Women who have a positive influence on my life

women-who-have-a-positive-influence-on-my-life

I have witnessed a lot of women – especially as of late – tearing each other down, seeing each other as competitors in an unhealthy way and just not seeing a good sense of sisterhood and that honestly upsets me. I don’t like the slut shaming or bitchiness, there’s honestly so much of it going on and it genuinely breaks my heart to see. So, to make a change, I thought I would do a blog post dedicated to women who influence me in a positive way in life. From famous faces to family and friends, I am going to celebrate some amazing ladies here and I hope this post encourages you to do the same and remember we should unite together. There’s a lot against our gender and we should be part of the #GirlGang and stick together.

Famous faces

Little Mix

little-mix-x

Little Mix are currently one of the biggest girl groups of our generation. Besides their catchy music and beautiful looks, what really appeals to me is what these girls stand for. They are girls for girls and as much as they have a glitzy and glamourous life, they are very down to Earth and keep it real. The real life issues they face aren’t hidden. True, they have private lives, but they are fairly open with their lives, including struggles. This was hugely showcased in their latest book, ‘Our World’, where the girls discussed struggles growing up such as family splits, illnesses and insecurities. Though all four girls influence me, I think it’s Jesy who I can relate to the most. During her time on ‘The X Factor’ she struggled a lot with her self-image and it’s something I also have an issue with. Though I may not have the confidence she has now found in herself, she has inspired me to try and be able to look in the mirror and not be in hate with myself. I’ve got a long way to go but she is someone who shines a guiding light I can look towards.

Demi Lovato

102.7 KIIS FM'S Wango Tango, Backstage Portrait Studio, Carson, America - 14 May 2016

Demi Lovato suffered majorly with her mental health and to make things worse, it was all under the spotlight of the media. The demons faced in struggles of mental illness are beyond difficult, but Demi overcame many issues and has found a way to deal with her struggles. She has turned a negative into a positive by getting involved with charity work and organisations relating to what she has been dealing with and is living proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, during my darker days, I can look to Demi and be reminded that this doesn’t have to be permanent and I can eventually get to a better place.

Miley Cyrus

The ONE Campaign And (RED) Mark World AIDS Day And Celebrate 10 Years Of Progress With Concert At Carnegie Hall In New York

Though quite the controversial character and someone I no longer consider myself a fan of, credit is due to Miley as when I was growing up, she was the first woman I looked up to. She was the person that made me realise it was okay to be different, to not want to walk the same path in life as my peers and to not lose sight of where I want to go. Her autobiography, ‘Miles To Go’, was something I could really personally connect to. It’s also her charitable heart that helped me maintain my passion for helping others.

Beyoncé

beyonce

Of course, many women look up to Beyoncé and it’s no wonder why. But beside her beauty and talent, I am in awe of her passion, her work drive. She is extremely hardworking and it’s something people should take note of. What she stands for is something that is also highly admirable, such as her feminist views and of course all her efforts with the ‘BeyGood’ campaigns. She also flies the flag for beauty in women not only in the stereotypical sense, but in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds, religious views and that women are worth a lot more than written off as.

Joan Jett

joan-jett

Perhaps it’s thanks to Joan where I first got my feminist views, even if I didn’t realise. I loved how she paved a path for what she wanted to do and was considered what is different from ‘norm’ for women, especially when it came to music. She’s done a lot of good for females in the industry and it’s quotes such as “Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I’m living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you’re a women,” that empower me and give me the strive to believe I can do whatever I damn well want, regardless of my gender or who I identify as in live.

Miranda Miller, Nia Lovelis, Rena Lovelis (female members of Hey Violet)

hey-violet

Similar to Joan, I feel as though Hey Violet are bringing back women in the music industry behind instruments and in bands. They’re also very in the know of rights for young people and our generation. In particular, Miranda, Rena and Nia do face a lot of criticism from those who don’t believe in them, but their drive is strong and they work incredibly hard to get where they want to be.

Friends

Sarah

Sarah

Though a few years younger than me, Sarah has taught me a lot. For example, I’ve witnessed her go on a journey of self-discovery and she seems to be a lot happier with who she is as a person. From identifying with her sexuality right down to her beliefs and views in life. Sarah speaks her mind in the most respectful way and isn’t afraid of saying when she disagrees with someone. She’s very okay with being ‘different’ because if this world was filled with people who were all the same, it’d be pretty boring. Sarah isn’t very materialistic either and takes every small thing with the utmost gratitude and is happy with the smaller things in life. She is always willing to go without if it means it benefits another person for the best, which is something highly applaudable.

Camryn

Camryn

Of course, I could definitely consider myself as a fan of Camryn’s, but I also feel I can call her a friend. Camryn’s journey as an artist is beyond inspiring to me. She started out at a very early age and managed to prove herself to being a success, despite being so young. Camryn has worked tirelessly on her career and it has definitely paid off – by the time she was 13 she had toured with One Direction AKA the biggest boyband of this generation twice. She also became the youngest indie act to chart a song in the Billboard Top 40 since 1997. She hasn’t become an overnight sensation and I find that extremely admirable because in reality, it’s important to work hard and Camryn is a reminder that things don’t happen with the simple click of a button. What else inspires me is that she is such a genuine and kind person, always treating the people who work with her with the utmost respect and gratitude. When I witnessed this and hearing about her journey in person, it inspired me to pursue my passion as a serious career.

Emi

Emi

Emi is someone who understands her rights as well as others and has her heart in the right place. She is an understanding and compassionate person, but also won’t beat around the bush. She is honest in the most caring way possible and is always willing to lend a hand or offer advice, but will always make sure you hear what you need to hear, but without actually being abrupt or blunt. She is a very woke person who takes passion in equality and human rights. During recent political events, it was Emi who taught me a lot about people’s rights and not just the ones that would benefit myself. She has taught me a lot about different cultures and given me more of an insight of feminism and equality as a whole and not from the point of view of someone who may be privileged such as myself. Her independence and hard working ethnic is also something I look at with admiration and I have full confidence in her getting where she wants to be in life.

Lily

Lily

I only met Lily at the very beginning of this year, but she has had the greatest impact on me. It turns out that Lily and I have had a very similar walk in life and jumped the same hurdles. She has a burning passion to achieve what she wants in life and won’t let anyone get in her way. She’s always willing to make friends along the way, no matter who they may be. Regardless of who you are or your story, you can find a friend in Lily. She’s also not afraid to go out of her way to protect those she cares about and has definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable with who I am as a person, despite my battle wounds. She always has a positive but realistic attitude to everything in life and takes life by the balls and ploughs on, which is something I aspire to do myself.

Family

My Mother

mam

My mother is the biggest influence in my life. We have a very close mother-daughter relationship. I’ve seen her in some of the toughest battles but she never gives up. She ploughs on, even if it’s as though the world is on her shoulders. She always makes sure she looks after those she cares about and will always see herself go without if it means her family are better off. She is my actual rock and has helped me through the most darkest days I have ever faced. She has done countless of admirable things, but what I am taken back by is how strong she was when my dad fell ill. It was the most difficult time in our lives and not only did she look after me (who was the only blood relative), but she would do everything possible for my dad’s family, too. Though they divorced when I was a baby, my mother made sure she and  my dad maintained good friendship for my benefit and they were best friends. To have to deal with losing a best friend of 30 years as well as a grieving daughter (breaking the news to me being the hardest thing she’s ever done) and help ensure everyone got through the most difficult thing ever was so courageous and brave of her. I know many people would have broken down at many things she’s seen in life, but she strives through it with a brave face and to me is a true warrior.

Emily (cousin)

Emily

Emily and I may as well had been separated from birth. We are so alike but I really love her attitude – she does her best to see the positive, even in dark times. She works really hard to ensure that she gets what she wants out of life, even if there tends to be obstacles in the way. She makes it work, even if it seems almost impossible. She is also the one who opened my eyes to feminism and what my rights as a person and a woman are. She’s taught me so much and never fails to put a smile on my face, even when there’s times where I feel like I can never smile again.

My Gran

Gran

 

My gran has a heart of gold. She always thinks of others and always does right by everyone, even if they don’t do the same for her. She is such a lovely person that she gained the nickname ‘Joan Love’ at one of the places she used to work at. Even though generations have drastically changed since her ‘prime’ times, she will always accept differences and how things may no longer be the same. My gran always has enough love to give to anyone and everyone and genuinely cares for others. She does her best to not let her age get in her way and is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow older (even if she seems 20 years younger than she is).

Angie (my sister)

Angie

My sister was my first role model. I’ve looked up to her for as long as I remember and to be honest, I still do. She’s hard working and always stands by what she believes in. We aren’t close in age, so we didn’t have the stereotypical sister bond growing up and there weren’t really any fallouts or scraps, but to me she set an example that if you work hard and have the right attitude, you can get to where your heart takes you. Life isn’t perfect but in my eyes, she’s always dealt with everything, good and bad, in the best way possible. She’s very intelligent and always puts that knowledge to use. My dad would always both her and my brother up to me as I grew up and even if we don’t share the same dreams, she is someone who inspires me to just keep trying and pursuing what I want in life.

I hope you enjoyed my slightly different post today and if you’ve read this far, I tag you to do this post on your blog or even just a post on YouTube or social media. Let’s celebrate women because we damn well deserve it.

Signature

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

I'm that friend…

Image credit: tinybuddha.com
Image credit: tinybuddha.com

There’s something that’s been on my mind for years. And lately I’ve thought enough about it to want to say something. I don’t know whether I will keep this blog post up, because I may feel like hiding how I feel again, but for now… I just want to talk about it.

You know people tend to care about friends, make them a huge part of their life, the friends you want to talk to and will easily start the conversation with first if you want to talk to them? I’m not that friend.

I’m ‘the filler friend’, you may say. Allow me to elaborate.

I’ve had lots of different groups of friends growing up and it’s not like each friend group has mutual friend groups with the other groups. Most are complete strangers to one another. But imagine when you’re in a conversation and you begin talking and have something you want to say and then someone will talk over you and people will suddenly turn their attention to them and not give a flying fruit as to what you were saying so you just quiet down. Or when it comes to a group of friends, there’s always someone in the back, who quite frankly almost has to jog to keep up with the others and be walking close enough to be involved. That’s the person I always have been. No matter who I’ve been friends with.

They ask why when I do talk, I’m loud, but it’s because I’m for once trying to be heard. I’m never the friend like “omg I wanna hang out with Jazz, I wonder what Jazz is up to?” Unless, of course, I have or am doing something they want. Like a free concert, or going somewhere good, or able to get free stuff. I’m just the friend that nobody truly gives a damn about.

It’s been this way for as long as I remember. When I was really young in primary school. I mean I would understand if I was an obviously boring person, but I’d like to think that I’m not? Like I have stories I can tell, I have opinions and similarities to all of those friends. But I’m not the one they genuinely feel interested in or want to start talking to first.

The past 7 or so years I’ve had some very unusual and wonderful opportunities thanks to my hobbies or career and sometimes they can be beneficial or interesting to others. People liked that and I thought it was a perfect way to make myself ‘the relevant friend’. But in all honesty? It just made me the ‘friend we need to be friends with because you never know, she could offer us something great’. And that seriously sucks.

I guess maybe this does play a big part in my low self esteem and why I lack so much confidence. Because no matter who I’m friends with, I will always be ‘that’ friend.

Recently, I became friends with someone and, for once, I wasn’t seen as that friend. They were genuinely interested in me and wanted to talk to me and we talked all the time and became really close and I finally felt like someone ACTUALLY liked me for me and wanted to be my friend. But sadly, all good things do come to an end and when things went wrong, I ended up losing that friendship. We’re hopefully trying to patch that up and starting again – at least that’s what I hope the outcome is because I found them as amazing and interesting and a great friend as they made out to think of me. Losing them had a huge impact on me and to live without them  is a dreadfully painful thought. I hope we can patch things up and get to be the way we were because it was a friendship I valued so much and was so afraid to lose and then I did. And it broke me.

I’m sorry for this negative post. I just needed to let off some steam. I needed to be able to talk about it. Maybe someone out there will read this and relate to me. Or maybe I’m just writing a rambling rant and nobody will ever read it, but at least it’s off my chest.

While we’re on the topic of apologising, I’m sorry I haven’t been greatly active on here, either. But things should change soon. I have plans and ideas for what to post and hopefully they’ll be put into action soon. So catch you then.

Signature

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

The Best Friend tag with A Mermaid's Blog

The Best Friend Tag

Hello!

I tend to mention someone a lot on here and that’s my best friend, Courtney. I nagged her to do this best friend tag with me which I found online and she thankfully agreed to do it with me because she thinks I’m awesome… so here’s what we said!

C=  Courtney, J= Jazz

Jazz and courtney 1

When and how did we first meet?

J: We first met online in… 2012?
C: Yeah, 2012.
J: We met through an Olly Murs fan page.
C: With Beth.
J: And we first properly met in Cardiff, when you came to visit.
C: April 4th 2015.
J: I know!
C: A whole month ago.
J: I’m sad…
C: It makes me sad!

Who is your best friend’s hero?

J: I’d say yours is Peter Pan.
C: Yeah pretty much. Yours is Niall or Olly…
J: Well, I don’t exactly idolise them but I don’t know who I do.
C: But out you don’t have anyone definitive you idolise so it has to be one of those…
J: Yeah, back in the day it was Miley but not anymore.
C: Same, still like her music though.

If you could go any place on earth, where would it be and why?

J: Well, if Neverland existed you’d go there.
C: Yes. Yes I would. And probably the same for you.
J: Yep. For places that exist though, Disney world.
C: Yeah, Disney World.
J: For the both of us.

What is your favorite color?

J: Black?
C: No.
J: Oh!
C: You’d completely surprised.
J: Blue?
C: Yours is… *lists the rainbow*
J: Nope.
C: Purple?
J: YES!
C: We’re not good at colours are we?
J: Nope! What’s yours?
C: Yellow.

What is our favorite food?

J: Pizza?
C: Yes.
J: Same

What is the name of your best friend’s crush?

J: Celebrity or people?
C: Probably celebrity because we don’t really socialise!
J: True. Can I say Peter Pan again?
C: No he’s not really my crush – well he is – but he’s not my number one
J: Olly… Oli Skyes?
C: SYKES! Close enough.
J: Oh. Mine’s easy…
C: NIALL!

What is your best friend’s biggest fear?

J: We’ve never discussed this…
C: No not really.
J: I think that yours is like going through life alone or something.
C: Pretty much. I can’t be alone.
J: I’ve told you mine before…
C: Death?
J: Yeah. Started my anxiety off.

If your best friend were deserted on an island, what are the three things she/he could not live without?

J: Cigarettes, Lighter, Eyeliner.
C: Haha, you got me good! Yours would be your phone.
J: And?
C: Umm… Charger… and wifi.
J: YES!
C: Truth.

What three movies does your best friend love the most?

J: Peter Pan, Return to Neverland…
C: Put that as one film.
J: Ummm, oh….
C: What’s my blog about?
J: Mermaids?
C: Book, phenomenon…
J: Harry Potter?
C: YES.
J: What’s mermaids got to do with Peter Pan?
C: It was me getting you closer to wizards and stuff.
J: Nightmare Before Christmas?
C: Yes or Sweeny Todd.
J: Mine are…
C: Peter Pan… Love Rosie…
J: No, I just like Love Rosie
C: 1D?
J: Yeah!
C: 101 DALMATIANS.
J: YES.

What part of your best friend’s body is their favorite?

C: Yours or mine?
J: Yours.
C: Yours is probably eyes.
J: Yes.
C: You have nice eyes…
J: Thanks!
C: Your welcome!
J: Yours is eyes… or hair?
C: Yes and something else…
J: IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR MY BLOG?!
C: *Laughs* It can be!
J: Bum?
C: Yes, I have a good bum!

What are the two things your best friend does not know about you?

J: O,H THIS IS WHERE THE DRAMA STARTS!
C: Ummm… Oh God I don’t know… What don’t you know about me?
J: I don’t know! That’s the point.
C: I don’t know! I can’t think of anything that’s appropriate and you don’t know yet…
J: Uh I don’t know about your first kiss?
C: I don’t even remember it… OH WAIT YES I DO. Basically in year 5 I kissed a boy called CJ – (ironic cause I’m also CJ) and then we caught and after break our whole class got told off for kissing…
J: You caused trouble for the entire class?
C: Pretty much. Umm, the other thing… It’s a bit grim. Sometimes I bite my toenails.
J: UUURGH!!
C: HAHA! Truth.
J: Mine are…. When I was 4 I did ballet and… umm… I once had a fly in the back of my eye.
C: EW.

How would you describe your best friend’s ideal partner/spouse?

J: Yours has to like similar music, trustworthy, funny, up for banter and is willing for you to open up to them.
C: Yeah. Yours would have to be named Niall Horan
J: Pretty much! That is it!
C: Okay, Need to be sensitive but not clingy, up for PJ days but like have a sense of humor as well… Must LOVE Pizza. They must tolerate your low confidence, understanding of anxiety, put up with your fangirl obsessions and love Disney!
J: Yep! *Sings Disney song*
C: And put up with your singing
J: HEY! That’s rude.
C: *laughs hard* WHY AM I SO FUNNY

How long does it take your best friend to get dressed?

J: 45 minutes including make up?
C: Usually yeah. Yours is 20 mins minus make up.
J: Yeah.

Which is your best friend’s favorite season and why?

J: I’d say summer for you.
C: Yeah. Yours is probably winter.
J: Nope.
C: Summer?
J: Yeah.
C: I thought winter because you’d have an excuse for not going out…

What is your best friend’s dream job?

J: You’re studying psychology so psychiatrist or something?
C: Yeah.
J: You can sort me out for free…
C: Yours is journalism.
J: Yep!

I hope you enjoyed this little post and I hope it helps you get to know Courtney AKA A Mermaid’s Blog better. Make sure you go check her out! I tag you all to do this with your best friend and comment a link to it below whether it’s a Soundcloud, blog or YouTube video.

Signature

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

I spent a week with a mermaid!

Hello there!

So, as I excitedly explained on my social media sites a numerous amount of times, just over a week ago, my dear friend Courtney AKA A Mermaid’s Blog  (formerly known as Find The Lost Girl) travelled from Stevenage, Hertfordshire to visit me for about a week here in Wales. We have been online friends for almost three years now having digitally met via a Facebook fan page for our favourite singer, Olly Murs. After Skyping, Facetiming and just talking probably more than we talk to our friends who live near us, we eventually arranged to meet up. My parents were happy to let Courtney stay with us for a couple of days and after months of excitement, the day finally arrived.

I stood at Cardiff Central bus station with slight anxiety and adrenaline. As the London bus pulled in, I rapidly began texting “Is this your bus?” but no reply. As soon as it pulled in, I had a call.

“Where the hell are you?!”

“I’m literally right by the National Express office you can’t miss me.”

“I can’t- OH MY GOD I SEE YOU”

“Grea-”

Call Disconnected

I look up to see a very familiar face running across the crossing with a suitcase lugging behind her. My face lit up as I ran towards her and she mimicked my actions. We ran to each other, screamed and hugged before bursting out into tears. At last, we had finally met.

Courtney and Jazz first selfie
Our first selfie! Still red eyed from crying…

We only had 5 days together as CJ (her nickname, so you know) had to get back in time for a concert, but we made every moment memorable. From blogging to spending quality time watching films, from shopping to a make over. We did so much in such little time.

I’ll write an overview of each day as so much went on.

Day One:

Courtney and I met in Cardiff after she arrived from London which was a transfer from Stevenage. We got really emotional before catching a train back to my place. We had a night in to watch Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and just chatted the night away before watching one of our favourite films, Peter Pan in Return to Neverland.

Night in with the TV. Perfect way to bond!
Night in with the TV. Perfect way to bond!

 

Day Two: 

After a very lazy morning together, my mother, our friend Denise and I took Courtney up a local Welsh mountain to walk Louis and Pepsi and for CJ to see the breathtaking views of the Welsh Valleys. It was also my stepdad’s birthday but he had to work. I managed to give him his present, which was this video from a member of the cast from Game of Thrones wishing him a happy birthday. Needless to say, he was really happy! Courtney and I then spent the evening watching The Fault in Our Stars.

Day Three:

My stepdad’s birthday was on the Sunday but he was working, so today we had a tea party with my stepbrother, my gran and some family friends visiting alongside CJ and I there with my stepdad and my mother. Denise made an amazing cake for his birthday in shape of a Welsh rugby ball. We later went to my local carvery for dinner before watching Love Rosie on DVD.

Bob cake
Jazz and courtney 1

 

Day Four: 

We had an early rise before going to my favourite little cafe, The Potting Shed. It’s the cutest little place for breakfast and I think Courtney enjoyed it! We then went to the Welsh history museum, St Fagans, where we looked around the old buildings from the past as well as making friends with a sheep! We called her Dolly. We headed home before taking Louis and Pepsi to the beach for a walk and headed to a little ice cream kiosk which ran out of ice cream and made the world’s worst tea. Never again! I also introduced Courtney to the film Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. I was rather shocked she had never seen it considering the moment it released, thousands of teens and tweens headed out to the cinema to watch it.

potting shed
So much cuteness from The Potting Shed!
Breakfast
Breakfast
Courtney xxxx
Courtney and Polly!
Jazz and Polly
Polly and I chilling

Day Five:

This was the day we had been planning for a long time. We both love shopping, especially for make-up and beauty products, so I took CJ to Cardiff to go shopping. We went to a number of shops but the best ones being Superdrug Beauty Studio (the only one in the UK), LUSH, Blue Banana (which Courtney fell in love with), The Disney Store and The Body Shop where we booked in for a free makeover. Sadly, when we got home, we forgot to take close ups of our make as we were so tired after a long day. I also took Courtney for her first Nandos. Thankfully, they have Vegetarian options!

Jazz and courtney 8

11118019_10153233925425489_1759430352_n
Nandos do pretty great vegetarian options!

 

Jazz and Courtney 5
Chilling in Cardiff!

Day six:

The day of dread. The day Courtney heads back home. As she packed her bags, we headed to the train station with our heads hanging low with sorrow before boarding the train and headed back to Cardiff central. We spent two hours in a coffee shop for a final chat before the coach arrived. I was welling up. The past few days had been so much fun and now it was all coming to an end. It flew by so fast. As I hugged her before she boarded her coach, we said “see you soon” because we refuse to say goodbye. “Goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting” as Peter Pan once said. Cliche? Cheesy? Yes. But we’re fans, so we stuck by it.

My few days with Courtney was so much fun. We did so much and just had a great time in each other’s company. It wasn’t the last time I will see her, though. We’ve already started making plans for her return in the summer and our reunion in London some time this year for a party. So, it’s all good!

Don’t forget to LIKE my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and on Bloglovin’!

Signature

 

 

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.