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New Year's Eve Plans...

  • Sunday, 31 December 2017


The pressure of New Years Eve can become overwhelming. Deciding what to wear, who to spend it with, picking the right party, the build up to the countdown of New Year and choosing who you want to stand next too, who you want to kiss…



In my teenage years and early twenties I loved the thrill of New Year and everything from the wild house parties, drunken celebrations and getting dolled up, all with the idea of ending the previous year with a big bang. 

However, every January the first I would wake up hung-over, tired, and grumpy, feeling extremely unproductive. Call me boring, but now that I’m older, I have decided that although it might be a fun way to end the year before, it certainly isn’t an ideal way to start the year ahead. 



This year, James and I have decided to have more of a casual New Years Eve, and have opted for a few quite drinks. I want to feel feminine and dressed up, without being really glammed up. This straight fit, mid-length dress from Marks and Spencer’s is the perfect compromise. Its thick, striped fabric offers a casual element to the fitted style and frilled sleeves. 

I find that a more casual outfit allows for heavier, and fuller makeup in order to compliment and balance out the entire look. I like to keep my base fairly natural, yet apply darker eye shadow shades, winged liner and a bold lip. Having the same shade of lipstick as nail varnish, also helps to tie the outfit together, creating a more complete finish.



I hope you all have a lovely New Year and celebrate it in the best way possible. Thank you as ever for following and reading my blog, it means a great deal to me and I hope to see more growth in 2018.


Happy New Year! 

Madolyn
xxx

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Ways To Refresh In Preparation For The New Year & Resolutions That Are Worth Making

  • Saturday, 30 December 2017


With the New Year being just around the corner, I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about ways to grow and improve come the first of January. I always like to spend a bit of time to refresh my home and mind and allow myself a bit of down time to prep for the year ahead. The Virgo in me loves a good ol’ list to plan and organise myself and so I thought that I would share a few ways to give your self a refresh, as well as a few New Year resolutions that are worth making. 



Ways To Refresh


HOME 


In this odd lull of time between Christmas and New Year, I find that it is the perfect time to re-organise and sort out my home. I love starting the New Year with less clutter, mess and things that I don’t need. I feel it sets me up for a more focused start to the New Year. My mindset has become a lot more minimalistic this year in regard to materialistic things, but I have still enjoyed going through my possessions, clearing, tiding and organising. So whether your living space is a bedroom, a flat or a house, allow yourself some time to have a sort though and clear out before the New Year. 


Things To Clear Out & Sort Through


Wardrobe
Beauty/makeup/skincare stash
Handbags
PJs/socks/knickers
Book Shelf
Food cupboards
The fridge
The car boot
Towels/bedding
Bills/household paperwork


HEALTH


Whatever your goals for the new year, I think we can all be in agreement that we could improve our health. So whether it is continuing on with amazing habits that you already have, or wanting to pick up new ones, it is a good time to get prepped and start the New Year in the healthiest way possible. Hit the shops and pick up a fridge full of fresh produce, lots of healthy greens, fresh fruit and veg to make sure that you have plenty of healthy options for meals when the New Year begins. You can also join a gym, buy some new workout gear, or have clear out of the stuff you already have and get it washed, dried and ready to pop in your gym bag for your first work out of the year. 

HEART


Before the first of January, practice some self-care and enjoy yourself. Whether this is having a bath with some of your favourite lush products, spending some time with loved ones, going out on a lovely walk to enjoy some time outside, reading a book or watching your favourite childhood film, be sure to allow some time for your head and your heart to re-fresh, rejuvenate and be mindful in preparation for the new year.  


NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS


In terms of New Year Resolutions, I find that it is always best to be as simple as possible in order to make them last. This year my plan is to not have too many resolutions and to be realistic with the ones that I make.

Resolutions Worth Making 


Smile more
Be mindful when spending money
Read more
Travel to somewhere on your bucket list
Meditate
Spend less time on your phone
Enjoy more time outdoors
Eat more fruit and vegetables
Walk when you can
Practice being mindful and live in the present
Focus less on what others think
Spend time doing the things you enjoy
Do not work to live


What are resolutions are you making for 2018?

Madolyn
xxx

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Why We Decided To Do Secret Santa This Year

  • Sunday, 24 December 2017


Happy Christmas Eve!

I’m so excited to be heading home tonight to enjoy Christmas with my family, and have two whole days completely free from work. We’re staying at my parents’ tonight and Christmas night and I’m super excited for my mum’s Christmas dinner, watching rubbish Christmas TV, and spending time with all of my family. 

This year both James’ family and mine have decided to do secret Santa. In previous years we have bought presents for everyone, but it has always felt like a long drawn out process that creates a lot of stress building up to the big day, not to mention it is a definite drain on the ol’ bank balance. 

There are a number of reasons that we decided to take part in secret Santa this year, the most significant for me being that I wanted to buy more meaningful gifts. 

Since changing my mindset over the last twelve months to be more purposeful with my purchases, live life in a more minimalistic fashion and ensure that each of my positions either have a use or are meaningful, I have wanted to apply this to all aspects of my live, including gift giving. I think that traditions, expectation and the media have all persuaded us that we need to buy copious amounts of presents for everyone in our lives. 


However, we are lucky enough to live in a world where everything is so readily available to everyone, to the point that no one is actually in need of anything. It is becoming harder and harder to buy gifts for people because everyone has nearly everything that they could possibly want. In this sense, Christmas presents almost become a waste of money, as gifts are swapped for gifts, potentially through obligation rather than because you have something that is truly meaningful to give to somebody else. 

I don’t mean to sound like a scrooge, and this isn’t to say that some people do give meaningful and purposeful gifts for Christmas. The point I’m trying to make is that I wanted to buy gifts with intention this year. Secret Santa is a system that allows this, as you only need to buy one gift for one person, which allows you to focus your time, money and energy, rather than spread it thinly across lots of people. 

James and I are just doing stockings for each other this year as we are saving money for our trip to America next year. However, I have still applied this meaningful mindset to James’ stocking fillers, ensuring that each gift has a purpose or a function. Although I understand that for some this may not appear the most festive of mindsets.


Whatever your plans for Christmas, I hope you have a lovely day and enjoy spending time with loved ones. Be sure to take some time to relax and try to live in the present as much as possible to savour the day. 

What are your thoughts about partaking in a family secret Santa?


Also, Vlogmas Part Four has also gone live on my channel so be sure to head over and have a watch of that if you have a few minutes! 

Madolyn
xxx

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Give Yourself The Gift Of Pamper This Festive Season

  • Friday, 22 December 2017


Although I am a firm believer that this is the time of year to think of others, spend time with loved ones, and appreciate time with your family. I also believe that it is a time to wind down and relax a little, and give yourself a well deserved break. So take some time this festive season, and give yourself the gift of pamper… 


‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Maskmas!’



7th Heaven have been my go-to brand when it comes to face masks, for a number of years. All of the products work so effectively and never disappoint. They have brought out some amazing gift sets for Christmas, and I think that they are the perfect excuse to treat yourself and have a true pamper as the year draws to a close. 


Charcoal Facials – charcoal has become a very popular ingredient in the world of skincare and due to its antibacterial, deep cleaning properties, it is easy to see why. 7th Heaven have a Charcoal Peel Off Mask*, a Charcoal Mud Mask* and Charcoal Pore Strips* within their range, so there is definitely something for everyone.

Don’t Forget Your Hands & Feet – be sure to give your fingers and toes the gift of a good pamper this Christmas with some products from 7th Heaven’s SPA range. They have Soften Glove Masques* and Soften Sock Masques* to hydrate and nourish. The range also includes Strengthen Nail & Cuticle Finger Masques* to get your nail beds perfectly prepped for the festive season. 


Celebrate The Festivities With Perfectly Pampered Pins



Friction Free Shaving is an amazing brand that provides a monthly subscription of razors and shaving products. They have some incredible, new products available to ensure that you get the closest, most hygienic, and easy shave possible. They have some amazing beauty products and razor accessories that will keep your pins party ready for the festive season. 


The Razor* – every month, one razor handle and four razor heads are popped through your letterbox, providing you with a fresh blade every week. You can now have the handles engraved with your name on them as an extra treat.

The Accessories* – To keep your razors clean, fresh and long-lasting, packs now come with a plastic razor cover and a suction holder to pop on your shower wall. 


Pre Shave Scrub* – contains Manuka honey, almond milk and some walnut scrub, which acts as a natural exfoliator to tackle ingrown hairs, whilst promoting skin rejuvenation. This creates smooth, soft skin, free from red razor bumps.

Shave Cream* – contains Manuka honey, shear butter and coconut oil. These natural products are very soothing and are designed to create soft and smooth legs.

Post Shave Balm* – contains Manuka honey, almond milk and cocoa butter. These nourishing products are ideal for soothing your legs and help to promote healthy skin, eradicating any dry patches, completely hydrating shaved areas. 


Treat All Of Your Skincare Needs This Christmas



Dr Botanicals’ new Apothecary Natural Collection has some truly wonderful faces masks as pat of their new range. All of their products are vegan, cruelty free and 100 per cent natural, making them the perfect products to really give your skin a treat during this festive season. 

Charcoal Superfood Mattifying Face Mask* - contains charcoal and shea butter which is great at cleansing the skin whilst simultaneously gently exfoliating and moisturising the face.

Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask* - contains cocoa butter and coconut oil to moisturise, hydrate, restore and protect the skin. 


Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask* - contains pomegranate extract which is high in antioxidants to brighten the skin, and almond oil to hydrate and nourish the skin.

Lemon Superfood Rescuing Remedy Balm* – contains lemon tea tree to balance and nourish the skin as well as coconut oil to hydrate and protect the skin. This all-purpose balm can be applied on the face and body whenever some extra nourishment is needed. 


How will you be pampering yourself during this year’s festivities?

Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains PR samples that have been gifted to me, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

A Last Minute/Stocking Filler Gift Guide

  • Wednesday, 20 December 2017


With it only being a few days until the big day, I have picked out a few cool little bits and pieces that would make great last minute gifts or stocking fillers…

I am usually super organised when it comes to Christmas and buying presents, yet this year, time just seems to have disappeared! I’m hoping to get the last of my gifts bought this week and want to spend some time at the weekend wrapping and bagging up each gift. If like me, you’re running a little behind schedule, be sure to have a read of these gifts that I’ve picked out, to provide a bit of inspiration for those last minute/stocking filler gifts.

If you're still looking for some other gift guide inspo, be sure to have a read of my huge women's gift guide and my huge men's gift guide. 


BEAUTY PRODUCTS


Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel | £4.25 | Link

This is one of my favourite beauty products to have at this time of year. Lush brings out this limited edition shower gel that smells like a candy-floss heaven, every Christmas. It is only available around this time of year and when it’s gone it’s gone. This is a great little stocking filler for any girly girl, or beauty lover, or would work well as part of a pamper gift set. 

Beverly Hills Formula Precious Pearl Enamel Remineralising Serum* | £10.99 | Link

I have been using toothpaste from Beverly Hills Formula for the last year or so and feel as though my teeth are whiter, healthier and stronger because of this. Their latest launch is the Remineralising Serum, which can be used everyday as a toothpaste to brighten and whiten the teeth as well as protect enamel and keep stains away. This would make a great stocking filler for any family members stocking, or would be a great present to go along side an electric toothbrush or teeth whitening kit. 

Bomb Cosmetics Bath Bombs* | £2.99 | Link

Winter calls for pamper nights, and long hot baths. Bath bombs are a great gift to give this year to anyone that loves a steaming hot bath this Christmas. These ones from Bomb Cosmetics are extremely affordable and they have a huge range available. These are perfect stocking fillers, or again can be a side gift to something a little bigger. These bath bombs are unique, brightly coloured and the perfect gift if you wanted to find something a little different. 

Coola Liplux* | £10.95 | Link

Products containing SPF should be applied all year round, as the sunshine, even in winter, can be harmful to the skin. This peppermint balm is ideal for lips during the colder months as it has an SPF of 15 and is waterproof for up to eighty minutes. It is an environmentally friendly product that contains seventy percent certified organic ingredients, is GMO free and cruelty free. It is a great little stocking filler, or a lovely addition for any pamper gift set. 


BEAUTY ACCESSORIES


Magn!tone Wipe Out* | £15 | Link

This fantastic little product is the perfect gift for any makeup lover this Christmas. With warm water, these Wipe Out cloths from Magn!tone easily remove make up. No cleanser is needed, only water, making it the perfect make up remover for all skin types and for the sensitive area around the eyes. The microfibers have a grab and hold technique, that lifts both long-wear and oil based makeup products. It is machine washable and can be used up to 1000 times. Each pack contains two cloths making this the ideal beauty gift for travelers and those conscious of the environment. 

Tangle Angel Baby* - £4.95 | Link

This key ring brush is the perfect companion for any one who wants to keep their hair on fleek when out and about. It is the perfect size to fit in any handbag and take on the go whether traveling, on a night out, or on trip to the gym. It is a complete miniature of the Tangle Angel; one of the best hairbrushes to have hit the market of late. It is waterproof, antibacterial, ergonomic, and works a treat on both wet and dry hair. 

Lypsyl Mirror Compact Luxurious Vanilla* | £4.99 | Link

The Lypsyl Mirror Compact is a brilliant little stocking filler to give this Christmas. Winter is the time of year we need to look after ourselves, and as the cooler weather strikes, it can greatly affect our lips, leaving them dry and chapped. Lip balm is a great present to give that can be used well into the next year. This one is enriched with Aloe Vera, vitamin E and shea butter and what’s more, it comes with a cute little compact mirror, making it even better!


FOODIE TREATS


Heart Shaped Pasta* | £2.99 | Link

This is a great little stocking filler or side present for any food lover. This 250g bag of heart shaped pasta is ideal for anyone who loves food, something a little different, or it can be an additional gift to go along side a cookbook. It should be cooked for 5-7 minute and is made from drum wheat, tomato and spinach, which is what makes the various colours within the packet. At this affordable price, it is a great stocking filler gift for a loved one, or someone who likes quirky little gifts. 

Chocolate Sprouts* | £9.99 | Link

Speaking of quirky little gifts, these handmade white Belgian chocolate sprouts are a fantastic present to give away this Christmas. They are hand painted, and these white chocolate goodies are a perfect replica of the infamous Christmas vegetable. These chocolates are a great present to either give to someone who loves these little green vegetables, or equally to someone you know that hates these festive veggies. Either way, it is a comical present that will have your friends and family laughing on the big day. 

Green & Blacks Hot Chocolate | £3,.60 | Link

I absolutely love this hot chocolate from Green & Blacks. I think that it tastes so luxurious considering it is an at home, instant hot chocolate. Just four teaspoons are needed per cup of milk and it literally tastes divine. This would be the perfect side present for any food lover, or a great stocking filler for anyone with a sweet tooth. 

Be sure to have a watch of my stocking filler/last minute gift guide video in which you can see the products in more detail. 


Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet?

Madolyn
xxx

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This post contains PR samples that have been gifted to me, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains content written by me for i the stylist.

A More Minimalistic Christmas...

  • Sunday, 17 December 2017


The compromise of wanting to feel festive, without accumulating too much clutter…

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a true minimalist, even though there is no one exact way of living as a minimalist, I do consider myself as having much more of a minimalistic lifestyle than my 2016 self. 


This year I have certainly seen a change in my mind set, as well as my approach to materialism. I have been truly inspired to live with less, appreciate the simplicities of life and enjoy fewer possessions. It started at the beginning of the year when I came across the concept of having a capsule wardrobe. However, as the year progressed I discovered the notion of minimalism, and after many documentaries, books and YouTube videos, I feel as though my mind set has shifted. 


Last month James and I moved from a two-bedroom house into a one bed flat, and we are currently embracing our lack of materialistic possessions. Each item we own now has a purpose or a meaning. Naturally, this also goes for our Christmas decorations. 

Before the move we had clear out of everything and when it came to our Christmas decs, we decided to pick out a colour theme and only keep ornaments that meant some thing to us. We have picked up a couple of decorations on our travels and so they all made the cut and we also kept a few strings of lights to hang up.


We’ve got a tiny little tree with a few token decorations on it, and although the star seems a little big, it acts as a nice lamp for the room. We’ve hung up some lights around the TV, and popped some little candles from The White Company’s Winter collection on the TV unit. 


We only wanted to decorate the living area, to have a little nod to the festivities. We’re going back home to York for the big day and so we didn’t feel the need to go over the top in terms of decorating the flat. We just wanted things to feel a little more festive then usual to get us excited on the build up to Christmas. 


Be sure to have a watch of my Vlogmas Part Three video and you can see how I decorated the flat for Christmas in more detail, as well as a few other festive things I’ve got up to this week. 


What are your thoughts on a more minimalistic Christmas? 

Madolyn
xxx

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Style Diaries | A Parisian Inspired Christmas Shopping Outfit

  • Friday, 15 December 2017



Earlier this week James and I spent a lovely afternoon Christmas shopping and I decided to fashion my new beret…




I have always loved the Parisian style and find that their way of dressing is so casual yet sophisticated, stylish yet effortless, but I have worried that it wouldn’t necessarily suit me. 

I have seen so many people wearing berets recently on instagram and thought that it looked so chic and stylish. When I was in Primark early last week I saw this woolen, black beret for just £4 so I popped it in my basket and thought that I would give it a go.

I decided that a walk into town for a brunch date was the perfect time to showcase my new purchase. I wore my hair down and opted to pull the beret down at the back of my head rather than placed to the side. Although it isn’t the most classic way of wearing a beret, I preferred the way it looked.



To fit in with the Parisian theme I chose to wear a navy blue and cream stripped jumper dress that I bought from Topshop in the sale a few years ago. It’s a little on the short side so I paired it with some Primark, black skinny jeans. 

Makeup wise, I have loved wearing this natural yet festive look, created with the Bourjois Paris Holiday collection. The Velvet Rouge lipsticks are my favourite, which you can read more about over on this blog post. I feel like the bold red lipstick really adds to the Parisian style, as well as creating a more festive, Christmas-y look. 




We ended up having the most beautiful brunch at Laynes, a lovely little café in the heart of Leeds. I had the scrambled eggs on toast and the prettiest latte, which really warmed us up before hitting the shops. This year, both mine and James’ family have decided to do secret Santa, so although we don’t have loads to buy, it was fun walking around getting some inspiration. 

I enjoyed taking my beret for a spin, and after realising that people did not stare, judge or point and laugh at me, I feel pretty confident in my Parisian addition to my wardrobe. 


What are your thoughts on berets?

Madolyn
xxx

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