Kicking Off My Holidays

21 Dec 2016

@findingfemme does a beach pamper day with some products from The Body Shop

I've just had my last ever day of work for the year. It's been one heck of a stressful year for me so I decided to take some extra leave and take time off work. For my first day of holidays, I hung out with some of my favourite people in the whole world and wound down ready for the break with a trip to the beach and some pampering using some home spa products I got from The Body Shop.

10 Ways to do Ballarat Like a Local

18 Dec 2016

The Known World Bookstore in Ballarat in 10 ways to do Ballarat Like a Local

Recently Ballarat was featured in a national tourism top-ten list. My sister and I checked out the list and the 'what to do in Ballarat'. It had the usual stuff in there. Go to the museums that everyone goes to. Visit the theme park and the wildlife park that everyone goes to. While it was a nice list, it's the same list everyone has when promoting what Ballarat has to offer. It's the easy list. So in light of how my sister and I prefer to travel, I thought I would make my own list of how we would want to  do Ballarat. So in a list that's by no means comprehensive or in any apparent order, this is how to do Ballarat like a local.

The Lake in Summer

15 Dec 2016

My father has had a big impact on who I am today. Many of my memories of him from when I was a kid involve him doing something risky or dangerous with his mates, being seemingly fearless and doing his mildly embarrassed laugh if something went wrong (which something occasionally did). If you want to hear him make that particular laugh, ask him while I'm present about the time the family left me behind at a service station. He still feels bad about it, so he does that laugh.

Christmas Afternoon Tea

11 Dec 2016

Last week my sister and I got together with a squad of women we know who are small business owners, and we took a bunch of Christmas photos together to showcase each other's products. Instead of styling stuff alone, it gave us a chance to hang out, combine our resources and have a fun time. The afternoon was with Mel from Local Pantry Co., Michelle from Bok Bok B'Gerk, JB from Pretty Special Cakes, my sister Goldfields Girl, Liv from Lyn and I and me.

The World's Most Perfect Shoe

3 Dec 2016

Many years ago when getting ready for my cousin's wedding, I was seeking out a bone/blush coloured shoe to match a polka dot in a Laura Ashley dress. I stumbled across the perfect one in MYER and thought little more about it. It was, after all, just an occasion shoe. I didn't realise at the time that I had just found the greatest shoe in the world.

Black and Gold

2 Dec 2016

My sister and I are both having fun improving our photography skills at the moment. We’ve been wanting to do a sunrise photoshoot for a while, but haven’t had the time or motivations. So many of our blog shoots aren’t planned and we might just take them when we’re out somewhere wearing something nice. Sometimes the time to do a shoot comes about and we mill about playing with outfits until we find the right one. A morning shoot is much harder because you have to be prepared.

22 Places to Eat and Drink in Ballarat

29 Nov 2016

FIKA Coffee Brewers Ballarat

After my earlier blog post this week called '10 ways to do Ballarat Like a Local', Ballarat peeps and ex-pats got unexpectedly excited. The post had stemmed from my hometown being shortlisted as one of the top destinations in Australia and recommendations for what to do being too 'easy'. If felt like if you were going to do Ballarat like that, then it was equivalent to mosquitos dancing on the surface of a pond. Thanks to everyone's enthusiasm, I felt I had better do that post I mentioned about food places I visit as soon as possible. As per the disclaimer on my previous post, this list will be by no means comprehensive and it will also not be in any order of preference. I have also not included chain venues like Grill'd or Zambreros in order to focus on home-grown tastes.

Pink Flowers

24 Nov 2016

My sister and I spend a lot of time wandering around Ballarat stretching our legs, chatting and taking pictures. One day just before she went to San Fran, we spotted this amazing house with giant pink flowering trees in the front yard. While taking a photo over the fence, the man who lived there arrived and invited us into the yard to take as many photos as we liked. We thanked him and came back the next day to take these pictures.

Ballarat Cup

19 Nov 2016

A few weeks ago, Review Australia asked me to go the Ballarat Cup. I’ve never been before so (aside from singing in bands many years ago), so I decided it would be fun. They let me pick a dress from their upcoming collection, so I chose something from their limited edition range that wouldn’t be available in the local Ballarat store. (The timeless ladies above are Angela Menz and Amanda Macor.)

Afternoon Drinks in the Garden

13 Nov 2016

My sister is on holiday at the moment with my mum, bro-in-law and nephew. It wasn’t until the first day that she was touching down her toes on American soil that I realised just how much I need her in my life. I was walking out of work and I went through my usual habit of pulling out my phone to dial her and I realised I couldn’t.

Studio G.A.S

6 Nov 2016

This outfit post is the final part of the duo of styles I'm wearing in Review's first digital e-magazine. If you want to read the short article I wrote for them and see the pics, you'll have to grab their app from the Apple store (sorry, no android yet). If you want to see the other outfit, you can find it here. For this outfit, I decided to make good on a location I'd had in mind for some time and dropped in to the awlays friendly Studio G.A.S. I knew for the pictures in the e-magazine that I wanted to show Ballarat locations, colours and mood. It helps that the styling of the shop is so darling that colours just pop when you're around it.

MSFW Cocktail Party

4 Nov 2016

Ooops. So I realised that I hadn't published these photos from the MSFW Regional Series event earlier this year. These are from the Cocktail Party on the first evening. I've done two other blog posts on the event: the catwalk show and the blogger lunch. At this cocktail party we got to meet all the awesome people involved in the event and go backstage to check out the behind-the-scenes for the catwalk that would be happening the next day. 

Blue and White

30 Oct 2016

It’s overcast outside right now and while I had the central heating on this morning, now I have the back door open and the warm air is coming into my lounge from outside. The nice weather is so welcome. When a good weather day coincides with a day I don’t have to work, then it’s definitely picnic weather. Review asked me to style some of their outfits for their new Spring e-magazine and my first thought was obviously a picnic!

Tin Roof

21 Oct 2016

@findingfemme wears red, embroidered cardigan by Review Australia at The Tin Roof in Ballarat.

The other day I got home in the rainy spring weather, checked the mailbox and found an express post parcel in there. It sparked my curiosity because I haven't been online shopping much recently because I'm saving for something special. I couldn't figure out where it had come from. Without checking the sender, I grabbed a pair of scissors and opened it up. I reached into the package and pulled out a bright red cardigan, with my initials embroider on the front in navy thread. 

Preppy Bike Style

15 Oct 2016

@findingfemme styles women's preppy cycling and bike fashion

It's such nice bicycle weather today and in celebration I'm sharing another blog post featuring this amazing helmet from Bike Pretty. Now if you're a blog regular, then you might be saying to yourself 'I haven't seen that helmet before'. Do read on an the mystery will be revealed.

Geelong Carousel and Shopping Locally

8 Oct 2016

@findingfemme in Shabby Apply check dress on carousel in Geelong

Does anyone else jump onto a website, load things into their shopping cart, decide they have felt all the things they needed to feel and then exit without completing the order? I do this often, and I know it says something about how shopping for me isn't just about what I buy, it's about the feels I get during the experience. I've actually been curbing my spending habits all year and a big part of that has been identifying if I need to buy something or if I just want that feeling of buying it.

Blush Pink and Burnt Orange

30 Sept 2016

Lal Lal VIC 3352, Australia

Spring has arrived in Ballarat and with it has come blossoms and seemingly endless rain. This week we were hit with one of the worst storms in around 50 years. Luckily for us, we didn’t get the full intensity it delivered to South Australia, where the power of the entire state was knocked out. At any rate, it’s inspired hundreds of people to check out the nearby waterfall called Lal Lal Falls. We went and had a look.

Launch of The Lip Lab in Ballarat

29 Sept 2016

24 Doveton St S, Ballarat Central VIC 3350, Australia
@findingfemme checks out The Lip Lab in Ballarat to get a custom made lipstick

Earlier this evening my sister Goldfields Girl and I dropped into the opening night of The Lip Lab in Ballarat. The Lip Lab is a magical place where you can custom build your own lipstick. I'm not someone who's very into lipstick, but if there's one thing I've learned from this evening, my interest is clearly based on how much control I have over the creation process. You want nude? Bam! A warmed tone of nude? Bam! Matte or gloss? BAM! Cinnamon flavour? BOOM. That is literally the process for how my own personalised lipstick came together.

Pleated Skirt and Overcoming Procrastination

23 Sept 2016

Ballarat VIC, Australia

@findingfemme wears pleated leather blue skirt and rides a vintage bike in Ballarat

So after my blog post in which I talked about 'living for the weekend', a few people talked to me about finding the motivation to do so much (if you're thinking about how doing so much doesn't burn me out, I've written about that here). Being able to pack so much into one day can sure sound nauseating to some people, especially when you’re not used to that much activity. Motivation isn’t the biggest killer for me getting stuff done, it’s usually procrastination. 

Red, Black and White and How I Avoid Burnout

16 Sept 2016

@findingfemme wears red skirt with white cherry blossoms in Ballarat

As I super-busy high-achiever, one of the most important things I’ve had to learn in life is how to avoid burnout. If you read my blog often you probably remember this post in which I talked about how important it is to spread out breaks and doing the things I love so that I don’t see-saw between two extremes and end up living for the weekend. I’ve found the same principle can be applied when avoiding burnout. Smaller regular breaks are important to me when making sure I’m getting all the rest that I need and I’m not building up to a major crash. Here’s how I do it.

Biking Pretty in Lazybones

9 Sept 2016

@findingfemme in Yakkay helmet and lazybones dress on her bike

Hello Spring! Bike season is finally back for me and I’m so excited for it. Not much makes me as happy as I feel when I’m riding a bicycle. In fact, I used to have this beautiful little cottage where space was at a premium. I ended up having my bike in my kitchen. I’m that kind of girl. Goldfields Girl and I took a moment during the busy MSFW weekend in Ballarat to stylet his bike outfit.

MSFW Blogger Lunch

5 Sept 2016

One of the greatest parts of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week regional series in Ballarat was meeting so many people that I otherwise wouldn't have. On the Saturday of the weekend, I had lunch with the above group of incredible women, from left to right by their better known identities: The Girl Who Lived for Clothes, Lawstore, Jules Zass, Janelle Ryan (Little PR Co.), House of White, Cherrie Bobbins and myself. So what do a bunch of 'influencers' talk about when they get together?

MSFW Regional Fashion Series Catwalk

4 Sept 2016

@findingfemme at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week regional series in Ballarat

For the first time ever this year Melbourne Spring Fashion Week has had a regional extension, landing my hometown of Ballarat with a cluster of MSFW events of their own. These wrapped up last night with a final catwalk show. The designers features were local or from regional Australian backgrounds, and there was even a focus on wool which is a big export for the region. I was lucky enough to be asked to attend several of the events and I've taken some photos to share with you. 


30 Aug 2016

@findingfemme wears ice blue and orange red Chicwish outfit

Earlier this year the tourism team for my home town asked to put my face on some of their campaigns for Ballarat Heritage Weekend. I love supporting local things so I said yes, and before I knew it random people were telling me they’d seen me on posters and TV. The thing that stuck with me most was when a woman from work told me her daughter had asked if I would be driving the train. She corrected her daughter and said I was just next to the train looking pretty, which her daughter was baffled by. What sort of useless thing is that? Who just stands there looking ‘pretty’. She corrected her mum and told her that no, I was clearly there in order to drive the train. This exchange actually made me feel super guilty.

Sailboat Cardigan and Why I Don't do Fri-Yay

26 Aug 2016

@findingfemme in red Modcloth skirt with embroidered sailboat cardigan from Louie et Lucie

Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I love swooning over beautifully constructed images, good light and skilled photography. I love connecting with people over shared interests and seeing a snapshot into people’s lives. Something that I struggle to connect with is the army of ‘Fri-yay’ posts that bloom into life every Friday. Why? Let me give you a snapshot of my entire week.

Yellow Birthday

19 Aug 2016

Today's mini blog post is to share some pictures from a recent family birthday party for my brilliant brother-in-law. I got to wear a vintage 1940s yellow evening gown that I've owned for a few months, and I tried out doing my hair in finger waves. We also got a brilliant cake from Pretty Special Cakes.

Block Arcade

18 Aug 2016

@findingfemme wears black and white striped top with yellow Modcloth floral skirt at the Block Arcade in Melbourne

With today's photos from a trip to the Block Arcade in Melbourne, I want to talk about two phrases that I have taken out of my vocabulary. Those phrases are 'you wore it better' and 'you look pregnant'. Let's start with the 'you wore it better' phrase. On a recent trip to a racewear event for the Bendigo Fashion Festival, I discussed with my sister what I would do if someone was wearing the same thing as me. Most times in our lives, the same attire doesn’t matter. I’ve worked with one of my closest friends for over a year now and we’ve found it funny that for the most part we haven’t come into work accidentally wearing the same outfit. Events like weddings or races are different though. There seems to be a stigma attached to wearing the same thing as someone else unless you happen to be in the bridal party. Can you imagine attending a wedding and accidentally discovering you’re wearing the same dress as the bridesmaids?

Bendigo Fashion Festival - Taste of Spring Raceday

14 Aug 2016

@findingfemme in By Johnny, Olga Berg and Allport Millinery at Bendigo Fashion Festival racewear luncheon

My sister Goldfields Girl tags me in posts on Instagram quite often. I forget most of them, and earlier this week was really surprised when I discovered one of the tags was a competition and we won. It was an entry to attend Bendigo Fashion Festival’s  ‘Taste of Spring Raceday 2016’. It was exciting to win something, but then also insane because we both had things on and neither of us had anything to wear.

Winter Darling

7 Aug 2016

@findingfemme in Ballarat wearing Review Australia and Seychelles shoes

I bought my first ever trench coat at a Zara in Paris. It was unintentionally during Paris Fashion Week and I was there with my sister Goldfields Girl. We had visited the nearby first Chanel store when we wandered in off the street into the Zara. I saw the coat and fell in love. Now I have added this beautiful trench from Review Australia to my wardrobe, along with this perfect dark floral print winter midi-skirt.

Liana and the Petite Mort

31 Jul 2016

@findingfemme in ASOS red sequin maxi dress performing in Liana and the Petite Mort in Ballarat

So I've got a new band! It's called Liana and the Petite Mort. At the moment it's just a duo with myself and my incredibly talented brother-in-law. We've known each other for many, many years, but this is the first time we have ever played in something together (aside from occasional single items at special events). We had our first gig this Friday just gone, and these are some photos from the occasion.

Plum and Blue

28 Jul 2016

@findingfemme wears Review Australia, Alannah Hill and Chicwish purple cardigan and blue midi skirt.

For today’s post with my violet cardigan playing with violets in the garden, I feel the need to tell you about the smell of violets and why they remind me so much of Paris and London. My great grandmother (the one who taught me to pronounce Grand Prix) used to have violets growing in her garden. She passed away when I turned 8, but when I turned 18, my friends Erin and Ashley bought me a bag of purple things because purple was my favourite colour at the time. In that bag was a small tube of violet perfume.

Yellow and Blue at Vegas and Rose

18 Jul 2016

Today I had surgery and I’m currently sitting on the couch with my sister, a warm open fire crackling away beside us. It is one of my busiest and most important weeks at work, but this particular health inconvenience has left me handing the reins over to one of my team members, and taking a whole week away to recover. The surgery was to remove some CIN3 abnormal cells from my cervix.

Autumn Leaves: La Dolce Vita

12 Jul 2016

I’ve been returning to my passion of acting recently, thanks to my old drama teacher. I saw her in a café and she asked if I was acting. I told her I wasn’t and she sternly told me that was a waste of talent, and then she got me involved in a local theatre company. Earlier this year I did my first ever show with them, which was magnificent. I made some lovely friends. It also resulted in one of the most comically awkward moments I’ve ever had on stage.

Cliffy's with Mustard and Plum

4 Jul 2016

@findingfemme visits Cliffy's in Daylesford in mustard and plum outfit

My housemate is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. Last year after going through a tough break up, I was in a house full of memories, surrounded by someone else’s stuff, going slowly insane while living on a diet of cheese and biscuits and gin. I hated being in the house and was in it most often on my own.  My ex-partner’s things were left in this semblance of normality that made me feel as though I needed to tear down the walls to breathe. It was like a disaster had hit and all the happy people in the house had walked out with only what they were wearing on. It made me feel like I was still living the life I had made the very difficult choice to leave. Then along came Bae.

A Birthday at the Tram Museum

27 Jun 2016

@findingfemme Ballarat birthday party on the restaurant tram

Ballarat has long history with trams. Trams used to run all over the city, but now they are a wonderful novelty at the Ballarat Tramway Museum, including a newly renovated restaurant tram which I hired for my birthday this year.

Tuesday Taster: My Favourite Food Groups

20 Jun 2016

I'm excited to taco-bout the new Fast Food collection from Bok Bok B'gerk. Make no minced-steak, it's so hot-doggone cute you'll be wanting to put a pizza it on your outfit to show your favourite part of the food pyramid. So without burger ado, here they are: pizza, taco, burger and hot dog!

Flower Crown Friday: Eyelash Competition

16 Jun 2016

@findingfemme styles a woodland queen with russian volume lashes

My friend Alysia has been giving me eyelash extensions for a few years now. Eyelash extensions are my favourite, and probably only, beauty indulgence. I like how much elegance and femininity they give my face without me having to wear make-up. I love not having mascara smudges under my eyes, and also being able to do everything I would normally do in life without wearing any make-up. She’s recently started doing Russian Volume lashes, which are so light I can barely feel them, and she’s even got in brown lashes just for me. So when she asked me to work with her on eyelash competition I was so excited.

Mitchell Harris

10 Jun 2016

@findingfemme at Mitchell Harris in Ballarat

One favourite spot I have wanted to do a blog post at, but have put off for so long, is Mitchell Harris. This is my default drinks and date venue and I also come to a networking event here once per month. It’s a wine bar, with a cosy atmosphere, great food and wonderful staff. I’ve finally brought it to the blog!

A Dior Inspired Gateway

2 Jun 2016

Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Gillies St N, N Ballarat VIC 3355, Australia
@findingfemme wears Review Australia winter floral dress at Ballarat Botanic Gardens

I have very recently turned 30, which was nice because I’ve been rounding my age up since I turned 28. I read somewhere that Chanel told people she was 50 until she turned 50 and then she told everyone she was 100. The most wonderful thing about having a birthday is sharing it with wonderful people. The beautiful day I’m about to tell you about was one month after my birthday when I was sharing Mother’s Day with all the women in my family.

Tuesday Taster: Rainbows and Unicorns

30 May 2016

I've been collaborating with the talented Michelle at Bok Bok B'Gerk. This has mostly meant that Michelle puts all her creative brilliance into designing and hand painting her splendid brooches, and then she gives one of each to me to share with you. For the newer collections though, I've got to go one step further and actually take part in the styling and photoshoots! This has been one of the best things, in my opinion. I have had a wonderful time pairing outfits with brooches. This particular shoot fills a winter heart with happiness. So let me introduce you to the Rainbows and Unicorns collection!

Garden Tartan

23 May 2016

I am an online student studying at university. I’ve almost finished my degree, and while that feels like a great achievement, I can’t help but feel I’ve missed out on a few things. Students that study on campus get a really different experience and I’m beginning to become really aware of those things.

Tuesday Taster: Edward and a Scarf

16 May 2016

@findingfemme wears green Review top with navy striped skirt and orange Mimco flats.

I've just come home from a French lesson where I ran from my teacher's house to my car, clutching my textbooks to my chest to protect them from the rain. It's chilly and I have the heater on to fight the cold and stop it from settling into my skin. It's weather for wearing many layers, and time to start wearing a scarf around my neck. Except, I tend to find I wear scarves more in spring and summer than in winter. Maybe that means I should invest in more winter scarves? Perhaps it just means that I wear more scarves in warmer months because I can style them multiple ways, like this one I'm wearing today.

Ballarat Heritage Weekend: Steam Train

12 May 2016

Every year at Ballarat Heritage Weekend I go on the steam train with my mum. It’s become an annual part of our calendar, especially since we end up going on Mother’s Day. This year is the third time that I’ve done a blog post about the steam train and you can see the pictures for those posts here and here. Each year, the steam train posts ends up being my most popular blog post. Because of that, I really struggled coming up with an outfit that would match the stand out style of previous years.

Autumn Yellow

9 May 2016

@findingfemme wears mustard coat with bok bok b'gerk brooch and neck tie.

Yellow is my favourite colour. Seriously. This post has a tag on it for 'yellow'. Click on it and see how many wonderful outfits I've posted with the colour yellow in them. This one from last year is probably a stand out for me. When I first started blogging, I really wanted to get better at everything I was doing. Photography was a big part of that and I had to learn a lot, because I get other people to help me take the photos and I had to direct them. Initially I would often get frustrated not knowing what was going on behind the camera and not standing there changing it myself. I would often have photos I couldn’t use. It was a challenge to look through them and find some I could work with. Some shoots I organised haven’t ever made it to the blog. To give you an idea of how much work I put into the photos on my blog this a rundown of a typical shoot.

A Visual Diary of Fashion at Ballarat Heritage Weekend

7 May 2016

I know I usually take time to share plenty of words with you, but today instead of writing, I want to share with you some of my photography and hopefully it will capture the mood of today. My sister was in a fashion parade at the annual Ballarat Heritage Weekend and I took some candid photos before the show, behind the scenes and during the show. I'm a little out of practice with the camera, but did get some shots I was happy with. It was showcasing outfits from 10 different decades with elegance garments from the international couture Darnell Collection. Enjoy!

The Long Room

6 May 2016

Ballarat VIC, Australia
@findingfemme wears ASOS full length sequin gown to The Long Room at Her Majesty's Theatre, Ballarat.

Last week I got invited to try out a new bar that has opened in Ballarat: The Long Room. This venue is a bit special, because it’s the upstairs bar of Her Majesty’s Theatre, which is one of the oldest operating theatres in Australia. They are now going to begin opening on Friday evenings for drinks.

Clunes Booktown 2016

2 May 2016

@findingfemme wears red Review Australia coat at Clunes Booktown Festival 2016 on a Lekker Bike.

Autumn is my favourite season. The chill comes back to the air. Warmth begins to have a value like currency. The colour of the sky bleaches to white, or becomes heavy with grey rain. Trunks of trees and their branches are stained black because they are always damp. It’s in this season that my favourite events on the calendar begin. Starting with Clunes Booktown.

On the Tall Ship Enterprise

24 Apr 2016

@findingfemme wears review Australia red knit top with Review striped skirt and lace up red wedges on the tall ship Enterprize.

It’s taken me so long to do this post, but I’m excited to finally share it. It’s from the family summer trip mid-summer. Considering it’s now mid-autumn I have got to share it before the sunshine is a distant memory. This particular day was really fun and exciting for me because I’ve wanted to be a pirate for a very long time. I felt it was silly to have that aspiration without getting the chance to go out on the water, but here I am.

Tuesday Taster: Meow

19 Apr 2016

@findingfemme wears Seamstress of Bloomsbury black dress and Bok Bok B'Gerk cat brooch.

It's time for a new Tuesday Taster from the Bok Bok B'Gerk range. This time I'm sharing another cute kitty from the Theodore and Friends Collection. I adore this brooch and I wear it often. It's another duo, featuring kitty and speech bubble.

Bendigo Sun

17 Apr 2016

Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia

I had a job interview today, and as I always do, I walked out thinking of so many examples of the things I could have shared. I did share plenty though, and it made me realise how much I value reflection as part of my personal growth and to remember what I do know at important times like in interviews. I reflect the most through my blog, which I really enjoy sharing with others. That also means that there are things I can’t reflect on here, like confidential matters at work or significant family stresses.
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