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Style Diaries | Feeling Confident In Your Own Skin

  • Friday, 10 August 2018


Everyday I see inspirational quotes, pictures and general approval that woman should love their bodies, embrace their curves, be proud of their stretch-marks and feel confident in their own skin. 

This is all great, apart from the fact that I don’t believe any of it. I don’t believe people when they say that bodies are beautiful no matter their shape or size. I don’t trust quotes that tell me that I should love the way I am and feel confident about myself. It’s not that I don’t agree with these statements, it’s that I don’t feel that our society wants us to agree with them. 


For every inspirational quote about loving my body, I see ten more pictures showing me that I am inferior as a woman. That I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough… I don’t mean to stereotype, and I don’t have anything against tall, pretty, skinny, women – it’s just that I can’t help but feel as though we are supposed to aspire to be this way.   

But do ya know what? We should embrace our bodies, and not give a shit about how other people may perceive us. As long as we are healthy, eat good food, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and take care of our bodies, do little hang ups like cellulite even matter? So many people have things that they don’t like about their bodies and in all honesty – no one even notices or pays attention!

So when it comes to stretch marks, wobbly thighs, big boobs or whatever it is that you feel self conscious about, try to remember that nearly all other woman have similar, if not the same thoughts about themselves. We need to remember that our bodies are real and that we are all natural and normal – but as long as we’re healthy, it really does not matter! 

I think that we also need to remember that no matter our body hang ups, there are always solutions to help us to feel more confident in our own skin. Personally, I get very self-conscious about my rather large lady lumps. I have quite a big set of boobs, which I feel are out of proportion to my 5ft2 frame. I forever feel like they’re on display and that they make me look bigger than I am, that my clothes don’t fit the way I want them to… and when I was younger I was forever trying to hide them. 


With age however, I think we forever apply a fresh perspective on things, and I have learnt to embrace my body. I’ve learnt that wearing a good bra is one thing that can make me feel more confident about my boobs and myself. I have recently been introduce to a brand called Upbra, a company that is based in the USA and has spent the last five years designing a bra with the perfect fit and lift. They have a huge range of bras available, all of which include adjustable straps underneath the cups, allowing you to push your breasts together to ensure a secure and flattering lift. The California brand ship worldwide, and if you too are in need of a little confidence boost I would really recommend checking them out. 

Ultimately though, no matter how we feel about the exterior of our bodies, we need to nurture and look after our insides. Ensuring that we are healthy is a number one priority, and once we do this, the rest will follow. It’s so easy to get hung up on what we feel we should look like, but we must try and focus on the positives and the things that we can change like diet and lifestyle choices. But forget the rest because in reality, it really doesn’t matter… 


Madolyn
xxx

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

A Few Ways To Protect & Look After Your Skin This Summer

  • Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Although we all love the sunshine, well most of us anyway, it’s something that we have to be careful about when it comes to protecting our skin. 

Now, I’m no skincare expert, but it is well known that there are plenty of health risks involved in having too much sun exposure. I have had burnt shoulders one too many times and it is not a pretty sight. Not only is it bad for you, it prematurely ages your skin, puts you at the risk of developing various conditions, plus it can dehydrate you, give you sunstroke or something worse.


As we seem to be at the height of summer, I thought I’d share a few different products that have been staples for me during this sunny, heat wave we’re currently having here in the U.K. 

Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector* – SPF is key when protecting ourselves from the sun. I always make sure that I have SPF either in my daily moisturiser or make up all year round. Even in winter the suns rays can cause damage and it’s important to wear some sort of sun protection. I have loved using this facial sun-cream from Exuviance. It has an SPF of 50, which is amazing as most skincare products offer between 10 and 30. It can be worn with both moisturiser and/or foundation, but because the product itself is tinted, I find that it is a fantastic substitute for a makeup base. 


Exuviance Hydra Firm* – I find that in summer, although my skin may feel oily it actually gets fairly dehydrated. I’m not sure if it’s the sun drying it out, the air-con in buildings or that I don’t drink enough to compensate a higher rate of perspiration… Anyways, I have loved using this evening moisturiser by Exuviance. It is really hydrating and it helps to protect skin against environmental damage. I love applying it once I’ve cleansed my face on an evening and rub it all the way down my neck and onto my collarbones. 

Lush Scrubee – Much like my face, the skin on my body also tends to get pretty dehydrated during warmer weather. I love to use the Scrubee bar from lush, which both exfoliates and hydrates your skin at the same time. The bar has a strip of coconut shell encased in a body butter, which means that whilst I’m in the shower I can exfoliate the dehydrated skin away and hydrate the fresh layer of skin that is exposed. It’s also great as it means that I don’t ‘have’ to moisturise when I get out of the shower if I’m too hot – is anyone else struggling with this at the moment?! 


The White Company White Lavender Moisturiser – So for the times when I’m not baking hot and can actually be arsed to cake myself in creams, I also reach out of this perfect one from The White Company. It is such a dream to apply and it is perfect just before bed as the white lavender scent makes me feel all sleepy and dreamy. It is a great one for the summer months as it is really nice and hydrating, but it also soaks into the skin really quickly. It is a great base to use before fake tan – another summer staple of mine!

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Self Tan Mousse* – I’ve already spoken about my love for this fake tan and if you want to read a bit more in depth about it I have a full blog post dedicated to it here. In conclusion, it is potentially the best fake tan I have used – ever! It is a mousse, which I apply with a mitt for even application. It dries pretty much instantly and only takes about an hour to develop. There is no need to wash it off, you can get dressed and head straight out of the door with an even, natural looking glow that lasts around five days – it’s amazing!! Plus, it means that I can look like I’ve spent all day sunbathing when I’ve actually been sat in the shade comfortably sipping on an iced coffee with my book. 


Madolyn
xxx

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

The Importance Of Meal Times | Uncle Bens, Dinner Brings Us Closer

  • Wednesday, 1 August 2018


It seems as though modern life is a complete balancing act. What with working a full time job, socialising, looking after a home, running a blog, going to the gym, spending time with family… its hard to find time to take things slow and take a step back. 

I feel as though meal times are a great example, and a true representation of what we find important. It’s a really good indicator of where we spend our time and I think it is a tool we can use to work out our priorities. I appreciate that may sound a little dramatic but bare with me… 


When I was growing up my mum and dad made having our evening meals together a priority. It was a chance for us all to catch up on the day, have a chat about school and work, and I believe it made us a very close family. It was an hour and a half every evening where we would sit together and really live in the moment, appreciating spending time with each other.

Flash forward eight years and I find that I do this less and less. At uni meal times were scoffing half a day old pizza before rushing to get ready to go out on the lash. Or a pitiful bowl of noodles by the side of my computer whilst I tried to write essays… When James and I moved in together after university, that mentality around meal times remained the same. We treated dinner as something to cook as quickly as possible, to eat as quickly as possible so that we could do X Y & Z.


But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve often thought more and more about the meal times I would share with my family. It may sound cliché, but I think that meal times really can bring people closer together. James and I are trying to sit and eat our meals together more often, in a less distracted environment. It is so easy to sit in front of the TV, shovel food down and speed off somewhere else. But the evenings when we sit together with no distractions are definitely my favourite. We talk and fill each other in on what we’ve been up to during the day, and more often than not, we carry on the conversation and find that X Y & Z wasn’t as important after all. 

We ended up doing this last night and we cooked a really nice vegan curry served with a packet of Uncle Ben’s Classic Rice. I’ve left the recipe below in case you fancy making it yourself (FYI, it was really good!)

Vegan Curry

Serving size: For 4

Ingredients

- Coconut Oil
- 1 can of Coconut Milk
- 1 can of Chickpeas
- 1 can of Tinned Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Curry Paste
- 3 Small Red Onions
- 1 handful of halved Cherry Tomatoes 
- ½ of a Cauliflower Head  
- ½ of a Broccoli Head 
- 1 Small Courgette

Method

Finely chop the red onion and add to a pre-heated pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Finely chop the courgette into slices and then strips and add these to the pan. Chop up the cauliflower and broccoli into small, bite sized chunks and add these to the pan. Remember to keep stirring. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add these, the tinned tomatoes and curry paste. Add half a can of water and the coconut milk then leave to simmer until all of the food is soft and cooked. Add the cherry tomatoes just before serving. 

Serve With

- A few wedges of fresh lime
- A bowl of plant based yoghurt
- Mango Chutney
- Nan Bread 


I know that we all have a lot on in life, that’s just the way that our society seems to be at the moment. But I also think that it is important to re-evaluate our time every once and a while, take a step back and breathe. An easy way to begin to do this is to dedicate more time during meals and sit and enjoy time with the ones that we love. 


Madolyn
xxx

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This is a collaborative post with Uncle Ben's but all thoughts, opinions and recipes are my own.
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