Monthly Favourites | January 2018

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  • Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Boy, am I glad that it is the last day of January today – does anyone else feel as though it has lasted forever?!

At the beginning of the month I was very much feeling the ‘New Year, New Me’ vibes. I was so excited for the New Year to begin, I had my bullet journal prepped and ready and I was looking forward to turning a new page. Four and a bit weeks later however I’m ready for January to be over. Bring on warmer weather, lighter evenings and a much shorter month! 

There are a few things that I have loved over the past few weeks however and here’s a mixture of beauty, fashion and lifestyle pieces…


On the beauty front, I have been obsessing over a couple of new skincare products that I have been using lately. The Urban Veda Face Wash is a lovely daily product that is vegan friendly and the mint extracts really wake up my face in the morning. I have also loved using a couple of products from Exuviance, a lovey dermatologist developed skincare brand. You can read a more in depth review of the Facial Polish and Oxygen Detox on the post I published earlier on in the month, but they feel incredible on my skin – almost like having a home spa treatment. 


Fashion-wise, this month has been the time for hats. Just before Christmas I picked up a black beret from Primark, which I ended up loving. Then, in the New Year sales I picked up this stunning hat from Oliver Bonas. I wasn’t sure if it suited me or not, but I had this image in my head of me wearing it as we travel across the US. It is a beautiful burnt orange, which strangely matches a lot of my wardrobe. For £12, I couldn’t pass it up! Have a read about what else I’m planning on taking to America in my USA Shopping List post.


In terms of lifestyle bits and pieces that I have loved this January, I have literally not been able to put down the L’art de la Simplistic book that I bought at the start of the New Year. I had a bit of a book haul which you can read more about here, and I have been glued to this little number ever since. It is all about how to appreciate your mind, body and lifestyle and it has really made me question things and want to improve. I have also been lighting this beautiful ‘RELAX’ candle by Katie Loxton that I got for Christmas, every time I have a bath. The soft, jasmine scent is so peaceful and I love the matt finish to the outside of the candle that provides a perfect glow whilst it’s lit.  

What have you enjoyed over the past four weeks?


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Four Ways To Enjoy Valentine's Day This Year

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  • Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Valentine’s Day can be a funny time of year. There is often a lot of pressure built up around the day, whether you’re single, married or in a new relationship. James and I have been together for just over nine years and so we have had our fair share of Valentine’s Days together. 

We never make too much of a big deal about it however and don’t even buy each other gifts. We usually just like to have a nice meal at home and use it as an excuse to spend some time together. Although I know a lot of people like to give gifts or think of exciting and romantic things to do. So whether you’re wanting to treat you man to a Men’s Trimmer, or your lucky lady to a beautiful new fragrance, have a read through these ideas if you’re in need of some inspiration this Valentine’s day…


It may seem like a bit of a cliché but planning a surprise for your loved one for Valentine’s Day can make it truly romantic. I’m not saying that you need to book a weekend away in Paris and spend a fortune on a swanky hotel (although that would be freaking amazing and if anyone wanted to do this for me I certainly wouldn’t turn it down!) But something that they would love and wouldn’t expect would be a Valentine’s gift. You could buy them their favourite sweet treat to have for pudding, run them a hot bath to enjoy before you go out, or pack a picnic and drive to a romantic spot. 


One way a lot of couples like to celebrate Valentine’s Day is by buying each other gifts. It’s a lovely time of year to treat the one you love with a little token to show them you care. Flowers, trinkets and chocolates are very popular gifts but if you fancied pushing the boat out then jewellery, watches or fragrances are another great option. 


One of the most important things about Valentine’s Day (and my personal favourite) is to take the opportunity to spend some time together. Whether you decide to treat each other to a surprise or a gift, be sure to spend some quality time with your partner. We like to celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a meal in and cracking open a bottle of wine. It’s nothing special but it is an excuse to have a good old catch up and a bit of a laugh together.


So whether you’re single, spending your first Valentine’s Day with your partner or can’t think of a way to out-do last year’s celebration, don’t put pressure on yourself. Remember that Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the year as is not the be all and end all of any relationship. If you put too much pressure on yourself or your partner it will feel forced. Relax and have a fun time no matter how you decide to spend the day, as long as you’re together, that’s all that matters!

Will you be celebrating Valentine’s this year?


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This is a collaborative post with Panasonic.
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A Few Simple Ways To Make Yourself Feel More Confident On A Daily Basis

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  • Thursday, 25 January 2018

Having confidence, or even a lack of it, can really affect my mood, my mindset and how I’m feeling day to day. Sometimes a bad day can become even worse if I also have a lack of self-confidence. However, if I’m feeling confident about myself, often things don’t seem so bad, and I feel a lot more positive about things going on around me. 

So I thought I would make a list of a few things that make me feel a lot more confident about myself. Not only to inspire a few thoughts for you guys reading this, but to also remind myself that doing just a few simple things can boost my confidence and help to improve my day.



Not only can self-confidence improve your opinion of the day, it has been proven that smiling and laughing promotes positive energy that will also improve your self confidence. Having a healthy white smile really helps me and so I love using toothpaste from Beverly Hills Formula. Their Perfect White Gold toothpaste not only keeps my breath minty fresh, it also keeps my teeth perfectly white. This combined with a red lip (read my top picks here) and I feel super confident knowing that my smile is on point.  


My complexion can be so temperamental over the course of a month – thanks hormones! – and when I have breakouts, redness and de-hydration I can feel so self conscious and down about myself. So I like to work hard to ensure that my complexion is as good as it can be (I just have to accept that I will get breakouts every time my period rolls around I guess) But when my skincare regime is regular and my complexion feels on point, I feel so much more confident about myself. My current routine seems to be working well so far, read more on my How To Get Radiant, Glowing and Dewy Skin This Winter blog post.  


My body is probably the biggest (big being the key word here) issue when it comes to my self-confidence. When I’m feeling sluggish, bloated or un-toned I always feel rubbish about myself and this in tern makes other aspects of my life feel negative. However, I always feel more confident when I’ve looked after my body and done a bit of exercise. So weather that’s going to the gym, going for a walk outside, doing a bit of yoga in the flat or following along with a YouTube workout tutorial, I feel so much better about myself afterwards.


I find that clothes are one of the easiest things to throw on and provide instant confidence. I may not be smiling, I may have a tone of breakouts and I may have run out of time to do any exercise, but if I throw on an outfit that I know looks good, I can’t help but feel confident. For me personally it’s some skinny high-waist jeans, an over-sized shirt pulled in at the waist and a pair of heeled boots. I feel like this outfit highlights my good bits, hides my bad bits, adds height and makes me feel on top form. 

What daily actions make you feel confident about yourself?


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This post contains PR products gifted by Beverly Hills but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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How Do You Know When You're A 'Professional' Blogger?

I have been writing my blog for a while now, but I would say that I have only been doing it seriously for the last two years or so. Madolyn Thinks started as a bit of a thing on the side, and it acted as a bit of a creative outlet as and when I had the time or the inclination.

However, over the last two years I spent more time and effort thinking about my content and photography. Last spring I was actually able to cut down my hours at work to allow more time to be spent on my blog, meaning that I could treat it more like a part time job. It was a little scary making this decision but so exciting and empowering.

I would love to be able to get to the point that I could work on my blog full time, make it my career and have it as my main source of income. In my eyes, I feel as though this will mean that I have ‘made it’ as a ‘professional’ blogger. But this got me thinking, what is it that makes someone a professional, or successful blogger?

In the blogging world success is measured in so many different ways, and there is no one true way of measuring whether you are professional or not. Is it based off of numbers, social media influence, engagement, brand collaborations, how much money is made? It’s a bit of a minefield.

Below are a few different ideas about how you can measure the success of your blog and your professionalism whether you write about beauty and fashion, gardening and pets or even movies about politics. Even if bloggers are yet to monetize their blog it doesn’t mean that they’re not a ‘professional’ blogger…

"Invest In The Best

You treat your blog like a business, and though all entrepreneurs know that their overheads have to be managed, they also know the importance of investing in the good stuff. This means that you’re prepared to invest net working capital in the right tools for the job. What is net working capital? Simply put it’s the money that you invest into a business to facilitate its growth. If you’re prepared to invest in the right laptop and hosting for your blog, your professionalism and attention to detail will shine through.

Know Your Niche

With so many blogs out there, trying to tackle too broad a range of topics is the behaviour of a rank amateur. The best bloggers know their niche both in terms of then kinds of content that they produce and the target audience. If you’re not just a parenting blog but a parenting blog with a specific focus on nutrition or if you’re not just a movie blog but a movie blog that focuses on science fiction, you’re more likely to reach your target audience organically.

Knowing your niche may not come easily or immediately. You may just slide into it, and that’s fine too. A combination of passion, knowledge and specialism, however, will lay a solid foundation for success.

Post Quality Content Daily

Sounds like a no brainer, right? Any blogger worth their salt knows the virtues of posting regular content. It’s essential in giving your Search Engine Optimization an organic boost and ensuring that readers have a reason to keep coming back every day and share your content among their friends, family and social media following. But it’s not enough to post fluffy and in substantial “filler” content. Your posts must have value to your readership imparting knowledge and information that they’ll find useful. Product reviews, lists and ‘how to’ manuals are great sources of attractive content if nothing springs to mind."


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How To Create The Perfect Red Lip This Winter

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  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

A red lip, the easiest way to take any look from casual to glam…

I love wearing a red or berry lip. I feel as though it transforms my makeup and instantly makes me feel more glamorous, confident and sassy. I find that during the warmer or summer months I will usually wear a red lip when I’m going out on an evening. However, during the cooler months, especially over Christmas and into the New Year, I love wearing a red lip during the day too. 

Below I have collected together some of my favourite red, or berry shades of lip products that I love wearing. There are a couple of different tones and finishes that I like to swap between depending on what sort of look I want to create. 


For days when I want to wear a classic red shade I am always drawn to Mac’s Miley Cyrus Viva Glam Lipstick. This was a limited edition shade but there are a few similar options on the Mac website. It is a beautiful, bright red that seems to suit my skin tone really well. It has a fairly dry formula that means that it lasts forever on the lips even when eating or drinking. This is a perfect day or night lipstick. 


If I want to wear a bold berry or red lip but want something a little more hydrating then the Bourjois Paris Velvet Lipsticks are a perfect option. They have a huge range of shades in their collection and they glide onto the lips like a dream. They stay kind of moist on the lips, which is great for me as formulas can sometimes be a bit drying. I do have to be careful though because they can smudge a fair amount if I’m not careful!


For a quick and easy red lip that has a matte finish, I love the Nars Lip Pencil in Cruella. The texture of the product glides onto the lips providing a deep and full colour, and the matte finish is perfect for longevity and durability. Plus, it is dead easy to apply with its pencil shaped applicator that makes it extremely precise if needed. 


When applying a red/berry lip, I love using liquid lipsticks. I find that I can be really precise with the application and they last a really long time on the lips. I am a huge fan of the ones from Kat Von De. The doe foot applicator makes the product to easy to apply and the finish is almost like a stain, it is so so smudge proof and provides a fantastic colour. 


It isn’t very often, but on the odd occasion I fancy applying a lip-gloss, I really like the ones from Tanya Burr’s beauty collection. I got this beautiful red one in her 12 Day Of Christmas set that she brought out last year. It provides a nice amount of red to the lips and a huge amount of gloss. It doesn’t feel overly sticky or slimy which is what tends to put me off wearing lip-glosses, so if I fancy a bit of shine, this is my go-to option. 


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Simple But Sensible Tips When Planning Travel Adventures

January can be a bit of a funny time of year. The weather is quite often horrible, money can be a little tight and the steady routine of work, gym, eat repeat can be mundane to say the least…

However, evenings in and the lack of money to go shopping with or spend on cocktails can give you lots of free time to plan what you want to do once you have a bit of money and the weather is a little easier to enjoy. One thing I like to plan is where I want to travel to during the year ahead.

You may already know, but come March I am going on a six week road trip around North America (yes, I am uncontrollably excited about it!) and so I have spent a lot of time researching what we want to do whilst we’re there. But perhaps a road trip isn’t your thing, or the thought of back packing across a country isn’t quite your cup of tea. But ‘State Hops’ or traveling more locally can be just as exciting and feed your wanderlust just as much.

Below are a few tips and pieces of advice that may help if you fancy popping to another state or county for a travel adventure.

"Straighten up and look planned

This little excursion is not without its pitfalls. It's okay, you can admit it, you’re not stinking rich. Money is something that doesn’t necessarily provide happiness, but it sure does give your options. Whether you want to rent a big enough car for all your friends, pay for meals in icon restaurants and buy cool souvenirs on the way, it’s all going to cost a bit of green. Don’t have extra few hundred or thousand just lying around, okay will here’s how to apply for a personal loan. Get thinking what kind of lending scheme you’re up for. Take a look at your options whether you want it secured or unsecured. Way up the risks and choose the right amount of funds to take with you on your state hop.

Know the quirks of the blues

America is a great place to live, but it's also huge and complex. Check out the basic laws in the state you’re going to explore. You never know you might be breaking a simple law that has a stringent fine to go with it. Something you are allowed to do at homes such as a U-turn or speed limit may not be tolerated by the men in blue who patrol the state you hopped into. All states have their own police departments and thus have their own website. You can check the law of the land on there and avoid any silly penalties.
Affordable sleepovers

It's tempting, but don’t skimp out on accommodation. Sure you may only be sleeping in the room for a day or two, but if there’s a quite a few of you, give the gang a proper resting place. Motels come with their own security issues, with the owners unable to guarantee the safety of your possessions. Plan the hostel, bed and breakfast or affordable hotel you’re going to stay at and make sure they have some kind of policy of reimbursement if they damage any of your things."

So whether you’re planning a big adventure, or a few days away in another state or county, it’s always a good to plan a little in advance. Even if it is just a quick Google to see what the weather may be like so that you know what clothes to bring!

Does anyone else enjoy some quiet time in January to plan travel adventures for the year ahead?


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Book Haul | New Reads

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  • Sunday, 21 January 2018

I could literally spend hours walking around bookshops…

I was so happy to receive Waterstones vouchers for Christmas and when the New Year sales started I had a bit of a shopping spree…

L’art De La Simplicite | Dominique Loreau

I feel as though I talk about it all of the time, but over the past year I have been on a bit of a mission to live a more minimalistic lifestyle. I have read a lot on the subject, but this little book really caught my eye and when I saw it was reduced in the Waterstones sale I decided to pick it up. Loreau grew up in France but has lived in Japan for the last thirty years, and she provides some amazing advice about living more, with less. 

Made In America | Bill Bryson

I spied this book last summer whilst killing some time when I was down in London for Fashion Week. I ended up reading the whole of the introduction right there in the shop and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head ever since. I have never read any of Bryson’s work before now but he is well known for his witty-style of travel writing. Made In America is about the history of America and why their culture and the way that they talk is what it is today. It is so interesting and I’m trying to finish it before we head over there in March. 

Silence | Erling Kagge

I hadn’t heard of this book before, but it came up on my Waterstones suggestions and I was extremely intrigued when I read the blurb. It is about a Norwegian man who discovered the importance of silence when on an exhibition and his radio broke. It seems as though it will be quite an inspirational read that will make me sit back and think about things – one of my favourite genres at the moment! 

Pretty Iconic | Sali Hughes

I have been lusting over this book ever since it came out. It is her second book that she has brought out and is a must-read for any fellow beauty lover. I must admit, the price put me off a little bit, but when I saw that it was in the Waterstones half price New Year sale I popped it straight into my basket. In this book, Hughes writes about the best of the best in the beauty industry covering hair products to eye creams to foundations. It isn’t exactly a read that will have you turning page after page, but it is more of a book that you can easily dip in and out of when you fancy. 

Jane Eyre | Charlotte Bronte

Ok, so I didn’t actually buy this book for myself. I got this book for Christmas as my secret Santa gift and I couldn’t have been happier. I always want to read more Classic novels and as I have never read Jane Eyre so this was a great pick. This edition is from the range of cloth bound hardback classic books that are exclusively available at Waterstones. Each book has a beautifully designed cover and my collection is slowly growing. 

I started reading this at the start of the New Year and I love it so far. It isn’t how I expected it to be, although I’m not too sure what my expectations were but I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes.

Have you picked up any good books lately?


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