My Podcast Addiction Pt. II

It’s been a while since my last podcast post so I thought I’d share a few that I’ve been listening to lately. The content that I’m interested in changes with the different seasons of life.  Right now, I’ve been listening to podcasts that are either business-oriented, branding-focused shows or those that tell a unique story. It’s very similar to the way I read books. I’m always reading at least 3 types of books: non-fiction, light/fun fiction, and business depending on my mood. This diversity is helpful when you’re working through a challenging project, trying to develop a more balanced perspective, or just simply need a mental vacation!

  1. The #AskGaryVee Show – If you’re not familiar with Gary Vaynerchuck, he is an expert and successful entrepreneur in the world Social Media Marketing. He is the CEO of Vayner Media and speaks at a variety of events around the world. Gary packs a lot of ego, but makes some excellent points. His is quick and to the point. Listening to his show is one of my favorite ways to kick off the Monday morning commute.
  2. The Art of Charm – While I’ve only listened to a few of their episodes, I’ve loved the variety of speakers they bring on board. What makes their show unique is the raw nature of the conversation and unfiltered advice.
  3. Bodega Boys – Speaking of unfiltered, I feel like I should add a word of caution about the Bodega Boys. It’s best to listen to this one when you’re not around any sensitive ears. That being said, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero are absolutely hilarious! They aren’t talking about much of anything, but just laughing about current events with a true bodega, cornerstone vibe. Their perspective and humor is raw, but reminds me so much of the way my brother and I crack jokes with each other.
  4. This American Life – If you’re new to the podcast world, you definitely want to start here. This American Life captures the true essence of powerful storytelling. Each show has a different theme, usually unexpected. Listening to the show is like getting lost in a great fiction book with a surprise ending.

P.s. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that my fiancee was just featured on 2 incredible episodes the Blogs of War podcast, a natural security show. Check them out here and here

Cheers to a great week!

Pick Me Up

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Cape (old – similar here)// Dress // Leggings// Boots (sold out – similar here and here)// Watch// Bracelet// Ring// Sunglasses// Lipstick

I mentioned on my Instagram the other day that often times our social media, and blogs for this matter, only show the highlight reel of our lives. This is obvious because who thinks of whipping out your iPhone and snapping a photo when you’re knee deep in kleenex or pushing through a long workday. Although, that might not be a bad idea for a quick reality check!

One thing about me is that I like to keep things 100% authentic. In the spirit of authenticity, this past week has been pretty bad. From getting the flu, adding in a sinus infection, laryngitis, long work days, hours at the doctor’s office, and some sad news about my Opa, it ain’t been great. I definitely hold this in perspective, knowing that there are many people dealing with far deeper and more traumatic struggles than this.

However, during times like these my family has always taught me to accept the situation and then be strong and put on a cute outfit! Or maybe they meant put on a brave face… Whatever the case may be, a cute outfit always does it for me!

When you’re feeling down, throw on a cute dress, a cape to turn up the style factor (like this incredible red one), and a big pair of sunglasses to cover up your flu-induced puffy face!

If that doesn’t help, watching this Milan flash mob of “I Will Survive” might do the trick!

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

Black cape, cape coat, fall floral dress, azalea dress, azalea san francisco, louise et cie boots, over the knee boots, black over the knee boots, SOMA, south of market, san francisco design district, bobbi brown cosmic raspberry, bobbi brown lipstick, alex haygood, vast aspiration

My Podcast Addiction

When I made the move to live in San Francisco full-time last Fall, I knew I wanted to remain working in our Silicon Valley office. Hey, who can blame me for wanting the best of both worlds?! 🙂 With that decision came a commitment to a near daily 1 hour commute…on a good day. While this may seem crazy to some, I’ve found ways to make the ride enjoyable. When I’m not catching up with my mom on pressing world affairs, like Vicki and Shannon’s fight on the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion, I’m listening to a slew of podcasts. The podcasts have been so fascinating that now I actually look forward to the commute and feel 100x more prepared to take on the workday. Here are a few I can’t get enough:

  1. The Lively Show – Need to get inspired to live your most creative, fulfilling life? This show is all about that. There are 2 episodes in particular that I’ve listened to countless times: The Elizabeth Gilbert interview on her new book, Big Magic (more on this book later), and The Myleik Teele interview on Radical Authenticity. Both are “Must Listen” episodes and very inspiring!

  2. Myleik Teele – Speaking of Myleik, she also has her very own podcast and it is ON POINT! This is my go-to for quick bursts of high impact motivation to stay on your grind and get organized/focused about your goals. Plus, listening to Myleik speak reminds you of being in conversation with a friend.

  3. TED Radio Hour – This is an obvious choice if you’re a lover of TED talks, like me. The episodes usually covers 1 topic from 2-3 different speakers’ points of view. Topics range from subjects like leadership to creativity to health, and everything in between. One of my favorites is Disruptive Leadership.

  4. Dear Sugar – This podcast is very raw and very real! It is an advice column that deals with all of the very personal things that are rarely discussed. Nothing is off limits! Cheryl Strayed (writer of Wild among many other things) is one of the narrators if that gives you any insight into how good this is!

  5. HBR Ideacast – This is one that I’ve recently started to listen to. It combines the witty intellect that HBR represents with the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit present in Silicon Valley. Not to glorify the concept of the entrepreneur, which can be over-hyped IMHO, but it does get the gears turning. I like that it shows you how you can apply an entrepreneurial mindset to the current work you’re doing, even if it’s at a large corporation, which is something that is useful for so many!

So, these are my favorite podcasts of the moment, but I’ll be back with more. Bookmark ’em, or check them out on the Fireside or Podcast app next time you’re at gym, cooking, winding down, or battling the rush hour commute! If you’re a podcast lover as well, I’d love to hear what you’re listening to right now. Please share below!

A Fresh Start

Work Wear, September Issues, White Business Casual, Bay Area Fashion, San Francisco Fashion, September Fashion

In one of my favorite movies, “The September Issue,” Candy Pratts Price famously says, “September is like the January of Fashion.” Candy is absolutely spot on. Many months (or perhaps, years) out, fashion magazines begin the prep work for the much-anticipated “September Issues,” designers work tirelessly on the September debut of their Spring/Summer collections at the world’s largest Fashion Week, and retailers ready their stores for the onslaught of mixed back-to-school and Holiday shoppers.

For me, September represents a month of rejuvenation and renovation. I saturate myself in the September issues and consequentially, my wardrobe gets a much-needed facelift. Still carrying a bit of that collegiate attitude, I also feel ready to charge full force ahead with my work. Or maybe I’m just excited to use all of the back-to-school notebooks I bought up at Target last month before any students could get to them. 

Nevertheless, many of us feel like September gives us the opportunity to start with a clean slate. For my blog, it means FINALLY dropping the “.blogspot” and graduating to http://www.VastAspiration.com. Also, getting a new email address at said domain (see About page). This September, maybe you’re reinventing yourself, rediscovering your true passion, or simply trying to figure out what it is you want to do with your life (because that’s simple, right?!). Whatever it may be, always remember that it’s never too late to make a fresh start. 
Ark & Co Top, White Work Skirt, Ecote Sandles, Fall Work Wear, Fall Business Casual
Ark & Co Top// Unknown Skirt// Ecote Sandals
Cream Business Casual, White Peplum Tops, Ecote Avarca Sandals
Avarca Sandals, Suede Sandals, Work Sandals, Business Sandals, Travel Sandals, Fall Sandals

If I Would Have Known…Early Career Advice

Career Tips, Business Casual Fashion, Graduation Advice, College Advice, Professional Attire
As we enter the month of August, I am reminded of what was once my favorite time of year as a student. Stocking up on cutesy supplies at Target, revamping your Fall wardrobe, getting class schedules, comparing said schedules with friends, and the general sense of purpose and excitement you feel about taking that next step towards your career goals. 
In my final year of undgrad, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there. After $80,000 of tuition, those 4 years of college courses had taught me all I needed to know about career success. Oh, how wrong I was! It didn’t take me but a few harsh weeks of life in the “real world” to realize I had no idea what I was doing. However, with steadfast determination and a restless ambition, I’ve managed to turn my “small-town” dreams into a career that I love in the San Francisco Bay Area. While every day is still a work in progress, I thought I’d share a few career tips my experience in the “real world” has taught me.
1. Emotional Intelligence – This is perhaps one of the greatest lessons in maturity. Emotional intelligence is our ability to assess and understand the emotions of others and control our own in various situations. Throughout your career, you will have a multitude of strong feelings, emotions, opinions, personal life circumstances, etc. that you will have to manage. You will also work with others who are facing these as well. The most important thing you can do is think before acting and try to approach situations logically without being controlled BY your emotions. Understand that your attitude, positive or negative, affects everyone around you, including your clients or customers. Put simply, check the drama at the door.

2. Follow-Up – As the old saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” Considering tip #1, this is more of a mature, non-complaining, outcome-driven squeak. Every one is busy and we all have a tendency to get sidetracked with our own responsibilities. If you reach out to someone and they don’t respond, promise to follow-up on a certain day at a certain time and do it. Be succinct and to the point with the intention of your follow-up. Oh, and ALWAYS send a handwritten thank you card following your meeting or interaction.

3. Time Management – It is extremely easy for our to-do lists to turn from a few short reminders to something that resembles an unedited cut of War and Peace. Each day, week, month, choose 2-3 tasks that you want to accomplish and no matter what, get them done. This will help you maintain focus and prioritize what’s really important.

4. Recognition – My 1st class of graduate school was something called “Organizational Communication.” Really this was a fancy title for “How to Communicate at Work.” The very 1st thing we learned was that someone’s name is the most important thing they will ever hear. When you walk into the office each morning, make sure to look your co-workers and staff in the eye, say hello, and say their name. It sounds obvious, but I’m sure we can all think of times when we felt unappreciated by a boss or coworker who walked right past us without ever acknowledging our presence. Now is your chance to be the change. 

There are countless other career tips equally as important, but these are just a few I’ve found to be most beneficial so far. As always, when pursuing the career of your dreams, be vast and aspire for greatness! And of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a little style…:)
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Hugo Buscati Collection Jacket and Skirt (similar here and here)// Liz Claiborne Shirt (similar)// Sole Society Shoes
Business Casual, Sole Society Wedges, Gray Skirt Suit, Professional Attire

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Work Wear, Office Style, Business Casual Style, Professional, Early Career Tips

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{Photography by Njeri}