Appreciation · Faith · Living with Intention · Pregnancy

Gratitude During Pregnancy

Gratitude 🙏✨

A friend recently asked me how I’ve kept such a positive attitude throughout my pregnancy. The answer was easy: I’m grateful.

After praying for our baby, trusting in God’s timing and having patience, I don’t see any other way to view this season of my life than through a lens of gratitude and overall happiness. The aches, pains, tiredness, tough moments, it’s all been worth it & is a part of our story as we await for baby girl to arrive- and I’m just so overwhelmingly grateful.

This isn’t just a mentality if you’re pregnant- this is a way you can choose to live your life every single day. I’ve found, through my own experience, that every day I lead with appreciation and gratitude for the blessings in my life, the happier I become and the more blessings come my way 🙏✨

I encourage anyone to make a conscious effort to try and practice gratitude as much as possible ♥️ Cheers to blessings in our lives & being grateful

xo Aurora

American · COVID19 · Living with Intention · Pregnancy · Self Realization · Uncategorized

A Year At Home

I think about all that’s passed since March of 2020, and I can’t believe we’ve had an entire year of holidays, life changing events, postponed occasions, and time we’ll never get back or get to do again. Heck, I myself got pregnant this year, and will have my baby during Covid times.

Isn’t it amazing (or even crazy) how many of us have been home for a year already? Like many of you, I can remember what it was like to leave work for that last time, thinking “we’ll be back in 2 weeks after Easter.” So much for that, huh?

In the time I’ve been home working, and by the time we go back (whenever that may be) I would have grown a child inside of me, birthed it, started raising it, and no one I work with would have ever known or seen me pregnant haha. {I mean I did tell them, and they threw me a beautiful zoom baby shower, but you get the point}!

I remember when Covid started, and I felt as though the “break” would be really great for my mental health, and that it was the perfect pause that many of us needed but never took for ourselves. Never did I think the virus would actually affect the people in my life or result in personal loss of family members or friends that we love and didn’t expect to lose. It was certainly a way more challenging year than I think any of us had anticipated.

So as we enter month 12, and many of us have begun getting vaccines, I pray that the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter, that the loss of life we’ve seen begins to grow less and less and that whatever the new normal is comes, and offers grace and patience to all of us as we get used to (once again) a change.

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived the pandemic to this point, and I’m grateful you’re here… I’m grateful I’m here too & get to interact with you all. If you’ve lost someone, I’m sorry, we have too, and it was extremely difficult. My heart goes out to you. ❤️ Sending you lots of love and light as we walk toward the end of the tunnel.

Xo Aurora

Living with Intention · Uncategorized

@SparkleWithAurora

Happy Anniversary TheWeeklySparkle.com

✨ Cheers To 8 Years ✨

This month marks 8 years since I began my blog TheWeeklySparkle.com 🥳🤯 I have no clue where the time has gone!

Since the beginning, my blog has focused on the real and raw aspects of life, offering my own insight, personal feelings and inspiration along the way. My hope was always that whoever stumbled upon it could find some words that inspire them, that they can relate to, or depending on the topic, assure them that they’re not alone.

Well, after 8 years and 300,000 views later, I thought it was time to give my blog and Instagram a refresh! My new Instagram handle, Sparkle with Aurora, is an expansion of The Weekly Sparkle blog & I’m SO EXCITED to share that in 2021 you can expect to see:

▪️Pretty updates to TheWeeklySparkle.com 👩‍💻

▪️Real & raw content from yours truly 🌱

▪️Insight into my adventures as a new Mama🤰

▪️Increased content for you that focuses on the sparkle and inspirational around us all each day: fashion trends, feel good energy and inspo & of course, gratitude to the big G 🙏

I believe that no matter where you are in this journey called life, you should always focus on the things that makes you feel alive and sparkle- sharing these pieces with all of you does that for me ♥️✨ Thank you for following along and for the love and support along the way!

Xo Aurora

Appreciation · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Wearing Gratitude Glasses

Having a gratitude filled perspective isn’t something many of us learn in life. If you have grown up this way, you’re ahead of a lot of us, and I’m jealous of you! If you’re like the many of us who need to work at this, or even have to realize the need to work on it, this is for you!

As someone who is primarily a positive person, I get asked sometimes how I do it. If I could answer this question and give away some kind of magic secret in a 2 minute conversation, I would, but that’s not the reality of seeing your world through a grateful lens. Or as I call it, seeing the world through your Gratitude Glasses.

Having a heart full of gratitude helps you see your cup as half full! When you start going down Complaint Road and Woe Is Me Lane, it’s easy to snowball and get to a place where nothing feels good enough. This is where negativity lies, self doubt lives and the feelings of “why doesn’t anything go my way,” overwhelm you.
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The truth is, it’s a practice to have a grateful heart; you have to work on it and it takes time. When the negative thoughts start creeping in, you need to actively remind yourself of the blessings that surround you, and the cup that’s currently half empty slowly shifts to becoming half full.

Mental Exercise time 💡💪: Doing this helps me remain present and reminded of the blessings in my life- when you wake up each morning, say 3 things to yourself that you’re grateful for. It only takes moments, but it starts your day off on the right foot and with a grateful heart ♥️

I’ll start: I’m grateful for 1️⃣ The health Baby Brunovsky has and the positive visits we keep having about her 2️⃣ My relationship with my husband and how in sync we are 3️⃣ That today is the last day of work until 1/4/21! Wooo! ✨✨

Now it’s your turn! What 3 things are you grateful for today? Can you try to start each morning this week with this exercise? It’ll start your day off with reminders of how blessed you are, even if in a tough season, and give you the opportunity to proceed into the day wearing your Gratitude Glasses.

Cheers to living the glass half full life!

Xo Aurora

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

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

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 ✨

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