Red Winter and Women's Conversations

12 Aug 2017

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Over the years as I have gotten older I have become more underwhelmed by the many stereotyped and one dimensional representations of female characters on screen. One of the many ways they are often represented in these unrealistic and underdeveloped forms is their boring and dull conversations. If you’re into film, you’ve probably heard of The Bechdel Test. It developed as a joke from a comic strip in 1985 and has three points to it that are used to assess the way a film represents women.

The Great Wardrobe Clear Out

26 Jul 2017

After years of warnings, I've finally committed to clearing out my wardrobe. How much of it? The majority. I'm not even kidding. In the first cull, I took out around one-quarter of the wardrobe and then put it aside. That seemed to open the floodgates. Two more culls later and two-thirds of it was put aside, ready to go to new homes. I'm not sure if I'll stop yet. There are still so many things I don't wear.

Bendigo Street Style

16 Jul 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wears pink velvet pleated midi skirt in Bendigo, Victoria.

Before I tell you about today’s adventure, I must give you the heads up! I’m saving up to go to acting school and so I’ve decided to finally sell a heap of clothes from my wardrobe. I have so far put aside 300 items to sell, fifty of them are already online and a further 50 will be up by today. Heaps of my old favourites are getting put up for adoption, so come and have a browse of over half of my closet!

Yellow and Black

9 Jul 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wearing yellow ASOS off the shoulder dress with black bike

It’s now mid-winter (one of my favourite seasons) and I’ve only just got around to sharing with you this shoot from the very end of autumn. My good friend Jess watched while I edited these pictures and then last night over a wine she demanded to know where they were on my blog. All the events and collaborations in between the shoot and this post had pushed it back. Now I’m looking at the photos with even more joy. I remember once never sharing a series of blog photos because I hated them. When I finally did share them it was so loved that it immediately became one of my most popular posts.

Belvedere Social

25 Jun 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wearing black Moschino belt at the Belvedere Social in Daylesford

I’m a week out from performing on stage in a new play. It will be performed in a small and beautiful town not far from Ballarat called Daylesford. I love Daylesford so much, particularly in winter. Our rehearsal space is just around the corner from a delicious restaurant and bar called Belvedere Social. Not only do they have a delicious range of gin, they also make mulled wine and hot buttered apple cider. Even though I’ve been rehearsing nearby I haven’t been able to capitalise on their proximity to me as much as I would like. The times that I have done have been wonderful. The staff are beautiful and charming.

Nude Noir & A Bit About Me

12 Jun 2017

Liana of @findingfemme in nude shoes for Blanc Boutique Ballarat

As soon as I saw these Nude shoes in Blanc Boutique I fell in love. I have recently begun feeding my personal interest I have in men's suits and these shoes naturally would pair well with that style, so I asked Larna at Blanc if I could style them in a post for her. I know each post I share with you is another snapshot of my personal style, but it's not often that I simply talk about me in a general context. So because this blog post's photos are such a great snapshot of who I am, I thought I would take the chance to talk a bit more about me and what I'm interested in.

Pink Stripes and Black Bows

8 Jun 2017

My hometown of Ballarat has been growing and changes so much in the past few years. Not only have we seen a boom the food scene here, there have also been a number of shops that make leisure time here so much more enjoyable. One of those shops is Blanc Boutique. So naturally, I was a bit excited when Larna asked me to help her showcase some of the surprising brands that she brings to her small, regional boutique. Surprising because stores like MYER don't bring higher end brands to their regional store, yet the Blanc Boutique customers are clamouring to get their hands on the limited numbers that Larna will put on her racks.

I fell in love with this dress the moment it came in the store. It's not the first time I've worn a By Johnny dress, and the style is darling! The black bows on the sleeves...oh my heart! The fit is interpretive, as seems to be a trend with By Johnny, so I was really glad to have the opportunity to try it on at Blanc. The last time I wore a By Johnny, I wore a size 10. This time, smaller than I was previously, I am wearing a size 12. Lovers of the brand all say the same thing: try before you buy so you can get the best fit. The number on the By Johnny label doesn't always indicate what size the clothes are. What it does indicate, is a well-made dress in a high-quality material. 

2017 Heritage Weekend Steam Train

5 Jun 2017

Liana of @findingfemme visit the steam train for Ballarat Heritage Weekend

Another year and another Ballarat Heritage Weekend has rolled past. There were a bunch of wonderful events over the two days and I went to as many as I could. The two things I do every year are, of course, the Tweed Ride and a visit to the steam train. I almost didn't go to the steam train because I was so busy but will a little willpower I ended up attending.

A Perfume Masterclass at Sweet Fern

31 May 2017

Liana of @findingfemme visits Sweet Fern perfumery in Ballarat

It’s the middle of Heritage Weekend, arguably one the busiest times of the year for me. I organise the annual Ballarat Tweed Ride and advocate for the many brilliant events on over the weekend in my hometown. I also do an annual photoshoot at the steam train and have previously modelled in the catwalk events. This year I am also juggling a play that I’m in which has rehearsals every Sunday, so half my weekend is taken up by that. I’ve also been vlogging the Fernwood Ballarat 12 Week Challenge and tonight is their end of challenge dinner, but I have to photograph my sister first before I go. Yeah, I do a lot. Like, a lot of a lot. So when Sweet Fern asked me to take part in one of their perfume masterclasses this weekend, you can see how much I wanted to go by how much effort I put in to make sure I had the time in my hectic weekend to do so. I am grateful to my past self for making that decision.

A Delightful Duck Dinner

26 May 2017

Today I had the pleasure of attending a lunch hosted by Victoria's own Luv-a-Duck and 3AW. The lunch was a presentation of beautiful dishes with duck as a feature with the 3AW team broadcasting live from the room.

I was excited to get an invitation because I have often used Luv-a-Duck duck fat on my famous roast potatoes since I realised it was readily available in supermarkets. Previously, I had been ordering french duck or goose fat from the Richmond Hill Larder who would ship it to me. It was a frustrating extra step to organise every time I wanted to cook a roast.

The food isn't the only reason why Luv-a-Duck is a familiar name in our lives. Jobs offered by the company at their location in Nhill drew up to 160 Karen refugees to settle in the city. Nhill is a small regional Victoria city which had a population of under 2,300 in the last Australian census. The influx of residents to the city had a flow on effect which has a number figure attached: $40m contribution to the local economy as well as 70 new jobs. Before the influx of Nhill residents, the kindergarten had nearly closed down and the school was not full. Both are now full and new houses are being built. The way the city and company worked with the refugee program is now an example being used to advocate for more programs across Australia.

The lunch was held at Craig's Royal Hotel. The 'Royal' in the title comes from time when Prince Albert came to stay in Ballarat. Tonnes of famous people have graced the building's rooms including Dame Nellie Melba, who would sing across the road at Her Majesty's and stay in the hotel, sometimes coming out on to the balcony to sing to fans below.

To start we had carpaccio of duck ham with labne, pomegranate, cucumber and torn mint. The main was assiette of Wimmera duck, pickled cherries, roasted beetroots and walnuts with duck fat roast potatoes in garlic and rosemary. Dessert fancies were provided by Craig's, which was also exciting because they do a pretty delicious High Tea. We were chuffed to see Lucy from Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine there as well. As usual, I hung out with my sister and bestie Goldfields Girl. She took all the photos with me in them.



5 Top Picks for Ballarat Heritage Weekend

21 May 2017

I'm lucky enough to live in the city that's responsible for Heritage Weekend. It's my favourite event of the year and my family get super involved every year. Here are my top picks for what to do over Heritage Weekend. The theme of this year's weekend is 'Mystery', with a lot of inspiration coming from the Doctor Blake Mysteries TV show.

Statues and Autumn Chills

19 May 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wears navy midi skirt from Review Australia, trench and necktie in Ballarat

One of my favourite things about cold weather blog photos is that the tip of my nose goes bright red. From that alone, I can tell that the weather in the picture is cold. We’ve recently had the first true cold snap of the year. The late hot weather we had been enjoying through the early days of autumn have gone. As I’m writing this, my heater is broken and it is 4 degrees (39.2 F). My fingers are way too cold to be typing, so my usual fast tappity-tap of typing is a sad slow pace.

Hello Runway

14 May 2017

Last night I was lucky enough to go with my siblings to the Hello Runway event organised by Rene of Absolute Weddings. It was a locally organised fashion show with an aim to raise money for cancer research. So many local businesses donated time, services and products in order to make the show happen, such as Blanc Boutique, The Lip Lab, Polly Shoes, Pretty Flamingo Photography, The Makeup Hub and Fringe by Paris to name a few. It was also cool to get a copy of the new Love Drum wedding mag.

Restaurant Ballarat

7 May 2017

Liana of @findingfemme at Restaurant Ballarat presented by Broadsheet

It’s cold in the city. For weeks the trees have been dropping their leaves and they crunch underfoot as I walk through the streets. I stride with my hands in my pockets to keep them warm out of the brisk air. The autumn weather is beautiful and cold, but it’s weather like this that makes you want to warm the heart by warming yourself inside. Picture a cold day, a beautifully laid dinner table, the smell of a roast that someone else has cooked and good wine. This was my afternoon, but instead of snuggling into warm by myself at home, today I’m settling down to a dinner table at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.

Ballarat Bitter

29 Apr 2017

Liana of @findingfemme in gold ASOS pleated skirt at vintage Ballarat Bitter sign

One of my favourite beauty hobbies is to get eyelash extensions. I've had them on and off for many years. The things I like most about them include that I don't need to wear mascara on my blonde lashes, I don't need to have my lashes tinted, there is no mascara running on my cheeks when I'm exercising and I can touch my eyes all I want without worrying about smudging black everywhere.

Autumn Warmth

22 Apr 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wearing brown vintage fur style jacket during Autumn in Ballarat

Autumn is setting in solidly in town and I'm enjoying bringing out the clothes reserved for cooler weather. This coat is a great example. I've owned if for years but I've literally worn it twice. It's a vintage number that I picked up from the Mill Market in Daylesford. It's incredibly warm so the weather has to be quite cold for me to be able to wear it.

Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine and a Little Competition

21 Apr 2017

Liana of @findingfemme for Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine

Earlier this year on a really hot day, I met up with Will James and my sister at the Ballarat Railway Station. I'd been asked by Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine to do a shoot for their cover image of the autumn edition of the magazine. I had limited ideas, but I liked the colour red and wanted to see how we could work it into to an autumn edition of the magazine. Except to wear warm weather clothes when it was stinking hot was not comfortable. Usually, when I style an outfit, I take heaps of time. Some things really cannot be rushed and I find taking time with outfits gets better results. However, on this day I literally put this jacket over the top of some swimwear, because I'd had the bright idea of trying to do a shoot floating in the lake.

My Straw Hat Gets a Makeover

11 Apr 2017

If you know me, you'll know I'm growing a collection of straw boaters. Some people have veggie gardens. I have a wall of hats. As someone who has been embarking on a more minimalist life, my hat collection is one of few things that has been upsized instead of downsized. Hats give me endless amounts of pleasure. Particularly, straw boaters. With the idea in mind of getting the most out of my hats as I can, I decided to take some hat inspiration from Pinterest and give my Portman's straw boater a temporary new look (although if you wanted to, you could surely hot glue gun this facelift on to make it more permanent.

Yellow Lace Coat and Supporting Other Women

6 Apr 2017

Today, one of my mentors from my early years gave me the opportunity to learn something important. I shared a video which features some work I had done with Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine. She commented and said, “I always knew you would make a statement in this world.”

Living as Lady Macbeth

2 Apr 2017

I’m preparing to perform in a play with a local theatre company (Ballarat National Theatre). The show is called Much Ado About Shakespeare and it features 4 different Shakespeare-related stories. The first half of the show has a play called ‘Living with Lady Macbeth’, followed by an abbreviated version of Macbeth. The second half of the show has the story of an ambitious and manipulative actress who is trying to get a role in Romeo and Juliet. Then we perform an abbreviated version of R & J.

A Ladies Night at Twelve Errard

24 Mar 2017

Last year I was invited by Twelve Errard to come and stay with them. This last weekend I have finally taken them up on the offer. I was invited alone, but as a single lady that drinks too much gin, I spend ample amounts of time on my own as it is. So for a special treat, I thought I would spend some time around other people. Mainly, some of my closest friends: my sister Goldfields Girl and one of my best friends, Liv from Lyn and I.

6 Things I Learned Training for Black Belt

14 Mar 2017

@findingfemme wears floral Etsy one piece swimsuit at the beach

This year I’m preparing to graduate from a few things including a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. While it’s really cool to finally have a degree, I don’t consider it my first. My first degree is literally that: a first-degree black belt. Honestly, the things I learned in my time training for it have always been relevant and important, even when studying at university. I have recently returned to training and it has been reinforcing a lot of these lessons, some of which needed refreshing. As I relearned them it was like 'ah, I already knew this! How could I forget!' So here they are written down so I hopefully don't forget them again.

A Spontaneous Dinner on the Lake

4 Mar 2017

My sister Goldfields Girl had an idea last year that she would love to do dinner on one of the piers around the Lake in Ballarat. We discussed it and planned and eventually this dinner idea formed into something that seemed pretty straightforward and fun to put together. 

Dinner at Settler and Sons

28 Feb 2017

Last week I joined a long table dinner at Settler and Sons with my sister Goldfields Girl. Picture this: a balmy summer afternoon you meet with a group of people to board a bus that will drive you out to a farm. After a cruisy ride through a few small country towns, you climb off the bus to be greeted by an excited dog and few disinterested sheep. You walk down an unsealed driveway lined with trees to a farmhouse to eat amazing food fresh from the farm.

Galentine's Day

15 Feb 2017

A few years ago I was introduced to Galentine’s Day by a friend who was a big fan of Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec. I’m told that Lesley created the event as a lady date for her girlfriends in the show and fans loved it so much that they started celebrating it as well. I can see why it’s caught on. A lady date event the day before the most romantic relationship glorifying event on the calendar is a good balm for those who may cringe at commercialism, lament loneliness or are just gloriously single and in love with their friends. The last one is definitely me.

Ballarat Beat 2017

12 Feb 2017

Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival 2017

This year for Ballarat Beat, I was invited to be a judge for the Pin Up competition. Normally the event asks me to come down and take general photos and I miss out on seeing the whole Pin Up comp, but I might get a couple of snaps. This year it was the opposite. I got to see the whole Pin Up comp (three hours of pin up guys and dolls) and missed the little details of the event. I got home with my photos and realised I didn’t have many general shots of the street and what was happening. It was to be expected though. I try to take photos during the event that tell a story and without having the time to watch and wait I didn’t get to see many of those stories unfolding.

Busy Bee of Summer

4 Feb 2017

@findingfemme wears black and white bikiniboo swimwear at the beach

This week/month at work is intense. My stress levels are at the highest they will be for the whole year and also the highest they may ever be in this job. The job works on an annual cycle and this is the first time I’ve run through it. I don’t have the hindsight to know what comes next. I’m learning as I go and handling the normal pressures of the job as well. I handle a lot of data which is processed manually and the margin for error is huge. Every day I will make a mistake but because the stakes are so high any mistake usually has a huge fallout.

Ballarat Noir

24 Jan 2017

It was last year on Snow Day that I met up with Pretty Flamingo Photography who had introduced themselves to me via social media. They were photographers, I'd checked out their stuff and I'd really, really liked it. Even better, when I met them that day in Vegas and Rose, they were interesting and brilliant women. We chatted, drank hot chocolate and danced in the snow for a little bit.

So Frenchy So Chic 2017

17 Jan 2017

@findingfemme at So Frenchy So Chic wearing yellow floral ASOS dress and straw boater

Last weekend was my favourite festival of the year: So Frenchy So Chic. This year our group expanded again. I was lucky enough to have two of my besties there this time, as well as my family and some people who make for really pleasant company and interesting conversation. Because my sister has a baby, instead of hanging out close to the music, we normally move somewhere to the outskirts of the festivities, set up a picnic and listen to the tunes from afar.

The Black Swan

12 Jan 2017

Swans are possibly the most terrifying creatures on this planet. They have a snake for a neck and large crazy wings which they use to intimidate anything that looks at their evil red eyes the wrong way. Australia is mostly about them black swans. Ballarat is ALL about them. When Napoleon originally came to Victoria (before the Brits claimed it and called it Victoria) he found black swans, which he successfully took home for his wife. What a gift! I mean, after months at sea, I'm sure the swans got off that ship like 'yeah, had a pleasant journey, so pleased to be here'. I'm sure it was a romantic exchange, like, 'here dear wifey Josephine, pls accept this gift of the devil incarnated as a bird.' All I can imagine is Napoleon being like 'pls don't be mad' and then an oblivion gate opening up and the swans coming out with their ruby red eyes, blood still dripping from their beaks and her looking at him with flat disapproval as they reign terror down on the surrounding crowd. Her words 'this is why you can't have nice things, Napoleon,' the only thing audible over the screeching death cries.

Year in Review - My 12 Best Posts of 2016

10 Jan 2017

Every January I look over my posts for the year and decide which ones I like best. It's always a tough decision knowing whether or not to rank them based on how many views they have or how much I personally like them. At first glance, it might seem like choosing my most popular posts based on how many views they get would put an end to it, but my blog views have grown so much in the past 12 months that comparing posts from December to posts in January would mean that the most mediocre December post would have more views than some of my favourite outfits from earlier in the year. Sometimes, a picture from a post will go viral on Pinterest, making its views sky rocket. This means that outfits I think might be better are overshadowed by a post simply because it has had greater reach. So for this year, I decided I would instead rank them in order my own on preference.

Salt, Sand and Sugar

4 Jan 2017

Today's post has so many photos in it! That's because over the Christmas and New Year break I have a beach holiday with my family where I take time away from my blog and from social media. Instead of creating new content, I will lurk and like other people's things. I'll also spend a week in a run down beach house with my favourite people. We do jigsaw puzzles and eat nachos and read books.
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