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?