AM I BEHIND?

I wrote about the pressures of being a “Girl Boss” earlier this year, the pressures to succeed by societies standards so today I kind of wanted to touch on the topic of success in personal life. I am assuming for most people work life does play into their personal life and for me that rings even more true so if I talk a little bit about that also, that is why.

Let me get all the facts straight to start off with. I just turned 27 years old. I don’t own property, I am not married or even engaged, I am not pregnant or have a child & I do not drive my dream car. So let’s just say that I am not getting flooded with congratulatory messages on any announcement posts. As of October 13, 2019 anyway. When I turned 27 a couple of months back I started to spiral a little I am not going to lie. Feeling ‘behind’ or not knowing what I was doing and if I was doing the right things or not. Questioning my priorities and whether they weren’t aligned and the list goes on. There were a few things that guided me through this phase though so I thought I would share incase you’re currently in that mindset.

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Firstly, Life is kind of long

Look, I know life is also short, YOLO and all the rest of it. But say you live until you’re 75 years old, then ticking off everything you want to achieve in your 20s is not that big of a deal when you really think about it. I like to instead think of the 40 year old I want to be, the 50 year old I want to be etc and what everyday life looks like for 50 year old jasmine. It is kind of nice to think about that version of yourself and see if what you are doing today is either building towards that or aligned with those values. It also takes that ticking clock feeling pressure off having it all sorted in your 20s.

Re-wording goals to get to the route of the desire & possibly re-routing your goals entirely

This is something that really helps me in working out what my true goals and values are instead of falling into the trap of wanting to tick off society’s list of what I should be wanting or achieving. I will give you some of the examples of how I re-direct the typical ‘success’ markers.

Be a successful [insert profession here] What I actually want to be is skilled at my work. I want my work to inspire and motivate me. I also want my work to allow me to create the life I want. I want it to give me the financial freedom of not being anxious and stressed about money, I want it to give me the freedom of flexible hours and lastly I want it to give me the freedom to travel.

Become Rich. Of course if a million dollars came knocking I wouldn’t say no to it but I am very weary of riches becoming a goal necessarily. Riches more so than wealth. To me, I feel that riches are some what external expressions of wealth. They are your nice cars, your new designer handbags etc etc. Wealth to me is something that gives you freedom and I am aware that I don’t need huge wealth to achieve that freedom that I want. I want wealth that provides a comfortable roof over my head, wealth that allows me to travel every so often, wealth that allows me to go out for long afternoon lunches. I want wealth that means if things turned for the worst, I would be okay. I think sometimes we get so caught up on getting more more more when it comes to money that we don’t even have the time to enjoy it. The goal of ‘more’ will never be satisfied.

Getting Married. Marriage has never been something that I felt was super important. To be honest my parents got divorced when I was 6 so marriage is something I am more weary of than your typical 27 yr old woman who has been in a relationship for 8 years. Recently though I am embarrassed to admit that the expectation does shake me up a little. But then I try to think, do I really need the legality? No. Do I need the big wedding? No. Sure I’d love to express my love for Michael in front of my loved ones and have an excuse to buy a Celile Bahnsen dress but do I need to? No. Instead I want to make sure that Michael knows how much I adore him. I want to be in a relationship that is supportive and loving, appreciative and full of laughter. That is the success in love that I already have & I don’t think marriage would change that.

Buying a House. Being such a home body & working from home means that this is of large personal value to me. What I actually want is a home that inspires my life whether it be that the kitchen has lots of natural light so I am more inclined to cook or that I want a deck that inspires me to have more people over for afternoon drinks & dinner. All of those things aren’t really about the purchase of the home at all. I can and do achieve this by renting. Where the buying comes in is in my desire for more security and for a garden that I wont have to worry about moving in 12 months. This is a goal that I would love to make happen in the next two years.

What I really wanted to finish by saying is that it is completely okay to want to get married, have children, buy a house, get rich & be a successful whatever but it is also okay if none or any of those apply to you. It can be difficult when it seems like everyone around you is doing or striving for one thing but it is important to stop and consider what you truly want and what adds value to your life personally. It is also okay to change your mind.

I would love to know if you’re going through this same phase at the moment.

With Love, Jasmine

Tales of a Freelancer: Finance

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Most freelancers in the creative field would say that finance is where they feel most uncomfortable however it is unavoidable and essential to your business running. So I thought today I would share some tips or practices I have learnt over the years in the hope of opening up the discussion and hopefully helping some of you.

With that being said, I am not an accountant or a financial advisor. This blog post include all things I have learnt and is general in nature without taking into consideration your business or circumstances. I would highly recommend you speak to a professional when starting your own business, they are invaluable.

Separate your business & personal finances from day one.

This would be my 1st piece of advice for anyone with their own business/side hustle etc. Open a new bank account and get a new card straight away, have your business expenses come out of that account and have your invoices paid into that account. Firstly, this makes it just a whole lot easier when it comes to tax returns, bas statements to have these separated so you aren’t filing through the accounts working out what is ‘business’ and what is ‘personal’ Secondly, all that money is not your money and the more you set up boundaries that show that the better. You will most likely have to pay a bunch of tax, not only personal income tax but also GST and you will feel a lot less shitty about that if it isn’t coming out of money that you see as already being yours. If you want to be extra organised, you can transfer your calculated income tax & GST into another bank account all together.

When you can, take deposits for work

As a freelancer, I think one of the areas we really lack in worker rights is in payment and timely payment. I would highly recommend any freelancer take a deposit up front, and clearly state your payment terms prior to commencing work. It isn’t always possible but getting a deposit means a) you work out how serious the client is and it can lock them into timelines and b) it may mean you are able to have a more steady income because you won’t have to wait until the client signs off for you to get one lump sum.

Finances can be daunting, but ignorance is not bliss.

Honestly, keeping track of your finances and at least knowing what is coming and going is so empowering. Find a way that works for you. If you can create a simple Excel spreadsheet, or you need something like XERO or even you need a personal accountant monthly. Find something that works for you and means that you are able to understand the basics. I don’t feel the most stressed when my clients don’t pay invoices on time, I feel the most stressed when I don’t know what money I have made or not made this month. The not knowing for me is where my fear lies so I know it is important for me to keep a close eye on things so that I can sleep at night.

Your invoices aren’t your income, yet…

I think it is easy to get your paid invoices and your income mixed up. You get paid, that is your income right? Nope. You work out your pay from your invoices. Your income is actually your invoices minus your expenses minus your GST & minus your Income Tax (you can calculate that here). If you want to be a good behaved freelancer you could also be taking out 9.5% for your super & extra for university loans. I would suggest that only after you have worked out how much you get paid from the invoices each month that you actually pay yourself. Paying yourself prior to working this out can be dangerous and mix up your finances.

Paying tax can feel shitty, but it isn’t your money.

I don’t think I have met a single person who loves paying tax. As a self employed person it cuts a little deeper instead of it coming out little by little it always feels like big chunks at the end of the quarter or worse, the end of the financial year. However, I really do think changing your behaviour with handling your own tax makes it an easier pill to swallow. By separating your business and personal finances and only paying yourself into your personal account AFTER your taxes have been calculated, you don’t feel the hit as hard. Where as if you had all of your personal and business money in one account and you paid rent that week and you also had a10k tax bill taken out that may send you into a meltdown. Separating your finances and putting away each month for tax means tax time becomes less of a personal attack on you and more of just another business expense.

I was considering designing an excel template that could help freelancers generally in organising their finances. If this is something you would be interested in, let me know and I can explore it further…

With Love, Jasmine

How to spend 48 hours in Brisbane

Your guide to where to stay, eat, shop and explore in Brisbane, my home town. The city is changing quite quickly so I thought it was about time I updated a weekend guide for Brisbane.


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Where to Stay

It will come to no surprise to anyone who follows me on Instagram but The Calile Hotel in my opinion can’t be beat if you’re looking at where to stay in Brisbane. Not only is it located along a great set of shops & cafes on James St (see further down) but it is arguably one of the most beautiful places I have stayed, period.

Everything in this hotel is designed to perfection so when you’re not out exploring or running around with your phone shooting everything like I was, I would recommend lazing by the pool. Get yourself a lounge chair or cabana (yes, a cabana) and order yourself some drinks & nibbles. Enjoy the good Queensland weather.

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what should I plan to do while I am here?

You should roll over to the other side of the bridge for two things. Within walking distance from the city there are two art galleries & performing arts centre(QPAC). Since they are so close to each other I would definitely recommend going to both the Gallery of Modern Art & Queensland Art Gallery. Head across to Julius or Gauge for a bite to eat before seeing a performance at QPAC. Currently the BOLSHOI BALLET is in town from 26 June to 7 July performing both Spartacus & Jewels. Spartacus is a story of a leader of slaves uprising against Roman rule. Jewels is a three-act ballet inspired by the stunning gem stones George Balanchine saw in Van Cleef & Arpels New York jewellery store. Find out more here.


Where to grab a coffee

King Arthur Cafe Greenhaus
L’mericano
Bellissimo Coffee
Marchetti
John Mills Himself

Where To Eat

Greca / Howard Smith Wharves. If you can stay for a long lunch and definitely order the Saganaki cheese

Bens Burgers. Burgers are simple but super tasty.

Nodo Donuts

Botanica. If you’re short on time, pick up a salad & some treats.

Julius. Perfect for some dinner before a show at QPAC.

Gauge. Grab breakfast or lunch before you check out GOMA.

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where do I shop?

JAMES ST.
Silk Laundry
Love Stories
Molten Store
Assembly Label
Gail Sorronda
Natalie Schweitzer
By Baby
Camargue
Mr. Zimi
St.Angi
Venroy

IN THE CITY
Double Double
Dinosaur Designs
Folio Books

ACROSS THE BRIDGE
QAGOMA Store


This post was created in collaboration with Tourism & Events Queensland

This post was created in collaboration with Tourism & Events Queensland.

With Love, Jasmine x

What To Wear To A Wedding

It is definitely wedding season and we are all stressed about what to wear. I haven’t been to a huge amount of weddings so when I had two in the space of a month I hit the freak-out button and starting looking up what I should wear. All of the ‘Wedding Guest Edits’ I could find didn’t really suit my personal style. A silky body conscious dress is beautiful but just isn’t me. Since it may not be you either, I thought I would write this blog post with ideas on what to wear to your next wedding.

Tips before you start shopping.

Have a look through your closet first. You may not need the whole nine yards. You may already have some nice heels or flats, or a bag that you really love that you have been waiting for an excuse to take out. You may already have an outfit but lacking accessories. You don’t need to buy all new. If you love an outfit, why not wear it again?!

Don’t be intimidated by ‘cocktail’ or ‘smart casual’ dress codes. Think about whose wedding you’re attending, what type of wedding they are having & where it is. If you’re going to their wedding you most likely know what they are like. Look up the venue and see if it is on the beach or a ballroom. As long as you’re not turning up to a ballroom venue looking like you’re going to a beach wedding you’ll be fine.

Willing to spend big for something special? Spend the majority of your budget on the thing that you will be able to wear again. If it is too late for you and you have already splurged, don’t forget you can always pass it onto someone else via eBay or Depop.

Don’t leave it to 2 weeks before the wedding. You will most likely buy things you will never wear again & overspend doing so. Planning is your friend.

Lastly, just keep your personal style in mind. It is easy to sometimes get carried away or just find something last minute that looks ‘dressy enough’. By keeping your personal style in mind you also can avoid buying something that you will only wear once.

 
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Bank account friendly

You don’t need to spend a fortune to feel amazing attending a wedding. If you’re on a budget there is so much that you can do to get the most bang for your buck. For a dress, choose something in a classic shape & colour/pattern. Not only so you can wear it again post-wedding but the more classic the shape and colour the less likely it will look like you’ve got it for a steal. Once you have a base it is time to dress it up. My secret is in vintage bags. Not only are they normally priced under $50 but they are so beautiful and will instantly add interest and elevate your look. You can easily find beaded bags on Etsy or at your local vintage, or even a vintage glomesh bag would be divine. Match your metals with some statement earrings & a hair accessory. If you don’t have some staple black strappy heels, I found some for only $79!

SHOP THE LOOK
Dress 1 $149 (shop here) / $99 Dress 2 (shop here) Vintage Bag $20-$40 (here & here) Earrings $39 (shop here) Heels $79 (shop here) Hair Tie $8 ( shop here)

WHERE TO SHOP
BAGS: Vintage, Etsy, Charles & Keith
SHOES: Charles & Keith, ASOS, Jeffery Campbell
DRESS: ASOS, Mango, Zara, Seed, Country Road
JEWELLERY: Jolie & Deen.

 
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Not a dress

I know, florals, groundbreaking but stay with me. Firstly, don’t forget about skirts & trousers for weddings. They are super versatile and can be worn for weddings in all seasons just by a switch of a top. In winter, lean towards a blouse or fitted knit (olivia palermo wedding style) or in summer stick to a silk cami. If the wedding is outside, you may want to think about a chunky heel or flat. Remember that weddings are usually a long affair full of standing and dancing so make sure you’re comfortable in your choice of footwear!

SHOP THE LOOK
Knit $39 (shop here) Skirt $350 (shop here) Bag $199 (shop here) Headband $40 (shop here) Ivory Heels $79 (shop here) Green Flats $69 (shop here)

WHERE TO SHOP
SKIRTS Lee Matthews, Zimmermann, Ulla Johnson, Camilla & Marc, Silk Laundry, Sir The Label, Mister Zimi & Anthropologie
TOPS & KNITS: Uniqlo, Bec & Bridge & Scanlan Theodore.

 

The Summer Wedding

It’s over 35 degrees and you really just want to wear a bikini but the invitation says Smart Casual so I guess that’s a no? If you’re anything like me you just want something that won’t touch your body but also won’t represent a moo moo. The summer maxi is your best friend. I love this option by Matteau because you can wear it all summer long post wedding but the cut and plain colour means you can also elevate it to wedding status. It is all in the accessories. It is time to whip out an interesting bag, earrings or shoes to jazz it up. Going big on the earrings? keep it subtle on the neck & vice versa.

SHOP THIS LOOK
Dress $460 (shop here) Earrings $355 (shop here) Gold Necklace $155 (shop here) White Bag $910 (shop here) Resin Clutch $149 (shop here) Heels $175 (shop here) *ps. I wore these to a wedding and were very comfortable on the first wear.

WHERE TO SHOP
EASY SUMMER DRESSES: Faithfull The Label, Matteau, Matin, Beaufille, Lee Matthews, Rixo, Mister Zim & Steele.
BAGS: Brie Leon, By Far, Staud, Lucy Folk, Cult Gaia, The Daily Edited, Respiro
JEWELLERY: Kirstin Ash, Lucy Folk, Reliquia, Jasmin Sparrow, Holly Ryan, YCL Jewellery.

 
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She’s Formal but she’s not boring

Where I would be really stumped is if I had a formal formal wedding coming up. I am not really one for traditional formal fabrics like silks etc so for me I would always go for a knife pleat. They instantly dress up a look without having to be shiny. If you have to go formal, inject some of your personality with the colour choice. Go a full monochromatic look or have some fun with mixing colours. Dresses from brands like Self Portrait hold their value pretty well so even though they are pricier, you will be able to sell it after!

SHOP THIS LOOK
Dress One $625 (shop here) Dress Two $350 (shop here) Earrings $182 (shop here) Heels $69 (shop here) Pink Bag $159 (shop here) Red Bag $300 (shop here)

WHERE TO SHOP
DRESSES: Self Portrait, Fame & Partners, Shona Joy, Talulah, Thurley, Lover, Stine Goya, Cecilie Bahnsen or Zimmermann.
HAIR ACCESSORIES: Lelet NY, Pixie Bows, ASOS, Avenue The Label.
SHOES: Senso, Alias Mae, Miista, By Far

Shop the Wedding Edit

Lastly, if you have found something on your online/in store shopping travels that you think needs a shoutout - add it to the comments. The way I found something perfect is from my audience tagging me in a post so share the love when you find something beautiful or a brand which you think people need to check out!

with love, jasmine

Slowing Down with Fast Fashion

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Let’s talk about fast fashion. Is there any way that when shopping fast fashion we can adapt our shopping habits so that we are doing so as responsibly as we can? First of all let me say that when it comes to purchasing sustainably or only buying from ethical fashion labels there are so many ways around it and it is something you should address personally for your own situation. Is buying something from a fast fashion chain, wearing it for years, taking care of it and repairing it still worse than buying something locally, hardly wearing it then later disposing of it? Often the advice around building a sustainable wardrobe is focused around where you’re shopping. Don’t get me wrong, in an ideal world we would all be shopping more locally and purchasing from smaller designers where you know exactly where your money is going. How amazing that sounds I don’t think people are going to suddenly stop shopping fast fashion all together. This post is going to talk about changing your approach to shopping to avoid falling into the traps of fast fashion.

Fast Fashion brands are those of the likes of ASOS, H&M, TOPSHOP, ZARA etc that mass-produce clothing at a very high turn over to bring trends to the masses. For the purpose of this blog post I am not going to go into the negative impact of this system. This isn’t a blog post for or against fast fashion. There are a lot of issues with this model and its popularity but I instead wanted to focus on how you can shop at stores like these but ensure you are doing so the best way possible.

One large problem I see with fast fashion brands in particular is that it is consumed fast and disposed of fast. It is the trap of the shiny, new & inexpensive product. Try your best to snap out of it to ensure you are thinking about these inexpensive purchases as much you would an expensive purchase. For example; one approach to shopping sustainably is to shop consciously. Play close attention to what you are consuming to make sure whether it is higher end or not, it will stay in your wardrobe and be worn for years to come. These following things are so important to think about every time you shop but even more so when the item is a part of fast fashion.


Look at the fabric & Construction.

Some fashion pieces you can tell straight away whether they are constructed well or not. If things already look a little rough when you pick it up or open the parcel then you know it isn’t going to wash & wear very well so stay clear! Next I look for fabrics that I know will go the distance. I bought a 100% cotton denim dress from ASOS over 3 years ago and it is still going strong today. Some viscose & rayon can be a little iffy so proceed with caution. If you’re buying outerwear look for pieces that are lined.

How Does it feel on?

I really do think this is the biggest thing that has completely changed how I shop and my consumption of fashion in general. If we don’t feel 100% once we put something on. WALK AWAY. Send it back. No you won’t grow to love it, you won’t feel comfortable in it next week. If it isn’t making you feel amazing straight away I bet you will only wear it once or twice (if that) and then you’ll end up donating it down the track when your wardrobe rack collapses due to the weight.

is it versatile?

Can you wear it at least three different ways? To be able to get the most wear out of an item you need to have a look at how it fits in with the rest of your clothes. Will you be able to wear it over and over again and not feel like you look the same every time? This is also the reason I stopped buying printed midi skirts (they are my kryptonite). Yes they are beautiful and I love and want them all but outside of pairing them back with plain t-shirts / knits they aren’t super versatile.

Is it something missing from your wardrobe?

The trap with fast fashion is buying stuff you don’t actually need because it is cheaper. You can be more sustainable with this if you just stop yourself checking out and go look in your wardrobe. For me it is do I really need another printed mini skirt? I want it, but I don’t need it and I already have too many for one girl anyway.

Is this a trend item?

This is where things get a little more personal. Do I think we should be spending a lot of money on items of trend? No. Do I think we should be buying trend throw away pieces? Probably not. I do think we have to be really careful when buying items that are the trend of the moment. If you can honestly say that you will be still wearing that silk leopard skirt in 3 years time and won’t be sick of it then by all means you do you. Just ask yourself if the item is too much of a trend that it won’t be having a long life in your wardrobe. This also goes for slow fashion.

Check the return policy.

Check them twice. You don’t want to buy something only to find out after that you can’t return it for a refund or that it will cost you more to send something back than the item itself. There is no shame in returning something so if you buy something and it doesn’t work out, send it back the next day. That way you can’t procrastinate and then miss the return deadline. I think the longer it hangs around in your house the less likely you are to return it.


 

I would love to know if you’ve adapted your shopping habits over time to slow down your consumption of fashion! It is such a tough topic to talk about sometimes because most answers don’t seem like the ‘perfect’ one. jasmine x