World Refugee Day

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June 20 is World Refugee Day. The day honors, respects and brings awareness to refugees around the world. The United Nations designated the day in 2001 to celebrate the strength, courage and resiliency of people forced to flee their homes due to conflicts and persecution.

It’s also a time to deepen compassion and empathy for those who are displaced and to recognize their efforts to rebuild their lives.

Read on for more information about the current plight of refugees worldwide. And to learn what I did to help this year.

Word Refugee Day title meme

Facts About Refugees

A person forced to leave his or her country due to war, persecution, disasters or violence is a refugee. Every minute, 20 people flee their homelands.

By the end of 2020, 82.4 million refugees remained displaced worldwide. More than half of the refugees are children. The number of people seeking asylum is high. Just last year, another 1.1 million people submitted requests for asylum.

Currently more than 6 million refugees live in camps. Although not meant to be permanent, some refugees live in camps for years. Basic needs are met there, such as food, water, shelter, medical care and emergency services.

Turkey hosts the most refugees, with 3.6 million living there currently. Columbia shelters 1.8 million who have fled from Venezuela.

Over two thirds of all refugees come from five countries: Syria with 6.6 million, Venezuela with 3.7 million, Afghanistan with 2.7 million, South Sudan with 2.3 million and Myanmar with 1 million.

This year’s theme for World Refugee Day is inclusion. Together, we can achieve anything.

World Refugee Day refugees
World Refugee Day – 82.4 million people are displaced

What I Did to Help This Year

I discovered a way to help refugees this year. I participated in a challenge sponsored by Church World Service (CWS). CWS is a faith based organization that transforms communities around the world through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

The Ration Challenge began Sunday June 13 and concluded Saturday June 19.

There are three parts to the challenge.

Raise Money

I set up a fundraising page through CWS and began to share my goals and intentions via social media. Sponsoring myself with an initial donation ensured I received my ration package in the mail.

I set a goal of raising $679. Those funds feed three refugees in camps for a year.

It was important for me to express to others why I wanted to do a ration challenge.

My reasons include:

  • raising awareness of refugees, their struggles and also their resilience
  • learning what it’s like to be in their situation by experiencing it on a small scale. I wanted the eye opening experience. And I wanted to shift my perspective, enlarge it and then respond.
  • being an example. I felt confident asking for donations because I was willing to donate also and to share in the experience of eating rations for a week.
  • putting actions with my words is important to me. Walking the talk, stepping up, making a difference were all motivating factors.
World Refugee Day fundraising page
World Refugee Day – fundraising page

 

Eat Rations

By sponsoring myself with an initial donation of $100 before May 27, I received a ration box identical to what adult Syrian refugees receive. The box contained one week of rations: a can of kidney beans, 6 ounces of lentils, 15 ounces of white rice, 3 ounces of dried chickpeas and four coupons. The coupons replicate what a refugee receives. They are traded for food.

My coupons allowed me to add to my rations: 7 1/3 cups of additional rice (I chose brown rice), 3 cups of flour (I used gluten free flour), 12 ounces of oil (I used my Almeria Gold olive oil) and because I am vegan, I received a coupon for 3.75 ounces of tofu, rather than the standard can of sardines. I don’t eat tofu either so I substituted another protein, 3.75 ounces of red beans.

On Sunday morning, June 13, I began the challenge by eating only the ration food and drinking only water. Included in my box of rations was a booklet containing recipes created by refugees. The book proved so helpful. And it contains personal stories of refugees. Check out my experience doing the challenge, below.

World Refugee Day rations
World Refugee Day – a week’s rations

Save Lives

The money raised through the Ration Challenge helps in two ways.

First, by providing emergency assistance to meet people’s most urgent needs. Life is already difficult for refugees. Now, due to the COVID pandemic, refugees are experiencing lockdowns, job losses (for those very few who are earning a small income) and disruptions to aid. Hunger is rampant.

The money funds programs that provide food rations, health care and other essential support to people who need it the most.

And secondly, money raised helps address the root cause of injustice.

We must have empathy and compassion for others. In a world where there is enough for everyone, why do some go to bed hungry at night? Empathizing with others and feeling compassion for their situations are the foundations for “charity begins at home”.

When enough people feel strongly about caring for others, then we not only help out individually (giving, reducing carbon footprint, buying ethically from sustainable companies), we ask our governments for action as well (increasing international aid budgets and supporting international aid commitments).

By experiencing the Ration Challenge, I put myself in another’s shoes for a week, increasing my compassion and empathy. By sharing my experience, I hopefully increase others’ compassion and empathy as well.

World Refugee Day - recipe booklet with refugee stories

Eating Rations

My first reaction, when I opened the tiny box of rations, was sorrow. Tears filled my eyes. It looks like a small amount of food because it IS a small amount of food. The sorrow wasn’t for myself. I felt it for the refugees.

After swapping out my coupons for the additional food, I created a meal plan.

I ate three small meals a day…breakfast, lunch and supper. No snacks, except on Day Three when I experienced gnawing hunger between lunch and supper. I used some of my brown rice and a couple of spoonfuls of flour to create rice cakes that I fried in a small amount of olive oil. Eating two rice cakes satisfied my hunger and I saved the rest for future meals.

Breakfast

Every morning I ate congee, a rice dish made from 1/2 cup of rice and four cups of water. Boiling the rice for 45 minutes to an hour creates a large bowl of soft…some might say mushy…rice. It is very filling and I actually like it.

World Refugee Day congee
Breakfast every day – congee

Lunch

This meal typically consisted of a cup of rice and half a cup of beans or lentils. I measured everything. Even so, by the end of day two I wondered if my food would run out before the week did.

Lunch during Ration Week
A typical lunch during Ration Challenge week

Supper

I increased my food slightly in the evenings. One night I made a soup from one cup of mixed legumes, using the cooking water as broth, and added half a cup of rice. However, most evenings I ate a cup of rice with half a cup of beans or lentils and added a small flatbread or rice cake on the side.

Rice cakes
Rice cakes made from one cup of cooked brown rice and two tablespoons of flour, fried in a little olive oil.

Rewards

During Ration Challenge Week, it’s possible to earn rewards.

Refugees are resourceful and hardworking. Most are not allowed to have jobs, due to countries protecting local job markets. However, they find other ways to provide for their families. Funds from the challenge support livelihood programs in Jordan that help provide a small income for refugees.

The rewards allow participants to earn more food due to their hard work during fundraising.

Making a donation yourself earns an unlimited amount of one spice.

Inviting others to contribute, whether they do or not, earns teabags. Five people invited to donate equals one teabag.

$75 – unlimited salt

$200 – a cup of milk.

$400 – 6 ounces of one vegetable

$600 – 4 ounces of an additional protein.

$800 – canned tomatoes

$1,000 – one hot or cold beverage of choice

I went a bit beyond my goal of $679, earning rewards of cumin, salt, a cup of almond milk, 6 ounces of kale and I added 4 more ounces of red beans as my additional protein. Plus I earned tea for the week.

World Refugee Day kale
I was so excited to add kale to my rations on Day Five.

My Experience

Was the week challenging? Yes, although I really only experienced hunger on Day Three. After that day, my hunger subsided and my small meals sustained me.

However, by Day Five I felt tired. My energy levels were low because my calorie intake was extremely low. I had a slight headache. I took one of my grandsons out for his birthday dinner…and only drank water. It was a valuable teaching moment though as Joey and I discussed what life is like for refugees.

From Day One I expressed gratitude, thankfulness for the food I ate, thankfulness for the goodness of people who care for others. And daily, almost hourly, my thoughts turned again and again to refugees and what they experience.

By Day Seven, I admit I was glad to finish the challenge. Although I like brown rice, after eating rice three times a day for a week, I grew tired of it. But that brought my attention back to the refugees. My challenge week was ending. Their days and weeks go on…and on…and on…often for years. As a result, I’ll eat a meal of rice and beans at least once a week, to remain mindful.

How Others Can Help

I truly am grateful for the experience of the Ration Challenge. And I’m so incredibly thankful for those who contributed to this fundraiser and who left me encouraging notes.

Here are ways you can help:

  • look for refugee owned businesses in your cities and support them
  • watch a documentary on refugees, listen to podcasts, read books…all to learn more about the way they live and the lives they’ve left behind
  • speak up for government policies that support the rights of refugees
  • be mindful of the food you eat by not wasting any of it, by shopping sustainably and by sharing with others when you can
  • become a sustaining partner with CWS and make helping refugees a part of your monthly budget. Even a small amount each month helps such as the cost of a cup of coffee each week or one lunch or dinner out. Sign up here. Or you can make a one time donation on that site as well.

And…join me next year in the Ration Challenge. I want to create a team. Location and distance don’t matter, we connect via the internet and social media. Team up with me so that together, we can do more to help others. If you are interested, let me know in the comments below or send me a message. I’ll contact you next year…I promise!

Goal Met
World Refugee Day – goal met

 

 

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12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri

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I love to travel, for so many reasons. As travel restrictions ease, I have several upcoming trips planned that I’m excited to experience and share about later.

For today, I decided to share about my own hometown, Joplin, Missouri. I’m working with Missouri Tourism on their summer campaign, “Visit MO”. My assignment was to feature a Joplin location. Partnering with them, I’ve deepened my appreciation for my city.

For this fun post, discover 12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri. I enjoyed working on this one and shooting a few new photos. And, I discovered something I didn’t know about my hometown!

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri title meme

Joplin Began as a Mining Town

First settled by the Reverend Harris G Joplin in 1839, lead was discovered in the area before the Civil War. Mining operations were interrupted during the war. However, in 1870 a large lead strike occurred, bringing scores of miners to the area. Mining camps rapidly sprang up. By 1873 the City of Joplin incorporated.

The riches of the mines drew investors and speculators, businesses and dance halls, gambling establishments and brothels.

While lead helped establish the town, it was the discovery of zinc that grew it. Railroads crossed the town, bringing more and more people and businesses. By the turn of the century, Joplin was the hub of Southwest Missouri and the lead and zinc capital of the world.

Most of the mines closed after World War II.

The Story Behind Joplin’s Maiden Lane

Do you enjoy knowing the origins of city street names? Many streets are named after prominent people associated with the city…founders, business men and women, celebrities. Most towns have a Main Street, numbered streets or directional avenues.

Joplin contains  a couple of streets named for the mining operations that founded it: Mineral and Galena. Furnace is named after the first smelting company in town. And others reflect the names of business men or mining companies, such as Rex, Picher, Sergeant and Moffet. We even have a series of streets named after US presidents.

The most colorful story belongs to Maiden Lane, a demure sounding name for a street. However, in Joplin’s wild mining days, this street on the west side of town was so named for being the red light district of Joplin. Brothels supposedly lined the street.

Another possible explanation is that “maiden” refers to horses that have not won a race. Near Maiden Lane was Barbee Park, a horse racing track that operated from 1872 until 1909.

Which story do you prefer?

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri maiden lane
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Maiden Lane backstory

It Feels Like a Bigger City

With its population of 51,567 as of 2020, Joplin is the 12th most populous city in the state. However, it’s the 5th largest hub in Missouri, with the metro Joplin area coming in at 220,000. People in surrounding towns and nearby states come into Joplin to work, shop and play.

Many visitors are surprised to discover that Joplin feels like a bigger city with two large nationally recognized hospitals and many thriving businesses and restaurants, locally owned and big name franchises. We have a regional airport, a historic downtown district, industries, universities, theaters and a variety of parks and green spaces.

Famous Saloon with a Tunnel

Joplin’s House of Lords, a three story building near the corner of 4th and Main Streets, was the most famous saloon. A bar and restaurant occupied the first floor. Gambling rooms filled the second floor. And the third floor housed a brothel. The House of Lords provided patrons with every kind of vice imaginable.

The owner of the House of Lords constructed a tunnel that connected the saloon to his office at the Joplin Globe, where he was part owner as well.  The tunnel allowed him and other gentlemen to enter the building discreetly.

In 1897, the House of Lords introduced visitors to ragtime piano, played by the great black musician, Scott Joplin. And the establishment helped to launch the artistic career of Thomas Hart Benton.

The House of Lords closed in 1920, with the coming of the prohibition, and the building was later torn down.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri house of lords
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – House of Lords, most famous saloon

Reign of Terror

During Joplin’s early days, it experienced a reign of terror in 1871 – 1872. As more and more miners arrived in town, lawlessness prevailed. Many of the miners left their families in other towns or states, as they began working in the mines.

They spent their hard earned cash on drinking and entertainment and generally, made merry. The nearest sheriff resided in Carthage, Missouri, about 15 miles away. The lack of law enforcement and the wild excitement of the prospectors resulted in street fights, rowdiness, disorderly conduct and occasionally a shooting.

The reign of terror ended when a miner named JW Lupton disarmed a stranger in town who was causing trouble. Lupton was appointed Joplin’s first constable.

Bonnie and Clyde Lived in Joplin

For a short time, this infamous couple, along with three members of their Barrow Gang, lived in a rental in Joplin.

On April 1, 1933, the gang rented an over the garage apartment in a quiet, affluent neighborhood. The upstairs apartment’s many windows provided vantage points to watch for the approach of law enforcement.

For 13 days the group hid in the apartment while committing a series of robberies in Missouri and neighboring states. Their unusual activities drew suspicion from the neighbors.

On April 13, 1933, police arrived, expecting to find bootleggers. Instead, a furious shootout occurred. Joplin police detective Harry McGinnis and Newton County Constable John Wesley Harryman lost their lives.

Bonnie and Clyde, Buck and Blanche and WD escaped, however they left all of their belongings behind. Police discovered a camera and undeveloped rolls of film. The circulated photos from those film canisters allowed law enforcement officers across the lower US to see what the outlaws looked like and resulted in the eventual capture or death of all of the gang.

I enjoyed an overnight stay at the Bonnie and Clyde Apartment in Joplin last year. Read about it HERE.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri bonnie and clyde apartment
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Bonnie and Clyde apartment living room

Four State Area

Joplin is in Southwest Missouri, in what’s called the “four state area”. The Kansas and Oklahoma state lines are minutes from Joplin. And Arkansas is a 30 minute drive south.

People drive to Joplin for shopping, doctors’ appointments and dining from the small towns in those other states. Additionally, Joplin is a hub for the smaller towns surrounding it. The nearest large city is Springfield, Missouri, an hour’s drive to the east.

Route 66 Crosses Through Town

Also known as the Main Street of American or the Mother Road, Route 66 is one of America’s original highways. It was established on November 11, 1926. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before terminating in Santa Monica, California…2,448 miles of highway.

Route 66 was officially removed from the US Highway System in 1985. However, the segments that remain are designated a National Scenic Byway and currently called “Historic Route 66”.

Route 66 runs east to west through Joplin, along our 7th Street. There’s a mural located near the corner of 7th and Main Streets that provides a fun photo opp.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri route 66
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Route 66 runs through the city. Stop at this mural near 7th and Main Streets for a photo opp.

Joplin’s Nicknames

Like most cities and towns, Joplin has nicknames. Two common ones are J-Town and JoMo. MO, of course, is the abbreviation for Missouri.

Hit by an EF5 Tornado

May 22, 2011 is a date Joplin residents will never forget. At 5:41 on a Sunday afternoon, a massive EF5 tornado struck. Thirty percent of the city was destroyed, including thousands of homes and businesses, and 161 people lost their lives. It was the deadliest tornado in the US since 1947 and the most costly in history with 2.8 billion in damages.

I experienced that tornado, as did several family members. Looking at photos this evening, my body still reacts to what happened that day and I still feel sorrow.

I’m grateful to say that today, ten years later, Joplin is mostly recovered. There are still vacant lots in neighborhoods and businesses that never rebuilt. However, I saw my community come together and become stronger than before. And I witnessed the amazing compassion of others as thousands of volunteers arrived to help clean up the devastation.

There are memorials and reminders of that day throughout Joplin. We are strong. And we will never forget those we lost.

EF5 tornado
Whole neighborhoods were obliterated by the tornado. Photo by Keith Myers, from the book Joplin 5:41

Joplin Motto

I just learned Joplin’s motto today, and I’ve lived here for almost 41 years.

“The city that Jack built.”

Jack is a slang term for the mineral sphalerite (ZnS). It is the main mineral found in zinc, the element that put Joplin on the map. It’s a fitting motto!

Largest Continually Flowing Waterfall in Missouri

Just south of Joplin is Grand Falls, the largest continually flowing waterfall in the state. These gorgeous falls cascade over a 163 foot wide ledge of chert rock, plunging 12 feet into Shoal Creek. A must see for anyone in the area, the craggy outcropping of chert next to the falls creates pools of water and miniature waterfalls that invite all visitors to splash, play and explore.

Chert is a type of rock unique to Missouri. Joplin has the largest existing chert glades in the world.

The chert and falls create a beautiful nature area that is perfect for picnics, hiking, swimming, meditating or simply watching the sun rise or set.

This is the Joplin location featured in Missouri’s “Visit MO” campaign. Take their fun quiz to discover your perfect “M-O” destination.

Grand Falls near Joplin MO
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Grand Falls, largest waterfall in MO

Exploring in My Own City

Putting together this post about my city inspires me to get out and explore Joplin more this summer. After more than a year of mostly staying close to home, literally, it feels good to get out and learn new things about interesting places, starting with Joplin.

I especially enjoyed snapping photos and seeing familiar locations with fresh eyes.

I hope you learned something new about Joplin, Missouri. And that you feel inspired to explore your own community.

Tell me where you live, in the comments below!

Joplin Tornado Memorial
One of the tornado memorials, located in Cunningham Park.

Joplin Mementos

 


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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.

 

 

Father’s Day Traditions Around the World

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As Father’s Day approaches, I followed my curiosity to see what other countries do to honor their dads.

The result is this post, Father’s Day Traditions Around the World.

Have fun reading about other customs and perhaps choosing a few to add to Dad’s special day on June 20.

Father’s Day Traditions Around the World Title Meme

Thailand

Father’s Day in Thailand is celebrated on December 5, the birthday of King Bhumidol Adulyadej. He is considered the Father of the Nation. Traditionally, children wear yellow as they present canna flowers to their fathers.

United States

The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day in the US. It celebrates the contributions fathers and father figures make to their children’s lives.

Common customs in the US include gifts, either handmade or purchased, cards, outings or dinner with the family. The first Father’s Day, inspired by the work of Sonora Smart Dodd, occurred in June, 1910. However, President Johnson made the proclamation declaring Father’s Day the third Sunday in June. And President Nixon made the holiday official in 1972.

Fathers Day Traditions Around the World US
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World – US

Russia

Russia’s Father’s Day began as a military commemoration known as Defender of the Fatherland Day. Soldiers received honor as they marched in parades throughout the country.

Now all men are celebrated on this day, which is February 23. Women give gifts to the important men in their lives.

Germany

Vaterag, or Father’s Day, is celebrated in Germany in connection with Mannerag…Man’s Day. On this fun day, men gather and spend the day together hiking, biking and drinking. It’s common to fill a wagon with beer and head out while the wives stay home with the children.

This event takes place on the sixth Sunday after Easter.

Germany's Father Day
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World – Germany

Nepal

In late summer the Nepalese celebration of Gokarna Aunsi honors fathers. Children give gifts to their dads. And a ceremony is performed. Sons bow, touching their heads to their father’s feet. Daughters touch their heads to their father’s hands.

Finland

The second Sunday in November is Father’s Day in Finland. Fathers sleep in and enjoy a favorite breakfast in bed, prepared by their children. Finnish schools offer cakes and coffee to all dads on the Friday before Father’s Day.

Breakfast in bed for dad
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World – Finland

Mexico

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June. Fathers participate in a 21 kilometer race. Families also gather for feasts that honor dads, with sweet bread as dessert.

Japan

Japan also celebrates dads on the third Sunday in June. Japanese children gift their fathers with flowers, handmade beer glasses and sweets. The celebratory meal is usually seafood such as crab or prawns.

Father's Day Traditions Around the world beer glass
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World – Japan

Brazil

Brazilians celebrate dads on the second Sunday in August, in honor of St. Joachim, the father of Mary and the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers. Children give gifts to their fathers. And the family gathers for food, fun and relaxation.

France

La Fete des Peres is held on the third Sunday in June. The holiday supposedly originated in the mid-20th century when an ad campaign suggested lighters as the perfect gift for dads.

Lighters for Father's Day in France
Father’s Day Traditions Around the World – France

What Are Your Father’s Day Traditions?

Sadly, my father passed away 11 years ago. I still spend the day thinking about him and remembering the fun Father’s Day cookouts we used to have.

I’ll take my stepdad out to dinner and present gifts to my son and son-in-law, who is celebrating as a first time daddy this year.

I find Germany’s custom of allowing the dads to have a fun day to themselves fascinating! That’s an amazing gift. I checked to see what German mothers receive on Mother’s Day. Children often gift Mom a trip. I’m liking these German traditions!

If you still need gift idea for the fathers in your life, check out this post. It’s not too late to surprise Dad with one of these unique presents.

How do you celebrate Father’s Day with your dad?

Father's Day Traditions Around the World end photo

 

Additional Gift Ideas for Dad from Amazon


 

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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

 

 

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle

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

Perched high above Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress that’s occupied Castle Rock since the 12th century. It’s had a long and colorful history throughout the centuries.

Currently the castle is the most popular paid attraction in Scotland. More than 1.5 million visitors pass through the castle gates each year. Additionally, the castle hosts the annual Military Tattoo, which takes place in the esplanade every August.

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Edinburgh Castle twice. There is always something new to learn about this imposing fortress.

Check out these ten facts you many not know about Edinburgh Castle.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle title meme

Most Besieged Place in Europe

Edinburgh Castle squared off against hostile forces a remarkable 23 times!

Notable sieges include the Longshanks Siege of 1296 when Edward I plundered the castle and sent its treasures to London. And during the Lang Siege, a government resistance from 1571 – 73, the castle declared its support for Mary Queen of Scots.

The last siege occurred during the Jacobite Rising in 1745, when Bonny Prince Charlie tried to take the fortress. He failed.

Sits Atop a Volcano

The volcanic explosion that created Castle Rock occurred millions of years ago.  Archaeological evidence shows that humans settled on the rock around 850 BC.

Builders constructed the castle in the 12th century, over the plug of the volcano’s vent.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle rock
Ten facts you may not know about Edinburgh Castle – castle rock was once a volcano

The Castle is Haunted

It’s no surprise that this ancient structure claims to house a few ghosts. After all, the city of Edinburgh is considered one of the most haunted places in the world.

When tunnels were discovered beneath the castle and the Royal Mile, a young piper entered the passages, playing his bagpipes as he walked. Above ground, people tracked his progress by following the sound of the pipes. Suddenly, the pipes fell silent about half way down the Mile. Rescuers searched the tunnels but never found the piper. Today the faint sound of his bagpipes occasionally echoes through the tunnels beneath the castle and the Royal Mile.

In the castle dungeons, watch for the headless drummer boy who haunts that area. Other mysterious occurrences include misty figures that appear, sudden drops in temperature and invisible hands that tug at clothing and hair.

Oldest Building in Scotland

Due to battles in and around the castle, most sections have been destroyed and rebuilt. However, St Margaret’s Chapel remains intact, making it the oldest building in the country.

Queen Margaret married Scottish King Malcolm III around 1070. She was considered a good woman who cared about others. When Malcolm died in battle, Margaret died of a broken heart, a few days later. Their son, David I, built the chapel to honor his mother.

When Robert the Bruce captured the castle in 1314, it’s the only structure he spared.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle St Margarets
Ten facts you may not know about Edinburgh Castle – St Margaret’s chapel is the oldest building

The Castle Grounds Contain a Dog Cemetery

Tucked into a garden, visible from the Argyle Battery, is a canine cemetery. This small patch of ground is dedicated to the dogs of the Scottish battalions. There lies Jess, the mascot of the Black Watch 42nd Highlanders and Dobbler, who accompanied the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from  Sri Lanka to South Africa.

The dogs buried here are honored for their loyalty and service. Visitors cannot enter the cemetery however it can be viewed from above.

Time Keeping Gun

Since 1861, a gun fired from the castle grounds allowed sailors passing by in the Firth of Forth to adjust their chronometers to the correct time. Indeed, the whole city could set their clocks and watches by the castle gun.

Although no longer needed today by sailors, the ritual is now a tradition. The gun is fired daily at 1:00 pm, much to the delight of visitors.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle gun
Today the gun is an L118 Light Gun, put into use in 2001.

An Elephant Once Lived at the Castle

In 1838, the 78th Highlanders returned to Edinburgh with an elephant. The elephant lived in the castle stables while his comrades lived in the barracks. He marched at the head of the band in regimental parades and developed a fondness for beer.

It’s told that the elephant reached into the canteen each night, for a beer before retiring. The memorial to the 78th Highlanders, on display in the esplanade, features an elephant carved into a stone at the foot of a Celtic cross.

The Scottish Crown Jewels Were Hidden Too Well in the Castle

Known as the Honours of Scotland, the Crown, the Sceptre and the Sword of State were used in Scottish coronations. However, after Scotland and England united under one crown in 1707, the Honours were locked into a chest for safe keeping and hidden away in the castle.

A hundred years passed and the location of the crown jewels was forgotten.

A party of searchers, that included Sir Walter Scott, found the chest in 1818. The Honours are on display again, in a protected room in the castle.

Sculpture depicting the crown jewels
Ten facts you may not know about Edinburgh Castle – the crown jewels were hidden away…and it took 100 years to find them again.

University of Edinburgh Students Will Not Enter the Gates

There’s a story told down through the years that if a University of Edinburgh student enters the castle gates, he or she will fail their final exam.

While it’s just a legend, many students are unwilling to visit the castle while studying at the university. They prefer to wait until they graduate!

The Castle Dungeons Held Many Prisoners of War

Edinburgh Castle dungeons housed at least 1,000 prisoners in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Prisoners from the Seven Years’ War, the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars all occupied the dungeons.

Interestingly, 21 pirates of the Caribbean were found guilty of piracy and held there while awaiting execution. They were hung off the coast of Leith.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Edinburgh Castle dungeoons
Ten facts you may not know about Edinburgh Castle – the dungeons held more than 1000 prisoners over the years.

Visit Edinburgh Castle

I enjoyed both of my visits to the castle. As one with Scottish DNA, it is a moving experience for me. There’s so much history and many stories to absorb while wandering that large complex.

The castle is open again and welcoming visitors from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Tickets MUST be purchased in advance through their website.

You can explore the grounds on your own or join a guide for an in depth tour. There’s a wonderful tea house on the grounds along with a cafe.

Any trip to Edinburgh, for those new to the city, should include a stop at Edinburgh Castle. Located at the top of the Royal Mile, the castle is impossible to miss. In fact, one of the things that I love about Edinburgh is stopping occasionally as I wander to orient myself by locating the castle. It’s a symbol of the city and therefore, significant to me.

Have you been to Edinburgh Castle? Did you learn something new about that fortress?

Me with the castle behind me
The castle behind me.

Castle Finds from Amazon:

 


 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean

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When my daughter, grandson and I visited Italy in 2017, we loved every moment of our 12 days there. Italy was my first experience spending time in a country where English is not the primary language.

I prepared for the trip by learning a smattering of Italian and watching favorite movies set in that country, like Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun. I couldn’t wait to hear Italian spoken in Italy. The language is so beautiful.

I was not disappointed! We toured Italy with a group. Our tour guide and bus driver spoke Italian fluently, being native to the country. Fabiola taught us phrases every day, and while speaking to us in English, often inserted Italian words for their wonderful nuance.

Whether you’ve traveled to Italy already or plan a future trip there, learn these fun Italian phrases and what they mean, to add to your enjoyment of the country.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean title meme

Italian Phrases and Words Commonly Used in the US

Italian is a Romance language along with Spanish, French and Romanian. These languages all share common Latin roots which influenced English as well. Additionally, many Italian words came to the US when Italians immigrated to America in the early 20th century.

Here are some of the words we “borrowed” from the Italians.

  • al dente – firm but not chewy, slightly undercooked pasta
  • barista – the person who prepares and serves coffee at cafes and drinks at bars
  • ciabatta – a rectangular white bread roll
  • latte – in the US, coffee with steamed milk. In Italy the word means milk.
  • pepperoni – in the US a type of cured sausage served on pizza. In Italy it means peppers.
  • ballerina – female ballet dancer
  • diva – any person with an air of importance. Originally, a famous female singer.
  • graffiti – writings or drawings on public walls
  • patio – outdoor space used for dining or entertaining
  • villa – country house originally. Now a larger house with a garden.
  • finale – literally, “the end”

Check out the following fun phrases commonly heard and used in Italy.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean

Ricco Sfondato

This expression describes someone who is wealthy. It literally means “rolling in money”.

Amore a Prima Vista

When it’s love at first sight, the Italians say “Amore a prima vista”,

Guastafesta

This Italian slang word refers to someone who is down in the dumps, a spoiler or one who ruins a party.

Essere Nelle Nuvole

This phrase is used for the one who has his or her head in the clouds or for one who is considered a daydreamer.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean daydreamer
Fun Italian phrases and what they mean – essere nelle nuvole…that’s me! And I happen to be wearing the shirt in Venice. I think I need one with the Italian phrase.

Basta, Basta

When someone is annoying in words or actions, the Italians say “basta, basta”. Enough is enough.

Dai

This word is similar to the American phrase “come on” that’s used when we plead with someone to do something. Dai can also mean “stop it”.

Boh

Boh is the same as saying “I don’t know”. It’s a quick Italian word to use when you feel indecisive.

Cogli l’Attimo

One of my favorite phrases from Italy, Fabiola used it every day in an enthusiastic way.  Similar to the phrase “seize the day”, it literally means “catch the moment”. I love it.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean catch the moment
Fun Italian phrases and what they mean – our tour guide, Fabi, who told us every day “Cogli l’Attimo”, catch the moment.

Che Figata

You can use this phrase often in Italy. It means “how cool” and it’s appropriate for everything from seeing historic structures to tasting Italian gelato.

Mi Fa Cagare

This one makes me laugh. It’s Italian slang meant to express extreme discontent with something. It literally means “It makes me poop.” Our equivalent might be “That sucks.”

Che Schifo

Italians use this phrase to express repulsion. It means “how disgusting!”

Figurati!

This one means “no worries” in Italian. It is used when you really mean “don’t worry about it”. Thank you for helping me out! Figurati!

Or it is also used when you are just being nice about something that happened and you really are worried about it. Sorry I broke your chair. Figurati.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean no worries
Fun Italian phrases and what they mean – we had all kinds of interesting experiences getting to Italy and getting home. Figurati…no worries. We made it.

Meno Male

This Italian phrase literally means “less bad”. However, it’s used to express gratitude, as in “thank God”.  You can also say “Grazie a Dio” which means the same thing.

Magari!

This is the Italian counterpart to “I wish!” or “I hope so!” It can also mean “maybe” if you are playing it cool with someone.

Will you return to Italy? Magari!

Can you give me a ride to the park later? Magari.

La Goccia Che Ha Fatto Traboccare il Vaso

This phrase translates to “the drop that made the vase overflow”. It’s similar to our phrase, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. Use it when something is just too much to bear.

In Bocca al Lupo

While the phrase literally means “in the mouth of the wolf”, it’s a good luck phrase, similar to our “break a leg”. To find out the correct response, check out Italian good luck traditions HERE.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean good luck
Fun Italian phrases and what they mean – in bocca a lupo, good luck.

Non Avare Peli Sulla Lingua

The literal translation is “don’t have hairs on the tongue”. For the Italians it means to speak plainly or say it like it is.

Scoprire Gli Altarini

This expression is used when someone reveals a secret. It’s similar to our saying, “let the cat out of the bag”. Which, when you think about it, where did that phrase come from? I must do a post about American English expressions and where they originated from.

Essere al Verde

While the phrase literally means “at the green”, green isn’t what the person is rolling in. The expression is used when someone is financially broke.

Ubriaco Come Una Scimmia

This fun expression translates to “drunk like a monkey”. You can guess the meaning! Use it when someone is wasted.

Fun Italian Phrases and What They Mean wasted
Fun Italian phrases and what they mean – we enjoyed wine tasting in Italy and did NOT end up ubriaco come una scimmia!

Rompere le Scatole

When someone is bugging them, Italians say “rompere le scatole”. It means “you are getting on my nerves”.

Avere Culo

The literal translation, “to have arse”, doesn’t quite convey the intended meaning! The phrase is used for one who is very lucky or always lands on his or her feet.

Avere le Braccine Corte

Another Italian phrase that makes me laugh, this one is used for a person who is stingy with his money. It literally means “to have short arms” and implies that the person’s arms are too short to reach his pockets.

Non Vedo l’Ora

This is the perfect phrase to end the post with. It’s expressed with excitement and means “I can’t wait!”

Non vedo l’ora di visitare di nuovo l’italia! I can’t wait to visit Italy again!

Have you traveled in Italy? How many of these fun expressions have you heard?

Siena, Italy
Siena, Italy

Learn Italian with these helps from Amazon:

 


 

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

 

 

It’s Time for Summer 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.

Do you know what time it is? It’s time for summer with Decocrated!

In spite of May’s cool, rainy days I know summer is almost here. I know because my Decocrated Summer Box arrived, in a cheery, bright yellow carton. It provided the inspiration I needed to bring summer vibes into my home.

May brought lots of cool spring weather AND days full of exciting opportunities for me, as a blogger. I’ve never experienced such a busy May. It was fun to set aside a day to unpack my Decocrated box and go into puttering mode.

Puttering is spending time in a relaxed way doing small tasks. I excel at puttering around. And in one afternoon I reset my home, from spring to summer.

It’s still raining today. However, inside my house, summer is here!

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated title meme

Decocrated Summer 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 and Easter. There’s a brand new Americana box on its way to me now!

As summer arrives, after the strangest 14 months in recent history, we can bee-lieve it’s going to “bee” sensational! The Decocrated Summer Box celebrates with warm yellows and cool blues that bring the summer vibes.

This sweet box combines bees and hints of lemon, cherry woods, black metals, handwoven textiles and bright patterns. Kim Nevo is summer’s Deco Creator.

Check out this short unboxing video…and then let’s decorate!

 

Bringing Summer Into the House

I’ve enjoyed the Decocrated boxes for almost two years. What I love about this home decor company are these two things:

One, all the pieces work with each other, with items from previous boxes (with the exception of a few very specific holiday pieces) and with my own decorating style and decor items.

And two, receiving the new pieces challenges me to create something different, something fresh. I love such challenges. If I do what I’ve always done, I get what I’ve always had. Decocrated pushes me to try new things, decorate with pieces in interesting ways and “go beyond”…which is what I’m all about. Getting creative ramps up the decorating fun.

Here’s where the summer box pieces found a home.

Summer Lumbar Pillow Cover

Most Decocrated boxes contain a seasonal pillow cover. What a simple way to freshen a corner of the room, changing out pillow covers.

The fun bee and lemon print on the lumbar pillow cover shifts the mood in my cozy corner on the sofa. Paired with last summer’s yellow pillow cover, it brings the spirit of the outdoors into the living room. The wooden and metal tray, from winter 2019 , holds gardening books and a miniature watering can.

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated pillows
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated – pillows

Wall Ledge

This ledge is perfect for holding small keepsakes, bathroom toiletries or a seasonal vignette.

I really needed something to hold my wee treasures from Scotland. My bedroom is intentionally evolving into an extremely supportive space that contains messages and symbols that carry significance for me.

Mounted beneath my tapestry from Thirlestane Castle, in the Scottish Borders, this shelf is the ideal size for an assortment of favorite items from that beautiful country.

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated shelf
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated –  wall ledge

Wooden Bee

Designed to hang on the wall, layer up with other items, or prop against anything…this bee can literally flit around the house and fit in anywhere.

For now, my bee is nestled inside my rustic wire and wood box, on a shelf in the dining room. Here in this box, the cutout reminds me of a bee resting on a screen door. How summer time is that?!

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated bee
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated – wooden bee

Double Sided Art Print

The double sided art print features a bee on one side and a quote on the other. It’s perfectly presented on the clip frame that arrived in the spring box. On a whim, I can flip the art print over to the “I love you like bees love honey” side.

The perpetual calendar is from the winter box. I happened upon the JUST BEE sign at Hobby Lobby. It’s perfect for this little grouping in the dining room bookcase. After I took a set of photos, I decided to add a yellow and white checked linen. It gives the shelf a pop of color, with all the wood elements.

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated just bee
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated – art print
It's Time for Summer with Decocrated just bee 2
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated – full shelf

Table Clock, Wooden Arch and Boho Basket

The vignettes on the small bookcase are my favorites this season.

I love the black metal table clock. Hanging on a faux leather strap, the clock brings to mind a large pocket watch. It looks wonderful grouped with the wooden arch with black accent pieces and the black metal candle holder from spring 2020. This versatile clock will show up in many places in my house, in the upcoming months.

The woven basket from fall 2020 balances out the top shelf. I’ve found myself drawn to muted neutrals lately. I’ll use the black and grey fringed runner beneath the vignette year around.

On the second shelf, the new boho basket is made from natural materials with a dark blue accent edge. I tipped it on its side and layered in a rolled Decocrated wrap and some linens. On the other side of the shelf, those black metal lanterns from last year’s Halloween box still bring me joy. I dropped a couple of tea lights into them. They are two of my favorite Decocrated items.

It's Time for Summer with Decocrated happy
It’s Time for Summer with Decocrated – happy vignette

What Time is it at Your House?

Is it time for summer yet, in your house? Or is it time for some fresh decor?

Click this link to get your Summer Box now. Use my code CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE15 to save $15 off the seasonal box. Or use CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE20 and save $20 off a yearly subscription.

What’s your favorite Decocrated summer item? And where would it go in your home? I’d love to see your summer decor.

Decocrated Summer 2021 Box

 

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.

 

 

 

Unique Gifts for Dad

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

Next month brings the shocking realization that we are almost half way through this year. It also presents the opportunity, on June 20, to show appreciation and love to the dads in our lives.

Sadly, my own father passed away 11 years ago, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I still send out waves of love and gratitude for him on Father’s Day. And I appreciate the other dads in my family: Greg, my stepdad, my brother, my son and son-in-law and my nephews. They each bring their own uniquely wonderful gifts to the family and to the world.

Inspired by them, I offer this selection of unique gifts for dad. Although there’s nothing wrong with gifting dad a tie or a sturdy pair of socks, these suggestions go a bit beyond the ordinary. Because…every dad is different. For the sports guy, the hard working man and the fun loving prankster, the new daddy, the experienced dad and the papa…there is a gift for each one here.

Unique Gifts for Dad title meme

Unique Gifts for Dad

I’m an affiliate with these companies or the items are available through Amazon. I can suggest their products with confidence because I’m familiar with them, use them and appreciate each company tremendously.

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 dad who appreciates the health benefits of CBD and who makes his health a priority.

For dad, pick up CBD Freeze, to use after a gym workout or a day working out…in the yard. It relieves painful muscles and calms inflammation.

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

Unique Gifts for Dad CBD Freeze
Unique gifts for Dad – CBD Freeze

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 intentions 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 father who is ecologically minded and yet fashion conscious. Click HERE to check out styles that are suitable for a fun night with the family or for traveling around the globe.

Unique Gifts for Dad toadandco
Unique gifts for Dad – My grandson Dayan, who is not a dad yet, models the super comfy Toad&Co Henley shirt.

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 products are for the dad who loves his cup of coffee AND appreciates the additional health boost from high quality, nutrient dense foods. For the dad who works out, they also have a marvelous plant based protein powder with superfoods.

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

Unique Gifts for Dad four sigmatic
Unique gifts for Dad – Four Sigmatic coffees

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.

While dads can and should care for their skin too, Smartr Skin offers wonderfully unique gifts just for them…beard balm and beard oil. Both are formulated with the highest quality vegan ingredients and come in unscented or a variety of scents. Plus Smartr Skin products are cruelty free and never tested on animals.

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

Unique Gifts for Dad smartr skin
Unique gifts for Dad – Smartr Skin beard balm

Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

For the father or papa who loves to cook and grill or who appreciates fine international products, you can’t go wrong with Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil.

This exceptional cold pressed extra virgin olive oil comes from Nina’s olive grove in Spain. She uses permaculture farming to produce the highest quality oil in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. And she does not use insecticides, pesticides or herbicides on her olive grove.

Nina’s Spanish olive oil is the recipient of the New York International Olive Oil Competition Gold Award for 2020. Surprise Dad with this deliciously unique gift, using this LINK.

Unique Gifts for Dad extra virgin olive oil
Unique gifts for Dad – Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

Battpak from OCTAVE

This clever and practical item comes from OCTAVE and it is perfect for the Dad who enjoys traveling, attending concerts or taking the kids on adventures.

The Battpak is a portable battery pack, for charging cell phones or tablets on the go, PLUS it has a secret compartment for stashing money, credit cards, keys and other loose items. The sleek stainless steel magnetic tray within allows you to magnetize loose articles, like keys, so they will not rattle around inside.

The Battpak easily slips inside a pocket, backpack or messenger bag for convenience and security.

I can’t wait to take this product with me on my next trip. Order through this LINK and use my discount code CINDY15 for 15% off of your order.

Unique Gifts for Dad battpak charging
Unique gifts for Dad – Battpak 2 in 1 Charger
Secret compartment
Secret compartment inside the Battpak

Incrediwear

Incrediwear products work by increasing blood flow to reduce inflammation and swelling. They also relieve pain and accelerate recovery. Rather than using compression, Incrediwear items incorporate semiconductor elements within the fabric that release negative ions when stimulated by body heat.

Those negative ions activate cellular vibrations that speed up blood flow. The increased circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which supports the body’s natural healing process.

The company sells sleeves and braces, socks and apparel. The clothing effectively reduces the risk of overuse injuries and relieves muscle fatigue. Incrediwear’s socks relieve foot pain and fatigue while wicking away moisture. The sleeves and braces reduce inflammation and swelling and relieve pain while restoring mobility and accelerating recovery.

Pamper the dad who puts in long hours on the job or spends a lot of time walking or standing. Or provide relief for the athletic dad who is recovering from a sports injury. Use this LINK to order.

Unique Gifts for Dad incrediwear
Unique gifts for Dad – Incrediwear

Kit and Wilder

For the new daddy or dad with toddlers, check out these sweet offerings from Kit and Wilder.

The founder, Christine, created this online shop with these values in mind: safe, eco-friendly, sustainable, trendy and aesthetically pleasing clothes for babies and kids. Her mission is to carry eco-friendly and sustainable items from like minded brands to help fight for our children’s and grandchildren’s future planet.

Kit and Wilder offers a wide variety of items from wearables to books and toys to nursery items to products to help the teething baby. Delight the new daddy with books he can read to his baby, silicone bowl sets that adhere to the high chair tray or sturdy snack bags to carry treats for his active toddler.

And the adventure loving dad will appreciate a backpack of his own that holds all he needs for a hike in nature with his wildlings.

Use this LINK to order and my code Cindy15 to save 15% off.

Unique Gifts for Dad kit and wilder
Unique gifts for Dad – Kit and Wilder

KeySmart

For the father who appreciates techy items…or who frequently loses his keys…go with KeySmart!

KeySmart’s goal to save the world from bulky, annoying key rings full of jangling keys resulted in a trim, lightweight design that’s easy to carry. The company offers a variety of designs that keep keys organized and tucked within the frame.

The KeySmart Pro is the ultimate key organizer that features a Tile Smart locator that offers convenience and peace of mind. A lost set of keys is never a problem.

The company offers accessories, urban wallets and the totally awesome Urban 21 Commuter Backpack. Get the KeySmart Pro HERE. Then type in “KeySmart” in the search bar to see all their other items offered on Amazon.

Unique Gifts for Dad keysmart
Unique Gifts for Dad – KeySmart

Kodak Instant Camera and Portable Printer

As we know, it’s mostly the moms who are busy behind the cameras, snapping family photos. Why not get Dad his own fun camera and turn him loose to be creative?

Kodak offers products that deliver high quality photos that are fingerprint-proof, waterproof and last a lifetime. These cameras + portable printers are perfect for any family gatherings…such as Father’s Day…and make unique gifts that Dad can use for many years.
The Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro allows Dad or Papa to shoot and print high quality photos directly from the camera. Or Dad can connect his Kodak Mini 3 Square Retro to any mobile device and print out his favorite pics wherever he is.
Let the fun begin as Dad captures memories.
Unique Gifts for Dad Kodak Instant Camera
Unique gifts for Dad – Kodak Instant Cameras and Printers

Happy Father’s Day

What unique gifts did you pick out for the dads in your life?

Honor those men and show them how much you love them and appreciate them for all that they do. I’d give a lot to be able to hug my father this year and present him with one of these gifts…or all of them!

In my dad’s memory, I’ll be honoring and celebrating the rest of the fathers in my family.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, on all of their journeys. Many blessings on you and your families.

My son and his family
My son and his family
My son-in-law and his new baby
My son-in-law and his baby daughter

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Four Sigmatic, Smartr Skin, Toad&Co, CBD Living, Amazon and Kit and Wilder. These programs provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to the companies, all at no extra cost to you.