Monday, 19 January 2015

My One Piece Of Blogging Advice



Don't Compare Yourself To Others

There's a whole lot of blogging advice out there, some of it brilliant, a lot of it questionable. I've often thought of sitting down to write my very own blogging advice post, but to be honest, when it comes down to it, I only have one piece of advice I recommend everyone following.

It's a super versatile piece of advice too, because it's a very important rule for living your life in general.

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

If you spend all your time worrying why you don't have as many followers as so-and-so, if you spend all your time wishing your photos looked like theirs, if you feel like you should be writing about beauty because everyone and their dog rights about beauty, if you find yourself wishing you had a photographer boyfriend too, if you find yourself wishing you had the coding and Photoshop skills to make a banging layout - just stop.

They're not kidding when they say comparison is the thief of joy. 

When you're constantly wondering why your blog doesn't look like someone else's, you're going to suck all the fun out of blogging. You will miss your own personal blogging journey.

For me, the beauty of blogging is the way it allows anyone and everyone to have their very own slice of the Internet. It can look the way you want it, you can write how you want, share what you want. 

You should be so busy doing your own thing, you don't care what anyone else is doing because you know your way, is the best way for you.

Of course, I suffer from blogger envy at times. I see blog designs I wish I'd done myself, or wonder why blogs that started at the same time as me have a lot more followers. Obviously, this doesn't make me very happy.

But, in the end, this is my blog, my journey, and I love it. 

You should love yours too!

Take other blogs for what they are: other blogs. Not yours

Enjoy the content, take inspiration, praise them for their successes, delight in the fact that the Internet exposes us to so many different lifestyles.

But remember, you do you best. Leave everyone else doing their best! 



Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Instavixen Roundup #3

Selfie and showing off the Arbonne mineral foundation, indulgence at work, actually cooking myself a meal come evening time rather than not eating after breakfast, my blender arrived, I did an amazingly healthy food shop, I made my first smoothie with my blender, my Holland and Barret order arrived, I finally fixed my new TV and my Chromecast works beautifully! 
Well, I'll tell you what, I sure am looking forward to crawling into my bed tonight! I'm absolutely insanely exhausted. Although I haven't officially started my detox yet, I've been doing a "pretox" of sorts this weekend and already I'm seeing the difference that fresh fruit and veg can make to my lifestyle. You see, this is the first Sunday that I can remember in a long time where I haven't slept all day! This feels like a huge achievement for me as I am horrendous for falling asleep at really, really bad times and never getting anything done because of it, so although yes, I'm knackered, if this detox stops me sleeping during the day, it's going to be great!

Although this week has felt like a very hectic week for me, it's probably not much fun to read about. I suppose my busiest day was Thursday when I was in London for a conference, but otherwise, it has been plain old work as usual. I finally managed to get my TV sorted today - I'd been having some problems with assembling the stand because the screws that came with it were NOT fit for purpose, but today I took it up to the DIY store and they helped be find some screws that fit and here I am now with a functioning TV, hooray! 

CURRENTLY...

Reading: Because I had a lot of travelling to do this week, I finally picked up the two books I was reading again: A Feast for Crows and How To Win Friends and Influence People. I don't mind reading two books at once, just as long as they're not both fictional, but I'm struggling at the minute because the Song of Ice and Fire series is SO amazing, I don't wanna do the personal development stuff because I just wanna race through this series of novels!

Listening To: The two new Wednesday 13 songs that are available in the UK, Iggy Azalea (I know she's a prick and a half, but I do love her music, sorry!), The Donnas, lots of girlie playlists. The usual really! 

Watching: Just Buffy! I was starting to get stressed out switching between different TV shows (Charmed and Buffy on rotation) so I've decided to finish season four of Buffy, then finish season four of Charmed. My viewing companion for Marco Polo has sadly been absent this week and I'm missing it terribly! Also wanting to start something new soon, but so much choice!

Looking Forward To: I'm actually spending two nights in Manchester next week for another work-related conference. Although yes, I'll be working most of the time, I'm being put up in the Hilton Hotel and getting free drinks and food etc so I'm actually quite looking forward to it. 

Aiming For: I really want to start a "proper" detox but I'm unsure how I'm realistically going to fit it into my life. I was going to start it tomorrow, but as I've said, I'm going to Manchester and I just won't be able to keep up with it while I'm away. So my goal is to stick to the Arbonne detox plan on all the days I'm at home. Considering all I've had is three smoothies and healthiER dinners this weekend and I'm already perking up health wise, I don't think this will be too much of an issue. 

Wanting: Matte finish liquid lipsticks! I've finally found two affordable brands that don't test on animals that are offering the kind of things I'm after but I have to wait until my financial situation has sorted itself out, boo!

What's your week been like lovelies? 



Friday, 16 January 2015

Call Me, Maybe?


When I was in year six at school/10 years old, my classmates started getting mobile phones. I remember begging and begging and begging my parents for one, to no avail. I remember eagerly waiting for my dad to buy a new mobile, in the hopes I would receive his old one when he did. Eventually, my parents agreed I could have my very own mobile for Christmas when I was in year 7.

Even though I was so, so, so desperate to receive a phone and was so, so, so delighted when I did - I still very clearly remember my now-stepmum texting me an eager Merry Christmas! Enjoy your phone! - I never, ever imagined that my mobile phone would eventually play the part it does in my life now.

Although by the time I'd joined the mobile world, phones could access the internet, I certainly didn't do that and neither did anybody else I knew. In fact, I remember one of my favourite books when I was aged 11/12 was called something like "GirlNet" and it was all about how teenage girls could get the most out of the internet. In this book, it mentioned phones could access the internet but it just wasn't worth it and instead went on to explain how to join AOL on your desktop!!

Fast forward to now and I am surgically attached to my phone, my smartphone. Even as I write this blog post, it is by my side and I occasionally stop typing to use it - not to take calls, or even read text messages - no, I check Whatsapp, an internet messaging service, I check my Twitter notifications which have started going crazy since I attached my two work accounts to my phone, I glance at emails, ignore Facebook event invites.

My day begins and ends with my phone. I trawl through social media as soon as I wake up, and it's the last thing I do before I go to sleep. When I'm at work, I reward myself for finishing articles by, you guessed it, having a little play about on my phone.

The idea of my phone running out of charge, the idea of me leaving it at home, any scenario where I am left with it...it absolutely horrifies me.

I most definitely could do with cutting down the amount of time I spend on my phone. I know it's not healthy to be so surgically attached to it. And yet, I don't think the rise of smartphones is an inherently bad thing...

I love that I am never more than a few clicks away from talking to my loved ones. I love having my calendars, my to do lists, a tiny portable notebook on me at all times. I like having a portable music device. There are plenty of good things about smartphones.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's about balance. By all means utilise your smartphones, it should improve your life. But don't let yourself become a slave to it!



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes



Ah change, the only constant in life! 

Since 2014, I feel like my life has been in a constant state of change and I've lacked stability for the longest time. 

I began the year in Wakefield, 20 days in, I moved to Newbury to live with my then boyfriend and his parents, we moved into our own house in Swindon shortly afterwards, we broke up and I had to live in Baughurst, Hampshire for around four weeks, until finally settling in my own house in Tadley, Hampshire in June. It was insane and not something I recommend anyone doing, ever. 

Besides that, I had a new job, a totally new part of the country to get used to, new friends to make, finances to get in order, all manner of adjustments. 

It felt like literally everything about my life had changed all at once, and to be honest, it really did.

Fast forward to 2015 and I am finally feeling a little bit more comfortable. I have been in my own flat for just over seven months now and it really does feel like home to me. I know my way around my town, and Basingstoke, quite well now. I'm used to the 9-5 lifestyle, even if my body isn't. I'm in a new relationship. The things that were chaotic in 2014 seem to be rectifying themselves.

And yet, there are still so many changes to make! 

Since 2013 perhaps, I've been trying to completely reinvent myself and this year, I promised myself I would. 

Better health, more exercise, a new look, an active blog, group of friends, thriving businesses. That kind of thing. 

My trouble is, I want everything at once! And as 2014 proves, trying to do everything takes its toll on me! 

Part of me knows I won't just wake up one morning and be the person I want to be, but part of me feels like if I change gradually, and there's no definitive OLD EMILY/NEW EMILY line, it won't feel like I've transformed.

Change, it's a weird one.

How do you approach change? One thing at a time? All at once? How do you deal with unexpected change? Does your approach work well? 




Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Advice For Teenage Girls

Original Image via Pixabay.
1. Your friends now probably won't be your friends later. It will probably hurt at the time, but one day, you'll realise it's for the best.

2. Your boyfriend is not the be all and end all of life. Whether you've been kissed, had sex, been in love, whatever - it does not define you.

3. Wear whatever you want, there are more important things in life than what other people think. Hell, everything is more important than what other people think.

4. The decisions you make about what GCSEs to do, what A Levels to take etc will not define the rest of your life.

5. 19 might be your last year of having -teen attached to your age, but believe me when I say you are not an adult at this age.

6. Same goes for 16, you are not as grown up as you might feel or think you are!

7. If mum and dad don't want you getting piercings and tattoos, don't do it under their roof! Wait until you move out - when you're living in their house, living off their money, it's plain rude to disrespect their wishes.

8. Be brave about your mental health. People will try to dismiss anything emotional as "hormones" but I firmly believe I'd be a lot better off now if I'd got myself treated for depression aged 15, 16, even as late as 17 if I hadn't been convinced it was puberty making me that way.

9. The decisions you make about drinking, smoking, eating unhealthily, doing drugs and so on might not hit you now no, but believe me, carry on like you are doing, and you'll be exhausted at 23. Like me.

10. You don't have to listen to people like me, nope, but you might find yourself agreeing with these points in a few years!




Monday, 12 January 2015

The Two Quotes That Keep Me Going

Original Image via Pixabay
Original Image via Pixabay
It's Always Darkest Right Before The Dawn

The first quote that I live my life by and use to keep me going through tough times is a very well used one that many people are aware of. Despite this, it's one that really only grabbed my attention properly in the Garbage song "Control" which appears on their latest album Not Your Kind of People. This album was released shortly before I left university and therefore was the soundtrack to one of the darkest and most difficult periods of my life. 

Now, whenever I'm struggling, when bad things are happening and I can't see an end to it, I sing "it's always darkest right before the dawn" to myself to remind me that better things are on the other side. 

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing 

Again, the second quote that means the most to me is Garbage related. While I've always, always loved the lyrics to this song, it didn't become one of my favourites until after I heard it live, again, shortly after I finished university and was struggling to adapt to my new life. 

"The trick is to keep breathing" is a line that has so many different interpretations to me, all of which have significance and importance in my life. 

When my anxiety is particularly bad, remembering to breathe is often a huge help. When my depression is particularly bad and I start questioning my ability to continue living, I remind myself that all it takes to keep on living is to keep on breathing. 

Of course, quotes aren't a magic trick, a cure all, but these two in for particular for me hold special meanings and I can draw comfort from them when I begin to lose my way. While inspirational, motivational quotes are great, it's reminders like the two above that I often need the most.

Do you have any quotes that are very important to you?



Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Instavixen Roundup #2

Cheeky McDonalds breakfast, a slightly healthier lunch, a healthier dinner, the essential that is my hot water bottle, my Shining Year Workbook, Arbonne protein shake, cute fox doorstop, affirmations, I got a Chromecast, and a TV to go with it! 
Phew, my first full week of 2015 and of course, first week back at work, are done and dusted! It has been an interesting one for sure. Prior to Christmas I had been feeling very tired, very exhausted, making it difficult for me to perform and concentrate properly at work. I was well and truly burnt out. I had hoped that two weeks off over Christmas would help the situation, and while Monday and Tuesday actually went quite well, I felt right back at square one by Wednesday, boo!

With that in mind, I've decided to stop messing around and truly throw myself into the detox diet I've been planning for what feels like 38509327620 years. My work with Arbonne means I have tons of health and nutrition information at my fingertips, as well excellent products to complement and enhance a healthy lifestyle, and I figured it's time to start using the wealth of knowledge I have available to me.

I've already started cutting down on the rubbish I usually eat and introducing better choices into my meals in preparation, as you can see from my salad and stir fry pictures above. However, some time this week my blender will be arriving and from a week tomorrow, I'll be following the Arbonne 30 Days To Healthy Living and Beyond plan. I'll be cutting a lot of stuff out from my diet for a while and introducing a lot more fruit and veg than I normally eat.

I've lost track of how long I've felt ill and doctors have been baffled by it. I've had so many tests done and they always come back negative. It's not my thyroid, it's not diabetes, it's not anemia and so on and so on. I'm hoping doing a detox will be the answer. So fingers crossed!

Feeling sick and tired aside, it's been a pretty good week. I haven't done anything spectacular, but it's just been so nice to be back in my own house, in my own bed, and have a proper routine again!

I had intended (oh Emily, SO FULL of good intentions...) to have a fairly productive weekend and get certain aspects of my life completely in order but of course, I've spent most of it asleep. Old habits die hard! Might be a new year and as much as I wish I could be a new me, I'm really not. I finally got a new TV though having not had one since I moved into my house in June, but even getting that set up has defeated me. Gonna get my man to come look at it tomorrow ;)

I've decided to not beat myself up about any of my shortcomings this week, as I had intended January to be a month of recovery rather than perfection anyway! It feels nice to be kind to myself for a change!

THIS WEEK I'VE BEEN:

Reading: Just blogs if I'm honest! I've kinda forgotten about the books I'm reading this week, but it's good to actually be on top of my BlogLovin feed for once!

Watching: Charmed, Buffy and Marco Polo whenever I spend time with my gentlemen friend. I really, really love Marco Polo and probably would have finished it by now if I wasn't watching it with someone else...

Listening To: Spotify! I took the plunge and invested in Spotify Premium because it's only 99p for THREE months at the moment! Since then I've been listening to Zoe London's Girl Power for 2015 playlist, Who Run The World? (Girls) playlist and the radio based on Courtney Love which is my favourite thing ever. YAY MUSIC.

Loving: Music, curling up on my sofa with my laptop on an evening, finally doing my laundry and planning badass work outfits for the week ahead, sleeping in my own bed, seeing my friends at work, coffee!

Wanting: My blender to arrive! I'm also desperate for some new makeup but considering I never wear any anymore and I own loads I just can't justify buying any more! I'm also having to be SO SO SO frugal at the moment. Despite FINALLY getting a payrise just before Christmas, I've gotta be super sensible and pay off the debt being severely underpaid got me into before I can enjoy being £5000 a year better off...!

Aiming For: To spend this week slowly weaning myself off my beloved tea, coffee, sugar, pizza and chocolate before my detox, plan my meals for my detox and get all the ingredients I need ready to go so I have no excuses come Monday 19th!

How has your week been?



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