Smiling at Strangers

Let’s talk impact of small gestures:

Smile at strangers. We’re in this together.

Is there any smaller act that can go further? As someone who is always told “You’re always smiling,” I can tell you, it really does have an effect on people. Of course, being a Human Resources professional, I always like to display a positive demeanor and smiling is the easiest way to do that. I also think I’m a happy person for the most part, so it does come naturally.

How about you? Are you someone who looks down at their phone as they walk? Or not make eye contact with the person who held the door for you? Or that you held the door for? These are the moments where human connection is often missed, but could be the most effective. But listen- I get it. Do you need to walk around with a big cheesy grin on your face all day? No. Are you someone who struggles with RBF (I’ll say Resting Bored Face… but I’m sure you know what I mean). RBF is a REAL thing… some of the nicest people I know look like they’re not nice at all when they are resting their face or unaware that people are looking at them. Haha- so it may not come as natural for all of us, but if the intention and the presence in the moment is there- why not smile at a couple of strangers?

It’s a little thing that can go a looooooooooooooong way. Will you do something for me? After reading this, and you go back into your day and life, take some time to smile at people. You interact with more people than you know and without saying a single word, you say so much with a smile.

Without saying a single word, you say so much with a smile.

To being in this together,

-Aurora

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Eliminating The Negative In Your Life

Let go of everything that negatively effects your life. The people, the places, ALL of it.

I have talked about this topic before… because you all know how much I love to preach the positive lifestyle, but I let some negativity in recently, and I have to tell you, the reminder to STOP and take a step back helped me so much. So much so, that I wondered how often it is that we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole and before we know it, we’re body deep, and are struggling to regain our footing.

So what happened? We all have those few people in our lives that bring us anxiety or stress, OR they serve as triggers to specific instances in our lives that brought stress, anxiety, negativity, pain, etc etc etc. When I was in the presence of one of these people recently, they did the same thing they always dothey minimized and put down something positive and exciting that I shared, to justify their opposite, negative view. UGH.

So I went down the rabbit hole…

I spent the next hour thinking: WHAT A JERK!!!!!!!!!! SOME PEOPLE NEVER CHANGE!! (Of course this was inside my head– I’ve learned to keep thoughts like that to myself, esp. in an initial response).

I let my mind wonder, doubted myself and allowed for this persons comments to make me think negatively toward myself. “Do they have a point? Why do I think this is so great? Do other people think this way?” Self doubt, self doubt, self doubt. Exactly. What. They. Wanted. See, here is the thing: I know this person typically has a glass half empty attitude, and puts others down when feeling envious, or even, jealous. So part of me is correct… this person hasn’t changed. What CAN CHANGE however, is the way I let it affect me… the way I let it go. So, after this hour passed, I literally said to myself:

This has nothing to do with you. Any negative comments or energy from that person is THEIRS- there is no need for me to take it on as mine.

So here I am… some time after this happened, and while I’m proud I was able to talk myself through it, I thought it was important to share. Negative people, places and instances are all around us. Our biggest, strongest weapon against negativity in our lives is our own ability to look it in the face and see it for what it is. And when you can do that, and you no longer feed it, you can let it go. All of it.

It’s certainly a work in progress, but I’m committed to letting go of and eliminating as much negative from my day to day as possible. When you let the negative in, you decrease the room for light, happiness, growth and my favorite (you already know), positivity.

What negativity are you trying to let go of in your life? Are they people, places, both? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To kicking it Positive,

Aurora

How to Start… Now.

“Whether you think you’re ready or not, start right now. There is magic in action.”

Ahhhh, this. What I love about this thought is that it’s applicable to almost any goal, dream or action you want to take in your life. If you want to re-enroll in school, start working out, get back on the dating scene, try that new hobby… there is always tomorrow,  but why not start RIGHT NOW… if because you can!

I’m going to get a little more personal here, because that’s what this blog has always been about- being open and honest about my own feelings and sharing what I think will be helpful for others who may be thinking or experiencing similar situations in their own life. In order to explain fully, we need to take a quick step back to tie this all together.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve been enjoying everything that being a newly wed has to offer, from moving in together (no, we did not live together beforehand… no crazy reason why, we just thought it would be fun to wait to move in- feel free to ask more about this if interested), spending a lot of quality time together, to adopting our beautiful rescue, Luna, and lastly, buying a new home!  It’s been a fun (at times, crazy/difficult/stressful) year, but it has been nothing short of incredible when spending it with my person- my husband, Joe. And while we’ve learned a lot over the last year and have had some amazing times, in our discussions lately, we realized something was missing (no, not a baby (yet), slow down). In the midst of binge-watching our favorite shows, going out to eat all the time and enjoying life to the fullest, we began letting our fitness and health take a back seat.

Who is Maxx Fitness and why is he hitting my bank account each month?

Image result for gym meme

Friends in a relationship, let me tell you- when your partner (or even a good friend) JOIN YOU in your fitness journey, life is SO MUCH EASIER than if you did it alone. As an extroverted person, I am motivated by others and the environment around me, so going to the gym, and with a partner, are key to me sticking with any program or routine I want to start. Beginning this week, my husband and I have began eating a little bit better and headed back to the gym (What’s up, Maxx!) This is exciting to me, because I obviously want to feel healthy for myself, but I also want to feel good and take all the positivity that a healthy lifestyle can bring, into my marriage. If you’re not in a relationship or don’t have have a close friend to join you on your journey, YOU HAVE ONE in me! Send me a message and I’d be happy to chat and share motivation with you!

So this is my journey on “Starting Now” and putting action into something I want. What’s your journey leading you toward? Here are 5 Steps I’ve created on how to start anything you want in your life, NOW.


Listen, my own worst enemy and the voice that talks me out of things I want to do is my own mind and negative self talk. Have you tried before and failed? Do you lack self-confidence? Has someone told you you’re unable to reach your goal? SO WHAT. This is not the first time I’ve run down this list of ways… and I’m positive I will have to run through it numerous times until I feel that I’ve made it to where I want to go.

So take it from someone who is beginning now… you can too. Whatever your goal is, whatever you want in life, the only one truly holding you back, is you. What is it in your life that you can start now? I’d love to know!

To starting NOW….♥

With love and sparkle, Aurora

The Reel is not Real

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel 

I’m going to start this post with a hashtag that I’ve created: #TheReelisNotReal 

How many of us become insecure because of something we see on the internet? Ladies, have you ever looked at another woman’s post and thought: “I wish I looked like that.” Have you ever seen someone’s relationship posts and thought: “I wish I was that happy in my relationship.” To the gents out there, ever see abs you wish you had or the perfect woman with the perfect guy and wish that was you? Ever see someone with the perfect job you wish you had? Welcome to Instagram and most of social media my friends. 

BUT LISTEN UP:::::::: 

The Highlight Reel of peoples lives that you see online is not their life, I would gamble, 90% of the time! The loving relationship, perfectly fit body, amazing career, perfect hair… these are all things we want, but comparing your whole life situation to one persons post, is causing more issues and insecurity because you believe that what you’re seeing is someone’s 100% life. It ISN’T

I do believe that majority of people who post their Highlight Reel aren’t trying to make anyone feel bad, insecure or less than them- they’re posting the things that make them feel good, proud, pretty, lucky etc. We all do that! BUT this is about our responses to the Reel. You can’t be critical of yourself over perfection you see on the internet. The perfection that most likely took:

  •  25 takes
  • The perfect lighting
  • Face Tune
  • Do-overs
  • Photoshop
  • etc etc etc etc etc

It is proven that depression rates have gone up in our country among children and adults because of what they compare themselves to online posts. It’s. So. Sad. But it’s also a reality. So how do you stop this? How do you feel more secure with yourself and not compare yourself to ideals you see online? I haven’t mastered this yet, but I tell myself that anyone or anything I admire on the internet, 9 times out of 10, has their own issues, too. The seemingly perfect couples gets into drag out fights, the girl with a perfect body took a half hour picking a filter and whitening her teeth with FaceTune (although I do love that app), the person who lost 100lbs (GO THEM), feels like they haven’t lost enough… it’s in all of us!  And what better way to help dig yourself out of your thoughts than to realize you’re not alone? ♡

The internet is a tricky place. Especially social media. How do you fall in line with posting positive things & not airing your dirty laundry? The truth to that, I think, is being an authentic post-er. I thought about this after following an amazing initiative #Realstagram through Raw Beauty Talks and how they’re empowering instagrammers and social media gurus to be themselves online, while still posting or promoting what they are all about or trying to sell. How…? By posting a makeup-free selfie or writing the truth behind the perfect picture you just posted (*not seen: my dog bitting a hole through my favorite shoe as I capture my perfectly puckered kissy face*).  I love this. 

In closing, friends- try and be nice to yourself. And while you’re at it- remember that the entire internet who posts away each day feels the exact same way you do– just a tad bit insecure. But just as they share that with you, remember their posts are mainly their Highlight Reel and not their Behind The Scenes. We all have that, too. ♡

To appreciating the genuine you ★ ☆ ✰

-Aurora 

The Results of Giving Back 

This number is incredible... and it’s a huge example of what can happen when people come together to make a difference! When my husband and I created the Give Back Lehigh Valley Softball Tournament we never knew how big it would get and that we’d also have amazing friends who could MATCH our raised dollars!! As someone who has planned a lot of fundraisers, I’m more than happy to help anyone looking for ways to raise money for your cause!! 

We raised over 5K for both of our organizations: Nam Knights and Logan’s Heroes! It was an amazing day and I can’t begin to express my gratitude for everyone who made the event what it was! If you want to get involved next year, please let me know!!! 

To giving back to our community… ❤️

-Aurora

Why You Should Give Back- The Power of Small Acts

Tonight is the eve of our annual Give Back Lehigh Valley Softball Tournament and I am SO EXCITED… and a little antsy! My (now) husband and I created this event back when we were dating… we got engaged there and now are married. It’s been 4 years and I can’t believe how quickly the time to passed and how this event has evolved. 

What does not amaze me, is how awesome it feels to have created such an amazing give-back event that continues to get bigger and bigger as the years go by!!! GIVING BACK IS EASY… and it doesn’t have to be something big or something that grows… it can be small acts that make a difference in the life of another.  

We began our Give Back Event to help me fundraise for our local Cystic Fibrosis chapter a few years back when I was named a Lehigh Valley Finest Under 40 honoree. That was with 4 teams, a few donations and some cool T-shirts. The event tomorrow is anticipated to have anywhere from 150-200 people and over 100 participants. 😳 IT’S amazing!… but truly, it also takes a village. 

Each year, I use the all social media outlets to plug the event, solicit sponsorship and to shed the light on how YOU can give back and together, all of our small efforts make a BIG impact. For example, this year alone, strangers have reached out to me to become a part of this and volunteer; friends from grade school that I haven’t spoken to personally or seen in years have donated product for the event; and some incredible Lehigh Valley businesses stepped up to be big name sponsors of the event. I know this has built over the years, but it doesn’t change the pure awe that I feel when I see so many people coming together. I can tell you, that as our 4th Annual event, we became completely sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to give back, right here where we live. Years ago- a lot of what made the event came out of our own pockets… which was something we were prepared for, but appreciate now that it’s changed. It’s a beautiful thing to see so many wanting to drive change and to be a positive force in the community. 

So here we are, a few hours out from the big day beginning, and I’m so excited I can’t sleep. This event is our little piece of what we’re able to put out into the world, and it feels amazing. If this day inspires a few people to give a little more than they do, then we’ve done our job. At the very least, we can provide some assistance for our local charities and organizations, and provide a positive, fun day for the community. In our last 3 tournaments we’ve raised $25,000 and hope to add another 10k to that number tomorrow for Nam Knights of the LV and Logan’s Heroes Animal Recue! 🐾🇺🇸⚾️

If you want to see more about our event, please visit GiveBackSoftball.com & please comment below if you need any inspo or help creating a Give Back event!

To helping those in your community… ❤️

-Aurora 

Why You Should Choose Wisely on Who Surrounds You

Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters, the game shakers. They’ll challenge you, break you open, uplift and expand you. They don’t play small with your life. These heartbeats are your people. These people are your tribe

Ohhhhhhh the feels this saying gives me!! I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile, as I usually do when I come across some good quotes. If it jumps out at me for one reason or another, I save it, diguest it and decide if I want to pick it apart a little bit with you guys. 

So there’s two parts here that I want to address: the people you surround yourself with and the impact they have on you, and also whether or not you’re exuding your best qualities, wanting others to be surrounded by you. 

1. Who you surround yourself with. This is SO important for so many reasons. When we talk about “light bringers” and “magic makers” did you have someone pop in to your mind?? KEEP THAT PERSON AROUND! Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not booting all friends and acquaintances out of circle if we’re not describing them as magical, uplifting, game changers etc. What is most important in my point here is that you have those people or circles you’re involved with that feed your soul, purpose, direction you want to go, goals you want to reach etc. If you’re looking around your regular circles and not liking how you feel/what you see/ what’s being discussed/done etc etc etc by all means, change your scenery. Move. You’re not a tree. (I blogged about this idea once too…) 

For me, I have a ton of fun, adventurous and goofy friends that are great to hang out with. Then I also have some key inspirational people in my life that I trust for advice, look to for personal and professional growth, people I look up to, etc. It’s great to have multiple circles you’re in, but I can’t express enough that having these game shakers in your corner are amazing. These people can help you while you discover your own potential, make and reach goals and be a positive presence in your life. Have you ever heard the saying: you’re only as good as the company you keep. If you’re always surrounded by people who aren’t helping you grow and become a better person, I recommend changing some of your circles. It’s not easy, but the pay off will be worth it. And you’ll FEEL better! Negative people can suck the life out of you, rob you of happy moments and removing as much of this as possible is bound to bring nothing but positive effects into your life. 

2. Do people view you as their magic maker, game shaker, light bringer, motivator etc? I hope they do! Just how you will THRIVE with these people in your corner, how amazing would it be to be that for someone else? This life will always reward those who make it their mission to help others... I firmly believe that. Where in your life can you be the light and motivation someone needs?

I try and do this through the many organizations and groups I’ve become a part of in the Lehigh Valley where I live. I get to network with young professionals and invite them to become a part of an amazing philanthropic professional group that helps them to give Back locally, meet top local business owners and CEOs as well as build great relationships within their peer group. I personally reach out to individuals I meet that I think would be a great part of the group and help them determine if it’s a good fit! Other times, I’m inspiring others to become a part of  committees I’m involved in, volunteer opportunities I’m organizing or involved in and lastly I ALWAYS use my professional expertise to help my friends/ old co-workers / sometimes even acquaintances. As an HR, I’m often asked to write recommendations, Linked In testimonys, review resumes, practice interviewing skills etc. Its an honor people as me for my help, but it’s also so humbling to know that for these people, I’m the motivator, the light bringer, whatever you want to call it- I’m that for these people. 

If you have something you can do to bring your magic to  others, do it! 
Here’s my other favorite quote that I’ve used before but LOVE Bc it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people! 
Watch who you surround yourself with, and be someone that others want to be surrounded by! 

Be someone’s light ✨

-Aurora 

Living in Kindness

Kindness. Do I really need to say more? We are at this point currently, I believe as a country (world?), where being nice and having compassion for your fellow man does not exist as much as it used to/should. While we regularly see news from all over the world highlighting hate and war, there are things happening in our own communities that are building a culture of negativity and lack of compassion for others. 

BE NICE. Being positive, kind, respectful, grateful, appreciative… these are all reasons I created this blog- to exude these feelings and emotions, openly and honestly. Being nice to someone you don’t know or to someone you do, for nothing, can go a longer way than you’d never imagine. 

Challenge: this is something you can do RIGHT NOW. I’ve tried this recently, and it’s impact is more than I thought it would. So here it is…

Try not talking negative about anyone for 3 days.

“Oh that won’t be hard,” I’m sure you may have just thought. Well, trust me- I think that are multiple times throughout the day where you encounter someone or something irritating and it so easy to talk about it with people, coworkers, a friend, a spouse etc. 

Here’s the problem with that: unless you’re talking it through with someone (to find resolution or peace) is talking about them going to change the situation or add anything into your life but more negativity? No. Festering on negative feelings for someone is only going to bring you down… so knock it off. 

Speaking to myself here, too. 

Turn the other cheek. TRY THIS! And when you succeed (you may have to hit the re-start button a few times)- try it for 7 days…. then 10… then 14… and keep going! When you can stop talking negatively about people you’re upset with, people who hurt you, people who are just plain difficult- you’ll eventually feel some peace around your situation that you hadn’t before. 

I’m working on this too… so if we can help each other through it, let’s do it! Contact info is up top or a comment below is good too!

Let’s start talking more nicely and spread the kindness this world so desperately needs ❤️

-Aurora 

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