Turtles All The Way Down: Review

Prologue: Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I wanted to begin this year off (a tad late) but to a great start! I thought, what better way than with a book review of my current favorite read thus far in 2018. I will be spacing them out within my normal posts but I LOVE reading so you have a lot to look forward to! Without further anticipation let us begin-

This book follows a young teen character named Aza who has suffers from severe anxiety, OCD.  Aza and her best friend Daisy are investigating the disappearance of the billionaire Mr. Russell Pickett in order to get the hundred thousand dollar reward. Along the way we follow an introduction of an old friend Davis, the exploration of love, and the true thoughts that constrict Aza of leading a normal life.  Throughout the book we see glimpse of what it is like for Aza on a daily basis to deal with the most mundane things, to life choices. I find it so disheartening to know that there are so many people out there who may suffer from the same or similar mental illnesses and are still trying to find the strength to get through it. At times Aza explains her illness in ways I never imagined and it really goes to show how little we really know about these interior battles they face.

A few of my favorite quotes include:

“Your now is not your forever”

“You are as real as anyone, and your doubts make you more real, not less”

I found this book to be so powerful- it is so often that we can only ‘imagine’ what people with illnesses face. This book provided me an abundance of insight into a young woman who is merely trying to heal and experience a normal high school life while her thoughts impede it every step of the way.  This is the most recent of John Greens books, however, I have read every other book he has ever written as well and this is a close second to being my favorite. The way the Green writes makes you feel as though you are living the same experiences and the characters feel like your friends. I often find myself getting lost in his books and feeling the same loss or happiness that the characters do along the way.

If you have not yet read any of John Greens books- you are missing out. My top three recommendations (if I had to choose) would be (1) The Fault in Our Stars, (2) Turtles All the Way Down, (3) an Abundance of Katherines.  If you liked The Fault in Our Stars then you will fall in love with Aza’s kind heart as well.  I always love a good book where romance and a soulmate is not the end all be all of the book, and the underlying message truly shining through.

An addition note would be to really take in what you are reading, as these are things that some people are living through and experiencing daily. It is so easy for us to ‘feel bad’ for someone without understanding what it is they are fighting for.  If you or someone you know suffers from a mental illness I have provided links that could be useful to read or just someone to talk to.

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Twitter: @saritagisselle



My Reasons For Being Single

My Reasons For Being Single

I haven’t spoken about this very often here on my blog, but I wanted to try out this new writing style to connect to you guys more. I like that my blog is a creative space for me to vent and say things that I probably wouldn’t otherwise.

Well, I’ll start by saying that I have been in committed relationships and I’m not your typical girlfriend. (I bet you’ve never heard that one before).  I’m not clingy and I’m not glued to anyone 24/7, however, if I am in an exclusive relationship then I am loyal to just you. I have of course been hurt by past relationships, just like anyone else. We all experience pain. I don’t just mean pain from romantic relationships but also long-term friendships that I invested years into for it to fall apart.

As far as my friendships I am very content with the people surrounding me, and my small inner circle. I used to think that the more friends you have the deeper the friendships but that’s High School perspective or you when once you graduate it’s very rare for you to remain friends with the same people. I have about four of the friends I had in high school, and I’m perfectly content with that!

Now, when it comes to relationships I’m not going to lie I can be very detached but that’s only because I’m not trying to waste my time. I’m the type of person who will tell you straight if I’m just not feeling it, and I expect the same from the other person. Unfortunately, this isn’t always something I get in return- in fact I usually end up being the one who cares more than I should have.

For this reason, I have decided that I just have so much I have planned, and my life just has no space for anything that isn’t going to help me grow.


I haven’t taken a relationship off the table completely because you never know, everyone tells me that the best relationships come when you’re least expecting it.


For the time being, I’m just not trying to waste my time or fall for someone who doesn’t take me seriously. I know what I have to offer and I know that with the right person it will be a mutual growth and love and until that happens I can actively wait for it. So here’s to all us single peeps out here, just living our best lives! I don’t understand why so many people see being single as a negative thing. In my eyes I feel like you do the best when you’re not distracted, and solely focused on one thing. You can flourish in your career, you can write that book, start that blog, move to the other side of the country. You can even travel the world while you’re young! Because honestly, why not? I’m sure the right guys out there for me and until then, I’ll just be out here living my best life; finding my passions and traveling and seeing all the world has to offer.

But hey, you never know what the future holds.

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3 Steps To Healing From Loss

3 Steps To Healing From Loss
When I look back on the loss I have experienced, it’s very humbling and empowering. I know how hard it can be to have someone there, who you see every day, and to have them gone the next day.
It’s almost as if you lose a part of you that you have already grown accustomed to – and it’s ripped away without any warning. My world had been turned completely upside down when I lost my mother. I had a bond with her that was truly unexplainable.

My world had been turned completely upside down when I lost my mother.

My daily routine consisted of work or school, sometimes both, to coming home and seeing my mom and talking to her about our days.
It was comforting for both of us to be able to vent about the things that happen at work – that feeling of “YES, YOU GET IT!” – and not having to feel like you’re burdening someone with your complaining. These seemingly normal conversations turned out to be one of the things I miss most.
This daily routine was robbed from me when she was taken from me.

I really did not know how to ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’ as outsiders advised. It’s hard enough to be dealing with loss, but to add on top of that unsupportive ‘friends’  – who at the first sign of pain they ditch you when you need them most – was worse than I could have ever imagined.

For this reason and more I have put together these 3 Steps to Healing After Loss.
1. First thing’s first – do not isolate yourself from others. It’s true that not everyone will be there for you, but I can promise that a few friends will stand by you during the hard times.
If you are close with family (siblings, parents, etc) then do not be scared to approach them with your sorrow. It’s okay if they do not have the ‘right’ words that you need to hear because let’s be real – Who really knows the ‘right’ thing to say?
I have been on both sides of this and I can see how it’s hard for people to relate if they themselves have never actually gone through your situation.  Cut them and yourself some slack- let them just be there for you and appreciate it.

2. Be careful what you ‘turn to’ during this time of pain (and hopefully healing). By this, I mean that when we are hurt we all resort to different measures. For example, I wanted to always be out – drinking and partying every weekend.

You might ask yourself, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ well, that’s all fine if you’re doing it for fun. When you start to turn to these things to make you forget or numb you from what is really happening, that is when you start harming yourself. Try something that will be more beneficial to you- start a new sport, writing, painting, exercising, or whatever it is that will help your relieve your stress and pain in a healthy way.

Pain demands to be felt.

3. Lastly, but most importantly- It’s okay if it takes time. A lot of people think that you should be able to move on from loss rather quickly, but in all honesty, that is no one else’s business but yours. Only you know what is best for you and how you are feeling.  I still cry from time to time, and that’s normal.
Pain demands to be felt and you’re only human – allow yourself to feel it. When the time comes to you being able to tell your own story of loss without crying, that is when you will truly know that have learned to heal a bit and still feel their love all around.
Don’t be mad at yourself because you can’t forget someone who meant so much to you.
I truly hope that these 3 steps to healing from loss were helpful to you in this difficult time. Understand that you are never alone and there will always be a healthy way to cope with situations you are placed in. Life goes on and you will grow from everything you survive.


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I forgive you.


I forgive you.

I forgive you because I know you don’t hurt me from a cruel place, you hurt me from pain you are feeling.

I forgive you for misplacing your anger and resentment and aiming it at me.

I forgive you for blaming me for things I had no control over or knowledge of.

I forgive you because you are broken, and it’s okay.

I forgive you because I love you.

I love you because in these broken pieces, you will find a way to put yourself back together again- you will see the masterpiece that you truly are.

I love you because you are not less than, you are enough, you are so enough that the word “enough” doesn’t even begin to describe you.

I love you because you have grown and blossomed right in from of me.

I love you because you make me a better person, you make me want to grow and love myself for who I am.

I love you because although we want the best for each other we don’t feel as though we need each other.

I love you because it feels effortless and we don’t have to force it.

I love you because you are beautiful on the inside as well.

I love you because you showed me how to love me.



When I can’t sleep my mind starts to run WILD. Not in like a crazy way, like dark things but in the way that I start to wonder what to eat for breakfast then I wonder what to wear tomorrow, followed by wondering what the next year will look like. This is usually very late at night, because of course, when I want to fall asleep my brain is LIT.

I try to watch a show that is boring so I can fall asleep but no that doesn’t help. I try to listen to soothing music but then I have to use the rest room because there’s usually some water noises in there somewhere. I try to read but then I get really into the book I’m reading and eventually I just have to put it down. It’s not often that this happens honestly, but when it does I end up thinking about every decision I have ever made in my life up until this point.

The other night this was the case, and as I pondered over my last 24 (young)  years of life there have been some very powerful moments and it’s interesting to see how even little choices brought me to where I am today. To joining a club in high school brought me to my current church and I still have the same leaders I did in the club as I do in church and it makes me so happy to say that because the leadership at church is amazing and so LOVING which is what makes us all feel like a family.

Then I look at family and how we have grown in the last couple years. It’ll be four years in June that I lost my mom and it still feels as recent as the day it happened.  Thinking back to that time brings up very real and very raw emotions. I think back to all that day – my heart quickens in rhythm as my eyes begin to well up with tears- and my heart breaks all over again. I miss her every day and there isn’t a day that I go without thinking about her. She was so smart and hard working, shes the reason I am the way I am today and why I work so hard. My three nephews get bigger everyday and soon I won’t be the tallest in the family anymore. It’s hard to imagine that one day I will have one of those of my own but I feel it’s bound to happen. My mom had three girls, now it’ll be all boys.

My life hasn’t been perfect up until now but it has been filled with some pretty perfect moments. Everytime I got to hug my mom and see her smile make it all worth it. As mother’s day approaches it brings those sad feelings up again but I know she wouldn’t want it to be that way, she would tell me to celebrate my sisters and tell you Vee how much I admire you. The boys are so loving and pure – and so motivated because they see how much you love and encourage them.  Jen I know you’re probably reading this and were waiting to see if I’d mention you- of course. Aiden is such a great person, he’s getting so big and I know how much he has in store for his future. His complete life is you, because he see’s your hustle and I admire that about you.

Every single day God gives us another opportunity to make an impact. In someone’s life, or just someones day. What do you choose to do with that?  I don’t know about you but I’m pretty happy about the choices I’ve made so far.

I challenge you to make a choice you were scared to make before but now you grant yourself the courage to take.


Do Not Become Consumed

a0dacc5b96bdb17f3d67b3b67f51aa3cGrowing up in the 21st Century has been interesting to say the least. Our phones weigh almost nothing, there’s robots who greet you at the airport, and if something cool happened but you didn’t snap or take a photo of it- did it even really happen?

I have been victim of social media for years now, at first it was neat to see what your friends would post and we were just teenagers but now that I see what social media has become it’s quite intense. People’s lives have been ruined by it, relationships have been torn apart due to things that happened on Instagram or Snapchat. Some people even only post what they want people to see when in reality they live a completely different life.

On the other hand social media has done great things and celebrities that have this immense platform have now taken it into their hands to spread positive things rather than just selfies. It’s clear to see that social media can either bring out the best in someone or just the vain in someone. I have taken a vow to stop posting that many pictures of myself and to instead post the beauty that surrounds me. For example, this past weekend I went to my church retreat and I barely had phone service and it was AMAZING. I’m so thankful for it because I was able to be fully immersed in the experience and appreciate all the breakthroughs that God was giving me. I have never felt more at peace that I did after coming home from the retreat, and a lot of that came from disconnecting to the outside world and connecting with God and building that relationship.

I want you to take this into consideration; does posting your every move really matter? Who are you posting it for? To flaunt or to brag? What if you took a break from technology every now and then. Try to to disconnect and I promise you that using that free time to journal or write in your prayer journal will definitely benefit you in the long term. We should not allow the outside world to consume us because these earthly things are all temporary whereas Jesus is eternal and will always provide and fulfill us. Those likes or reposts or comments won’t fill those voids that only God can fill.

Lastly, I used to add a prayer at the end of my blogs (completely optional) and I feel like I should bring that back.


God, I thank you for all the blessings you have brought into my life,
I thank you for the relationships that you have allowed to grow and I pray that these relationships that I invest in will bring into fruition more love and hold you at the center of it all.
I pray that these earthly things like my job, my clothes, technology, etc. will not consume me and control my life – I will keep you as my anchor always and remember that I should not allow myself to become overwhelmed.
I pray that the person reading this feels your love and remembers everyday that they’re not alone, ever. That you, God are always with them in the good, the bad and the unknown.




Faith Through Frustration

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like nothing is going right? First you sleep over your alarm so you jump out of bed like a ninja and rush to get ready and get out the door, then you start driving only to be in stopped traffic the whole way to where you have to go. To make things better you’re now late to work or school and when you walk in everyone turns to look at you and you’re left feeling shame and frustration? Well let me tell you- you are not alone! I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me and my initial thought is “WHY ME? WHY TODAY? WHAT NOW?” It’s almost as if I expect something else to go wrong and it’s only happening to me which makes me the victim.

Honestly this couldn’t be further from the truth. My question is this; why is it that because one thing sets us off that we can’t see any good in the rest of the day? What about the beautiful sunny day it is outside, did you take the time to notice that? What about that stranger that smiled at you but you walked past too quickly to notice? What about your parents? Did you bother to ask how their day was going?

It’s so often that we think too much about ourselves and our little bubble that we forget to notice all the amazing things that are happening around us. There are beautiful flowers blooming,    amazing food to try, art to see, places to explore and none of that can be seen when you’re only looking at the negative.  I have had so many days where I sit and sulk in my own pity rather than thank my lucky stars I’m here another day to enjoy all life has to offer.  I have learned to see past the bad and take a deep breath and have Faith that things will get better. Just because one thing or a number of things for that matter go wrong- doesn’t mean everything will. A bad day is just that, a bad DAY- not a bad LIFE. If you just take a moment to notice all the blessings in your life and opportunities that come your way, you’ll be much happier.

The next time you find yourself in a rut I want you to repeat the following:

I know things aren’t perfect but they are far better than they could be.

I am thankful for all the blessings in my life, and I choose to focus on the abundance of good instead on the tiny bit of bad.

Today will be a great day because I have Faith that God will make it great.