Sunday, November 10, 2013

Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv

After finally getting around to purchasing the beloved Advanced Night Repair a couple of weeks ago, I got quite the bonus with with some free samples from the new Re-Nutriv Estée Lauder skincare collection. I got the both the Ultimate Age Eye cream and Correcting Face Cream, as well as the Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream and let me tell you that I'm already dreading the day when I'm going to run out.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish in Sage All the Rage

After spending a summer in France and getting my hands on all the UK based products that take a while to hit the US shelves, I was spoiled (to say the least) in the nail polish department. My trips to the local grocery store slowly began to turn into trips to buy a new color of nail polish when I got bored of the colors that I had in my room. One product I was absolutely loving were the Rimmel 60 second nail polishes, especially after seeing a review of the color Rose Libertine by Essiebutton (you can see her post here), which unfortunately is still not available in the US. You can be sure I stocked up on a couple of these babies.

Monday, July 1, 2013

French Market

 I would still consider myself far from being a French cuisine connoisseur, yet at least I can say I've had my fair share of cheese, fruit and bread to be able to distinguish the good from the bad. The markets here in France are definitely where you can find the good of anything. Although it's crowded and causes me some anxiety from my lack of the French language, my last Saturday market experience was a success. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Weekend in Paris

Over the weekend, I got to spend 3 whole days in easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Filled with brilliant architecture and years upon years of history, walking through Paris is nothing short of dreamlike. Sure, trying to find your way around the massive city is a challenge and, at times, quite strenuous, but its hard to feel tired when surrounded by such beauty.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Recipe #1: Avocado, Tomato & Lemon Quinoa Salad

 With all the bread, wine, and chocolate I've been thoroughly enjoying these past few weeks, I decided it's probably time to start trying to eat a little better... sigh. When I get the chance, I try to make my own food so that I know exactly what I'm eating in order to make things healthier, and in my tiny kitchen, easy recipes are the best recipes. I love quinoa but I've never actually tried making it myself, so I decided I would finally try to experiment. Like rice, quinoa is so versatile and can be used in recipes for baking, lunch/dinner, as a side, or even for breakfast! Unlike rice, however, quinoa is incredibly healthy and keeps you full.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Loire Valley

It seems that I still cannot wrap my head around the beauty that I am witnessing here. Yesterday was our last excursion, and we drove 2 hours from Angers to the Loire Valley to visit Le Chateau de Villandry, the Chateau du Clos Lucé Parc Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo Da Vinci's house), and the Chateau d'Amboise.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Simple French Dinner

Honestly, who doesn't love cheese or bread. I certainly do, and fortunately so do the French. I've been dying to make myself a classic meat and cheese platter, and I decided to accompany my meat and cheeses with a fresh crusty baguette, some cherries I got at the local market, and some herbed green olives. For the cheeses, I got some Brie de Meaux from the market, a slice of Comte, and a pungent yet buttery cheese called Vieux Pane. Voilà!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Normandy Excursion

I was fortunate enough to take some steps into history yesterday and witness some of the most beautiful, historic, and devastating monuments in recent history. I visited Normandy, where we went to a WWII/Dday museum, the American cemetery on Omaha Beach, and Pointe du Hoc.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ice Cream, Musée de Beaux-Arts & Quernons d'Ardoise

By the looks of my title you may think I know more French now. But don't be fooled. I get out of class by 10:30 on Thursdays, so that leaves the rest of the day completely free for me. I decided to make some good use of my time and visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers, which is the art museum located in the heart of Angers, about 15 minutes from my residence. The museum, which originally opened its doors in 1801, was modeled by the Louvre. Between 1999 and 2004, there were massive renovations done to the museum, and I could definitely tell the difference between the older and the newer parts of the museum. While most of it was new, there are still some beautiful historic aspects in tact like the detailed arc ceilings.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Products I Love

On top of my traveling and class time here in France, I have also been thoroughly enjoying the French beauty products. As of lately, my skin has been very good to me and I'm likin' it. I'm not sure if it's this fresh French air I've been breathing or that I've been using the infamous and well-loved Bioderma Créaline H20, which  I will be going into more detail later in this post. Whatever it is, I'm definitely not complaining!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mont St. Michel Excursion & A Day in Paris

The past couple of days here have been absolutely amazing. Almost dreamlike actually - it's hard to comprehend that I've seen so many historical monuments and been to so many beautiful places! On Friday, we all took an excursion to Mont St. Michel, which is located on the northern coast of France in the lower Normandy region. It was about a 3 hour bus ride from our residence in Angers, but since we left at 7:30 AM, we all napped on the way there so it felt like a short ride.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Looking Forward to the Weekend

The weekdays are pretty quiet and relaxing here for me, and usually what I'm doing with my time is going to class early in the day and then going back to my room and hanging out. The weather hasn't been very good lately, and we can always expect random rain showers even if it looks sunny outside. There's always a raincloud that comes over us, usually when we're walking home...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday Exploring

We FINALLY had a sunny and warm day here in Angers, so naturally, I felt it was necessary to spend some time outside. So, a group of us got together and went out for a picnic. I packed with me a baguette, some cheese, and an apple with peanut butter while some of the others stopped at a pasta fast food restaurant (yes, they have fast food pasta here) which looked and smelled amazing! There also happened to be a marathon going on in Angers this day, so when we went out, the park was busy with people, food, music, and sports. It was a good day to go out! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wine-tasting and Saturday morning market

Yesterday, the group took a trip to Chateau des Vaults, which is a family owned winery located about 25 minutes from Angers in a part of France called Savennieres. It was exactly what you would expect from a small French winery - charming, beautiful and embedded with history.

The woman who was in charge of the winery (the chateau was passed down to her by generations of women in her family) first took us up to the vineyards, which was a small hike up a hill. The view at the top of the hill was amazing and we could see miles of countryside, as well as the huge raincloud that was coming our way. Fortunately, we were informed that the top of the hills don't get much rain, which is why the vines are located at the top of the hill. Vines don't like rain, but they like sun.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Adventure Continues

It's been a great couple of days here! I'm definitely staying busy with my classes, and in my spare time I'm either wondering around the streets of Angers, grocery shopping, hanging out with the group, or going on excursions.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bonjour, Angers!

I arrived in Angers, France on Sunday (finally) after a long 20 hours of traveling. The plane rides weren't too bad, but I was definitely jet lagged for a couple of days! I have spent the past few days getting to know the city of Angers, which is beautiful, historic, and and really French (people actually do walk around carrying baguettes).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Austin Fashion Week

I was absolutely ecstatic to have the opportunity to go to a runway show at Austin Fashion Week this year, which was from May 3rd-11th. I had never experienced something like this, so I went in not knowing what to expect. Since I love fashion, I thought this was the perfect stepping stone to helping me figure out exactly what I love about the fashion world, and it sure did open my eyes to a lot of new things.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Banana + Strawberry + Blueberry Smoothie

As of recently, I have been absolutely loving freshly made smoothies. I received a personal smoothie maker as a gift, and it has been perfect for helping me create tasty, healthy smoothies.

Love At First Post

Welcome to my first post!

To start off, let me introduce myself. My name is Katie Brown, and I am a Communication student at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. I am a writer who is especially interested in fashion, makeup and food (so these will probably be in the majority of my posts!)

I tweaked an existing blog, which was also called Hidden Inspirations, and have produced this one. Expect some possible changes in the future, as there is definitely room for improvement!

I have decided upon creating a lifestyle blog. Something for myself, and also for others. I will feature food, fashion, makeup, health + fitness, design, and everything in between! Basically, things in life that inspire me in my current everyday life in hopes to inspire others as well.

Stay tuned for more!