Dashingly Elevating

It's all messy. The hair. The bed. The words. The heart. Life. ~ William Leal

Friday, February 28, 2014

Outfit Post: Leather Pencil Skirt and Cashmere Sweater

This day was such a beautiful day, it felt like spring. Nice sun, 54 degrees and sometimes even a blue sky. Nevertheless, it's nice to wear a true winter-ish outfit. This real leather pencil skirt is from Mango with a super soft cashmere sweater from H&M. I like it when you can buy true leather items and real cashmere for a reasonable price. Shoes are from Steve Madden and Zara necklace.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

What NOT To Do During A Meeting

Meetings can be interesting, helpful, long and boring or short and sweet. Here are some things NOT to do during your next meeting:

  • Drink all the water/coffee and not refill it. I always keep my own bottle of water. So no sharing a can for me.
  • Not taking notes. Or have at least pen and paper in front of you. You won't look engaged or look like you want to learn anything.
  • Eat breakfast. Or eat anything at all during a meeting. You won't look interested or engaged. We don't want to wait until your mouth is empty before you can talk and we really don't watch (or hear) you chew. Of course, when lunch or dinner is involved, this does not apply. But anyway, swallow before you speak.
  • Chew chewing gum. Read above.
  • Keep on talking, while you're not the person holding the meeting. OK, meetings is about being engaged, but make sure the person holding the meeting is actually saying more than you are.
  • Being quiet. When everyone is sharing ideas and you're just staring at your empty page, it won't be unnoticed. Please remember, there're no bad ideas, we're all there for learning.
  • Constantly looking/typing at your mobile/laptop. If it can wait for an hour, leave it. You're distracting and irritating others.
  • Not asking any questions. Now is the time. Don't be shy, ask your question!
Picture source

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

World Economic Forum: Discussion on Gender-driven Growth

Finding the World Economic Forum last month, I made a post about Inspiring Quotes from the event. I also said I would write more on Davos.

Today I want to share a video-session on 'Gender-driven Growth' I watched earlier this week. They start with the opening question: "Should women be running the world economy?"

"Women, 51% of the world’s population, are growing impatient with the ongoing debate about closing the gender gap. Speaking at a session on Gender-driven Growth at the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, panellists said action is needed, and that examples from progressive businesses and countries have demonstrated women’s potential impact.
Promoting more women to leadership roles and creating environments more conducive to women’s input makes good sense from the perspective of business, politics and ethics."

Among the speakers is Sheryl Sandberg and I always I'm always inspired by her and I like to listen to her.

Please watch the video below:

You can find the original article here.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Christine Lagarde
Linda Yueh
Sheryl Sandberg      
Carlos Ghosn


Monday, February 24, 2014

Outfit Post: Blue Dress

Wearing a blue dress from Cos instead of my normal black. To add more color which I don't do that often as well, I added a green scarf. Also from Cos. Shoes from Dune.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Article to Read: 7 Career Cues We Can Take From Olympians

Just a few more days to go, but I'm really enjoy watching the Olympics since the openings. I don't only watch speed skating when it airs on a weekend, but I also watch figure skating and hockey during my lunch break workout. I find it kind of calming that when I come home and have to do my homework, I have the Olympics on the background. Every two years I get excited for the Olympics and I cheer for my country like they can hear me from my couch. Especially for speed skating!

I found this great article by Levo League about career cues we can take from the Olympians we all deeply admire, which you can use in your own job field:

  1. Brand Yourself 
  2. Practice Makes Perfect 
  3. No One Likes a Sore Loser
  4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
  5. Find a Coach
  6. Get Back Up When You Fall
  7. Don’t Settle for Silver, Go For Gold

I also try to keep up with how other countries are doing and watch sports the Netherlands doesn't compete in or sports I've never heard about. Have you ever heard of Biathlon? It's a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Wow.

One topic that's brought up a lot is how the Dutch are doing in speed skating and short track skating. I came around this article from WSJ "In Sochi, the Dutch Are Dominating the Overall Olympic Medal Count". It went viral on the website and the comments were not so nice from Dutch nor American side. Then the author came up with this open letter: "Dear Dutch: Please Forgive Me". Thought is was so funny, and Matthew Futterman didn't even need to apologize in my opinion. ;-)

What are/where some of your favorite sports to watch?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Communications 101: How to Create a Crisis Plan

When you work in communications you need to know how to act in a crisis situation. Whether you work in PR, the communications department of your company, or maybe have a business of your own. In a crisis situation a problem occurred that can severely damage the image of your organization or the trust of the product.

A crisis plan has the following guidelines:
  • it should be clear who the spokesperson is;
  • make sure the spokesperson is always available;
  • decide who the members of the crisis team are;
  • determine who're the most important internal and external audience groups;
  • decide on with which resource you can reach you target groups the best;
  • make address lists from internal stakeholders and press;
  • arrange an internal pressroom;
  • arrange an internal or external call center for questions;
  • make sure all e-mails will be answered quickly.

Tasks from PR or a communications officer during a crisis:
  • keep a diary/logbook from the start, so that it's clear who is doing what;
  • contact with the press: who is the spokesman, make a schedule when you'll have the press conference, collect all the news that will appear on the crisis;
  • contact with the callers: have a special number for the crisis situation, there should be an answer script from the start, all questions should be noted;
  • contact with the e-mailers: have people answer e-mail outside office hours, have a list ready with most common Q&A.

Make sure that, if you ever have a crisis situation, to evaluate the crisis and crisis plan your organization had. What went well? On which point could you improve?
After this, you can update the crisis plan.

Picture source


Monday, February 17, 2014

Celebrate Everyday Moments

For me, this winter never seems to end. Ok, the days are getting longer again and temperature wise, we in the Netherlands could never complain this season. Nonetheless, it feels so cold and the wind makes it worse. Just feeling a little 'blegh' lately. This time of year I feel like I've nothing to look forward to. No exciting vacation coming up and Easter is too far away to even think of chocolate Easter eggs.

So I came up with a few ways to celebrate the little moments of your everyday. Who says a celebration should be marked on your calendar? Just make them up!

  • By the end of a long working day, celebrate you're one day closer to the weekend by indulging into your favorite dessert.
  • Easter is just too far away but why not celebrate all those weird holidays like "open that bottle night""pancake day" or  what about "lips appreciation day"
  • A colleague reminded me that the start of spring is just six weeks away! Ha! Celebrate the countdown with a walk outside, an ice cream or fruity cocktail completed with an umbrella.
  • Eat the cake! It's always someone's birthday somewhere. ;-)
  • Celebrate Wednesday. I overheard a colleague say: "Hey man, it's the middle of the week, why not go out for a drink and celebrate?" He totally got it.
  • When you finally finished your essay/homework/chores, get up, put on your favorite song and dance! Super easy way to celebrate and to feel happy!
What is your idea of celebrating everyday moments?

Picture source

Friday, February 14, 2014

Outfit Post: Tartan Pant & Color Block Heels

I've been meaning to wear something tartan all winter long. This Zara tartan pant feels like a neutral, which can be combined with color or white or black. Heels are black & white color block from Zara and sweater with lace details on the shoulder from Mango.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Exclusive Look Inside ‘Porter’ Magazine from Net-a-Porter

Business of Fashion gives us an exclusive look in the new magazine 'Porter' of Net-a-Porter.
Porter cover featuring Gisele Bündchen shot by Inez & Vinoodh
"BoF’s Imran Amed sat down with Net-a-Porter Group founder and executive chairman Natalie Massenet, Porter editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans, and publishing director Tess Macleod Smith to understand the thinking behind the launch and how Net-a-Porter’s new print product — which will be published 6 times a year and costs $9.99 (four dollars more than American Vogue) — is doing things differently in the crowded and highly competitive market for women’s fashion magazines."
Watch the full interview below:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NYFW: Runway Looks of DKNY RTW Fall 2014

Last Sunday at 7 PM Amsterdam time I watched the DKNY show live from my laptop as I do every season. I loved the diversity of the models and the video they played beforehand. The models talking about New York and how they got there. Awesome Donna Karan, you nailed it. And happy 30th!

Here are some of my favorite looks from the runway:

Pictures via WWD.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

5 Romantic Date Ideas for Cold Winter Days

Valentine's Day is this Friday! Need some last minute shopping ideas for yourself/bestie? Look no further and click here. What will you do on Valentine's day? Cook dinner? Go to the movies? Going out for dinner?
Here are some romantic date ideas that will warm you both up during this cold winter!

  1. Take a cooking class: This is one is on my bucket list to go on for a date. You can cook something spicy to heat things up, or make a sweet chocolate dessert. While learning new recipes, you're working together so getting closer and having fun.
  2. Ice skating: I think it's one of the romantic winter dates to do, especially at night. You can see the beautiful city lights and enjoy other skaters around you. Can't skate? How sweet of him to learn you and for him to pick you up after you fell! Also: you can warm up after with some hot chocolate. Romantic note: a colleague of mine asked his girlfriend to marry him in the middle of the ice skating rink on Rockefeller Center in NYC back in December. Awhh!!
  3. A walk in the woods: Is ice skating a little too daring for you? How about a nice walk in nature? Holding hands while breathing fresh air and walking through the woods (or park) with your date is romantic and great for talking and wandering.
  4. Take a dance class: This one will surely make you warm! You'll be inside (plus), can wear a lovely flowing dress (plus) and requires you and your date to work together on something new! Try for Salsa or one of the other classic couple dances.
  5. Go to the zoo: A few weeks ago my friend took her date to the zoo and they had a great time. I think this nice date idea whether you just start dating (there's always an animal to talk about) or to go with your long-term boyfriend. Is there anything more cute and laid back to look at lovely animals?
Picture source

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 career tips to take you to the top

Great read about tips that can take your career sky high from Mrs. Moneypenny. I wrote about her before and then I came across this article.

1.      Get some qualifications
2.      Build a network
3.      Never think that it’s too late
4.      Learn to say no
5.      You can’t have it all
6.      Be prepared to do more than a man
7.      Control your own finances
8.      Do something outside work and your family
9.      Promote yourself
10.  You can’t do it alone

You can read the whole article here.
Author: Mrs. Moneypenny

Friday, February 7, 2014

Outfit Inspiration: Winter White

Wearing white in winter might not seem your first choice, but I think it's so chic. I've worn white dresses or black & white dresses in winter, but I've never tried the white pants before. After getting inspired on Pinterest, I'm actually trigger to wear white pants during winter! What do you think of a winter white outfit?


 Picture source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chinese Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Yesterday in the city, the celebration of the Chinese New Year was unavoidable. Little China was colored in red and yellow, showed a human danced dragon and of course, fireworks. Even high up in our office, we could hear the celebrations!
Last week a friend and I looked up on the internet the meaning of the animal in which year we were born. I was born in the year of the Dragon and I must say, I think I can really find myself in the description of the dragon. I also read the description of my friend's animal, and she could totally find herself in hers!

Here are some nice websites you can look up your animal and find out a little bit more about your Chinese astrology sign.

Chinese Astrology: you can also look up which element you are (I'm earth).

The Chinese Zodiac: you can check your colors, lucky numbers and lucky flower.

Astrology.com: where you can find your season, direction and associated sun sign.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine Gift Ideas

Valentine is the sweet made up holiday that makes the winter cold just a little bit more bearable. whether you're in a relationship, just started dating, or single, Valentine is the day to bring some more love into your day and remind yourself how much love you have around you.
Here are some gift ideas for yourself, your best friend, mom or for your guy so you can drop him a hint. ;-)

  1. Chanel lip gloss
  2. Charbonnel et Walker - Milk & Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles
  3. Charm & Chain - mini lace monogram necklace, rose gold
  4. Kate Spade - eat cake for breakfast mug
  5. Prada - 'Candy' Eau de Parfum Spray
  6. Minnetonka - 'Cally' Slipper
  7. Victoria's Secret: - 'Such a Flirt' deep-softening body butter
  8. Jonathan Adler  - Victorian Lust Pillow
  9. Kate Spade - Valentine's Day bangle


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Interview to Read: The Overlooked Aspects of Success

When I was on LinkedIn this weekend, I came across this interview and I thought to share it on my blog. Carley Roney from The Knot talks about how she combines her career and personal life, how to define your own brand and to cheer on other women at work.

"LinkedIn: What is the single most necessary ingredient for success?
Roney: I think the single most important ingredient for success is actually being smart about what you’re doing. You don’t have to know it because you experienced it; you have to know it because you’ve done everything you can to research it.
I also think instinct is really important — being able to hear your own instincts and to trust your gut. If you have it, anything is possible.

LinkedIn: What needs to change for women in the workplace?
Roney: We all need to be each other’s publicists in the workplace because women tend to be a little bit more quiet about their achievements. That not only helps celebrate how amazing us professional women are but it gives people some sort of power to help grow their careers."

I think that Carley Roney has so much energy and I really enjoyed watching and reading about her.

Full article


Monday, February 3, 2014

Career 101: The Elevator Pitch

You've probably heard of the term 'elevator pitch' before. A little presentation where you tell about yourself and in what you're good in. This in 60 seconds, as if you could pitch yourself to the big CEO of your company when you meet him or her in the elevator. Or when you're at a party or exhibition and someone asks you what you do.

What should be in an elevator pitch?

  • who are you?
  • what is your idea (goal/solution)?
  • why are you better than others (advantages)?
  • what do you want from your listener?

A way to build your pitch is to use the AIDA model"

Attention - the goal is to get the attention (awareness) of the listener
Interest -  try to bring positive aspects to subject
Desire - let the listener want your idea and sell yourself
Action - convince the listener that he needs you for that project/position/organization

The idea of the elevator pitch is that the person you're talking to (the listener) is going to contact you for some kind of meeting or a phone call. At the end of the elevator ride (or when you're running out of time), you can give him your business card or contact details.

Helpful tips:

  • start with an great opening so that the listener keeps listening and gets interested
  • tell one or two of your unique qualities by telling an example
  • do you have a website or LinkedIn? Tell about it
  • end with a question so the conversation doesn't stop abruptly

Picture source
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