29 Dec 2019

My buddy Josh is a photographer. I don't normally collaborate with other photographers. My usual is to coach someone else who may even be of a beginner level and get them to take pictures as I guide them. This is a quick behind the scenes of a shoot day and a little of the prep involved. Josh and I had been talking for what feels like forever about collaborating on something. We ended up finally coordinating that with a shoot in canola. I went about choosing a dress and Josh chose the location. Here are the finished shots which have the special honour of being something rare on my blog that I didn't capture, adjust camera settings or edit.

5 Places To Do Cocktails In Ballarat

27 Dec 2019

Liana of @findingfemme at Pancho in Ballarat

Ballarat has had a boom in cocktail availability which has been a delight for me. In honour of my previous blog post of places to eat and drink in Ballarat, I've decided to also do one related to cocktails.

This post has been updated to include a different: 18th Amendment. Watch the video below. 18th Amendment has replaced Lost Ones Basement Bar.

 When friends want to have a cocktail night, there are several places that I will usually suggest we attend. Keep in mind, some of my friends don't drink so are keen to have mocktails. Venues that offer non-alcoholic options on the side will be getting honourable mentions in the list below. This list is by no means comprehensive and will be geared towards places with an atmosphere that allows chatting and ample seating because that's the type of cocktail evenings I'm usually having with friends. Also, this will be in no particular order so please don't take the numbers as a rank; the numbers are for list purposes only. I'm by no means a cocktail connoisseur, so I encourage you to explore the places on the list and find your own vocabulary to describe what you experience there.

Cafe Style: Mr Jones

15 Dec 2019

Liana of Finding Femme in gold pleated skirt and leather jacket

If you haven't been to Mr Jones since it transformed from its previous incarnation of 'Catfish', then I highly recommend taking another trip to visit them. This place has been a breakfast haunt for me for three weekends in a row and for good reason.

36 Places to Eat or Drink In Ballarat

5 Dec 2019

French toast toastie. The Local.
A few years ago I did a blog post with 22 places to eat or drink in Ballarat. The post had stemmed from my hometown being shortlisted as one of the top destinations in Australia and the fact that I get asked a lot where is good to eat or whatever in this city. In honour of this, here is a refresh. So many places on the old list have closed or changed and there are many exciting new places that I must put on so just like Ballarat's food scene, my list has expanded. It's expanded so fast that in the couple of months I have spent refreshing it I couldn't keep up with all the new places opening. As before, 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 and some of the amazing local offerings.

My Skin So Far with Clinica Lase

3 Dec 2019

The below photos are from the moment I first decided I actually wanted to have some control over my skin. I had gone through my life being happy when my skin was fine and not feeling like I had any power to change when it wasn't. I took these pictures as kind of a before photo. Even though these were around a year before I started going to Clinica Lase, they are a really important moment for me. I began trying different skin products. I went to see professionals about never-ending acne and rashes. By the time I saw Clinica Lase I had been bumbling my way through changing skincare for about 12 months. Had I learned anything? No. At that point I felt like my skin was a mystery, absolutely everything on the shelves worked solely by a placebo effect and that radical changes to skin were a myth. I was a standard skincare sceptic.

Cafe Style: Black Heart

22 Nov 2019

Liana of @findingfemme in black leather pants and pussy bow shirt

I've reached that point of the year when I type the password of my work computer into my computer at home. Some nights I dream about work and I wake up in the morning and feel like I've had no escape. It's times like this that I value most what I do with my time when I'm outside of the office. 

For the Love of Lola

20 Nov 2019

Liana of @findingfemme at Lola in Ballarat

One of my favourite places in Ballarat is a local restaurant called Lola. The food is delicious but the space itself absolutely captures my heart. Maybe it's because the wallpaper and so much of the decor reminds me of toile print which was one of the first things I associated with the word 'elegant'. Maybe it's because my mum collects blue and white Spode prints. Maybe its because I can sit in there alone and feel like I'm right where I'm meant to be. 

Purple Flowers

14 Nov 2019

There are days when writing a blog post feels as natural as making a cup of tea. There are days when it feels like walking through airport security and forgetting how to function my limbs without thinking about them. Today is the latter. I just wrote a blog post that could have been read with the awkward bumbling of a Hugh Grant/Jane Austen character about navigating being an introvert with imposter syndrome. Then I deleted it all. Let's try again.

Adventure: Great Ocean Road - Day 2

31 Oct 2019

Neither of us was up before the sun when we woke up on day 2 of our trip. I opened my eyes long enough to peek out the campervan curtains to see if it was worth getting out of the snug of the van to take photos. It was grey and very average so I went back to sleep. When the sun had been up for a little while we mulled over breakfast options and ended up heading to the bakery. Next time I'm going to show Zara a bunch of the cooking options for the van but this time it was croissants and chai. After we satisfied our tummies we strolled to the beach just behind the van. The air was wet with spray from the waves and intermittent drizzle. We were both still wearing part of sleepwear, I think.

Adventure: Great Ocean Road - Day 1

A few months ago my darling friend Zara and I had a work shift together and she was bursting to tell me about a camera (an old film camera) that she had bought. We chatted about photography for a while and then at some point one of us suggested going on a photography trip together. Whichever one of us suggested it, the other was eagerly on board and we began to figure out a weekend that the two of us could hang out for the day taking pictures. After a few reschedules we finally found ourselves in possession of a weekend that was mostly just for us. A single day had morphed into an overnight stay in the van, stealth camped somewhere on the coast.

Lola Gin Launch

26 Oct 2019

The Provincial Hotel and their attached restaurant - Lola - have sneakily become one of my favourite places in Ballarat. No surprises there. When someone is passionate about something, really loves it, right down to the smallest details, it is infectious and endlessly inspiring.

Adventure: Impala Rollerskate Meetup - Melbourne

21 Oct 2019

A while back I saw a flash of event details on the Impala Rollerskates’ Instagram of a skate meet up in Melbourne. I didn’t know if I’d be available but as the day grew closer I realised I would be. I was all excited and prepared when the night before I had an arthritis-related fatigue spell. However, in a beautiful moment of serendipity in the morning, the fatigue had passed and I was well enough to go.

A Study in Wattle

6 Oct 2019

I love letting myself get carried away with an idea. There are enough unhealthy things in this world to overthink and get carried away with, so why not let myself do that in a way where I get joy from it? Blog photography is one of those things for me. Sometimes I want to share an adventure or experience that I had. Sometimes I want to share a vision that I’ve been imagining. Today is the aesthetic kind of sharing.

Sweet Fern Pink

21 Sept 2019

One of my favourite places in Ballarat is the fragrance show Sweet Fern. I give it the same amount of love that I used to reserve for the library when I was a child. It’s a place where I can explore who I am, find out new things about the world and escape if I feel I need to.

Winter Green

8 Aug 2019

I often talk about this 'vulnerability' stuff, but what actually is it and why on earth would anyone want to do it? For me personally, the vulnerability journey has been anything but fun. Deciding to fully feel and welcome any feelings that are uncomfortable or painful is no walk in the park. It was 18 months of travelling the vulnerability road before I noticed some actual results from it that were worth celebrating. Most of the moments in between were frustrating, scary, confronting, eye-opening, winding, crushing, heartbreaking, and embarrassing. So why would anyone want to do it?

Sovereign Hill: Winter Wonderlights

8 Jul 2019

Every year Sovereign Hill, a local award-winning museum, puts on a winter festival that is full of the purest winter romance. It’s the museum as you know it but decked out with fairy lights, Christmas decorations, big red bows and incredible colourful lights. It’s an event called Winter Wonderlights.

My Skin Journey - Pico Genesis

22 Jun 2019

I recently received the incredible Pico Genesis treatment from Clinica-Lase. This particular treatment is renowned for a resurfacing of the skin that lifts freckled, pigmentation and uneven skin tone right to the surface until it washes off. It’s also an intense treatment, so here is wrap up from me on what the experience and skin recovery was like.

An Afternoon at Holcombe Hill

20 Jun 2019

For the past 12 weeks, I have been dancing and fundraising for The Ballarat Foundation. Their incredible local work disrupts cycles of disadvantage in my hometown. It’s an incredible cause that’s very close to my heart. Last weekend I did a little project with Holcombe Hill Farm and Koonara Wines in exchange for some big donations to my fundraiser.

2019 Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine Tweed Ride

29 May 2019

2019 Ballarat Tweed Ride

Here are some of my favourite photos from this year's Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine Tweed Ride. You can join our mailing list or find us on Facebook or Instagram 

Ballarat Heritage Weekend - Steam Train

28 May 2019

Liana of @findingfemme in red The Pretty Dress company dress at Ballarat Heritage Weekend

Every year I try to come up with an outfit to photograph at the steam train during Ballarat Heritage Weekend. It's become an annual thing, but because of studying on weekends, I missed out last year. This year I finally got to bring the vision I'd had worked on for two years in front of a camera.

Settler and Sons: Local Lovely Book Launch

19 May 2019

It’s been a couple of years since the first time I boarded a bus to head out to Nowhere Creek for a dinner with Settler and Sons. Each dinner experience has been different from the last, this one was further from the sunny days of the last two. The short days and chill weather meant it was dark when we arrived.


16 May 2019

Something I've not really done before in my time sharing on this blog is to take photos of myself. Not being able to do so was the biggest barrier to me ever beginning and I overcame that by getting other people's help. Now for today's post I had a got at doing it myself. I was terrible.

Clunes Booktown 2019

5 May 2019

For once in my hectic life, I found myself free on a Saturday AND on the day that Clunes Booktown is on. I’ve missed the last few and was delighted when a fellow friend and book enthusiast was free to go. So my buddy Olivia and I packed ourselves into my van and headed to Clunes for the day.

Lanterns and Stars

17 Apr 2019

Liana of @findingfemme in Review Australia shimmering dress

I'm always looking for ways to stretch myself as a photographer. Recently, Review got in touch to collaborate with what I thought would be a shoot for their April collection. It turned out that they sent me three outfits to play with. The one I had the least ideas for was a stunning purple beaded dress. It was perfect for an elegant cocktail party for an engagement or wedding, but that gave me no ideas of how to shoot it. When playing with the fabric my brain came up with something... very bold.

Autumn Birds and Roses

14 Apr 2019

Liana of @findingfemme wears black floral Review dress

A favourite quote from one of my favourite poets is: ‘April is the cruellest month’. That’s from T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. I love the quote but for me, April is usually the opposite. It’s a month changed from my favourite season. The days go from too hot to perfect. There’s a chill at night and in the early morning that makes you feel alive. The sun can still have some bite if you get caught in it.

Shopping for a Van

12 Apr 2019

Since getting my van, every second person tells me they wish they could do the same and of those people, plenty are actually serious about taking the plunge. I get hit up with heaps of questions about how I made the choice to buy the van that I bought, so here are the parameters I set when searching.

Birthday Baby

9 Apr 2019

Liana of @findingfemme wears red and pink and sips on a chai at Le Peche Gourmand in Creswick

Happy birthday to me! This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and unapologetically make a big deal of my birthday. After all, I spend more time around myself than anyone else. I bought myself presents, told absolutely everybody it was my birthday, went away for a rock climbing trip with friends. I got my sister to go out for breakfast with me at one of our favourite spots. I took heaps of photos of heaps of things. 

Sovereign Hill - Lost Trades

1 Apr 2019

This school holidays Sovereign Hill has an incredible hands-on program. It’s not just a living museum with buildings you can wander through and people in costume, you now get to immerse yourself in the trades and times by making something for yourself. I was really chuffed that the team at Sovereign Hill asked if I had a spare day to do a trial run of some of their Easter activities before they open up in the coming weeks. They picked out a couple for me and I grabbed my sister and went to have a go.


29 Mar 2019

If you’re from Ballarat, there are a few things you get to know the more of a local you become. One thing treasured by locals is the knowledge of the best place to acquire hot jam doughnuts after hours. I am of course talking about the Hamburger Cart.


4 Mar 2019

Being on crutches absolutely sucked. Lurching about everywhere on my arms was exhausting and ridiculously inconvenient. I can’t stress how exhausting. Getting into work was an epic adventure that usually I didn’t even notice. Suddenly I was taking three stops and looking and posts on the way, marking them out as goals to make it to before I had another rest. I had no idea how cockily I moved through life before crutches, but I had six weeks of humbling hobbling to drive the point home.

Darling Downtime

15 Feb 2019

To kick the year off, I had a break from being Finding Femme online. I stepped back from my Instagram, Facebook and blog, spent truckloads of times reconnecting with myself and not having to meet any pressures of expectations on social media. It wasn’t completely free, I still got recognised when out and about and I had a couple of commitments that I had to meet for collaborators, but for the most part, when I was alone, I was completely alone.

Goals and Resolutions

6 Jan 2019

I’m not one for New Year Resolutions but I do love to set goals. Giving something I want to do direction makes it a project and its fun finding what comes out of pushing towards a particular endpoint. For example, last year I decided I wanted to return to karate training and work towards my second dan black belt. When the motivation for it was lacking I went climbing to help build my overall fitness and to diversify my activities and as a result, I realised the karate goal wasn’t for me and that climbing was a better investment for my body and my mental health. I might not have achieved the goal I originally set but I got a whole heap of worth out of trying for it.
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