Hi guys!

I have decided to start my blog all over again. I haven’t touched this one in ages, and I wanted a do-over where I can start fresh and get re-inspired!

If you care to join me over there please head to:


Thank you and Happy New Year!


Depression feels like you are lodged in quicksand.
The more you struggle to get free, the quicker you are dragged down.
It feels like having a ball and chain wrapped around my heart, and pulling my heart down into my stomach.
It feels like nothing.
If you don’t think about feelings or the future or the past, you can sail through and feel “fine” but in actuality you are just numb.
Numbing yourself to the world makes you believe you are fine and are protecting yourself, but it makes it impossible to move forward in life.
Feeling happy, or enjoying yourself, makes you feel guilty.
It tricks you into thinking that maybe you were never depressed and your brain just made it all up.
Until the next episode hits and you remember that happiness isn’t happiness.
It’s a temporary moment of feeling less depressed.
When you can’t remember the last time you felt truly happy, when small things didn’t make your world feel like it’s upside down.

When you lay in bed in the morning and fight with yourself because you know there are so many things you could be doing, but the motivation isn’t there.
You pass it off as laziness, but the more the years go by… laziness just doesn’t seem plausible anymore.
Guilty for staying in bed, guilty for getting up and not actually accomplishing anything. Writing lists and lists of things you need and want to do, and planning to do them.
Never starting.
Saying you’ll save it for a better day, when you’re feeling better, when you have nothing else to do, when you’re bored or any other excuse that exists.
My heart literally feels heavy.
I can feel the weight of it pulling me down.

Depression feels like being in a cloud.
It hovers over you day and night and there isn’t any way to escape it.
It feels like walking through a tunnel that is pitch black, and not reaching the end.
You can’t see anything around you, and you don’t know when the light will come.

— slh


I still remember exactly what cupboard the cereal was in,

I remember who sat in which chair at the head of the dinner table,

I remember the sounds of the kitchen floor creaking,

The sounds of the street outside at midnight.

I remember the feeling I got when I walked down the stairs to my bedroom,

How the air shifted to cold as soon as you got to the last step.

I remember the yellow countertop in the bathroom,

The way the shower sounded as the door clicked open and closed,

The way I felt like I was completely alone as long as my bedroom door was shut.

The smell of the air while sitting on the trampoline til the wee hours of the night,

My memories were made there, my memories they stay there,

In that house.

The house where I grew up, the house that sheltered me, and the house that destroyed me all the same,

I remember most of the people who walked in and out of those doors,

The animals I loved and lost,

The fights, the laughs, the noise,

Chaos was our normal, and that was okay.

I remember how it looked like a gingerbread house with the Christmas lights all hung up,

Especially when it snowed.

I remember water gun fights during the summer on our empty street,

Feeling safe in our neighbourhood, and safe meeting neighbors,

Playing in the dirt when the construction workers went home for the day,

Trying to level the ground every single summer for the Costco pool,

The balcony covered inch by inch with beautiful flowers,

The air conditioner making the living room into an icebox,

I don’t want to forget these things.

This house I once called my home,

Someone else lives there now, and the happiness and memories that once belonged there,

Don’t live there anymore.

I am responsible for taking them with me where I go,

But sometimes that’s too painful,

I remember the hearts in the slats on the balcony,

Eating the chives that grew wild in the backyard,

Chasing cats down the hallways and dressing them in baby clothes,

Drawing pictures and creating art,

Doing my homework at the dining room table,

Walking up the giant hill to school.

I don’t miss the spiders, or the smell in the furnace room,

Although I will always remember the endless amounts of extra whole wheat pasta noodles,

And presidents choice cookies that we had stocked in the pantry,

Running up and down stairs as punishment,

Cleaning the bathroom for 5 dollars,

Our house was the gathering place,

It’s where people came for comfort, for sanctuary, for celebration and gatherings,

It was safe, it was loving, and it was home,

Now it’s tucked away in a box inside of me stuffed to the brim with memories,

They slowly pour out of me so secretly sometimes I don’t even notice.dsc_0558-2

Anxiety is a Bitch and I’m Gonna Fight Her

All of my life I have struggled with anxiety. I have felt instant panic when asked to make a decision, I have called friends with made up excuses as to why I couldn’t go to their birthday party, and I have avoided doing what my heart really desires for fear of what could go wrong.

I know I am not alone in this. There are so many of you out there who battle with this on a daily basis just like me. I want you to know that you are also not alone.

Amongst anxiety I have been dealing with multiple other health issues. Most of these have surfaced throughout the past 5-7 years. Issues such as migraines, I have dealt with since I was about 12 but I only recently discovered that the cause was not chocolate, or perfume, but anxiety itself. Other health concerns have been Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), dizziness, nausea, constant hunger, overactive bladder, numbness and tingling as well as your typical fatigue. I became that girl who was constantly at the doctor for something new. I never felt like my doctor took me seriously or believed me, but I knew something wasn’t right. After about 3-4 years of persistence, he finally referred me to a gastroenterologist. There was actually an answer to my problem: IBS. I was relieved to know I wasn’t crazy, and there was actually something going on. Once I did more research on it though, I soon came to realize that chances were good that this issue sprung itself into existence because of my debilitating anxiety.

Whilst dealing with the new lifestyle I had to incorporate in order to get my body working in order, I noticed other abnormal feelings. I felt dizzy, shaky, and sometimes tingly or numb most mornings, usually before work. I played it off as hunger, or fatigue, or hell even just the need for coffee. This went on for months until I discussed it with my doctor. When I brought it to his attention however, nothing came out of it. I had tests done, blood taken, and nothing came back. I left it alone and tried to ignore the symptoms.

Consider this: I deal with so many types of anxiety. Health anxiety makes me constantly believe there is something wrong with me. Social anxiety makes me fear people and social situations therefore making it hard for me to speak up when something is wrong. Hence why it’s taken me so long to get all of these things dealt with. I am scared of being judged, being viewed as a hypochondriac, ACTUALLY BEING a hypochondriac…. I digress.

This story has gotten quite long, and although I do want to share it, it’s not my intention to give you my entire anxiety story in this post. I just wanted to preface what I am about to say with a bit of background to it.

After feeling all of these issues, and symptoms and genuinely believing there was something wrong with me… I started doing my own research. I discovered that yes, these things are happening to me. I am not crazy, I am not making them up. The real kicker is that it’s all anxiety induced. Seriously.

The day I found out that the reason I am always hungry, even after just eating isn’t because I am a pig, or that’s “just the way I am” as I always used to tell people… it’s because I have trained myself to find comfort in food. So whenever I feel anxious my body makes me feel hungry and therefore I eat to fill that void.

Now what I am about to tell you, is the core reason I have written this post. We can fight back. After learning that I’m not truly hungry all the time but am just feeling anxious, I have made a conscious effort to keep this in mind every time I feel hunger creeping up on me. DISCLAIMER: Of course this is only to a certain extent. DO NOT SKIP MEALS. DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF OR DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF FOOD. What would happen to me is that I would eat breakfast before work and by the time I got to work I’d be starving. I’d find myself wondering HOW?! Well, being at work makes me anxious. So now I am conscious of that fact and when I feel that hunger I talk myself down. “Sara you just ate, you are not hungry, you are just anxious. Breathe”.

Do you know what? It actually works!! I have somehow managed to conquer one tiny hump in this anxiety battle I’ve been fighting for my whole life. I never knew that was possible. I obviously still struggle, but knowing that I actually can bring my brain back to the real world even over something small, is a huge accomplishment.

Imagine what more can be done?!

If you are dealing with any of the same things, try reminding your brain that it’s just anxiety and see if that helps in even the smallest way. Although it won’t cure your anxiety, it may have a positive effect on the symptoms it causes you. I hope it helps you the same way it has helped me.

Anxiety is a bitch, and I’m going to fight her. I hope you do too!

xo Sara

What is Skin Picking, and How Do I Stop?

Skin picking is a compulsive tendency to pick at any acne, bumps, or imperfections on the skin. It is mostly targeted towards the face, but it also transpires onto the arms, and rest of the body as well. Fingers are the most common tool of choice, but many people also resort to using tweezers, safety pins or whatever object will work. This compulsion is directly related to anxiety and stress and is also known as Dermatillomania. While it seems a simple solution for this habit would be to stop touching your face, it is definitely not that easy.

I have struggled with face picking since I was about 13 years old. I never understood it as a problem until I was much older however. I thought it was normal for a teenager to mess with the bumps and acne on their face. Apparently not in the same way I was doing it. Basically I just never stopped and now it’s an unconscious compulsion that I find myself taking part in even when I am telling myself to stop. I will literally sit on my couch, hands clawing my face and in my head be saying, “stop, stop, STOP!” but my body resists. I am not satisfied until I have rid my face of every bump and consequently it can leave quite the red, raw, and sometimes bloody mess. Not to mention, it hurts! It stings like crazy when you wash your face afterwards.

These are some of my go-to products for helping my skin.

Due to the fact that I have struggled with this for so long, and have actively been trying to quit, I wanted to write out a list of some tips that can help you stop if you are also struggling with this. Let me preface this first by saying I am still continuously working on quitting and still struggle daily. I am not a doctor and I know that it isn’t an easy task to stop but these are tips that have worked for me.

If you try out or find any of these tips helpful, or have any advice for me, please leave me a comment below! Now without further ado, let’s get into my How to Stop Skin Picking Tips:

  1. Get fake nails – having fake nails was a hack I stumbled upon by accident. I don’t get them very often because they are quite pricey and can also wreak havoc on your nails but if you have the funds and are committed to saving your face, this may help you. The tips of artificial nails are a lot softer than our actual nails and therefore make it harder to get a good grip on the bumps you’re trying to pick, and because they aren’t as sharp they don’t cause as much damage.
  2. Exfoliate often – When you exfoliate your skin a couple of times a week it removes all of the dry skin (duh!) but if you have any remaining scabs from old pimples, or previous picking sessions using the exfoliator to remove the dead skin from those spots will be much better than using your fingers. Once you’ve removed the dead skin, there will less likely be any “lifts” in your skin to pull at.
  3. See a dermatologist – if what you’re picking at is acne, I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist. I never thought my skin was bad enough acne-wise to go to a dermatologist, but after years of cystic acne I decided enough was enough and spoke to my doctor about it. He put me on some basic topical creams and set me up with a dermatologist and I just had an appointment with her last week. I am going to write a post about my acne journey another time though so I’ll keep this part short. All in all, a dermatologist is going to see the damage that picking has caused your skin and if there is a way to stop the acne from happening there will be less for you to pick at. They don’t WANT you to scar your skin. I highly recommend it!
  4. Find out what type of skin you have – I am still working on this one myself, as I went through the majority of my life believing I had dry skin, but am now learning I may have combo skin. Regardless, learning what type of skin you have is super important because it will help you better take care of it. Using the right products for your skin type will really benefit your skin, and the better your skin looks –you guessed it!—the less there is to pick at!
  5. Keep your hands busy – a huge thing for me is finding something to do with your hands! Things like reading a book (hold it with both hands!), painting, drawing, colouring in a colouring book, get a Rubik’s cube, or a stress ball even. Unfortunately my idea of keeping my hands busy is to eat something, or play on my phone. They work, but aren’t the healthiest of options!dsc_0537-2
  6. Reward yourself – when you have a day, or week, or even an hour if that’s a milestone for you, that you have gone without picking, make sure to reward yourself! A reward can be anything. Whatever it is that will motivate you not to pick. Run yourself a bath, order your favourite drink from Starbucks, buy a cute mug or notebook etc. Let yourself know that you are doing a good job and this is the behaviour you want to instill within yourself!
  7. Talk to your doctor – skin picking is an anxiety induced compulsion. It also can be related to a plethora of other mental health disorders and it will benefit you a lot to speak to your doctor about it. It can feel embarrassing, but just know you are not the only one who struggles with it and doctors see this type of thing all the time. They may prescribe anti-anxiety medications that will help you with more than just face-picking.
  8. Breathe – Everyone gets zits and pimples and spots, and so many of us struggle with picking at them. It’s a shitty feeling especially once you’ve destroyed your face and are left to face the world afterwards, but you are not alone. It is okay, and you will get through it. Just like you did the last time, and the time before that. Every day is a new start. Try to be nicer to yourself and don’t beat yourself up about it. I used to think I was the only one who picked at their face and now I know I am not. We can control it, until we can’t. And that’s okay too. Any second spent resisting, is progress made.

Quick Tip for Relapses:

Take care of your skin once it’s been wounded. Wash and cleanse your face, apply polysporin or some sort of antibacterial ointment, and make sure you moisturize well. If you are going to be handling your face, make sure to wash your hands to avoid infection.

Finding Inspiration in Others

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time gushing over others’ blog posts, Instagram layouts, YouTube video quality, outfits, home décor and whatever else there is to admire. I always find myself feeling negative about it because I don’t believe I could ever achieve a look quite like that, and it really bums me out. I always felt awkward and I didn’t want to try and recreate what the other person had done because I didn’t want to just ‘copy’ them.

I’m here to tell you that it’s a load of crap. Obviously don’t copy someone’s work down to a tee (of course if you copy anything make sure to give credit!!), but it’s completely okay to take inspiration from them! How do you think they got to where they are now? We are human, and we make the world go round by learning from each other and gaining inspiration from each other. Do you like the way someone edits their photos? Ask them how they do it, and try it out. Guaranteed even if you used the exact formula for editing, they wouldn’t look the same. Your physical photography will be different than theirs which in turn will make the photo different regardless of the editing. Not to mention, we all have our own unique taste so chances are you would change a couple of steps in the process anyways.

When I see a photo of an outfit that I like, I try to recreate it with the clothes I have or ones I can access easily (in my budget). I’m not going to go out and buy every single item of clothing that they are wearing and pose for a photo in the same way they did at the same location.

If you’re still trying to figure out what you like in fashion, or home décor or even in photography, there is nothing wrong with learning from those you admire. I have discovered how I like to edit my pictures after being inspired by Kalyn Nicholson’s Instagram. Her photos are dark but in such a pleasing and classic way. Before seeing her stuff, I was under the impression that pictures had to be bright and light and colourful. Now I understand that there is no “one way” for them to look. I am drawn to the darker styles and so now I edit them to be cooler toned and faded which I am loving! My style may change but for right now that is what I am digging!

I have discovered that I prefer cooler tones when it comes to home décor as well, after following Jillian Harris, Meghan Rienks and of course Kalyn Nicholson (yet again). Growing up my mom always geared towards browns, beiges, and greens to get the style she wanted. I followed suit for years and am now realizing that I prefer whites, grays and neutrals with a pop of colour here and there. I have yet to redecorate my home in the way that I want to due to budget but I am slowly making plans in my head; and you can bet when I do redecorate I will be taking inspiration from the people I mentioned above.

In the past I would see something I liked and instantly push away the thought because I wanted to have my own unique style… little did I know that that WAS my unique style. I like certain looks and colours more than others because that is just simply what I like. Now, I have the knowledge of what I like and can implement it into my life while making it my own.

What is something you have been inspired by lately? Or who? Leave a comment and let me know!

xo Sara

Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

You were a blur to me. I don’t have as strong emotions of hatred towards you as I did for 2015 but still you were not my favourite year. I climbed into a cocoon of depression and solitude and am only now trying to slowly creep out of the shadows I have kept myself in. You were the year that I discovered who my real family was, and wasn’t. I’ve learned that people aren’t always who you think they are, and that sometimes you have to cut the negatives ones from your life even when it leaves you feeling completely alone. I’ve had to learn how to navigate my life without the wisdom and advice from my mom, and that I will still struggle with every year from here on out.

When I read others’ posts about finding the positives from the year and focusing on them, I find myself stuck. I can’t think of much, simply because I have blocked out the majority of the year. As I said, you were a blur. A whirlwind of pain, of new emotions and feelings, of learning and trying to find myself. I guess I can say you were the year where I finally took control of my mental health by booking an appointment with a counsellor and I’m so grateful to have found one I love. You were the year I learned more about my physical health and am better able to understand the reasons for the pain I have been in, and hope to learn how to manage it in the next year.

You were the year I was brave enough to leave the job I had for 8 years of my life and step into somewhere new. It didn’t work out as I hoped, but it was a risk and I took it. You were the year I said out loud what I actually want to do with my life. Risky and uncertain as it may be, I was able to acknowledge it and say it out loud. Even if it was only to a few people. I used new social media accounts to have conversations with new people across the world, and make some new acquaintances, where I would normally have shied away. I started to analyze what I truly want from my life throughout this past year, and now can go into the next one with a better idea of how to conquer it.

2016 wasn’t all bad, it was just painful and therefore leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Pain doesn’t just go away, so I am fully aware that 2017 will hurt sometimes; but it’s very freeing to leave my cocoon in 2016. Every year has ups and downs and I am prepared for that, but I am embracing 2017 with the most open of arms and optimism that I have never had before. I am ready to take control of my own life, and chase after what I want.

Goodbye 2016, I am grateful for your lessons but I won’t be missing you. Hello 2017 I am ready for you now.


xo Sara

Learning to Own Your Insecurities

As you can tell by the title of this post, we are going to be discussing insecurities, and of those I have many. As we all do. As a child we begin blissfully unaware of the world of insecurities. We aren’t comparing ourselves to others looks and we think all of our parents are the most beautiful people in the world. The innocence of it is amazing and I wish we could all stay that way. However, then one day we hear our mothers talking to their friends about being fat and needing to go on a diet; and then a kid at school points out the size of your nose (at least in my case) and we go on to notice more and more things about ourselves that may not be completely perfect.

Fast forward to our teenage and adult years and we have lists upon lists of things that we don’t like about ourselves. Things that we try to hide from others; we use makeup to cover spots and to contour our faces into looking thinner and more defined. We only take photos at certain angles because we want to avoid the double chin, or the tummy pooch and we edit them with smoothing filters to make our skin look flawless. In the media every single day we hear more about models being photo shopped and how they portray an unachievable goal yet we still feel pressured to look just like them. I for one definitely use the above techniques to make my photos look better, I suck in my stomach and push out my bum when I pose. I take at least 20 photos before I get even ONE that I like and am happy with. Of course then I edit it and filter it so that it’s even more “perfect”.

There is however one thing I won’t do, and that’s to photo shop a body part. The reason being that I want people to see me and know me for me. It’s safe to say that everyone has little tricks to make themselves look better in pictures, and although we shouldn’t feel like we have to use them, for right now it’s what we do. I will still edit my pictures in ways that make me feel more comfortable, but I won’t put out something that isn’t truly me.

When my friend and I went out to take snow photos this week, she took a side profile photo of me. When I saw it I was horrified because I am extremely insecure about my nose. I thought it looked absolutely disgusting, and we joked around about how she should photo shop it to make it cuter. I didn’t think much of it until I got the photos back from her and she had actually photo shopped my nose, for fun. I wasn’t upset that she did it, I was more upset that I liked how it looked and I wished my nose really looked that way. Except I knew for a fact I could never post that photo. Anyone who knows me in real life, would know the picture was photo shopped and anyone who doesn’t know me deserves to know me as the person I really am. All of the filters and lighting changes are a pretty obvious edit, but when it comes to the actual shape of my nose, that’s pretty hard to fake in real life. It’s important to me that I own who I am and what I look like; I refuse to pretend to be any other way.

I ended up asking my friend for the photos without my nose photo shopped and she gave them to me. To my surprise I actually didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. When I feel insecure about something, I automatically assume that everyone else is staring at that particular thing. I mean who is going to think the picture is cute when my nose is in the way right?! Once I took a second look though, I realized it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought.

I started to scroll through Instagram to look at other people’s pictures and see what I noticed. All I noticed was beautiful, happy, people. I know of some accounts where they have addressed their insecurities and when I heard what they were I was so shocked because that never even crossed my mind while looking at them. It may be the first thing they see, but it’s never the first thing I see. You literally have to train your brain into seeing that vice versa as well. No one is critiquing you the way you are, and if they are—you’re doing something right with yourself because they are jealous!

Overanalyzing the way other people look sounds like a very judgemental and critical thing to do, but I don’t do it to pick out others flaws. I do it to understand that literally EVERYONE has flaws and insecurities. EVERYONE. I have to remind myself of that every day. That is why I adore when YouTubers upload vlogs when they aren’t wearing makeup and snap chat throughout their day. It reminds me that not everyone looks their 110% best all of the time, and that it’s okay for me not to as well.

I have wanted to get a nose job since I was in the 6th grade, and maybe one day I will. I have nothing against plastic surgery if it’s something you truly want. However I don’t want it to be something I do so that other people will like me more, or so that I will like me more. I just want it to be something I do if I have the money and if I still want it in a few years. I want to be completely comfortable with the way that I am before making any big decisions about my looks, and I have a lot of work to do and a long way to go before I am there.

What are some ways you own your insecurities? Is there anything I should add?

Thanks for reading,

xo Sara

Remembering My Mom

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my mom passing away.

Even as I write that, I still can’t believe it. It’s not something I have come to terms with myself and I am trying to grasp the situation as a whole. I often find myself wondering sometimes if it’s all just a bad dream. I mean it doesn’t make any sense, even a year later I can’t wrap my brain around it. My heart is broken, my life feels very meaningless and dark and I am still accompanied by the depression I have been haunted by for over 6 years. Except now, it feels more unmanageable than ever. Simply imagining what my life will be like now without my mom in it, is more painful than anything I have ever felt before. My mom was my guide, my advisor, my confidante, my idol and my friend; and that’s just to name a few. She was the smartest, most giving and caring person you could ever know. She was also an artist in every way. She painted, sketched, repurposed, designed, created stained glass… the list goes on.

She also wrote. She had her own blog… well, she had multiple over the years. I know of a few of them but there was one that was more personal to her that I hope to find soon, dedicated to her battle with ovarian cancer. She kept this one private and shared it with other sufferers of the horrible disease, I believe because she wanted to truly be honest and share her deepest feelings; whether they were good or bad. Blogging and writing is something her and I shared because it is where we both felt we could release our true feelings without being criticized by the people we knew. We understood each other on that level, which is why I never asked her for her most recent blog address and she never asked me for mine. I hope now to find it, because I want to be able to look back on her words and connect with her. She had such a way with words, and she was always so uplifting, optimistic and inspiring even on the worst days. I have always admired her for that. Even if -as a pessimistic person myself- it annoyed me a little.

Yesterday I remembered her by doing the things she loved. I drank English Breakfast Tea with cream, I scratched 4 lotto tickets (and won $4 haha), and I went to the Stanley Park Christmas train because we used to do that over the holiday season. Throughout my days now I often find myself considering what she would say or do in certain situations in order to help myself make better decisions. It’s safe to say her and I would not always have agreed haha.

So I want to close this post, by saying that I want to continue on with my blogging and writing, for me and for my mom. She documented her struggle and her journey and I know she would want me to keep writing. It’s not going to be a straight shoot, and it’s going to be hard but I want to honour her and make her proud. I don’t think I could ever measure up to the person that she was, but it can never hurt to try and get close.

So to my mom: I love you, and I miss you terribly. This is all for you.