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.


Stress-Relief

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.


(source)
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.

(source)

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
(source)

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?




Lately;

  • 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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