The Sparkle Report: Week of January 9

Welcome to the first edition of the Sparkle Report !

The Sparkle Report is a weekly report that’ll arrive in your inbox every Wednesday with fascinating and fun information about the world your girl lives in.

Our goal: To keep you cool, connected, and communicating with that special girl in your life.

Each week we’ll feature something To Do, To Buy, To Learn, To Think About and end with a Sparkle Spotlight of a like-minded Featured Female.

Think of me as your guru for all things trendy and social media-esque. I’ll be doing the digging for you so that you receive a rundown of all the cool and current stuff that you’ll want to know about! And it’ll be deposited neatly in your inbox each week.

Use the Sparkle Report as a spark for having great conversations with your daughter about today’s world and a toolkit to help guide you through those tough talks (hello, first kiss convo!).

I’m here to help you raise authentic, not perfect girls. Confident girls who understand and love themselves as much as we them.

I hope you enjoy the Sparkle Report and find it useful as we navigate together this crazy journey of raising girls in the digital age!

Love and Learning,

To Do… Talk about MLK with your girl…

It’s more than just a day off from school! Did you know that MLK Day is the only federal holiday in the United States that honors a private citizen? Just think about that. How much change would you have to make in order to have that honor granted to you?

Here are a few more interesting facts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that you may not know: He never technically finished high school, but instead skipped the 9th and 11th grades and went on to zealously pursue education when he entered college at the age of 15. He was super smart and despite his historical and hugely influential “I Have A Dream” Speech, Dr. King received a “C” in his public speaking class at seminary (see, it happens to all of us!) After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he donated over $50,000 of his winnings to the Civil Rights Movement. What a guy!

Spark the Conversation:
The historical topic of Martin Luther King, Jr. is a great way to break into a discussion of the idea of social change and the difference that one individual person can make in the world. Dr. King maintained that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ By asking ourselves and our girls this question, we can carry on the legacy of MLK. How can we use what we’ve been given for the betterment of others? Even if it’s small, it’s still something!

Another important thing to remember when having this discussion is that regular people can do extraordinary things. Rather than putting MLK on a pedestal and looking at him as a legendary historical figure (though he definitely is!), remind your girls that Dr. King started out as an ordinary person just like them. We all have it in us to champion causes we believe in so that we can make a difference in the world.

To Buy … PopSockets…

Just when you thought you had all the accessories your smartphone needed, here we go again…

Girls love PopSockets!

This new phone “grip” is all the rage with tween and teen girls. The company calls them “an expanding piece of magic for your phone.” You can add one or two PopSockets to the back of your smartphone and pop out ‘em out when you need a better grip or want to prop up your phone to watch videos, listen to music, or video-chat. PopSockets are super easy to use and they’re actually pretty practical. They can also be used on tablets and e-readers.

There are tons of colors and patterns to choose from, so they’re a well-priced way to show a little personality when it comes to your girl’s mobile phone. They start at $10 each.

But of course, there’s more. You can customize PopSockets with images from your Instagram feed! (You’re not surprised about that are you?) And the company even makes a companion product called the PopClip which can be mounted to almost any vertical surface, like dashboards, mirrors, refrigerators, and walls, for convenient hands-free viewing.

Spark the Conversation:
In today’s world, the most valuable real estate is the backside of your mobile device. The average person makes an estimated 8,000 public texts and calls per year! What are you going to put on the back of your phone? How does your girl’s choice of phone case or PopSocket reflect her personality? Is she practical, artsy, earthy, or flashy? Is she making a statement? Hey, maybe we should start charging companies for this prime space…

To Learn … Golden Glob Awards Recap…

Ahhh, awards shows. Fancy red carpet gowns, famous faces, and glitzy after-parties. Some celebs even used the evening’s festivities to get a little bit political. Here were some of my favorite moments from this year’s Golden Globes:

After her win for Best Actress in a Television Drama, British actress Claire Foy, who plays a young Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (on Netflix), paid tribute to the queen and women everywhere, saying, “She has been at the center of the world the past 63 years, and I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it if you ask me.” AGREED! The Crown also won for Best Television Series Drama. I’m already 3 episodes in and loving it.

Another thing folks are buzzing about is Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech ( following her receipt of a lifetime achievement award. Unless you’re living under a rock I’m sure you heard about her speech and the tweet from our president-elect that followed it. She emphasized Hollywood’s diverse and foreign backgrounds, condemned intolerance and stated what a privilege and responsibility it was to be an actor. She ended by quoting Carrie Fisher, who once said to her, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” Talk to your daughter about what she thinks that statement means, and how art can often be a positive outlet for the hardships in people’s lives.

On a lighter note, If you haven’t seen Stranger Things yet, get on it! It’s like a sci-fi version of The Goonies and the kid actors in it are amazing! It’s super binge-worthy, a little bit scary, and great for the whole fam to watch together! And the girl of the crew, actress Millie Bobby Brown, is basically the show’s hero, which is pretty cool. Even though Stranger Things didn’t win any awards at the Globes, the child cast killed it on the red carpet.

Oh, and after-party plans didn’t get any cuter than this photo of Kristen Bell (the voice of Anna in Frozen) and her hubby Dax Shepard (of Parenthood) playing the uber-competitive board game Settlers of Catan! Dax has been famously sober for twelve years now, and who needs cocktail-fueled parties when you can have this much fun playing games?!

Spark the Conversation:
These awards shows give us a glimpse into how celebrities act without scripts on a night when they’ll be labeled winners or losers. Discuss with your daughter who they think handled the pressure with the most grace and who could’ve done a bit better. Did the nominees smile and clap for the winner? Did they say, “Oh it’s just an honor to be nominated!” in the pre-show interview? Then, you can move on to chatting all you want about the red carpet fashion of the evening! After that, we can all start planning when we’re going to see La La Land (could Ryan Gosling be any sweeter? …)

To Think About … Social Esteem

We’re always worried about getting those “likes”!

How do we keep our girls’ confidence levels up in the face of all that glittery stuff on Instagram and Snapchat? How can we focus on helping them exude positivity online rather than letting jealousy-inducing pics and FOMO bring them down? And how can we teach them that their real life relationships should have more weight in their overall well-being than their online lives?

If you haven’t read my article  yet, there’s a new concept I’ve created called “Social Esteem.” It’s like self-esteem, but it takes into account our girls’ confidence in response to social media and (online and offline) relationships! What we see on our screens and how our friends and family treat us all impact how we view and value ourselves! Essentially, Social Esteem is confidence in one’s own “social worth.” I want to raise our Social Esteem meters by making us aware of how all these things impact how we feel about ourselves and then talk about what we can do to keep social media from bringing us down.

Spark the Conversation:
Ask your daughter about the last time social media made her feel good about herself. Was it a post by someone that made her laugh or was it one of her own posts that got a lot of likes? Then ask her when social media has made her feel worse. What exactly do they find brings them down and how can they avoid it? Then share this study of participants (mostly female) which found that lurking on Facebook and other social media streams negatively affects our moods, emotional well-being, and our satisfaction with life. Woof!

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