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Outfits of The Week | Working From Home Edit

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  • Thursday, 23 April 2020

Since the lockdown began over a month ago now, I have encouraged myself to get dressed everyday, especially on the days when I am working from home. My default uniform seems to have become comfy jogging bottoms and a crop top, with some sort of cosy knitwear if I’m feeling a little chilly. 

I think that even if I pop on some loungewear, it’s important for me to make the effort to get up at the same time everyday, wash my face, do my morning skincare routine and get dressed. It has really been setting me up for the day, and makes me feel a lot more productive when I’m sat, working at my desk. It is so easy to stay in bed with my PJs on, and work from there, but I find that having a morning routine, similar to the one I had when I was going into the office everyday, has really helped me to adjust to staying at home.

There are so many clothing brand sales currently, and I’m so guilty for browsing loungewear bits and pieces online on a regular basis. Femme Luxe Finery have got some great pieces on offer at the moment though, ranging from co-ords, over sized Ts and jogging bottoms to suit anyone’s preference. I’ve recently picked up a few new pieces from them, which I have linked below. 




Outfit Two: Black Leggings & Black Tank


Outfit Three: Dark Green Joggers & Black Tank




Madolyn
xxx

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

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Cute & Casual Tops For Lounging At Home

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  • Tuesday, 31 March 2020


Now that we’re all staying at home in an effort to keep each other safe in the brink of all of this madness, comfy clothes have become an absolute must! 

I’m a huge fan of loungewear at the best of times, but with me staying in and working from home every day, there is no way I’ll be sitting in office attire on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. 

Femme Luxe Finery have some amazing loungewear pieces that are super affordable and perfect for days spent working and lounging around the house. 


Joggers are an absolute staple for me, I find them easy to throw on and find it super handy when they have pockets. So when Femme Luxe kindly asked me if I’d like to pick out a couple of pieces from their recent collection, I chose a couple of different tops that I could wear around the house, paired with my joggers. 


I love this cute little caramel tank top paired with these baggy white joggers. I find the fit really flattering and because of the shape and hold, there is no need to wear a bra, which is always a plus when it comes to comfort. The material is so soft and silky and can easily be worn on its own or underneath a little cardigan or jumper. I really like the racer back finish, which again provides support and extra comfort. 


This second caramel tank top is made with the same material as the one above, but the cut is slightly different. The straps on this top are very thin and it comes much lower both on the front and the back with a square finish. Although it’s not quite as fitted, it still provides an element of support and so again, there is no need for a bra.



Nothing beats a classic black T-shirt, which can be worn with pretty much anything. This is a really nice tight fit, which I find much more flattering with my body shape, as an over-size, loose-fit T can drown me a little. As I have a shorter torso, I like to tie my Ts into a knot at the front to create more of a cropped-finish. I also really like that the neckline on this T is a bit of a looser fit, again creating a more flattering and comfortable fit. 

Madolyn
xxx

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

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Putting Your Health First & Reduce The Risk Of Illness ~ Collaborative Post ~

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  • Sunday, 22 March 2020


"If you take an interest in healthy living and self-care, the decisions you make now could benefit you for years to come. It’s essential to put your health first, no matter how young or old you are. Here are some simple steps you can take today to reduce the risk of illness. 

Up your activity levels

Inactivity is one of the most significant threats to good health. If your idea of exercise is walking from the car to the office twice a day, taking steps to move more will improve your mental and physical health. Start increasing the number of steps you take each day, think about activities you’d like to try, research local exercise classes and look into ways you can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If you're anxious about working out in front of other people, or you’re pushed for time, home workouts are a great option.

Kick the bad habits

If you smoke, or you drink on a regular basis, making lifestyle changes could have a dramatic impact on your health. Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but it will contribute to both short-term and long-term benefits. We often associate smoking with cancer, but many of us don’t really know much about cancer. If you had to answer the question, ‘what is cancer?’ what would your response be? Researching and reading articles from reputable sources can help you find out more and give you information about the reasons why smoking is a risk factor for cancer. If you’re keen to quit, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are community groups and online forums you can join, and you could also look into treatment options like nicotine replacement methods. 

If you’re worried that you drink too much, start keeping a diary, and try to block out most days of the week as alcohol-free. Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home, and try different social activities. You’re much less likely to drink excessively if you go to the cinema or you meet friends for breakfast, rather than going to the pub. If you’re finding it tough to cut down, or you rely on alcohol to make you feel better or less stressed, see your doctor or contact charity helplines. 

Keep up to date with routine health checks

Keeping an eye on your health is crucial. If you’re one of those people that only go to the dentist if they have toothache, or you haven’t had your blood pressure checked for years, it’s important to keep up to date with routine health checks and appointments. Don’t ignore invitations or reminders from your GP or dental surgery and seek advice if you do develop symptoms, or you’re worried about your health. Waiting around might cause your symptoms get worse and lower the chances of treatment being successful. 


Some of us are complacent when it comes to our health, and we put work, children, friends and socialising ahead of taking good care of ourselves. To boost your health and wellbeing, try and move your body more, kick bad habits and keep up to date with appointments and checks."

Madolyn
xxx

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~ Collaborative ~ A Few Ways To Help You Break Bad Habits

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  • Tuesday, 17 March 2020


"If you want to live a healthy, happy life one, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to break your bad habits and make them history. Bad habits have a habit (see what I did there?) of interrupting your life, making your miserable, and in many cases negatively impacting your health. You would be better off without them right? But how exactly do you go about breaking bad habits once and for all?

Get professional help

If your bad habit is something serious or something that is difficult to tackle without help, such as drug addiction or smoking, you should really seek the help of a professional; it’s particularly important to seek help for addiction because you really can’t do that alone. There’s nothing wrong with needing some support, and if you aren’t confident you can go it alone, asking someone to assist you will give you the best chance of success.

Replace it

Perhaps, the most effective way to break a bad habit is to replace it with something else. Often, we indulge in bad habits because we are stressed or bored and removing that coping mechanism can make life tougher than it needs to be. By replacing a bad habit with a healthy one - say switching smoking for eating popcorn or switching nail-biting for a walk around the block - you can ensure that you have something better to do when you feel the urge to do your habit.

Remove triggers

Most people have a trigger that causes them to do their habit. For example, a lot of people smoke or drink when they’re stressed, and that is why it’s a good idea to work out what your habit triggers are. Once you know that you eat junk when you’re bored or you smoke when you’re out drinking with friends, you can start to remove yourself from your triggers so that the urge to do your habit doesn’t kick in.

Get a buddy

So many people find it hard to break their bad habits on their own, but much easier to manage when they have a buddy cheering them on. That’s why so many people go to the gym with friends or tell their friends and family that they’re dieting - it gives them more of an incentive to keep going and not let anyone down. This can work well for breaking bad habits too. The key is to choose friends who will be supportive, engaged and willing to help you out when you need it, and you them, of course.

Use visualisation

It isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people find that if they regularly visualise themselves as being healthier, happier and bad habit free it’s easier for them to get to where they want to be, so it might be worth a try.

Ditch negative self-talk


If you tell yourself you’re useless a failure, never going to give up chances are you won’t because your brain plays a big part in breaking bad habits, so try to be positive, and if you do say something negative, add a “but” followed by a more positive statement to get you back on track."

Madolyn
xxx

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~ Collaborative Post ~ Practical Advice For New Gym Goers

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  • Thursday, 12 March 2020


"While it’s important to feel confident in your body and to love yourself no matter what, it can’t hurt to keep yourself in shape and to enjoy the very many physical and mental-health benefits of exercise. Yet for new gym-goers, this potential new hobby or lifestyle choice can seem rather daunting. We imagine the gym to be a place filled with warriors, only the most capable and athletic heroes using the equipment all day and all night.

But of course, the gym is filled with normal people like you or me, just trying to get better and make a healthy choice in their lives. There’s no reason to be afraid. Provided you adhere to best practice, research the exercise form and curate a plan before you get there, you’ll be in safe hands. For the most part, gyms are happy to give you a starting induction if one is required. Yet for the most part, it can also be that the best practical advice is found as follows. Please, consider:

Practice Great Gym Etiquette

Fantastic gym etiquette is one of those things that we wish to see in others, so it’s best to set the example ourselves. Thankfully, most people feel this way in most gyms around the world. This is because gym staff set important standards, and users that act in this way are welcomed. Re-rack your weights. Politely ask if you can ‘work in’ with another gym-goer if they are taking rest periods on the machine you need to use. Be sure to wipe down your machine after use with wipes, or ask if someone nearby is using said item before hopping on. The more you do this, the more people will appreciate having you around, and the better the gym becomes for everyone.

Start Simple

Start simple when at the gym. You may have a plan that you wish to enact, and that’s great. For instance, you may decide to start a weightlifting program you have found online. But first, familiarize yourself with that gym equipment. Spend time learning where everything is. Ensure you have enough water, and that you brought a padlock along with you for the changing rooms. Start out with a test run on a machine if this is your first time. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect body. The more you can feel comfortable in this space, the better.

Stay Hygienic

Stay hygienic when in the gym. Be sure to wash your hands before and after a gym session. Bring your own water bottle. Ensure that you have a change of clothes and shower if you need to. Asking ‘can verrucas spread?’ can also help you stay safe around the pool or shower facilities, and learn how to protect against or resolve such issues. Additionally, it can sometimes be worth bringing hand gel if you want to stay safe between certain machine uses, especially during flu season. The more we can practice good hygiene, the safer the gym will be.


With this advice, we hope you can easily follow the best practical advice for new gym-goers."

Madolyn
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Top Tips For Planning Your 2020 Travel

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  • Sunday, 23 February 2020


I decided towards the end of last year that I wanted to set myself a travel challenge for 2020. I love to travel, and with work commitments and moving to London, I wasn’t able to do as half as much as I wanted to in 2019. 

I wanted to make sure this year that I put myself and my goals to the front of my focus. There isn’t often a time in life that you can put yourself first one hundred percent, and so I wanted to take advantage of this and tick a lot of things off my wish list. 

My travel challenge/goal for 2020 is to visit 12 different places in 12 months. I know that this is a lot, both financially and time-wise, especially with me still working full time and now living in London. But I have been sensible and organised with my planning, and so I thought that I would share some of my top tips, and things that I have done to make this goal achievable. 

Make a Travel List 


One of the first things I did at the beginning of the year was sit down and make a list of all of the places that I wanted to travel to. Although this may not be a concrete set of travel destinations, it got me thinking about where I wanted to go, and helped me to figure out when would be the best time to visit throughout the year. For example, I knew that I wanted to visit Iceland, and so have penciled that in for November, as I know that this is a good time of year to travel to Reykjavik.

Diary overview 


Once I had made a list of places to travel to, I then had a look at my diary for the year. This way I could see what commitments and plans I needed to work around. In my current job, my annual leave runs 1st April - 31st March, so whilst reviewing my diary, I also worked out how much annual leave I had to take/ensure that it will be spread out across the year. 

Being organised with my diary has been really helpful in planning my trips, I even set up a spreadsheet of the year so that I could easily see what my plans are at a quick glance. 

Check Your Finances 


So, it’s all well and good making a list of travel destinations, and checking your diary to see when you can go, but if your finances aren’t in check, you won’t be able to travel no matter how free your schedule. 

I reviewed my salary and savings and looked at how much I could realistically put to one side every month in order to fund my travel. I also checked through my outgoings to see where I could pull back and save extra cash to put towards traveling. I get asked a lot of questions to do with finances and so I think I might write a blog post to cover this subject a bit more in depth. 

Link-In With Friends & Family


I always think that traveling is more fun with other people. I love to share experiences and memories and with life being so busy, it’s nice to have the excuse to spend some quality time with loved ones.  So it’s good to link in with those that you’d like to travel with and see if your plans fit in with theirs. Once you’ve got the green flag from them the real planning can begin! 

Book Your Travel 


So, list of travel destinations complete, diary organised, finances in check and best buds approved, there’s nothing left to do than book! I always like to book my travel first, whether that is flights, trains, hire cars etc. Once my travel is booked, I then look into accommodation. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, this is just the system I prefer. My top site for booking flights is Sky Scanner - I find that they always hunt down the best prices and offer good little suggestions to save money by amending your flight times or traveling out a day early. I also like to look on Air BnB for accommodation because there is a huge range of places to stay in and if there are more of you the cost can be really low. 

These are my top tips when it comes to planning out a travel overview for the year. However, if you would like to know more information about how I plan/book individual trips ie city breaks/road trips etc, please let me know. 


Madolyn
xxx

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~ Collaborative Post ~ Simple Ways To Use Time More Wisely

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  • Monday, 10 February 2020


"We all like to think that we spend our time productively at work, but many of us would be shocked by how our daily habits undermine our ability to get things done. Truth be told, you can probably do a lot more during the day (for a less lot effort) than you imagine. 

Take a look at how you waste time at work (and elsewhere) without even realising it, and what you can do to stop. 

You Multitask, Believing It Is A Good Thing

A lot of people think that the ability to multitask is a good thing. Juggling emails, clients, phone calls and texts is all par for the course of a typical working day. 

The problem with multitasking is that humans aren’t very good at doing it. Our brains are excellent at focusing on one at a time, but not very good at doing multiple things concurrently. It’s just not how we’re constructed. Working on more than one thing at once slows you down and leaves you prone to making errors. If you’re trying to get ahead at work, avoid it like the plague. 

You Write Documents From Scratch

There’s nothing like starting with a fresh, crisp piece of document, waiting for words, images, and tables to hit the page. When that cursor is flashing, you know that it is the real start of your working day. 

Many people, however, are missing a trick - at least according to https://www.templafy.com/. The company says that there’s no need to start each new document you create from scratch. Almost always, you can find a template that starts thing off for you, cutting down on your admin time. Often all you have to do is tinker around the edges, and you’re done. Think about how much time you could save!

You Don’t Set Deadlines

If you think setting deadlines are a thing of the past, then you’re gravely mistaken. Deadlines are a critical psychological tool you can use to ensure that you actually do what you set out to do by a specific time. 

Researchers have found that people tend to take as long to do a task as they have time available. So if you have a deadline of doing something by “the summer,” then it will probably take that long to complete it, whatever it is. 

Some advice: where possible, set specific deadlines. Use exact dates and do whatever you can to create accountability. 

You Don’t Prioritise

Some tasks are more critical than others, but many people fail to prioritise their work at all, according to https://medium.com/. Because of this, they avoid the jobs that they don’t want to do and instead, focus on low-value things that they do want to do. Eventually, they wind up with a horrible backlog of problems and have to invest massive effort in solving them. 

Prioritising work is a discipline. Doing it effectively takes time and patience. Once you get to grips with it, though, you’ll boost your productivity by a lot." 


Madolyn
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Budapest Capsule Wardrobe

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  • Thursday, 6 February 2020


Next week I’ll be flying over to Budapest for three nights with some of my closest friends and I can’t bloody wait! We’ve had it booked for a few months now and I’m so excited to explore the city and everything it has to offer. 

With us only being there for a short while, we’ve only booked to take hand luggage on the plane. However, the weather is going to be a little on the chilly side, we’ve got a range of different activities we want to do and we’ll be going “out” out at least two of the nights... So I want to make sure that I’ll have enough room to pack clothes that will keep me warm, items that’ll be practical and outfits that I can wear during the evening.

It may seem a little over the top to some, but the organisational planner in me decided that it would be best to create a capsule wardrobe that covers all of the above. That way, I don’t have to worry about what to pack, because everything has been pre-planned. I also won’t have to worry about outfits once I arrive in Budapest as everything goes with at least two other items, I have a range of day-time and evening looks, and I’ll be covered for all weather possibilities. 

Budapest Capsule Wardrobe 



Black Jumper, Femme Luxe | Blue Jeans, New Look | Red Skirt, Primark | Black Jeans, Primark
Corset Top, Femme Luxe | Jumper Dress, Femme Luxe 



Black Tee, Pull & Bear | Camel Jumper, New look

Extras 


One pair of black tights
One pair of black heeled boots
One Pair of Vans
One black puffer jacket 
A black belt 
A set of PJs 
A Swimming cosy 

Madolyn
xxx

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

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~ Collaborative Post ~ Making Fake News a Thing of the Past

~ Collaborative Post ~ Making Fake News a Thing of the Past

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  • Sunday, 2 February 2020

Why people remain devoted to their home libraries

We can often look at the problems and think that they’re just issues that will have to resolve themselves one way or another. But if everyone thought that, then nothing would be resolved: the problems that plague us today will continue to cause trouble tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. So it’s always good to keep in mind that while you will be unable to cure all social ills, you may be able to help to cure just one of them.


And it’s not as if you need to look far to see a problem that should become a thing of the past. The rise of fake news, for instance, has been especially problematic, since it is, chiefly, dishonest, and corrupts the faith that citizens must-have in the larger institutions that guide society if it’s going to work well. 


Now, of course, getting rid of fake news will not be a one-person job. It’ll need support from various influential bodies throughout society, including the government and the internet companies that are usually (inadvertently) responsible for spreading fake news. 


But perhaps the most effective method will be to educate the public so that they can spot fake news when they come across it. Librarians will play a highly important in this approach, since they have the tools and capabilities to educate the public. If they can do this, then the availability of fake news won’t quite as large an issue, since people will know it when they see it. Learn more about the role of librarians in this battle by checking out this infographic.


Infographic by USC USC

Madolyn
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