Faith · Family · Friendship · Home · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Our Heat Pump Broke… And I’m Happy It Did!

Life Quote: Remember, most of the stress in your life comes from the way you respond, not the way life is. Adjust your attitude, and all that stress will disappear.

I sound crazy right? Our heat pump in our home, BROKE, and I am happy that it did. And if you asked me how I felt about our heat going out (in the middle of winter, mind you) 2 weeks ago, I was not feeling the way I do now.

As a matter of fact, I was worried, stressing out over cost and feeling a strain in our home that normally isn’t there. Yes, I know…

“Welcome to being a homeowner…”

Honestly, if one more person said that to me that first week of dealing with this, I may have burst. The stress and anxiety that came with this situation wasn’t because we didn’t understand things like this happen as homeowners, it was deeper than that. It was the tension felt over our current financial situation, the worried/panic filled initial response and honestly, bad communication.

So why in the HELL am I happy this happened?

41 Motivational And Inspirational Quotes You're Going To Love

I am a huge believer in seeing the silver lining to all situations. No… not in the second they happen… we’re all entitled to having a moment of freaking out, but after the fact, I like to take a look back and reflect on situations like this. What if anything could I have done differently, what did I learn, what am I proud of, etc.

There are 3 main reasons I am grateful our heat pump broke and the lessons I learned because of it:

  • Faith, Family and Friends.
    • Time and time again, our family and friends show up when we need them most. I will never take for granted the amazing people in our lives who offered electric heaters, words of encouragement, connections to HVAC businesses and amazing advice about a topic we knew little about. Tough times show you who shows up FOR you. It’s a refreshing reminder of how much people care about you. Due to all of this assistance, #2 happened!
  • Remembering it’s okay to ask questions.
    • I put out on FB that we needed some help, and my friend’s mom reached out to me immediately. Turns out her husband has owned Indoor Comfort Specialists Inc. here in the Lehigh Valley for over 30 years. He came over the next morning and looked at our unit, offered advice on whether or not to fix or replace all together, then asked a few questions about our warranty and why the parts weren’t covered. This conversation lead me to call the manufacturer back, not accept the first answer I received, asked more questions, and ultimately, the company found an error in our warranty and was able to get the parts fixed. FOR FREEEEEE. GUYS!… this is probably the biggest lesson of all-  if something doesn’t feel right, or if you have questions, ASK THEM. The road to getting our parts for free had a lot of twists and turns, but if I never asked the questions, and accepted the original “your warranty is expired,” we wouldn’t have saved the thousands of dollars that we have!
      • Lehigh Valley peeps– if we had to replace everything, we would have gone to Indoor Comfort Specialists because they’re AMAZING! Great customer service, locally built successful business and the nicest, most genuine owner/employees on the planet. Definitely give them your business.
  • Better Communication in our relationship.
    • Yikes did this one put my husband and I to the tesssssssssssssst! As a couple that rarely gets into arguments, this situation definitely had us both stressed out and communicating like shit poorly to one another. I learned through this experience the importance of understanding that we all react differently to stress and communicate in our own way when under stress. I needed to jump right in and go into problem solving mode, wanted to talk it through, etc. while my husband needed time to process, think of different solutions and kept more to himself. Our different responses to what was going on made us feel tension, some frustration and ultimately, alone. Looking at it from this end, I realize that not having many arguments (while wonderful), lead to us not knowing how different our responses would be, and what that meant. In the days following all of this, my husband and I had a nice long talk about what went down and how we communicated to each other and why. This not only makes me love my husband even more (I love life convos with him, and that he likes them, too), but I know it’s a healthy conversation that will help in the future when the next stressor arises.

Thankful for being blessed with good friends

So, I am happy our heat pump broke. I’m happy because it reminded me of so many positive relationships in my life, gave me a lot of life lessons I know will help in the future and ultimately, strengthened my relationship.

To the universe– I think I have gained what I need from this lesson, if you could chill with the home ownership issues for a bit, I’d appreciate it 😊

To always learning and growing… ♥

-Aurora

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Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

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 ✨✨

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

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

Celebrating YOU on your Birthday

I love Birthdays. I’ve said this before on this blog and I will say it again.

Your birthday is like a personal New Year.

It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and to look forward to things you want to accomplish. I spoke about this idea 2 years ago in my blog titled, The Importance of Birthdays, where I talk about why I feel we need to take the day (or week or month) and celebrate YOUR life. At that point in my life, I was about to turn 29 and reflected on how far I’ve taken this website and where I want to go. This time around, I’m taking a look back at all of the amazing things year 30 brought me (new home, new job, amazing times with family a friends, a new niece, Godmother-hood and so much more), and thinking about my hopes and dreams for what 31 has in store.

31…

I’m going to be married with a few kids and be well into my career…

LOL… how many of us thought that?! When I was 15, the thought of being in my 30’s meant I was OLD and obviously living life as a mom with a million and one kids. I would say that my generation however, is the first to show that this isn’t the norm anymore. Yes, many of my family and friends began a family in their 20’s, {which is great}, but it’s socially acceptable to not start a family now until you are in your 30’s, where before it was looked down upon. While age is “only a number,” history has taught us that certain things need to happen in certain years, and that idea has faded quite a bit. For me, I’m enjoying every single year and appreciating the things I’m learning, the paths life has put me on, the people I’ve met and the difference I’m making in the lives of those around me.

Since today is my birthday, I’m feeling extra reflective about where the last year has taken me, but am even more excited to see what the year ahead has in store. The one thing that I know I’m looking for to is the constant and ever changing project of bettering myself.

What good is a New Year if you don’t have resolutions, right?

In year 31, I’m going to be more forgiving of others and project more positivity and warmth to those around me than I ever have before. I want to work on the inside so it reflects even brighter on the outside.

What are your feelings on birthdays? Do you like celebrating them? Do you need to show yourself a little more love on your birthday? If my vote counts, I say you go all in and celebrate that amazing life of yours! Whether your 15, 18, 25, 37, 52, 60, 71 or 100, every new year offers us the opportunity to do things we want, say what needs to be said, travel, change, date, get married, start a hobby…

W H A T E V E R   W E   W A N T

Use your birthday as the launching pad to the life you want to live.. even if it’s for this year only!

Happy birthday to you, and happy birthday to me!

Cheers,

-Aurora

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

If You Can’t Be Kind, Be Quiet.

Being rude is easy. It does not take any effort and is a sign of weakness and insecurity. Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem. Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people. Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom. Choose to be kind over being right and you’ll be right every time because kindness is a sign of STRENGTH.

This week I came across a few instances and reminders of how important it is to be KIND. Most importantly, I was reminded how important it is to be kind, even when someone isn’t being kind to you or has done something hurtful or rude to you. YIKES is that a hard one or what? You know me, and my likelihood of being a positivity promoter, but how can you do that when someone is rude or mean to you?

It isn’t easy!

There is someone in my life, whom I care a lot about, that sometimes falls in the category I mentioned above. Every once in awhile, they cross that line of no return: they say something that is mean, rude or insensitive, and it leaves me wondering:

what the heck did I do do deserve that?

So when I tell you that I KNOW being kind to a rude person is not easy, I mean it. How can you turn the cheek when it’s someone close to you and also, how do you turn the cheek when it’s someone NOT close to you (maybe a boss, co-worker, person on the street, acquaintance, social media troll etc). I’ll touch on both of these topics:

  1. Someone close to you. I just paused and sighed as I wrote that. This is probably the worst. I am a firm believer in that if you allow someone to continuously treat you a certain way {good or bad}, that they will continue to do so, because it’s a learned, established behavior. In my adult life, I’ve never had a problem with confrontation, nor do I view tough conversations as negative, because I believe they’re important to reach a positive outcome. I expect, that if we’re having a mature conversation, that two adults should be able to come to a resolution, even if not right away, {or if there’s some screaming and yelling}, because they both should have the same desired outcome- a resolution. If the other person isn’t on this same page, or isn’t open to mature discussion (right away or ever), the Road Less Traveled here, is Kindness. I think this is most applicable with people who might not be being anywhere (family, bosses, co-workers etc). People do not have to be on the same page as you for you to be kind to them. By being kind, you’re respecting that they aren’t where you’re at and whatever position it is that they have in your life. My advice, you remain calm and kind to these people. Be the example of how they should act, and remember, being kind always puts you in right.

2. Someone NOT close to you. These people ALWAYS get 1 of 2 things from me: a quick witted (but KIND, sometimes sarcastic) response OR a smile and no response at all.

Because sometimes, being KIND also means keeping your mouth shut.

Especially when you know it won’t help make the situation better. In my career, it’s not uncommon for me to have hard conversations with employees, and every once in awhile, a rude, unnecessary comment gets directed toward me. Sometimes it’s public, sometimes it’s behind closed doors, but it does happen. I would say 99.9% of the time, it has nothing to do with me, and more about the issue at hand, so I always try to remember that. This might be an occasion where I smile and not say much, or I respond kindly and try to understand their view. This is also where I practice keeping my mouth shut. Is there someone in your workplace bothering you? Can you try harder to keep a smile, and focus on yourself? It’s not easy people, but I’m telling you- It’s Worth IT!

I think another place we see this is in our own communities and day-to-day interactions with strangers. It is SO important to remember Kindness, even when we are in a rush or having a bad day. Why? Because of the ripple-effect not being kind can have. Imagine the impact you can make in someones day by going out of your way to be Kind, rather than the opposite effect of what being rude, mean or frustrated can create.

I’m going to leave you with inspiration I’ve gained over the last week. I began following Real Talk Kim on Twitter and think she is one of the realest, most genuine people on there! She’s all about keeping it real, while also promoting positivity, faith and being Kind. I also listen weekly to the Podcast of my favorite Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe  and her guests this week, Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, are the creators of the Kind Campaign. This campaign focuses on girl on girl bullying, and it’s lasting effects, while also taking a preventative measure, focusing on forgiveness and KINDness. It’s truly remarkable, and I encourage you to check it out. I’m passing along the inspiration I received from them, so help keep the chain going!

What a difference we could all make if we chose to treat one another with Kindness, even, and especially when, it isn’t easy.

And remember…

Now go spread some Kindess!

Cheers,

-Aurora

Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Housekeeping · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Why you can Begin, Again

I’ve thought about these 2 words, almost obsessively, for the last month and a half. Begin Again. Aurora, you can BEGIN.AGAIN. 

It’s funny, a new year starts and all of a sudden you’re given this feeling that everything can start fresh. 11:59 changing to 12:00 on January 1st sparks something that gives you the feeling that you can do anything this upcoming year. For all of the social media posts that I see stating things like “New Year, New Me,” Or “This Year is My Year,” I also see the ones telling us that we don’t need a new year to start something new. That we don’t need a new year to wipe the slate clean, start over, get a new job, leave that lousy relationship, lose the weight, begin the hobby etc. I always fell in the category of the first group of people, because the new year, to me, felt like an auto-delete of anything you’ve been unhappy with, and provides the (whether you like it or not) birth of something new.  It’s a fresh start.

This new year was different for me though- I didn’t make many changes I was hoping to, to jump start 2018. I began the year sick, had a sudden loss of someone close to my family and found that after all of this died down, I wanted to rest. Rather than propel myself into my “New Year New Me” attitude, I wanted to take a breather.

And the above, really got me thinking.

What are the things I want to change this year? Why do I want to change them and what’s the motivation to do so? Why did I have to start January 1st, and why can’t I start anytime? While the excitement of a new year has always been something to motivate me, the reasons WHY I want to make these changes should be enough to motivate me to get going. To begin, again.

So starting with the publishing of this post, I’m giving myself permission to BEGIN again. It’s not 1/1/18, nor did the clock turning to midnight last night mean anything spectacular… it just meant it’s my day to be ready to press play. What am I pressing play on?

  1. Lent begins tomorrow. That means, for Catholics, preparing for the death and resurrection of Jesus. AKA I’m gonna continue attending church weekly and being more mindful of prayer and the big G!
  2. I need to get my work out on!  I know when I’m stressed or feeling low, that a good work out can boost my energy and help me feel more productive throughout the day. This means, 3+ more gym visits a week and minding my diet. I also think this will include runs with my pup… because she loves that!
  3. Reading my mountain of books at home before buying more. I’ve been averaging 1 every 2 weeks, so, so far so good.
  4. Reestablishing connections with the family and friends in my life that I haven’t spoken with as much as I’d like to. Sometimes you have to be the one to initiate, and it’s better to help build than to wait. My brother is doing this one too, so having that reminder helps too!
  5. Get more sleep. There is no explanation needed here.
  6. Lastly, I’m going to put my positivity and inspirational attitude to the test. I’ve always been proud of the way I carry myself and engage others with my warmth and excitedness for life. Some things in my life have gotten me to feeling a little unlike myself, so I’m going to work harder to put my best attributes forward.

Is there anything you need to Begin Again?

I encourage you and pray that you do it… because you owe it to yourself to!

To beginning again, cheers.

-Aurora

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

Why You Should Give Back- The Power of Small Acts

Tonight is the eve of our annual Give Back Lehigh Valley Softball Tournament and I am SO EXCITED… and a little antsy! My (now) husband and I created this event back when we were dating… we got engaged there and now are married. It’s been 4 years and I can’t believe how quickly the time to passed and how this event has evolved. 

What does not amaze me, is how awesome it feels to have created such an amazing give-back event that continues to get bigger and bigger as the years go by!!! GIVING BACK IS EASY… and it doesn’t have to be something big or something that grows… it can be small acts that make a difference in the life of another.  

We began our Give Back Event to help me fundraise for our local Cystic Fibrosis chapter a few years back when I was named a Lehigh Valley Finest Under 40 honoree. That was with 4 teams, a few donations and some cool T-shirts. The event tomorrow is anticipated to have anywhere from 150-200 people and over 100 participants. 😳 IT’S amazing!… but truly, it also takes a village. 

Each year, I use the all social media outlets to plug the event, solicit sponsorship and to shed the light on how YOU can give back and together, all of our small efforts make a BIG impact. For example, this year alone, strangers have reached out to me to become a part of this and volunteer; friends from grade school that I haven’t spoken to personally or seen in years have donated product for the event; and some incredible Lehigh Valley businesses stepped up to be big name sponsors of the event. I know this has built over the years, but it doesn’t change the pure awe that I feel when I see so many people coming together. I can tell you, that as our 4th Annual event, we became completely sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to give back, right here where we live. Years ago- a lot of what made the event came out of our own pockets… which was something we were prepared for, but appreciate now that it’s changed. It’s a beautiful thing to see so many wanting to drive change and to be a positive force in the community. 

So here we are, a few hours out from the big day beginning, and I’m so excited I can’t sleep. This event is our little piece of what we’re able to put out into the world, and it feels amazing. If this day inspires a few people to give a little more than they do, then we’ve done our job. At the very least, we can provide some assistance for our local charities and organizations, and provide a positive, fun day for the community. In our last 3 tournaments we’ve raised $25,000 and hope to add another 10k to that number tomorrow for Nam Knights of the LV and Logan’s Heroes Animal Recue! 🐾🇺🇸⚾️

If you want to see more about our event, please visit GiveBackSoftball.com & please comment below if you need any inspo or help creating a Give Back event!

To helping those in your community… ❤️

-Aurora