Community · Community Giving · Dreams · Giving Back · Living with Intention · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized · Women Empowerment

Be a Crown Fixer 👑

I. Love. This. Saying. I’ve said it for years, and when I heard it again recently, I knew it was time to talk about it a little more here, with all of you 👑

Last night I had the true honor of attending the Athena Awards, which are locally held by the Women’s Business Council here where I live in Pennsylvania. To tell you I left with my heart feeling so inspired and my cup completely full would be an understatement. All of the amazing women honored, their stories of strength and power, bravery and wisdom… each one, one after another, serving as a true testament to the strength we have as women, alone, and most importantly, together.

We talked about being a champion for other women, encouraging and echoing their ideas and strengths, and helping them in ways behind the scenes when they need it, without having to point out to others that you’ve done so. Being a sister to a another women in need, OR to simply lift her up, can have life changing impacts for her and for you. My eyes were open in a way I needed, and I’m so grateful to have been in the room.

I had the honor of writing on behalf of my friend and fellow community supporter, Meg, as she was crowned the Young Professional Athena, and I just couldn’t have been more proud. Because Meg won… I won… all her nominators won… every single female in the room won. That perspective reminder was exactly what my soul needed 🤎 We all win when one of us wins- every. single. time.

Another topic we discussed, which I plan to write more about soon, is imposter syndrome. Phewwwww hearing that a room full of women I admire have suffered and sometimes DO suffer from this self talk, reminded me I’m not alone and that we all doubt ourselves sometimes. The reminder was to think about all the negative things you’re saying to yourself, actually saying them aloud and specifically telling yourself why they’re not true. When you do this, you reframe your negative self talk, turning it into the real, positive reminders you need, especially in moments of full on imposter syndrome mode.

How do I have a seat here? I don’t belong in this room. Everyone here is so much more accomplished than me. What if they find out I’m not as great as they think I am?

Imposter Syndrome is a biotch, and she cannot sit with us. *snaps fingers*

Another take away for me from the Athena Awards, was doing things out of your comfort zone. This is another page from a book I haven’t taken off the shelf in awhile. But this morning when I woke up, and thought more about the evening, I grabbed the book from the shelf and began wiping some of the dust off it. This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, and it felt right that it resonated with me during the fireside chat portion of the night.

If I’m being 100% honest with you, which I know I can be, we’re all friends here, ♥️ I almost left the event last night after the first 5 minutes. I know, I know, I know. I just got done telling you how incredible the night was, so thank God I stayed, but let me explain.

Somewhere around 5:05, my imposter syndrome kicked in…HARD. For a few moments, I felt like I didn’t belong there, or maybe even deserve to be there. In a room with these incredible, distinguished woman, all who had groups of people they were with, people they felt they belonged with, and for a moment, I felt out of my comfort zone. No colleagues, no BFF to cling to, it was just me and I felt out of my element. (This was also before the amazing imposture syndrome pep-talk Meg gave us all- go figure! haha). But in the midst of those feelings, I took a deep breathe, didn’t leave and decided to embrace this amazing night ahead. I started meeting new women and engaging in some really great conversations and guess what, the room where I didn’t belong, or didn’t know anyone… was filled with women I’ve looked up to for years, have called on as mentors and have done community work with for over a decade. * Waves goooooodbyyeeeeee to imposter syndrome*

Stepping out of our comfort zones as a WHOLE has an entirely new meaning coming out of Covid times, so I’m giving myself a little time and grace as I get back into the groove of things. If you’re struggling with this too, whether socially or professionally, you are not alone. So join me and give yourself some time and grace and say a big-ol sayonara 👋 to imposter syndrome! You are amazing, you are worthy and you belong right in the space you are in 👑💕

To straightening crowns, lifting each other up, telling imposter syndrome to take a hike and stepping one foot outside our comfort zones, we got this ladies.

From One Queen to Another, Cheers ✨

Xo Aurora

Appreciation · Blogging · Community · Dreams · Goal Digger · Goals · Journaling · Lifestyle · Living with Intention · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Sundays With Me

Happy Sunday everyone! Lots of reflection this last week, and as I sit here sipping some coffee and hanging with my little girl, I wanted to share some of it! ☕️

So let me start by saying thank you for spending some of your Sunday With Me, I appreciate you being here, even if it’s not Sunday and you stumbled here another day of the week!

I’ve talked about Sundays With Me before, but let me share a little bit more about exactly what it is and what it means to me 🙂

10 years ago when I first started dating Joe, (my now husband), he knew I liked to write. Whether it was quotes, inspiration or unofficial blog posts (helllllo Xanga & MySpace 😆), I loved putting my thoughts out there and seeing who could relate. So, I told him I wanted to start a blog that was a little more professional, with hopes I could reach more people and have a welcoming space for them to visit regularly!

…& just like that, my dream came true! ✨

For our one year anniversary he gifted me my current blog site with all of the framework and behind-the-scenes information I needed to look and feel like a “real blog.” I have to put “real blog” in quotes, because Xanga wasn’t exactly the cream of the crop or anything. IYKYK

Originally, because he wasn’t sure what I would want to title it, he named it “Sundays With Me,” and said this was because it was his favorite day to spend time with me and to relax, because we always had the best time together on Sundays.

What a sweet sentiment, right? I thought that at the time and all these years later it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received 🙂

As I began to play with the blog and what I was trying to share with people who came across it, I came up with the name of The Weekly Sparkle. Sparkle to me is the happiness, positivity and kindness you put into your own life and the world around you. I love it ✨… but Sundays With Me has always stuck with me.

I think Sundays in general have always been meant to be days of rest, time spent with people you love, and a day that’s meant to recharge your batteries and fuel your soul from a hard week that’s passed and get ready for a week ahead.

Sundays With Me’ have looked different through the years: As a kid growing up, Sundays usually included a large Italian family dinner, some time at church, playing with the neighborhood kids, then eventually, Sundays With Me were filled with presentations and college work, then spent getting ready for my big girl job and the new work week ahead, and transitioned to times where I can spend time with girlfriends, go to a winery, and enjoy Sunday Funday!

Currently, Sundays typically look a little different (although I love a good Sunday Funday)!! Sundays With Me now usually include watching some Sesame Street with my daughter, enjoying a cup of coffee while watching her play, spending time with family and loved ones and focusing on gratitude. I think at this point in my life I’m realizing that Sundays With Me are really more about the Sundays I get to spend with the people who fill my heart, and how lucky I am to have a full life and to receive love in all the ways that I do. Maybe that’s what Joe meant at the time too!… I’ll have to ask him ♥️

After some downtime being sick this past week, I felt the reflections of a typical Sunday spill into the week. So much of our life and our mood depends on how we perceive it and what we choose to focus on.

On this Sunday With Me, I want to remind you to take a second and just breathe today. You always deserve to do this, but why not make Sunday your day to do it? Note 5 people or things in your life that you’re grateful for, take a long, deep breath and do something big or small that fills your soul.

Thanks for spending some of your Sundays With Me 🙂 I plan to share shorter, quick inspo in future posts, but wanted to give a little backstory to my Sundays and why I just love them so much. I hope you come back soon & see what’s twirling around in this head of mine! 💋

Happy Sunday Friends! Let’s have a great day & week ahead. Grateful for you all!

✨ Aurora

Appreciation · Community · Expectations · Family · Journaling · Living with Intention · New Year · Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Hello Sparkle Fam! HAPPY 2022!!!

Ahhhhhh I’ve missed you guys! It feels absolutely WEIRD to be excitedly typing in the way I am right now (legit have a smile on my face)! It’s been too long and I am so excited to be EXCITED to write here again. It’s a new year, and I’ve gotten some new fire in me to write and share my heart with everyone again.

If you recall, 10 months ago, I became a first time mama! EEEK! What an amazing, exciting, overwhelming, scary and fantastic journey it’s been so far. Ms. Oakley Gray is the light of my life and truly such an incredible blessing. Ok Ok, here is a pic, because AHHHH she’s the best:

Becoming a mom, to no ones surprise, created such a perspective shift for me. Once you get your head back on straight (can takes weeks or even months), it’s eye-opening to see how much your mind changes- what’s important, what takes your time, what you worry about, what you’re excited for, it all shifts. Feeling a little more in tune with who I am as a mama, I got to thinking a lot about the things and people in my life that make me happy and deserve the limited time I have, outside of being Oak’s mama. One thing I’ve always loved is connecting with all of you, around the world, and seeing the commonalities we all have, even if across the country or in an entirely different one.

I started reading “Take Back Your Time” by Christy Wright, recently (LOVE HER) and it’s really put into perspective where I spend my time, and focusing on the important things in my life. All that said, YOU guys, and The Weekly Sparkle, absolutely make that list for me. I hope you’ll visit here weekly or my Weekly Sparkle Facebook Page for some pops of inspo and a little escape to either get inspired or realize you’re not alone in the crazy, happy, sad, insane times! SO HAPPY 👏you 👏are 👏here!

So Let’s KICK OFF 2022 in the right way shall we?

P O S I T I V E – V I B E S – ONLYYYY!!

Next Topic to come: Imposter Syndrome

Happy to be back,

Xo Aurora

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

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

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

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 ✨

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