Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Cleone

Mum is wearing my DIY flower foufou.

We decided to make our own version of a mask after being inspired by the Vogue Masquerade Party pics.

My sister Theresa & I also decided to TWIN it to the party. Napolean eyes and Mac lips with bling embellishments  to stay in theme when we decided to take our mask off.
Cleone's dress was 2 different pieces altered by her nephew Jordan Timbery.
Both Theresa & I wore dresses from Target.

Last weekend one of my closest friends celebrated her 30th birthday. It's really crazy to think that we've been friends for so long and I can't really pin point the moment in time where we stopped being friends and transitioned into family, but it has happened. Every 'big deal' in my life has been shared with her and even though I'm usually off galavanting somewhere, time or distance never seems to dull the friendship. 

We share similar world views and we're both still growing into ourselves, learning about what it means to be a woman; and a strong woman of culture and family. We still giggle about the high school things like finding the right man, and who's doing what around our hometown but that's amongst the sharing of wild hopes, deep dreams and aspirations for the future. I've been blessed with plenty of 'sisters' who now live all over the world. I've shared precious moments with them all but this is something in a league of it's own. 
I remember in kindergarten when our teachers gathered us all in the quadrangle in what I would recall as an attempt to get us all together. I was so scared. I was so shy. There was no one there like me. A swarm of people, but no one there like me. Then amongst a sea of faces I found her. That girl who was a little bit like me, and looked as scared as I felt. That was the first time I met Cleone Wellington and we've been legit ever since. 

Happy Birthday Sis. 
I delight in your accomplishments and success and I look forward to the next 30 years of sisterhood. 

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wedding OOTD

Dress DIY / Shoes Target / Shell Headband Philippines / Fan Gifted in Tonga

So here's a quick outfit post from my cousins wedding on the weekend. 
When I moved back to Nowra I found an old bag of material and I made this oversized sack dress. 
I made a few dresses using this simple square design. 

Full wedding post will be up once I return from New Zealand.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beautiful People: Unko George

Photo source: Bay of Dreams Facebook Page
In the early months of planning our Oahu trip, our friend Mary was so excited to tell us about her Unko George. She said he was super cool because he offered free stand up paddle boarding (SUP) lessons because he wanted to encourage people to get active and because he'd lost a bunch of weight doing the exact same thing.

I jumped onto Facebook and found his page BAY OF DREAMS and had a look for myself. I was immediately excited about the thought of getting up on a big-ass board and gliding through the waters; Hawaiian style. I also loved the fact that his Bay of Dreams was a play on words from one of my all-time favourite movies Field of Dreams, so it became my number one on my MUST-DO in Hawaii list.

Fast forward to Saturday the 4th of January and we - Ruth, Theresa, Stelle & I - were up early to catch the bus towards Waianae Bay. The inital early morning alarm was resented and my eyes stung as I jumped on the bus. We covered our faces and slept ugly, but that was until I could hear my sister talking to another man on the bus. Typical Hawaiian guy; probably 30 years old and he had a huge smile and shiny skin. He asked about her homeland and was happy to hear she was Polynesian because we were all 'one people'.

I woke up to join in on the conversation, because that's what I like to do. I like to talk to the locals because I feel like I'm getting the real low-down on the place. 
As we passed from village to village we watched as he would holler excitedly out the open doors of the bus to his cousins. 
He told us he was on his way home to visit his Mum because he'd just gotten out of jail. 

He was excited to go and see his son and everyone he had missed. By this time, another local lady joined in the conversation and had realised that she was good friends with his little brother. They talked about a big change in his brother and how he is so happy and switched on to share his good news with getting to know Jesus.

Turned out he was getting off at our stop and he pointed down the road. "You'll find Unko George down there" he said.  As he walked off and headed toward the Valley I felt humbled by the whole experience. I wanted to try and get to Unko George early because I wanted to find a church after paddle boarding because Saturday is our day of worship. But silly me, I didn't need a church because God sent the sermons and the people to me.

Walking down the road we were enticed by the country and reggae music booming out of these two trucks as the families were preparing to set up their barbeque for the day. Cousins were running around chasing each other and a group of about fifteen people were sitting down listening to Unko George. We walked over and sat down. I listened intensively as he shared his story about his family and his life growing up as a young Hawaiian man. He spoke of the connection he had to his surroundings and to the ocean. 

When Unko wasn't at school or working he was surfing but all that changed with the arrival of his first born. He did whatever he needed to in order to provide for his family. As the years rolled by, so too did the pounds pile on and before he knew it; he was overweight and afraid to jump up on a SUP in front of his fellow church family incase he embarrassed himself. He waited until it was dark before he got out on the water and just started to paddle.

After the initial paddle in the dark, he made a goal to be surfing by his 50th birthday and that gave him a few months to get his act together and somehow raise enough money to buy his first board. Unko George's story is a long but good one. I feel like there's too much good stuff to leave out, and it's important to experience and hear his story first hand so please watch the link to hear his story in his own words HERE

What inspires me most about Unko George is that he is - by what many would suggest - a regular guy who:

1) Was scared to try something new incase he wasn't good at it or incase he might have failed.........BUT he did it anyway.

2) He set a personal goal and did everything in his power to achieve it.

3) Not being satisfied with his own personal success, he committed to giving back to others by spreading 'Aloha' by offering free SUP lessons to anyone who simply asks.

4) Has vision to connect with people and extend this support all over the world with an online based prayer group.

5) He encourages people to take the much needed quiet time to reconnect with self and to seek out our innermost dreams and gifts. First improve self and then to share it with others.

5) He did all this blindly in faith. He didn't have the money, the assurance or backing of anyone at the time when Bay of Dreams commenced BUT he did it anyways. 

I can't exactly pinpoint what I loved most about the day. It's a close draw between:
  • meeting the local people on the bus
  • successfully navigating our way to the bay
  • falling off the board and smashing into the water
  • controlling the SUP, well eventually.
  • Barbecue Kai afterwards
  • meeting Unko George and experiencing the aloha of his project
  • watching others experience the uneasiness of uncertainty to the joy of success on the board
Even though we weren't too sure on how to get there, and people had said it was a scary place....well, we did it anyways. I feel like this was the day we experienced the real Hawaii. Full with 'aloha' from everyone we came in contact with.
Stickers from people worldwide who have visited and received a SUP lesson.

So here's a few words from Unko George himself.

Describe a significant person to you in 7 words.
Ted Rawlings was a bowling coach and he told me once that you can practice all day long but if it's wrong, it's always wrong. 
How we prepare for life is more important that how many times we prepare. 
So I take my time with each step in life so I don't have to do it over.

6 words that should be used daily.

Thank You, Please, Hi, I Love You

5 words to sum you up at this point in time.

Blessed, Happy, Excited, In Love, Loved

4 things that everyone should experience.

SUP stand up paddle boarding
Blessing others; go do something for someone to bless them. 
Paddling with whales and hearing their songs. 
The love of a child.

3 places you would like to visit.

Germany because my son is stationed there. 
New Zealand. 

2 goals you want to achieve.

Paying off my home and bless more people with SUP.

1 piece of advice.
Go bless someone and feel the joy of making someone smile!

To the man on the bus, thank you for your smile, conversation and story. 
To Unko George; after four years and over 5000 lessons shared,thank you for reminding us all how simple it is to change the world into a better place if we all just play our part, share our gifts and build it.

If you are ever blessed enough to make it to Oahu, you need to pay Unko George a visit. Say G'day and tell him Mele sent you.

Big aloha,

Falala Mele.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beautiful places: Oahu Hawaii pt. 2

The thrill of travelling always hits me when I step out of the airport.
It's that feeling of knowing deep down, down deep
damn girl
 you a long way from home.

Every single time those doors slide open,
and that first step out, out of everything comfortable
and everything normal and away from everything real,
you wake up. 

Eyes wide as you hail a cab or wait for that person who is gonna pick you up
and your senses feast on the people and your body just wants to roll around on the ground
because dear God, you are finally free.

For the next you few days you can't believe your luck.
You made it.
You made it,
another part of the world
another piece of the puzzle
you no longer have to imagine what it'd be like
cause dammit sucker YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE!

You've talked to the people and made your way through their city,
seen where they all lived
and for even the smallest amount of time
you were there, a part of it all

I was here
not too long ago.
For all those years I wondered,
but how can you possibly imagine beauty like this?

Place so abundant in movement and life
you even look at the brothers sleeping under the palm tree and think
this isn't so bad
cause for the rest of us, we're just pretending to be a part of the aloha life
but it won't be long before we head back to our tedious daily strife
back to the mundane and the grind we all on
and in a fleeting moment 
in a year or two
I'll remember that I made it.

I made it.
I was here.

Big love,

Falala Mele.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beautiful things: Sabbath Pastels

Worn last Sabbath.

Blouse Best & Less / Shoes Thrifted Mickey & Mallory / Hat Cabramatta / Glasses NY street vendor
Cardigan SES / Necklace Seraphim / Leggings Target

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Beautiful People: Marlene Longbottom

January 26 marks the celebration of Australia Day. Every year Aussies get out their Australian-flag beer stubbies and generally celebrate with a barbecue breakfast/lunch or at the beach if there is one close by. This holiday marks the day in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove. 

Some Indigenous Australians find it hard to celebrate this day as it marks the start of what some would call 'Invasion Day'. I think it would be great to change the date of Australia day to mark another occasion in Australian history that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can celebrate wholeheartedly. Perhaps May 27th, to mark the referendum that demonstrated a shift in views and identified that 90% of the voting public supported the inclusion of Australian Aboriginals in the Australian constitution. 

All politics aside, I love Australia. I love that we are a diverse and beautiful country. I love that when people are sick, they are able to receive medical care. I am committed to helping the people of this nation with my God-given talent and abilities and no matter how far I travel, I have yet to find a place that I would trade it for. 

With this in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to Marlene Longbottom. She is the first person to be featured on Beautiful People and she is the perfect representation of the good in my country. 
The Beautiful People category was created to share worthy and inspiring stories and people that you should know about. We often get bombarded with so many images of what we should be and we forget how to walk a brave and honest journey. I hope these people inspire you because they have inspired me. 

Marlene Longbottom is a remarkable Aboriginal woman who has reignited her passion to live with integrity and honor through CrossFit and it's a change and process that has effected every element of her life and the way in which she lives it. Her CrossFit journey commenced in September 2012 and aside from racking up things like a 122 kg dead-lift, she has lost 30 kg and has managed to find herself amongst it all.

The single mother currently has a Masters in Tropical Medicine by research and is working towards her PHD. Marlene works as a researcher with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and when she's not there, you'll most likely find her training dirty at her local 'Box'. 

I was lucky enough to catch a few moments of time after a Waminda Aboriginal Women's Health well-being exercise class last Thursday. She was back in town for Sorry-Business (the funeral of her Grandmother) but was kind enough to give her time, if it meant she can help someone else. 

Describe a significant person to you in 7 words.
I'll have to describe my Crossfit Coaches Di and Brendan.
Committed, consistent, persistent, role-model, get shit done.

6 words that should be used daily.
Respect, love, persistence, honor, integrity, dignity.

5 words to sum you up at this point in time.
Tired, sore, but I love it.

4 things that everyone should experience.
Crossfit because it will change your life.

3 places you would like to visit.
USA but I will be heading over this coming July to watch the CrossFit Games and to visit a few boxes while I'm there. Rome and Hawaii.

2 goals you want to achieve.
To reach my goal weight (23 kg to go).
Represent my community in CrossFit.

Marlene's hands are looking pretty good now, but when they're torn from lifting, she wears them with pride.

1 piece of advice.
As women, we tend to put our families first and our health suffers. I was in a toxic relationship for a very long time and I was allowing someone to place value and worth on myself. Now I try to honor myself as a woman by knowing my value and what I'm working towards so it does not matter what other people say. 

Aim to be persistently consistent even if it hurts. I set aside at least an hour a day to get up and train and I'm connected to support communities and I encourage others on their journey. People often see the cosmetic changes in my appearance but they don't see the internal changes of my body and mind. I am growing stronger everyday and I'm not letting stress get to me. It's not about only doing CrossFit, but just to find your passion and to work towards it, that way you're living with integrity and working towards being the best person you can be. I ask myself, what legacy am I leaving behind for my son, my and community? What past of history am I changing? 

So what legacy are you leaving behind for your family and the world? 

Marlene is in the process of starting a blog, but you can follow her on instagram @marlenelongbottom

Big Love,

Falala Mele.

Friday, January 24, 2014


If you're a regular reader, you may recall that I've mentioned a desire to change a few things about Falala Mele. I initially started this blog to share my love for personal style but like most things; I've changed and so has my drive to share certain things. While I love clothes and individual style; it is just one creative outlet that I employ, so in an attempt to showcase all things beautiful I am going to share various features/posts under the following categories and I just wanted to let you know.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing and responding. I've been abundantly blessed by you all.

Big Love,

Falala Mele.