St Patrick’s Day Sparkle

An event I have wanted to attend for years is the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade.  This year I finally made it there.  My friend and I dressed in Green, wore false Shamrock nails, sparkling facial tattoo’s and made our way to the city centre.  Once we reached the Bull Ring we were immersed into a sea of Green, White and Gold.

Me and April

We watched lots of floats go by, listening to Irish music, watched Irish dancers, Salsa dancers, Chinese dragons and Pipe Bands from around the UK and from Ireland. After the parade we made our way through the singing, dancing crowds to the folk village and had a glass of Guinness – had to be done!!  From there we visited St Anne’s Social Club and met up with some family friends from my childhood.  I was warmed up with a hot Jameson’s – Whiskey is not something I drink but I was so cold it did the trick to warm me up.

We were very lucky girls as we had concert tickets to see Nathan Carter at the Birmingham Town Hall.  This is the longest UK tour Nathan has done so far and he was excellent.  His grandmother sells the merchandising and yes we bought wonderful T-Shirts, Black with plenty of sparkle.  At home we have quite a few Nathan Carter CD’s but live, he is  incredible.  What a voice.  When he sang ‘The Town I loved so Well’ the Town Hall was in awe.  Nathan told the story of his musical journey growing up, moving to Ireland, playing to empty venues to now, sell out performances.  He certainly deserves every success.

All in all it was a very long, tiring but perfect day. Below are some photo’s of our wonderful day 🙂

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick's Day Parade.

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick’s Day Parade.


April – waiting for the parade to start.


Ould fashioned Pony and trap.


Fly the flag for Ireland.


The Trinity Netball Team


The stage is set for Nathan Carter!


Nathan in action.


Me, Nathan and April – what a fabulous evening 🙂


Ten Minute Sparkle

Finally I get a few minutes to update the blog and a few minutes it is too!!  I’ve already escaped from behind my desk to rush out to the shops to buy some goodies for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is my Mom’s birthday (I can’t confirm age because I fear if I should write it down my blog will disappear to a cloud never to be seen again).  I am cooking dinner, which I do most weekends but tomorrow I want to make more of an effort.  I’ve also bought a birthday cake, and as a gift I have bought some of Mom’s favourite make up and of course, who can have a birthday without chocolates?  Well, we can’t!!!

I like blogging, I like just letting my mind and fingers take over and letting the words flow.  Usually I have a subject.  I have a few subjects on my list of ‘blogs to write’.  Places I have visited, things I have done, things I want to do, things I am doing…oh the list goes on.  Time also goes on, too quickly and as many times as I make a timetable to fit everything in, something comes along to thwart my plans.

My mind keeps changing about the future, future plans, what to do, what should I do, what do I want to do.  I keep coming back to the same thing…perhaps it is a sign…this too is another blog post waiting to be written.  I need to update you about taking up Zumba, about the goodies I have given up for Lent, the freedom I shall experience when my latest study module is completed in early June. This one has been the toughest yet and I can’t tell you the amount of times I have almost given up.  I’m not a quitter though, if I start something, I have to complete it. I also need to blog about the fabulous day I recently had at the St Patrick’s Day parade and seeing Nathan Carter in concert.

I love reading my friends blogs, they are interesting, uplifting and funny.  I love to read the blogs in my reader, which effectively are, your blogs.  I love that people blog, about everything. We have such rich, unique, amazing and interesting lives and it seems that we are also interested in each other’s lives and I think that is just wonderful.  We each sparkle in our own way and we are sharing our sparkle with each other in every word we write, every picture we share and every blog we post.

So now that I have rambled on for ten minutes I shall return to my spreadsheets and gaze out of the window at the blue sky and sunshine and dream some more day dreams…there is yet another blog post to be written.

I hope your Friday is truly sparkling, thanking you for rambling with me and I hope to catch up very soon.

The ‘love your belly’ Sparkle ✨

At the start of the year, most people, including me, start to think about diet, exercise, losing weight and fitness. Around Christmas and New Year we say ‘I’m going to enjoy the goodies and start my diet on January 1st’. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and we are full of good intentions. You only have to see how busy the gym’s are in January to know people have started on their resolutions. Of course, a lot of us just slip back into our old ways as the weeks go by and perhaps stop and start diets throughout the year.

Picture via Pinterest

Frequent readers of my blog know that I am not an advocate of ‘diets’ or ‘diet foods’. The only diet plan I like is Slimming World because it doesn’t restrict your food intake but it does teach you to make healthy food choices and how to eat healthy. However, I do believe that we don’t need anyone to tell us what we already know deep down, that if we eat crappy food, full of sugars, unhealthy fats, preservatives and flavourings, we are not doing our bodies any good at all.

I spent a long time saying ‘I hate my belly’ but of course this did not instill within me, any thoughts of really doing anything about it. About feeling better, about having more energy and fitting properly in my jeans!! It was only yesterday, when I started thinking about getting my own healthy eating back on track, that I thought ‘I love my belly and that is why I am going to feed it good, healthy, nutritious food and lose the fat’. Just having this thought has completely turned around my half hearted attempt at eating healthy. Talk about the power of the mind and positive thoughts!!

Picture via Pinterest

Remember that your body truly sparkles when it is at optimum health for you. You don’t have to forgo all treats and goodies, reduce them. The more healthy eating you do, the better you will feel, the more energy you will have, your eyes, skin and hair will shine and you’ll feel amazing.

I’m not a gym person because I think being out in the fresh air and having a walk is the best exercise in the world. Invest in a pedometer and track your steps, you’ll want to reach your 10,000 a day.

Are you with me on the ‘love your belly and make it sparkle’ project? Feel free to add any tips you have for healthy eating either here on the blog or on the wall of my page You can tweet me too @aurorasparkles.

Thank you for reading my blog 😊

Picture via Pinterest

New Year Sparkle

Well, I sit here at lunch time at my desk wondering…wondering about all the dreams and wishes and thoughts and daydreams that go around and around in my head everyday. What to do? Can I do that? Should I do this? Decisions, decisions.

We all have our hopes, dreams and visions for the future and I wonder how many people like me, think about them, perhaps make a few tentative steps towards them and then just slip back into their comfort zone. I do it all the time. I really love January, I love Winter for all the cold weather, the frost, the bright clear days and yes even the rainy, cloudy, overcast days because they are another day that I am alive and dreaming. I love January also because it is the start of the year. A whole new year to do what we please with, up to a point. I understand that yes, we all have various responsibilities to deal with and that just doing what we please may not always be an option. But there is no harm in plotting and planning out our dreams, our ambitions and our goals. Because you never know, we might just get to carry out and achieve some of them.

I have quite a few things in my mind at the moment. The usual ‘must eat more healthy because it is important for my body’ thoughts, along with the ‘must move more, walk more, exercise more’ thoughts. I also have the, ‘I want to blog more’, ‘I want to ignite the sparkle in everyone’, ‘I want to develop the mental health and wellbeing of people’, ‘I want to sing Country and Irish and let my free spirit roam’ thoughts. So you can see, there are a few items on my to do list this year.

I’m trying to create a schedule for myself. That I go to bed and sleep a little earlier so that I have more energy and life to carry out these plans and so that I don’t have darkness around my eyes from tiredness – that is so not a good look! I have the day job to do which I am happy with but sometimes wonder if I can ever escape the desk and yes, there is a plan there too but I have to develop all of the above first. I need to find time to study, I am only two and a half modules way from the end and I am the type of person that just has to see things through.

I shall make time for the people who are important to me and for whom I am important to them. I love my Twitter interactions because it spreads the sparkle of life immediately that I post something Boho, Irish, Spanish, Country Music or whatever is making me sparkle at the time.

Life is just the most amazing thing we have, it is so precious, so beautiful and truly sparkling. I’d like to whole world to unlock the spirit within their heart and soul, to see the beauty around them and to really live and love the life we have been blessed with.

Yes as always I have rambled on but I suppose that is my free spirit talking.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog, thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for letting me share your journey too. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you are dreaming of for this fabulous new year.

2014 – What made you Sparkle?

At this time of year we tend to look back on what we are leaving behind in 2014 and we start to look ahead to the new year, 2015. We’ll be busy making resolutions, plotting and planning for the year ahead and if you are like me, once again making a start on healthy eating and getting more exercise!!


Picture via Pinterest

When I look back on the last twelve months, I think, like most people, we’ve had our up’s and down’s, our happy and sad times because that is life and you can’t escape it. What we must do though is live it because truly, that is what life is for. So, for my first blog of 2015 I am going to share with you the moments in 2014 where I felt alive and totally sparkling high on life.

The stand out moments for me were a wonderfully happy and chilled out week with my lovely friend, in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza. That was true Ibiza heaven…




I was then lucky enough to visit Lagos, Portugal with my wonderful boyfriend and we walked 72 miles over the course of a week and I still didn’t lose any weight…I blame the ice cream and sangria intake…




A real highlight of the year was re-discovering my love for Irish Country Music and going to see John McNicholl twice and having such a fabulous fun time at his shows. Meeting John was just wonderful because he is a lovely person and makes time to talk to and have photo’s taken with his fans.




A final highlight was a trip to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market at night. I love the Christmas Market and usually it is a quick walk around at lunch time to try the food and visit the stalls so it was lovely to have time to stroll around at my own pace.





Do you have highlights from the year in your mind? What stands out for you as being happy and making your heart sparkle?

Thank you for joining me on my highlights of 2014 memories. I wish you all a very happy and sparkling new year.

Thank you for reading my blog ✨

The Gift of Giving – Christmas Sparkle

On Christmas Eve last year, I was walking from the train to the office. It was a frosty cold morning, about 7:30 am. I had called to one of the supermarkets to pick up some last minute goodies for Christmas and as I walked up towards the office, I passed a homeless person, wrapped in cardboard, asleep on a stone step. As I continued to walk, I started to feel so sad. Here was I, dressed warmly, buying last minute treats for my family and there was that person, alone on Christmas Eve. The most magical day of the year but what magic did they have in their life?

I called to the nearest Starbucks and bought their largest take out cup of tea and made my way back to the step. They had gone. In a matter of minutes, they had removed all trace they had ever been there. I felt heartbroken, as if I had missed my chance to help whoever that was.

I went back there during the morning and I walked back that way when I was on the way home, nothing! No sign of them at all. After Christmas and the return to work, I walked past almost daily but I never saw anyone there again. That feeling of sadness from Christmas Eve morning came over me whenever I walked down that path.

Picture via Pinterest

This year, I decided that I would give a gift to someone living on the streets of my city. I thought of woolly hats, scarves, gloves etc but then I thought of purchasing a gift card from Starbucks or Costa coffee so that at least they could get themselves a hot drink on the cold Winter days. Next week, one of my lovely friends who works near to me, is meeting me at lunch time and we are going to purchase our gift cards and walk through the city to find someone who truly needs it.

People end up on the streets for so many reasons and not all homeless people are alcoholics or junkies. And even so, we all need help and compassion at times even if it sometimes isn’t easy to give. At this time of year when so many of us have so much, we could spare a thought, a cup of tea, a prayer and some Christmas giving for those less fortunate than us. After all, isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?

Thank you for reading my blog and for sharing the sparkle ✨🎄✨

Picture via Pinterest

The ‘Energy’ Sparkle!

Today has been a very busy day. Most days are but today I had energy!!! I think it was a combination of things which led to this exuberance of sparkle today. Firstly the weather. Yes it was cold and frosty but it was also bright and sunny. One of those days when you just want to be wrapped up warm and walking in the countryside. The second was music. Yesterday I bought ‘Blue Smoke’, The Best of Dolly Parton and I had it playing in the car. What fabulous songs. Some I remember from a long time ago and some I never heard before. Beautiful heartbreaking love gone wrong Country Soul, you can’t beat it.


Picture via Pinterest.

Thirdly I had my hair done and I think every girl agrees that when you get your hair done, you feel on top of the world. Then I went shopping. Supermarkets are the bane of my life, I do not enjoy visiting the supermarket, but today, I was in double energy mode. I was through the first one in minutes with the necessities plus goodies in my trolley. I was even quicker in the second one and it was whilst I was heading to the car with my bags I realised I was full of energy. Me and Energy are not words I would usually put in the same sentence 😉 But I am very happy to be able to do so today.

We all have our stresses and pressures, problems and issues and we have to do the best we can. Days when our sparkle is twinkling on all cylinders are days to be enjoyed, treasured and shared. Whatever makes your day sparkle with energy, keep doing it, keep sharing it and keep enjoying it. Life is the most amazing wonderful thing and time is short. Sparkle as much as you can and don’t hold back.

Thank you for reading my blog ✨💕✨

Picture via Pinterest