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Music to Boost Your Mood – My Quarantine Playlist

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My Quarantine Playlist to #QuarantineAndChill to during COVID-19

I don’t know about all of you, but music has the ability to change my mood and energy. During this time, while we’re all staying home, it’s easy to fall into a slump and I know what it’s like to need a pick me up! I put together a playlist of my favorite songs that always put me in a good mood! I used to have some of these songs in my “Driving Jams” playlist, then my “House Cleaning” playlist for a little pep up!

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I thought it would be fun to share my playlist with you, as well as provide links to save it instantly onto your Apple Music or Spotify Apps! What songs boost your mood? I’d love to add some recommendations!

Here is my Quarantine Playlist that will keep you feeling good during the COVID-19 #QuarantineAndChill period:

  • Higher Love- Kygo & Whitney Houston
  • I Bet My Life- Imagine Dragons
  • Hey Ya! – Outkast
  • More Than You Know- Axwell Ingrosso
  • Say So- Doja Cat
  • Feels Great- Cheat Codes feat. Fetty Wap & CVBZ
  • Don’t Start Now- Dua Lipa
  • Just Like Fire- Pink
  • Stay- Kygo feat. Maty Noyes
  • The Greatest- Sia
  • Gub Vibrations- NGHTMRE & SLANDER
  • Hey, Soul Sister- Train
  • Ridin’ Solo- Jason Derulo
  • Dance Monkey- Tones and I
  • Ball for Me- Post Malone
  • Blinding Lights- The Weekend
  • Best Day of My Life- American Authors
  • Cake- Flo Rida & 99 Percent
  • Green Light- Lorde
  • Kamikaze- M0
  • HandClap- Fitz and The Tantrums
  • Glorious- Macklemore feat. Skylar Grey
  • Promises- Sam Smith & Calvin Harris
  • Hey Look Ma, I Made It- Panic! At the Disco

Open this playlist in Apple Music!

Open this playlist on Spotify!

Sending everyone a ton of love and well wishes during this crazy time in our world! I hope this music playlist fills your day with a little happiness and positivity. If you have more songs that throw you into a good mood, let me know in the comments!!

All my love,

-Aurora

Counseling · Living with Intention · Self Realization · Uncategorized

8 Types of Self-Care

I’m so grateful to BlessingManifesting.com for this visual! Self-care has become a huge conversation in the last few months and I’m so glad it has!

These 8 different Types of Self-care perfectly illustrate how self-care is not a “one size fits all,” but rather something you need to explore for yourself and find what works best for you!

As for me, I feel like depending on what’s going on in my life, I dabble in each of these as needed! Anyone else like that? Regardless what kind of self-care you choose, it’s important to practice it for balance in your life. I know that when I don’t make time for self-care, it shows so many ways!

To putting yourSELF first with self-care,

-Aurora

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20 Things To Do In 2020 That Will Transform You By 2021

This list is bound to change the game for you in 2021 if you start practicing now!

  1. Change your negative thoughts to positive ones.
  2. Drink water- start at a glass a day if needed
  3. Meditate
  4. Write out a list of people who are most important to you and be intentional about reaching out to them/making plans with them
  5. Get a physical- knowledge is power. Knowing what’s going on with your body can prevent so many issues
  6. Use your ears more than your mouth. When someone is speaking to you, try listening better- not preparing your response
  7. Journal- even if it’s a few lines a day. Getting things out of your mind and on paper is not only therapeutic, but if they’re action items, it helps to get them accomplished
  8. Cross something off your bucketlist
  9. Stop comparing yourself to others- especially on the internet. Remember, we are all posting the highlight reel. And if you’ve followed me for some time, you know I believe The Reel isn’t Real.
  10. Wake up early- even start with 10 extra minutes

11. Do a random act of kindness- it feels good and can spark change in others

12. Get some solid sleep- minimum of 7 hours each night

13. Social Media Detox- delete the people and accounts that make you bad/negative

14. Don’t gossip

15. More Self-Care

16. Volunteer or Give Back

17. Celebrate small wins

18. Work on communication with your loved ones

19. Read more books

20. Become more active- go for a walk, hop on the treadmill, even get up from your desk and take a walk. Getting active keeps your blood moving & getting really active can help with overall health

Happy New Year everyone!! I’ve already started working this list into my 2020 habits! What are you incorporating into your new year? I’d love to hear!!

To the best year yet!.. and prepping for the next!!

-Aurora ⚡️

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2020 Vision- Happy YOU Year

Happy New Year!… Or as I’m feeling so far in 2020- Happy YOU Year!! I love a fresh page, and that’s what today is. The beginning of a New Year is literally day one of 365, which is a lot of opportunity to design and create the YOU you want to be.

I know a lot of people talk about resolutions beginning a new year, but I always try and focus on goals I have to better myself all the way around- mind, body and spirit. I’ve thought a lot about what I want 2020 to look like including what my hopes are and how I can obtain them.

In 2020, I’ll be focusing on self love and overall happiness.

My reason for this? Literally, every situation happening in your life (or that you want to happen) stems from how you’re feeling inside. When you feel overall happiness, your perspective of outside situations is typically more positive. When you’re feeling sad, anxious, worrisome, or anything bad on the inside, typically your perspective on the outside can be more negative. Everything on the inside comes through and effects all outside situations- both good and bad.

For example: let’s say I’m feeling anxious about something in my mind and possibly overthinking it because it makes me anxious- My husband could walk in the room and asked me a simple question, but because I’m feeling anxious/negative inside I respond to him in a negative way, even if it’s not justified or doesn’t make sense. Because I’m not feeling good on the inside, it creeps out and effects something completely unrelated. Have you ever lashed out at someone undeserving because you’re feeling your own shit?

Come on, let’s all raise our hands 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️.

Now in the opposite regard, have you ever had a feeling of overwhelming happiness or contentment and that nothing can bring you down? For me, after I crush a really great work out I feel invincible! The energy that I get from working out can have me start a project I’ve been meaning to start, smiling from ear to ear and even sometimes, you can ask my husband, even motivates me to clean the house! Because I feel great inside, positivity is spewing out of me in all directions!!

Can anyone relate to this? It’s crazy how much were feeling on the inside projects on the outside. So for 2020 I’m working on the happiness within so that happiness is what’s coming out. The self-love portion of my goals is also to give myself some grace when I fall short on overpowering the negative.

My 2020 Vision is laser focused on positive vibes/energy, positive relationships, self love, mental/physical/spiritual health… and that’s just the stuff on the inside I’m working on!

Other goals for 2020 is working with my husband to launch our non-profit (EEEEEKKKK), moving the needle with my baby TheWeeklySparkle.com 😍 and penning the outline of my book. AHEUEUFHEK!! I said it. It’s out in the universe now, so there’s no taking it back! A book has always been a dream of mine and something I’ve been jotting notes on for years. 2020 is the year I’m committing to start it.

The start of a New Year is truly magical. I’d love to know what everyone else’s goals are for 2020! Shoot me a comment or note & let me know!… and don’t forget!… Write your goals down!!! It’s the best way to let them sink in and help you be accountable to them! Nothing fancy, they can be in your “notes” app or in a journal! Happy writing! ☺️

Cheers to a year of happiness ahead ✨-Aurora

Family · Friendship · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Relationships · Self Realization

These Are The Good Old Days

Good morning friends!

I’ve had this thought in mind to share for quite some time, because I think it’s so important to remember. We spend so much time worrying about the past and planning for the future, that now more than ever, living in and appreciating the NOW is fleeting.

Anyone else struggle to remain present? 🙋‍♀️

Lately I’ve been thinking about how personally I’ve been so laser focused on the future and what’s next that enjoying the journey is getting lost. We’re currently living in “the good old days” and I don’t want this time to pass without truly enjoying it.

Any Office fans out there? (Haha I know, there’s literally a billion of us)! One of my favorite scenes in the enter series is this one: Good Old Days- Andy Bernard He says:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the Good Old Days, before you actually left them.”

As he says this he flashes back to good times with his coworkers and moments that at the time didn’t seem very important, but he now realizes that those moments were in fact “the good old days.”

Ahhh… this is literally what I’m talking about here!!! I think in our current world where our heads are buried in our phones and we’re always on the go, leaping to “what’s next,” it’s so easy to let the important moments pass by unnoticed. In thinking about this, I’ve decided to do a few things to get back to being more present, and I hope some of these tips can help you too!

Things I’m going to do to be more present:

  1. Put my phone away when out to dinner or when spending quality time with family and friends
  2. Writing out or acknowledging the small or large blessings of the day that I’m grateful for
  3. Leave my phone upstairs when spending quality time with my husband at night as we wind down
  4. Worry less about posting on social media “in the moment” and actually enjoy the thing it is that I realllly want to post about
  5. Listen better. Rather than worrying about the next thing on my to-do list, where I need to be, or who is texting me, I’m want to do a better job at listening when in conversation

PHEW- That’s a lot 😅

What is list screams to me is: Put your phone down, lift your head up, open your ears, be where you are, focus on what’s in front of you, worry less about what’s ahead and my favorite and the most important piece- count your blessings

I’d love to hear what some of you do to remain present! If you have something that works well for you, please drop it in the comments!

To the Good Old Days,

Aurora ✨

Uncategorized

Stay Strong Queen

Stay Strong Queen

The point of this blog has always been to connect. In the beginning phases, it was meant to connect with just my blog readers and then slowly transformed into connecting with even more people through my Facebook Page , Pinterest, Twitter and now even Instagram! When I started this almost seven years ago, The Weekly Sparkle only reached a few subscribers each week as they’d get my blog subscription in their inbox or others who would google search topics on things they were thinking about and wanted to feel some kind of connection on. Well, a few posts back on my Facebook page, I shared this quote and the response to it was huge!! So many women messaging me saying, “Wow I really needed this today” and “Amen Sister!!” and my favorite- “Holy Crap, I didn’t know I needed that until I read it… then I read it 10 more times!

To be honest, this is why I love posting things that inspire me! Half the time I’m not looking, and something so bold, and so real and so relate-able pops out at me and causes me to step back and say “WOW other people need to read this!

So let’s get to this quote shall we?

All of us, men and women alike, have periods of our lives where we just feel like we’re not in the right head space, or being kicked while we’re down, or are just really going through it. Friends, I’ve been feeling this way a little bit lately, and instead of identifying it for what it is and stepping back to see how I can fix it, I just keep going and going and going! There’s something to be said here though– there is something so completely commendable to those of us who are going through something, yet we continue to show up, be an awesome mom/dad/sister/wife/husband/boss/caretaker/etc etc etc etc and not let this season of our life paralyze us or cause us to quit. There’s a weird strength that comes from knowing you’ve been through things, but you’re still standing and moving forward.

So my message here is two fold and it’s simple: it’s okay to not feel strong all the time, but it’s so extremely important to recognize when you need a break. Sometimes when I’m go go go, my own mental and physical well-being goes to the wayside. So a quote like this reminds me that it’s okay to hit the pause button. The biggest message here though… if you’ve been through (or are going through) some things, the really tough, hard to navigate things, and you’re still standing, moving, getting ish done… you are a rockstar and need to pat yourself on the back.

So to my QUEENS… Keep 👏 Doing 👏 What👏 You’re 👏 Doing!!!!!! You are the real MVP’s and deserve to take any and all of the time you need for yourself! Until then, keep grinding, stay strong and no quitting. ♥️

Cheers,

Aurora ✨

Community Giving · Dreams · Giving Back · Living with Intention · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Uncategorized

Give Back Lehigh Valley 2019

WE DID IT!!!!!!!

This past Saturday, together with our family, friends and community, we were able to raised $18,500 for the MS Wellness Program at Good Shepherd here in the Lehigh Valley!! Good Shepherd’s MS Wellness Program, is a unique, bi-weekly program that offers activities to promote and maintain the health and well being of participants who are our neighbors here in the Valley. The goal of the MS Wellness Program is to enhance the quality of life for our participants and their families.

For our 6th Annual #GiveBackLehighValley Softball and Cornhole Tournament, we knew we wanted to rally together and focus on MS, especially with so many loved ones effected by this disease. The event was a hit!!! We’ve had more participants than ever, and know that Give Back 2020 is going to be even bigger!!!!!! Here are some pictures from the event:

From our amazing sponsors and donors, to volunteers, players and spectators… we cannot say THANK YOU enough for the amazing support behind this event! We have already announced that our Give Back 2020 event will be on August 22, 2019! If you’d like more information on how to get involved, please send me a message or write in the comments below!

Feeling all the grateful feels!

-Aurora

Counseling · Expectations · Journaling · Living with Intention · Relationships · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Balancing Other People’s Expectations

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Talk about a visual!

Lately I’ve been realizing how much of my own happiness/disappointments within myself are based around pleasing others or living up to their expectations of me. I find myself feeling stressed over what someone might think, how they took this or that, whether or not they think that is good enough, etc etc etc.

Sounds exhausting, right?

This is where my “SO WHAT” mantra comes in. So what if you’re not living up to others expectations of you, does that matter? Are their expectations realistic and do they match what’s important to you?

What actually matters is whether or not you are (or are becoming) the version of yourself that you went to be!! It only matters if you are living up to your own expectations. And guess what? If you’re not, you have the power, every-single-day, to change that. Remember that what others expect of us isn’t always about us- it’s can be about a fear, or an insecurity of theirs that they’re projecting on you or needing from you. Others expectations often have nothing to do with us specifically. And just how others do it to us, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can be doing that to others as well. It’s not easy to be mindful of, but if you are, you’re ahead of the curve!

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On the flip side, what’s even crazier to think, is that majority of the time, the expectations we think others have about us, don’t even exist! We are subconsciously making things “heavier” than they need to be! Somewhere along the line in our relationship other people, we may have developed a feeling of what they expect from us as friends, siblings, co-workers, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, etc etc etc. Most of the time, however, you’ll find, the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.

Again for those who need to read this again:

…the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.

Being honest, I read that for myself again, too.

To overthinking a little less, letting go of the heavy feelings, giving ourselves more grace and sharing that grace with others too…

Cheers,

-Aurora

American · Appreciation · Faith · Family · Living with Intention · Military · Uncategorized

Independence Day

Days like today, I’m filled with such pride to be an American. I’m always proud of my country, but on days like this, where we are all united in celebrating it, it feels even more amazing.

Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. Something accomplished hundreds of years ago, yet the FREEDOM still remains. To think of the impact this declaration would have on the millions of lives that came after it is nothing short of amazing. To know we live somewhere where we are truly FREE is such a blessing, especially when you know others around the world don’t live this way.

So in honor of all Americans who fought for this freedom, and those who don’t have the chance to exercise it where they live, I won’t take this day for granted. I’ll keep the fallen in my heart today and always, and pray for those who continue to fight for our freedom. We live in the Land of the Free, because of the Brave. Because of our, American, Brave.

Happy 4th of July everyone and God Bless America ♥️🇺🇸

-Aurora

Counseling · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Not Taking Others Words & Actions Personally = Freedom

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” – The Scarlet Letter

Ah….. I know I always start my blogs this way when something really hits me, but, WOW!!!!! This perfectly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately- like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders- yet, I had no idea how heavy the weight was until it was gone. It literally feels like I’m viewing my life differently and in a more positive light than even a few weeks ago. My mood feels different, my energy has shifted. I mean, I feel… happy.

I feel free.

Don’t get me wrong, I try to approach life and others in a positive light as much as anyone else might, but something shifted a few months (maybe even a year back), and I was experiencing all this negative self talk. I touched on this a few postings ago in, Let’s Talk Self Talk and I really feel like this blog was the tip of the Positivity Iceberg  that I was about to meet.

(Positivity Iceberg, noun: a made up term I just created to define the beginning of feeing positive, and so much more is to come underneath it) 🙂

So what was this shift?

Let me start by telling you why the shift needed to happen. The feeling of letting others “stuff” effect your mood, actions and thoughts- this can be a killer. These feelings have been something weighing me down, making me second guess myself, keeping me up some nights and overall killing my positive way of thinking. When people would say something negative to me, or even about others, or make a “dig” to me or a side comment, it would really effect me. When did I start worrying so much about what others thought? Especially the negative things, and why did I start putting blame on myself and putting so much thought into their thoughts over my own truth? 

After overanalyzing too many situations and nearing a breaking point, I said enough. It is EXHAUSTING to think in the ways I just described. Right? I’m sure many of you reading this are probably like,”Wow… Aurora that’s rough.” While others are thinking, “WOW, I thought I was alone in this.” This blog is for both of you.

About a month and a half ago, I began doing the work to figure out why I’ve felt this way, and how to stop it. Sometimes you need to walk through the tough things to figure them out, rather than avoid and suppress them, so that’s what I did- I began walking.

 Friends, it’s every semi-corny quote you’ve ever read… it’s the ones you read and think, “that is so cheesy...” or “yeah great point but doesn’t apply to me.” And here they are:

“What people think of you is none of your business.”

“Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves.”

“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”

“A wise man once said nothing.”

“Most people barely know themselves, so what does it matter what they think of you”

GUYSSSS…. these cheesy quotes are not BS! They’re actually true… and I think talking through how I was feeling and applying them to my own life and circumstances caused some kind of light bulb to go off… It does not matter what people think of you, especially the bad things they are projecting onto you from you own experiencing. We all have our “stuff” : Our history, the way we were raised, the beliefs hardwired into us, our insecurities and judgements. Every single person has this “stuff” that they are possibly able to project onto you. Fitting you into THEIR narrative.

THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.

I’m gonna say it louder for the people in the back…

THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.

And until you believe that, to your core, you won’t be able to move beyond these thoughts. When I’m telling you I literally feel lighter, and happier, I mean it. The thoughts I felt were suffocating me at times I now see were projections onto me of others “stuff,” not necessarily truths that I have to over analyze within myself. Understanding this has changed my self talk, and has made me feel so happy and positive approaching each new day. It’s CRAZY!!!! I get teary eyed even thinking about it.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t times where you need to own making mistakes or accept the invite to an argument you should attend… I’m not talking about those things. More than I believe in self-love and acceptance, I also believe in owning your crap and apologizing/ talking through difficult things with people who matter to you. So in these instances, I think it’s important to remember it could matter what people think of you and that it’s right to discuss what needs working through. I also think it’s important to remember when we’re projecting our own “stuff” onto others. We all do it. All of us. But being aware of it is the first step to not projecting onto others when we feel the need to.

The other piece of this is that it’s okay to feel the words and actions of others, even if they sting, but the important piece is to remind yourself that those words and actions may be more about them. Will I find myself dwelling on these things in the future, sure, but I feel more confident and feeling them and letting them go, rather than holding onto them like I used to.

All in all, friends, this feeling is amazing. And if I didn’t take the time to pause, think and talk through it all, I don’t think I’d be here. It’s only more validating when I hear close friends say they notice a lightness in me- if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. If you feel like you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’m happy to share more in detail about my path to help you maybe get on your own.

Ah, I feel free. Absolute FREEDOM from the exhausting and overwhelming feelings I’ve had. And most of all, I feel proud that I took the steps to arrive here.

To feeling F-R-E-E,

-Aurora