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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Thankful for Travel…

So I am writing this post late, I had a very busy day, which for me is not always conducive to good writing or inspiration.  I have many travel type posts that I want to bring to my readers, as Thursday has recently become Travel Inspiration Thursday on KOOKLAH. A way to provide travel anecdotes or advice regularly and hopefully provide inspiration for travel often!

Today, I thought I would write a different style of post, I have decided to link up to Creating Contentment, for Thankful Thursday. In keeping with travel as a theme, I decided I would write about some things I am thankful for – that are relevant to this theme.

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Above is a picture snapped in 2012 in New York City on a walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  It is one of my most favourite pictures with a splash of what became my favourite city behind me. Traveling makes me feel alive and blessed for all that I have. For that I am thankful, I feel it is a blessing to be able to experience another culture, country and meet it’s people. To keep it simple today, I am going to list ten other things I am thankful for, but I could go on forever.

1. When I was very young, around 4 or 5, my Mum passed on an old Atlas to my sister and I. It had this big, beautiful coloured world map. I would lie on my belly on the floor looking at that map for hours and imagining big adventures in my head. As I got older I would go through the atlas and take turns reading about different cities, cultures and countries. I was in awe. I am so incredibly thankful that Mum gave us the Atlas and didn’t throw it out… Mum gave me the very thing that sparked my interest in travel and I won’t ever forget it.

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2. I am thankful that I was raised by two kind, loving, honest, well-rounded and supportive parents. Who gave my siblings and I an upbringing that was full of knowledge, stories and encouragement to be open minded and accepting of people no matter their race, religion, culture or sexuality. Due this we all have interest in exploring places other than our own.

3. I am thankful that a friend came to me at the start of 2012 with an idea to do a tour of the USA. It was fun, an eyeopener and a great way to spend my first overseas trip!

4. I feel blessed that we went to the memorial at The World Trade site. It is the first massive world event I can remember (I was in year six) and it changed how I’d viewed the world. To go there was so humbling and moving, looking at those pools with the water continually running, I felt thankful to live in a safe place and thankful to have the opportunity to pay respects to the people whose souls I had long thought of and cried for.

5. I am thankful that I feel continually inspired by the world and some of the amazing places I have seen. Like the Grand Canyon in Nevada, Stonehenge in the UK and the Eiffel Tower all lit up + sparkling in Paris. To see some future places I hope to see, read my post Five Destinations to Explore.

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6. I am thankful that I have an AMAZING travel agent who goes above and beyond, and always gets excited as if it is her own holiday. Her hardwork and enthusiasm is such a bonus.

7. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have worked hard and secured a good position that allows me to fund my travel.

8. I am thankful that my boss granted me permission to take a longer period of leave for the USA Adventure I am planning, which will take place from the end of December this year to the start of Feb next year.

9. I am thankful to my friends Lauren and Chris who are joining me for a third of my trip, it will be fun to spend two and a half weeks together which will include New Years Eve.

10. I am excited for the experience we will have when we stay in New York City for two weeks, not in a hotel, but in an apartment! Will give us a more ‘local’ experience.  I am thankful we could find a good deal, in an incredible location. I am so thankful, as it was starting to get stressful.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the other thankful posts which will be linked via Creating Contentment’s site. I’m interested in what you are thankful for, travel or otherwise.

Kooklah xo

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KOOKLAH BLOG

Project 2014 in a Jar {Happiness, Positivity & Thankfulness}

Sparkle - pic from Pinterest.com

Sparkle – pic from Pinterest.com

Hope and positivity have always been important to me… it is not always an easy thing to maintain. 2013 was a year of extremes for me, there were exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Due to these lows I struggled with my anxiety and depression in different ways to previous years. Sometimes I found it really hard to reach out to others and I spent the majority of the year feeling alone, lost and sad. Despite this I tried incredibly hard to push myself if a new experience or joyful moment presented itself. What these experiences showed me, is that life can be pretty wonderful, even in the smallest and most fleeting of moments. They should and need to be celebrated.

This brings me to For the Style Seeking Girl’s 2014 project, “For the Positive Seeking Girl” a way to keep focused on the positive aspects of life including silver linings and unexpected inspiring moments. Each day I choose 3 positives from my day then upload to Instagram and Twitter with #forthepositiveseekinggirl and #threepositivesdaily, each month I will do a summary post on the blog. I am also uploading a ‘Quote of the Day’ to Instagram/Twitter/Facebook. With this project you can look forward to more positive and happy searching posts. I am hoping that people will join in – whether for one day, everyday or random days every now and then.

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Part two of the project is something I am very excited about! I came across the idea on Pinterest, you take a jar and decorate it {label, stickers, glitter, ribbons}.

Then for the whole of 2014, every time something happens that is good, fun, inspiring, positive or makes you smile, laugh or cry with joy, goals that you achieve, wishes that come true – write in down on a piece of paper and put it into the jar. What you end up with is a full jar of amazing experiences and moments from a full year, from big moments to the small things. There is no limit to how much or many you write. I am going to write mine on different coloured pieces of paper to make it more fun… The idea is to read them at the end of the year, but I also think when I am having difficult days I will read a couple to give inspiration. I am calling my jar ‘2014’s Sparkle’

Here is my jar:

my jar

For further memory, positive or happy jar inspirations look to Harvard Homemaker, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen or Rebecca Kelsey – don’t forget Pinterest is great for inspiration pictures and ideas too! {I just searched positivity jar}

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What do you think of this idea? Are you doing this or something similar? Let me know if you are joining me for a brighter, more positive 2014!

Happy {early} New Year, Sarah Xo

Seeking Positivity, Happiness and Gratitude…

For the Style Seeking Girl celebrates beauty, fashion and styling… but with emphasis on promoting confidence, self worth and individuality. As Audrey famously said, happy girls are the prettiest.

Audrey Believes In

I have been pretty open about my struggles with anxiety and depression, I have faced many challenges and have overcome a lot of them. I am still working through more – but life will always throw challenges our way. For two years I have been inspired by an idea my psychologist gave me – each day think of three positives, little or big, simple or complicated and use them as a reminder that even the darkest days can have a glimmer of hope. I write these down each day and they are so much fun to look back on. Over the last few years I have created lists of items to achieve (some silly and many serious) and have had so much fun ticking them off. These are separate to a bucket list, a friend of mine told me that she loved them as ‘they are a commitment to loving life’

So For the Style Seeking Girl is taking positivity and marching in. YOU the reader, can look forward to posts under the sub section of ‘For the Positive Seeking Girl’. There will be real life accounts, guest posts, happiness guides, how-to self care, recognising three positives for each day and inspiring moments. I look forward to injecting some positive, happy and life loving posts into this blog and hope you enjoy it too.

I will expand on this idea in a future post, but there are two hashtags to use if you want to join in. If there is a moment you want to share that has given you peace, joy, happiness, laughter or love – something positive or something that you are thankful for, use the tag #forthepositiveseekinggirl … I will be aiming to share my three positives each day on instagram and twitter {I will try and find different ones for each day, and occasionally different ways to share them}, anyone is welcome to join, if you are doing it please use the #forthepositiveseekinggirl AND #threepositivesdaily …. I encourage you to not overlook the small things.

Drop me a comment if you are joining and I will look out for your posts…

Styling positive,

Sarah / Kooklah Xo