many takeaways to list from the module on brands. A few highlights: I learned what brands are specifically looking for, how to control the narrative of my own brand (because each of us creates our unique brand too) and what all that means to my audience. 

The Biggest Takeaway of All

The takeaways above are truly just the tip of the iceberg. Each module in How to Make Money as an Instagram Influencer helped me to define my purpose, my own brand and my intentions.

Each action step I took brought results, from more followers on Instagram to better engagement to better content as a creator. I learned ways to continue going to the next level, step by step. 

And the biggest takeaway of all?

I gained the needed confidence to approach brands myself. 

As I mentioned above, my sponsored posts are the result of brands reaching out to me. With all that I’ve learned from this course, I’m excited to be reaching out to more brands that I’d love to work with. I’m creating a new media kit, from the module on Pitching, that showcases my strengths and my particular brand. And I’m crafting pitches that will bring me results.

I’m so pleased with the brand collaboration pictured below. I’m telling a story in the caption, not just spooning out information. And I feel like I included an eye-catching photo with it. This brand is very pleased with the results and that makes me happy.

I know I can continue to extend my reach, as a blogger and an influencer, as I create a business that supports the life I desire. LadyBossBlogger is a huge part of my journey.

My Big Takeaways from the LadyBossBlogger Course IG post
One of my most recent posts for a brand, practicing what I’ve learned.

The Giveaway

As promised, it’s time to announce the winner for the giveaway of a free course from LadyBossBlogger! Jump over to my Instagram post to see who the winner is.

And while I wish everyone could win a free course, I have something almost as good to offer. 

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Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s Real Life Jekyll and Hyde

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There’s a fun, popular pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Called Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, the pub serves up classic Scottish and British fare, an assortment of cask ales and a rich history. The tavern bears the name of one of Edinburgh’s most fascinating residents, William Brodie. A respectable cabinet maker by day, Brodie led a sordid secret life by night.

In fact, he’s commonly referred to as Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s real life Jekyll and Hyde.

Read his stranger than fiction story!

Deacon Brodie Edinburghs Real Life Jekyll and Hyde title meme

Who is Deacon Brodie?

Born in Edinburgh on September 28, 1741, William Brodie was the son of a successful cabinetmaker and the grandson of two renowned lawyers.

William grew up in the trade, becoming a fine craftsman specializing in domestic furniture such as cabinets and cupboards. Additionally, he was a skilled locksmith.

Because of his talents and his family connections, Brodie served as a representative, or deacon, of the guild and a city councillor. This position of influence brought him respect throughout the city…and a great deal of business.

Brodie socialized with the gentry of Edinburgh. He met poet Robert Burns and painter Henry Raeburn and enjoyed a membership at Edinburgh Cape Club.

When his father died in 1768, young Brodie inherited 10,000 pounds, a fortune in those days, along with four houses and the family cabinetmaking business.

Deacon Brodie Edinburgh's Real Life Jekyll and Hyde tavern sign
Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s Real Life Jekyll and Hyde – one of two tavern signs

A Dark Secret

While Deacon Brodie garnered respect during the day, at night he shifted into a darker life of crime.

Because of his work he gained access to the homes of Edinburgh’s wealthy citizens. Making wax impressions of the household keys allowed him to fashion duplicates, which meant he could return at night or while the owners were away, and commit robbery.

For more than a decade he led a double life, craftsman by day and thief at night. However after his father’s death, he took his criminal activities up a notch.

In spite of his inheritance, Brodie required more and more money to fund his gambling habits and expensive lifestyle. He also supported two mistresses and five children that he kept hidden from society. As he continued to run up debts at night, his respectable daytime business failed to keep up.

Deacon Brodie teamed up with three other criminals. Together they preyed on businesses and large private homes in Old Town. Growing bolder, they eventually attempted to steal the revenues of Scotland, at the Excise Office in Chessel’s Court.

The botched robbery resulted in only 16 pounds and the gang disbanded. One of the members turned in two of the others for a reward, while Brodie fled the country. Authorities found him hiding in a cupboard in Holland. He returned to Edinburgh to stand trial.

Deacon Brodie Edinburgh's Real Life Jekyll and Hyde second sign
Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s Real Life Jekyll and Hyde – alter ego

The Trial

Deacon Brodie stood trial for theft, along with one of his accomplices. The trial lasted 21 hours.

Found guilty, he was hung on October 1, 1788, in Lawnmarket, just steps from his birthplace and childhood home. A sizable crowd of 40,000 gathered for the hanging.

Deacon Brodie appeared for his execution in high style, sporting fine, tailored clothes and a powdered wig. One tale suggests Brodie also wore a silver tube around his neck, beneath his finery, in an attempt to survive the hanging. He supposedly bribed the hangman to ignore the tube and arranged for others to quickly remove his body and revive him.

The plan failed. Brodie’s body rests in an unmarked grave at St. Cuthbert’s Chapel. He was 47 years old at the time of his death.

Deacon Brodie Edinburgh's Real Life Jekyll and Hyde painting
Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s Real Life Jekyll and Hyde – painting

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Author Robert Louis Stevenson, whose father owned furniture made by Deacon Brodie, wrote a play called Deacon Brodie, The Double Life. Although the play was unsuccessful, Stevenson remained intrigued by Brodie’s double life. This paradox between the cabinetmaker’s light and dark personalities inspired him to write the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydein 1886.

This tale became a classic, adapted throughout the years into films, musicals and plays.

In Edinburgh Deacon Brodie is remembered with the pub on the corner of Lawnmarket and Bank Street, and a close (covered alleyway) off of the Royal Mile called Brodie’s Close. The family’s residence and workshops were there.

Visit Deacon Brodie’s Tavern for a hearty, traditional meal and fascinating bits of Edinburgh’s darker history. The girls’ group I traveled with enjoyed a fun, leisurely dinner there and a couple of rounds of ale and cider.

The pub also serves breakfast and a delightful afternoon tea.

Have you heard of Deacon Brodie Edinburgh’s real life Jekyll and Hyde?

Deacon Brodie Edinburgh's Real Life Jekyll and Hyde drinks
Drinks and a meal at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern.

Deacon Brodie finds from Amazon:



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St Stephen’s Green Dublin

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During our girls’  UK trip in 2017, one of the places on my “must see” list was St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. The gardener in me, fascinated with all growing things, longed to explore there.

Happily the rest of the group agreed to a leisurely stroll through the 22 acre green, located in central Dublin, Ireland.

St Stephen's Green Dublin title meme

History of St Stephen’s Green

Until the mid 1660s, a marsh occupied this area outside of Dublin. A leper colony existed here at that time, named for the nearby St Stephen’s Church.

In 1663 the land went into development with plots sold for houses. A wall surrounded the green as Georgian style homes went up around the perimeter.

By the end of the 1770s, the green provided a private park for the wealthy residents of the city. Access to the park remained restricted until 1877 when Parliament opened the green to the public.

Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family, paid for the structuring of the green into its current form.

During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents took up defensive positions within the green. More than 200 armed men in the park, and many more scattered throughout the city, attempted to end British rule and establish an independent Irish Republic. They failed, after six days, and almost 500 people died. However their actions led to an increase in support for Irish independence.

Bullets holes are still visible in the Fusilier’s Arch, at the entrance to the park.

St Stephen's Green Dublin underside of arch
Underside of the Fusilier’s Arch in St Stephen’s Green Dublin. There are bullet holes in this arch.

Sights to see in St Stephen’s Green

While strolling through this gorgeous park, the largest green space in Dublin, check out these interesting sights.

Braille Garden

In the northwest corner of the park, find the Braille Garden. This little garden, filled with fragrant plants that tolerate handling, makes use of braille signs to identify the flowers.

The Fusilier’s Arch

Mentioned above, the arch commemorates the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fought during the Second Boer War. Erected in 1907, the arch forms the entrance to the park, at Grafton Street. The structure is modeled on the Arch of Titus, in Rome.

St Stephen's Green Dublin Fusilier's Arch
The Fusilier’s Arch, St Stephen’s Green Dublin.


Three Fates Fountain

This fountain inside the Leeson Street Gate was a gift from the Germans. The statue within the fountain is a thank you for Irish help to refugee children during WWII. At least 500 children found foster homes in Ireland, in a project called Operation Shamrock.

The Green Lake

Spanning the length of the green is an ornamental lake. A gazebo rests at one end and the O’Connell Bridge provides a great vantage point at the other end. The lake is home to a variety of water fowl, including beautiful swans.

St Stephen's Green Dublin water fowl
A variety of water fowl inhabits the lake in the green.

Bandstand and Playground

On the south side of the main garden circle is the bandstand. Workers and students gather here for lunch. During the summer music entertains park visitors as they picnic. A playground nearby entertains children of all ages.

Famine Memorial

There are many statues and works of art throughout the green. One of the most touching is the Famine Memorial. Created by Edward Delaney, in 1967, the haunting abstract sculptures memorialize the Great Famine of 1845 – 1850. Eventually referred to as the Irish Potato Famine, during this time of mass starvation one million people died and another two million immigrated. Ireland’s population fell by 20% – 25%, creating a century long decline that the country never completely recovered from.

St Stephen's Green Dublin famine memorial
The Famine Memorial, St Stephen’s Green Dublin.

Places to Visit Near St Stephen’s Green

While in the area, check out these nearby attractions:

Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, located on the west side of the green, is one of Ireland’s largest shopping centers. Built in 1988, the style resembles a conservatory.

Little Museum of Dublin, on the north side of the green, is housed in a restored Georgian townhouse. The museum chronicles Dublin’s history during the 20th century, including the Easter Rising. Enjoy a meal in the famous cafe, Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen, located in the basement.

And the historic Shelbourne Hotel is on the north side as well. Currently operating as a Marriot International Hotel, the Shelbourne has been at the center of Dublin’s social and cultural life for 200 years. Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea here.

St Stephen's Green Dublin pathways
Pathways loop around St Stephen’s Green Dublin.

Exceeding Expectations

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in St Stephen’s Green. Tree lined pathways circle the park, making it easy to navigate. I loved this vibrant green space with its flower gardens, sculptures, play areas and lake.

The green is well worth a visit, for a change of pace from the bustling city and for its natural setting, art and historical value.

Months before our girls’ trip, I planned out a visit to this park, studying maps and reviews and reading articles. That’s part of the fun of traveling, planning and anticipation.

The reality of visiting the park surpassed my expectations. St Stephen’s is a true gem in Dublin, and a green one at that!

St Stephen's Green Dublin girls trip
O’Connell’s Bridge by the lake provides the perfect photo op.

Check out these helps from Amazon:



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