Who Actually is Sarah? – My Personal Brand

I’ve been attempting to develop and curate my own personal brand for the past two years – it does not seem like a long time but I feel like every time I have something consistent, I have a huge shift in interests and the process starts over.

my name is Sarah and I like fries

I worked for a very popular retailer for nearly nine years – and they became my whole personality. I was constantly boasting about the company, I bought all the Pride Program “merchandise” so I could represent outside of work, my Instagram and LinkedIn feeds were consistently posting about the company and resharing their posts – you could say I drank the Kool Aid.

The problem was that it was such a toxic environment. I was constantly looked past for promotions because I was a woman, but they were so smooth about it and would throw on a couple hundred to my salary to “award” my performance. It was easy enough to get sucked in but when push came to shove and I finally opened my eyes and left the company – I had no “brand” anymore.

When forced to evaluate my characteristics to “find my brand” again, s few come to mind. I am aggressively opinionated and I am confident in myself and my abilities. I like to make that well known in all professional aspects, but maybe not putting it so bluntly.

I recently set a goal to achieve 1000 followers on Instagram, so I signed up for the Ottawa Hunt for Hearts campaign. Using hashtags that people are tracking really comes in handy when you are trying to boost a following, plus I have had a ton of fun while doing it! The greatest part was seeing my face holding my favourite sushi dish on the screen during the 6:00 p.m. news!

However, enrolling in Hunt for Hearts, accompanied by the tragic passing of CFRA producer Brian Fraser has inspired me to put a lot of research into something I care about, and dedicate my platform to raising awareness for it. Even a small platform can have a big voice, and Brian inspired so many people to donate blood (to the point where the website crashed!) For the remainder of 2021, I want to focus my brand on something I can truly be proud of.

The Quarantine Trend our Waistlines Needed

When Ontario went into the first lockdown, my sister asked me if I would download TikTok and create an account to follow my nieces. I am the “cool aunt” so they didn’t mind me seeing all their cool dances, but mom was off limits. I continuously told people that I had only downloaded it to monitor my nieces but I had fully fallen down the rabbit hole.

TikTok is the newest and greatest video sharing app that allows content creators to create anywhere from 3-60 second video clips of quite literally anything they want. It was originally “Musical.ly”, in which creators would create videos of themselves lip syncing and dancing. When TikTok took off in 2019, it was flooded with dancing videos and dance challenges, but now it has anything from “put a finger down” challenges, to people sharing recipes.

The hashtag #FetaPasta has been viewed 585.1 million times. Other variants of the hashtag #bakedfetapasta (77.5 million) and #tomatofetapasta (8 million) which means that a collective 670.6 million people have watched what has been dubbed the infamous “TikTok Pasta” be created.


Suddenly, all of my friends were sharing clips of their messy buns baking bricks of feta. My sisters were texting me “have you made TikTok pasta yet?” It didn’t take even a full day for me to be on my way to Farm Boy to grab a chunk of feta and a bin of cherry tomatoes.

I was completely head over heels. I sat glaring at my oven for the full half hour waiting in anticipation. I was grateful that my husband was asleep because I devoured every last bite. We have made it several times since and have evolved the recipe into our own each time!

So I’m curious – have you tried the TikTok pasta? If you have, what did you think of it? shorturl.at/lmDP5

Facebook – Have you heard of the TikTok Pasta? shorturl.at/lmDP5

The Evolution of Twitter from a Personal Standpoint

I was introduced to Twitter when I was in twelfth grade – I remember the exact way my friend described it.. as a new website that “lets you make constant Facebook statuses”

As a 17 year old girl – I saw very little appeal but obviously signed up so that I could follow along with everyone else. Twitter quickly became my go to platform for complaining and “sub-tweeting”

a poignant capture of my earliest and most profound tweets

As a fully functioning (IMO) adult now, I rely on Twitter for a plethora of things, and I think I heavily underestimate just how useful the applicatio0n can be, because of how loosely I used it when it first launched.

Twitter can help you gather snippets of real time news and updates. This has been incredibly useful during this time of COVID-19, with various political leaders making varying announcements with updated lockdown measures. As someone who helps run a small business, and their own social accounts – checking updates on twitter from local news outlets its the fastest and most effective way of figuring out our current state, and in turn letting our customers know.

Twitter is also an excellent way of communicating to businesses. I often find myself angrily complaining to a business when something goes wrong – but always getting excellent solutions in the end. Social Media managers are some of the most patient people on the planet- I’m declaring it now! I have received complimentary dips when the Pizza delivery driver forgets them, a replacement ottoman when mine broke, and my annual Kernals birthday popcorn points via twitter – because the store was closed.

As a millennial, I think we get so caught up in having the newest, coolest apps. Instagram and Snapchat really took off and we left Twitter in the dust – but I’m re-learning to use it and use it wisely, which means that I am no longer announcing my relationship issues and discussing my school attendance for the world to view.

Telling a story in Under a Minute – the new wave of Communication

I noticed in 2020 I had a drastically reduced attention span – maybe it was all the time spent sitting on my sofa, or all the apps that were offering “free trials” during the shut down phase of our province – but I could not stay focused on any one thing for any period of time.

TikTok and Instagram creators – in a battle for our attention, have the ability to compress their stories into minute long videos (with the few who need to include “like for a part two!” at the end) which causes us to spend our hours on a infinite scrolling loop – until we start to realize it almost feels like we’re being watched.

A particular niche that often comes across my FYP (For you Page – content pushed out to you based on searches, watch history and popular hashtags) is when I find myself on Cancer TikTok. My father passed away several years ago and I find myself greatly emotionally effected by any form of media that talks about cancer. I know it is time to stop my scroll for the day when cancer videos start getting pushed to my feed. It took a long time for me to learn this behaviour and tell myself it is time to stop – to the point where my mental health was being effected. I needed to teach myself to scroll past or stop scrolling all together and have some screenless time to myself – an it is something everyone can benefit from! Creators have the power to pack so much information into a 1 minute video that can leave us with lasting impressions! Be kind to yourself in this time of fear (especially health related) and put down your phone once and a while.

Doing the Renegade, Making Tie Dye, and Alarming Screen Time Records.

Social Media has consumed my life, since the first set of lockdowns were announced back in the spring. I was already a frequent Instagram user, my husband reads me reddit headlines every day, and I have to check my Facebook messenger frequently as my mother seems to think it is the only way I can be contacted.

When the initial lockdown began, my sister asked me to watch my nieces during the day while their March Break had been extended. It was then, while I was at the mercy of two 13 year old girls, that I fell down the rabbit hole of TikTok.

I initially downloaded it so I could watch my nieces and make sure they weren’t up to anything (some of those dances make you shake your head) and started following creators who were more my age – and I was sucked in!

TikTok came from a former app, Musicaly – where creators would lip sync to popular songs with quirky, jump cut movements. It emerged to dance videos, and now serves as a multi-use platform for creators to showcase their cooking, their tie dye skills and even mini vlogs. A full description of what makes the app so attractive can be found here.

By far the proudest moment of my TikTok experience, was when I began posting videos (much to my nieces embarrassment) I “stitched” a clip (integrated someone else’s video asking the viewer a question) and responded to them – in 48 hours my video grew from my average 100 views, to almost 1900! TikTok provided me with hours of countless, mindless scrolling time – to the point where my screen time reached nine hours one day – a statistic I am truly disappointed in.


#stitch with @evasnyder_music #greenscreen I know it’s some sort of Canadian emo band dude tho #fyp

♬ original sound – Sarah Elizabeth

So, what is a photo or memory that YOU have with a D list celebrity? (see my TikTok above!)

COM0014- Blog#1: Life is Better at the Cottage

With the current climate in Canada, holidays are the last thing on our mind. Literally just 365 days ago, I was given a trip to Cuba as a birthday gift, set to take off on April 26th 2020 – this of course, did not happen.

Prior to my planned Cuba trip, I have usually prioritized possessions over experiences (after this Covid-19 experience, that is one tendency I will be changing!) so I have not frequented many vacations or destinations, but I have always been lucky to have access to my extended family’s cottage on Old Mans Lake.

Cottage Dock on Old Mans Lake, Magnetawan, Ontario.

I am a city person through and through. I live on my phone, I love the ability to travel anywhere at the snap of a finger, and I love ordering a takeaway meal at the end of the day. But cottage life hits different. You have to walk up a hill to send a text, the closest grocery store is a 45 minute drive and to get to the closest city, you’re stuck in the car for nearly two hours. Almost all of our meals are cooked outside, on the barbecue or over the fire (campfire pizza will change your life!) Our days are spent in the water, playing frisbee, laying in the hammock with a book, playing cards, canoeing around the lake and sitting around the fire under the stars.

Campfire Pizza

Living in a city with a population of over 1,000,000 is exciting, but floating in the water alongside your best friend is paradise. The sun is shining and there are no tasks lists, crowded buses or deadlines – its just you and the lake.

It isn’t a tropical getaway, or a holiday abroad. There is little exploration, and the surroundings are familiar – but it is my happiest place. A week at the lake will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and even missing the city.

Post COVID, I hope to find myself planning more experiences and more travel (when it is safe to do so). Where is the first place on your list to travel to?