Friday, 30 December 2011

Farewell 2011

As this is the last blog post of the year, so I wanted to round things up and let you know how 2011 has been for me.

Some part were awesome, and those were the bits I chose to share with you. It has been both good and bad, in equal measures. This post is a bit personal, but I think it's a good way to end the year this way - be open, and to put things behind us. A new year, a new start!


This time last year, I wasn't feeling very well. I know it was all my fault! I overworked and wasn't taking care of myself. You can probably see this in the way I blog. (work work work work work!) My day to day was 12 hours a day in the office and I did nothing else but work. I never took a single day off. My friends will tell you, they never saw me for over a year!

Because I was neglecting my well-being, I ended up with issues that was ultimately caused by stress. I wasn't really aware of it at the time but that chronic headache I kept getting? It was caused by slight tension problem on one side of my jaw. That tension headache then caused neck pain and back ache too. What a downward spiral it was.

For two years, I never felt right and I genuinely thought I was dying. I really did. Those painkillers I was taking were not doing my insides a favour, either! It eventually gave me stomach pain for 3 months (eeeks) During those three months, my anxiety went in to over-drive, I began to think there was something seriously wrong with my health.

Part of me knew I was absolutely fine, I was being a hypochondriac but the other half of me would convince myself that there was something seriously wrong. Either way, it kept triggering panic attacks. The kind that makes your heart beat faster, convincing your brain that it could be a heart-attack, making you feel paranoid that something inside your body was malfunctioning and that you will suddenly stop breathing just from all the terrible paranoid thoughts that was going through your mind.

It was a constant battle with myself. And it made me feel stupid and awful because I knew that there are people in the world with bigger problems. Real problems.

In my panicked state, I would stupidly google the symptoms (NOTE TO ALL. Don't ever do this to yourself. Do yourselves a favour and NEVER google your symptoms) and started to fear from what I was reading. As a result of this, I became too scared to see the doctor, but when my stomach pain got too bad, I booked an appointment. Of course, the problem was common, they gave me a course of tablets and all was fixed.

But there was one more thing. They suggested putting me on the list for therapy sessions to help me with my anxiety. With an open minded and a determination to beat it, I took their advice. They are the professionals and who am I to reject this offer of help?

I went for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for six months and I completed the sessions in June, this summer. The coping methods the therapist taught me were simple things. Things I had forgotten how to do because I'd been in the bubble for so long. Things like learning how to breathe in order to stay calm and reduce the fight or flight mode that makes us panic (a totally natural reaction).

I was reminded of how to organise a balance of work and leisure, re-training the brain to think positively, and learn how to deal with negative thoughts. I recognised that one of my problems was that I didn't have a healthy balance between work and play. All the pain and aches I had was due to stress. If I could find a way to manage this, I would be able to relax and breeze through it day to day.

I'm already quite shy too, so I developed a bit of social anxiety aswell but it got worse because I was avoided things. I felt like I couldn't go out by myself and do things on my own, I always had to have someone with me. It never used to be like this.

At the beginning of the year, I decided that this year would change, I would take time out for myself; To go shopping, buy things for myself, visit friends, and just chill out. In my head, I still sometimes think I "can't do things", I do still avoid doing things if I feel like it might give me a panic attack but whenever I challenge myself to do it, I feel better for it. A bit like going to the dentist, it's never as bad as you think! 

Although I started the blog in 2008, I never thought to put myself out there. It was a risk I didn't want to take. At first, I was careful not to post pictures of myself and my personal life. I was worried that if I got negative feedback.

During Spring of this year, I took time off to do some fun things and took a few trips. I wanted to blog about it as a distraction from work. I considered blogging as a new hobby, and a few months in, I became so comfortable with it that I wanted to try doing style posts! I was actually excited at the thought of a brand new challenge!



I felt so proud of myself that I managed to have won the Look Magazine blogging competition later down the line. A lot was beginning to happen in a very short space of time and I took it all in like a sponge. Even when I got to London for The Look Show, I really started to panic. I got nervous and wondered how many people would be there, how I would handle it, and how I would be perceived, how I would cope in general. I just handled it and learned from the experience.

This time of year is difficult for a lot of people. Anxiety is really scary, especially if you don't talk about it because it makes you feel like you're alone. Talking is therapeutic, it will help you, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. And you are certainly not alone, I promise you.

Anxiety can stem from the tiniest of concern, which you then you begin to obsess about. Suffering from anxiety can hinder your thought process, and it's a paranoia cycle which can spiral out of control. I guess that what I'm trying to say is that no matter how bad things may seem, we can always get ourselves out of the situation. Help is always available, from friends and family, or professionals.



We all have a blip, but with the right mindset, it is totally and 100% possible to work it out turn things around.

This time last year, things were so different. I'm not one of those lucky, land-on-your-feet kind of person who gets things handed to me on a plate and in the past, I haven't dowsed myself in a lot of self-belief but I know that if I want something, I can work hard to achieve it.

You have all helped me in your own little ways to get better this year, and you did it without knowing. Thank you. I am so grateful that everyone in the blogging community has been so nice to me. I am SO excited to see what's ahead and where blogging will take me.

Let's all welcome the brand new year in with positive thoughts and a fresh start!

Wishing you all the very best in 2012! I've lots of exciting things to share with you all in the new year! Enjoy the new year celebrations and the rest of the festive season! x


HAPPY NEW YEAR!
(Keep calm and carry on)



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166 comments

  1. Wow :O I'm a recent follower so I had no idea about all this stuff. I'm really proud of you :) I have (really minor) anxiety attacks with meeting new people so I guess I can relate although it's never caused any problems. I just always worry about expectations of other people...But who really cares!? :P Just be yourself. You'll be surprised. Happy 2012!


    Yasmeen
    Castle Fashion

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  2. what a lovely post! I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this year Sarah and am excited to see what other joys you can delight us with in 2012. Happy New Yeatr sweetie xx

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  3. You are beautiful, and an inspiration :o) keep doing what your doing, it works. And keep smiling :o) Xx

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  4. I am so, so glad you decided to publish this post Sarah! It's obviously not good to hear that you were having difficulties last year, but it's amazing to hear that you've learnt to cope with the pressure, and that you went to get help to start with. I was so happy when you won the Look competition, you truly deserve it, and I hope it's helped a little bit too. Have the most fantastic NYE (dress Oscar up too??) and I'm sure 2012 will be wonderful to you too (: xxx

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  5. Amazing post Sarah. I've been ill on off this year with stomach problems and I'm a total worrier so I understand a lot of what you've said! I don't talk about it on my blog but I admire bloggers like yourself who write posts like this. Hope 2012 treats you well! x

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  6. I think it was really brave of you to post this. I'm glad you did, not only because it was so nice to read something so honest and positive but because it made me reflect on how far I've come too. I also think it's really good to hear people talking about people talking about panic attacks, stress and social anxiety because too often they're relegated to be the 'elephant in the room', stigmatised, or worse, perceived by others as something they are suffering from and no-one else is. Kate asked me to write about my experiences of social anxiety on her blog here (http://katelouiseblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/positivity-post-1-rosie.html) and I too am so touched by all the help and support I've been given by people in the blogosphere, and inspired by all the lovely ladies there are out there! Thank you for such a wonderful post, and for sharing your photos - so nice to see so many smiles :) Have an awesome New Years. xxx

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  7. Aw sweetie I hear ya. I have suffered from anxiety and bipolar for 6 years and I have been through a lot of the same stuff you have the last couple years. Because of overworking both at work and home (domestic goddess that's me!) I got totally stressed and hypochondriac too!! I was convinced I was going deaf, losing my memory, etc - I would go to the docs twice a week for crazy stuff like that!! My social anxiety has pretty much killed my life too. So you're not alone in this! I'm finally in therapy - yep it took 6 years for my psychiatrist to listen to me and refer me to a psychologist for therapy. And it's changing my life! But don't be hard on yourself - it's so difficult when things like this are going on, but you will get better :) happy new year etc :) xxxxxx

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  8. Beautiful photos,
    Happy New Year!



    www.atrickleofmeaning.blogger.com

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  9. Oh Sarah! Of course we had no idea that you suffered from anxiety, your pictures are always full of smiles and brimming with confidence! I can imagine how difficult it was to write about this post and in a small, tiny way I sort of know how it feels too. In the past, during my masters I was so anxious about the workload that we had been set that I made myself ill and missed a team building trip that I wish I had gone along to! I was genuinely terrified that I would not complete the course and drop out. But I just couldn't cope and I was too embarrassed to tell my newly made uni friends that physically thinking about the course was making me shake and want to cry. It's something that few people apart from my sisters and close friends know about. I just saw it as a weakness in character so I didn't want to tell people! Though that is nothing compared to you and honestly, getting help is one thing, talking about it and now writing a post about it is another. I think it takes real courage to write about your battle with anxiety and I am in awe of you!

    PS: I love that picture of you and the mug, such a cutie!

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  10. I've really enjoyed your blog this year! Its one of the few that I actually read rather than just looking at the pretty photos! Good Luck for 2012! xxx

    www.pinksugarnotes.blogspot.com

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story, I reckon that must have taken a lot of courage. I have suffered from panic attacks in the past so can definitely sympathise and I'm glad it has improved with medical help.
    ps. I still LOVE the picture where you're trying to avoid a wasp/bee, so adorable!
    Best wishes for the new year, you deserve such good things xx

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  12. This post really struck a nerve with me, my boyfriends dad is currently suffering with anxiety and has finally took the plunge and asked for help. He starts his counselling sessions after the new year. I really hope he gets the help he needs as the whole family is going through such a tough time at the minute and I am afraid that if this doesnt work then the family will fall apart. Fingers crossed!
    You were so brave to write this post and I applaude you for it!
    All the best in the new year, I hope 2012 is amazing for you!
    Sophie
    x

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  13. Lovely post misses, you seem stronger than me with your sessions. I went to one CBT sesh, and never went back. I hate confrontation, more so with myself. But you've done really well, I am proud. I am so glad we got talking this year, I hope we meet in 2012. I am a little shy too so we can be shy together. Plus this is one of my favourite readings, and Oscar is just too adorable.
    Good luck with everything, and omg... that is one huge bourbon ha!
    love ya girl!

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  14. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. I think a lot of us can relate to the anxiety issues you have described and I am so pleased to hear you had some help finding ways to deal with it.

    Good luck for 2012 and I hope it brings lots of awesomeness for you.
    x.x.x

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  15. Wishing you the happiest, most successful and healthiest New Year 2012 Sarah.

    I am, as ever astounded by the bravery of people who dare to bare their personal experiences, particularly when it takes such courage to share aspects of your life that you're not happy with.

    Reading about your difficulties, makes me incredibly sad on one hand, you're a very talented woman, who has proper work ethic and who is kind and giving. I hate to think that people like you feel that they are insufficient or incapable in any way, because the world belongs to people like you. On the other hand, despite not knowing you, I'm incredibly proud to hear you moving forwards and learning from the tough times, for being so brave and so honest.

    I appear to have written another essay, sorry, I'm bad for that. Happy New Year, I hope that 2012 brings you health and happiness.

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  16. Sounds like 2011 has been a rollarcoaster year for you Sarah! I just hope that 2012 is a much better year for you, I have enjoyed reading this post as it has been inspiring! I hope you have a wonderful New Year :)

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  17. I read this post on my phone and I had to grab my computer so I could leave a comment. thank you for being such an inspiration, this post must have been difficult to write, thank you for sharing it with us. lots of love and happy and heathy wish for 2012

    kelli xxx

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  18. I can understand that it's very vulnerable to post yourself on the Internet and reveal who you are. That's why I've started blogs but never carried on with them, especially when life gets hard, I just disappear. I don't have the commitment to keep on going when I'm busy. When I was on the pill, I developed extreme PMS and it took me about a year to figure it out and I was so temperamental all the time and my moods were swinging constantly. I put it down to ne trigger (my relationship) rather than the pill but I believe it was both. Since then I have left my relationship and been off the pill and it's so good to feel normal again. I still get off-days but I put it down to girly times and it's only ever for a maximum a day or less. I'm not anxious, moody, upset, angry etc... And I've started to discover the things I enjoy and make me happy again instead of obsessing over my past relationship which was just stressing me out. So thank you for your inspirational words. I admire you for opening up in such way! 2012 will be great! :D

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  19. You have encouraged me by your words and you are so brave to share this with us. Your blog is always a joy to read and I love all the photography and outfits. Hope you have a fab New year me dear.

    Also I love that song, doesn't he sing well :)

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  20. Wow this was a lovely post! So brave of you to get so personal - I don't know if I could share that much on my blog.. I love the photos though, your style has been amazing this year and I always love reading your posts (:
    Hope your new year is amazing & 2012 gets off to a good start for you! xox

    http://myobsessiondujour.blogspot.com/

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  21. So glad you wrote this post, it was very brave of you admit these things. It's so easy to hide behind a blog, but it's great that you've overcome your fears and this post will have inspired many.
    Have a fabulous New Year xo

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  22. Happy new year!! Lovely collection of pictures and perfect choice of song. I can't wait for new girl!!!! :D xx

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  23. You should be so proud of yourself, you've achieved so much and inspired so many girls, including myself.
    All the best for 2012 xxxxxx

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  24. Aww I am sorry to hear what you gone through but it obviously made you so much stronger! Hope next year is amazing for you and eat properly, girl! Me and my friend had a similar thing during last year of uni and I pretty much colapsed last xmas turning into a proper mess, so even I now know I should eat and chill more:) Have a great new year!! xx

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  25. I think its so brave of you to talk about health problems both physical and emotional. I have bipolar disorder and I find it very hard to blog about.

    I'm also really glad therapy helped you. Bring on 2012! :)

    http://siansfatshionrags.blogspot.com/

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  26. I have been battling anxiety for a few years now and have taken on far too much this year. Next year is going to be the one where I learn to relax! :) xx

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  27. Oh Sarah, so sorry to hear about what you've been through, but it's so inspiring of you to write about it and share your experience. I went through a similar thing in both my first and second years of Uni, and never mustered up the courage to see a doctor, but I seem to be 'fine' now (: Also, this post with a round-up of outfits and your favourite posts, and under-the-cut photos has just reminded me again of why your blog is one of my all-time favourites! Happy New Year lovely, hope 2012 brings you all the luck and happiness that you deserve! xx

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  28. Sarah, this post is amazing! So so brave of you to post this, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Also love your favourite outfits and posts love them all. Hope you have an amazing year next year :) xx

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  29. Such a lovely and very honest post. I have also had similar problems linked with working too much and not finding time to relax! Next year will be different :-) happy new year! xxxx

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  30. Sarah, you are truly an incredible person you really are. I am so pleased you finally decided to do this post, especially after you said you were nervous. The strange thing is, you wouldn't think this of you.. Not in a horrible way at all. I think you deal with things so well, and particularly attending the Look Show which must have been such a huge step.
    I really genuinly think you are one of the most genuine bloggers about, and I love the time you make to talk to your customers and other friends too, you put so much effort in. I bet your family and friends are so so proud of you, and you should be too. They are truly lucky to have you about. because from what I read/see/tweet you seem such a talent and amazing women.
    Be proud Sarah, and keep going. You know there are many people here who would be there to talk to, and a million people jumping at the chance to be your friend (damn I'm first in the queue!)
    I honestly, wish you the happiest and healthiest and wonderfulest (even a word?) new year. xxxxxx

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  31. This is such a lovely post! I've always been shy and reluctant to put personal posts on but I really do think that sometimes it does help with problems to just put them out there; this post is really inspiring! I hope you have a fab 2012! x

    http://thelcissue.blogspot.com

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  32. Congratulations for everything you've achieved this year! Best wishes for 2012 :) This was a lovely post :) xx

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  33. Ok, lovely pics - I'll leave it at that though ;-)

    Far more important, I really admire your honesty in this post and the fact that you write about something that not many people would feel comfortable talking about. I know what you mean on all the points and I also know what it's like not to have things handed on a plate...

    You are doing really well and should be proud of yourself and your success.

    I wish you a wonderful, successful and very happy new year. Lots of Love xo

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  34. Its odd how many bloggers I've spoken to who have some kind of anxiety, in a way its nice knowing you aren't alone, although of course I wish nobody had to suffer from it. Like you, last year was the point where I hit rock bottom with my anxiety, and I've just started therapy, so I'm hoping I'll see the same success you have! Its incredibly brave of you to post this online, I know how hard it is to talk about not being able to cope all the time, but you should be so, SO proud of yourself for how far you've come! You're an amazing person, and a real inspiration. Hope your 2012 is happy and healthy <3

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  35. Very inspirational post Sarah and so many gorgeous outfits you stunner! :) Wishing you all the best for the new year! x

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  36. It has certainly been quite the year. Such an inspirational post, I'm glad you're back in your happy place now. I love the unseen photos the crystal heart ring is amazing.

    Happy New Year !

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  37. Hope you have a brilliant new year darling, this year has been a mixed bag for me too but it gets better and I'm glad it has for you too

    x

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  38. aw , what a lovely post. I hope 2012 will be an even better year for you. xx

    www.vintagewalls.blogspot.com

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  39. It's hard to bare all on your blog sometimes eh? I really commend you for doing so and the blogging community is just wonderful for support. Blogging friends got me through 17 weeks of hospital in 2010 and kept me right on track this year :)

    You are wonderful x

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  40. Great post!!! Happy new year.

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

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  41. I am also a woman of few words but after reading your post I just wanted to say what a delight I think your blog is! I love to see how far you have come since those long ago days at old Darlington College of Technology! Your photo's are just simple and beautiful, very elegant and chic - love Oscar too. It is inspiring to see somebody living and working their dreams and aspirations. I'm pleased you are working things out for you. Keep up the good work Sarah and happy new year.

    x x x

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  42. Such an amazingly honest post, must of been hard to write so well done darling. I'm very proud of you for overcoming everything. I love your blog, wish you all the best on 2012 xx

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  43. What a lovely, honest post :) Yours will always be my favourite blog to read even though I've not been around for long! You're an inspiration and absolutely beautiful :) I hope you have a lovely New Year xxx

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  44. I love that video at the end! :)

    I can't believe you've gone through this, and you should be extremely proud of yourself. With conditions and situations like that, you try and make yourself feel better by saying other people are much more worse off, have a lot of stress, but at the end of the day you need to look after number one before you can think about others :) You've had an awesome year & to have had to overcome stress and anxiety aswell, you're truly an inspiration!

    You are one of my favourite bloggers, & I look forward to reading all your posts in 2012! Here's to your success continuing for many years to come! Have a fantastic new year ! 8D

    Kyrie x

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  45. Hey, well done on progressing so well. I've been through a similar thing, and I'm currently mending but have a long way to go... I feel so proud of you for posting this! Have a lovely new years :) x

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  46. I think you're really brave for putting all this out there Sarah, you really are inspirational. I too suffer from anxiety & panic attacks which are often so bad I can't leave the house. I think its time I finally got some help & hopefully I'll be able to get some CBT. You should be really proud of yourself for how far you've come. I'm so glad you started to do outfit posts this year because you are seriously gorgeous & incredibly well dressed. I sincerely hope you have a very happy new year xx

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  47. You have a great blog! I love it! :) Congrats! :D

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  48. I was going to Tweet you this but I don't think I could have fitted it within 140 characters.
    This post is INCREDIBLY inspiring; you've achieved so much this year and you should be so so proud of how far you, your blog & business have come.

    You're a lovely lovely girl and despite having many followers and many comments on your posts, you take the time to visit blogs and comment back. Your hard work and effort has not gone unnoticed and it's obviously paid off.

    You're definitely an inspiration to me and I wish you all the best for next year.
    xxx
    www.alittlebitofroza.blogspot.com

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  49. You have come so far this year! I love how open and honest you have been in this post - and it's refreshing to see people talking about anxiety openly! and the pictures that didn't make the cut are some of my favourite ones :) I love the one of your shoes with your beautiful cat! :)

    Fashion Stereotype

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  50. you look so cute, love your outfits and your blog!

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  51. Such a lovely post, so personal. It's amazing looking back over a year and seeing how things have changed isn't it! I've loved reading your blog over the past few months and so glad you decided to put yourself out there in your posts more, I read each and every single one.

    Happy new year to you and Oscar

    xxx

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  52. Thanks for writing such a personal post. It's great to look back over the year to reflect on your ups and downs and I'm so glad to hear you've overcome these problems :) This year I've learnt that good things do eventually happen as 2011 for me started off badly :) Happy 2012! x

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  53. i LOVE the photos that didn't make the cut! They're almost like outtakes - and your cat is adorable <3
    I hope 2012 brings you so much happiness xx

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  54. This was such an inspiring post to me. Thanks so much for sharing your bouts with anxiety, Sarah. I too have terrible, terrible anxiety. It's not as bad not as it used to be, but it's still a part of my life. It's nice to know I'm not the only one! Also, your outfits are always awesome. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :)

    Mabel
    Mabel Time

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  55. You're so inspiring!

    http://kiwipferdchen.de.vu

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  56. what a great post! all your outfits are always so darling!

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  57. Oh I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! I'm so glad i came across yours before this year ends!!! can't wait to read more !! I run my own business online too! well I just started so I'm amused by your success! I'm adoring your looks & websites!! >:)<3

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  58. Read your post and I was so touched!! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog :)
    I'm following yours!

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  59. So glad I stumbled upon your blog :) You are super gorgeous and have a amazing style lady! Also, you have killer hair!

    I look forward to seeing what your blog has to offer in 2012! Newest follower :)


    Happy New Year!
    xo
    Lizzie
    placeclevertitlehere.blogspot.com

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  60. So honest writing! All beacause of the work life i think. I had live similiar situation in this year.Mobbings, work loads and result is my psychOlogy fall down. I think we should define our limits and not to Allow to Make us sad.

    http://trendydolap.blogspot.com/

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  61. Great post!

    I hope you have a happy new year :)

    http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

    Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;

    http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

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  62. wow you have an amazing style and blog!! we follow you now and wish you a very happy 2012!!

    <3

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  63. Well done for posting this Sarah! I really got a lot out of reading it, as I'm sure you did writing it. It's crazy how many people, myself included, suffer from anxiety. One of my New Year resolutions is to chill-out more and think less! Have a great NYE and all the best for 2012 xxx

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  64. Omg....certain parts of your post to do with stress and illnesses I can totally relate to as that is me right now!
    It's not been the best time health wise for me at all and due to past personal issues and being a hypochondriac, I too worry it's something more serious. I know it's probably not but I am currently seeing a physio and going to go to the doctors soon abut other heal related issues so hopefully, I start to feel a lot better and a lot more like myself in 2012.
    Your blog is always a joy to read and I congratulate you on the year you've had ( through the ups and downs) and wish you all the best and every success for the new year! Xxx

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  65. This is such a lovely post. I've been suffering a lot of panic attacks this year too and it's nice to hear that you are on the mend. It gives me hope.
    I'm glad to hear that you are feeling more positive about the future because you seem like such a lovely person and I can't stand to think of you being sad or worried.
    I'm glad you got the recognition you deserve from winning the Look competition.
    You are one of my favourite bloggers. Your posts always make me smile. They are thoughtful and funny and wonderful. And you are so pretty and have fantastic style.
    I wish I could have got some Krispy Kremes over to you this year :)
    x

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  66. Beautiful post my dear. I've loved discovering your blog (and shop!) this year and can't think of anyone who deserves the success more. Happy New Year :)
    x

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  67. I am glad to come across your blog..
    its lovely!!
    wish u a great year and its really nice way to mark an end to this year by sharing some of ur feelings! :)

    follow eachother?
    touchofawanderer.blogspot.com

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  68. Such a lovely, inspirational post hun.
    And one I can really relate too.
    I seem to have known you forever on twitter and I have honestly always thought of you as such a beautiful, confident, go getting kinda girl. Which makes the fact that you have been dealing with such a crippling thing even more amazing! A very Happy New Year to you, can't wait to catch up on more of your posts now I've found you here, in the new year!
    X0X

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  69. Great post, I never would have thought it, you seen so confident. It's funny that as an anxious person myself I often think about what a beautiful, confident person would do in a situation and try to emulate it and to me you seem like the beautiful and confident type. Just shows how looks are deceiving and we all have our insecurities. Thanks so much for sharing x

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  70. Wow, this is such a beautiful post. Thankyou so much for sharing. Wishing you nothing but happiness for 2012 :). X

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  71. all your photos are so lovely!

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  72. Thanks for my outfit comment!

    You have some lovely looks too. I love your nail art especially.

    I look forward to getting to know your blog in 2012.

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  73. Such a beautiful post Sarah I'm glad you're better. Hope you have a wonderful New Year! :-) x x x

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  74. Sarah! You are just ridiculously pretty girl, WOW you take a great photo! What an inspirational recount of your year, like most on here I would never have put you down for anxieties, but good for you for overcoming them and bring 2011 to a super successful close! Yey you! J x x x

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  75. This post really touched me. Honestly, reading your account of anxiety, obsessing over health, and freaking out was like reading a diary. I thought I was the only one (or it feels like it). Thank you for sharing something so personal and how you overcame it.

    Happy New Year!

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  76. I think that most of the things I wanted say about this post have been said by the ladies above... however you need to know that you truly are amazing for going through all this and for coming out the end an even more amazing person! I truly hope that 2012 is the year for you to succeed in everything you put your mind to! When i'm stressed I get mouth ulcers and conjunctivitis, i'm in my 3rd bout of it so far this year... so I know what its like to get a physical ailment from a mental anguish, as it were... lots of love and a brilliant New Year to you xx

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  77. Dear Sarah, expect an email from me in next few days. It is so good and important that you talk about your problems. I am still learning that. XOXO

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  78. Aw bless your heart Sarah :') It's very brave of you to post about this sort of thing, but it's even better that you've been able to better it too! Keep working hard and you'll reap the benefits. It's such a good thing that you didn't let it better you for the Look Show - look where it got you!
    Also thank you for your comment, it made me smile :) I hope you have a happy new year too! Best wishes for 2012 from me, and I really hope I get to see you at a meet next year!
    xxx

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  79. I also think it's pretty brave posting your story, of course you will get overwhelmingly positive messages in response, but to put it out there in the first place takes guts. There's still a stigma attached to any form of mental anxiety I find... I'm so glad you sought and got the help you needed. Wishing you all the best for 2012! xxx

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  80. Love the post! Hope you have a brilliant new year!

    xx

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  81. Why on EARTH wasn't I following your blog before ?!

    Well, glad I am now and even more so that I just read this post. I too suffer from anxiety. I suffer from depression and have done since 2008 it's what led me to start my blog with the depression came the agoraphobia.

    I remember a panic attack I had in public made me feel even more so worse cos I was embarrassed. Yet I haven't had one since February. I agree putting yourself out on the internet is scary but sometimes even posts like this helps others who may suffer and feel embarrassed like I did - that your not alone.

    Beautiful post so glad you have overcome, Fab photos & a never too late congrats on the Look magazine competition and I'm going to look forward and proud of being a follower of your blog in 2012 and for many years to come. Let's both never Google symptoms again! xoxo

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  82. Lovely post, Sarah. It must have been hard to write and post this and it's so inspiring to read how you've coped with it. I hope 2012 is an amazing year for you! Happy New Year :) xx

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  83. My best wishes for you in this new year.
    Great blog.

    http://paquetevitasbien.blogspot.com

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  84. Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well sweetie, but I am glad you are so much better now. ♥

    I have always been pretty sickly, and need regular checks to the docs to ensure my eyes and tummy especially are still in good health so I'd understand.

    May 2012 be the best year for you yet. :)


    xoxo,
    Addie
    The Cat Hag

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  85. Happy New Year, You have such beautiful blog x

    http://lolitasfashionideas.blogspot.com/

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  86. loving your blog so much there are so many pretty things on this post.love the sweet outfit absolutely follow your blog.will be great you will follow me back :) happy new year.

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  87. Happy 2012!!

    really nice post ~ I only just seen your blog so it was a nice post to round up your whole blog ahha ~ cool outfits too ~ totally want your wardrobe!!

    J <3
    sesamekiss.blogspot.com

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  88. Happy New Year! I adore the first picture of your business cards and quite a few of the other pics (especially that heart top). I'm glad you've relaxed a bit more this year and I'm always in awe of the business you've created, well done girl! I really don't know if I have anxiety, I find it pretty hard to get to sleep due to worrying about something and it's been going on for almost 10 years which is scary. Hopefully this year I can finally sort it out!

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  89. What a lovely post :) Happy new year!

    http://ttonicaroline.blogspot.com

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  90. This post was truly inspiring. I struggle from anxiety myself, and it's nice to hear about someone else's positive experiences. I love all of your photos and am now a new follower (this is my first time here!).

    Happy New Year!

    x

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  91. What a powerful post and perfect to end the year with. Sounds you have had a tough time, but you always sound so upbeat in your posts and when I tweet you. It's good you have handled the struggles head on and you have a good support network around you. The future can only get better as a result. Keep smiling and keep putting quality time aside for yourself, family and friends, and you will reap the rewards.
    Sending big hugs and kisses your way, and wishing you the best 2012. x

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  92. This is such a beautiful post, you never really know the struggles people have to cope with...and we all have them! Happy new year!

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  93. I love your blog! Happy New Year!!
    www.cathykhayes.blogspot.com

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  94. I am so glad you are managing to handle your anxiety better now, and that you were comfortable enough to share your life with us through your blog. You truly are an inspiring young woman and your blog is most certainly one of my favourites of all time. I hope 2012 is amazing for you xxx

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  95. Really great post, very inspiring, I have been in a similar position the last few years, it can get tough but I'm getting there slowly but surely!

    Love your photo's!

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  96. Happy new year! wishing you lots of love and happiness for 2012!

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  97. I'm glad you're taking sometime this year for yourself. Everyone needs to do that sometimes. I hope you have a great start to your new year.

    http://www.lyzhang.com

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  98. a wonderful post Sarah, your blog is always such a pleasure to read and it's so good to know that you're feeling more confident and happy now, happy new year! :) x

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  99. thankyou for your lovely comment on my blog hun! Happy new year XO Amie

    www.creditcrunchchic.blogspot.com

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  100. I hope you've a great year, happy newyear!

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  101. Adore your peter pan floral collar. Adorable!
    Great blog


    www.h0lliedays.blogspot.com

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  102. Lovely blog...following you now!!!

    www.dashysassy.com

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  103. It's amazing to hear the stories behind bloggers. Really hope you're taking care of yourself these days, lovely! As you can see, all your hard work paid off, but it doesn't hurt to have a I'm-not-doing-ANYTHING day occasionally! (I take a few of those, hahahaha)

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

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  104. Such a great round up post!

    All the best for 2012, hope you have an amazing year!

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  105. Hi there, I can't believe I've only just stumbled upon your blog! It's beautiful and this post is so wonderfully honest and open. I hope 2012 is a great year for you, I look forward to following your blog from now on. Check out our blog if you have the time :) Ax
    http://becomingraje.blogspot.com/

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  106. SO many beautiful pictures, you are truly inspirational my love xx

    The Londoner

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  107. Happy New Year! And you've got a lovely blog.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com

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  108. Aw huni I had no idea you have been going through all this, so happy to hear you have got your health back on track, it's all a sign of what a strong person you are, you just need to remember that when things start to get a little intimidating.

    I hope everything continues to get bigger and better for you this year, you're doing so well and your blogging in particularly is quite inspirational!

    If you ever want to talk about anything you know where to find me! :)

    Happy new year gorgeous!!

    http://www.rafflesbizarre.blogspot.com

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  109. congratulations on writing this post, writing it so well and for overcoming so much in 2011. It was lovely to read something so honest so thank you for sharing, it definitley helps us all feel a little bit less alone to know how we all can struggle in the same ways sometimes. Have a fantastic 2012 :) loveed all your photos that didn't make the cut! xox

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  110. Lovely outfit dear!! You have a great blog :) Mind to follow each other? ^^

    Cheers,
    Karina Dinda R. ♥
    BLOG | TWITTER | SHOP

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  111. Happy New Year dear...hope all of your wish in this year become true ;)
    LOVE, saphira

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  112. Happy New Year dear...hope all of your wish in this year become true ;)
    LOVE, saphira

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  113. This is a really brave post to write so thanks for sharing this! I'm so happy for you for winning the look competition, I think it was such a well deserved win : )

    Hope 2012 is a better year for you sweets, here's to the new year!

    xx

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  114. I'v just discovered your blog and I love this soft mood..nice post and outfits:)I'm a new follower!

    I hope u come and follow back if u like mine too..kiss from Milan

    Patchwork à Porter

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  115. A stumble by chance and I meet beautiful outfits. I hope you spend a happy and creative 2012.

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  116. Thanks so much for your comment!
    You're so beautiful, love that photo of all of the rings.
    Have a lovely day.
    Jaz xo

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  117. Oh dear you have a similar story to me. Glad things are getting sorted. Happy new year and here is to a blogging great 2012 xx

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  118. Great post! I have that video lined up for tomorrow :)

    happy new year x

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  119. This is a really amazing and inspirational post...a great way to end a year and start a new one. Thanks for sharing your struggles...and you have an AWESOME blog and super cute oufits :)

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

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  120. What a fab, inspiring, and honest post, Sarah!!! I'm glad you shared your previous year experience with us because i really didn't have a clue. I do share similar issues like you, regarding getting nervous and what people will think of me and etc. But you've really come along way and your blog is amazing!

    I can't believe that you only started doing style posts since June! I thought you have been doing it since the creation of this baby in 2008!!! I salute you! Plus, you're really pretty and photogenic so i don't think you have anything to hide:)

    I agree about being happy and optimistic!I on the other hand, have a opposite story to you, this time last year i was over the moon and the happiest i could be but that's all changed now. I've gone through a lot of soul searching and trying out new things after what happened, as to what happened, that's a secret for now,hehe. Of course, there's a lot of things to learn and encounter in our life, so i'm staying positive!!!:) It's a new year and a new start for sure darling:)

    Wishing you a very happy new year and all the best to 2012!!! Lets keep calm and carry on! i couldn't agree more!

    p.s. love these photos, esp the one with you trying to escape from the bee and your cat OSCAR!!! He is the cutest cat on earth!!:D

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

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  121. Awesome post dear! LOVE IT :D
    HNY ♥
    Sabrina

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  122. This blog post is truly inspiring. It's really admirable to be so open and thank you for sharing your story. I hope that 2012 will be a great year for you.

    I love your photos and I am so happy that I found your blog!!

    xoxo
    Lizzo

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  123. Wow! I hope you have a happy new year and continue to overcome the anxiety!
    xx

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  124. You always look amazing, love your style! I know what stress can do to a person, I've also had various health problems and have been in an out of hospital all year. Only thing we can do is try not to control everything in our lives as it's impossible and makes you ill, hope all goes well for you this year! Happy new year! x

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  125. You of course look gorgeous but Pussy Kitty! Awchh.

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  126. One of the best end-of-year posts I've seen. It is really good to hear that you are taking more care of yourself and it was so lovely to see 'unpublished' photos!

    i wish you all the best for 2012!

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  127. I'm so sorry for all you went through last year! I hope you're feeling much better and will pray for you to get stronger this year. I'm glad that you're taking care of yourself!
    Fantastic post - Happy new year love!

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  128. Beautiful! I think your blog has been one of my favourite finds of 2011! xx

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  129. I think it's so amazing you can out this out there and so very brave. I am very glad that blogging helped you to do this. I really admire you for running a successful business on your own, but they say some of the best entrepeneurs burn themselves out for the same reason, so now you know and can learn from it, you're going to be even more successful. I think you're so beautiful inside and out. xx

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  130. so glad bloggings been a huge turning point for you! it has for me too. I don't really like writing about my personal life as personally I suffer from a lot for a 17 year old! I've been living with various tumours in my neck and i'm always in and out of hospital and my daily life involves me being picked on and generally bullied. I know what it feels like to want to get away from it all. Blogging is great. you can be yourself and generally people accept you as you for it. i love it xxxx

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  131. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love yours - now following. All of your pictures are gorgeous. I can't wait to see more in 2012! Stop by again soon!

    xoxo,
    http://pancakeSTACKER.blogspot.com

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  132. This is a very inspirational post, very brave of you to share all of this with us. I'm glad your on your way to recovery and that blogging has helped. I also admire the fact that you are running your own successful business through all of this - your a real inspiration :-) xxx

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  133. Sarah! I don't know how I've been blogging this long without discovering yoU! I LOVE LOVE your blog and I'm definitely follow now. You pics are just beautiful and I love your glasses, even if you are blind as a bat! I'm hoping 2012 is a great year for you and you don't overwork yourself! XO Hope you can stop by, say hi and follow back if you feel compelled:) XO

    real budget, real busy, real body fashion:
    4scarlet.com

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  134. You are lovely and its so nice to see something real being written about! I'm so glad that you've been able to overcome this challenge in your life and gained the confidence to express yourself on this blog! You are one of my favourite bloggers and I wish you a very happy 2012!

    Carmen Ri.

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  135. You have great style! I'm your new follower! Love reflecting on our year past. Love this time of year for that reason. New beginnings and past reflection for great changes.

    Fashion Translated

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  136. Love your blog, I`m you`re newest follower! :)

    Fashion Translated

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  137. Happy Happy New Year!! :) Love all your photos as always, and hope you have an amazing new year! :D

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  138. Hey Sarah, Happy New Year! I'm glad to read that although you've had some tough times you have gotten through it. I have some of the same problems and it has made me feel more positive about getting some help. Oddly it seems that us bloggers spend so much time talking about things, but we miss out what's really happening. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for 2012!x

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  139. Sarah I love this! Good to see you getting more personal. Anxiety is a massive issue and one my family knows well so it's good to see you speaking so honestly. It's so hard sitting at home thinking you're the only one. Hope you feel much better in 2012.

    Love Laura xxx
    http://firstclassramblings.blogspot.com

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  140. I love the amazing quality of you photos and all of those that didn't show up on the blog are pretty perfect, too!! Great year for your blog ;)
    Happy NY!!!!

    XO,
    Lucija
    WLL

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  141. great post! loving the outfits & your cat is so cute!!

    www.myladyboudoir.blogspot.com

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  142. what a great way to end the year such an honest and nice post to read
    great outfits too

    xx

    TFC

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  143. Hi Sarah I am a new follower to your blog and I just wanted to say your cat looks adorable. I have recentley just begun blogging myself and was wondering if you would mind taking the time to have a quick peek at my blog (which by the way is painfully basic at the momment) and maybe just give me some hints and tips or direct me to helpful sources. By the way I really like the black ribbon tied as a bow on your shirts I think I may have to give this look a go!

    Thanks x

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  144. Fantastic post - it must have taken quite a lot of courage to be so honest.

    Happy New Year - I hope 2012 is less 50:50 and more like 99% good things!

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  145. Happy new year Sarah! Beside the lovely outfits that I looooove, I think I really really like your makeup! :D

    CROP.CRIP.CROP

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  146. Great post sweets! I do hope next year is much better for you! Definitely have the right idea! Great photos!
    xx

    Hot Pink Day
    Shop Blue Vanilla

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  147. It sounds like you had quite an intense year in 2011, wishing you nothing but happiness in the year to come!

    And your blog seems absolutely lovely... such gorgeous photos and outfits!

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  148. you are such a sweet girl, S.. thanks for opening up to us!! i wish you ALL the best in everything you do darling <3 i wish you a great, happy, successful, and joyful 2012 <3 im so happy we met!!

    love, jamie

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  149. just fantastic! beautiful blog and beautiful girl! glad you've had a great year and it looks like you've got some wonderful times ahead :)

    www.jennafifi.com

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  150. I just came across your blog via Dahlia Girlfriends... Congrats! Such a pretty blog, love your photos, style and the nail art panda look is super cute! Oh and your business cards are total gorge xx

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  151. wow i've only just started reading your blog but this post is so so inspirational. The pictures are all so beautiful aswell, hope you have the best year :)

    lausloft.blogspot.com

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  152. You're just wonderfully lovely! xo

    Still very glad I stumbled upon your blog! (:

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  153. Such a heartfelt post! So lovely that you shared it, sometimes it helps to share it so you become more aware of what happened/happening so you can learn from it.

    If that makes sense?

    Also

    IS THAT THE BEAMISH MUSEUM?! xx

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  154. yeaaah in my excitement I didn't realise I could click on the photos. I went there in the summer!

    I had my Adam Ant signed tee on and about 4 middle aged men that worked there and stopped me shouting things such as

    'Ayyye, was 'e good?'

    Left me confused each time it happened because I forgot what they were on about. Everyone is so friendly there!

    Pointless comment (I was too excited)

    xxx

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  155. LOVE the black ribbon on your shirts! Such a simple and cool idea!
    kisses

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  156. beautiful beautiful beautiful! I love all these euphoric styles and thank you for sharing part of your life :) very inspiring! I am now your new follower and will often come visit! come check out my bloggie and see what you like :) xoxo MUMU
    www.euphoricfashiontrends.blogspot.com

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  157. this post is amazing. i suffer from anxiety too and it's so brave of you to share this with people. hope you have an amazing 2012 :) i wish you all the best xx

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  158. You should have seen my face when I saw your cat! Holy crap he/she is cute!!!! Exotic shorthairs are so adorable! They make me want to shriek!

    Also I just want to say you apply blush really well! I love blush so much but sadly my face flushes way too easily.

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  159. Ive only just got round to reading this. But this is a lovely post. Well dont you for getting through it and achieving so much. You have a lovely blog that you should be very proud of.

    xx

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  160. I used to have panic attacks a lot about a bit more than a year ago, and it was awful. I was lucky enough to have my boyfriend near me everytime (now my ex boyfriend) to take me in his arms and calm me down. It was just a bad period ! I don't have them anymore (except once a few month ago) and I'm happier with my life now =) My friends and family (and new boyfriend!) are all a great support to me even though most of them are in Belgium !

    I think your blog is fantastic and you are a sweet person. I always like to read about your life, see your pretty pictures in your pastel world ! It makes me dream ! I hope 2012 is full of good things for you and your loved ones.

    lots of love !

    xxx Vee

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  161. This was a lovely post! I am a new follower and really glad I found your blog ♥
    I used to suffer from panic attacks frequently...luckily they eventually went but every now and then they do creep up on me. I also just have to say, you are absolutely beautiful (without that sounding too creepy!) I also love your cat, he is so cute!
    Best of luck for 2012 xx

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