Why Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the Best Show on Television

21 October 2018

** Please note: This post DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS, so if you plan on watching the show and don't want anything ruined, maybe skip this one.  TW // mental illness, depression, anxiety

In honour of the fourth and final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premiering this past month, I bring to you my collection of thoughts as to why "CXG" is so, so, so important.

01. It unapologetically displays behaviours of mental illness with almost terrifying accuracy

As someone diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, as our hero Rebecca Bunch is in season 3 of the show, I was absolutely astounded at how authentic the behaviours and thought patterns are. What a relief! I've grown sick of the portrayal of mentally ill characters and how utterly ill-researched their suspected illnesses really were. As if there wasn't enough of a stigma against sufferers of all mental illnesses, the media can really exacerbate these already societally-conceived biases against the mentally ill. In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca has serious, and I mean serious issues, but she is still portrayed as highly intelligent, quick-witted, feisty, and full of love. Rebecca as a character is riddled with flaws, but still ultimately likeable, and even if her actions are often a bit...well, unorthodox, we are still rooting for her, even though at times I feel like I'm watching myself at eighteen making the same mistakes over and over again without learning a damn thing, but that's more of a me problem...

Not only is the representation so very important and needed, but it's also somewhat therapeutic. I, personally, as well as many other people I know who have watched the show obsessively, noticed a lot of mistakes Rebecca makes and noticed a similarity in my own life. It really put my own behaviours into perspective as we watch Rebecca's life slowly fall apart. It made me want to get better for myself so I don't get to the same dark places she ends up. But when she eventually does get better, it gives a glimmer of hope that no matter how bad things seem or how deep a hole you dig for yourself, there is a way out, and you can get better.

Probably the most authentic and evocative moment in the entire series so far is when Rebecca finally gets an accurate diagnosis. Anyone who has been accurately diagnosed professionally with an illness that just made your entire life make sense can understand exactly how Rebecca felt when she walked out of that doctor's office, knowing that everything in her life wasn't her fault, and why she never felt "normal". This moment rung especially powerful to me, having been diagnosed with the same disorder. Tears were streaming down my face as she felt so freed by finally having a name for the pain, as it was exactly how I felt given the same news. I had never seen anything like it on television before, and it really humanises the feeling of hopelessness associated with feeling abnormal your entire life with no explanation.

02. A diverse and loveable cast of supporting characters

Other than the representation of mental illness as an illness and not the fault of someone who is just "crazy", the inclusion of characters of a diverse range of races, cultures, sexual orientations, and gender identities is vital, especially in an era where people are finally able to be themselves more freely. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has one of the most diverse cast I have seen in a very long time, which is such a valuable asset for a television programme to have in 2018, and makes it more relatable to a wider audience.

Although our main character is straight, cis, and white, the main love interest, Josh, is played be a Filipino-American gay man (Vincent Rodriguez III is his name, and he rocks), which in itself is so important due to the Euro-centric and xenophobic stigma against Asian men being considered attractive (I will never understand). Seriously, try and think of a show or movie where a white woman is pining after an Asian man. Even if you can think of any, it is hardly ever seen. Even if there is a Caucasian/Asian relationship in some form of media, it is typically a white male with an Asian female. It may seem like a small, insignificant factor, but representation can be a dynamic tool in ending stigmatised racial stereotypes.

Besides our love interest, Josh, there are a handful of other people of colour portraying fun and interesting characters, including Valencia, Josh's saucy albeit seemingly bitchy girlfriend, and Heather, Rebecca's observant and addictively sarcastic neighbour. Even the extras in the background of public scenes and small characters such as vendors, office workers, and clients have a wide arrange of racial portrayal, which seems like a small gesture, but extremely important in the normalisation of racial diversification in film and television. Even Rebecca herself, while a white woman, is Jewish American, which is also not often found in mainstream programming.

If more shows or films pick up on this, the more we as a society will hopefully and ultimately become accustomed to racial stereotypes and generalisations can be slowly but surely obliterated. This won't inherently end racism by any means, but it is a baby step toward the end of a very white-driven entertainment industry, providing more work, opportunities, and confidence for marginalised individuals.

There isn't' just a voice provided for people of colour, there is also LBGTQ+ representation as well, including Josh's friend White Josh who is gay, and "comes out" on the show in the most hilariously passive, indifferent way, showing that being gay just isn't that big of a deal, and shouldn't be treated as such. And then there's Darryl, whose bisexual representation is most pertinent to me. His character's coming out song, "Gettin' Bi" totally annihilates bisexual generalisations

Something I've told everyone who is just starting Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for the first time is that nearly every character you meet you start out hating or disliking in some way, and eventually end up loving them, even if you think it's impossible. Every character is loveable in their own way, and add important elements of perspective and balance to the show's overall plot. I have never seen such substantial character development in any other show before, in every single recurring character.

Summer 10x10 Wrap-Up

13 September 2018

This past couple of weeks, I took the plunge and joined hundreds of other Instagrammers in the Summer 10x10 Challenge! I found out about this challenge in my Discover feed on Instagram and was instantly intrigued--a combination of two of my favourite things (as well as things I blog about): minimalism and style?? Sign me up!

What is Summer 10x10?

The blogger behind Style Bee, Lee, created the 10x10 challenge back in 2015, so it is by no means a new phenomenon, but it did seem to gain popularity this summer, as I was constantly seeing (and eventually followed) the hashtag #summer10x10 everywhere, from people I already followed to people I newly followed after seeing what outfits they put together using the 10x10 formula.

Essentially, the challenge is all about making the most of your wardrobe. You take ten items and make ten outfits over the course of ten days. For a more detailed breakdown, definitely read Style Bee's original blog post about the challenge

Thankfully this challenge isn't just dedicated to the summertime and can be done no matter the time of year--so it's not too late to start for yourself!

What Sarah Wants: 24th Birthday Wishlist

25 July 2018

leaves credit: (1) + (2)
My birthday is less than two weeks away now, and I already have the whole week plan-packed, but that doesn't mean I haven't had the time to think about some of the things I'd want as gifts! Here are a few items on my wishlist that stick to my minimalist theme -- all things I would use repeatedly or will replace similar, lower quality things I already own. 
  1. Plans by Death Cab For Cutie (vinyl) - $22.99
  2. Madewell Stretch Denim Straight Mini Skirt - $79.50
  3. Glosssier You Perfume - $60.00
  4. Vegan Leather Mini Backpack - $49.99
  5. UO Knock Down Plant Stand in Honey - $69.00
When's your birthday and what's your star sign? Let me know as well as what's on your future wishlist in the comments!

x, Sarah

A Minimalist Gift Guide

19 July 2018

Disclaimer: Gifts are always a luxury, not a necessity. In no way do you have to buy someone something in order to prove that you love them! This post is for those who wish to buy a gift and are unsure of where to start. Any person, minimalist or not, should be content with simply your friendship and kindness, because that's truly the greatest gift of all (wow, cheesy, lol)!

If you have a minimalist loved one, it can seem a bit overwhelming to shop for them when the specials times of year where gift-giving occurs rolls around. In honour of my birthday coming up next month (6th of August!), I've decided to put together a little gift guide for the minimalists in your life--whether they're minimalist veterens or rookies.

01. Money

This is a gift that anyone can appreciate--not just people living off of only the essentials. Probably the most versatile gift, albeit not incredibly personal, money can be used toward the necessities, such as rent, bills, or groceries, put towards a special trip or event, or even just saved. No one wouldn't love to receive money as a gift, regardless of the amount!

Instead of just flat out giving money, another option is to offer to pay for a monthly payment of theirs that they already have--such as a gym membership, Netflix or Hulu, or just filling up their tank with gas!

02. Gift Cards for Essentials

Similar to money, gift cards are a more personal approach to the idea of putting cash towards something your minimalist loved one will actually use. Examples of gift cards for a minimalist include grocery stores (Trader Joe's, Safeway), drug-stores (Walgreens, CVS, Target), supplies for their career (art supplies, tech, software), homegoods stores (IKEA, West Elm, PotteryBarn), etc.

Another gift card option is for non-essentials, but one for somewhere you know that they already spend money often, such as their favourite coffee shop, Sephora or Ulta, or their go-to clothing store (only if they're in need of new clothes, of course!).

03. One-Time Experiences

Rather than a material object, a perfect gift for a minimalist is an experience--whether it be a ticket for an extravagant holiday away, a gift certificate for a massage, tickets to a theme park or concert, paying for a hair or nail appointment, going to swim with sharks--anything that you know they would enjoy. This doesn't have to be overwhelmingly expensive. Even just paying for a movie or making them dinner is an excellent way to show you care!

This is the best option because there's no limit to what you can do! Whether you go for a road trip together or just pay for them to be pampered for a day, money spent towards experiences is far more valuable than used to buy material things.

04. Things You Know They Need

Hearing them complain about a faulty kitchen appliance constantly? Is their handbag falling apart at the seams and in need of being replaced? Are they running out of their highly-coveted cleanser? Pay close attention to when they mention or you notice these things--it can lead to a perfect, thoughtful gift that they wouldn't be expecting! 

05. Your Time

Perhaps the most priceless gift you can give to a minimalist is your time. Not every minimalist will even want any form of gift, even those listed above. The best way to show a person you care is to make time for them whenever you can--especially on special dates such as a birthday, anniversay, holiday, what have you.

Dedicating a day to a loved one and just spending time together can mean the absolute world to them--because a core value of minimalism is building and maintaning meaningful relationships. Similarly to their relationship with material possessions, minimalists will have no problem eliminating people who hold no real purpose or spark no joy in their lives. By sharing special moments and dedicating your time to them, you're showing your minimalist loved one that you are an essential and positive aspect in their life. 

Every minimalist has their own limits and interests, of course, but the mindset and way of living is roughly the same--living off of less for a fuller and richer life. Hopefully you've found this guide helpful if you're hoping to celebrate a minimalist friend or family member by giving them a gift. The key to finding the perfect gift for anyone, not just a minimalist, is listening. Understand the things they value, need, and love in life. The simplest gifts can often be the most thoughtful.

x, Sarah

10 Years of Vegetarianism & My Journey

21 June 2018

Ten years ago, June 2008: I was a thirteen-year-old living in Hawaii, about to start high school. My family and I had just finished our Sunday tradition of eating dim sum and were taking a leisurely stroll through Chinatown. We passed through the marketplace and I turned and saw what would have quite the dramatic impact--an entire pig's head upon a platter, up for sale. It was this poignant moment that I said to myself, "Yep. It's time. I'm going to stop eating meat."

Becoming a vegetarian had always piqued my interest, due to my life-long love of animals and my obsession with Degrassi, where Emma, a vegetarian character, seemed super cool to me (don't worry, I've grown up now and know that Emma objectively sucks). Aside from this, I was also about to embark on a new chapter in my life, my four-year-long commitment to an all-girls Catholic college preparatory academy. It seemed like the appropriate time for a new start.

Now growing up on an island, being a pescatarian is a much more feasible option than eliminating all meats, as we have an influx of tropical fish quite literally surrounding us in the ocean. At the time, I hadn't even heard of the term "pescatarian", and just used "vegetarian", emphasising that I don't eat any land animals. I was able to hold onto this commitment throughout the entirety of high school, aside from the occasional In n' Out Burger on our annual visit to California (I didn't know about the secret grilled cheese menu item at the time! Highly recommend, tastes exactly the same as a normal cheeseburger there, in my opinion).

Once I started preparing for the move to San Francisco for university, I was coming to the realisation that I would be living in CALIFORNIA. I'd be surrounded by In n' Out Burgers (not true at all, there is only one in San Francisco, nowhere near where I lived or went to school)!! It was at this time, in the summer of 2012, that I decided to try and transition back into being a meat eater, for convenience sake. It also gave me more options for my eventual dorm cafeteria food diet. At this point, I had no knowledge of the effect that not eating meat for four years and then attempting to would have on my body. Let's just say that I may have ordered a bacon cheeseburger from Burger King as my first transition meal and that... didn't end well. Picture me, screaming in agony on the couch, not sure if I was going to throw up, die, or both.

That wasn't my most glamorous moment, but the following few semesters in college weren't much different. I didn't eat meat very often, but I just had this overwhelming feeling of "unwellness" for my first two years. Aside from my usual chronic migraines, I was nauseous Every. Single. Day. Sure, this could have been my body adjusting to different medications every once in a while as well as my first experiences with birth control, but the only time I felt even the slightest bit better was when I cut out meat entirely. And this time, I was going to do it right.

Yet another transitional period in my life (I'm sensing a theme here), I had just gotten out of my two-year relationship with my college sweetheart, and I decided to cut all meat out completely, including fish (which I still miss dearly, but have found a fishless alternative!). It has now been four years since this decision, and I have never once looked back.

Now, I'm sure some of you will invalidate my experience as "not vegetarian for 10 years" because of my break and all that--and that's fine with me. There are plenty of people who set rules for their identity and diet in relation to what you're allowed to call yourself etc. but I try my best not to live that way and allow people to identify with whichever community they deem fit. It was ten years ago that I made the decision to be a vegetarian, and aside from a small break for convenience, I don't regret this decision in the slightest.

The most frequent question a vegetarian receives is, "Don't you miss meat?" to which I very confidently can answer, "Nope!" I think the biggest anxiety a person considering vegetarianism is the freedom that comes with being able to eat whatever they want, but I can assure you that nagging craving does completely go away eventually--and if you can believe it, it even, with time, transforms into repulsion. Although I do, on occasion, smell an intoxicating bacon-wrapped hot dog grilling on the streets of San Francisco and think for one millisecond, "God, that'd be good right now," I then remember how sick I'd be and instantly associate the meat with nausea. It's an adapted mentality, but it will come even quicker if you do go a while without meat and try and eat it again (a tactic I do not recommend).

So you've made 10 years, what's next? I told myself some time ago that when I made 10 years as a vegetarian I would begin the transition into veganism, and that's precisely what I've started this month! I'll go into detail about why and how I'm doing that in a future post (or video!).

Are you vegetarian/vegan? How long have you been committed to this? I'd love to hear your stories!

x, Sarah

  • blouse: vintage
  • jeans: gap
  • shoes: crossroads (capitol hill)
  • bandana: vintage (thanks, mama!)
  • sunnies: ray-bans
  • handbag: vintage
  • lip: glossier generation g in "zip"

*Photos by Ranier

Distracting (& Uplifting!) Post-Breakup Activities

24 May 2018

Hello, hi there from the Queen of Breakups! Okay, not really, but I've been through a loooooot of them. Like. A lot. For my age, at least. I've experienced every kind of breakup as well, being brutally dumped in cold blood, having to break someone's heart into a billion pieces, and having an amicable, mutual, mature breakup where no one was wronged (the hardest to achieve--thanks Andrew for being my coolest ex!). You've heard the spiel before--breakups suck. For everybody involved. I've lived with the guilt of dumping people for years and sometimes I'm still bitter over irrelevant people I never have to see again who ended things with me in, just, like, the worst way possible in February 2016 right before Valentine's Day... or something like that.

However the breakup, the aftermath is relatively the same (unless it was toxic and you're now free from a blood-sucking bastard. If that's the case--go you!). If you're prone to depression like me, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things post-breakup, especially if most of your day was eaten up by talking to your partner via text and you have to glare at your phone that has no notifications... NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW WHAT THAT'S LIKE!

As someone currently dealing with the aftermath of my (and possibly the world's) shortest relationship, I decided to share some activities that I find helpful after a breakup. Sometimes you need a distraction or two from the ever-present looming voice asking yourself "How do I always end up with the same type of guy??" (again, not that I would know). These are just things that help me personally, but if you have any more ideas that I haven't mentioned, please do leave them in the comments for myself as well as anyone else reading who may need it!

1. Write Letters to Loved Ones About How Much You Appreciate Them

Nothing brings you back down to Earth and helps your self-esteem like bringing awareness to the amount of love that you DO have in your life and not the love that you've lost. Handwriting personal letters to those people not only allows them to know how much you appreciate having them in your life but also writing things down in itself is just therapeutic. Studies have also shown writing things down helps you remember them better (ah, school lecture flashbacks), and what's better than remembering how loved you are? Nothing, friends.

2. Learn a New Instrument (or Song)!

Of course, learning a new instrument may require actually buying the instrument, which is quite the investment. Instead of spending all that money (unless you have it to spend--if so, kudos), maybe look into renting an instrument or borrowing from a friend! And if you're already a music pro (feel fortunate), learn a new song or two! Then with these new skills you have harboured, you can write your own angst-filled songs about your new ex and about how their jokes were never really THAT funny. 

3. Journal Those Feelings!

That's right--time to crack open that daily gratitude journal you told yourself you'd use every day back in January but has been gathering dust ever since the day you purchased it for the shocking price of $15.99. Write down all that's been building up since it all ended--whether that's sadness, anger, embarrassment, pure glee, or hatred. It's incredible how writing feelings down can just make them feel better. Or, you can try and look past the negative feelings and write down all the good parts of your day. Because honestly, screw that person, they don't deserve space in your head OR that cute overpriced journal.

4. Clean & Rearrange Your Bedroom!

Do you really want to enter the same room arrangement where you and Brian* used to cuddle and watch Netflix? I don't think so. Cleaning your bedroom alone allows for a clean headspace as well, and a way to start fresh! But rearranging your room--honey, that's some NEXT LEVEL starting fresh. You're feng shui-ing Brian the HECK out of your memory. Not only is that healthy, but also a little bit savage if you think about it. So you go host that little HGTV programme in your head as you attempt to move your heavier-than-expected IKEA bed frame in your pyjamas. LIVE YOUR TRUTH!

5. Start Binging a New Show!

I know I'm a person who has an endless of shows I "need to watch" but then I end up just rewatching New Girl for the 50th time. Don't be like Sarah! Broaden your horizons! Have to wait for your partner to watch the next episode of a show you both were watching together? Ha! Now is your chance to start a new show on your OWN schedule. Now instead of being invested in someone else, you can be invested in newfound fictional characters!

And there you have it--a compiled list of things I find helpful after a breakup, regardless of how gnarly it may be. I know there are going to be days where you literally just want to lay in bed and do nothing and that's okay. The cliché is true--time heals all wounds, but it's also important not to lose yourself and miss out on things you enjoy doing while that time passes. Stick around people who lift you up and be grateful for the good, it'll make everything feel like it's going by just a little bit faster.

x, Sarah

* There is no Brian, it's just the first generic white boi name that came to my head ok

Why Minimalism?

21 April 2018

Minimalism has always been highly appealing to me. As a person living with anxiety, needless clutter has always been a prominent source of said anxiety, albeit unavoidable at times. Even worse, clutter manifests as a result of my anxiety or depression. There have been countless occasions where I've texted my friends I JUST WANT TO BURN EVERYTHING I OWN! Does anyone else ever get like that, or is it just me?

From a purely aesthetic point of view, minimalist fashion and interiors struck my fancy on social media, but I always thought, that could never be me. Perhaps it's because, at the time, I naïvely thought that you couldn't be a minimalist and have your own personal style. Vintage clothing didn't really seem to fit into the lifestyle from an outsider's perspective, and I'm sure there are many minimalists still who feel this way.

The way I view minimalism, however, that will best suit my lifestyle, is not what you own, but how much you own, and how to learn to live with less. Many people don't realise or understand that a minimalist can still have interests and hobbies--the difference is that the items pertaining to that hobby are limited to only what the person actually uses or needs. For example, if you're a minimalist painter, limit your supplies for painting to only the essentials, or have only one type of each brush or paint colour rather than multiples.

As it should be with any type of lifestyle or fad, minimalism should not be exclusive to people who dress monochrome and don't own a television. It can be adapted and engineered to best suit your interests and personality, all while keeping the core requirement of limiting yourself to just the necessities.

So why am I interested in venturing into this seemingly huge lifestyle change? Well, there are more reasons than just appearance.


As someone living with BPD, I feel things incredibly strongly--this (unfortunately) includes stress. My mood and mental health revolve hugely around my environment. This is why I enjoy working in a café around other people working, where I feel most productive. This also applies to negative emotions and lack of productivity, primarily when I'm surrounded by clutter. Open, clean, environments with very little bring my mind peace and the idea of having a home like this will allow for that peace to be continual -- omnipresent if you will. 

I'm quite the homebody so the more relaxed I can feel while at home, the better! A clutter-free home brings a clutter-free mind, as they say. As an added bonus, the lack of excessive material possessions will hopefully bring fewer things to constantly be thinking and worrying about.

Saving Money

As a full-time self-employed artist living in the most expensive city in the country, it should come as no surprise I am trying to find ways to save money. Obviously, living off of less means that you need to buy less. I've already begun shopping much, much less frequently, and any shopping I do is always at thrift stores, where I only purchase things that already can be incorporated into my wardrobe seamlessly, and would get a lot of wear. 

Allows for More Creativity

Because I am limiting myself and buying less as well as getting rid of tonnes and tonnes of clothes, I am given more opportunity to be creative when it comes to my wardrobe. It's almost nostalgic, having a smaller collection of clothing items. Back in my first days of university, I only brought some favourite pieces and was excited to make new outfits each day with my limited supply. Although I have much more now, six years later, than I did back then, I am equally eager to get creative again and come up with new ways to wear the few items I hold onto. 

Getting creative also applies to ways of getting things done. Nowadays, it seems like there is a tool for everything, but with a minimalist lifestyle, I can adopt new ways to use what I already have to complete certain tasks. It may take a bit longer, but I am happy to put in the extra effort and use my noggin to do so!

For the Environment

In this minimalism journey, I hope to eventually produce less waste. In the process of reducing, I will recycle and donate as much as I can, to avoid contributing to the already horrific waste load that this country bears. Doing little things like bringing a reusable water bottle along with me during the day instead of buying yet another plastic one, shopping for clothes in thrift and secondhand stores, and switching to paperless organising are all ways to minimise and benefit the environment.

It's a Challenge!

I like the idea of minimalism the most because it's completely different than the way I've lived my entire life. My family had a relatively decent amount of money so if I ever needed or wanted something, more often than not I was able to get it. Despite all of this, I was still raised to have to earn the things I wanted and not just have them handed to me.

Eventually, when I started working and made my own money, I took full advantage of this opportunity to spend it on whatever I wanted. Now that I'm grown, paying my own bills, and losing interest in owning things due to a growing distaste for capitalism and consumerism, I now have a very different relationship with money.

Although I still have that pestering need for immediate gratification, largely due to the technological world in which my generation has developed, the desire to consume has greatly diminished in the last year.

So there you have it, a condensed list of why I'm entering the minimalist lifestyle. Even though there is much more to why I'm approaching minimalism, these main points are what encourage me the most. I hope this inspired you to think more clearly about your own possessions and mind space and how you can incorporate a minimalist outlook without sacrificing your personality and interests. Whatever your lifestyle choice, do only what makes you the happiest and healthiest instead of just following any old fad or the way people say you should live. Only you can decide the path you'd like to take for yourself!

What are your thoughts on minimalism? I'd love to know in the comments!

x, Sarah

  • hat: vintage
  • top: thrifted
  • cardigan: thrifted
  • lip colour: nars

My Dream Dress & How I Found My Personal Style

10 April 2018

When I was the ripe old age of fifteen, a film came out that, unknowingly, would change my life forever. Okay, maybe that's a little bit dramatic, but when people ask me what inspired my personal sense of style, I always come back to (500) Days of Summer. Sure, I've been wearing vintage and had a fringe since I was a kid, but something about every single outfit in this film triggered a spark in me that I've only felt a few times in my life. 

Slowly emerging from my emo/scene phase and developing into a "proper young lady" (a term I use very, very loosely, because of it's sexist undertones), I lacked a sense of identity. I didn't associate myself with the raccoon eyeliner, flat teased hair, and unexpected mixture of black and neon colours any longer. I knew I didn't feel myself dressing like that anymore (although, on occasion, I still do, in a much more wearable sense), but I wasn't sure in what style I could. 

Growing up, I loved wearing vintage, but at the time, and most likely my age group, it was seen as weird and sometimes even gross (why wear old, worn clothes when you could wear brand new pieces?).  It was at that moment I stumbled into the soon-to-be-closing Blockbuster Video where they were selling rental DVD's at a discounted price. I grabbed a couple that I hadn't seen, but was interested in, including Away We Go, starring the addictivly sexy John Krasinski, and then I found it. A Blockbuster Video exclusive edition of (500) Days of Summer. I quickly grabbed it and clenched it tightly to my chest, as if I'd struck gold. Little did I know, I found something so much more valuable than gold.

Upon the opening credits, I was already hooked, from the music (shoutout to Regina Spektor!), to the sweet side by side home videos. But it wasn't until we are introduced to the film's unattainable love interest, Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel, that I was struck by a sensation of lust. This lust was not necessarily for Zooey, although she is beautiful, we are too similar, so that would be a whole new level of narcisism. No, this lust was for her outfits, and that's when it all hit me. "This," I said to myself, "This is what I've been searching for!" I eventually made a list of all of the items she wore so I could recreate the outfits myself, shopping only at thrift stores and Ross. 

But there was one outfit in particular, the one that I desired the most, that I just couldn't seem to find. It was, of course, the infamous IKEA scene dress. The dress was, naturally, vintage, and rented from a costume rental service, so there was no way of obtaining the real thing myself. I spent the better part of 8 years searching for something even remotely similar, just a simple vintage baby blue shirtdress. It didn't seem like it would be that difficult to find, right? I searched every thrift store, vintage shop, and Etsy listing I could find, and still nothing.


Then came Summer 2017, which was right in the middle of the year of family weddings. I was desperately seeking a last minute dress to wear all around Haight-Ashbury with my sister-in-law's family when we reluctantly entered Decades of Fashion, an incredible vintage shoppe where each piece is organised by decade. Although I love this place, the prices were a bit high for my taste. Not only was I able to find the perfect vintage frock suitable for the wedding, but I also came across what I've been looking for over the past eight years... my dream dress!

At a $50 sale price and a fit that was practically made for my body, I swiped the dress off the rack so quickly that all I can remember is it always being in my hands. I could barely believe that I finally found what I had been looking for. I've now had it for nearly a year, and each time I wear it, without fail, I am complimented by so many people. 

Do you have a film or television series that sparked the inspiration that devleoped your personal style? If you could steal any fictional character's wardrobe, whose would it be? Let me know in the comments! Meanwhile, I'll be taking a trip to IKEA!

x, Sarah

  • dress, bag, and heels: vintage

The Art of Letting Go: A Minimalist Approach to Friendship

20 March 2018

*Trigger warning: This post contains brief mentions of my experience with depression, self-harm, self-esteem, and sexual assault, where relevant. If that will be too triggering for you, please skip (or skim) the paragraphs that begin with an asterisk (*). Thank you! x

When I was in school, I was encompassed by this invasively toxic ideology of friendship. Since a very young age, watching television programmes and reading books, I formed this flawed sense of what happiness truly was, based solely on social interactions, and my false concept of "popularity". This began as early as kindergarten, when I was intentionally saying rude things about my friend's Halloween costume to win over the "cool girls" (but, who's really "cool" in kindergarten?). The power I felt from getting a large group to laugh at something I said was not only oddly indicative of the career path I would eventually take, but also a clear sign that I would develop an intensely fatal perception of how to make and keep friends, fabricated by my unhealthy obsession with the media's notion that all kids want is to be popular. Even if this wasn't something I inherently wanted myself, I was made to believe that it's what I should have wanted.

Things began to spiral downwards from there. I moved to a new state, an island, in fact, where I could symbolically claim my territory, as our vicious white forefathers did to the same land centuries ago. I decided I would arrive to the second grade and only surround myself with those considered to be the most pretty, interesting, smart, and, above all else, popular. It wasn't until I was pulled aside by a teacher one day for saying something very rude to a classmate in front of my new potential friend group and scolded that I realised maybe this wasn't exactly who I was.

Throughout my remaining years pre-collegiate, I definitely gave up on caring what people thought as much or having a million friends. Once high school came around, I had, and still have to this day, two best friends who I could always count on (hi, Kitty and Shannon!). The only problem was that, despite not caring if I had a lot of friends, I took it upon myself to just hate everyone. That's when I noticed what I wanted in grade school was happening against my will in high school. People I didn't even know called me by name in the hallways, and people just genuinely liked my company. Of course, as an eyeliner and black nail polish wearing, "screamo" music blasting in my headphones, cut my own choppy hair kinda girl, this didn't please me as it once would have. But it was very telling, indeed, as it taught me that once you stop caring what people think, you'll notice that they begin to have a better view of you. Despite hating a handful of people, I remained kind. "Kill them with kindness", as my mother always said.

Unfortunately, reflecting back on my university years, it is clear that very little changed, as I had once thought, once I was on my own in a new city once again. I held tightly onto the thought that a new place was an opportunity to "redefine myself". These were new people who knew nothing about me, so I could take this opportunity and run with it. Although I didn't lose myself in the process in that I could still unapologetically be myself, I was still very wary of who I hung out with, as I felt it would make my college life, as well as my career path, flourish. This was not the case.

* It wasn't long until I discovered that even though I had a "group" that even professors referred to as "the A-team", I was still miserably depressed. Why? This is what all the television shows I loved base their plot around, a fun, albeit dysfunctional group of friends with their own ostentatious personalities who would just make fun of each other all the time. I hit rock bottom when I realised, even though on paper I had a large group of friends (people to go to parties with, grab food together, and complain about the stockpile of school work), I couldn't say that I, Sarah, had one best friend (in university, of course, I still had my high school mates, but they lived thousands of miles away). This was the first time in my life where I was in school and didn't have my one person. My friends, who all had their own respective best friends, assured me that it didn't matter, but for some reason, to me, it did.

* Then came my last semester of university, also more conventionally known as, the worst four months of my life. Sure, my friends were by my side and supportive during the good times, but then I was struck with the unwarranted awareness that even though I had a large group of friends, I couldn't count on any of them when it came to something serious I was going through, if it involved one of the other friends in the group. I was assaulted, being emotionally and mentally abused, and continually showing up to class with self-harm marks and bandages. I was repeatedly told by friends I tried to confide in that they wished to remain "impartial" because it would make things "awkward". I never felt more alone than at this point in my life.

Once I was out of the harmful situation, I began to use romantic partners as a stand-in for a "best friend", talking to them about my trauma, having them talk me through panic attacks, and pretty much doing everything with them. Although your partner should be, at the foundation, your best friend, they shouldn't be the only person you have to talk to, and I learned that much later on.

* Miraculously, I graduated university with my second degree with straight A's, despite the overwhelming depression, anxiety, and abusive relationship. I was rid of a bad roommate situation by July, and I was feeling more at peace and ready to start a new chapter. It didn't take long for me to find the confidence to cut out the friends I made in college, and begin making new, genuine friendships.

Soon enough, (and I mean very soon--within a matter of months), the world brought Haylie to me. The moments that I met my true lifelong best friends (Shannon, Kitty, Haylie, and Meghan, in that order) will always hold as much importance and value, as I imagine meeting the one true love of your life must have. Haylie casually slid into my Twitter DM's (lol) and asked me to coffee and it changed my entire life. It was like a light bulb was struck on in my brain "Oh, THIS is what it's supposed to feel like?". It had been so many years since I met a genuine friend who only cared about my happiness and supported every single decision I made. Then not even a month later, I met Meghan, someone who had been through everything I had been through and then some, who despite just meeting me, believed me when I was comfortable enough to share my story. We were able to relate on even the darkest, most horrific levels, and that felt so empowering.

Not only did I see an improvement in the quality of people in my life, but I also saw an improvement in my own self-worth. Cutting people out was the biggest step forward I took in my mental health journey, and I am beyond proud of how far I've come since college. I see who I am as a person now, and reflect on poor, naïve, young Sarah, who let other people change who she was and how she saw the world. In college, I was a very unhappy, judgemental, and oftentimes mean person, who thought consistently saying negative things about other people would elevate my own confidence. Spoiler alert, that is, and never will be, the case.

I can't say that I'm a perfect person who doesn't make mistakes anymore, or hurt people's feelings. In fact, I still do the latter quite a bit without intending to (something I'm working on), but now that I surround myself only with people who lift me up, despite being a much lower number than before, I'm happier, and that happiness is expressed through more kindness and compassion than I'd ever had before, despite constantly reassuring myself I'm a good person.

I hope you found my story helpful and find the courage yourself to remove toxicity from your own life, because I am living proof that it can be remarkably beneficial. Next up, letting go of material possessions for a clearer mind...

x, Sarah

*If you're in a similar situation and feel you have no one to talk to, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can contact me using my social media platforms (listed on the sidebar), or email me at sgarcia@live.co.uk. You're never alone x

Sunset Boulevard

18 March 2018

Good afternoon, lovely people. I hope your start to spring has been a seamless and painless transition. Here in San Francisco, the warming weather has been a bit sporadic, but most days have been grey and cold, which incidentally, is my favourite! I've also had the rare opportunity of enjoying sleeping to the sound of rain! Definitely won't be taking those nights for granted after our seemingly never-ending drought.

What I look forward to the most out of all that spring shall bring is spring cleaning! I've already rearranged my bedroom (would you be interested in a bedroom tour video/blog post?) and have been cleaning out all of my drawers and closets! There's nothing quite as refreshing and satisfying as getting rid of stuff. Does anyone else feel that way, or is it just me?


  • binge-watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Netflix (obsessed)
  • shared my personal sexual assault story on Instagram and Facebook, where I'm raising money for RAINN
  • spending lots of time getting inspired by home décor and style, collecting pins on Pinterest
  • spring cleaning!
  • grabbing extra jobs for some ~extra~ cash and loving being on set
  • having lots of family time in Sacramento
  • obsessing over Lady Bird
  • redecorating my home (post to come!)

I have a few more personal posts coming this way! I have a lot I'd like to share about what's been going on in my head lately. 2018 has been quite sweet to me so far! Been in somewhat of a writing rut despite being constantly surrounded by inspiration and coming up with new ideas, and I'd love your input for things you'd like to see from this blog this year! Let me know in the comments, or let me know what has been inspiring you lately.

x, Sarah

*Photos by Tommy Ly (Instagram)

  • dress, cardigan, heels, & handbag: vintage

Personal Goals for 2018

14 January 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! I don't know about you, but I'm pretty relieved 2017 has come to a close. Although not nightmarishly insufferable as 2016 was, 2017 was nothing to come home about. Conclusively, it seems to have been pretty shite for most everyone, as a whole. It wasn't until towards the end of the year that I truly enjoyed life, having travelled to Iceland and Scotland, surrounded myself with family, and all those good bits. 2017 was filled with much drama I intend to leave behind me this year, and start looking forward.

On the topic of looking forward, I hope to make 2018 the year of focus. Towards the end of December of last year and throughout this month I've noticed myself finally beginning to have an even stronger desire to obtain what I really want (and some things I have always wanted but never even touched or thought I'd actually achieve) from life. Don't get me wrong, 2016 and 2017 were very important years for personal self-growth, (which is still inarguably significant) having recovered from trauma and receiving and coping with my diagnosis of BPD--but I hope to make 2018 the year that my professional goals will flourish, or even begin.

I hope to use this blog post to regain my focus and allow for every decision I make to contribute toward these goals this year. Hopefully, it will be a productive and valuable year for me, despite it being the Year of the Dog, which, according to tradition, shall bring anyone born in the Year of the Dog (myself included and all you other 1994 friends!) excessive bad luck. I'm trying to remain optimistic though!

And now for the list! I'm going to start off with the big ones, things that will take a lot of work and a lot of time to achieve, but am very willing to put in all the effort! I'm done being vague now, let's get more specific:

Citizenship & Moving: This is probably the most significant thing in my life that I will ever work towards (probably). For as long as I can remember (and some very specific moments in high school when I recall sitting in Chemistry researching this on my laptop instead of paying attention to the lecture), I have wanted to obtain dual citizenship (the ideal), or revoke my American citizenship entirely for British citizenship. Having been born in British territory (British Hong Kong, before 1997) as a British citizen and raised on certain aspects of British culture to American parents, then moving to the States, I always been interested exploring my identity in that regard and look into somehow obtaining dual citizenship. I have already taken some of the necessary steps and have much more research and meetings before I can really begin the process, including chatting with current dual-citizens, researching fees of consultations at the British consulate, obtaining a digital copy of my birth certificate, etc., and I look forward to getting closer and closer with each step.

Things that have contributed to this decision include my most recent visit to Edinburgh, where my best friend lives. Each and every time I step foot there (or even the more clichéd London), I feel at home. Although there are ways to move there as an American citizen, I'd prefer to avoid the issue of visas, possibility of deportation, etc., if possible, and I definitely would have no intention of moving back to the States. Living in the UK would be a permanent decision.

In light of recent political decisions in the States (cough, Trump, cough), the end of 2016 and the entirety of 2017 has really pushed me away from the thought of wanting a life in this country, despite some (albeit few) redeeming qualities. Although I love San Francisco, I have more than enough reasons to leave, as presented to me in the past few years, and it will always be a home to me, but I always knew it was a temporary home.

I know realistically that moving by the end of this year will be impossible, but I would like to at the very least pursue the requirements essential for the prospect of moving abroad in the next few years.

Starting My Actual Career: These two years since graduating university, my main goal has been making money and being able to be financially independent. Despite achieving that (with some bumps in the road) and being proud of that fact, I've realised now that I've set my ~*dreams aside just to make a comfortable living. I'm feeling more and more inspired lately to do the things I've always just thought about in bed at night. For those of you who don't know, although it becomes exceedingly obvious upon meeting me in person, I'm an actress. I've worked somewhat in the last year, but not nearly as much as I'd like to. Ideally, acting would be my full-time job and I would have another job (preferably my current full-time job) on the side for a more consistent income. Anxiety and depression have held me back from doing what needs to be done to actually begin my career, but I've decided enough is enough. Steps for this include:

  • Submitting and auditioning for as much as possible
  • Applying for agencies
  • Network with fellows in the industry
Become More Consistent Online: Speaking of careers, I very much am interested in putting more work into my blog and YouTube channel, and hopefully making it something more than just a passion project. I think a huge factor in making that happen (as I've read in countless blog posts, heard in videos, etc. about the subject) is consistency. Ideally, this year, I would like to write a blog post and make a video every week (!!!!). Not only will this quite possibly increase my presence and following online, but I will have a weekly creative outlet doing things that I genuinely enjoy. I always feel so very productive when I complete a blog post or video, and feeling that every week will keep me going and make me feel less ~stuck.

There are smaller things I'd like to aim for as well this year, including:

  • Grow out my hair!
  • Read (at least) one book each month
  • Obtain a regulated sleeping schedule
  • Drink more water!
  • (Maybe??) get my driver's license??
  • Go to therapy consistently again
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables 
  • Wear my retainer every night
  • Never miss medication
If you're still with me, thank you so much for reading! What are some things you're going to work on this year, month, or even week? Please let me know down below in the comments and we can work on ourselves together this year! Each new day is a new opportunity for self-love, don't let one unproductive day hold you back!

x, Sarah

*photos by Meghan

  • teddy (worn as top): vintage                                           
  • bra: jezebel
  • skirt: vintage                       
  • skirt (worn as petticoat): target  

  • foundation: bourjois
  • blusher: sleek
  • lips: nudestix (in "vino")
  • eyeliner: nyx

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