LONG HAIR DON’T CARE: Getting My Hair done

LONG HAIR DON’T CARE: Getting My Hair done

In my last life lately update, I totally forgot to mention another lil update I wanted to log for future me to look back on…

I got my hair done for the first time since like Christmas of 2019! It’s grown very long… from my shoulders, now down to my waist. I still haven’t cut it, though I’ve gone back and forth with myself on whether I should chop it all off and go short again, but I was really digging the balayage look and had a leftover gift card for a local spa/salon (Le Fofo Salon and Spa) from my lovely coworkers that was set to expire. I called the salon and set up a booking, and I was good to go!

I was only slightly worried about my hair not turning out because I knew I could just cut my hair if I absolutely hated it. The guy who did my hair was super sweet — his name is Allen — and we got along well even though we had a bit of a language barrier. I showed him photos from my phone of what I was envisioning, and he pulled out a book full of colored hair samples with color codes, and asked me to help him pick the color.

These were the photos I had as examples for what I wanted my hair to look like. The first photo was more of the color I was thinking, since my hair is naturally black and I felt the warm light tones better complemented my skin complexion. The second photo was the lightest I was willing to go. I also showed these two pictures because he didn’t know what balayage was, just ombre… so I tried my best to explain using the photos.

The look of cheerful trepidation whilst in the wash basin, and the look of doubt as my hair was getting curled. I was very uncertain about the whole thing, but hey it’s something new.

I sat in the chair reading (hot tip* always go to the salon prepared with a book!) for a couple of hours, and Gabby also came by to see how it was turning out. She got there right on time after the dye was washed out and he was drying and curling my hair. I think the last time I bothered to curl my hair was like back in 2014, after I returned home from college and was “readjusting” to island life and standards of hair routines. My hair is very fine but I have lots of it, so curling my hair is always a short lived endeavor.

Anyway, I’m blabbing…

The point of the story is that I got my hair done, and I actually really liked it!

The Final Look

What I Asked For Vs. What I Got

After getting my hair didddd, I was really feeling myself. My hair was cayuuuute! I took some selfies on my iPhone and then grabbed my camera and tripod, set it on self timer and draped myself in my coral print lavalava. I didn’t much like my closet curtains as the background so played around with it on Photoshop, adding a photo I took here at Coconut Point a few months ago. Haven’t done something artsy fartsy like this in a real long time!

The funny thing is, looking back at this a few months later… I’m looking at myself, and I think I looked the same; my hair is just a little lighter and a little wavier. And yes, maybe a little nicer too because I honestly hadn’t really brushed my hair in a long time I’m sure before getting my hair done.

But I felt like a brand new person. When my hubbe got home, I showed off my hair and excitedly asked him to go out on a date with me. Of course, he said yes. How could he deny this hottie with the long luscious locks? We got a table at Manuia Restaurant, where the lovely lady who takes our order calls us her regulars and she always treats us so well when we go for date nights. Ian grabbed my phone and snapped a bunch of photos of me, and we sipped on our gin and tonics (the lady always makes it strong for us haha), and we were in such good spirits.

So about getting my hair done? It was a great experience, all in all. 10 out of 10, would do it again!

Life Lately: A Roundup Reel + Get In My Headspace

Life Lately: A Roundup Reel + Get In My Headspace

Hi hello how are ya —

I shared this round up reel on instagram which pretty much highlights my entire month of July in half second snippets… and shared in the caption how I’d been feeling.

And with that… here are a few updates of my life lately that I thought would be worth posting on here to look back on… please don’t mind my rambling… I feel like I haven’t written for myself in a long time so I just want to write without thinking too much.

My hard drive went kaput

My primary external hard drive stopped working suddenly last month, and I’m devastated because it contains the last three years of my life in photos, videos, and other random computerized parts of my life. It’s been a few weeks since, and I’m hoping that my new hard drive comes in so the Pago Tech guy can clone all the contents of my drive into this new one, but he’s indicated he’s not sure if it’ll work because the partition that my files are on are encrypted and who knows if it’ll clone over properly or come out as jumbled nonsense. Pray for me ya’ll!

Work was nonstop last month

I am finally getting used to not working anytime I’m in front of my computer, because I was constantly uploading, editing, emailing, and researching for work, for all odd hours of the day so much so that my eyes were starting to go cross eyed. So I’ve been avoiding my screens and resetting my computer habits. On the plus side, it wasn’t actually too bad because I enjoyed the type of work — filming a video for our annual Get Into Your Sanctuary summer program. You can find the completed video here if you want to watch it!

A few home projects

The hubba and I upcycled our sun-beaten leaf dining table and DIY’d a tile mosaic with epoxy resin to seal it up. It looks pretty cool, if I do say so myself! We’ve also just added curtains to our south/west facing living room windows because the sun comes in directly for a few hours in the late afternoon and it makes our house so hot and has affected our furniture (clearly, I mean if you’d seen our sun-beaten dining table, you’d know). I have always been a bit anti-curtains for some reason, but after way too many an uncomfortable sun-drenched late arvo in the house, I caved and we bought white curtain panels and wood rod dowels, and I sewed up some canvas to make loops to hold the rod dowels. I can’t tell if I like it or hate it, but I certainly don’t love the curtains, it’s really just there for function. The nice thing is we can always stow it away too.

My island fever is acting up

I feel like I always complain about this on here, but the last few weeks have been like salt on the wound, because we missed my husband’s family reunion that was postponed to this year from last year, and I’m also missing one of my besties’ weddings in a couple of weeks, and I’m one of her bridesmaids so I just feel crap for not being there to help and to celebrate with her. Of course, I also miss my brother and sister, and her little family. I don’t get to video chat with them enough as it is but every time I do, they seem to grow an inch or suddenly know division and have the most hilarious chats.

Online shop update

I have temporarily shut down my sticker shop on my website so that I can work on a photo prints shop. It’s been one of the biggest goals on my list for this year, so I am going to do my best to make it a reality! I’ve been wanting to sell prints of my photos for absolute years now, and I’ve gotten a few requests from people too, which has been super encouraging. I don’t know exactly how just yet, but I’ll figure it out, and I would love any advice or tips if you have any ideas to share with me!

Back to blogging

I really want to get back to my blog, because especially after losing the contents of my hard drive, which is essentially my life’s work, from the last few years, I want to still hold on to the highlights and little bits of memories that mean the most to me. I still am a pretty private person (for a person who overshares on the Internet), so those parts I tend to keep vague but they’re still there. I am learning to just have fun with it, and even if I misspell something, or make grammatical mistakes — I’ve made plentyyyy — that’s okay. This is truly my safe space on the Internet, a place to call my own.

If you’ve read all the way through to here… wow thank you for joining me in my headspace. I hope you have a beautiful day or evening, wherever you are!

xo, Nerelle



Hey girl, heyyy!

You look good… REAL good.

You are beautiful exactly as you are, and you will continue to grow in beautiful, miraculous ways.

Your body is a temple… Unique in shape, size, and features.

You are LIVING in this body. This body is LIVING for you.

Take a moment to appreciate your body, and what it does for you.

Your patterned brown skin lets you feel the warmth of the sun, the chill of the first dip in the ocean.

Your dark brown eyes let you see the vibrant colors of your world and the faces of the people you hold dear.

Your long dark hair adds flair and personality, growing and changing like you do.

Your cute lil button nose helps you recall the sweet memories associated with the fragrances of your past.

Your hands are special because they create and mold things into art.

Your beautiful body contains a big brain and a loving heart so you should know and love your body, and carry it with CONFIDENCE.

LeMax Co. Grand Opening

LeMax Co. Grand Opening

LeMax Co. is a newly established shop locally owned by the Malauulu / Misipeka family.

After some time of planning and sourcing quality affordable goods, they finally opened their doors on February 15, 2021.

You can find their beautifully laid out shop located in Nu’uuli, across from the Laufou Shopping Center and next to Cheat Day.

Hours of operation are: Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm.

Gabby and I got a bunch of cute outfits from there, and I would def encourage everyone in American Samoa to check it out!

Coming out of quarantine, social distancing still

Coming out of quarantine, social distancing still

We are officially done with our mandatory 14-day medical home quarantine! We can finally get in our car and drive around, still remaining socially distant and fairly isolated. Ian and I have taken this whole quarantine thing seriously, but it’s a bummer to hear that others haven’t.
There are still no confirmed cases in American Samoa, and last night they officially canceled flights to/from Hawaii, essentially closing the borders. I’m actually glad they did, so at least now we can focus on our people here, not clog up our medical system, and get people tested and treated.
Ian and I finally got to leave the house to get groceries. Now that there’s a curfew on stores to close at 6pm, it was interesting to see the signs that stores had up to address new hours.
We’ve had a food shortage the past couple of months because the container ships were delayed and some panic-buying after the cyclone and now COVID. Luckily for us, the shelves were well-stocked at the grocery stores because two ships came in. People were  still buying in bulk (like this guy with his cart full of Lysol) but we got everything we needed.
Our first socially distant dinner date with our brüs and neighbors, Mark and Alice. They were so sweet to make us a scrumptious chicken curry and rice dish in Sri Lankan clay pots called walang, over their homemade stone oven on the balcony. It was so lovely catching up, drinking wine, chit chatting about the journeys ahead and our seemingly long ago travels.

I feel like this photo is quite an apt photographic description of our quarantine experience. Snorkeling, cleaning our home, planting herbs, re-using ziploc bags, and playing with our pets… that’s kind of what quarantine life has been like for us. Not included in the picture: the cooking and teleworking. 

I’m still getting up most mornings and doing my usual routine of yoga, journaling, showering, and getting ready for the day. I pulled out this white cotton pajama set that I thrifted last year. I hadn’t worn it yet but it looked so formal for a pajama set so I wore it to ‘work’ on Friday haha.

I’m a LifeProof Ambassador!

I’m a LifeProof Ambassador!

I’m a LifeProof Ambassador!




The Back Story

Remember how I lost my phone at the Nu’uuli waterfall several weeks ago? You can read that story here.

[Cliff notes: We narrowly escaped a flash flood and I’ve been a bit traumatized to go back to find it.]

I figured it was a goner at that point, thinking it would have been swept away by a stream or hidden deep in the muddy rainforest.

Well, 2 weeks later, my co-worker Val and I went back to show some visitors to the waterfall, and Val found my phone! I was so excited and relieved.

I inspected the phone and saw some mold behind the home button screen (it was an iPhone 6s so the home button has a small clear flimsy film that keeps the button from getting wet). I wasn’t keeping my hopes up that it would turn back on, and I had already ordered a new iPhone which was on the way. But just in case, I bought a small bag of rice, pulled off the LifeProof case and tucked my iPhone in the bag of rice. I went away to Apia for the long weekend, leaving my phone behind still sitting in rice.

Cut to a few days later… Ian and I just got back from our long weekend trip. I was putting my stuff away, and saw the bag of rice that contained my iPhone. Not thinking too much about it, I plugged it in to the wall charger, and saw that it was charging. I felt a little spark of hope, and showed it to Ian. He said to keep it charging and see what happens. It could have a damaged screen, or the buttons might not work, or maybe the camera wouldn’t flash, or the audio might just not work anymore. I wasn’t holding my breath… I went back to my usual lounging around and decompressing after time traveling. But then, a couple of hours later, I went back to check on the phone, and it was all charged up and seemed to be working like nothing even happened! Like, a technological Frankenstein!

Now that it’s working completely normally, I must admit. I low-key kind of knew that my phone was going to survive because it was in the LifeProof case.

I was going to go back to the waterfall the day after the flash flood but I felt a bit scared to go back. And then I was gonna try going back with Sara and Chase a few days later after work, but it was raining and again, I was still a bit terrified. I might have also been a tad bit lazy, but that’s besides the point. However, I knew better than to keep my hopes up after finding it 2 weeks later. I love my LifeProof case, but like I mentioned before, I thought it was a goner. So you can imagine how incredibly stoked I was to see it come back to life!

My friends jokingly told me I should reach out to LifeProof to get sponsored. Instead, I did what all millennials with an instagram account do, I posted on instagram and tagged LifeProof (in hopes they would see it). Well, they did! Someone at LifeProof messaged me asking to be a brand ambassador, and I was like YES! We corresponded on emails and yeah, I’m a LifeProof Ambassador now!

What does it mean to be a brand ambassador?

In my completely newbie experience, I’ve learned it means pretty much exactly what it sounds like–I rep LifeProof by using their products (which I already was doing before!). The cool thing is that they sent me a big box filled with a bunch of phone cases and a sweet new backpack, and in return I just had to send them a couple of photos that they could eventually use–kind of like as a real-life advertisement. I’m essentially telling my stories about how I use (and abuse) my phone, and how the LifeProof phone case has been a true life-saver! There really is no other phone case I would rather use.

*Just a note, they aren’t paying me to blog about this. I did receive several cases for free though and a backpack (!!!) which I think is very cool. Does this make me an influencer?! LOL the answer is no. I actually hate that word 😛