Fashion |Light Layers and posing



Everything here is old but it was from… Umbrella: Tiger, Pink Blazer: H&M, Sweater: Zara, Lace T: H&M, Jeans: New Look, Leopard print flats: Barefoot Tess c/o Long Tall Sally
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I’ve got to be honest these photos are probably a month old. Since posting less often I keep getting a backlog of photos on my camera which in all honesty I forget to post.

Apparently I’m still good at the photographing part but not so on the posting. Another I’m not so good on? Posing. It’s down the drain. Here I have even resorted to finding statues to lean on.

I’ve gotten desperate guys, desperate.


Blogging behind the scenes | Finding Value

do less with more focus

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Blogging behind the scenes | Finding Value

“Its all too tempting to focus on quantity over quality for the sake of numbers but when it comes to writing a blog, where does the brand start losing its value in the face of ‘keeping up with the Jonses?’”


Recently the same topic seems to be resurfacing again and again in different areas of my life and that is thoughts about value.

All too often and specifically with blogging I see bloggers pushing huge quantities of content for the sake of having something new. The only problem with these blogs is they either burn out pretty fast or you find they leave you a little like eating a rice cake. It fills you up for a minute but ultimately has no nutritional value.

It’s the curse of social media, we are constantly being told that we need to be doing something, sharing everything and that our whole world is a movie everyone wants to be a part of. Why this won’t help your blog or brand over all? It’s unsustainable and doesn’t offer lasting value.

Why is value so important? I have wondered the same thing, why do I care? Ultimately I care because its what drives me, my goal if anything with this blog is to give something to you guys that I haven’t found anywhere else.

My mission statement for therealjlow is to live the life I want with the budget I’ve got. You can take that literally or metaphorically. We all deserve to live fantastic lives and those lives should not be pinned down by what the world dictates or what your paycheck says you deserve and that’s my message. That you should feel allowed to live the life you want to without making any excuses, apologies or to feel bad about it.

Therefore providing value is quite literally invaluable. If I just shared my outfits, with no words just to buy links its ultimately hollow. You gain nothing, but if I say I think I can wear this top in a 100 ways you get a bit of value from that. Maybe you’re a busy women and you have a t-shirt but you wear it the same way everyday then this post means you don’t have to settle for that anymore. I’ve helped you. It makes you feel good and it makes me feel good. It gives us value.

Ultimately whether you are a hobby blogger, going it full time or maybe you’re even a business or a brand you need some form of value. It’s the only way your readers or customers will come to you over someone else and sometimes we just have to be a little more patient with our results in order to get the best ones possible.

The point of my waffling post today? Is to go out and find your message, then find a way to share it with value and give back to yourself and your brand. It’s honestly a disservice to do anything less, right?

Therealjlow | Life, Career and blogging. Are you being defined incorrectly?

“We know that the blogging rule book says, be niched, be specific and write for a targeted audience but we are torn between the rules and the inner voice reminding us, we are multifaceted individuals who don’t wish to be hemmed in by one idea or profession” 
If you have ever swotted up on the business of blogging or specifically upping readership you’ll read a lot of the same ideas and the same words; consistency, niche, direction, target audiences . . . It’s the same ideas over and over again and ultimately it’s become a machine.
Why do I have an issue with machine mentality? Doesn’t it make it easier to do when you have guidelines? It does, but I’ve also begun looking forward beyond what’s already been done. To the point that I’m questioning therealjlow and the content I share.
If blogging articles are to be believed I need consistency of content, of scheduling. I need to share content on lots of different platforms, perhaps invest in Adwords, go on my own self hosted site, encourage and engage with brands who I’ll alter content to for cash and ultimately I need to both offer unique insight whilst fitting perfectly within the machine. This is where you’ve lost me.
Ever since I left university I stopped being one dimensional. I was no longer just an events student, I was multidimensional. As I’ve aged it’s only gotten more diverse. I changed to be a marketing executive, a freelancer, a writer, a model, a creator … the list goes on and spans professional me and personal me and it gets to a point where no one role fits.
I’m juggling a lot of hats and as I look around at my friends I see the same reflected in our struggles. We are all dabbling in these many roles and ultimately if I know anything about therealjlow it’s that I want it to be reflective of that very statement at the top of this post.
We are more than a role or a box or a set of rules to success. Blogging may have gotten stale but our ideas haven’t. Our voices only add to the conversation and so why shouldn’t we embrace this in every aspect of our lives?
If I have to tie therealjlow down in 2016 it’s only to this, “therealjlow is reflective of real women across the globe. It is here to inspire our passions, develop our souls and to empower one another in our pursuit of the most creative, healthiest and happiest lives that we can imagine.”
I’ve grown to realise that the idea of specific content is irrelevant for now. The name alone allows me this opportunity and my internal refusal to play by the rules lets me take the risk that maybe I won’t pass the entrance to reward style any time soon but maybe I don’t want to be in the cool gang. Maybe like all of you reading this, I’m standing alone and I’m doing it my way and those blogging guidelines worked for some but they won’t hold me. 

Until next time . . .

Happiness is |In the Countryside

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Happiness is . . . 

A couple of weeks ago I sat in my empty house while Josh was out in the garage and I had a plan to start writing a really quick, simple post entitled happiness is . . and then fill in the blanks. That week it was clean work surfaces as I realised simple things create the biggest rewards and this week past it was from the simplicity of a bike ride.

Its funny how you can see those closest to you everyday and think you know their happiness inside out but whilst we were cycling I got to see Josh in his most happiest and relaxed state and that is out cycling, a really well loved past time of ours we have finally brushed off the cobwebs and are taking back out to our new countryside and believe me seeing Joshes happiness gave me the greatest happiness this weekend.

Not to mention how much I needed the headspace of that ride! All I can say however is this, bring on the summer filled with bike rides and space for recollection!

What have you done this week for happiness? Leave your comments below as I’d love to hear how you find your daily doses of happiness!

The Weekend |Post Sharing, Sarah Jenks Finding your sweet spot


(A fantastically fuzzy photo from our Devonshire holiday last year! one thing I know to be incredibly therapeutic for me is long walks and this was a week of really, good walks! Also pig tails and a hat with ears how could you go wrong?)

I never usually do this but having read Sarahs post on the train I couldn’t help but sit back and stare out of my window and go yes, this is something I need to work on for myself today.

If you’re anything like me then you are a busy woman. You take on a lot and struggle saying no to things that interest you, even when your perhaps already sinking under responsibility and what else you have to achieve.

It seems to be an increasingly difficult thing to balance. In fact this post+ from last week about making time for tea is along the same lines! But enough about that, what about Sarah Jenks and her blog post about finding you sweet spot? This is one of those articles that just comes at the right time and from the comments I don’t seem to be the only one either!

This is well worth a read for anyone feeling overwhelmed with too many moving parts and not enough satisfaction and results from all that flustering! Sarah’s reply to comment is my favourite take away and that is,

“…Which of the 2 career paths most fuels you? If it’s quitting your day job, crunch the numbers and figure out what you would need to make your part-time job your full-time job and lay out a plan to make it happen so you can quit one of them on “x” day. If you’re most committed to your day job, figure out how you can earn more to quit the other. I hope that helps!”

Remember this doesn’t have to be applied to a career question but in all areas of your life. What fuels you and what gives you the most joy? Then choose that path over the other and ask, is this more fulfilling?

I know I haven’t found my sweet spot yet but I also feel like I’m closer to knowing, and that seems to be half the battle!

Read Sarahs article here+ and check out her blog and business! Its all about living more and as my Grandma would say, the time for living is now!


Personal | Tea for the Soul


Tea for the Soul

I have always been funny about hot drinks. On the whole I rarely drink them however recently I have been drawn to tea.

As a child when I was ill my dad would often make me these uber milky (another thing I rarely drink), sugary tea and it would instantly make me feel better.

From this I have begun relating tea to being comfortable and protected at home. In order to not lose that connection and feeling I no longer either drink tea unless I am in a comfortable home environment or if I have time to drink it as a pleasurable experience. All of this so that I can pay attention to the action of drinking it.

See, I have begun apply the idea of pleasurable experiences into my day-to-day life. Now I give myself a morning before work where I buy a tea at Victoria (station) and take my time to either read a magazine on the train with the tea or listen to an inspirational podcast while I take the longer walk from Clapham Junction to my office.

Our industry is such that we often don’t have time for lunch breaks so to take back my very early mornings has been incredibly pleasurable.

Another change I have started making is how I make use of my four hours on trains a day. Where previously I would immerse myself in books I now take the time to listen to podcasts and to also write for myself. In the last week I have written blog posts, book ideas and even developed Linked In articles. My topics are increasingly varied from Fashion to business and branding but I am reveling in these opportunities to explore my own self expression rather than focusing solely on work or others ideas.

It’s funny now that I think of it. This revelation ultimately stemmed from having tea one day in our home office where I realised that something so small could feel transformative. Its been as if I have taken a bit more of my time back for pleasure and that feels like a real break for the soul.

Perhaps we can’t all be ladies of leisure but in the time it takes to travel to London and back and the time it takes from Clapham to the office I get a little bit of me back and in the end isn’t that what we all want and need?

A little Tea for the soul.

The Consequences of Trends & Fashion Injuries


“I realise we most often say, fashion is pain. But how far is pain and how far is reckless abandon?”

Fashion & consequences of a #fashiondisaster

As I write this I’m stuck on a train. Not an unfamiliar place for me however, today it’s a special type of hell reserved only for the particularly clumsy among us. My love of fashion, like many also means that I take a great deal of risk in my every day-to-day life.

What am I talking about? The flatform brogue of course.

A flat, mannish shoe which is often the dream of all of us carrying a good chunk of the nhs’s aluminium rood allowance but for which is also perhaps our graceless demise.

I myself own two pairs. A well-worn pair of stone suede flatforms with patent inserts and a coral stripe through the heal; they give me bounce from their foam sole whilst keeping my foot nicely flat. Meanwhile my second pair, is an even more masculine copper pair, tied with laces they make me feel either part ahead of the curve or part Victorian man with curious looking bronze leather.

Usually we get along.

But then today* we had one of those rare accidents often only reserved for these shoes alone. I was minding my own business you see, making my normal game of chicken with train times at Clapham (a greatly unreliable train station for surprise cancellations and everyday delays which often prompts me to flick between platforms looking to grab the first train possible) when it hit. My knee that is.

Let me say at 25 there really is little more that is sexy than a woman who really knows how to throw down on a staircase. Just ask the same ankle which took the brunt four years ago. At least this was up the stairs, however!

Now, as I sit on the train from hell with my leggings and half of Clapham station welding itself into my flesh I wonder about the little talked about subject of fashion injuries.

Sometimes they are funny, one poncho I own for example makes it very complicated walking around the house without finding myself attached to every door I pass. Whilst others bruise egos and even break bones but where is the line in the sand, where does fashion overstep the lines of cool and practical and turn dangerous?

A quick trip up Clapham hardly seems a worry, but having had a step and a pair of badly fitting work shoes cause two breaks and a dislocation resulting in surgery & a year of my life that I can’t get back then I have to start feeling differently about my need to follow the trends blindly.

My old town, Maidstone was often a horror to witness on a Friday/Saturday … hell Tuesday night out. Here skyscraper heels you can’t walk in and bodycon dresses really are the lay of the land. Come dressed in anything less (or perhaps more) and you might as well of stayed at home.

Perhaps this is something you can only truly understand at the sounds of your own bones breaking but it would make me shudder to watch.

These girls could barely walk in these heels and yet as the brave souls they are they would track out (minus a coat, even in snow) to the town for dancing, drinking far to much all with no thought to their ankles whilst I would watch cringing and holding tightly onto Joshes shoulder down any staircase, even in flats.

I realise we most often say, fashion is pain. But how far is pain and how far is idiocy?

I’m pretty cautious about my fashion at the best of times but how far do you feel you can go? Personally I wear my flatforms a little less. Sometimes I need them but other times I don’t feel safe enough, or comfortable enough to wear them out. Having lost movement in one ankle, seemingly forever I don’t want to risk them again if I can. I make shoe choices based on comfort, on support and protection of every bone regardless of fashion and trends. It makes acquaintances laugh and think I’m strange but I just can’t justify the hurt of limbs for the everyday call of fashion.

How do you view fashion vs comfort and support? Are you the bravest of the bunch not afraid of a break or bruises or, like me, do you put more consideration into safety with your clothes? Leave your comments or own funny clothing story below or send me a tweet @JessicaALow #fashiondisaster I’d love to hear about your own disasters (it’ll help make me feel a little less embarrassed at least.)

*this was written a month or two ago and sadly forgotten on my ipad