23 April 2017

life lately...

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Shirt, c/o Boden - Jeans, c/o Next  photo jazzabelles diary smart shirt polka dot boden_zps3y5j3wlu.jpg
Hello, hello! Days have been blurring together for me recently, so today has been spent taking it easy, reflecting on the last couple of weeks and thinkin' ahead. I thought I'd catch up with y'all and share a few things going on in my life lately...
1. Ten days ago I quit my job. And in the last ten days I've felt the most content and carefree I've felt in a very long time. It's a different sort of contentment to usual too, as it hasn't just been for a weekend or a few days, resulting in Sunday evening sadness and back-to-work blues, as this time I've really been able to switch off. Of course my mini break will eventually have to come to an end, but even then it will be to start something new and exciting, so it's a bit of a win-win situation!
2. In five short days Rob and I will be jetting off to Florida! The anticipation of our first holiday abroad together has been so special, yet the worrier in me can't seem to fully allow myself to get too overexcited. I'm not anxious about the flight itself, it's more the whole airport experience that I find a little overwhelming, though once the plane has taken off I know I'll be lovin' life and will be annoying Rob with my giddiness!
3. Despite getting back into the swing of posting more regularly on my blog (all thanks to Chloe's lovely photography), I'm still figuring out the direction I'd like to take Jazzabelle's Diary. Ultimately my blog is just a hobby for me, but I'm thinkin' 2017 will be the year I finally shake things up on my little corner of the internet! In the seven years I've been blogging, I've never changed my template, so that's something I'd like to explore. I also really want to think about injecting more personality and creating meaningful content that I'm proud of. Is there anything you'd like to see on here? I'm really open to all suggestions, and do let me know your favourite blog designers and developers too!
I'll chat to you next week, I should have another post popping up before I go on holiday! Lots of love, Jazz xx 

20 April 2017

floral fancy.

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Top, jeans and boots - all c/o Next
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When I first started my blog at the age of seventeen, my style was very simple - black, grey and muted tones were my go-to colours, and I often shied away from statement pieces. The idea of bright colours, patterns and experimenting with trends really appealed to me, so I dabbled occasionally, but as I wasn't the most confident person, I really didn't want to stand out from the crowd. I wasn't happy with my body shape or general appearance, so the last thing I wanted was to draw unnecessary attention to myself with eye-catching outfits.
Confidence is something I often talk about - I feel that there's a clear correlation between my age and self esteem. As I get older and become more confident, I'm making bolder fashion choices - what I wear now reflects my personality and favourite things... hello William Morris prints and pops of colour! Take this outfit, clashing prints aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I couldn't resist doubling up on florals, and tryin' out a pair of jeans different from my favoured high waisted variety. Sometimes I long for a really strong, signature style and a 'capsule wardrobe', but right now I'm still finding my feet with my personal style, and I'm happy that I finally have the confidence to experiment with clothes and wear things that truly make me smile. Love Jazz xx
Photos by Chloe 

13 April 2017

the start of something new...

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Topshop jacket and vest - Asos jeans - Primark shoes - Cath Kidston bag
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Hello y'all... Oh, have I got some exciting news to share with you - finally! I've been keepin' it secret for a while now - call it not wanting to tempt fate and being a ridiculous worrier - but I've quit my job! Well technically I handed in my letter of resignation professionally and worked my full notice period, but saying "I quit" does sound a little more ~dramatic~ doesn't it?
So, why did I quit? I have a new job in the pipeline! I've been the Marketing & PR Executive for an independent company for nearly two and a half years now, and whilst I've grown up and learnt so much in my role, I had become a little unhappy and uninspired. I knew it was time for a change! Everything seemed to fall so perfectly into place with my new job - where I'll be Social Media & Marketing Executive - I'm so excited for the the next chapter in my career! And if you thought things couldn't get any better, well, they can... Today is my last day in my current role, and then I have a whole month off before I start my new one. Yes, you read that right, a whole month off to do what I want! I'm spending Easter with Rob, then visiting my family in Bournemouth, celebrating my mum's 50th, and at the end of April Rob and I are off to Florida!
I honestly don't think things could be any more perfect for me right now, I'm so bloody happy. Chat soon! Jazz x
Photos by the lovely Chloe   

02 April 2017

spring in my step.

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Hello and happy April! I've been feelin' pretty darn fine this week - the wonderful weather, my family, Rob and our upcoming holiday (plus somethin' else very exciting... but more of that in another post) have definitely put a spring in my step! Yes, I've had a couple of trips (and tears!) recently, but I've been making a conscious effort to pick myself back up and make positive changes to do what makes me happy. And do you know what? I'm really happy right now. I feel like sometimes people can play down their happiness, finding it easier to focus on the negatives and be self deprecating - I'll admit it, I'm guilty of doing the same - but right now I'm owning my happiness. I don't know how long I'm going to feel like this for, so I'm embracing every moment and am determined to do what I can to keep this feeling alive. Love, Jazz x 
Photos by Chloe  

12 March 2017

a few things to look forward to...

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New Look coat - House of Hackney top - Topshop jeans (similar) - Topshop boots (similar)
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I always love filling up my diary with things to look forward to. Whether it's something as little as a lunch break date, a day off work or something bigger like family get together, having things to be excited about definitely makes the long, monotonous days a little bit better. There are a few things I'm really looking forward to over the next couple of months - first up, this Friday Rob and I are off to Bournemouth for a long weekend to see my family. Bournemouth has always been my happy place, it's going to be lovely to escape London for a few days to be with my favourite people. In April it's my mum's big 'five oh' birthday so we'll be planning a big family party, and then - this is SO exciting - at the end of April, Rob and I are going to America for our first ever 'proper' holiday together! He completely and utterly surprised me with a trip to Walt Disney World and Florida Keys for Christmas, I can't wait to make some amazing memories with the man I love. This year is lookin' to be a good'un, I'll have some more exciting things to share with you very soon, too!
On a side note, I'm so proud of myself for the amount of blog posts I've already shared this year - this is now my sixth post of 2017 - that's how many I managed for the whole of 2016! Thank you so much for all the kind words, comments and feedback you have left so far. Since I've taken the pressure off my blog and have put it out there that this is just a hobby for me, things really have fallen into place - it's great to start to have a little confidence in Jazzabelle's Diary again! x
Photos by Chloe 

27 February 2017

mini book review - my not so perfect life, sophie kinsella

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Since I was a teenager, Sophie Kinsella has always been my favourite author. With fun, relatable women in the lead and always with a touch of romance, her books are easy to read, and hard to put down. My admiration for Sophie grew when I served her while working as a sales assistant at Cath Kidston; I held it together until her transaction went through, then I had a mini fan girl moment - she couldn't have been more kind and humble. From the Shopaholic series to her stand alone novels and the early books penned under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, I've read them all, so as soon as I found out she had a new release up her sleeve, I of course pre-ordered it straight away and couldn't wait for it to arrive...
My Not So Perfect Life, is a breath of fresh air - a witty take on our social media culture, this novel follows Katie pretending to have the perfect life on Instagram, but in reality that's not the case - she rents a tiny room, has annoying flatmates, an awful commute and can't seem to catch a break at work. She longs for the perfect life her boss leads, but all is not as it seems... I don't want to give too much away, however here are a few lines that really resonated with me; 'Every time you see someone's bright-and-shiny, remember: they have their own crappy truths, too. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think: Is this my life...? you should remember: it's not. Everyone's got a bright-and-shiny, even if it's hard to find sometimes'. My Not So Perfect Life is Sophie Kinsella at her finest. Funny and uplifting, I guarantee this will have you nodding your head in agreement and laughing aloud throughout - trust me, I got some looks on my commute because of this. Jazz x

25 February 2017

a little saturday catch up...

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Boohoo jumper - Whistles bag (similar) - Asos jeans
Remember the good old days of blogging when you would shoot a few snaps, say "that will do" and pop your post up same day with just a line or two? Nothing fancy, just a classic ootd. Now that I've taken the unnecessary pressure off my blog, well, I thought I'd give it a go! So, this is what I wore today for brunch with my family, a coffee catch up with dad and wander around the shops afternoon. I picked up this jumper after seeing it on Laura - the sleeves are brilliant and hilarious in equal measure - it really does make me smile. The jeans are another recent addition to my wardrobe, and I've had this Whistles bag for around three years now, bought secondhand off a colleague at a previous job. It's lasted me pretty well so far, and I may have bought the matching pouch, coin purse and card holder since then, with the luggage tag and passport holder next on my list! 
If you're after more of a read this weekend, I highly recommend Kristabel's latest post, all about her experience on being black, British and a blogger. Being mixed race (Jamaican and British!), this post so so amazingly relatable for me - I'd love to write more about being mixed race and how racial issues affect me, but as I've said previously, I'm just unsure if I'd be able to articulate my thoughts eloquently enough. I'll start making notes for now, and maybe one day the post will end up on here. We shall see! Have a super weekend, y'all! Jazz xx

15 February 2017

wild at heart

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Painted Horses Blouse and leather bag - c/o Cath Kidston - Topshop jeans (similar) and shoes 
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Why hello there! Those of y'all who have been long time readers of my blog will know how much of a part Cath Kidston played in my life. Working there for three years in my early twenties, it became a part time job of dreams to the place where I started my career. I grew so much as a person, gained skills for life and met some lovely people along with way. As cheesy as it sounds, even though I no longer work for the company, it's always got a place in my heart. Plus, I still have friends that work there, which means Cath Kidston gifts for me (oh yes)!  
My pal Maryam sent me this Painted Horses Blouse, which on paper isn't really my style, but I'm glad I gave it the chance as I actually really love it! The print is painterly and abstract enough that the horses aren't erm... too horsey, plus I'm lovin' pops of bright pink at the mo' - it's a pretty snazzy look for me but I'm embracing it! These are my favourite bunch of photographs that Chloe took a couple of weekends ago - we couldn't resist snapping away at Wild at Heart, I mean, those tiles! So worth getting a wet bum for. It made a super lovely change to go out and about to a different part of town, but after hours wandering around a chilly Notting Hill and being the homebody that I am, oh was I glad to get back home and pop my pajamas on... Jazz x
Photos by Chloe

10 February 2017

simple stripes

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Whistles jumper - Leather bag, c/o Cath Kidston - Topshop jeans
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Well, am I glad it's finally the weekend! This week was super productive, but oh my has it dragged on. I'm writing this tucked up on the sofa in my pajamas, eating a big bowl of pasta and watchin' the Fresh Prince - I've always favoured staying at home over going out on a Friday night, and as my mum is working late and Rob is out for the evening, I'm relishing having the flat to myself. 
 So far this year I've had one great weekend after another, with another lovely one lined up! There was a period around a year and a half ago where I really didn't get up to much at the weekends, and I soon realised that working all week and then being totally lazy at the weekend really wasn't making me feel very good at all. Now I'm tryin' to find the balance between being more active and social, but still leaving myself a little time to relax and recuperate without feeling like I've wasted my time off. Last weekend was a great example of that - on Saturday morning I met up with Chloe to shoot some blog snaps around Notting Hill and then spent the rest of the day at home chilling out with my mum. On the Sunday I went to my first ever HIIT class at Oncore (thanks to Emma for the recommendation!), and then spent the evening watching tv and making plans for the year ahead. I woke up on Monday feelin' super positive (my colleague even said that I was glowing!), but I guess they do say that 'a Sunday well spent brings a week of content' after all! I actually enjoyed my fitness class so much that I've booked myself on for this Sunday too, and as well as that I have some lovely plans with my family and Rob. I hope you have a super weekend... I know I will! Lots of love, Jazz.
Photos by Chloe

10 January 2017

my little corner of the internet

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Asos dress - Topshop hat (similar) - Whistles bag - Asos tights - Boots c/o Next 
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I'm sure we all have those moments, moments of self doubt over our blogs. That's something I've had frequently over the years, one of the many reasons why my posts are now so few and far between. I worry that I'm not articulating my thoughts and feelings eloquently enough, lack confidence in my appearance (I'm confident IRL, but y'know what it's like when you have to look at hundreds of pictures of yourself) and sometimes struggle to turn my ideas into exciting blog content without repeating the same old chat, outfits and poses. I wear the same clothes days in a row, tend to venture to the same part of town and don't feel that I know enough to give advice, so what does my blog really offer to those that read it? Seeing how so many other bloggers have succeeded over the years, I occasionally wonder where I would be now, if a few years ago I followed the evolution of blogging, but I know I shouldn't let my mind wander in that way - blogging so regularly/full time isn't everyone's goal or path, and I certainly don't think it has ever been mine. I've never been completely and utterly driven to make my blog bigger and better, but that's totally okay.
Over the years I've felt like the less I've blogged, the happier I've become. I know I can't make that fact the sole factor of my happiness - as getting older, learning to love myself and falling in love have definitely made me the happy, content and positive person I am today -  but spending less time scrutinising pictures of my face and shooting/editing/writing posts means I have more time to just be me. I'm not turning my back on blogging (because hey look, I've actually posted!), but I definitely need to remember why I started my blog in the first place, find new inspiration, stop worrying about the perfect content and just post! In one way I'm lucky to not have the pressure of blogging being my main income, and all I want to do is keep my little corner of the internet alive. Jazzabelle's Diary has always been just that, my little diary, I couldn't imagine it being anything else. 
Lots of love, Jazz xx