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Style Diaries | Feeling Confident In Your Own Skin

  • Friday, 10 August 2018


Everyday I see inspirational quotes, pictures and general approval that woman should love their bodies, embrace their curves, be proud of their stretch-marks and feel confident in their own skin. 

This is all great, apart from the fact that I don’t believe any of it. I don’t believe people when they say that bodies are beautiful no matter their shape or size. I don’t trust quotes that tell me that I should love the way I am and feel confident about myself. It’s not that I don’t agree with these statements, it’s that I don’t feel that our society wants us to agree with them. 


For every inspirational quote about loving my body, I see ten more pictures showing me that I am inferior as a woman. That I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough… I don’t mean to stereotype, and I don’t have anything against tall, pretty, skinny, women – it’s just that I can’t help but feel as though we are supposed to aspire to be this way.   

But do ya know what? We should embrace our bodies, and not give a shit about how other people may perceive us. As long as we are healthy, eat good food, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and take care of our bodies, do little hang ups like cellulite even matter? So many people have things that they don’t like about their bodies and in all honesty – no one even notices or pays attention!

So when it comes to stretch marks, wobbly thighs, big boobs or whatever it is that you feel self conscious about, try to remember that nearly all other woman have similar, if not the same thoughts about themselves. We need to remember that our bodies are real and that we are all natural and normal – but as long as we’re healthy, it really does not matter! 

I think that we also need to remember that no matter our body hang ups, there are always solutions to help us to feel more confident in our own skin. Personally, I get very self-conscious about my rather large lady lumps. I have quite a big set of boobs, which I feel are out of proportion to my 5ft2 frame. I forever feel like they’re on display and that they make me look bigger than I am, that my clothes don’t fit the way I want them to… and when I was younger I was forever trying to hide them. 


With age however, I think we forever apply a fresh perspective on things, and I have learnt to embrace my body. I’ve learnt that wearing a good bra is one thing that can make me feel more confident about my boobs and myself. I have recently been introduce to a brand called Upbra, a company that is based in the USA and has spent the last five years designing a bra with the perfect fit and lift. They have a huge range of bras available, all of which include adjustable straps underneath the cups, allowing you to push your breasts together to ensure a secure and flattering lift. The California brand ship worldwide, and if you too are in need of a little confidence boost I would really recommend checking them out. 

Ultimately though, no matter how we feel about the exterior of our bodies, we need to nurture and look after our insides. Ensuring that we are healthy is a number one priority, and once we do this, the rest will follow. It’s so easy to get hung up on what we feel we should look like, but we must try and focus on the positives and the things that we can change like diet and lifestyle choices. But forget the rest because in reality, it really doesn’t matter… 


Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains PR samples from UpBra, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

A Few Ways To Protect & Look After Your Skin This Summer

  • Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Although we all love the sunshine, well most of us anyway, it’s something that we have to be careful about when it comes to protecting our skin. 

Now, I’m no skincare expert, but it is well known that there are plenty of health risks involved in having too much sun exposure. I have had burnt shoulders one too many times and it is not a pretty sight. Not only is it bad for you, it prematurely ages your skin, puts you at the risk of developing various conditions, plus it can dehydrate you, give you sunstroke or something worse.


As we seem to be at the height of summer, I thought I’d share a few different products that have been staples for me during this sunny, heat wave we’re currently having here in the U.K. 

Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector* – SPF is key when protecting ourselves from the sun. I always make sure that I have SPF either in my daily moisturiser or make up all year round. Even in winter the suns rays can cause damage and it’s important to wear some sort of sun protection. I have loved using this facial sun-cream from Exuviance. It has an SPF of 50, which is amazing as most skincare products offer between 10 and 30. It can be worn with both moisturiser and/or foundation, but because the product itself is tinted, I find that it is a fantastic substitute for a makeup base. 


Exuviance Hydra Firm* – I find that in summer, although my skin may feel oily it actually gets fairly dehydrated. I’m not sure if it’s the sun drying it out, the air-con in buildings or that I don’t drink enough to compensate a higher rate of perspiration… Anyways, I have loved using this evening moisturiser by Exuviance. It is really hydrating and it helps to protect skin against environmental damage. I love applying it once I’ve cleansed my face on an evening and rub it all the way down my neck and onto my collarbones. 

Lush Scrubee – Much like my face, the skin on my body also tends to get pretty dehydrated during warmer weather. I love to use the Scrubee bar from lush, which both exfoliates and hydrates your skin at the same time. The bar has a strip of coconut shell encased in a body butter, which means that whilst I’m in the shower I can exfoliate the dehydrated skin away and hydrate the fresh layer of skin that is exposed. It’s also great as it means that I don’t ‘have’ to moisturise when I get out of the shower if I’m too hot – is anyone else struggling with this at the moment?! 


The White Company White Lavender Moisturiser – So for the times when I’m not baking hot and can actually be arsed to cake myself in creams, I also reach out of this perfect one from The White Company. It is such a dream to apply and it is perfect just before bed as the white lavender scent makes me feel all sleepy and dreamy. It is a great one for the summer months as it is really nice and hydrating, but it also soaks into the skin really quickly. It is a great base to use before fake tan – another summer staple of mine!

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Self Tan Mousse* – I’ve already spoken about my love for this fake tan and if you want to read a bit more in depth about it I have a full blog post dedicated to it here. In conclusion, it is potentially the best fake tan I have used – ever! It is a mousse, which I apply with a mitt for even application. It dries pretty much instantly and only takes about an hour to develop. There is no need to wash it off, you can get dressed and head straight out of the door with an even, natural looking glow that lasts around five days – it’s amazing!! Plus, it means that I can look like I’ve spent all day sunbathing when I’ve actually been sat in the shade comfortably sipping on an iced coffee with my book. 


Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains PR samples from Exuviance, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The Importance Of Meal Times | Uncle Bens, Dinner Brings Us Closer

  • Wednesday, 1 August 2018


It seems as though modern life is a complete balancing act. What with working a full time job, socialising, looking after a home, running a blog, going to the gym, spending time with family… its hard to find time to take things slow and take a step back. 

I feel as though meal times are a great example, and a true representation of what we find important. It’s a really good indicator of where we spend our time and I think it is a tool we can use to work out our priorities. I appreciate that may sound a little dramatic but bare with me… 


When I was growing up my mum and dad made having our evening meals together a priority. It was a chance for us all to catch up on the day, have a chat about school and work, and I believe it made us a very close family. It was an hour and a half every evening where we would sit together and really live in the moment, appreciating spending time with each other.

Flash forward eight years and I find that I do this less and less. At uni meal times were scoffing half a day old pizza before rushing to get ready to go out on the lash. Or a pitiful bowl of noodles by the side of my computer whilst I tried to write essays… When James and I moved in together after university, that mentality around meal times remained the same. We treated dinner as something to cook as quickly as possible, to eat as quickly as possible so that we could do X Y & Z.


But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve often thought more and more about the meal times I would share with my family. It may sound cliché, but I think that meal times really can bring people closer together. James and I are trying to sit and eat our meals together more often, in a less distracted environment. It is so easy to sit in front of the TV, shovel food down and speed off somewhere else. But the evenings when we sit together with no distractions are definitely my favourite. We talk and fill each other in on what we’ve been up to during the day, and more often than not, we carry on the conversation and find that X Y & Z wasn’t as important after all. 

We ended up doing this last night and we cooked a really nice vegan curry served with a packet of Uncle Ben’s Classic Rice. I’ve left the recipe below in case you fancy making it yourself (FYI, it was really good!)

Vegan Curry

Serving size: For 4

Ingredients

- Coconut Oil
- 1 can of Coconut Milk
- 1 can of Chickpeas
- 1 can of Tinned Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Curry Paste
- 3 Small Red Onions
- 1 handful of halved Cherry Tomatoes 
- ½ of a Cauliflower Head  
- ½ of a Broccoli Head 
- 1 Small Courgette

Method

Finely chop the red onion and add to a pre-heated pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Finely chop the courgette into slices and then strips and add these to the pan. Chop up the cauliflower and broccoli into small, bite sized chunks and add these to the pan. Remember to keep stirring. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add these, the tinned tomatoes and curry paste. Add half a can of water and the coconut milk then leave to simmer until all of the food is soft and cooked. Add the cherry tomatoes just before serving. 

Serve With

- A few wedges of fresh lime
- A bowl of plant based yoghurt
- Mango Chutney
- Nan Bread 


I know that we all have a lot on in life, that’s just the way that our society seems to be at the moment. But I also think that it is important to re-evaluate our time every once and a while, take a step back and breathe. An easy way to begin to do this is to dedicate more time during meals and sit and enjoy time with the ones that we love. 


Madolyn
xxx

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This is a collaborative post with Uncle Ben's but all thoughts, opinions and recipes are my own.

Style Diaries | Balcony Chills With The Perfect Maxi Dress For Summer

  • Wednesday, 25 July 2018


The heat this summer is practically unbearable. I know I sound very typically ‘English’ saying this, but us Brits like to moan right?! Don’t get me wrong; it’s lovely to have a bit of sunshine, but living and working in this heat it kinda horrible. I cleaned the bathroom yesterday and literally had sweat running down my back and beads on my forehead…

The weekends are a little more fun though, and it’s nice to walk outside and feel like you’re on holiday.


I do miss having a little garden though… it’s lovely to be outside, enjoying this weather, but to know that you can nip inside for a fresh glass of water… walk around bare foot… have a bit of privacy… go to the loo… I miss these sorts of things living in a block of flats.


We do have a little balcony however, (although I feel like I want to invest a bit of time into making it into a little extension of our flat.) Our view isn’t the best and it isn’t the biggest of spaces, but I sat out there at the weekend and created a cute little reading corner. It’s a pretty tranquil spot that is bright but has the benefit of no direct sunlight shining on it for the majority of the day.


The space looked really cute and so I thought that it would be the perfect excuse to showcase the latest addition to my summer wardrobe.



I’m not usually one for maxi dresses, mainly because I’m fairly short (5ft2) and often feel as though they make me look even shorter. I fell in love with this shirt-style maxi from Boohoo however and think that it is a perfect summer piece. I love the float-y, casual fit of the dress and it gives me complete hippy/vintage/70s vibes. What’s more, it cuts off at my ankle, meaning that I can wear it with flats.

The print of the dress is pretty bold so I decided to pair it with simple and subtle accessories. I am in love with these chunky, gold, hooped earrings from New Look and they have barely left my side since I bought them a few weeks ago.


What I also love about this outfit is that it is completely versatile and perfect for lots of occasions over summer. I’m thinking, a Sunday morning brunch, lunch dates in town, afternoon cocktails with the girls, family BBQs or evening meals out. I feel like the accessories, how you style your hair and the way you do your make up can really change the feel of the dress, making it really adaptable.


Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains PR samples from Boohoo, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Beauty Cabinet | A Few Vegan Products For Summer

  • Monday, 23 July 2018


Intentional living is becoming something that I am more and more invested in, and I as I apply it to certain aspects of my life, I find that it is naturally spilling over onto others. I am focusing on being more intentional with my time, my spending habits, things I welcome into my home and what I put into my body.


I have been attempting to have more of a plant-based diet, however over the last couple of weeks this has now developed into veganism. I don’t want to go into too much detail just now, as I feel as though there is a blog post on the horizon all about my ‘vegan journey’ if you will, and why I will no longer be consuming animal products.

The basic take away, is that through my diet and thinking more about the bigger picture, when I buy things now, I try to do so with intent. I want to pick healthy products that are natural, good for the environment and good for me, without sacrifice…

Lush Shampoo Bar | Link – I have wanted to try one of these shampoo bars ever since they hit the shelves in Lush. I never took the leap however as they cost around £7 a pop and I knew I could buy cheaper alternatives. I also didn’t believe that a little round, soap like product, would be able to wash my hair properly (hello thick, four day old, dry shampooed tresses!) However, I got talking to one of the staff in store the other week and when she demonstrated it, and showed me how a tiny amount could froth up like mad, I was sold! Lush claims they can last up to eighty washes, all from this tiny bar! So seven quid didn’t seem so bad after all… I’ve used it about five times now and my hair feels super clean and still lasts its usual five day cycle – winning!!


Lush Scrubee Exfoliator & Moisturiser | Link – I have used this little two-in-one exfoliator/body butter before and was itching to get my hands on it again. I think that it is a great product not only because you can exfoliate and moisturise At. The. Same. Time. – In. The Shower. !!! But it is also great for summer, because who can be arsed to moisturise in this bloody heat?! I mean seriously. I’ve tried. But as soon as I’m done I feel like I need to leap straight back in the shower again! The exfoliator is ground up coconut shell, which is embedded in a honey (ok so not 100 per cent vegan), body butter. So you can rub the product all over, whist in the shower, rinse, and feel completely rejuvenated and hydrated when you get out.

Lush Coffee Scrub | Link – This is another product that I have used before and was desperate to get back in my life. It is a perfectly wonderful coffee based scrub, which can be used as a mask both on your body and your face. What I love about it is the fact that my skin feels completely wide-awake afterwards. It’s a great one to use on a morning and I also love to use it before a night out. It is perfect for the summer months as I always feel like I have extra congestion on my skin when the weather is a little warmer. It really lifts away dull skin and my complexion always looks instantly better after using it.


Bamboo Toothbrush | Link – So this isn’t necessarily a ‘summer’ product, more of an all year round one… But I thought that I would throw it into the mix whilst I’m banging on about Vegan products and intentionality. I have read a few different things about bamboo toothbrushes and the main thing that stuck with me was the fact that they are vegan and that they are 100 percent biodegradable. That’s right – even the bristles! I popped into a little health food shop the other week whilst I was in Sheffield and saw them on the shelf for £3.99. Not exactly a pound shop special I guess, but still, when I think about all of the toothbrushes I’ve ever used and how they’re all just sat in landfill…


Madolyn
xxx

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A Few Ways To Remain Positive When You Have Money Troubles

  • Friday, 20 July 2018



Money troubles are one of the main things that seems to come up in conversation lately. I feel as though nearly everyone I talk to at the moment brings everything back to the topic of money. Forever asking how much things cost, whether or not they can afford x y & z, how little money they have or much things cost. Money issues can feel very stressful and debt can be a very worrying and scary thing. However, there are a few things to remember when it comes to money problems and I am a strong believer that things will always work out in the end, if you’re willing to put the effort it.

"Don’t Assume that you are alone – There is only one place to begin, and this is with carrying the burden of debt on your own. A lot of people are too scared to tell anyone about their situation because they are embarrassed or they are too proud and do not want to ask for help. However, you know what they say – a problem shared is a problem halved, and this is definitely the case when it comes to money matters. There is also professional assistance available to you in the form of Lexington Law Credit Repair and other companies like this. They can help you to assess your current situation so you can put together a course of action that will work for you.

Don’t Try to pay off all debts at once – This is another mistake that people make when they are trying to get out of debt. Instead, you need to focus on the most expensive debt first. This is the debt with the highest level of interest, and then move onto the next expensive debt, and so on and so forth. Needless to say, you do need to make the minimum payments on all of your accounts per month as well, though.

Don’t Close your accounts when they have been paid off – It may seem a logical move to close your credit card accounts once you have paid them off. However, when you do this, you actually have a negative impact on your credit rating. Let’s say you are £20,000 in debt. You manage to pay an amazing £10,000 off one of your credit cards. Once you have done this, you close the account. By doing this, you now owe £10,000 of £10,000 that is available to you, which is 100 per cent of your available credit, which is never good for your credit rating. If you have left the account open, you would have been using 50 per cent of the credit available to you and this would have actually had a positive impact on your score."

Remember that it will not last forever. As with most things in life, when focus, effort and time are applied, things start to become better and improve. It is easy sometimes to get transfixed on the negative, but if you can keep a positive outlook on things, everything will hopefully feel a lot better.

Madolyn
xxx

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