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.


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

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.



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!


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…” |



Slow Down


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…




Guest Post: Let go of your results

Sarah from Creating Contentment has a fantastic post for us to read today. I can identify with what she has written and have been working hard to let go of certain aspects myself… I hope you enjoy the read, and look forward to your comments.

Make your plan, do your best and lt go of the results.

This is the art of surrender.

This is also, mostly a letter to myself. A list to remind myself of what is needed. But, I’m assuming that my experiences are not unique. As different as each individual is, I believe that there is a common thread between us. I believe that the human experience, that is what it means to be human, is the same, regardless of status, location, age or gender.

So, we need to surrender to the world, to fate, to the gods or whatever you call it. To recognise that the future cannot be manipulated into how you anticipate it occurring.

This is about letting go of control, of going with the flow. Of freeing up constraints so to open yourself up to opportunities.

It is also means that you need to recognise that you cannot control how others perceive you. That your best may not be reflected in the best result. And that this is okay.

Surrendering is difficult. It is recognising your fallibility, that you are human and are capable of vulnerability and regret. It is hard because you need to face yourself honestly, to see your faults and your strengths.

You need to let go off your results.

I mean this literally as well as metaphorically.

Study your best, put in all your effort and then let it go. The mark you receive is out of your control.

Eat well. Make good choices. But good health, or weight loss is ultimately out of your control.

We need to not worry about the future. It only stirs anxiety and stress, creating a mental darkness that swamps our present day pleasure. Don’t let a possible negative outweigh the present moment.

All this is a learning curve. It is hard. I am struggling with it. I don’t want to see my faults. But only when I can see them, only then can I improve.

This is acceptance. This is accepting myself as I am, warts and all. This is the possibility when you let go of your results.

Do you beat yourself up when you don’t perform the way you hoped? Or are you good at letting it go? Any tips for me?


Focus On Your Joys

Today I have another guest post from lovely Sarah from Creating Contentment and this post she has written for us really spoke to me.. She bravely shares problems she has {either with herself or with life} and then shows us her joys… I know how easy it can be to take the negatives and get weighed down with them, if you can also appreciate this, or if you want some tips on how to identify the joys as they come please keep reading. Let us know what you think! Kooklah/Sarah x x


I have a lot of problems in my life. There are medical and mental issues. We have financial worries. I have five children, which has create both standard every mother problems and unique problems. I have children with autism. I have university stressors. There are time constraints and space constraints. I worry about my family, my children, my husband  and my friends. I get anxious that it is all getting to much. The weather gets to me. I feel bored and tired and get sick and over it all. I want to do more of some things and I want less of others. I want to feel balance and calm and contentment. I want to be tidier and more organised. I want to read more and relax ….

Goodness, I could go on and on. That just took me less than a minute to write. And another concern is that this is not the end. There is so many problems in my life that I could dwell on.

Just writing this, my shoulders have slumped. My neck suddenly feels tense and tight. I feel teary, overwhelmed and scared. All my problems are on top of me, suffocating me.

I started writing about my problems to demonstrate a point to myself, and hopefully you as well. We like dwelling on our issues. I find that many of my conversations, and those that I overhear, are often quite negative in tone. I have never heard a women during kinder drop off talk about how wonderful her husband is. But I have heard many millions of conversations about how he doesn’t help at home, won’t play with the children, can’t come to appointments, works too much and demands too much sex. Talking about the negative is catching. It is easy to join in on these conversations and add your own tale of woe. And it is easy to get sympathy from others when they are in the mids of their own sad sorry story.

So, today I am going to try and inspire you to break this habit by sharing some of the joys in my life.

I have five children. Five healthy, robust babies that have grown into beautiful children with lovely manners. Five lovely pregnancies and five successful births. Five times I’ve conceived easily, naturally and breastfed as long as I’ve wanted.

I married the most wonderful man, and we are making our best effort at living happily ever after. He can cook and clean. He is intelligent and wise. He is a brilliant, gentle and caring father. He looks after me and loves me.

We have a home that is welcoming and comfortable. It is a home full of noise and love. The many messy’s tell of lots of fun play and creative learnings and therapy sessions.

I am alive. I survived a serious car accident with major injuries. I can walk and play with my children. I can read with them, help them with their homework and enjoy many a hug with them.

I attend university. I am often amazed that I find myself back again, reading and learning. I am educated and have the ability to read and research on any topic that I’m interested, from Madras to Epicurus, from autism to green smoothies.

Now, I’ll admit that this list was harder to write. It was so much harder to come up with multiple joys. It is something that I am actively practicing. Being grateful and joyous is not something that is coming naturally to me. But these qualities are what I want to be. And so I practice.

Every night I write in my gratitude diary. Everynight, before bed, I sit and try and think of three things I am grateful for and write them down. Every week I participate in Thankful Thursday on A Parenting Life, where I try to spend some time and write a whole post about something I am thankful for. You can read my previous  posts HERE.

And this practice makes me happy. By focusing upon my joys, I am ignoring my problems. What you focus upon becomes clearer. So, my joys are becoming more obvious to me, and seem to be multiplying. Which is a joy in and of itself.

So, try not to dwell on the bad stuff that happens. Focus on your joys.

Share them here and watch them multiply!

I would love to know what makes you feel joyful.