PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS OF 2017

2017 has whizzed by and my god, what a year it's been. Parts of it have been a real roller-coaster and there have been some monumental changes along the way but I end the year on an absolute high and can't wait to see what 2018 brings! I thought it'd be nice to document some of my highlights of the year.

THIS BLOG

What started out as a 'hobby' and a distraction from my arduous 9-5 life, has blossomed into something so truly beautiful. I've always had a passion for reading and writing, and have read other blogs for years, but never had the courage to take the plunge myself. However, with encouragement from loved ones, I started Jasmine Cecilia Jonas and here we are today, almost a year in and I've had the opportunity to use my voice to discuss topics that I feel truly passionate about, collaborate with brands that I've admired for a long time and have also been able to live a life that I didn't know would ever be possible. As many of you know, I decided to take the plunge earlier this year to pursue this blog full-time and thanks to your continuous support, I've been able to continue being self-employed which has allowed me to put all of my time, energy and creative vision into this blog. So. Bloody. Grateful. 

I TURNED 25

I overcame a mid-twenties crisis. Turning 25 seemed like a really big deal for me and if I'm honest, I actually woke up on my birthday in tears because I felt as though I hadn't achieved even half of what I'd wanted to by that age. Silly, I know, especially seeing as 25 is still so young but I've always been the type of person to set quite high expectations of myself and so when they weren't met, I felt a little deflated. Whilst most of my friends were settled in happy relationships and exceeding in jobs they loved, I felt as though I had hit a standstill and knew that it was time to shake things up a bit. I made some tough decisions, one of which being to quit my stable job, but six months later, I can now wholeheartedly say that the first half of being 25 has been a real eye-opener, but in a good way, and has made me learn so much more about myself as a person and what I want for my future.

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EXPLORED NEW PARTS OF LONDON

I've lived in London for a few years now but I felt like this was my first year of really exploring London. Of course, I'd done the usual touristy trips to Covent Garden and Knightsbridge and had ventured around Bermondsey a fair bit because that's where I used to work, but other than the usual spots, I hadn't gone much further afield. Partly thanks to this blog and wanting to find new and exciting location shots for my images, I discovered so many parts of London that I now absolutely adore and frequent regularly - Shoreditch, Little Venice and Notting Hill, just to name a few.

WENT TO LFW

Going to LFW was an absolute dream. Truly. The whole experience now seems like a bit of a blur because the environment is so fast-paced but spending a day surrounded by wonderful clothes, passionate designers and also hundreds of other people who feel just as enthusiastic about fashion as I do was really inspiring. It really opened up my eyes to different styles and ways of dressing and helped shape my style for this A/W.

COOKED WITH NEIL RANKIN

I love cooking, always have done and always will do. I've followed Neil Rankin's journey for years, ever since he was on Masterchef, and so when I was offered the chance to attend a cookery class that he was hosting with Crock Pot, I was really excited and eager to meet him. He was such a genuinely down to earth guy, willing to have a laugh and made the class really enjoyable whilst still coming across as very professional and knowledgeable. He introduced me to a dish that I'd never tried before, or never would've even thought to try before - Chicken Congee (basically a savoury porridge dish) but my god it tasted delicious!!!

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SAW SOME OF MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS IN CONCERT

Live music and attending concerts is a real passion of mine and this year I got very lucky to get to see three of my absolute favourite artists; Craig David, John Legend and Emeli Sande. All three were genuinely outstanding!!!

MAKING NEW FRIENDS

Blogging has definitely meant that I've had the opportunity to make new friends, in real life but also online, and I've found it such an enriching process. Especially now that I don't have colleagues, having the ability to chat to another person who really just 'gets it' is so invaluable to me. Being able to moan about new Instagram algorithms or chat excitedly about new and exciting collaborations is just the best and I'm so grateful to all my new blogging friends. Special mentions to Kat, Emma and Tash for being the very best.

However, not only thanks to blogging have I made new friends. I've also been lucky to make some really solid and wholesome friendships in real Jasmine Jonas life too. The older I'm getting, the more I'm keen to nourish and make friendships that add value to my life and I can safely say that I've made a few friends this year that are real keepers.

TRAVELLING TO TUSCANY

I haven't had the opportunity to travel as much as I would've liked this year but the few trips I have taken have been really lovely. One in particular being a family trip to Tuscany. Not only was it such a breathtakingly beautiful place, but it also gave me the opportunity to spend some quality time with my Dad and little sisters. I would really love to go back one day!

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FOUND MY SELF-CONFIDENCE

I've never been overly confident in life, whether that be about certain skills but also my looks - trust me, if you saw photos of me growing up, you'd understand why. I've always been the first person to shy away from compliments, however, this year has really helped my confidence grow massively, not enough for my head to get too big, but just enough to know that I'm not too bad of a writer and that thanks to talented photographers who can capture my better angles, I'm not as unfortunate looking as I once was haha.

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MY FAVOURITE PHOTO-SHOOTS OF 2017

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MY TOP 3 BOOKS OF THE YEAR

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k - Sarah Knight

This Modern Love - Will Darbyshire

Almost Adulting - Arden Rose

MY TOP 3 SONGS OF THE YEAR

Havana - Camila Cabello

High Off You - Alayna

While We're Young - Jhene Aiko

MY TOP 3 FILMS OF THE YEAR

Get Out

The Big Sick

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Last but by no means least...

Special thanks to my best friend / 'colleague' / mentor / Insta and real life boyfriend Joe for making me so very happy throughout the past few months. You're the first person I turn to in a crisis and you are always there to offer your endless comfort and support, but more than that, I thank you for making me laugh uncontrollably every single day. You're my favourite highlight.

xo