Sparkle Report: Week of February 6

Good Afternoon Sparklers!

A busy week(end) for sure …   Melissa McCarthy nearly broke the internet this past Saturday night with her sketch lampooning White House press secretary Sean Spicer and for the first time ever the Superbowl went into overtime. Sadly, my team, the Atlanta Falcons didn’t win in the end. There were some awesome commercials to be watched with many taking a stance on political issues. Lady Gaga was incredible and when mid performance she said “Hello” to her parents that made this mama smile. My dog Revis (named after the Jets football player) was my inspiration for my “To Buy” item this week and I hope you’ll enjoy learning a bit about SnapStreaks and Selfies — Oh My!

Love and Learning,

To Do… Watch The 59th Grammy Awards This Sunday At 8:00pm On CBS

The Grammys and the Tony Awards are my two favorite awards shows. At the Grammys celebs can wear whatever they want, the host is (almost always) funny, and it’s just generally not so serious! This year, James Corden – known for his hilarious Carpool Karaoke that you’ve gotta watch with your kids – will be hosting the evening’s events. The performances are looking big time too, with Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Metallica, John Legend, and Adele and Beyoncé hitting the stage! Everybody’s betting there will be a special tribute to Prince at some point in the evening as well. My personal favorite category is Best New Artist because I love a good first timer! (A first win, a first kiss – ya know, that kinda thing!) The nominees in this category span the spectrum of music genres with Kelsea Ballerini,(my hip 11-year-old girl saw her at Irving Plaza in NYC with friends), The Chainsmokers, Chance The Rapper, Maren Morris, and Anderson Paak up for it. I bet you’re feeling kind of “out of it” reading those names, huh? And it wouldn’t be the Grammys without a little bit of drama. Word is that Justin Bieber, Drake, and (shocker) Kanye say they’ll be skipping the awards show even though they’re all nominated. Bieber’s out because he doesn’t think the Grammys are “relevant or representative” when it comes to younger singers. Drake may have a similar explanation to the Biebs, but at least he has a concert in Europe that same night as an excuse. Kanye’s reasons are more racially motivated and he started talking about it at last years awards.

Spark the Conversation:
Watch the Grammys together and ask your girl about the music and bands she likes. Then tell her stories from your past about your favorite artists (hello, Duran Duran poster on my wall!). Sharing memories is actually proven to help ground a child and you’ll be surprised how much she’ll be interested! Also, chat with her about the host of the Grammys, James Corden, now also the host of The Late Late Show. To us it may seem like he’s suddenly famous from karaoke-ing in his car with Taylor Swift and J. Lo, but truth be told, it took him many years, auditions, and long days and nights on Broadway to get where he is now. Hard work and determination are a wonderful thing!

To Buy … Bark Box For Your Pup

Have you heard of it? I am obsessed. It’s a monthly subscription service for your dog.

We’ve gone wayyy beyond “Wine of the Month Club.” There are subscription services for almost everything now! Makeup, clothing, food, shaving, socks, tea… so why would you leave your pet out of the fun?

With BarkBox, a box arrives each month at your door filled with healthy treats and hilarious “dog-approved” toys. If it sounds a little over the top, who cares? The cute videos online of dogs opening their boxes are enough to get anybody on board. If you’ve got a pup, think about it!

Spark the Conversation:
BarkBox is great for bonding! I love this for families because everyone can gather ‘round when the box arrives and open it together. Grab the dog, show him his new stuff, and then play around! Afterwards, you can go the social media route (obvi) and post of pic of your pooch with his surprises. Check out my Instagram to see my dog Revis with his goodies!

To Learn … Snapchat Streaks Are Not So Snappy!

If you don’t know what a Snapchat “streak” is, let me educate you because social media has found yet another way to become competitive. Friends on Snapchat can send photos and videos back and forth – that’s the basic premise of the app. But when you and a friend snap each other two days in a row, a fire emoji will appear next to their name. Now the pressure is on to keep the “streak” going by snapping each other every day… without missing a day! The number beside the fireball will increase with each day of your snap streak, and when you get to one hundred days of snaps in a row, the red 100 emoji will appear next to your friend’s name – yep, that’s literally all you get for your efforts! – and it’s like a badge of honor among friends who’ve kept their streak alive this long. And it doesn’t stop at “100”, nope, no way. Their are other badges of honor and emoji’s to covet. Yellow hearts show that you are #1 best friends with each other (meaning you send the most snaps to this person and they send the most snaps to you) and a smirking face represents that you are one of their best friends but they are NOT a best friend of yours (Ouch!) and a grimacing face symbolizes that your #1 best friend is their #1 best friend — awkward!  It has become SUCH a competition among some teens that if for any reason they can’t snap for a 24 hour period, they’ll give their names and passwords to others to keep their streaks alive. There’s so much pressure to keep up the snapping because it’s often seen as a way to prove “I’m better friends with them than you, because our snap streak is longer!”  This stuff isn’t so snappy after all … Sigh!

Spark the Conversation:
As if it wasn’t intense enough already (you can snap, you can post stories, you can message each other), Snapchat has turned communicating with your friends into a challenge, and it’s one that many teens are accepting. Your daughter might well know about the drama surrounding these snap streaks. If your girl uses Snapchat, talk to her to make sure she doesn’t actually think that snapping more often with someone makes them better friends. Is it worth keeping the streak alive if you’re just sending pointless photos for the purpose of the streak? Make sure she’s snapping because it’s fun, not because she’s got something to prove or because she’s engaging in some unhealthy girl-on-girl competition!

To Think About … Making Faces In Selfies — Why?

So it started with the duck face in selfies – you know, the overly pouted lips – which we thought made us look cute, and now there’s something called the “fish gape” and the “sparrow face.” Why? Girls everywhere just wanna take the most flattering selfies possible without looking like they’re trying too hard! By definition, selfies are pretty much the opposite of serious, right? They’re all about having fun and capturing whatever emotion we’re feeling in one frame. So rather than trying to look sexy or attempting to snap the perfectly flattering angle, we stick out our tongues or make a funny face. Maybe we also do it because it’s awkward enough taking a selfie in public (since it’s almost always super obvious what we’re doing!), so we feel less self-conscious if we make a silly face! Nobody wants to be seen standing on the sidewalk alone, smartphone held out at arm’s length, taking modeling photos from multiple angles… that’s just vain. So we stick that tongue out, snap a fun solo pic (or two or three), and keep walking. Now we look like a practical, doesn’t-take-herself-too-seriously gal. Done and done.

Spark the Conversation:
Ask your daughter what kind of faces she makes in her selfies and why she thinks girls do this. It’s a super interesting psychological question. Does a ridiculous face take away the pressure to look cool? Does it make the whole experience more light-hearted? Or is it mainly because it makes her feel a little less silly taking a photo alone in public?

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