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 · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Wearing Gratitude Glasses

Having a gratitude filled perspective isn’t something many of us learn in life. If you have grown up this way, you’re ahead of a lot of us, and I’m jealous of you! If you’re like the many of us who need to work at this, or even have to realize the need to work on it, this is for you!

As someone who is primarily a positive person, I get asked sometimes how I do it. If I could answer this question and give away some kind of magic secret in a 2 minute conversation, I would, but that’s not the reality of seeing your world through a grateful lens. Or as I call it, seeing the world through your Gratitude Glasses.

Having a heart full of gratitude helps you see your cup as half full! When you start going down Complaint Road and Woe Is Me Lane, it’s easy to snowball and get to a place where nothing feels good enough. This is where negativity lies, self doubt lives and the feelings of “why doesn’t anything go my way,” overwhelm you.
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The truth is, it’s a practice to have a grateful heart; you have to work on it and it takes time. When the negative thoughts start creeping in, you need to actively remind yourself of the blessings that surround you, and the cup that’s currently half empty slowly shifts to becoming half full.

Mental Exercise time 💡💪: Doing this helps me remain present and reminded of the blessings in my life- when you wake up each morning, say 3 things to yourself that you’re grateful for. It only takes moments, but it starts your day off on the right foot and with a grateful heart ♥️

I’ll start: I’m grateful for 1️⃣ The health Baby Brunovsky has and the positive visits we keep having about her 2️⃣ My relationship with my husband and how in sync we are 3️⃣ That today is the last day of work until 1/4/21! Wooo! ✨✨

Now it’s your turn! What 3 things are you grateful for today? Can you try to start each morning this week with this exercise? It’ll start your day off with reminders of how blessed you are, even if in a tough season, and give you the opportunity to proceed into the day wearing your Gratitude Glasses.

Cheers to living the glass half full life!

Xo Aurora

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 ✨✨

Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Self Realization · Uncategorized

::::2019::::

Happy New Year Friends!! ✨✨

I love the first day of the new year- I think it’s because of the endless possibility and motivation for change! Something about a new year feels clean and fresh. And I love that feeling! It’s like you can do anything because a new year has started. Of course, you can begin anything, any day you’d like, but the power of a new year is magic. ❤️

So while we begin this new year… any resolutions out there?

Mine is to continue spreading positivity, write content for my blog and blog Facebook page weekly, choose kindness when feeling negative and lastly, to put myself and my own health (mental, physical, spiritual) first! How exactly am I going to do this? By trying to live and INTENTIONAL life!

I can’t wait to talk more about this in my next post!! For now, I would LOVE to read some comments about what your resolutions are!

Cheers to an amazing 2019!

Sparkle on,

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

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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