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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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Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

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

Counseling · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Tribes · Uncategorized

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

Children · Dreams · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · New Year · Self Realization · Uncategorized

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

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

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

Motivation · Uncategorized

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Respect. This word is specifically important to me this week, as I’ve seen examples of it all around me and witnessed situations where I saw great respect and places where I wished I saw more respect. It’s amazing, because like many things, I feel respect is something we learn as we grow up. What do our parents, teachers, role models, heroes teach us about how we should give/take respect? Whether it’s respecting ourselves, others, our job, our relationships, our property, our hearts, etc. we’ve learned what we give and what we accept from somewhere.

Growing up I was taught to always respect myself and others will respect me. This came from my family and my karate academy, which taught me how to carry myself and how to put positivity forward. Of course, you can’t control others and their upbringing, but if you emulate that you accept nothing but respect, others will only give that to you.

When you experience disrespect, that’s where you need to step back and evaluate where that person or situation stands in your life. Meaning, is this something worth salvaging, or am I showing this person/job/relationship that I’m accepting of their actions and think I’m deserving of them. We all have someone in our lives who may have shown disrespect, but they’re deserving of our understanding and discussion to make things better– I’m not talking about these people. This would mean we’re all perfect, and I know we’re not (as a 25 year old, I still get the respect speech from a parent every so often).

I think what I want to focus on mainly, are the people/relationships/job/situations where we are continually not getting the respect we deserve and are putting up with it. We’re displaying the message I WILL TAKE WHATEVER YOU THROW AT ME and leaving these moments feeling less than what we deserve. I have so many places in my life where I feel respected so much, that it’s easy for me to spot when I’m not feeling that in a specific situation or moment. Not all of us are in this boat, but nonetheless YOU deserve to look into these areas of your life and demand better.

We all deserve healthy environments where we feel respected, and furthermore, where we DEMAND respect, by the way we treat ourselves and encourage others to treat us. Are you strong enough to let go of the disrespect in your life? And can you identify it? You can!.. And you owe it to yourself to do so.

Respect yourself, and each other.

Aurora

Community Giving · Motivation · Uncategorized

Attitude of Gratitude

I feel like a major theme of a lot of things I discuss is strongly focused around the subject of gratitude. Meaning, overall attitude; is it thankful, appreciative, is there acknowledgment of the good things going on in our lives, or the things given to us? Do we take a second and be thankful for all the things going right, or can we only focus on what we don’t have or wish we had (more of)?

It is always easy to see and complain about what it is that we don’t have. Right?

I read the quote a long time ago, and each time it pops up in my life, I feel like its for a reason…

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How spot on is this in many of our lives? It’s so easy to complain about how we don’t have enough of what we want, or aren’t happy with aspects of our lives. The challenging piece is recognizing it in the moment and changing our thoughts. We can control what we have and don’t have, but it’s socially acceptable and normal to voice what you’re unhappy with, rather than praise all the good things going on.

I feel like this is particularly hitting home for me now, because I have so much to be grateful for yet I find myself focusing on the things I want to change in my life, and areas where I feel like I’m not good enough. The truth is, I am good enough. And I know this, but it’s the negativity and stress of everyday life that makes us all question ourselves, what we know we’re good at, our intentions, our capabilities, and so on and so on and so on.

So I’ll end by saying that I’m grateful for my relationships. All of them. I’m gracious that I am related to some of the most supportive, amazing people I’ve ever met. In addition to my family, I’ve formed friendships and bonds with other people in my life that lift me up and motivate me to become a better person. They say, you are who you surround yourself with, and if that’s not enough to make me grateful, then I don’t know what is.

Sparkle on, you!

Xo Aurora