17 September 2016

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30 April 2016

Update | Where Have I Been?

Now I'm never one to blow my own trumpet but you may have noticed that I've been absent from this blog since January which, as we're now approaching May at alarming speed, is a very long time.

The reason behind my hiatus is that I started a food blog! Foodie for Thought  is something that I've wanted to do for ages but never really had the courage to do but at the end of January I finally bit the bullet and launched a food blog that I am proud of: it's small but it's exactly what I wanted it to be.

I had planned to update both blogs on a regular basis but I totally underestimated how much work would go into a food blog; from the initial idea to the writing and amending of recipes, the whole testing process and then finally the stage that's photographed, edited, typed up, set live and promoted across social channels can take weeks - some of the recipes I'm writing at the moment I've been working to perfect for months!

There will be new content on The Blogging Brunette soon - since we last spoke I've had veneers fitted which I'm dying to tell you all about and I've tried some really lovely products which I want to share. 

I am always so grateful to the support you've given me since I started this blog and I would be so happy if you could show Foodie for Thought the same support, blogging is a lonely place without friends!


8 January 2016

Fashion | Introducing Rita by Betty and Biddy

I've never really been one for costume jewellery but when I saw Jennifer Wrynne mention a brand called Betty and Biddy when showcasing a beautiful statement necklace on her Snapchat, the magpie in me was awoken.

Firstly, if you don't know who Jennifer is then she is an incredible milliner and fashion blogger from Ireland and I absolutely adore her style: the "What Jennifer Wore" section of her blog is one of my favourite places to stalk, as is her Snapchat for serious style inspiration. I absolutely adore the races so the fact that Jennifer can provide endless inspiration for outfits makes her blog a must read for me and I'm just waiting to pick my Royal Ascot dress before purchasing one of her stunning hats.

On to Rita! I was so overwhelmed with all of the beautiful designs on Betty and Biddy that I found it really difficult to pick but there on the last page I browsed was Rita and it was love at first sight. I have my eye on a dress for my annual work party in this month and this would be the perfect accessory to go with it so I snapped it up immediately. It arrived really quickly despite coming from Ireland and the Euro to Pound conversion was great!

I put this on over a plan t-shirt the other night with jeans and a blazer and I loved how it turned a pretty drab outfit into something really dressy without any effort at all!

Rita Necklace - £20.41 available here

Have you heard of Betty and Biddy? What are your favourite statement costume pieces?

Vicky x

6 January 2016

Beauty | Antipodes Performance Plus Mineral Foundation*

Before Christmas I was very kindly sent the Antipodes Performance Plus Mineral Foundation* in Medium Beige to try. If you recall my Tarte* post from October (here) you'll know that I was impressed by their mineral powder foundation and being such a huge fan of Antipodes I was super excited to try their offering despite never using any of their makeup products before.

Powder foundations can be a little bit messy to apply so Antipodes smartly suggest that you tip some of the powder into the lid, swirl the natural hair Kabuki Brush* through the powder and then buff onto the skin using circular motions. With all mineral products; the more you work the powder into the skin the more it will work for you resulting in a lovely medium finish.

One of the things I liked most about this foundation is that it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything on your skin (that isn't to say I usually wear heavy foundation!) so it really does give the "second skin" feeling that it claims to. The other thing I really loved is that unlike other foundations that can break down and wear off during the day, this actually looks better and better as the day goes on.

You have four shades to choose from so it isn't the most encompassing shade range but it does cater for both cool and warm skin tones; I went for medium beige as I planned to tan over Christmas and it's a great colour match even when I'm not tanned as I go for less coverage.

As with all Antipodes products I've tried there is some pretty impressive skincare science going on in this product, packed with antioxidants and super fruit goodness the Performance Plus foundation is incredibly kind to all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.

Finally, the foundation contains SPF15 which is exactly what I want from a day time foundation, I tend to forgo any foundation with SPF in for an evening event or anything where there will be flash photography but for every day wear I want that extra protection.

My second mineral powder foundation has been just as enjoyable as the first and I'm really enjoying using this product; I tend to prefer a more full coverage look for work but for weekends this will be my go-to foundation! 

I've got to be honest, I would never have previously considered Antipodes for makeup but I've totally changed my mind now as it's just as good as their skincare.

Antipodes Perfomance Plus Mineral Foundation is available here and retails at £26.00

Have you tried any makeup from Antipodes? What do you think of mineral foundations?

Vicky x

* PR Sample


4 January 2016

Fashion | Christian Louboutin New Simple Pump Patent 120

In October I was fortunate enough to visit the beautiful city of Paris (you can find my summary of the trip here) and whilst I was there I couldn't resist popping into Christian Louboutin and making a purchase - I say popping in, we visited on the Saturday before leaving on the Sunday and it was a good 30 minute wait to get into the store!

I genuinely think the above might be my favourite picture of last year - the Louboutin bag, the flowers on the balcony and a slight glimpse of the Parisian streets through the curtains. Everything about this picture makes me think of the wonderful time I had in such a beautiful city.

So I've totally given away the shoes I purchased with the title but indulge me a little longer as we first look at what else was inside the box. Upon clouds of tissue paper you will find the dust bag for your shoes, a pair of spare heels in a mini dust bag and your care and warranty card.

I was very tempted to go quite "out there" and purchase something super extravagant but decided instead to go classic and buy a shoe that I could wear for numerous occasions, including more high end work events, that would remind me of my first trip to Paris.

Every woman should own a good pair of black pumps that can be worn with any outfit and that is why I decided to go for the New Simple Pump Patent in 120mm - the slightly exposed platform is great for helping with balance and makes the shoes more comfortable for their height.

I've worn them once so far: they had their maiden voyage to a new French restaurant in Marylebone called Les 110 de Taillevent and they're surprisingly comfortable. I usually take a 5 (38) but was instructed to size down to a 4 1/2 (37.5) which was a great shout from the sales assistant as they're so well fitting. 

All in all I honestly couldn't be happier, not just because I absolutely love my shoes but because they are not only a reminder of my first trip to Paris but also a product of my hard work - yes they were expensive and yes it is an extravagant purchase but I've also worked bloody hard to be able to sustain such a purchase and I'm really proud of that.

I think the So Kate shoes will be my next purchase, I tried them on in Paris and they were pretty uncomfortable but I'm prepared to suffer for them! Aside from that I am saving for an incredible pair of Jimmy Choo's... 

What purchase makes you feel all sassy and independent? 

Vicky x

1 January 2016

Lifestyle | My New Year's Resolutions/Goals for 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016 and the year I finally become closer to 30 than I ever will be to 20 again - what an uplifting thought to start the year on...

image: Google

Usually I do a round up of my goals from the past year and let you know how I got on with them but seeing as I pretty much failed at all of them, there's very little point in doing so. If you'd like to know what goals I had set for 2015 you can read about them here.

I didn't manage to blog more, drink less or lose the weight I wanted to but I did have two lovely holidays, I got a new job and took the first steps to starting a new career by signing up to a wedding planning course so all in all, it was a pretty successful year!

Despite the above, setting goals is still important to me and I do find that it motivates me in a way that I wouldn't necessarily be motivated without "something" to work towards so here are my goals for 2016.

1. Try Pilates
I'd really like to try a Pilates class in 2016; I have a gym membership that I barely use and my gym offer Pilates amongst various other classes and so I'd like to give it a go and see how I get on. I'm not putting pressure on myself to attend for a certain amount of time or with any particular goal in mind and I think this could be the way to achieving this goal.

2. Make a budget and stick to it
This one is very important and one that I cannot afford to fail at. It's ridiculous how bad I am with money but I finally paid off my credit card in 2015 and I fully intend to be better with money this year.

3. Switch off more often
I started doing more of this last year and found it really beneficial; taking time off from the internet and blogging and social media and just being in the moment is so valuable and something that I want to continue this year.

4. Refine my personal style
I'm not really a follower of fashion, in fact most of the fashion trends make me feel incredibly old, so I'd really like to refine my personal style and spend more time and money investing in key pieces that will last me for longer - whilst I still love shops like Zara I think that it's time my image grew up a little bit and I spend most of my life in work wear so I want more transitional pieces as well as a more casual wardrobe for weekends. 

I'm keeping it short and sweet this year, there's a lot of things personally and professionally that I would like to achieve and I think that I'm going to be kept pretty busy!

What are your goals for 2016?

Vicky x
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