Monday, August 27, 2012

Aussie Curves: Red

Hello lovely ones!
How are you all? Well another weekend has passed and it's week 7 (you will know how good that sounds if you are a full time teacher). So for the Aussie Curves: Red challenge I chose to wear this gorgeous little red jumper I picked up a few weeks ago at a local Salvation army store. The cute white buttons caught my eye and I loved that it was a cropped jumper with the cute neckline. It was $3 reduced from $6 and it's a nice jumper to wear when I want to keep it casual but still a little interesting.

I wore this to the local farmers market on Sunday. It was cold enough to wear a beanie and a few extra layers but I was super comfortable and that always matters in my book.

When I wear red I usually like a lick of it on my lips. Nothing like a little red lipstick to make you feel fly. I 
usually wear it with back because that is one of my never-fail combos: Black dress, light or golden eyes with some eyeliner and red lips. 

I actually have an outfit post coming up from a night out in Manhattan when I visited New York in July but I guess the whole point of a challenge is to mix things up a little. I teamed up the red jumper with another opshop/thrifted find. I picked it up for $1 because it was half price. I love the colour and the fact that it's long. I know it's super lazy of me but I love over sized or long blouses so that I can throw it on with a pair of tights to run errands and even wear to work. And of course a little black basic dress from H&M which I picked up in Chicago last year. Black beanie to keep the cold off. 

It was a lovely fresh morning and we left with loads of fresh veggies and HUGE pumpkin for only $4.00. I definitely love the fresh produce every week. For once I can say that I'm the lucky duck :)

Dress: H&M $15 Thrifted/Opshop: Blouse $1 Red Jumper $3 Beachcomber Shoes $3 bag .50cents

Check out my red lips and vintage dress that I wore in Brooklyn for a day of thrifting and wandering around HERE. This is from July but it is apart of my NYC summer adventure series. 

Big Love,

Falala Mele xo

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 6 wanderings NYC Brooklyn: thrifted & Gloria's rotis

 Greetings my lovely ones!

I hope that this post finds you all happy and healthy. These photos are of Day 6 of my New York summer adventure. The amazing Gabby arranged to meet us at the Brooklyn Tabernacle after her dance rehearsal to take us to a big thrift store in Brooklyn. Guys she knows where EVERYTHING is we just didn't have time to get to them all *UGLY CRIES* but the one we went to was AWESOME! It was 25% off everything on Monday and this place even had 3 levels with an elevator! HELLO HEAVEN.

I basically walked around quickly picking up everything that caught my eye. It's a bit of a race when my sister and I shop together because we both have similar tastes and sizes and even though we always share our stuff eventually we basically have a little rule that you can't borrow it until the owner has had a chance to wear it.

I left with a huge NY Yankees jacket and that was my most expensive purchase ever in a thrift store (it was  $25 and brand new but it went down to about $17 after the discount). I wanted it because I was contemplating getting a jersey made cause I'm cheesy and I think they are super cool but they were like $70 upwards. NO DEAL BRO. I am not that rich.

Also found this amazing purple oversized blouse with gorgeous buttons (I plan to wear it in Melbourne this weekend). A gorgeous yellow short sleeved blazer, a long sleeved tartan pink blazer and some cute button pins. You will see my bag as you scroll down. It's big and it's full!
Brooklyn Museum

We continued on with our amazing guide Gabby. Past the Brooklyn Museum heading towards the well known and much loved Gloria's Caribbean Food in Crown Heights.
Look at all my thrifted finds! All 25% off price thanks to Gabby's insider knowledge ;)
Crown Heights baby and her Momma.

We made it to Gloria's and we are ready to eat. Gabby's Mum was telling her off for making us walk around all day without eating. LOL our Trini-Sissys and their 'Mommy' were always looking out for us and making sure we were fed. Guys it was SOOOOO WORTH THE WAIT! The food is definitely our type of thing. She was worried we wouldn't like it because it looked messy, some other people turned their nose up at it and I was like "No Gabby you don't get it. If it tastes good then we are there! No food snobbery here my darling!" Brooklyn people be jamming that place up! I CRAVE IT ALL THE TIME!
Watching the good folk of Brooklyn pass us by while we wait

Gabby presents our rotis and she is so glad that we like it. Ruthie enjoyed her beef roti curry.

How could we not? Roti with lentils, chicken curry and peppers. SOOOOO YUMMY!

Walking to another store to represent Niue and Australia ;) I got a pineapple and ginger punch. YUMMY!

Readers meet Valerie. The super cool teacher who was happy enough to let us excitedly move around her whilst she was eating. She smiled and asked if we were from England (everything thought that) while she was eating her pineapple cake. I told her we were from Australia and she asked my if I had seen Muriel's Wedding. I almost died because that it one of my MOST FAVOURITE MOVIES EVER! My friends and I quote it constantly! She explained that when she teaches her students about Australian culture she loves to show the Rabbit Proof Fence along with Muriel's Wedding. 
Both are must-see Australian films movies in my mind.

Anyways I am getting off on a tangent but she was super cool and we exchanged email addresses and she even said "We should catch a show together while you are here!" I LOVE NEW YORKERS because the majority of them are so open to meeting and making new friends.  She is now a FB friend and I get to see all the cool shows, concerts, movies and community arts events she attends. She is so fly!

The nice lady let Gabby play with her hoola-hoop and explained it's all in the forward-back movement not the side to side.

Kids cooling off. I was tempted to join them

Salvos: Dress $2 Shoes $3 Bag 50c Street Vendor: Glasses $5 
What I wore: As the heat continued to blister in New York I had to keep any attempt of an outfit cool and comfortable because we were still doing a whole lot of walking and subway exploration.

By NOW (who would have thought it could ever happen) we started to find our way around a little better but still my big dreams of having beautifully straight hair never came to pass. It was always up and out of the way.

I pulled on my light collared dress. I picked it up at the Salvation army store in Nowra for $2. My trick is to walk straight to the dress up section because they are usually half price compared to the other 'normal' clothes and they are exactly what I'm looking for (either vintage dresses, bold patterned pieces or just something unique that can use to add interest to some of the simpler outfits that I wear).

I loved the colour of this dress but it was too long and sadly too tight :(
The underlay was just cutting off any attempts to breathe but I really really REALLY wanted it and the dress itself was fine. What to do then?
Take a pair of scissors and cut the hemline and the underlay. Shoes were $3 from the same place and the bag was $0.50 from the Salvo's too so it basically is a Salvos outfit ;)
I really encourage all of you to take a good look in secondhand/thrift stores. After the Buy Nothing New Month Challenge I seem to source the majority of my clothes from Opshops/thrift stores.

I still get some lovely basics from Best and Less and City Chic and I love ASOS for special occasions but with the constant urge to travel and enjoy weekends away from work; well I love that I can get clothes that no one else will be wearing at an insanely good price.

Being in Australia with limited plus size options, if it's new then chances are you will most likely see someone else wear it. There's nothing wrong with that because I love seeing how other women choose to style certain pieces and I always like guessing or wondering where they have picked up certain items from. Girls be rocking that City Chic in Australia and I have notices a lot more ASOS purchases. Who can blame them right?  ASOS Curve is just so amazing!

Gabby if you are reading this please send me a Goat Roti asap ;)

Big Love,

Falala Mele xo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Aussie Curves: Bold Nails Freshly Squeezed

Hello Lovely Ones,

Just a quick post for the Aussie Curves Australian outfit photo challenge. So the first week was all about the bold nails. So I wanted to share a few pics from the weekend that was. I'm pretty sure this weeks challenge closes tonight so fingers crossed they will still let me enter. I guess it's a great opportunity to network with Australian bloggers because at the moment most of the people that I interact with are from the United States. Holla Australian Bloggers! I'm looking for great blogs to follow and to share mine with others.

So anyways lets keep this quick. I had a lovely weekend with my roomies and my parents. They stopped by for a visit and after church we went off to Merbein for the Merbein's Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph. We loved playing around the vintage cars and passing all the local street stalls whilst trying to hunt out a piece of vanilla slice.

Hat Thrifted $3.00 / Cardigan Thrifted $5.00

Nail Colour from local chemist $2.00. I always look for bright colours to create a little extra interest.

2nd Place Winner: local Mildura Bakery Hudak's entry

Printed Dress: Borrowed (my sister's thrifted dress)  $3 / Cardigan Thrifted $5.00 / Hat Thrifted $3.00 / Bag Thrifted $.50

Big Love,

Falala Mele xo

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 5 NYC: Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir & Katz's Deli

Hello my lovely ones,

How are you all? I'm so glad it is the weekend because now I get to post to you all. Tomorrow is Saturday so no 5am start tomorrow :D Thank you for all the kind comments on my little Viva feature. It was so fun to share the excitement with you all. THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE! It always makes me grin up real big when I hear from you guys.

But enough of all that. It's time to get back to Day 5 of the New York Summer Adventure. So if you have been reading you will know that the previous night was spent out in Brooklyn hanging with Gabby and Candice eating Ethiopian food, dancing at Mo's and attending a school supplies drive and fashion mixer for Congolese school girls.

Anyways we didn't get home until 6:00am and the girls were hungry so we stopped at a little food van to pick up a lamb Gyro (I think that's what you call it) before falling into bed. I swear 3 seconds later (try 2 hours later) the alarm went off. I dragged my ass out of bed because it was Sunday and we made plans to go visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle

I'm sooooo glad we made it back to New York because we got a chance to tick off so many things we didn't get to do the first time. This was definitely one of them. I just love the music of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and I wanted to visit the church so that I could hear the choir sing with my own two ears. So we dragged ourselves out of bed and on to the train. We followed my little google maps directions as best we could. We got a little lost and asked friendly looking people for directions. 

That Sunday morning Brooklyn was so quiet and pretty. This friendly lady gave us directions and invited us back to her place to pick up some useful literature (she was a teacher too) and even mentioned that her brother used to be a pilot in Western Australia and that we worked a lot with some indigenous peoples and communities. SUCH A SMALL WORLD because I spent my first years teaching out there in an Aboriginal school. 

After being hand delivered to the church (another friendly lady said she was walking that direction and wouldn't mind showing us the way) we sat up the back because the bottom part of FULL! Even so, the music danced past us all the way to heaven I'm sure. It was so uplifting. Even a few tears may have surfaced as another little 'nice-but-probably-possible' dreams came true. Listening to the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir live.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle choir prepare to sing :D
What I wore: Floral two-piece vintage set. Thrifted for $5. When I brought it I thought I would never wear it together

Skirt and Top / Thriftef $5 Glasses / NY street vendor $5 / Earrings / Thrifted $2 / Shoes / Converse Chucks $50

After church we were making our way to the The Meatball Shop for lunch when we stumbled
across another MUST-SEE/EXPERIENCE place.
Kat'z Deli.
Ever since I drooled over the Anthony Bourdain episode of Disappearing New York I had my heart set on going last year but I didn't make it. This year I planned to go on the very first night we arrived in NYC and eat my pastrami and rye sandwich but I figured out that we would be too late. I promised myself I would get there before I left this time but I didn't know when.
Sorry Meatball shop, but you were never gonna win over Katz's.

Come to me NOW pastrami and rye. It was $15 so quite expensive for a sandwich but the meat was just so tender!

See! Just look at that perfection. We ordered a pastrami and rye, a rueben and a brisket to share between us.

After our bellies were full to max capacity we walked to the park contemplating frozen yogurt (we were never too full to pass that up) and sat down to watch the people and the ballers pass us by.

Even when it was STINKING HOT there were crazy New Yorkers running their little hearts out at 1pm in the afternoon.

Dedication or craziness?

I love this photo of my sisters hair. She is blessed with long thick hair that grows like a weed whereas mine is thin and boring and takes FOREVER to grow an inch :(

Her pretty dress was thrifted too. We were planning on cutting it but the next time she tried it on it fitted nicely.

We could have stayed there forever but we did have plans to meet up with our Trini-Sissys that evening so we picked ourselves up, got on the train and did some more exploring before returning back to our hotel room.

Day 5 evening post coming soon xo
PS. Check out my sissy's post on the same day here

Big Love,

Falala Mele 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Viva Magazine Feature

I arrived home after work totally exhausted. It was 8:00pm and I left my house when it was 6:00am. So I left when it was dark and came home when it was dark. It's week 5  of our 10 week school term and this hump week is not gonna pass as fast as the first four weeks.

Anyways as I was scrambling through the mail trying to find important papers for important matters that needed to be dealt with immediately. I found a big envelope with my name on it. As I picked it up I knew what it was. I didn't want to open it. There was like a little party of nerves and curiosity bouncing around in my head or tummy all at once. So my sister did the honors of ripping it open and turning the pages.

"It's probably right at the back" I said.

"It's probably really tiny" I said.

"I probably look crook" I said.

But as we found the page in Viva (a fashion/lifestyle publication from Amsterdam, The Netherlands) I started to giggle with excitement. My sister and cousin were like "COOOOOOOL you're in a magazine!" as she proceeded  to read the foreign language in a funny accent.

Sometimes my dear blog, you just seem to save my life.

Actually, it seems as though you save my life quite a lot. Thank you Falala Mele and to all my lovely followers and visitors. You are the people reading and the ones I share things with and when small things like this happen to my little old blog, it just makes a world of difference to an ordinary day.

Big Love,

Falala Mele xo

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Evening 4 NYC: Brooklyn eats and beats

What I wore: Skirt: City Chic $10 / Patterned shirt Thrifted $1 / Shoes $30 Converse

Hello lovely ones. How are you all? I hope that you are well and that this post finds you happy and healthy. So I'm up to day 4 of my USA summer holiday recount. This was our first Saturday night in New York. We were so very mad at ourselves for succumbing to the heat and having a little 'snooze' on the previous night. We had contacted Gabby to see what her plans were and she said we could meet up after her rehearsal in Brooklyn on the Friday night. That small snooze turned into a six hour sleep....DAMN jet lag got the better of us and we vowed never to waste another New York night again.

What I wore: I had a suitcase full of clothes ready to roll. I had some sort-of outfits set for certain days but because I had a lot of open days free to hangout with the girls I planned to just pick what I wanted to wear as we got ready. I had a lot of cute short sleeved jackets to wear but the heat was much hotter than last year so a lot of the clothes I had were just too hot. The materials were bright and patterned but many of them were not breathable. So I just had to flip the script and wear my cool and breathable clothes. I wore my simple black City Chic skirt. I picked it up at the Campbelltown outlet for $10. I love the cut of this skirt and I wear it a lot with various tops and it's just the right length to pass as a dress. My patterned shirt was thrifted and I picked it up on a half-price summer sale for only $1. I paired it with my black chucks just to keep it simple and comfortable. Green button earrings, bag and chain were thrifted too. My hair started straightened and down but as you will see in the remainder of my posts; it always got too hot and I eventually chucked it all up out of my face. Either that or I simply only had 15minutes to get ready before we had to leave. We were always late. ALWAYS.

So even though we were out all day on Saturday walking up and down 5th Avenue, we came back to our hotel and attempted to try and finally meet our gourgeous guide Gabby (one half of the Trini-sissy Combo) on time. On our first attempt we were late and lost (try two hours late) and she hung out at the mall and met us with a huge smile on her face. So this night....I didn't want to stuff up otherwise she really would have to second guess her decision and offer to show us around Brooklyn. Her directions were impeccable (even for  3 directionally challenged Australians) and before we knew it we were wondering around Fort Greene area. She said she had made plans for Ethiopian. We were really keen to try food we had never eaten before so this was the perfect opportunity. We wandered past the Brooklyn Gallery and a performing arts centre/theatre. The evening breeze was a welcomed contrast to the summers day heat. We walked past the the extremely busy looked so pretty, littered with people and coloured fairy lights. We considered stopping in for some drinks but we decided to carry on to our Ethiopian restaurant Bati.

Amazingness on a plate. Time to break the bread.
Habana after hours
Bati Ethiopian Restaurant Brooklyn

It was still very warm at this point and as we sat down and started to relax, the conversation with our new friend started to flow. As the food arrived we shared giggles and swapped stories about our sisters and our crazy friends. We were still waiting for Candice to arrive (the other half of our Trini-sissy combo). By the time she had arrived we had nearly gobbled up all the delicious bread, lentils, beets and meats. The Ethiopian food was soooo tasty. I will definitely be on the look out for more good African food when I'm out. Candice was just like Gabby. Open, friendly and keen to share stories and laugh a lot. If that wasn't enough Gabby swooped on the bill and paid before we could really object. I was really overwhelmed by her kindness. I was already thrilled that she could find the time in her busy schedule to show these three strange Australian girls around her neighbourhood. She just went right ahead and paid for everything. SMH. I guess it's just so rare for people to be genuinely nice for not other reason than to show someone else a good time. I don't think I ever said it enough, but they really MADE this holiday for us. It was just the best to hang with these girls. I want to somehow return the favour. I really hope I can find a way to bring them over here for a visit. Gabby and Candice I miss you my Trini-Sissys (Trinidad Sisters :) All our lil jokes. The food. The dancing, The laughing, the teasing. This is New York to me now. You guys are a big part of our New York love.

Fab 5 Trini-Sissy's Gabby and Candice plus us 3 @ Mo's

After dinner we headed over to Mo's for a few drinks and it was soooo crowded but it in a good way. There were a lot of attractive men just watching the game on tv but the DJ was playing the best old school music so I just made my way out onto the dance floor. At first I was a little self conscious (I usually don't give a damn when I hear a song that I like but everyone seemed to just stand on the wall and watch everyone else) but then I was like "stuff this! when will I be out in Brooklyn with all these amazing songs playing again? I am so not going to waste this!" So we danced and represented Australia in the club. Thanks Gabby for the shout out!

After some serious dancing we decided to go outside and get some fresh air. While outside and chatting to new people and we were invited to an independent fashion mixer that was happening around the corner. Of course we had to wander over. How could we not right?

So the event was hosted by The Men of Living of Legacy and Women that run the World groups to celebrate Congo Independence day. It was so very inspiring to young men and women who have made the conscious choice not to follow others and social trends but rather to "promote gender empowerment by organising benefit events to raise funds to help preserve the family structure" and to "bring awareness of international gender struggles and to build an international alliance to help one problem at a time". I just felt so blessed to witness such an event. A small group of like minded people working together, encouraging creative pursuits while doing something as practical as collect school supplies to send overseas for those less fortunate.

 Everyone was really nice and made the effort to come and talk to us. We loved the designs by Ntumba and the presentation by Gisele Eboma showcasing her very own Surfing Queen designs. Honestly it really was too cool for words. I don't know I just loved how a simple night out led to some many unplanned great life moments.

De Lux Gallery in Fort Greene Brooklyn
Surfing Queen Bag available on ETSY

Another new friend Britteny and I with our gift bags :) 
Ntumba was so welcoming and even mentioned us in her newsletter. YEYAHHH AUSTRALIA ;)
I loved this dress.
Our Trini-sissys looking at the merchandise

Mo's round 2. The dance floor was too crowded so I jumped on stage ;)

 After the fashion mixer we went back to Mo's (with even more friends...shout out to Britteny, Patrica, Theresa and Sam) to finish off the night with some more dancing only this time the dance floor was even more packed. It was very interesting making our way through the dance floor. Talk about BODY TO BODY. I tried to dig it....but after a while it became too much so I went up on the stage and danced near the DJ box. I guess this is a small snippet of what it is like to live here. It's spontaneous, busy, sweaty and hot but there is ALWAYS something going down. So my lovely ones, there you have it. It's a long post I know but I really wanted to share this night with you all. I could have told you about another 10 stories that happened that night but I don't want to keep you for too long. It was just such a good spontaneous night. I would love to hear about your know, one of those nights where nothing was expected but then everything just happens and it becomes one of the most memorable nights ever.

Big Love,    Falala Mele

Candice and Pulu vi-o-lay-in'