Monthly Archives: June 2012

If we took a holiday

Took some time to celebrate …

I’m about to embark on an adventure. The ladies and I are heading on an epic road trip from the glorious GC to Airlie Beach, via La La Land.

14 hours. I hope we have enough Grinspoon and Alanis Morissette to last the distance …

Which ladies you ask? Holli and Stacey of course!

Hollie, Holli, Stacey and I (in the front), circa 1995, hence the skivvy, white jeans, fleece and flannie!

I was lucky enough to spend both primary school and high school with an abundance of Hollies, and a Stacey. While Hollie left us after Grade 10 to become sporty and famous (and is now a mum!), the rest of us kept living the teenage dream in Launceston until I moved to Melbourne for uni. Stacey moved to the Gold Coast not long after I left, this means that the three of us haven’t hung out for TEN YEARS! This seems ridiculous, after spending every single day of our childhood together.

I’m starting my hollyday tomorrow in Lismore with Luke’s family, where we will be celebrating Nan’s 80th birthday. Hip hip hurray for Marlene!

We pack the car and hit the road Monday morning. Be scared Queensland, be very, very scared.

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Instagram feet style

Well, turns out I wasn’t completely correct in my last Instagram post regarding my favourite photography subjects. I left out my feet! And my legs!


I have a thing for these desert boots, do much so I bought another pair in maroon!


These are my new ASOS find. Very yellow, very comfy.


I chased the sun around while on my lunch break last week. It felt glorious while it lasted.

More sun! And grass!

Yellow legs and spots. A favourite combo.

Have you been lucky enough to see any sun this week? Or bought any new shoes?

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A Guide is self-controlled in all she thinks, says and does

The title of this post is one of the Guide Laws. Some are easier to keep than others …

As many of you know, I am a Girl Guide, and have been since I was 7. I come from a Scouting family, my Auntie is a Cub Leader, and my Dad was a Queen’s Scout.

Yes, yes, I was a total cutie, I know. Those cheeks! I still wear that hat too …

I was a Brownie Guide, a Guide, and Ranger Guide and then I defected to the dark side and joined Venturer Scouts. Which I loved, by the way. Because I was 15 and there were boys.

I went to the snazzily named SA4U2 Guide Jamboree in South Australia in 1997. We flew Ansett. Good times.  I believe I am wearing culottes in this picture, unfortunately you can’t see them.

I have been lucky enough to experience a whole bunch of crazy, fun, amazing things thanks to Girl Guides. I traveled to Mexico to attend a conference when I was 19, then just banged around Mexico (alone!) for around a month or so. I have also been to Canberra, all over Tassie and Victoria, and most recently visited Girl Guides in Mongolia!

Looking good in Mexico with my fellow Leaders. I’d like to say that someone made me wear the akubra. But they didn’t.

After my awesome adventurers as a Guide, I became a Guide Leader. You can call me Kookaburra! I love being a Guide Leader to my intense 10-14 year olds. 11 is my favourite age, bless them. They are oh so grown up, yet still happy to colour in, play games and sing songs. Preferably by One Direction. Having girl only time at this age is so important.

And now I’m wearing a fleece. It seems all my fashion values disappear when I’m in Girl Guide mode.

Being involved with Girl Guides is really important to me, I believe that volunteering gives me way more back than I put in. Are you a volunteer? Ever been a Guide or a Scout?

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Budgies, books and ‘Waltzing Matilda’

I have had a bit of luck finding treasures lately, here are my favourite recent finds.

Budgies on a tin! From the Restorers Barn in Castlemaine.

Tin tray from a vintage shop in Bendigo, opposite the Gallery where we saw the Grace Kelly exhibition.

Waltzing Matilda linen tea towel, from the same shop in Bendigo.

Vintage books from the Ringwood Vinnies. The three volumes War and Peace were marked with separate prices, $4 for volumes 1 and 3, $3 for volume 2. The middle mustn’t be as good!

Gorgeous soft mohair pink scarf/shawl, made in Scotland.

Have you found anything pretty lately?

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Grace Kelly in … Bendigo?

Last Saturday, my good friend Sally and I road tripped it to Bendigo to see the Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition.

How embarrassing! Grace and I wore the same colour! Almost.

Castlemaine Court House

We left buying out tickets a bit late and the exhibition was almost sold out, the only time we could get in was for 6.30pm. So we made a day of it!  We left Melbs at midday, then stopped to have lunch and a cheeky red in Castlemaine. Before we hit the road for Benders, we had a peruse of the Restorers Barn, a treasure trove of gorgeous and odd.

Prince Charles wears many hats. Literally and figuratively.

Jugs and matching glasses are my weakness, but I resisted.

There was an entire room full of cups and saucers!

We then popped back on the road to Bendigo! Hurrah! We had time for a quick wander around before we went in.

We did not stop here, instead we found place to have a champagne and cheese platter. Much better.

Now. On to Grace. Isn’t she divine? The pink shirtwaist dress below was my absolute favourite.

There were so many gorgeous dresses! The exhibition started with dresses from her film career in 1956, then moved to when she met Prince Rainier and became a Princess, and finally her later years as a ‘style icon’. Unfortunately the majority of the dresses in the ‘style icon’ section were kaftans. Well, it was the 1970s.

Grace Kelly images from The Daily Mail.

All in all, we had a lovely day out in the country. Thanks for driving Sal!

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Snap happy

Today was the most glorious autumn day. Yes, some might argue that we are now in winter, however today was autumn through and through. I took photos wherever I went, to capture the sky and sun for the grey days ahead.

Walking to work, I couldn’t help but snap some of the beautiful sky. And sun! Sun!

The sky was blue and the air crisp.


I wandered to my afternoon appointment though the Treasury Gardens. The big old trees are simply glorious.

As I made my way past the Melbourne Museum, I saw the Royal Exhibition Centre reflected in the glass, along with the blue sky. I love the sail boat right in the middle.

I hope it was sunny in your corner of the world today!

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How I exercise

Post exercise sunshine. Glorious.

Around two years ago I was a a slackserciser. I though that I exercised, but really, I was just faffing around. I walked a few times a week, which is good, and went to the gym a few days a week, but to be honest, I barely raised a sweat.

So what changed?

My sister scored a new boyfriend who works at Nike, and the staff discount certainly helped my enthusiasm for exercise wear …

I joined a local Pilates class. It took months, but gradually I learnt where my body was (this sounds odd, but anyone who has started Pilates for the first time hopefully knows what I mean …) and slowly became strong!

At this stage I realised that some (most) of my favourite clothes didn’t fit. Harumph. So, I stepped it up. I started running. Yes, running! Slowly, slowly, a few kilometres at a time. And I started training with Step Into Life three mornings a week. This is quite shocking because prior to this, I avoiding running like the plague. It needs to be noted that running, when you had really never done it before is really, really hard. But it does get easier!

I also ride my bike to and from work, but I take it nice and easy, I do my best not to raise a sweat so don’t really count this as exercise.

Exercising in the morning isn’t hard with views like these.

I reckon that some things are easier done everyday rather than sometimes. For me, exercise is now something that I just do every morning without thinking about it. Then I don’t have that annoying argument with myself about whether I exercise today or tomorrow.  I do both today AND tomorrow! But that’s not to say that I have the occasional sleep-in and rest day. Sleep-ins feel extra glorious when you are used to getting up at 6.15am five days a week!

Here’s an example of my regular routine:

Monday – Gym with Luke
Tuesday – Toning Class
Wednesday – Walk with my friend Sally
Thursday – Toning Class and evening walk with Luke
Friday – Gym with Luke
Saturday – Pilates Class and evening walk with Luke
Sunday – Walk or gym with Luke

At the gym I use the stationary bike and sweat it out. I would much rather go for a run, but alas, this my best cardio option at the moment, thanks to my silly knee tendon. I also do the knee strengthening exercises given to me by the physio and do lots of stretching.  I LOVE stretching. I reckon that there is three components to a good exercise plan: cardio, toning and stretching.

What do you get up to? Do you find stretching glorious like me?

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What’s for dinner?

Cooking dinner often isn’t fun, especially after a gloomy day at work. Here is some quick ideas to whet your appetite.

Mexican feast. Refried bean and cheese quesadillas, mexican rice with peas and corn, guacamole, sour cream and Byron Bay hot sauce.

Peanut sesame noodles, adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

I am usually a vegetarian, but I like a piece of fish now and then.  Here we have pan-fried salmon, roast potatoes and broccoli.

More potatoes and zucchini corn fritters, adapted again from Smitten Kitchen (this website is full of gorgeous recipes).

If in doubt, serve fried eggs and a nice glass of wine …

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I love the MGC

(not to be confused with the MCG …)

Most days I ride my bike, Mallory, to work. I could ride along the road, but I like to sneak though the Melbourne General Cemetery. On wet mornings, or mornings when I have stuff to do that Mallory isn’t invited to, I walk and always stop to take at least one photo on my way.

The old section is my favourite, with the falling apart graves etched with glorious names like Elsie Elizabeth, Margaret Mary and Grace Jean, and the impressive ornate headstones. The morning clouds make the whole experience almost (almost!) religious.

I guess some would find my love of the cemetery in bad taste, but I love imaging the lives people lived, who they loved and how they are missed. It’s beautiful and uplifting.


How do you feel about cemeteries? The MGC is beautiful, yes?

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I seem to photograph three things regularly:

Luke and I


Sushi and kisses in the sun!

1 Collins Street. Classy.

My food

Breakfast most days – overnight oats, berries, brown sugar and hazelnuts.

Bottom of the fridge soup with sour cream.

The sky

Olympic Park looks like bubbles.

Sunset out my kitchen window.

If these topics thrill you, follow me on Instagram! I’m known as @hollybracken …

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