Blogmas day 14 – winter weather expressions

English people have a reputation for talking about the weather. Have you noticed that some of the expressions we use are about winter weather?

At this time of year, there is a lot to say about ice, snow and cold, windy weather. Here are some wintry weather idioms and their meanings.

1. To be skating on thin ice
To be doing something that is dangerous or which could have negative consequences.

2. A snowball effect
A situation which gains momentum or where something increases in size or impact.

3. To be snowed under
To have so much to do that you can’t take on anything else.

4. Every cloud has a silver lining
Even if a situation looks bad, something good will come out of it.

5. To get wind of something
To learn about something, even though it was supposed to be a secret.

6. To have a face like thunder
To have a facial expression that shows that you are very angry.

7. To throw caution to the wind
This means that someone is taking a big risk.

Can you think of any more?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

The calendars

So, what was behind your door no. 14?

L’Occitane – time for another shower gel! These are like travel minis – maybe ok for the shower, but in the bath I tend to use a bit of another shower gel as well! Still, it’s good to go through the whole range of scents!

M&S: Today I got a maringa cleansing balm from Emma Hardy. I’ve never used a cleansing balm before because I usually use a cream cleanser or micellar water, so I’m looking forward to trying this out!

Question for the day

Brussel sprouts – yes or no? I’d have to say no, unless they are the ones made entirely out of chocolate!

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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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