02/12/2016

Vuelio Blog Awards 2016 ||The Brewery London

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Last Friday I found myself at the Vuelio blog awards in London. To be honest when I got the email invite I thought they'd sent the invite to me by mistake and it was meant for someone else. But no, it was for little old me. Turns out my friend Radhika from Radhika Recommends had also had an invite so we decided to go together, stay over and make the most of it. Bring on the party!

Vuelio held their second annual awards ceremony at The Brewery, bringing together the most influential UK bloggers and vloggers for an evening of great celebration. More than 500, yes 500 bloggers and PR professionals attended and with social media now being at the very heart of everyday life Vuelio feel it's important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those influencers and the work they do with them. I read and follow a lot of the nominees so was excited to see the awards unfold.

The Brewery was a stunning location and the photographers were there snapping away when we arrived. 

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

After being 'papped' we headed in for reception drinks and to mingle. My word, there were a lot of people there. The fizz naturally made it a little easier to relax and chat and we got to meet the lovely Lauretta from Home and Horizon blog. It was Lauretta's first blogger event and she came on her own. What a brave thing to do, I certainly wouldn't have the confidence to attend a huge event like this on my own. BIG high five to Lauretta. Lauretta is a fellow 40 plus blogger so we had a connection straight away and I found her so easy to talk to and have a laugh with, we'll definitely stay in touch and I hope to see her again very soon. 

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Drinks reception over we took our seats for dinner. We were table 58 and had some other lovely bloggers for company. We had a London fashion blogger, a dad blogger and a couple that write a parenting blog and the conversation flowed between all things blogging and life in general. 

We were treated to a super delicious 3 course dinner (with plenty of wine on the table too) but sadly I don't have any decent photos as it was so dimly lit in there and food by candlelight does not look the best!

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

After an introductory speech from Joanne Arnold, Chief Executive at Vuelio the awards got underway, hosted by the very funny comedian Mark Dolan. The atmosphere was amazing, with loud music and supportive people in every single seat cheering along the winners, it was like these award ceremonies you see on the TV. I was buzzing!

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Once the awards were over we headed back downstairs to where the party was at, and the photo booth obviously, cos that what every blogger does right? The party went on until the early hours although Radhika and I snuck away a little earlier. Feet couldn't hack it any longer and our hotel beds were calling! 

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Vuelio blog awards London Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

The nominees are all totally amazing but as we know there can only be one winner in each category. The one I whooped and hollered for the most was the wonderful Hayley Carr, from London Beauty Queen, who took the award for best UK beauty blog and she absolutely deserved it! Hayley's our We are Thirty Plus boss queen so I was over the moon for her, oh and if you are 30 plus you can find out more about the community here

*The Winners* 

Best UK Beauty Blog

Hayley Carr, London Beauty Queen

Best UK Fashion Blog
Victoria McGrath, In the Frow
Best UK Food & Drink Blog
Karen Burns-Booth, Lavender and Lovage
Best UK Fitness Blog
Charlie Watson, The Runner Beans
Best UK London Lifestyle
Poppy Loves
Best UK Traditional Media Blog
Sian Cain, Guardian Books Blog
Best UK Mum Blog
Jen Walshaw, The Mad House
Best UK Dad Blog
John Adams, Dad Blog UK
Best UK Political Blog
Paul Staines, Guido Fawkes
Best UK Travel Blog
Abigail King, Inside the Travel Lab
Best UK Interior Design Blog
Kate Watson-Symth, Mad about the house
Best UK Blog

Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad about the house


I left that evening feeling totally inspired by every single person in that room and looking forward to working hard and achieving great things in 2017.

The next day was spent filling our faces, drinking and wandering the streets of East London. 


Thanks so much to Vuelio for inviting me along, and Radhika and I look forward to next years! :D 








28/11/2016

France (Part three) || Épernay, La Maison Mercier & more champagne


France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Rather than kick this one off with a glass of champagne I thought I'd bring you a barrel of the stuff, a bloody great huge one! :). Welcome to the La Maison Mercier. As I said in my previous posts (you'll find them here & here) we did a little planning before we left the UK and knew we wanted to visit the Mercier champagne house without a doubt. Situated towards the end of the Avenue de Champagne, it's easily accessible with lots of space to park too.

The first thing you see as you walk in is the huge exquisitely carved barrel. It can hold the equivalent of 200,000 bottles of champagne and has a fascinating story to tell. The reception is bright, modern and refreshingly cool, a welcome relief from the heat outside.

Their champagne treasures are hidden 30 metres down and for part of the tour you travel on a laser guided train around the cellars which was the reason for us wanting to visit this particular house rather than any of the others.

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

The cellars are extremely theatrical and are rich with century old history. I won't go into detail about the tour as it would spoil it if you should ever get the chance to visit (and you so should) but it's totally fascinating, oh, and a little bit cool down there so take something to throw over your shoulders. I totally forgot as it was a scorching day out and could have kicked myself as I DO NOT like to be cold, mind you, you're not down there for very long anyway so it's bearable. 

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

You're given a little mobile-like device to listen to the audio guide. Personally I would have preferred headphones so you have two hands free to take photos and video, although it's bit dark down there anyway, hence the yellow tone in the pics!

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

The tour takes you back to 1858 and on a journey with Eugène Mercier, into a labyrinth of dusty bottles, rows and rows of them, some over a 100 years old. You'll learn about the caves, the fermentation process and bottling and after visiting the lighthouse in Verzenay the day before, this educational day followed on quite nicely. 

They also hold functions in the Bacchus cellar. A former disgorgement room, with ceilings 11 metres high and decorated with bas-relief monuments sculpted by Gustave Navlet. Can you imagine having your wedding breakfast or office Christmas party in that spectacular place? 

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

After the cellar tour you're taken back upstairs to the best bit. THE TASTING! The cheapest option on the tour is 16 euros and that includes 1 glass of champagne. The next one up is 21 euros and that includes 2 glasses, which is the one we went for as we wanted to try the rosé as well. Hey, when in Champagne and all that!!!!!

Going in September we walked in and got straight on the tour but it can be very busy in the height of summer so you'd be best to book online beforehand. I think you can pre-book most of the house tours in Épernay and also Reims on line if you'd rather (don't quote me on that though), a good idea for those that like to plan ahead or you can just rock up and pay as you go. Veuve Clicquot however, you HAVE to pre book if you want to do this tour which we didn't realise. We were gutted as we'd heard this was a good one to do. We did go into the shop and buy a bottle of vintage rosé though :)

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Tour and tasting complete we took a slow stroll down the Avenue de Champagne to see the other houses and maybe try a little more. There are a couple of the big houses here but also some of the lesser known ones too. You can go into the shops of the champagne houses and buy to your hearts content but the tours you have to pay for. 

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

The smaller houses had the prettiest little courtyards for you to sit and sip and easily loose and hour or so. It was just heavenly to lap up the sunshine, chat about the holiday that we already knew was one of the best we'd had in a long time and sip on my most favourite drink in the world.

For a glass of champagne at the smaller houses you can expect to pay around 5/6 euros which is fabulous. 

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

As you'd imagine Dom Perignon and Moët were very impressive houses indeed! 

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

After strolling up and down the Avenue de Champagne we had a little wander around Épernay town. It's small but has lots to offer. There's plenty of restaurants and bars (as if you need any more to drink) a museum and lots of quaint little shops. The tourist board are on hand (located on Avenue de Champagne) to help with anything you need.

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

I was knocking on the door of this BIG house in the hope they were selling VERY BIG glasses of bubbles!

France travel blog Mercier champagne Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Until next time, which may or may not, be the final instalment of our bloody brilliant trip and don't forget you can catch part 1 here and part 2 here


















24/11/2016

Toppik brow building fibres


Toppik brow building fibres review eyebrows Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

We all want those full, arched, defined eyebrows don't we? Well, I certainly do and there are so many products out there now to help us achieve the look we're going for. With brands galore offering powers, pencils, wax, fibres, there's something to suit everyone. I've tried lots of different products but not fibres so when Toppik got in touch to ask if I wanted to try their brow fibres I jumped at the chance. It was hard for me to choose between dark brown or medium because mine are sort of in between but I opted for the dark brown as I didn't want the medium to end up too light and look a bit odd.

The Toppik brow building fibres* comes as a three piece kit (2 pots that stack and 1 dual ended brush) to help give you full, natural looking brows in minutes. The wax is made with mango, shea and cocoa butters to help nourish the skin and brow follicles and the fibres are made of coloured keratin protein, the same type of protein that is found in your hair and they have a natural static charge that helps bind the fibres to your hair making them look more natural.

Toppik brow building fibres review eyebrows Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Step 1 is to use the angled side of the brush to apply the conditioning wax to the brow defining the shape you want to achieve with the fibres. I find it's best to put plenty on so the fibres adhere a little better.

Toppik brow building fibres review eyebrows Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

Step 2 is applying the fibres. I made the mistake of tapping some of the fibres into the lid of the pot as it was the easiest thing to do, picking them up with the brush from there but when you've finished the lid then screws back on top of the wax leaving stray fibres to drop into the wax!! Not good. Trying to shake some out to sit in the top of the pot is a little tricky so I find it easier to put some of the fibres onto a piece of tissue and pick them up from there.

Once the wax has been applied you then dip the rounded end of the brush into the fibres and dab them on the waxed area, building up the fibres and filling in any sparse areas until you've created the brow shape and fullness you want. It's that simple!  

Toppik brow building fibres review eyebrows Priceless Life of Mine Over 40 lifestyle blog

I can say that the fibres give you fuller brows and really do look natural. The only thing for me is that I won't use them in the day as I'm often in a rush, quickly doing my brows with a pencil and these do take a little bit longer. I'll save these for when I have a little more time to spend on my makeup. 

You'll find the details here if you want to know more about Toppik brow building fibres




Have you tried brow building fibres before?