Madolyn Thinks 2016

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  • Saturday, 31 December 2016

I can’t believe that it is the last day of 2016! Blogging wise, this has been my most productive year yet and although it has been difficult trying to juggle a full time job, have a social life and look after a house, I am pretty proud of how far Madolyn Thinks has come over the last twelve months. 

In this post I have complied all of my blog posts from the year, which are divided up into months. I really enjoyed putting this post together and having a look at how my blog, content and photographs have evolved over the past twelve months. I hope you enjoy have a read through…


Happy New Year | Aims & Goals For 2016, What I Got For Christmas 2015, How To Relax After The Festive Season & Make Time For Yourself, What's Inside Soap & Glory's The Whole She-Bang, How To Keep Warm & Comfortable Whilst Exercising This Winter, A Reading List For The New Year, New Make Up Collection | Introducing Laminu, Taking Down The Decorations & Creating A Fresh Start | My First YouTube Video, Four Ways To Style A Simple Staple | Joules Jumper, An Ode To Jo Malone | Christmas Cracker Gift Set, New Additions To My Perfume Collection, Four Simple Outfit Picks For January, How To Make The Perfect French Toast, Current Hair Care Essentials, Brand Focus | Coconut Lane & Discount Code, Winter Nail Varnish Picks, A Simple Winter Make Up Tutorial, A Few Things I Have Picked Up Lately | Home Wear Haul, Brand Focus | A Few Nars Essentials, How To Save Money | A Few Hints & Tips, Lush Valentine Collection | My Top Picks



Nars For Space NK Apothecary | The Modern Minimalist Collection, The Perfect Winter Polish | Essie Cocktail Bling, 20 Beauty & Makeup Blog Post Ideas, The Perfect Smokey Eye Companion | Nars Velvet Shadow Stick, Woman In Black | Weekend OOTD, Mac Cosmetics | Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour, Sunday In Pictures | Mother's Day & Afternoon Shopping, New Skincare | Three Organics Control Me Facial Oil, New From Mac | Two Highly Pigmented Powder Eyeshadow, March Wish List | Make Up, Skincare & Fashion, The Decision To Buy A National Trust Membership, Spring Make Up Picks, Four Recent Reads, Fashion Staple | Black Wool Hat, FOTD | Featuring The New Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint, My Tips To Successfully Blog With A 9 - 5 Job, Spring Time Beauty Picks, Photo Diary | Bank Holiday Easter Weekend, OOTN | Monochrome Loving With Little Mix, Into The Kitchen | Using Up Your Easter Egg Chocolate,         



Monthly Favourites | April 2016 | The Non-Beauty Edit, My Little Box | April 2016, Ivy Park | New Workout Wardrobe Addition, New From Lush | Cup O' Coffee Face & Body Mask, Hair Styling | Braid Loving, My Everyday Make Up Brushes, Yorkshire Wildlife Centre | Photo Diary & Video, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel | First Impressions, Hello Fresh | Classic Box Review, Introducing Urban Decay's Alice Through The Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette, Breakfast Picnics & Summer Loving | Photo Diary, Make Up Storage | Travel Beauty Bag, Into The Kitchen | 200 Calorie Healthy Oat Muffins, Little Things That Make A Big Difference When Relaxing On Holiday, The Perfect Summer Companion | Dior Self Tanning Natural Glow Creme, Charlotte Tilbury | My New Favourite Lip Combination, Longleat Photo Diary, My Little Box Unboxing | May 2016  


Beauty Favourites | May 2016, Photo Diary | Week Of Pure Relaxation At Centre Parcs Longleat Forest, A Few New Beauty Additions | NYX Haul, Book Review | Career Of Evil By Robert Galbraith, Natural Make Up Look Featuring Urban Decay's Alice Through The Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette, Why Taking The Time To Relax Is So Important, Photo Diary | Keswick Mountain Festival, Getting Summer Ready | Make Up Picks, Benefit Cosmetics | Brow Re-Brand Launch Collaboration With Elle Magazine, Into The Kitchen | My Favourite Breakfast Smoothie, My Little Box Unboxing | Summer Vibes June 2016, Bloggers Ball 2016 | Photo Diary, Bloggers Ball | exciting Products & New Releases, First Impressions | Three Organics Intense Nourish Hair Elixir, 24 Hours In London | Eating, Exploring & Blogging Events, Getting Summer Ready | Nail Varnish Picks, Getting Festival Ready | Heeled Hunters Wellies, 20 Food Blog Post Ideas



Getting Ready For A Girly Night | Skincare, Make Up & The Air Time App, Book Review | The House At Riverton By Kate Morton, Wedding Guest OOTD & FOTD, Interviews, Photo Shoots & Lots Of Goodies | The Bloggers Festival Overview 2016, 8 Reasons Why Autumn Is My Favourite Season, The Importance Of Cleansers | My Top 3 Picks, Book Review | Colours Of The Mountain By Da Chen & My Holiday Reading List, Unemployment & Getting Back Into The Work Place, Blackout Curtains & Other Tips To Get Autumn Ready & Ensure A Good Night's Sleep, Autumnal Make Up Picks, Thinking Out Loud | My Thoughts On Turning Twenty Five, Hair Removal & Aftercare | Introducing AloeClear & Friction Free Shaving, A New Autumnal Staple | Bargain Jacket From Zara, The Art Of Muti-Masking With 7th Heaven, Photo Diary | A Birthday Trip That Took Me Back To My Childhood, The Importance Of Toners | My Top Three Picks



Benefits of List Making & Note Taking, Current Beauty Wishlist | November 2016, Four TV Series TO Watch This A/W, My Bedside Beauty Picks, Autumnal Date Night Make Up Tutorial | YouTube Video, My On Flight Essentials, The Pros & Cons Of Live Music | Some Live Music Appriciation, Ways To Embrace The Darker Nights & Colder Weather, Beauty Products For A Weekend In The Cold, Fashion Haul For A Trip To  Slovakia, What To Pack For A Long Weekend In The Cold, Christmas With The White Company, Fall Beauty Inspiration With Adore Me, Bratislava Vlog Part One | YouTube Video, A Capsule Wardrobe | Hopes, Dreams & Goals, Book Review | A Visible World By Mark Slouka, Bratislava Vlog Part Two | YouTube Video, Top Ten Sights To See In Bratislava, Harry Potter Tag | YouTube Video, Treat Yo Self | Getting My Nails Done, 5 Of The Best Places To Eat In Bratislava, Beauty Advent Calendars | The Countdown To Christmas



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New Year's Eve GRWM 2016

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  • Friday, 30 December 2016

I love being on the cusp of the start of a new year. I get really excited at the idea of starting afresh and having the feeling of a new start and a embracing a different frame of mind. This year James and I are spending New Years Eve with a couple of friends, an Indian takeaway and a few bottles of wine. Although we are having a quiet night in, I still like to dress up and make a bit of an effort to kick-start the New Year. 


In terms of skincare I will keep things fairly simple, cleansing my face with the Benefit Foamingly Clean Face Wash that lathers up really easily and always makes my skin feel so fresh and cleansed. Once my face is clean I will apply a generous layer of Lush’s Cup O’ Coffee Face and Body Mask that is an exfoliating mask made up of coffee grounds, leaving my skin feeling hydrated, awake and blemish free.


After applying my usual base I want to keep the main focus of my make up on my eyes, which is easily done with these Laura Mercier Eye Shadow Sticks. These featured in my Beauty Lovers Gift Guide however I actually bought them as a Christmas treat for myself. They are beautiful eye shadow sticks that blend really easily which allows me to create a soft or dramatic look. Followed with lashings of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara I think this dramatic eye look works well with a natural lip and so I will be picking up Mac’s Brave lipstick to finish it off.

Hair & Finishing Touches

On a daily basis my hair is usually blow-dried straight or tied up in some way. For an evening out I like to style it a little different and love to use my Remington Wand Curler. It is a bit fiddly at first but after a while it is easy enough to do, and it creates lovely tight curls. I prefer to just curl the ends of my hair and then add volume to the roots. Once styled I like to spray my hair with Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Hair Spray which is an absolute dream. It really holds my curls in place and provides that extra volume I love so much.

Once I am dressed I love to apply a few sprays of Jo Malone’s Blackberry & Bay Fragrance on to my neck and wrist pulse points. It is such a beautiful scent that I save for special occasions.


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Recent Reads & Reading Plans For 2017

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  • Thursday, 29 December 2016

One of my favourite presents is books. I love to read and although I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to sit down and curl up with a new read, it is still one of my favourite things to do. I am currently off work for ten whole days due to the Christmas break which is pure heaven as I have been able to read to my heart’s content, without the guilt that I should be doing something else…

I have read a few books over the past few weeks that I thought I would share in a Recent Reads blog post, but with it being the New Year just around the corner, I thought that I would also create a bit of a bucket list of things I want to read this year. I was given some beautiful books for Christmas last year, and I am ashamed to say that I have barely made a dent in the pile over the course of 2016. One of my main goals for the new year is to read more and to read through my ever growing collection. I especially want to read more Classics and I got a couple last year that I really want to stick my teeth into. 

A Few Recent Reads

This was the most recent book I read as part of the book club that I am a member of. I found it a really interesting and gripping read about a woman in her 80s looking back at her time spent in Scotland and the relationships she formed with a specific family; the Gillespie’s. I really enjoyed the way the book had two parallel stories, one of Harriet’s time in Glasgow in the late 1880s and one of Harriet’s life as an eighty year old woman reflecting and writing her memoirs. The book holds history, crime, deception, thrill and heart breaking warmth and I found it very difficult to put down. 

This was a little lighter and easier to digest that Gillespie and I, and it definitely left me wanting to read the next two books in the series. It begins with Jacob Portman loosing his grandfather and in an attempt to gain some sort of closure, he and his father travel from the states to a rural part of Wales in order to gain some insight into the life of his grandfather’s upbringing. It is a very mythical story, which left me wanting more. The simple, yet gripping storyline was accompanied by brilliant descriptions that easily allowed me to visualise each character and the scenes in which they were placed. For an easy, fantasy read I would really recommend this book to be next on your list. 

I picked up this book a few weeks ago and it was featured in my Book Lovers Gift Guide that was published just before Christmas. I am only part way through as it is one of those books that is easy to pick up and put down whenever you fancy. I have high hopes for this book as I can already feel my outlook on being tidy, and life in general, changing. It is an inspiring read that encourages decluttering, being successful and promotes a brand new outlook on life. I am excited to read it all and begin 2017 with a new outlook on the way I do things. 

Reading Plans For 2017

As I type this my landing and bedroom is scattered with a huge mound of books. James and I have been on a bit of a mission over the last few weeks, and especially during this Christmas break to try and organise, get rid of unwanted stuff and head in the direction of becoming a bit more minimalistic. I always think that this is a good idea at this time of year as you can get rid of old things to replace them with new Christmas presents and start the new year with a clearer frame of mine. 

One of my goals for the New Year is to read a hell of a lot more. I have a huge bookshelf and my aim over the next day or two is to sort through everything on it. I wanted to donate books to charity, give them away to friends or family and create a bookshelf of my favourites and books I plan to read. As I have said, I still have books from last Christmas that I am yet to read and I want to make it my goal to read as much as possible. I was thinking about doing one of the reading challenges that surface around this time of year, but I decided that I don’t want to make it a chore. I want to read because I enjoy reading and I want to read the books that I want to read rather than what is on a list. 

With that being said, I am going to take full advantage of these last few days off work, grab a coffee and curl up with my latest read; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


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Vlogmas Day 21, 22, 23 & 24

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  • Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

I hope you're having a wonderful day! I just wanted to quickly put a blog post together with the final four daily Madolyn Thinks Vlogmas videos of 2016. Thank you so much for those of you that have followed my Vlogmas journey throughout December. If you have missed any of my videos you can watch them all in various blog posts that have been published throughout the month, or you can head over to my YouTube Channel and view them all there.

In this video I have a night in by myself, bake some amazing dark chocolate and orange cookies and show off my favourite bath time goodies.

In this video I have a cosy night in with Beatrix Potter and watch the Tale Of Gloucester as well as showing my evening skincare routine in action.

In this video it is my last day at work before breaking up for Christmas, I have a major tidy of the house and finally wrap the rest of my Christmas presents.

It's Christmas Eve and that also means that it is my last Vlogmas video! Thank you so coming along with me throughout December! In this video I head over to see family, drink pink fizz and dress up Nelson, my cat, into a pretty cute outfit!


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My Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Traditions

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  • Saturday, 24 December 2016

Since moving out into my own home, Christmas has become a bit of a whirlwind. Growing up, my family and I had the same Christmas traditions every year and when I met James he became a part of that. However, now we have our own place, things have been a little different over the past few years which I find sad in the sense that I am growing up but it’s also exciting that we are able to make and create our own traditions. 

Last year we decided to spend Christmas at our home just me, James and Nelson. This year however we are having a bit more of a social Christmas that has been planned in a way that we are able to see everyone, yet not feel rushed about and all over the place. 

On Christmas Eve we are going around to my grandma’s house in the afternoon and then we’re picking up James’ mum and bring her back to ours for tea. It had become a bit of a tradition in my family that we would get a Chinese takeaway for tea on Christmas Eve and this is something I have taken with me in my own home so James, his mum and I are having that on Saturday.

We are staying at our house on Christmas Eve, after taking James’ mum home, and I will most probably have a bath with a few festive Lush products that I have purchased on the build up to the big day. Another tradition that I have taken with me into my new home with James is to wake up Christmas morning and open our stocking’s in bed. We then tumble down stairs and open all of the lovely presents that have been left (sneaked in the middle of the night) under the Christmas tree in the living room. Once all of our presents are open we have a breakfast of pain au chocolates and bucks fizz. I’m not too sure where this morning routine has come from, I think it was just slowly perfected over the years at my parents’ house with my brother. Even though I have now moved out, I can’t imagine spending Christmas morning any other way which unfortunately means for James, he won’t either!

Another tradition that has stuck with me and my family throughout the years is that we always dress up on Christmas day. I have plenty of friends that find this odd as their family tradition is to spend the day in PJs with no makeup on and their hair scragged back. However, I think that it is lovely to put on a nice dress, do my hair and put on some festive make up; have a read of my Festive Makeup Picks blog post. This year I plan on wearing the same dress that I did for my work’s Christmas party; see my Christmas Party OOTN & FOTN blog post, and my over the knee grey boots. 

We will also be seeing my Auntie, Uncle and Cousin during the evening of Christmas Day after we’ve recovered from my mum’s amazing Christmas dinner that we have at around 2pm. After much drinking and game playing we all usually stumble up to bed to have a long night’s sleep knowing that a lazy boxing day will be there to greet us when we wake up. 

I am really excited for Christmas this year as it is the first one that neither me or James will be working in retail and so we have the full three days off together to see family and embrace the Christmas Spirt.


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Festive Make Up Picks

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  • Friday, 23 December 2016

Make up at Christmas time is one of my favourite collections. I love the bold lips, dark eyes, shimmery complexions and berry nails. It feels as though anything goes because who is going to question a bright red lip, a smokey eye, lots of liner, glitter and shimmer when it’s Christmas time?! With this in mind I thought that I would share a few of my favourite festive make up picks that I will definitely be reaching for come Sunday. 


During any time of the year I tend to keep my eyes as a focal point when it comes to my makeup, but this especially rains true during the festive season. I love to create smokey eyes and use a lot of glitter and shimmer on my lids. I really like the Barry M Dazzle Dust and this particular one I have is a lovely shimmery copper colour that I think looks lovely when applied on the centre of my lids to create a warm glow. I am also a fan of purple eye shadow at Christmas time and find that a lovely smokey eye can be created using this really pretty No7 Purple Glitter Eyeshadow. For the centres of my eyes I like to brighten them up with the Benefit Cream Eyeshadow in Bikini Tini which is a lovey shimmy glow that makes a beautiful sparkle. 

Aside from shimmery eyeshadow I also like to apply a sweep of the Benefit Push Up They’re Real Gel Liner on my upper lash line in partner with lashing of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Black Mascara that evenly separates and lifts each lash creating a very full and long finish that really opens up my eyes. 


At Christmas time I like to keep my lips looking very classically festive and I find that the Mac Viva Glam 2 paired with Mac’s He Said She Said Lip Liner provides just that. It has taken me a while to find the ‘Right’ shade of red for me and I have typically fallen in love with a limited edition shade! I love that this is a matte lipstick that has great pigmentation and fantastic longevity, something that is ideal around this time of year what with all of the food and drink on offer. 

Finishing Touches 

Aside from my eyes and lips, during the festive season I tend to keep my makeup pretty much the same as it is the rest of the year. I may apply a little more Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Powder in Lightscapade to add some highlight to my brow and cheek bones and add a little Nars Blush in Orgasm with its soft shimmer and slightly warmer pink finish but that’s about it. 

To finish off my festive makeup picks I had to mention Tanya Burr’s Glitter nail varnish in Sleigh Bells that I received in her 12 Days of Christmas beauty Advent Calendar. It is the perfect Christmas shade as either a top coat alongside a berry coloured nail varnish or to be used on its own, it’s so pretty! 


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Vlogmas 2016 Day 18, 19 & 20

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  • Thursday, 22 December 2016

My penultimate round up of the last few days worth of vlogs. I can't believe that it is nearly Christmas and I only have three days left of Vlogmas!! In this post you can catch up on Vlogmas Day Eighteen, Vlogmas Day Nineteen and Vlogmas Day Twenty. As ever, if you fancied heading over to my channel to give me a cheeky follow I would be really grateful. 

In this video James and I go out for breakfast, finish our Christmas shopping and have a very festive afternoon wrapping our presents whilst watching Christmas films and drinking hot chocolate.

In this video I catch up on my beauty advent calendar, have a mad dash around town after work and cook up a mean prawn pasta dish.

In this video I have a Christmas get together at my monthly Book Club meeting, talk about my love of blogging and enjoy a beautiful, healthy tea. 


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Getting Crafty This Christmas

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  • Tuesday, 20 December 2016

I love getting crafty and making things around this time of year, however it can sometimes feel as though I run out of time and don’t always get to achieve what I want to. It was really nice to be able to set some time aside to create some homemade decorations, and even though wrapping can feel like a bit of a bore, when it is all done there is a huge sense of achievement when you can see a pile of wrapped presents. 

Wreath & Floral Craft

If you watched my Vlogmas Day Seventeen video, then you will have seen that I spent a lovely afternoon with my Mum and James’ Mum getting crafty. We went into my Mum’s garden that is filled with tones of beautiful greenery, and got some bits of yew, ivy and two types of holly, to make some lovely Christmas wreaths and mantel piece decorations. 

I was so happy with the end result and we all had a lovely afternoon with sausage rolls and copious amounts of cups of tea! I made the base of the wreath with yew and layered on some pieces of ivy and the odd piece of holly. I then wired on a few sliver pieces of Pot Pori that I got in a set from M&S. Our colour theme for Christmas is silver this year and so I thought it would look nice if I incorporated this into my wreath a little bit.

For the mantel piece decoration, I again started with a base of yew and used some of the softer and lighter pieces of holly to build up some structure. I secured a few more of the sliver pieces of the Pot Pori onto the garland with a hot glue gun. I think that having these two pieces of greenery really add to the festive feel of the house and make it seem a little more Christmas-y.

Wrapping Christmas Presents 

I wrapped a few of my Christmas presents last week but on Sunday, James and I put on a Christmas film, lit some candles, made some hot chocolate and wrapped all of our Christmas presents, see it all on my Vlogmas Day Eighteen video. It was a lovely and relaxing way to spend the Sunday afternoon before Christmas. We have a bit of a manic week on the build up to Christmas and I don’t think that we’ll have much opportunity to spend quality time together, so it was lovely to sit together, feeling festive, in the calm before the storm. 

I was planning to be a bit more adventurous this year when it came to wrapping my Christmas presents. I had wanted to decorate my own paper, and get all ‘arts and crafts’ with accessories, bows and ribbons. However, I decided to down play the whole ‘fancy wrapping’ concept with the idea that people just rip off the wrapping paper and are only bothered about what’s underneath anyway. 

I bought some paper from Ikea last year which was a bargain. I know that black and white isn’t particularly festive looking but I think that it looks sophisticated and pretty anyhow. With the plain, matte, black paper I have tied bows of red and white twisted cord that I think adds a nice Christmas-y feel to the gifts. If anything, I pretty sure it’ll go down quite well with James. 


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Vlogmas Day 14, 15, 16 & 17

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  • Sunday, 18 December 2016

I can't believe that it is now Vlogmas Day Eighteen! It's mental how fast December is flying by and that Christmas is one week today!! In this post, my daily Vlogmas videos for the past four days are collected together for you to watch incase you've missed any. For all my other Vlogmas videos be sure to head on over to my YouTube Channel; Madolyn Thinks.

In this video I talk though my OOTD and have a relaxing evening at home with some homemade Carbonara. 

In this video I talk though my OOTD and have a relaxing evening at home with some homemade Carbonara. 

In this video James and I take Nelson to the vets, we head over to Whitby for the day and celebrate my brother's birthday with lots of food and drinks.

In this video I go to a relaxing, Christmas Yoga session, get crafty with Christmas Wreaths and see some incredible Christmas lights!


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My Favourite Things About The Festive Season

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  • Friday, 16 December 2016

I am a huge lover of the festive season. Autumn is my favourite time of the year but as soon as December strikes, I fully embrace the Christmas Spirt and get so excited for the month ahead. There are so many things that get me in the Christmas mood and I am a huge lover of feeling festive. 

I feel happier during this month and really enjoy the build up to the big day. I feel as though I have been a lot more organised this year in terms of presents and seeing friends and family. Last year I felt very unprepared but this year I have been a lot more organised in terms of gifts, decorations and even my blogging schedule. It feels as though things are a lot more relaxed this year which is great as it gives me much more time and energy to focus on my favourite things about the festive season;

Christmas Markets
Mulled Wine
Present Shopping
Present Wrapping
Christmas Films
Cheesy Christmas Songs
Red Nails
Mince Pies
Woolly Jumpers
Hot Chocolate
Long Walks
Cosy Evenings In
Christmas Jumpers
Lush Christmas Collection
The White Company Winter Scent
Christmas Tree Shopping
Decorating The House
Pigs in Blankets
Christmas Parties
Glitter Make Up
Red Lips
Bailies Coffee

What are your favourite things about the festive season?


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