Dreams · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Living with Intention · Motivation · New Year · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized · Valentine’s Day

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Week friends!

Ahhh I love, love. Valentine’s Day is always one of my favorite holidays because we’re taking the time to acknowledge the love in our life in a way that’s more than we typically would. I am one of those people who believe we should ALWAYS celebrate the love in our life, but I also love the day that’s devoted to it– Valentine’s Day! ❤️

There is something though, that I know many people can relate to, and feel this time of year, and that’s being alone on Valentine’s Day.

So how do you celebrate a holiday that’s focused on love, when you’re not in it?

I think an alternative to throwing a SICK Anti-Valentine’s Day Party is that you can also celebrate the love you feel in your life and the love you have for yourself. I know, not as fun and less of a party- BUT the day itself celebrates love, so why not celebrate the love you have for others (even if not romantic), and the self love you have (or need to work on) for yourself?

I think it’s so important to ALWAYS practice self-love, whether you’re in a relationship or not, so why not use the day as a treat-yo-self, love yourself, remind yourselfday that you’re worthy of love?

So to my single friends and readers, Happy Valentine’s Day- I hope you spend the day remembering that the day is about LOVE and not necessarily about being in it. I think it’s important to remember that this day is going to change meaning throughout all of our lives, so while you’re waiting for your person to enter your life, love yourself a little bit extra and remember that love surrounds you always.

To my friends and readers in relationships– I echo the above message 10 fold, and also want to remind you to use this day and appreciate, love on and reflect on the love in your life. Love is magic, and all too often, we don’t treat it each day like we do on Valentine’s Day.

On a personal note…

I’ve seen the meaning of Valentine’s Day evolve over the years in my own life. And year after year, I become more and more grateful for the love I have with my husband, our incredible family and the love we receive from close friends and people in our lives. I’ve had this day pass where I didn’t feel much love at all, and days where my heart is bursting. So this year, I’m tearing a page from all the above and just appreciating all the love I feel in my life. I know I’m surrounded by it, so that’s what I’ll celebrate this year.

My dear friends, Happy Valentine’s Day. If it makes a difference, I LOVE YOU and am sending it to you no matter where you are.

To you & your Valentines… ❤️

-Aurora

 

PS, Xerox also has these addddorrrrabblleeeeeee FREE card print outs if you want any for your friends or loves!!!

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Pause & Be Grateful

The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:

Go Go GO

… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻

They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!

The Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal & My Prayer Journal are two great (and inexpensive!) ways to begin your daily gratitude journey! Do you already practice doing daily gratitude? If you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, here’s a nice way to get started:

I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself. This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!

Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.

I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.

I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…

To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,

Aurora ✨

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Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

Happy Sunday friends! I went along with the other couple million on social media and completed the #10YearChallenge a few days ago. If you have been hiding under a rock don’t know what I’m talking about- the concept is simple: you find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and one that is current, and you post the side by side views.

WOW

The intention of this challenge was to show how different we all look after 10 years. At 31 however, I found myself looking at the girl on the left, and thinking: “WOW, if I could talk to this girl, the things I would tell her about her life to come.”

So I posted this photo on My Instagram (Click to follow) and I wrote the caption:

What would I tell Aurora Boo 10 years ago if future me had a chance to speak to her? YOU LOOK AMAZING, STOP THINKING YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND THAT YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Oh, and THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IS ON HIS WAY, HANG TIGHT GIRLFRIEND❤️ {& keep your signature picture pose- it’s gonna be a hit later down the road}! I can’t believe the #10YearChallenge just inspired my next blog post! See you all on Sunday! 😘

So here we are…

THINK about this, where were you 10 years ago and what did you think of yourself? Were you in school? Were you in a relationship? Did things feel awful? Did things feel perfect? Now I ask… how different does it look than you thought it would?

Did you think you’d be married? Did you think you’d have kids? No kids? Did you think you’d be advanced in your career? Or are you in a career you never thought you’d be in? Did you think you’d be retired already? My friends….

This is called, LIFE!… & growing up/ growing old

BUT!…. I have to laugh when I think back to myself at 21. Didn’t we all think we’d have kids in a few years and consider our 30’s being OLD? I certainly did. Never did I think that at 31 years old, I wouldn’t have at least 2-3 kids. Why did I think that? Because my parents had me and my siblings when my mom was in her 20’s… and we’re supposed to be following the footsteps of our parents, right? Man, I’m literally sitting her smirking thinking about what I thought life would be like and how it is.

I truly, wholeheartedly, love my life. Every aspect of it: the people in it, my marriage, my relationship with God, my career, my accomplishments, the life lessons (difficult and positive), and where my life is headed. It just looks so different than how the girl on the left thought it would look.

So, what would I tell the girl on the left at 21, that I know now at 31?

I would pat her on the back and tell her she’s doing a great job, even though sometimes she doesn’t feel good enough or that she’s on the right track. I would tell her that it’s okay to challenge people you love, even though you worry it’ll be perceived as disrespectful and that growing up comes with forming your own beliefs, non-negotiables and boundaries… but that kindness is imperative. I’d tell her that one day the people she’s challenging will actually appreciate her for that, and thank her for helping teach them a thing or two along the way. I’d tell her that it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident that your current relationship is the forever relationship, and that what you’re feeling in the relationship is valid, and should be heard. I’d tell her she can have more than one deep love in life and that her soul mate is out there. I’d also tell her that she’ll find him soon and to go with her gut. Lastly, I’d tell her it’s okay to say NO sometimes.

Things I would want to tell her, but I wouldn’t, because they gave her the best life experience and growth: Don’t take out more student loans than you need- future Aurora will thank you. Drop the friends that make you feel bad about yourself, or cause too much drama in your life- they’re using you for your energy, and this will eventually burn you out.

It’s amazing how this fun internet challenge really inspired me to think a little more inward. What I gained by looking back is something I will take with me looking forward: Things that are paining me now, or keep me up at night, will all iron themselves out over time, and stressing about them now, and feeling negative about them, won’t make them go away- they’ll just continue giving me stress and worry. So, looking into my next 10 years, I will try harder to shake the things that worry me, and instead focus on and LOVE the heck out of the things/people in my life that bring me joy.

Did you complete the 10 Year Challenge? If so, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago if you knew what you knew now? Would love to hear it in the comments!

Love,

Aurora ✨✨

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Sunday’s Are Hard…

Maybe if we all sit extremely still Monday won’t be able to see us.”

HAS. ANYONE. ELSE. SEEN. THIS. AND. THOUGHT. OMG. THIS. IS. ME?!?! Ugh! 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

I have this thing that I call Sunday night before we getting into Monday… want to know what it’s called?

Yes… The Smonday feeling is real over here! But here are some things I do to try and not let my last bit of weekend end in the negative…

1️⃣ Prep your week! What’s coming up? Do you need to food shop/food prep/pack clothes. Do it!

2️⃣ Do something you enjoy today! Sunday is still the weekend and you deserve spending (even if only a little) part enjoying it! (Wash the car, go window shopping, order something off AMAZON or TARGET!

3️⃣ Take a breather. Watch your favorite movie, clean if you like cleaning, do some laundry- just make sure it’s something you can relax doing and breathe.

4️⃣ Have a moment of gratitude. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or negative, I think about the things that I’m grateful for giving thanks for them. Unhappy times doesn’t have to mean an unhappy life.

5️⃣ Lay your clothes out for tomorrow. I don’t do this half as much as I should, but when I don’t have to pick an outfit in the morning, it makes my morning start off a little easier.

Happy Smonday my friends! It’s officially 7:52pm here in Pennsylvania, so the Monday blues could be settling in… but instead, I’m gonna relax with the husb and watch our new favorite show on Netflix.

To realizing that Sunday’s aren’t so hard..

✨✨Aurora

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Happy News in the Media

Every once in awhile, I come across some really amazing and heartwarming stories on the internet. Below are a bunch I’ve posted on The Weekly Sparkle Facebook Page that have touched a lot of my followers. If you need a pick me up today, here is your dose of Positivity and human to human kindness going on around us ✨✨

Truck Drivers Save a Suicidal Man’s Life

Two Men From Different Walks of Life Enjoy an Impromptu Basketball Game

Lehigh Valley Couple Creates Give Back Tournament to Help Local Non-Profits Each Year- 2018 Benefactor Announced

Women Can Hear For The First Time And Gets Proposed To

Man Gets a Surprise Thank You From Children He Saved During the Holocaust

Will Smith Talks About Who You Surround Yourself With- Who is Fanning Your Flames?

Please send more videos my way in the comments if I should add them to a future post!!

✨✨- Aurora

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Starting with your SELF

Self-love, self-respect, self-worth… There is a reason they all start with “self“. You cannot find them in anyone else.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. How much of the way we view and accept ourselves relies on the way that other people view and accept us? Are you only your BEST self if others view you as such? And lastly, how much weight do we put on how others perceive us, vs what we perceive ourselves to be?

It’s cliché, and my writing it won’t let it sink in immediately for you, but it all starts on the inside. If you love, respect and deem yourself as worthy of happiness (and everything else!), then that is all you need.

The perception and viewpoint of others about you doesn’t define who you are and what you’re capable of. I don’t have great advice on how you can begin to see that, other than that you can start with baby steps any time you want.

For me, I notice when I begin going down the rabbit hole, that I literally need to close my eyes and ask God to help me through the moment and to let it pass. Of course, you don’t need God to help with you that, but I prefer having his support. It’s like my internal therapist.

So that’s a baby step I take to make sure my own self talk doesn’t lead me to continue negative thought or emotion. Of course, any aspect of your life could use a little more “self-_______” in it at any given point, but the goal is the remember that it all starts, and ends, within you.

You can’t expect anyone else to fulfill what you need on the inside to feel whole.

To working on the inside, first.

-Aurora

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Casting Your Insecurities On Someone Else

I could really take this post so many routes, but I’ll stick with the title: Casting Your Insecurities On Someone Else. What does this quote me?

Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.

I’ve seen this thought so many times and always look to it as one of my favorites. How many times have we, or someone we know, put down something about others because it’s meant to downplay an insecurity that we or another have.

I’ve had a lot of examples in my own life lately that bring me back to this quote. I’ve seen people I’m close with put down a thought or an action of someone we know, because (in reality) it’s making them feel better about a shortcoming or insecurity that they have about themselves.

I guess when I think about this, my conclusion is, before we tear someone down or judge them, take a second to think inward. Nine times out of 10, critiques and negativity toward others stem from our own insecurities and things we want to change (or don’t like) about ourselves.

Can’t you think about a time where you blew out someone’s candle to make yours shine brighter? I bet you can.

To blowing out less candles,

-Aurora

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Traveling Before Kids

After my husband and I got married over a year and a half ago, we said we’d enjoy some married time together and then move on to making a family. We unofficially began making a “bucket list” of things we wanted to do before we {God willing}, began having kids.

Now don’t get me wrong- anything on our list {hitting financial goals, buying a house, raising a puppy, taking a tropical vacation, going to Disney etc} aren’t hard stops for us. If at any point we were blessed with or wanted to begin having babies, we would. These are things we talked about, however, that we wouldn’t mind doing before the children brigade begins.

First thing that both of us put on our unofficial list after buying a house and getting our puppy:

DISNEY!

Yup… we both wanted to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and experience it as adults before hopefully taking our kiddos along in a few years.

As I write this post from our bed at the Walt Disney World resorts, I can tell you that this trip has been incredible so far! As a first time Disney World visitor, I’ve had zero complaints during this experience.

Everyone here is so nice!

And while we are here with a bunch of great friends, what I love the most about trips like this with my husband, is that it creates lasting memories for us and continues to strengthen our married relationship.

I think that’s the part we both wanted out of spending this time together before expanding our family- we’re getting to know each other as Life-Long partners and friends inside of the lovey-dovey marriage experience. Does that make sense?

To my amazing readers, I’ll leave here is:

GO ON THE TRIPS!

While we are trying to be financially savvy, my husband and I also work our butts off year round, so we can enjoy some trips like this! If you have a good job, do good work and put the time in- take some time to have fun! Book the trip, go to that place, have that experience and ENJOY. A year ago, Disney was on the list, and now we’re here. We of course have motivation that helps guide our decisions to say “Yes” and jump in, so even if yours is different- Do it!

Traveling is fun, but getting to continue building this relationship with my husband means more than anything. I know that one day when we’re traveling with our kiddos and making new memories that these moments will also be ones that I cherish- The times where we were able to be two young newlyweds, experiencing life a building a strong foundation for a family.

The last thing I’ll throw out there is the saying many of us have heard: man plans and God laughs. That being said, the believer in me knows, if his plans are different, they’ll supersede ours- but in the meantime, you can find us at Cinderella’s Castle. 💖

To the travel bugs out there- do it!

Cheers,

Aurora

PS: Disney favorites so far: AVATAR, The Fireworks Display @ Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Dinosaurs, Escaping Everest, Rainforest Cafe, Animal Safari in Animal Kingdom. Up next: Epcot, Drink Around The World, Ohana Restaurant, Rockin Roller Coaster, Frozen, the Tower of Terror and much more! Have any recommendations? Comment below!!

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Happy New Year!

This is the best thing about a new year… it’s a chance to start new!… a fresh clean slate! The best thing about the past year… it’s gone! It’s amazing- one single day can make such a huge difference when you think about where you’ve been and where you want to go. The new year is a chance (and fuel) to kick of something you really want to do or reach for a goal you really want to obtain.

Let tomorrow be your chance to kick off the new year in a way you’ve been wanting to! Don’t want to start any changes or resolutions tomorrow? Then don’t!… the same energy of the new year can be there once you’re ready! One of the biggest failures of resolutions is starting when you’re not ready! The holidays can make it hard to set your goals in stone, so take your time!

As an optimistic person, the line that caught me here is the final one, and I believe this to be true: only the best is yet to come. 🖤

Happy New Year xo< em>-Aurora

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The Impact of Connections and Life Choices.

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Connections.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to post the last few weeks and I think I am finally able to put into words my thoughts. Have you ever taken a second to think about the people in your life and how they got there? Even your family… While they’ve always been there and will always be there, sometimes your closer with some members than others… But why? Where are these relationships cultivated and what does it all mean? This has been something on my mind a lot lately, as I’ve been so thankful for some of the people in my life, and it made me wonder how I got so lucky, and where my relationships with these people began.

I received a Facebook message from a dear friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to in a little while, reaching out about The Weekly Sparkle, his appreciation for my positive outlook, and offering his own insight on relation to the site and things with his life. It completely made my week. It got me thinking about how I know him and how lucky I am to have someone I hardly have to speak with, but can still feel an impact by their words and our relationship. We met one summer in LA when my best friend and I decided we wanted to experience California. Once I was hired for the job at UCLA {that I found out about one night during drinks with a friend-connection}, I had no idea about the great people I would meet, and how they would become lifelong friends, no matter where in the country they lived.

This is just one occurrence, among many lately that have me taking a step back and realizing how each decision, conversations, moments etc all impact our lives and where we are right now. Even my current relationship, I wouldn’t be in it if I hadn’t decided to take my Target job almost 8 years ago, not knowing 6 years later I’d begin dating one of the best guys I’ve ever known. And in the subject of that, all of the friendships, connections and opportunities I had stemming from my decision to work at Target {and stay there} is mind blowing. I had two offers on the table and went with the one I felt best about… What if I chose the other?

Think about an important decision you made in your life. {Really… Think of one for a second}. Was it a move? The acceptance of a job? Was it a break-up? A proposal? A split decision that would have an immediate consequence? Now… Think about the person(s) who helped you make that decision. Where did you meet them and how they did they get in your life? What if you hadn’t met them and didn’t receive the same advice/counsel and it changed your decision? What pieces of your life would be missing or different because you didn’t make the decision? It’s so amazing how all these tiny details mold our bigger picture.

This is a strong support as to why I don’t believe in having regrets. Each and every decision we make, relationships we build, and doors we open, lead to paths in our lives that we have to walk… Whether we continue the path, change directions, or begin a new path that we were lead to through another connection at one point… It all has to begin somewhere.

And so, I stand proud and humbled to see where many of my decisions and relationships have lead me in my life, and I appreciate the incredible support and unconditional love I receive everyday from people I’m close with and connected to. I can only hope that I am as big of a support to them as they are to me. It’s amazing to even see the connections your able to make with people that you hardly ever see, maybe only speak with through social networks, yet know the bond you have with them has impacted yours and their life.

Someone I have admired for years and follow regularly is author and public speaker, Brene Brown, who wrote the quote that I used above. I believe in it full heartedly. It is the connection we build with others and the impact we make in one another’s lives that make life worth living. I believe it’s the choices and directions we take that makes life more exciting and fun to look back on, rather than the things we don’t do and later question what may be different had we done the unknown.

So I say, we appreciate and enjoy the connections we made, the great relationships in our lives, and take a look back every once in a while to remind yourself how it all came to be, and that you’re currently exactly where you should be, because it’s already molding your tomorrow.

Sparkle On ♡

-Aurora