My Blogging Journey So Far

Original image via Pixabay

Hello everyone! Today is the second anniversary of my blog's go live date, hooray! I can't believe its just two years I've been calling The Glitter Vixen my own little home on the Internet, but there you go. Despite blogging for many, many years before 2013, it wasn't until I started this blog that year that I realised just how much I enjoyed it and started to get "serious" about it.

Because it's my blog's second birthday today, I thought I'd take the opportunity today to share my blogging journey so far with the world.

Aged 11 in 2002 or some distant year like that, I got my first ever website. I'd played around with a few different hosting providers and ideas, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is one I called Ice Cream Sundae. In all honestly, all I remember about this site is the sickly sweet pink layout I made, as for content, I have NO idea what I had on there!

After using diabolical free hosting providers (remember Geoshittiescities anyone?!), I finally let my dad know I'd been building websites and learning HTML, Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro and I think he was quite pleased that we shared a similar interest, so he started hosting my website on his record store website.

This little website was called Black Rose and besides creating loads and loads of free graphics for people to use, I also had a "blog" on here which let's be honest, was more like an online personal diary! One Christmas, I decided I was bored with the Black Rose and asked for a domain name for Christmas, which ended up becoming my next website, Toxic Illusions. Toxic Illusions was pretty much the same as Black Rose if I'm honest!

At this stage in my Internet journey, my biggest passion was definitely design. It blows my mind now, in the present day, that I had the ability to code an entire website from scratch. I used HTML, CSS and PHP by the time I got my domain and was able to make my websites look exactly how I wanted them to. Besides this, I was a "pro" (haha...) on Paint Shop Pro, before later discovering Photoshop.

In around 2004/2005, I started getting bored of web design and I stopped doing it for a while, but Myspace soon came along. I was grateful for my days of web design because it meant I was able to tweak my profile page so it was exactly how I liked it to be. In fact, I HATED Facebook because I couldn't do pretty things with it!

As for blogging, the closest I ever got to blogging in these days was long-winded bitchy "Bulletins" on Myspace about how much I hated being "copied" by other girls in my year, or "subtle" messages to the boys I really, really fancied. I did do a few posts similar to things I put on The Glitter Vixen in this era though, I'd often make posts about my days out with my friends (yeah, I'm amazed I once had a social life too) although they were a bit more personal than the ones that appear on here!

After Myspace died, I went a long time without doing anything even remotely related to blogging, until 2009 when I started university. I'd just started reading Gala Darling and within about a week, I needed a blog of my own, which is when Hanging in the Blossom Tree was born - the blog I was writing before this one!

For a while, Hanging in the Blossom Tree was again, a personal online diary, with the odd opinion piece thrown in here and then. It wasn't until I discovered LLYMLRS, Gh0stparties and Milkteef a little later on, that my blog finally got interesting! I finally started doing style posts and beauty reviews after being inspired by this trio and finally, people started reading my blog.

During the lifetime of Hanging in the Blossom Tree, I also started the Blossom Tree Chronicle, my current affairs blog. Every day I'd scour the Internet for news I had an opinion on and then write my opinion down. The whole point of this blog was to build a portfolio for when I applied for the BBC Journalism Apprentice Scheme. I was unfortunately unsuccessful in this venture and ended up shutting that blog down in the end.

Towards the end of 2012, I started getting bored with Hanging in the Blossom Tree. I hated all my old content and I had grown bored of the name. I didn't want to go back and delete all the old stuff as it was time consuming, but just trying to upgrade the new content wasn't working for me. I changed the layout a few times, working hard on coding and Photoshop for the first time in ages, but in the end, I realised I needed a brand new blog that was a much better representation of me.

And that's when The Glitter Vixen was born. I started writing it at the very beginning of January 2013 and introduced it to the public on 28th January.

Now, here I am two years later and I can't wait to see what I'll be writing this time next year!

My One Piece Of Blogging Advice

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

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

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

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You should love yours too!

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

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

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

The Instavixen Roundup #3

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

What's your week been like lovelies? 

Call Me, Maybe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ah change, the only constant in life! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change, it's a weird one.

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

Advice For Teenage Girls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Two Quotes That Keep Me Going

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

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

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

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing 

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

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

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

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

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

The Instavixen Roundup #2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

How has your week been?

The Bucket List

Ahhh, the good old Bucket List. A list of things to do before you errr, kick the bucket. Despite my interest in goals and resolutions, I've never actually sat down and written a list of things I absolutely must do before I die. I suspect that part of the reason for this is I was 16 years old when I managed to do the thing that I was most desperate to do...and I've done it four times since then. I spent many of my teenage years joking that I might as well keel over and die now because I'd met Wednesday 13 and there was nothing else for me to achieve.

Of course, now I'm 23, I've realised that's a bit silly and as great as meeting my favourite singer was and still is everytime it happens, I most definitely do want more from life than just that.

That being said, when I sat down to have a good old think about what I really, really must achieve in life without the goals I'm aiming for this year, I realised that all I really want to do is travel...!

However, before I launch into my dream travel destinations, there's just one thing I want to do that isn't travel related...

Image by MeKnits on Flickr. 
Own A Cat and a Dog
Growing up, I never had any pets. Both my parents were adamant that it was just something I wasn't allowed to have. My granddad eventually took pity on me and bought me a goldfish which I genuinely adored and it eventually led to Mum and Dad letting me have lots and lots of goldfish at home. When I was a little older and my parents separated, my mum finally let me have some gerbils. My gerbils were always the love of my life, despite many tragic endings. My particular favourite was Barney who lasted from me being 17 all the way up until about a year after I finished university.

However, my beloved Barney was just not the same as a cat or a dog.

Even though I now live alone and have full reign over what I decide to do with my life, my current flat is very small, as is my garden and I am away from the house all day Monday-Friday and many weekends as well. My current financial situation doesn't allow for things like insurance, vets bills and pet food either. It just wouldn't be fair for me to own a pet right now and I feel I have to do the right thing and put the pet's welfare above my own desires. Although I currently sponsor a cat through Cats Protection, it's just not the same as having one around.

So no, now is not the right time for my cat and my dog and it probably won't be for a while, but one day it WILL HAPPEN.

RIP Barney
A Year Long Trip Around The World 
I think one of my biggest dreams has to be to take a year out of real life and travel the world. Perhaps everywhere in the world in 365 days is a little too ambitious, but I don't really mind because there are some countries that I am just fine with not ever visiting. 

The countries I am most desperate to visit are:



Egypt - the pyramids in particular 



The cities I am most desperate to visit are:



Places to revisit:

New York


Lake Garda



Image by Kenneth Lu on Flickr. 
I'm sure there are way, way, way more than this that I want to go to, but these are always the ones that spring to mind first when I think about escaping for a while.

What's on your Bucket List?

Have You Ever Made A Resolution That You've Kept?

Have You Ever Made A Resolution That You've Actually Kept?

This question hit me hard. Have I ever kept a resolution? I searched my brain for resolutions I've made in the past: quit smoking, quit biting my nails, start exercising more, eat healthier. While these are all things I've made progress on, I never seem to make changes to my life that stick. I've a sneaking suspicion I'm not alone in this either. So why do we tend to give up on our resolutions?

Make Goals, Not Resolutions 
Goals are so much more achievable than resolutions. For more, New Year's Resolutions tend to be wishy washy and vague. With quitting smoking and biting my nails, it's hard to say when I've actually achieved this, because as you will know if you've read this blog before, I always, always end up going back to these habits. As for "exercise more, eat healthier?" It's just so vague, what on earth do I even mean by this?! 

Your Goals Must Have An Obvious End Point
The problem with the resolutions I have described above is there is no easy way to say and set it in stone that I have actually achieved them. Good goals are completely the opposite. When setting goals, you must set something that you can without a doubt say "yes I have done this" or "no I have not." It's also good to give yourself a timeframe in which you must complete said goal to motivate you as you work towards it. 

For 2015, it is very important to me that I set challenges for myself that I can actually achieve and tick off a list so I can see how much I have progressed. This year things like build my Arbonne business, get healthy, get fit, look good, make my blog amazing just weren't going to cut it for me. While it's good to have a clear idea of what you want your life to look like, it's essential to have a real, actionable plan on how you are going to get there. 

Here are some examples that better explain what I am trying to say: 

What I Want: To eat healthier food
Proper, Relevant Goals: 

  • Get my five a day, everyday (this is good because I can start right away and I can quite easily say "yes, I've done this.")

What I Want: To get fit
Proper, Relevant Goals: 

  • Exercise a minimum of 300 minutes a week (this is good because it is quantifiable, and I can further break it down if I wish: this works out at just over 40 minutes a day)
  • Complete Couch to 5K (this is a programme I can follow with a definite end point, therefore, an actual goal!)

What I Want: To read more
Proper Relevant Goals:

  • Read 24 books in 2015 (another quantifiable goal I can break down - this is just two books a month and I can easily keep track of how successful I am being throughout the year)

What I Want: To be happy with my appearance   
Proper Relevant Goals:

  • Get my fringe trimmed every four weeks, get my ends done every eight weeks (what started out as a very vague dream turns into a very real possibility with this goal! To turn something so silly into something I could actually action, I tried to get as specific as possible - my main gripe with my appearance is my hair because I let it get out of control and I'd be 100% happier if I actually did get my hair done this regularly!)

These are just some example of things I want to achieve this year, but also a demonstration of how you can turn your dreams (your resolutions!) into goals and a genuine, actionable plan, making your resolutions actually happen and stick as well.

This is the first year I've ever seriously laid out an action plan detailing exactly how I am going to get everything I want over the next twelve months and I already know this is going to be the year I really succeed. 

Of course, once you've made your plan, it's important to remember to actually take the actionable steps you've laid out. If I don't succeed this year, it will ONLY be because I haven't done the tasks I've set myself - it will not be down to poor planning!

What do your New Year plans look like?

14 Things I Learnt In 2014

1. There will come a point in your life where you have to do something that everyone you care about is telling you not to do. Make sure you do it.

2. A relationship is not inherently bad because certain aspects of it didn't work to begin with. Good things take time.

3. You can hide yourself away, you can completely destroy your life as you know it, hit rock bottom, but there will always be that little voice in your head that tells you it's worth it to keep going.

4. How to write like a journalist versus how to write essays like a student.

5. How to use the tube in London.

6. Sometimes a man singing happy birthday to you can change everything.

7. Go and see your favourite bands when the opportunity arises, you never know when your last chance will be.

8. Change is really, really hard, especially if you experience lots of massive changes all at once, but that difficulty is often much better than things remaining the same.

9. You can care about the world and the dreadful things that go on in it and still be a happy person.

10. You outgrow things, people, hobbies, interests. Sometimes it's for good, sometimes it's forever. It's all fine.

11. Living alone, I mean ALONE, is a seriously liberating thing to do.

12. For every malicious act, there is an astounding act of kindness to counterbalance it.

13. Friendships can be found in the most unlikely people.

14. You are much, much, much stronger and more resilient than you realise.

The Instavixen Round Up #1

From Left to Right: Favourite Stocking Fillers, Cheeky Takeaway, Selfie, FOTD, Arbonne Country Garden Palette, Sticky Toffee Latte, Another Selfie, NYE OOTD/OOTN, Best All You Can Eat EVER, I got a free Kindle book, my boyfriend's gorgeous fox cushion, finding an unexpected treat in my handbag! 
Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new feature on The Glitter Vixen. Alright, you got me, it's not new at all. I've been wanting to try and find a new name for my Instavixen feature for ages, even toying a round with my last few posts in the tag. I love my little play on Instagram and wanted to keep it, but I also wanted the title to reflect that this post is also a round up on the things I've been doing that week, rather than just describing my Instagram photos for the week. I decided to admit defeat when it came to coming up with a creative title and went for the obvious Instavixen Round Up.

What a week it has been. My Christmas festivities with my family wound down at the beginning of the week and I headed back down South on Tuesday. Amazingly my journey was hassle free and even the hour wait in Birmingham wasn't so bad with my Costa Coffee in one hand and my Kindle in the other. I spent one night in my freezing flat before fleeing to Swindon to enjoy some New Year's celebrations.

New Year's Eve was fabulous. I'm really not one for crazy drunk celebrations, so I was more than happy to head to my favourite all you can eat buffet for the night, overdose on Chinese dumplings and wash it down with some white wine. Simple, yes, but I really enjoyed myself and most certainly entered 2015 with a big smile on my face.

After that, I've just been enjoying having the time off work. I did have plans to visit Bournemouth and then a new butterfly house I've found, but I've been so bad for oversleeping recently that my plans didn't happen in the end. Rather than be sad about cancelled plans, I've just been enjoying having time to do absolutely nothing and trying to recharge my batteries before I go back to work properly and I inevitably start placing pressure on myself to start working towards my 2015 goals.


Reading: Since I last wrote an Instavixen post, I've raced through the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series and I am now on Feast for Crows. For my personal development reading, I am working on How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Watching: While I was at home I was watching Buffy and Charmed, but since heading back down South I've finally finished 4400 which I loved but was glad to see it ended before it got too ridiculous and I've just started Marco Polo which is a lot better than I hoped!

Listening To: Marina and the Diamond's latest Froot of the Month - Immortal. I think this might be my favourite track on the new album so far. I am seriously looking forward to receiving the whole album in April, but glad I've got three new tracks to look forward to in the meantime.

Playing: Neopets! I was feeling a little bit nostalgic while I was at home and managed to retrieve the password for my old Neopets account. As I've had lots of free time, rather than it turning into a one off, I've been playing on it a lot. It'll probably stop when I go back to work though :( (yes. I am a child when it comes to gaming.)

Aiming To: Start easing myself into the detox diet I'm planning on starting. Need to start weaning myself off chocolate, dairy and caffiene, as well as upping my fruit and veggie in take so it's not too much of a shock for my body when I go full on cleanse mode!

Feeling: Reluctant to go back to work! However, I've also been quite optimistic about the year ahead, despite ending 2014 on a particularly low note.

Looking Forward To: Having a solid routine again although that does of course mean going to work, eating some proper food, having some time and space to myself, roller derby on Thursday, receiving my blender, getting my TV and beginning a purge of possessions at the weekend.

What's your week been like, vixens?

15 Resolutions For 2015

1. Don't Make Resolutions That Don't Resonate With You - I've yet to read a list of New Year's Resolutions that doesn't include something vague along the lines of "be healthier, be fitter." I see it so many times, more often accompanied than not by words like "I know I should do this and everyone's saying it," and it just makes me many of you resolving to do this actually want to do this? How many of you are saying you'll do this because you feel like you have to?

2. Be Selfish - Too many people say they can't do something because of the way other people will react to it. I say, do exactly what you want to do. Unless it directly harms someone else, you shouldn't put your dreams on hold because someone else said so. 

3. Stop Hiding Behind Destructive Habits And Calling It Self Care - Yes, it's true, we all need duvet days every now again where we binge watch an entire TV show on Netflix, but when you're doing this all day, every day at the expense of your life collapsing around you, it's not self care. Learn to recognise when you're coddling yourself and you actually need to slap yourself round the face and do something with your life. 

4. Stop Apologising For Your Blog Content - After Christmas, I saw so many bloggers saying "sorry if you don't like this kind of post, but I really wanted to show off my Christmas presents anyway." Just stop. It's your blog, everyone's doing it, show off your goddamn presents if you want to and don't preface it with "sorry, but..." 

5. If You Hate Blogging/Social Media/Whatever, Don't Do It - I've seen a lot of people moaning about blogging not being what it used to be and other similar things recently and if you genuinely feel that way, why do you continue to force yourself to remain a part of this community?

6. Be Honest - Don't hide your opinions, don't feel obliged to share opinions with people, when you mess up, say so, when you do something great, own it. 

7. Don't Post Other People's Business On Social Media - I've recently had to unfollow a blogger because she kept constantly talking about her neighbour's personal life and it enraged me. Social media is all about engaging with other people and sharing your life online. If your neighbour is going through some personal stuff, that really isn't your information to share online. 

8. Compete With You, Not Others - Look, we all know comparison is the thief of joy yadayada, so this year, instead of competing with other people, why don't you try and outdo yourself? I promise it'll be a lot more satisfactory. 

9. If You Want To Make A Change, Make It Now - Not at the New Year, not on a Monday, right now. Otherwise, how much do you even want said change? 

10. Always Give 100% In Every Area Of Your Life - If you don't want to or can't be bothered, evaluate whether you need this in your life or not and act accordingly. 

11. Learn To Separate What You Really Want From The Things You've Been Told You Want - Do you really want a full time job, a nice house, flashy car, or has society told you you want this? 

12. Learn The Difference Between Unnecessary Spending And Treating Yourself - If you don't have money to spare, you can't treat yourself. If you're living well within your means and haven't had a bit of new makeup or new dress for months, then by all means, treat yourself. 

13. Try Something New - Stop eating the same meals, going to the same restaurants, hanging round with the same people. Change is good

14. Failure Is Only Possible If You Stop Trying - Very few people succeed at huge life changes the very first time, but if you give up then and there, you eliminate all chances of succeeding. 

15. Remember To Take What You Like and Leave What You Don't While Reading Lists Like This On The Internet 

The Glitter Vixen in 2015

As it's a brand new year, I wanted to take some time to lay out my vision for The Glitter Vixen in 2015. As with many other goals I set at the beginning of 2014, my goals for this blog did not really come to fruition. Moving house four times and starting my first full time job meant I just couldn't manage my time effectively enough to fit blogging in for a very long time and then my mental health made blogging very unappealing for a while. 

I'm going to use this year to hit the targets I set myself last year, but also make some rather large changes that I didn't see coming until recently. 

No More YouTube
As I've mentioned a multitude of times, I'm finding managing my health, my job and spare time a rather difficult task. For this reason, I've decided to put my YouTube channel on hold indefinitely. The poor lighting in my new flat and my inability to invest in studio lighting at this time mean that the quality of my videos just isn't up to scratch. I know I can do better, but it's going to require more time and money and learning than I can afford right now. I've decided for now, it's definitely better to focus all my energies on this blog instead, so rather than producing mediocre content across a variety of platforms, I can produce my absolute best content by directing my attention entirely to blogging. 

No More Beauty 
This is a tough one because beauty is easy, effortless content for me. I said earlier on that I will never, ever run out of beauty related products to review and this is still very true. My appearance is still something that is very much important to me, as is my Arbonne business, a big part of which is sharing my opinions on the products in this space. However, writing about beauty just doesn't light me up in the same way anymore. I'm pretty bored of writing 1-2 reviews a week and my stats tell me that so are my regular readers. Beauty won't entirely disappear from this blog, but for a very, very long time now, I've been wanting to move away from product review after product review and write content that genuinely gets me excited. I thought the new year was a perfect time to begin this process properly. 

More Personal Development and Positivity 
In place of beauty content, I want to start writing more posts that are genuinely helpful for you, the reader. The most important thing to me this year is personal transformation. I've become a very shy, reserved, pretty damn boring person over the past two years or so and I've been stifling my own potential. I'm dedicated to becoming the person I can and want to be this year and I want to share this journey on the Internet in the hopes I can inspire other people to begin leading the life of their dreams. 

Join the Blogging Community Again: for the vast majority of 2014, I completely stopped participating in the blog community. Not only did I stop replying to my comments on this blog, I stopped even bothering to publish them! I didn't join in Twitter chats anymore and never showed my face in the variety of blogging Facebook groups I am a member of. In 2015, this will be different. You can bet you'll always get a response to comments, I will be a regular sight in Facebook groups and a great contributor to Twitter chats. I'm hoping I'll make lots of new friends along the way!

So, that's what you can expect from me this year. Are you making any changes to your blog?

Good Riddance.

Hello everyone! I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year! I spent last night with one of my favourite people in one of our favourite restaurants and we started the year exactly how we mean to go on. I hope you had wonderful evenings too!

Today's post is going to be a personal one because quite frankly, I need some closure before I can launch into the exciting blogging schedule I have planned for 2015. 2014 was one of the worst years of my life to date. It has been trying, it has been challenging, it has been difficult and quite often, I think it is a miracle I managed to survive it, although I'm not quite sure surviving is the right word.

I'd love to say that the hardships of 2014 have taught me great lessons, left me more equipped to deal with the future and determined to face 2015, but that really isn't the truth.

2014 has left me an empty shell of the girl I used to be, the girl I could have been. If you asked me to sum myself up now I would simply use the word broken.

I don't feel like the past 365 days have made me a better person, I just feel defeated. My hopes, my dreams, my motivation, it's all gone. I used to be frustrated that various things were standing in my way and preventing me from achieving my goals, but now, I barely even care.

2014 has left me apathetic.

In are rare moment of clarity, where I realised I have to put 2014 behind me and move on, I managed to tentatively plan out 2015. I wrote down where I felt 2014 had gone wrong, why I didn't achieve the things I wanted to. I wrote a list of things that are truly important to me. I laid out my goals and the steps required to get here. This is the model I used if you are interested.

Somewhere inside of me the desire to be great remains. Somewhere inside me, I do want to rise from the ashes of 2014 and make 2015 a much better year for myself. There's a part of me that feels like I can achieve every single goal I've got written down.

For now though, I just want to put 2014 behind me and ease into 2015 as gently as I can. I'm not going to launch head first into my New Year's Resolutions or force myself to change instantaneously.

Instead, I'm just going to go with the flow. Throw out a few blog posts, wean myself off caffeine and junk food, slowly up my activity levels each day. January will be a month of recovery and perhaps by February, I'll be ready to start again and try and make 2015 the year I wished 2013 and 2014 would have been.

Thank you for reading.