Operation Supervixen: May Goals

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

Hello everyone! It has been such a long time since I sat down to do an Operation Supervixen post. My healthy lifestyle and personal development journey took a backseat in December so I could focus on getting through a very difficult few months, but I have now emerged from the other side of this. Now that I'm settled into my new home in Reading, I can finally turn my attention to improving my health, both mentally and physically. The excuses I had before, such as dealing with the end of a relationship and the five hours travelling each day, are now gone and I feel like I can move forward now.

To kickstart Operation Supervixen 2016, I thought I'd set myself a few goals for the month of May to ease me back into my lifestyle transformation.

Have a homemade smoothie for breakfast five times a week
Being quite the fussy eater, the quickest and easiest way for me to get a good portion of fruit and vegetables is in smoothie form. Last year I treated myself to a blender and it was a seriously great investment because I actually used the damn thing (unlike my juicer). I've decided to go for five times a week as I'm setting myself up to fail if I say every day. It also means I can have my smoothies on work days, and have a "treat" breakfast on weekends.

Take a packed lunch to work everyday 
Now that I don't do a ridiculous long distance commute anymore, I am going to be going to the office Monday-Friday instead of working from home on a regular basis. This makes it absolutely essential for me to start taking packed lunches. One: it will save me money. Two: homemade food is nearly always healthier. Both of these things will improve my life greatly.

Workout three times a week 
While I am feel I am quite active at the moment as I regularly hit my 10,000 steps a day on my FitBit, it's time to start adding some more intense exercise back into my routine. I want to start small so I can realistically gauge where I'm going to fit my workouts into my routine. I haven't touched my weights for months, so I would like to start using those again and I'm thinking of trying out some Yoga with Adriene.

Restart my health diary
Around halfway through 2014, I started keeping a health diary and it was a habit I actually managed to keep up for around a year. I tracked everything - the food I ate, the drinks I drank, how I felt physically each day, how I felt mentally each day, how many toilet visits (sorry for TMI, but it's essential to see how my IBS is doing), whether I'd been smoking cigarettes or not and so on. It became a great way to see patterns and learn what genuinely makes me feel like my best self. I'd like to start doing this again so I can start making the right changes I need to make to feel like my best self.

Complete a Desire Map
I recently read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and it blew me away. It's a hugely different approach to goal setting in comparison with the one I take now and I really think this way of thinking is going to change my life. Now that I've read the book, I want to sit down and take the time to really work through the workbook portion of the book and get really clear and where I'm taking the rest of 2016.

Have you set yourself any goals for May? Please share!

To Cleanse Or Not To Cleanse

Cleansing and detoxing are hot topics in the healthy lifestyle world right now. As a society, I believe we are becoming more health aware and so there is an increased demand for products that will help people lead healthier lifestyles. There is also a huge weightloss culture alongside this desire for health and so, cleansing and detoxing is certainly growing in popularity.

Detoxes come in many forms: you can find cleansing supplements, juice cleanses, detox teas and cleansing meals plans on the market today. But are these products any good for you? 

I'm not a health expert in any shape or form. Beyond a short nutrition course I took last year, my knowledge of what is genuinely healthy and genuinely not is very limited - so please do take this article as an opinion. However, today I wanted to share my thoughts on whether partaking in a cleanse or detox process is something that is actually needed.

The arguments in favour of detoxing are strong. The culture we live in makes it very easy to be unhealthy. We have incredibly easy access to fast food, sugary drinks and ready meals containing numerous questionable ingredients. As a result, the majority of us lead a lifestyle that could definitely be a little healthier. On top of the food we eat, we also have to contend with air pollution and the probability that the products we use on a daily basis, such as skincare and personal hygeine products, may also contain chemicals that have the potential to cause harm.

In order to combat these issues, one may partake in a cleanse. By increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables and wholefoods you eat, you can start to combat the increased exposure to toxicity we have in today's world.

Those against the idea of cleansing and detoxing often argue that our body removes toxins by itself via organs such as our kidney and liver. Because our body is designed in such a way, it is silly to buy products or embark upon programmes designed to cleanse and detox.

Personally, I am inclined to think products like detox teas are a bit of a fad - nothing is ever going to be a substitute for eating a healthy, balanced diet and your organs literally do the detox process for you - no food or drink will do it for you. That being said, I do quite like the idea of cleansing - why not make it as easy as possible for your organs to do their job? 

My own diet is quite horrendous - it is seriously lacking in fruit and vegetables. When I take part in a detox programme, I turn this on its head. I base my meals upon fruit and vegetables and make a good effort to either decrease or remove the amount of sugar, processed food and other things that give me grief - for example, dairy, which really agitates my IBS and acne. How can this be a bad thing? While my overall goal is to eat relatively balanced diet most of the time, there are sometimes occasions where this does not happen and it really helps me to get back on track by doing a cleanse/detox programme for a short period.

I sometimes like to support my "detox" with herbals teas - I really like the Detox and Cleanse blends by Pukka. In the past, I have used the Renew Life First Cleanse Supplement. While I was taking these tablets, my skin cleared up and looked its absolute best. It's because of this that I think sometimes our self-detoxing/cleansing bodies might need a little extra help!

Of course, there's always a line to be drawn. As I mentioned before, there's NO subsitute for just eating a healthy, balanced diet. Drinking special teas and taking tablets while still stuffing your face with food that makes you ill is not going to increase your health! I am also wary of cleanses where you consume only liquid - I find it hard to believe you get all the nutrients and calories you need to function on those. But, if you want to feel better, going down the route of cutting back on certain things while increasing others - I say go for it.

As always, if you do have any serious health concerns or you're worried about how good a so-called "health product" actually is for you, the best move is to ask your doctor or a nutritional professional.

The Vixen Thinks: Why I Changed My Mind About Blogging For A Living

I love blogging. In around 2001, aged around 11ish, I was really into web design. I asked for a domain name for Christmas and I built myself a website from scratch. This website had a blog. Admittedly it was more of a personal diary online for all to see, but it still had the word blog attached to it. Over the years my patience for web design dwindled, but I still found myself called to write online - I often utilised the "blog" and "bulletin" functions on MySpace!

Fast forward to 2009 and I started my first "real" blog where some of the content was actually written with other people in mind. By 2013, I'd outgrown that blog but was still very much into blogging and The Glitter Vixen was born. That was over three years ago now and here I am, still blogging.

The point I'm trying to make is I've been blogging for over a decade and I still haven't given up. Sure, I take breaks but that tends to be down to poor time management rather than me falling out of love with the activity.

I've had a lot of hobbies in my 24 years of living. I've played musical instruments, I've played netball, I've played football and as I mentioned before, I used to spend all day every day designing websites. Yet none of these hobbies have stuck with me. Just blogging remains.

When I realised that I could make money from blogging, something I was already so dedicated to, I was ecstatic. It was just something I had to do. In fact, that's why I created The Glitter Vixen. My last blog didn't feel "professional" enough or cohesive, so I decided to start again from scratch, fully intending to turn The Glitter Vixen into a business.

And yet, it didn't happen.

And now, I'm so glad.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of making a bit of money from this blog is still enticing. I am still in awe of those who do make their money from their blog and not only that, but live on the money they make from their blog.

But it's not for me.

Making money from blogging can be seriously hard work and I've realised I don't want something I work on in my spare time, something that I'm supposed to enjoy doing, to become hard work. My blog is fun and I want to keep it that way.

I don't want to depend on my blog to put food on my table and a roof over my head, because suddenly, blogging will become an absolute necessity, rather than something I do to unwind and have fun.

I don't want to start accepting sponsored posts because part of why I love my blog so much is because it's mine. I already get paid to write content for other people in my day job - I love my blog because I choose what's on there, I choose what I write about and it excites me!

I spend a lot of time designing my blog and getting it to look exactly how I want to. If I were to monetise my blog via ads, I'd be taking away from that carefully crafted aesthetic I've worked so hard on.

For a long time, I was obsessed with the idea of self employment. I wanted my blog to be a business and I shoved Arbonne in the face of anyone who would listen. I was determined to "be my own boss" and earn my own money. I didn't want to be an employee.

I've since realised that I actually really enjoy being employed and being an employee is certainly the right choice for me right now. The comfort of having a set amount of money go into my bank account consistently is just unbelievable. I never had that with my previous jobs and I would definitely not have that if I blogged for a living. I'd constantly be wondering what my "wage" was going to look like each month - no thanks, that's not for me.

I'm completely happy to support those who do depend on their blog or other similar pursuits for their income - I really do think it's great. Perhaps in the future, it's something I may even consider again.

But, for now, my blog is a labour of love and I'd like to keep it that way.

Mini Superdrug Haul

A few weeks ago, I waltzed into my local Superdrug for some essentials. While I did indeed manage to pick up the toothbrush heads and mouthwash I went in for, some "extras" also made their way into my basket. Admittedly, it has been a long time since I treated myself to any new non-essential beauty bits, so I think I was actually quite restrained. I'm super happy with my purchases so I thought I'd share them here on the blog today!  

Months and months ago, I read a handful of blog posts about these brand new little Barry M goodies. At the time, I was not in a position to be buying anything non-essential and uncharacteristically, I decided to hold back on buying them. Until now.

I'm a huge fan of Barry M Nail Paints and when I heard the brand was releasing its own nail care line, I was super excited. At the time of purchase, they were on offer 2 for £7 so naturally I had to pick up all four available: Super Mani 7 in 1 Treatment, Iron Mani Ultimate Nail Hardener and the two Mani Masks in Bashful and Birthday Suit.

I've not really had chance to give the Iron Mani or Mani Mask in Birthday Suit yet but I have used the other two. After just one use of the Super Mani, my nails seem to be growing much faster, while the Mani Mask in Bashful is the most perfect French manicure shade I've used in ages.

The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipsticks are definitely my favourite things from this haul. They were on 3 for 2 at the time so I picked up Nudeist, Don't Pink of It and Redvolution. I've worn all three of these shades already and I love them. Don't Pink of It doesn't seem to have the lasting power of Nudeist and Redvolution unfortunately, but it's still a brilliant "my lips, but better" shade. Nudeist is absolutely gorgeous and verges on the fine line between day and evening wear, whereas Redvolution made me feel fabulous on a night out. A full review will definitely be coming soon!

The item I was most excited about in my haul was the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette. I've been dying for a palette like this for ages. Pink eyeshadow shades are my absolute favourite and yet brands tend to shy away from doing full on pink palettes. They're always far too muted for my liking. This one however, hits the spot. After a not-so-great experience with a Makeup Revolution concealer, this palette has restored my faith in the brand. For just £6, I am really happy with the quality of these shadows and they are actually in the kind of colours I want to wear.

Have you been to Superdrug recently? What caught your eye?

Basingstoke Bloggers Event

A few weeks ago, a lovely email from Blogger Events UK popped into my inbox inviting me to their event in Basingstoke. With Basingstoke being a short bus journey away from the office, I decided attending the event would be the perfect after work treat. So, I finished work on 29th March and hopped on the bus to make my way to Zizzi's.

Initially the event was scheduled to be held at Ask Italian, but unfortunately, on the morning of the event, a pipe burst rendering the venue unusable. Despite the incredibly short notice, Zizzi Basingstoke agreed to host the event instead. Well done to Isla and Amelia for getting that sorted out so quickly!

Upon arrival at Zizzi's, I decided I wasn't in the mood for alcohol, but did want something fancy to drink, so I opted for the Strawberry and Cucumber Cooler. Food wise, I went for the classic carbonara. It's safe to say I wasn't disappointed. The drink satisfied my need for a "cocktail" and tasted lovely and fruity. Meanwhile, the carbonora was absolutely delicious - full of flavour and the crispy ham on top was the perfect finishing touch.

After we'd all had a good natter, getting to know each other and eaten our food, we all gathered round to hear from two lovely ladies from Body Shop at Home: Catherine and Jo. It was great to hear these two speak about their experiences in network marketing. Although I'm not as involved with my own network marketing business as I used to be, I still think it's a brilliant opportunity for many people and I adore hearing people who are so passionate about what they do and the products they sell. The Body Shop isn't a brand I explore often, but it's safe to say I am a lot more interested in it now than I was before the event.

Dinner was followed by a lovely hand massage with the Body Shop Body Butter in Honeymania. I must admit, choosing which butter I wanted was a huge task, but I'm glad I settled on the honey one as it smelt gorgeous and isn't something I would typically go for. During the massage, I had chance to explain that I am currently between primers and so I had the Body Shop Instablur primer demonstrated to me. It's actually very similar in texture to the Arbonne one, so now I really want to give it a try.

After we'd all been treated to hand massages, it was time for the raffle! The raffle was in support of two great causes: the WWF and a charity event that Isla and Amelia's sister is taking part in over the summer. I was lucky enough to pick up two prizes: a Boxcitement box and a lovely mason jar style cup filled with different flavour Tetley teas.

The attendees also received an incredibly generous goodie bag literally filled to the brim with exciting bits and pieces. I was particularly delighted to see some facemasks and blogging planners in there.

I had a great evening the Basingstoke Blog Events UK meetup and I can't wait for the next one!

Brand Crush: Makeup Revolution

A few weeks ago, I took a trip into town for some essentials. While picking up some mouthwash in Superdrug, I naturally wandered over to the beauty stands for a "look" (read: haul post coming soon!) Having used Arbonne and only Arbonne for so long, I'm very out of touch with brands available on the high street these days so I love having a look to see what's on offer at the moment. One brand in partiuclar that has piqued my interest is Makeup Revolution. Although it's a super affordable brand, its products seem good quality and the types and ranges of products on offer are really great for a budget drugstore brand.

Here are a few of the products I am lusting after:

I'm currently lacking in blushers and I've yet to quite get to grips with contouring, so I've picked products that would enhance my makeup collection nicely, whilst also giving me a chance to practice today's makeup trends.

Ultra Blush Palette Hot Spice
As much as I love bright, vibrant and incredibly pink shades when it comes to blush, they aren't what looks best on my skin tone, sad times! Warm peachy tones on the other hand look fantastic. Makeup Revolution has a selection of gorgeous blusher, bronzing and highlighting palettes on offer and when I saw Hot Spice, I knew it was the one for me. 
Ultra Strobe Cream
What even is strobing? I'm not entirely sure, but I know it has to do with gorgeous glowing skin. I'm intrigued by new, non-typical products and I'd love to give this one a try. I'm generally a powder girl but I'm trying to introduce more creams into my routine these days as my skin isn't as oily as it used to be. 

Duo Face Sculpt
I currently have one contour palette, it's a cream highlighter and a powder bronzer! Personally I'd prefer it the other way round, or have both powder, or both cream. The Duo Face Sculpt looks like a great way to give contouring another shot in my beloved powder form. 

The One Contour Stick
Ever since I first discovered the existence of NARS, I've been fascinated by the "Multiple" sticks. However, they're currently a bit out of my budget! This Makeup Revolution would give me the chance to try a cream stick out, and if I don't like it, it's not too much money down the drain!

The One Highlight Stick
Of course, if I was going to purchase the Contour Stick, I'd have to grab the highlight stick as well!

Ultra 32 Shade Eyeshadow Palette Flawless
While I really do not need an extra 32 eyeshadows in my life, this palette really is a sight to behold. It's full of nice neutral shades and so would provide endless work-appropriate combinations. So yeah, I don't need this, but I certainly want it. It's incredible value for money and has some super pretty shades in it. I think it'd be handy for day to night looks. In my recent mini Superdrug Haul, I actually picked up a different Makeup Revolution eyeshadow palette that is perfect for me, but more about that soon!  

Have you tried Makeup Revolution? What are your favourite products?

This post contains affiliate links. 

Wedding Guest Dress Wishlist

This year, I'm lucky enough to be on the guest list for two weddings (OK, I was on the list for three - one was my ex-boyfriend's though and I chickened out of going!). After not having any weddings for years, I now seem to be having at least one a year! In 2014 I watched my gorgeous mum get married (and I was a bridesmaid!) and last year my lovely stepsister got married. This year, one of my best friends from uni is marrying a guy she met while we were there and my stepbrother is also tying the knot.

So, what does that mean?

Well, it's time to start shopping for dresses of course!

I love dressing up for weddings. I think it's the perfect time to invest in a really, really pretty dress that's just a bit too classy for your typical standard night out. Here are some of the picks I've been eyeing up so far.

Alice & You Skater Prom Dress - £15 - House of Fraser
What drew me towards this particular dress is the unusual shape. While I own skater dresses and skirts in abundance, none of my skater dresses have a neckline like this - in fact, none of exisiting tops or dresses have a neckline like this! I'm always very safe in my clothing choices - I wear what I know. However my body shape has changed a lot over the past year or so and I think it's time to start trying new things. I also adore the shade of pink this dress is and the delicate black floral detailing.

Chi Chi Petite Aisling Dress - £64.99 - Chi Chi Clothing 
I find myself more and more drawn to sky blue dresses as time goes on. Blue was never really a colour I was much fussed about, but a couple of years ago I bought a gorgeous lace sky blue dress from Missguided and since then it has been more on my radar. This Chi Chi number is absolutely stunning. Again, it's not a shape I would usually go for, but the stunning detailing is right up my street. 

Girls on Film Coral Structured Back Bow Prom Dress - £21 - Debenhams 
Now this dress is very traditionally "me." Both the colour and style would be right at home in my wardobe. Despite its simplicity, I really adore this dress and I think you could really go to town on accessories with it. However, I'm being drawn to the idea of this dress with simple silver jewellery and a nice flower crown.

Pale Pink Crochet Neck Trim Skater Dress - £26.99 - Quiz Clothing
Again, this is another dress that would be right at home in my wardrobe. I love the colour of this dress and the way the lace detailing takes it from a plain everyday summery dress to wedding guest perfect. As the crochet neck trim does a lot of talking, this is definitely a dress for minimal accessoring in my opinion.

Chi Chi Renata Dress - £57.99 - Chi Chi Clothing 
Ah yes, yet another Chi Chi dress! I find Chi Chi has a fantastic range of dresses for very special occasions so of course, it was my first port of call when searching for the perfect wedding guest dress.

Chi Chi Allanah Dress - £79.99 - Chi Chi Clothing
Now this Chi Chi dress really is a sight to behold isn't it? Despite not being pink, it's probably my favourite in this list. It's unbelievably pretty and I think it would suit me quite well. It might be the most expensive on my list but I have a feeling it would be well worth the investment...!

Chi Chi Petite Selby Dress - £59.99 - Chi Chi Clothing
For me, there's just something about weddings that always makes me think "florals!" I adore the asymmetric cut of this particular Chi Chi number and the delicate nature of the print. Allanah might be my favourite dress on this list, but I feel like I really need to get my hands on Selby too. 

Jessica Wright Isla Lace Midi Dress Pink - £32 - ASOS
So far, all my outfits have be muted, soft, pastel shades. It felt only right to throw a nice hot pink number in there too. I feel perhaps I'd prefer this midi dress for a night out with the girls but it could definitely still work for a wedding too. 

Jasmine Colour Block Dress With Lace Detail - £20 - ASOS
Pink, white and black is one of my favourite colour combinations in the workplace, so I thought I might as well try to bring it into my personal life too. I think this dress is a little unusual, I've not seen many like this before. Again, this could easily work for both a night out and a wedding.

What do you think of my wedding guest dress wishlist?

This post contains affiliate links

Blognix Retreat 2016 at Hellidon Lakes Hotel

Way back in February, I attended the Blognix Retreat event at the Northamptonshire-based Hellidon Lakes Hotel. It was weekend conference jam-packed with great sessions on all things blogging and a bit of self care thrown in for good measure.

My day started nice and early on Saturday 27th February. After a fair few train journeys (gotta love weekend engineering work!) I landed at Banbury Station. It was here I met up with the lovely Urika and boy was that lucky as the taxi to the hotel itself ended up being so expensive. After pulling up to the hotel and parting with the cold hard cash, we were greeted very warmly and able to sign in and register for the sessions we wanted to attend. Thankfully all but one of the workshops I wanted to attend were still available and I actually ended up really enjoying the session I had to take instead.

After registering, we bloggers were able to help ourselves to complimentary refreshments, including adorable ShopStyle branded travel mugs for our coffee, and begin to network. It was here I met my companions for the day: Ffion, Neesha and Jo. After getting to know each other over pastries and coffee, it was finally time for the day to begin.

Blognix was founded by Elizabeth of Rosalilium and she opened the day with an amazing speech about the blogging community and the spirit in which the event was founded upon. It was a really inspiring start to the day and clear indicator of the quality of the sessions yet to come.

After Elizabeth, we were introduced to the lovely ladies from the ShopStyle Collective who gave a really interesting talk about successfully utlising affiliate marketing on your blog. This was followed by a talk about launching a digital product by Ximena de le Serna. This was one of my favourite sessions from over the weekend. Unlike many How I Made £X in X Amount of Time workshops I've seen, this one actually gave useful, practical, step-by-step information on how to launch a digital product. Although I don't have any plans to launch a digital product of my own any time soon, if I feel like if I made one now, I could launch it and do a damn good job of it too. Ximena was also a very engaging speaker and even if I'd had no interest in what she was talking about, I imagined I would've been hanging on every word anyway!

The other sessions I attended on the Saturday included "Time Management for People Who Want to do ALL THE THINGS", "Accounting for Creatives" and "How to Build Successful Relationships with PR and Brands." I'd wanted to attend the Pinterest workshop, however, that was the session I mentioned was fully booked before I arrived at the Retreat. Instead I went for "Accounting for Creatives", thinking it would be dull and of no relevance to me whatsoever. Oh how wrong I was. Raj, again, was a really engaging speaker and he really seemed to know his stuff. It was actually really interesting to hear about some of the tax issues facing bloggers who make money from their blogs and it definitely gave me some stuff I need to seriously consider this year as I decide whether to turn my blog into a side hustle or not. Holly's time management workshop and Monica's session on brands and PRs were also insanely useful with tips and tricks I will actually be able to use in my life. 

After the days talks and workshops were done, it was time to check into our rooms for the night. I was intrigued about what would happen when I got to my bedroom, as I'd had an email from my roommate a few hours before explaining she wouldn't be making the event after all. So, was I going to be alone? Was I going to have a new roomie? Who knew! Thankfully, I ended up with a new roommate, the wonderful Tamsyn who I'd had the pleasure of meeting earlier in the day. We had a chat about our day and our blogs, then got ready and headed down for the evening entertainment.

Dinner consisted of a seriously delicious three course meal including the yummiest sticky toffee pudding and a quiz. Our table failed epically, but it was so fun to take part in. I was a bit worried about the dinner to begin with as seating was assigned rather than chosen and I was nervous about having to meet new people. It turns out I needn't have been so anxious because my table was great. There was some seriously interesting conversation going on and we were a pretty diverse group of bloggers.

After dinner, a large group of us headed downstairs to make use of the hotel's bowling alley. I must admit I was knackered by this point, but I'm really glad I pushed through the tiredness and went bowling. I had such a great time.

Day two was equally inspiring. After my first ever yoga class and breakfast, we sat down for the next set of sessions, one of which I was particularly excited for, Laura's self care workshop. I cannot even begin to explain how inspiring this was. I've since been reading her blog and it has fast become one of my favourites. There was also Jen's creatvity workshop which was really fun and useful. The day was closed off by Elizabeth and a great little masterminding session.

All in all, I had such a fantastic weekend at the Blognix Retreat and it was exceptionally good value for money. I learnt so much, I met a really wonderful set of people and had a lot of fun. The hotel was really lovely, if a little bit in the middle of nowhere and far too loud at night, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the conference. I'm really, really looking forward to seeing what the next Blognix event will be like.

Have you ever been to a blogging conference?

My 2016 Word Of The Year: ME

Since 2013, each year, I have given myself a "Word of the Year" in a bid to set my intentions for the year and outline my overall focus for the next 12 months. It was an idea I first came across in Leonie Dawson's Shining Workbooks, but it seems the idea of having one word for the year is one that has gained traction elsewhere. I've seen a few people blog about their word for 2016 now and I thought I'd add my own into the mix.

When setting goals, when making decisions, when planning my year, I will come back to my word of the year and ensure everything I do ties back in with my Word of the Year in order to ensure I have the kind of year I desire.

So what is my word?

My word is: ME. 

After much deliberation, I finally settled on what is most important to me this year, and that is myself. As mentioned in my first blog post of 2016, it's my current mission to work out who Emily Jane Garthwaite really is, so what could be more perfect than this for my word of the year?

Me me me me me. 

My intentions this year include: 
  • Figuring out who I am as a person; am I really the lazy, tired, uninspired, demotivated, stupid and boring girl I've felt like for the past few months?
  • Learning to be comfortable single. I've been in a relationship most of my adult life so it is interesting watching myself adapt to being an adult on my own. I didn't realise how much being in a relationship had held me back in so many areas of my life until I lost my relationship and already I'm growing. I feel like a much more whole person and my life feels comfortably full. I want to continue to develop this feeling. 
  • Really up my self care game. I don't look after myself very well at all and it's really beginning to show. Some days this will mean kicking myself up the bum and forcing myself to eat healthy meals and get the gym. Some days this will mean taking a day out to curl up in bed with a good book and ignoring the world.
  • It's all about finding out what's best for me. I'm being selfish from now on - unless the decisions I made are directly harmful to another human being - then I am aiming to only make decisions based on me, without taking into account everyone else's opinion. 
  • I want to become the best version of myself. My wording here is very important. For years I have been obsessed with perfection and have developed a very "all or nothing attitude." For example, I have to be healthy all the time or there's no point - you know, that kind of thinking. I've recently realised how bad this mindset is and I am have decided to let it go. I'm never going to be perfect, never going to be a superhero. However, this doesn't mean I don't want to work on myself. I fully intend to dive down deep into my personal development and self improvement journey this year, but drop the expectation that changes will be permanent, instaneous and I will never fall back! 
How will I incorporate my Word of the Year into my day-to-day life?
  • Upon waking up, I will pay attention to how I feel - is it a day where I'd benefit from pushing myself or do I need to be more gentle with myself today?
  • When I'm getting dressed, when I'm doing my makeup, I will ask "is this me? Do I feel like me? How does this make me feel?" - any negative answers and I'll change. I want to feel comfortable and confident in myself this year. 
  • When I'm making decisions I will take the time to consider if it's me making the decision, or me being influenced by the opinions of others 
  • Similarly, when I am writing down my goals and working towards achieving them, I will constantly consider whether they are my goals, or just goals I feel like I should have 
  • Questions applicable to everything: Is this good for me? How does this benefit me? How will this make me feel? Is this best for me? Will this move me forward?
Do you set a Word of the Year? If you've blogged about it, I'd love to read your posts.

What To Expect From The Glitter Vixen In 2016

What to expect from The Glitter Vixen in 2016...in April?!

Hello everyone. It's April, Spring is finally here and "new year, new me" posts have disappeared from the blogosphere. Or have they? Despite it being April, this is actually only my third post this year, that doesn't even average out at one post a month! After my last post in February, I half consciously, half not, decided to take a big blogging break until I could resume control of my life again and get really clear about what I want my little space on the internet to actually be. I had wanted to return at the end of February after attending the amazing Blognix Retreat event; however, I also didn't want to do a half-hearted return and disappear back into the void again. So, instead of trying to rush myself, I took the time I needed, and here I am today. 

Where am I at in my personal life? 

If you read my first post of 2016, then you will be aware that at the end of 2015, I broke up with my boyfriend and I was feeling a little bit stuck, a little bit lost and a little bit sad. While I'm still coming to terms with the fact that a relationship that I gave so much of myself to is now over, I am feeling much more comfortable with the situation now and am actually really enjoying being single. I did dabble in dating for a short while, but it just solidified for me that being single is really what I need to do right now and quite frankly, dating was taking my attention away from the things I actually wanted to be spending my time on. That being said, my love life is not the main reason I had to take a step back from blogging!

Without going into the full story, I have ended up in a bit of a pickle at work. Despite living in Swindon, I actually work in a small village just outside of Reading. It's about an hour's drive away, which was fine when my colleague used to drive me. Unfortunately, my colleague got a new job, and I was left stranded. I haven't yet managed to pass my driving test, so I have to take public transport to work now. It takes me two and a half hours to travel to and from work. I leave the house at 6am and don't get in until after 8pm. Not only is this so expensive it makes me sick, but it's pretty damn tiring and on the days where I go to the office, I genuinely have no energy to do anything besides travel to and from work and do my job. I don't even eat when I get home, I just go to sleep!

Of course, the obvious solution would be to move closer to work! However, even before I landed in this ridiculous situation, I was seriously struggling financially and having to fork out hundreds of extra pounds a month for travel to work has hardly helped the situation. Moving house was just too expensive an endeavour for me at the time. I've been trapped in a vicious cycle.

Thankfully, I have now been handed an escape rope and I'm taking a day off work next week to a view a few properties in Reading. Once I've settled into my new home and new routine, my life will become a lot more organised again and I will have a lot more time to dedicate to this blog!
So what does this mean for The Glitter Vixen?

It has taken me a long while, but I am finally adapting to a life that includes five hours travelling a day. While things aren't perfect, I've finally taken enough control of my life again to fit blogging back into it, but it means I'll have to make some adjustments to the content I produce.

Until I have better facilities and more time, outfit posts will have to go on hold. I currently have very little space in which to take quality photos and I also lack the time to take the photos. I will also have to hold off on product reviews that require photos of the product in use as well for this reason. In the meantime, I intend to replace outfit posts and beauty reviews with more generalised fashion and beauty content, such as style and beauty wishlists.

I intend to broaden the topics I write about to include the books I read, the TV I watch and to talk more in depth about my self improvement journey, including both my triumphs and my struggles along the way.

Over time, as I move back closer to work and fall back into a more regular routine again, I want to start producing outfit posts and beauty reviews again. I want to add more travel posts to my blog and also dabble a bit into the food blogging world. 

My intention is to turn The Glitter Vixen into an accurate representation of me and my life in a way that helps other young women at similar points in their lives. My topics will include style, beauty, health and wellbeing, personal development, food, TV and books. I'm not interested in being a professional blogger with glossy content. I want to emphasise that I'm very much a "normal" girl - I work full time, I have likes, dislikes, flaws and I'm working to be a better version of myself - not a superhero or impossibly perfect young woman!

I'm hoping my blog will begin to reflect this over the coming year.