Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

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Mother’s Day, in the US, is May 9th. It’s a day for honoring and appreciating our mothers.

I wanted to know what other cultures do, to honor mothers. My curiosity led me to countries around the world, and a wide range of celebrations.

Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World is a fun sampling of what I found.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World title meme

England

In the UK, Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. The holiday originated from an earlier custom in which families who had moved away returned to the “mother” church they used to attend. By the 1700s the holiday shifted into a day for house servants to return home to spend the day with their mothers.

Today Mothering Sunday is still strongly connected to the church however the focus is on mothers and families. Many churches hand out daffodils for children to give to their mums. And girls in the family traditionally bake Simnel cakes…luscious fruitcakes…for the entire family to enjoy.

United States

Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May, in the US. We have a variety of traditions from serving Mom breakfast in bed to giving her cards, handmade or purchased gifts and bouquets of flowers.

Our version of Mother’s Day began in 1908 when Anna Jarvis imagined a day set aside to honor all the sacrifices mothers make. Anna’s mother, Ann, started Mother’s Work Day Clubs, an organization that taught women how to properly care for their children.

With persistence, Anna’s idea led to the first official Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, 1914.

Today Mother’s Day is an important celebration in the US. Mothers receive recognition, cards, gifts, flowers and dinners out.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World usa
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – USA

France

Mother’s Day in France is celebrated on the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday in June. Their holiday originated during the Napoleonic Era, when families with a large number of children received medals.

Some regions in France still present moms with traditional medals on Mother’s Day. A more modern celebration involves baking or buying Mom a cake shaped like a flower bouquet. Children also gift their mothers perfume, jewelry, chocolates and handmade gifts.

Peru

In Peru, Mother’s Day is a week long celebration leading up to the actual holiday on the second Sunday in May. Families organize events such as trips, dinners, lunches and parties throughout the week. Art exhibits and musical performances are common too during those seven days.

Mothers attend these activities and festivities, museums and exhibits, free of charge. Children present moms with gifts and flowers and may recite poetry and stories.

Peru also honors their deceased mothers. People take balloons and flowers to cemeteries and place them on the graves of mothers, grandmothers and wives.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World peru
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Peru

Mexico

The origins of Mother’s Day, or La Dia de la Madre, in Mexico has a story behind it. The Mexican magazine, El Hogar, met with the Association of Catholic Ladies and published an article about motherhood and traditional Mexican values. This happened in conjunction with mothers venturing out into the professional world and choosing to have fewer children.

The first Mother’s Day, May 10, 1922, was celebrated in support of this campaign.

Today families go out to eat on Mother’s Day, typically for lunch. They listen to music together and children give their mothers flowers, candies or small gifts. They sometimes perform a play, to show their love and appreciation.

Japan

The earliest Mother’s Day in Japan was held in March, 1913. However, the celebration ceased during World War II. Afterwards, Mother’s Day became a time to comfort mothers who lost children during the war.

Today all mothers are celebrated in Japan. Children give their moms carnations to symbolize purity, love and endurance. Traditionally, they gave red carnations to their living mothers and they displayed white carnations if their mothers had passed away. White carnations are now the favored color for all mothers.

Kids also do the household chores for the day and prepare meals.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World japan
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Japan

Ethiopia

The Antrosht Festival, observed yearly during the fall rainy season, is dedicated to mothers.

Families gather for large meals. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables and cheeses while sons supply the meat. Together the children prepare a hash. Later they sing and perform dances that tell the stories of their families.

Italy

Mother’s Day is called La Festa della Mamma in Italy. Mothers are highly esteemed throughout the year in Italy. However, on Mother’s Day…the second Sunday in May…mamma is pampered even more.

Families gather for a meal together. If someone can’t make it for the meal, they must call. Children give small gifts, fresh flowers…traditionally roses…and handwritten poetry. Dessert after the meal is a heart shaped cake.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World italy
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Italy

Indonesia

The Indonesian Mother’s Day is celebrated late in the year, on December 22. The holiday began as a time to recognize the spirit of Indonesian women and honor their achievements.

Today Mother’s Day honors all mothers. It’s a time to show great love and appreciation. Mother’s take the day off from household chores and children bring them gifts and flowers.

Germany

Germany’s Mother Day is called Muttertag and it’s also celebrated on the second Sunday in May. It’s origins date back to the Middle Ages when relatives visited and wished each other a happy spring. During the German Reich, mothers who bore four or more children were presented with a Cross of Honor.

Today the celebration honors all mothers regardless of the number of children. Kids bring colorful flowers to their moms…the more colorful the better…and gifts and cards are common too. German mothers are often surprised with travel tickets! They then get to revisit a favorite place or experience a new part of the world.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World germany
Mother’s Day Traditions – Germany

What Are Your Mother’s Day Traditions?

As a kid, I loved making gifts for my mom. I cringe when I think of some of those “creations” but I poured my heart into them. Typically, my sisters and I take Mom out to eat now, when we aren’t experiencing a pandemic. This year we are having a big “work in the yard” day at her house.

My kids used to make homemade cards and bring me breakfast in bed. As adults they call, text or surprise me a gift.

I love the different traditions that I learned about. Of course, the German custom of gifting trips is amazing to me! However, I love the gifts of handwritten poetry, singing and performing plays. They seem so personal.

What are your favorite Mother’s Day traditions? Do you take your mom out to eat? Do your kids bring you breakfast in bed?

Mothers Day Traditions Around the World mothers

Looking for thoughtful gifts for Mom? Check out this post!

And did you know you can order fresh flowers from Amazon and have them delivered to your mother? Click picture below to get started!

 

 

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.

 

 

Nomadland

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

The Academy Awards aired last night, April 25, two months later than normal. And as I have since my toddler days, I watched with rapt attention as Oscars were handed out.

My intention to write a review for the winner of the Best Picture category involved some faith. This year, due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the film industry because of COVID, I saw six of the nine nominated movies. Typically I watch all of them. With theater closures and most of the films on different streaming services, I felt fortunate to see six of them!

Happily Nomadland, the Oscar winner, ranked among the films I viewed.

Nomadland title meme

Nomadland Cast

Nomadland stars Frances McDormand and David Strathairn. Most of the rest of the cast, including Linda May, Bob Wells and Charlene Swankie, are actual nomads or locals.

This drama is based on the non-fiction book by the same name, written by Jessica Bruder. Director Chloe Zhao also wrote the screenplay. The film carries an R rating, for mild adult themes, and has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes.

Nomadland received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography. It won for Best Picture, Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Director (Zhao).

Becoming a Nomad

Fern (McDormand), a woman in her 60s, finds herself without a home. Following the death of her husband and the economic collapse of the company town they lived in, Fern stays in the tract house they shared, until she’s forced out.

With no place to go, Fern stores most of her belongings, purchases a second hand van and embarks on a journey. She travels from state to state, town to town, looking for employment. Fern lives life on the fringes of society, a nomad without roots.

Nomadland on the road

Nomadland nomads
Nomadland – friends and nomads, Fern and Linda May

Finding Community

While working a seasonal job at an Amazon fulfillment center, Fern befriends Linda May, a nomad who invites her to a desert gathering. There Fern meets Dave (Strathairn), a fellow traveler, and Bob Wells, who provides a support system and a community for nomads.

This group of sincere and self reliant souls teach Fern survival skills and rules for the road. No one in the group stays in one place for long. Soon it’s just Fern and an older woman named Swankie left in the desert campsite.

The two women develop a friendship as Swankie teaches Fern more self sufficiency skills. Before she too hits the road again, Swankie reveals that she has cancer. However, she assures Fern that she’s lived a good life, traveling the country. The sights she’s seen and the experiences she embraced make her feel like she’s done enough. Her life is complete.

Nomadland swankie
Nomadland – Swankie

The Nomad Life

At her next job, as camp host at an RV park with Linda May, Fern reconnects with Dave. The two find their relationship comforting, if a bit awkward at times.

Through long conversations, Fern convinces Dave to visit his son, and meet his daughter-in-law and new grandson. Although Dave invites Fern to accompany him, she refuses. The two part ways.

When her rusty old van breaks down, requiring funds for repairs, Fern is forced to visit her own family. Her sister and brother-in-law live very different lives. To an observer, Fern’s family is successful and well situated. To Fern, after a year of the nomad life, her sister’s life is stifling. The time spent in her sister’s cozy home creates a longing, however, for connection. Is she missing out by constantly moving from location to location and spending so much time alone?

Fern accepts an invitation to spend the holidays with Dave and his family. It’s a lovely time with good people. However, is she ready to settle into a “normal” life? Or is the call of the open road too strong?

Nomadland friends
Nomadland – Fern and Dave

My Thoughts About Nomadland

Initially, I felt drawn to this film because of the nomad lifestyle. Who hasn’t dreamed of taking off in an outfitted van, to explore the country? I actually follow several #vanlife accounts on Instagram and the photos they share of their adventures are inspiring. The beauty of that nomadic lifestyle creates a longing in me.

What Nomadland shows is the other side of such a lifestyle. For some, the nomadic life is forced upon them. Those individuals find it cheaper to live on the road and in free campsites rather than in traditional homes. Some older adults discover they can’t survive on monthly social security checks. Instead, they travel from job opportunity to job opportunity, working for a season and then moving on, for as long as they are able to.

Nomadland highlights a different kind of beauty, a stark one, found in solitude and community, living simply and sharing what you have. The nomads don’t post glamourous photos. They survive, one day at a time. And they help each other whenever they “meet down the road”. There’s rawness in the nomadic lifestyle, as portrayed in this film, along with courage and honesty.

Deserving of the Oscar Win

Does Nomadland deserve the Oscar for Best Picture? Yes, I believe it does even though I feel like The Father was deserving too, for very different reasons.

Therefore, see both movies. Let them unsettle you, stir your compassion and open your eyes to different realities. Let the struggles that others endure shift your perspectives and broaden your views. Both films did that for me.

If you’ve seen Nomadland, let me know your thoughts about the movie, in the comments below!

Nomadland - travel

Going Farther

Pick up a copy of the book by Jessica Bruder HERE.

Or purchase the movie, as a download, with this LINK.

Nomadland is also showing in select theaters across the US.

 

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.

 

 

Fun Facts about the London Eye

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

It’s one of the most recognizable structures in the world and yet the London Eye is relatively new. Open for rides on March 9, 2000 the observation wheel has since become an iconic symbol of the city.

Located on the South Bank of the Thames River, the London Eye draws 3.5 million visitors a year, when there’s not a pandemic going on. In fact, the gigantic wheel is the most popular paid tourist attraction in England.

What do you know about this attraction? Read on to learn more with these fun facts about the London Eye.

Fun Facts about the London Eye title meme

It’s Not Really a Ferris Wheel

The London Eye is 443 feet tall, making it the 4th largest wheel in the world. However, don’t call it a Ferris wheel. The Eye is actually an observation wheel.

The wheel is cantilevered, supported on only one side by an A frame. The pods, or capsules, are on the outside of the rim.

Fun Facts about the London Eye 4th largest in the world
Fun facts about the London Eye – it’s not a Ferris wheel   Canva photo

The Wheel Moves Slooooowly

Rides on the London Eye last approximately 30 minutes as the wheel turns at .6 miles per hour. In fact, the wheel moves so slowly that it doesn’t need to stop for people to board or disembark. For disabled or elderly riders, the wheel will stop to make loading and unloading safer for them.

Origination

Husband and wife team David Marks and Julia Barfied came up with the idea for the Eye when they entered a 1993 competition. City leaders wanted a fresh landmark for London, to honor the new millennium. The competition turned into a bust, however the plans for the London Eye caught the attention of the organizers.

Originally called the Millennium Wheel, the structure took seven years to complete, at a cost of $75 million. Declared finished on December 31, 1999, technical difficulties kept the ride from officially opening to the public until March of 2000.

Although intended as an attraction for five years, the wheel received a permanent license in 2002. The wheel was renamed the London Eye in 2011 because of the stunning panoramic views of the city that the ride offers.

Fun Facts about the London Eye drawing
Fun facts about the London Eye – created for a competition   Canva photo

Climbers

If a structure exists, people will find a way to climb it. Magician David Blaine rode a full rotation standing atop one of the pods, in 2003. And the next year, a man dressed as Spiderman climbed the wheel. He remained on top of a pod for 18 hours, in an attempt to bring attention to father’s rights in the UK.

Capsules

Speaking of the pods, also called capsules, the London Eye has 32 of them, one for each of the city’s 32 boroughs. The pods are numbered to 33 though. Why? There’s no capsule 13, for superstitious reasons. Each capsule holds 25 people, for a total of 800 riders at a time.

Fun Facts about the London Eye pods
Fun facts about the London Eye – 32 pods that hold 25 people each   Canva photo

You Can Rent a Capsule

So far, 5000 couples have gotten engaged on the Eye. And 500 weddings have been performed there. The capsules are available for such events.  To pop the question to your sweetheart, you can rent a private capsule for £185.00 on a weekday or £275.00 on the weekend.

Party Pods

In 2013, Red Bull Academy turned the Eye into a rotating night club. Thirty capsules hosted different parties, celebrating the UK’s club culture. Different artists performed in the pods.

Fun Facts About the London Eye - get engaged
Fun facts about the London Eye – 5000 engagements aboard the ride  Canva photo

Light Up the Night

At night, the London Eye lights up. And for special occasions, such as the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the wheel lights up in red, white and blue.

Oh the Views

The thrill of riding the wheel is the astonishing views of London. On a clear day, you can see Windsor Castle, which is 25 miles away.

Fun Facts About the London Eye views
Fun facts about the London Eye – you can see for miles   Canva photo

Where is the London Eye?

The London Eye is located at the Riverside Building, County Hall, South Bank, London. It’s directly across from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. While currently closed due to COVID, reopening is scheduled for May 17, 2021.

For the best price, purchase tickets ahead of time, using this LINK. At this time, advance tickets for adults run £24.50. The day of, adult tickets cost £31.00 each. There are also fast track and family tickets available. The wait time in line can exceed two hours during peak times such as weekends. Plan on less busy times, such as evenings, and you might only wait half an hour.

The wheel is easy to spot. On our first evening in London, we suddenly saw the Eye from the top of a double decker bus. What a thrill to see it, storm clouds gathered behind it and a rainbow arching nearby.

We never rode the Eye while in London, due to long, long lines. However, we snapped photos of it from Westminster Bridge and enjoyed seeing the Eye frequently during our city wanderings. The huge wheel is on my Top Ten Must Visit Places in London…and on my next trip, I’ll wait in line to take a ride.

Have you ridden on the London Eye? Share your experiences in the comments!

 

Fun Facts about the London Eye selfie
Fun facts about the London Eye – view from Westminster Bridge

London Eye Finds on 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.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

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

Next month, May 9, is Mother’s Day in the United States. The day celebrates and honors motherhood, with all its joys, blessings and challenges.

My big extended family includes many mothers, from the matriarchs…my mother and stepmom…to the newest mommy, my younger daughter, Adriel. My mother and stepmom, my sisters and sister-in-law, my nieces and nieces-in-law, my daughters and daughter-in-law, and me of course, all journey together, a sisterhood of mamas. We mother and grandmother well, helping each other as needed and always encouraging and supporting one another.

I’m excited to offer a selection of thoughtful gifts for mom. There’s something for every mama here, from the grandmother to the new mommy, the health conscious to the the traveler, the ecologically minded to the entrepreneur.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom title meme

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

I’m an affiliate with all of these companies. I can suggest their products with confidence because I’m familiar with them, use them and appreciate each company tremendously.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry

The newest of my affiliate partnerships, Tough as a Mother offers beautiful necklaces and a fun bracelet.

Jennifer Cervantes built her company for all the women living through their own motherhood journeys, from finding the strength to endure miscarriage to the deep darkness of postpartum anxiety, through sleepless nights and physical and mental challenges of all kinds.
No matter what the  motherhood journey looks like, Jennifer knows we all deserve to call ourselves tough as a mother. From gemstone pendants to custom designed necklaces featuring the initials of children or grandchildren, find the perfect necklace for the mothers in your family.
Use this LINK to check out all the possibilities this beautiful company offers.
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom tough as a mother
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Tough as a Mother

Decocrated Curated Home

For the mama that enjoys home decor, creativity or the delightful surprise of subscription boxes, Decocrated makes an excellent gift. Four times a year a seasonal box arrives at your front door, full of curated pieces designed to work with any decorating style.

Order a single seasonal box…spring is currently available…or save money with a yearly subscription. Additionally, add-on boxes are available to subscribers only. Add-on boxes include Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Americana.

Click this link for a Seasonal Box and use my discount code CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE to save 20% off of your order! Or type in the code CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE30 to save $30 off the yearly subscription.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom decocrated
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Decocrated Curated Home Subscription Boxes

Wolfie Kids International Clothing

Based in Australia, Wolfie Kids is a small, international company, made up of moms and creatives. They work hard to provide their customers with 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.

For the expectant mama, new mommy or busy mother of several kids, Wolfie makes a fun gift, because who doesn’t appreciate thoughtful, comfortable, well made clothes!  Check out their adorable outfits HERE . Use my code, CINDYBEYOND20, to save 20% on your order!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom wolfie kids
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Wolfie Kids Clothing. Finley Grace modeling the Ziggy Jumpsuit

Four Sigmatic

The founders of Four Sigmatic grew up in Finland, foraging in their backyards and enjoying the benefits of all kinds of mushrooms. They recognized that perhaps the rest of the world didn’t use mushrooms as much as they did and wanted to change that.

Four Sigmatic includes familiar superfoods in their products such as green tea, cacao, hemp and coconut. And they include some less familiar, like Reishi, Cordyceps and Ashwagandha mushrooms.

This company’s health conscious products are for the mama who loves her coffee, tea or hot chocolate AND appreciates the additional health boost from high quality, nutrient dense foods.

Check out all the products Four Sigmatic offers HERE. And use my special code, CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE, to save 10% off of your order.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom four sigmatic
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Four Sigmatic

Smartr Skin

Smartr Skin is a physician created line of skin care products. The company embraces a whole-person view of health. They believe that feeling healthy and confident is a result of caring for the whole self…body, mind and spirit.

They also believe that smarter, higher quality ingredients lead to better results. Therefore, they’ve created custom formulations from clean ingredients that nourish the skin, from the inside out.

I’ve been a customer of Smartr Skin for exactly two years and I LOVE their products. Their skin care line and jade roller are perfect gifts for the mother who desires to nourish and enrich her skin, no matter what her age.

Click this LINK and use my discount code CINDYM20OFF to save 20% off your order!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom smartr skin
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Smartr Skin

Toad&Co

Toad&Co is a sustainable clothing company that’s woven their intentions into the very fabric of their company: to support communities, take care of the planet, and empower people to live their fullest lives. These long-term partnerships have shaped Toad&Co for the better, helping them to live well and do good every day.

The company believes that minimizing their environmental impact and helping clean up the apparel industry is an integral part of their business ethos. Therefore, they use 100% sustainable, ecological materials, 100% of the time.

Toad&Co clothing or gift cards are for the mother that is ecologically minded and yet fashion conscious. Click HERE to check out styles that are suitable for a fun night out on the town or for traveling around the globe.

Toad&Co Eco-Friendly Clothes
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – clothes from Toad&Co

CBD Living

Established in 2013, CBD Living is headquartered in Corona, California. The company uses only 100% organic hemp sourced from state-licensed farms in Oregon and Colorado

The secret to their superior products lies in the use of nanotechnology that reduces CBD into nano-sized droplets, without the use of emulsifiers. This technique allows the CBD to immediately penetrate the body’s cells, giving increased bioavailability at the cellular level with no waiting.

The company offers a HUGE range of products, from CBD infused water to gummies to energy drinks to pet products. CBD Living is perfect for the mama who appreciates the health benefits of CBD and who makes her health a priority.

Use my LINK to browse CBD Living’s 100+ products.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom cbd living
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – CBD Living

Mer-Sea & Co

Friends Melanie and Lina founded Mer-Sea & Co. They share the belief that life should be simple, like life at the beach. This attitude is reflected in all of their products, where utility, tranquility and simplicity reign.

Mer-Sea & Co offers mindful products such as artisan soy wax candles, Moroccan totes, travel accessories, bath and body necessities and beautiful sweaters, tops and wraps, crafted in the colors of the sea.

For the mamas who appreciate and enjoy well crafted articles and love the beach or travel life, Mer-Sea provides beautifully unique items. Use my LINK to explore their website and perhaps pick out something for yourself as well as your mother!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom mersea
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Mer-Sea & Co. Me loving their tasseled wrap while in Edinburgh.

Voke Superfood Supplements

Kalen Caughey came up with the idea for Voke ten years ago, as he rode in a chairlift up a local ski hill in Montana. A competitive skier, Kalen wanted a healthy, convenient, portable energy solution for long days on the mountain.

Together with his dad, who has a PhD in biochemistry, the two developed an organic blend that is natural and balanced without sugar, artificial sweeteners or excessive doses of vitamins.

Voke Superfood Supplements have fueled expeditions on all seven continents, including climbs in the Himalayas. The benefits of the tablets go beyond adventurers to the health conscious and to health minded professionals.

I experienced the power of Voke supplements on my last trip to Scotland. They helped me overcome jet lag quickly while boosting my energy levels for days of walking and exploring. Voke is perfect for the mother who loves to travel and who values her health and wellbeing.

Click HERE for Voke Superfood Supplements.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom voke superfood
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Voke Superfood Supplements

BOOM! Makeup by Cindy Joseph

The late Cindy Joseph began her career as a makeup artist in the 70s in San Francisco. Even then she believed less was more. As she aged, she became pro-age, rather than anti-aging.

As she approached 60, Cindy entered into the cosmetic business, introducing BOOM!, a line of products that are rich in natural moisturizers such as olive oil and beeswax. She created makeup that was about revealing rather than hiding.

I’ve used BOOM! products for four years and it’s the only makeup line for me. BOOM! is perfect for the mom, of any age, who desires to nourish her skin and allow her natural beauty to shine through.

I’m excited that BOOM! recently became available on Amazon. Get the BOOM! Trio Sticks HERE.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom boom
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – BOOM! Make Up

Blogging Blastoff or Travel Blogging Blastoff

Not sure what to get Mom this year? Does she enjoy writing? Have an entrepreneurial streak? Eager to try something new?

Consider gifting your mother with a blogging course that helps her build a profitable blog, from the ground up.

I’ve taken both of these courses by Heather and Pete Reese, who are successful bloggers themselves. Blogging Blastoff changed my blogging career very quickly as I implemented what I learned. And Travel Blogging Blastoff is opening doors to new opportunities working with travel partners. I highly recommend both.

Click HERE for Blogging Blastoff and this LINK for Travel Blogging Blastoff.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom blogging blastoff
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Blogging Blastoff courses

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope you found something special for the mothers in your life, in this collection of thoughtful, unique gifts. I’m certainly shopping the list, for the mamas in my family.

Perhaps you even found something wonderful for yourself. Buy it! Sometimes we must nurture and cherish ourselves.

May you celebrate, with joy, all women experiencing their motherhood journeys. And may you be celebrated as well.

Happy Mother’s Day. Blessings to you and your family.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom me and Finley
Snuggling my granddaughter, Finley.

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Tough as a Mother, Decocrated, Wolfie Kids, Four Sigmatic, Smartr Skin, Toad&Co, CBD Living, Mer-Sea & Co, Voke Superfood Supplements, Amazon and Blogging Blastoff. These programs provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to the companies, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Ten Scottish Superstitions

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

Superstition is defined as a belief or practice that’s not necessarily based in science. Instead, it’s a magical belief, a supernatural influence or a practice that’s passed down through generations.

I had fun researching good luck traditions in Italy and Ireland. When it came time to look at Scotland, I quickly realized superstition was a better word. Truthfully, most families hold to generational superstitions. Throwing spilled salt over the shoulder, not walking under ladders, knocking on wood or not opening an umbrella indoors are all superstitions I learned about in my family.

Scottish superstitions are deeply rooted. After all, Scotland is home to the Loch Ness monster and the country’s national animal is the unicorn. Magic abounds in Scotland as do fun superstitions.

Check out these ten Scottish superstitions and see how many you recognize or practice in your family.

Ten Scottish Superstitions title meme

May Morning Dew

On the first day of May, each year, Scottish women seek out the early morning dew. Applied to the skin, May morning dew becomes the ultimate moisturizer.

This practice harkens back to the ancient festival of Beltane. May dew is holy water. The druids thought of it as a source of beauty, vitality and good fortune.

In recent years, not as many women collect May dew. However, some Scottish women still rise with the sun to dab this elixir on their faces, hoping for a year of beautiful complexion.

Ten Scottish Superstitions may dew
Ten Scottish Superstitions – May morning dew

Black Sheep

The well known saying, “black sheep of the family”, originates from a traditional superstition among Scottish farmers and shepherds. The color black, long associated with Satan, means the birth of a black lamb foretells disaster for the rest of the flock.

Twin lambs, with black faces, indicates a poor lambing season ahead.

Ten Scottish Superstitions black sheep
Ten Scottish Superstitions – black sheep

Guising

Many Halloween traditions originate from the Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain, the Scots believe the veil between this world and the spirit world grows thin, allowing spirits to more easily pass through.

The Celts practice guising, putting on disguises, to pass unrecognized among the spirits. They also offer food as an appeasement, a forerunner of today’s trick or treating.

Ten Scottish Superstitions guises
Ten Scottish Superstitions – guising

White Heather

Purple heather covers the Scottish hills and mountains, blooming in early summer and again in late summer/early fall. The less common white heather, considered a lucky talisman, is worn by grooms on their wedding days.

The traditions comes from the folktale of Malvina, whose lover Oscar dies in battle. Before his death he asks his messenger to deliver a sprig of purple heather to Malvina, as a symbol of his eternal love.

Malvina weeps, her tears falling on the heather, which turns white in response. She proclaims, “May the white heather, symbol of my sorrow, bring good fortune to all who find it.”

Ten Scottish Superstitions white heather
Ten Scottish Superstitions – white heather

Birth of a Baby

Up until the 1950s, Scottish midwives attended the home birth of babies. They performed rituals, to ease the birthing process. The midwife unlocks doors and windows and ensures that no one in the house sits with arms or legs crossed, all to help a new baby into the world.

Ten Scottish Superstitions - baby
Ten Scottish Superstitions – new baby

Handselling

Another tradition connected to babies is handselling. A piece of silver, placed into the palm of a newborn, determines her future relationship with money.

If the baby grabs the silver item tightly, she will become frugal with her finances. And if she drops the silver quickly, she is destined to spend her money freely.

Ten Scottish Superstitions silver key
Ten Scottish Superstitions – handselling

Rowan Tree

The Scots plant rowan trees, with their bright red berries, on their properties to ward off evil. This tree is sacred to the Celts. It protects from all mischievous spirits and the “evil eye”. Plus, cooked rowan berries offer special properties for pregnant women. They protect the unborn baby.

Ten Scottish Superstitions rowan tree
Ten Scottish Superstitions – rowan tree

Fishing Boats

The fishing villages in the Outer Hebrides and Fife have strict traditions. If a fisherman passes a minister or a red haired girl, it’s a bad omen. The fisherman might choose to stay ashore that day.

He also won’t say the words “pig” or “rabbit” while onboard his ship. Both bring bad luck. Instead, if mention of these animals enter the conversation, they go by “curly tail” or “bob tail”.

Ten Scottish Superstitions - fishing
Ten Scottish Superstitions – fishing boats

Shoes on the Table

In Scotland, don’t put shoes on a table. This superstition actually comes from England. After a miner’s death, his boots rested on a table, as a show of respect.

Eventually, placing shoes on a table invited death to come, to the individual or his family. This tradition spread to Scotland.

Ten Scottish Superstitions shoes
Ten Scottish Superstitions – no shoes on the table. The bed is okay.

First Footing

First footing takes place immediately after the clock strikes twelve, on New Year’s Eve…or Hogmanay. According to tradition, the first person through the door, after midnight, should be a dark haired man bearing gifts of salt, whisky, shortbread, coal or a black bun. This dark haired man brings good luck to the household with him too.

It’s bad luck for a blond man to enter the house during first footing, as he is associated with the Vikings from ancient times, who were NOT welcome. After the first footing, anyone is allowed to enter, to exchange gifts and share food and drink.

Ten Scottish Superstitions dark haired man
Ten Scottish Superstitions – first footing

Do You Practice Any Superstitions?

Do you and your family practice any superstitions? Which ones passed down through the generations in your family?

I didn’t realize, until I did the research for this post, that “black sheep of the family” originated in Scotland. I’ll most definitely keep my shoes on the floor. And with the month of May approaching, I intend to collect morning dew from my garden, for my complexion.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into Scottish culture. It’s fun to learn about other countries and their peoples through their cultures, traditions and superstitions.

Check out Italy’s Good Luck Traditions and The Luck of the Irish posts too.

 

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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.

 

 

Tough as a Mother Jewelry

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

Thank you to Tough as a mother for sending a gorgeous necklace, for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences on earth. The joy and the love and the pride that our children bring us is beyond compare.

However, let’s be honest.

Parenting is also challenging. It’s tough. The worry, the sleepless nights, the energy drain, the intense desire for good things and happiness for our children is also beyond compare.

When I received info about Tough as a Mother jewelry, I immediately knew that founder Jennifer Cervantes got it. She understands what the parenting journey looks like and feels like. She unites with other mothers and also cheers them on.

Learn more about Jennifer’s mission in life and her beautiful, energy boosting jewelry.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry title meme

Meet Jennifer Cervantes, Founder of Tough as a Mother

Before she had kids, Jennifer envisioned motherhood. She saw herself at the park with her children, sipping a latte and wearing cute flats, with her trendy diaper bag beside her.

The reality is different, two kids later. Jennifer discovered the days are way more messy, loud and chaotic than she ever thought possible. Motherhood isn’t necessarily worse, just different.  It’s no wonder, she says, that we talk about being tough as a mother – moms need to be strong!

Jennifer built her company for all the women living through their own journeys, from finding the strength to endure miscarriage to the deep darkness of postpartum anxiety, through sleepless nights and physical and mental challenges of all kinds.
No matter what the  motherhood journey looks like, Jennifer knows we all deserve to call ourselves tough as a mother.
Tough as a Mother Jewelry founder Jennifer Cervantes
Tough as a Mother Jewelry founder Jennifer Cervantes. Image from her website.

The Birth of Tough as a Mother Tribe

Jennifer discovered her calling, making jewelry for mothers, when she hit the lowest point in her own journey. Working 12 hour days as a teacher to underprivileged children, her body began to shut down. Unable to nurse her five month old baby, Jennifer knew she needed a change. She utilizes gemstones to design pieces that honor the most joyous and the most raw parts of motherhood. And her personalized pieces allow mothers around the world to unite in a quiet, but strong, bond. Our triumphs and trials become shared experiences as we cheer each other on.

Jennifer shares:

“Whether you are buying for yourself, a first-time mom just embarking on her motherhood journey, or a third-time mom choosing hope as she carries her rainbow baby, you are in the right place. You are strong, beautiful and tough as a mother. Let’s honor your journey.”

Tough as a Mother Jewelry bracelet
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – bracelet to remind you just how tough you are

A Peek at the Tough as a Mother Jewelry

Intrigued by Jennifer’s story and her passion for encouraging mothers, I visited the website. I love what I found.

The gemstone necklaces boost energy in different ways, depending on the stone.

Cool Mama Necklace with Chalcedony Stone

This necklace with the light blue chalcedony stone helps mamas stay cool, calm and collected, even under the pressures of motherhood. The cool mama necklace is perfect for new mothers or those wearing many hats while they parent their children.

The chalcedony stone necklace calms racing minds, balances thoughts and increases communication between ourselves and others to help us find a clear path forward, no matter the circumstance.

Touch as a Mother Jewelry cool mama necklace
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – Cool Mama Necklace. Image from Tough as a Mother website

Balanced Mama Necklace with Quartz Stone

This clear quartz stone necklace helps mamas maintain patience and energy because motherhood requires both. The balanced mama necklace is perfect for mothers in all stages of parenting.

The clear quartz necklace helps mothers maintain balance – simply grab ahold of it whenever you need a tangible reminder to take a deep breath. Quartz also promotes positive energy and perseverance.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry balanced mama necklace
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – Balanced Mama Necklace. Image from Tough as a Mother website

Cool Vibes Mama Necklace with Labradorite Stone

This blue/brown stone necklace helps mamas live with clear minds, positive thoughts and a deep connection to their intuition. The labradorite gemstone enhances our ability to reconnect with ourselves and our true identity as a mother and only let the good vibes in, so all mama guilt can fade away.

The blue labradorite also clears worries, protects from negativity and promotes strength and perseverance. Every mama can benefit from this beautiful necklace.

This is the necklace I chose!

Tough as a Mother Jewelry tribe
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – Cool Vibes Mama Necklace

Initial Necklaces and Custom Necklaces

Tough as a Mother also offers initial necklaces. The initials are .925 sterling silver with 18K gold. They come on a 16″ or 18″ 14K gold-filled chain and may be customized with a gemstone of choice at the back clasp.

Wear your child’s initial on a necklace. Or customize a necklace by spelling out your child’s name or by adding the initials of all of your children or grandchildren, up to six initials.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry initial necklace
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – initial necklace. Image from Tough as a Mother website
Tough as a Mother Jewelry custom
Tough as a Mother Jewelry – custom necklace. Image from Tough as a Mother website

I’m Tough as a Mother…and You Are Too

I received my Cool Vibes Mama necklace, with the labradorite stone, and I love it. I’m one who appreciates the beauty of gemstones and also recognizes the benefits the stones impart.

The labradorite stone is perfect for me as I connect ever deeper with my intuitive side, distance myself from negativity and absolutely embrace who I am 100%. My wild woman nature rejoices as I wear my necklace.

I’m thrilled and honored that this company reached out to me. Jennifer’s mission and values align with my own. My mother and my daughters and daughter-in-law…all fierce and tough mothers…are receiving necklaces from Tough as a Mother, for Mother’s Day.

How about you, mama?

Which gemstone necklace draws you? That’s the perfect necklace for you.

Or perhaps, in honor of your children or grandchildren, you love the initial necklaces. How fun to create your own customized necklace, to wear near your heart.

Use this LINK to check out all the meaningful possibilities available, for yourself or for the mamas that you love and encourage in your life. These necklaces…and the bracelet too…are perfect for Mother’s Day or shower gifts or any special occasion.

Actually, every day is the perfect day to encourage mamas on their parenting journey. Because every day is another opportunity to mother our children well. Join the tribe.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry
Loving my Cool Vibes Mama necklace.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate partner with Tough as a Mother and may make a commission when you click on my links, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence

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

Florence is one of Italy’s most visited cities. The capital of the Tuscany region, Florence is home to Renaissance masterpieces and stunning architecture.

At one time Florence operated as the center of medieval European trade and finance, making it one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Its turbulent history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici Family and many political revolutions. Florence served as the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871. And the Florentine dialect became the foundation for the Italian language.

With its numerous museums and art galleries, Florence attracts millions of visitors in a typical year. Its culture, art, monuments and architecture caused UNESCO to name it a World Heritage Site in 1982.

There’s much to see and do in this beautiful, bustling city. Whether there for a day or a long weekend, take time to check out these ten must visit places in Florence.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence title meme

Cathedral of Florence

Also known as the Duomo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, this cathedral complex is a major tourist attraction. If you only have time to see a couple of places in Florence, make sure the cathedral is one of them.

In fact, the Duomo offers four of my top ten sites to explore, making it a great starting off point on your exploration of Florence.

Completion of the church occurred in 1367. The exterior is covered in colorful marble. Most of the stained glass windows, created between 1434 and 1455, include designs by famous artists such as Donatello, Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence cathedral
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Cathedral of Florence

Brunelleschi’s Dome

The dome covering part of the Cathedral of Florence is called Brunelleschi’s Dome. When it was designed it was the largest dome in the world. As the cathedral took shape, the builders left space for the huge dome. One problem existed. No one knew exactly how to build a 150 feet wide dome atop the existing walls. Masons feared the dome might collapse inward.

In 1418 a public competition for the construction of the dome promised 200 gold florins and eternal fame. The Opera del Duomo selected Filippo Brunelleschi to supervise the dome project. Construction began in 1420 and finished 16 years later. Brunelleschi’s Dome is ingenious and innovative, a marvel of architecture that still astounds.

Visitors climb the 463 steps within the dome, appreciating frescoes on the interior and marvelous views of the city from the top. Reservations must be made in advance.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence dome
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Brunelleschi’s Dome

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Also called the Campanile, Giotto’s Bell Tower is the tall tower attached to the Duomo.

Giotto began construction on the Florentine Gothic bell tower in 1334. Although the tower bears his name, Giotto died three years after construction began. Andrea Pisano, following the original design, completed the first two floors, while Francesco Talenti finished the tower in 1359.

Visitors climb the 414 steps inside the tower, with much welcomed rest stops built in, for gorgeous views of Florence at the top.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence tower
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Giotto’s Bell Tower

The Baptistry of St John

The Baptistry is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, believed built in the 800s over the ruins of a Roman temple.

Located across from the Duomo, the Baptistry stands in the Piazza del Duomo. The giant bronze doors are the main attraction, however beautiful mosaics decorate the interior of the cupola. The bronze doors decorate three of the four sides of the building. Three different groups of statues rest above the doors, copies of the originals.

The most famous set of doors are on the east side, facing the Duomo. Called the Gates of Paradise, the panels depict scenes from the Old Testament.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence baptistry
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – the Baptistry’s bronze doors

Uffizi Gallery

This world famous museum contains works of art by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo and many other artists. Uffizi is ranked 25th on the list of most visited museums in the world, with 2 million visitors annually.

The Gallery occupies two floors of a large building constructed between 1560 and 1580. The building originally housed offices for Florentine magistrates, hence the name. Uffizi is Italian for “offices”.

Within find collections of ancient sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Modern Period. Additionally, the Gallery contains statues and busts from the Medici Family.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence uffizi gallery
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Uffizi Gallery

Palazzo Vecchio

Built in 1299, the Palazzo Vecchio, “Old Palace”, is the town hall of Florence. It overlooks Piazza della Signoria and shares space with the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi (see next paragraph).

Originally Palazzo Vecchio was built as a castle with a single tower. Within the tower are two rooms that served as prison cells. Today the palazzo houses a museum that offers Roman ruins and Renaissance chambers and paintings. The Hall of 500 is the largest room, important both artistically and historically.

At the entrance rests a replica of Michelangelo’s David. The original David statue occupied that spot from its completion in 1504 until 1873, when it relocated to the Accademia Gallery for protection from the elements.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence palazzo
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Palazzo Vecchio

Loggia dei Lanzi

Also located in Piazza della Signoria, the Loggia de Lanzi is a free open air museum that adjoins Uffizi Gallery. Designed in 1376, the Loggia features curved arches with a variety of statues resting beneath them.

Included is the statue of Perseo, holding Medusa’s severed head and the Rape of the Sabines, a unique statute containing three figures, all carved from a single block of marble.

Loggia dei Lanzi is a wonderful spot to take a rest break. Large steps leading up the to Loggia offer plenty of seating.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence loggia dei lanzi
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Loggia dei Lanzi

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio, “Old Bridge”, is a medieval stone bridge spanning the Arno River. Originally built in the late 900s, reconstruction occurred in 1345 after a major flood.

Shops line either side of the bridge, and have since the 13th century. Initially, butchers, fishmongers and tanners occupied those shops, until the stench caused Ferdinand I to issue a decree in 1593. Henceforth, only goldsmiths and jewelers could set up shop on Ponte Vecchio, for the betterment of all.

Ponte Vecchio is a popular bridge to stroll across and shop upon by day. At night it’s considered a very romantic spot with great views of the Arno River.

Special note: from the upstairs windows of the Uffizi Gallery, you have great views of Ponte Vecchio. It’s where I snapped this photo.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence ponte vecchio
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Ponte Vecchio

Accademia Gallery

Accademia Gallery, also called Galleria dell’Accademia, is home to one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Michelangelo’s David.

Located off of the Hall of Prisoners, so named because of Michelangelo’s unfinished statues, David captures the eye and the heart magnificently. Spend time studying this beautiful statue. Then explore Accademia’s botany, music, textiles and art exhibits.

The smaller, more specialized Accademia Gallery draws almost 2 million visitors in a typical year, making it the second most visited museum in Italy, after the Uffizi. It was founded in 1784 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence accademia gallery
Ten Must Visit Places in Florence – Accademia Gallery

Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace

More than just a green space in Florence, Boboli Gardens is the city’s greatest open air museum. Sharing space with Pitti Palace, the gardens contain centuries old trees, sculptures and fountains along with colorful flowers and plants.

The garden’s development, primarily by the Medici and Lorraine Families, spans 400 years and inspired gardens throughout Europe, including Versailles in France.

The enormous Pitti Palace, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, was built in 1457 for the Pitti Family. The Medicis bought the palace in 1549, as their primary residence.

Today the palace is a museum, housing Medici household treasures, 16th and 17th century paintings, 19th century furnishings and a Gallery of Modern Art. The Boboli Gardens lie behind Pitti Palace.

Visit Florence Italy

This wonderful old city provides its visitors many opportunities for exploration, education and fun.

In addition to Florence’s culture and art, the city also offers fine dining and shopping experiences. And Florence claims the invention of Italian gelato!

My daughter, grandson and I enjoyed a night and a day in Florence, which feels very different from Rome. Mark Twain once described Florence as a “city of dreams”. With its art, history, culture and beauty, Florence is certainly a visit-worthy destination.

While COVID restrictions currently prevent most of these must see sites from opening, change is coming. I look forward to hearing of the museums reopening.

Have you visited Florence?

Ten Must Visit Places in Florence group selfie
Group selfie in Florence, 2017

Helps for Exploring Florence:

 


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.

 

 

The Father

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

It’s one of my favorite times of year…award season! The Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards presented their top picks in cinema. The Academy Awards air at the end of the month, on April 25.

Although it’s been anything but a typical year for the movie industry, I’m following my usual practice of watching the Best Nominated Films ahead of the Oscars. What a sweet joy to view The Father at Bookhouse Cinema recently, rather than at home on a streaming service. I loved the experience, which felt amazing after viewing only two films at a theater last year.

The darkened theater experience, combined with the incredibly moving story of this film, deeply impacted me. I’m still thinking about this movie.

This is the Best Picture Nominated film, The Father.

The Father title meme

The Father Cast

This drama stars Anthony Hopkins, Oliva Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots and Rufus Sewell. The Father, which has a run time of 1 hour and 37 minutes, is directed by Florian Zeller and carries a PG-13 rating for occasional strong language and adult themes.

The Father earned six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hopkins, Best Supporting Actress for Colman, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.

The Father argument
Father and daughter trying to understand each other, in The Father.

The Father Storyline

Anthony (Hopkins), an 84 year old man, lives alone in his beautiful London flat. His daughter Anne (Colman) works and enjoys her independent life while stopping by frequently to check on her father.

However, the frequency of her visits increases as first one and then another of her father’s caretakers quit. Anthony doesn’t believe he needs assistance. Unconvinced, Anne notes that her father sometimes appears confused or forgetful. Daily, it seems, Anthony misplaces his watch, then accuses one of the caretakers of stealing it.

Anthony oscillates between confusion one moment and belligerence about giving up his flat the next, leading Anne to make the difficult decision to move him into her place.

The Father Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins as the father.
The Father Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman as the daughter.

A Confusing World

Although Anne spends more time with her father, due to his close proximity, Anthony’s perception of reality continues to deteriorate.

He finds it difficult to sort out timelines. To him, Anne appears younger some days and older others. Strangers appear in the flat and just as quickly disappear. One minute Anne tells him she’s moving to Paris, to live with her new boyfriend  Paul (Sewell). The next, Anne’s husband James (Gatiss) appears in the front parlor, even though she claims they divorced five years ago.

Realizing she needs help, Anne hires Laura (Poots), to stay with her father during the day. When Anthony meets her, he’s struck by her resemblance to his younger daughter, Lucy (also Poots). It causes him to wonder why Lucy never visits him. He charms Laura, dancing and engaging in witty conversation, leaving Anne smiling and yet confused herself about his condition.

A doctor confirms Anne’s fears. Her father’s episodes of confusion signal the onset of dementia.

For Anthony, who insists his memory is fine, the world becomes increasingly small, confined within the walls of a flat that might be his…or might be Anne’s. And the people living with him…is this his daughter Anne? And his son-in-law? Or is that man his daughter’s boyfriend? And where is his other daughter, Lucy? Doesn’t Laura look just like Lucy?

And where, oh where, is his watch??

The Father charming Laura
The father charming Laura.
The Father telling stories
When you don’t remember details…make them up!

My Thoughts on The Father

This film had such a strong effect on me. Perhaps it’s because Greg’s mother died of Alzheimer’s and we lost her, bit by bit, long before her body wore out. Or perhaps it’s because Anthony Hopkins physically reminds me of Greg’s dad, who joined his dear wife almost six years ago. And then, my own father’s death anniversary popped up March 30…gone 11 years now. Or maybe it’s because I’m in my 60s now and cringe every time I suddenly forget a name.

The subject of dementia is a scary one for most people. And you’d expect a film about that devastating illness to be dark and depressing. It is a heavy subject, undoubtedly. However, I’m so grateful for this outstanding film.

The Father confusion
The world becomes so confusing, in The Father.

My Favorite Best Picture Film So Far

Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman both deserve their Oscar nominations. I felt completely undone by both performances, so much so that I sat quietly in my car after the movie and just felt all the emotions. And the emotions were many.

I laughed at times, delighted by Anthony’s charm, and I teared up, sympathetic to Anne’s pain and fear as her “Little Daddy” slipped away from her. Oft times, my body responded physically to what unfolded on the screen, feeling gut punched and breathless.

The Father is beautiful, edgy, difficult to watch and impossible to look away from.  Plus, it is unbelievably clever. This is the most intriguing film I’ve ever seen, about dementia. Anthony’s perspective on his confusing and ever shifting world instills in the viewer empathy and compassion for those in the grips of this horrible disease. The Father not only changes the way I perceive those with memory issues, it changes the way I respond to them.

See The Father. If you’ve ever known someone with dementia, or currently care for a loved one with this disorder, spend 97 minutes with this film. Allow it to upend your views and open your mind and soften your heart. And cry. Weep for those whose realities no longer make sense. Then offer them patience and unconditional love.

The Father daughter and little daddy
The father and his daughter.

Watch The Father at select theaters, or rent on Amazon Prime HERE.

Did you enjoy this review? Check out my review of the Bridgerton series!

 

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

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center

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

My hometown, Joplin, Missouri, has a newly opened coffee shop…with a twist! Located at 2201 East 7th Street, Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center brings a fresh concept to the city. Customers can enjoy locally roasted coffee, tea or smoothies in the company of cats…or humans. Yummy treats are offered for sale as well.

This afternoon I visited this intriguing shop, to experience my first cat lounge.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center title meme

What is a Cat Lounge?

Cat lounges, also called cat cafes, originated in Taiwan in 1998. Japanese tourists took the idea back to Japan. The first cat lounge opened in Osaka in 2004. Since then, their popularity has increased. Japan has more than 150 such lounges currently.

Perhaps because of the “no pet” policies in many apartments, the Japanese people enjoy spending time with cats in the lounges. Pets, cats included, are known to reduce stress and offer other health benefits. Interacting with cats lowers stress and blood pressure and decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Plus we just feel happy, watching them play, loving on them and talking to them.

Cat lounges sprang up in other countries around the world, including the US. While Japan allows cats to be in the food and drink area, the US has more strict regulations. The cats must reside in an area completely separate from where food and drinks are served. Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center meets that requirement.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center logo
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center logo, on an interior wall.

Checking Out Nine Lives Cat Lounge

I arrived at the cat lounge mid afternoon, thinking it might be a lull time. I thought wrong! When you can’t find a place to park, you know you’ve come to a “happening” place.

After locating a spot behind the lounge, I entered into the coffee bar area and looked around while waiting to order a hot tea.

Large windows allow natural light to fill the interior. Concrete floors and walls covered with wooden slats create a clean, homey environment.

Groups of people, in twos, threes and fours, chatted at tables spaced apart to observe social distancing. Face masks are required for admittance and may be removed while enjoying a drink or snack.

Nine Lives offers coffees and teas, espresso drinks, sugar free smoothies and pastries, cookies and baked goods from local bakeries.

Two steps down from the main level is a cozy seating area. A large glass window allows a peek into the cat lounge. I chose to sip my tea in this inviting spot.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center coffee shop
Stop by the coffee shop first. Baked goods by B’s Breads & Bakery.
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center coffee bar
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center – coffee bar
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center seating
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center – cozy seating area

Visiting the Cats

The cat lounge is located in a separate, enclosed room. To enter there is a $5.00 fee for 30 minutes in the room. The fees help the cats live their best lives, while waiting for their forever homes. Lounge fees go toward vet care, food, kitty litter, cat toys and disinfectant for cleaning.

The living room style lounge provides the cats with a homey atmosphere, complete with climbing towers and a bridge, tunnels to play in, hammocks and a variety of toys. Furniture for humans includes a sofa, chairs and tables. A TV mounted on the wall features birds hopping about outdoors. And a sturdy bookcase at one end of the room holds books and games. Humans can play the games. Cats can climb the shelves!

At any time as many as 12 cats may lounge about the room, depending on recent adoptions and availability. Three cats call the lounge their permanent residence and are not up for adoption. Princess Pat owned the room this afternoon, reclining above us on the bridge.

To make sure the cats remain happy and unstressed, up to 16 people may enter the room at one time. Visitors receive a timer and when their 30 minutes are up, they leave so others can come into the room.

Because the lounge was very busy this afternoon, I only spent 10 minutes in the room. I had permission to take photos…no flash photography…and used my time wisely. However, I enjoyed watching the interactions between cats and visitors. We all had masks on, but I know there were smiles behind them.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center kitty
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center – sweet kitty
Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center loft
Princess Pat at Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center

Adoption is the Goal

At Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center, finding homes for kitties is the goal. Adopting a cat, versus purchasing one from a store or breeder, allows for an additional opening at an animal shelter so that another cat can be saved.

Nine Lives works with the Joplin Humane Society and local cat rescues to bring kitties to the lounge for adoption. Having the cats in a home-like setting allows people to see their unique, fun personalities better than if the fur babies were caged.

With the three full time residents, Sissy, Boots and Princess Pat, that means up to nine cats are available for adoption. One of the staff members shared with me that nine cats were adopted last week. That’s amazing! Click this LINK to see some of the recent adoptions.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center sign
Fun sign outside the cat lounge!

Visit Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center

Whether you want to play with the kitties, adopt a cat or enjoy a drink and snack, stop by this unique new shop in Joplin. Hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday and Tuesday. And 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday.

If you have cat allergies but want to watch the cats, you can. That large glass window in the cozy sitting area provides the perfect vantage point. And if you just don’t like cats, stop by anyway. The fun atmosphere and yummy snacks and drinks make Nine Lives a great meetup or rest break spot.

There’s also a merchandise shop where you can purchase tee shirts and other fun items. Proceeds go toward caring for the cats and helping them find homes.

I enjoyed my time there and left with a light heart…and a half finished cup of hot peppermint tea. And although I’m a cat mom to three rescue kitties at home, I’ll return soon to sip a hot tea and peek into the lounge.

There is good going on in the world, if you look for it. You can find it here, daily, at Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center store
Merchandise for sale in the store.

 

Fun Cat Finds at 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.