Different Ways To Style A Little Black Dress Featuring Luxemme


With festive season already upon us, many of us have seen an increase in our social lives! Now, I don't know about you, but it'd be great to have a different dress for every occasion, but that's just not financially viable. Enter the little black dress. This wardrobe staple is popular for a reason: it's an absolute classic, there's a style to suit everyone, and, if you get a little creative, you can make it look like you're wearing a different outfit every time.

The LBD I'm showing off today is a gorgeous number from a brand I was recently introduced to called Luxemme.* Luxemme is an online luxury clothing store with a gorgeous range of high quality items, including some very special limited edition pieces. I was particularly drawn to the Anita High Neck Swing Dress because I don't have any dresses in this style already and the simplicity of it means there are a lot of options for styling it.

Wear it as it is 

As the Little Black Dress is such a classic, you can simply throw it on and go!


Change up the headwear 

One of my favourite ways to change the look and feel of an outfit is to add some hair accessories. Because a LBD can run the risk of looking plain, adding a giant floral crown or a sparkly glitter head band (both these pictured are from Prairie Charms) can really bring the outfit to life and is perfect for party season.


Add a kimono 
A year or two I went mad for kimonos and added a fair few to my wardrobe, three of which I still love and wear today. As I particularly like floral ones, they work really well with a LBD because there's no clash of prints. Kimonos can also add a much needed splash of colour to an outfit.

Wear a contrasting necklace
Jewellery is probably one of the easiest ways to change up a well loved outfit. Of all the ways I've showcased this dress today, I think perhaps I like this silver heart necklace the best. It's so simple and adds just enough sparkle for a sophisticated night time outfit.



Don't forget the makeup!
Of course, nothing really finishes off a killer Little Black Dress like some killer makeup! I'm very, very partial to my eyeliner flicks and purple mascara at the moment.

How do you wear your LBD?

* This dress was provided to me free of charge by Luxemme in return for an honest review. Please read my full disclaimer policy here.

Operation Supervixen: November Update + December Goals


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 everyone. It's that time of the month again where I update you all on my progress with my monthly health and wellness goals and set some new ones for the month ahead. Unfortunately, it's going to be a quick one today as I didn't achieve a single goal I set for November. Yep, not a single one. I took a packed lunch to work once, I had four takeaways, I did one day of a cleanse, I didn't go to roller derby at all, I didn't workout at weekends at all, and I blogged three times in my week off and them stopped for over a week again.

Fail.

I'm not even going to bother setting any goals for December.

I'm not ready to go into specifics just yet but at the beginning of November, my life was turned upside down yet again. I've got a lot of tough decisions to make and a lot of readjusting to do. It might be quite some time before my life settles down again. In this environment, it is really damn hard to make resolutions and stick to them. Really damn hard

For now, I need to focus on healing and figure out how to listen to my intuition again so I can resolve the situation I have found myself in. I am aiming to make December a month of true self care.

In case you too are going through a difficult time at the moment, here are the 10 steps I am taking this month to try and nurse myself back to better mental health:

1. I will try my best to get more sleep
2. I will try my best to listen to my inner voice and focus on the things I truly want
3. I will try my best to listen to my body and give it the nutrition it needs
4. I will try my best to give myself a little treat for getting through each day
5. I will try my best to stop chastising myself for not meeting the ridiculously high expectations I place on my self
6. I will try my best to avoid activities that make me feel worse rather than better
7. I will try my best to be loving and caring to those around me even though I often don't feel loving and caring
8. I will try my best to look after myself 
9. I will try my best to think about my future and set some longer term goals when I start to feel better again
10. I will try my best to express my emotions in a healthy way rather than bottling them all up or raging on social media

I'm sure if I follow the above advice, I will be feeling much better in no time. I wish you all a lovely December! 


The Vixen Thinks: Does Plus Size Promote Obesity?


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: emily@theglittervixen.com! Thank you!

A few weeks (months maybe, been planning this post for far too long) ago, I was exposed to the idea that the rise in availability of plus size clothing promotes obesity. That is, by stocking clothes intended for larger people, clothing companies were saying "hey everyone, obesity is acceptable, it's desirable!"

What an absolutely outrageous idea! I could say, no, plus size does not "promote" obesity, and be done with it, but this is a blog post, so let's get into why I think there are absolutely no downsides to the increasing number of plus sizes ranges available and why the idea of promoting obesity is flawed at best.

Traditionally, the term plus size actually simply referred to clothing that wasn't made to fit a typical tall and skinny model. So yeah, clothing designed to fit the vast majority of us reading this - I'm pretty sure none of my readers are supermodels! With this definition in mind, all high street clothing retailers sell plus size clothing! How on earth can stocking UK size 8 clothing be a promotion of obesity? Oh yeah, it isn't.

Of course, this argument over simplifies things. Nowadays, plus size refers to sizes typically above those most commonly found readily available on the high street. I've seen some plus size ranges start around the UK size 16 mark, but my (limited) research suggests that more often, plus size is 18+.

The truth is, many people who require plus size clothing are fat, or, shock horror, OBESE.

The thing is, you cannot tell how healthy someone is simply by looking at them. I will repeat that: you cannot measure someone's health simply by looking at them. Just as there are super slim people who actually eat the recommended number of calories each day and get a healthy, balanced diet, there are also fat people who eat the recommended number of calories each day and get a healthy, balanced diet.

Everyone deserves access to clothing that fits them comfortably.

Should fat people who eat healthily really be penalised because there are actually people in this world who believe that by making clothing for fat people, we are condoning obesity? Of course not, what a ridiculous idea!

But what about fat people who don't healthily?

Well, this is where I need to repeat myself:

Everyone deserves access to clothing that fits them comfortably.

I know this may come as a surprise to some people but the lifestyle another person chooses to lead is NONE of your business. It is literally none of your business whether someone chooses to eat healthily, or chooses to regularly indulge in junk food instead.

By making clothes that fit people of all shapes and sizes, shops aren't screaming "HEY LIVE OFF CHEESEBURGERS IT'S FINE!" They're saying "OK, the vast majority of the UK isn't 6 feet tall and a dress size 6, so maybe the clothing we sell should reflect that."

I know, I know, you're probably moaning about the health risks associated with obesity and crying out about the "strain on the NHS" it causes. But here's the kicker - being skinny doesn't automatically make you immune to disease. Not everyone who falls on the larger side of scale is a walking ill-health timebomb. Again, you can't tell how healthy someone is just by looking at them.

There are other things that can cause severe health problems. Alcohol is a big one. Misuse of that drug places strain on the NHS, but I've never seen someone with a pint in their hand get the kind of abuse I've seen a fat person receive. Not even smokers get as much abuse as the plus size community, and smoking in my opinion is one of the worst, because it's not just your health it affects, it's that of those around you too.

It is time to move beyond the idea that the way someone looks is any of our business. It's time to move beyond the idea that you can tell how healthy someone is just by looking at them. It's time to celebrate that we're all different shapes and sizes and we should be encouraging clothing retailers to reflect this!


Arbonne Christmas Collection 2015










At the time of writing this post, I was an Arbonne Independent Consultant. To learn more about what this means, please click here.

Hello everyone! It's that exciting time of year again where I reveal the Arbonne Christmas Collection to you all! Admittedly this collection has actually been available since around October so I am little late but if you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll be well aware my blogging habits have been rather sporadic this year. At this point in time it looks like most of the products are still available so I'm taking the better late than never approach. 

This year's collection is much smaller than in previous years as Arbonne has decided to take a simpler, more classic approach to the festive range of products. At first I was a little disappointed to hear it had been downsized and things like the giant Pure Vibrance shampoo and conditioner wouldn't be making a reappearance but as it happens, this smaller collection of products is absolutely gorgeous and very sophisticated. I love the delicate, slightly metallic packaging with gold and green accents, it's absolutely beautiful. I was in absolute awe when I opened the packaging and the products inside don't disappoint either. 

The Pineapple Papaya Gift Set contains a lovely lip balm, shower gel and body lotion in, you guessed it, a pleasant pineapple-papaya scent and taste in the lip balm. I cannot get over how delicious this set is. I've been using the lip balm daily and besides tasting great, it really smooths over my lips and makes them feel soft and hydrated.

Of all this year's Festive products, this was the one I was most excited about. This little Lip Therapy Set contains a lip salve and lip smoother. I've adored the Lush lip scrubs for years and I've been secretly wishing Arbonne would release one and now my wish has been granted! I didn't think anything could smell and taste nicer than the Pineapple Papaya lip balm but this does. It's so amazing

The amazing Arbonne Baby Care set in cute miniature sizes. The perfect gift for someone who is expecting or already has a newborn. These products are super, super gentle and great for young children. Even if you're not a mummy, the Nappy Cream is one of my must have products. Other people swear by it for a number of reasons but my personal favourite use is for blisters on my feet. It soothes broken skin on my feet and heals it up in no time. Fantastic! 

This is an old Arbonne Christmas favourite and I was super glad to see the foot scrub in particular has decided to show up again this year. The minty scent is very seasonally appropriate and there are few treats on this earth that I appreciate more than a good foot scrub.

Another repeat from last year's collection. This will take pride of place in my bathroom so both me and any guests I might have can have minty fresh hands.

These are released every year in different scents and this year's don't disappoint. This is a truly nourishing hand cream, a real treat for your hands. 

Every year my favourite part of the Arbonne Christmas Collection is the limited edition makeup. I will be doing a full post about these products, so watch this space. 

Another product I was particularly excited about this year. So many Festive gift sets fail to include shower gel in favour of body lotion. I rarely use body lotion and use shower gel 1/2 times a day. So, this gift set is something I will actually enjoy and get the full use of. All the scents are gorgeous and I can't wait to use them properly. If they're anything like other Arbonne shower gels, they will leave skin feeling and smelling great.

So there we have it, the Arbonne 2015 Holiday Collection. What has been your favourite Christmas Collection this year? 


Are You Ready To Have The Best Year Of Your Life?






Are you ready to make 2016 the best year of your life? 

*POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS*

In 2012, I was browsing a forum I used to visit frequently when I noticed a friend refer to her "Goddess Guidebook" - intrigued, I Googled the term and that's when I discovered the wonder that is Leonie Dawson. Leonie's main mission in life is to help women grow shining businesses and lead shining lives. To do this, every year, she releases workbooks to help people achieve their dreams. The workbooks have gone through many incarnations, from the Goddess Guidebook, to the Shining Biz and Life Workbooks they are today. 

So, in early 2013, I purchased my first Leonie Dawson Workbook - "Create Your Incredible Year 2013" I think it was called - and I haven't look back since! At the time, I was feeling very, very lost having graduated university and my graduate plan had gone very, very wrong. These workbooks helped me focus my intentions and gain some clarity about what my next steps could be. I am so eternally grateful to have found them. 

This year's workbooks have been particularly exciting. What started out as a humble e-book has now turned into a fantastic range of physical products you can love and cherish forever. The Business and Life workbooks are now separate entities so if you're not a biz owner and aren't planning to be, you can simply buy the Life workbook on it's own. Alongside the workbooks, there is now a 2016 Diary/Planner, each book comes with an A2 Wall Planner and there was even a gorgeous To Do List pad which has now sadly sold out. Of course, if you're digitally inclined the workbooks are still available in PDF format as well. 

This year, both the Life and Biz workbooks are twice the size they were last year and they've been divided into chapters so you can easily focus on the areas you know you need to focus on. Oh yes, these already insanely useful resources just got even better. I actually ordered my workbook bundle way back in July when they were on sale and they have now finally arrived. It was well worth the wait, they are everything I expected and more. 

Great lives don't happen by accident, they have to be created. If, like me, you have a loud and chaotic mind, getting your hopes and dreams down on paper in a structured manner really is the key to creating and reaching solid goals. I've yet to find a resource I like as much as these workbooks. 
“The 2016 Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life workbooks and brand spankin’ new weekly planner are incredibly popular & useful tools to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!).
Over the last seven years, thousands of women have used these goals workbooks with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet!
Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Creating Your Shining Year workbooks + daily planner are filled with powerful worksheets to help you create your amazing new year.”
If you really want to transform your life in 2016, I also recommend checking out Leonie Dawson's Shining Biz and Life Academy too!

I wish you all the very best 2016!

PS: Some of you lovely readers purchased the workbooks last year using my affiliate links - THANK YOU! I am eternally grateful and I hope you found them as useful a resource as I did xx

Prairie Charms Pizzazz Box: Enchanted Edition


Today, it is with delight that I share with you all the latest Prairie Charms Prairie Pizzazz subscription box. Last month I had the pleasure of showcasing the Luau Party themed box which was full of amazing tropical themed goodies. I am delighted to reveal that the theme this time round is 'Enchanted.' I was super excited when I saw this as I knew the box would be filled with pieces right up my street and I'm so happy to say I wasn't disappointed at all.

While I loved the last box I received, the Enchanted edition was on a whole other level. Every single item within was something I could easily have chosen and purchased myself. Not a single dud! From the gorgeous hair accessories, to the skull shaped gingerbread wax melts, I've not had a parcel this exciting in a long time.

My box included: 
Seraphina Velvet Knot Wrap
Luna Leatherette Hair Bow
Anya Butterfly Headband Duo 
Hazel Custom Knot Tie Pack
Hermione Wand Necklace
Pandora Evil Eye Bracelet
Solace Midi Ring
Rosalie Quote Card
Merida Candy Skull Wax Melts
The Sweet Hostess Sugar Swizzle Sticks


The first thing I saw when I opened the box was the Seraphina Velvet Knot Wrap and I actually squealed with delight. I've been wanting a headband like this for the longest time and not only do I have one at last, but it is the perfect shade of pink. The velvet it's made of is stretchy in itself, so there's no wire or elastic in it which makes it super comfortable. What a bonus! 

The second thing I laid my eyes upon was the Luna Leatherette Hair Bow. The gorgeous metallic pink shade immediately caught my eye and I resolved to start wearing top knots to work again! Back when I worked in Superdrug I used to wear my hair up frequently and decorate it with some glitter hair bows (also courtesy of Prairie Charms!) and now I'm feeling inspired to do the same with this shiny pink wonder. 

Should I ever get bored of wearing bows in my hair, I now have the option to dress it up with butterflies instead, thanks to the Anya Butterfly Headband Duo. This purple glittery butterfly headband means I can take a break from all the pink should I so wish, but it's also three products in one! The butterfly is actually a detachable clip, so can be worn alone, or attached to the headband. Finally, the headband can also be worn on it's own too. So great, so versatile and definitely something my hair accessories collection was lacking. 

The Prairie Charms knot ties are seriously great and the Hazel Custom Knot Tie Pack is no different. I love how gentle the hair ties are and the way they can easily jazz up what would otherwise have been a boring pony tail. They can also double up as cute bracelets!


The jewellery included in this edition was also particularly top notch. My favourite piece has to be the Hermione Wand Necklace, it is just so seriously cute. I am really happy I got a mint green one as it's one of my favourite colours after pink and purple, and as much as I am obsessed with all pink everything, it is nice to have some different options every now and again. The Solace Midi Ring is super adorable and the Pandora Evil Eye Bracelet is very delicate and will make a great addition to my existing wristwear.


One of the surprise stand out items of the Enchanted Prairie Pizzazz Box was the Merida Candy Skull Wax Melts. I admit they are sooooo pretty that I have yet to burn these, but man, they smell delightful enough anyway. The gingerbread scent definitely gets one's sweet tooth going, so the delicious Sweet Hostess Sugar Swizzle Sticks were a very welcome addition to the box. The information revealed that these can be stirred into drinks to make them sweet but I chose to eat it like a lollipop. Soooo worth it. 

Finally, tucked away at the bottom of my box was the Rosalie Quote Card. I cannot begin to express how delighted I was to see one of my favourite quotes: she believed she could, so she did, emblazoned on a decorative card. I want to get this framed and display it somewhere prominent in my flat.

See what I mean? This box was perfect. I am now eagerly looking forward to receiving the Christmas 2015 box! Watch this space!

FOTD: Silvery Smokey Eye with Red Lip



Products Used: 
Arbonne Mineral Foundation
Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Shellshock, Lovesick and Smokeout (Vice 2 Palette)
Arbonne Pencil Eyeliner in Black
Arbonne Lipstick in Runway Rouge

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend in London. Now why was I in London? To see Wednesday 13 of course! One of the best things about going to see my favourite music artist, besides seeing the man himself obviously, is the fact that it's the perfect excuse to go really overboard with black eyeliner! I absolutely love doing makeup that leans towards the goth side of things and naturally, I just had to share that passion with you all today.

I started off by prepping my incredible winter base. After my skincare routine, I use a generous two pumps of the Arbonne Primer to really smooth over my skin and hydrate it ready for the heavy products I use at this time of year. While I adore both the Arbonne CC Cream and Mineral Foundation, neither of them are quite heavy enough for me at the moment. Together though? A match made in heaven. My skin is always horrendous at this time of year and using two of my favourite foundations together gives me the coverage I really need and desire. 

Once my base is out of the way, I ever so lightly added the Arbonne Bronzer and Arbonne Highlighter to my face. I wanted to keep myself relatively pale, but I also wanted to emphasise my cheekbones. With the minimal contouring out of the way, it was time to move onto the best part: my eyes! After applying a primer, I applied the lovely silver shade, Shellshock, from the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette all over my eyelids. I then took the matt black shade, Smokeout, and blended it into my crease. To make it all a bit darker and smokier, I blended the slightly glittery black shade Lovesick onto the outer corners of my eyes. To finish it off, I did a nice thick flick of liquid eyeliner on my top lip and outlined the bottom in pencil eyeliner, slightly smudging it for a nice grungey look. Of course, I also used my beloved Arbonne It's a Long Story mascara to finish the eyes off.

I had wanted to wear false lashes with this makeup look to really give it some oomph but the only ones I had available to me were some seriously cheap and nasty eBay ones I've had for ages. Sadly I am really out of practice at applying lashes and these ones are pretty damn difficult to begin with, so I gave up on them and moved onto lipstick. Initially I had wanted a deep purple, but as the top I was wearing was red and black, I went for a red lip with Arbonne's Runway Rouge lipstick. This shade is sadly not available anymore, but if you were interested, I will let you know which shade in the new range of Arbonne lipsticks (even BETTER than the originals) is close. 

Overall, I am really happy with this makeup look and super excited for my next chance to wear it again. Funnily enough, I actually saw Wednesday 13 two nights in a row this time, so maybe, just maybe, I've got another gothic makeup look to show you next week...? 


What I Wore: A Walk Round Coate Water




I'm Wearing:
Beret: H+M
Jacket: Boohoo
Blouse: New Look
Trousers: Miss Pap
Scarf: Gift

Makeup:
Arbonne Primer
Arbonne CC Cream
Arbonne Mineral Foundation
Arbonne Bronzer
Arbonne Highlighter
Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Dope and Strike (Vice 2 Palette)
Arbonne Liquid Eyeliner in Brown
Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara

One of the things I really want this little blog to be is a reflection of real life. I find that so many outfit bloggers only show outfits because they've been paid to, or they think it looks good but then don't actually wear that outfit outside the house. On this blog I promise to show outfits I actually wear, whether it's the clothes I wear to work or the clothes I wear on the very rare occasions I *gasp* socialise.

Of course, that also means sharing outfits that, well, look awful. In the past I've shared a few dud outfits and sadly, today is one of those. In my head, a cream shirt, 'leather' pants and some leopard print accessorising was a great idea, but sadly, that didn't translate into real life. It's a shame, because each piece in this particular outfit is great on its own, they just weren't meant to come together.

Thankfully, my rubbish outfit didn't spoil the day I had. On Sundays, I quite like to walk Genghis the shiba inu round Coate Water in Swindon. It's a really lovely walk and a great way to fit fresh air and exercise into my weekends. At the moment, it's particularly lovely due to the autumnal colours and scenes everywhere. It has been really mild in my part of the country so far, despite it being mid-November and for that I am very, very grateful. 

I'd also like to think that this terrible outfit is redeemed by my makeup. A month or two ago I finally invested in Arbonne's Brown Liquid eyeliner after enjoying the black one so much and it's not a decision I regret. I think it makes for lovely daytime wear and really enhances the green in my eyes.


Lush Haul


A couple of weekends ago, I had the absolute pleasure of staying in London for a long weekend and naturally, I had to make what can only be described as a blogger pilgrimage to Lush Oxford Street. It has been a long time since I've bought anything from Lush and as you can see, I went a little wild. I went in for two products: I was desperate to try the Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask again and my feet were in agony, so I wanted some kind of magical foot lotion too. Unfortunately, once I got going, I couldn't stop. It has been so long since I treated myself to something...!

I Bought: 
Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask
Go Faster Feet Foot Lotion
Damaged Hot Oil Treatment
Don't Look at Me Fresh Face Mask
Mint Julips Lip Scrub
Rehab Shampoo
Tea Tree Toner Water
Sparkle Toothy Tabs
Ultrabland Cleansing Balm
Retread Hair Conditioner

For the past two years of my life, I have exclusively been using Arbonne skin care. DO NOT GET ME WRONG, I still love Arbonne with all my heart, but every now and again, it's really nice to have a change, particularly when my skin is totally freaking out right now. I think that's why I went so overboard when I really shouldn't be spending on non-essentials right now - I was just so excited to have something different in my life. 

Cosmetic Warrior, Ultrabland and Retread are the only three products I bought that I had tried before. Cosmetic Warrior is one of my favourite facemasks of all time and my skin really needed a treat, whereas Ultrabland is one of my favourite cleansers of all time. Retread on the other hand, I actually seriously disliked but as I was buying the Rehab shampoo, I wanted a conditioner too. Retread was described as its perfect partner so I decided to give it one more chance in case the last time I tried it was a dud. 



Not only is my skin rebelling against me at the moment, but so is my hair. It's been a while since I really pampered my hair with a luxurious treatment and I was really intrigued by this oil on a stick offering. 


While I was hovering around looking for Cosmetic Warrior, I was asked if I wanted to try any more face masks. The woman who asked was so lovely and friendly I just had to say yes and next thing I knew, I was sat on a chair having every single face mask on offer gently massaged onto my hands and arms. A few seriously piqued my interest, but in the end, it was this gorgeous bright blue mask which I chose: Don't Look At Me. It reminded me of Ocean Salt


As I said, a foot lotion was one of the two products I had actually intended to buy. Walking round London in my creepers really was not doing me any favours, so I wanted to say sorry to my feet. This certainly did the trick! 


Previously I've been a huge fan of the Bubblegum Lip Scrub, but it has been quite a while since I've had that or any similar products. I did pick up the Santa Lip Scrub for consideration, but in the end went for this minty delight. I have no regrets.


I've heard so many great things about this shampoo, I just had to give it a little try. It smells seriously great. 


Traditionally my skin has never got along with Tea Tree, but it smells so delightful and on paper, sounds perfect for my skin. I looooove toner sprays and I simply couldn't resist this one. 


Probably one of the strangest products I have ever come across. I really love these little guys though. I can't wait to do a full review of them!

Over the coming weeks, I will be doing full reviews of everything I bought as I've been trying everything out for the past few weeks.

I really, really enjoyed my time in the store. It's so well presented and the staff were great. In many Lush stores I think the staff can be quite over bearing and almost a little creepy but here I felt so at ease, welcomed and like help was on hand if I needed it. I'm heading back to London in December and I think I will have to take another look round!

Have you been to Lush Oxford Street?

Operation Supervixen: November Goals


Hello everyone. It has been a while since I set myself some real goals to help keep me on track in my personal development journey. With October coming to an end (what, already?! HOW?!) I thought now was the perfect time to set myself some fresh goals to complete during November. At the end of November, I will update you all on my progress and get back into the habit of setting goals and writing progress reports on a monthly basis again.

  1. Take a packed lunch to work every day. This goal kills two birds with one stone: not only does it stop me spending extortionate amounts of money, but a lunch I've actually prepared myself is always going to be healthier than one I buy from the shop. 
  2. Have zero takeaways. Another goal which will be good for both my bank balance and health. This month I have had more takeaways than I care to admit to - despite the fact I can't afford it. Not only that but as much as a I love Domino's Pizza and dumplings, they aren't good for my waistline! This will be seriously tough to stick to, but I really need to start being tough on myself when it comes to this and I suspect my next goal might make it easier than it normally would be.
  3. Start a cleanse. Last month, I accidentally stumbled upon a cleanse programme that isn't just juice AND the recipes included actually appealed to me! When I look at most detox/cleanse programmes, I am horrified by how bland they are, or how obscure and inaccessible the ingredients are. However, the programme I will be undertaking has recipes that make my mouth water, an ingredient substitute guide (v. helpful for a fussy eater like me) and ingredients I've heard of - but it also has a guide of where to find all the ingredients anyway! I will be starting this programme on Monday 9th. I'd originally wanted to start on the 2nd, but I am away the weekend of the 7th and I knew I'd end up spoiling it before I'd even got started properly.
  4. Go to roller derby every week. This is with the exception of the first week, when I have other plans that night. So far in October, I haven't been to roller derby once and I am so annoyed and ashamed of myself. I would really like to turn over a new leaf in November and start going again. Every time I do make the effort I seriously enjoy it and it's such a good workout. 
  5. Workout on the weekends. I know, I know, weekends are meant to be 'time off.' However, I'm at work during the week - there's NO chance in hell I will get out of bed to workout properly before work and I am always far too tired when I get home (hence why I don't go to roller derby!) For a while I got into the habit of doing Blogilates videos on Saturdays and Sundays and now I need to get back into it. 
  6. Use my week off work in the middle of the month to breath some life back into this blog. Although I have finally started posting 2-3 times a week again alongside my shiny new blog design, I am still not very satisfied with this blog. I want to really revamp my content and posting schedule and not being at work is the perfect time to do it. Hoping to use the time to schedule content right up until the end of 2015, however my main focus is generating content I am really proud of again. 
So, six goals related to money saving, healthy eating, exercise and using my free time in a way that aligns with my values. I am feeling quite positive about these - although very nervous about number 2 - so looking forward to giving an update in a month's time!

What are your November goals?

What To Do When You Have "Nothing To Wear"

original image via Pixabay
OK, hands up who has ever said "OMG I have NOTHING to wear" while staring at their wardrobe which is, of course, full of clothes. I say it at least three times a day. I'm in a massive style rut, the majority of my clothes no longer fit me and I can't afford to replace them and the clothes that do fit me, I can't stand anymore. Last time my boyfriend and I went to the cinema, I nearly had a full on meltdown because I just "couldn't" find a date night appropriate outfit that made me feel how I wanted to feel - I almost cancelled on him because of it. Obviously, this is no way to live, so I've sat down and written myself an action plan to fall back in love with my own personal style again. Naturally, I thought I'd share it on the blog because I know I'm not the only person who faces this problem!

Step One
Clear your bed and make a lot of space. Empty your wardrobe. Empty your drawers. Empty anywhere that you store clothes and make sure you don't forget any laundry that's been hung up to dry for the past three weeks either. You need all your clothing in one place if this mission is going to be a success.


Step Two
Begin organising your mass of clothing into separate piles.: keep, sell, donate and chuck - that last pile there should be reserved only for items that are so far gone beyond repair that there's no hope left for them. You must be brutal and honest in this step! It's time to be honest about clothes that don't fit you and clothes you said you were going fix six months ago but never did. If you haven't sewn those buttons back on by now, you won't ever do it! Make sure mildy imperfect items and things that do not fit you are either in the sell or donate pile. Hang on to the sell and donate piles for now, but get rid of that chuck pile as soon as you can!

Tip: When doing a clear out, I find it's much easier and better for the soul to donate most items. However, when items are a certain brand or still have tags on them, it can be quite profitable to sell them - try Facebook groups first to avoid nasty fees!

Step Three
Now, sort these piles down even further - you want each type of clothing in a different pile - so, dresses, skirts, trousers, tops, playsuits and even your knickers and your bras ladies in their own individual pile. My reasoning behind this will become clearer at a later stage in the process.

Step Four
Now, let's focus our attention on the clothing in your keep pile. This should now only consist of clothes you actually wear on a regular basis or items you love so much you can't bear to get rid of them in anyway way. For the clothes you actually wear regularly: why do you wear these pieces so often: do they fit? Are they comfy? Easy to style? For the clothes you do not wear regularly but don't want to get rid of: Are they reserved for special occasions? Or are you just clueless about what to wear it with? 
 
Step Five
Using the clothes in your keep pile, write down a list of failsafe outfits, ones you know you can always fall back on if you want to look good and feel confident. If you have a lot of dresses, this is great because dresses = instant outfit. Now put your failsafe items and outfits right back in your wardrobe.

Step Six
You should now be left with the clothes you never wear but want to keep and the items you want to sell or donate. If the reason you never wear these items is because they're for special occasions, I think it's perfectly alright to pop it back in your wardrobe now. Everybody needs special outfits for special times! Now: lay out all your tops in one line, and all your bottoms (trousers, skirts, shorts etc.) in another line underneath. This is why I had you separate all your piles into invidual types of clothing. Do you see any potential matches? Laying out your clothes next to each other is a great way to visualise new outfits. You might think the reason you never wear your gorgeous blouse is because you have nothing that goes with it, but when you lay it next to a pretty little skirt, you might find the two are a match made in heaven! I've had you include you sell and donate piles in this exercise because you might be about to get rid of an item your wardrobe really needs.

Step Seven
Now, try on all your potential matches from Step Six. If they look good, add a note to your failsafe outfits list, and then pop the items in your wardrobe. Your wardrobe should now be full of great outfits that you love and on your bed you should only have your sell, donate, and what the hell do I wear this with items. Put your sell and donate items to one side and focus all your attention on the lonely clothing. Can you envision anything that will go with these items of clothing? If you wardrobe is just missing some essential basics, make sure you write these down and grab them on your next shopping trip. If it's just one of those items that doesn't go with anything at all, it's time to suck it up, and add it to the sell or donate pile.

Step Eight
Haul your donate bag to your charity/sister of choice and get listing those sell items wherever you choose!

Hopefully you now have a wardrobe full of clothing that fits you and is totally wearable. Not to mention you've got a list of outfits you know make you feel good, so make sure you hang onto that for days when you just can't decide what to wear!

If you enjoyed this post and/or found it useful, please do let me know as I am thinking of turning it into a full series about building a wardrobe full of clothes you really love and developing your own personal style.

Operation Supervixen: Where I'm At


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 everyone! As I took a little break from blogging during September, my Operation Supervixen kinda ground to a halt so I thought today I'd take the time to update you all on where I'm at. I find it suprisingly motivating publishing honest accounts of my personal development journey online; accountability really is key when you want to make a positive change.

For the past month or so, I've really let myself go again. There's just something about this time of year that makes everything seem ten times more difficult and I really struggle with my mental health once it starts getting colder and darker. My emotions, my approach to healthy eating and the ways in which I have been spending my free time have been a total rollercoaster. One day I will have a green smoothie for breakfast, a vegetable based soup for lunch and a healthy dinner, the next I will eat a sharing size bag of Doritos and not much else. One day I will go above and beyond my to do list at work, then come home and clean my flat from top to bottom. The next I will spend the entire day wrapped in my duvet on my sofa and watch an entire series of a TV show.

I'm currently trying to find that ever-important balance between self care and not being too hard on myself, and knowing when it's time to give myself a kick up the bum and make a bit more effort. I know I find Autumn and Winter particularly difficult on my health, which in turn affects every aspect of my life, but I also know that I can't spend from September-early March hidden away and doing nothing of value.

Thankfully, it's not all bad news. Against all odds, I have not had a cigarette since May and I am so proud of myself for this. I haven't lost as much weight as I want to - I keep losing the same two kilograms just to put them back on again - but I have managed to keep an entire two kilograms off since I reached my heaviest ever weight. I have also been sticking with my driving lessons, which quite frankly, if I achieve nothing else this year, it'll be fine, because taking this step is going to have such a positive impact on my life.

Now that I am easing myself back into blogging again, I am hoping to keep up with the Operation Supervixen series. Alongside monthly updates and goals posts, I want to review the personal development books I read and the courses I take and share any useful lessons I learn along the way so you can benefit from them too.

If you have any tips on staying positive and keeping up with a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle during the colder seasons, I'd love for you to share them!

The Lazy Girl's Guide To Cooking

image via Pixabay
I don't know about you, but as much as I love cooking, I am often too exhausted after work to do it. The last thing I want to do is spend an hour prepping, then an hour actually cooking and then finish off my evening slaving over the sink washing 49395820 pots and pans up. Thankfully, I've found there's a few ways around the most annoying bits of cooking and I thought I'd share them with you today. I've called this the Lazy Girl's Guide to Cooking, but really, it applies to anyone with fatigue issues (like myself) or people who just want to save some time without resorting to unhealthy options like takeaways and ready meals.

Have numerous one pot recipes on hand
Hands down the worst parts of eating home cooked food is the washing up afterwards! I don't know what I will do if I ever have someone besides myself to clean up after! To get around this issue, I've found that one pot recipes are the best way to minimise clean up time. I recommend having a variety of different ones to hand at all times so whenever you're feeling like you CBA when it comes to doing the dishes, you can still cook yourself something good.

Batch cook and use your freezer
This is obviously a classic cooking tip, whether you're wanting to save time, or money or just generally be more efficient in the kitchen. Sadly, I don't actually have a freezer at the moment so I can't utilise this tip myself which makes it seem all the more valuable to me. If, like me, you love to cook at weekends because you have the energy to do so, but when it comes to weeknights, work has sapped the life out of you, having ready made meals is such a good option. *runs off to buy a freezer*

Buy your veg pre-chopped
Often, it's not the thought of cooking itself that has me groaning, but more the thought of prepping the ingredients. There are so, so, so many vegetables you can get your hands on today that are already ready to go - why not make cooking a little bit easier on yourself?

Use ground ginger/garlic/chili or those handy little paste tubes you can get
Sadly, using ground ingredients will probably not have the same nutritional benefits, but they still pack a good punch of all-important flavour. I love ginger but I find it so damn fiddly and annoying to prepare the fresh stuff so with certain recipes, I am much happier to just use the paste or ground stuff.

Plan your meals around your commitments
On Thursday evenings, I head to roller derby straight after work and so I know already there is no chance of me cooking a full meal from scratch when I get in. In order to avoid caving in to my takeaway craving or buying a dreadful ready meal, I try my hardest to cook a proper meal on Wednesday night and save the leftovers for Thursday evening.

Consider a service like Hello Fresh
In my last blog post, I talked about the Hello Fresh recipe box subscription had reignited my passion for cooking again. These boxes have a number of benefits for lazy girls: they take away the hard work of deciding what on earth to have for tea, they bring all the ingredients you need right to your door, and mostly, they are already in the quantities you require.

Hello Fresh Box [Product Review]








For the first 18 years of my life, I was a fussy eater. For the first 18 years of my life, I didn't cook. There's no need to cook when the only thing you will eat is Frazzles. However, I soon realised there's more to life than delicious bacon flavoured, bacon shaped crisps and the more I began to eat, the more I began to cook.

As it turns out, despite my slow start, I am a really good cook and I actually enjoy it. However, more recently, I've fallen out of love with cooking. I'd convinced myself the last thing I want to do when I get home from work was slave away over the stove, "wasting" time. 

I'd known about Hello Fresh for ages as my family quite like it, but I'd never taken the plunge myself. I'd even had a few £20 off vouchers at my disposal but I'd never quite got round to ordering myself a box. Then, one day, I received a voucher for £20 off my first AND second boxes. Suddenly, I decided it was time.

For those who aren't in the know, Hello Fresh is a weekly delivery box containing recipes and all the ingredients required to cook these recipes. One of the things I'd be struggling with each night was simply deciding what to cook, and these boxes took that stress away from each night. I was also hoping that having the exact ingredients in the right quantities ready and waiting for me would make cooking feel like less of a chore. 

Sadly, the ingredients don't always come in exactly the right quantities. One week I received a humongous bag of kale when I only required a handful for the recipe and personally, I find the pasta/noodle quantities are always a little excessive. I was also a little bit miffed when during my second week, I was charged full price for my box when it was meant to be £20 off.

Thankfully, my criticisms end there! When I rang up to ask why my voucher hadn't been taken into account, the staff were not only incredibly friendly, but also really helpful and my refund actually arrived in my bank account the next day, hooray. 

The food itself was absolutely great. I haven't made handmade burgers since I was in university and they turned out so well. It was the meal I was looking forward to least but it probably ended up being my favourite. The beef stir fry was so full of flavour, whereas the aubergine pasta was much spicier than anything I'd normally cook but I enjoyed it so much I want to be a bit more daring with chili now because I can handle a bit more than I thought.

I was also really impressed by the quality of the ingredients you are provided with. All the tinned food I received was organic, and I noticed that all the cuts of meat were practically fat free - much better than those I can pick up in the supermarket. The veg was always fresh and I really love the cute little spice pots you get. The packaging is great too - there's ice packs in there so I was confident that it was still fresh and in good condition when my box got to me.

All in all, I have been really, really pleased with my Hello Fresh experience, I have finally fallen back in love with cooking. I'd definitely got too comfortable with my eating habits - I was either getting takeaway or cooking the same bland, boring recipes over and over again, but now, I feel refreshed and inspired again.

If you're interested in trying Hello Fresh yourself, you can use this code XC33EW to get £20 off your first box (must be a new customer). This post isn't sponsored but if you do use that code I get £12 off my next box as well :) (please don't share this code elsewhere or neither of us will get the discount!!)

Forever Living Aloe Vera Gel Drink [Product Review]


A few weeks ago, my friend Sophie from university contacted me letting me know she's signed up as a Forever Living representative and did I want to try any products. As someone who knows only too well how great network marketing is, I was happy to support her. After finding out which her favourite products were, I decided to give the Aloe Vera Gel a try!

Here's some of the benefits of drinking aloe vera:
  • It contains 19 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body, and seven of the eight that the human body can't produce by itself, helping to promote overall health
  • Contains numerous vitamins and minerals
  • Good for gut flora (I am always on the lookout for products that help with this because when my stomach is in good condition, so is my skin!)
  • Can aid digestion
  • Can help with bowel movements
So, how was it?

First thing's first, let's get this out of the way: it tastes awful. There's no two ways about it. However, when chased with a pint of water it's bearable and I've heard reports of people getting completely used to it or mixing it with fruit juice to make it more tolerable. Thankfully you don't need to drink a lot to get the benefits, just two of shots pictured above, so I was willing to look past it.

The first thing I noticed when I started using this daily is how settled my stomach became. I have a lot of tummy troubles, partly because of my poor diet, partly because when I make the effort to be healthy, my body doesn't know what the hell is going on. For the period of time where I was drinking the aloe vera gel first thing every morning, all my tummy issues just vanished. My stomach felt very settled with none of the issues I usually have.

Secondly, I really appreciated how convenient this little drink is. It came with a handy little measuring cup and all I had to do was get up in the morning, walk to the fridge, pour my cup, shot it, and repeat. As we all know, I am constantly trying to improve my health and I'm always on the look out for products that will help me out with this. A lot of the supplements I've tried have just been fiddly and annoying. They require lots of preparation and just don't fit into my day properly. The Forever Living Aloe Vera Gel however was a habit I was able to get into straight away.

Best of all, the results I saw, my settled stomach and towards the end of my trial, overall improved wellbeing, came quickly. I wasn't hanging around wondering whether the nasty taste was worth it or not, because I knew it was working almost right away. I think this little drink makes a great companion to a healthy lifestyle.

If you are interested in trying Forever Living products for yourself, you can contact Sophie at sophie.fraser@live.co.uk or visit her website.