GIVE BACK FRIDAY

We are gearing up for our 4th Annual Give Back Softball Tournament on July 29th and I wanna bring the positive vibes to life!!!!! Today, and every Friday for the next 6 weeks, in bringing the feel good, Give Back vibes to life! 

Today, I’m giving back to all of you! Have a coffee on me!… yes really!!!! Thanks for always being so supportive and spreading the love. Find me on FB and IG @TheWeeklySparkle


And remember… At the end of the day, it’s not about who YOU are, what your job is, what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve failed at… LIFE is about who you’ve lifted up, impacted and took along for the ride! LIFE is about what you’ve given back! 


Wanna get involved with Give Back Softball? Click the tab on top of the page!

❤️-Aurora 

Forming Your Own Tribe

AHHHHH I have been excited to write about this topic all week, to the point where each time I began writing, I would stop to look up articles and quotes that fueled the topic and helped me narrow down what I wanted to talk about: BEING the energy you want to attract…. and creating your own tribe

Image result for what is a tribe

They are your people. The people you call when something great happens, something painful happens, an emergency is going on, when you need help finding the perfect interview outfit, discussion on that upcoming date, awful dates, big life decisions… etc etc etc. They are the people we can call at any time. Is your family your tribe? They can be! I know I have some amazing family members that are always there for me and me for them. In writing this, I’ve thought about own Tribe, and definitely see family in it- but there are sure a lot of amazing friends in it too.

I read this fantastic article written by Drank the Paint and absolutely loved it. In it, Beth wrote about her ideal tribe in her creative world she lives in each day, but outside of the creative realm, these “Tribe Members” exist too! According to Beth, here are the top 5 members every real tribe should have: 1. The Mentor Expert-someone you look up to in every way. The one who has their shit together. People love them, want to be around them, and they are a ball of positive energy. 2. The Tough Critic-someone who shoots right from the hip, tells it like it is, and isn’t afraid of your feelings. You need this person, and you’ll learn to like this person more an more as your relationship grows. 3The Cheerleader- the one person who thinks everything you do is awesome and is always so positive. They like or comment on everything of yours on social media and support your goals and dreams. 4. The Trenchmate- that friend that is going through the exact same thing as you are or have been through. You need someone that you can vent with and share both triumphs and tragedy; Go through it together and celebrate successes. And lastly 5. The Wild Card- your friend who is always down for something crazy or for an adventure. They can make you laugh or distract you from anything. You need at least one Wildcard to keep you sane. (Thanks Beth!)

Think of these categories and the people in your life who fall into them. Do you already have a tribe? Maybe you’re building one or feel like you’re missing a few pieces. How do you find members of your tribe?

 

Inspirational quote of the day: be the energy you want to attract!                                                                                                                                                                                 More:

Get out there and make connections! Is there someone in your life you wish you were a little closer to? Maybe they encompass from great qualities and traits you’d like to be around and have rub off on you- spend time with these people. Whether it’s a coffee date, small talk in the office, etc- the ” light bringers, magic makers, world shifters and game shakers” are out there! Find them and make them a part of your Tribe!

So why do you need one? You don’t. BUT if you’re able to at least think about one person who falls into these five categories, you have a support network that is not only there for you, but helps build you up! In my opinion, my tribe keep me sane. Think about your job. When you need help with something, you know the resources you can use and how to find help. Your tribe is like that- the people who can give you that thing that you need (even if you don’t know you need) when you need it!

So who is in your Tribe? Anyone you wish was in it? Don’t be afraid to get out there and network!!.. and if you have any vacant spots, you can always count me in 🙂

To you and your Tribe,

-Aurora

Viewing Battles as Blessings

“If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting”

Have you ever gone through a rough patch? My guess is that your answer is probably “yes,” since if you’re reading this you’re most likely human and that comes with the territory. Life is not always easy– which I know I am not the first to tell you this, but sometimes the going truly gets tough… and your response to these moments are pretty important. Take it from me- about 3 months ago I was at a point that felt pretty low: I was miserable in my job, I was being forced to move out of my rental and my loving, amazing Grandmother passed away.

The “Everything Happens in Threes” saying completely applied to my life, and I thought that if a 4th thing occurred, I would break.

As a positive-minded person, of course I knew things would get better; As a person full of faith, I knew God had bigger, better plans for me and was with me; As a person with an amazing husband, family and friends, I knew there were people that would not let me fall and that would have my back along the way. This doesn’t make the rough time any more bearable, nor does it make the pain/sadness/worry/insecurity pass any faster- because you don’t know at the time how good life can be in the future. You’re stuck in the “now.” But hindsight, as they say, is always 20/20. Would it have made any of the feelings I had at the time better if I could see the future? Maybe not, but maybe if I knew life would be amazing now, back then, the anxiety over the unforeseen future would be gone. Which for me personally, was the biggest part.

THE GOOD THING IS THOUGH…

when you finally reach the light at the end of the dark tunnel, only then can you understand why the battle was worth it.

Every decision, every road block, any negativity or sadness you faced- it lead you here. Now that I’ve reached the end of my tunnel, I can tell you that the blessings have been worth the battle, even though it was hard to see when the light at the end of the tunnel was only a speck. So if you’re going through the battle now, I can tell you IT GETS BETTER, and although it’s easier to read than believe, everything you are looking for is through the tunnel. To reach the blessings you need to go through the battle.

I recently began my dream job (Seriously… I’m so grateful!), am moving into my new home with my husband (that we LOVE!!) and I have extreme peace with my Grandmothers passing and know that she is with me always and that I’m a better person for knowing her.

If the battle is huge, the blessings are BIGGER!!!! If you’re in the dark, keep going!! If you’ve reached the end of your tunnel, good!

To the battles that help us appreciate the blessings,

Aurora

Why Losing a Grandparent Sucks

I debated on what I wanted to title this, but through much thought, this was the best way to share how I really feel. Losing a grandparent sucks. If you’re reading this, it’s most likely because you’ve felt the pain that I’m feeling recently or you’re remembering one you’ve lost over the years at this moment. No matter what category you fall in, I’m sorry.


The biggest part of this post and most important to me, is that you know about Rita. The greatest loss I’ve had of a loved one and someone I cared for very much. Rita Amelia Flynn was my grandmother and the most amazing, courageous woman I ever met. Rita was one of the first people I remember baking cookies with, the woman who taught me the importance of 3 daily Hail Marys and the bold woman who wrote President Reagen to make construction changes in her Bronx neighborhood… to which he responded… and fixed what was broken! (I know… wow)!! 

Rita was also my Grandmother– and she is missed more in this moment than ever. In the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of spending some very special moments with my Grandma and they’ve provided me with memories that will last a lifetime. She walked with my other Grandmother down the aisle as a “flower girl” in my wedding this past May- She had just turned 95 years old.


So why does losing a grandparent suck? THEY WERE AWESOME TO YOU! Grandparents spoiling their grandkids isn’t a myth… they gave us the fun stuff we wanted as we grew up, their house was the fun place to go and they gave the best hugs! The childhood appreciation lasts a long time, and then you think of life in young adulthood and how your appreciation for grandparents evolved. For me, I loved talking to my grandma about what life was like as she grew up… how she met my grandpa, what attracted her to him, what their first date was like, what it like having 8 kids etc etc etc. Your grandparents are (probably) the oldest family member you have- so you try and absorb as much of them as possible! 

In this last year, at 95, Rita walked down the aisle at my wedding as a flower girl, she drank a Stella Artois or 2 at her birthday dinner, dressed as flawless and classy as ever, and finally, she laid her head to rest.

I literally just teared up typing that. 


My grandma was AWESOME! She attended church daily, was loved by the congregation and gave more love to my family than most give in a lifetime. She made sure my siblings and I made it through Catholic school and that we felt loved every inch of our lives while she was here. The thing about losing your grandparent though, is that your love for them stays with you even when they’re gone! She may be gone, but I still feel Rita with me. When I pray, I know she’s the extra booster next to God, helping pass my hopes and prayers up his way. 

She was, and is, the best. 

In 2nd grade I had to write a report on who in my life I thought would become a saint. I chose Rita. I’ve always looked up to this amazing woman, and in those moments and now, I had the blessed privilege of calling her Grandma. 

Rita Amelia Flynn, Grandma, I love you so much. Thank you for impacting my life in so many ways… tell Grandpa we love him and say Hello. You were the best for 95 years and lived a long, healthy, amazing life. As perfectly said by my Grandmothers priest: she lived a long life, but we simply miss her- the world needs more of Rita Flynn. 

To those reading this because you miss your grandparents too, take some time and cherish the moments you had with them! I believe my grandma is still with me, and your loved one is still with you, too. The best way you can honor their life, is by living yours in a way that would make them proud. 

To our amazing grandparents, 

❤ Aurora 

Being Grateful Through the Negative 

I opened two amazing gifts this morning- my eyes!! 

…If you did too, take a moment today to appreciate the day! This life is FULL of curveballs, ups, downs and the inbeteeen can be trying as well. It is not easy, but making the effort to REMEMBER your blessings when you’re feeling down and out can make the challenges more bearable. How can you do this? It takes practice. Next time something comes up during your day that feels negative or makes you upset or mad, it’s important to address these feelings, but don’t stay there. For every one bad moment in our lives, we have 100 more to be grateful for. I’m going to start with the obvious, but something I know I take for granted- if you’re able to read this, you’ve already been able to list one thing to be grateful for. 

Happy Wednesday friends! What gift do you have that you’ve taken for granted?

Love, Aurora 

2017- The Year of What Is

 

I am officially calling 2017 The Year of What Is. So, what does this mean exactly? Think of the saying: “It Is What It Is.” For years, I didn’t like this saying because I thought it was a way of sweeping things under the rug. I thought it was a shrug of the shoulders and the allowing of something to pass by that maybe should be addressed, understood or discussed. I found that friends, family, people I look up to- would all use the phrase when they felt like something was out of their control or couldn’t be fixed, changed etc. When I think deeper about this now, I think the reason I didn’t like the saying stems from my own inability to believe that some things are just what they are.  You cannot change them. Whether it was something that happened to you, a relationship with someone in your life or an outcome to something you wish had been different. It’s not what you want it to be- It is what it is. 

In a recent conversation with a friend, we got to talking about certain situations in our own lives currently that rather than trying to understand and fight, that we needed to accept and understand that these things can’t be what we want them to be. They are going to be what they are. 

*THIS WAS SUCH A HUGE MOMENT FOR ME*

Are you following me here?

I don’t know why or how, but in that moment the saying meant more to me than it ever had. “It Is What It Is,” is not a shrugging of the shoulders, rather, it’s the acceptance that something cannot become what you want it to be just because you want it to be that way or because you want to understand it. In a relationship that means a lot to you, in circumstances at work/home, something you really want for yourself, the lose of a loved one, the pain of a past experience- it is WHAT IS. However- the thing we are able to control in this experience, is our reaction to it. How we proceed with our feelings and the way we view it (the friendship, job, argument, relationship, shortcoming, failure, pain), is up to us. You can’t always change “it,” but you can change the way you feel about it. 

I’ve always been one of those people who tried to help change others, if I felt like they needed “fixing.” Whether it was an old boyfriend, troubled friend, a coworker- the therapist in me was always at work trying my best to be there for that person and often offered 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances in the pursuit of trying to understand them and help them become a better person. Some might say I was doing that to feed some of my own ego, and that while I was trying to help them, there was some gain I was trying to obtain for myself. I won’t argue that- I know it has felt good to know you would have contributed to someones happiness or self-discovery, so I won’t say this is too far off track. But I can say, that “fixing” others, or helping them change for what you think is best, is exhausting. This is why accepting WHAT IS is so important. Even with the best intentions, putting so much energy into trying to help, understand, or change someone else or situations only depletes the energy you’re giving back to yourself… and I am finally beginning to understand that.

Self-love is paramount. (via @mindbodygreen):

So I am saying 2017 is the Year of What Is, but I plan on moving forward with the idea that I can’t always control or understand things, but than I can control how I view them and how I allow them to effect me. As someone who has a strong faith and often turns to prayer for solace, comfort and direction, I think this is a strong tool to help these feelings and understanding that you won’t always be able to control the outcome.

I hope this makes sense– maybe it even enlightened some of your thoughts too! If so, please let me know in the comments and I will reply shortly after.

Happy 2017 to all of you!.. best wishes for a healthy new year and accepting what is. 

Xo

Aurora

Photo cred: I took this photo of the beautiful “Liberty Bell Church” on Hamilton St, Allentown Pennsylvania from my office.

Getting ready for 2017!

If you want 2017 to be your year: Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to be early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave 

I LOVE this!! How many of us say that the upcoming New Year is going to be their year? Well, I think majority of us have said at some point (around 12:00am on Dec 31st whether 20xx or 19xx),”THIS IS going to be my year!” I will admit… I think I say something similar to this each year, but often pointed around something specific, like “this year I’m going to get in shape”… or …” this year I am going to plan that trip I’ve been wanting to go on”… etc etc etc. I think New Years Resolutions are like any goal you set, you have to be committed and really want it for it to happen.  The calendar change to an entire new year, and saying goodbye to another, is certainly the push to help motivate change, but you still need to have your mind set to it and put in effort. 

While we still have 10 days until we begin the 10 second countdown, maybe take the time to consider what (if anything) you really want to achieve, do, accomplish, get rid of, in the next year! A brand new year truly offers the opportunity to make a change you’re looking for. Have a list of things? Write them out! Look over your list closely and take the time to decide what you really want and what you can put some motivation into! Saying you want to sign up for grad school, or join a new workout class is not going to work if you haven’t done school research or hate working out in public. To give yourself the opportunity to achieve your resolution, you need to be realistic about what you want to achieve. 


My plan for 2017 is above! I vote for Positivity in 2017 and my first step is to say YES to being happy! If you are with me and like this idea too, write it out below!!! 

Happy New Year! ❤

Aurora

Vote! 

GO VOTE. 

It does not matter to me who you vote for. What is important is that YOU VOTE! So often people have opinions and don’t take the one BIGGEST opportunity to let their voices be heard! If you are registered to vote, go! If you don’t know who you want to vote for, there are plenty of websites like Washington Post who ask “Are you curious which U.S. presidential candidate best aligns with your personal views, values and priorities?” By clicking the link, you can take a few minutes to position yourself on 20 statements and see where you stand relative to the candidates.

Other sites with quizzes to help you are: ProCon and I Side With 

BECOME educated! Social media and news outlets have so much sway over what we see/hear and ultimately think. It’s not too late to gain some education on who you want to vote for tomorrow based on what’s important to you! As for me, I’m headed to bed shortly so my husband and I can head to the polls early in the morning before work! 

God Bless America,

Aurora 

Adopting a Pet

“You can’t change a dogs past, but you can change its future.”


Today, my husband and I adopted a rescue puppy from Georgia via Logan’s Heros in Coopersburg, PA! As a newly married couple, you naturally start to consider what growing your family will look like, and we wanted a puppy to be in our near future. Over the last few months we’ve been looking at local rescue sites and hoped to find some puppies who needed a loving home. 3 weeks ago, Luna and her 7 brothers and sisters popped up on our radar and we immediately applied to adopt her or one of her siblings. After a week long waiting period, we found out our 3 references were called and asked questions about if we could be great pet parents. 

Originally, we wanted one of Luna’s brothers and hoped that he would love us in the way we fell in love with him after only seeing pictures. After all paperwork was signed to get her brother, I couldn’t help but be drawn to Luna and how sweet and loving she was each time I went over to the pen she was in. This is important. From the moment we decided we wanted to look at these puppies, it was extremely important to me that we felt some sort of connection off the bat before leaving with one of them. Unfortunately, the dog we came to see we did not have that spark with. Luna (originally named Aurora ((like me)) how weird is that?) would not stop licking my hands, and then once we held her, she immediately wagged her tail and wanted to cuddle.

Excuse me while I melt for a second

So here we are… we both felt the same way when meeting her and knew we couldn’t leave without her! Luna Brunovsky (obviously having our last name) joined our family today and I couldn’t be more excited! While we’re super over the moon, we are also nervous to be first time fur-parents together, but know it will be a lot of fun and worth it!

Adopting is WORTH IT! We paid a few hundred dollars (which was primarily a donation) to keep our rescue org going, and our dog arrived with all shots and was spayed. How can it get much better than that??

If you or someone you know has questions about pet adoption, please comment below!!

Time for us to hit the hay! Luna is already out!


Sending love from our new little family…

-Aurora Brunovsky