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A Few Autumnal Staples ~ Femme Luxe Finery

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  • Tuesday, 29 October 2019


The clocks have gone back, the Halloween parties have begun and the nights are getting darker. Autumn is officially here and I couldn’t be happier. It is my favourite time of the year by far, I love the cosy evenings, crisp walks outside and the fact that it is time to pull out all of the autumnal wardrobe pieces.

I recently placed an order through Femme Luxe and picked out some lovely autumnal staples. They have a fantastic range which you can order from online, perfect to see you through any occasion.

The first item I picked up are these black PVC trousers. I have seen these in shops over the last few weeks but absolutely fell in love with the way that Hello October has been styling them recently. I love her fashion sense and the way that she has created so many different looks with just one pair of trousers. She always looks so lovely with a casual yet classy style and when I saw this dupe on the Femme Luxe website I put them straight into my basket. 

For this casual look I have teamed them up with a soft knit and a lace bralette. I feel like this would be a really nice outfit to wear with Vans for a coffee date with a friend. I also like the idea of dressing the trousers up with a black body, heels and a clutch bag. Or with court shoes and a baggy jumper tucked in the front for a casual ‘date night’ look. 


The next piece I picked out was this cute little leopard print dress. I am obsessed with puff sleeves at the moment - you can see my picks from my last collaboration with Femme Luxe here. I think that this dress is so cute and great for this time of year. I wore it out last weekend when I went out for drinks with some girl friends. I wore it with over the knee boots and it was the perfect outfit to dance in without freezing on the way home. I also love the black and white effect of the leopard print, I feel like it gives it a slightly more subtle look whilst still remaining on trend. 


I also picked out a staple pair of blue jeans from Femme Luxe which are a gorgeous fit. They are really high-waisted which is great for me as I feel like it makes my legs look a little longer, and it means that they can be styled in a number of different ways. I really like the way they look teamed with this glittery body, also from Femme Luxe, as it really dresses up an otherwise casual pair of jeans. With heeled boots and a clutch I think this would make a great ‘cocktails with the girls’ outfit. 


I would also wear this lovely little body with the black PVC trousers. It would create a really classic look, especially with a pair of black court shoes and a little clutch bag, the perfect autumnal date night outfit. 

Madolyn
xxx

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

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~ Collaborative Post ~ Habits For A Better Looking Smile

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  • Tuesday, 22 October 2019


"When it comes to your beauty, there is much you can do.

You can care for your skin, style your hair, and buy the clothes that perfectly suit your body shape. You can do all these things and more to boost your attractiveness. However, all of your hard work will be undone if, when you open your mouth, your teeth let you down. If they are crooked, broken, and discoloured, your lovely smile will be less than impressive in the eyes of others or when you're looking in the mirror.

Of course, there are steps you can take to improve matters. By visiting an emergency dentist when you suddenly crack a tooth, you can get it repaired before things get worse. Your regular dentist will straighten your teeth with corrective surgery. And by using a teeth-whitening system, you can make your teeth sparkle again. So, all isn't lost if you do have issues with your teeth. However, your best course of action for the long-term health of your teeth is to conform to better habits in your daily life. You will then maintain your smile for longer and have less need to bankrupt yourself with dental fees.

Here are some suggestions for you.

#1: Floss on a daily basis

You know you need to brush your teeth, but how often do you floss? There are places in your mouth where your toothbrush can't reach, so flossing should become part of your daily routine. Plaque will build up if you don't, and that will lead to unhealthy looking and feeling teeth. So, be sure to pick up a packet of dental floss the next time you're at the supermarket, or consider purchasing a water flosser if you can't stand flossing the regular way.

#2: Drink plenty of water

You know that drinking water is good for you anyway, as it can hydrate your skin, and give you more energy when you're going about your day. However, water is also a good way to clean your teeth on the go, especially tap water which contains the fluoride that you would normally get in your toothpaste. Water is also a better alternative to those drinks that can erode and discolour your teeth, such as tea, wine, and fizzy drinks. So, make the switch for healthier teeth. 

#3: See your dentist regularly

As we suggested earlier, seeing the dentist can be expensive. However, your appointments will be even more expensive when your teeth start to show physical signs of wear and tear, and when you start to feel toothache. So, book your 6-monthly appointments, and see your dentist. Not only will he check for any problems, but he will help you maintain your beautiful smile by removing any plaque and tartar from your pearly whities!

#4: Eat a better diet

Certain foods, such as those high in sugar or starch, are bad for your teeth. We are thinking about chocolatey items, cakes, processed meals, and pasta. You don't have to eliminate them from your diet altogether if your willpower is weak, but you do need to place more focus on those foods that will strengthen your teeth and reverse any damage. Cheese, leafy greens, and carrot sticks are just a few of the foods that have healthy properties for your teeth. Check out this list for more, and add them to your shopping basket."

Madolyn
xxx

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AD | Four Ways To Style... Femme Luxe Glittery Mini Dress

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  • Monday, 14 October 2019


I love it when you find a wardrobe staple that can create multiple looks for a number of different occasions. Sometimes the more simple the piece, the easier it is to style. I am in love with this sparkly mini dress, which is a great number to have on the build up to winter to take me into Christmas and New Year. 


The Oversized Shirt 

I really like wearing shirts as cardigans by unbuttoning them all the way down. I enjoy the casualness of the open shirt mixed in contrast with the tighter fitting dress and love this cute white shirt with the see-through, spotted material at the top and the solid white body. I wore this combination with over the knee boots when I went out for cocktails last week.


The Puff-Sleeve Top 

Although this dress looks really cute on it’s own as an evening piece, I really like the way it looks as a skirt when paired with this ruched cropped top. I love the puffed sleeve style and think that this outfit would work really well with a clutch and a pair of over the knee boots for a fun, girly night out. 


The Slogan Tee

I am a huge fan of slogan tees and think that they are so universal. I think that this is a really nice way to down-play the dressy-ness of the dress. To complete the look I would probably team it with a pair of vans and a little back-pack, the perfect look for brunch with the girls. 


The Casual Knitwear

 Another way to dress-down this little number is with some cosy knitwear. I would again finish this outfit with a pair of trainers and I think that this would be a really nice look for a gentle autumnal stroll, or a cute little coffee date. 

Madolyn
xxx

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

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Moving To London | Making My Priorities A Reality

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  • Friday, 11 October 2019


One of my favourite things to do was blog. I loved the creativity, the planning, the organisation, the promotion, the interaction and the joy that it brought me. I had a regular upload schedule, I was growing a following on Instagram, my portfolio was expanding, I was networking and building up great relationships with brands that I believed in. 

However, just over a year ago I went through a pretty tough time emotionally and my relationship breakdown became my soul focus. My confidence hit an all time low and my whole reality revolved around self care and looking after myself. I couldn’t think about anything other than dealing with the raw emotion that I was faced with on a daily basis. 

I needed that time to heal, to reset my focus and to build myself back up. It has been a long and exhausting journey that has really made me grow as a person. There has been a lot of self love, reflection and rebuilding. It was not an easy process, and something that I could not have done without the help and support from my beautiful friends and family. 

Over the last few months however, I have given myself a focus and a goal, which was to move to London and start working on my blog again. I’m so, so happy and grateful to say that at the beginning of September I finally took the leap of faith, packed my bags and moved down to the capital. It was a little scary but this is something that I have dreamed of doing and I am so proud of myself for making that dream a reality. For a long time I have felt so lost and I don’t think I realised just how long I’ve been feeling that way until I finally moved down here. I really feel as though London is the place I am supposed to be.

So, now that I have ticked that London box, my focus and shifted to my next goal; to make blogging a priority again. It wasn’t that I wanted to stop, it was just that my priorities had changed and I couldn’t commit to the time and energy I wanted to put into Madolyn Thinks. 

I have posted a few collaborative posts over the last year or so, but I am so excited to finally feel that I am in a much more positive and focused mindset which I can apply to my blog. I appreciate that this post is a little bit of a ramble, but I guess I just wanted to spend the time to introduce a new phase of Madolyn Thinks. 

I think that people are constantly growing and I know that I am different from the person I was just over twelve months ago. With this in mind there may be a slight shift in content from what I wrote about before. There will still be beauty, fashion and lifestyle bits and pieces but I feel the notion of minimalism, living with intention and being mindful have become more of a priority for me. There will also be a lot more London based content here on Madolyn Thinks and I have a few ideas about different series and monthly updates that I am excited to share. 


So here’s to the next chapter, I have a feeling that it's going to be a good one… 

Madolyn
xxx

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Collaborative Post - 5 Ways To Change Your Life For The Better

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  • Friday, 4 October 2019

Happiness, Field, Nature, Ear, Spring, Summer, Finery

Nobody truly knows the meaning of life, but I think it’s safe to assume that happiness is an important ingredient in the recipe for success. Whatever you want to achieve in life, doing it with a smile is almost certainly high on the agenda.

Conscious changes built to unlock a greater level of happiness from within will make all the difference. Here are five of the best options at your disposal. Let’s get started.

#1. Focus On Financial Health

Money isn’t the most important thing in this life. Nonetheless, falling into debt will affect your happiness. Knowing how to deal with financial difficulties in a structured and effective manner will unlock a far happier future. You don’t need to be rich to enjoy a satisfied lifestyle, but you should feel in control of your situation. Even if it will take a long time to get back into a healthy status, knowing that you’re on the path to recovery should bring huge rewards.

#2. Focus On Physical & Mental Health

Financial stability is important, but it isn’t as significant as your personal health. Increased physical and mental wellbeing is central to achieving the health and happiness you deserve. When looking to lose weight, looking at carnivore diet foods can be a great starting point. Meanwhile, you should think about your activity levels, posture, and general body functions. Take the time to actively reduce stress and pay attention to signs of anxiety to further support your cause.

Workout, Girl, Weights, Fitness, Healthy, Lifestyle

#3. Focus On Time With Loved Ones

Human interactions hold the key to happiness. Given the hectic nature of modern life, it can be difficult to find time for loved ones. However, hosting dinner parties, following a joint hobby, and taking trips together is vital. Creating those magical memories is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. You only get one shot at this life, which is why you must not lose the pursuit of enjoyment. Besides, those experiences will keep you smiling through even the toughest times.

#4. Focus On Ambitions

Striving for continued improvement should be a priority for all. Setting achievable goals in business, hobbies, fitness, friendships, and other aspects of life is vital. As you tick off the milestones, you’ll gain an increased sense of self-satisfaction. Furthermore, the direct rewards of gaining promotions or accomplishing the goals you’ve set will unlock many rewarding features. Without those aspirations, it can be very easy to fall into a cycle of mediocrity and nothingness.

#5. Focus On Not Needing Perfection

While ambitions are good to have, you don’t need to seek perfection. It’s far more important to chase happiness and a sense of balance. If you shoot for perfection, anything less than it will seem like a failure. Similarly, most people that achieve what they thought would be perfection discover that it doesn’t make them as happy as they’d hoped. Appreciate what you have while still seeking to be the best possible version of yourself. In turn, you should reap immediate and long-term rewards.


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AD | Clinging On To The Remains of Summer With Femme Luxe

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  • Wednesday, 2 October 2019

 

It’s October and the Autumnal season is well and truly upon us. I’m really looking forward to pulling out my chunky knits, little skirts and knee high books, to enjoy the crisp, cooler weather and drink piping hot soya lattes to my heart’s content. However, here in London, we are still experiencing intermittent glorious spouts of amazing weather and I’m not “quite” ready to say goodbye to my summer wardrobe just yet…

I have been working with Femme Luxe Finery for a while now and they are always brilliant at providing high quality items at a really affordable price. I have recently received a lovely selection of summer pieces which are so on-trend and universal that I’m pretty sure I will be wearing them well into the back end of this year. 

I absolutely adore this cute little white linen co-ord which fits like a dream. Although I might be a little adventurous to wear this two piece in the U.K. just now… I think that separately, I can get away with wearing these little summer pieces throughout autumn. For the top I’m thinking high-waisted black skinny jeans, ankle boots and a denim jacket. As for the shorts, worn with a chunky, over-sized knit tucked into the front with a pair of over the knee boots, and these will be transformed into an autumnal staple.


Slogan tees at the minute are becoming one of my favorite things to wear. I’ve really enjoyed the casual look of tying a knot in the front and making them into a bit of a crop top, being a little ‘top heavy’ I find that this is a more flattering way of styling them as it defines my waistline. I like that the slogan of “Sweet but Psycho” is written in a very feminine font and that it isn’t too bold or large across the chest area. With it being a white tee, it is also very universal which can be worn with high-waisted shorts, like the picture above, or with jeans and heeled boots.


The final summer piece that will transition with me through to autumn is this cropped, black, fitted top. This item is a little more “risk-kay” than what I’m used to, but I loved the hook and eye detail at the front, as well as the black, sheer fabric on the arms. Although there is a fair amount of skin on show, I think that this will look cute with a high-waisted skirt, or jeans with little ankle boots for a date-night/evening look.


Madolyn
xxx

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

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Ways To Deal With Financial Difficulties

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  • Monday, 9 September 2019


Finances can be a difficult to navigate around and there is no "right" way to sort them out or keep on top of them. My advice would always be to pick a method that works for you. I really like to keep an eye on my money and organise it into different sections as soon as I get paid. Keep reading for further advice about ways to deal with financial difficulties…

Research Your Options

" When we’re in a financial mess, whether you have mounting debts that you are struggling to repay, bills that just keep coming, outgoings that your income doesn’t cover, or an unexpected expense that has wiped out your savings and taken away any financial security that you had not to long ago, it’s hard. It’s easy to be emotional, to get upset, to panic and flounder. Most of us feel like we’ve got no options. Like there is no one to help us. We worry that we could never get approved for a loan, we’re scared to ask to borrow money, and we can’t see how things will ever get better. 

But, most of us usually do have options. We just need to find them. Could you borrow money from a loved one? Could someone help you to secure Buddy Loans? Could a household budget help you to identify problems? Are there any contracts that you could cancel or reduce? Any luxuries that you could live without? Could you earn extra money from a side hustle, or even ask for a pay rise? Not every option will work for you, but you will have more options than you think. Write them down and work through them one by one. 

Speak to Someone

Another thing that most of us are guilty of is not wanting to talk about money. We’re ashamed to admit that we’ve made mistakes. Or embarrassed that we don’t have as much as others. We certainly don’t want to ask people for help or admit that we need it. But, not talking about your money problems can make things worse. Not only will you not get help, but your worries will start to multiply in your own head. You’ll internalise your fears, and they’ll grow until you can see no way out. 

Speak to family and friends. Even if they can’t offer cold hard cash, they might have advice that could help. You might even find that they’ve been in the same situation but never told anyone. 

If you need more formal help and advice, book an appointment with a Citizens advice financial specialist, or a free appointment with a financial advisor. 

Make Informed Decisions

It’s easy to panic when your finances are a mess. It’s easy to get upset when a large bill comes in, and you don’t know how to cover. When we’re upset and emotional, we often rush into decisions without thinking. Try not to do anything when you are feeling emotional. Calm down, step away for a while and leave important decisions until you’ve researched options and sought advice. Or at least until you’ve slept on it. 

Prioritise 

Usually, when we’re in a financial hole, it’s not just one thing. It’s normally a combination of credit cards, overdrafts, overspending, low income, and more. All coming together to create an unpleasant financial situation. It can all feel too much. So, break it down. You aren’t going to be able to pay everything off in one go without a big lotto win. So, write a list of what you owe. Put them in order of what needs paying first, and then what is costing you the most interest. Prioritise your actions, instead of trying to deal with everything. 

Take it One Step at a Time

It’s important to remember that every little helps. Earning a little extra from a side hustle won’t make you a millionaire, but it might give you a little extra to pay off debts or save for a rainy day. That little extra could be the difference between eating beans on toast all week and having a proper diet. It might mean that you can pay your electricity bill next month. Paying a little extra off a credit card won’t clear it, but little and often might. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t ever underestimate your achievements. 

Set Yourself Small Targets

If you’ve got thousands of pounds to pay off or find, it can feel overwhelming. You might find yourself giving up because you know that you can’t do it. So, break it down. Set yourself a small, weekly target that you can achieve. 
Start an Emergency Fund

People will tell you that you shouldn’t save when you’ve got debts. But this isn’t always true. Ideally, you’d use all of your spare cash to get rid of debt, and so interest. But, that means that if something comes up, your only option is to turn to debt once more. Having a small emergency fund can be wise."

Madolyn
xxx

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Quick & Easy Ways To Be Environmentally Friendly

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  • Friday, 30 August 2019


There is so much information available surrounding the topic of being environmentally responsible. I think that it is something we should all contribute towards and I feel that we should all do what we can in order to take action and help in any way possible. It can sometimes seem like an inconvenience to worry about the environment when you reach for that plastic packaged salad on a lunch time, or throw away your empty drinks can into the bin, but by making little conscious changes to your daily habits, you can actually make a huge difference. 

Reusable Cups 

This is a simple one but a biggy, especially if you love a coffee fix on the go! Practically every coffee establishment now will sell some sort of reusable cup, I even saw one in Greggs the other day! And so there really is no excuse for not bringing your own to help minimise the amount of takeaway coffee cups being added to landfill. I recently received a gorgeous flask from Kambukka* which keeps liquids hot for up to six hours and cold for up to nine. It is something extra to remember on a morning when you’re rushing out the door, but most places give a cheeky discount if you take in your own cup and so it’s worth it economically, as well as environmentally, in the long run. 

Paperless Project

My family and I love to send cards for a number of occasions, but in recent years I have tried not to do it quite so much as it often feels wasteful and often unnecessary. Recently I discovered a love for the Paperless Project*; an online company that provides beautifully designed e-cards for all occasions. They have some stunning collections, my favourite being the range designed by Rifle Paper Co, one of my favourite stationery brands. This is a great way to send a card to a friend or loved one which is still beautiful and meaningful, but without being harmful to the environment. I think that it is such a lovely alternative to paper cards and I will definitely be sending these out at birthdays from now on!

Choose Vegan

Opting for a vegan diet has a huge number of benefits, one of which being that it is better for the environment on the whole. The production of meat and dairy products is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases, as well as the amount of emissions polluting the air, not forgetting the huge amount of water wastage. Choosing to eat more of a plant based diet dramatically reduces an individual's carbon footprint both in terms of transport of the produce and the packaging it is wrapped in. 


Minimise Waste

For me, food is the main problem when it comes to waste. As I have a predominantly vegan lifestyle, I eat a lot of fresh produce but I find that it is so often wrapped in a tonne of packaging, most of which is non-recyclable. I try to shop as much as I can at local markets and take my own bags, that way I can reduce the amount of packaging I bring into my home, and subsequently throw away. It means I can also control how much I want to buy, minimising the amount of food I throw into the bin. 

Consume Less 

We can be a lot more environmentally conscious by consuming less and bringing fewer things into our homes. This notion goes hand in hand with the idea of minimising waste, because if we are more mindful of the things we buy and only purchase what we need, we can reduce the amount of waste, production and ultimately harm, which is heavily inflicted on the environment. 

Other Top Tips 

- Carry a canvas bag EVERYWHERE - save plastic and 5 pence a pop when shopping
- Keep your own cutlery in your bag - so you don’t have to use a throwaway plastic set
- Walk as much as possible - saves on emissions and is also good for both mental and physical health
- Take a packed lunch to work - saves on ‘meal-deal’ packaging and is purse friendly 
- Keep hold of your rubbish until you find a bin/recycling bin - how people still litter these days is beyond me 
- Carry a reusable bottle for water 

Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains gifted PR items 

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Ways To Achieve & Maintain Clearer Looking Skin

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  • Wednesday, 28 August 2019


Almost everybody has had a moment of pure horror when they look into their bathroom mirror and notice that a few brand new zits have popped up overnight. How exactly do you get clear skin without plastering your face in makeup - and how can you maintain it once it’s there? Here are some top tips...


Wash Your Face Regularly

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you wash your face regularly. It’s important that you do it before you go to bed at night - you may like to wash your face in the morning, but getting all the day’s grime off before you go to sleep is more important. Don’t use cleansing wipes, as they don’t fully clean your face, they leave residue behind, and they aren’t great for the environment as they aren’t recyclable. Make sure that you rinse your face and that no product is left behind.

Watch Your Hygiene

During the day, it’s important that you’re hygienic. A lot of people have the habit of touching their faces without thinking over the course of the day, so if that sounds like you, try to cut it out. Make sure that you wipe your phone with antibacterial wipes every so often - they can get extremely dirty - and wash your pillowcases at least once a week. You should also try to make sure that your hair isn’t on your forehead all the time, as that can lead to oily skin and greasy hair, leading to zits on your forehead.

Make Sure You Exfoliate

If your skin is dull and dry, make sure that you exfoliate to remove those dead skin cells - but make sure that you don’t use an exfoliator that contains microbeads, as they don’t break down and are bad for the environment. Instead, use acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid that will make your skin look glowing and fresh.

Protect Your Skin From The Sun

The best long term way to have great skin is to make sure that you protect it from the sun. Even if you slather sunscreen on when it’s hot outside, make sure that you use that sunscreen through the winter too - sun damage can occur even on a day that looks cloudy. Make sure that you use a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection for complete protection from the sun. If you want a tan, stay away from the sun and, even more importantly, from sunbeds. Spray tans or self-tanner has the same effect - and it doesn’t give you age spots, wrinkles and discoloration - or the risk of skin cancer.

What About Health Conditions?

A lot of the time, clearing up your skin isn’t just about drinking lots of water, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and hoping for the best. If your skin is constantly sore and broken out, go to your doctor, as they may be able to prescribe a retinol cream or acne treatment that may help. There are also skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, which can be unsightly, itchy and painful, but your doctor will be able to recommend drugs like secukinumab which may help.

Having great skin won’t happen overnight - it’s a process that you may have to work on for some time. 

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