Monday, 17 July 2017

Some actual good news for once

So the secret's out. For once, I'm not flailing through life in despair, wondering WTF I'm doing, when my existence will start to make sense and wondering if the Gods are playing some form of cruel joke on me. Actually, I am still kind of doing all of these things - but at the moment I'm doing all of that while feeling pretty happy with my lot.

I popped a new video up yesterday revealing that I've got some pretty cool stuff happening at the moment. First of all, my job is going alarmingly well. After being made redundant seven months ago, I've since managed to go out on my own in self-employment, and somehow it's actually kind of worked. I know, WHAT. I'm as surprised as you are but hey. I'm currently working for some pretty cool brands and loving being on my own schedule with my writing. Everything's coming up Milhouse.

My other kind of excellent bit of news to share with you is that I'm moving in with my boyfriend, Adam in a few weeks' time. We've just bagged ourself a new pad that I'm totally in love with, and I could not be more excited to finally be living in my own little space with my very best friend. I am slightly concerned that he's about to find out what a weirdo I truly am, but he'll just have to get over that fact.

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Chuck in some positive mental health progress, a step back from YouTube stress and some other good vibes, and this is just about the most joyful video I've ever filmed. It turns out that taking some time away from the internet, spending time with good friends and letting yourself make slow and steady progress is actually a pretty great combo.

Thanks SO much as always for all the super lovely comments and support. Not to jinx myself or anything, but after a pretty rough couple of years for one reason or another, I couldn't be happier than I am right now. Everything comes full circle, guys.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

An honest chat about smear tests

I wanted to make sure that we kept this as casual as poss, because the subject I wanna talk about is something that we should think of as way more casual than we tend to, really. And that magical subject is the joy of any woman’s life - the smear test. Hooraaaay cervixes.

I did a video on my channel about a year and a half ago now which went pretty in depth about my first ever smear test, and it was basically one big celebration about how you should totally go and get it done because it’s totally fine and science is awesome. It’s actually one of the most viewed videos on my channel now which is pretty cool.

But I get comments and questions on that video literally every single day about smear tests, what it’s like, if it hurts and all that jazz. So I thought it’d be a good topic to revisit a little bit, have another little chat about and get some of the most frequent questions answered. I put a tweet, Instagram story and a snapchat out to see if you guys had any burning questions (actually, I s'pose burning isn’t a great word to use when it comes to anything vagina related), and there was LOADS of them.

What is a smear test? 

So in a nutshell, a smear test or a cervical screening if you’re gonna be really fancy, is an appointment with your GP or nurse that girls aged 25 (I’m talking in the UK here) are advised to attend. It’s not compulsory, but you should absolutely attend - I’ll get to that a bit later. It’s literally just a doctor or a nurse taking a few cells from inside your cervix, which then get sent off for testing. That’s all, wahey.

Does it hurt? 

I think this is the question that I get asked the most which has kind of made me realise that so many girls must put off going to their smear test because they think it’s gonna be painful. Obviously, it’s a tricky one to answer because everybody’s body is different, everybody’s vagina is different, everybody’s pain thresholds are different. But speaking for myself, mine absolutely didn’t hurt and I would never describe it as ‘painful’.

1 out of 3 girls who should have had a smear test by now, haven’t gone. Obviously that could be down to loads of different reasons - it could literally just be forgetfulness or a super busy lifestyle or even just laziness - but to be honest I think SO many of them will just be girls who are literally scared to go and get it done. Which kind of sucks, because it’s an amazing free service that genuinely saves lives (no exaggeration), but it has this reputation of being physically painful, as well as painfully awkward, and honestly it’s neither of those things. I promise.

The thing is like, having that good old speculum eased in and opened up (very gently btw) is never going to a joyful experience that you wanna do on the daily, but your vagina is designed to literally push out a human being. This kinda thing won’t even make it break a sweat. On the whole, I’d say it’s uncomfortable, but completely bearable and just kind of a weird sensation. But no, not painful - and if it does start to hurt more than you think is normal you can tell the nurse and she can change the size of all the gear that she’s using to suit you better.

How do you get over the awkwardness? Is it actually awkward? 

This is the second most common question that I get asked about the whole smear test experience. Kinda makes it sound like a fun, interactive theme park or something. Worst theme park ever.

It’s a pretty funny question, but it’s also totally reasonable because if you’re not really in the habit of lying down on a table, opening your legs and flashing your bits and pieces at a stranger then it IS always gonna feel like a weird and awkward thing to have to do. But sorry to be the one to break this to you, but your vagina and your cervix are absolutely nothing special to this doctor or nurse that’s gonna do your examination. They’ve probably already done 10 that day, and they’ll be doing another 20 after you put your knickers back on. I guarantee that once you walk into the room, when you’re in a sterile environment and the nurse is chatting to you about the process and talking about speculums and swabs, it will instantly just feel like a doctor procedure, and won’t be anywhere near as awkward as you’re imagining.

The only sliiightly awkward part is when you have to sort of, drop your undies and your jeans and waddle over to the table with your fanny and your naked bum out in the air, but the nurse won’t be looking while you do that, and you’ll be given a big paper tablecloth or cover to put over yourself once you’re lying down. My top tip is that if you wear a skirt or a dress for your appointment, you can just ditch your knickers, and feel less self conscious, and it’ll still feel like you’re wearing kind of a normal amount of clothing while this is all going on.

I think a lot of these like weird, completely un-fun experiences that you unfortunately have to do when you’re officially an adult are just about completely blagging your way through it. So I think I walked in to mine completely pretending to be un-phased and un-embarassed by the whole thing and you almost trick yourself into believing that you don’t wanna die on the spot. Fake it 'til you make it and all that.

Do I need to shave? Did you feel pressure to make it look nice? 

Right, just gonna throw this out there. The doctor or nurse absolutely does not give a shit about your pubes. They will have seen weirder, wilder things going on down there than you’ve got, and genuinely won’t bat an eyelid whether you’re as bald as a Mitchell brother or completely au naturale. He or she isn’t actually looking at what’s going on on top of your cervix, they’re looking actually inside - straight down the barrel of the gun if you will.

Literally the only thing I would say is have a shower the morning before you go, that’s just common human decency really isn’t it - but also remember that vaginas are amazing self cleaning machines all by themselves. Similarly, it absolutely doesn’t matter what undies you’re wearing either. Your nurse never even sees your knickers, so don’t stress about what you wear. The only reason you might wanna wear a particular pair is that you could bleed a little bit afterwards, but that’s just so you dont ruin your best undies.

Where do you put your pants? 

This one made me laugh. Basically, once the nurse has talked you through what will happen and what the point of it is and all that jazz, he or she will ask you to undress your lower half behind a curtain and you can just put your undies and clothes on a chair, before they get into position to perform the test. The whole routine is to protect your modesty and make things less embarrassing I guess, but then that’s pretty ridiculous considering you’re about to go vagina to face, but anyway.

Thoughts on having a smear test as a virgin? 

To be honest, I’ve never really thought about this idea too much, but I think it’s a really good question so definitely wanted to mention it. I had a quick look on the NHS and they basically say that if you’re not sexually active, you don’t need to worry too much because you’re way less likely to develop cervical cancer.

But the person who sent this question in said they’d had a really awkward encounter with a nurse - so I think it’s great that they were still keen to have the test done anyway. Obviously it’s a completely personal decision, but if you’re putting your health as the very top priority, and you’re completely comfortable with having the examination done, and maybe experiencing a liiiittle bit more pain than a sexually active girl might do, then that’s got to be a really good decision if you ask me.

How do you control your nerves? 

This was also a really common question, and I think the most useful thing you can do is just remind yourself how incredibly important a smear test is for your own health and your own future. 3000 women every year in the UK get cervical cancer - but these smear tests or cervical screenings prevent 75% of cases of it. Literally amazing.

As I said before, keep reminding yourself that it could literally save your life, remind yourself that the doctors and nurses will be doing the procedure multiple times that day, remind yourself that you’re in it alongside thousands of other women every single year having this done (including me wahey), and watch my smear test videos before you go because I’ll make everything better. The more relaxed you are, the easier the whole thing will be.

Is it uncomfortable having a male doctor? 

I had a female nurse for my smear test, but if the idea of having a guy do it all freaks you out a bit, then you can actually request a woman if that makes you feel more comfortable. If you do have a guy though, remember that he’s done it a million times before, there’s absolutely NOTHING remotely sexy about the whole thing, speculums will instantly remove any form of awkward boy/girlness.

Do you think the age should be lower? 

Oh 100%. I only really know UK stats to be honest, but the smear test age here is 25 which is a lot higher than many places across the world. It’s a pretty hot topic of conversation right now that our public services are facing a huge defecit in funds, massively underfunded and understaffed so I know the realities and possibilities mustn’t add up to the ideals. But I’d absolutely love to see the age lowered, I don’t know how that could ever be a bad thing.

What if you come on your period the day before? 

For this kind of thing that’s actual guidelines of the smear test, I’d say do a little bit of research before booking your appointment to make sure I haven’t got this all wrong, but I’m pretty sure they advise that you don’t book your test for when you’ll be on your period. I think they say to try and get it for the middle of your cycle, because that’s when you get the best cell sample. I imagine they’d probably tell you to rebook your appointment if you came on just before it which would be a massive pain in the arse if you’d psyched yourself up for it, so maybe check with your GP practice or online.

Is there anything you can compare it to? 

Honestly, Ive thought ages about this question to try and come up with a really helpful, illustrative answer that could give you a vague idea, but I haven’t really experienced anything that I could really compare it to. The sensation is kind of similar to period pain - not for the pain aspect but for that lower stomach, deep, almost warm kind of feeling. I guess maybe it could feel vaguely similar to having sex but obviously, quite significantly less good. Err, if you’ve ever had a coil fitted for contraception I guess the positioning and experience might be similar, but in terms of the sensation of the speculum widening things up a little bit, and the silicone brush collecting the cell sample, it’s just quite hard to explain to be honest. Err yeah, WOULD RECOMMEND.

How far in do they go? Is it like a tampon? 

Yeah it’s higher up than a tampon or a mooncup would sit, I don’t really know all the facts and figures for how far in they actually go in terms of centimetres or inches, but it’s an examination of your cervix rather than your vagina so it’s all the way up in that bad boy.

I genuinely can’t face it - I’m too scared and don’t know what to do. 

It just shouldn’t even be something where you weigh up the option of going to have it done or not - it should just be a given that you’re going. It’s not even worth worrying about - it’s not scary, it’s not painful, it’s not awkward, there’s no personality or emotion involved in it - it’s literally just fine, the same as going to get your blood pressure checked or your throat examined when you’ve got tonsillitis. DO IT.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The power of the teenage girl

The devastating events in Manchester in June are incomprehensible and heartbreaking. It was an attack, as well as on young children, mothers, families, friendship, free spirits and fun lovers, on teenage girls. So this is about teenage girls. I believe in the power of the teenage girl.

Show me another part of society where friendship circles and best friends make each other feel invincible, like they can do anything when they’re together, like each other’s support can lift them above everything they’ve got to face in day to day life.

Look closely and you can find so much pure, complete joy in them. They share each others drinks without even asking, they nick each other’s chips and don’t question it, they wear each other’s clothes even if it’s brand new and unworn, they dish out compliments to one another and shout about each other’s achievements like they’re their own, they dish out tampons and bobbles to strangers, they spend their free periods giving each other back massages and new hairstyles and helping with important work.

Speaking from memories from my best friends, they literally give each other really time-consuming answers to maths questions when they’re shit at it because they don’t want to see their friends fail. It goes without saying that they’re there to talk even when they’re exhausted, it goes without saying that they’ll keep finding solutions to problems even when they can’t keep their eyes open anymore. It goes without saying that teenage girl friendships are for life, even if they end up being for a short time.

Let’s be honest, teenage girls are often labelled as bitchy too, and although not so positive, it is equally as powerful a talent. Show me another part of society that have the power and the intelligence and the awareness to hit so specifically on one another’s weakest points with absolute pure venom. While that side of things isn’t so sweet, it’s just as important in proving the power of the teenage girl, because that pure tenaciousness and toughness is also an incredible defence mechanism when standing up for one another. But show me another part of society that could have this power and mindset at their fingertips and NOT use that intelligence and awareness in a wider, negative way - they keep it to themselves, amongst themselves, then they better themselves every single time.

Teenage girls also dominate the world of social media, and manage to hold a huge power within it while still battling the crushing pressures that it places on them every single day. Entire industries revolve around them because their passions are so profitable. They’re entirely responsible for keeping hundreds of thousands of money making machines in business - particularly, can I just add, YouTubers. If it wasn’t for the power of the teenage girl, none of this would exist in the vast capacity that it does now. It’s their dedication and devotion and unbridled excitement that’s responsible for the YouTube phenomenon, the boyband phenomenon literally since like the 1950s, the high street beauty and fashion industry. You name it if it’s profitable, and the teenage girl probably has the key to it sitting in her hands. Like, they literally control popular music, and largely control popular culture.

Despite this power through profitability, teenage girls also somehow remain completely unaffected, unwavering and undefeated by the fact that society still also insists on treating them as a joke at the same time. Their interests and behaviour is so often condemned as vapid and stupid and a waste of time. Older people, and men in particular let’s be real, are waiting in the wings to tear them down, crush their passions by calling it pointless and immature. For some reason, acknowledgement and approval of older men seems to equate to something becoming valid and worthy. I have no idea why ‘cos most older men I know have terrible taste in everything. But anyway, as a result, the teenage girl is endlessly patronised. She’s expected to cope with the pressures of adult life (and more than her parents ever had to face thanks to the internet), without actually being respected as an adult.

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Despite that, whatever their fandom or their love - whether it’s feminism on a level of Malala Yusef, writing a new genre of literature on a level of Mary Shelley, or living and breathing for Harry Styles and elevating him to a worldwide godlike status, they voice that love unashamedly and completely. It always results in something amazing, their achievements are endless. When I was writing for Sugarscape, a huge teen website, there’d be examples every day of amazing, and I mean really amazing, demonstrations of support that fandoms were pulling off together in aid of amazing causes, all by themselves, all of their own back and it was always awe-inspiring.

Speaking of Harry Styles, he actually get it. He told Rolling Stone: “How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”

Adults might brand it as hysterical when they see the screaming and the tears, but I don’t think any adults love anything (maybe aside from their own children) as much as teenage girls love these things. How amazing and powerful that the teenage girl can experience this much emotion and keep it harnessed to themselves without bursting.

Oh, and by the way, they also handle all this shit judgement and dismissal while going through years of changing, confused self identity, body image, moods, sexuality, heartbreak, creepy ass misogynists, problem skin, exam pressure and everything else. Show me another part of society that could handle it, accept it and get on with it.

If you’ve never been to a concert full of teenage girls, you just can’t understand the feeling. As someone who grew up attending the Manchester Arena for regular concerts, some of my happiest ever memories took place there, it’s impossible for me to convey the shared, electric atmosphere that manifests in that moment. It’s fucking magical, I can’t explain it. These girls know that they’re one of tens of thousands in a crowd, and they still do their makeup flawlessly, take ages on their hair, spend days planning an outfit that they’ll be wearing in the dark anyway. The pure happiness is a shared, formative experience; it’s a milestone and it’s palpable, and even better is the fact that each teenage girl in the crowd feels like the most important and powerful person in the whole place because they’re being themselves to the fullest with no holds barred. Since when are adults brave enough to do that? And while concerts are a good representative of teenage girls, it’s not just concerts - it’s any part of life. Look at the teenage girls and they’ll be the ones loving the most generously, laughing the longest, crying the loudest and living the largest.

They’re not weary of the world yet, endlessly enthusiastic, amazingly determined and live with open mindedness that adults can only dream of.

As for those responsible for the Manchester attacks, it’s utterly impossible to vocalise anything to do with them. What I will say, is that everything that teenage girls are is everything that they hate. They’re intimidated by powerful, unbeatable, fervent forces who love their life to the fullest and appreciate the endless, unwavering joy that their most heartfelt, unashamed passions bring them.

God help the world if teenage girls ever realise what they could truly do. Trust me, this won’t stop the power of the teenage girl.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

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.

👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood 

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.

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