Blogmas day 4 – 12 days of Christmas for dog lovers

A new take on the well-known Christmas song and some ideas for what to buy your dog for Christmas.

Well, the tree is up and it’s beginning to look a lot more festive around here! Getting the singing snowman out made me think about Cindy, my golden retriever who is no longer with us. She didn’t like the singing snowman. I don’t think she understood why it moved and where the voice came from!

She was very much a part of Christmas and I thought I’d do a Blogmas post for our furry friends.

So, to the tune of that other well-known Christmas song:

On the 12th day of Christmas my doggy shared with me
12 wintry walks
11 bonios
10 bags of dogfood
9 canine cuddles
8 furry playmates
7 packs of poo bags
6 tongues a-licking
5 squeaky toys
4 muddy paws
3 dog leads
2 floppy ears
And a waggy tail to show she’s happy!

Here are some ideas if you’re looking for inspiration to treat your furry friend at Christmas.

First of all – dog treats! Some people make their own, but there are plenty of festive treats out there – either normal ones, or special ones for Christmas. The most important thing is to make sure it’s a treat suitable for dogs. Last year my Mum’s dog got these mince pies for dogs and this year I’m getting her some pigs in blankets. Mum, if you’re reading this, don’t tell M!

If you want to give your dog a stocking, why not make one yourself with some of the things that you know he or she loves?

If you don’t want to get treats, you could get a toy. There are all kinds available, from indestructible frame balls for super chewers to a squeaky reindeer. You know what kind of toys your dog likes. I could buy Cindy anything because she was gentle with her toys, but if your dog is a chewer, it’s better to get something more durable.

Cindy tolerated the reindeer antlers for the photos, but she wasn’t a fan, so I didn’t ask her to wear them for long. If you want your dog to look festive, you could get something like this reindeer collar or a personalised Santa’s little helper bandanna!

Maybe it’s a good opportunity to get something practical. When Cindy was getting older, I got her a bed with memory foam to give her better joint support. There are beds to suit all price ranges and sizes – here’s an example.

Also, as she was getting older, I got her a waterproof winter coat to keep out the cold and damp

Another thing you could do is pay for an activity that you can do together. What kind of things does your dog enjoy doing? Is there a skill that he/she could learn, or a class that you could do together?

Most of all, dogs don’t see gifts in the same way as us, so if you really want to do something good for him or her, take some time out of your busy schedule and go for a walk or have some sofa time with your dog. It’s easy to get carried away with all the preparations and often the best thing you can give is your time.

The other thing is not to let your dog have anything that would hurt him or her. There is so much food around at Christmas time, and some things like grapes, raisins, chocolate and alcohol are bad for dogs. Don’t let your friend spend the festive season feeling sick because they had access to human treats!

What will your dog be getting this Christmas?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

The calendars

So, what was behind door 4 of your advent calendar if you had one today?

L’Occitane: I got a mini of the verbena body lotion, which is great because I like the bath soak from the same range. I’ve never tried a body lotion from this range, so I’m looking forward to that.

M&S: Gatineau Melatogenine Advanced Rejuvenating Cream. I was happy to see another skincare item. It said you can use it morning and night, but it’s quite a rich cream, so I think this will be my new night cream!

Question for the day

So today I’d like to know – do pets join in with your Christmas celebrations? Will they be getting a gift? If so, what is it?

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This post contains some affiliate links. I have not bought all of these specific products, but they are similar to things that I have bought in the past.

Blogmas day 3 – Christmas music quiz

How many of these Christmas songs and Carrols do you know?

Welcome to Blogmas day 3 – and the music quiz! Below are lines from Christmas songs. Some are popular music, others are more traditional songs and Carrols. How many can you identify?You can find the answers here!

1. Sleep in heavenly peace

2. next year all our troubles will be out of sight

3. Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

4. Were they surprised when before their eyes
He came to life that day

5. Then one foggy Christmas Eve

6. it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

7. O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

8. Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square

9. The weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful

10. He’s gonna find out
who’s naughty or nice.

11. I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree

12. The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

13. When the snowman brings the snow, when the snowman brings the snow

14. In the meadow we can build a snowman

15. I keep my distance but you still catch my eye

16. Next year I could be just as good if you check out my Christmas list

17. In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

18. Where the treetops glisten and children listen

19. 4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtledoves

20. Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load

Christmas tree in Stockholm

The calendars

This is what was behind my calendar doors today – don’t forget to let me know about yours if you’ have an advent calendar too!

L’Occitane – today I got an almond soap. We don’t use bar soaps a lot in this house, but these products always smell great and it’ll be fine for downstairs or for popping in my travel bag. I don’t love it as much as the other products so far, but it’s still a nice product, and a decent size at 50g.

M&S: Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil. I think the best part about this calendar is all the new brands that I’m getting to try! I haven’t had this before either. I’ve found some shower oils to be very greasy, but I haven’t tried this brand, so I’m happy to give it a go!

Question for the day

So today I’d like to know – which is your favourite Quality Street flavour? Mine were the coffee creams, but they don’t do them any more *cry*! I also like the strawberry and orange creams! Writing this is making me want quality streets now! How about you?

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Blogmas day 2 – childhood memories – how my Nan made Christmas special!

It’s the first weekend of December, which means it’s time for the Christmas tree to go up. For us that means a trip to the loft to get down the tree – well actually trees, because I brought a little one with me when I moved in with S, and all the decorations. Does anyone else love that tinsel smell, which tells you Christmas is on its way?

We went into town this morning. The Christmas music was playing and there are already some little stalls with hand-made Christmas gifts. I didn’t buy anything – apart from a hotdog for lunch – but I enjoy seeing what is available, with S pointing out things that he thinks I will like!

I don’t remember it, but I apparently got into the Christmas spirit at a very young age. I had been chosen to do an “Away in a manger” solo when I was three – but unfortunately chicken pox put an end to my singing career! Ah well! After that I was too shy to take any solo singing parts at school, but I often did readings because I wasn’t scared of standing up in front of the rows of parents and grandparents!

On the subject of grandparents, anyone who read my grandparents and what we learned from them post will know that I grew up with my grandparents, so a lot of my childhood memories are about them.

My Nan loved Christmas! Not just Christmas morning, although she did wake the children up early on more than one occasion because she was so excited (much to the dismay of some of the other adults!) No, she loved the whole month of December – from the first weekend, when we decorated the tree, all the way through to the school activities, buying and wrapping presents, and planning the food!

As a child, the best part for me was that I was very much a part of it all. No doubt it would have been much quicker for Nan to wrap the presents and put up all the decorations when I was in bed, but she didn’t. Of course I didn’t see anything that was for me, but when it came to the presents that were from me, I went to the shops to choose them, and we did the wrapping together. She taught me how to wrap the difficult shapes. At the beginning, she cut the paper for me, but later I learned how to fold the paper and then have a tactile line to cut along. When we went out, I enjoyed the Christmas music in the shops and Nan described the decorations and displays.

As well as the tree, we had decorations that came out every year – the china sleigh for quality streets, the nativity scene with all the figures, and the snowy house scene that my Granddad attached to a rotating cake board that was wired to a music box. The tactile picture that went up on the living room door. It wasn’t made for visually impaired people, but I could feel Santa, his sleigh, the presents, and the raised letters that spelled out Merry Christmas! I think they looked out for things that could be enjoyed by touch as well.

I don’t have any of these things now, apart from a book that they arranged for me when I was very small. You gave the company the name of your child and a few friends, and the company created a book with a story about that group of children. I still have it – and my one was different because my Nan, who had learned how to write in Braille (a system of dots used by blind people for reading), put the words in Braille on transparent plastic and stuck them into the book so that I could read the story for myself.

Another year, my grandparents arranged for Santa to reply to my letter in Braille.

When it was time for advent calendars, we used the same self-adhesive plastic to cut out little Braille numbers for sticking on the doors so that I knew which door I could open to get my chocolate each day.

Christmas was usually celebrated at our house with my mum, my aunt and her children. It started much earlier than my Christmases do now, and the first thing was always children opening presents, followed by adults opening presents, followed by bacon rolls! Then my Nan would make the Christmas dinner – turkey with all the trimmings. Sometimes a stocking was held back for after the main meal.

My Nan isn’t around to enjoy Christmas any more, but I always think of her at this time of year, particularly when I’m doing the things that she enjoyed so much.

What are your childhood memories of Christmas?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

The advent calendars

L’Occitane – today I got a hand cream! I think handcreams are one of the things that L’Occitane does really well, so I was happy to get this little tube. Actually I think there are a few handcreams in there, so I’m looking forward to trying out some more. I already have the full-size one of this one, but it’s lovely to have a mini to put in my bag or in my desk organiser pig!

M&S – another little tube, this time it was Filorga Meso-mask. I’ve never tried this before. Apparently, it enhances skin by improving luminosity and radiance, treats wrinkles and erases signs of fatigue. You leave it on your face for 15-30 minutes and then remove with damp cotton wool. I think I’ll be trying that tonight!

If you had a calendar, what was behind your day 2 door?

Question for the day

So today I’d like to know – what is your favourite food from a traditional Christmas dinner? I have to say the turkey! I don’t think we eat enough of the stuff! I sometimes buy it at other times of the year, but particularly when I was working in London and attending different Christmas meals, I was never sorry to see turkey appearing for the 2nd or 3rd time in December. How about you?

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Blogmas day 1 – welcome to Blogmas!

So this is my first Blogmas and I’m quite excited about it! I watched quite a few Youtubers doing Vlogmas last year and felt that I really got to know them a bit better during December, so maybe that will happen here too.

I’m a teacher, so I find it easy to write “how-to” posts or to share information, but I’m not so good at the chatty, informal posts that other people do so well! So maybe I’ll learn something too!

Basically there will be four parts to the Blogmas posts. There’s the main topic – something wintry or Christmassy, something about my day, then I’m going to talk about my beauty calendars, then I have a Christmas-related question. I’ll give my answer and I’d love to hear yours!

Welcome to Unseen Beauty’s first Blogmas!

For me as a blind person, the least enjoyable part about blogging is the images. I can’t see the products, never mind take photos of them. I do get help with this when I’m talking about products, but I don’t want the stress of sourcing new images every day, so you know what? I’m not going to do it! It’s so liberating! If a photo opportunity comes up, I’ll get someone to take one, but otherwise, we have a Christmas tree and that’s going to be the Blogmas image!

The other day I saw someone saying they probably wouldn’t do Blogmas because they wouldn’t be able to get good enough images, and I think that’s really sad – in the original sense of the word. That blogger may have had loads of interesting stuff to share, but they were put off because of expectations around images.

The people who come to my blog will hopefully keep coming back for the writing. If you’re looking for a picture every couple of lines, this isn’t going to be a fun place for you anyway!

Among other things, my Blogmas is going to be stories, Christmassy products, links to other people doing Blogmas, and two quizzes!

Today

It’s the 1st of December and I’ve already started my Christmas content with my students! Not all of my students celebrate Christmas, and not all of them are interested, but for those who are, I try to find some kind of Christmas activities.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m an English teacher, and I work with adults, mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, who want to improve their English. The activities can be anything from Christmas stories to recipes to talking about how Christmas is celebrated in the student’s country and around the world! Adults don’t want to do some of the activities suited to children, and as we work online, we can’t have a baking session together, but there is still plenty of stuff to talk about and it really gets me into the Christmas spirit – as do the Christmas biscuits on my desk from the Blogger swap box that I did with the Cozy Den bloggers!

I’m not done with my Christmas shopping yet, which is unusual for me, but I’m pretty sure our tree is going up this weekend!

What was in my advent calendars?

So – moving on to the advent calendars! I’m really lucky and I’ve actually ended up with two! I got the L’Occitane one – the cheaper one, because there were a lot of oils in the other one and I wouldn’t use them. Also I liked the sound of the things in the cheaper one more! I was hoping that there would be Braille on the products – you may remember my L’Occitane puts Braille labels on its products to make them more accessible to blind users post. I guess they think the samples in the calendar are too small for Braille. Oh well, a little disappointing, but they are still really nice products, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s inside.

Then my Mum got me the M&S calendar as well – so I’m really happy! I’ve taken a sneak peek into that one on a Youtube review and there are a lot of skincare products in there, which excites me!

I got:

L’Occitane: cherry blossom shower gel.
M&S: Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Body Glow.

This is great – they’re both products that I’ll use. I definitely prefer the shower gels from L’Occitane to the shower oils, and I’m looking forward to trying the cherry after my run this afternoon. I was impressed with the generous size of the body glow – 50ml and this is also a new range for me to try!

What was behind the door of day 1 for you?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

Question for the day

What is your favourite Christmas song?

That’s a tough one for me because I love all the festive music in the shops, or I put on Christmas songs when we’re baking Christmas goodies or setting up the tree. I know it’s probably not as much fun for people working in retail who hear the same songs on repeat all through December!

As a child I always liked Sleigh Ride probably because of all the whinnying and clip-clopping – and it’s a happy, cheerful tune! How about you?

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15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

Another month is over and I’ve been trying to use things up because I know that more will be added to the collection when December starts! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, what you thought of them, and also what you got through in November!

Hair care

So, the first thing isn’t a new product for me, but I liked it so much that I got another one! It’s the Banana hair mask from the Body Shop. If you want something that’s natural, that smells great, and that gives your hair a pamper session, this is a good thing to go for. It’s not cheap, although you can get a good deal if you wait for it to be on offer, and you do get a generous pot of it. I do intersperse this with cheaper ones sometimes, but overall this is my favourite!

The other haircare products were a sample set of the shampoo and conditioner from the Seaweed Bath Co. The products contain vitamins and nutrients from the ocean to give you strong and healthy hair. It may be ok as a product, but I can’t deal with peppermint in haircare. I don’t want my hair to smell like toothpaste, which means that these products were not for me. Still I was glad to get the chance to try them, and overall I was very pleased with the November Lovelula box, which also contained a lipstick, eye cream from Madara, a face primer and a moisturiser.

Click here for my other hair care reviews.

Bath and shower

I got a mini of the SenSpa sleep therapy bubble bath in my Latest in Beauty box. I’m usually a Radox girl, but I like to try other things, and this bubble bath contains lavender, which is good for a relaxing pamper session at the end of the day. I don’t know that I’d rush out to buy it, but if it shows up in Latest in Beauty again and I’m looking for things to fill my box, I might pick it up again.

I went through an enormous 750 ml of the Pink grapefruit shower gel from the Body Shop. This is my all-time favourite scent, and sometimes these bottles have 1/3 off. Something this size lasts a long time, and unless you’re someone who gets bored with a single scent, I definitely think they’re worth it. Just make sure you like the scent first. I knew I would with this one though because I think I’ve had most of the pink grapefruit products. By the way, I’ll be doing a skincare post for grapefruit lovers in the new year, so do let me know any recommendations that you have for me to include.

Skincare

November was a bumper month for skincare empties! First up is the body lotion from the Seychelles bath and body set. I just love this stuff! The coconut is really refreshing, but it’s offset by the orange, almond, and vanilla. This leaves you moisturised and smelling amazing for hours!

I don’t usually get excited about the little sachets in Latest in Beauty, but the Lavera face cream really got my attention because it smelled sooo good! It was a night cream and I liked the way it left my face afterwards, but I have to say it was the scent that got my attention. This is a brand that I would like to look into more next year.

After I enjoyed the SenSpa bath soak, I also tried the SenSpa relaxing body butter which was being offered as a mini on Latest in Beauty. It’s a thick, rich, butter for anyone who likes something a bit more intense, but this also smelled of lavender, and whilst I don’t mind my bathwater having this scent, I don’t want to walk around with it for the rest of the day. So this was ok, but I probably wouldn’t get it again. That’s why I’m so glad that I get to try minis of these things in Latest in Beauty, rather than buying them full-size.

Next there were a couple of the little handcream tubes from the Body Shop. I had a couple of them open and wanted to use them up. First there was the pink grapefruit hand cream, which is my favourite! I also finished the tube of Almond and honey hand cream which I got when I reviewed the whole almond milk and honey range earlier in the year. I think when I first smelled this range, I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t smell the almond as much as the honey, but I really enjoyed using this gentle hand cream, and it’s definitely a good one if you’re not up for the more powerful, fruity scents, or if you have sensitive skin that might be irritated by other ingredients.

I haven’t tried much from the Spa of the World range from the Body Shop, but I did get some of their Ethiopian green coffee cream when it was released earlier this year. At first I was a bit surprised because it didn’t smell of coffee, as my other coffee products do, but it’s a creamy lotion with green coffee extract, suitable if you want your skin to feel firmer and smoother. I didn’t really need a skin-firming cream, so I can’t comment on how well it does that, but I did enjoy using it!

The second thing I want to mention from the Lovelula November box was the priming serum from Ren. Ren is a good brand and I was happy to try this out. The little glass bottle, the kind that you get perfume samples in, made it a little annoying to get out, but the serum itself absorbed very quickly, but as I tend to go more for moisturising primers, it wasn’t the texture I’m used to. To be honest, I don’t want to sound cheap, but I couldn’t justify spending £50 on a primer. Not when there are others on the market that I feel do the job just as well. Still, I’m glad it was included because I enjoyed trying it out!

Now something from the May Lovelula box – the Laidbare cleanser and toner that is out of stock at the time of writing. I’m genuinely a little suspicious of two-in-one products. I like the face care ritual with its many steps, and I don’t try to double up, because I think each step has its purpose. However, I did use this up eventually. It had a pleasant, citrus and apple scent, and I had it in the bath for a while. I wouldn’t buy it again, but it’s a decent enough product if you don’t like faffing around with as many products, or if you’re going away and need to save space.

I got the next product because a number of people received it in one of the beauty boxes that I don’t get. I don’t like a lot of them because there would be too many products that I wouldn’t use, but that doesn’t stop me watching the videos and reading the blog posts for inspiration. I was already a fan of the Grumpy Cow range from the Cowshed, so I decided to try out their Cowpat handcream. Such a funny name! One thing that drew me to it was the grapefruit oil listed in the ingredients. It’s quite a thick cream, so I kept it by the bed and put it on last thing at night. This handcream also contains coriander essential oil, which apparently relieves muscular aches, increases circulation and helps you to sleep. It does however smell of coriander – I’m fine with that, but I’ve seen some people saying that they don’t like it. We use coriander quite a lot in cooking, so it doesn’t bother me.

I’ve gone on about the vitamin E cream from the Body Shop before, so I won’t ramble on about it, but if you haven’t tried it, it’s wonderful stuff! I got a mini pot in last year’s advent calendar and was using it in my travel bag. I decided to finish it up and when I’ve got through some of my other creams, I would definitely buy this again!

This was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to try some things from the Oh K! brand, so I got their cherry blossom panda hand cream. The panda is definitely cute, but I’d rather plain packaging and a good product than cute packaging and an underwhelming product! The product was like a hand butter, a bit greasy, and I didn’t like the scent. I didn’t find it particularly moisturising either. I know there are other things in the range and they might be better, but I felt the product wasn’t really worth it. I guess it would be ok to buy for someone who wants some cute things on their dressing table, but don’t expect big results from it!

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Also, don’t forget that Blogmas is starting tomorrow, so be sure to follow or sign up if you want to see my Christmas content!

Blogger swap box from the cozy den

Find out what happened when I arranged a blogger swap box with new friends from Germany!

If you read my November favourites post, you will know that I did a blogger swap box with some new blogging friends. Today I’m going to tell you about it!

I met Sazzy and Joanie (S & J) from the the Cozy Den blog in a blogging Facebook group. There are threads on most days where bloggers can share their work whilst supporting other bloggers. It’s a lovely little community.

Anyway, we got talking on my blog about the Yes To sheet masks, and I think it was S who said that they aren’t available in Germany. That’s when I thought about a blogger swap box – I could send S & J some products from the UK, including Yes To ones that weren’t available in Germany, and I could try out some new German products. Win win!

Happily they agreed, so we set our price limit for the box, agreed when we’d do it, and sent each other a bit of information about the kind of things we liked/avoided/really wanted!

When my box came, it was at the end of a tough week and just the right time for a pamper session! The box smelled amazing and between us S (oh dear that’s bad – now we have two S people), so my partner S read out the German labels to me and I translated them! Teamwork! Having a blind girlfriend gets my S into all kinds of beauty-related projects!

There were plenty of bathtime treats in there which is great, because I love pampering sessions and skincare, especially now that the winter is here. I’ve already used the trio, which were vanilla but had a fresh and zingy scent too! The pink grapefruit shower foam smells good enough to eat, and I’m looking forward to using the body lotion with orange blossom, and to relaxing with the bath salts, bath cube, and cute little bath melt!

I’ve also tried both of the face mask sachets –honey is good for your skin, and I love the scent of the tropical one, which contains pineapple and coconut. To be honest I’ve only ever done sheet masks, so it was fun to try something else!

Lip care is really important, especially at this time of year, and the minty lip care will see me through the winter.

I love trying new hand creams. The one in the box has avocado oil, aloe vera and chamomile in it.

I’m a bit of a pain to buy for in terms of make-up because I don’t use powder products, but they managed to find me an eye shadow crayon and two cream shadows. I haven’t tried these brands before and I was excited to add them to my make-up collection.

The one thing I asked for from Germany was Jogurette. If you don’t know what they are, then you’re missing out! They’re little individually wrapped chocolate fingers with strawberry yoghurt in the middle and they’re amazing! They’re also all gone!!! Sorry S, I’ll share most things but not Jogurette!

As well as the chocolate, there was some Lebkuchen and Speculazius – two types of yummy Christmas biscuits!

There were so many other lovely things in there that I haven’t had the chance to try them all yet. I really enjoyed both putting together S & J’s box with things I hoped they would like, and opening my own and trying out all the goodies that you can’t get on my local high street.

If you’d like to find out what was in S and J’s box from me, head on over to their swap box post on the Cozy Den.

Have you done a swap box before? If so, why not let us know about it, or link your blog/Youtube video in the comments?

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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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November favourites – bloggers, body lotion, and bunny ears!

It’s not all products this time, but I’m sharing the things that I’ve enjoyed this month!

Well it’s November now and actually I’m already beginning to feel a bit festive! Perhaps that has something to do with buying snowman earrings and planning Blogmas content, but I always enjoy this time of year.

So these are my November favourites. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

The first thing I wanted to do is to mention the Blogs in Bloom group on Facebook. There are loads of blogging groups out there, and this one isn’t for you if you’re looking for some superficial follow for follow game. However it could be for you if you’re looking for a friendly and helpful group of bloggers who get to know each other and provide support through a number of activities throughout the week. You choose the people with whom you interact, but if you get involved in something, you need to give as well as take. Check it out if you’re interested.

One of the reasons I was particularly happy about finding this group is making some new blogger friends with whom I did a blogger swap box. You can find out more about that soon as we’re going to be talking about it at the same time on both blogs, but it was a really lovely opportunity to build a box for other people and see what they picked out for me!

I haven’t opened them yet of course, but I find the whole process of choosing advent calendars is really fun. So many brands are doing them now and I enjoy looking through to see what’s available. I’m really lucky this year as I have two – I had one and then my Mum got me one as well. They will be featured in Blogmas, so keep reading if you’re interested in which ones they are!

Skincare

One of the things on offer in the Latest in Beauty box was the pomegranate lotion from Weleda. previously the only thing I had tried from this brand was the skin food cream, which was ok, but didn’t wow me as it has some other bloggers. So I was really happy with this cream, which is a lightweight body lotion, which smells great, and apparently prevents the premature aging of the skin. I’m not loyal to body lotions and I like variety, so enjoyed trying this one out.

There’s going to be a whole post on serums in January. It all started when I was sent a sample of a really expensive one, which got me thinking about the fact that I don’t have any serums in my skincare regime. This then got me doing some research about why they are used and how they can help. I bought a couple of different ones to test for a blog post, and one that I’m really enjoying is the Nip+Fab Dragon’s blood fix serum which is said to hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. I really don’t know where they get the names but this is my second product from Nip+Fab and I’m really impressed. There will be a more detailed review in the serums post, but if you’re looking for a serum for underneath your moisturiser, this is a good one to start with and it doesn’t break the bank!

After my grumble and moan a couple of months ago, I was really impressed with Lovelula this month. In fact, I’m keeping all the products for myself, which doesn’t usually happen. I was particularly happy to see another Madara product in there. This month we got the Madara eye cream. It’s a deeply hydrating eye cream that is worth more than we paid for the entire November box. I really rate this brand, and although I’m trying to use up a couple of other eye creams first, I couldn’t resist giving this one a try and was suitably impressed!

Perfume

When I was doing my 18 products for mango lovers post, I dug out some of my mango products and rediscovered my Victoria’s Secret mango body mist. I love this stuff – I spritz it in the morning and love the sweet mango scent that really does stay around for hours!

Wolves and owls

This is a present – given to me in time for when we put up the tree in December! It’s an Owl bauble made of glass, and it’s really tactile for anyone who can’t see the owl. His little ears stick up and you can feel his head, pointy nose, eyes, and feathers. I know he came from M&S. As a blind shopper, I hate their site with a passion, which is why there’s no link, but I’m sure you’ll still be able to find him online or in store.

I recently discovered that the wolf sanctuary near Reading has a store, and I got some lovely sitting Wolf earrings. They are well-made and what I enjoy is that the shape of the wolf is clear to feel. I don’t like earrings that just have a picture painted on with no tactile elements. With these, you can feel his head, howling snout, body, legs, and tail, and as well as some of the money going to the wolf sanctuary, I love jewellery where I can really appreciate the design too.

Haircare

I didn’t know where to put this one really, but I decided it could go here because this headband with bunny ears will protect my hair when I’m doing a face mask or having some home spa time. I think there are different ones in the range – I think there’s a mouse and a piggy one, but at the time of writing, the rabbit is sold out on the site. Still, hopefully there will be some left in store if you want to get one.

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Things are changing on Unseen Beauty!

This is just a short post to tell you about a couple of changes that I’m making to Unseen Beauty and what will be coming up for the rest of the year.

1. Blog posts

I’ll be doing Blogmas for the first time this year and I’m really looking forward to it. This means there will be some new content from 1st to 24th December featuring festive posts and the unboxing of my beauty advent calendar. If you’re doing Blogmas too, let me know in the comments as I’d love to check your posts out too!

There’ll also be a blogger mystery box swap coming up soon, so if you’re interested in new posts, make sure to follow the blog or to sign up for my updates.

The featured products page

I’ve updated the featured products page. There are now 86 things in the skincare section that have been reviewed on this blog, and I’ve got a few more to add soon. Basically there is a list of sections, then you can click the one that interests you, and you’ll see a table with the list of products, where you can buy them, and a link to the post where I talked about them on the blog.

I’ve just added a free things and discounts section to this as well so people can find out about the brands that I support. The things in this list are more general, but if I find out about a sale or a one-off, you’ll find that as a new feature in Unseen Beauty news.

I do have some affiliate programmes going on, but I am transparent about affiliates and PR samples, and I only ever promote things that I genuinely like and have tested. Some things will just be on my site because I like them, and not because I have any connection to the brand.

If you want to see the changes, you can check out the featured products page,

Unseen Beauty news

I want my email updates to be more than “hey check out the new post on my blog”, so they’re going to be a bit different from now on. They will still be roughly twice a week – usually Tuesdays and Fridays, but sometimes life happens!

From now on they will include one or two other links that I think my readers will like, either blogs or articles, as well as any good deals or sales that I hear about from the brands that I love. I hope you like the new format!

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