So, 15 Months…

15 Months and a couple of weeks ago was when I wrote my last blog post. Trust me, that was not the plan. 

I had a lot of hope for 2015 – and boy, did it deliver! 2015 gave me some amazing moments and memories whilst also dealing low blows.

The thing is, I do not regret taking a break from blogging at all. For me, blogging has always been about putting my ideas, my thoughts, my voice out there; sharing some of my sparkle with the world. My aim is not for it to replace my income that I receive in my current position as a health professional. For me it is something I do in my downtime and a way to turn off from what I do at work and focus on other interests.

These last 15 months I took a break for many reasons – my time was limited and I wanted focus elsewhere. I wanted to spend time doing other things I loved and not having to stick to a schedule of writing, editing and publishing posts, I wanted to get away from the “competition” that can occur with fellow bloggers and I really wanted to just experience life to the full again. It hasn’t been easy and I have felt at times like life was taking weird turns.
This time has been full of love + laughter but also alot of struggles + hurt. But I’ve grown. I’ve realised that I am strong, that I am extremely passionate about those that I love and that I am allowed to take time out for and invest in myself.

The most amazing thing to happen this past year? 

I fell in love. 

We’ve had our ups + downs and dealt with alot together but we continue to come out on top. Overall our love sees us through. Late last year on my birthday, my beautiful man proposed to me… And I said Yes!

Our aim, our mantra is The Happy Life. It is focusing on our relationship and the dreams we have for our future, goals on how to get there and a reminder to focus on the small things too {life’s truly beautiful moments} … it doesn’t mean that we are always happy all day, everyday but instead that we can find happiness within and together every day. {I share photos in this theme on Instagram using #thehappylife – a popular tag with many people from all over the world chasing + celebrating some happy. I also use the tag #mrandmrsbrows for photos of Joel and I}.
So that brings me to now. July of 2016. I have decided to start writing blog posts again, not to a complicated schedule but regular posts. On a range of topics including lifestyle, food, beauty, fashion, travel and more. I hope you’ll join me.

Thanks for reading,

Kooklah xo

The Jar – Project 2015…

In yesterday’s post Project 2015 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness, Thankfulness & Direction}, I wrote about how I was going to use a positivity jar as I had in 2014. I found this experience to be so rewarding. Getting to the end of the year and reading back all the moments, days and people that had a very positive and uplifting effect on my life was fantastic. I could actually see when my outlook had changed, when finding positives was not so difficult because I would look around and see mainly positives. The words I would say to people, the advice or support I would give was so much more positive; to be strong and keep going, believe in yourself, you CAN do this, look around – there is brightness everywhere.

Now, 2014 was a year I absolutely struggled. I had MANY ‘down’ moments. Times when I felt lost, trapped or afraid. The difference this year is that I honestly believed I could get through it, and that I could move on to an inner calm and brightness that I had not felt in a long time. I was uncertain within myself and which direction I wanted to move forward in, had doubts about my career, there was family illness and my health suffered too even resulting in surgery. I do not look back and only see tears and anger. I look back and see determination, laughter, love, resilience and strength. I didn’t do it alone, but I became aware of how much I can handle on my own. That I can put my own struggle aside and help another.

Reflecting on those coloured bits of paper helped me see how far I have come {note – not all pictured}.

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Here are some of the highlights of last year (I limited to 10, as honestly there were way too many!)

1. Realising as 2014 began that in less than a year I’d be back in my favourite city – New York City

2. Knowing a loved one who was struggling with an awful illness had amazing specialists team behind them.

3. Spending a lot of time with my younger brother and having DVD marathons.

4. The many catch ups and coffees with friends

5. Getting precious one on one time with my Mum – we had a few lunch dates and had the best conversations that were random, funny and heartfelt.

6. Planning, booking and flying to USA with my two friends L + C; celebrating 2014 and bringing in the New Year at an event in Times Square in New York City {major bucket list item ticked!}

7. House-sitting in a great location right near one of the local beaches – really uplifted my mood during a struggle period!

8. Spending an evening with two of my gorgeous little cousins just before I went away – we went to the beach and enjoyed dinner together.

9. Seeing two of my gorgeous friends marry each other and celebrating at their love filled wedding!

10. Spending time with my friends and their new babies – such a blessing!

here's to 2015!

here’s to 2015!

Ok, so now for Kooklah’s 2015 Positivity Jar …. {I am also going to add “She believed she could and so she did” to the lid}

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside...

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside…

This year has been so amazing already, in so many ways. I hope you will join me in this journey – either by keeping track of my updates, by commenting with some of your own positives, or maybe even starting your own jar. Your project can be the same or different. If you are doing something similar I would love to hear from you!

Kooklah Xo

p.s I hope you like the new look of the site!

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Project 2015 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness, Thankfulness & Direction}

Last year I was on a journey of positivity, happiness and thankfulness. I have long been aware of how fortunate I am despite some harrowing experiences and awful losses. But it can be easy to get caught up in the busy aspects of life and dwell on the negativity.
In Project 2014 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness & Thankfulness} I decided I would decorate a jar and then write down anything that was positive, a goal that came true, something funny or happy on a piece of paper. This paper is then put into the jar (I usually fold to save space), you can do this daily, weekly or monthly – whatever works for you! At the end of the year the idea is to take them out and read them, a whole year’s worth of positives engulf you at once. How powerful.

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I am doing it again this year. While I was away on holiday, and working a lot I have been writing things down in a notebook and today will convert them to pieces of paper and place in the jar. Later today I will show you my 2015 jar.
This year I have added direction to the project – I have goals and aspects of my life I want to clarify and achieve.

Each day, from today, I am going to upload a photo to my Instagram {@saregiak} and the Kooklah Facebook Page with three positive things.

From last year I noticed that my happiness lifted and I was more positive in my outlook. Which made me more thankful for the experiences I have. I am also thinking about opening the possibility to my loved ones, if they want to contribute to the jar – either about an experience or write something positive about me – as I think reading those affirmations would be a highlight…

How are you injecting more happiness, positivity and thankfulness into your life? Or more direction?

Hope you have had a good day,
Kooklah… xo

KOOKLAH ~ A living doll, living a life not yet imagined

Celebrate Life’s Snapshots

One of my favourite sayings is by writer Robert Brault, “Enjoy the little things in life… for one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things”, I think this is very true. It can be so easy to get caught up in the routine of life, get weighed down by the hits and overwhelmed with ‘the big picture’.

Often the moments I have looked back on and loved most dearly are ones that were seemingly small at the time. Like spontaneously deciding to go dancing with four gal pals after seeing the Footloose remake at the movies {we went home and dressed in 80s inspired outfits, met back out and danced the night away, yes to the theme song and completely sober}. Or taking a walk in Paris after dinner and looking up at the moment the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkled, a quiet night turning into an all nighter in San Fransisco, a sunny day off, last minute catch ups with friends, going to see After the Fall play with high school friends and standing front row to our favourite song reminiscing. That photo in front of the departure sign before you board a plane or even just spending time taking solace that you have been granted another day, another chance…

I think small moments of our lives are incredibly important, and should be celebrated. There will always be the big attention grabbing moments. But every day you can celebrate a small one… a snapshot of life.

Inspired by these thoughts, Kooklah has some new hashtags which we’ve begun using – and we’d like to invite you to the party! So far there are four, and if you choose to join in, you can use them for our meaning or your own. There are no rules, no rights or wrongs, you can use them once; daily; weekly or not at all. We have simply chosen to celebrate and wanted to extend the offer. Below we have given some examples, and if you search using the tags on IG and/or twitter you can see our shots!

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Examples and hints to meanings (think outside the box too!)
*many of the examples can be used for more than one, but I didn’t want to repeat examples – use the tag your way*

#snapofstyle – this could be a snapshot of a whole outfit/look or a small part of it (contrasting colours, accessories, a small glimpse), it could be a sassy statement, street art, quote, architecture…

#snapofbeauty – again the shot can be as big or small as you like, beauty looks, lip shot, no makeup, a beautiful/lovely friend, mother nature, something eye catching, a moment that made your heart skip a beat, love, joy, acts of kindness

#snapofbliss – a moment of relaxation, exhilaration, relection or happiness. Your own piece of paradise, hope, peace or love. A child’s smile, mess, family love, a book, candle, nature, or memory.

#snapoftravel – could be your daily route, walk, footpath. A new adventure, city or country to explore; items you are taking,  memories you are making. Wanderlust, inspiration. Inner travel; growth, change..

They can be interchangeable,  you may be able to use them all. I can’t wait to see a different perspective or meaning that someone else may use these for. I find it increases my own happiness and I am even more grateful for my life and everything around me.

I hope you like the idea. Would love to read your thoughts… if you have suggestions for future ‘snaps’, let me know. You can reach out using the blog/twitter/IG/email/facebook.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend dolls,
Sarah Xo

KOOKLAH | “..a living doll, living a life not yet imagined…” |

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KOOKLAH BLOG

Start Walking – Inspirational Tuesdays

I have not long returned from a walk with my beautiful dog Charlie. I had been pretty sick last week, so had not been able to enjoy walking, fresh air or the company of my dog.

Today I got up and felt well enough to go. It is drizzly here with regular showers,  and I have alot to accomplish today. Often that would make me go, no let’s skip the walk, but I enjoy them as does Charlie… so I took inspiration from this quote I uploaded to instagram last night and went.

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I am really glad I did. I wore my warm coat, scarf and took my rainbow umbrella just in case the rain hit. The streets were quiet, it felt special – like we had the town to ourselves. Charlie loves to explore and I enjoy her company and excited discoveries.  These walks really give me some quiet, reflective time and encourage me to appreciate the small things whilst mulling over some life decisions. 

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We were gone for an hour. It rained, and we enjoyed the sound and smell of it. We discovered a new route to walk, new flowers and pretty houses.

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It was an hour of bliss. Peace. Solace. I’ve come back feeling centered and refreshed.

What have you done for yourself today? What has inspired you? I’d love to read about it, small or big, five minutes or five hours.

Look after YOU,
Kooklah

Make sure you like Kooklah’s Facebook page to stay up to date and join Sarah on Instagram {@saregiak} for daily updates and insights of the woman behind the blog! ♡ ♥ ♡

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Add a small spark…

I have been feeling pretty low lately. It will take me a little bit to get back to normal, to the happiness I found during my 100 days challenge (I really really will do an overview post soon) … but today I did things for me.

I had a day where I just followed my instincts for what I wanted to do. I had errands to run, work or housework today but I left those and attended to a day that would be good for the soul.

I first enjoyed a sleep in, followed by a walk with my dog and then a stroll over to my favourite beauty salon Little Miss Gorgeous for a manicure I had booked in this morning. It was while there, talking to the beauty therapist that I decided I needed to inject and add some sparkle to my day. I have an obsession with all things glittery, sparkly or embellished {most likely a leftover piece of my childhood}… I had been about to choose a standard colour for my nails, when I came across a colour called ‘ruby glitz’, the name and colour reminds me of Dorothy’s brilliant shoes in The Wizard of Oz … they glisten in the light and are making me smile when I look at them.

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My afternoon consisted of playing with makeup and watching multiple episodes of an old favourite Gilmore Girls. It was during this that I injected more sparkle through eye makeup, creating my look for today’s Fox in Flats Style Dare and I have loved it so much that I’m only just taking it off now.

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I will do a post soon with a ‘how to’ for this glitter eye look,  for now head to my instagram feed {saregiak} for a hint of the products and other shots!

Hope you’re having a good night,
More soon!
KOOKLAH ‘a living doll, living a life not yet imagined’

KOOKLAH BLOG

Three words to watch..

How often do you have someone ask about you? The ‘how are you’, ‘how are things going’ or ‘how have you been’ ?

Every day? Or every second? I think it is a pretty usual part of life. From family, friends, coworkers and sometimes even strangers. Another way in which we can connect and share with others.

Are you ready for my next question? Here it is …

Do you answer honestly? You don’t have to spill to every single person who greets you in a day, BUT to your people – the ones you want to know about, support and celebrate life with – how do you reply?

I have been holding onto this thought for a while now this year. Mostly because I found myself to be answering automatically and quickly. As if I was on some kind of auto pilot, or like I didn’t want to ‘bother’ people.
How ridiculous, especially if these are people who love and care for you – they most likely want to know that you feel sad, low, angry, happy, ecstatic or balanced.

I found myself using three words often…
* Alright * Ok * Fine *

They are not feelings, they are noncommittal words that brush the question or person away. I’m trying really hard lately to avoid these words staying in my everyday vocabulary.

It is perfectly acceptable to say how you feel. I hope you know that, or learn it. As I have learnt.

Watch out for the repeated use of those three words.. they can trigger that maybe something just isn’t OK.

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KOOKLAH ‘a living doll, living a life not yet imagined..’ XO

.:.:.:. KOOKLAH .:.:.:.