INSTAGRAM

Reduce & Simplify | How To Declutter Your Skincare Collection

  • Wednesday, 13 June 2018


A while ago I wrote a blog post all about minimising and reducing my makeup collection, which you can read here. It got me thinking about other areas in my life that I can reduce and minimise further and one big area for me was my skincare. My makeup post was pretty popular with you guys so I thought that I would share this de-cluttering process with you as well. Keep reading for some tips on how to reduce and minimise your skincare collection….


WORK OUT A BASIC SKINCARE ROUTINE


My skin needs can change on a seasonal, monthly and sometimes weekly basis. I wouldn’t say that I have sensitive skin, but it does tent to change depending on the weather, my diet, hormones and stress levels! For this reason, I seem to justify to myself that I need a million and one beauty products to help my skin no matter how it’s feeling. What I have learnt however is that simplicity is key, and once I got my skincare regime based around a just a few different products I really noticed a difference. 

Obviously other factors still play a role (hello monthly emotional breakouts!) but over all I have found that a simple routine is what work’s best for me. Much of this has been through trial and error and to some it may seem like I still use a lot of products. However, I have found that these are the steps that work best for me:

DAILY SKINCARE PRODUCTS

- Face Wash
- Eye Makeup Remover
- Cleanser
- Toner
- Serum
- Moisturiser
- Eye Cream

WEEKLY OR BI-WEEKLY PRODUCTS 

- Face Masks 
- Exfoliator
- Hydrating Cream
- Facial Oil


DECIDE WHAT YOU NEED & BE MINDFUL


So, now you have worked out what products you want in your skincare routine, it is time to decide what you want to keep and what you need to get rid of. I find that with any sort of de-cluttering, gathering together everything that you own from that category into one place is the best way to start. I’m a huge beauty lover and working in the blogging industry, I am lucky enough to receive some lovely products to write about on my blog. But no matter how many products you have to sort through I would make a cup of coffee, stick on an episode (or two) of RuPaul’s Drag Race and get de-cluttering!

Something I like to do is sort the products into piles before hand so that I know what I’m working with. For example, put all of your moisturisers in one area, face masks in another, cleansers in another and so on. I would then refer back to the routine that you are happy with and work through what you want to keep and what you no longer need. 

I would recommend keeping one of everything that you have in your new routine, ie one day cream, one night cream, one eye cream, one cleanser ect, and then keep one or two back up products (if you have them) to replace the products as when you use them up. If it is out of date or not a part of your daily or weekly skincare regime, throw it away. 

I have also been thinking more about where my products come from and opting to have skincare that is organic, vegan and promotes less packaging. I have recently started using a few products by Green People, an organic, vegan, fairly traded, ethical company. I have loved using their Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream that has avocado extracts and is lovely and hydrating. This combined with their Beauty Boost Skin Restore leaves my skin feeling plumed, bright and hydrated. I would therefore be more mindful with the products I keep in my routine, to ensure that I am one hundred percent happy with how they work and what they are made from. This is a personal preference, but it is something I like to consider when de-cluttering.  

Ultimately - If you don’t use it, it doesn’t work with your skin or it doesn’t a line with your values – get rid of it!


WHAT TO DO WITH THE PRODUCTS YOU DON’T NEED


Create a ‘to use’ pile – Whenever I have a clear out of anything, whether it’s my skincare, makeup, cleaning products or food products, I always create a little ‘to use’ pile. This is just a few bits that are maybe nearly finished or little samples that I don’t want to put back in my re-organised draws or cupboards, but that I want to use up first. 

Give to friends and family – whilst I’m having a clear out, I always keep my friends and family in mind before chucking anything I don’t want or use anymore. For example, there was a hand cream I hadn’t opened yet so I offered it to my mum before throwing it away. This way you can re-home things in a joyful way, rather than throw everything into landfill.

Throw It Away – When you have gone through everything that you don’t need, you don’t want to use up, and you’re pretty sure that no one you know will have any use for it, bin it. Make sure that you clean out any product and recycle as much of the packaging as possible though!

CREATE A SHOPPING LIST 


Once you have created your new routine, decided what products you are keeping and got rid of all of the products you no longer need it is time to create a shopping list. Now I know what you’re thinking – ‘a shopping list in a de-cluttering blog post?!’ – but bare with me…

Shopping lists help to keep you focused and not stray away from what you have already promised yourself. Shopping lists stop you from being sucked into bargains, from buying products that have looked appealing in adverts and from spending more money than you want to. So if you create a skincare-shopping list as you would a food shop list, then it keeps you on tract and prevents you from having to have another clear out in six months time…


Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

Travel Inspiration | A Las Vegas Travel Guide

  • Saturday, 9 June 2018


Vegas was the penultimate stop on our six week trip across the United States of America and it was certainly worth the wait. I have never been to Nevada before, but after watching many a Hollywood blockbuster, filmed and set in this twenty-four hour city, I was excited to explore. 

 We arrived after a few very chilled out days spent in Joshua Tree and then Phoenix, so we were well rested and ready to experience the madness of Vegas. It’s funny how everyone says that it is city literally in the middle of the desert, but it wasn’t until we drove across the vast, empty landscape to get there, that I appreciated just how isolated it really is. 

The Sat Nav shouting out that we were to stay on one road in a straight line for one hundred and ninety three miles still blows my mind!


WHERE TO STAY



We arrived with ease and checked into our Air BnB, which happened to be a suite in The Palms Hotel and oh my, was that a game changer! We were located on the twenty-second floor and because we were a five minute drive from the strip, we had some incredible views out of our balcony window. If the views weren’t enough, we had a little kitchenette, a Jacuzzi bath with a walk in shower and a TV in the bathroom! The bed was amazingly comfortable and the hotel offered a free shuttle to the strip throughout the day. I would really recommend considering The Palms if you are ever in need of accommodation in Vegas. 


THE CASINOS



Gambling – One of the first things that people think of when you hear the word Vegas, is casinos and slot machines. There is something for everyone whether you are a seasoned pro, wanted to bet big bucks on a poker table, or an inexperienced cheap skate that wants to place dollar bets on the craps machine (ie. James and I!). Either way, it’s a good laugh and definitely an experience to take part in!

Drinks – Vegas, known for it’s gambling, is also well known for its drink culture. All of the Casinos are filled with bars and it is even legal to buy alcohol and walk the streets of Vegas, drinking as you go. Whilst you’re gambling in the casinos and as long as you have credit in the machines, drinks are on the house and brought to you. This is something we took full advantage of (even with our dollar bets!) although I was often opting for a diet coke or a hot chocolate – I know, I can’t believe how crazy I am either!

Shows – There are so many shows available to go and see in Vegas, and tones of incredible acts hold residencies at many of the hotels. I really wanted to go and see Penn & Teller, the magicians, however, if there is a show that you fancy seeing I would really recommend booking well in advance. We left it too late, but still managed to get tickets to the Comedy Cellar, which ended up being so so funny and well worth a watch! 



THE SIGHTS  


Welcome To Vegas – The Vegas sign in extremely iconic and we knew that we wanted to head over to take a quick snap… Unfortunately, the map on James’s phone didn’t have amazing scale skills and so what we thought was going to be a half an hour stroll turned into a three hour round hike!! 

Old New York – This was a really cool part of the strip that I really enjoyed exploring. After being in the Big Apple just a few weeks before, it was fun to see a little miniature version of the huge city, fully equipped with a Statue of Liberty and Hershey’s Store. 


The Bellagio – From around mid-day, the fountains at the front of the Bellagio hotel put on a show to music every hour. We went during the evening and so the water jets were accompanied with lights as well as music. It was a really good show and I’ve included some clips in my Vlog, which you can watch at the end of this post. 

Shopping – There are plenty of shopping options in Vegas if you fancy that sort of thing. We spend one of the afternoons walking around the different shops and stumbled upon In n Out Burger as well as Sprinkles, equipped with it’s own cupcake atm! 


You can have a read of my other travel guides from the trip: New York, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Joshua Tree


Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

How To Live More Intentionally With Your Money

  • Wednesday, 6 June 2018


Talking about money always seems to be a bit of an awkward topic, and talking about money problems can feel even worse. It’s funny how it can be such a hush hush subject, when it is something that we all have to deal with on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. 

Something that I would like to discus is living more intentionally with money. I think that there are so many people looking at ways to earn/make/have more money in their lives, however, if we live a life filled with intention, I think that a large proportion of money issues can be dealt with. 

Now, I am no financial advisor, and I am also not trying to suggest that there is only one way to look after your finances. However, I do believe that one way to ensure that you are financially stable is to be more intentional with your spending habits. 


GET IN CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES 


The first piece of advice that I would offer in order to live more intentionally with money is to get in control. By this I mean, work out exactly how much money you own, how much money you have coming in and keep a track of where it is at all times. 

I’m not suggesting that you withdraw all of your cash and hide it in a suitcase under our bed with a cctv camera set on it…! But what I would suggest is signing up to online banking. For example, I have three bank accounts; one current account, which I get paid into, one savings account and one account that I keep all of my blogging money in. By having online banking and the apps on my phone, I can easily keep in control of my spending habits, as I always know where my money is and how much I have. 


SET UP SOME SORT OF BUDGET


Another way to becoming intentional with your money and spending habits is to take some time to work out a budget and stick to it. I don’t mean for it to sound so restrictive, but if you work out how much money is going out each month, sometimes it makes you think twice about where your money is actually going. So write a list of all of your outgoings and see what’s left. 

My list for example would look like this:

Rent
Bills
Food
Gym Membership
National Trust Membership 
Netflix Membership

Once all of my outgoings have been added together, I then know how much money I have to play with for the rest of the month. This way I can put some money into my savings account each month and be left with everyday spending money and I never buy or treat myself to anything until I know that I have covered all of my outgoings. 

BEING FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT 


This is something that I would strongly recommend if you want to make an effort to live more intentionally with your money. I believe that being in control of your own money is key in being financially stable. 

James and I have been together for almost ten years and have lived together for four. We have always kept our finances separate and think that in doing so, it keeps up financially independent and it is therefore something that we never argue about. We have a joint account that we both pay into each month to cover the cost of bills/rent etc., but apart from that, the money we each earn is our own.  It ensures that all of my financial decisions are my own and it allows me to spend my money in a way that I see fit. I appreciate this isn’t something for everyone but it definitely works for us. 


THINK BEFORE YOU BUY


So you can create all of your budgets, be financially independent and know where all of your money is. However, living more intentionally with money isn’t all about saving, it’s about thinking before you buy.

Asking yourself simple questions such as ‘Do I need this new lipstick?’, ‘Can I wait until I get home to have a coffee?’, ‘Do I need to buy lunch for work today?’. All of these things may only cost a couple of pounds, but they will soon add up by the end of the month. Asking yourself if you need/want/must buy something before hand is living more intentionally and it’s surprising how much you say no, once you’ve taken a step back. 


DO SOME RESEARCH & ASK FOR HELP 


If you are really struggling in terms of becoming financially stable, or you want to find out more about setting up budgets or being more intentional when it comes to spending, the best thing to do is a little bit of research. Above is just my opinion on how things have worked for me, and it is just one way of doing things. There is plenty of advice online about finances, and there is certainly no reason for you to live in debt or have to worry about being financially unstable. 

Giffgaff have recently put together a gameplan with tones of amazing advice to help you on your way to financial stability. Whether you are a student in debt, a new home owner, a married couple or just wanting to save up for a big expense, they have absolutely tones of advice available on their website. 


Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

Little Beauty Routines That Make Me Feel More Confident...

  • Sunday, 3 June 2018


Sometimes we don’t always have the money, inclination or time to dedicate to beauty regimes or treatments on a regular basis. For example, I absolute love to have massages to relax and give my body a treat. I also love having my hair cut in a salon, the glossy shine that my hair has whenever I leave, always makes me feel really relaxed and confident. 

However, massages, trips to the salon, manicures and facials not only cost a fair few pretty pennies, but they also take time and energy in order to have them done on a regular basis. 

As someone who likes to save where I can and doesn’t have a lot of free time to spend in spas and salons, I have a couple of little routines that make me feel more confident from the comfort of my own home. Don’t get me wrong, I love to splurge on the occasional massage or treat myself every now and then to a professional manicure, but a gals’ gotta work and pay bills, ya know?!

DRY BRUSHING


Dry brushing is something that I have been doing on and off over the last couple of months, but it has now become a part of my regular beauty routine. If you’re not too sure what dry brushing is, its basically rubbing yourself with a body brush-pre shower. So, I brush my body all over with circular strokes, starting at my toes, going all the way up to my neck, down my arms and finishing at my fingertips. 

I have read about the benefits of dry brushing and after making it a part of my routine I have really noticed a difference. It is a great way to exfoliate the body (without having to use loads of products) and it stimulates blood flow, increases metabolism and gives the skin a smoother appearance. Once I’m out of the shower I moisturise all over and I can honestly say that it has made me feel much more confident about my body. 


TEETH WHITENING 


I have never really felt insecure about my teeth, but after using the Pro-Teeth Whitening Co, Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder*, I have become much more confident about my smile. It is a powder that you apply to a wet toothbrush which you then spend one or two minutes brushing your teeth with. It is suggested that you use it twice for best results, however I have only been using it on an evening after I’ve brushed my teeth with regular toothpaste. 

It is one hundred percent natural and contains coconut shell and charcoal. The activated charcoal helps to freshen breath and the coconut shell aids in polishing the teeth, ultimately giving them a whiter appearance. 

AT HOME MANICURES


Another little beauty routine that I have adopted of late is at home manicures. In the past I would either pay to get my nails done, or kind of ignore them and then splash on the odd bit of nail varnish before going out. 

Recently however, I have been dedicating a little bit of time every four or five days to give myself a bit of a DIY manicure. So I’ll give my hands a good wash in warm soapy water, file my nails and apply some oil to my cuticles. After massaging the oil into my cuticles and fingertips, I’ll then apply two coats of clear nail varnish and let them dry. It is a really simple, easy routine but it leaves my nails looking neat and tidy and I feel much more confidant as a result. 

None of these routines take a long time, cost a lot of money or require much thought or energy, but each one makes me feel a little bit more confident and happier about myself, and who can complain about that?!

 

Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

This post contains PR samples from Pro Teeth Whitening Co but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Style Diaries | Posing In The Californian Desert


Joshua Tree was one of my favourite stops on our recent USA road trip. It was so nice to have a break from city life and spend a few days in what felt like, the middle of nowhere…

We had some amazing accommodation whilst in Joshua Tree and believe it or not, these pictures were taken just next to where we were staying. I love California and have traveled around a lot of different areas, but this was my first time visiting this beautiful place. 

When we were planning our six-week road trip around the states it became apparent that we would be traveling from city to city straight after one another. Before Joshua Tree we had been to New York, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. We thought it would be good to schedule ourselves in a bit of down time, almost like a check point, for us to chill out and recharge our batteries. 


It was a great idea and we had two whole days with no agenda, no public transport, no restaurants and a shit tone of sunshine and natural beauty. 

It also meant that I was able to whack on my bikini for the first time during the trip. It was so nice to be able to chill in the sunshine, get a bit of a tan and read my book with some amazing iced coffee. I literally never wanted to leave! 


I took with me my trusty ladybird bikini from Debenhams, which I bought just before our autumnal week away in Cyprus last October. I teamed it up with my New York white t-shirt from Primark, which turned out to be such a good buy! It was £5 and I wore it so much during our trip as it is such a versatile piece. I literally wore it for meals out, day trips and in Joshua Tree, as a bikini cover up! 


The views were truly incredible during our stay, and I would absolutely love to go back. These photographs were taken on our first day surrounded by, what we felt, was the most beautiful scenery. It wasn’t until our second day however, when we spent One Fine Day In Joshua Tree National Park, that we were completely blown away. 

It was a beautiful few days but it is definitely staying on my travel wish list, as I would love to go back and explore it some more… 

 

Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

Travel Inspiration | How To Prepare For A Night Under The Stars

  • Saturday, 2 June 2018


I love to travel, explore new places and see different things. I think that taking time away from everyday life to have a break and experience somewhere new is great for the soul. There are so many positives that come from travelling and I am always on the hunt for my next destination.

However, traveling and having time away does not always mean city breaks or long weeks away to the ends of the earth, contrary to what Instagram would have you believe. I believe that you can certainly feel the positive effects of travel without having to go too far, in a way that you can save loads of money. I’m talking about camping!

Keep reading and find out some of the best tips and tricks when it comes to enjoying a weekend away under the stars…


Car Essentials


"The road trip to your destination is an adventure in itself. Roof racks and trailers may be necessary depending on the proposed itinerary. Perhaps more importantly, though, you need to ensure that you have the essentials in case of a breakdown. Torches, a first aid kit, and a spare mobile phone will all help the cause.

Apart from preventing potential problems, this will make your journey far more comfortable.

Campsite Essentials


Setting up camp can be a fun activity, but it’s vital that you satisfy those basic human needs. A comfortable place to sleep is key, and this product will provide the perfect solution in all weather conditions. Better still, its portability makes it an ideal option for when you want to trek etc. A good night’s sleep will improve your mood and energy levels greatly.

Of course, you’ll also need food and water reserves and a suitable place for the campfire.

Clothing Essentials


It’s so easy to underestimate the importance of suitable clothing for your trip. However, it’s not just a case of wanting to look good. Comfort and practicality are the priorities, and good footwear is top of the agenda. This range of hiking boots is particularly suitable for those wanting to explore the local area by foot. Just remember to test them out before the weekend away. Nobody wants blisters!

As for jackets and other items, just remember that warmth and mobility are the key factors.

Activity Essentials


The great thing about camping is that different people have varying visions of what the perfect trip looks like. You may want to try rafting, rock climbing, fishing or a host of other activities. Or you may just like relaxing in the middle of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Either way, planning ahead is essential.


After all, there’s nothing worse than getting back from a trip and regretting missed opportunities."

Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

This is a collaborative post that contains contributed content and affiliated links.

National Creativity Day | Creating A Wall Of Inspiration With Reeves

  • Tuesday, 29 May 2018


In light of tomorrow being National Creativity Day, I decided, with the help of Reeves, to get my creative juices flowing. I think it is good for the soul to do something creative whether it is to write, play an instrument, take some photographs, do some gardening or get creative with arts and crafts. 

When I was younger I used to love doing Art at school but I think that it is something we can easily not make time for in the adult world. Something always seems to be more important when you work full time and have a home. This is why I think that something like National Creativity Day is really important, because it allows us to take a step back and dedicate some time for ourselves. 

A WALL OF INSPIRATION


I am a huge fan of wall art and I love feature walls in living rooms and bedrooms. I felt very inspired by the mix-matched walls that are so popular on Instagram and Pinterest. I like that there is a mixture of different types of text, different sizes of print and a lot of different frames etc.

So I decided to make something that I could use in order to have my own wall of inspiration. I wanted to keep things simple and so I made some postcards with plain backgrounds that I could write inspirational quotes on. I have a small section of a wall in my living room that I have slowly been adding pieces to, and this became the perfect excuse to add some more. 


MY INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES


When deciding what quotes I wanted to include on my Wall of Inspiration, I had a bit of a think about what I thought would inspire me. I spent a while looking on Pinterest for different ideas and this is what I picked out;

‘Love People & Use Things Because The Opposite Never Works’
‘Collect Moments Not Things…’
I Would Rather Own A Little & See The World Than Own The World & See A Little’
‘Fill Your Life With Stories To Tell Not Stuff To Show’
‘We Buy Things We Don’t Need With Money We Don’t Have To Impress People We Don’t Know’

CRAFT SUPPLIES


- Small Bowl 
- Tap Water
- Sharpie Pen

HOW TO 


- Pick out your favourite colours from the Reeves Water Colour Pencil Pack
- Using one sheet of the Reeves Water Colour Paper at a time, gently cover the whole sheet with one of the Water Colour Pencils
- Once covered, put some tap water in a small bowl and dab in the Reeves wide head brush 
- Gently brush the pre-coloured paper with the wet brush until the paint is evenly blended and allow to dry
- Whilst the paper is drying, plan out which quotes you want to write out to add to your inspiration wall – Pinterest is great for this!
- Once dry, write your inspirational quotes onto the paper using a sharpie or thick-tipped pen
- Attach the finished postcards onto your Inspirational Wall using blue tack, washi tape or wall pins


Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

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

Intentional Living | Making The Effort To Waste Less & Use Less Packaging

  • Monday, 28 May 2018


I am happy to say that recycling and zero waste is becoming more of a popular topic of late. Loads of people and brands seem to be promoting the idea of being more environmental friendly.

I have always recycled, since as long as I can remember, and I always try to do my bit for the environment. However, lately I have become a lot of conscious about the way I live, the products and packaging I bring into my home, and have tried to make much more of an effort to be less wasteful.

I am trying to live much more intentionally across all aspects of my life including my time, the possessions I own, the way I treat my body, and how much waste I create. Obviously we don’t live in a perfect world, but there are a fair amount of things that can be done to decrease the amount of waste we contribute. 

BE PREPARED 


One way in which to make an effort to waste less is to be prepared. By this I mean thinking ahead and planning for the day. For example, I never leave the flat without some sort of reusable or canvas bag. That way if I nip to the shops or need to carry something I don’t need to pick up a plastic bag. This not only decreases waste going to landfill but it also saves you an extra 5p every time you go shopping!

I also always carry with me a bottle of water. Bottled water contributes so much to landfill and it seems like such a waste. Rather than continually buying plastic bottles of water, I pop one in my bag every time I go out. And much like plastic bags, it also saves you tones of money in the long run. 

SAY NO WHEN YOU CAN 

Another way to waste less is to say no and when you can. For example, whenever I’m at a bar I’ve stopped asking for straws and actively ask not to have a straw in my drink. Plastic straws are so wasteful as they are only used once and then thrown straight into landfill. I have also started asking for my drinks to be put in the same cup if the venue is serving drink in plastic cups. Ideally I would have a glass, which can be washed and reused, but some gig venues only serve in plastic cups. 

For the last few years I have also said no to paper bills. All of my banking and household bills are all online and so nothing is printed on paper and sent to me in the post. Not only does it mean that it is better for the environment, but you also don’t have lots of clutter and bits of paper in your home. 

COFFE CUP


Coffee cups and waste are something that have been pretty prevalent in the media of late when it was suggested that the price of takeaway coffee should go up. Quite a few years ago Starbucks introduced the incentive to bring your own reusable cup into stores by giving you some money off your order. It seems however that this wasn’t as popular a concept as predicted and many people paid the price to have a throwaway, takeaway cup. The problem with this however is that these takeaway cups from coffee shops are extremely difficult to recycle and landfill waste was continuously increasing. 

I have been using these amazing flasks from Corkcicle* of late to carry my coffee in. It is an amazing flask with triple insulation meaning that it keeps hot drinks hot for up to three hours and cold drinks cold for up to nine. It’s great as it means that I can enjoy a nice coffee without the guilt of throwing a cup straight into landfill afterwards. It means that I can save a bit of money and I can also use it to carry coffee from home if I’m nipping out or walking to work. Plus, the Corkcicle* flask is one hundred percent recyclable, so even when you don’t want it anymore it still won’t contribute to landfills. 

OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE WASTE


- Take your lunch to work rather than buy pre-packaged food
- Buy loose fruit and veg rather than produce wrapped in plastic
- Buy in bulk to minimise the amount of packaging something comes in 
- Use cloths to wash off your makeup rather than multiple cotton pads
- Read blogs and online content rather than physical magazines



Remember, the less packaging you bring into your home, the less you have to throw away or recycle…

Madolyn
xxx

Follow me on BloglovinInstagramTwitter and YouTube

This post contains PR samples but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
© Madolyn Thinks • Theme by Maira G.