Wednesday, 10 May 2017

24 hours in Paris

When your pal tells you that you're invited on a whirlwind trip to Paris on a Thursday evening, you don't say no. Especially when the alternative is eating a frozen pizza in your knickers while watching RuPaul's Drag Race.

So when Jodes sent me a message to say that Alcatel were whisking us off for 24 hours in the city of lurve to celebrate the launch of their snazzy new A5 LED handset, I chucked some stuff in a bag (stuff that didn't include shoes, but more on that later), and set off to meet her and the rest of the Alcaltel gang at the Eurostar terminal.

At least, that was before I got half way down the road and realised I hadn't picked up my passport. Good one.

The trip itself was an absolute treat, and looking back on it now, a total blur of REALLY great food (steak and chips at L'Alcazar, omnomnom), classic Eiffel Tower photoshoots, a coach tour of the sights and a pretty swanky party held on the Champs-Elysees. Yep, literally ON the Champs-Elysees. Who do I think I am?

Along with the rest of the girls (Jodie, Naomi, Gemma, Aisling and Jess - all mega babes who you should probably follow immediately), I spent the night drinking delicious fruity things in lightbulb shaped glasses, hogging the photobooth and scoffing so many mini desserts that they definitely added up to about five normal sized desserts.

A lot of the night was also spent marvelling at the crazy cool new Alcaltel handset. It's covered in LED lights on the back cover, and lights up like a disco in your hand in time to the music that you're listening to. There's even an app that colour co-ordinates the lights to the exact shade of your outfit. Honestly, everyone I've shown this phone to has literally marvelled at it.

Anyway, along with some help from my personal photographer Jodes, I got some pretty cute snaps from my 24 hours in Paris. Here's a mini visual diary of everything we got up to.

THANKS ALCALTEL, love you. Especially Nicole, who saved my bacon when I realised I hadn't packed any heels and was faced with the prospect of wearing trainers and a dress to a very swanky party. Classic me.

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Who run the world? Internet girls

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY. I mean to sit down and write this post much earlier than 9 o'clock at night, but I honestly haven't stopped today with writing deadlines, pushing myself and finishing YouTube work. But, I guess if there's any day for your self-employment freelance work girl boss vibes to get in the way of blogging, it's International Womens Day.

My entire timeline today has been constantly flooded with females that I follow sharing the girl power. It's still going strong 12 hours later, and I'd say that's a pretty good sign that I've chosen to surround myself with and become part of a community that is strong, powerful, bright and endlessly supportive. Kind of a good feeling tbh.

It's been pretty touching to see that even I've been included in a few people's #SheInspiresMe tweets (little ol' me, imagine that), and I am MORE than ready to return the favour to keep the love turnin'. Today and every single day, we rise by lifting others.

Get ready for one big roller coaster road of girl love, because this is me bigging up some of my ultimate favourite female human beings on the internet. 'Cos if there's anything I love talking about, it's internet girl bosses.

Sarah Rose / Sarah Rose Goes

My one surviving friend from university, my housemate, my matching dancing twin emoji in human form. She's the perfect combination of gorgeous, super sweet, compassionate dreamer, and raging, eye-rolling sass monster who never fails to make me laugh, bring me up or calm me down. Not only do I find her amazing for the pure fact that she looks incredibly chic and sophisticated every single day, but her endless determination and pure ambition never fails to inspire me. I can't wait to see everything that she achieves in her bright, beautiful future, and I hope I can be right alongside her for the journey. She's a damn great fashion stylist too, so make sure you go and follow her.

A post shared by Sarah-Rose (@sarahrosegoes) on

Corrie / Dizzy Brunette

Corrie was one of the first bloggers I ever found myself avidly following, and the fact that I can actually call her a friend these days is just all kinds of awesome and a testament to this crazy cool community. So often girls and women fail to realise just how talented, creative and trailblazing they really are (usually because it just comes naturally to them), and my babe Corrie is a prime example of this. She's forever doing herself down, so I'm just gonna take this moment to say HER BLOG IS BEAUTIFUL. Her photography is outstanding. Her ideas are great, she's unwaveringly supportive and her personality shines through in all of her videos. She's eye-poppingly, Victoria's Secret level beautiful with an equally beautiful heart, and is a total gem.

A post shared by Corrie (@dizzybrunette3) on

Dodie Clark / Doddleoddle

Dodie's one of only two girls on this list who I've never met or even spoken to, but I couldn't make this list without giving her a quick shout out. No matter what kind of content women choose to put out into the blogging/vlogging world (providing it's positive or productive in some way) I'm all for it; they've had the guts and the motivation to create and produce something and expose it to the world, that's awesome. But Dodie is a cut above the rest. She's super intelligent, talented, inspiring, heartwarming and her whole vibe is just weirdly beautiful. She's exactly the 'awkward, alternative and creative but owning it' kind of girl who I needed to be watching on the internet when I was a teenager to understand myself more, and it fills my soul with joy to think that teenagers have role models like her now.

A post shared by dodie (@doddleoddle) on

Fabulous Hannah

Hannah BLOWS. MY. TINY. MIND. I'm almost ten years older than her (gross), but I still look up to her and admire her endlessly. If I could turn the clock back to being 18, I'd want to be exactly like Hannah because she's just wonderful, comforting to watch and beautiful both inside and out. The girl is naturally hilarious, so kind, quietly confident, witty, sarcastic and brilliant - she already has her head screwed on at a relatively young age which will see her so far in life, but she also doesn't take herself too seriously, and that's equally important. Her quick and wicked sense of humour kills me in every single video, and I love that she's clearly just unapologetically herself no matter what. I hope to get to know her much better this year.

A post shared by Han 🦄 (@fabuloushannah) on

Gabbie Lindley / Velvetgh0st

Gabbie and I have talked for actual years online, but having finally been able to spend some time IRL with her over the past couple of months, I can't tell you how much I enjoy being around her. I knew we'd get on well, but had no idea just much we'd naturally click and how quickly she'd become a genuine friend to me. Not only is she outrageously beautiful, hilarious and equally as weird as me (in a good way), but she also endlessly inspires me to push myself and own my talents. In such a short space of time, she's managed to totally turn her life around and transform her passions into a career, becoming a total girl boss who exudes endless sass, honesty and bravery while maintaining a genuine, vulnerable soft side that so many girls love her for. I'm so excited to watch her grow and achieve new heights with truly amazing things on the horizon.

A post shared by G (@velvetgh0st) on

Grace Victory / Gracie Francesca

Well duh, you can't have a list of inspiring internet women without Grace. I'm a girl who's always battled self confidence, weight problems and body image issues, so Grace and her promotion of unquestionable self love is everything I need the internet to be about. The best thing is, I know I speak on behalf of SO many people fighting the same battles as me - she must be a comfort to thousands of girls. Her attitude is refreshingly brave and genuine, and she somehow manages to strike the perfect balance between endearingly vulnerable and open, yet unbelievably strong and taking zero shit. If the Grace of today had been in the public eye back in around 2006, I think I'd have grown up with so much more self-love just intrinsically built into my mind. It's such a reassuring, wonderful thought to contemplate how many girls she'll be helping to build this into now. She makes me want to do better and do more.

Bianca / It's Binky Bee

When I grow up, I want to be more like Bianca. If there was a way to extract elements of other peoples' personalities and add them to your own, she'd be my first stop, because I admire everything about her. I only wish I could be as headstrong, confident, savvy and just generally inspiring as Bee. The first five minutes of being in her company is being hit like a really, really cute whirlwind, and whenever I spend time with her I leave feeling like I can do anything, which is the sign of an awesome woman. Her smile is infectious, her attitude is beyond awesome, she's genuinely kind and I get the feeling that, although she's a self-made girl boss, she'd still put her friends before anything and everything, which I love. She's going to go so, so far - watch out for Binky Bee.

A post shared by Bianca ☾ 22 (@itsbinkybee) on

Jodie / Just Jodes

In a short space of time, this girl has become someone I'd consider a best friend, and now it feels weird to go a day without talking to her. The girl loves a quote, but what she doesn't realise is that she's the human embodiment of every positive, uplifting, motivational postcard that's on her wall. In a selfish way, she's become my own personal ray of sunshine. I don't know how she does it because I know she has her own fair share of struggles, but her way of looking at the world is always instantly elevating, and half an hour in her company makes me feel like I can take on anything. I admire the way that she puts her mind to something and makes it happen with sheer hard work, dedication and determination. She's endlessly kind with a selfless heart of pure, unquestioning gold. Plus, she's damn hilarious and SO GORGEOUS. Got a lot of time for this girl.

Vix Meldrew 

The blogging scence is full of women with undiscovered talent that deserves the world of recognition and more, but maybe no one more so than Vix. Her razorblade-sharp sense of humour and ability to see the funny side of every possible situation is hugely valuable on its own, but paired with her natural talent of writing relatable, genuine brilliant posts is sheer gold dust. Even if I'm having the worst day in the world, her latest take on dating, sex and relationships is guaranteed to put an instant smile on my face, because she just GETS it. She gets the awkward, everyday girl thing which is so often forgotten about by bloggers, and it's comforting, for which I'm very grateful. The girl deserves a book - maybe ten books, plus her own TV show and some kind of shiny gold medal while we're at it.

A post shared by Vix Meldrew (@vixmeldrew) on

Zoella / I'd link her blog but literally wtf if you don't know who she is then I can't help you mate.

Oh come on, you can't do a round up of strong internet females without chucking Zoe in the mix somewhere. She's set the precident for all of us as being an unwaveringly focused, bright businesswoman who knows what she's doing, and has in doing so opened up a HUGE industry for the rest of us to grab a piece of the pie. Somehow, through all the madness, she's managed to remain really bloody likeable, funny and glowingly kind. And let's give a particularly loud shout out to the fact that she's pretty much single handedly opened up a popular love of reading for SO many young girls. A huge part of feminism is girls having the chance to read, learn, grow, better themselves - and books and a passion for reading are fundamental to that. Zoe has encouraged girls to own the idea of being a bookworm as a cool thing to be proud of, and that's not easy. SHE'S JUST COOL OKAY.

A post shared by Zoella (@zoella) on

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017


Ahhh a new month. Nothing like the 1st to make you feel positive, strong, determined and productive for all of about three hours and eight minutes.

Then you remember that actually, you’re exactly the same person that you were when you wear eating cereal out of the box for tea while watching someone use baby food as makeup in a YouTube video at 2am last night, and that miracles ain’t gonna happen.

But currently, I am in that former, very small time frame window and that means a blog post about everything I’m going to achieve over the next 31 days is coming your way. January and February were both incredibly difficult months for me, for reasons which I’ll probably talk a little bit about in a video at some point.

But as a result, I am actually vaguely determined (vaguely determined is an oxymoron that pretty much sums me up) to make sure that March involves at least SOME small successes.

If nothing else, at least it’ll start getting a tiny bit lighter in the evenings now, which means that we’re one step closer to day drinking in a park with no tights on. HOORAH.

1. Write a blog post every day.

Is this ridiculous, unlikely and almost unachievable? Probably. There’s nothing like setting yourself up for a failure, but on the other hand it’s about time I did push myself a little bit more than I have been doing. Some will be long and heartfelt, some will be short and revolving around my favourite eyebrow product of the moment, but there will be one every day. Promise (although this might be a promise with my fingers crossed behind my back).

2. Instagram every day.

Yep, there’s already a theme with these goals, but this is probably the smallest one of the bunch. SURELY I can manage this - I can literally do it from my bed ffs. It would help if I can find the time to dedicate a couple of hours to creating a backlog of Instagram photos that I can turn to whenever I’m stuck but that would require a whole new level of organisation. I would really like to grow my Instagram following though - it’s pretty small compared to my Twitter and YouTube, but we all know how tricky it is to master that goddayumn algorithim. *shakes first*. I’ve even bought some marble background paper though, so LET’S DO THIS. Follow me at @lucyjanewood if you fancy.

3. Get back into making Weekly Vlogs.

I was ready to write these off because I’d assumed they were a personal indulgence, but a quick Twitter poll revealed that actually, people who watch my videos are quite keen on watching my mundane day to day antics. Cool. This is a task that I’m going to master this afternoon, by just clicking on the vlogging camera and having a very casual catch up to explain where I’ve been for a few weeks. I do really love the idea of having a log of what I’ve been up to that I can look back on one day when I’m old and withered, so I know that it’s worth keeping these up.

4. Lose my camera fear.

Fun fact for you now, pals. I haven’t filmed a video in over a month. I might have uploaded a video about my experience trying out a Mooncup, but that was actually filmed way back before Christmas, hence why I look so skinny and chilled about life. If only you knew, pre-Christmas Lucy. IF ONLY YOU KNEW. Anyway, since I’ve neglected the record button for so long, it’s now been built up in my mind as this HUGE thing, and I’m quite frankly dreading sitting down in front of the camera again. I really need to get this sorted, bite the bullet and get the eff over it. I’m filming with my pal Jodes tomorrow, so hopefully that’ll sort me out.

5. Journaling.

That’s right. I’ve succumbed to the living Buzzfeed hype that is a bullet journal. I’m planning on blogging and vlogging about this in more detail, but it’s something that I’ve liked the look of for ages, and March is the month that I get it started. I’m hoping it magically turns me into an organised person her shit together, but we’ll see. I’m also treating it as a mindfulness exercise because it’s also become a bit of an art project. Taking some time out every few days to handwrite and hand draw probably isn’t a bad idea, especially considering my next goal…

6. Stress less.

As I mentioned before, it’s been a tricky few weeks for one reason or another and, at times, the ups and downs have seemed relentless. My health, my family, my friends and my finances have all been sources of major stress, and it’s taken it’s toll on me. I’ve just been to a blood pressure check for my contraceptive pill, and almost wasn’t allowed it for the first time EVER (I’ve been on it for like, ten years) because my blood pressure is high. That’s never been a thing for me before. This month I’m hoping that things will level out a little bit, and I can take some time to look after myself before I have some form of coronary explosion and end up rocking back and forth in a home for nervous breakdown sufferers, knitting my days away.

So that’s that. Can we actually do all of this in 31 days? Eh, probably not but we’ll have a go. What are your goals for this month? Let me know with a tweet to @lucyjanewood, or chuck a comment down below.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

Monday, 30 January 2017

My favourite way to eat healthily: HelloFresh Recipe Boxes

You could chuck a tall white hat, stripy blue apron and twiddly moustache at me and I still wouldn't become a natural chef. From Day 1 of moving out and living on my own (that's like, seven years now), I've never been able to get into the swing of food shopping and cooking for myself. It just doesn't work for me, and I've never found the enjoyment in doing it before.

I live with friends but we cook separately, meaning that I'll often start the day planning on cooking up something delicious from scratch for the evening. But then I remember that I live AGES away from a decent supermarket. I remember that I have zero useful ingredients in the cupboards. I remember that I'll only be cooking for myself anyway so literally what's the point. And I remember that I don't really know much about food, so I struggle to think of exciting, new things to make that I haven't already eaten four times that week. Sigh, cereal it is then.

But that's where HelloFresh comes in. I've used their recipe delivery box service a few times now after discovering it last year, and I can honestly say that it's completely changed the way I go about eating at home. I finally eat fresh, healthy, delicious and nutritious meals cooked completely from scratch by my own hands. This box literally turns me into a grown up.

Each week (or how ever often you fancy having a box delivered, they're super flexible), HelloFresh sources the highest quality ingredients for recipes designed by highly trained chefs. All you have to do is go to the website, choose the meals you fancy eating and how many people you wanna cook for. They then send all the food to your doorstep in a refrigerated box on the day that you choose, along with easy-to-follow recipe cards for your dinners.

It's all about saving you loads of time. HelloFresh cuts out your weekly food shop, drags you out of the rut of cooking the same things all the time, and it even takes away the faff of weighing and measuring ingredients. These boxes have had me cooking recipes which I would never have dared to try (or had the imagination to try), letting me experience ingredients and delicious dishes every single time.

I'm a MASSIVE fan of HelloFresh. Normally, when I opt for a Classic Box, 2 people, 3 meals, it costs £39 which is awesome value anyway, but they've actually sent over an amazing discount code for me to offer anyone who might fancy trying the service.

Just enter 'HFLUCY' to get £25 OFF YOUR FIRST BOX, meaning it'll cost you just £14 for what could be a week's worth of food. Super good value, and totally worth giving it a try as it'll save you on this week's food shop anyway. 

Just click HERE to get your first box (it'll add my discount code on automatically for you).

Wanna find out how I got on with HelloFresh this week? Check out the video below to see what Adam and I whistled up from our box - spoiler alert: it was beyond delicious.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

Thursday, 26 January 2017


Don’t get me wrong, I love the Kardashians. Apart from Rob, I’m not massively into him - but the Kardashian women, I have a lot of time for.

They’ve turned themselves into arguably the world’s most lucrative family. They’re smart, shrewd businesswomen, and I think they’ve done a lot for helping us move forwards from the idea that stick thin is the ONLY version of beauty to go by. But Khloe Kardashian’s latest move caught my attention the other day for all the wrong reasons.

If you’re into your celeb culture, you might have noticed over the past year or so that Koko has lost weight. Congrats, hoorah, amazing, what a triumph for a woman to achieve. Very good, very good. Khloe says she’s discovered the wonders of exercise and healthy eating, and as a result has managed to transform her body into something that arguably better fits the mould of good curves, rather than bad curves.

(Don’t even get me started on the definition of curves, for the love of GOD. Particularly men who say they like a ‘curvy woman’, and by definition of that they only mean a very slim girl with massive boobs and a tight bum. Like, no.)

Anyway. As part of her new makeover into a health and fitness goddess, and just in time for Diet Culture January, Khloe’s launched a brand new TV show entitled ‘Revenge Body’ or something along those somewhat revolting lines. If you couldn’t work it out for yourself, it features people getting ‘revenge’ on their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend by losing a lot of weight, toning their shape and having a dramatic makeover. It also has a slogan ‘Let your haters be your biggest motivators’. Okay, here’s what I have to say about that now that I’ve finished eye rolling.

It’s pretty common practice that after a break up, a lot of people do lose weight. They find that they’ve got more time to take up a new hobby - whether that’s jogging, going to the gym, salsa classes, cookery classes, whatever. They go back to eating smaller portions that aren’t being cooked by a guy (am I right ladies?). They, for one reason or another, lose some weight. And that’s just normal people, btw.

We’re also forgetting the fact here, that most of us can only dream of Khloe’s circumstances in which to chase her revenge body. Around the clock personal trainers, dedicated nutritionists, glam squad, those fucking weird waist trainer things, endless supplies of teas that make you shit yourself etc etc.

But anyway, this fairly gross idea that’s promoted by this TV show, and just the concept of ‘revenge bodies’ in general is something else altogether, which really doesn’t sit well with me. Let’s be honest, the idea of losing weight and changing the way you look to get back at a dicky ex-boyfriend - that isn’t about revenge.

It’s not even about doing something for yourself. It’s about still trying to impress that person who hurt you, treated you badly, didn’t realise how wonderful you are. It’s about still needing to be validated by their approval. Still seeking the nod of their head to tell you that you are good enough, and that you meet their standards.

Um, hold on a damn second there, please. No one, and I mean no one but mainly women because we’re fucking drowning it in it every single day, should be made to hate their body and criticise it just because someone bullied and broke them into thinking that they weren’t enough. If you want to lose weight, or you make the decision to change your body in any way, it should come from, and be about nothing but YOU. Just you. Not some dickhead who called you a fatty in Year 9, and not some knobhead ex who said you looked pudgy in your jeans, or dumped you because you gained a stone or two.

And let’s not ignore the very obvious fact that the term ‘revenge body’ itself perpetuates body shaming, diet culture, and unhealthy mindsets which need to LEAVE. The idea that the ‘perfect’ body leads to ultimate happiness is something that’s been manifested by the pure bullshit diet culture that’s arrived over the past thirty years or so. In WHAT WORLD should getting in shape, changing your lifestyle, probably restricting yourself, be centred around the idea of anything other than your own well being?

This idea that haters should motivate you is also problematic. In the trailer for the show, Khloe asks all of her minions: “This revenge body, who is it for?” Someone says ex-fiance, someone says mum, someone says my friends. No one says me. It detracts from the basic idea of leading a healthier lifestyle, and instead turns it all back onto internalised hate, the whole thing focuses on breeding hate and feeding off of hate.

If a bully, a boyfriend, tells you that being fat makes you worthless, and you lose weight solely to prove them wrong, are you dispelling their opinion, or actually kind of confirming it to be true? And letting them make your decisions for you in the process? Anything motivated by hate, but particularly losing weight, can easily transform into something disordered and controlling - if you break it down, it’s alarmingly similar to the thought that to be happy/successful/admired/loved, you just need to lose X amount of weight. That’s what the show is, and that’s also funnily enough, what a lot of eating disorders are.

Losing weight will not heal heartbreak. Equally, if you hate your body at X pounds, you’ll still find ways to hate it at Y and Z pounds too, if you’re not tackling the bigger problem - which is the need to learn to love yourself unconditionally. If you’re convinced that you need to lose weight in order to be loved, or a whole, worthy person, you’re only going to amplify your own self-hate until you hit that goal. And even then, will the goal be good enough? Or will it just keep on going, the goal posts always changing, the finish line always moving back, while you destroy your body and your own peace of mind?

You know what the best ‘revenge’ is, if that’s something you want to strive for, on someone who hurt you or broke your heart? Going out, walking away, living your life for you and NOBODY else, striving for what you want to strive for, chasing your dreams, enjoying yourself, loving life, without giving a damn about what they, or anybody else thinks.

If your body is no longer yours, and exists in its form for someone who broke your heart once, then they’ve just got an even tighter grip over you. Great revenge is living in total freedom, and loving every second.

And if you ask me, ‘revenge body’ should be a term referring to the body of your shitty ex-boyfriend, which is now lying in a suitcase underneath your bed next to your sword. Hahahahaha kidding. Sort of.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

Friday, 20 January 2017

New COLAB Dry Shampoo: Paradise Fragrance

I’m generally a pretty hairy person, and while that does prove itself to be a pain in the arse a lot of the time, I am grateful for the fact that I’ve got a solid head of hair going on. Touch wood, I won’t be going bald any time soon, which is always a bit of a relief. This does however, mean that washing my hair is one of my least favourite activities in the world. I can’t wash my scalp properly, because my hair is so thick. It takes about twelve years to blow dry it properly, and even just blasting it with a hair dryer is a full on work out. 

For all of those reasons, I am a BIG dry shampoo kinda gal. Those ‘Third Day Hair’ days are quickly sorted out with a blast of that genius lazy-girl invention, and I’m yet to find a dry shampoo formula that sorts out my greasy-ass roots quite like COLAB.

So imagine my endless joy when a shiny can of the stuff landed on my doorstep this week, along with a bag full of flamingo-shaped jelly sweets. You can’t imagine the joy. There was too much of it.

There is a pretty good reason for the flamingos, btw. It’s a brand new fragrance for the brand, ‘Paradise’, and I’d go as far as to say it might be the best-smelling budget hair product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Think coconut bras, tropical holidays, The Little Mermaid and errr.. maybe a flamingo, although I imagine they probably don’t smell so great. The actual ingredients - coconut, tonka bean (my fave) and exotic white flowers - all add up to the perfect mix of summer, suncreamy, sunshine goodness.

As well as smelling amazing and having the cutest packaging around, COLAB Paradise is still rocking the unrivalled, quick fix formula that I love so much, which manages to leave hair looking clean, effortless and fresh with literally ZERO white residue or grey cast. Ideal, really.

I can’t rave about this stuff enough. Whaddya reckon to the sound of COLAB Paradise? Gonna grab yourself one of the cute flamingo-print cans next time you’re in Superdrug? It’s only £1.73 at the moment, which is beyond bargainous. Lemme know in the comments below, or tweet me @lucyjanewood.

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