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! ♡ ♥ ♡

KOOKLAH BLOG

Slow Down

quote_slowDown_Jason_Fried

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

 

 

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

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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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…

A Dream to Work On…

Hi lovely readers, today is my turn to be a guest blogger on Creating Contentment … you can look forward to regular fortnightly guest blogger posts from Creating Contentment’s Sarah {have you read last week’s called Thoughts … If not, do!} My post today is about an effective way to work on your dreams as well as some suggestions of how to do this.

Here is a little sneak preview:

I know some people who think that having their dreams come true, are life’s little miracles with no or little effort required whilst others believe that hard work is the way to make dreams and our deepest desires reality. There are, of course, many options and ways to interpret this little saying and I want to share mine with you, as well as how I am using that to achieve my own version of dreams coming true.

Taking some time at the end of 2013 to reflect I was able to identify what elements are the most important to me in day to day life. The qualities I found were daily elements of happiness, positivity and reflection. It might sound really basic, but…..

For the full post, click here

Styling Positive,

Kooklah * Sarah

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