Sunday, June 28, 2015

Throw It All In: 4 Essential Bags to Have

I started thinking about my purse collection as a whole back in September when I realized I didn't really have any evening or night out bags. Alas, I have not chosen the perfect going out bag yet, but all the pondering gave me an idea of how I want to trim down the number of bags I have and make what i have more well rounded. So, here's a list of 4 essential bags to have. I don't think I'll get down to owning only four purses (there's always a cute one catching my eye that I can't resist), but it's a pretty straight forward guideline to keep in mind. 

1. The evening/going out bag

With this type of bag I think you can have the most fun. I think a fun, nerdy, or even just strange bag balances nicely with formal wear and adds some fun to an outfit. Nothing too serious.
 TopShop fur clutch (similar) // Asos robot clutch

2. The everyday bag

 I've tried to reduce the size of what I tote around with me everyday with my Zara bag, but usually these ones are big, neutral colored, strong bags that hold everything I need. I like having two, one for the warmer seasons one for the colder, just to change it up and compliment the style of clothing I wear in that season a little better. Be careful about choosing this one and consider the color, structure, and durability, because I think it should stick with you for awhile (and maybe keep your back and shoulders in mind also.) 
Zara mini city bag // Target bucket bag

3. Small crossbody bag 

 I like to think of this one as my hiking bag. I don't actually hike often, but if I did I'd bring this kind of bag. This one is particularly small, but anything that can hold just the essentials works. It's brilliant for when you want to make sure you have money, your phone, and the lipstick you're wearing, but don't want to carry it or shove it in your pockets -- easy and never in your way.

4. The extras 

These ones you can tailor to suit your life. I still need a school bag (which you can see here), a beach bag, and a drawstring backpack for when I go to the gym. I guess it's possible to use one bag for all of those places, but for me when everything has it's one specific job things run a little smoother. Plus, I think you have to leave a little room for the strange hot air balloon bag you found and can't possibly live with out. 
Under Armour drawstring bag // The Body Shop gift bag 

Happy shopping,
xx Jasmine 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Uniform

Unexpectedly, I have absolutely fallen in love with this top. I like how it shows off my shoulders and how it's light enough that it keeps me cool without being super loose. The colors are what really drew me in though. It has a lot of different colors, but they are so soft and well balanced with the black outlines that it's not in the same vein as a vibrant pattern. I think I'll be finding myself wearing this outfit a lot as the summer goes on. 

xx Jasmine 

Dressed in: H&M top, Forever21 shorts, Target sandals, Necklace (gift) 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fish's Findings: Blue Note

I saw these pictures in Lucky's February issue (I know I'm really behind) and fell in love with these photographs. I like the different elements of 60's details like the shape of the skirts and the high collars. I'm also surprisingly drawn to the light blue color they used. It truly makes me want to change up the color palette of my usual outfits. 

xx Jasmine 

Lucky Magazine February issue // Photographed by Raf Stahelin // Actress Bella Heathcote // Stylist  Kathryn Neale

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Touch of Pink

I took some quick outfit photos before I ran off to my cousins' dance recital. Usually I dress up a little more for these things, but it was a very hot, long day (hence the photos inside) so I didn't want to be uncomfortable all day. I'm loving this new top. Its a little nicer than a basic summer tank, but is still breezy and light enough to be comfortable. I would definitely look out for one in the sales. 

xx Jasmine 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Comfy Basics

Well this outfit post might as well be the polar opposite of the last. The weather has clearly picked up since then. Nothing very exciting is happening with me now, so I just decided to throw on a dungaree for the day. They're comfy and easy to wear as well as convenient when the days plans only consist of running errands. 

Also, shout out to Target for always having some good summer basics,
xx Jasmine 

 Dressed in: Asos Dungaree (similar), Target tank and sandals 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Holy Grails

I don't usually talk about beauty things on here, besides my slight obsession with nail polish, but I thought I'd share some of the products I love. These items are definitely holy grails that I repurchase all the time. You know the ones that you frantically tear up your room for if you even think you lost them, here are mine:

(Left to right, top to bottom)

1. L'oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray: This hairspray is worth all the hype. It holds but is also brush-able and never crunchy. I tend to like the unscented one because the original scent bothers me, but the scent is really the only downside to this can.

2. Benadryl Gel (or cream): Right now I'm trying out the gel version of this, but I really have to recommend the cream version. I get some really bad mosquito bites and the occasional rash, and this is the only thing that keeps me from acting like a crazed child who has chicken pox. It soothes the itch so I can get back to normal life, but it can also be used for sunburn and more severe rashes like poison ivy. If you don't mind some stickiness and enjoy a cooling effect with your ointments, I'd go for the gel form. 

3. Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry Cream: This product is a super time saver. My super curly hair takes some effort to get straight, but it's not such a big deal when I'm using this. I've really tried a lot of these creams that supposedly help to straighten your hair and make things easier, but this is the only one that I've seen actually deliver on their claims. And now they have different versions for more blow drying needs (Here and Here.)

4. Tommy Hilfiger Eau De Prep: I fell in love with this perfume a couple years ago, and now I've almost finished it. I love this scent because it doesn't really fit in a box. It sits pretty somewhere between floral and woodsy and I think it suits me as I don't see myself as fitting firmly in a more girly or androgynous style. This wont be gone from my stash for too long.

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel: This is my second tube of this and I can't really bring myself to try another one. It holds down my very long eyebrow hairs but isn't crunchy. It's a total score.

6. Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base: I've always needed an eye primer, especially since my skin has gotten more oily. I particularly like this one because it's clear. Most other ones have some beige color to them that just doesn't look good against my skin tone.

7. Palmers Cocoa Butter: I break this out every summer to help lighten up some scares for bikini season. It's also really helpful on my elbows and feet to get everything hydrated after a super dry and cold winters. 

8. Nivea A Kiss of Recovery and Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip balm: I've had this lip balm combo for so many years and I've gone through so many tubes. This is truly a holy grail combo. The Nivea one is the one I use first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed. It's super rejuvenating and I can't imagine going through a winter without a tube (or five). The classic Burt's Bees one is a bit of a love/hate for most people, but I always keep a tube in my purse because it's great under lipgloss or lipstick. The Beeswax lip balm is more waxy so it doesn't smear all over your lips making it difficult to apply anything on top of it. These are probably the two out of all of these products that I genuinely start freaking out if I lose them. 

Let me know what are your must haves (seriously I love trying out new stuff) 
xx Jasmine 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Gloomy Days

In these pictures it may not seem like a gloomy day, but trust me when I say the weather has been a little up and down lately. On the bright side, it allowed me to wear this new sweater of mine that I adore. I love the Funfetti-like coloring, and it's really thin so it'll come in handy on cold summer nights. I haven't exactly been to the beach yet to put it to good use, but in the mean time its inspired a 70's like outfit. 

xx Jasmine

PS: Friendly reminder to cut off those annoying white straps in your new tops - Oops. 

Dressed in: H&M sweater, American Eagle jeans (similar), Francesca's Collection sandals

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Inked (and Thoughts on Studying Abroad)

So, surprise! I got my first tattoo. I got it about a week ago so it's not fully healed yet, but I couldn't wait to take photos and share. I've wanted to get Harry Potter's scar behind my ear for about two years now and it's about time I finally went through with it. I'm not really going to go in to why I got it, but I figured I'd talk about my time studying abroad since they both kind of coincide. Without further ado, here are some awesome quotes and my thoughts and advice about spending a semester abroad. 

TLDR: Study abroad if you can. Travel has been talked about and recommended a million times and it's all true. Traveling is such a magical (see what I did there) experience that you can't get any other way. Go.

Long version:

1. "She believed she could, so she did" R. S. Grey, Scoring Wild

There are definitely a lot of things that can stand in the way of traveling and most of these reasons are legitimate, but a huge obstacle can be yourself. If you don't make traveling a priority then it's not going to happen. It takes a lot of work that you can't push to the side and do at the last minute. Fear is also a huge part. Fear can also be legitimate, but you could also be making it out to be way worse than it actually is (I did this anticipating the pain of my tattoo and I wanted to hit myself afterwards for being so scared.) Being fearful and nervous can help you realize that this is something important to seriously think about and to warn you of the risks, but it can't completely rule your life. This is true once you get there as well. Letting fear steer you through a new city or country isn't fun. If you don't believe you can get over the fear, you wont.

2. "Have fun, even if it's not the same kind of fun everyone else is having" C. S. Lewis 

This quote can apply to pretty much any stage or situation in life, but I think it's particularly important when it comes to studying abroad. To do something you only think you should or anything you don't like is a huge waste of time and money. Particularly in big cities there's a push to find things that are unique and "unknown" but that doesn't mean you can't find the same joy seeing a tourist attraction for the first time. From the most common to the hipster-est of all hipster hang outs, try anything and everything you want to as long as you are having fun. 


I figured this picture from the Travelers Pocket Reference, 1932, nicely summarized all that is possible when you travel. A semester is a long time, though it can feel pretty short, and you can learn a lot about yourself and the world around you when you spend one abroad. The thing is it doesn't magically happen because your feet touched soil outside of your home nation. 


I conveniently saw this tweet when I was scrolling the other day and I'm so glad I get to share it because it takes a huge misconception about traveling/studying abroad and blows it up. Travel is awesome and we as human beings talk about it a lot, but because of that we have a lot of preconceived notions about how people change after we travel.  The catch is you actually have to do something productive for those things to happen. For example if you want to "realize the limitations of your views" you need to go out and genuinely learn and experience different views of life. I think the two extremes exist; returning home less intelligent but self-satisfied because you've always been told simply going to another place makes you a worldly person and returning having learned more about the world and yourself. The thing is you have work towards that change for your travels to actually mean something close to  all the wanderlust quotes that are plastered on so many landscape photos. 

5. "I read; I travel; I become" Derek Walcott 

I am so happy that I got the chance to have a semester abroad. My experience may have been a little different from other students since my school has campuses everywhere we went, but I enjoyed it and I'd love to travel more in the future. I found that when you travel you're really forced into this uncomfortable situation you can't really escape from, especially when you're in a country where you don't speak the language. So to counteract this you seek out things you like and are comfortable with. To me those things revealed what I value, or just simply enjoy, wherever I am in the world. 

And when I got home I got a tattoo. Because I can, and it's a little piece of who I want to become. 
xx Jasmine 

P.S. This one works too:

"I'm just a loser who loves Harry Potter a little too much" buckbeaks on tumblr