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Podcast Inspiration

Podcast Inspiration - image via Sascha Kohlmann on Flickr | kaileenelise.com

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
(Ella Fitzgerald)

I mentioned on Twitter that while working from home, I pretend podcast hosts are my mentors and Spotify + Pandora are my coworkers. I was sorta joking, but not really. It gets quiet around here and reality TV is not inspiring background noise.

I have been listening to podcasts for a long time. I remember listening to them while walking across campus in college. When we lived in North Carolina, I listened during my commute. Once I started working from home, I realized that I missed my podcasts dearly. So, now I listen on long walks, during my lunch break, and while cooking dinner.

Podcasts are a free and convenient way to learn, laugh and grow. iTunes and Stitcher have vast libraries, and you can also stream episodes directly from the publisher’s website. If you’re new to the podcast game, the The New & Noteworthy and Top Podcasts lists on iTunes are great places to begin. Once you find a few you enjoy, look for similar shows in the section called, “Listeners also subscribed to…”

From the silly to serious, there is something for everyone. Some podcasts are interview-based and others are one, two, or a few people having a conversation. When I find a podcast I really like, I usually go back through the archives and listen from the first episode on.

Here are five great podcasts + my recent favorite episode from each:

The Joy the Baker Podcast
iTunes | Stitcher

Joy Wilson from Joy the Baker and Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean are best friends and bloggers who host this hilariously chatty podcast. With a “real talk” approach, these ladies share their thoughts on random, yet relatable, topics including friendships, food, careers, blogging, dating, married life, and self-care.

Recent Fave: Joy & Tracy manage to talk about preparing for houseguests, making adult Jell-O shots, and stalking fitness Instagrammers in episode #120. It was laugh out loud funny and practical at the same time.

The Accidental Creative
iTunes | Stitcher

Todd Henry, author and creativity guru, hosts this helpful podcast about thriving in the create-on-demand world. I have been listening to his podcast for years, but it’s become even more relevant since launching my own business. Each episode offers expert advice on generating and executing brilliant ideas.

Recent Fave: Todd’s interview with Ryan Holiday about Turning Obstacles into Opportunity is genius. This was my first introduction to Ryan Holiday, I just added his book to my Kindle and cannot wait to read it.

Elise Gets Crafty
iTunes | Stitcher

I have been a long time reader of Elise’s blog. Her style, creativity, and open nature make me want to get crafty. When she launched her podcast I knew I had to listen. Elise has a fearless, can-do attitude when it comes to business and blogging. Her interviews (and solo-podcasts) are filled with practical ideas and advice.

Recent Fave: In episode 16, Elise talks with Cortnee Loren Brown about thinking productively about your passions. This really resonated with me because it got me thinking about what my passions are, and how I can be more thoughtful about how I pursue them.

The Lively Show

Jess is another blogger I have followed for awhile. I even contributed to her Design Your Life series almost 5 years ago. The Lively Show features incredible interviews about living with intention. Jess is a fantastic host who asks questions that get to the heart of the matter.

Recent Fave: Jess had a very conversational and honest interview with Austin-based entrepreneur Noah Kagan. Noah shares some unique experiences he’s faced (like getting fired from Facebook) and provides great insight on finding meaning in your career.

The Sarah R. Bagley Podcast

Sarah’s podcast is a more recent discovery of mine, although I have since gone back and listened to all the episodes. Sarah is a mom, blogger, group fitness instructor, and recovering perfectionist. Her interviews with guests focus on overcoming perfectionist tendencies and embracing a B+ life.

Recent Fave: In podcast #18, Sarah interviewed Kyla Roma, a blogger and designer I have followed for awhile. Listening to their conversation felt like being privy to a real, genuine chat between girlfriends. I adore Kyle’s approach to overcoming perfectionism.

Download these for podcast inspiration, or seek out ones that align with your interests. Don’t see your favorite listed above? Take a moment to share other playlist-worthy podcasts in the comments below.

Image via Sascha Kohlmann on Flickr

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#Reverb11 Mini Muses – Begin, Meet & Read

Image :: Winter Berries

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
(Arthur Ashe)

December—and reverb#11—are in full swing. With the end of 2011 coming near, it’s a perfect time for reflection. I’m approaching the reverb project differently than last year. This post is a recap of my first three Mini Muses—the beginnings of 31 prompts I created for #reverb11. Thanks to those of you who are reverbing with me, it means the world.

Image :: Outtake

Where did 2011 begin?

New Year’s Eve with my Mister and two close friends. We had a great night, even though things did not go as planned. (When do they ever, really?)

In January 2011 I worked at my old job, lived in my old apartment, drove my old car. There is no way I could have imagined 2011 would bring about so much change.

Even with all the struggles and challenges this year has presented, I am incredibly grateful for and happy with where I am today.

Image :: Regan&Kaileen

Who did you meet?

Moving to Chapel Hill this summer provided ample opportunity to make new friends. The picture above is of me and my friend Regan on Thanksgiving morning. She has become the fearless leader and ultimate hostess of this amazing group of women. We met through our partners, all whom are students at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler business school. Regan has helped to cultivate something really special—a group of supportive, craft making, story sharing, wine drinking, cookie baking, Bunco playing and good-time-having ladies.

I have also met a bunch of great people since starting my new job. The team filled with creative, talented and super smart folks—and as a corporate recruiter, I meet new people every day. Interviewing is one of my favorite parts of my job because I get to ask questions and hear stories. Even during one of the most stressful conversations (who isn’t nervous in an interview?) people have so much to share.

Through blogging, I have met several inspiring women. Here are a few I hope to get to know better in 2012:

Courtney Pearce – Yoga G33k
Sarah Kathleen Peck – It Starts With
AshleyTia – That is all.
Sarah – City Mouse Speaks
Kelsey Brown – Happyolks

Image :: Another Summer Day

What books did you read?

Reading is like exercising and saving money—easy to put off, but so worth it. I bought more books than I could ever read in a year, then declared I won’t be adding more books to my library in 2012. I listened to a few great audiobooks, including:

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Most recently, I read Loving Frank and am now working my way through A Place of Yes. I’m keeping track of my reading progress on GoodReads. I’d love it if you connected with me.

#Reverb11 Your Way

You deserve a gold star if you have read through this whole post wondering, “What is a reverb?”  Check out the #reverb11 hashtag on Twitter … or read a take on it here.

It’s not too late to join and there really are no rules. Do what you want, what you can. I know some people who just answered one prompt, others who answered all of them on December 31. Any time is a perfect time to get started.

Image Credits: Winter Berries via Shandi-lee // Outtake via LaurenKelseyPhotography // Regan & Kaileen on Instagram // Another Summer Day via Always Be Cool

One more thing… Join me in celebrating a season of sparkle! Sign up today to receive Inbox Inspiration and Muse Memos.


Creative Weekend To-Do List

Image :: Untitled Balloons

There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.
Negative people find their walls. So never apologize for your enthusiasm.
Never. Ever. Never.
(Ryan Adams)

Hello & happy weekend!

This week has been filled with interesting shifts and wonderful surprises. The Twitter & blog circles I swim within are bubbling over with #reverb11 energy. I am so impressed with how the community as a whole has adapted to the change in circumstances. We happen to be quite the sparkly, resilient and supportive bunch — if I do say so myself.

Are you wondering, what the heck is a reverb? To find out, dive on in to Twitter with the #reverb11 hashtag … or read take on it here.

Are you thinking about joining #reverb11, but wondering if you are too late? The water’s a perfect temperature, and there are cups of hot chocolate in the cabin for those of you who prefer not to splash around in the winter.

Holiday vacation imagery aside, this weekend is a perfect time to get started with #reverb11. I hope to spend a few hours reading other people’s posts and connecting with new reverbers.

Do you have anything exciting planned for the weekend ahead? The following list of ideas, links, and creative weekend to-do’s are intended to inspire. Consider this a friendly reminder to seek out little delights and exceptional joys in the days ahead. I invite you to share your plans and creative to-do’s in the comments below!

mail a few sweet postcards
shop for craft supplies for DIY holiday gifts
discover a new place to find inspiration
laugh, think & have your emotions moved to tears
rise early on Sunday morning to enjoy moments of silence
clean house, do laundry & cook something colorfully delicious
celebrate a friend’s 28th birthday with drinks
recap this week’s #reverb11 mini muses
meet up with a friend for coffee
practice yoga with at lululemon

Image Credit: Untitled via SharkThe


Let’s Reverb 2011

We All Reverb 2011

December 2010 was memorable. Alongside Gwen Bell and Cali Harris, I poured my heart into a passion project we called Reverb 10. It was an online community initiative with daily prompts for the entire month. A follow-up to Gwen’s original Best of ’09 blog series.

We traveled to Napa, CA for a few days — staying up late to kick things off. We took turns tweeting, writing, and connecting. The month’s focus was on sharing stories, featuring inspired authors, and diving deep. There was a magical energy, with the community reflecting on 2010 and manifesting what would be next.

I wrote a series of 21 posts for Reverb 10. You can find my archives here.

Annual projects can be challenging, especially virtual ones. We are all in different places today than we were a year ago. Yesterday, in a message to the Reverb subscriber list, Gwen explained she won’t be hosting Reverb this year. Instead, she shared how we did it.

Now you can host your own Reverb, if you wish. To paraphrase her guidelines:

  • Create 31 prompts for the month of December.
  • Post those prompts to your blog.
  • Invite other people to join you!
  • Publish on the topics each day.
  • Use a hash tag to connect via Twitter (we used #reverb10 last year).
  • Support one another by sharing links, commenting, etc.
  • Create buttons to show that you’re hosting your own Reverb.

The initiative lies in your hands, in the hearts of a greater community. If you plan to move forward with Reverb this year, I encourage you to use the #reverb11 hashtag on Twitter.

I would like to follow your work through December, I want to know what prompts you are writing on, and I hope to be part of your Reverb. Please email me with updates, questions and thoughts – or say hello on Twitter.

How will you Reverb? Do you plan to create your own prompts? Here are the questions I plan to reflect on for Reverb 11. I’m calling them my 31 Mini Muses:

  1. Where did 2011 begin?
  2. Who did you meet?
  3. What books did you read?
  4. When did you struggle?
  5. What did you discover?
  6. Who was important to you?
  7. What do you hope to remember?
  8. Where did you spend money?
  9. When were you most scared?
  10. What questions did you ask?
  11. Who surprised you?
  12. What did you learn?
  13. When did you feel the most relaxed?
  14. Where did you leave a mark?
  15. What movies did you see?
  16. What did you accomplish?
  17. When were you the most grateful?
  18. Who touched your heart?
  19. Where did you visit?
  20. When did you cry?
  21. Where did you spend your time?
  22. What were your favorite songs?
  23. Who did you miss?
  24. When did you take the easy way?
  25. Where did you eat?
  26. Which blogs did you enjoy most?
  27. When did you celebrate?
  28. What are your dreams for next year?
  29. Who will attract into your life?
  30. What do you want to do in 2012?
  31. Where do you hope to be on Jan 1, 2013?

I have other posts planned through December, things I’m excited to write about and share beyond my Reverb. That being said, I intend to journal and post and reflect and manifest.

I hope you will join me.

Image Credit: We All Reverb

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Heartfelt Guest Post – Jenn from Roots of She

Hello lovelies! I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your week. The Mister and I are feeling a bit more settled after 5 days of packing, moving, unpacking, shopping (at Ikea!) and building furniture.

It’s amazing how much a home is like a puzzle, with so many pieces and just one way that it all fits together. We’ve finished the outline and are now working on filling in the picture. The toughest part is done and we’re left with fun things like picking out new sheets, picture frames and candles.

Recently I put out a call for guest bloggers and I was overjoyed when Jenn Gibson offered to share her wisdom on balancing work, play, and passion.


Jenn believes in dreaming big : she’s the creator of Roots of She. She loves yoga and the beach, is a photographer & writer, and isn’t above stealing snuggles from Bean the Boy Kitten. Daily parts of her life are paper journaling, talking to her dear sweet momma & sky-gazing. You can follow her on Twitter and visit her often over at Roots of She.


In art and dream may you proceed with abandon.
In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
(Patti Smith)

And sometimes, may you proceed with all three at once.

In order to make my life work, I cultivate each of these things.

Abandon: This is how I choose to live, with abandon. I embrace each moment with bright joy and drink it down.

Stealth: When faced with a challenge, I move with stealth. Unobtrusively, I observe how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, and go from there.

Which leaves us with balance, the trickiest of Patti’s trio.

Finding symmetry for balance and abandon is almost always a delicate thing, and rarely an easy thing. It’s something I keep coming up against and that I’ve been working on in my life, especially where it relates to the intersection of work and play: my job and my passion.

My job: I work for a nonprofit, and my main focus there is on social media strategy and creating original multimedia content. I’m always on the computer — Tweeting, updating Facebook, researching new social media platforms, editing videos, drafting questions for interviews.

My passion: I run Roots of She, a collaborative project that tells the stories of the female experience, in all of its shapes, sizes and forms. The site launched a little over six months ago, and it’s now in the third cycle of contributors.

My relationship with social media and technology is evolving — the more my job and passion become integrated with the social web, the more I need to ensure that things stay light and fun. That there is balance between work and play.
Which leads me to this:

Tools and tricks of my trade, or: some of the practices that help me find balance

  • E-mail: I check my e-mail once a day, normally in the afternoon. It’s so easy for me to fall into the rabbit hole of rapid replies and obsessively refreshing my inbox. Putting gentle boundaries around this gives me the freedom to enjoy responding to the notes that come my way instead of having it become stressful and rushed.
  • Auto-reply: I have an auto-reply on my e-mail that lets people know that I’m only checking e-mail once daily. This lets them off the hook for waiting for a quick reply, and it affords me the space to not be constantly checking my e-mail. It removes the obligation of a quick response, on both sides.
  • HootSuite: This program saves me — one of its features is message scheduling. I can schedule tweets and messages days or even a couple weeks in advance, so when I log onto Twitter or Facebook, it’s all playtime — catching up and being silly with friends, checking out interesting links. Engaging with people in a mindful way: being present with them and not think ‘Oh I need to tweet this post’ or something along those lines. And your presence is powerful.
  • Unplugging: I recently decided on a no-Internet after work policy. I don’t turn on the computer, I don’t even open it. I went so far and removed the Facebook and HootSuite apps from my Droid. I have to tell you, it’s a lot quieter now. I’m not constantly checking to see if the little LED light is blinking at me, instead I’m rooted to my yoga mat or writing in a paper journal or sharing a conversation on the phone. I’m connecting with the people, things and dreams that live in my heart.

Because I know that when I practice these things, I feel calmer and more centered, I’m not drained or fatigued. I know that then I’m giving you the best of me, the best of what I am. You deserve no less than that, and neither do I.

Image Credit: Balance, originally uploaded by PiscesDreamer


Truth, Love & Insight

Look Through

Insight, I believe, refers to the depth of understanding
that comes by setting experiences,
yours and mine, familiar and exotic, new and old,
side by side, learning by letting them speak to one another.
(Mary Catherine Bateson)

Do you ever stop and think about what it would be like if all us — bloggers, blog readers and other online adventurers — lived in the same neighborhood?

We could meet up at the coffee shop. We would bump into each other at the grocery store. We would go shopping, decorate our homes and play with make up together. We’d borrow each other’s books, share music and cook meals together. When someone new moved in, we would have a big block party to welcome them.

In a lot of ways, the web is like a big city with many different neighborhoods. I’ve referred to (and heard others call it) this community. That’s what it is, isn’t it? A lovely, welcoming and inspiring community.

Sometimes if you feel like you’re on the outside, it is hard to know how accessible the entrepreneurs, creatives, authors, artists, musicians and muses who frequent our community really are. It has been my experience that a few wholehearted tweets and well-worded emails can take you far in connecting with some truly amazing people, some of whom may be your heros.

I’m kicking off a new series, similar to Sparklista Sundays if you were a reader back then. The idea is to bring us a little closer to meeting ’round a table with delicious cups of coffee on hand. My first interview is with the truly inspiring Tara Gentile. Check out her site and come back next Wednesday to read her rock star insights.

Now, I have a huge favor to ask of you my dear friends. Who do you want me to interview for future Truth, Love & Insight interviews? I am eager to connect with those heros, entrepreneurs, creatives, authors, artists, musicians and muses I mentioned earlier.

Let me know if you have an inside connection — or if there’s someone you’ve been dreaming to learn more about!

Image Credit: Untitled by Hillary Boles


Blogs of Interest

Pink Blog Reading

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it.
The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
(Nikos Kazantzakis)

I love to search the internet for creative resources. It’s one of the activities that drew me to blogging in the first place. On its best days, the internet is like an enchanted forest filled with magic, fairy dust and tons of inspiration.

Recently, I started following a fresh set of blogs. What began as an afternoon of clicking through blog rolls and subscribing in Google Reader has turned into a fascination with some incredibly talented women. The list below is comprised of business mavens, creative foodies and artfully inspirational types — many of whom fit into all three categories.

Blogs of Interest

If these bloggers are new to you, peruse their sites to see if their brands of sparkle inspire you. If you’ve known about them all along, shame on you for not telling me of their brillance… just kidding! Either way, give them a lil’ love on Twitter by clicking their @names.

Oh So Beautiful Paper ~ @beautifulpaper
Journal Girl ~ @samanthakira
Oh Joy!@ohjoystudio
This & That ~ @sara_

Your Wishcake ~ @yourwishcake
enJOY it ~ @eliseblaha
Kyla Roma ~ @kylaroma
Penelope Trunk ~ @penelopetrunk

With Style & Grace ~ @WithStyleGrace
A Cozy Kitchen ~ @acozykitchen
Eat, Live, Run ~ @EatLiveRun
Simply Breakfast ~ @simplybreakfast


Image Credit: via we♥it


Reverb 10.7 Aiming for a Perfect Blend


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
(Jane Howard)

Reverb 10.7 – Prompt from December 7, 2010 (Cali Harris)

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This year was a little wild. I changed jobs, shifted gears, and took on new projects. Through this evolution, I felt my web presence fluctuate. When responsibilities offline took priority, I felt like I was neglecting something important.

Last year I was lonely and craving sparkle. I launched kaileenelise.com and quickly found my soul sisters.

This year has been different and anything but lonely. I’ve established some great connections with coworkers. I have deepened in my love for my mister. The community I discovered this year was right in front of me—waiting patiently for me to step away from my laptop.

One of my motivations behind becoming 1/3 of Reverb 10‘s HQ was to rediscover the magic of the interwebs. The response and love for our project have been astounding—and even if I had an extra 7 hours each day, I could still use more time to connect with fellow Reverbers.

Looking towards 2011, I hope to have a better blend of offline and online community. I intend to make connections that span both worlds—meeting up with people I’ve fallen in love with via Twitter and blogging & inviting my friends who I know IRL to jump online.

Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image credit: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! via WeHeartIt


10 Websites I Adore

pink macbook

Do what you love and the necessary resources will follow.
(Peter McWilliams)

Hello lovelies! How is your week going so far? With the holiday on Monday, mine seems to be flying by at record pace. After a month of blogging daily, I can’t believe that my 32 Days of Sparkle is almost complete. Friday marks my 1-Year Blogiversary. Crazy times.

Throughout the past year, I’ve cultivated a list of websites that I visit often. These web-resources make my days brighter, more efficient and full of sparkle. Take a look, and let me know if I’m missing any that you adore!

  1. bit.ly – my link shortener of choice, love the stats
  2. Epicurious – go-to site for recipes & menus
  3. Etsy – a site full of inspiration
  4. Flickr – the creative commons search is a goldmine
  5. Google Reader – some people watch the news, I read blogs
  6. InterfaceLIFT – perfect desktop and mobile wallpapers
  7. Mint – personal finance, tracked in pretty graphics
  8. Pandora Radio – a brilliant resource to find new music
  9. Twitter – my favorite social web
  10. We Heart It – an evolving catalog of beautiful images

image credit: weheartit


Daily Digests – A Month of Social Web Safari

zebra love

Monitor, engage, and be transparent;
these have always been the keys to success in the digital space.
(Dallas Lawrence)

July was a hot, summery month full of humidity, interesting opportunities and weekends away. A major highlight was when my mentor @gwenbell approached me with a simple request—while she unplugged for a month-long digital sabbatical, I was invited to send her updates (or daily digests) on the net’s happenings.

I jumped at the chance to be her eyes on the inside, and welcomed a reason to reconnect with this place I love. Since starting my new job in February, I’ve spent significantly less time online—evidence that when some of my burners are running hot, the others cool down. As a result, I have been unsatisfied with my lack of connection.

Today is Gwen’s reentry to our web society. In celebration of her homecoming, I’m sharing snippets of July’s Daily Digests:

7/2/10: Slate had a contest to see who could represent the essence of the Declaration of Independence in a single tweet.

7/3/10: Fast Company featured an interesting article about the 20% of Twitterers who are categorized as “informers”. This small group of people tweet useful information, while the rest are narcissists.

7/6/10: A smart “Happiness Flow Chart” floated around today, it’s simple and smart.

7/7/10: 8 Ways to Become More Confident + this quote:
With realization of one’s own potential & self confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world. (Dalai Lama)

7/8/10: A friendly office request, misinterpreted.

7/9/10: Fun can change behavior for the better, happy messages in chalk, and innovations in marketing.

7/12/10: Paper Tweets are the next best thing for social media gurus on sabbatical.

7/14/10: Old Spice took the social web by storm in a start-up-weekend-esque stunt.

7/15/10: What are your 7 links?

7/21/10: Daily thank-you notes… a lovely exercise in gratitude.

7/22/10: ‘500 Days of Summer’ inspiration turned into romantic reality.

7/23/10: 10 Rules for Brilliant Women.

7/24/10: 10 Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life.

7/26/10: The State of the Internet, 5 months ago.

7/29/10: Most of the time, it’s not enough to be better. You need to be different.

These bits and bytes are a sort of time capsule of my social web safari from July. I’m thankful for the experience and am happy to have participated in a slice of Gwen’s sabbatical. After spending July logged offline and checked into real life, she’s got some serious wisdom to share.

image credit: via weheartit


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