G is for Gratitude


by Derek Gillette 

One of the more common American cliché’s is the idea of dreading to spend time with our extended families on holidays such as Thanksgiving.

I think this negative notion comes from the prevalence of awkward moments that arise. Whether it’s an aunt bringing terrible Jell-O salad again and commenting that you didn’t eat your helping, or the painful silence after your cousin’s new boyfriend accidently insults your uncle for the second time, holiday dinners just seem to have their uncomfortable moments.

One of the goals of High Low Glitter is to create opportunities for meaningful conversation to happen. When it comes to holiday dinners, the saavy HLG’er will rejoice at the simple fact that they have been blessed with a captive audience.

What we do with that captive audience is up to us. This Thanksgiving take charge, and decrease awkward moments by making dinner table conversation a bit easier.

Here’s to a more meaningful and memorable Thanksgiving meal!

  1. The Highs

Asking people to talk about their recent accomplishments is a great way to warm up the table. This is a chance to celebrate together and break out a few easy smiles and laughs. Don’t begin by cheering for yourself though. Instead, invite someone else to start and show genuine interest in their stories. Most of us cherish the chance to talk about our areas of passion, as long as we know we have an engaged audience.

Depending on the size of your group, you may want to limit the length to a few minutes apiece, to allow time for everyone to share.

  1. The Lows

There are areas in life that we’re struggling with. We may label these frustrations, mistakes, addictions, distractions, or just things that make us sad. Take your family conversation sincerity to the next level by volunteering to share your ‘low’ with the group. In our experience, once one person is willing to be vulnerable, it makes it much easier for others to let down their guard and join in.

Start the conversation off with questions such as:

  • What areas of your life are frustrating right now?
  • What’s the biggest obstacle you’re overcoming in your life right now?
  • What have you taken on a risk on this past year that didn’t quite pay off?

The key here is that vulnerability leads to amazingly meaningful conversations, but only when everyone at the table feels safe enough to share. Make sure to create an environment that is safe and respectful.

  1. The Gratitude

Routine HLG’ers will recognize right away that we typically use the ‘G’ to represent ‘glitter.’ But we’re switching it up for Thanksgiving. Instead of glitter, use this opportunity to end your family dinner on a note of gratitude.

Review the levels below and pick the one that best suits your group:

The Standard: “What things are you thankful for this year?”

The Advanced: “What amazing and possibly unexpected things are you really, truly thankful for this year? And you can’t say your job or your spouse.”

The Gratitude Master: Pick a single person to go first (start with grandma!), and have everyone go around the table one by one and say something they really appreciate and admire about this individual. Then, move on to the next person, until everyone has had his or her moment in the gratitude spotlight.

Whatever your technique, we hope you take the opportunity this holiday season to share more than delicious food. Make memories with meaningful conversation.

Derek Gillette is a husband and father of five children, including two step-sons.  He and his wife share a life mission to create meaningful conversations through vulnerability.  This pursuit led them to find and support the High Low Glitter mission. Professionally, he is the Communications Manager for eChurchGiving and Pushpay.

Be Safe, Be Smart, Stay Social

Anyone who has read my blog knows that I’m an advocate for meaningful communication, Internet privacy, and having ownership (and a smart plan) for your personal Internet legacy. Many people, especially young people, do not think very far into the future about how a post, comment or picture can come back to hurt their future self. While this doesn’t apply to things posted on closed networks such as High Low Glitter, there are more ways to go wrong than right on the myriad social platforms and apps out there. Just as most journalists would never publish without an editor, one should be very particular about what is self-published.

Josh Ochs is one of the most articulate and active voices on this subject, with a focus on smart usage for teens and tweens. We were thrilled when he reached out to us to learn more about High Low Glitter and talk about how it can help improve family communication.

Safe Smart Social logoTaking the time to read Josh’s views on the various popular apps and platforms that you personally use or have considered will be time well spent, regardless of your age. He gives you the 30,000 foot view of the app or service, basic how-tos, pros and cons, and also suggestions for best practices. You can find many excellent articles and resources on his website http://safesmartsocial.com.

Ted-ZuhlsdorfTed Zuhlsdorf is co-founded highlowglitter.com with his partner Stephanie Ross.  A serial entrepreneur and Internet marketer, Ted spends the majority of his waking hours helping clients increase web traffic and business revenue.  When he is not at his computer he can be found riding one of his seven bicycles.

Today’s Glitter

I continue to be amazed at how grand people’s lives truly are when they notice the little moments that matter most.

When I launched High Low Glitter last May, I didn’t expect that this new business venture would reconnect me with old friends. But it has in the most delightful of ways. Early on, a college friend/Facebook connection who I haven’t talked to since we graduated commented: Wow, Stephanie! So inventive! I’ve got one going to college in the fall…

This led to some lovely online conversation, which led to me noticing this friend’s comings and goings a bit more, which led to me noticing she and her family moved to Brazil this fall, which led to her son Alex reporting his thoughtful and hilarious monthly High Low Glitter from Brazil, which led to more online conversation, which led to my friend sharing a glitter with me the other day, which led me to suggest she share her monthly High Low Glitter from Brazil with all of us.

Her first post arrived in my inbox today and it is the day’s glitter. Read it and you will know why. I continue to be amazed at how grand people’s lives truly are when they notice the little moments that matter most. It is with overwhelming gratitude that I welcome Kerry Nappi to the High Low Glitter Across the Globe family of reporters.

Stephanie-RossStephanie Ross is the creator of High Low Glitter and co-founder of highlowglitter.com. Stephanie wears many hats including executive coach/consultant and entrepreneur, but none more important than mom to twin daughters Emily and Heather. She can reached at [email protected]

101 Ways to HLG

High Low GlitterHigh Low Glitter began as a dinnertime conversation starter – an alternative to “how was your day?” Since launching the High Low Glitter micro-social network just a few month ago, we have been surprised and delighted by the different ways people are using High Low Glitter to reflect and connect:
How are you using High Low Glitter? Please share your story with us.

Bring HLG Back to College and Win Big


Get people signed up and using High Low Glitter on your college campus and win!


Each week starting September 8 – for 4 weeks – we will award a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate to the person whose school has had the most High Low Glitter activity that week. That means you could win up to $200 in prizes!

You must be a currently enrolled college student to participate. Limited to one person (or team of people) per college or university.

Email us at [email protected], tell us where you go to school and what you like about High Low Glitter to enter.

Suggestions for Spreading the Word
  • Share this High Low Glitter video on your Facebook page
  • Pitch a High Low Glitter story to your school paper
  • Mention the app at dorm meetings
  • Ask us to send you a pile of the info card pictured below and pass it out like crazy!



iPhone App Update 2.0.2 Now Available


First, a big thank you to all our app users who have pointed out issues or given us feedback for improving the High Low Glitter iPhone app. We heard you, jumped to action and have been working hard to quickly make improvements and deliver an updated, improved version of the app. Here is what’s new and improved:

  • Fixed crash issue that occurred while editing connections
  • Resolved connections/invitations “not showing up”
  • Fixed issue with adding or changing your avatar photo
  • Added “forgot password” reset functionality
  • Enhanced date of birth functionality for iPhone 4

Please update your app if your phone has not done it for you. And please keep the feedback coming so that we can continue to improve and expand the app’s functionality.

A note to iPad users.  There are two ways to use High Low Glitter on your iPad: the iPhone app or the website. From the home screen of your iPad, click on the blue App Store icon. In the upper right hand side of the screen type “high low glitter” into the search box. Click the box that says “download” – the app will appear in the next available spot on your home screen. As a reminder, commenting is not currently available on the app.  To see and share comments visit your account at highlowglitter.com.


Android users: you have not been forgotten.  Your app is in development and being tested as this post is typed.  We are excited that it will be available very soon!

Stay tuned!



App Update


Have you ever wondered why your phone is updating its apps all the time? It’s because of the multitude of little “bugs” and improvements that are found and needed to make the app run better.

Many bugs and suggestions for improvement come from the app’s user base.  To all the High Low Glitter iPhone app users who have provided suggestions or found bugs, thanks for the feedback.  It is great.  Please keep it coming.

An updated version of the iPhone app will be submitted to the App Store later this week. And we should have the Android app in beta by the middle of the month.  Stay tuned.

Until then, iPhone users you can adjust your time zone settings at highlowglitter.com.  Also if the app is denying you access to your address book when inviting connections you can 1) re-allow access by going to your phone’s privacy settings or 2) invite connections from the website.  Both of these issues will be remedied with the next app update.

Thanks for your support and patience!

The High Low Glitter App Team



We’re On a Mission

We’re on a mission. We are on a mission to deepen human connection.  We are on a mission to inspire self-reflection. We are on a mission to increase joy through the meaningful sharing of life’s ups – and downs.

In an ever-distracted world, we believe High Low Glitter can do all that and more.

How can three small words do all this, you may ask?  Strong relationships, self-awareness and meaningful experiences are key ingredients in living happier, more fulfilling lives. Actions that strengthen relationships, incite self-reflection and call attention to experiences are at the root of High Low Glitter.

Whether you share your daily high, low and glitter around the dinner table, during a phone conversation, online at highlowglitter.com or using our app, you:

  • pause to reflect which leads you to savor experiences big and small.
  • consider your day in an honest, holistic way, seeing the good – and bad – which provides perspective and balance.
  • share your authentic reflections with the people who matter most, which strengthens connection and initamcy.
  • create greater joy and happiness in your life and in the lives of those you hold most dear.

High Low Glitter is on a mission.  Join us and be part of it.