Wolfie Kids Curated International Fashion

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I recently discovered this amazing children’s clothing company. Wolfie Kids snagged my attention when they commented on a photo of my grandbaby, Finley. Checking out the company, I liked the clothing and practices that I saw. It is a personal goal, to shop with ecologically minded companies as often as possible.

I’m delighted to introduce you to this company that focuses on clothing our youngest family members, with style and comfort. Finley joined the Wolfie Kids Pack, with the arrival of her first outfit. And I happily became an affiliate.

This is Wolfie Kids Curated International Fashion with Finley Grace modeling her adorable Ziggy Jumpsuit set.

Wolfie Kids title meme

Get to Know Wolfie Kids

Based in Australia, Wolfie Kids is a small, international company, made up of moms and creatives. They work hard, in home offices around the world, to bring their customers carefully curated clothing for babies, toddlers and children.

Keeping little ones comfortable in ethical, cozy fabrics remains a top priority for Wolfie Kids. Most designs feature soft cotton and linen that won’t irritate delicate skin. Plus the company uses eco-friendly, recycled packaging, from green shipping methods to reusable cotton bags that arrive with the clothing lovingly tucked inside.

I love that Wolfie Kids continues to work toward becoming an even kinder-to-the-earth brand in the future. In the next five years, their intentions include allocating more sustainable sources for fabrics, working with organic and recycled fabrics and collaborating with independent design artists.

They also partner with CarbonClick, a New Zealand company that makes it easy to to help fight climate change. Clicking the green button at checkout adds a small contribution to your order to help reduce the environmental impact of carbon emissions. Learn more about all that Wolfie Kids does to keep our planet healthy HERE.

Wolfie embraces leading the pack in fashion sustainability practices, and that’s important to me.

Wolfie Kids Finley in profile
Wolfie Kids Curated International Fashion – Finley showing off the Ziggy Jumpsuit set

Leading the Pack with Wolfie Fashion

Their sustainability and ethical fashion practices drew me to check out the company. Wolfie’s beautiful clothes for babies, toddlers and children made me a customer.

I chose the Ziggy Jumpsuit set for Finley, size 3 – 6 months. A handy sizing chart, based on weight and height helps you order correctly. Wolfie recommends sizing up for that adorable oversized look.

At almost five months, Finley is tall for her age. The soft, stretchy jumpsuit fits her perfectly.

And that cap! When my daughter put it on Finley, we all laughed with delight. It’s so cute. Finley looked from her daddy to her mommy to her grandparents, wondering about all the giggles. The jumpsuit is a winner, with or without the matching cap.

The Ziggy comes in several colors. Finley models dusty rose. The jumpsuit, made from ribbed stretchy cotton, features front buttons, snap fastening on the legs, a relaxed fit and long sleeves.

Wolfie Kids thoughtful
Wolfie Kids Curated International Fashion – Finley’s thoughtful look

Finley’s Photo Shoot

The warm, spring day provided the perfect opportunity for a Wolfie Kids photo shoot. Finley loves the outdoors and the new green leaves on the willow tree in her backyard filtered the sunlight beautifully.

My daughter Adriel…Finley’s mommy…and I snapped photos while Papa Greg and my son-in-law Nate…Finley’s daddy…watched. This baby girl is so photogenic. She already recognizes the camera feature on smartphones. We captured the moments as Finley looked around the yard with interest.

Finley’s gorgeous brown eyes seem so wise and that thickening hair is definitely red! She’s beautiful and BIG on personality. What a sweet blessing she is.

When not on her head, the cute cap gave Finley something to cuddle and chew on.

Wolfie Kids chewin'
Wolfie Kids Curated International Fashion – chewing on the cute cap

Get Your Wolfie Kids Clothes

Check out this wonderful company for yourself. The youngest members of your family will enjoy these soft, fashionable outfits while you appreciate the company’s values and practices.

Wolfie offers clothing for boys and girls, sized for babies through children. Choose from a wide array of styles including onesies, sets, tops, bottoms, dresses, rompers, pjs and accessories.

Purchase your outfits with this LINK. And with my code, CINDYBEYOND20, save 20% on your order!

I look forward to ordering many more outfits for Finley Grace. I appreciate Wolfie Kids…and I think you will too.

Wolfie Kids Finley
Wolfie Curated International Fashion – Finley Grace, Wolfie Kid Leading the Pack

 

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Wolfie Kids Ambassadors Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Wolfie Kids, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Traditions from Around the World

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In the US, common Easter traditions include attending church and spending time with family, dyeing and hiding eggs, gifting children baskets full of goodies and dressing up in spring finery. Do you know that Easter is celebrated in 95 other countries around the world? And some of their festivities are quite different from those practiced here in the United States.

I love learning about other countries and others cultures. See how many of these Easter traditions from around the world are familiar to you.

Easter Traditions from Around the World title meme

Washington DC

Let’s start with a 130 year old tradition in the US. The White House hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn. Children roll colorful hard boiled eggs across the lawn using large serving spoons. The event also offers music, and egg hunt, sports and crafts.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Washington DC
Easter traditions from around the world – Washington DC

Australia

In Australia, rabbits are considered pests that destroy crops. In 1991, the country replaced the symbolic Easter bunny with the Easter bilby, also called the rabbit-eared bandicoot. You can purchase chocolate bilbies for Easter and the proceeds benefit Australia’s endangered animals.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Australia
Easter traditions from around the world – Australia

Norway

In Norway, the Easter season is a popular time to read detective novels and watch crime shows. The unconventional tradition began in 1923 when a book publisher advertised its new crime novel on the front page of newspapers. The ads, made to look like a news article, caught the attention of readers who didn’t realize they were promotions. The tradition continues today with new crime novels releasing around Easter and crime dramas playing on television. All over the country, people spend the weekend with whodunit shows and books. Even milk cartons carry short detective stories on their cardboard sides during this time.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Norway
Easter traditions around the world – Norway

Bermuda

Easter celebrations last all weekend in Bermuda. The holiday begins on Friday with the Good Friday KiteFest. All over the island, locals and visitors gather to show off their homemade kites and send them soaring into the sky. During the weekend people eat codfish and hot cross buns. Sunday sunrise services on beaches are a fitting end to the weekend.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Bermuda
Easter traditions from around the world – Bermuda

France

Every Easter Monday, the day after Easter Sunday, the town of Bessieres in southern France, serves up a giant omelette. Using more than 15,000 eggs, the omelette feeds the entire village. According to local stories, the tradition began with Napoleon and his troops traveling through the south of France. They stopped in this small town for a meal, eating omelettess. Napoleon enjoyed the meal so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather all of their eggs and make a gigantic omelette for his army the next day.

Easter Traditions from Around the World France
Easter traditions from around the world – France

Russia

Easter meals in Russia include knobs of butter molded into lamb shapes. In ancient times lamb were considered lucky. The Russians believed the devil could take on the form of any animal, except a lamb. Their religious symbolism protected the lambs.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Russia
Easter traditions from around the world – Russia

Spain

In the medieval town of  Verges, in Spain, the “death dance” is held on Holy Thursday. Townspeople reenact the Passion, dressed in skeleton costumes. Passion comes from the Latin word for “suffering” and is connected to Christ’s crucifixion.  Processions wind through the streets with skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. Dancing begins at midnight and concludes at 3:00 am.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Spain
Easter traditions from around the world – Spain

Poland

Smigus-dyngus is a Polish tradition carried out on Easter Monday. People try to drench each other with buckets of water, squirt guns, water balloons…anything they can carry water in. According to legend, the girls who get soaked with water will marry within the year.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Poland
Easter traditions from around the world – Poland

Vatican City

Each year on Good Friday, the Pope commemorates the Way of the Cross. He begins at the Colosseum. People joining the procession carry candles and walk around the amphitheater and up to Palatine Hill, stopping 14 times along the way. This walk represents the 15 Stations of the Cross. Mass is celebrated Saturday evening. And on Sunday morning, thousands gather in St Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church balcony.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Vatican City
Easter traditions from around the world – Vatican City

Greece

Traditional pot throwing takes place on Holy Saturday, on the Greek island of Corfu. From their balconies and windows, people throw pots, pans and other clay or earthenware containers into the street. These pots are frequently filled with water. The custom originated with the Venetians who threw out old items on New Year’s Day. It also symbolizes welcoming spring crops in new pots.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Greece
Easter traditions from around the world – Greece

Israel

Christians celebrate Good Friday in Jerusalem by walking the same path that Jesus did on his way to the cross. Many participants carry a cross with them, in remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion. On Easter Sunday a church services take place at Garden Tomb.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Israel
Easter traditions from around the world – Israel

Italy

Locals in Florence, Italy celebrate a 350 year old Easter tradition called Scoppio del Carro, “explosion of the cart”. Fireworks fill an ornate cart. People in colorful 15th century costumes lead the cart through the streets, stopping in front of the Duomo. The Archbishop of Florence lights the fireworks during Easter mass, setting off a lively display. The custom dates back to the First Crusade. It ensures a good harvest.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Italy
Easter traditions from around the world – Italy

Hungary

A popular Easter tradition in Hungary is observed on Easter Monday. Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls, after getting their permission to do so. During the older version of this custom, the boys poured a bucket of water over the girls’ heads. Today they spray perfume and ask for a kiss. The young ladies dress up in traditional clothes.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Hungary
Easter traditions from around the world – Hungary

Papua New Guinea

This is perhaps the most unusual Easter tradition that I discovered. With the high temperatures and humidity in Papua New Guinea, eating chocolate during the Easter season isn’t a “thing”. Instead, the locals celebrate in their own way. They decorate the trees outside their churches with packets of tobacco and cigarettes. After the Easter Sunday services, worshippers divide up the tobacco. This tradition increases church attendance on Easter Sunday!

Easter Traditions from Around the World Papua New Guinea
Easter traditions from around the world – Papua New Guinea

What Are Your Easter Traditions?

When my kids were young, we dressed up and attended church together. The “Easter Bunny” delivered goody filled baskets and the kids played all day, hiding and finding colored eggs. Now, with my children grown and parents of their own babes, I simply gift my kids and grandkids with small presents.

I like the traditions of flying homemade kites, reading crime novels and watch out…throwing water! My children and grands better beware. Mostly, I love learning how other cultures celebrate holidays. It’s fun and educational too.

What are your Easter traditions? And did you find any in the list above that surprised you?

Happy Easter
Happy Easter. Cute frame, ceramic bunny and card art from Decocrated.

 


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How Are You Spending Your Life?

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Recently I came across a quote that resonated with me deeply.

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” Randy Komisar

These powerful words remind me to not wait. Because honestly, at age 63, waiting is a greater risk than going for it. I refuse to spend my days hoping for opportunities later.

Reading the quote one day, the words “spending your life” suddenly jolted me into a greater awareness. This post, “How Are You Spending Your Life?” is the result of much deliberation.

How Are You Spending Your Life title meme

What Does It Mean to Spend Life?

Have you ever thought about what it means to spend your life doing something?

Spending is defined as “an exchange of money, goods or time for something”. It comes from the Latin word expendere meaning “pay out”. Spend can also mean “to use up time”, as in “spend the day sewing”. And the past tense of the word, spent, means “used up or depleted”.

When we “spend life” we are using it up, day by day, moment by moment, until it is all spent…until it’s gone. And unlike a bank account, where we can spend and spend and then add more money or check the amount so we don’t overdraft, it’s different with life. We don’t know the amount of years deposited in our account. Nor can we deposit more time into it. When the life is spent, that’s it. We can’t hoard our time either.

On the one hand, I know these things. We all do. However, I’ve never thought deeply about what it means, spending my life. What am I spending my life…using it up…on? How are you spending your life?

I’ve already spent 63 years of my life. My desire is to spend my remainder…the balance of my life…doing the things that are most important to me. Using another financial term, it’s important for me to invest in myself and to invest in the lives of others, with the life that I have.

Spending Life Well

What does a life well spent look like? It’s different for each person. However, here are broad ideas for spending the years well.

How Are You Spending Your Life Personally?

Our personal lives include relationships with significant others, family members and friends. A good question to ask is, “Am I spending time with the people I want to spend time with?”

Time is extremely valuable. I don’t want to spend mine with people who are negative or unkind. We all get to choose who we spend time with, who we are exchanging moments of our lives for. Choose well. Spend well. I desire authentic connections that go beyond the surface. I gladly and willingly invest in the lives of my family, my friends and even people I don’t know but feel drawn to. Who are you spending time with?

Hobbies, fun activities, play, exploration and travel are all part of our personal lives. We must do the things we enjoy doing and take a hard pass on the rest. What activities bring you joy? Do more of those. What activities feel like a waste of time? Don’t do those.

It’s important that we know ourselves, to discover what we enjoy and what we don’t. It’s too easy to defer to others or try to please others. Know your own heart, mind and passions. Explore who you are. Find those things that light up your soul. Do those things, as often as you can.

How Are You Spending Your Life reading to Finley
How are you spending your life? I’m investing time in my grandchildren.

How Are You Spending Your Life Health Wise?

One thing that can make a huge difference in spending life well, is improving the level of health. We can’t add more years to life, as the saying goes, but we can add more life to the years. Quality of life feels more and more important, with age. The freedom to spend our years as we choose can come down to how well we take care of ourselves.

Find a health lifestyle that works for you. I’ve chosen a plant based lifestyle. Doing so has already added life to my years, in tremendous ways. (Check out my other blog, Journey with Healthy Me for more info about a plant based lifestyle.)

Feed your body with the most nutritious food possible. Those nutrient dense foods not only fuel the body, they help prevent diseases and disorders. Adopt a fitness routine whether that’s walking, biking, dancing, swimming or playing a sport. Get outdoors as often as you can. Create healthy habits that support the life you desire.

Health encompasses the body, the mind and the spirit. Care for all of you. Pay attention to outlook on life, energy levels, perspectives and mindsets.

Be the best you that you can be, to live the best life you can.

How Are You Spending Your Life veggies
How are you spending your life? Eating highly nutritious foods that fuel my body.

How Are You Spending Your Life at Work?

Is your work or career satisfying or stressful? Is it bold and fulfilling or lackluster and boring? We “spend” so much of our time, working. Can we spend that time and also find joy, purpose and passion? Yes we can.

This area seems to be one that people struggle with. Many people enjoy their work. And many just get by, day after day, year after year, spending away life in an unfulfilling career that drains energy and time away.

What does your ideal career/job look like? What needs to happen, to make it a reality? Write about that ideal job. Do the research. Find people who are doing what you want to do. Don’t fear change. If you don’t go for it now, when will you?

Discover your BIG WHY. Why do you want to do what you want to do? Keep asking why until you get to the deepest, underlying reason for wanting the job or career that you desire. Hint: money isn’t a big enough why.

Now set goals. Break them down into doable time frames. Create actions steps, even small, baby steps, that move you toward each goal.

How Are You Spending Your Life travel
How are you spending your life? Taking action steps toward my dream career that supports my Big Why.

Spending the Days Living Life to the Fullest

What does a life well spent look like? It might look like…

  • going beyond the edges of fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs
  • being true to yourself, real and authentic
  • trying new experiences
  • forgiving someone, forgiving yourself
  • seeing every day as a fresh start and making it count
  • letting go of the past and living in THIS moment. There are no refunds for life already spent. Move on.
  • expressing creativity
  • exploring the world, your city, your neighborhood, your inner self
  • decluttering life, the house, that junk drawer in the kitchen
  • letting go of attachments and expectations of others
  • believing in yourself
  • having fun and playing
  • finding your passion
  • setting goals and taking action steps
  • taking breaks when needed and practicing self care
  • letting go of all that does not align with who you are
  • spending time with uplifting, positive, passionate people
  • developing a big picture mindset
  • going after what you want
  • living YOUR life, not someone else’s
  • doing good in the world…showing kindness, empathy and compassion to others and being mindful of the planet and caring for it
How Are You Spending Your Life self care
How are you spending your life? With self care practices that rejuvenate me.

Exchanging a Day of Life

The days of deep thought birthed in me a renewed passion for spending my days well. Truthfully, the days pass anyway, whether we consciously focus on how we are spending our lives…or not. I’m grateful for the greater awareness and even more  determined to spend my life in meaningful ways. This past week I invested in myself, set new goals and created action steps to reach them. This Year of the Wild Woman…it’s unleashing many things.

Today these words popped up for me, in an unexpected place.

“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” Elizabeth George

The quote made me smile and silently nod in agreement. Yes, I’ve given a day. I gave precious time from my account in exchange for this day. The awareness helps me choose what’s most important. It helps me gain clarity and fortifies my determination to do what I most want to do. And it fuels my actions for the next day…and the next…and the next.

How about you? How are you spending your life? Are you spending it on the things you most want to spend it on?

How Are You Spending Your Life hourglass
How are you spending your life?

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Ten Must Visit Places in London

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London, England…what an amazingly vibrant city. On a girls’ trip there in 2017, my mother, sisters, niece and I loved exploring the old town. We spent four, fun-filled days in London and only barely scratched the surface of all there is to experience there.

Certain well known landmarks and attractions draw first time visitors. And for good reason. They strongly represent the city, both historically and culturally.

As you explore the capital of England, check out these ten must visit places in London.

 

Ten Must Visit Places in London

Ten Must Visit Places in London

Arguably, more than ten must visit places exist in London. However, this list is a great start to all that London offers.

Tower of London

What a surprise the Tower was to me. This extraordinary site on the north bank of the Thames River contains not one tower but many, 12 of which are open to the public. At the center of the complex is the White Tower, built as a royal palace by William the Conqueror in 1078. The White Tower later became a prison and served in that capacity until 1952.

The complex contains many buildings worth exploring including dungeons, battlements and the palace. The Tower ravens live here. Read about them HERE. Plus, the Tower houses many historical artifacts including the crown jewels.

Plan on at least half a day here. A full day is better.

Location: St. Katharine’s and Wapping, London

Ten Must Visit Places in London tower of london
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Visible from the Tower of London, Tower Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic structures. Although not the oldest London bridge spanning the Thames River…construction began in 1886…it’s the most stunning, architecturally.

The roadway lifts up, allowing ships to pass beneath. Walk across the bridge. Or a tour of Tower Bridge takes you to the top of the structure where magnificent views, and a glass floor, await.

Spend one to two hours exploring Tower Bridge or 30 minutes for a walk across it with stops for photos.

Location: the bridge is a seven minute walk from Tower of London

Ten Must Visit Places in London Tower Bridge
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Tower Bridge

Westminster Abbey

Royal weddings and special events take place within this medieval church. The Poet’s Corner, tombs of half sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor and final resting sites of famous authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens reside within. Paid tours and free audio guides are available.

Plan on one to two hours to explore the Abbey.

Location: 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London

Ten Must Visit Places in London westminster abbey
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

The House of Lords and the House of Commons comprise the Houses of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster. Guided and self guided tours take visitors through multiple areas including Westminster Hall, the oldest building on site, the House of Commons chamber and the Royal Gallery. Or you can simply take photos of the exterior, an activity that bestows upon the structure the title of “one of the most photographed buildings in the world”. One of the best vantage points is Westminster Bridge.

Big Ben, the most famous clock tower in the world, is located at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament. Learn more about this structure at Fun Facts About Big Ben.

Spend one to two hours inside the Houses of Parliament.

Location: Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are a one minute walk from Westminster Abbey

Ten Must Visit Places in London big ben
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

The London Eye

Across the Westminster Bridge is London’s most famous attraction, the gigantic Ferris wheel located near the Thames River. The Eye’s purpose is to present spectacular views of London’s South Bank. Therefore, the wheel turns very slowly, and reaches a height of 400 feet. Know that lines for The London Eye typically require a two hour wait. For many a pic from Westminster Bridge is enough!

The ride on the wheel lasts about 30 minutes.

Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, South Bank, London

Update: The Eye will be leaving London soon!

Ten Must Visit Places in London eye
Ten Must Visit Places in London – The London Eye

Buckingham Palace

The home of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer months and during selected times in winter and spring. During the tour, visitors get a peek into 19 different rooms including the Throne Room. When the palace is not open for tours, visitors can still view the massive structure, built in 1703, through the ornate gates and fence. The beautiful statue of Queen Victoria, pictured on the title meme, is located outside the fence near the gates. The changing of the guard takes place in the forecourt, at 11:00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

If doing a tour, plan on 2 to 6 hours here.

Location: Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, London

Ten Must Visit Places in London buckingham palace
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Buckingham Palace

Piccadilly Circus

Located just 1 kilometer from Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus is reminiscent of Times Square in New York City. It’s an active, high energy spot, the meeting place for five busy roads, and considered the hub of London’s hustle and bustle. Located near Piccadilly Circus are many restaurants, shops and pubs. At night the neon lights from huge billboards reflect off of the Eros statue located in the center of the circle. Which, by the way, is why this area bears the name Piccadilly Circus. It’s not an actual circus!

You can easily spend hours exploring in this area. We walked to Piccadilly Circus after our stop at Buckingham Palace. Hustle and bustle is correct! And I totally failed to snap a photo.

Location: West End in Westminster, London

 

 

Ten Must Visit Places in London piccadilly circus
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Piccadilly Circus Photo by Adrian Raudaschl, Unsplash

Natural History Museum

London offers so many fine museum to wander about in. Honestly, we didn’t take the time to explore any of them during our short stay. However, first on my list when I get to return to London is this one, the Natural History Museum. Located in Kensington, this museum offers 70 million different specimens and exhibits, from dinosaur bones to simulations. Admission is free and there is an app to download that helps in navigating the massive building. Prepare for long lines if visiting on the weekend as the museum is extremely popular with families. The exterior of the structure is very photograph worthy as well.

Half a day probably isn’t enough time for this museum, however it’s a start.

Location: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London

 

Ten Must Visit Places in London natural history museum
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Natural History Museum Photo by Julia Worthington, Unsplash

Jack the Ripper Tour

We experienced this tour on our first evening in London. What a great way to get to know the city and have fun with a group of people. We traveled in a double decker tour bus, busily snapping photos as we headed to London’s East End. The unsolved murders of the infamous Jack the Ripper continue to fascinate people. This unknown serial killer murdered and mutilated five women in the late 1800s. There are a variety of tours that include both riding and walking excursions in the Whitechapel area where Jack committed his crimes. We enjoyed this tour HERE. The night of our tour the overcast gray sky and light drizzle, created the perfect spooky atmosphere for learning more about Jack the Ripper.

Most tours last about two hours.

Location: tours depart from a variety of locations, however they all end up in the East End

Ten Must Visit Places in London jack the ripper tour
Ten Must Visit Places in London – Jack the Ripper Tour in the East End

London Dungeons

This fun attraction combines theatrical actors, 360 degree sets, storytelling, 19 interactive shows, 1000 years of history, state of the art special effects and two thrilling underground rides. Get up close and personal with Sweeny Todd and Jack the Ripper and interact with historical figures who are master storytellers. And enjoy several photo opportunities that are unforgettable. In fact, my sisters, niece and I still laugh over those photos due to my sweet little mother’s hilarious expressions. This is primarily a walking experience, in dimly lit surroundings. Make sure walking and low lighting isn’t a problem for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend the London Dungeons.

Tour is approximately 90 minutes long.

Location: the Queen’s Walk, South Bank, London

Ten Must Visit Places in London dungeons
Ten Must Visit Places in London – London Dungeons My dear mother’s expression seems to say, “Fire? What fire?”

Have You Visited London?

Please note, many of these sites and attractions in London are currently closed, due to COVID. I’m encouraged, however, that soon these places will open again and travel restrictions will ease. In the meantime, how fun to visit these places again, via my photos and memories.

Have you visited London, England? What place or attraction in the grand old city do you recommend from your must see list? Please share in the comments below.

Ten Must Visit Places in London tour bus
Enjoying the London views from the top deck of a double decker tour bus.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Emancipated Love Junkie

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

Thank you to author Rachel Wilshusen for sending me her book, Emancipated Love Junkie, for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

As a blogger, I get many requests to read and review books. I love to read, however I do not have the time currently to enjoy many books, necessitating the turning down of most requests.

Occasionally, though, an author and book comes along that captivates me or touches me, even before I hold the book in my hands. Rachel Wilshusen is such an author who has written such a book.

The subject of eating disorders is not unfamiliar to me. I understand the importance of offering help to those who feel trapped by their thoughts about and perceptions of food. Rachel’s charming email, writing style and her travels intrigued me. Over the last month I have indeed held her book in my hands and carried it around with me as I read her moving memoir and followed her healing journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Check out this book review for Emancipated Love Junkie.

Emancipated Love Junkie title meme

Meet Rachel Wilshusen

Rachel is a vibrant writer with liberal arts degrees from not one but three universities: University of Pennsylvania, University College London and University of Cambridge.

She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States and also in the midwestern state of Oklahoma. As a young adult she traveled, living and working in Canada, England and China.

During her travels, this talented woman worked as an executive assistant, rock musician, teacher, playwright, and cookie company owner.

However, Rachel hid a secret.

For 20 years, she struggled with eating disorders, including bingeing and anorexia. Emancipated Love Junkie is a beautiful, humorous and oft times painfully honest memoir of the journey that ultimately led to her recovery.

Emancipated Love Junkie rachel
Rachel Wilshusen, author of Emancipated Love Junkie. Photo from her website.

Rachel’s Story

From her early childhood in Arizona to her travels around the world, Rachel details her shifting relationship with food. And beyond that, she shares her deteriorating relationship with herself.

Raised with an appreciation for family, homecooked meals and baked goods, Rachel felt she was a star ascending…if only others could see her the way she envisioned herself. She clung to the bright hope for her future that children instinctively possess, until life began to tarnish her vision.

The family moved frequently, due to her father’s work as an Army doctor. Rachel often felt like an outsider in new schools as she tried desperately to fit in. And yet, she experienced the warmth of a close knit family. She found pleasure in running. Beyond a doubt, she knew she was meant for so much more than standing on the fringes.

By high school, Rachel’s love/hate relationship with food began. If she could just control what she ate, and when she ate, things would change. She could be one of the popular girls, one of the “Sylvias” that seemed to have it all together.

The struggles with eating deepened. Times of starvation followed bouts of bingeing. The negative self talk began. That inner critic, which Rachel nicknamed Mal, became a constant companion.

High Highs and Low Lows

As she bounced around the US and the world, Rachel drove herself to achieve, to present herself as the best teacher, executive assistant or cookie maker. And she succeeded. Additionally, the long days and hard work helped silence her inner critic. However, those perfectionist tendencies took a toll on her physically, emotionally and mentally.

After binge eating a whole pizza one night, and feeling the agony of an overly full stomach after a day of starvation, she made a vow. No more bingeing. Ever.

Thereafter, Rachel attempted to maintain what she considered her ideal weight and size by severely limiting food intake. She appeared successful and thin and brilliant…and she was all of those things. Beneath the shiny exterior though lurked dark thoughts of failing, of not being enough, of not being worthy.

This is a healing journey, thankfully. To get to the recovery part, Rachel had to get to the face-pressed-against-the-floorboards, “I can’t do this anymore” part. She did. And when she reached out, she found help available.

Emancipated Love Junkie collect beautiful moments
Emancipated Love Junkie – collect beautiful moments

My Thoughts About Emancipated Love Junkie

Rachel’s book powerfully captures her journey to recovery and healing. I found her transparency incredibly honest and authentic. Coupled with her conversational and charming writing style, Rachel’s story is easy to read while difficult to put down. She includes Self Love Gems throughout the book that offer helpful suggestions and positive actions.

I hurt for her, as I read about her struggles with food and self worth.  I literally became aware of pressing my hand over my heart as I felt compassion for her.

And although I did not dealt with bingeing or anorexia, I had complicated relationships with food and with myself. I understand Rachel’s journey. My health shifted, for the better, when my relationship with food shifted. For most of my life, I ate foods that I knew created discomfort and inflammation in my body. Gluten and dairy products made me sick. I consumed them anyway. When I felt happy, I ate. When I felt sad, I ate. Loneliness? Boredom? The solution was always food.

I’m grateful for a healthy relationship now with food and with myself.

And I’m grateful as well for Rachel and her changed relationships with food and herself.

She has much to offer to the world. To those struggling secretly or openly with eating disorders, Rachel offers hope.

Emancipated Love Junkie book
Emancipated Love Junkie book

Purchasing Rachel’s Book

You can order Emancipated Love Junkie via Rachel’s website HERE. Or by clicking this Amazon LINK.

 

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.

 

 

Luck of the Irish

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

With the approach of St. Patrick’s Day, it feels like the perfect time to discuss the “luck of the Irish” by way of sharing their traditions.

Curious, I looked up information about the origins of the phrase, “luck of the Irish”. Why, I wondered, are the Irish considered lucky?

I discovered the phrase does not come from Ireland but from America. During the gold and silver rush years in the latter half of the 19th century, many of the most well known successful miners claimed Irish descent. Over time, this association led to the  “luck of the Irish” expression.

Luck of the Irish title meme

Saint Patrick

Before sharing some of Ireland’s good luck traditions, you might wonder about Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick’s Day is an annual celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of the patron saint of Ireland. The day evolved into honoring Irish culture with parades, music, dances, drinking and the wearing of the green.

The first surprising fact is this one…Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain in 385. During his teen years, a group of Irish raiders kidnapped the youth and imprisoned him in Ireland. Patrick spent six years in captivity. During these lonely years Patrick turned to God for comfort and guidance. When he escaped captivity, Patrick walked 200 miles to the coast and returned via boat to Britain. In a dream, Patrick heard a voice, God’s voice he believed, telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

After 15 years of study, Patrick became an ordained priest and returned to Ireland. He ministered to Christians already living there and introduced Christianity to others. Ultimately, he became known as Ireland’s patron saint.

Luck of the Irish leprechaun
Luck of the Irish – my sister posing with a leprechaun in Dublin

Good Luck Traditions from Ireland

The Irish, like many other people, observe superstitions and luck traditions, some of them quite ancient. And they aren’t all good luck traditions. The Irish are careful to avoid bad luck as well.

Have you heard of these luck traditions?

Fairy Trees

When a Hawthorn tree grows alone in a field it’s called a fairy tree. The Irish consider it a portal between our world and the fairy world. They don’t cut these special trees down or harm them in any way, for continued good luck. It’s bad luck to cut a fairy tree down.

Luck of the Irish fairy tree
Luck of the Irish – a fairy tree

Dropping Cutlery on the Floor

Dropping a knife, fork or spoon on the floor foretells who will visit in the near future, depending on which utensil falls.

Drop a knife and expect a male visitor. When a fork hits the fork, look for a woman to stop by. And when a spoon falls to the floor, a child is sure to visit.

Luck of the Irish cutlery
Luck of the Irish – when cutlery falls

Itchy Nose

I grew up hearing that if my nose itched it meant company was coming. Although I have Irish ancestry, we didn’t get the expression quite right. In Ireland, an itchy nose means get ready for a fight!

To avoid a punch in the nose, slap the person next to you, lightly on the wrist. Some believe a light punch on the arm of the person nearest you forestalls a fight as well.

Itchy nose means a fight is coming
Luck of the Irish – itchy nose means a fight is coming

Itchy Palms and Money

Ireland has a second superstition involving itching. When the palms itch, money is coming…or going…depending on which palm is affected.

When the left palm itches, expect to receive money. And if the right palm is the itchy one, money flows from you to another.

Itchy palms and money
Luck of the Irish – itchy palms and money

Cheer When a Bird Poops on You

Similar to the Italian tradition, it’s good luck in Ireland when a bird poops on you. Consider yourself singled out and blessed with favor. I experienced such a blessing in Italy! Sadly, no bird pooped on me while in Ireland.

Luck of the Irish bird poop
Luck of the Irish – bird poop

The More Magpies the Better

Another bird plays a role in luck, in Ireland. They even have a rhyme for the number of magpies, or crows, that you see.

“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.”

The Irish take the spotting of magpies very seriously.  Waving at or saluting a solitary magpie breaks the curse of sorrow. Otherwise, the more magpies you see, the luckier you are.

Luck of the Irish magpies
Luck of the Irish – spotting magpies or crows

Good Luck Coins

The Irish believe good luck arrives with the finding of a half penny. Although ha’ pennies went out of circulation in 1987, the good people of Ireland still consider it lucky to find a coin…any coin. Just don’t walk away and leave the coin behind. That’s an invitation for bad luck to follow you.

Find a coin it's good luck
Luck of the Irish – find a coin

Your Shirt’s on Wrong

An old Irish superstition involves a shirt. If you happen to put one on inside out…while dressing in the dark or dressing in a hurry…leave it that way. It’s good luck to wear your shirt with the wrong side out throughout the day. Don’t change it though to right side out. That’s unlucky as the bad luck overshadows the good.

Wear your shirt inside out
Luck of the Irish – wear your shirt inside out

Shoes Go On the Floor

Another old Irish superstition forbids the placing of new shoes on a table. You don’t even want to try it, to find out what happens. Just…don’t. Keep your shoes on the floor.

Keep your shoes on the floor.
Luck of the Irish – no shoes on the table

Irish Wedding Charm

When planning an Irish wedding, every household uses a Child of Prague statue. This statue of a young Jesus, dressed in flamboyant clothes, signals the desire for good weather.

The day before a wedding or other important event, the Child of Prague statue goes into the yard. Some place it under a bush while others bury it in the yard or even decapitate the statue. It signifies a divine request for good weather during the event.

Of course Amazon sells these statues. Click photo for more info.

Don’t Pick Up that Comb on the Ground

Beware picking up combs found on the ground. If it’s a coin, grab it. If it’s a comb, leave it alone.

A banshee is a mythical creature in Ireland. She’s a supernatural spirt that wails, screams and shrieks. A comb lying on the ground might belong to a banshee and you DO NOT want her to come looking for what belongs to her.

Don't pick up that comb
Luck of the Irish – don’t pick up that comb on the ground

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

I hope you enjoyed learning about some of Ireland’s luck superstitions. As you wear the green or chug a beer, keep these ancient traditions in mind. And if you are blessed someday with the good fortune of a trip to Ireland, enjoy that beautiful, green, richly cultured country. The Irish are some of the friendliest, most fun people I’ve met.

Do you have Irish ancestry? And are you familiar with these traditions?

Dublin Ireland
Girls UK trip. Our stop in Dublin.

Fun St Patrick’s Day finds from Amazon:

 


 

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.

 

 

 

Choose to Challenge

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

March 8 is International Women’s Day. Additionally, the entire month is devoted to National Women’s History.

I typically celebrate the day with social media posts that feature the year’s theme. This time, with 2021 my Year of the Wild Woman, a longer post feels more appropriate.

Discover the origins of this day that celebrates women around the world. And join me in recognizing some amazing women.

Choose to Challenge title meme 2

Origins of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a globally recognized day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s also a day to join together to promote women’s equality.

International Women’s Day has occurred annually for more than 100 years. The first official honoring of the day took place simultaneously in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. More than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s right to work, vote, and hold public office and to end discrimination. In 1913 the date moved to March 8.

The International Women’s Day website launched in 2001, re-energizing the day. The website offers helpful resources and guidance and issues a theme for each year.

This year’s theme, Choose to Challenge, highlights personal responsibility and choice.

Choose to Challenge iwd
Choose to Challenge – 2021 theme for International Women’s Day

Choose to Challenge

“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, all day, every day.” IWD website

From challenge, comes change.

All of us, men and women, can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Together we can create an inclusive world.

And we can choose to celebrate women’s achievements and accomplishments.

That’s the focus of my post.

Choose to Challenge women's accomplishments
Choose to challenge…and to recognize women’s accomplishments

Celebrate Women’s Accomplishments

Today…and every day…it’s important to recognize women for the incredible contributions that they bring to the world even while we continue to strive for greater gender equality and opportunities.

Women are making a difference in so many areas of life including science, art, education, technology, music, medicine, sports, journalism, relationships, government and creativity.

I am choosing to feature women in four categories in this post: books, films, businesses and charities. And I challenge you to check out these remarkable women and share the accomplishments of women in other fields.

Choose to Challenge international
Choose to Challenge – recognize women for their contributions and achievements

Amazing Women Authors

I recognize the accomplishments of these female authors and heartily recommend their books:

Glennon Doyle – Untamed

In her powerful memoir, Glennon shares the joys and deep peace we find when we stop trying to live up to the expectations of others and start listening to the still voice within.

“There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.”

Click image to order book.

Amanda Gorman – The Hill We Climb

This gift edition book features Amanda’s memorable poem, read during the presidential inauguration. Amanda is the first ever national youth poet laureate of the United States and the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US history.

“For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it.”

Click on photo to order book.

Inspiring Women Centric Films

Check out these inspiring movies about women in history:

Hidden Figures (2016)

The true story of a team of female African American mathematicians who played a key role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.

Click photo to rent Hidden Figures on Prime.

Suffragette (2015)

This drama tracks the working women in 1912 London who become foot soldiers in the early feminist movement, willing to lose everything in their fight for equality.

Click photo to rent Suffragette on Prime.

Women Run Businesses

These innovative women birthed companies that meet a need, especially for other women:

Tia Mowry – Anser

You may know Tia from the series Sister, Sister. Tia now runs Anser, a company that provides supplements for women. The supplements feature clean ingredients, essential vitamins and high quality nutrients that fuel the body. Her purpose for the company is to encourage and inspire women to be proactive about wellness.

Alina Morse – Zolli Candy

This amazing teen invented a candy that cleans teeth, providing moms with an alternative to sugary treats. Alina is the youngest INC 5000 CEO and also the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Stores like Walmart and Amazon carry Alina’s candies. Her desire is to help mothers keep their families smiling and healthy.

Click photo to order zollipops.

Charities That Help Women

There are so many wonderful charities run by women to benefit women and children. Check out these two:

BlinkNow

BlinkNow operates a globally recognized children’s home and school in Nepal.

The mission: to change the world by empowering Nepal’s children. BlinkNow does this by providing quality education and a safe environment for children and women, and through inspiring others.

 

Womankind

Womankind is a mental health charity run by women, for women.

The mission: to work with survivors of gender-based violence, to rise above trauma and build a path to healing. They bring critical resources and deep cultural competency to help Asian communities find refuge, recovery, and renewal.

Choose to Challenge smiles
Choose to Challenge – helping women

How We As Women Help

I love the theme for International Women’s Day this year. Although I may wish it otherwise, challenges do help me grow and change. When I look back at the most challenging situations in my life, I see the massive growth that accompanied those times. And change happens as a result.

So what does it mean to choose to challenge?

We choose to use our voices, our words, our actions, our influence to challenge what we see happening in our communities. And we challenge ourselves to live as our most authentic selves. Because only as we live as those powerful versions of ourselves can we create change.

For me that’s releasing my inner wild woman this year. For you that might be tapping into your creative side or working through old fears or stepping outside your comfort zone. Finding your voice, speaking your truth and following your passionate heart are all ways of challenging yourself to live as the person you are created to be.

Strike a Pose

Show your support of women and the commitment to call out inequality by raising your hand high. Choose to challenge. Strike a pose and share your photo on social media. Use the hashtags #choosetochallenge and #IWD2021 to encourage others to help create an inclusive world.

It doesn’t just matter today. It matters everyday.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”

Choose to Challenge all in
I’m all in. I choose to challenge.

One of my contributions for encouraging and supporting women:

Fix Her Crown Award

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Learn About Isle of Skye

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

Have you heard of Isle of Skye? This beautifully rugged island off the northwest coast of Scotland is known for it picturesque landscapes, fishing villages and Highland sheep and cows. It’s the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago. The coastline features peninsulas, narrow lochs and craggy cliffs, all radiating out from a mountainous center.

Skye connects to Scotland by way of the Skye Bridge and the Malaig – Armadale Ferry.

Those are the bare facts. There’s so much more to know. Come with me, over the sea, and learn about Isle of Skye and the magic that waits there for you.

Learn About Isle of Skye title meme

Watch Out for Sheep

More sheep than people call Isle of Skye home. Approximately 100,000 sheep roam the island, compared to a population of 10,000 people. Walking, hiking or driving, one must give way occasionally to herds of sheep as they cross a path or road. You can find the shaggy Highland coo wandering about too.

And another well known animal originated here. The Skye Terrier was initially bred as an exterminator on the island in the 16th century. Greyfriars Bobby is the most famous Skye Terrier.

Learn About Isle of Skye sheep
Learn About Isle of Skye – sheep outnumber people. Photo by Liam Riby on Unsplash.

Capital City

Portree, the capital of Skye, is also the largest town with 2300 inhabitants. Colorful houses line a harbor fringed by high cliffs. The tiny town began life as a fishing village early in the 19th century. Its name, Portree, is Gaelic for “Port on the Slope”.

Learn About Isle of Skye Portree
Learn About Isle of Skye – Portree

What’s In a Name

I’m always interested in word origins and the meanings behind names. Skye comes from the Norse words ski meaning “cloud” and ey meaning “island”. The island’s  history includes times of Pictish, Celtic and Norse rule.

I like the poetry of the literal name, “cloud island”.

Learn About Isle of Skye Glenbrittle
Learn About Isle of Skye – “Cloud Island”

Jurassic Park

Even earlier inhabits once occupied the island, back in the Middle Jurassic Age. Near Staffin, dinosaur footprints trail along the beach. Visible during low tide, these prints belong to the herbivorous ornithopods. Other footprints belonging to sauropods are located in nearby Brother’s Point.

Recently, however, new footprints connect to the fiercest of dinosaurs, meat eaters! This new series of prints, also discovered at Brother’s Point, belong to bipedal carnivores, smaller, older cousins of the T-Rex.

Stop by the Staffin Dinosaur Museum and then head out to find the tracks.

Learn About Isle of Skye dinosaur footprint
Learn About Isle of Skye – dinosaurs walked here

Oldest Continuously Occupied Castle in the Highlands

Isle of Skye is home to Dunvegan Castle, the only Highland fortress continuously occupied by the same family for 800 years. Located one mile north of the village of Dunvegan, the castle is the seat of Clan MacLeod and home to the Chief.

The castle’s architecture is unique in that it contains the work of at least ten building periods, ranging from the 1200s to the 1850s. In the 1840s and 50s, the 25th Chief completed a restoration to unify the various structures. Under the updates however remains five separate buildings, each with its own character and historical stories.

Learn About Isle of Skye Dunvegan Castle
Learn About Isle of Skye – Dunvegan Castle

Eternal Beauty

Skye is a magical place, full of history and stories. One legend says that if you stick your face in the water under Old Sligachan Bridge for seven seconds and let the water dry naturally, eternal beauty is yours.

The story goes that a mighty female warrior on Skye named Scathach fought Ireland’s favorite warrior Cu Chulainn for weeks and weeks. Scathach’s daughter grew tired of the battle. She journeyed to the Sligachan River, eyes filled with tears, and begged for the fighting to stop. The faeries heard her and instructed her to place her face in the water for seven seconds and she’d find her solution.

She did. The daughter prepared a wonderful feast. The smell of the food caused Scathach and Cu Chulainn to stop fighting. As a guest dining in Scathach’s home, Cu Chulain could do no harm to the host, ever. Because of the tears of love that spilled into the river, anyone who places their face in the water receives eternal beauty.

Learn About Isle of Skye waterfall
Learn About Isle of Skye – eternal beauty

Old Man of Storr

One of Isle of Skye’s most popular hikes takes the adventurer to Old Man of Storr, a magnificent pinnacle of rock in the northern part of the island.

The name comes from another ancient story. The old man of Storr was a giant who lived in Trotternish Ridge, an area in the north. He eventually died and when buried, his thumb and hand protruded from the ground, creating the famous jagged rock formation.

Learn About Isle of Skye Old Man of Storr
Learn About Isle of Skye – Old Man of Storr. Photo by Anna Jahn on Unsplash.

Speaking Gaelic

Until recently, Skye contained the largest Gaelic speaking population in Scotland. Through the 1900s, 90% of the residents of Skye spoke Gaelic. Although that percentage is much lower now, efforts to preserve the language are underway.

 

Learn About Isle of Skye mountain
Learn About Isle of Skye – Gaelic still learned here. Photo by Morgane Le Breton on Unsplash

Fairy Pools

One of Skye’s most popular destinations is the series of pools and waterfalls in Glenbrittle. Known as the Fairy Pools, these rock pools of clear spring water draw many hikers.

Glenbrittle is a valley through which River Glenbrittle flows. Many tributaries run down from the nearby mountains and into the glen (valley), including a stream of cascading waterfalls that form the Fairy Pools. The adventurous can swim in the pools although a wet suit is recommended. The water is icy cold.

Learn About Isle of Skye Fairy Pools
Learn About Isle of Skye – Fairy Pools

Popular Filming Location

Due to its beautiful landscapes, Skye is a popular filming location. Movies such as MacBeth, Stardust, King Arthur Legend of the Sword, The BFG, Transformers: The Last Knight and Snow White and the Huntsman all shot scenes on Skye.

Learn About Isle of Skye The BFG
Learn About Isle of Skye – popular filming location

Bonnie Prince Charlie

The famous Skye Boat Song, which serves as the theme song for Outlander, owes its origins to a young Highland woman. Fiona MacDonald risked her life to aid Bonnie Prince Charlie after he fled in defeat from the 1746 Battle of Culloden.

While hunters searched throughout the Highlands, Jacobite supporters created a plan to smuggle the Prince to Skye. Fiona agreed to help by disguising Prince Charles as an Irish maid and conducting him to Skye. They sailed “over the sea to Skye” with the Prince dressed in a calico gown, quilted petticoats and a headdress to cover his face. The Prince eventually escaped to France.

For her part in the plot, Fiona spent time in the Tower of London. After her release she married and emigrated to North Carolina where she lived for a time before returning to her beloved Skye. She’s buried not far from where she came ashore with the “lad who was born to be king”.

Fiona MacDonald
Learn About Isle of Skye – Fiona MacDonald

The Northern Lights

Northern Scotland, including Isle of Skye, lies in the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway, meaning the aurora borealis is oft times visible from the island. Late autumn and winter are the best times to experience the amazing displays. Cold, clear nights with limited light pollution and increased solar activity create optimal viewing conditions.

Learn About Isle of Skye aurora borealis
Learn About Isle of Skye – aurora borealis Photo by Joshua Harvey on Unsplash

Add Isle of Skye to Your Travel List

I hope this peek at Isle of Skye tickles your curiosity. I visited in 2017 during a family girls’ trip through the UK. We loved the rugged beauty of this island. It feels wild and unspoiled.

You can drive around the island in half a day…and spend months exploring its terrain and learning its stories.

Have you visited Isle of Skye? Would you like to? I look forward to a return visit someday.

Eilean Donan Castle
Standing in front of Eilean Donan Castle before driving across the bridge…the Skye.

Isle of Skye finds from Amazon:

 


 

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.

 

 

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland

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

As a woman with Scottish roots and a deep love for the country and her people, imagine my delight when I discovered WeeBox.

This subscription box from Scotland arrives bringing carefully selected gifts designed to elicit a wee smile. Truthfully, though, I resisted the urge to subscribe initially. I wondered…was the box filled with souvenir type items? Were these things I could easily purchase on my next trip to Scotland? How wee is the WeeBox?

However, my heart, which beats faster at the sound of bagpipes, soon overruled my questioning brain. I decided to give WeeBox a try. After all, with the pandemic, when will I get to return to my beloved Scotland?

I’m glad I listened to my heart and allowed Scotland to come to me.

Check out this review of the WeeBox subscription box from Scotland.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland title meme

How Does the WeeBox Work?

WeeBox was founded in 2016, birthed from a deep passion to share Scotland with Scots and Scots-at-heart all over the world.

Each month this wee purple box arrives to your front door. Tucked inside are five items worth approximately 50 pounds, including a treat to eat or drink. These items are not available outside of Scotland, making them true Scottish treasures.

A personalized card accompanies the items, explaining what each one is. As a blogger, I especially appreciate this info!

The WeeBox purpose is to connect the receiver with Scotland by offering a magical, Scottish experience. The curated items convey a warm sense of Scottish pride while opening the box delivers the surprise of discovering the contents. Wee grins do ensue. In fact, my wee grin turned into an ear-to-ear smile as I unboxed the items.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland box
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – my first purple box

Supporting Scotland

The WeeBox staff hand select every item, featuring small Scotland businesses and their wares. On their blog, the ‘Support Small Scotland’ series shines a light on a different business each month, with the aim of highlighting their incredible work.

They also support various Scottish charities which is so crucial during these challenging times. Additionally, WeeBox is committed to protecting Scotland’s environment. They drive electric cars and minimize waste and single use packaging.

The purple WeeBoxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard and the postage bags are completely compostable. Currently the company continues on its journey to become carbon neutral.

WeeBox is a company I can feel good about supporting!

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland surprises
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – I love that the contents are wrapped in Scottish newspaper! I enjoyed reading through those pages.

February WeeBox

Purchase boxes before the end of the month, for the upcoming month. I ordered the February box in late January. Because these wee boxes arrive from Scotland and because we are in the midst of a world wide pandemic, patience is required as the treasures travel. My WeeBox arrived in late February. I think I squealed when I saw the purple package.

The February box is titled “Scottish Romance”. Scotland is consistently voted the most romantic country in the world. The gifts in this WeeBox present a nostalgic look at Scots love and traditions.

Take a peek at what’s inside!

The Luckenbooth – Scotland’s Symbol of Love

I confess I didn’t know what the Luckenbooth was. So immediate points to WeeBox for teaching me something new.

The Luckenbooth is a Scottish symbol dating back to the 17th century. It consists of two hearts entwined, with a crown above. The design represents love and loyalty.

Typically a silver brooch, the name Luckenbooth comes from the booths or stalls on the Royal Mile that sold jewelry. Luckenbooth is the Scots word for a lockable stall.

Mary Queen of Scots gifted a Luckenbooth to Lord Darnley as a symbol of her love and devotion. The stencils in the February WeeBox allow the receiver to craft her own Luckenbooth by sprinkling powdered sugar over them to create the design on a cake.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland cake stencils
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – Luckenbooth cake stencils

Pebble People in Love

Who knew that pebbles could stir emotion? These do. The laddie sports a kilt and sporran and the lassie stretches up on tiptoe to plant a cheeky kiss.

The enclosed card shared this Old Scots quote:

“My heart you have and yours I crave.”

Awwww. This precious pair makes me smile every time I look at them.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland couple
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – pebble people

The Wee Book of Winchin’

While the pebble couple tugs at my heart, the Wee Book of Winchin’ makes me laugh!

On the back cover, the book promises: “This wee book reaches thae parts o’ yer heart tha’ ither wee books jist cannae reach,” And it’s true! The book features charming essays, stories and poems accompanied by cute drawings.

The first page begins with “May the Bagpipes o’ Happiness Be the Soundtrack Tae Yer Life”. I knew then I’d love this wee book. I’m keeping it on the table next to my favorite chair, to enjoy while I sip a cup of tea.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland wee book
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – wee book

Scottish Sweeties

These colorful Scottish sweeties remind me of a similar old fashioned hard candy that I enjoyed as a child. If I remember correctly, they appeared at Christmas time.

Using DuoLingo, I’m learning Scots Gaelic. So I love the Scottish “I love you” written on the candy package. Tha goal agam ort. I sampled one of the delicious sweeties today.

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland sweets
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – Scottish sweeties

Highland Cow Sling Purse

Look at this adorable sling purse, featuring the Highland cow, or coo! These large shaggy beasts with the reddish brown coats and long horns are symbolic of the Scottish Highlands. The soft purple corduroy represents the heather that covers the hills in summer.

When I left the house this afternoon, I tucked my wallet, keys and phone into this sweet purse and slung it over one shoulder. The purse is the perfect size to hold the essentials for a day or an evening out. I love it!

WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland highland cow purse
WeeBox Subscription Box from Scotland – Highland Coo sling purse
WeeBox unboxing
WeeBox unboxed

Ready to Get Your WeeBox?

I’m thrilled with my first WeeBox. The March box is traveling to me now. It’s so fun to open the purple container and uncover the treasures within. And, I feel very connected to Scotland as I enjoy these items.

Does Scottish blood flow through your veins? Or do you love this bonnie country regardless of whether your ancestors called it home? You can receive your own WeeBox. Or you might want to gift a WeeBox to someone special.

Go to the company website HERE. From the home page subscribe…monthly or pick up a yearly subscription…or brighten someone’s day with a gift subscription. The April WeeBox is on sale now.

Also check out Blether for news and features and click WeePeek for a look at next month’s theme.

And if you subscribe, tell WeeBox the Scottish lass Cindy sent you!

Scottish Lass