Meet Vanessa!

Today I’d like to introduce you to Vanessa, one of my awesome sponsors for this month, all the way from Down Under! She’s a thrifty chica with a unique sense of style. Come get to know her!


 

Vanessa Bowen

Go say hi: Blog | Shop | Facebook | Twitter

I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger who lives in rural Australia. I write about all kinds of things, including geekery, taking style inspiration from fictional characters, developing your own personal style and self-care. I love costume parties, karaoke, cult films, yoga, books and writing. I live with my devilishly handsome boyfriend and our two cats: Jellylorum and Ringo.

It says on your about page that you left a law career to pursue fashion and self-expression. Can you tell us about that journey? Was it a hard decision? What are you doing now, aside from blogging?
I had wanted to study law for as long as I could remember, so you can imagine my excitement when I was accepted into a law/psychology degree at my first-choice university. There were many points during my six-year degree when I doubted my decision. I enjoyed studying law, but I had trouble actually imagining myself as a lawyer. I would look at my classmates, who were eagerly applying for jobs and internships, and wonder why I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm.

In my final year at university, I was accepted into a twelve-week internship at a legal centre. It was during my time there that I realised that I really didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life. It was pretty awful to discover that the goal you’ve been working towards for years actually doesn’t hold any appeal for you. I was freaked out about telling my family and friends, because I was worried what they’d think and how they’d react. Most of all, I was really embarrassed that I’d made such a monumental mistake.

When I thought about what I wanted to do instead, writing about fashion and self-expression seemed like the natural choice. I’d been writing my blog for about a year at that point, and I absolutely adored it. If I had to choose my dream job, it would be writing. I am completely content in front of a computer or notebook with words pouring forth from my fingers.

Aside from blogging, I’ve also been working on some other writing projects. I’ve written four e-books (one about second-hand shopping, one about personal style, one about surviving college and one about living on a budget). I also have a part-time job in retail. I’m a busy lass!


 

Tell us a bit about living in Melbourne! Favorite local places, differences in daily life from (perceived) lives of American bloggers, etc.
Living in Melbourne was a dream come true for me. It’s a very sprawling city, with loads of suburbs spread out around the CBD (central business district). Each suburb has it’s own culture. There are some suburbs which are very trendy, some which are known for their incredible food and some really dodgy suburbs too. The place where I lived was fairly laid-back and not as bustling as other parts of the city.

The CBD in Melbourne is amazing. There is such a huge mix of cultures and influences. The most incredible stores and restaurants aren’t on the main streets, but are hidden away down tiny laneways. The best way to get to know the city is to go for a walk and just explore it. There are so many unique eateries and boutiques squirreled away for you to find.

I moved back to my hometown at the beginning of this year, and even though it’s great to be back here, I do miss Melbourne a lot. I miss visiting my favourite shops, getting cheap Chinese massages and eating delicious burgers at fake 50’s diners. I miss The Shanghai Club, the best karaoke club in the city. I still visit the city often though, and I make the most of it while I’m there.

I’m not sure how different my life in Melbourne was from the lives of American bloggers. I’ve never been to America, so it’s hard to make that comparison!

Have you ever traveled outside of Australia? If so, where? If not, where would you like to go?
I’ve never travelled outside Australia. If I were to go travelling, I’d like to visit England, America, Canada, Japan and Malta.


 
Three tips for thrifting clothing:

  1. Be thorough. Sometimes you have to sift through piles of junk to find a real treasure. It’s worth the extra work though.
  2. Be imaginative. Occasionally you’ll find something that’s the wrong size or isn’t your normal style, which you’re drawn to nonetheless. If you’re creative you’ll probably be able to find a way to alter it or style it to make it work for your look.
  3. Be patient. Many times, you’ll leave the thrift store empty handed. You should keep coming back to the stores and sifting through the stock on a regular basis. Your persistence will be rewarded.

Clue us in to an Australian band/singer/music group that you’re a fan of & we should check out:
I’m not really up-to-date on contemporary Australian music. I do have a lot of older bands (many of whom are now defunct) which I listen to a lot. Silverchair were a garage band that I used to listen to constantly in high school, and I still love their music. George has some luscious tunes and their lead singer, Katie Noonan, has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. Spiderbait are another favourite of mine.

What are your guilty pleasures?
Reading in bed for hours on Sunday afternoon. Hot chocolate with a splash of butterscotch schnapps. British comedy. Buying nail polish ( I have more shades than I can possibly use), Crinoline petticoats. Comic book conventions.

Best movie you’ve seen recently?
The best new (to me) movie I’ve seen recently was The Orphanage. I watched it in the lead-up to Halloween and I found it deliciously creepy. I also re-watched Shaun of the Dead a few weeks ago. No matter how many times I watch it, it still makes me giggle.



 
Isn’t she fun? Come back on Monday for the group giveaway and a chance to win some of Vanessa’s e-books!
 

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Thrifty Gift Swap Reveal

This past month I participated in the Thrifty Love gift exchange run by Carina. She paired everyone up, and then we exchanged notes on what we liked to thrift shop for, and went to town. The idea was to find something you thought your thrifty partner would love, and the spending limit was $10. I was paired up with LeAnna of Thoughts & Whatnots. She’s a fun chica and photographer, living and blogging in Oklahoma. She also just announced last week that she’s expecting her third child – congrats again lady! 🙂 We traded a few emails, and then went […]

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