Rediscovering…

So…

It has been a really long time since I have written a blog post. I went through a period of feeling lost, like my voice no longer mattered or that I no longer wanted to write about certain things. Towards the end of my constant blogging here (before random, scattered posts) I was in my mid 20s — confused and trying to find my way.

Then life got busy. I was focused on other things, met and married my now husband (and in between the house, international trips and our dog). I wasn’t sure that I wanted to keep blogging. I wasn’t sure what voice I had or if others would want to hear it.

So …

What has led me back to this? A rediscovery. This year, 2019, has been my hardest year yet. I have felt loss in such an immense way and have truly being in a state of grief since the start of March. I have felt lost, scared and hopeless. There has of course been joy mixed in – travel, moments with friends and family, turning 30 – but on reflection… this year has been a very difficult and challenging one and truly I am glad to have survived it.

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2019 – A year of challenges, growth and lessons. Image from CuddleFairy.com

I am glad to have made it to a stage that whilst still grieving, I have recognised growth in myself. I have learnt some lessons this year…

I have learnt that I need to be putting myself first more in order to self care (and at times self protect).
I have redefined what is important and what I can let go.
I have learnt who I can trust and who I cannot.
I have learnt that not everyone will understand something… not matter how much information you can give them.
I have re-learnt that life is fleeting and nothing is a guarantee.
I have learnt patience and strength in a whole new way.
I have learnt that sometimes the path to getting what you want or need may not look or be travelled the way you had hoped.

I discovered that I have an amazing group of women who I work with who have surprised me in becoming my biggest support and make me smile every time I see them. They are fun, friendly, fierce in their love and the kind of women I hope to be surrounded with forever.

Finally, I have learnt that I want to have a voice again — I want to write again, I want to get my thoughts, experiences and musings out there. I started blogging originally for me, I wanted to feel like I was contributing to something. So here goes. I am going to start writing again, I’d love it if it reaches someone, speaks to you and makes you feel like you belong, like you aren’t alone. But if it doesn’t, I think that will be okay too. The main thing is that I feel like I have so much to put into words… and I think this will help me channel my thoughts and feelings as I hopefully move through and on from my grief and proceed to the next chapter.

I don’t know what this blog will exactly become, I may still do the odd fashion or beauty post as I still love those topics, but I think this time I’m going to speak more of the truths of my heart.

As always, if you have read this far and have an opinion or comment – I’d love to hear it. Stay tuned as KOOKLAH gets revitalised and moves forward.

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Sephora for My Birthday

Anyone who has heard me talk about beauty, makeup or my travels will have come across a Sephora story or two at some point.

I was first introduced to Sephora in 2012 in the USA by Contiki buddies I was traveling with. The sheer size of the many stores we visited was so awe inspiring… so many brands and products under one roof!

The mothership was calling…

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IMAGE - facebook.com/SephoraAus/

I remember stocking up big on products that were either more affordable than in Australia or not yet available {some still aren’t!} Purchasing multiples of many and finding new brands to love.

On my next overseas trip, last year {Paris, UK & Dubai} I prepared to spend big and stock up again as Sephora still did not have a store in or ship to Aus. I fondly remember looking for a certain brush in Dubai and having a massive tip sharing conversation between two assistants and I.. it was fun and again I wished for something of it’s magnitude here.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when Sephora confirmed they were coming not only to set up Sephora Australia but in Sydney – a mere two hours from my area. Thrilled.
The mothership is coming.

The official opening date has been confirmed as Friday 5th December.

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IMAGE - facebook.com/SephoraAus/

Which is 14 sleeps away and the day after my birthday. Happy Sephora Birthday to me! I can’t wait to see what prices are like, and it also means that the brands they are bringing with them are ones I won’t need to stock up on when I am in the USA at the end of the year. I am hoping to make a trip down as soon as possible.

Elle magazine provides a full list of the brands that will be available – will be more to come…I am most excited for Kat Von D, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Tarte and the Sephora Collection. I am hoping Urban Decay will be added to the Australian brand list shortly too.

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Kat Von D. IMAGE - facebook.com/SephoraAus

Have you Sephora-shopped? Are you excited for the first Australian store to open? P.s head to the Facebook page to enter a VIP competition for you and a friend.

Shine brightly dolls x x

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

It all starts tomorrow

Since my last post, I took some time out. During this time I have house-sat close to the ocean, took some time for internal reflection, have found enjoyment in everyday things and have had an operation!

I have missed blogging, but I really needed to take some time out. The great news is that now I am full of ideas, inspiration and a renewed love for writing.

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From tomorrow I will be rolling out new post content (the ideas I had during the break were thick and fast), beginning with a new Travel Inspiration Thursday post (read June’s Travel Inspiration Post – Thankful for Travel for why I am thankful for the experiences I have had and an insight into why I love it).
You can look forward to more posts that involve beauty – including a few product reviews, fashion love, mental health and wellbeing, travel and food. I am also going to amp up some social commentary posts; from ongoing world events, inner musings and anecdotes as many viewers have commented, emailed and indicated they love these. I am also considering releasing an excerpt into a fictional character I created at 17, and write about in my short stories often… which is nervewracking, as not many people in my life have read those stories.

It all starts tomorrow. Make sure you have clicked follow, or entered your email address into the box on the right so that you get a quick notification of new content. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have something you’d like me to write about.

Goodnight dolls,
Sarah xo
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KOOKLAH : A living doll, living a life not yet imagined…

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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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Kooklah Participates – Fox in Flats Style Dare

One of the things I have had most fun with in the last year or two is completing in challenges on Instagram … I feel like it is my own world, and I get to connect with amazing, like minded people on various topics, via the power of photography.

Out of all the challenges I have taken part in, one of my favourites is the Fox in Flats Style Dares and I am so thrilled that Andrea decided to create one for this month, July! The idea is that you look at the list where there is a prompt for each day and then incorporate it into your outfit for the day, either an aspect or to style your whole look. Think outside the BOX! Below I have included the list, in the introduction post for July, Andrea includes some amazing tips and examples – you can read it all here.

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Not only do you get some daily inspiration to add some spice to your look, but you also get the chance to interact and have fun with an amazing, supportive and beautiful group of women. You can share across any medium – Instagram is the most popular {I share mine on IG, twitter and the Kooklah Facebook Page} using the tag – #foxinflatsstyledare …

Soon I will upload my looks from week one. For now a past post to show some of my past looks, for FIF dares! People’s Choice – March 2013 {a fun way to sum up the month and look at what I liked compared to my fellow IG pals}.

Are you taking part in this challenge? If not – join! It is not too late. My handle is saregiak if you want to check out my shots and follow for daily insight into the face behind KOOKLAH.

 

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Treat Yourself …

Everyone deserves to feel special, happy and worthy. You may receive this from the attention or actions of others, but I think it is important – possibly more important – to give to yourself.

There is a quote from Diane Von Furstenburg that reminds me of the old ‘have to love yourself before someone will love you’. It reinforces that the way you treat yourself is as important as the way you treat others and that in fact a good relationship with yourself will only improve the relationships with other people in your life.

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To fulfill this idea, you need to spend time getting to know yourself. From the physical to the mental, what you like and what you don’t,  the things in life that make you happy and are important. In Why not go alone? I wrote about the reasons why spending time on your own is a vital aspect to a fulfilling life; to really know yourself, to clear your mind or perspective, gain independence …
By utilising some individual time it will help to create balance in your life and encourage you to be reflective,  supportive,  kind and realistic with yourself.

A fantastic way to build your self-relationship is by treating yourself. Showing yourself some love and kindness will increase your self belief, confidence and worth. If you do, you’ll shine brightly and attract others who do too.

I’m not just encouraging you to do this, I have made a commitment to attending to my needs as well.
Lately I have been really focused on my mental and emotional health – I’ve gone for walks in the sun with my dog, continued doing yoga at home, am participating in the 100 days of happiness challenge (see the Kooklah introductory post – 100 Days of Happy – update post to come soon) and am trying to step away from negativity by spending more time with positive people. Today I allowed myself to enjoy a facial + complimentary warm oil foot massage {first one ever- I’m sold} and an expresso martini with dinner.

Look after YOU,
Kooklah X.O

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Guest Post: Goodbyes

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Goodbyes can be difficult. Saying goodbye to someone can be full of heartbreak and a moment of loss.

Of course in our modern technological laden world, a goodbye doesn’t need to be permanent. There are many ways we can keep in contact with someone despite them leaving. This is the joy of social media.

It is time for me to say goodbye. I have written a semi-regular fortnightly guest post for Kooklah for almost six months. It is now time for this stage to come to an end. My blog is growing and I am enjoying putting too much time and energy into it. I want to focus upon my blog in this time of growth. So, unfortunately I need to stop my regular contributions to Kooklah.

I love the style that Kooklah radiates. She is truly beautiful. And, her knowledge! I love this post on embracing headscarfs. I refer to it often and practice at home!

Perhaps one day, I’ll share my writing here again.

I trust that you will continue to be a positive seeking girl. I hope that you will come and visit me at Creating Contentment if you need some more inspiration, but Kooklah is on her own wellbeing journey and can also give you motivation and guidance to become the positive seeking girls you want to be. And you can be! I promise. It just takes a little bit of work, and a whole lot of practice. I speak from experience.

So, smile cause you’re beautiful. You just need to believe it.

Thank you for letting me into your space and reading my words. It has been such a pleasure. I have loved this experience. Writing here has helped me grow and learn. I will always be grateful.

So, goodbye. Take care.

And remember if you want to stay in touch, there are many ways to contact me. xS

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Thankyou to Sarah for this open and honest post, your lovely words will be missed. I wish your own blog well, and look forward to clicking over to read your future posts. KOOKLAH xo

Slow Down

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More often than not I find myself getting to the end of a day and wondering where the time went. I always feel like there are one or two items that I had planned to complete that day and for whatever reason, have not. This used to stress me out. By used to I am talking about as recently as last week.

In the past week I think my body has wanted me to slow down, and not take on as many projects at once. I only have two hands, and giving myself unrealistic deadlines won’t give me more. I became sick out of nowhere ….

As I spent many, many hours resting and recuperating I decided that this was my chance to recharge,  and try to make the most of not having to go anywhere or do anything. I also spent some time reflecting on how I go about completing my day to day tasks ….

To read on further, click over to my latest guest post on Creating Contentment. I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think and if your body has ever forced a uncontrollable slow down on you…

Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH

 

 

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…

Time for a Change – Letter to my Readers

 

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have probably already noticed {+ maybe been confused by} the realisation that this blog has changed from ‘For the Style Seeking Girl’ to Kooklah.

That’s ok. I have written some new information in the about page to explain it to you… I have also adapted that into the following post – a letter for you. It is an exciting change, FTSSG will still be around – this is the category that all the beauty, fashion and styling posts we publish will come under, but you can also look forward to different content and topics for posts.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts + just a little (A LOT) nervous for them too.

Thanks, Kooklah Xo

Hi, I am Sarah the creator & writer from For the Style Seeking Girl, and now Kooklah. From now on not only will this site post about beauty, fashion and styling but also such topics like lifestyle, travel, positivity, mental health awareness, equal rights + current issues.

I have been blogging for ten years, it originally started as a hobby, a vice to indulge my obsession for all things beauty, fashion and styling. I called this ‘For the Style Seeking Girl’, the blog grew from something I wrote just for me to a blog that has been read and shared by many. My aim was to pass on my own passion to others, assisting them to feel beautiful, be confident & sparkle.

As the blog grew and went through different experiences, I did too. I changed blog domains, and at the time thought about changing the name, I was scared to. If I am been honest, I have/had grown quite attached to the name I had created, but started to feel like I had outgrown it. I am no longer a girl, I am a woman, and I have so much more to share. Over the ten years I developed a love and voice for pieces that included lifestyle, travelling, day to day musings and voicing opinions on world issues. I wrote for other people on these issues, even had a side blog to try and release this passion {funnily enough it was called Kooklah} and every now and then I wrote a post FTSSG that wasn’t related to fashion.

I have decided to take my blogging identity of ‘Kooklah’ further and develop it into a fully functioning blog. All of the posts from For the Style Seeking Girl are still available, and can be found in the archives. I’m a dreamer who looks for meaning in life and I wanted to embrace this in my writing.

Kooklah is Greek, and is something that my Dad has affectionately called me – all of my life. It means ‘Living Doll’, I have always used it as a sign off or to brand anything I created. Over time, Kooklah, became a real part of who I am as my creative identity whilst still been affectionately used as a nickname. It feels very fitting that this is now not only my blogging identity but also my blog + website name. My beautiful friend Sarah from Creating Contentment has been a big support to me as I thought long and hard over whether to change things now. It was more emotional for me to do than I thought, but if I didn’t do it now, when would I? {Sarah, I am so grateful to you – thankyou for letting me soundboard my worries, intent and even name ideas off you… it meant a lot to me. Xx}

I really hope my old readers embrace this change, there will still be a large amount of fashion related posts as this is what I LOVE but I am also hoping you will join me in celebrating the other aspects of life too. I look forward to interacting with new readers and seeing how my voice is received on different topics. Have a brilliant day… and please let me know your thoughts! For our latest fashion post read ‘Oscars Fashion’

Currently, each fortnight you can look forward to a post from Sarah at Creating Contentment, as part of a joint project between our blogs to reach out to our readers on topics of positivity, self belief and acceptance. {read Sarah’s latest post Give a Gift to Everyone You Meet}

Sarah Xo