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

October Journal

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THE HIGHS

Where do I even start with the highs from this month?! At the start of the month I flew down to Sydney for the Cosmopolitan Women of the Year awards and this girl took out the title of Creative of the Year!! I have worked from home, (what seems like) alone for almost 5 years so I found this to really be a chance to stop & take in all that I have achieved. Even though I work for myself there are so many of you that are out there supporting and sharing the love for my work which made this award even possible. The trip was made even more special by my mum joining me for the 4 days. Hotel Revesis, a high on it's own merit (more on that below). Spicy margaritas at North Bondi Fish. North Bondi Fish in general. Room Service & Foxtel nights after extremely exhausting days. My mum absolutely nailing being an #instagrammum even though she did take a minute long burst (candids for days). Being by the ocean even just a little bit. Releasing my new artwork collection and it being so well received (thank you thank you thank you). Such interesting discussion around my last blog post: Pressure to be a Girl Boss. It has probably been one of my favourite blog posts from this year that I have written. Finding a house to move into & signing a lease. Donating unused beauty to Friends with Dignity.

SYDNEY TRIP SUMMARY

WHERE WE STAYED..

Hotel Ravesis, Bondi Beach. Without a word of a lie, this was kind of my dream hotel. Firstly the location is perfect. Not too far from the city but right across from Bondi Beach! The interiors are also as if they were designed right out of one of my dreams. Archways, moss green, pink & white everywhere. Everything is so beautifully designed down to the Do Not Disturb sign. It even made me want to buy all the merch available at the mini bar (I had to have the set of playing cards, see above) Their food & cocktails were also really yummy. Can not recommend more!

WHERE WE ATE... Since I was out at the awards most of the first day, and the photoshoot the next we didn’t explore too much. But we did stop at a few worth mentioning.

Sonoma Baking, Bondi. Went here a few times for breakfast & baked treats, 10/10.
Bills, Bondi. My mum had never had the hotcakes so I of course had to take her there at least once.
North Bondi Fish, Bondi. Mum and I had the best long lunch here, their spicy margaritas had me hooked. I still crave them.
The Grounds of Alexandria. I finally got there! My COSMO shoot was actually just across the road so I met up with Mum there after. After two big days of nervousness, I got a big burger and chips and was surrounded by flowers - perfection.

WHAT WE DID…

The first day in town I had the COSMO awards followed by a meeting so needless to say after 3 hours sleep the night before I was incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted by the time we got back to Ravesis. I just wanted to eat room service in bed and prepare for the shoot the next day. I was a little nervous about the COSMO shoot because I had no idea what to expect. What would I wear, would I feel like myself, what if I froze? All of those worries went away once I got onto set. The team was so beautiful and made me feel comfortable and more importantly like myself. The rest of Friday was spent at The Grounds then back at Ravesis for cocktails. Saturday was a big eating day. We went to Bills for breakfast, people/dog watched at Bondi then over to North Bondi Fish for a long lunch. A few cocktails later we headed over to paddington to look around at the single fronted houses & stores. Super Dreamy. Sunday was fly home day.


THE LOWS

The first week of October felt really stressful, I wasn’t in control of a lot that was going on which meant I was a little all over the place and didn’t feel organised. This didn’t last though, as it never does. Not being able to sleep until 4:30AM on the night before the awards. I ended up getting desperate at 4AM, downloaded some sleep story app and listened to someone who sounded like David Attenborough talk about lavender fields. It was quite a rainy month so there was a lot of days that shoots were planned but we couldn’t do them. Realising that we now have to do the nightmare moving part after finding a house. The realisation that I have way too much for one human. A new copyright infringement came up so I am now having to go through that with yet another national retailer. Thought I would get through the year without a major one but no such luck.

GOALS FOR NOVEMBER

Launch the HIS & HERS Italy photo book along with some re-prints of Paris & Japan in Mid November. I also am currently working on the 2019 Calendar for release late November. As I type this I am currently in our new house but my goal for the last week was really just to get through it. It was beyond exhausting so I am really just looking forward to enjoying being in the new space and get re-inspired.

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What happened to you in October?!

J x

TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL: WHERE TO STAY

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Let me preface this blog post saying that I can not take any credit for the gem locations which we have stayed in on our trips. I am the type that doesn't want to know anything about anything before the trip begins, which is fortunate because my partner Michael loves the researching and planning side of it (most of the time). But after 3 overseas trips I think there is some method to his madness and some cheats along the way so I may as well share. 

HOTELS vs. AIR BNB

I would say that it depends where you're going and for how long.

LESS THAN 2 NIGHTS, Hotel it up. Hotels for me have a couple of things going for them, simplicity and ease. You know 100% what you're going to get. You can get someone to bring you fries at 11PM, Leave your luggage at the desk on check out day, wear a robe. Those things are helpful on short trips but what they lack mean I wouldn't stay for over 2 nights. 

MORE THAN 2 NIGHTS, Air Bnb all the way. When we travel, we like to spend more than 2 days so we 95% of the time choose the Air Bnb life. It has lots of advantages but two big ones stand out to me. You're able to vacation how someone else lives, they have their own artworks, books and local recommendations that aren't out of a sponsored tour guide. The second major advantage is the likely hood of having both a reasonable kitchen and laundry. Especially if you're travelling for a while, there is nothing better than being able to cook your own food. 


FINDING THE PERFECT ACCOMODATION

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE SHOPS/CAFES IN THE DESTINATION?

Open up google maps. If some of your favourite brands have locations in your travel destination then pin point those on the map and save them. Do the same with any cafes/stores that you have heard of that you want to visit while you're there. Once you have done this your map will have some areas that have more clusters of those places than others. That is where you should start looking for accommodation. 

In all of the locations we have stayed in around the world there were a few things that we were always close to. First up, Aesop. I think this is the most trustworthy guide as to where to stay. If you're near an Aesop you're very likely in a good spot. A few others that I remember are Saturday's NYC, APC and Acne Studios. 

 

WORK OUT YOUR NON NEGOTIABLES.

This list will help you sift through Air Bnb's real fast. Of course beds are a given but also think about things like if you need a bath, an oven, if you want the walk-up experience in NY, if you need a window in Paris. All those types of things. 

For example a Window/Balcony situation in Paris was one of my non-negotiables. But other than that I need lots of natural light, Coffee machine or coffee shop within steps of the place.

 

LOOK FOR PLACES THAT ARE AUTHENTIC TO THE LOCATION YOU'RE TRAVELLING TO

This is one of my favourite things about renting an apartment or house. I believe that homes strongly represent how we live and what is important to different cultures and to me it's so nice to experience that when travelling. The little things like sleeping on Tatami Mats in Kyoto, Staying in a Monastery in Positano or our 600 year old updated apartment in Rome. Those places made our trip so special. 


SOME OF MY TIPS

~ Read the reviews but use your common sense when doing so. I have read so many 'negative' reviews that are really complaining about things that I didn't find to be true, or things that don't even bother me. I have never had an experience where something went wrong at an air bnb and the host didn't fix it or help. Take note of the reviews that discuss the location and cleanliness. 

~ If you're on a budget, Air Bnb is the way to go. You get a lot more for your money than you would staying at hotels. Normally for our trips we give budgets to different locations. For example you may find an amazing place in Paris which means you might need to have a lower budget in Rome. 

~ If you are only staying for a short amount of time or just love the hotel life, I would recommend finding a boutique hotel in your destination. They are often full of personality and quirks that you are less likely to find in the big chains. 


As much as you're probably thinking this blog post was sponsored by Air Bnb, it isn't, we just use it a lot. If you have any gem apartments or hotels you've stayed in, add them to the comments below.

jasmine x

TAKING OSAKA CITY GUIDE

Images shot by myself &  Michael hughes

Images shot by myself & Michael hughes

We have reached our final stop, Osaka! 

Osaka on first impression was what I assumed Japan would be before travelling there. Loud, Bright neon lights, so much going on that it is sometimes hard to stay focused. It noticeably had a different vibe to the other cities straight away. There is an attitude here that I didn't feel in Tokyo or Kyoto, and not a bad one. There was more confidence here, it seemed edgier to me. If you're coming to japan for the streetwear, neon lights and street food I think Osaka would be the place for you. 

WHERE TO STAY  

Once again, Michael nailed the location for our accommodation. I am not going to include a link to this AirBnb not because it was bad or anything went wrong, I just wouldn't stay there again. But the location was perfect. You could walk to Shinsaibashi (the main tourist location in Osaka) and all the boutiques around Orange Street. The suburb was Osaka-Shi. 

By the end of our trip we realised that a few of the locations we stayed in had stayed in all had a few things in common. This rule even applied when we looked at past Air Bnb apartments we had stayed in around the world. We had a few stores/brands that were always located nearby. So now our rule is to find accomodation where you have an APC, Saturdays NYC or Aesop nearby. Good neighbourhood vibes guaranteed.

Images shot by myself &  Michael hughes

Images shot by myself & Michael hughes

WHAT TO DO

Day trip to Nara

Nara is just a train ride away from Osaka and is well worth it just to feed baby deer. Remember to make them bow to treats. If you haven't seen too many temples already, there are plenty in Nara to visit. 

DOGUYASUJI

This is an open mall for kitchen supplies but even more importantly for you - ceramics. Give yourself at least 2 hours to visit here. I went in thinking I wasn't going to buy anything due to my already stuffed suitcase and I came out with ink trays, painted bowls and jewellery dishes 2 hours later. 

NAMBA

Namba Parks is great for shopping and eating and walking distance Shinsaibashi and Doguyasuji. I have a few recommendations for places to eat in Namba below.

 

SHINSAIBASHI

Michael did me a favour and waited until night to take me down to Shinsaibashi for the first time and I would totally recommend doing the same. The neon light filled streets will overwhelm and amaze you at night. Besides the lights, Shinsaibashi has kilometres of shopping and places to eat. See below for my favourites.

ORANGE STREET

This is where you'll want to spend a day wandering around, checking out the shopping and cafes. I found there was a lot more cool mens and homewares stores here but either way it is worth visiting. It is just a short walk from Shinsaibashi. 

UMEDA SKY BUILDING

For an amazing view of Osaka, the Sky Building is the place to go. Be warned - it is fucking terrifying for someone who doesn't like lifts or heights. Firstly, the lift is outside the building and has glass walls and the escalator to the top is suspended between the two sides of the building so you are going up an escalator with nothing underneath. My hands are getting sweaty just typing this. 

Images shot by myself &  Michael hughes

Images shot by myself & Michael hughes

WHERE TO SHOP

BioTop Rooftop near Orange Street.
While you are there to get a bite to eat, head downstairs and check out their range of designer fashion and lifestyle products. 

United Arrows / Beauty & Youth United Arrows
Every time you see a United Arrows of some kind, I would recommend having a look. It reminds me of Beams and has a really nice curation of fashion. 

Doguyasuji
There isn't one particular store here but walking through, head into all of the ceramic stores. When visiting it is handy to not be carrying a lot. These stores are tiny and have walkways only one small person wide.

Tsutaya Books, LUCUA Osaka.
This place is close to impossible to find. We spent over an hour trying to find it. Lifts didn't go to the floor it said it was on, and google maps said we were in it when there was no books in sight. Once you are in the Lucua shopping centre try go up to level 10 then walk around until you find the escalator. That will take you down into the book store. 

Grand Front Osaka
A large shopping centre that will have your favourites like Beams and United Arrows but also some lovely little boutiques. 


 

WHERE TO EAT

BioTop Rooftop near Orange Street.
Either get some quick fries from their street level window or head upstairs. We went back multiple times because it was that good. I recommend getting one of their ginger drinks, a salad, their rosemary bread (a must) and a pizza to share. You will not need another meal for 10 hours but it will be worth it. 

Tempura Daikichi, Namba Parks
You must go here for tempura goods! 

Craft Burger Co. Osaka-Shi
This place was started by an Australian so you know they do good burgers! 

Critters Burger, Nishishinsaibashi
Also a good spot for burgers.

LiLo Coffee Roasters

Mill Pour Coffee Shop
Good little spot for coffee and there is a bakery next door.

Streamer Coffee

Elk Osaka
Good spot for breakfast or lunch and they also do 3D latte art?!

Mauloa Acai and Cafe
If you're heading to the Umeda Sky Tower, go here for acai!

Pablo
The little mini cheese tarts are to die for. You must get at least 6.

Shinsaibashi Street Food
You must try some of the japanese street food on offer around Shinsaibashi. There is so much to choose from and you can just have a little bit of everything.

Saturdays NYC, Osaka Shi
Our apartment was just around the corner so this was our go to for a quick bite and coffee. They even had lamingtons which made me feel very aussie after 4 weeks away from home.  

Note. Michael is vegetarian & we are the only two people on earth that don't like ramen so all recommendations will be ramen-free and vege appropriate.