The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

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

Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I love adventures, trying new experiences, randomness and solo travel. So when I came across this company, The Adventure Challenge, the name alone caught my keen interest.

The more I investigated the company, the more I loved their concepts.

Want to freshen up the fun…as a couple, a family, a friend or on your own? I do! Check out my experience with The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. And find out how you can bring the challenges into your life.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition title meme

What is The Adventure Challenge?

The Adventure Challenges are scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges are designed to…well…challenge you! They encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. The challenges are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

Plus, the challenges are fun. The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

The best part, for me, is the catch. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the challenge is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play, where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar, and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up or in The Adventure Challenge.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition cindy
Excited to try my first challenge in The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition.

What’s Inside the Book?

You can purchase an Adventure Challenge book only or a kit that comes with the book and an instamatic camera. Each page in the book includes a scratch off adventure, with a few clues about the challenge, a space to write about your experience and a place to attach a small photo.

There are four rules to using the challenge book:

  1. Disconnect to reconnect – unplug from everyday life, connect with others or self and have fun.
  2. No take backs – you must do the adventure you scratch off. If the adventure makes you uncomfortable a bit, that’s good! Discover new things about yourself and others.
  3. Document the journey – take a photo of each challenge and write about it in the book.
  4. Show it off – upload photos of your adventure on social media and tag #theadventurechallenge.

Each scratch off challenge has icons posted with it, clues about the adventure to come. Some examples:

  • $ is approximate cost of the adventure
  • clock symbol represents best time of day to do adventure
  • hourglass equals approximate duration of adventure
  • silverware means you will eat a meal
  • shopping cart is a heads up you’ll need some supplies
  • house means you’ll complete this adventure at home
  • car means you’ll go somewhere for this challenge
  • sun is for daylight hours
  • moon represents nighttime fun

Adventures don’t have to be done in order. They are divided by categories. You can choose any adventure you want or randomly select one.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition page
Page from The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

Scratching Off My First Adventure

I asked for The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. Why? Because I immensely enjoy this type of random experience that pushes me out of my comfort zone or teaches me something new. There’s another reason as well, that I share at the end of this post.

For my first adventure, I HAD to choose one on the “It’s an opportunity to learn something new” page. I selected number 19, Party Trick or Treat. Icons indicated no cost, could be done anytime and approximate time to complete, one hour. Two other symbols showed me it was a chill exercise and could be done at home.

I scratched off the adventure with one of the gold plastic discs provided and read my challenge: Research top ten party tricks, find one that speaks to you and learn it. Share with a friend via Facetime.

Yes! First, I rarely go to parties. And if I do, I NEVER do a party trick. New experience coming up!

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition party trick
Can you guess which party trick I chose?

Move a Straw Without Touching It Party Trick

After researching top ten party tricks, I narrowed my choices down to three. I initially ruled out the straw one, because I don’t use plastic straws. However, in a funny little twist of fate, I ended up with a single straw that day. Decision made.

The trick: Balance a straw on top of a bottle and ask a friend if they can make the straw move, without touching it or knocking it off the bottle. When they can’t, show them that you can.

Pick up straw and rub it on your clothes or on your hair. Return to bottle top and bring hands close to the straw without touching it. The build up of static electricity causes the straw to spin on the bottle top.

I practiced this party trick a few times and discovered that my long silver hair created the right amount of static electricity. I set up my iPhone and created a short video of me performing the trick…and sent it to my grandkids. They want to try the trick as well.

I documented my fun adventure with an instamatic photo, from an Instax Mini camera I borrowed from my granddaughter, wrote briefly about my challenge and included the date. Want to see my trick? Catch the Instagram Reel HERE.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition
My documented challenge.

How I Will Use The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

I enjoyed my first challenge! It pushed me beyond my comfort zone, which is always a desired experience for me. And it was fun to document.

Here’s the most exciting part of all this for me. My word for next year is…adventure. How perfect this solo edition is, for 2022. With 49 remaining challenges, I intend to experience one each week next year, and perhaps make up a few of my own to create 52 adventures. There’s actually a blank page at the end of my solo edition book that I can use for these extra adventures.

The well made, attractive book is destined to become my memory book for 2022. This is something new, right there. I can’t wait to begin, the first week in January. You know I’ll write about some of those adventures.

You don’t have to wait though! The Adventure Challenge books make wonderfully unique gifts for weddings, anniversaries, your spouse, your family, your grown kids and their families. And…there’s a new Blind Dates edition for some crazy fun if you are dating.

Or perhaps you know someone like me…or you are someone like me…who enjoys the thrill of challenging herself to go beyond, go past comfort zones, fears and limiting beliefs. Someone who likes to have fun while learning more about herself. This is THE ultimate gift for her…or you.

Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition first challenge
I learned a party trick!

Adventures…Yes Please

In the introduction at the beginning of the book, founder Bryant S. Ellis reminds us that we can become entrenched in repetition and get used to doing the same old things. He believes that random creativity shocks us out of our normal day-to-day life. It gets us exploring again…ourselves and the world around us.

I agree. And I actively and intentionally choose adventures and going beyond on a daily basis. I’m grateful for this new to me company and their Adventure Challenges. They will be foundational to my growth and my fun next year.

How about you? Are you ready to challenge yourself and enliven your days with adventures? Grab a challenge book and get to scratching. Don’t forget your code for 10% off…GOINGBEYOND.




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, all at no extra cost to you.


Welcome to Fall with Decocrated

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

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

With a bit of disbelief, I realized September arrives this week. Where has the year gone, truly? I’m excited though. I LOVE the season that for me begins September 1 and concludes January 9, my birthday. It’s the season of cooler weather, my favorite scents and colors and holidays!

Although it’s still HOT in SW Missouri, I started the fall decorating this week. My Decocrated Fall box arrived, and with the opening of that box, magic ensued!

Welcome to fall with Decocrated I say. Check out what was inside the newest box and see how I used these pieces in my fall decorating.

Welcome to Fall with Decocrated title meme

Decocrated Fall 2021 Box

If you’ve never heard of Decocrated Curated Home, check out my initial review HERE. This subscription box company specializes in curating home decor that mixes brilliantly with what you already own and use. The boxes arrive to your front door four times a year, in time for each new season.

Plus Decocrated members have access to the online Decoshop and add-on boxes that come out around holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter and 4th of July.

As summer melts…literally…into fall, this box celebrates the season with warm tones and a bit of spooky vibes. The color palette uses rusts, greens and black combined with warm woods and gold finishes. I’m thrilled that a couple of the pieces include a harvest moon. The moon is my symbol for the year and these pieces feel like winks to me.

Adriana Cullen is the Deco Creator for this season.

Take a look at this short video unboxing…and then see how I used the new Decocrated pieces.

Where the New Fall Items Went

I enjoy creating vignettes…displays that tell a story…in my home. I have several key spots that I decorate.

Lugging my boxes of fall decor into my bedroom, I spread everything out on my bed and then began the process of creating vignettes. My decor is never exactly the same, two years in a row. I enjoy starting on a vignette and then adding pieces that appeal to me.

For this fall, I did not purchase any additional decorations or items. I used what I had on hand.

Here’s where the new fall pieces landed.

The Moon Mirror

This pretty mirror can hang on the wall or prop up on a shelf or dresser top. It’s versatile enough, and the design subtle enough, that I can use this mirror year around in different parts of the house.

I chose to hang the moon mirror on the wall, above my small bookcase that sits between the living and dining areas.

I redid the whole bookcase, changing the look to fall. The black lantern is from the spring 2020 Decocrated box and the woven basket from the fall 2020 box. That’s one of the fun aspects of the boxes. The items mix and match with previous or new Decocrated pieces, as well as with items you already have.

Click this link for more about the small crescent moon art.

Welcome to Fall with Decocrated mirror
Welcome to Fall with Decocrated – moon mirror

Wooden Ladder and Leaf Print Tea Towel

The tall shelves in the dining room became home to the wooden ladder and one of the two tea towels in the box. This little wooden ladder is cute! It free stands or props against a wall.

I draped the leaf print towel over one of the rungs and added a simple orange berry wreath. Joining in this vignette are the metal clock and metal and wood arch from the summer Decocrated box, the flocked pumpkins from last fall’s box and the wooden lantern from the Christmas 2020 add-on box.

The second shelf holds an assortment of items I already own.

Welcome to Fall with Decocrated ladder
Welcome to Fall with Decocrated – wooden ladder and leaf print tea towel

Metal Pumpkin, Wood and Metal Candle Holders, Wooden Beads, Web Tea Towel and Art Card

The rest of the new items grouped together on my little dining room table.

The black and white fabric runner from last fall and the gray and white wooden runner from spring 2021 form the foundation for the rest of the pieces. I tucked the cute spider web tea towel into last fall’s crate and filled it with orange, cream and gray fabric mini pumpkins. The sign on the crate is interchangeable with the Harvest Moon one, currently hanging in my rustic box. (See photo above.) For Halloween, I swap out those plaques.

At the other end of the wooden runner is the clip frame, from the spring box, holding the art card with a fall quote. On the reverse side, the card features a full Harvest Moon. That side is perfect for Halloween.

Next to the art card is the dark green metal pumpkin with a wooden stem. The pumpkin looks so cute with the colorful wooden beads draped over it. Those beads will find a place to rest year around.

And finally, taking center stage, are the wood and metal candle holders. I absolutely love these items! The combo of wood and gold metal is beautiful. I’ll also use these year around, swapping out the color of candles. After dark last night, I lit the candles for a short time and they created a warm glow that the metal and wood reflected. It was so cozy.

Welcome to Fall with Decocrated table
Welcome to Fall with Decocrated – table top vignette

Get Your Fall Box

Do you enjoy this time of year too? And are you ready to decorate for fall?

Grab your fall Decocrated box and welcome in the season!

Click this link, Decocrated Fall Box, and use my code CINDYM15 to save $15 off the seasonal box or off of the yearly subscription.

Once you are a member, there are additional items that can be purchased from the online shop, and special boxes available too, like the upcoming Halloween and Christmas add-ons.

Enjoy this cozy season we are entering into. And share your fall decorating ideas in the comments below!

Welcome to Fall with Decocrated shelves
Welcome to Fall with Deocrated – small bookcase


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







True Stock Studios

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

I have an affiliate relationship with True stock studios. All opinions are my own.


I love discovering the story behind a company or brand. Don’t you? I like to know their vison and mission and what motivates them to do what they do.

When Jason with True Stock Studios contacted me about a collaboration, I visited his website before responding. After reading through info there and scrolling through art pieces, it was an easy yes to working together. And not just because the request came in during my Yes! Month.

The wooden signs are not only beautifully made, the company goes beyond providing a product. They enrich the lives of others.

True Stock Studios title meme

Company Origins

True Stock Studios, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a family business. Jason Schickerling founded his venture in 2018 when his daughter asked him to carve a lotus flower on a black wooden background. Always one to enjoy woodworking, Jason complied and inspiration struck. True Stock Studios was born. The lotus flower design continues to be one of their most popular art pieces.

The company is committed to creating their art sustainably and responsibly as well. They partner with global eco-projects like the Pachama Jari Para Forest Conservation Project. True Stock Studios offsets carbon emissions with voluntary carbon credit contributions that counteract the impact of shipping their art. I love that they create art AND care for the planet at the same time.

True Stock Studios logo
My wooden art from True Stock Studios

True Stock Studios Mission and Vision

Jason now oversees a diverse and creative team. His mission is to create beautiful wooden art decor that inspires and enriches lives, and not only for the people who buy them. True Stock Studios donates a portion of sales to charities that are customer chosen! Charities such as Feeding America, Black Lives Matters and Unicef benefit from the company’s desire to enrich others.

Connected to their mission, True Stock Studios envisions a better and more socially just world. Everyone who purchases a product gets to make an impact in the world too by choosing which charity they want to support. Making a difference in the world is what this amazing company is all about.

I tried my wooden art in several vignettes.

Crescent Moon Desk Art

Jason allowed me to select a piece of art from his studio. Believe me, it was a difficult choice as there are so many beautiful, meaningful pieces.

As I scrolled through art, I said aloud to myself, “If there’s anything with a moon on it, that’s what I’m choosing.” There are two available! The Moon Over the Mountains appealed to my adventurous side. However I ended up selecting Crescent Moon.

As you know, if you’ve followed me for a while, every year I choose a word/theme for the year and a symbol. For my Year of the Wild Woman, the moon is my symbol. The moon carries great significance for me. I love this True Stock Studios art piece as a visual reminder of who I am this year.

This is a small wooden desk top piece, perfect for tucking into vignettes or displaying on a shelf, bookcase or table. I immediately connected my gold metal “dream” art with the moon piece. Check out how I styled Crescent Moon in the photos in this post, beginning with the collect beautiful moments grouping above. And then guess where I ended up placing it.

True Stock Studios dream
Swapping out the stack of books for a metal lantern and candle

Ways to Enjoy Art from True Stock Studios

Before I reveal where my wooden art piece ended up, let me share some ideas for ways you can enjoy True Stock Studios products.

These pieces are so easy to incorporate into your own home decor. Try them in:

  • vignettes…my favorite way of creating a display that tells a story
  • bookcases and on table and shelf tops
  • wall hangings and gallery style groupings
  • office or studio
  • family room, dining room or kitchen
  • bedroom
  • nursery shelf, wall or bookcase
  • child’s room
  • teen’s room
  • college student dorm room
  • covered front porch or sunroom
  • yoga studio or workout room
  • holiday decor…True Stock Studios offers fun holiday themed art as well

Plus, wooden art makes wonderful gifts. Give these beauties as:

  • birthday gifts for all ages
  • Christmas, Valentine’s…any holiday! Labor Day gift anyone?
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts
  • home warming gift
  • wedding gift (they can even be personalized)
  • anniversary gift
  • baby gift (again, think personalized with the baby’s name)
  • graduation gift
  • retirement gift
  • congratulations gift
  • moving away keepsake gift
  • bff gift
  • vacation reminder
  • boss or coworker gift
  • “I deserve this” gift for yourself

Or, like me, choose something that carries meaning for you, inspires a dream, motivates change or simply warms the heart.

Table top vignette
Swapped out the candle holder for a gold canister

Purchase Your True Stock Studio Art

Head over to the company website HERE. Browse around.

The selection is amazing, the prices incredible and shipping is free and FAST. Like me, you’ll have a hard time deciding which piece to order first. And, I asked Jason, he can create custom art besides doing personalized pieces.

I’m excited about that! I’ve already talked to him about creating wooden art for me, for NEXT year’s symbol. More about what that symbol is, later.

I can save you some money too! Enter my discount code Cindy Goes Beyond at checkout and save 25%. This code is good for anything in the shop!

True Stock Studios shelf top
Shelf top vignette

Where Did Crescent Moon End Up?

So which vignette did you like, featuring Crescent Moon?

I loved them all, actually. Crescent Moon tried out various places in my home including my writing table in my studio and my bedroom, in addition to the vignettes on the dining table and the shelf top.

I can tuck this art piece into so many different nooks and vignettes, making it incredibly versatile. And, I know I’ll use it with my Halloween decor when October arrives.

As you can see from the photo below, Crescent Moon ended up in my bedroom. I moved the whole vignette with “dream” and the gold planter onto a vintage metal tray placed atop a little padded stool in my room.


Because my bedroom is my sanctuary. It’s where so many of my visions for the future, dreams and plans are birthed. That room, more than any other room in my house, supports who I am…and who I am becoming. Crescent Moon is perfect there, for now.

Which True Stock Studios wooden art piece do you like? And what will you do with it?

Bedroom vignette
Inspiring me as I dream…


GROK Your World

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

I have an affiliate relationship with Grok the World. All opinions are my own.


I love play as a form of learning and growing. In fact, play is an extremely important part of my daily life. I was introduced to the GROK card set by Greg. He purchased them to use with the book, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

Although I’ve not read the book, I’m familiar with Nonviolent Communication, also referred to simply as NVC. I’ll briefly share the four tenets of NVC below.

The GROK card game immediately intrigued me. Through play, discovery and connection, one can get to the heart of what matters most, indeed. It is possible to “GROK your world”, by learning more about feelings and needs with this lovely game.

Grok Your World title meme

The Story Behind GROK

Christine and Jean met in 2005 to brainstorm ideas as they launched their line of NVC products.

With a MA in Sports Psychology, Jean long held an interest in learning through playful engagement. She loves teaching cooperative games that stretch the imagination and spirit. As a life-long meditator with a MA in international relations, Christine pursued interests in restorative justice, mindfulness, and conflict resolution, from the personal to the global. With their similar backgrounds as small business owners and years of experience teaching Nonviolent Communication, it made sense to combine their strengths and talents and launch their GROK product business in 2006.

Through the GROK game, and the other products developed over the years, Christine and Jean promote a more peaceful and empathetic world.

Curious about the name?

In the sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Landby Robert Heinlein, grok is a Martian word that means “to drink”. Metaphorically it means “to take it all in”, “understand fully” or “to be one with”.

GROK Your World booklet
GROK Your World – game box with booklet

What is the GROK Game?

GROK is a set of interactive card games designed to heighten understanding, listening and connection in a fun and engaging way.

Playing GROK games can improve relationships with family members, friends and colleagues, along with deepening the relationship with self. It provides support in resolving conflicts, and opens doors of opportunities for making better choices, decisions and goals. And it promotes social and emotional intelligence while allowing players to practice the art of empathetic listening.

Included in the game box are 70 feelings cards, 70 needs and values cards, and a booklet. Within the booklet are instructions for playing more than 20 games, for 2 – 25 players. Also included are games to play alone.

GROK Your World cards
GROK Your World – instructional booklet, feeling cards and needs cards

Foundation for the GROK Games

The GROK games are built upon conscious communication, as developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Integrating NVC practices helps us act in harmony with our values. We can share what is true for us while still hearing and discovering what is true for another. Additionally, we share what we are feeling and needing, rather than judging, blaming or attacking.

Nonviolent communication focuses on:

Self-empathy and the ability to identify and connect with the feelings and needs in a particular situation, without judging, blaming or criticizing self.

Empathy for others and guessing another’s feelings and needs without judging, correcting, advising or criticizing.

Honest self expression, sharing observations, feelings, needs and requests.

The four tenets of NVC include:

Observations, which are different from judging, evaluating, labeling and analyzing.

Feelings, which are different from perceptions and “victim verbs” that contain blame, insults and attacks.

Needs, which are different from strategies, blame and “shoulds”.

Requests, which are different from demands, shame and manipulation.

(For more info, read the helpful instruction booklet included in game.)

GROK Your World games
GROK Your World – 20+ games included in booklet

Sample of GROK Games

The booklet includes a wonderful variety of games, for groups, couples or individuals.

GROK for Two – the speaker with the feelings deck decides on a topic and chooses 5 – 10 that express his emotions. He shares on his chosen topic for 1 – 2 minutes, while a listener, listens.  The listener then scans the needs deck and chooses 3 – 4 cards to guess the speaker’s needs. The speaker responds to each guess with more dialogue, allowing the listener to choose more needs, until the listener can say, “Thank you for listening. I feel heard.”

Feelings Charades – player draws a feelings card and without looking at it, shows it to the group. Group members demonstrate the feeling, using facial expressions or body movements, without speaking. Player then guesses the feeling.

I Have a Need When… – player draws a needs card and without looking at it, shows it to the group. Group members describe situations where this need might be active, without using the word itself. Player guesses the need.

Artfully Yours – choose 1 – 3 needs that are important. Go through magazines and select images and words that represent those needs. Glue onto a board. Write the needs or cut out letters to spell them and add to the board. Display board where it can be seen daily.

GROK Your World feelings and needs
GROK Your World – feelings and needs cards

GROK Your World

Greg and I have yet to play with the GROK cards together. However, I’ve enjoyed studying them and playing individual games. I recently played Celebrations. Thinking about a situation that brings me joy, I selected feelings cards that match the emotions around the situation. I narrowed those selections to 5 cards. Then I chose cards that represent the needs in the situation.

For the situation, I chose an upcoming solo trip, and selected the feelings: enthusiastic, excited, grateful, inspired and curious.

The fulfilled needs connected to that upcoming trip include: freedom, love (of travel), inspiration, fun and play, autonomy and choice, spontaneity, beauty and aesthetics, compassion and empathy, creativity, trust, appreciation and learning and growing.

Playing this game brought me clarity about why I want to do this solo trip and showed me the many needs that are fulfilled as a result. And going deeper, playing with these cards helps me to move beyond judgments, labels, “shoulds” and criticisms, of myself and of others. I feel lighter in my being, and open to so many possibilities.

Get Your GROK Game

Are you as intrigued by this game as I am? Are you eager to deepen your empathy and increase your ability to connect with self and others in a meaningful way?

I’m thrilled to offer you a discount code, to try GROK and to get to the heart of what matters most! This is an excellent game for families to play, and there is even a Kid’s Edition available.

Use my link to visit the GROK the World website.

Then upon checkout, use my discount code CINDYMOORE to save 10% off of your order. Code is good for any of the GROK products.

Are you ready to GROK your world? And the worlds of others?



Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with GROK the World and Amazon. Purchasing products through my links may result in a commission for me, all at no extra charge to you.






Smartr Skin Summer Essentials

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

THIS IS A COLLABORATION WITH SMARTR SKIN, with whom I have an affiliate relationship. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.


Ah, summer! With the warmer temperatures and fun in the sun and water comes the possibility of skin damage. After a day of play outdoors, it’s so vital to take the time to care for our skin so that we don’t accumulate damage that results in wrinkles, fine lines, rough patches and dark spots.

I’ve happily used Smartr Skin products for more than two years now. And, I’m a raving fan. I love their serum and lotions. I use them daily and love the healthy glow they give my skin.

And I appreciate the jade roller as well, and the gua sha facial tool. Recently Smartr Skin also sent me their micro needle derma roller to try.

These Smartr Skin summer essentials are key to my skin care routine. And the company is allowing me to offer three of their amazing products at a remarkable discount!

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials title meme

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials Trio

These three products…Vitamin C Serum, Jade Roller with Gua Sha Facial Tool, and Micro Needle Derma Roller…are the perfect additions to your skin care routine. Together they help create healthy, glowing skin.

Read a brief description of each item. Then find your discount codes at the end of this post.

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials sale
Smartr Skin Summer Essentials – trio on sale

Smartr Skin Vitamin C Serum

A better idea for skin care is the driving force behind this physician created line of products. The company creates custom formulations from clean ingredients that nourish the skin, from the inside out. Check out my initial review HERE.

I started using their Vitamin C Serum in the spring of 2020 and I love it.

The vitamin C Serum contains skin supporting ingredients such as aloe, vitamins C and E, MSM, botanical hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, jojoba oil and horsetail, dandelion and geranium extracts.

The hyaluronic acid helps create new collagen, restoring the elasticity and structure of skin damaged over the years by the sun and harsh elements in the environment.

Benefits of the serum include:

  • moisturizes and regenerates skin
  • protects against sun damage
  • soothes sunburns and irritations
  • speeds the healing of acne and helps prevent scarring
  • lightens dark spots on skin
  • brightens and smooths complexion
  • minimizes pores and fine lines
  • tones and tightens skin

I appreciate the way this rich serum smooths over my face, neck and chest.

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials C
Smartr Skin Summer Essentials – Vitamin C Serum

Smartr Skin Micro Needle Derma Roller

The derma roller, with hundreds of high quality titanium micro needles (0.05 mm in size), is a wonderful option that replaces expensive spa treatments.

The micro needle derma roller works with the body to create beautiful results. Micro needling stimulates healing by encouraging the body to produce collagen, naturally.  Needling helps to reverse the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and fine lines.

Benefits of  weekly micro needling includes:

  • increases the absorption of topical skin care products to maximize their effectiveness
  • improves the skin’s appearance and texture
  • effective, affordable and safe skin care method
  • treats sun damage, hyper pigmentation, wrinkles, and aging skin
  • promotes the product of collagen to smooth, tighten and plump skin

This is a safe tool for at home use. I pour alcohol over the needles before and after using, to keep them sterilized. After washing my face and using witch hazel on my skin, I use the micro needle derma roller gently over my face. There’s no pain, only a mild tingly feeling, and absolutely no bleeding. The needles barely prick the outer skin surface, which is exactly what you want them to do.

After use, I apply the Vitamin C Serum, use my jade roller and gua sha tool and then follow with my Smartr Skin Moisturizer.

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials roller
Smartr Skin Summer Essentials – micro needle derma roller

Smartr Skin Jade Roller and Gua Sha Facial Tool

The jade roller and gua sha facial tool massage the face, boost blood circulation, and tone and rejuvenate skin.

Benefits of the jade roller include:

  • less puffiness from fatigue
  • reduces dark under-eye circles
  • boosts blood circulation
  • reduces swelling and facial inflammation
  • deeper skincare product penetration
  • smooths out fine lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles

Benefits of the gua sha facial tool:

  • stretches and tones skin
  • relaxes tense muscles in face, neck and scalp
  • smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  • eliminates fluid build up by promoting lymphatic drainage
  • promotes blood circulation

The cool, smooth jade stones, in the roller and the gua sha tool, feel wonderful against my skin. I start with the jade roller, using the larger end for jawline, cheeks and forehead. And then I switch to the smaller roller for the mouth and under eye areas.

I use the gua sha tool over my neck first, moving downward toward my collarbones. Then I  glide it over jaw line, cheeks and forehead, gently stretching skin. Finally, I “comb” the gua sha over my scalp, starting at the hairline and moving back over the top of my scalp. I finish with my Smartr Skin moisturizer.

Check out my entire daily routine for skin care HERE.

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials jade
Smartr Skin Summer Essentials – jade roller and gua sha facial tool

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials Sale

If these products sound ideal, I’m excited to offer you discount codes for the best possible price!

To individually purchase the Vitamin C Serum, Micro Needle Derma Roller or Jade Roller with Gua Sha Facial Tool, and save 25% off, use my code:


Click these links and apply the discount code at checkout:

Vitamin C Serum

Micro Needle Derma Roller

Jade Roller with Gua Sha Facial Tool

Or, purchase all three and save 40% off the trio bundle!

Use my code SmartrSkinCindyGoesBeyond40 at checkout.

Smartr Skin Trio Bundle

Smartr Skin Summer Essentials rilynn
Rilynn photo bombing my flat lay! The perils of an outdoor shoot.

Enjoy Summer and Nourish Your Skin

I hope you are having an amazing summer full of fun. And I hope you are caring for and nourishing your skin to keep it glowing with health.

Let me know which Smartr Skin product you decide to try! And if you have any questions about these products, drop them into the comments below.

Summer glow with Smartr Skin
Glowing skin with Smartr Skin


Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Smartr Skin. I may earn a commission when you purchase products through my links, all at no extra cost to you.








Lemyka Science Focused Skincare

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

Thank you to Lemkya Skincare for sending product for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I am serious about my skincare. My daily morning and evening skincare routines are performed with dedication.

Because I have sensitive skin, I’m also serious about what I use to cleanse, nurture and protect it.

The products I use must be cruelty free, plant based and preferably fragrance free. Lemyka Science Focused Skincare products check all those boxes…and more!

Lemyka Science Focused Skincare title meme

Lemyka Science Focused Skincare

Founded in 2010, the Lemyka Team has over 30 years of accumulated skincare experience.

The team consists of moms and scientists who dedicate themselves to creating natural remedies for you and your family.

The company offers safe and clean face and body care products for adults and children. Their skincare line soothes and heals common skin conditions such as drool rash, eczema, psoriasis and acne, without any side effects.

Lemyka’s Standards

Lemyka’s top priority is ensuring that their products are free from toxins and irritants by using high quality natural and organic ingredients. The company’s skincare products do not contain parabens, steroids, fragrances, dyes or harsh chemicals.

They go beyond by testing for heavy metals and harmful microbials to ensure that high quality.

They also contribute to a better world, using sustainable practices and recyclable packaging. Their products are vegan and cruelty free. In addition, they are community minded, donating to local communities to support education for future generations.

Lemyka Science Focused Skincare healing lotion
Lemyka Science Focused Skincare – Healing Lotion

The Science Behind Lemyka

Lemyka focuses on soothing and healing common skin conditions.

The four focuses:

  • skin hydration
  • skin barrier restoration
  • itch and irritation relief
  • skin healing

Skin hydration is important, especially for those with conditions such as eczema. Lemyka’s steroid free lotions and creams restore the skin barrier and keep skin moisturized without leaving it feeling greasy. Their cutting edge technology helps skin hold moisture for up to 48 hours.

Lemyka Products

Lemyka offers a variety of skincare products for babies, children, teens and adults.

Products include their eczema therapy line, for babies and adults, ultra gentle foaming cleanser, gentle hair & body multipurpose wash and their fragrance free natural baby lotion.

They offer a non-greasy, fragrance free mineral sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF 30+ protection that’s ideal for babies and children. And it looks perfect for me, with my super sensitive skin!

And I’m intrigued by a Pain Relief Comfort Cream with healing menthol, aloe vera and ginger extracts.

Lemyka Science Focused SkincareLemyka Science Focused Skincare – Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser

My Experience with Lemyka Products

I received the Healing Lotion and the Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser. After a couple of weeks of use, here are my thoughts.

Healing Lotion

The Healing Lotion is perfect for soothing and healing dry, itchy skin rashes and irritations, whether due to allergic reactions, eczema, heat, sunburn, bug bites, contact dermatitis or rosacea.

The fragrance free lotion contains a blend of vitamin E, aloe vera, chamomile, and nourishing plant oils. It quickly relieves itching and inflammation while refreshing and restoring skin.

I received this product at the right time. When I garden, I wear long sleeves and pants to protect my skin. As much as I love growing plants, brushing bare skin against grasses or weeds causes an instant allergic reaction.

I wore long sleeves, on the day I received the Healing Lotion, however they weren’t tight enough around my wrists. By the time I entered my house, both forearms sported rashes, hives and welts that not only itched, they burned.

What an ideal situation for trying the Healing Lotion. I washed both arms, to rinse away irritants, and then applied the lotion liberally. Check out the before and after photos below! Within 15 minutes, my arms cleared up and the pain and itching were gone. Typically that rash lasts for hours and it’s almost impossible not to scratch it and make it worse.

Allergic reaction
Taken outside. Allergic reaction from pulling weeds.
Healed skin.
Taken indoors, 15 minutes after applying Lemyka Healing Lotion.

Ongoing Experience with Lemyka Healing Lotion

Here’s the great part about using the Lemkyka Healing Lotion. Not only does it quickly soothe my itchy, inflamed skin after an allergic reaction, it’s lessening the reaction.

I’ve continued to apply the lotion to my arms, after showering and before going to bed. It’s a great moisturizer.

Today, while watering in the garden, I pulled some weeds. Suddenly I realized I didn’t have long sleeves on and with alarm, looked at my arms. I didn’t break out. No rash, no burning and itching, no inflammation. Just healthy, clear skin. That’s truly amazing.

Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Specially formulated for sensitive and dry skin types, this facial wash is an incredibly gentle cleanser, removing makeup or dirt without irritating or drying out the skin.

The cleanser is pH balanced (5.5) and creates a creamy foam from plant based ingredients such as aloe vera, geranium, algae, calendula and chamomile extracts.

It is completely free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, parabens and artificial colors and dyes.

I love this product. The lightweight foaming cleanser is easy to apply and rinses away cleanly, leaving my skin so soft, smooth and moisturized.

Lemyka Science Focused Skincare foaming cleanser
Lemyka Science Focused Skincare – foaming cleanser

Ongoing Experience Using Lemyka Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Bonus benefits! I add a dollop of the foaming cleanser to the palm of my hand, use my hands to lather it over my face, then rinse by splashing cool water over my face…with my hands.

Guess what?

My hands have soft, smooth, healthy skin as well. And my hands take a lot of abuse. I garden, getting my hands dirty and creating calluses from handling gardening tools. Plus I’m frequently washing a dish or scrubbing a countertop with household cleaners. The skin on my hands dries out and even peels from all the contact with water and cleaning products.

I noticed a few days ago that my hands felt smooth and soft and looked healthy. Plus, when I apply the Healing Lotion on my arms, I finish by rubbing the last bit into my hands. It’s a win/win.

Get Your Lemyka Products

I highly recommend Lemyka Skincare products. Both the Healing Lotion and the Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleansers are now part of my daily skincare routine. I’ll continue to use both. And I look forward to trying the sunscreen and other Lemyka products.

If you appreciate natural, cruelty free, high quality skincare products, check out Lemyka’s website HERE.

Under their Beginner’s Guide section, they have convenient bundles that make taking care of  your skin, or your baby’s skin, easier. Click on the product photos for a helpful step by step guide to making your skin the best that it can be!

And let me know which product you try!

Clean, soft skin.
Lemyka Science Focused Skincare – clean, soft, nourished skin.



Travel Securely With a Battpak

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

Thank you to OCTAVE for sending me the Battpak for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

As travel restrictions ease, I’m so excited to venture out again. While I’ll remain within the US for my first two trips, I hope to travel to Scotland before year’s end.

This year, I intend to experience solo travel. I enjoy traveling with others. And I’m also looking forward to discovering how I do on my own, setting my own pace, following where my heart leads me.

Exploring on my own is one of the reasons I’m thrilled about this new product. I can travel securely with a Battpak.

Travel Securely With a Battpak title meme

When You Need a Charge

When my sister and I traveled to Scotland in 2019, I borrowed a portable battery charger from my son-in-law. How convenient it was to pop that battery pack in my purse and set off to wander the streets of Edinburgh.

I rely on my phone for taking photos and sending texts and looking up info while I explore. The last thing I want is for my phone to die while I’m away from my plug in charger.

I discovered how easy it was to connect my phone to the portable battery and drop both into my purse while I walked or rode on the hop on/hop off bus. It kept my phone ready to snap photos and prevented an unwanted return trip to the apartment in the middle of the day, to charge my phone.

Now…what if I could carry just ONE item that took the place of my wallet and purse and battery charger, while I’m out adventuring? That would be super convenient, right?

Travel Securely With a Battpak charging
Travel Securely With a Battpak – charging my phone

Travel Securely With a Battpak

The Battpak by OCTAVE is perfect for the traveler. It’s also ideal for the parent who has his or her hands busy with kids while out on family adventures. And it’s the right item to take along to concerts, festivals or museums.

It’s a portable battery charger, first of all, with a high quality 10,000 mAh battery for charging cell phones quickly and efficiently. The Battpak has a custom pcba circuit board for universal charging and USB and USB type-C outputs plus a USB type-C input.

A handstitched vegan leather cover surrounds the fire retardant polycarbonate housing. The pack is slightly bigger than my iPhone Plus, making it simple to slip into a pocket, backpack or purse.

Those stats make this battery charger a superior product. And yet…there’s more. It’s the surprise feature that makes this charger so unique.

Travel Securely With a Battpak cord
Travel Securely With a Battpak – unit and charging cord

Secret Compartment

What I love about the Battpak is the secret compartment within.

Drop the Battpak or toss it onto a table and it’s not going to open. There’s a trick to opening the unit. It’s not difficult to get into, however someone who happened to pick it up would not realize there is a compartment inside.

Pop open the Battpak and discover the security this portable charger provides.

Inside is a roomy wallet for credit cards, money, keys or papers. There are pockets to tuck cards into. And a strap to hold straws, folded money or any other small item that you might want to take along on your journeys.

The deeper compartment with the sleek metal tray allows room for bigger items such as keys, tins with ibuprofen. a pen or a charging cord.

For an afternoon out with the kids or a full day of exploring a new city, the Battpak is the perfect take along item.

Travel Securely With a Battpak compartment
Travel Securely With a Battpak – secret compartment

Get Your Battpak

The Battpak makes a wonderfully thoughtful gift for Father’s Day. It’s also a special birthday or holiday gift for the traveler in your family or for the adventurous parents who enjoy hiking with their kids.

This convenient battery charger/travel safe means you can charge up your phone ANYWHERE and stash your important items while on the go.

You can get your Battpak from the company website HERE. Use my code, CINDY15 for 15% off of your order.

I’ve used the Battpak at home to charge my phone. It works so well.

However, I’m especially excited to take it with me on upcoming trips. I like the idea of dropping my cell phone in one pocket and the Battpak in another as I set out to explore. There’s no purse dangling off of my shoulder, for someone to snag as they trot by. I’ll tuck some cash, a card and a cord in the Battpak, along with any other necessities I might need. And I’ll feel secure.

That sense of security allows me to focus on what’s important…taking in the sights around me, snapping photos and soaking up new experiences.

Where will you go with your Battpak? I’ll share my first destination…soon!

Charge your phone anywhere



Farmers Lavender Co

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

Thank you to Farmers Lavender Co for sending products for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

As an avid gardener, one of the essential elements in my backyard is an herb garden. I love walking through that section. As my legs and hands brush against the herbs they release their fragrances, scenting the air around me. It’s so easy to stand still and breathe deeply when inhaling an aromatic mix of basil, thyme, mint, bee balm, lemon balm, marjoram, tarragon and lavender.

Lavender is one of my favorite herbs. I currently have two varieties growing in my herb garden. So imagine my delight when FARMERS Lavender Co contacted me about working together.

I received Lavender and Chamomile Loose Leaf Tea and Lavender Infused Honey to try.

Farmers Lavender Co title meme

FARMERS Lavender Co Story

Kyle, Tera and Dean Griffin, along with their dog Wyatt, are first generation lavender farmers. They choose to grow lavender due to its beauty and versatility. The herb also possess health benefits such as reducing anxiety, boosting mood and relaxing the body into sleep.

The Griffins create garden inspired products using lavender essential oils and flower buds. Their bath and body and culinary products naturally support health and wellbeing.  Additionally, all of their products are thoughtfully crafted at their farm using high quality ingredients.

Their mission statement:

“We love creating garden inspired products and we want you to love doing business with us! Our goal is to provide quality products in a timely manner that will add value to your business through customer satisfaction and retention.”

The Farm

The FARMERS Lavender Co Farm is open to the public, if you happen to be in the area. Their address is 247 Prayer Circle, Rockwall, Texas.

Hours are Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Other days and times are available by appointment. If you are fortunate enough to visit, enjoy lattes, lemonades, teas, baked treats and ice creams, all featuring…lavender! Check out their menu HERE.

Activities at the farm include Nine Hole Mini Golf, Gem Mining, Fairy Garden Kit and Paint and Pot. I’d love to create a fairy garden there! They also have spaces designated for parties and gatherings and professional photography packages.

Onsite is Sylvie’s Holistic Massage & Spa.  Sylvie offers holistic spa services, by appointment, to promote healing and wellbeing.

Farmers Lavender Co product shot
Preparing for afternoon tea with FARMERS Lavender Co products

FARMERS Lavender Co Products

The company offers a variety of products, including:

FARMERS Coffee Co – Lavender Coffee is delightfully floral and sophisticated, creating a unique coffee experience. Their coffee is sustainably sourced and roasted in small batches at the farm. Shop for Lavender Blend Coffee, Lavender Honey Coffee, Lavender Vanilla Coffee and Lavender Coconut Coffee.

FARMERS Tea Co – Lavender Loose Leaf Teas are wonderful blends of fresh, colorful herbs with aromatic floral notes. The company’s loose leaf teas are sure to lift the spirits while providing a sense of calm and wellbeing. Shop Lavender, Peach, Black Tea Blend, Lavender Relaxation Tea, Lavender Black Tea Blend, Lavender Vanilla Chai and Lavender Chamomile Tea Blend.

FARMERS Honey Co – Infused Honey elevates the taste of warm biscuits. buttery toast and scones. FARMERS infuses natural flavor extracts into wildflower honey to create unique and delicious flavors. Use  in your favorite drink and create uniquely sweet coffees, teas or even cocktails. Shop Lavender Infused Honey, Orange Infused Honey and Vanilla Infused Honey.

FARMERS Body Co – personal care and aromatherapy products are formulated to cleanse, nourish and moisturize skin. FARMERS products are made with high quality ingredients and lavender essential oil to help soothe a busy mind. Shop a wide variety of products, from hand sanitizers to lotions to body butters to candles to aromatherapy mists.

Farmers Lavender Co tea
FARMERS Lavender Co loose leaf tea.

The FARMERS Lavender Co Products I Tried

I am enjoying both of the products I received.

Lavender Chamomile Tea

The Lavender Chamomile Loose Leaf Tea is a delicious and aromatic blend of two soothing herbs.

Lavender offers many health benefits, including:

  • Relieves headaches, including migraines
  • Aids relaxation & helps induce sleep
  • Reduces anxiety & depression
  • Aids digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Diuretic
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-viral
  • Improves heart health
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces symptoms from asthma, colds, flu & fever
  • Alleviates dizziness

And chamomile does more than aid with sleep. Its benefits include:

  • eases anxiety and stress
  • soothes digestive system
  • relieves bronchial congestion
  • eases muscle spasms
  • lowers blood sugar
  • relieves headaches and migraines
  • anti-inflammatory
  • cleanses liver and kidneys

This tea is a soothing blend for an afternoon tea break or an end of day drink before bed. Simply add a tablespoon of the loose leaf tea to a cup of hot water, cover and let steep for five minutes. The floral aroma and taste are wonderful!

I’ve appreciated this tea blend tremendously. Plus as a bonus, both of these herbs help ease achy joints and arthritis pain. FARMERS provides this perfectly blended tea, making it easy to prepare a cup daily.

Farmers Lavender Co scone with honey
Warm blueberry scone drizzled with Lavender Infused Honey.

Lavender Infused Honey

The second product I received is the Lavender Infused Honey.

As one who embraces a plant based lifestyle, I appreciate the healing properties of honey. I also use honey that’s ethically sourced from beekeepers who care about the health and welfare of the bees.

Honey is highly absorbable and its B12 coenzymes make it a powerful brain food. Plus raw honey repairs DNA and it is extremely high in minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, chromium, molybdenum and manganese. Its anti inflammatory properties inhibit pathogens from procreating and releasing toxins that increase inflammation. Honey supports the immune system.

Trying an infused honey is new to me. So what did I think? The flavor of the Lavender Infused Honey is a delicious combination of sweet and floral with a hint of spice. I love adding it to toasted gluten free bread, slathered with plant based butter.

Farmers Lavender Co tea and scone with honey
Afternoon tea time.

Get Your FARMERS Lavender Co Products

Today, for afternoon tea, I baked vegan, gluten free blueberry scones. What a homey treat on a rather dreary, overcast day. The hot lavender and chamomile tea, paired with a fresh from the oven scone drizzled with lavender infused honey, refreshed my body and my mind. Truly, I savored the moment and the mini meal.

Interested in trying these amazing products?

Check out the company website and place an order through there. Shipping is free on all orders. You can also subscribe to their newsletter for gardening tips, recipes and sales notifications.

Do you love lavender as much as I do? Which of the FARMERS Lavender Co products would you like to try?

Farmers Lavender Co product shot 2









Kit and Wilder

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

This post is a collaboration with Kit and Wilder. All opinions are my own.


In my quest for eco-friendly, sustainable clothing, for adults and children, I’ve come across several that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Check out my recent post for a line of durable, sustainable clothing for adults that meets my high standards.

In this post, allow me to introduce you to Kit and Wilder, a thoughtfully curated shop for babies and kids…with some excellent products for Mom too.

Kit and Wilder title meme

Kit and Wilder Story

Meet Christine, the mama and founder behind Kit and Wilder. After years in the fast fashion industry, during which she became more and more aware of the darker side of the clothing industry, two things happened to create a shift in her life.

Christine found out she was expecting her baby girl…and the fashion company she worked for went bankrupt.

For her own daughter, Christine searched for eco-friendly, sustainable clothing, toys, books and products. When she couldn’t find a one-stop shop for the items she sought, Christine’s dual adventure in motherhood and sustainable fashion began.

Kit and Wilder combines all the aspects important to Christine…safety, eco-friendly, sustainability, trendy and aesthetically pleasing…in an online shop. Her mission is to carry eco-friendly and sustainable items to help fight for our children’s and grandchildren’s future planet. She works with brands that share those same important values.

Kit and Wilder Christine and daughter
Meet the founder of Kit and Wilder, Christine, holding her daughter. Photo from Kit and Wilder website

Giving Back

Every purchase made through Kit and Wilder ensures a better, greener future for the next generation.

Kit and Wilder supports One Tree Planted, an environmental charity, dedicated to giving back to the environment, creating a healthier climate, protecting biodiversity and helping reforestation efforts around the world. One Tree Planted works with reforestation partners in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa who plant trees to restore forests after fires and floods, create jobs, build communities, and protect habitats for biodiversity.

I love supporting companies that give back for the benefit of the planet, which is a benefit for us all.

What Kit and Wilder Offers

Kit and Wilder offers products in the following categories:

  • Wearables – all the necessities for baby, from organic onesies to play sets to hats and sunnies. There’s a cute selection of Mommy and Mini matching shirts and bracelets plus items for Mom too.
  • Play – check out this fun selection of non-toxic, sensory toys and books with nature themes.
  • Chewies– have a teething baby? Kit and Wilder offers safe, non-toxic teethers in a variety of fun designs. They also carry silicone pacifiers, bibs, bowl sets and adorable coolers for snacks.
  • Snuggle – everything needed for a cozy nursery is here: crib sheets, swaddles and outdoor themed decor, pillows and bedding.
Kit and Wilder ribbed short set
Kit and Wilder Wild Sage Organic Ribbed Short Set and Knot Bow
Kit and Wilder feeding set
Kit and Wilder Yosemite Bowl Set

My Experience with Kit and Wilder

I selected the adorable Wild Sage Organic Ribbed Short Set for my granddaughter, Finley Grace, and the matching Knot Bow in the same color. She is six months old and she’s wearing the set in size 6 – 12 months.

This outfit is so cute. The quality is exceptional and the organic cotton is breathable and comfortable. Fin can wear this play set all summer! The sage green color is perfect with her red hair. The set also comes in Driftwood and White Sands.

Finley's six months photo
Finley wearing her short set for her six month photo shoot

And this girl, who thinks she’s older than she is, now sits in a high chair and eats solid baby food. She’s already discovered the fun game of throwing items off of the high chair tray and onto the floor.

She tried the silicone bowl set, in Yosemite, with wonderful results! The bowl secures to flat surfaces with a suction base. And the bowl features high sides, with one side higher than the other to make scooping out food easier for toddlers. This mealtime set will serve Fin well as she grows. And, much to the delight of her parents, Finley could not throw this bowl to the floor!

Kit and Wilder feeding herself
Finley enjoying carrots…and her new silicone bowl set

Boho Backpack

For myself, I picked up the roomy Sunny Days Boho Backpack. I love the casual bohemian vibes and also how fun it is to carry. The backpack accompanied me on a road trip over the weekend, and it held all my essentials. The woven and crocheted straw backpack is lightweight and so easy to carry. I love it!

Boho backpack
Sunny Days Boho Backpack

Get Your Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Items from Kit and Wilder

Will you join me in supporting eco-friendly, sustainable clothing from socially conscious companies?

Whether you have a new baby, a toddler, a grandchild or want a shirt or backpack for yourself, there’s something for you at Kit and Wilder. I’ve got my eyes on toys and outfits for Finley and a sweet tee for my 12 year old granddaughter, Aubrey.

I’m serious about creating a better world for those granddaughters and for my four grandsons as well.  I can do that by buying eco-friendly, sustainable items and supporting companies that share those same values.

Use my code Cindy15 to save 15% off of your order. And let me know what you love about Kit and Wilder!

Kit and Wilder tummy time


Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

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

Thank you to Nina’s Olivar for sending me her organic extra virgin olive oil, for review purposes. All opinions are my own.


When Nina contacted me about collaborating together, her story intrigued me. Because behind every product, every shop, every invention, there is a story and a journey. And it’s those stories in people’s lives, and their unfolding journeys, that inspire me.

Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil…an organic extra virgin olive oil produced by her farm in Spain…has a beautiful origin and an extraordinary ongoing story.

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil title meme

Nina’s Story

Several years ago, a fun family outing became a life altering event for Nina. Captivated by the beauty of Spanish olive groves, Nina bought her own small farm.

Her plot of land, in the Almeria Region in Spain, supports 900 mature Spanish Arbequina and Manzanillo olive trees. The land is classified as organic and every year it undergoes inspections for the renewal of the EU Organic Farm Certificate.

This means that Nina does not use insecticides, pesticides or herbicides on her olive grove. The abundant sunshine and the caressing winds sustain the olive trees, naturally.

Fun tangent story: actor Clint Eastwood once walked this land where Nina’s trees thrive. The desert hills of nearby Tabernas provided the location for Eastwood’s film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil grove
Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil – Nina in her olive grove. Photo from her website

A Different Way to Farm

Due to the drying out of the ground aquifers in the Almeria region, Nina chooses to adapt to different ways of farming. Glenn French, Nina’s farm manager, introduced permaculture farming…a way of achieving high yields and productivity by working with nature in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

Permaculture farming possess three core tenants:

  • care for the earth – help all life systems continue to exist and thrive
  • care for the people – allow people access to resources they need to survive
  • fair share – only take what you need, reinvest any surplus and return waste products back into the system so it’s useful again

Glenn and Nina also collect rainwater using huge swales dug at intervals across the farm. This helps the collected rainwater to sink into the earth.

They plant nitrogen fixing trees such as Robena, Paulina and Acacias throughout the farm to enrich the olive trees. Additionally, lavender is a companion plant for the olive trees and in the fall barley serves as a cover crop to fix nitrogen in the soil.

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil
Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil – the olives. Photo from Nina’s website.

Producing Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

Hand harvesting of the green olives occurs during the third week in October. The olives go to the cold press mill the same day they are picked. At the mill, the olives are centrifuged to separate the oil. The entire process takes two to four hours. And the resulting green gold oil is never stored for long in tanks before it’s bottled.

The early green olives produce an extra virgin olive oil with a phenomenal flavor profile and very low acidity. The flavor is classified as fruity and lively, and also grassy, peppery, herbaceous and minty.

Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil is the recipient of the New York International Olive Oil Competition Gold Award for 2020.

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil close up
Limited 2020 bottle

My Experience with Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

I felt excited to receive my bottle of Nina’s olive oil. My first experience with an exceptional olive oil occurred while I toured Tuscany, Italy in 2017. Dipping fresh, warm, gluten free bread into that olive oil, I realized what I’d been missing with cheap store brand versions. Those grocery store brands taste oily….but lack flavor.

I was not disappointed when my bottle of Almeria Gold Olive Oil arrived.

One taste of this fragrant, pungent olive oil instantly transported me back to Italy…or more accurately, to Spain! The quality and flavor are both exceptional.

And I knew exactly how I wanted to savor this olive oil.

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil dipping oil
Dipping oil

Dipping Oil with Roasted Garlic

Remembering my Italian experience, I created a dipping oil using Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil.

The recipe is simple. Add a small amount of Nina’s olive oil to a hot skillet. Add two finely chopped fresh garlic cloves and pan roast until garlic is golden. Stir in one teaspoon dried thyme, one teaspoon dried rosemary and one teaspoon dried parsley. Cook with garlic until herbs are fragrant. Add garlic bits, herbs and a teaspoon of sea salt to one cup of Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil.

Serve with warm, toasty bread and a pasta dish.

I used gluten free loaves, toasted in the oven. And oh my! How delicious dipping chunks of warm crusty bread into the dipping oil. Although I paired the bread and dipping oil with gluten free rotini and sugar free marinara sauce, the bread and oil make a wonderfully satisfying snack…or meal!

Nina's Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil pasta
Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil – dipping oil, warm bread and pasta

Get Your Nina’s Olive Oil

Nina’s olive oil is perfect for stir fries, sauteing, cooking, baking, drizzling on salads…or my favorite, dipping oils.

Visit Nina’s website, for more information about her olive oil and more of her inspiring story.

And then click HERE or on the photo below, to order your own prized bottle of Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil.



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