The Instavixen Roundup #12

pre-work selfie, healthy eating, finished product of soy and ginger salmon with veggie stir fry, starting the Virals series by Kathy Reichs, watching Pretty Little Liars, remembering an awesome holiday to Cornwall, visiting the fish shop, moving house, flower crown, yummy treat, Coate Water, housewarming gift, PLL finale, my love, making Mexican food, my Prairie Charms box!
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Well, well, well, hello there everyone! It has been ever such a long time since I sat down to write an Instavixen post and update you all on my little life. So much has changed since my last post in this series, my life has completely changed! OK, a little dramatic, but a lot has happened since then.

So, what did August have in store for me then?

As I mentioned several billion times, on the 7th August I moved to Swindon officially and started renting a little flat of my own. Amazingly, the move went super smoothly and I was settled in and unpacked in a matter of days with minimal stress. I'm really happy with my flat. Although I was very emotionally attached to my last flat, it was in the middle of nowhere and just too expensive for me on my own, especially while in debt. Living in Swindon is so much more affordable and a much better location. I am 2 minutes away from Tesco, 10 minutes away from the town centre, 15 minutes away from James and Genghis. It is totally amazing having space all to myself again and I feel great.

Unfortunately, I have also had a rather terrifying experience since moving back to Swindon. One Sunday morning I woke up to a text from James saying that he had lost Genghis. I've never jumped out of bed so quickly in my life. I grabbed the nearest clothes I could, shoved my glasses on, pulled my hair up and sprinted to his house. We spent seven or eight gruelling hours combing the fields behind his house searching for the poor little puppy. Posters were put up and a reward was offered. Just as I was beginning to lose hope, some kids found beloved Genghis caught up in the middle of a bramble bush. Genghis was THANK GOD safely returned, but jesus, one of the most harrowing days of my life. And errr, now that it turned out OK, one of the best days EVER for my fitness levels, haha!!

As you may know, I have also been taking leaps and strides into improving my life as much as possible, as detailed in my Operation Supervixen August Update post. Today, I am pleased to say I took steps towards something that genuinely is going to transform my life forever. I finally booked a driving lesson. This time, I fully intend on not giving up until I pass my test, own a car and am comfortable driving myself to work. Independence and freedom are truly in my grasp now!


Reading: I just finished the third book in Kathy Reichs' Virals series. I am in love with it and will no doubt start the fourth one tonight.

Listening To: Everything! Not only am I listening to my current favourites, Wednesday 13 and Marina and the Diamonds, I am also rediscovering old favourites like Sleater-Kinney, The Donnas and Bourbon Crow. There were also two really good versions of Radio 1's summer mixes that I liked a lot, so I've had those on a few times as well. I listen to music so much more when I live alone and I've been loving it.

Watching: To be honest, TV has really taken a backseat in my life recently. Pretty Little Liars is done for the time being and I even finished rewatching Charmed. Because I don't live with James anymore, I haven't even been watching anything with him. I haven't been able to decide what to watch since finishing Charmed so I've just found other things to do with my time! However, I've noticed from Dusk til Dawn is back now...!

Playing: Shock horror! NOT STAR STABLE. Another thing that has unexpectedly taken a backseat in my life is my favourite game Star Stable. Never thought it would happen. However for two days in my new flat, I had no internet so I resorted to digging out my Nintendo DS. I started playing Pokemon again and now I can't stop!

Looking Forward To: Tomorrow and having a lovely Bank Holiday Monday day out! Bank holidays are the best thing about that office life haha.

How has your week been?

Operation Supervixen: August Update

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 and welcome to my August Update on my Operation Supervixen progress. It turns out making the decision to commit to these monthly update posts was a good idea and has provided a large source of inspiration for me to actually hit my goals and make some progress. You can read my July update here

Food 6/10
I still have a bit to go before I can call my diet a healthy one, but I've seen some great improvements this month. I've actually eaten fruit and vegetables every day which although embarrassing to admit, I haven't ever really managed before. I "lost" marks here because I'm currently obsessed with chorizo and don't understand "moderation" when it comes to this food. Also, I realised the B+M Bargains next door to my flat sells Space Raiders..!

Exercise 7/10
I have seen a dramatic improvement in the amount of exercise I do this month and I'm feeling really proud. I made it roller derby three out of four times this week and it would have been four had circumstances not been beyond my control. I've seriously upped the amount of walking I do and have finally started hitting my steps goals again and this weekend just gone, I even managed to do some Blogilates workouts!

Smoking 10/10
This month I have not stopped THINKING about cigarettes. Do you know what stopped me? I kept thinking about how I'd feel if I had to report back on this post saying I'd caved in and had a cigarette!! So, amazingly, I am still a non-smoker. 

Finances 6/10
Although I am in my overdraft this month, I had fully planned for this to happen because I had to pay the deposit for my new flat this month. However, I've docked marks this month because I am still buying far too many takeaways. I've also started colouring in naughty purchases in red on my budget spreadsheet and doing that has made me realise I need to exercise a little more control. Haven't bought any clothes or makeup though, yay!

Productivity 7/10 
I'm so happy with the things I have managed to achieve this month. The majority of my evenings have been productive. I've had a few lazy nights and weekends, but I've also started a FutureLearn course and I'm actually using my Skillshare membership. Hooray!

So how have I been feeling?

Mentally: For the first few weeks of the month, I felt very good. I was feeling positive and powerful. However these past few days I have become quite anxious, upset and worried a lot of the time. I was a little concerned I was starting to have another severe depressive episode but I think I'm just having a bad few days. I do have a lot going on in my personal life so that might explain it. 

Physically: To be honest, this is the best I've been feeling physically in a long, long time. My severe tiredness I had been experiencing has been subsiding loads and apart from the day after I finished moving into my new flat and organising everything where I slept all day, being exhausted hasn't really bothered me. I have however noticed I am more dependent on caffeine than I would like to be as the days I nap are the days where I haven't had any!!

August Goals:
  • Go to roller derby every Thursday the only one I missed wasn't by choice so claiming success!
  • Go to roller disco next Friday - decided against this because it was the day I moved into my new flat and I had too much to sort out! 
  • Take a lunch time walk if I am in the office success! 
  • Walk Genghis every day (may modify this goal when I move out next week because I won't be living with him anymore) I did this while I still lived with James, and I have been doing it most days since I moved out too, unless it has been raining or I've had stuff to sort out after work, so success! 
  • Have a smoothie or other healthy alternative for breakfast every day success! There were literally only a handful of days where this didn't happen, and even on the days I didn't manage this I still had veg in another form 
  • Do one productive activity after work every day, even if it's just tidying up or replying to blog post comments success! Only a handful of evenings where this didn't happen
  • Stick to my budget!!!!! - not quite there. I was good at not buying clothes and makeup, but I just tend to redirect my spend on too much food and justify it by saying 'I need to eat don't I'
Goals For September: 
  • Stick to my budget, but add an allowance for a takeaway every other week (I know I won't stick to no takeaways at all)
  • Only write my meal plans and go shopping on a FULL stomach so I stop buying food I don't want or need
  • Try to use up as much of the food I have lying around in my cupboards as possible before buying more cupboard food
  • On top of my extra walking and attending roller derby every week, add in at least one extra workout each week
  • Complete the FutureLearn courses I have enrolled in due to end in September, as well as one Skillshare course a week 
Let's make September the best month yet! 

The Vixen Thinks: It's OK To Switch Off From Current Events


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:! Thank you!

You've probably noticed the news isn't all that pleasant recently. I don't know about you, but sometimes, reading the news every day really, really takes its toll on me. I logged onto the BBC website earlier today and after reading just two or three words an overwhelming wave of sadness hit me. I knew it was time to take a step back from being so switched on.

I wholeheartedly recommend taking regular breaks from reading and watching the news.

Except, there's a little bit of guilt which comes with that, isn't there?

I've definitely noticed a bit of snottiness, a bit of nastiness when people admit they don't keep up to date with current affairs. Particularly among so-called intelligent people, there seems to be an attitude that everyone has to know everything that is going on in the world at all times. Apparently, being unaware makes people less intelligent.

I call bullshit.

Reading the news and keeping up to date with what's going on in the world around us isn't usually a pleasant experience. The sad truth is that nasty, nasty things happen on this planet of ours and you're mad if you think that reading about murder, rape, war, famine and the like on the daily basis isn't going to have an affect on your psyche.

For a while, I worried that it was a sign of privilege that I am in a position where I can simply switch off and avoid the news and well, it absolutely is a sign privilege. However, just because we have privilege, it doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise it.

Everyone has the right to do what is best for themselves and their mental health and if that means being completely oblivious to the horrid events that have been happening recently, then so be it. It's something I recommend and it's something no one should feel ashamed of.


FOTW: Paige Matthews Inspired

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Loose Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Bronzer, Arbonne Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshdows in Dope and Strike (Vice 2 Palette), Arbonne Eyeliner, Rimmel Eyeliner in Nude, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (discontinued, new shade Magnolia v. similar)

Hello and welcome back to my Face of the Week (FOTW) feature! As a beauty blogger I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup I own. I either end up in a rut and wear the same things over and over and over, or I use different things every day which leads to a chaotic dressing table and too many dirty makeup brushes! To streamline my routine and get as much use out of all my products as possible, I pick one makeup look to wear all week long before I switch it up for the next week. And that's how FOTW was born.

After last week's oopsy-daisy moment, I decided that this week, it was most definitely time to rock a neutral eye look. I've been watching a hell of a lot of Charmed recently (this is what happens when I don't have a boyfriend to contend with when watching TV in the evening) and I've been really admiring Paige's makeup towards the end of season 7 and during season 8. She always has a very, very nude eyeshadow on, with just a hint of shimmer in it and a lovely line of eyeliner to finish it off. Her lipstick seems to vary from nice reds to lovely pink based nudes and so I thought I'd try to recreate something similar. 

Screenshot featuring Paige from the show, image obviously doesn't belong to me! 
After preparing my base as usual, I went for my Arbonne Bronzer as I feel it complements nude eye makeup looks very well and of course, I had to add the Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter as well because it is a perfect pairing. 

Next, I turned to my trusty Urban Decay Vice 2 eyeshadow palette and realised that the shade Dope shade was pretty much exactly what I wanted, so onto my lid it went. However, I wanted to give it a little bit of twist, and so I decided on the shade Strike to give it a little something-something extra. Naturally, I finished it with a flick of liquid eyeliner and brightened my waterline with Rimmel's nude eyeliner to make my eyes really pop.

Deciding what lipstick to wear was really, really hard. Eventually I went with the Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (sadly discontinued, but the new shade Magnolia is pretty similar with better ingredients!) because my old style Arbonne lipsticks far outnumber my new style ones and I wanted to show them some love! 

Overall, I'm pretty damn pleased with the look and despite featuring a gold eyeshadow, it's something I can see myself wearing over and over again. 

What I Wore To Work: Lace Blazer

Outfit Details:
Lace Blazer: Missguided
Peplum Dress: Missguided
Necklace: really old and can no longer remember where I got it from! 

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Loose Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Bronzer, Arbonne Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshdows in Dope and Strike (Vice 2 Palette), Arbonne Eyeliner, Rimmel Eyeliner in Nude, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal (discontinued, new shade Magnolia v. similar)

Today I'm showcasing one of my very safe and conservative workwear outfits. It's one I wear to death and definitely one of the most "everyone can get away with" work ensembles I own. 

Who doesn't love a good peplum dress? They're great for all shapes and sizes - they can give straight up straight down type people the illusion of a waist, while those of us who have a few lumps and bumps to disguise can do so with this ever-so-flattering style. I actually adore this dress so much I have it in a nude color as well as black. It's really versatile as you can accessorise it so easily and because it's short sleeved, it works well on days that are so warm but it isn't indecent. 

When wearing a black dress for work, I love to wear my lace blazer and it's just a bit more interesting than a plain black blazer. It's so comfy and yet looks really professional so I love it. 

Jewellery wise, there are so many options for this outfit. Admittedly most days I am in far too much of a hurry to think about accessorising and don't wear a necklace or anything at all, but when I do miraculously drag myself out of bed in time, I love wearing chunky chain statement type necklace with this outfit as demonstrated above.

What I Wore To Work #2: Roses

Outfit Details: 
Blazer: Missguided
Top: Missguided
Skirt: Missguided
Bag: Missguided (oh god, theme emerging! Also the bag is SUPER old)
Sunglasses: Primark 

Last week, I shared an outfit called Roses on the blog and today, I am sharing the outfit again, except, I have tweaked it a tiny bit to make it work appropriate!

OK, I've barely made any changes - I've added a slightly more subtle necklace and removed the flower crown, I'm showing off my sunglasses as I actually didn't forget to wear them the day these photos were taken and shown off my beloved pink handbag. Oh and of course, it's a work outfit, so BLAZER ALERT.

I realised before I'd even put it on that cream and white is probably not the best combination and a colleague also informed me of this, haha. However I've still not managed to pick up a white blazer despite wanting one for years so I decided to risk this fashion mistake. Honestly these photos make it look not so bad, but believe me, in real life, cream blazer, white vest top does not work. 

In other news, these are the first outfit photos I have ever taken in my new flat, hooray! I will probably change where I am stood next time as I'm not so sure I like these photos at all, but I am pushed for space so goodness knows what I will end up coming up with! 

10 Ways To Inject Happiness Into Your Everyday Life

Happiness doesn't have to be lots of money, an amazing holiday or having a brilliant boyfriend. Happiness can be a choice, a lifestyle. I'm in the process of teaching myself to find happiness in all sorts of places, rather than relying on having things or circumstances in place before I can say I feel happy. Here are just 10 of the ways I inject happiness into my everyday life.

1. Have a healthy, nutritious and most importantly...DELICIOUS breakfast

Some days, I wake up, I completely skip breakfast and don't eat anything until 3pm. These are the days where I can't leave my bed. These are the days where I have 4 hour naps. These are the days I berate myself for not getting things done. These are the days where I am glued to my phone and don't do anything enjoyable, nevermind productive.

On others, I have a smoothie packed with fruit, veggies and nutritional supplements. These are the days where I don't feel the need to nap, where I get lots of exercise, blast through my to do list and still have time to do something enjoyable.

Trust me, happy people eat breakfast!

2. Swap social media for personal development

For a very, very long time, I simply couldn't get out of bed unless I had spent a minimum of 30 minutes scrolling through every social network I have an account on. It wasn't a habit that added any value to my life and it often meant my days got off to a very late, hurried, stressful start.

I still like to do ease myself out of bed gently, but these days I try to read a chapter of a personal development book or a positive, uplifting blog post before I get out of bed instead.

Alongside breakfast, this seriously kickstarts my day in the right way and when I get off to a good start, I am much happier!

3. Stay in touch with your loved ones

Now that I live alone again, I am always in danger of isolating myself from my boyfriend, friends and family which ultimately leaves me feeling pretty miserable in the end.

Make the effort to let people know you love and care about them and it increases your own happiness, as well as theirs!

4.  Find a hobby you really, really love and make time for it every day, even if it's just 15 minutes 

For me, at the moment, it's Pokemon. While I love to spend the vast majority of my time partaking in activities with a set purpose, the truth is that pulling out my DS on an evening and losing myself in a virtual world just for the fun of it really helps me relax and unwind.

5. Have real live plants in your living space 

I recently bought myself an orchid as a housewarming present and it's such a tiny little way to make me smile every day. I purposefully picked out the most beautiful one I could find in the garden centre, regardless of the price, because I know I appreciate beauty. As well as having something nice to look at, I find having something I have to care for and tend to makes me feel much happier.

6. Exercise 

Such a cliche, but those little endorphin things genuinely do exist and there is a defined difference in my happiness levels when I exercise compared to when I don't. It doesn't have to be anything strenuous by any means, just a walk does it for me!

7. Fresh air

I remember going through a particularly bad bout of depression while I lived in Wakefield and I did not ever leave the house for weeks. And I was utterly miserable. More recently, when the black dog strikes, I've pushed myself to get fresh air every day and as a result, I've been handling my mental health much better. If a walk outside really is too much for you, just opening your windows and sticking your head out for a bit can do the trick.

8. Decorate your living space 

When you fill your home with art work, plants, candles and reminders of positive memories, it makes being at home a very happy and pleasant experience.

9. Hide/Mute/Block negative people on social media 

Social media is a huge part of 21st century life and I don't think it's something the vast majority of us want to cut out on completely, so I think it's important to make sure it's as positive a place as possible. Generally I just unfollow/unfriend/whatever people that are really negative, but there's always some people you feel obliged to keep around on social media so this is where hide and mute features come in handy!

Once you've got rid of the negative, make sure you follow loads of positive, uplifting people too, so when you do feel the need for some aimless scrolling, you are at least being bombarded by good messages!

10. Keep a gratitude journal

Writing gratitude lists is one of the most powerful weapons I have discovered in the fight against unhappiness. There are numerous reasons why gratitude is so important, but I find my days are much happier when I stop and take a moment to remember all the things I am grateful for. On some days it will be things such as having a roof over my head and having food to eat. On others it will be massive things like I've been to see my favourite band. The point is, we always, always have something good in our lives but we often take it for granted. Gratitude lists help us to stop taking things for granted, bring us into the present and remind us that things are never as bad as they could be.

How do you like to add a dose of happiness into everyday life?

The Vixen Thinks: Do Your A-Level Results Actually Mean Anything?

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:! Thank you!

As you may or may not know if you are living in the UK, today is A-Level results day. Across the country, 17 and 18 year olds have finished college, are getting their final results and learning whether they have got into university or not. For many, it's an exciting and nerve-wracking time.

Social media is littered with commentary on the day, even from those who are not getting results. Besides the jubilant tweets of those who have got great results and the sorrowful tweets of those with disappointing results, there are many tweets from people who have long since had their own A-Level results.

A trend I've been noticing is that many people are trying to reassure those receiving results today that they don't actually matter. I've seen tweets from people who got fantastic results but aren't exactly living a dream life today. I've seen tweets from people that didn't even get A-Levels but are living an amazing life today. "Your results don't matter!" they say.

The thing is, if you're receiving your A-Level results today, they are really damn important.

Typically, you spend two years working towards your A-Levels. That's a long time, a lot of hours, a lot of work, a lot of effort. All the while, you've got your peers, your family, your teachers are telling you how damn important these qualifications are. It's a lot of pressure to be under at such a young age.

So today, yes, your A-Level results really do matter. Whether you're going to university, or going into work, they will have a lot of say in what you can do now. It's always important to see the results of your hard work.

I know that most people mean well when they tell a disappointed teenager that their results won't matter in a few years, it's a way of encouraging them, telling them their future isn't doomed - but I think it's misplaced good intentions. At this very moment, A-Levels do matter. Don't dismiss someone's feelings today. They've likely worked very hard - if they did well, let them be proud. If they didn't get what they wanted, it is genuinely a big deal because it's been such a huge part of their life for the past few years.

For me, personally, my A-Levels and even my degree don't really mean much to me at all. My A-Levels were much, much better than I was predicted but I didn't actually want to go to university at the time and definitely not the one I got into. Thankfully, Aber Uni was the best uni in the world for me and I really enjoyed my time there - but my degree itself was a waste of money. I know when I change jobs, it will be my work experience that gets me it, not my £9000 piece of paper saying I'm good at reading and writing. But the day I got my A-Level results, the day I got my degree, they were so, so, so important to me.

If you are happy with your results today:

  • Well done! You should be so proud! I'm sure you worked very hard and I'm sure you're glad it paid off. I bet you're also a little bit relieved it's over, go and celebrate! 
If you're unhappy with your results today:
  • I'm so sorry it didn't work out for you. I fully understand how disappointed you must be. I hope your friends, family etc. aren't being too hard on you.
Regardless of your results:
  • You decide how important your results are. Be happy, be sad, be disappointed. You are allowed to be concerned about your future. You are allowed to look forward to it. You don't have to listen to the people trying to tell you it doesn't matter. 
  • You decide how your future goes. At your age, I didn't believe this but I wish I had. The sooner you realise you are in control, the better. 
If you didn't get any results today but are inclined to comment:
  • OMG it's X amount of years since I got my A-Levels #soold is perfectly acceptable. 
  • "It was much harder in my day" is not acceptable.
  • If someone is pleased with their results don't rain on their parade by saying no one cares in a few years anyway
  • If someone is disappointed, don't say it doesn't matter to cheer them up, instead, remind them that at the end of the day, everyone is in control of their lives, they are not defined only by the results they get in school, other opportunities may well come along etc. 
So, do your A-Level results actually mean anything?


FOTW: Pink Gone Wrong

Products Used: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Sheer Loose Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush in Blossom and Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette) and Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Dope, Coax, X-Rated and Voodoo, Arbonne Liquid Eyeliner, Rimmel Nude Eyeliner, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara

Hello and welcome back to my Face of the Week (FOTW) feature! As a beauty blogger I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup I own. I either end up in a rut and wear the same things over and over and over, or I use different things every day which leads to a chaotic dressing table and too many dirty makeup brushes! To streamline my routine and get as much use out of all my products as possible, I pick one makeup look to wear all week long before I switch it up for the next week. And that's how FOTW was born.

Today I am featuring a makeup look gone wrong! If you Google the Urban Decay Vice 2 palette, you will see that X-Rated and Coax are two pink shades. As I was wearing a lovely pink outfit today, I figured I'd do a lovely pink makeup look to go with it. Now look at those photos, does that look pink to you? I think not! 

So, how did I end up with a purple makeup look? I started my makeup as normal. Using the FC5 Mattifying Powder to calm my relatively oily skin, I then followed it with the Arbonne CC Cream. No concealer because I've run out and to be honest, the CC cream is a bit of an all-in-one anyway. I try to use loose powder over pressed powder when I'm at home as I prefer the finish it gives. I reached for my Blossom blush because it's my favourite, and it looks fab with the highlighter. I filled in my eyebrows in the exactly the same way I do every day.

So, onto my eyes. I decided I wanted a darker shade in my crease than X-Rated, without straying too far from the pink theme, and so I opted for gorgeous purple shade Voodoo. So far, so good. I then took X-Rated and blended that into my crease as well, creating a lovely dark pink shade in my crease and out corners. Next I highlighted my brow bone with Dope and then filled the rest of my lid in with Coax. Voila! Lovely pink eye makeup. I finished it off with eyeliner and mascara, of course and opted for a subtle lip today, in the form of one of my favourite lip products ever, Revlon's Honey balm stain.

And then, I took my photos. The preview looked fine, didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Yet, I got to work and saw myself in the mirror and realised my eyeshadow had turned purple, oops! And yep, purple in the photos too.

However, regardless of my eye makeup not exactly turning out how I wanted it to today, it was actually quite pretty and I liked it.

What do you think?

What I Wore: Roses

Outfit Details: 
Flower Crown: Crown and Glory
Top: Missguided
Skirt: Missguided
Shoes: Deichmann

Hello everyone! I'm gutted the blogging routine I was slowly easing myself into there was interrupted by my move over the weekend but I'm glad I seem to be back now! Today, I have an outfit post to share with you, although you will have to forgive me: the light was really not co-operating with me and the location I chose for my photo taking session!

That being said, I think you can still get a pretty good idea of what this outfit looks like, which just happens to be one of my favourite summer time outfits I just don't get to wear enough. I absolutely adore this pink rose print skirt from Missguided (bought a year or two ago). It's a lovely length and the print is spot on. As far as I remember, it was really affordable too. It looks great with a block colour up top, whether it's the pink jumper I chose in this outfit, or the vest top I'm showcasing today. 

Of course, the real talking point of this outfit has to be my Crown and Glory Lotta Rosie headband, which is by far the most extravagant headpiece I own. I've got a tiny head so I'm too scared to buy the Whole Lotta Rosie size crowns, but sometimes, you need to make statement, so the Lotta Rosie is the perfect compromise for me. I actually bought this for my mum's wedding but it didn't arrive in time and I've not really had chance to wear it since. However, the sunny weather always lowers my inhibitions somewhat, so out it came this sunny day.

I wore this outfit for yet another trip round Coate Water. As James, Genghis and I enjoyed it so much the previous weekend, we decided to go again and it's going to become a pretty much weekly thing now. It's a great way for us to make the most of the nice weather and it's good exercise with barely any effort - my favourite kind! I'm going to try and make the effort to take my camera and wear a decent outfit each time now as it has some pretty backdrops for outfit photos! 

Operation Supervixen: Things I've Learnt About Healthy Eating Along The Way

Image via Pixabay

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In July 2014, I decided I was utterly fed up of being miserable, unwell and feeling like I wasn't reaching my full potential in life. To combat this, I decided I was going to radically transform my diet, maintain an exercise routine and centre my leisure activities around personal development. To keep me accountable and help others in the process, I started Operation Supervixen

Until I was about 18, I couldn't have cared less about healthy eating. I was an insanely fussy easter and fruit and veg was just not something that appealed to me. At university, I started becoming more open minded about food, partly because it was cheaper to eat a variety of different foods, partly because a friend and I actually bonded over cooking all our meals together. For the first time, I started enjoying vegetables and actively incorporating them into my diet, and I felt great for it.

However, it wasn't until I graduated that I started getting serious about my health and consequently, the food I put in my body. Previously I had been under the impression that as long as you drank lots and water and got your "5 a day" then you could call yourself a healthy eater. As it turns out, it isn't that simple. Here are a few of the things I've learnt about healthy eating along the way...

There are far too many conflicting opinions about what is healthy and what isn't

Fruit for example. I always viewed eating fruit as the epitome of healthy eating, but it turns out, there are those who say you should actually avoid it because of the sugar content. Gluten is another example - it's very trendy to avoid it at the moment because of the "health benefits" but there are those who say that unless you are genuinely intolerant or allergic to it, you're not actually doing yourself a favour by avoiding it. How about juice diets? There are those who swear by them as a way to reset your health but there are those who think they're insane. How on earth do you know which advice to take? 

Personally, I've decided to aim to include a decent sized portion (at least) of fruit and/or veg with every meal while cutting back on sugar, fat, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee. Doing so is making me feel 100% better than living oFf junk and fast food, but it doesn't make me crazy like trying to live off juice did. It's all about finding a diet that works for you and makes you feel healthy inside out.

It takes a lot of careful planning and organisation 

When you're actively trying to eat a healthier diet, I hate it to say it, but gone are the days of lazy meals and convenience. This has been one of the hardest things for me to accept. I love convenience and I hate "wasting" my evenings on cooking when I could be doing a number of other things. Unfortunately, really healthy eating doesn't work like that. It involves meal planning, it involves a lot of prep, it involves actual cooking. Nine times out of ten, something that comes ready-made isn't going to be as good for you as something you've made yourself.

The good news is that the healthier you eat, the more energy and enthusiasm you have, so eventually, all this organisation, planning and cooking becomes much less of an energy drain and a chore.

It's expensive - but worth it

Sad, but true. Fresh fruit and vegetables are particularly expensive, and if you're a meat-eater, cooking your own food from scratch can often become pretty pricy. I'm a girl who likes a lot of variety; I can't just eat the same thing for days in a row and so after my rent each month, food is often my biggest expenditure. I've seen so many articles about being healthy on a budget but all the recipes bore me to tears or actually don't fit in with my own personal idea of healthy.

The good news is that it's actually not much more expensive than living off ready meals. If like me, you were very, very partial to takeaways before your healthy living journey started, then it's actually LOADS cheaper to be healthy. Because healthy eating takes organisation and planning, you can actually avoid the need for takeaways, ready meals and buying expensive snacks all the time. So, even though fruit and veg IS expensive up front, because of the careful thought that goes into healthy eating, you can still end up saving money.

Plus, for me, my health is a huge priority and I am happy to spend a bit more on food and cut down in other areas.

The vast majority of healthy recipe books and blogs will do your head in because they're full of obscure ingredients 

I'm sick to the back teeth of the idea that you need a variety of fancy powders like Spirulina and ridiculously expensive items like quinoa to lead a healthy lifestyle. For the longest time, one of my biggest barriers to leading a healthy lifestyle was the idea that had been put in my head that I had to have access to very expensive and hard to find items.

As I mentioned above, healthy eating is actually all about finding a diet that works for you and for me, that just means making a conscious, active effort to increase the fruit and vegetables I eat while decreasing things which are definitely bad for you in large quantities such as sugar.

I don't eat quinoa, I don't eat alfalfa sprouts. This doesn't mean I am automatically unhealthy.

"Cheat Meals" are never going to be as good as the real thing

I'm sure there are those of you out there who really, genuinely enjoy meals based on fruit and vegetables but for me, I admit, it's an absolute chore and I have to work really hard to get the nutrients I need in a way that is tasty and satisfying. I'm always going to love camembert and a baked camembert with some bread all to myself is always going to sound more appealing than a vegetable stir fry. Making noodles out of courgette or making a pizza base out of cauliflower is an amazing way to make your favourite treats much healthier - but it's never going to be the real thing.

I've decided that I'm not going to accept substitutes in my healthy living journey. I will have the things I want, whether it's a cheeky Domino's or camembert or a McDonalds. Maybe I won't lose weight as fast as I want to and maybe I won't feel like superwoman all the time, but tasty food makes me genuinely happy. I've just had to find a balance - make things things a TREAT not a daily occurence and ensure the rest of my diet is up to scratch in between.

Everything tastes better in a smoothie

I think the growing popularity of smoothies and juices has been a god send for fussy eaters like me everywhere. I don't know what it is, but I just find fruit and veg so much more tolerable when it's mashed up into smoothie form. Avocados for example - LOVE the nutrients they provide and the texture the add to my smoothie but urghhh, you're not gonna find me EATING one.  

What lessons do you have when it comes to healthy eating? 

The Vixen Thinks: 5 Habits Everyone Is Better Off Without

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:! Thank you!

In a bid to lead a positive, happier lifestyle, there are certain habits I am trying my hardest to give up because I know they serve no real purpose and in fact, decrease the quality of my life. In doing so, I've realised there are some key habits most people indulge in, but everyone would be much better off without. Here they are: 

1) Internet Stalking

Hands up if you've ever browsed the social media pages and blog of your ex-boyfriend? Yeah, I'm sure you've done something similar to this before. How many of you do it often? I used to be horrendous for doing this. I was so nosy, and insisted on keeping tabs on people that I'd cut out of my physical life. Yet, I eventually realised that you haven't really cut someone out of your life when you're still watching their every move on the Internet. Sure you might not be interacting with that person directly, but you're still spending time on them, thinking about them and that means any negativity you are trying to avoid by associating with that person directly is still entering your life. 

So stop it. Instead of looking up a friend you fell out with six years ago and gloating over how much better your life seems to be than hers now, look up an old friend who you still love but haven't spoken to in a while. Leave them a nice message.

Which do you think makes you feel better?

2) Gossip

When I'm bored, I gossip. I will browse forums that gossip about Youtubers and bloggers. I will dig up dirt on people I know in real life. I will even read articles about celebrities who I don't actually know anything about other than, omg, they split with their husband of two weeks. 

And yet, it always leaves me feeling horrible. Particularly when I read gossip about internet personalities, I get so scared of ever reaching any level of recognition with my blog because I don't want strangers gossiping about me. Then I stop pursuing any big goals for my blog and well, when you give up on your dreams, it makes you miserable. 

Talking about other people's lives serves no real purpose. Instead, trying falling so in love with your own life, it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing.

3) Bitching

I literally hate bitching so much. Particularly as a female, you grow up being taught that bitching about everyone and everything is perfectly natural and you're expected to do it, but urgh. It's such a horrid habit. If you don't like your friends, don't be friends with them. Who cares if someone is wearing a dress you personally don't like. Whatever. 

We need to stop encouraging this kind of behaviour and stop saying it's natural. It's such a cliche but when you're horrible towards other people, behind their back or to their faces, it's really more a reflection on you than them. 

4) Being Selfish

This is a tricky one for me, because in certain situations, I absolutely advocate being selfish. At the end of the day, you have to look out for number one and you have to live your life in the way that is best for you otherwise you're going to be pretty damn miserable.

That being said, so many people are so wrapped up their own world. They go about their lives stomping all over the people they meet, not thinking about the consequences their actions have on others. On a larger scale, I'm sick of people not caring about the wider world - for example not caring about the Summer Budget because they're not directly affected by it or not caring about the immigrant situation in Calais. 

You don't have to be switched onto current events 24/7 and become a militant activist, but I think we could all do with showing a bit more compassion and bit less selfishness. 

5) Complaining

I'm all for a good rant when you really need to vent, but complaining needs to be something you do once to let off steam and then don't do again. There are a number of reasons we'd all be better off without complaining, the first being that no one cares. Harsh, but true. Complaining takes a lot of energy, particularly when it's all you do and you do it about everything. Thing is, what's the point? Why complain about the weather when you literally cannot change it? Why complain about your job when you could work to find a new one? The energy you spend on complaining is 99.9% of time better spent elsewhere, like changing your attitude to a situation or changing the situation you want to complain about. 

FOTW: Subtle Bronze Eyeliner

Products Used:
Face: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Concealer, Arbonne Pressed Powder in Light
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush in Blossom, Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Dope, Toxic, Radar and Ambush, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lip Liner in Posey, Arbonne Lipstick in Guava, Arbonne Lipgloss in Mimosa 

Hello and welcome back to my Face of the Week (FOTW) feature! As a beauty blogger I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup I own. I either end up in a rut and wear the same things over and over and over, or I use different things every day which leads to a chaotic dressing table and too many dirty makeup brushes! To streamline my routine and get as much use out of all my products as possible, I pick one makeup look to wear all week long before I switch it up for the next week. And that's how FOTW was born.

After the wedding the other weekend, I completely fell back in love with my Urban Decay Vice 2 palette, particularly the eyeshadow combination of Dope, Toxic and Radar. It's such a subtle look, without being unnoticeable and still having that much needed shimmer I love so much. 

This week, when doing my makeup, I thought about ways I could use these three eyeshadows for a nice, work appropriate look that wouldn't be too time consuming each day - for the wedding, I used black liquid eyeliner which has a habit of adding at least 10 minutes onto my getting ready routine, so I wanted a way around this. 

This happened to coincide with my reading an article about how brown eyeliner is a must have for green eyed girls, which is when inspiration hit! Sadly the pictures haven't quite captured it, but I do have a nicely outlined eyes in this makeup look, both top and bottom. It's been ages since I lined my bottom lid, but I'm really glad I did as I love the way it looks and I see it becoming a recurring theme in my makeup again.

So, how did I create this look?

First of all, I primed my eyes with my trusty Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Once this was done, I took the crease brush from the Real Techniques Starter Kit, and applied the shade Radar to my crease in a windscreen wiper motion. I like to do my crease first because I often use the darkest shade here and doing it first means it can't spoil the lighter shades!

Next, I took the shade Toxic, which is one of my favourites in this palette, and blended it all over my lid. Then, I highlighted my brow bone using Dope. 

The final step was to take the liner brush in the Real Techniques Starter Kit, and coat it in the Radar shade. I then carefully did a very fine line on my top lid and underneath my lashes on my bottom lid. To finish the look, I of course took my Arbonne It's A Long Story Mascara to my lashes. 

I'm really, really pleased with this look and I've been enjoying it a lot so far this week. I so very rarely used eyeshadow as an eyeliner, but doing this has really made me want to experiment more now! 

What I Wore To Work #1: Pink Check Skirt

Outfit Details:
Jacket: Boohoo
Top: Missguided
Skirt: Missguided
Boots: Boohoo
Glasses: Specsavers

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, Arbonne CC Cream, Arbonne Concealer, Arbonne Pressed Powder (Light)
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush In Blossom and Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette), Maybelline Brow Drama 
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Dope, Toxic, Radar and Ambush, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lip Liner in Posey, Arbonne Lipstick in Guava, Arbonne Lipstick in Mimosa

Today I'm introducing a new series to The Glitter Vixen: What I Wore To Work. I've been planning to do a work wear related series of outfit posts since January 2014 when I started my real job*~ considering that the vast majority of days I get dressed it has to be office appropriate and yet somehow, I have avoided posting any "work only outfits." 

Now, a few disclaimers. My office is very, very laid back and half of us turn up in jeans and hoodies - what's appropriate for my office may very well not be for yours. However, when I share a "What I Wore To Work" outfit post, I will endeavour to share outfits that I am very unlikely to wear outside of work and only ones that would work in other relatively laid back offices. 

So, onto today's outfit. Despite its appearance, this lovely pink check Missguided skirt I am showing off today is in fact, not the same as the one featured in this post. In fact, rather than being a miniskirt, it's actually a midiskirt, but the fact that it's a size six (and I am definitely not any more) and that it rolls up in the day means I haven't quite managed to capture the midi length in these photos...!

As the skirt is pretty loud on its own, I opted for simple black up top. My black Missguided swing crop top is hands down one of the most used items in my wardrobe for its versatility. It's great for warmer days in the office as it isn't too fleshy, but is very light and airy. It looks great with a variety of accessories and works so well with so many different outfits, both work and none work.

You've probably noticed a distinct lack of accessorising with this outfit, besides my glasses, which I wear for work a lot because shoving contact lenses in at 7.30am isn't pleasant. Not gonna lie, the main reason I'm not wearing a necklace or other jewellery with this look is simply because I was far too lazy to pick anything out. That being said, I'm still undecided as to what kind of necklace would work well with this outfit.

How would you accessorise this look?

10 Ways To Eliminate A Bad Mood

Image via Pixabay
I don't know about you, but I am certainly someone who stresses very easily and unfortunately, my responses to stress aren't always the healthiest. I used to charge off to the shops to grab a pack of cigarettes and now, I have to fight off the urge to spend money I don't have on the sugary treats I am trying so hard to avoid when a bad mood strikes. To help me in my journey towards a happier, healthier life, I thought I would write a list of ten much healthier things I can do to eliminate a bad mood.

1) Go for a walk in the fresh air (with angry music in headphones if needed!)

Today, I found myself majorly stressed out and so as soon as lunch time came along, I charged out of the door, shoved my headphones in and blasted Wednesday 13 out of my iPod. I purposefully walked in the opposite direction to the nearby Tesco Express and had a fast, stompy walk for about 25 minutes. By the time I got back, I was feeling much calmer and it renewed my focus as well.

2) Read a list of affirmations on your phone

I've recently discovered the power of affirmations in my personal development journey and can't get enough of them. As I currently live with two other people, I feel a bit silly saying them out loud (yet another reason I can't wait to get my own flat again haha) so I've got all my favourite affirmation written in Google Docs which is accessible on all my devices. Simply reading them reminds me of the kind of life I am working towards and turns my attention back onto the positive, putting an instant smile on my face.

3) Find healthy alternatives for all your favourite sweet treats

I recently spent a good while developing a Pinterest board full of Healthy Sweet Treats. Few things make me happier than a good slice of cake but unfortunately, cake doesn't really fit in with my health goals right now. I figure that making a healthy version of my favourite cakes will not only aid me in my journey to better health, but having a stash of "naughty" food I can have guilt free will put me in a much better mood. Plus, baking and cooking itself can be pretty therapeutic.

4) Stop whatever you're doing that's putting you in a bad mood

There are some things I do that I know will instantly stress me out or ruin my mood and yet once I start doing them, I feel like I can't stop! Whether it's reading gossip forums or internet stalking, I find myself thinking "god I feel awful" when simply stopping that activity and moving onto something like reading my favourite blogs or looking at pictures of pugs with made me feel 100% better.

5) Have a full on pamper session

This is my favourite thing to do when my bad mood happens to be a result of it being Sunday evening and I know I've gotta be in the office the next morning. Whether it's a long, colourful, gorgeous smelling bath with a Lush bath bomb or giving yourself a manicure, do something that makes you feel pampered and cared for and watch that bad mood melt away.

6) If you have a dog, cuddle them!

Living with my boyfriend and has dog has been an absolute lifesaver at times, simply because cuddling Genghis makes me feel so calm and happy! He is always so happy to see me and is genuinely so full of love, it's hard not to feel full of love yourself when you're with such a loveable animal. And when you're full of love, there's no room for stress or bad moods.

7) Plan for the future

If you find yourself continually in a bad mood for the same reasons over and over again, perhaps it's time to draw up an escape plan. For example, say every time your boss speaks to you, you get completely riled up. It sounds like it's time to switch jobs. Dust of your CV, tart it up, start applying for new jobs. You'll feel much better when you can see a way out of a situation that is making you miserable.

8) Socialise, your style

Go out, hit the clubs, go to a cocktail bar, invite some friends round for a pamper party, have a Netflix session with your partner - however you like to socialise, do it. Often the last thing I want to do when feeling rubbish is socialise but every time I push through and force myself to spend time with other people, I end up being really glad I did.

9) Find a rant buddy!

While I don't think it's healthy to complain all the time, I think it's a cool idea to find a rant partner where you can both vent to each other about everything that pisses you off for a set amount of time. Unload on them for half an hour, then listen to their problems. No advice, no judging, just listen to each other. Often times when you get something off your chest, you feel a whole lot better.

10) Invest in yourself

Nothing makes me feel better like taking the time to invest in myself, whether it's buying self help books or enrolling myself on courses, knowing that I am taking to action to make myself a better person just makes me feel really, really good.

How do you deal with a bad mood?

The Instavixen Roundup #11

James' marine fish tank receiving its first residents, Coate Water, Sunday lie in with Genghis, ice cream for a sunny day
Life has been pretty chilled since I returned home to Swindon on Monday. As usual, work is taking up most of my days and Star Stable is taking up most of my evenings which unfortunately doesn't make my week all that bloggable. I have had some personal triumphs this week; I've managed to get BT to waive a £200 bill I owed from my last property and I've got a really good deal on some removal men for my next move. I've also started August off on exactly the right foot; both days so far have been very active and full of healthy nutritious food, minus the ice cream of course!

Similar outfit here.
The highlight of my week was definitely a little trip to Coate Water yesterday, which is a big lake and nice country walk in Swindon. I've been wanting to go since I moved to Swindon the first time because I'm actually a big fan of nice walks, and even more so since Genghis came into my life. It was well worth the wait; Genghis absolutely loved it and I was so glad to be out of the house, getting some exercise and enjoying the pleasant afternoon weather.


Reading: Swamp Bones by Kathy Reichs (aiming to finish this tonight and start the Virals series)

Listening To: again, I seem to have forgotten all about music recently :(

Watching: a little bit of Charmed, Pretty Little Liars and Continuum which I am really, really into now

Playing: Star Stable, STILL

Looking Forward To: moving into my own flat of course, less than a week to go and I'm so pleased I will only have to wait until Monday 10th to get Internet (my move in day is Friday 7th)

Lusting After: pretty bedding, cute kitchen sets, basically anything that will make a home look nice and "me"

Aiming To: keep up the good start to August and remain active and eating healthy food!

How has your week been?

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo [Product Review]

To say that my two Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows have been daily staples in my makeup routine since I purchased them, I am absolutely gobsmacked that so far, I've only mentioned them in passing on this blog rather than giving them a full review. The shades I have are On And On Bronze and Pink Gold and for me personally, I couldn't have two more perfect shades of eyeshadow.

The Maybelline Color Tattoos are little pots of long lasting, extremely pigmented cream eyeshadows. Only a very small amount is needed for full coverage and once applied, it will last all day. The shimmery nature of these eyeshadows means they work very well on their own with a flick of eyeliner, but they are also blendable and their long lasting nature makes them a great base shadow as well.

I'm always on the hunt for perfect pink eyeshadows, and Pink Gold gives me that. However, despite being a massive fan of pink, I do like neutrals every now and again, which is why I love On And On Bronze as well.

Personally I now prefer to apply these shadows with a brush although they apply well with your fingers as well. Application is nice, simple and quick, making them perfect for when you're in a rush but want to look polished.

I honestly have no criticism for these lovely little pots and thoroughly recommend them if you're after a cream eyeshadow.

Have you tried the Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoos?