Talking Happy

Hi Gorgeous readers,

This week my guest post for Creating Contentment focuses on happiness and talks some more about the 100 day challenge I wrote about in 100 Days of Happy. Click over to read it, I have included a small excerpt below:

For the past eleven months I have been on a journey to restore balance, positivity and happiness in my life. This has included creating Project 2014 ‘For the Positive Seeking Girl’.  I have found I become so easily influenced by the negative experiences and want to break this cycle …

Kooklah Xo

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Rest In Peace Daniel..

Daniel Morcombe.

A name and face many people in Australia, no doubt in the world know well. A son, brother and friend greatly loved and missed. A boy I never met, but have not forgotten about since he first went missing eleven years ago.

It could have happened to anyone, and I think that is the awful reminder that hits home to many families. A reminder to cherish every moment with your loved ones.

Source - brisbanetimes.com.au

Source – brisbanetimes.com.au

We were the same age, born in the same month… I think this largely became the reason I originally became attached to the case – from the moment I heard the news broadcast that a little boy was missing in the sunshine state. I still feel that way now, I cried when his remains were found and get teary every time I see his parents, Bruce + Denise speaking to the media.

They have a wonderful campaign, ‘Keeping Kids Safe’, launched as part of the efforts of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation with the aim to raise awareness and keep other children safe. Daniel’s parents have worked tirelessly in their search for Daniel, and in getting justice for him. The love and strength they have shown is amazing, I am glad they recently received some kind of justice with the trial, conviction and sentencing of his killer.

May you rest in peace Daniel…

Kooklah Xo

2 Corinthians 4:18

2 Corinthians 4:18

100 Days of Happy

A few of my friends’ photos drew me in over the last couple of days. They were celebrating happiness. It has been lovely to see. I think life gets busy and we can often forget to take some time to let ourselves be happy.

Following what I had seen in these photos and their hashtags I did some research via Google… I came across 100 Happy Days,  a site that created a challenge for the individual, not to compete, but a something to engage in that celebrates daily happiness and can be used as a daily reminder to really appreciate those happy moments!

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It is pretty simple to take part, if you click the link you’ll be able to read more information {including the reason why 71% of people failed to complete this task} AND sign up.
But basically you upload a shot, to the medium of your choice, of something that made you happy that day. When uploading use the tag : #100happydays which will group your shots with everyone participating {you can also use your own tag, which was suggested for privacy}. I’m using #100happy days plus my own #happykooklah to group mine together on my preferred medium.

I love the idea, I don’t think of it as meaning you need to be happy 24/7 but instead that I am making a commitment to an increasingly happy life! I signed up last night and nominated today as my first day. I am about to upload my first shot to instagram, where I will be sharing {search for @saregiak + follow me or use the tags mentioned}.. they will also be shared on twitter and every ten days in wrap up posts on Kooklah.

My reason for joining is to use it as another tool to improve my mood, mindset and mental health. To be honest, I want to blast a whole lot of sunshine into depression’s black cloud of sadness, self doubt and isolation.

I hope you’ll join me! I think this will help many people to improve their lives. As my friend Peta said to me today “Good things happen to you if you are happy”.
If you are joining in, let me know so I can look out for your shots.

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Here’s to happy,

Kooklah Xo – p.s like Kooklah on Facebook {you can soon look forward to more updates, photos and interaction X}

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Guest Post: Everything is as it should be

Editor: I hope you enjoy this guest post from Sarah as much as I have, I look forward to your feedback.

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Source

These words have been a bit of a mantra of mine of late.

I am running late for a doctors appointment, and traffic is a nightmare. But, it is all okay, because I am exactly where I need to be. Everything is as it should be.

This acceptance that the world is perfect just as it is, is a lovely realisation to come too. The world is perfect in its imperfections. And you are too!

This realisation is a step towards a greater acceptance that I need to come to. I need to accept the autism in my life, that my children are exactly as they are meant to be. I am not there yet. I am not willing to let go of the possibility that I can somehow ‘improve’ them. They need to be better in order to function as adults, and I want this so much for them.

As I said, it is a step forward. A small step, but forward.

I believe that it is easier to start on the inconsequential. If I can accept that we have ran out of coconut flakes, then surely, eventually, I can accept that my pain won’t ever go away. If I can talk myself out of the stress of traffic standing still on the freeway, then there is hope that one day I will accept I was not invited to the wedding of someone who I thought of as a good friend.

Acceptance is tied up with forgiveness. Both are hard. But start small and eventually we’ll get there.

Try to remind yourself that everything is just as it should be and let me know how you go.

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Epcot Styling for Kendra

When it comes to fashion and styling, there isn’t much I love more than putting together a look for a specific style, occasion or event. I do this regularly not just for myself, but for friends and family as well.

This week I received an email from Kendra Thornton who is a seasoned traveller and travel expert from the USA. Kendra is holding a fashion challenge to assist with planning looks for an upcoming trip. She is off for a fun, family weekend at Florida’s Epcot {a theme park in Walt Disney World} and is looking for some style inspiration. The aim is to have outfits that are fashionable yet functional and can be worn day or night..

I was lucky to be reached out to by Kendra in admiration of my own style, to put together an ensemble that fulfilled the brief I was given.

Here is the brief from Kendra:

“A trip to Orlando is a fun-filled opportunity for the entire family. Whether I’m spending a day with the family at Epcot or escaping for some romantic time with my husband at a lounge or nightclub, I know I’ll enjoy my time in Orlando! I’ll have the best time when I look and feel confident and comfortable! This is why I created “Kendra’s Fashion Challenge.” Perhaps I’m a little embarrassed about this. But as a mother of three children I could use some help getting fashion forward ready. I’m looking for some feedback from my favourite fashion bloggers concerning my style. I’ll be taking those three wonderful kids to Orlando, and I know there are bound to be plenty of photo opportunities!  I don’t want to look dowdy in pictures! Specifically, I need help choosing an outfit to wear to Disney’s Epcot. I found so much information on Disney hotels and attractions on the travel talk site gogobot. After reading many reviews my husband and I chose to go check out their fantastic aquarium! Hopefully this will be some inspiration when planning my new look!

I have a deep fascination with the ocean and marine life. On this excursion, I get to share this fascination with my kids as we get to explore one of the world’s largest man made ocean environments. We’ll see over 4,000 sea creatures and learn about more than 60 different species of marine animals. During our time there, we will get a chance to touch and interact with many of the different animals. On the second-floor observation deck, we’ll be surrounded by marine life to gaze at and enjoy. The staff holds two fish feedings each day! I just hope I don’t get wet! I’m ecstatic to see what looks Sarah will choose for this adventure! Thanks to one of my favourite fashionista bloggers I’m sure I will look stunning while visiting Epcot!”

I started this challenge by styling two looks that could go from daytime fun with the kids to drinks with her hubby at night – with just a few simple tweaks! The idea behind this is that Kendra could feel confident to take this look straight to the bar with just a quick ‘fresh up’ stop at the hotel.

Look One: ‘Functional Feminine’ an outfit styled to feel feminine, fresh, fun {great for photo ops} plus appropriate for a trip to Epcot.

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For day – pair lightweight, comfortable jeans and a monochrome colour block tank top with a bright scarf {could be worn tied as pictured, open/draping from back of neck or as a headscarf}, complementing but comfortable flats and an across body bag.
The scarf adds a pop of colour and can be used as a wrap if a cool breeze comes on. The bag allows Kendra to keep her hands free – ideal when assisting kids! I also added a pink belt for extra style-pop!

For night – this outfit is good to go, but for added glamour add a pair of heels {black pictured to complement the top} + a statement necklace to instantly dress up a casual look. For added sleekness I have added another belt option – either would work. Tie a knot in the strap of the across body bag and you now have a clutch! Pairing with a blazer will add sophistication.

Look Two: ‘Casual Edge’ an outfit styled to tick the functional box AND add some rock chic edge…

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For day – pair a good quality black {or white} tee with patterned pants. Having a basic top allows the pants to standout – patterned pants are a must for any wardrobe, as they have great stylish impact with minimal effort. Keeping with the minimalistic vibe I kept accessories simple with a basic, long gold costume jewellery necklace, tan + gold accented sandals and wayfarer sunglasses. The bag I chose is a larger handbag but has both shoulder straps and a body strap, the across body bag from look one would also work.

For night – adding a lightweight kimono style jacket {jacket pictured has some embellishment on lapels} lifts this outfit as does the addition of some wrist bling and heels.

Both of these day looks could be packed with streamlining of accessories + shoes for increased practicality of packing for travel. I.e one pair of heels, one necklace & one bag …

I had so much fun working on these two looks that I decided to create a look specific for night that could be paired with any accessory, bag or shoe from above {I have included some examples too}

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By using a little black dress {LBD} you suddenly create a canvas on which to create a look.
In the left-hand side of the picture I used a combination of accessories from looks one and two to highlight that accessories of either look could work. On the right hand side I have added some optional extra accessories such as an evening clutch. Great LBD styles for mixing and matching include peplum {pictured}, shift and wrap dresses – they are usually sleek with minimal embellishment.

Thankyou Kendra for this opportunity, I hope your trip is sensational, and that you feel fabulous throughout!

Stylish readers, I hope you have enjoyed this post and the looks I created. Do you have a favourite? Which one would you wear, my personal favourite is look two.

Kooklah Xo
Check out Kendra Thornton’s Facebook as well as Kooklah Facebook Page

*outfits styled using Stylicious app

SensatioNAIL Product Review

One of my favourite things to do is go to a beauty salon and get my nails done. This little bit of pampering gives me a mood boost and I love the look of manicured nails.

For the last year and a half I was periodically getting Shellac manicures, a gel enamel that lasts for around two weeks. I’ve recently cut my spending habits to save for a few things.
Ironically it was after I decided to stop getting my nails done that I received an email from the PR team behind SensatioNAIL – a company providing kits to achieve salon standard gelnamel nails at home.

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SensatioNAIL sent a starter kit which includes everything you need to achieve nail look {pro LED lamp, gel cleanser/primer/polish/base and topcoat, lint-free wipes, nail buffer, manicure stick} as well as a detailed but simple to understand instruction card.

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This card has instructions to prime, paint, set and then remove the gel, with handy pictures in case you need an example.

I was also sent a removal kit, {so I can remove and continue to maintain manicures at home} and two extra colours.

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I set aside Thursday afternoon to play around with the kit. I settled on a silver glitter enamel as it complemented the dress I planned to wear to a concert that night. I found everything easy to use and the instructions easily understandable. The finished quality feels exactly like salon finish. I followed the provided instructions exactly, as a result my nails were completely dry. I went on to curl and style my hair, plus put makeup on and my nails stayed perfect!

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One aspect that wasn’t explained was how long the lamp stayed on for {has an on/off switch for power and then a button on top that turns the lamp on}, this information is needed because at different stages nails are cured for 30 or 60 seconds.

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It isn’t a huge dilemma, just good information to have. I timed it myself at 30 seconds.

I am excited to try the other colours provided, and will update this post with how long the enamel stayed on for. Product states up to two weeks. When using the glitter polish, if a heavier cover is required, I would recommend a third coat or to put it over another gel polish for extra depth.
Although I am currently enjoying the splash of sparkle two coats gave!

Have you tried this product? Is attending to treatments at home something you’d consider? I highly encourage you to try it!
The information I received states each bottle is enough for ten manicures. There are a range of different kits from starter, essentials and removal {view kits here} with a variety of colours {I received Silver Glitter, Kitten Heel and Scarlet Red}.

I found that from setting up, attending the manicure and packing away took just over 20 minutes, which is ideal to fit into an at-home-routine.

I hope this review was helpful, I am thrilled to have beautiful, good quality nails that I can do myself {I’m also going to treat my Mum to a Mani this weekend!}

Kooklah xo
Find me on Instagram @saregiak
Like the Kooklah Facebook page.

Clutter + Mental Clarity

For my fortnightly guest post for Sarah at Creating Contentment I shared something I learnt in the last two weeks, how clutter can affect our state of mind. Find an excerpt below, then click the link to head over to Sarah’s blog to read the rest… Don’t forget to let me know what you think! Kooklah Xo

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It was during this week, as I was coming and going from work, with a few piles of belongings I was sorting through and some deconstructed furniture lying around that I felt really low… I found the clutter only added to my frustration, it made me feel dragged down and overloaded.

I have come to realise that our mental state is very much influenced by the area in which we spend the most amount of time. This realisation is fantastic and such a positive step in my journey.

Happy mind, happy life.

For the rest, click the link at the top of the post. Have a brilliant day…