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 out 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 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.

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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

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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:

 


 

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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.

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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:

 


 

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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.

 

 

 

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow

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

Glasgow, Scotland. It began as an industrial city on the River Clyde and transitioned into the cultural center of Scotland. While Edinburgh is the country’s capital, Glasgow is known for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, and a rich legacy due to trade and shipbuilding.

Glasgow is home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland. Additionally the grand old city boasts acclaimed museums and a thriving music industry.

While Edinburgh feels like home to me, I’d consider Glasgow the high energy weekend getaway city. Glasgow possesses a larger nightlife, with more night clubs, bars and pubs.

When planning a trip to Scotland, check out this exciting city and these top ten places to visit in Glasgow.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow title meme

A Few Things to Know Before You Go

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the fourth largest in the UK. The people of Glasgow are Glaswegians. And don’t get off on the wrong foot by mispronouncing the city’s name. Glasgow is pronounced glaz – go. The word means “green hollow”.

Glasgow is a big sports city, with two major league football (soccer) clubs and a rugby club.

Add these top ten places to visit in Glasgow to your list of must see sites.

Glasgow Cathedral

This 12th century cathedral is also called St. Mungo Cathedral and the High Kirk (church) of Glasgow. It is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland and the oldest building in Glasgow.

The cathedral has never been unroofed and the medieval structure has continuously offered services within its walls for more than 800 years. The cathedral contains the finest collection of stained glass windows in Britain.

Beneath the cathedral lies the crypt, which predates the structure above it. The crypt houses the tomb of Saint Mungo, buried there in the 7th century.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Cathedral
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Glasgow Cathedral

Necropolis

Near the Cathedral is the Necropolis, a gothic Victorian cemetery that covers 37 acres. It is nicknamed the “city of the dead”. More than 50,000 Glaswegians are buried here, in the cemetery based on the famous Paris Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Burials began in 1832. There are 3,500 memorial stones and structures in the cemetery and also sculptures and buildings. It is an atmospheric place to walk among the monuments, with beautiful views of the Cathedral and the city.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Necropolis
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Necropolis

George Square

This square lies at the heart of the city. It features 12 statues of famous people associated with Glasgow, including Robbie Burns, Walter Scott and Queen Victoria. Town Hall dominates the east end of the square, with it 230 foot tower.

Just south of George Square lies the merchant district, a trendy area offering a host of unique cafes, restaurants and boutique shops.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow George Square
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – George Square

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

In Glasgow’s West End lies a neighborhood of cafes, restaurants, high end shops, beautiful hotels…and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Since its opening in 1901, Kelvingrove offers fine collections of paintings including Van Gogh’s portrait of Glaswegian art collector Alexander Reid.

Other exhibits include Scottish archeological finds such as Bronze Age tools and jewelry, weapons from the 15th and 16th centuries and Flemish tapestries.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Glasgow Science Centre

The Science Centre, located near the Riverside Museum, is a popular place for families to gather. This hands-on centre, housed in a modern looking titanium clad structure, contains many exhibits and stations where kids…and adults…can learn.

The Science Centre also offers a planetarium, Imax theater and a science theater, where talks and lectures are regularly presented. And finally, check out the Glasgow Tower, the tallest freely rotating tower in the world.

Top Ten Places to Visit Glasgow Science Centre
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Science Centre

Riverside Museum and Tall Ship

This award winning museum includes exhibits from the city’s former Transport Museum. Exhibits include model ships, trams, locomotives, vintage cars and horse drawn carriages, most of which were Glasgow built.

The Tall Ship, docked outside, gives visitors a chance to explore the Glenlee, a restored three mast ship, also built in Glasgow.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Riverside Museum
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Riverside Museum and Tall Ship

Buchanan Street

Buchanan Street is one of the main shopping thoroughfares in Glasgow. It forms the core of Glasgow’s famous shopping district with its upscale shops. Buchanan Galleries, what we in the US would call a mall, houses 80 retail stores. There are also many cafes and restaurants available along Buchanan Street, when shoppers need a break.

The street is named after a famous Glaswegian merchant, Andrew Buchanan, a successful tobacco plantation owner.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Buchanan Street
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Buchanan Street

Kibble Palace and Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Kibble Palace, built in 1873, is one of the largest glasshouses in the UK. It houses rare orchids, tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand, and plants from Africa, the Americas and the Far East.

The glass palace is part of the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, where visitors explore extensive grounds and greenhouses and appreciate Victorian sculptures. There is also a garden tearoom to enjoy.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Kibble Palace
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Kibble Palace and Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Gallery of Modern Art

Also called GoMA, this Romanesque building offers a changing roster of exhibits featuring local and international artists. Workshops and lectures take place here too.

Look for a traffic cone on the head of the equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington in front of the gallery. It’s a playfully irreverent Glaswegian attitude on display. Local authorities don’t even attempt to remove the cone anymore.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Gallery of Modern Art

Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace

Established in 1662, Glasgow Green is the oldest park in the city. It’s an easy walk to the park, from George Square.

One of the park’s main attractions is the People’s Palace, a museum built in 1898 that tells Glasgow’s story, from 1750 to the 20th century.

In the Winter Garden, a large conservatory located at the back of the palace, find a collection of tropical and subtropical plants. And the Doulton Fountain is the world’s largest terracotta fountain. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the fountain is 46 feet high and 70 feet across.

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow Green
Top ten places to visit in Glasgow – Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace

Bonus Attraction

I love the lively spirit that pervades Glasgow. The people are friendly and very willing to talk about their love for their city. Although I didn’t make it to Glasgow on my most recent trip to Scotland, I’ve visited the city twice. As with Edinburgh, there is always more that I want to do and see when I visit. That just means I need to make more trips to Scotland!

One last bonus attraction awaits, for lovers of the British television series Doctor Who. If you are a fan, this spot, located near the Glasgow Cathedral, needs no explanation. I’ve taken a photo here twice. My last visit is documented below.

Which of these top ten places to visit in Glasgow are on your travel list? Or if you’ve visited this magical city, which ones did you see?

Top Ten Places to Visit in Glasgow police box
Is it the TARDIS?

Fun Glasgow 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.

 

 

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

 

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

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

One of the highlights of my 12 days in Italy, in 2017, was seeing a famous landmark that always fascinated me as a child. I grew up looking at photos of the impossibly Leaning Tower of Pisa. To see it in person, as my daughter, grandson and I walked into the huge piazza, brought surprising tears to my eyes.

There it stood, creamy white in the Tuscan sun, surrounded by other structures and a throng of people. It does, indeed, lean. And visitors enjoy snapping fun selfies with the illusion of holding up the tower.

What else do you know about this iconic campanile?

Discover these fun facts about the leaning tower of Pisa!

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa title meme

Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

The medieval town of Pisa enjoyed great prosperity in the 12th century. The city’s seaport became a powerful one in the Tuscany region. After sacking Palermo, Pisa desired to show of their wealth by constructing the “Square of Miracles”, or Piazza dei Miracoli.

The square houses a cathedral, baptistry, cemetery and a tall bell tower, or campanile, meant to hold the tile of tallest of its kind. And it might have, if plans had not gone awry.

Check out these fun facts about that famous leaning tower.

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa - complex
Fun facts about the leaning tower of Pisa – the Baptistry, Cathedral and Tower (Campanile)

The Tower Began Leaning Before Construction Ended

The word pisa is Greek for “marshy land”. That’s the first problem builders encountered with building a tall tower in the area. The ground in Pisa is an unstable mix of sand, clay and shells that shifts easily.

Due to a shallow, heavy foundation, the tower began sinking on the south side by the time construction began on the second story. As construction continued, builders tried to compensate by adding taller columns and arches on the south side. However, the tower continued to lean. After completing the third story, construction stopped for almost 100 years.

The Architect is Not Absolutely Known

Construction on the tower began in 1174, however due to concerns that slowed or stopped progress, it wasn’t completed until 1350.

Bonanno Pisano is sometimes credited as the original architect. Yet Gherardo di Gherardo is another possibly. Giovanni di Simone took over as primary architect in 1272. Tommaso di Andrea Pisano finally completed the tower with the addition of the belfry. The tower style is Romanesque.

The Campanile Isn’t the Only Leaning Tower in Pisa

Because of the soft subsoil, there are actually several leaning towers in Pisa. The second most famous one is the bell tower of the Church of St. Nicola, in Pisa’s Borgo Stretto. Built in 1170, about the same time as THE leaning tower, this eight sided tower tilts slightly too.

The third leaning tower is the bell tower for St. Michele dei Sclazi, located on Viale delle Piagge. Piagge is Latin for “low plains that flood”. So you can guess that the “plain that floods” might create a similar unstable problem!

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa - leans different directions
Fun facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa – it’s leaned in different directions

Pisa’s Leaning Tower Has Leaned in Different Directions

Over the centuries, engineers tried to correct the tower’s tilt. When construction began again, after almost a century, engineers tried to stop the lean by building straight up. That only succeeded in throwing off the center of gravity, causing the tower to lean to the north. As construction continued, the tower eventually settled back into a southward lean, where it remains.

The Tower’s Unusual Dimensions

Because of the tilt, the tower never reached its designed height of 197 feet. The highest side of the tower is 186 feet tall, while the shorter side reaches 183 feet.

By 1990, the tower tilted almost 10 degrees…enough to cause concern that it could topple. A massive restoration project corrected the tilt to 3.97 degrees.

You Can Climb the Tower

In spite of the obvious lean, the tower is open (in non pandemic times) for visitors to climb to the top. The north staircase contains 296 steps while the south staircase has 294. You must purchase tickets in advance, to climb Pisa’s leaning tower.

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa marshy ground
Fun facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa – pisa is Greek for “marshy ground”

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an Actual Bell Tower

The tower houses seven large bells at the top. Each bell weighs nearly 8,000 pounds and represents a musical note on the major scale. Although the bells remain in the tower, they have not rung since the 20th century. Can you guess why? That’s right. The sound vibrations could make the tower lean even more.

Mussolini Hated the Tower

Italy’s dictator, Benito Mussolini, felt embarrassed by the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He attempted to correct the tower’s lean by drilling hundreds of holes in the tower base. Mortar and grout, pumped into the holes, was supposed to anchor the entire tower and straighten it. On the contrary, it only created a heavier base, which made the tower lean more than it did before.

Allies Intended to Destroy the Tower During WWII

American soldiers carried orders to tear down Italian structures that might serve as lookout points for enemy snipers. However, when troops arrived in Pisa, they were so impressed with the beauty of the leaning tower and the Square of Miracles that they spared the campanile.

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa tourists
Fun facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa – visitors like to take “holding up the tower” photos

The Tower is Now Stable

In 2008 engineers declared the tower stable. For the first time in its history, the tower is no longer slowing sinking on the south side. It is officially considered safe for the next 200 years.

Add the Leaning Tower of Pisa to Your Travel List

If you visit the Tuscany region of Italy, make sure Pisa is on your destination list! It’s a beautiful tower, in spite of…or perhaps because of…it’s noticeable lean.

We visited Cinque Terre in the morning, and stopped by Pisa in the afternoon, on our way to Lucca. A couple of hours is plenty of time to enjoy this well known landmark, unless you purchase tickets to climb the tower.

Like other visitors, we took fun photos. And we spent time in the Square of Miracles, admiring the other structures that share space with the unique bell tower, our eyes frequently returning to the Leaning Tower in admiration. I’m grateful I got to check that destination off of my travel list.

Have you seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person?

Fun Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa Dayan
Dayan’s “holding up the tower” photo.

Fun 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.

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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