Thursday, 19 February 2015


Being a woman, full stop, is stressful but being a young woman in particular is stressful as hell! I’ve always been a fairly positive person. I didn’t get upset on a daily basis, in fact I was the complete opposite. I pushed on and on and on until I came crashing down in one big heap; but that was cool because it meant I had a couple of hours of very ugly, snotty crying and blubbering to my mum and then I was fine and back on track. That was before I had fully understood and taken on the responsibilities of being a young woman, and before I had been thrown into the ‘real world’- I was merely a teenager.

So what makes it so scary?... Why do so many people crack when they move out? And why does stress wiggle its way in? It’s because we’re female- To stress is in our DNA and let’s face it, most of the time we have it a lot harder than blokes (ooo… they’ll be uproar over this!). Of course men say they have it harder, and women say they have it harder; the battle will continue forever, but I really do think it’s harder to be a girl- ESPECIALLY in today’s society. Here’s a few things I think make it so stressful being a young woman and why I think my  own stress levels have peaked from moving out and growing up!

1.       University- Obviously this doesn’t just relate to women but to everyone.  The venture into further education is difficult and stressful, the time limits, the essays and the decisions are all laid out in front of us, ready  to make us decide what career we want to have in the future. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think it’s scary and ridiculous to try and pick what we want to do in the future at that age; I can’t make a clear judgment what path I want to take because once you’re on one path, it’s  very difficult to switch. I made the jump into university this year after having a year out… I decided to go down the path I never thought I would and after all the stress, I’ve been left (after only one and half semesters) extremely disappointed.  You can read my post of whether University is actually worth it HERE. Another thing that does not help our stress levels is the lack of organisation, and the awful systems we have to slog through to get funding, or to even just apply- I swear they’ve been designed to make young people go crazy! Student Finance is the devil-haha!

2.       Moving Out- Many people move out when they attend university. Even if you don’t go to uni that change, whenever you make it, is a shock to the system and suddenly you have to think about things you’ve never even considered before like making sure your clothes are washed, or having enough money to pay for a broken toilet- or whatever it might be! Many of us (and I’m guilty of this!) rely on our parents wayyy too much. I was used to spending my time sat round my kitchen table passing home cooked food around and laughing, I was used to having my mum and dad about to drive me to a party, or take me to buy an outfit.  I’ve now moved in with the most amazing guy I know, and the love of my life and having to go from such a sheltered family orientated life to living a couples life in a city (when I’m from the hills) it can take a lot of time to adjust.  Despite this however I’m rather enjoying playing house wife girlfriend, making budgets and going food shopping  just satisfies my inner independence perfectly. Moving on from the stress is the hard part, but jumping into my new role with full force is definitely the best way, as nobody wants to be a rubbish housewife, who cries all the time right?!

3.       Money- The evident lack of money for most of us young women is stressful in the most materialistic way. We all want to be the next Olivia Palermo and have a new outfit every day and use the newest high end makeup products- but it can’t be done on a student loan or a part time job that pays an hourly rate that shouldn’t be allowed to exist.  Money is a horrible thing to want to have, I wish I could live carefree and without worry  about how much is in my bank but unfortunately in today’s society you have to care, because everything costs- A LOT!  For me, buying the newest fashion item or going on a night out is not important and I can do without, but the smaller things, like worrying about buying one of my family a birthday present, or wanting to spoil my boyfriend to a nice meal, are what cause the stress and it’s horrible. BUT like everything else… It won’t last .Work your ass off and keep a positive outlook and you’ll be able to buy and do all the things you wish- and it’ll feel so much more special.

4.       Anxiety/ hormones- Hormones are a woman’s worst nightmare, they make us cry over dropping a biscuit in our freshly made brew (Yes- I genuinely cried over this the other day) and make us snap  and become a bitch when it’s our time of the month- and we really can’t help it! More than anything it’s exhausting crying all the time about anything and everything and most of the time nothing; it’s horrible and can happen at any time. Boo being a woman!!! I know many people that also suffer from anxiety, although I don’t particularly suffer from it myself I do have moments of nervousness, and like the hormones it can happen in situations I would never have expected. Being a woman can be scary because, by default, you’re weaker, often smaller and that’s where my nerves lie. An example of this is walking around at night … something that shouldn’t be that scary but a dodgy glance from a stranger, or a man walking past with a hood up can trigger the overthinking and that destructive mind set . Not every person with a hood up is gonna stab you or worse… not every person is malicious but there’s just something in thinking ‘what if’ that creeps into our heads and invades our thoughts.

5.       Being hot/ fitting in with the stereotypes- This is sooo not me, I never cared about looking a certain way, or having the perfect sized boobs or any of it- but it IS a major worry for so many girls. We have it drilled into us at every move that we need to be a certain weight and shape to be “hot”.  With statistics on what size boobs guys like the most or whether blondes are more attractive than brunettes…. It’s too much!!! All these ideas that get thrown at us are completely unattainable yet it doesn’t stop so many young people starving and puking their way into their “dream” bodies- it’s not natural, and it shouldn’t be done. No stress should be caused by the way you look- I have a moustache (haha!), I don’t have big boobs, and I don’t go to the gym everyday (or at all! Haha) but I found my soul mate, and there is one out there for all of us. What if changing the way you look and ruining your natural beauty means that you’ll miss out on yours? because they’ll be looking for the girl you were,not the girl you now are.

After going through a particularly stressful time myself and feeling like I haven’t got the energy to do anything because I’m constantly stressing about what my next move has to be- because a slow, laid back life doesn’t exist for the young anymore- I’ve realised and talked myself into not being so bloomin’ emotional (even if it is the way we’re made). Strength is a much more appealing characteristic to have and it’s something I would like to strive towards. If you’re not happy with your life, you’re the only one who can change it, and if you really want to the loose your rolls (I know I do!) then do it naturally and eat healthy because it’ll feel so much more rewarding if you’re strong and don’t give in.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


I finally bit the bullet a few months ago and treated myself to the ‘Clinique 3 step’ after being good for the last couple of years.  When my acne covered, teenage self was screaming for help to relieve me from my skin problems, I got myself the tester of the 3 products and was VERY chuffed with the results! However, when your immature self only works 10 hours a week, with a hourly rate that shouldn’t  be allowed to exist!, splashing out on Clinique products wasn’t even an option; and I had to settle for Simple products instead (which even they bankrupt me haha!)  But now I’m a fully-fledged student and house wife  girlfriend and my beginners desire to budget and organise my way into a more mature and comfortable lifestyle, I don’t have the same financial restraints and spending £50 odd quid on pampering myself is OK. 

So yes- I’m way way behind on the whole Clinique 3 step craze but I don’t give a monkeys because my skin is soft, clean and I just love feeling all luxurious and fancy even having a skincare routine. 

So what even is the 3 step?!

It’s exactly what it says…a 3 step daily skincare set that targets all round healthy skin. What makes it so popular however is the 4 different skin types they cater for and the tweaking of products to reflect your individual skin problems/ characteristics.

The three areas that are targeted regardless of which skin type are:

The basics!- Which skin type am I?!

Now this is where the individual bit comes in…. and the wonderful ladies on the counter complete a small test and some questions to help you determine which category you come under and what products are best suited for your skin - but here are the basics!

Skin Type 1- Very Dry to Dry (Your skin is tight and uncomfortable all over)
-          Liquid Facial Soap = £16
-          Clarifying Lotion 1 = £16.50- £26
-          Dramatically Different Moisturizer- Lotion + = £17.50- £30

Skin Type 2- Dry Combination (Your skin is tight and uncomfortable in the cheeks but comfortable in the T-Zone) ß I’M THIS ONE!
-          Liquid Facial Soap
-          Clarifying Lotion 2
-          Dramatically Different Moisturizer- Lotion +

Skin Type 3- Combination Oily (Your skin is comfortable in the cheeks, but oily or shiny in the T-Zone)
-          Liquid Facial Soap
-          Clarifying Lotion 3
-          Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Skin Type 4- Oily (Your ski is oily or shiny all over)
-          Liquid Facial Soap
-          Clarifying Lotion 4
-          Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

My opinion!

When I bought the full size version of the products I was eager for them to wow me as much as they did the first time, even though my skin had got a lot better at this point; but unfortunately they didn’t quite hit the mark. I still love the products and they still outshine many other products I’ve found, but because my skin isn’t in such a state as it was, I haven’t noticed as big a difference with the products. Despite this though, I use the products happily, and I do still love the way they make my skin feel.

The facial soap lathers right up and really cleans my face- Which might sound daft, but so many products leave your skin with residue and without feeling like its actually been cleaned. This soap is perfect however because a little really does go a long way and I don’t feel like I’m scrubbing, washing and lathering my money away. 

The clarifying lotion is probably my favourite out of the three as it really lifts the grime and takes that horrible layer of dead skin off with ease and leaves your face extremely soft and slightly tight (which I really like!)

Moving on the last product- The dramatically different moisturizing lotion … which really isn’t that dramatically different at all but on the plus side it’s not greasy, its light on the skin and soaks in quickly so you’re not left with a slimy layer that won’t budge (which is one of the worst things about cheaper moisturisers.)  

Overall, I’m happy with the results but they don’t get me jumping around my bathroom with excitement and I think there will be many more products out there that will give you better results for the same price- So now I’m on the hunt!

If you have a completely different experience with your 3 step let me know!

Here’s to the constant quest for soft, smooth and spot less baby skin! 

-Ioana x

Sunday, 15 February 2015


There’s no shying away from the fact that I am a bit of a geek. I love nothing more than to snuggle down with a good book and pass the time following the adventures, troubles and celebrations of so many characters; it gives me such a buzz. However, I can’t help but feel closed minded and boring when I’m always skipping from one novel to another without even considering the many other forms of writing. It’s just a phase that I’m going through as I used to love the reading and writing of poetry and the dramatic intensity of a play but I’ve got boring and that needs to change! Soooo…I’ve thought of a few ways to get my brain feeling excited again and to keep my eyes open to all the other things that I’m missing out on. I’ve written a list of challenges and goals that I want to stick with for the year … and here it is.

1.       Read one poem from ‘The Oxford Book of English Verse’ a day. This seems like an easy one, but I don’t mean just READ one, I mean UNDERSTAND one a day- because being honest half of the poems in that book will take a lot more work for me to even remotely know what they’re saying. I picked this anthology in particular because I’m using it as one of my texts at university and it has such a vast array of poems from all styles and time periods. 

2.      Read ‘The Guardian’ everyday- it doesn’t have to be the news section…It can be arts, culture- whatever I fancy. I used to do this most days- I loved The Guardian’s website and I used to love mooching through the articles all the time… They always had something interesting to read.

3.     When I read anything- be it a novel, poem or article… If I don’t know a word…research it and learn the meaning of it. This is a great technique to broaden your vocab- there’s so many times that we read something and guess the meaning of a word based on its context in the sentence. Just imagine how many more words you’d be able to use and know if you learn two or even just one word a day.

4.   Don't be afraid of older classics!... I've always loved the idea of reading all the classics and quoting Jane Austen with ease but I've never given it a chance and instead ran in the other direction when seriously thinking about tackling a classic. I am however determined to change this and give it my best in finishing a long, complicated classic; because I honestly believe they hold some amazing stories once you get past the gap in language and style. 

All of these goals or challenges are simple, but I really felt they’d develop me academically- and what’s wrong with a bit of extra brain power right?!
Let me know if you have any routines or achievements like this!

Here’s to trying to be smarter.


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