Blogmas 2018 – Christmas A to Z

I don’t usually do tag posts, but I thought this one from Hidden Little Gem might be fun. So here are my answers to the Christmas A to Z! I’m not going to tag any other bloggers, but if you have festive associations for letters of the alphabet, why not add them in the comments?

Advent calendars

They’ve become a bit of a theme on my blog! This year I have 2 beauty ones, a cheese one, and a Braille one with chocolate!

Blogmas

This is my second year doing Blogmas. It does take time and effort, but I enjoy writing the posts, trying to come up with creative ideas, researching the articles, and finding out what everyone else is writing about too.

Christmas tree

When I was a child, we had a real one, and I love the smell of pine trees. Now we have a plastic one, but we’ve started a tradition where we put some Christmas music on and S and I decorate the tree together.

Decorating the house

We don’t have loads of decorations like some people do, but we have another tree in the kitchen, a little one in my office, various wreaths and things around the house, and it always makes me feel in the mood for Christmas when we’ve finished!

Elves

I haven’t got into the elf on the shelf thing, but they’re getting more and more popular now.

Freshly baked Christmas biscuits

I work with a lot of people in Germany, and they keep talking about the delicious biscuits that they baked. So last year I’d had enough of just hearing about them and made some too! I think I’ll be doing it again this year!

Going shopping for Christmas presents

Whether it’s physically going to the shops and wandering round whilst listening to Christmas music, or doing my shopping online, I like making a list and then trying to find things that I think people will like. Any excuse for shopping eh?!

Holly

Well, my favourite Holly is the yellow Labrador who has featured on the blog before, but we used to get some holly branches to decorate the house when I was younger, so for me, this belongs to Christmas as well.

Ice

It didn’t say they have to be good associations! I love snow, but try to avoid the ice. I’ll have to dig out the ice chains that I bought for my shoes if we have any problems with ice – they worked quite well.

Jewellery

It gives me an excuse to get out my snowmen, Christmas trees and reindeer necklaces and earrings. I don’t go in for the Christmas jumper thing, but I accessorise with jewellery instead.

Keeping warm

As I said yesterday, I don’t enjoy being cold, but there’s something satisfying about creating a cosy space where you can enjoy a night in front of a film or snuggling down with a good book and steaming cup of hot chocolate!

Lebkuchen

They come from Germany and are a kind of soft, spicy biscuit, sometimes with chocolate, sometimes with icing, and sometimes with a sweet and fruity filling.

Markets

We’ve been to three so far and may go to one more before December is over. Walking round Christmas markets is fun!

New ornaments for the tree

I started this last year and am trying to get one or two ornaments each year that are somehow relevant to us or what we have been doing. This year it was a reindeer to remind me of the real reindeer that I met at the Christmas fair.

Office party

I used to enjoy these. I don’t have one now because I’m self-employed and don’t have colleagues. But when I worked for the government in London, we used to have a lot of fun, and there was usually more than one – team party, department party, party for the building, party for another team that decided to invite me, party for any colleague in London who wanted to go… You get the idea!

Postman

Or the postlady or the parcel man/woman – all the wonderful people who bring my online shopping in December!

Quiet evenings in

The time before Christmas can involve a lot of events, rushing around, and being busy. Sometimes it’s good to take some time out, have a long bath, and unwind before the next thing happens!

Reindeer

Because they are adorable and I met my first one this year. He was so soft and he loved munching on his carrot!

Snow

It wouldn’t really be Christmas without it! Crunching through it where nobody else has walked. Building a snowman. Throwing snowballs. Playing in the snow with dogs who go chasing after snowballs and then roll around on their back! I’d love to try building an igloo one day, but haven’t tried it yet.

Tinsel

Putting it on the tree, around the house, or even on my white cane. There’s something about the smell of tinsel when it’s been in a box all year and then finally comes out again for Christmas!

Using more glitter

I don’t usually tend to go for sparkly make-up, but I will make an exception for Christmas and get the glittery things out!

Visiting or catching up with friends

I know this is a thing you can and should do all year round, but it seems at Christmas time we sometimes make that bit more effort to get back in touch with people we haven’t seen or spoken to for a while. If you’re just doing it out of a sense of duty, that’s not so good, but if it’s genuinely to catch up, then that’s great!

Wrapping presents

I used to always do this on my own, but now S and I do most of them together – teamwork – and it gets the job done faster.

Xmas music

I imagine if you work in retail, you’re probably done with Christmas music by the first week in December, but I have had the Christmas music on and it puts me in a good mood!

Yule log

Because chocolate cake is better than Christmas cake or Christmas pudding!

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I couldn’t think of anything else – but you do need a rest once it’s all over!

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – a mini of the Spa of the World Adriatic Peony body wash. I haven’t tried this before – it’s quite floral, a bit like the jasmin one. It’s probably not one that I’d pick up, but I like these little shower gels and am always happy to try out a new line.

Glossybox – the MUA Cosmic Vixen palette with 15 eye shadows. I won’t be reviewing this as it’s the next product to go in the giveaway box – use the form below if you want to enter the Blogmas giveaway.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

  1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
  2. Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.
  3. Black eye liner pencil from the Body Shop
  4. An eye make-up brush from the Body Shop something will be coming later to go with that!
  5. Real Techniques expert face brush
  6. MUA Cosmic Vixen palette with 15 eye shadows.

Products 7-10 coming soon!

Giveaway entry form

     
 

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
  2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
  3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
  4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Blogmas – I stroked a reindeer

It’s the first day of Blogmas!

Today I’d like to share with you a wonderful experience that I had a couple of weeks ago, on a day about as grim as today weatherwise!

S had seen an advert for the Berkshire Christmas Fair, so we decided to go along and maybe start some Christmas shopping.

Fortunately they had some big tents up, because it rained quite heavily. Snow would have been better to make it feel Christmassy, but we managed to stay dry.

My favourite part was my encounter with a reindeer. I think they were there for the children, but you know, adults love reindeer too, and I think for me it was extra special because I’ve only ever been able to touch models of them. When you do that and have never seen a real one, you don’t really get an idea of their size or proportions. So when I stroked that soft muzzle as he munched away on his carrot, it literally brought reindeer to life for me. He was perfectly happy to stand there and be stroked, though to be honest he was more interested in the carrot than his admirers!

There were two reindeer there so that one could have a rest and the experience wasn’t too intense for them. They could also go back away from the people if they wanted to.

I can’t tell you all that I bought because some of it was Christmas presents for people who will be reading this! In terms of things that we got for ourselves, I found a little pewter owl to sit in my office, and we stocked up on fudge (coffee fudge is amazing!), shortbread (white chocolate an lemon shortbread is amazing!) and I munched my way through a selection of sample cheeses before deciding on three favourites to buy.

I found that some home fragrance gives me a headache, but recently I’ve discovered that reed diffusers can work for me as long as they’re not too floral. I got a sweet nectarine and vanilla one from Nostara candles – they have arrange of candles and diffusers on their website including others like linen and gardenia, and bergamotte and black tea.

We also got some cider from Norcotts Cider who are based in Devon and only use locally sourced ingredients. Who knew that pink grapefruit cider was a thing? I didn’t – but took some away with me, along with pear and raspberry.

In the end, we had bags of shopping and tried to make a dash back to the car – as far as you can dash with one person on a crutch and trying extra hard not to go flat on their face in the mud!

This was followed by dinner and an afternoon in Reading, so all in all a fun day!

The Berkshire Christmas Fair was only on for one weekend, but there are other events planned for Cambridge, Staffordshire, and Essex – you can check out the full list here.

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – a 60ml shower gel in the new vanilla marshmallow range. This is one of the Christmas scents (2 out of the 3 are included in the calendar with the fox and fortunately for me, they are the two I like most!) It’s similar to the vanilla pumpkin range, but obviously with marshmallow instead of pumpkin. I’ve already been using a body lotion in this scent, and it’s good to start getting you in the Christmas spirit!

Glossybox – a deluxe sample of a Nars velvet lip glide. This was not my first Nars lip product, but it is my first liquid lip from them. If I’m shopping myself, I still tend to reach for the traditional bullets, but this liquid lipstick doesn’t seem to be one that will really dry out your lips, so I’m happy with that.

The calendars go up to day 25, but I’m only doing Blogmas for 24 days. Therefore I’ve opened door 25 for Glossybox, because the Huda Beauty Winter Solstice palette is the first prize to go in the giveaway box.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

You have 24 chances to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

If you enter more than once on the same page, the entry will only be counted once. I have a spreadsheet for tracking the entries!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.

Giveaway entry form

Terms and conditions

1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Blogmas day 21 – how much do you know about reindeer?

When I was a child, I used to insist that we left something out for Rudolph and the other reindeer, not just Father Christmas. I thought they would rather like dog biscuits, so they got some of Cindy’s shapes! (It was just a coincidence that my guide dog shared the name with the dog with whom I grew up!) The shapes were always gone in the morning, so reindeer must like dog biscuits, right? Much more interesting than a plain old carrot?!

I didn’t know much about reindeer then!

A few days ago, I came across a blog post with 12 facts about reindeer. I’ve used it a couple of times in my lessons, and I thought I’d share it with you too!

I hope you enjoy it and learn something about Santa’s friends!

Do your children, or did you as a child leave food out for the reindeer?

The calendars

IN L’Occitane there was a Verbena handcream. It seems a bit more lightweight than the others, but I love that lemony scent!

In M&S there was something that will be passed on to Mother Christmas – a face oil! I don’t use them, but 19 hits and 2 misses so far is not at all bad for a calendar!

How about you?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

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Blogmas day 12 – Christmas jewellery

Today I want to talk about Christmas jewellery! I’m not talking about expensive pieces, just something that brings a bit of Christmas sparkle to any outfit.

I’m not a fan of Christmas jumpers because I’m fussy about what fabrics I will wear – i.e. no wool (I think it goes back to the scratchy school jumpers!) So I like to make things a bit Christmassy with my jewellery.

Last year I found some sparkly owls, but I can’t find them to link now. The only thing I’d say is if you’ll be wearing something all day, try not to go for really heavy earrings as they might start to hurt after a while!

Last year I got myself a Christmas tree necklace from the Ornami collection – it’s not available at the time of writing, but you can see it here.

I also have the snowman necklace from the same range, and the reindeer pendant.

I like this range because yes, it’s Christmassy, but also the pendants are tactile and can be enjoyed by someone who can’t see them too. To be honest, the tree is the most tactile because you can feel the little baubles, but the reindeer and the snowman are good too because you can clearly feel their shapes.

Maybe next year I’ll get the snowflake pendant!

This year I added a couple of pairs of earrings to my collection. We have some Christmas trees – not as nice as the pendant, but they would be ok with something else, and some little snowmen!

At some point I’d like to add these snowmen by Katy Craig because I already have some of her doggy jewellery! Or maybe some Santa hats from the same range?

How about you? Do you have any Christmas jewellery?

Christmas tree in Stockholm

The calendars

So, what was behind your door no. 12?

L’Occitane – today it was time for another little hand cream, which is great, because I’m enjoying trying out their complete range. Previously I’d only tried the shea one. The almond one from today is nice and it goes with my almond soap from the calendar, which is out in the bathroom at the moment.

M&S – today we got a generous 50ml of Alpha H liquid gold rose. It’s an evening exfoliating and moisturising toner. Anyone who has been following my blog will know that I’m all about the chemical rather than scrubby exfoliants, so I’m looking forward to giving this one a go!

Would you like Unseen Beauty News emails!

If you’d like me to email you twice a week with information about what’s new on the site, and other things that I have been enjoying, you can sign up using this contact form.

This post contains some affiliate links.