Green and Gold Leaf Earrings – a Collaboration With a Good Friend.

Recently I have had the pleasure to collaborate with Hughsie Sisters to design a pair of clay dangle earrings! This particular collaboration is a special one as the founder and creator of Hughsie Sisters is actually a close friend of mine, Nicole Hughes.

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How did we meet?

I worked with Nicole during her time here in Melbourne, but she is now back in her hometown Toronto and running this business with her sister April Hughes.

What made you decide to collaborate?

We actually started our creative projects on Instagram at exactly the same time, and this was not planned either! We thought this would be a great opportunity to do something creative together, have fun and support each other’s work.

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Tell me more about the earrings!

They are dangles and are handcrafted and made from clay. This particular pair, which I received below are clip-ons because I actually don’t have my ears pierced (of course this design is also available with the normal backing as well). The design is a blend of light green and a darker green, topped with gold leafing and a matching gold backing. Oh and we named it Carma!

What was the thinking behind the design?

We picked the colour green to use as a base because my name is Jade and we thought this would be quite fitting! To make it more unique, we decided to blend 2 different shades of green and adding gold leafing was a fun way to make them look more glam!

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Why the name Carma?

It is a blend of my middle name Carmen and the word ‘karma’ – karma because Nicole, April and I are believers that good things will come if you have good intentions and we are all quite spiritual as well so thought it’d be fun to incorporate this aspect into the name!

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Earrings Hughsie Sisters | Necklace Lovisa | Green blouse Dotti | Wide leg pants Glassons | Block heels SPURR Claudia Block Heels from The Iconic

Where can I go to check out other Hughsie Sisters earrings?

Hughsie Sisters – let a sister know.

This collaboration meant a lot to us. Nicole and I have both put in hard work into what we are passionate about and there certainly have been challenges while pursuing our creative projects. But we are learning that no matter what challenges you go through in life, the universe has your back and things will work out.

Always make time to explore your creativity and remember to trust in your ability to create the best life that you can live.

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How to Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly.

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The way I think about exercise has changed so much throughout these past few years. I started working out when I was in high school for the sole purpose of losing weight and toning up. I was quite self-conscious of my body and wanted to become fitter and feel more comfortable in my clothes every day. After high school, I joined a gym and continued with this ‘weight loss’ goal, hence why I pushed myself to my limits and worked out really hard during my uni years.

Then life happened – I was no longer in the bubble of uni life where I had 4 months off each year and working a part-time job. I started working full-time and adjusting to a full-time schedule was exhausting. I tried my best to work out consistently and had moments where I was completely motivated, then moments where my routines just didn’t feel sustainable. Sometimes the more I forced myself, the less I wanted to exercise.

It’s taken me some time, but I certainly incorporate physical activity into my life for more holistic reasons now, rather than simply losing weight, and I’ve finally figured out how to make exercise ‘sustainable’, so I’d like to share these tips with you!

Mindset – exercise is self-love, not a chore

Can’t stress this enough – realise that your body needs physical activity in order for you to be happy and healthy, but try not to view exercise as a chore, instead see it as an act of self-love. Treat it as some much-needed me-time or time with a good friend. Trust me, afterwards, your body and mind will thank you!

Aim for 20 mins, 3 – 4 times a week

20 minutes is that sweet spot – not too long and not too short. Totally achievable! 3 – 4 times a week is also a good balance to allow your body to rest and recover between your work out days.

Schedule exercise in like a non-negotiable meeting

Remember, this is time for you to look after your body and exercise has flow-on effects to your overall health and wellbeing – better sleep, better appetite, clears your mind and improves your mood. In order to operate at your best potential, looking after your body is non-negotiable so set aside that time for yourself!

Pick activities that you enjoy

Be open to exploring different ways of exercising, there are so many options out there! I’ve had so much fun trying out different things including reformer pilates, vinyasa yoga, HIIT classes, boxing, toning exercises, dance and heaps more! The key is to not make it feel like a chore, instead, it should be something that you look forward. I also highly recommend the following YouTube channels for endless free exercise videos:

  • POPSUGAR Fitness
  • Tone It Up
  • Yoga With Adriene
  • FitnessBlender

Understand your body and moods

What times of the day do you have more energy? When are you likely to feel motivated? This is like when I schedule in my work tasks – things that require creative/strategic thinking is done in the morning and auto-pilot tasks are done in the afternoon because I am exhausted by then. Understand what time of day suits you best and stick to it!

Make it a habit and don’t overthink it

Consistency is key. Don’t overthink it or else you will give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. Just organise your workout gear and everything you need in advance, and when the time comes, JUST DO IT! I used to dread walking to the gym after work, but just put on my music and went! Once I was at the gym I felt fine! Or in the morning when I take too long to get out of bed, I end up talking myself out of exercising. Don’t think, just do!

I really hope this helps and has given you some motivation to prioritise exercise in your routine – you won’t regret it!

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3 Outfit Ideas for Valentine’s Day (Or Simply a Night Out!)

3 Outfit Ideas For Valentine's Day

Oh hey there girl!

Time is going by so fast, I can’t believe we are in mid-Feb already, and Valentine’s Day is next week! Richard and I are real foodies, so we normally celebrate by booking a nice place to have dinner, but we aren’t too fussed either and are equally happy to do something low-key.

Whether you are spending a romantic evening with your man or seeing the girls, I’ve got you covered with these 3 outfit ideas.

1. Romantic Red

Here I paired a red floral blouse with basic black shorts. The blouse is quite patterned and busy, so I decided to pair it with something more minimal. Red and black are a classic match, and yes, this outfit is totally inspired by my beautiful Kate Spade wallet! I am also all about the block heels this summer – so comfy, but classy at the same time. These nude coloured heels seriously make any outfit look more chic!

Blouse Dotti | Shorts Dotti | Wallet Kate Spade – Hyde Lane Poppy Stacy | Block heels Therapy from the Iconic | Lipstick bareMinerals – Marvelous Moxie (Risk It All)

2. Neutral and Feminine

Some of you guys may have already seen this outfit on my Instagram story a few weeks ago, but I just love it! I am in love with my black and white chequered skirt – the bow on the front makes it even more stylish. These style of skirts are really coming in this season. Such a nice shape and a bit more adventurous than your standard A-line skirt. An easy pairing with a basic white singlet.

White singlet Cotton On | Chequered skirt Ava | Block heels Therapy from the Iconic | Wallet Kate Spade – Hyde Lane Poppy Stacy | Lipstick Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture (No. 50)

3. Pink, Purple and Denim

I remember I was on the hunt for a nice denim skirt and was looking for something not too short and not super tight. Found this one and thought I’d go for something a bit quirkier – love the rose stitching! Of course, you can’t go wrong pairing denim with a white singlet, but to add a bit of edge, I threw on this pastel pink leather jacket from Dotti. This jacket also matched my shoes, which was a bonus! A bit of a girly theme going on here – pink, red, white, denim…so I thought, why not add purple in there as well? The wallet featured here is another one of my Kate Spade splurges…how could I resist?!

Leather jacket Dotti | White singlet Cotton On | Denim skirt Rumor Boutique | Wallet Kate Spade – Hawthorne Lane Pinwheel Stacy | Block heels Therapy from the Iconic

Whatever you are up to, I hope you have a special Valentine’s!

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6 Tips to Create an Easy Flat Lay.

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Over this past month I have been working on building my online brand, and creating fun and inspiring content. Part of this also means I have been getting creative and finally ventured out to ‘flat lay’ territory…

If you aren’t sure what a flat lay is, it’s basically a beautiful photo that captures a range of your personal belongings, organised in a creative and engaging way. This could range from books, to makeup, to clothes to anything really.

I struggled with flat lays for a little while and decided to keep practicing, and I’m proud to say that I am quite happy with some simple ones that I’ve put together (check out these ones I’ve included in this post)! There are many different ways to flat lay, but check out the 6 tips below that I use to create easy, clean flat lays!

1. Set the background – colour and textures

Set up a nice clean background to put your items on – I normally like a white-coloured background, but it’s also nice to incorporate some different textures (e.g. a marble board, clean white bedsheets, an opened book or even a fluffy rug).

2. Natural lighting

This is so important for any photo! Make sure you have natural light hitting the photo – open all the blinds or just make sure you are close to a window. Otherwise, I like to increase the exposure just a tad with the VSCO app.

3. Choose one ‘main’ item or focal point and work other items into the photo around this

Not sure if anyone else does this, but I find this really helpful, especially when starting out! I like to use the following as my ‘main’ items:

  • A cosy winter jumper
  • A magazine/book
  • A bag
  • A laptop
  • A bowl of food

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4. Decide on a colour theme/ambience and add other items

Decide on the colour theme for your flat lay and from this, find and add other items – e.g. if you have chosen a magazine as your main item, try to pick other smaller items around you that are the same colours as the magazine. Thinking about the ‘ambience’ you want to create is also helpful, such as dainty, colourful, rustic, urban, edgy, simplistic, etc.

You could do a crowded photo with lots of items or a simple one. I personally believe it’s easier to start with less as you can move things around quickly to see how the photo looks and packing up won’t be annoying afterwards!

5. Move the items around to see how it makes the photo look different

I personally like the less rigid look, so I’ll put things on a slant, layer different items and have part of some items peeking into the photo (e.g. the corner of a book or the petals of a flower). Don’t be afraid to experiment!

6. Stand up on a stool or chair to take your photo!

Oh yeah gurl, gotta be seriously about the whole set up! Stand up on a stool or chair and take the photo from a high angle so that it looks nice and flat. I also like to take photos from both my iPhone and DSLR camera so that I can use them for my Instagram and also my blog.

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Go and give this a shot! It’s a fun way to experiment and get creative, also to promote your products/services!

Jade xx

Quitting My Job – A Leap of Faith

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Books pictured

  • The Essentialists – Shine by Shannon Kennedy | 20 secrets to a happy life
  • Purpose by Lisa Messenger | The power of purpose and how to find your ‘why’
  • The Game Changers by Samantha Brett & Steph Adams | Read about the inspirational success stories from women around the world

Firstly, let me apologise for taking so long to write my next post – a lot has happened and life has just been a lil’ crazy!

For those of you who know me personally or was following me on Instagram in December last year, you will know that I took a massive leap of faith and left my job…without anything else in place! This was one of the hardest decisions I have made in my life, hence why it took me 6 months to come to this conclusion. What made it difficult was that I was part of an organisation that had a fantastic company culture, people were friendly and genuinely passionate about their jobs. I had a really supportive manager and worked with intelligent and unique people whom I learnt a lot from.

So why leave?

Over time, I realised that I was searching for more creativity in my role, and have never lost the dream to become a content creator/digital influencer, and also work within the fashion industry. Yes, that’s the millennial talk right there, but I am so proud to be one! Gone are the days where we simply take and stay with any job because it provides us with an income. Gone are the days where we are not encouraged to challenge our own situation, to push outside of our comfort zone and explore all that life has to offer us. However, my goal is not to stop full-time work, but rather to find something else that aligns more closely with my passions.

It did take a long time for me to come to terms with leaving a very stable job without anything else lined up yet, and in complete honesty, what I considered as my passion did seem a bit airy-fairy…most people described it as being ‘Insta-famous’ and ‘travelling the world while being sponsored by luxurious brands’. I understand the interpretation behind this, but for me, it is much more than these things.

Blogging and creating my own content is a way for me to express my individuality, my creativity and build a strong personal brand. On the other hand, fashion has also always been a huge love of mine. To me, it is a way we express beauty and our individuality to ourselves and the rest of the world. It is another creative outlet, and the right outfit can make all the difference to our confidence.

My goal is to one day inspire people in many ways through my work. It’s about connecting with like-minded people across the world, and being able to share and speak about topics that I am passionate about.

For now, I am enjoying the days of researching, learning how to improve the quality of my content, and bringing all the creative ideas in my head to life. Deep down, my gut told me over and over that it was the right time to leave my job, and I am aware that it might not work out in the end, and my life might take a completely different direction. I realise that your priorities, goals and life situation change over time, but I know for a fact that years from now when I look back on my life, there will very likely be no regret for trying my best and giving myself a chance to pursue these passions of mine, which has been in the back of my head since my time in uni.

I will always encourage people to follow their instinct and follow their dreams. It might not mean leaving your job or making any other drastic life changes, but promise yourself that whatever you do, don’t let fear, doubt, lack of self-confidence or the unknown hold you back. I am a firm believer that whatever happens, things will work out and you will take many learnings from your experiences, good and bad.

Life is short so create the best one you can live!

Jade xx