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The Weekly Sparkle Had a Baby!

Introducing Ms. Oakley Gray 💖

Hi everyone! I interrupt our normal schedule of daily inspo to share some exciting news! On Thursday March 18th, we had a baby! 💞🍼

Meet the newest member of The Weekly Sparkle, our daughter, Oakley Gray! Thanks for all of the love and for following along! 💖 Cheers to our new little sparkle✨ 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

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Romanticizing Your Life

This really hit for me this morning💡 & I thought the topic of romance (even in a non-traditional sense) was a great topic to kickoff Valentine’s Weekend!

In the current world we live in, where we may feel stuck on the hamster wheel, or especially sad that Covid and the winter months are isolating, this is an excellent perspective.

How can you take the everyday little things (that at times feel like the normal steps of Groundhog Day) and acknowledge them as blessings?

That’s right, take a moment and actually list your blessings!

This is what I’ve started doing: I take my amazing little notebook from Amazon, and start jotting things down! The great thing is, is that you don’t need this little booklet to get started! Grab a piece of paper or open your Notes section of your phone and begin listing. I’ll start:

That took me about 3 minutes and I’m already excited and grateful for the day ahead. Now it’s your turn… jot down a few things that may feel a little mundane and remind yourself that you’re BLESSED to have these mundane tasks in your life. I’ll leave you with this…

If we can appreciate the moments we’re in, they add up to a day of gratitude and acceptance for where we currently are, and that will help us begin looking forward to each new day.

Happy Friday Friends 💌

✨✨✨ 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

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Comparison, the True Thief of Joy

Sunday thoughts… 💭💭💭

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” We’ve all heard this, so why do we still do it? Comparing yourself against coworkers, friendships, success, where you are in life, it means nothhhiiinngggggg… nor is it going to change where you are right now.

This goes hand-in-hand with my recent thoughts about enjoying your now. You can’t enjoy your now if you’re looking at somebody else’s and comparing it. My goal is to practice my self-confidence and know that comparing myself to others is pointless- no one is you and THAT is your superpower ♥️🦸‍♀️✨
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Anyone else have issues with comparison? Do you work on it? And if so, what has worked for you to overcome it?

All my love,

Aurora

Uncategorized

Celebrating Your NOW

Remember that you want to dreamed of being where you are now ✨

Who needed this reminder? 🙋‍♀️

I’ve been thinking lately about how much pressure we all put on ourselves to achieve the next thing, and often forget to celebrate where we are right now. If you have a big goal in mind, you have to remember to celebrate the little wins in between!

Sometimes our stretch goals take years to achieve. If you stop and take a look at your current surroundings, you allow yourself to take in all you’ve done to get here! The old you, from 6 months/1 year/ 5 years ago would be screaming at your success- we should be doing that now, too! 🙏♥️

Cheers to the journey and celebrating our NOW ✨✨✨

-Aurora

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Reminder: Stop Comparing Your Journey to Others

We all grow at different rates, and that’s okay.

We spend so much time comparing our journey to others- am I right? I wonder how much more happiness we’d personally feel if we regularly reminded ourselves that only WE take part in our personal journey, and the differences we see when looking at others is O-K-A-Y.

I have found personally, that over the last few months, I have felt a lot of anxiety, sadness, frustration (enter other synonyms to these), etc. when looking at others seasons of life and comparing my current one to them. The amount of time I would spend (especially on social media) looking at others realities and thinking mine was falling short makes me sad to realize/ think about. It’s so easy to want something in our own lives so badly, that we become hyper-aware of others who have what we want and to be honest, throw ourselves a pity party. If you’ve ever thrown yourself a dramatic pity party, raise your hand!! (Pheww, I was worried it was just me).

Here is the good news, however, my friends:

You can rise up from anything. You can completely recreate yourself. Nothing is permanent. You’re not stuck. You have choices. You can think new thoughts. You can learn something new. You can create new habits. All that matters is that you decide today and never look back.

If the thing you are looking for or want isn’t right in front of you right now, you can work toward it- do everything you can to achieve it– OR (depending on the situation) remind yourself that nothing, including the present moment, is permanent.

Work as hard as you can to be present and to appreciate your current season.

So if you need it, here is your reminder: Comparing your current season to someone else’s is NOT going to change yours. Celebrate where you are right now, because it’s this path that’s taking you to exactly where you should be.

To our own journey,

Aurora

Uncategorized

Knowing When To Unplug and Rest

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Hey friends!

Man have I really missed writing here! To be 100% transparent, Covid-19 has run your girl into the ground. Mentally, emotionally, physically… I’ve been exhausted. Today’s blog is going to be very honest, because it’s been a rough few months and maybe if you’ve had a rough time too, it’ll be helpful to know you’re not alone ♥️.

In the beginning of quarantine, over three months ago, I was trying to view working from home and all the complexities of the pandemic as optimistically as I could, even though I was feeling a lot of uncertainty and anxiety at that time. I took this time to go on daily walks, was making breakfast daily, and overall trying to remain positive. I even made a playlist of songs to help keep everyone upbeat in my post Music to Boost Your Mood – My Quarantine Playlist. See, I was really trying in the beginning here!!

One thing I remained top of mind this whole time was how grateful I was to still have a job and that I could do it safely from home. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my work in HR, Coronavirus flipped my job upside down. Since none of us have really navigated any of this before I knew there was going to be a lot of information coming at me fast and furious, so I tried my best to focus on what I could control and digest everything as quickly as I could.

Aside of work, I also had a lot of fear about the health and safety of my loved ones knowing that many of them were high risk and if they contracted coronavirus it could be extremely dangerous for them. I would spend a lot of time praying, and made sure I did my part in staying home, washing my hands, wearing a mask etc.

As we got into a routine of staying home, grocery shopping, trying new ways to entertain ourselves, things started to feel a little “normal.” The one thing however that never slowed down or felt normal was my workload. Since the pandemic has started I have been averaging between 50 and 60 hours a week with my job, working around the clock and making myself available whenever new information came out and it needed my attention in a timely manner.

This is where work from home life really presented a challenge for me: with my new desk/office being in our dining room, I never felt like I ever truly unplugged from work. I started to notice myself being extremely irritable, I felt like I couldn’t focus my eyes as well as normal, and when large pieces of information came to me that I had to mentally download, I couldn’t keep my attention on that item for more than five minutes before worrying about/ thinking about something else. The past few weeks I knew I really needed a break and praise the Lord (LOL) I’m finally getting one this week.

So I’m going on a stay-cation!

After months of go-go-go I’m finally taking a break. While we can’t travel anywhere safely (lots of states are currently on a “hot spot” list of increased Corona cases), 2 of my girlfriends and I are going to a local resort and just relaxing pool side. THANK YOU LORD JESUS 🙌

While I’m grateful for this time off, I also wish I took it sooner. If you’re feeling some of the anxieties or worries that I’ve listed here, or are just mentally beat up, do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to REST. If you’re not feeling your best, you can’t give your best. In a weird way, I’m kind of excited to not have plans this week. It’ll be nice to sleep in, read a book and catch some Vitamin D.

Cheers to taking some time off- we all deserve it! ♥️♥️♥️

-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