Monday, December 30, 2013

endings and beginnings


My time in Mildura. The people, my job, students, friendships have been authentic and fulfilling. I'm so grateful for the experience.

2013. For many it has been a tough year however I'm always excited at the thought of another year unfolding. A friend recently said "I don't celebrate the new year anymore, I celebrate a new day".
Be thankful & bold and seize each day.

Festive Season. Even though there's still about another week of the festive season, I'm thankful for the abundant amount of family, food and time to just stop and breathe before it all starts churning away again.

My sister is underneath this heap :)


New Goals: Health and well-being + travel and living abroad 

Grounded in my home roots (let's see how I handle this)

New adventure.... I fly out to Hawaii tonight, so Happy New Years in advance.

Whatever your truth, seek it and live it with conviction.
I wish you all the joy, health and happiness you could ever imagine as one year ends and another begins.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dear Tayla

Dear Tayla,

Today marks your 18th birthday. You've waited for this day for a while now and I guess it's because you're arriving at this checkpoint that should completely change your life. Old enough to walk into a nightclub, buy your own smokes and alcohol (I know that's what most 18 year olds are excited about). But hopefully, you're also old enough to remember that you have ultimate control over your life and future. So you're not cotton-wooled by your parents and you haven't had that many boundaries set by anyone. Sometimes (okay maybe most of the time) that hasn't been the greatest thing for you.

You've already experienced the strong ache of abandonment, disappointment, loneliness, hurt and confusion. You've crawled and scratched your way through doing whatever you can to get by to survive. Then things changed. Then I got a call from your Dad, asking us to take you for a year because he was worried about what would happen if you continued to wander down the road you were on.

 It's not that they didn't care or love you, but it's like I always say, our parents are just older versions of ourselves and when do we ever have all the answers? The whole world is marching around trying to make sense of their surroundings and situations. So take that with all the understandings you've gained throughout the year. You know you're not perfect and you know we're not perfect. We're all trying to get through this life being as good as we possibly can and one of the biggest joys I've experienced this year is watching you open up and realise that you are good and that you can do good.

So after all the screaming and banging on bench tops I'm so happy that I can remember these times on at least my both hands combined. I think one hand would suffice but you may beg to differ so I'm rounding it up just to be fair. These moments aside, this house, my classroom, our car.....everything reminds me of you and our good times. The times when we grumbled cause we had nothing to eat....the times when we fought over what movie to watch and the times when we'd sit devouring our fave bowl of noodle box......even dying while you and Theresa watched the Kardashian's wasn't all that bad because that's what you guys loved.

So me being me; never wanting to talking about my 'feelings', I wanted to write and say all the things I don't usually say.

  • I am so grateful that we have had this year together to grow into our family. You're no longer my brother's daughter, you're our baby now.
  • I am so happy that you have achieved the goals that you have set for yourself.
  • I'm worried about you when you're not here and I'm thinking about you often even though I don't text or call (but to be fair I don't text or call many people).
  • I'm glad that I know you're never trying to be rude, you just process things slower than others and you're wired differently to me.
  • You are beautiful inside and out.
  • You are a great big sister and you'll always be that.
  • You are capable of achieving ANYTHING you care to chase and work for.
  • I'm thankful for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT we've spent together.

My darling girl, or should I say....OUR darling girl (my sister has put in countless hours of conversation and reassurance and practical help with organising everyday life)... HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY. I want you know how important and how loved you are. You are kind, generous, beautiful, insecure, uncertain and hard to figure out....We've always said "I just don't get you" but that's what makes you and all this so beautiful.

I love you,

Aunty Mele xo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Aussie Curves: Headwear

Dress: Vintage Thrifted $2 / Hat $3 Cabramatta / Boots Target 

I'm not sure when it happened, but I think it may have started after my first summer trip to New York 3 years ago. I found a cute little white hat in Harlem for like $6....I never realised it at the time but hats seem to be another little outfit saver for me. I'm always short on time and the trusty hat always seems to liven up my dull outfits. These pics were taken in the afternoon. We'd had lunch, watched some movies, rolled around on the carpet.....we may have even had a nana nap....but I got up and put this lavender beauty on. I picked it up at Cabramatta for $3 from one of those awesome dollar shops. YAYURR! 

Big Love,
Falala Mele.

NYC Summer: Mermaid Festival

Dear New York,

Even though it's been a while and you've had a million other bitches since me....I still miss you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

teenage dream

Thrifted Threads: Dress $4 White Cardigan $4 Shoes Target Glasses Equip Earrings Prouds

Thrifted things make me feel like I'm living a teenage dream. 
All the things I could ever dream of when I was a teenager. Pretty clothes, cool shit. 
The type of gears that let everyone know; you were the shit and you knew it.
I was a complete poor soul. But I think everyone was. Nah that's bullshit. People were cool. I wasn't. 
I was a quiet, good, half-caste girl who was fat and couldn't afford all that fancy shit. 
It didn't kill my life like it did for others. 
It didn't sit at home and pine for it. 
I just waited around and grew into myself. 
It was nice dreaming away about all the things I wanted to become. 
I was connected to my family, friends and music and looking back, 
it seems to be the best youth ever. 
Things are getting messed up now days. 
You get everything you want and you get it quickly.
Now I realise that a lot of shit doesn't matter.
But it's nice to get all things that make me feel
like I'm living the teenage dream.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

velour lips & quick visits


Yes I know, it's been forever. I've been busy. School, niece, family & saving. All the necessary boring stuff that makes up a huge chunk of life. Amongst all the ordinary stuff, I was delighted to have my sis Emma come and visit my sister and I.

She brought gifts. The beautiful Australis Velour Lip Colour range. Two colours each. I was pretty keen to see how this gloss turn matte lipstick would work and I'm surprised by the punchy colour and staying power. It lasted through dinner and I literally had to wash it off. Cool for you makeup buffs out there.

My whole outfit was based around the lip colour. I decided to wear my rose blouse as a contrast to the lip colour. I love this thrifted find. Think it was like $2. Black skater skirt and boots. Casual and comfy. Went straight out to dinner after this. Thanks for making it all the way out here Emz. You are the bomb sis.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Aussie Curves: Celeb Copy Cat Aaradhna

So I've climbed out of the woodworks to participate in my fave Aussie Curves theme.

Yes. The Celeb Copy Cat week was something I could not miss out on. I had so much fun last year trying to pull together an outfit to match the effortlessly dope Solange Knowles (see post HERE). While everyone in Australia is going cray cray for big sis Beyonce cause she's here at the moment.....I'm totally pissed that I will miss Solange's quick summer tour and New Years concert. She is on my MUST-SEE list and unfortunately, I will be in Hawaii when she is visiting Australia. WHYYYYY??

Anyways, back to this post..... So I've chosen to copy the beautiful Aaradhna. I'll forgive you if you haven't heard of her before. She is New Zealand's very own RNB & soul queen. I knew of her from way back because all of the polynesians were buzzing over that Adeaze track 'Getting stronger' and the good music has not stopped. 

She has recently dropped the superb album Treble & Reverb. Honestly it's soooooo fucking good. Yes, it needs the swear. I'm never excited about new music because there's so much stuff out there these days and I don't have the time to find that needle in the haystack.

But this is exactly what her album is. 
It's the first whole album I've actually bought in a long time and it's a real collection of stories that progresses and takes the listener on a journey. Yes. A real album. Thank you music gods.

Her track WAKE UP has kept me running on the treadmill when my legs have felt like lead, and the entire album is on high rotation in our house still....pretty sure we were playing it this time last year. 

Besides dying over her music, I've also watched her style evolve. I love her appreciation for vintage (and I assume thrifted) dresses and prints. I love her because she's talented, real and polynesian. Aaradhna looks like a lady and sings like a queen. I can't wait for the day I get to listen to her sing live.

I found this gorgeous pic of her on Kiwi blogger Lani Says Aaradhna's Media Showcase post. I love her dress and I have picked up a few like it when I was out on the thrift. My outfit was a dress and a blouse but I cut the dress and made a skirt, just because I do that sometimes. Both are thrifted of course. I love that she is wearing flats. I'm forever living in chucks and dresses. I love that she is a natural beauty. 

Do yourself a favour. Listen to her music and follow her on instagram @aaradhna and twitter. She is one of the few people that are worth following.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September Weekends

Hi Falalas,

Feels like another eternity since I've been on here. How are you all? I hope that you are all feeling strong and fabulous. It's a dreary Sunday morning here in Mildura and the lack of sun has meant that I slept in until 9am. I'm usually up when the sun creeps into the lounge room but not today, instead I'm sitting at my breakfast bench listening to old Mariah Carey & Destiny Child. So I thought I'd touch base and share a few pics with whats been happening with me the last few weekends.

Last weekend we had a visit by our lovely Level 2 sister Lolo. She was one of your youngest to graduate and she's doing great things in Melbourne with her teaching. We had another cause to celebrate because our other Level 2 sister Lo got the news that she was successful in her transfer to Melbourne for next year. She was out in Mildura for 4 years teaching. It wasn't one of those "serve your time in the country gigs" (and FYI Mildura is NOT country. Try Meekatharra and you'll see what real "country" is!) she loved growing out here in a smaller school; advancing to Deputy Principal in such a short period of time.

So we spent the last weekend laughing, picnicking, churching, dancing, brunching and chilling.
It was sooooo good to catch up with her and Alex and it reminded me that I need to organise a catchup with all my other college girls in the holidays.....YUSSSSS! Only one more week this term. This time last term I was in New York and now I'm gearing up to pack up my house and finish my time here in Mildura. It's going to go by so quickly, so we are making an extra effort not to let work get in the way of hanging out and having fun when we are not working.

1) Homemade garlic studded pizza 2) Asparagus Pea and Olive Salad 3) Brunch 4) Lentil & Current Salad
Brunch crew

Yesterday we were making our way into church when our Samoan family told us that they weren't staying for church because they were going to a wedding in Robinvale. We were about to say our goodbyes when Lo's Mami asked us to join them. It was such a beautiful day yesterday, there were two things that ran through my mind when she asked me: a nice road trip & fob food. YES I'll come.

We dropped our niece of at her friends place and set out on the drive. We arrived and sat through the long service (it was a lovely traditional Tongan wedding) and we chatted with all our Tongan school students who were there (they looked so beautiful and it was lovely to see them in their element with their family). Stelle loved seeing the contrast between a traditional service (she thought it was serious) and the joyous wedding reception where the dance floor was littered with Mums and Aunties and cousins and sisters dancing and singing shouts of praise. She loved the food and gobbled down the Ota (raw fish marinated in lemon juice and coconut cream) and lu (beef and coconut cream wrapped in taro leaves and baked). She spent time with her student and just really loved being immersed in another culture. I love how we can have these little adventures and I'm excited for our Hawaiian one coming up!

Stelle watching bridal party enter the reception

I also made my way around to visit Tae. She is a member of my Newman family. Everywhere I go, I always make a new family with the people I'm surrounded by. She is my friend Lupe's Mum and we all worked and lived together in Newman WA before my final year of college. I worked there for 2 months to save for my college fees and my trip to Europe.

I also saw her nieces. Lupe-Carmel (the girl nestled right into my shoulder was named after us both) and made arrangements for us to have some fun next term before I move away again. Aren't they just beautiful!

After the reception headed back to Mildura and I spent the evening running around a rollerskating rink with my students. We had a church social cake auction to raise money for the orphanage that our Grade 10 students visited in Vietnam earlier this year. Such a nice way to spend a Sabbath.

Big Love,

Falala Mele

Saturday, August 31, 2013

NYC Summer: Evening 4 & Day 5

After the Bloomingdales event at FFFW I scurried off to the hotel in the horrors. "What a waste of time!" I complained. I was pissed off because I thought I had missed the chance to catch up with Deja. Deja was my first ever blogger buddy and a total sweet heart. We have met up every time I have been to New York. It's a personal tradition. Come to New York, visit Deja. This year was a little harder to coordinate because she had just graduated from college and was busy with her job schedule. We would text and try and tee things up but sometimes it just wouldn't work. I also didn't have internet on my phone so messages came through with every free wireless port I could find.Things seemed to work out okay because we managed to find a place and a time to meet up. To view our previous adventures

Mele & Deja 2012 CLICK HERE.

Mele & Deja 2011 CLICK HERE

Check out Deja's blog here:

We were so excited to talk about graduation and friends and family and future plans. Shake shack was okay. Not gross but I don't think I'll be dying to go there on my next visit. It all seemed to the one texture, just all weirdly soft and fluffy and I wasn't a fan of the fries. The shakes were yummy though.

After dinner we headed over to Crumbs to see the huge cupcakes. Sia turned her swag on to take pics and chat with the cutie behind the counter and I decided to jump on the subway with Deja while Sia and Theresa stayed to hang out in Times Square. It was great evening and I forgot all about the Bloomingdales disaster. All was right again in New York.

1)OOTD Friday 2) Bubba Gump Shrimp 3) Goodbye Pod Hotel we're off to Brooklyn
1) Shopping Soiree 2) Thursday Night OOTE 3) Lollies galore

Blazer Thrifted / Top Best and Less / Tights Target

Friday morning was our last day at the Pod Hotel. We woke up and packed up. We took some more photos of our view and doing things that had become our usual routines. We caught a cab through the rush hour to attend the shopping soiree. Wasn't really impressed with it at all. There wasn't anything I wanted to buy and there was no real atmosphere. People just wandered in and out. My sister bought a few pair of earrings but I left after about 30 minutes. Waste of money really. Vendors pay to sell and shoppers pay to shop. The whole FFFW was pretty disappointing. I missed tickets to Indie runway show and I didn't like the other 2 events I attended. The White Cruise was cool fun but if I was ever to attend again it would be to support my friend Jen sell her Seraphim label.
After we left we made our way into Times Square. My cousin wanted to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp. I wasn't keen because I had it in Manila. It was nice but I felt it was the type of thing you only need to do once because it's quite expensive and there is so much better food around New York.

After we had lunch we organised a driver to take us to our new home in Brooklyn with Gabby and Candice. This is where our new adventures began. It was Candice's birthday and we celebrated by eating more at Dallas BBQ. The atmosphere was awesome. It was packed with families, graduation parties, birthdays and people on dates. Everyone was talking, eat and sipping on the signature frozen cocktails. We were full from lunch and decided to order one meal to share between the three of us. The meals are huge and we still had leftovers! It's definitely a place my family would love to go and eat at.

We ordered the Henney wings with corn bread and yellow rice. It's far from fine dining but that's why I loved it soooo much. Lots of hot crispy wings and rice and cornbread. The kind of food we grew up on. We drank virgin Pina Coladas and managed to pack two containers of leftovers to take home with us.

Big Love,

Falala Mele