March Journal

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Highs

Going away to the beach for my sister-in-law-to-be’s hens. It was one of those weekends that I got to be almost completely offline without feeling any internal pressure to ‘capture’ it - pure bliss. As I went to lay in the bed at the Airbnb, the window was perfectly aligned with a vision of the moon. It was the best way to go to sleep. Had the best gingerbread waffles at Little Boat Espresso which were topped with edible flowers so a win-win really. After complaining about there not being any storms all summer, autumn came and we got plenty of thunderstorms. I got all my client shoots done before deadline even though I stressed myself out about it so much that I lost sleep (note to self. don’t do that again) I pushed myself creatively for a client shoot and even though the images they selected weren’t from that pile I know it was still worth it and I will still share them next month. I managed to squeeze in a little time here and there to experiment for some personal photography. I am not there yet but I am closer than last month and that is good enough. By the end of the month I really felt like I was regaining a lot of my personal creativity after what felt like a draining month. There are a lot of butterflies around. The last morning of march was pure bliss. I woke up and it suddenly felt like the season had changed, the air was cooler and I could not have been happier about it.

Lows

It rained a lot in march which normally I wouldn’t be sad about but I also had back to back shoots booked in which meant my stress was pretty high over things I couldn’t control. I am aware that I come across as the goldilocks of weather. I have been ordering white dress after white dress and they are all see through, even lined dresses and fabrics/styles which you wouldn’t think would be. All been returned. This also means I have only bought 1 item of clothing and 1 swimsuit this whole year so far?! This month was the month of transition for Michael as he finished up at his old work and moved into his new position which meant he wasn’t home as much. I missed him.

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Podcasts I’ve Been Listening To…

Now that I have no Michael to listen to I have been jumping more and more onto podcasts to get my daily fix of human sounds. Some of my favourites are: Glow Journal, Offline The Podcast (Stay tuned for my episode soon) How to Live (Alice Tran’s episode in particular) Shameless, Who The Hell Is Hamish?, The Pineapple Project, Under the Skin with Russell Brand & The High Low to name my favourites. I have been taking a little break from True Crime for the moment but I am sure I will get back into it soon.

Newly added albums

To be honest I am not sure how new these are but they are new to my Apply Music Library (sorry for the Spotify playlist people out there) I have been listening to Chiaroscuro - Ocean Alley on repeat, especially The Comedown. Beward of the Dogs - Stella Donnelly is also full of sass which I always enjoy. Other than that I have been going back and playing the Hottest 100s from different years. I kind of feel like my taste in music developed in 2008-2010 and then just stayed there. I would love to know if you feel like there was a time in your life that you feel like your taste in music developed and just stayed. I can probably say that the mix tapes that were released with each O.C season definitely influenced my taste.

Ahead for April

I am writing this in April so hello. The start of April looks pretty tough on my schedule so the plan is to really buckle down, focus and push through for the first two weeks. A lot of client work has deadlines Mid April but once that is done I am loosening up the schedule to prioritise personal work and development. April is also a big social month. Not only do I have two work events on the first weekend, we also have Easter & I have a weekend away for a friend’s hens. Getting my creative mojo back will be the focus for April.

What podcasts & music are you loving at the moment? Jasmine x

How to spend 24 hours in Cabarita Beach

Earlier this week Michael and I took a 24hr trip down to Cabarita Beach. To be honest, before going I thought it would be quite the drive, only to be shocked when it was only 1.5 hrs from Brisbane. It may not be as hyped as Byron Bay but I think that is what is special about it. It feels like a small coastal town without being stuck in the past. This place has something special about it. So here is how you can have an amazing 24 hours in Cabarita Beach…

 

Where to eat.

Tucker. A very short drive from the beach is this gem of a cafe. We had breakfast there during our stay and it was something to write home about. They also have a lunch menu which you should definitely check out if you’re staying for 48.

Paper Daisy. Located at the very beautiful Halcyon House I would suggest you knock out two birds with one stone by taking some snaps & checking out their bar menu.

Taverna. This was on my must-eat-at list but unfortunately we went on a Tuesday and it’s only open from Thursday so take note. Maybe it will be my excuse to travel back just for a greek feast.

The Stunned Mullet. Because you can’t go to the beach without Fish & Chips. This place also has really great vegetarian options!

 

Where We stayed.

We stayed at an Airbnb during our stay called Grounds of Cabarita. Honestly, what a dream. It is probably about 5 minutes walk from the beach however if you come during cyclone warnings like us you really don’t need to leave the house. Not only does the design of this home make you want to have your camera on you, but it is so inviting and makes you want to enjoy it for all that it is worth. With a pool, fire pit, huge outdoor entertaining and a sparkling water tap (yes, that is correct) it is honestly a dream to stay in. I am already thinking about when I can go back next with family or friends (it has 3 bedrooms!).

You can find it on AirBnb here or on Instagram at @groundsofcabarita.

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What to do.

Personally, I don’t know if you need a list of things to do for only 24 hours but here are some suggestions anyway. Eat, always top of the priority list. Go in the ocean or at the very least go to The Cabarita Beach Look out. If you are staying at the Grounds of Cabarita, enjoy it. Go in the pool, lounge next to it with a book or a podcast, talk to the chickens, make the mistake of making yourself sick by swinging around in the hanging chair like me & try relax. If you have trouble relaxing on your own accord, head to Halcyon House for a spa treatment. If you realise once you’re down here that you left you bikini at home, check out Nikkou Store, Casuarina. Their curation of clothing, swim & accessories give city boutiques a run for their money!

I would love to know if you enjoy these more local travel posts, they may not be Paris or Japan but I think sometimes we forget how truly lucky we are locally and I would love to share that more with you.

Let me know your thoughts,

Jasmine x

December Journal

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The Highs

What a huge month December always is.. not only is it one of the busiest months for the online store but personally as well. A major high this month was the support from my community on my online store. Small businesses often rely on the support in November/December not only to get them through the slower months but it also often means they don’t have to be as stressed when they take a little time off over Christmas (no annual leave pay here!). Christmas is always a high in my books. Christmas for me is always hot, with a bunch of family, too much food, late night board games & Pimms in hand. This year was no exception. As you get older Christmas seems to last longer, this year mine lasted 4 days. I headed up to the Sunshine coast for my Christmas to New Years break and it was pure bliss. Lots of sun, salty hair & varying tan lines. I nailed the Spicy Margarita and Michael, Mum & I had mid-afternoon Margarita sessions. One of my favourite days was NYE. A friend came back from Japan for the holidays so we spent the day with him & his girlfriend at the beach. No exaggeration, 12 hours at various beaches. I walked back to the car after the fireworks with a smile stuck to my face, no word of a lie. Early morning swims to wake up. Realised that I never knew how much I needed shells in my life. Got a Lemon Tree and a Magnolia Tree for Christmas! Wore my new yellow bikini - no regrets. Ate fish and chips on the beach. Made a really good garlic bread with my brother. Had too much fun with a pink magnifying glass that I got with a Drunk Elephant gift set.

New In Review

Lucy Folk Bag. I have been eyeing off the clutches by Bondi based Designer Lucy Folk for the longest time but I knew myself enough to know that I wouldn’t get enough use out of a clutch. However in the latest releases their iconic clutches have come with a handle option which meant it was now a perfect addition for me. For transparency, I am a partner with Shopbop (a stockist of Lucy Folk) which meant I was able to be gifted this bag but it was already on my to-purchase list before this. As much as I love all of their colour ways, I chose the transparent option so that I could wear it with anything therefore getting the most use out of this beauty. It was the only handbag I took away with me and it is guaranteed compliments! In future I would love to also get a longer strap so that I could use it as a cross body bag also. Is it a everyday handbag that you can fit a lot in? No. However I only use small bags because it means I don’t carry around unnecessary items. Shop Here

Glamglow Cleanser. This cleanser was gifted to me mid December from Mecca Cosmetica and it came at the perfect time. I was at the end of my current cleanser and there would be no better time to test it out than over the Christmas / New Year period. Not only because I would be battling my hormonal break outs but also my skin freaks out with heavy sunscreen & zinc use. Boy oh boy though, this impressed me. Since it lightly exfoliates while cleansing, it meant that I was able to give my skin a good clean after a day of heavy lotion use. I would definitely purchase this cleanser once I have used it all up. Shop here.

Op Shop Finds. I didn’t do any online shopping over the break, instead I found myself only purchasing shell & a couple of things from the Op Shop. Honestly I don’t know why anyone would buy new glassware. The Op Shop always has great stuff and I ended up getting a crystal tray & bottle for $3! No regrets there. I also bought a few sea shells, one big boy so that I could listen to the ocean when I am at my studio desk and some to hold my earrings and other small jewellery in. Most homeware stores near the beach will stock shells so keep an eye out.

Yellow Bikini by Fella Swim. Now I definitely didn’t need these, but swimwear is a weakness of mine. I had my heart set on finding the perfect yellow bikini and after many hours searching online, I chose to go with Fella Swim. The thing I love most about Fella swim are their options, in one colour they have 9 different top & bottom styles to choose from which means you will be able to find shapes that suit your body & size. They also make to order for finer adjustments. I went with the casanova top and fell in love with the shape on me. Even though it was a little bit of an unexpected purchase, I don’t regret it one bit. Shop here.


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The Lows

I grabbed my curler by the hot rod part just before heading to my family Christmas. It blistered immediately and meant I had to keep an ice pack on my hand all day to stop it feeling like it was on fire. It took a week to heal. I saw a dog get hit by a car. It was the fucking worst. By the end of the year I get super drained with social media. I was done. I got over standing up for myself then being attacked for it, I got over the critics thinking my life/my personality/my choices are something I need opinions on. That leads me to really needing to refocus and draw boundaries for myself this year when it comes to social media.

If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personally. I always try to be kind and considerate of how what I do & say can be taken by others so I take it very personally if someone either attacks that or takes what I am doing or saying completely differently. I need to realise that often these responses are self serving. They are to assert their own knowledge, opinions, insecurities etc. They are often nothing to do with you personally. Secondly, I am not a Google Search Engine. I want my audience to be self-motivated, intelligent & curious. Everything you need to know can be found. If I haven’t already written about it on the blog or saved it to my Story Highlights I am sure it can be found on google or youtube. Otherwise I will be most likely writing about it soon.


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How do I stop working?

First day of holidays this hit me, what do I do when I am not working? Netflix was boring me & I didn’t want to go out because I knew I had some full on days coming up. I first thought I would do some Christmas craft activities but then I knew I would want to document and share it which would turn into work. So what do you do when your fun thing turns into your work thing? (not a bad problem to have)

I had to find something that was creative but something that I wouldn’t turn into work. So I did something I wasn’t good at. Illustration. Faces in particular. They are quick and sassy and best yet, they aren’t something I would sell or really talk about at all. A few days in I caught myself thinking about how I could do one a day and post it and then have a collection of maybe try 50 of them before I get back. I managed to try and turn it into work. I caught myself though and abandoned all of those thoughts. Here are six. Creating for the sake of creating. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am not going to write about goals for January because to be honest it is intimidating
and I am not in the space to do so. Maybe next month.

jasmine x

November Journal

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THE HIGHS

So after what feels like forever (but in reality is 4 months) of looking for a new house to lease we found one & moved the first week of November! You may recall me talking about this back in July’s Journal but I normally try trust in the universe (cheese warning) when it comes to houses and how this all turned out really proves that she had our back. We actually drove passed this house back in July when it first was listed, at the time it was on the higher end of our budget and we didn’t think it was worth the look at. Months go by, we miss out on a few houses we liked due to timings and then mid October we were flicking back through our saved properties and to our surprise it was still up and had reduced the price. We had zero expectation and went to the inspection just to cross it off the list really. Surprisingly though when we arrived it gave us a good vibe. Yes it wasn’t perfect but it ticked all of our must-haves which is tricky enough for two very picky people. We applied and were able to negotiate to have air con put in and within a week we had decided to move. We were both worried about the change, especially because I work from home, my home is my security and I depend a lot on where I live for my work (eg. lighting etc). But alas, we are in now coming up to a full month and both could not be happier with the place. Sorry that’s one big high for the month.

I spotted this stunning pink flowered tree while going back and forth between houses (nearly caused me to crash) and I managed to take photos of it before it turned to green 3 days later. We released & restocked our His & Hers photo books and the response was beyond what we imagined, so so grateful. I re-designed and released the 2019 Calendar, even though it is different for me I am obsessed. Finally got in a body of water at the beach and it was pure bliss. Posted my first mirror selfie. Making the time to buy new magazines & make a new mood board for summer. Sneaking in and buying a real Christmas tree before Dec 1. Finding sunflowers & bees at the Botanical Gardens.

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THE LOWS

Being 100% wrecked after the move and backing it up with very long hours of work to catch up on Christmas craziness. Full length mirror fell over and smashed to pieces after some crazy wind last week (teaches me for posting a mirror selfie). Going to design the 2019 Calendar and became bored and uninspired at the thought of another calendar with just hand lettered titles. Disappointing customers by not doing that.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS MONTH

The house doesn’t really make the home. It is the rituals and the people in it that make it home. This was really highlighted to me through the weeks of transitioning between houses. After some feedback last month I have thought about my consumption and perceived consumption on social media. Even though I know I turn down 75% of gifts that are offered to me I understand I could be doing more and sharing more of a conscious approach. I want to go into more depth about why I saved up or bought X & Y rather than showing you in a haul format. I don’t want to ever make you feel like you need to buy a lot or like I am trying to always sell you something. The reasons why I link & use the edit a lot is to try help you guys out when searching for what I am wearing. This is something that I really want to work on in the months & year to come. If there is any ways you think I could do so, let me know in the comments.

GOALS FOR DECEMBER

Try share more back story and process behind my purchases. Again if you guys have any ideas, leave a comment down below. Face my fears of bearded dragons (medium sized lizards) again to try curb my irrational fear. WIND DOWN. It is December, try relax a little. Learn how to make a spicy margarita, leave recipes if you have any!!

jasmine x

Christmas Gift Guide

It is that time of the year & if you’re anything like me you’re already trying to sort out gifting so everything isn’t last minute. This year I have not only put together a gift guide but I have also created a new Gift Edit to try & help you find cool gifts for the people in your life.

It is so important to me that these guides help you shop small this Christmas, which is why there is a big focus on small businesses in this post. As a small business, I know how much this time means to an independent brand. Instead of buying a mass produced, heavily ‘inspired’ product, try your best to shop locally this festive season. Trust me, your purchases mean to the world to the handful of people behind these brands.

GIFTS IN STYLE

When it comes to style presents I always stay clear of clothing and stick to accessories. Accessories mean you don’t have to worry about sizing and you can get some great finds for under $25!

Headwear. There are so many great options around at the moment from a great beret, a straw hat for summer or even a cool headband!

Earrings. Think about their personal style, are they more likely to keep it classic or have a little more fun with earrings?

Bags. Bags don’t need to be designer. With the move to reduce plastic there is no better time to gift someone a grocery bag they will actually want to use.

Underwear. Bralettes are the way to go, they are sexy while still being understated. Can’t go wrong with brands like Love Stories!

 
 

FOR THE MEN IN OUR LIVES

Magazines & Books. I love magazines & books for myself but they are also the perfect gift for the men in your life. If you’re struggling to find magazines, Magnation might be the website to help you out this festive season.

Tech. All sorts of tech do the trick but this HAY x Sonos One in green is too damn good not to mention.

Beauty. Treat the men in your life and luxe up their beauty routine with a new after shave or skin care!

Coffee. Whether it is a coffee machine or accessories I always find pairing it with a bag of coffee does the trick for the perfect gift hamper.

 
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GIFTS IN BEAUTY

Perfume Discovery Sets. To be honest I think these the best gifts. The cost is normally lower than committing to choosing just one fragrance for someone and they are the perfect size to travel with.

Brush Sets & Beauty Accessories. Who doesn’t need new make up brushes?! They are such good value for money and these by Mecca Cosmetica look so damn pretty! Make Up bags are also always a safe bet for a happy girl at Christmas.

Palettes. The palettes that are released at this time of the year always have me weak at the knees. I could not recommend the Hourglass palettes more. They are my favourite powder formula and these palettes will last you years!

 

GIFTS AT HOME

You can not go wrong with gifts for the home, this is probably why most girls I know have at least 5 half-burnt candles in their room at one time.

Candles. As above! At this time of the year I love a Christmas Candle but not the cheesy kind. Lumira has one I am eyeing off that says christmas without shoving tinsel in your face.

Artwork. Not only is it a perfect way to support creatives at this time of the year but it something personal that I can promise your friend will cherish. I have an illustration from an 18th birthday present and it still means so much to me.

Bedding. This is the perfect gift for a lover or a roommate!

Trays. Who doesn’t need a good tray?! They are perfect for everything from beauty, perfume, accessories, incense/candles!

 
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FOR THE TRAVELLER

Personalised Travel Accessories. The perfect gift for someone who is always in the air. Get it monogrammed or stamped with their favourite emoji!

Travel Books. Perfect for someone who loves to travel but doesn’t have any flights booked.

Travel sized goodies. Can’t go wrong with things in tiny packaging.


Please let me know about any small businesses that you think would be perfect to add to The Gift Edit down in the comments as I will be constantly updating that page until Christmas.

jasmine x