Polka Dots

Outfit Details:
Cardigan: Primark
Top: Primark
Skirt: Primark
Boots: eBay

Is anyone else starting think my cold weather uniform is black velvet skater skirt, black fluffy cardigan and cute cardigan? I sure am.

And what's with all the head to toe Primark recently?

I'd say this is the last I've got planned, but I think we both know it isn't! 

When I Delay My Activity, I Delay My Vision

When I Delay My Activity, I Delay My Vision 

I don't know about you, but I sure am guilty of having massive dreams, but never doing anything to get there! I'm a firm believer in the idea that the Universe will bring about what you think about and although I think about where I want my life to go on a daily basis, deep down I know I've got to meet the Universe halfway and put the work in too!

I'm sure you've all heard about the man who prays and pray and prays to win the lottery, but of course, he never does. Eventually, he outright asks God why he doesn't grant his wish and God says: "Well, you need to help me out here, you need to buy a ticket!"

Not taking action is the only barrier between you and the life of your dreams. There are steps everyone knows they can take that will improve their life and yet, for whatever reason, they procrastinate. They don't do it. They put it off. "It can wait until later," they say. But can it?

During a phone call with a friend and mentor, she told me: "When you delay your activity, you delay your vision."

I realised she was absolutely right.

Sure, the world isn't going to end if I don't do the activity I know I need to do. But it will take me a lot longer to hit my goals if I don't work towards them. One day, I might wake up and realise I've left it too late.

It has been an important lesson for me these past seven days or so and it's just one I had to share.

Operation Supervixen: December Update

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In July 2014, 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 everyone, as promised, here is my monthly update on my Operation Supervixen Transformation Programme. 

Food: 0/10. I'm being super harsh with my diet rating this month because I seriously need a kick up the bum. I barely seem to know what a vegetable is anymore! I've learnt some important lessons about food this month though and I am hoping it means when I do my January update, I'll be feeling a lot more positive! During November, I got very ill and my appetite died. I was barely eating anything, nevermind things that were good or bad for me. My appetite then returned, but long before I was feeling well enough to stand up to do anything other than visit the loo and so, enter the takeaways. I've learnt that I need to make healthy eating as easy as possible for myself, otherwise, I am not going to stick to it. I've also decided to have emergency homemade ready meals in my freezer so that I can stick something in the microwave or oven and just leave it if I feel poorly, rather than opting for an expensive takeaway! 

Exercise: I'm going to give myself a 6/10 again this month. I've been making the effort to go to roller derby, I've been walking to work and I do the odd extra workout here at there, but I'm still not making as much effort as I need to. That being said, I'm currently experiencing a bout of insomnia and it feels far more important at the moment to try and get as much sleep as possible rather than forcing myself to get up early and exercise because when I'm tired, it affects my job too much.

Overall Physical Health: As I've mentioned, I had a nasty, nasty cold and because I've been struggling to sleep, it makes everything take so much more effort. 

Mental Health: At some point during November, I realised my medication had apparently stopped working. I was feel very, very down everyday, my insomnia had come back, my appetite was poor and I just couldn't concentrate or make myself care about anything. I decided to be proactive and book a doctor's appointment ASAP. I've know been on increased medication for a week now and it's starting to settle down again. 

Productivity: While I'm super, super happy with how active I kept my blog during November and I managed to stay on top of my laundry, I did let some other housekeeping slip and at work, I've been absolutely terrible. Weekends as well have mainly been spent in bed. I'm trying not to be too mad with myself though because lack of sleep always hits me very hard. 

Smoking: I need a big, big slap on the wrist this month. I had 20 cigarettes during November. I am quite ashamed I let myself slip. I bought two packs of 10 - I would have stopped at 10 but I got tipsy and bought more. I have still got daily cravings at the minute but I've gone at least a week without one now. 

Goals For January Update: 

In December, I want to place more emphasis on my self care rather than forcing myself to be great as I did last month. 
  • Have Fruit and/or Veg with Every Meal: I've been experimenting the past few days by adding fruit to my breakfast and having an apple at lunch as typically, these meals for me normally skip fruit and veg. I've also found a lazy way to make sure I eat my veg with my evening meal, more to come on that next week!
  • Don't Place Pressure on Myself To Exercise: If I can't get out of bed when I want to, I won't. Instead, I will make sure I walk to work and, in the evening, do a light workout when I get home from work. I will make sure I am walking to work and going to roller derby whenever I can.
  • Don't Over Estimate How Much I Can Achieve On Weekends: I am often exhausted by the weekend and I always overload my To Do Lists because I'm not at work and think I have all the time in the world to get stuff done. This ends up in me being disappointed in myself for not achieving things I never could anyway.

The Vixen Thinks: Things I Wish I'd Known In High School

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

Hello, I've got another blast from the past post for you today. It's a good job I'm sure the vast majority of my readers didn't read my old blog eh?! Basically I'm feeling a little uninspired (again) this evening, so, as usual, I trawled my own archives for inspiration. I stumbled across a post about things I wish I'd known in high school, and realised they were all things I needed a reminder of today! 

The Opinions of Others Do Not Reflect Who You Truly Are
People in high school didn't like me. I've always been relatively unashamedly myself and in high school, this meant I had jet black elbow length hair (it was pink underneath for a while too), I definitely wasn't fashionable and favoured black, baggy clothes for such a long period and I didn't have clue about chart music; my classmates would often describe the music I did like as "suicide music." As a result, I spent many years growing up thinking I was a freak, that I was weird, strange, that something was wrong with me. Naturally, this made me feel pretty bad about myself but I knew deep down I shouldn't change myself to please others. What I really wish I'd know is that the opinions of others didn't matter, because that's all they were, opinions. For a start: define normal. What is normal? At the end of the day, I knew that I was a good friend if you gave me the chance, I cared about my friends and allowed them to be who they wanted to be, I appreciated my own music taste. I knew who I was, I still know who I am today, and I realise that what other people think about me is completely irrelevant. Had I realised this in high school, I think I would have been much more open about who I was and I wouldn't have felt like there was something wrong with me.

Life is What You Make It
A big help in my transition from miserable to happy was realising that the only person who has the power to make me miserable is myself; people are only ever miserable because they choose to be. When you realise you have the choice between sadness and happiness, why on earth would you choose sadness? Your thoughts define the world around you and if you actively say to yourself "today, I am choosing to be happy" you soon find that you do indeed feel happy. The day I decided to only see the good in things, the day I started pulling positives out of negatives, the day I realised that my attitude is everything is the day that I got better. It's the day I started telling the world I was in love with my life.

Academic Achievement Isn't Everything
Obviously in school they're going to place a huge focus on getting the grades, but I do wish they'd taught me that there were alternatives to going to university. While university was the best three years of my life and I do not regret choosing to go there at all, it would have been nice for someone besides my dad to sit me down and say "it's ok to do whatever you want, just as long as you're happy." I was led to believe that the only jobs you'd ever get without a degree were supermarket jobs or fast food counter jobs. This is so not true! In fact, I want to be a journalist. Since writing this, I've got myself a job as a journalist and my degree grade never got spoken of during my interviews, they were more interested in this very blog!!! This is a career I don't even need a degree for! While it helps, I'd be in just as good a place, if not a better place, if I'd spent years gaining work experience and practising writing even more than I already do. I think so many kids would be happier going through school if they weren't taught that they are failures if they don't get the grades or go to university.

Talking Badly About Other People Just Reflects Badly on YOU, Not Them!
In a similar vein to opinions of others not being a reflection of you, it's just as true that your opinions of other people don't define them either. In particular though, I've finally realised that being horrible about other people doesn't make them look bad, it makes you look bad. In high school, in an attempt to make myself feel better about the girls that were horrible to me, I'd spend an awful lot of time being horrible about them behind my back. In hindsight, it is no wonder to me now that I didn't feel very good about myself. When you hold such negative views of other people, it's really just a reflection of how you feel about yourself. When you says horrible things, you're wasting time that could be sent saying lovely things. As I've got older, I've found myself having less and less time for people who talk rubbish about other people. I've realised that when my "friends" are talking about their "friends" in a nasty way that I no longer trust this person to not do the same about me; it doesn't really look good for them. I now get really bored whenever anyone tries to start a bitching fest off with me and I'm not interested in talking to them. Chances are, while you're hating on them, they're out living their lives not really caring what others say about them. If you make the effort to only talk about other people in a positive way, people will like you a lot more, and you'll feel a lot better yourself because you're not harbouring all that negativity any more.

What do you wish you'd know during high school? 

Maybelline Baby Lips [PRODUCT REVIEW]

Alternative Title: Don't Ever Buy Into Beauty Blogger Hype 

I'm sure you all remember the beauty blogosphere going crazy for Maybelline Baby Lips. When I first heard of them, I was incredibly uninterested in them, Glorified lip balms are just not for me. Unfortunately, I also worked at Superdrug at this time in my life and somewhere along the line, hearing bloggers go mad for these and my colleagues go mad for these, I caved and bought some.

What a mistake.

It's not that these are an inherently bad product - the pink one gave a fantastic, moisturising lip colour. However, the peach one did not show up on my lips at all and I don't even know why I bought the plain mint one because by this point I was already smitten with another lip balm. Stupid!

As a lip colour, the pink one's great. As a balm, yeah, great. Just as good as anything else you can get in Superdrug really. 

These products just AREN'T FOR ME. And I gave them away within a few weeks of buying them. A mistake to buy them really. 

I suppose this isn't really a review, it's more of a "I'm so glad I don't buy into the hype anymore." Honestly, every product I've ever bought because multiple beauty blogs were raving about it have been so boring, or even worse, total duds. It has made me very, very wary of products that a lot of bloggers are blogging about and kinda made me realise that actually, yeah, getting paid to do stuff does affect the review! But that's another topic.

I've grown up a lot this year since I've stopped reading as many beauty blogs and well, stopped spending the vast majority of my time in Superdrug. It has saved me a lot of money and it has reaffirmed my belief that if you find a brand you love, STICK to that brand you love! There is such a thing as too many beauty products and you don't have to settle for anything less than the best. 

Red And Black

Outfit Details:
Fluffy Cardigan: Primark
Top: Primark
Skirt: Primark
Doc Martens: Oxfam

Makeup Details:
Arbonne Primer
Arbonne Liquid Foundation
Makeup Revolution Concealer
BareMinerals Powder
Arbonne Victora Lake Palette, all eye colours and the cheek colour
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude
Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lime Crime Glamour 101 Lipstick 

This has gotta be one of my comfiest, cosiest A/W outfits. My black fluffy cardigan has become an absolute ESSENTIAL for me recently, I haven't been seen without it! I've even started wearing it to work! This however, is not an example of a work outfit. I believe I wore this a few weeks ago when I had a week off work. 

I believe I will file this outfit under "simple, yet effective." There's not a lot to say about it, pairing a bright red top with black everything just seemed the natural thing to do and of course, finish my look off with my only red lipstick. 

Red isn't usually my colour, but I always really enjoy it when I wear it. Are you a fan of red?

What I Learnt During No Excuses November

At the very beginning of November, I set myself the goal of not making excuses for why my life wasn't going the way I wanted it to anymore. While I had some excellent days during the month, my life still looks pretty much the same as it did before and yep, I still make those pesky excuses. However, the month wasn't entirely wasted and I feel I've got some important lessons to take away with me.

Sometimes I Have REASONS, Not Excuses 
In the second week of November, I got ill. Around October/November every year since 2009, I have come down with the flu. I'm not talking a cold, I'm talking influenza here. Luckily, I have managed to escape it this year, but I did get a very, very nasty cold. Although it was nowhere near as bad as I'm used to at this time of year, it still really knocked me out for a week. I realised that no matter how good my intentions are, sometimes I really do have a reason to stay in bed all day.

Willpower Alone Is Often Not Enough
This month I've had cigarettes, I've had Domino's Pizza and I've bought lunch from Tesco rather than taking it from home. Basically, everything I wanted to stop doing this month. I've blamed it on being stressed, being ill, being tired. While it would be nice to overpower these urges, it would seem a little more help. I've recently upped my dose of antidepressant to help deal with underlying issues that cause me to feel ill/tired/stressed and do things I don't really want to do and I'm looking into ways to make my willpower a lot better.

Waking Up Early Only Enhances Your Life If You're Getting Enough Sleep
At the beginning of the month, I was obsessed with the idea of waking up a 6am, doing a workout and getting ready for the day with enough time to relax and have breakfast before I got to work. On the nights where I slept, this routine was great and definitely something I'd like to carry on with. Unfortunately, my insomnia is back and I am having a lot of trouble sleeping at the moment. I've realised that sometimes, it's better to just get the sleep you need rather than try and be the girl who does it all.

When I Do Cast Aside My Excuses, I Am Damn Capable 
The days where I got up at a time I wanted to, the days where I worked through my To Do List, I felt amazing and I got a lot of stuff done. When I made the effort to cook food, get out of bed, work at my desk, not get distracted at work, I was productive and felt better for it.

...But I Need To Stop Over-Estimating What I Can Achieve In A Day
Even on the days where I was practically perfect, I still never completed an entire To Do List. I've now realised that I need to plan the time certain things will take and take that into account when I right my daily tasks down. Setting realistic goals means I can actually achieve them and stops disappointment when I don't get everything done when getting everything done was an impossible task anyway.

Did you learn any important lessons last month?

This Instavixen Is Currently...Without A Phone!

Argh! So two weeks ago I managed to only take one Instagram photo during the week and this week, I have zero! Unfortunately, at the beginning of this week, my phone decided to die. It started crashing on me at the weekend, but if I just pulled the battery out, it would start working again and crash again in like, an hour. Sadly by Monday, it was crashing every 2 minutes, making it pretty damn unusable. Thankfully, I was only one month away from being able to upgrade anyway, so it wasn't too expensive to buy myself out of my contract and get a new phone. I've just checked my tracking number online now and it's predicted to arrive tomorrow, YAY!

Embarrassingly, I have really struggled without my phone. I thought it might be quite nice to get a little detox from it, but honestly, not having it around has been a huge struggle. I feel so out of the loop with all my Arbonne friends, I hate being glued to my laptop because I keep getting Facebook messages, I've re-downloaded all my social networking apps to my Kindle which used to be a sacred social media free space and in my attempts to get my old phone to work I've managed to get my phone to switch on long enough to know I've got work-related voicemails from PR companies, argh! Also imagine my horror when I had an evening full of macarons or my man friend gifted me with flowers and chocolate and couldn't Instagam them! The pain!

Phone issues aside, this week has been a fairly uneventful one. I don't know where it's gone or what I've done with it! I was busy having an actual social life on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I suppose accounts for some of the "what have I even done recently" feeling but even so! I guess I lose a lot of my life to sleep.


READING: Nothing. I haven't picked up a book for over a week, shameful.

WATCHING: the 4400 with my gentlemen friend. We really love it and have had a lot of time to watch it this week. Also still on my AHS/Buffy/Charmed spree too. Working on cutting down my monthly outgoings but I refuse to make Netflix one of the casualties!

LISTENING TO: same old, same old. Although I have been feeling very nostalgic so my old favourite Sugababes has fallen into the mix too.

FEELING: angry. There's a lot going on in the world right now that invokes feeling of anger and the need to DO something in me. I imagine you'll be seeing more about this soon...

WANTING: sleep. I seem to want a lot more than usual of this. Stupid insomnia is back so I'm little miss tired all the time again. I also want Christmas decorations but having a hard time justifying the cost...

AIMING FOR: feeling a little less lost when my new phone arrives, finding a gorgeous new case to fit my new phone, being a little more pro-active on my free evenings this week  and enjoying the social life that comes with December, finalising the work Christmas party plans TOMORROW, finishing my work-related To Do List by 5pm Friday.

I should hopefully have some more interesting things to share next week, watch this space!

Operation Supervixen: Cute Workout Wear

Forever 21 Tops 

Forever 21  Bottoms, Primark Shorts 
It's a truth universally acknowledged that one is more likely to get the exercise they need if they have cute workout wear to do it in - Jane Austen (probably. Pretty sure she said that. Yeah).
Today, I want to talk to you about cute workout wear and how essential it is to my exercise routine. Sure, not having nice clothing to exercise in doesn't physically stop you from doing and it certainly has no impact on your performance. Personally though, my grey jogging bottoms are ugly and not actually for jogging, but rather lounging around the house when I want to be comfy and warm and seen by no one.

In March, I realised my situation in the workout attire department was dire. I was just about to begin roller derby when I realised I didn't even own a sports bra, which, admittedly, is actually something that will impact the success of your workout if you've got breasts! I soon realised this situation must be rectified ASAP and I began scouring the Internet and shops for exercise-appropriate clothing now that I was getting serious*~ about my exercise routine. My need for it became even more pronounced when I signed up to do the Race for Life!

The bulk of my stuff comes from Forever 21 which has a gorgeous range of leggings, yoga pants, hoodies, sports bras, shorts and other workout apparel. What I really love about it is the choice of different colours and well, how tight everything is! The last thing I want when I'm zooming around on eight wheels is lose clothing getting in the way!

I'm particularly a fan of my gorgeous hoodies and jackets from F21, the pink is so vibrant it'd be great for night time runs (if I wasn't too scared of men to leave the house when it's dark that is, but we'll talk about that later) whereas the grey one is just the perfect amount of sporty and girly for me.

I'm also very happy with the shorts I picked up from Primark later on in the year. It quickly became too cold to wear them, but in the short time I've had a relationship with them, they've been great. The black ones make me feel like a proper gym bunny, while the pink ones are nice and fluorescent and super duper comfy.

Of course, I wouldn't get anywhere without my trusted trainers. When I saw their gorgeous pink and black design, I just had to pick these Reebok ones up! They are amazingly comfy and of all my workout clothing, they get the most use! The only shoes that don't give me blisters on my 40 minute walk to work. They are a life saver.

What's your most motivating piece of workout wear?

The Vixen Thinks: Notes On Being a Feminist Style and Beauty Blogger

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

The post below originally featured on the blog I wrote before I started The Glitter Vixen. As I was feeling quite uninspired this evening, I had a little look at ancient blog posts for a little spark. When I saw this post, I was reminded on recent comments that certain YouTuber's are anti-feminist because they feature hauls and makeup looks on their channels. I realised this is still relevant, despite being years old! 

For some, the notion of a feminist beauty blogger is one which is just too hard to comprehend. For many people, feminism and beauty products just simply do not match. Surely a feminist should be comfortable enough with her own looks to not need to spend money on so many different kinds of cosmetics, as I do? Don't women only wear makeup because men expect them to? Doesn't wearing makeup go against the idea that appearance isn't important?

My answer to the above questions is a strong and resounding NO. The notion that a feminist is uninterested in beauty products and probably doesn't shave is entirely outdated. My appearance and lifestyle shouldn't even be up for discussion in a feminist arena, but the sad truth is many people cannot comprehend that it's possible for someone to care about their appearance and still hold feminist values.

Let's analyse why I wear makeup. It's not because my boyfriend wants me to, in fact, he'd rather I went without, particularly when it comes to lip products! It's not because society expects me to, if I want to leave the house without a full face on, then I will, it's just rare I choose to. Do I wear it to compete with others girls? No, how ridiculous. I'd much rather have girls like me or dislike me because of my personality, not because of how I look.

I first started wearing makeup on a daily basis around 13 years of age. I've been colouring my hair since I was 11, and I was 12 or 13 when I first dyed it black which is roundabout the same time I started wearing makeup regularly. Previously to that, I had asked my parents to buy me makeup and I had dabbled in it from time to time. At this time, I will admit, I felt ugly and I thought makeup would change this. As a pre-teen and for some of my teenage years, I wasn't very confident in myself. However, when I started colouring my hair black, my makeup was very much about achieving a certain "look" rather than something to make me feel less ugly. I'd just discovered punk and goth and was anxious to fit in with that sort of crowd, I adored the way these people looked and I wanted to look like them.

As I got older, I learnt to stop listening to people at school, and certainly by the time I'd started university, I'd decided I could definitely have been a lot worse off in the looks department. I was going to apologise for that statement, but quite frankly, I'm proud that despite a poor start and the negative media I am surrounded by, I can be confident in the way I look.

Part of my confidence does come from wearing makeup, and I do feel wearing it enhances my appearance. But, I am intelligent enough to realise that whether I wear makeup or not does not define my worth as a person and I do not in any way depend on my makeup and other beauty products to feel confident. It is here that the reasons why I do not thinking being a beauty blogger conflicts with my feminism start to become clear.

Honestly, I enjoy applying makeup. I can't imagine a regular routine that doesn't involve me applying makeup. I like watching my skin transform under foundation and I have great fun playing around with different coloured eyeshadows and eyeliner, matching them to my outfit, working out what looks best with my skin tone, my eye colour. Both applying and wearing makeup makes me feel good and it is something I do for myself. No one tells me I have to do it, it's my choice. I like to review and talk about the products I use and buy, because I enjoy it, and other people find it useful and hell, if I can ward someone off buying a bad product, or boost someone's confidence by recommending an amazing product, then I most certainly will!

What can be more feminist than me having the freedom to choose my own interests and explore them at will?

Feeling Witchy

Outfit Details: 
Fluffy Cardigan: Primark
Dress: ???
Creepers: eBay

Makeup Details:
Face: Arbonne Primer, Foundation, Concealer and Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush in Ballet
Eye Makeup: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Shellshock and Derailed from Vice 2 Palette and Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lipstick: Topshop Lipstick in Inhibition 

Oo-errr! Looking a bit scary in these pictures!

I don't know about you, but I've definitely got a few items in my wardrobe that every time I see, I vow to wear more often. And then, of course, it just doesn't happen. This grey and black lace dress is one of those in my wardrobe. Sadly, I think I've left it too late to try and get wear out of it now. This year I've managed to put on a lot of weight and this dress just doesn't flatter me as much as it used to! Particularly in the boob department - that lace did just not want to sit where it was supposed to. 

My creepers too, just don't get enough wear! I don't think they're entirely appropriate for work so it's hard to fit time in to wear them sadly. 

This fluffy primark cardigan, on the other hand, is one I wear all. the. time now that it's getting so cold! 

All in all, an outfit I really like, particularly with my heavy smokey eyes and dark lip, but it was probably a bit more suited to my figure 2 or 3 years ago! 

This week I challenge everyone to wear something they don't wear enough! 

I'm Dreaming Of A Pink Christmas...

Original Image via Pixabay
This year is my first ever Christmas where I've got my own home to decorate! Sure, I didn't live at home during university, but because I spent most of December at home anyway, it felt pointless decorating my house in Aberystwyth. This year, I'll be in my own house right up until Christmas Eve, so I feel like I must decorate. Even more exciting is the fact that I really do live alone. I was expecting this to be my first Christmas spent with my boyfriend in our own home, but we all knew that didn't happen. Had I stayed living with him, I imagine my Christmas decorations would have been very traditional. But, because I'm riding solo, I can have a Christmas tree and decorations that are totally me

First up, I want this white tree. White is the perfect backdrop for all the pink decorations I am intending to buy! My space for a tree is limited so I think this five foot one will do me quite nicely! 

Next up, pink reindeers!Because I'm planning to go crazy with the pink, I figured I better get some reindeers so there's at least something Christmassy in there. 

Pink glitter stars...need I say more?

Pink hearts. I am a walking cliche, I know. 

Almost garish tinsel? Had to be done! 

And finally, a massive selection of regular baubles in various shades of pink to fill my tree in nicely! 

What do you prefer at Christmas: more traditional designs or do you like to go your own way? 

This Instavixen is Currently...#18

Selfie, Yankee Candle in Fluffy Towels, Trip to London Essentials, Trying Muesli with my Yoghurt, My New Favourite Dress 
Wow, what a week it has been. I started Monday off on a high after actually managing to get out of bed in good time and have a productive morning before I'd even got to work.

On Wednesday, I got have a bit of a lie in and then I headed off to London for a media lunch. I cannot believe how truly unbelievably spoiled I was, it's days like that where I'm so happy to have landed my journalist job. I went for a free meal at the China Tang restaurant in the Dorchester hotel. The wine was free flowing and we had an amazing buffet of superb Chinese food, which had sparked a new obsession with hoi sin duck, oops! I was pretty impressed by the dumplings too.

Thursday was another good day. I went back to roller derby after two weeks off and had a great session. I worked so damn hard and it paid off, I beat my personal best for 27/5, completely put me in a good mood and I really improved my sticky skating (when you skate with all 8 wheels on the floor).

Things started to quieten down by Friday and there my week stops getting so bloggable! I've also got a pretty chilled week next week before the Christmas madness begins!


FEELING: a bit crap if I'm honest. I think it's a seasonal thing. I've got a doctor's appointment booked for Friday which can't come quick enough.

READING: the same as last week unfortunately! A Storm of Swords and the Chimp Paradox.

WATCHING: same again! Buffy, Charmed, AHS: Coven and The Apprentice!

LISTENING TO: a bit of everything at the minute, all my favourites: Wednesday 13, Marina and the Diamonds, Hole and Garbage.

AIMING FOR: pulling myself back together after feeling so rubbish this weekend and finishing the books I am reading and catching up on my To Do List!

LOOKING FORWARD TO: roller derby on Thursday! The Christmas lights switch on in my tiny town.

LOVING: hoi sin duck! Chinese food in general after going off it for so long! Doubt any I can get round here will be as good as China Tang though!

LAUGHING AT: the awkward moment when I had to ask for a fork at China Tang

PLANNING: my festive activities for December, the Christmas presents I'm responsible for getting hold of this year

What has your week been like?

Operation Supervixen: Why Is Personal Development So Important?

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In July 2014, 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.

Since around 2009-ish, I started getting interested in self help and personal development. Around the age of 17, I started finding life quite difficult. I hated sixth form with a passion, I felt like I had no friends, I was tricked and trapped into a nasty relationship and I was generally a miserable girl. Looking back, it was probably the start of depression for me, but at the time I either wouldn't accept that, or even when I did think about it, I was far too shy and scared to go to a doctor and do anything about it. 

Instead, I turned to self help. I started reading lots of blogs all about loving yourself, being happy with what you have and generally positive material. I'd see people I admired recommending self help books, but it made me cringe. Unfortunately, we seem to live in a culture where there's a bit of stigma surround personal development. People thinks it's silly or assume you're getting up on your high horse. But that's not what it's about.

Thankfully, as I get older, I've realised I don't care what other people think about my journey towards self-acceptance and happiness. Sure, anti-depressants are great, but I won't be taking them forever and I want to be equipped for when they're gone. That's where a bit of self-help comes in.

Why I Recommend Self Help and Personal Development:
  • There is a remarkable difference between the Emily who makes no effort to better herself and the Emily who reads personal development every day. It's the latter Emily that is happy, sucessful and gets shit DONE.
  • Reading self help material puts it at the forefront of your mind everyday. Only when you are truly conscious of your behaviour can you begin to change it. 
  • It's not all hippy hippy love peace woo woo stuff. Try The Chimp Paradox. That's full of real, applicable and totally understandable psychology. 
  • But hey, if you like believing in the magic of the Universe, there's books like The Secret - that one changed my life. 
  • It's motivational. When I read consistently, I am the Emily I like very much. As soon as I stop making time for reading, I start falling back into old habits. This shit works if you dedicate yourself to it
  • It brings new ideas to the table. I'm going to mention The Chimp Paradox again here. Before I read that book, the chaos inside my head made no sense to me. I had NO understanding of why I behaved the way I do and I felt like I never had a hope in hell of controlling myself. That book gave me a model of the human mind I can work with and slowly but surely, I'm reigning in that part of my personality that causes me so much grief. 
  • If you don't want to read a whole book, there's other alternatives. Blogs are free, easy and quick to digest and plenty out there offer advice just as sound as things you can purchase in books. I personally love doing online courses as there's a nice social aspect to them and it gives me a way to work through things in an organised systematic manner, which if you read last week's Operation Supervixen post, you'll realise I like it very much. 
  • Who doesn't want to better themselves, seriously?

The Vixen Thinks: Why Are We So Concerned By Decisions That Don't Affect Us?

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

This past fortnight or so, I've noticed a huge amount of criticism on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed. People suddenly seem to be going crazy about the things other people, people they have never met and probably never will do, choose to do. From Kim Kardashian's arse, to Zoella accepting an offer to appear on Band Aid 30, people just seem to be getting so angry about the things other people are deciding to do.

Today, I want to speak specifically about Kim Kardashian's cover on Paper magazine. I am sure that I do not need to link you to the images in question, pretty much everyone has seen them by now. Just in case though, basically, Kim K has appeared in a magazine, naked, very oiled up and emphasising her generous derriere. Besides a shot from behind, there's also a full frontal naked pic knocking around as well.

Admittedly, I was shocked to check my Twitter at work that day just to see fanny and boobs. I never go on Tumblr at work because I know it's NSFW, but it was quite a shock to see that much nudity on a morning on a site that is generally quite safe for me to look at during work hours. Beyond this though, Kim Kardashian posing naked for a magazine literally doesn't affect me in any way.

And yet, it seems to have personally outraged the people I'm friends with on Facebook or follow on Twitter! I've seen comments like "She has enough money, why would she do this?" or "She's a mother now, she has no business doing a photoshoot like this!" 

In short, there's a whole lot of female sexuality policing going on here. God fordid a gorgeous woman wants to show herself off.

If a woman wants to choose to pose nude, if she wants to get paid for it, then she has every right to go for it. It doesn't matter if she's a mother (pretty damn sure KK is not the first mother to pose naked you know) and it doesn't matter if she's already rich, other people's financial sitautions are not your goddamn business. I'm sick of the idea that people with lots of money who continue to earn more money are inherently bad.

Of course, there were genuine concerns about the photoshoot floating around. Obviously the photographs in question were Photoshopped and I do support conversations about the impact this has on the public. I've also seen some worrying articles about the racial connotations of the photoshoot. In my opinion, these are the valid opinions about Kim Kardashian in Paper Magazine.

What's not valid, is slamming Kim because she chose to do something you wouldn't do, because she doesn't meet your definition of morality, because oh, boohoo, she earns more money than you ever will.

This issue of Paper Magazine literally does not affect you, if you don't like it, close the page when it shows up on your social media feed, go look at something else, look at media you do like. Don't sit there spouting off about stuff that only makes you angry because you choose to let it make you angry!

Makeup Revolution Focus and Fix Liquid Concealer [PRODUCT REVIEW]

A few months ago, I was running low on my favourite Arbonne concealer and in a moment of madness, decided to be sensible with my money. Instead of spending money I didn't have on repurchasing the Arbonne concealer, I went and spent a Superdrug giftcard on the Makeup Revolution Focus and Fix Concealer.

I went into the store intending to buy the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer as I had already used it and knew it would work, but sadly, it was sold out completely, not even in just my shade! I had a wander round, noticed this, decided it looked similar, swatched it on my hand to further confirm this belief and went home with it.

So, how does it actually perform? Well, you might notice I haven't bothered to include any photographs in this post, because there isn't actually much to show!

It's not an inherently bad concealer. The shade works well with my skin, I am a fan of the packaging and it does conceal to an extent, it just doesn't give the coverage I expect from something meant to conceal and its lasting power isn't too fantastic.

All in all, if you are after a good concealer, I recommend going for the Arbonne one, or, if you're on a bit of stricter budget, the Collection one is fantastic too. Benefit Boi-ing is another one I have enjoyed in the past as well.

I do hear great things about Makeup Revolution. I swatched a few of the eyeshadow palettes in store and they were super pigmented with a huge variety of pretty and wearable shades. Maybe that's the area they should concentrate on rather than the basics like concealer!

Autumn Panic Uniform

Outfit Details:
Jumper: Missguided 
Shirt: Missguided
Jeans: Primark
Boots: New Look

Makeup Details:
Face: Arbonne Primer, Arbonne Foundation, Makeup Revolution Concealer 
Cheeks: Arbonne Bronzer and Sheer Glow Highlighter
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Strike, Stash and Poison, Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara 
Brows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind from Vice 2, Maybelline Brow Drama 
Lips: MUA Power Pout in Crazy in Love

A few weeks ago, when suddenly all the beautiful sunshine and warm weather was replaced by heavy rain, howling wind and freezing temperatures, I began to panic. Suddenly all those clothes I have loved wearing to work didn't seem appropriate anymore. The walk to work, to anywhere, just leaving the house became quite terrifying. I really don't like the cold.

As a result, I panicked and all ideas of style left the window. Suddenly all I cared about was being comfy and warm and that's how I ended up wearing the above outfit to work about three times within a week. Trousers. Check. Massive Jumper. Check. Shirt with beauitfully collar detailing so I don't feel completely sartorially challenged. Check.

I apologise to those of you who regularly wear jeans and jumpers and look abaolustely fabulous while doing so, but for me, personally, I just never feel quite so stylish or put together when I have to resort to this.

Thankfully, my lovely khaki shirt and jumper gave me a great opportunity to play around with the lesser used eyeshadows in my beloved Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette. I don't know why my camera is so useless at picking up the subtle shade differences in my eye makeup looks, but there you go. In real life, I was very pleased with my green/gold autum leaves inspired look.

Do you panic when it gets colder?

Motivation Monday: JFDI

Do you want to know what my new motto is?

It's JFDI.

Or: just fucking do it. 

At the beginning of the year, when I was all fresh faced and eager for "the best year of my life", I was planning out my year, writing down my mottos, and right at the top of the list, it said: "JFDI: Just Fucking Do It." I was going to repeat this to myself over and over and over again and I was going to get stuff done.

After having some interesting conversations this evening, the phrase popped back into my head and I realised it's a phrase that I can use to help push me into doing things. Although over these past few weeks I've been getting more and more productive and heading back to where I want to be, there are still some things I'm scared of doing, things I don't get done. 

Do you know what I need to do? JFDI.

How about you?

Been putting off doing your dishes cos it's a rubbish job despite how nice you'll feel once it's done? JFDI.

Been meaning to ask for a pay rise at work? JFDI.

Been intending to call that friend you never see anymore for catch up? JFDI.

Been saying you're going to shake your diet up and add more nutrition? JFDI.

Been putting off going to the gym? JFDI.

Just in case you've not got it yet: just fucking do it! 

This Instavixen Is Currently...#17

Wow. So this week, I took all of one Instagram photos! To be honest though, the lack of pictures pretty much sums up the lack of things I have done this week! Last weekend, I went out on Saturday night to Frankie and Benny's in Basingstoke and about halfway through the meal, realised I wasn't feeling very good at all. By the time we got home, I was in major panic mode because every year since 2009 I've had real flu roundabout this time of year and I thought it was happening this year too. Thankfully, it ended up being just a particularly nasty cold, but even so, it has really knocked me out for the week. I had a full day off work, a work from home day and any plans for being productive or eating well just went out of the window!

Thankfully, now it's Sunday I'm feeling majorly better. After giving myself the gift of a lovely lie in, I got up, did Leonie Dawson's Best Day Ever Meditation (see sidebar links on right) and started my new exercise plan. Since then, I've been majorly productive. I have finally got round to cleaning my entire house from top to bottom, I had a really productive video chat with a new friend and I've got myself back into the swing of preparing proper meals again. 

Here's to hoping the cold is gone for good and I can carry on my successes from today over next week as well!


Reading: Storm of Swords Part One. I stayed up until 2am this morning reading it because it's so good, even if Jon and Ygritte make me weep. I'll definitely have finished it within the next few days. I've also been trying to start reading non-fiction alongside my novel of choice at the moment too, but sadly The Chimp Paradox has been very neglected this week.

Watching: American Horror Story Coven, which is my favourite series so far and I've finally taken up Buffy and Charmed again after taking a few weeks off. I'm on season four of both and have just watched the funniest episode of Buffy so far - one involving an interesting roommate! 

Listening To: Marina and the Diamonds' new track Froot. I did my budget for December a few days ago and realised I am in a much more dire situation financially than I initially realised and I'm having to be so tough on myself, meaning I haven't even pre-ordered Marina's new album much to my dismay. So, listening to Froot, which is available on YouTube, on repeat. 

Craving: Sugary goodness. Give me flapjack, give me cake, give me chocolate, give me strawberry fizzy laces, please

Looking Forward To: Getting back on my feet this week, a media lunch in London, organising the work Christmas party, seeing a special someone

Lusting After: The Arbonne Nutrition set. After being so ill last week, I need the good stuff back in my life! I've yet to try the new Fizz Sticks and want to so badly, plus the Anti-Oxidant and Immunity Boosters are a seasonal essential. 

Aiming Towards: Falling back into the 6am wakeup routine, keeping up my new workout programme, starting the next GoT book, getting all my case studies finished at work (rock n roll week guys!) 

What have you been up to this week? 

Operation Supervixen: GET ORGANISED

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In July 2014, 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.

There is one skill that is more important than any other when it comes to transforming your life, and that's organisation. When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. 

How can you reach your goals if you don't have them written down to remind you of them? How can you eat healthily if you haven't planned your meals and all you've got is a freezer full of chips? How can you run a business without any structure? How can you fit "you" time in with your busy lifestyle if you don't make the effort to schedule it in?

When I am unorganised, my life gets chaotic. When I embrace my persnickety side and plan my life down to a T, I become wonder woman

Here are just a few ways I am bringing organisation into my life to help me reach my own personal goals:
  • I write my goals down. If they are huge, I break them down into manageable chunks
  • I regularly review my goals 
  • I have daily To Do Lists that contain literally everything I must do that day - I include alllll the mundane stuff like cooking my tea and washing up afterwards, not just because it ensures I don't forget, but because I can see everything that needs doing at a glance and it means I can plan my time accurately
  • Using timings on your To Do List. In the past, I've struggled with my To Do Lists because I've made them insanely huge. When I started adding realistic time frames for each task, for example, breakfast from 8.30-9.00am, I was able to make lists I actually had a chance of completing and it has made me feel so much better about myself 
  • Use apps! I cannot imagine my life without Wunderlist and Evernote. I use Wunderlist for my daily To Do Lists, as well as having different lists for things I know I need to tackle at some point but it's not urgent. As for Evernote, it might as well be my life. I keep my health diary in there, blog post ideas, essential information regarding my home, I keep track of the things I've been doing in there. There's no excuse to be unorganised when technology is practically begging to help you
  • Back to that health diary I just mentioned...every day I record the hours I have slept, the food I have eaten, the drinks I have drunk, how I have been feeling physically and how I have been feeling mentally. Since doing so, I've found patterns that are helping me craft the lifestyle that fits me best 
  • Meal planning is something I adopted in university and I am so glad I did because back then I was rolling around in money, now I'm not and can't afford to waste money on food! Not only does meal planning save me money by not buying any unnecessary rubbish, but it prepares you to be healthy. If I only plan healthy meals, I only buy healthy food and therefore I can only eat healthily! It means I'm never caught unawares and resort to getting a takeaway
Of course, it's impossible to be 100% organised all the time, as I have learnt this week. A nasty, nasty cold (honestly, I'm just so glad it wasn't proper flu....) has really set me back this week and it doesn't matter how carefully curated your To Do List is when illness hits. You need to rest. I also find that if you expect everything to go to plan and leave yourself with no leeway whatsoever, you're setting yourself up for stress.

However, my biggest tip for organisation is one that I am totally aiming at myself...

It's great if you've got to the stage where you've written all these plans down and you're feeling super duper organised but all the To Do Lists in the world are NOT going to make a difference if you don't bloody stick to them!