In celebration of grandparents and what we have learned from them

I share some things that I learned from my grandparents and then open the question up to other bloggers.

I wanted to write a blog post to celebrate grandparents.

My Nan and Granddad brought me up, and I learned so many things from them. Sadly they are no longer around, but they live on in my memories, and in the many life lessons I learned from them.

I decided to write a few of these things down, and then to ask some other bloggers what they learned from their grandparents. I noticed that when I was talking to other bloggers about scents and the memories they bring back, a number of people mentioned their grandparents. That’s another reasons why I wanted to explore grandparent memories a bit more.

  1. My grandparents taught me that dogs can be a child’s best friend.
  2. My granddad taught me how to use my new computer, even though he’d never used one before. He read up all the books he could find so that he could help me to learn.
  3. My Nan taught me how to bake cheese scones and other tasty treats.
  4. My grandparents taught me that you can discover all kinds of interesting places without leaving your own country. They didn’t enjoy travelling abroad, but we went to many different cities in the long summer holidays and marked the counties off on a map.
  5. My Granddad taught me all the names of the counties and many of the big cities in the British Isles.
  6. My Nan taught me to love books and that there are so many interesting characters waiting to be discovered in them. First we had story time – and she read to me for hours. Later I read the books myself and finished most of the children’s audio books in the library!
  7. My grandparents taught me to work hard for what I want. If at first you don’t succeed…. Keep trying until you do!
  8. My grandparents didn’t have a lot of money, so they taught me to value it and not to be wasteful. If you want something, work hard and save for it.
  9. My Nan taught me that home-made Yorkshire puddings are better than shop-bought ones!
  10. My Granddad taught me about his plants and flowers. He knew all the names, how to care for them, where to put them, and his advice helped me to win the tallest sunflower competition at school!
  11. My Nan taught me to talk – having a blind child, you can’t just point at things, so she talked and talked to me from a young age, explaining what things were, what they looked like, and what they were for. Maybe that’s where I got my original love of words.
  12. My grandparents taught me to find my own ways of doing things. Maybe they won’t be the same as everyone else, but as long as I do the thing, that’s all that matters!
  13. My Nan taught me that preparing for Christmas is almost as much fun as Christmas itself.
  14. My Granddad taught me to swim way before most of the children in my class could.

Now let’s hear from some other people!

“My nana taught me to never change yourself to make someone like you.”
Grace from That Feeling inside

“Mine taught me that to be fully independent it’s actually ok to ask for help when you need. You don’t need to suffer in silence and it’s ok to rely on others.”
Fiona from From Fiona

“My grandparents are no longer with me, but they taught me not to let life stop me from achieving my goals. Don’t stop believing in yourself, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, just because someone told you it’s not possible. You will always be supported by people who love you; those who put you down don’t need to be in your life.”
Michelle from Oh Sew Vegan

“My Nanny taught me how to bake. We spent hours baking cakes, scones and biscuits, and most of what I know today is what I learned from her. I have lovely memories of it.”
Isabel from Boxes and Swatches

“I only ever had my gran on my mum’s side, and she passed away when I was 10. My mum’s dad passed away when she was a little girl and my gran raised my mum and her brother as a single parent.
My gran loved the opera. Adored it. I have memories of going to her one bed flat as a little girl and hearing her talk about how wonderful Pavarotti is. She was so knowledgeable. Thing is, we don’t know where she got this love from. We’re a working class family from Liverpool. It’s not like it’s something everyone was doing.
Now I’m in London I go to the Royal Opera House as much as I can for ballet and opera. I think of gran when I’m there and how much she’d love it as much as I now do.”
Kim from Kinsey’s Blog

“My grandparents always taught me to do my best and to be proud of my work – no matter what the circumstances. I particularly remember at secondary school in art classes, the whole class was excitable one day and way too noisy. The teacher made every child write an essay on “what is a decibel” for homework in lieu of detention for being noisy. I was encouraged to write the best essay ever at home. It’s always stood me in good stead in life to do your best, to go that extra mile, and be proud of your work…..and it’s something I try to pass on to my kids. In other words, even if you don’t succeed, as long as you’ve tried your best then that’s okay!”
Rachel from The Daisy Pages

“My grandparents taught me that life is what you make it. Both sets of grandparents came from underprivileged backgrounds, but the stories they told inspired me. I share them with others. They taught me that you don’t need money to enjoy life and be loved. Something I hope to share with my daughter.”
Justine from Lilgemandbabye

“Mine taught me to have a sense of humour and that it gets you through the tough parts in life too. To laugh and to love. My nana also taught me to love soaps, (not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse). Also that as long as you’re hard working, it doesn’t matter what you do don’t let others judge you. The sad thing I was taught by them at a young age was that people die.”
Lynne from Almost midlife and looking for a crisis

“Mine taught me the value of a loving family, the snugness of cosy chats by open fires, the welcoming smell of a busy kitchen and the simple beauty of a well kept garden . They all had strict traditional values which I’ve learnt to appreciate more as the years go by.”
Anne from Yoga Ladies

“By the time I was born, I only had one living grandparent, my dad’s mum. She’d raised 4 kids on her own in the 50s during a time when women were treated as secondary citizens in China; she worked, she made all of their clothes by hand, and taught her 3 daughters and my dad that women CAN do anything they put their mind to. They were the most fashion forward kids in school and each of my aunts grew to be capable and accomplished in their own right. My gran taught me to sew, to make pancakes, and she also taught me to take no shit.”
Lucie from Call me dumpling

“My Nan taught me the reality of life. My Nan told me from a very young age about her son she lost when he was just 2 years old, she cared for my great grandmother who suffered with dementia when I was 10 years old, and I watched her cry and go through the transition of losing her husband when I was just 16 years old. She’s my biggest inspiration and I have the utmost respect for her introducing so many realities of life into my life.”
Daisy from Daisarella

“My Granny Eve always told me how beautiful my skin was, even when I had terrible acne as a teenager and incredibly low self-esteem. I’ve finally learnt what works for my skin and it’s now clear, but I really needed that belief in me when I just couldn’t.”
Keely from Keely’s nails

“My Granny taught me that to get anywhere in life you have to work hard and never give up. She was widowed when my dad was only 7 and she was one of the strongest people I have ever met. She could be stubborn and had her own way of doing things but led a full life up to the age of 99.”
Lynn from More 4 mums

“My grandad taught me to value my family and those who love me. The most important thing about life is being loved and to give love.
Natalie from Up your vlog

Elle shares this post about what she learned from her Gran:
“My gran taught me the importance of saving money. She helped me sew to make do and mend, she encouraged me to grow herbs, to not waste food and to look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves:
4 of the best money-saving hacks from my Gran

This post is a bit different, but I added it because I thought it’s a lovely way that Moushmi is remembering her Grandfather in this imaginary essay.

“I was so young when my grandparents died but what I learned from my granddad was how to learn spellings of different words. In general he taught me by his actions that sharing is caring.”
Asma from Makeup Dreamer Blog

How about you? Feel free to add what your grandparents taught you in the comments. There have been so many recurring themes about working hard, believing in yourself and trying to be the best you can be. We have a lot to thank them for!

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Scents and the memories that they bring back

13 bloggers and I talk about special scents, and the memories that they bring back to us.

When we were out walking the other day, I smelled the unmistakable smell of horses! I love that smell! It took me straight back to my horse-mad years (the end of Primary school and beginning of high school) when all I wanted to talk about was horses, what I’d learned in my lesson, what I’d read about them, and my latest jumping or dressage lesson. My Granddad used to take me to the stables on a Saturday morning, and I spent the day there with a group of girls, grooming the horses, mucking out, and teaching the golden retriever tricks before my afternoon lesson!

I still have the riding hat that my grandparents bought me for my 11th birthday, and surprisingly it still fits!

Thinking about how easily a scent can bring back memories, I realised this is true of products as well. I first discovered the Seychelles handcream from the White Company the weekend we went for our wolf adventure, and now the coconutty goodness always reminds me of that special weekend.

There are scents, such as Organza and A Mirage, that I wore when I first moved to London around 15 years ago, but I don’t wear them now. They remind me of that time in my life, discovering the big city, getting my first job, and finding new friends. I’ve moved on, and so my taste in fragrances has moved on too. However if I smell one of them when I’m out shopping, it reminds me of that time.

There are also scents that remind me of my Nan, who is no longer with us. It’s not just fragrances – although Chanel no. 5 will always remind me of her. The smell of pine trees brings back memories of her too, because we always had a real Christmas tree and decorated it together.

When we went to her house after she had passed away, the first thing I smelled as I stepped inside her room was her face cream, and I expected her to walk in at any moment. I’d smelled that cream a hundred times as she got ready in the morning, and now when I smell it, it makes me think of her (which is why I bought some the other day!)

There are certainly smells that I don’t like, but I can’t think of any that have such distinct memories for me in the way that the positive ones do to remind me of childhood fun, a holiday, certain times in my life, or a special person. I think scents are powerful – the same one can mean many different things to different people, but the connection between the scent and the memory is often so strong, that you almost feel you’re back in a different place and time when you smell it.

Scents are perhaps more important to me as someone who is blind. I don’t subscribe to the idea that I have a superpower sense of smell, but using this sense comes in useful, because it can help me to work out exactly where I am (the scent of a particular bush on my way home, or the smells coming from particular shops), so I guess I take more notice of them. They can be practical as well as enjoyable. Still, I was certain it couldn’t be just me, so I asked in a couple of blogging groups for other people to share their scent and memory stories. Here’s what 12 bloggers told me:

Jazmin

The scent of the Passion Fruit lip balm from Lush really takes me back to when I first moved to Liverpool for University as it’s one of the first products I bought whilst living there. My home town doesn’t have a Lush so I was super excited to buy a bunch of stuff from their.
The passion fruit lip balm is still safely in a trinket box on my dresser and every time I use it I’m definitely transported back into my first University halls.
Visit Jazmin’s blog Jazminheavenblog.

Janelle

Being a classically trained violinist, White Musk by the Body Shop used to be my go-to perfume for concerts and events. I am strangely superstitious when it comes to these things, and something about spritzing this on always gave me that delicious rush of adrenaline that I loved and thrived on. I actually found a bottle lying around the house recently, and it brought a lot of lovely memories rushing back. There’s just something so unmistakably invigorating about this scent and I can’t quite place it – that’s exactly what I love about it. All I know is that I’ll be reaching for this a lot more when I have special occasions now!
Visit Janelle’s blog Beauty Expert Amateur.

Daisy

Yvette

I always treat myself to a new perfume at duty free when I go away, on my way back from Vegas I bought La Nuit Tresor by Lancome. I then took it on holiday to Tenerife with my best friend. Every time I wore it, my friend would rave about how nice it smelled. Ever since our holiday, whenever I see her, if I’m wearing the perfume, she’ll comment on how much she loves it and how it reminds her of our holiday. If I wear a different perfume, she tells me off! The frustrating thing was it was another year before it was available in the UK!
Her fiancée has just messaged me asking what perfume it is as she talks about it so much he’s surprising her with it for her birthday!
Visit Yvette’s blog Getalife101.

Jessi

My parents have a house in Portugal and I spent half my childhood years there. Being a redhead, it meant I was constantly having inch thick sun cream slapped on me on the hour, every hour. Back then sun protection only came in the white, thick cream version that took 15 minutes to rub in, and whenever I smell that kind it transports me straight back to running around by the pool as a child. I’m so glad we now have spray on, more transparent type protection, and that’s what I take to festivals, but I sometimes buy the old stuff as I miss that hit of nostalgia.
Visit Jessi’s blog Where’s My Tent.

Rachel

Chanel N°5 reminds me of the days when I worked as an air cabin crew member. The fragrance takes me back to those carefree days without responsibilities, with lots of travel, spending time with friends and having fun. It also makes me pause to think how I can inject more travel and fun into my life now I have a family.

Tamara

Whenever I smell Anais Anais perfume it always takes me back to our holiday at Disneyland Paris when I was about 5? My mother always had set perfume for all occasions and this one was a small one that she took away – I love the memories that come back each time I smell it!

Hannah

Aromatics Elixir Perfume. “Every year I would go on holiday to Lanzarote with my mum, sister and Godmother, and every year my mum would wear the Aromatics perfume each night we went out to dinner. I’ve since moved away from home, but the smell of this perfume always reminds me of my mum, and takes me back to the waves hitting the rocky walls as we laughed and joked on our way to dinner. Whether I walk past someone wearing the perfume as I’m out shopping, going for lunch, or even just heading to the cinema, it always comforts me and relaxes me, especially when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.”
Visit Hanna’s blog HD Personal Fitness.

Ally

Brut after shave reminds me of my dad. I remember he used to put it on once he had his RAF uniform on and some days when I stood beside him, he’d then pretend to wipe it on my face. Whenever I smell it now, I can picture our bathroom, our house and my walk to school with him by my side

Vanessa

My favourite smells are chlorine and neoprene! This is only since I became a parent and it transpired that my first child (girl now age 11) was/is a total water baby. We started taking her baby swimming at 8 weeks old – and she loved the classes, becoming the ‘demo model’ for the teacher! She just never cried whatever the class did (these are the sort of classes where you just push them under water and let their natural instincts kick in). From there she – and her younger sister – have gone on right to the end of typical swim lessons to swim for a local town club – training a couple of times a week. Our summer holidays soon began to revolve around the beach and body boarding – so we now all have wetsuits too. My husband now also swims in open water. Accordingly my ‘babies’ often smell of chlorine and the laundry room is full of costumes and towels smelling of it too. And when it’s time for our summer trips to the coast, out pop the wetsuits – and neoprene is in the air once more!
Visit Vanessa’s blog A Happy Healthy Mummy.

Sarah

When I was a child, I’d always sit on my Grandma’s bed while she was doing her hair (she loved doing her hair). I always remember that she did it ‘properly’ every morning and filled the whole room with a hairspray mist. Now every time I spray hairspray, no particular brand, it reminds me of her. Strange how those sorts of memories stick with us!
Visit Sarah’s blog Dream of Home

Becky

The scent that brings back strong memories is Cacharel In A Flash. I don’t wear perfume all the time because I forget to put it on, but I tend to when on holiday because it’s in my wash bag with everything else. So this perfume reminds me a lot of being in New York City, because I was there for 6 weeks and used it every day. But that was almost 3 years ago now! The memory that comes along with the scent is fading, so I’m finding I’m more reluctant to use the perfume, despite really liking it, because I want to make the memory last…
Visit Becky’s blog Becky Becky Blogs. .

Bethan

I’m an enormous fan of scent (and have the perfume collection to prove it!) and love to buy a new fragrance as a way of remembering special occasions. For example I bought Jo Malone’s Pear and Freesia to wear when I was a bridesmaid for a good friend. Not only did the scent reflect her English country garden wedding, but every time I smell it I’m taken back to that day. Likewise I bought Clarins Eau des Jardins after I was a witness in a court case to remind myself how I could be brave and get through difficult times, and Miu Miu reminds me of a lovely trip to Barcelona last year. I could go on and on (Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue evokes massive memories of high school!), but it’s fair to say I reckon fragrances are a great way to make memories!
Visit Bethan’s blog A Pretty Place to Play.

Rachel

My smell would be lavender. Not necessarily a certain product, although Yardley’s lavender soap would be it. The smell reminds me of my gran and baking round her house. She used to always have the soap for washing our hands with before baking and she had dried lavender in her wardrobe so all the clothes smelt of it too. It’s such a comforting and happy smell for me now. It also makes me want to bake!
Visit Rachel’s blog Rachel Emily

How about you>

Thanks to everyone who took part in this – I really enjoyed reading your stories. How about you? Do you associate any scents with particular memories or people? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t forget the giveaway is still open

My September giveaway is still open, so if you’d like to be in with a chance to win some skincare goodies from brands such as the Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa, this is where you can enter.

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Interview with Heidi from the Body Shop at Home

I ask Heidi questions such as why she’s working for the Body Shop, what her favourite products are, what’s new, and which products are good for staying safe in the sun.

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that I am a fan of the Body Shop. I love the products, particularly because they have some of my favourite ranges, such as the mango and the grapefruit range, but also because they are cruelty-free and natural products.

I’m also a fan of online shopping, which is why I joined Heidi’s Facebook group, where she gives advice, tells us about the products, including new releases, and sells the Body Shop products (payment by Paypal or bank transfer).

This week I’ve interviewed Heidi for the blog – this is what she said!

1. What is your favourite Body Shop product and why?

As you can probably imagine I have quite a few favourite products so that is really hard to narrow down! As many as I come up with I always come back to the Oils of Life Sleeping Cream as I was so surprised by how much it helped my skin! It’s one of those products that you wonder whether it’s worth investing in at first but the benefits outweigh that completely. It lasts a long time, it’s amazing for any skin type, but worked brilliantly for my dry skin patches, it feels and smells luxurious, the packaging feels luxurious. I think that will forever be my favourite!

2. What are some of the myths that people believe about skincare? Or what are a couple of skincare facts that you’ve learned since joining the Body Shop?

When I joined The Body Shop at Home I started to realise that I actually didn’t know that much about skincare at all! I thought people washed their face, put a bit of moisturiser on and that was it. I’ve learned how important it is to cleanse, tone, treat and moisturise your skin.
It’s really important to make sure that before moisturising your skin you are regularly exfoliating both face and body. If you don’t exfoliate then the dead skin cells will just sit there and when you’re putting moisturiser on top, it’s not actually sinking into the cells that need the hydration. It’s really important that you take those off first and your skin will be in much better condition.

3. Do you have any recommendations for people with dry skin?

Skincare I’d recommend the Vitamin E range, this range is also never full price which is an added bonus! It’s good for all skin types but is so hydrating and I find sinks so well into dry skin.
Body care I would recommend the coconut or shea. If you’re after intense hydration for body then the Argan Oil Body Butter will be the best one for you! However it also depends on what scents you prefer. There are body lotion versions of these for those people who prefer that way of applying moisturiser.

4. What made you decide to work for the Body Shop at Home?

I had just started on my maternity leave and originally was looking for a way to make some more money, there wasn’t really a lot of information about The Body Shop at Home that I could find so I decided to meet up with the local consultant (now my upline) and have a chat and see what it was all about. Turned out I really liked the idea of getting paid to pamper people, I liked the fact that it would be my own business, it would get me some independence back and I also love the products so I thought why not? I also now love the fact that I can bring people into this business and help them be able to change their lives too!

5. Have you got any tips or favourite products for staying safe in the sun?

One thing I never knew was the difference between UVA and UVB rays which I think is really important. Skincare that contains SPF will only protect you from UVA rays. These are the ones that damage your skin, causing redness. UVB rays are the ones that age your skin and give you wrinkles and discolouration. Protection from UVB rays is only in products that have a PA rating on them. E.g. PA+++ The plus signs indicate just how much of that protection is in there.
The product I would recommend for staying safe in the sun is the Skin Defence. It’s an amazing all rounder product, contains UVA and UVB protection, it contains red algae which will help brighten your skin and help with any uneven skin tone and its SPF 50! By far my favourite product for staying safe in summer!

6. I know you have a little boy. Do you use any of the Body Shop products on him?

I have done! The Almond Milk & Honey range has been specifically designed for sensitive skin so I have put some of the bath milk into a few of his baths. He comes out smelling gorgeous and I know that it hasn’t got any nasties in it and it’s not going to dry his skin out!

7. Are there any interesting new ranges out at the moment?

The newest body care range is the Almond Milk & Honey which contains so many lovely products for sensitive skin! However, there are so many products coming out for July! New Eye Colour sticks, a new formula of foundation, a balm to help improve the appearance of faded tattoos or to help stretch marks etc, new hair care the list goes on!

8. Fruity or floral? What’s your favourite?

It has to be fruity! Although I surprised myself a little bit as the Elixirs of Nature Eau De Parfum have floral notes but I absolutely adore the smell of the one called ‘Swietenia’ which is the sweetest one out of them all.

9. What’s your favourite Body Shop make-up item?

I absolutely love the Instaglow CC Cream! It can be worn alone or underneath foundation to create a gorgeous healthy glow! I wear it under my foundation and I just love the way it makes my skin look. It also has SPF 20 and PA+++ and if that wasn’t enough it moisturises for 24 hours. Amazing product!

10.Where can we find you online?

You can find me in my Facebook group for personalised advice, cheaper offers and competitions! /

How about you?

What is your favourite product from the Body Shop? I find it really hard to narrow it down to one, but at the moment I am enjoying the vitamin e day cream, the mango whipped body lotion and the pink grapefruit hand cream. I’ve also got the sleeping cream that Heidi mentioned and it’s fab!

More from Unseen Beauty

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.