Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Instavixen Roundup #12

pre-work selfie, healthy eating, finished product of soy and ginger salmon with veggie stir fry, starting the Virals series by Kathy Reichs, watching Pretty Little Liars, remembering an awesome holiday to Cornwall, visiting the fish shop, moving house, flower crown, yummy treat, Coate Water, housewarming gift, PLL finale, my love, making Mexican food, my Prairie Charms box!
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Well, well, well, hello there everyone! It has been ever such a long time since I sat down to write an Instavixen post and update you all on my little life. So much has changed since my last post in this series, my life has completely changed! OK, a little dramatic, but a lot has happened since then.

So, what did August have in store for me then?

As I mentioned several billion times, on the 7th August I moved to Swindon officially and started renting a little flat of my own. Amazingly, the move went super smoothly and I was settled in and unpacked in a matter of days with minimal stress. I'm really happy with my flat. Although I was very emotionally attached to my last flat, it was in the middle of nowhere and just too expensive for me on my own, especially while in debt. Living in Swindon is so much more affordable and a much better location. I am 2 minutes away from Tesco, 10 minutes away from the town centre, 15 minutes away from James and Genghis. It is totally amazing having space all to myself again and I feel great.

Unfortunately, I have also had a rather terrifying experience since moving back to Swindon. One Sunday morning I woke up to a text from James saying that he had lost Genghis. I've never jumped out of bed so quickly in my life. I grabbed the nearest clothes I could, shoved my glasses on, pulled my hair up and sprinted to his house. We spent seven or eight gruelling hours combing the fields behind his house searching for the poor little puppy. Posters were put up and a reward was offered. Just as I was beginning to lose hope, some kids found beloved Genghis caught up in the middle of a bramble bush. Genghis was THANK GOD safely returned, but jesus, one of the most harrowing days of my life. And errr, now that it turned out OK, one of the best days EVER for my fitness levels, haha!!

As you may know, I have also been taking leaps and strides into improving my life as much as possible, as detailed in my Operation Supervixen August Update post. Today, I am pleased to say I took steps towards something that genuinely is going to transform my life forever. I finally booked a driving lesson. This time, I fully intend on not giving up until I pass my test, own a car and am comfortable driving myself to work. Independence and freedom are truly in my grasp now!


Reading: I just finished the third book in Kathy Reichs' Virals series. I am in love with it and will no doubt start the fourth one tonight.

Listening To: Everything! Not only am I listening to my current favourites, Wednesday 13 and Marina and the Diamonds, I am also rediscovering old favourites like Sleater-Kinney, The Donnas and Bourbon Crow. There were also two really good versions of Radio 1's summer mixes that I liked a lot, so I've had those on a few times as well. I listen to music so much more when I live alone and I've been loving it.

Watching: To be honest, TV has really taken a backseat in my life recently. Pretty Little Liars is done for the time being and I even finished rewatching Charmed. Because I don't live with James anymore, I haven't even been watching anything with him. I haven't been able to decide what to watch since finishing Charmed so I've just found other things to do with my time! However, I've noticed from Dusk til Dawn is back now...!

Playing: Shock horror! NOT STAR STABLE. Another thing that has unexpectedly taken a backseat in my life is my favourite game Star Stable. Never thought it would happen. However for two days in my new flat, I had no internet so I resorted to digging out my Nintendo DS. I started playing Pokemon again and now I can't stop!

Looking Forward To: Tomorrow and having a lovely Bank Holiday Monday day out! Bank holidays are the best thing about that office life haha.

How has your week been?

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Arbonne Easy on the Eyes Eye Makeup Remover

Arbonne Products are sold entirely through a network of Independent Consultants. I am an Independent Consultant. If this review interests you and you decide to make a purchase, please visit or use consultant ID 441132670. Although I am building a business with Arbonne, my opinions of these products are entirely my own and 100% honest. I could never build a business with a company I didn't wholeheartedly believe in. To read more about Arbonne, click here.

Today I'm talking about a very handy little product indeed. Amongst beauty bloggers there's certainly an attitude that makeup wipes are BAD. But what on earth do you do when you're in a hurry or standing up at your sink seems like too much effort? Because if makeup wipes are bad, sleeping in your makeup is THE DEVIL.

Enter Arbonne's eye makeup remover. A nice water based solution you simply saturate a cotton pad with and wipe across your eyes to remove that pesky eye makeup. It works great at removing the majority of your makeup before a proper cleanse to make sure your skin really is super duper clean before you go to bed.

However, I tend to use this product exactly as I would a micellar water. I don't stop at my eyes, I do my whole face as well! I am very, very lazy when it comes to taking my makeup off and this is a great and much more effective alternative to makeup wipes. 

I like this solution a lot because it really is so, so gentle on the eyes, no sting at all, unlike other products I've reviewed on this blog before. It's also effective because I don't have to tug and tug at my eyes to get my mascara off, which can be stubborn when using something like a makeup wipe. 

A little bit pricy, but I really love this product and would (obviously) recommend it to someone looking for a little extra boost in their cleansing routine!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Operation Supervixen: August Update

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In June 2015, I decided I was utterly fed up of being miserable, unwell and feeling like I wasn't reaching my full potential in life. To combat this, I decided I was going to radically transform my diet, maintain an exercise routine and centre my leisure activities around personal development. To keep me accountable and help others in the process, I started Operation Supervixen.

Hello and welcome to my August Update on my Operation Supervixen progress. It turns out making the decision to commit to these monthly update posts was a good idea and has provided a large source of inspiration for me to actually hit my goals and make some progress. You can read my July update here

Food 6/10
I still have a bit to go before I can call my diet a healthy one, but I've seen some great improvements this month. I've actually eaten fruit and vegetables every day which although embarrassing to admit, I haven't ever really managed before. I "lost" marks here because I'm currently obsessed with chorizo and don't understand "moderation" when it comes to this food. Also, I realised the B+M Bargains next door to my flat sells Space Raiders..!

Exercise 7/10
I have seen a dramatic improvement in the amount of exercise I do this month and I'm feeling really proud. I made it roller derby three out of four times this week and it would have been four had circumstances not been beyond my control. I've seriously upped the amount of walking I do and have finally started hitting my steps goals again and this weekend just gone, I even managed to do some Blogilates workouts!

Smoking 10/10
This month I have not stopped THINKING about cigarettes. Do you know what stopped me? I kept thinking about how I'd feel if I had to report back on this post saying I'd caved in and had a cigarette!! So, amazingly, I am still a non-smoker. 

Finances 6/10
Although I am in my overdraft this month, I had fully planned for this to happen because I had to pay the deposit for my new flat this month. However, I've docked marks this month because I am still buying far too many takeaways. I've also started colouring in naughty purchases in red on my budget spreadsheet and doing that has made me realise I need to exercise a little more control. Haven't bought any clothes or makeup though, yay!

Productivity 7/10 
I'm so happy with the things I have managed to achieve this month. The majority of my evenings have been productive. I've had a few lazy nights and weekends, but I've also started a FutureLearn course and I'm actually using my Skillshare membership. Hooray!

So how have I been feeling?

Mentally: For the first few weeks of the month, I felt very good. I was feeling positive and powerful. However these past few days I have become quite anxious, upset and worried a lot of the time. I was a little concerned I was starting to have another severe depressive episode but I think I'm just having a bad few days. I do have a lot going on in my personal life so that might explain it. 

Physically: To be honest, this is the best I've been feeling physically in a long, long time. My severe tiredness I had been experiencing has been subsiding loads and apart from the day after I finished moving into my new flat and organising everything where I slept all day, being exhausted hasn't really bothered me. I have however noticed I am more dependent on caffeine than I would like to be as the days I nap are the days where I haven't had any!!

August Goals:
  • Go to roller derby every Thursday the only one I missed wasn't by choice so claiming success!
  • Go to roller disco next Friday - decided against this because it was the day I moved into my new flat and I had too much to sort out! 
  • Take a lunch time walk if I am in the office success! 
  • Walk Genghis every day (may modify this goal when I move out next week because I won't be living with him anymore) I did this while I still lived with James, and I have been doing it most days since I moved out too, unless it has been raining or I've had stuff to sort out after work, so success! 
  • Have a smoothie or other healthy alternative for breakfast every day success! There were literally only a handful of days where this didn't happen, and even on the days I didn't manage this I still had veg in another form 
  • Do one productive activity after work every day, even if it's just tidying up or replying to blog post comments success! Only a handful of evenings where this didn't happen
  • Stick to my budget!!!!! - not quite there. I was good at not buying clothes and makeup, but I just tend to redirect my spend on too much food and justify it by saying 'I need to eat don't I'
Goals For September: 
  • Stick to my budget, but add an allowance for a takeaway every other week (I know I won't stick to no takeaways at all)
  • Only write my meal plans and go shopping on a FULL stomach so I stop buying food I don't want or need
  • Try to use up as much of the food I have lying around in my cupboards as possible before buying more cupboard food
  • On top of my extra walking and attending roller derby every week, add in at least one extra workout each week
  • Complete the FutureLearn courses I have enrolled in due to end in September, as well as one Skillshare course a week 
Let's make September the best month yet! 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Vixen Thinks: It's OK To Switch Off From Current Events


The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch:! Thank you!

You've probably noticed the news isn't all that pleasant recently. I don't know about you, but sometimes, reading the news every day really, really takes its toll on me. I logged onto the BBC website earlier today and after reading just two or three words an overwhelming wave of sadness hit me. I knew it was time to take a step back from being so switched on.

I wholeheartedly recommend taking regular breaks from reading and watching the news.

Except, there's a little bit of guilt which comes with that, isn't there?

I've definitely noticed a bit of snottiness, a bit of nastiness when people admit they don't keep up to date with current affairs. Particularly among so-called intelligent people, there seems to be an attitude that everyone has to know everything that is going on in the world at all times. Apparently, being unaware makes people less intelligent.

I call bullshit.

Reading the news and keeping up to date with what's going on in the world around us isn't usually a pleasant experience. The sad truth is that nasty, nasty things happen on this planet of ours and you're mad if you think that reading about murder, rape, war, famine and the like on the daily basis isn't going to have an affect on your psyche.

For a while, I worried that it was a sign of privilege that I am in a position where I can simply switch off and avoid the news and well, it absolutely is a sign privilege. However, just because we have privilege, it doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise it.

Everyone has the right to do what is best for themselves and their mental health and if that means being completely oblivious to the horrid events that have been happening recently, then so be it. It's something I recommend and it's something no one should feel ashamed of.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

FOTW: Paige Matthews Inspired

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Loose Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Bronzer, Arbonne Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshdows in Dope and Strike (Vice 2 Palette), Arbonne Eyeliner, Rimmel Eyeliner in Nude, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (discontinued, new shade Magnolia v. similar)

Hello and welcome back to my Face of the Week (FOTW) feature! As a beauty blogger I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup I own. I either end up in a rut and wear the same things over and over and over, or I use different things every day which leads to a chaotic dressing table and too many dirty makeup brushes! To streamline my routine and get as much use out of all my products as possible, I pick one makeup look to wear all week long before I switch it up for the next week. And that's how FOTW was born.

After last week's oopsy-daisy moment, I decided that this week, it was most definitely time to rock a neutral eye look. I've been watching a hell of a lot of Charmed recently (this is what happens when I don't have a boyfriend to contend with when watching TV in the evening) and I've been really admiring Paige's makeup towards the end of season 7 and during season 8. She always has a very, very nude eyeshadow on, with just a hint of shimmer in it and a lovely line of eyeliner to finish it off. Her lipstick seems to vary from nice reds to lovely pink based nudes and so I thought I'd try to recreate something similar. 

Screenshot featuring Paige from the show, image obviously doesn't belong to me! 
After preparing my base as usual, I went for my Arbonne Bronzer as I feel it complements nude eye makeup looks very well and of course, I had to add the Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter as well because it is a perfect pairing. 

Next, I turned to my trusty Urban Decay Vice 2 eyeshadow palette and realised that the shade Dope shade was pretty much exactly what I wanted, so onto my lid it went. However, I wanted to give it a little bit of twist, and so I decided on the shade Strike to give it a little something-something extra. Naturally, I finished it with a flick of liquid eyeliner and brightened my waterline with Rimmel's nude eyeliner to make my eyes really pop.

Deciding what lipstick to wear was really, really hard. Eventually I went with the Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (sadly discontinued, but the new shade Magnolia is pretty similar with better ingredients!) because my old style Arbonne lipsticks far outnumber my new style ones and I wanted to show them some love! 

Overall, I'm pretty damn pleased with the look and despite featuring a gold eyeshadow, it's something I can see myself wearing over and over again. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

What I Wore To Work: Lace Blazer

Outfit Details:
Lace Blazer: Missguided
Peplum Dress: Missguided
Necklace: really old and can no longer remember where I got it from! 

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Loose Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Bronzer, Arbonne Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshdows in Dope and Strike (Vice 2 Palette), Arbonne Eyeliner, Rimmel Eyeliner in Nude, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (discontinued, new shade Magnolia v. similar)

Today I'm showcasing one of my very safe and conservative workwear outfits. It's one I wear to death and definitely one of the most "everyone can get away with" work ensembles I own. 

Who doesn't love a good peplum dress? They're great for all shapes and sizes - they can give straight up straight down type people the illusion of a waist, while those of us who have a few lumps and bumps to disguise can do so with this ever-so-flattering style. I actually adore this dress so much I have it in a nude color as well as black. It's really versatile as you can accessorise it so easily and because it's short sleeved, it works well on days that are so warm but it isn't indecent. 

When wearing a black dress for work, I love to wear my lace blazer and it's just a bit more interesting than a plain black blazer. It's so comfy and yet looks really professional so I love it. 

Jewellery wise, there are so many options for this outfit. Admittedly most days I am in far too much of a hurry to think about accessorising and don't wear a necklace or anything at all, but when I do miraculously drag myself out of bed in time, I love wearing chunky chain statement type necklace with this outfit as demonstrated above.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What I Wore To Work #2: Roses

Outfit Details: 
Blazer: Missguided
Top: Missguided
Skirt: Missguided
Bag: Missguided (oh god, theme emerging! Also the bag is SUPER old)
Sunglasses: Primark 

Last week, I shared an outfit called Roses on the blog and today, I am sharing the outfit again, except, I have tweaked it a tiny bit to make it work appropriate!

OK, I've barely made any changes - I've added a slightly more subtle necklace and removed the flower crown, I'm showing off my sunglasses as I actually didn't forget to wear them the day these photos were taken and shown off my beloved pink handbag. Oh and of course, it's a work outfit, so BLAZER ALERT.

I realised before I'd even put it on that cream and white is probably not the best combination and a colleague also informed me of this, haha. However I've still not managed to pick up a white blazer despite wanting one for years so I decided to risk this fashion mistake. Honestly these photos make it look not so bad, but believe me, in real life, cream blazer, white vest top does not work. 

In other news, these are the first outfit photos I have ever taken in my new flat, hooray! I will probably change where I am stood next time as I'm not so sure I like these photos at all, but I am pushed for space so goodness knows what I will end up coming up with!