Community · COVID19 · Expectations · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Self Realization

The Internet Kind of Sucks Right Now

… which is why we need to bring the Positive Vibes more than ever! 🙌✨

The internet is a crazy and beautiful place…

Let me start by saying that I love social media and the internet for so many reasons- for me, I love the immediate connection to those I care about, as well as having the world at my fingertips.

What’s amazing is how generations before us never had this, and generations after us will never know anything different.

But just like with other positive things, for how great it can be, there can always be negative that comes from it. And while I think some of that is based on perspective, I also know the importance of trying to mute some of that if it’s effecting you negatively. {Hellllooo unfollow button} 👋

The world we’re in now is one that is more vocal & divided than ever before. It’s so hard to come on online and not get flooded with the arguments, bashing, negative comments, aggressive viewpoints, disrespect and most of all, hate. Some days, I literally log off because within my first few minutes of being online, I feel overwhelmed by all of the negativity and hate I’m seeing on my screen, and I feel it sucking the life out of me.

While in Quarantine, I’ve spent a lot of time seeking out pages and people that act as light during this time (and always) and leave me feeling good when I leave their page. Unfortunately, some people or pages have gotten unfollows, just for the fact that their contributions to my feed aren’t pleasant ones. If you need to do this, DO it. While everyone deserves the right to share as they’d like, you have the right to only view what you like- there’s no shame in the un-follow game! 🙌

With all that being said- this is why no matter what, I’ll keep coming back to social media, I’ll keep posting on The Weekly Sparkle Instagram, Facebook Page & my blog. I love being able to spread a little positivity or laughter to those who stumble across my pages or stories, and God knows our world is going to continue to need that 💗

So thank you for being here, reading to the end of this & following along. What positive things do you like to see online? Any accounts you’d recommend we follow for some fun/positive content? Mine is Courtney Shields 🙏 She’s a rockstar Mom, fashionista & legit feels like a friend!

Cheers to spreading Good Vibes Only! Xoxo ✨✨✨ -Aurora

Community · Community Giving · COVID19 · Faith · Giving Back · Goal Digger · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Remaining Positive and Stress Free While Staying Home

I don’t know about you guys, but we’re well into six weeks of quarantine and I have definitely hit that mark where sometimes I’m feeling a little stressed out and not as positive as normal.

While of course coronavirus itself scares me, most of my family/friends and I have been lucky enough to remain at home and #StayHome. I am in a career however, where COVID-19 has doubled my workload at times. There’s been a few 12 and 13 hour days, and pairing that with a pandemic, can do a number on anyone. The last few days I’ve been feeling very stressed out and rather than letting negativity and anxiety takeover, I began writing out a list of things I can do to put my mind at ease and to promote a more positive mindset.

A huge part of why I like sharing some details of my life on social media, as well as in this blog, is because there have been plenty of obstacles I’ve gone through or life lessons I’ve learned that make me think:

If I’m going through this, I’m sure somebody else has or will too… and if I can share something that resonates with them, Why not put it out there?

That’s where this post comes in: I want to share some things that have helped me during quarantine that maybe you haven’t considered doing or haven’t thought of to get your mind, body and spirit on the same page while we’re all going a little Corona crazy. If there’s something not on this list that you have found to be helpful during the pandemic, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list!

The last thought I’d like to leave off on is this: we are responsible for our own attitudes, mindsets and how we allow situations/ people/ setbacks/ frustrations impact us. Every morning we can choose how to start the day and as obstacles pop up we have the choice to go over, under, around, or through it. I use some of these things below when trying to power through it:

16 Ways to Shift Your Attitude During Stressful Times

Go for a walk/run or get physical– Exercise helps manage stress! Ever have a rough day and workout afterword? It always turns my mood around! If you take a stroll outside, try and be present when you’re out in nature. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze, notice the colors of the leaves- putting yourself in the moment while taking in what’s around you can immediately calm you down.

Meditate/ Pray- I love doing the below exercise! My favorite part about it? You can do it anywhere, in any setting, at any moment!

Get good sleep– Seriously- is anyone else on a really funky sleep routine due to Covid-19?? That’s a hard yes for me! My goal has been to get at least 7 hours a night.

Download an app like Headspace – Headspace walks you through mindful meditations day or night to help you relax and center yourself. I use this app usually when going to sleep and the breathing techniques are amazing and have me out in minutes!

Start your day with gratitude– this is my morning GO TO- before your feet hit the floor, note 3 things you’re thankful for for that day!

Take a break– many of us are at home right now. It’s okay to take a break from your work space (just like you might when in the office). Go for a walk, stop by your “break room” aka kitchen and change the scenery every once in awhile. If your screen is doing a number to your eyes, you can also purchase my favorite blue light glasses from Amazon by visiting my Aurora Loves Page.

Unplug from electronics– Leave your phone in another room, shut off the Tv, time how long you’re allowed to scroll, whatever it is you need to do, breaking away from your electronics is A-OK in my book!

Put a feel good playlist together! I made The Weekly Sparkle Quarnatine Playlist specifically for you that you can download instantly on Apple Music of Spotify!

Find ways to Give Back– helping others immediately makes you feel good and so many people can use the support right now! Look up your local Volunteer Center to see who needs what!

Clean up a small area– I love tidying up a space that could use the love. This might have been a weekend task in the past, but since we’re home now, I may take 15 minutes and cleanup a space I may not typically think to. It’s proven- when you’re in a cleaner environment, your stress reduces significantly.

Start a new show! Hiiii Netflix!!!

Start a new hobby or pick up an old one– I plan on doing some arts and crafts this week to flex my creative muscle! Why not do some of the things during this time that make you happy/excited? You can catch me making some jewelry this weekend!

Journal– there is no right or wrong way to write down what’s in your head! Grab a pen and paper and get your thoughts out- sometimes it helps to de-clutter your brain and let your emotions out. I call this “brain-dumping” and use it to organize my thoughts!

Read a new book– I just got Love Does by Bob Goff and I can’t wait to read it! Bob is truly inspirational!!

TAKE A NAP– this one is for your Nap Queen over here. Naps reset mindsets/allow you to shut your brain off.

Take a Breather and Give Yourself Grace– You’re allowed to have a bad day, you’re allowed to have a moment you wish you handled better, you’re allowed to feel crazy right now! FEEL everything you’re feeling. None of us have gone through this before, so you’re feeling is 100% okay and allowed. The important part of feeling stress, however, is that we don’t allow it to completely take over and lead us down a negative path.

I hope there’s something you can grab off this list and try! Let me know what you’ve done and if it’s not here I’ll add it for others to see too!

We are in this together everyone!!!

-Stay Well (And Stay Home!!!)

-Aurora

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

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 ⚡️

Uncategorized

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