Yellow Summer Dinner Party

20 Nov 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wears yellow floral asos dress at backyard dinner party.

Last week I went to dinner at my mate Liv's house and we had a stylish little set up in her backyard. She and her husband had taken her dinner table out into the yard and set up festoon lights above it. Liv has excellent taste so she'd styled the table beautifully with yellow, lemons and lemon myrtle. I made gin and tonic jelly and Liv made slow-cooked beef ragu as well as a delicious dessert. Here are some pics before all the friends arrived to devour the food.

5 Gins to Try at Mitchell Harris

18 Nov 2017

Liana of @findingfemme drinks a gin and bitter lemon at Mitchell Harris in Ballarat in yellow floral.

Some years ago, a friend gave me my first gin and tonic. I'd mark that as the beginning of my love affair with gin. Gin is such a variable spirit. Each one tastes distinctly different and the reason for that is how varied the ingredients can be. If you're interested in trying out something new, here's a list of the five gins on the shelf currently at Mitchell Harris that I love. Maybe one of these will spark your curiosity. I like to pair any of the below with tonic or with a serve of bitter lemon, as pictured.

Keebles Christmas

16 Nov 2017


Depending which camp you sit in regarding the early onset of Christmas celebration the following post will either make you groan or swoon. Set in the still and quiet book town of Clunes is the romantic and classic Keebles Country House. Far removed from the sounds of cars and bustling city, this house is like a personal bubble of peace from the world, and anyone can stay there. It’s an owner hosted Bed and Breakfast with elegant rooms, tall ceilings and old-fashioned personalised service. You may remember the iconic white brick building and red door from this blog post.

5 Reasons to Try Out a Perfume Masterclass at Sweet Fern

10 Nov 2017


Last year I went along to a perfume masterclass in Ballarat at Sweet Fern. Since then, I've had so many people tell me that they had always thought about checking one out. So here are a few reasons why I think that you should.

Romancing the Skull

1 Nov 2017

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Ballarat is home to the oldest regional art gallery in Australia. During the first Archibald Prize hosting that the gallery undertook years ago, my family were sitting with Julie, the curator, and she began telling us about the exhibition she was working on for 2017. Two years later with her passion remains as undimmed as pink neon, she invited us to the gallery for a dark dinner and secret viewing of the exhibition.

Geelong Cup

25 Oct 2017


Today my sister Goldfields Girl and I went to the Geelong Cup. I was lucky enough to be dressed by Review who gave me a fascinator, dress and bag from their current Spring collection.

Frocktober Picnic

21 Oct 2017


Last weekend for Frocktober, I got together with my sister Goldfields Girl and my friend Lauren for a frocked up picnic in the gardens. Ballarat’s Botanic Gardens are spectacular at any time of year and this Spring is no exception. The poppies are out and the grass is lush. We set up with Pimm’s, sandwiches and some chilled music.

Let's Frock!

14 Oct 2017

Liana of @findingfemme wears studded leather biker jacket, Moschino belt and black and white striped dress

Today’s Frocktober outfit has a mildly amusing story behind it. I come from a family of car and bike lovers. When I was a teen, I fanned the flames of my own love of bikes and ended up wearing and owning several leather jackets. Some of them I gave up because their style didn’t last the test of time and some fell apart. Because of this, I’ve recently realised I needed to get myself a new one.

Leadership Ballarat: What The Journey So Far Has Meant For Me

6 Oct 2017

The 2017 LBWR group spend time with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Parliament House

At the start of this year, I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to take part in the Leadership Ballarat & Western Region Leaders Forum. I can still remember the night I got the email and how excited I was to get such an incredible opportunity. I’m one of around 25 participants in the program. Many prominent local businesses put a single staff member into the program as a participant each year. As a small-time independent blogger, I wasn’t in a position to have someone sponsor me to do it, so to receive the scholarship was a huge coup for me.

The program runs every year and applications are currently open for the 2018 program.

Daisies and Frocktober

Liana of @findingfemme in a white dress for Frocktober

This week has been all about daisies for me! Not only has the sunny spring weather seen the daisies around the lake bloom into a pretty white and pink carpet, I’ve been in a show called Daisy Pulls It Off. The play is a send-up of the old British boarding school adventure stories, but with every possible plot crammed into one show. It’s a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek story which is full of laughs and good times. It’s a show that has been a blast to both rehearse and perform. Normally, there’s a point where I’ve found a show gets boring and you get right down to doing the work to make it happen. Not with this show! There were laughs at every rehearsal. Every part of the show is a joy. In the few points that I’m not on stage, I will sneak side stage to watch the funny scenes unfold. Find out about the show here.

Wattle and Velvet

20 Sep 2017


Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi


The words on today's post will be shorter than usual because I've been super busy. My usual photographers have been out of action for a wide range of reasons so actually taking these pics was hard enough on their own. I ended up going wattle picking with my buddy Liv from Lyn and I. Spring has seen a burst in cherry blossoms and wattle all through the city.

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

When we showed up at this spot there were some alpacas in the field beside the tree. Then after a little while, we hear this moo come from that direction. We looked up to see a rather intimidating cow. Liv was, need I say, rather enthused [heavy sarcasm] when I mooed back in order to assert my dominance.

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

This is me laughing at Liv as the terrifying cow looks over at her with a growing sense of retribution.

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi


Meanwhile, once I (the alpha cow), turned my back on the horned usurper, he advanced. So when we turned back around the bush, he was closer. Like some sort of deadly game of What's The Time Mister Wolf. Except with cows.


Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Top: old Modcloth.
Cardi: Miss Behavin.
Skirt: Piper - Myer

Pics: Liv from Lyn and I
Location: backroad in Ballarat.




Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

To Liv's delight, I then sang the cow the song of my warrior people, performed our war dance to inform it that I have friends that are swans and we don't take kindly to threats. I waved my skirt like a Matador. He wisely stayed where he was. In the distance, a hive of bees began to buzz in rising volume.

Liana of @findingfemme in pink velvet pleated skirt and mustard cardi

Finally, at the end of the shoot, we left. Which was good, because the cow had arrived at the fence, which was as far as a Mexican standoff was ever going to escalate. Him, within the fence. Me, outside, staring in smugly. Liv, laughing awkwardly behind me encouraging me to back away.



- L

The End of a Long Winter

10 Sep 2017

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

I’m immensely excited about today’s blog post because it has been over six months in the making. In fact, it was last year that Faith (whose name in a past life must have been Patience) and I first began speaking about a collaboration where I would share some of her gorgeous creations. Faith works specifically with feathers, hence the name of her business Feathers by Faith. I initially got her to make me a feather piece to decorate one of my many straw boaters. I gave her autumn colours of mustards, browns, teals and maroons to inspire her. She came back with two gorgeous pieces, one specifically that I was to wear for the Tweed Ride.

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Remember that post in which I had a photo shoot with just one photo of me and that was out of focus? Well, that was my post especially for the feather piece by Faith and I was so bummed that it didn’t come off. Then I planned to do one during winter, which has been dogged by a range of things. To the point that I have decided that this particular shoot is cursed. It’s the one blog post that has caused endless grief. We’ve had everything go wrong: we’ve shown up without the camera, without the headpiece, without a key piece of the outfit, without a SIM card in the camera. Then when the planets seemed to align and I got the shoot items together, my main photographer had a baby. Then when I got myself together enough to take a picture without her, I had to move house. And then on top of all of this, I’ve been mighty unwell for a very simple reason.

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

It seems for some time that I’ve been soldiering through life with a Vitamin D deficiency. I’ve only just come to know this because my brilliant best friend Mel encouraged me to consult my local GP and ask for an iron test. At the time of promising to do this, I had come home from work every evening that week, unable to do anything more than lay on the couch. I had been eating take away if I’d had the energy to eat at all. I had been having trouble sleeping because I would lay awake at night with my muscles and joints aching. The final day I got home, plonked down on the couch and promptly fell asleep. I woke up hours later and lamented to my bestie that I didn’t even have the energy to move the five meters from the couch to my bed to sleep. My whole life was like I was trying to swim in over-thickened custard. So, off I went to the GP as a high priority.

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

The GP also wanted to check my levels on a range of other things with similar symptoms to low iron, which was great because when the results came back they showed I was very low on Vitamin D. He immediately put me on to Vitamin D supplements and I gradually began noticing little changes. At first, I woke up more clear headed and rested. My muscles and joints also stopped aching. My energy didn’t all come back in a big rush though. I would feel sprightly in the morning and it was unlike any energy levels I’d had for months so I’d have a whole productive day planned and would bomb out by the end of the work day. Little by little though, like the lengthening of winter days, my energy levels would last longer and longer. I now feel mostly great all the time, but in the last day, I forgot to take my supplements and was exhausted and aching within 24 hours. So while I’m mostly improved in my day to day life, the result of that is still quite reliant on me taking on those supplements.

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Hat: Portmans
Dress: Piper at Myer
Feathers: Feathers by Faith
Tights: Review
Shoes: Mimco

Pics: Mum
Location: Newlyn




Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

My Vitamin D deficiency has been caused by a lack of exposure to direct sunlight. I work in an office, in a city with a decently sunless winter and I love wearing sunscreen. So even when there is a chance for sun, I’m rarely in direct sunlight. As the days begin to get longer and the sun more frequent, I’ll be capitalising on the sun much more.

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

Liana of @findingfemme in black lace dress and winter boater

So this winter has been a long one. It has been a beautiful battle. Moving house has been brutal when I can barely muster the strength to carry boxes, hold heavy things or disassemble furniture. The demand on my mind and body has been above average and I’ve had many days where I have hit a wall and without the energy to continue and I’ve still pushed on past my capacity. Some of the most brutal parts of this whole thing are the people who may not be able to see the reason for my unusual tardiness with getting things done or the physical or mental cost that has had on me as I’ve pushed through anyway. However, people, in general, are beautifully understanding creatures so I have done my best to not let that trouble me. I say ‘my best’ as the content of this post obviously indicates that it has troubled me somewhat. 

So as a goodbye to winter, here is my final winter outfit post. I felt it was a great metaphor to feature this beautiful feather piece by Feathers by Faith as it’s been a fight to get the pictures done. Even though I couldn’t find my hair extensions and the horses I brought apples for were nowhere to be found, we did it anyway. Just like the winter I’ve had, this isn’t the photo shoot I wanted, but it’s done, and I think it’s beautiful anyway.

On a side note, just to prove how cursed this shoot is, as I was trying to write this blog post, I accidentally pulled the computer plug from the back of the computer. Luckily, I was writing it online so it saved in the cloud. 

- L

Creating a Character for Ballarat Cabaret Festival

24 Aug 2017

Liana of @findingfemme with @prettyflamingop for Ballarat Cabaret Festival


Last month I had the pleasure of working on a really unique project with Pretty Flamingo Photography for the Ballarat Cabaret Festival. We were to create some iconic imagery, which a graphic artist would use as the basis for the new Festival imagery. I was to play a cabaret character and we would style and pose this character with a distinctive cabaret look.

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.












 

-L
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