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Beauty Advent Calendars | The Countdown To Christmas

  • Wednesday, 30 November 2016


I am so excited for it to be 1st December tomorrow! I have got two beautiful, beauty advent calendars to begin opening and I can’t wait! 

There were so many different and alternative advent calendars available this year, it was hard to decide which one to get. Some of the more premium ones were mega expensive and it was hard trying to pick ones that were good value for money, that also enclosed products that I would like and use. 


The first calendar I opted for is Tanya Burr’s 12 Days of Christmas advent calendar, which admittedly isn’t really an advent calendar as it only has twelve doors. But I thought it looked so cute and I have been wanting to try some of Tanya’s range of beauty products for such a long time now. It was also on offer when I bought it, only costing me £15 which was an absolute steal! I can’t wait to see what’s inside and I will be sure to give you a breakdown of each product when I have opened all of the doors.


This year I also picked up the No7 Advent Calendar. I had this calendar last year and it was filled with a lovely range of nail varnishes, skincare, eye shadows and lip glosses, as well as some beauty accessories like eyelash curlers and make up brushes. I hadn’t made my mind up as to whether or not I was going to get it again this year, but my lovely mum treated me (and herself) to one which was so lovely! 

I also wanted to give you a little update and let you know, in case you didn’t see my Harry Potter Tag video, that I will be partaking in Vlogmas this year. Last year I took part in Blogmas which meant that I posted a new blog post every day in December, all of which had a Christmas theme. I plan on doing this again this year, however, I will only be posting blog posts on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

On A Wednesday and Sunday, I will be posting Vlogmas videos. I know that the general idea of Vlogmas is to vlog and publish every day in December, but with me still working a Monday – Friday 9 – 5 job I won’t have enough time to achieve that. Therefore, I will be vlogging every day, but only publishing videos on a Wednesday and a Sunday which will be made up of a couple of days’ worth of vlogging. 


Have you got any beauty or alternative advent calendars this year?
Are you partaking in Vloggmas or Blogmas?

Madolyn
xxx

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5 Of The Best Places To Eat In Bratislava

  • Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Bratislava was a lovely and beautiful city to visit for a long weekend away but it was pretty darn cold whilst we were there. Although I had gone clothes shopping in preparation for my trip in the cold, have a watch of my Slovakia Clothes Haul, throughout our stay we had a fair few coffee stops to thaw out and re-energise. I have put this post together to show you some of the best cafes that Bratislava has to offer.


Urban Bistro

This was a café situated in the very heart of Bratislava and we decided to stop here for a light brunch and a quick coffee. It had amazing décor and I came away with a lot of inspiration for my home. It had lovely dark wooden surfaces with exposed brick walls and amazing white tiles. It had a very relaxed feel, great service and lovely food. It was perfect for what we wanted which was a light bite. I opted for avocado on toast and a filter coffee. It was so reasonably priced and cost us just over 10 Euros for the entire bill.



Five Pints


Five Pints is a coffee and wine bar that had plush seats and wooden tables in an intimate setting. The lighting was beautiful with lots of exposed filament light bulbs and candles on every table. We stopped here for a quick coffee before our walk back to the apartment and I couldn’t resist the beautiful chocolate tarte on display. It was another very reasonably priced place costing me 5 Euros for a café late and the tarte. 


Café Dias

I loved popping into this café which was situated within a book store. It was filled with lots of dark furniture and had a very warm and cosy feel to it. They had a very minimal menu available which suited us just fine as we only wanted something small for breakfast. I had a beautiful café latte and a croissant with jam to jet set our third day of exploration. 



UFO Tower restaurant


This was a beautiful restaurant located at the top of the UFO tower just below the observation deck. There was the option to stay for a drink or to have a meal in the restaurant. As we had already eaten we opted to stay for a drink to enjoy the incredible view of Bratislava a little longer. It was the first and only place in the whole of Bratislava that sold black tea, although it was served with honey and lemon… But we honestly couldn’t find any anywhere! This placed had a very minimalistic feel to it with monochrome furniture. 



Coffee Break


This cute little café was located right underneath the apartment we were staying in. It was really nice and bright with pretty décor that felt very homely. The menu was on a chalkboard and although fairly minimal, it was perfect for us. We decided to stay for lunch and I opted for a goat cheese and beetroot sandwich. It was so reasonably priced with us each having a sandwich, two coffees and then shared a cheese cake, the grand total was only 15 Euros! 



Have you ever been to Bratislava?
Do you like to visit little coffee houses when you're enjoying a city break?

Madolyn
xxx

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Treat Yo Self | Getting My Nails Done

  • Monday, 28 November 2016



I love to scroll through Pinterest but I get such nail inspo envy looking at everyone’s pretty and polished talons that look immaculate. I can just never seem to get my nails to look like this. They don’t like to grow past a certain length, I can never seem to shape them in a very flattering way, and even if I manage this, they feel weak and can split fairly easily. Don’t even get me started on colour!! I love to paint my nails but no matter how much base coat and top coat I apply – I can guarantee that at least one will have chipped before the end of the day!


I know that acrylics are not healthy for my nails, I know that gel polish is a lot better, but I love my nails after I have had them done at a salon and I think they look so pretty. I feel really feminine when acrylics have been applied which have been perfectly shaped, topped with a lovely seasonal colour. I also love that once they’re done I don’t have to worry about them. No more last minute filing, or a quick top up of colour before rushing out of the house. I feel prepped and ready to go with a fresh set of new nails.  


James got me a voucher for my birthday to go and get my nails done so I decided to pop to my local salon this weekend as a little pick-me-up. I opted for a natural rounded tip and decided on a deep shade of red for the festive season. It is my work's Christmas party on Friday so I thought it would be nice to get my nails sorted in preparation for that.


Do you like to get your nails done at a salon?
Do you like acrylics or gel polish?

Madolyn
xxx

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Harry Potter Tag | YouTube

  • Sunday, 27 November 2016


I thought that it would be fun to do a slightly different video today. I love watching Tag videos as I find it really fun to learn more about the blogger/YouTuber behind the lens. Everyone who knows me is aware of what a huge Harry Potter fan I am. I grew up with Harry Potter and each year the books and films were released I was around the same age as the characters which made it even more magical. 



I hope you enjoy watching this slightly chattier video from me and if you wanted to answer the questions yourself here are the ones that I used;

1. What is your favourite book?
2. What is your favourite movie?
3. Which is your least favourite book?
4. Which parts of the books/movies made you cry?
5. If you could ‘hook up’ with any of the characters who would it be?
6. Which is your favourite character?
7. What would your Protonus be?
8. Would you rather have the Elder Want, the Invisibility Cloak or the Resurrection Stone?
9. Which House would you belong to?
10. If you could meet a member of the cast who would it be?
11. Have you played any of the video games?
12. Which Quiddich position would you play?
13. Were you happy with the ending?
14. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

Are you a Harry Potter Fan?
Let me know if you have done this tag and please leave links below – I would love to see them!

Madolyn
xxx

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Top 10 Sights To See In Bratislava

  • Saturday, 26 November 2016


So here I am, back with another Bratislava themed post! I hope you enjoyed watching Part One and Part Two of the Vlog that I filmed whilst I was there. If you missed it you can catch up with them over on my YouTube Channel. In today's post I am talking about the Top 10 Sights To See in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. James and I really enjoyed out long weekend away exploring this city and I would really recommend it for anyone that likes city breaks with a lot to offer. These are in no particular order, but here is my list of the must-see places Bratislava has to offer.


Bratislava Castle


This is one of Bratislava’s most iconic landmarks that can be seen from most points in the City. It has some amazing views that overlook the Danube river and although it was pretty windy and chilly when we went – it was still a beautiful view and a definite must-see. 


Michael’s gate


Michael's Gate is made of bright white plaster and has a green top to it, making it stand out from the rest of the buildings. It is a huge focal point with a big clock face on the front that helped to add to the character of the city.



The Old Town Hall

This was such a pretty building that summed up the feel of the Old Town. Whilst we were there some men were setting up and building some cute little red, wooden huts in preparation for the Christmas markets. We were a bit disappointed to be missing out on such a festive activity as I am sure that it will look incredible with the Old Town Hall as a backdrop.  


 Primatte’s Palace

This was a beautiful old building that we stumbled across. It is located just next to the Old Town Hall and around the corner from it was the old market hall. This was a lovely little gem that was an indoor market space selling local produce, food, wine and coffee.



Blue Church

I had read about this beautiful Blue Church before we set off to Bratislava, so it was already on my list of things to do. It is one of the must-sees that was so pretty and unique. It is located a little on the outskirts of The Old Town so it seemed very randomly placed in amongst a load of new buildings but I loved its Character.


St Martin’s Cathedral

This huge Gothic church was an amazing sight. It doesn't seem very impressive from the outside but when we went into the building it was filled with the most beautiful woodwork and wonderful stain glass windows. With the top of the tower reaching 85 meters high you can see it from most places in The Old Town and it was definitely worth an explore. 


Grassalkovich Palace

This beautiful white building is home is a wondrous palace that had a huge gold fence surrounding it and a massive expanse of gardens behind it. It is still occupied so it isn't open to the public to have a look inside, but if it anything like the outside I am sure that it looks incredible. The glob like ball in the picture is a big water feature that was really pretty to walk around. 



Salvia

We had to walk up what felt like one thousand steps to reach the Salvia War Memorial. When we got to the top though, the views of Bratislava were incredible and absolutely breathe taking. The monument was constructed 2016 in order to represent each solider that fell in World War 2. It was a very respectful and well-made memorial that was beautifully crafted and really well designed. 



Statues

Bratislava is quite well known for these copper statues that are randomly placed within the city. I'm still not quite sure what they represent but we only managed to find two of them. They are extremely popular and in every shop they are on postcards, mugs and magnets. They are quite quirky and its probably a fun game to play with children to try and find them all. 



UFO Tower

The last of my top 10 Sights To See in Bratislava is the UFO tower. This is located on the other side of the Danube River to The Old Town. It is the smallest of the world’s Great Towers reaching 95 meters high with incredible views across the entire city of Bratislava. 

Have you ever been to Bratislava or Slovakia?
Where would you recommend for a long weekend city break?

Madolyn
xxx

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Bratislava, Slovakia Vlog Part Two | YouTube Video

  • Friday, 25 November 2016

As you have most likely guessed form the title of this post, this is the second instalment of my vlog of my trip away to Bratislava. In this video I take you along with me for the third and final day of our long weekend away in Slovakia. 

The weather was a little brighter and warmer on the Sunday and so we enjoyed walking around and getting more of a feel for the city. We went back to the old town and had brunch in a lovely book-shop café, before walking up to the new WW2 monument. We then walk back down and over the bridge, across the Danube and saw some amazing views. We then headed up the UFO tower which is the smallest of the 50 Great Towers of The World. It was an observation deck and because of the weather we were able to view the whole of Bratislava which was incredible. 

Our last day was a bit of a funny one. We took our time getting ready and packing our bags and then walked to a beautiful little café for some lunch and coffee. We then had a last little look around before getting a taxi to the airport.



We both had a lovely time away and I would highly recommend Bratislava as a destination for a long weekend away. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this vlog, you can also see Part One if you missed it. There will be a couple more travel based posts coming soon about my trip with a bit more of an insight as to what we got up to and what I would recommend visiting.

Have you ever been to Bratislava?
Where would you recommend going for a long weekend away? 

Madolyn
xxx

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Book Review | The Visible World by Mark Slouka

  • Wednesday, 23 November 2016


I love being a part of a book club as it opens my eyes and allows me to read books and discover authors that I wouldn’t necessarily come across otherwise. This month’s book was a very charming but typical war-time romance novel; The Visible World.

It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea but I found it quite an interesting read as the main characters were from the Czech Republic and having just visited Bratislava in Slovakia which was just on the boarder, it seemed the perfect time to read it. 

The Blurb

‘An atmospheric mix of adventure, mystery and romance, as well as a nuanced tale of one family coping with the nightmare of history. The sheer beauty of Mark Slouka’s prose will draw comparisons to ‘The English Patient’. Gary Shteyngart

‘My mother knew a man during the war. Theirs’s was a lovely story, and like any good love story, it left blood on the floor and wreckage in its wake.’

As a boy growing up in New York, his parent’s memories of their Czech homeland seemed to belong to another world, as distant and unreal as the fairy tales his father tells him. It is only as an adult, when he makes his own journey to Prague, that he is finally able to piece together the truth of his parents’ past; what they did, who his mother loved, and why they were never able to forget.

My Thoughts

The novel was split into three different parts. The first section was all about the boy’s life growing up and his observations of his mother and father’s relationship. The second section was about the boy making the decision as a grown man too go to Prague in an attempt to piece together his mother and father’s past during the war. The third and final section was titled Novel, in which the boy, using the information he had learnt about his parents, created a fictional story that attempts to piece together the story of what happened. 

I really enjoyed reading this book and it was the first that I have read by Slouka. It was an easy read filled with romance and a boy’s need to understand why his parent’s relationship was the way it was. It was similar to Titanic in that there was a fleeting yet powerful relationship between two characters that was based around a true and historical event. It brought to light the sufferings of Eastern Europe during World War Two and provided a small insight into the world of that time. It was a great historical fiction read that I would recommend to anyone that loves a period drama with a tragic love story. 

Have you ever read anything by Slouka?
Would you recommend any books that are similar to this? 

Madolyn
xxx

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A Capsule Wardrobe | Hopes, Dreams & Goals

  • Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Having my own house can have its pros and cons. I love having my own space, I can decorate how I like, do anything I want and ultimately make my own rules. The down side is looking after everything and keeping organised. I am a very sentimental person that also finds it hard to say no. This combination leads to a cluttered home with lots of things that I don’t necessarily need, want or like. 

I am not sure if it is the change in season, my age or something else but I feel as though I have reached a tilting point and I want to become organised and take a much more minimalist approach to life. My goal is to incorporate this way of thinking into all aspects of my life but ya know, baby steps and all that. So I have decided that one area that I know I can work on, improve, clear out and organise is my wardrobe and so I intend to tackle this issue in order to make tracks to begin a minimalist lifestyle. 

My Current Wardrobe Situation

Currently my wardrobe is a mass of miss matched clothes that have no particular order or organisation. My clothes occupy half (okay, maybe a little more than half) of the wardrobe I share with James. This is a mixture of dresses, workwear and ‘nice’ tops. I have also taken over three of the four draws of our chest of draws. One is for tops, one is for bottoms and one is for jumpers. 

I am well aware that I have too many clothes and I would guess that I only wear a third of them anyway. I think that if I were to sort out my wardrobe, condense it and get rid of anything that I do not need or what, it will become easier to promote this way of thinking into other aspects of my life.  

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

In essence the idea of a capsule wardrobe is one filled with a very reduced number of items, each of which can be worn with most if not all other items. It is meant to be a wardrobe made up of clothes that fit you, you feel comfortable in, are universal and most importantly, that you wear.

I have read many things about capsule wardrobes and always assumed that it would be something that I would never be able to achieve. I thought that it would mean that I would be wearing the same outfits all of the time and that I wouldn’t be happy with the lack of variation. 

It wasn’t until I started reading more about The Anna Edit’s journey of creating and maintaining a capsule wardrobe that it crossed my mind that it may in fact be a way of living that I could in fact achieve. 


Initial Stages & Planning

More often than not, when I have a clear out I am not very truthful with myself and say that I will wear something and don’t or convince myself that if I lose weight or change myself I will fit into said item. My other downfall is clinging onto items of clothing for sentimental reasons which is daft when I think about it. I feel therefore that I need to approach this clear out differently, with a new outlook. 

First and foremost, I am going to put out all of my clothes from both my wardrobe and my chest of draws. I am then going to try every item of clothing on. I want to then sort my clothes into a couple of different piles; 

1. It fits, I love it and wear it all of the time
2. It doesn’t fit/it’s old – put it in a charity bag
3. It’s in really nice condition but doesn’t fit/I don’t wear it – bag for friends and family

Once my clothes have been sorted into the piles above I will then begin to fill in my ‘Capsule Wardrobe Planner’ that I got from UnFancy, a minimalist fashion blog. It is a really cool planner that helps to break down everything from what you want your fashion goals to be; to a shopping list of items you need to complete your capsule wardrobe.

Future Aims & Goals

I am really excited to get started and organise my wardrobe and begin my journey to achieving a minimalist capsule wardrobe. I want to get this done before Christmas in preparation of the New Year so that I can begin 2017 with a focus and a head start on minimalizing my home and my life. I can’t wait to get started and I will be sure to blog my progress.

What are your thoughts about a capsule wardrobe?
Do you have any tips for me?

Madolyn
xxx

Bratislava Vlog Part One | YouTube Video

  • Sunday, 20 November 2016


If you have been reading Madolyn Thinks lately, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you are most likely aware that I have recently just spent a long weekend in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I had so much fun walking around and exploring the city. James and I had decided that we wanted a weekend away somewhere and when we found some cheap flights we decided that this would be our next destination.

Neither of us had many expectations before heading over, and in all honesty I hadn’t really heard much about the place beforehand. When we landed we picked up a map which was an absolute god-send as it had tones of information about the must have places to visit in the city.  


I decided to vlog this trip away and have filmed it in two parts. In Part one I take the camera with me on the first two days of our trip. Be sure to have a watch and find out what we got up to whilst we were there. The second part of this vlog will be live on Wednesday so be sure to pop back and find out what we got up to on our third and fourth day in Bratislava. 

Have you ever been to Bratislava?
Where would you like to go for a long weekend away?

Madolyn
xxx

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Christmas With The White Company

  • Thursday, 17 November 2016


Okay, so I have broken my rule about not blogging or writing about Christmas until December. Althouhgh I absolutly love the build up to Christmas and everything that comes with it, I don't want to start too early as it seems to take the magic away a little bit. However, I couldn't wait to share The White Company's Christmas launch and everything that they have on offer - it is a pure dream!


My mum and me got to go to the open eveing in the York store for The White Company's Christmas collection launch. It was really fun going to the shop after hours and having a gentel peruse of what they had to offer whilst sipping on preseco and nibbling on mince pies. 

For those wanting a very minimalistic, calm and subtle Christmas, The White Company is the shop for you. Personally, I want to decorate my house with lots of greens, whites and silvers and have a very sophisticated approach to Christmas that isn’t too bold and bright. The White Company is the essence of sophistication for me, and their Christmas range did not disappoint. 



I love The White Company’s iconic Christmas scent of Winter which they bring out every time this year. They also have some limited edition scents on offer for 2016, which are Mistletoe, Sloe Gin and Fir and Berry. Each of these scents is guaranteed to get you in the mood for the festive season and they have a huge range of candles, room sprays, diffusers and much more in each fragrance. 

The Christmas decorations were the star of the show for me. They had such a beautiful range on display and I just wanted to buy them all. Each was so well thought out and although they weren’t your typical Christmas colours or shapes, they were really festive and worked really well together.


For the event they had a special 20% discount off of everything in store and if you spent over £30 you received a free White Lavender Hand and Nail Cream, which was perfect for me as I use this product anyway! My mum and I got a little spendy and I treated myself to a few Christmas treats for next month that I can’t wait to open. 

Are you getting excited for Christmas?
Have you started planning gifts or decor yet?

Madolyn
xxx

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What To Pack For A Long Weekend In The Cold

  • Wednesday, 16 November 2016


I have just got back from an amazing trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. James and I decided that we wanted to have a long weekend together before the hustle and bustle of Christmas. After a quick browse on SkySkanner we decided to head over to eastern Europe and explore the city of Bratislava.

I have so much great footage that I am planning on editing this weekend that includes two vlogs, the must have places to visit and my top five places to eat. I am so excited to share my weekend here on Madolyn Thinks and over on my YouTube channel, but for now I thought it may be useful for me to share what I packed for a long weekend in the cold. 

I always struggle to know what to pack for any type of holiday but I found this one particularly tricky as we only had hand luggage but we needed to make sure that we had packed enough clothes to keep us warm whilst roaming the streets of Bratislava. After much careful consideration and forward planning, I managed to pack the perfect amount of clothing that kept me in check and prepared for my trip.


Two Pairs of Jeans

I decided to pack one pair of black jeans and one pair of blue jeans. With us only being away for four days I thought that two pairs of jeans would be more than sufficient, and by having two different colours, it helped to switch up my outfits a little more.

Four Jumpers

Due to the cold weather, I decided that my choice of outfit would be a pair of jeans and a jumper. Therefore, I packed a different jumper to wear each day. It meant that I was changing up my outfits, left me feeling fresh, and I still felt like I had a choice of outfit for each day, all be it a very minimal one.

Six Tops

Although I was only away for four days, I wasn't one hundred per cent sure what our plans were for each day. I thought that six was a good number of tops and I broke it down into; a few t-shirts, two long sleeved tops and one nice top incase we ended up going out for dinner or for drinks on an evening.

Six Pairs of Pants and Socks

My mum has always drilled it into me that you never know what might happen so make sure that you pack extra underwear. I am still yet to discover what might happen if I didn't pack extra but even now I always ensure that I have extra should I need it. I guess you could think of it as one pair for each day and extras if you fancy a quick change once you get back to the hotel/flat.

One Coat

I knew that this long weekend in Bratislava was going to be a cold one, so there was no doubt in my mind that I would need a big, warm, waterproof coat to take away with me. If you are unsure about the weather you could always take another jacket but personally I prefer to just take one with me that ticks all of the boxes. 

Two Pairs of Shoes 

I bought the most boring yet practical, plain yet comfy pair of boots from ASDA before going away to Bratislava and they were one the best purchases I have made all year. For a long weekend in the cold I would always recommend a nice pair of boots that are easy to wear, go with everything, are weather proof and that you are happy to keep on your feet all day. I also took with me my Vans just incase I wanted some added comfort or a change of shoe.

Other Bits & Bobs 

Other things that I would also recommend packing for a long weekend away in the cold are a hat, a scarf, a pair of gloves and some cosy ear muffs, all in order to keep you feeling toasty warm in a slightly cooler climate.

Comfits

Due to us staying in an Air B&B apartment I also packed some comfy lounge wear to put on after a long day of exploring and sight-seeing. My added extras were a pair of joggers, some fluffy socks and a nice over-sized hoody to chill out in at the apartment on an evening.


What would you pack for a long weekend in the cold?

Madolyn
xxx

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