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Month: December 2017

Looking Back at 2017: Manchester, The Great American Eclipse, and More

Looking Back at 2017: Manchester, The Great American Eclipse, and More

“Be a Voice, Not an Echo” -Albert Einstein


2017 is finally coming down to the wire. A year ago I decided to write a review of 2016 and I ended the review with a hope that 2017 would be a better year. So, let’s look back at 2017 and remember the good times along with the bad and reflect on all the lessons we learned as people.

Americans started the year off with the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20th. Similarly, the French had their election this year starting in April and ending in May with the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron. Along with these were dozens of other elections, but the American and French particularly stood out due to the controversy around them.

This year there were also several brutal events such as the Manchester attack. On May 22, a young man detonated a homemade suicide bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killing 22 and injuring 59 others. Then, on October 1st, 58 people were shot dead in a shooting in Las Vegas and 26 additional people were killed in November at a church shooting in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. This being said, not all of this year’s horrors were man made. Starting in August, Hurricane Harvey devastated southern states such as Louisiana and Texas killing 77 people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. Then came Hurricane Irma killing 134 people in Florida and the islands south of it. Finally, Hurricane Maria hit multiple countries bordering the Atlantic ocean, most notably Puerto Rico, and directly killed 66 people but lead to the death of many more due to a lack of power, shelter, and resources, especially in island countries.

Despite these tragedies, we rose to the occasion and helped. First responders saved over 122,000 people and 5,000 pets after and during Hurricane Harvey and over 300 volunteer organizations rose to help victims of the storm. Relatives and strangers alike found room in their hearts and homes all around the United States for Irma evacuees. After the Manchester bombing, One Love Manchester was held, a concert that ended up raising millions upon millions of dollars for the families of the attack victims.

Even apart from these acts of kindness we found hope. On August 21st, Americans all across the country looked up and we saw a beautiful anomaly: a complete solar eclipse. Almost everywhere in the country you could see it, whether it be complete or partial. We watched online and read about a child born blind and deaf given the gift of being able to hear and see her mother for the first time.

We found happiness. We binged shows like Stranger Things, Riverdale, and 13 Reason’s Why. We listened to music that spoke to us like ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles. We watched the new Star Wars and the countless other movies of the year. We learned to laugh and smile an come together as a world community.

And most of all, we fought with resilience. Women raised awareness and brought attention to sexual harassment, its victims, and its effects through the ‘Me Too’ campaign. The women’s marches also took place to make it known that women are deserving of their rights and tens of millions of women marched nation wide in the United States. Also, women in Saudi Arabia finally earned the right to drive in September of this year.

So, in conclusion, if you ask me whether I think this year has been better than last, I will gladly tell you that it has. There is still kindness and hope in this world and that is what strengthens us to do good. Yes, there is bad, but there will always be bad. After all, it is the bad that truly allows us to see the good.

Here’s to 2017

Blogmas Dec. 3, 2017: 25 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Blogmas Dec. 3, 2017: 25 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Hey guys! I’m more than a little bit excited to say that I am going to be doing Blogmas this year on Sparklenews.com! I know that it is already the third, but I was really busy on the first and yesterday. That being said, from today up until Christmas I will be posting a new Christmas related article for you guys. Some posts will be random Christmas related articles and others will be blogs about what I did that was Christmas-y that day. So, make sure you are subscribed to the site so that you get notifications whenever a new article is posted and also, keep watch for an upcoming holiday giveaway and don’t forget to follow all of my social medias. Most of all, don’t forget to sparkle! Enjoy and Merry Christmas! 🙂


This year I decided to get super into the Christmas spirit in order to make the holiday season extra special. When brainstorming ideas on how exactly I could do this, I came up with the idea of doing something Christmas related every day starting on December first and going on up until Christmas. I got some of these ideas by looking up Christmas advent activity ideas and others were my own original ideas. Enjoy!

1. Make a gingerbread house village

2. Watch the Polar Express and drink hot chocolate

3. Attend a ballet performance of ‘The Nutcracker’

4. Make paper snowflakes

5. Decorate your Christmas tree

6. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater all day

7. Host or attend a Christmas party

8. Bake Christmas cookies

9. Have a Christmas photo shoot

10. Go ice skating

11. Go snow tubing

12. Make homemade gift tags

13. Bake Jesus a birthday cake

14. Make homemade hot chocolate

15. Make homemade wrapping paper

16. Go Christmas caroling

17. Try some Christmas DIYs from Pinterest

18. Go Christmas shopping

19. Attend a tree lighting

20. Decorate your nails for Christmas

21. Write and send Christmas cards

22. Make a peppermint milkshake

23. Make an advent calendar

24. Have a Christmas movie marathon

25. Celebrate with friends and family