Occupation: Chief Storyteller and Founder of the travel + lifestyle blog, The JetSet Family.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
Not many people know this, but I really wanted to be a talk show host. I’m pretty sure it started with Phil Donahue running up and down the aisle through the audience. Then it trickled over to Oprah and continued on with Ellen.
I love having conversations, learning about people, and hearing their stories. I want to know everything about them. Their likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, successes, heartbreaks, goals, ambitions, you name it. And if I can help them through something, even better.
I am genuinely interested in finding out their favorite TV shows, favorite bands, favorite foods, and where they want to travel. I want to celebrate them by giving them a platform to share what they want with the whole world. Everyone has a special story, and I believe it should be told.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
My adult career has always revolved around some type of position in marketing or PR. Now my life is all about blogging, social media, and the digital world. It would only make sense that over the years I would work with clients who were successful musicians or in the world of luxury travel.
What do you work toward in your spare time?
Not to get all deep, but life for me is all about figuring out who I am while trying to be the best role model possible for my daughter. I find pure joy in helping her understand and discover at a young age that the sky is, in fact, the limit. She can do anything she wants. There is an entire world out there, and I truly believe if she can dream it, anything is possible.
Any spare time I have is devoted to planning our next adventure. Whether it is cooking classes in Mexico, learning to surf in Panama, going to concerts, or Space Camp in Alabama, I support her dreams introducing to her new things in faraway places. This allows me to live life to the fullest as well, constantly exploring places I’ve never been as well. In just a few weeks we are headed on our first road trip for the summer and we’re both really excited to do things we’ve never done before.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I really don’t think there is a word for what I am. I am WIDE awake at night, but a million times more productive in the wee hours of the morning after very little sleep. I live with anxiety, so insomnia is my bonus roommate.
What are you most proud of?
My daughter. My marriage, My career. My friendships. My peers. The teachers at my daughter’s school. I could go on. I take great pleasure in seeing wonderful things happen to good, deserving people.
What are you known for?
I’m a connector. My brain can tell in a matter of seconds if two people need to meet. Whether it’s because I know they would be great friends, good business associates, fantastic people to seat each other next to at a dinner party, or better yet, matchmaker. I’ve introduced a few couples just because I “knew” and they’re still together almost twenty years later. I can’t explain it, it’s as though my brain is constantly looking for people to pair like it’s a database.
I am also known for my passion for music. Not performing, but listening to it, watching it live, and knowing the verses word for word. When I hear a song I absorb every note. I love going to concerts, and when I go, I need to be right up front with the band in my face. You become extremely spoiled living in Los Angeles because all of the really big bands play super small shows. We’ve seen the Foo Fighters play in someone’s backyard with President Obama, and then Jack White pop up and perform a set at a Farmers’ Market one afternoon. Another time Red Hot Chili Peppers set up shop unannounced on top of a three-story building on the Venice Beach boardwalk at 5 pm, it was awesome. There’s always a great show happening in L.A.
But the best shows? Any show I’m with my 11-year old daughter, Coco. She has the coolest taste in music and schools me all the time. From Led Zeppelin and The Beatles to Arcade Fire and Radiohead, she’s developed on her own such a great taste for music and is an incredible DJ on road trips. When she was 7, she begged us to take her to see Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium, so we did and it was one of the best nights of my life. He played over 40 songs and she knew every word to every song except for one. I was so proud, I thought my heart was going to explode.
What inspires you?
If you haven’t already guessed, my daughter is my world. She inspires me every day to be a better person and to live life to the fullest. I’m also greatly inspired by travel. It doesn’t matter if I’m behind the wheel on a road trip, or seeing a city for the first time, being out of the comfort zone of my home always inspires me instantaneously. I feel the most creative when I’m alone, or off on the sidelines watching, and always when I’m somewhere new. I think that’s why I love traveling, collecting passport stamps, and going on road trips. It’s when I feel most alive.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
This is the hardest request ever. I’m a blogger. I’m not sure there IS anything people don’t know. If someone asks me a question, I have no qualms about answering it. If I haven’t shared it on my blog it’s simply because I don’t think people would be interested.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
As a young girl, I was desperate for a female role model. And Oprah’s words instantly resonated with me at a very young age when I needed it most. I saw the chance at becoming an ambassador for O, Oprah Magazine, as a full-circle opportunity to learn and grow as an individual, and surround myself with others that feel the same way. Talk about full-circle dreams come true.
By surrounding myself with other O Mag Insiders, I have so many examples to pull from and show my daughter examples of not only greatness in the world, and that talent comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes, but how each and every single insider (including her own mom,) is being the positive change they want to see.
Yesterday, I read a quote on Instagram a friend posted, “Your greatest contribution to the universe may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” Being a part of O Mag Insiders allows me to raise my daughter with the help of one of the most impressive villages I have ever met, let alone be a part of.
How do you live your best life?
I live my best life by making mindful choices, thinking long term, counting my blessings, being grateful for everything I have, practicing TM, and celebrating those who have come in my life. I’ve made it a point as an adult to surround myself with an amazing group of people (both men and women,) who keep me grounded, and truly inspire me to be the best I can be.
These “forever” friends are the ones I have grown to love so much and trust most because I’ve been touched by the genuine kindness in their hearts, and seen first hand their strong sense of integrity and staunch values. But most of all, they place caring about the well-being of others before their own social advancement or personal agenda. These are the people I love and cherish.
At home, I’m a slave to dream boards to keep me on track and my sights on the prize. I began creating vision boards for the first time with my family (yes, it’s a family affair,) on January 1st, 2010. I felt this tradition the best way to visually document the course or path I was hoping to take a journey on. I would do one for my personal life, and one for my blogging life, and it’s crazy to look back and see how documenting things, writing them in a journal, and voicing them to the Universe, can really make a difference. Whether it is divine intervention or mind over matter, it’s a great way to work towards your goals and keep your eyes on the prize.
What are you reading now?
I’ve found myself spiraling down a bit of rockstar-slash-Hollywood rabbit hole lately. I’ve been devouring autobiographies back-to-back: Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Can I Say? by Travis Barker of Blink-182, Wildflower by Drew Barrymore, and Almost Interesting by David Spade (I’m a huge SNL fan of that era.) Next up? Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (Dying, and I mean…D-Y-I-N-G to see Springsteen on Broadway,) and Lonely Boy by Sex Pistol, Steve Jones. Oh, and I finally downloaded Bossypants, at the recommendation of the fabulous, Kim-Marie Evans.
What’s a day in the life of Nicole Standley like?
Do you really want to know this? It’s actually rather boring and routine. My days are quite organized but can become completely chaotic at the same time because things are constantly changing. I chose a career in blogging because I wanted to be home after school for my daughter. Raising my daughter is my number one priority, as well as enjoying as much family time possible.
Starting my blog allowed me to set boundaries, and create my own hours which I’ve been doing for the last six years. This grants me the flexibility to work wherever and whenever I please.
A typical day starts around 5:30 am when I grab my phone to make sure nothing major or catastrophic happened while I was asleep. I then reach for my laptop and carefully go through my emails in peace and quiet, deleting junk, and label each one: Red for URGENT, Yellow for RSVP – Invite, and Green for Respond Today. I do this because I only have an hour to glance at emails and write my to-do list before I need to make sure Kiddo is showered, dressed, organized, fed, and ready for school. I also glance at our “Family HQ” calendar to make sure I haven’t missed anything important.
Once Kiddo is gone to school, I grab a caffeinated beverage and head to my office where on days I’m not covering an event, have a client meeting scheduled, or volunteering at school, I’m typing away with my head down, TCB. The next few hours are carefully orchestrated and between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm, I can be found replying to emails, working on presentations, pitching clients, negotiating campaigns, organizing photo shoots, storyboards, and video editing, writing blog posts, working on client projects, writing scripts, billing completed jobs, updating status report and editorial calendar, scheduling social media amplifications, editing photos, creating pins, working on placements for the upcoming weeks, and in addition to my own blogging and social media, I also provide consulting services, strategic analysis, twitter parties for brands and other bloggers.
I will admit, I do take one hour break to nosh on some fruit or salad, and update my to-do list, and catch a quick repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime. Between 2 pm and 3 pm, I edit photos and catch up on a few more emails. Once Kiddo gets home, I am mom again. Well, until homework is complete and I’m waiting for her during theater class, swimming practice, or cotillion. During that time, I work on Pinterest, creating visually appealing pins.
Back at home, it’s dinner time, complete with Kitchen Dance Party, no really. Don’t believe me? Here’s our Spotify playlist! This is our time to forget about school, forget about lessons, homework, and work. This is our family time to just goof off. Needless to say, it’s the best part of the day, and I treasure each moment.
Once Kiddo has been smothered with goodnight hugs + smooches and in bed counting sheep, I spend about one more hour on the computer closing out the day, and catching up on the fun Facebook stuff. Every night is different, some nights I have events, others I’m at a concert, but this is pretty much the norm. And I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Who is Nicole Standley?
Nicole Standley is the award-winning creator of the high-end travel and lifestyle online resource, The JetSet Family. Always up-to-date, and eager to share first-hand experiences, JetSetFam.com features a collection of the very best trends in travel, food + wine, style, entertainment, and high-profile red carpet events.
Considered a highly sought after social media influencer, Nicole Standley, is an OMagInsider influencer, Travel Expert, and brand ambassador for O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine. As a longtime contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Netflix and Hilton Hotel, Nicole was most recently recommended in this month’s Money Magazine cover story: “All the Things You’re Doing Wrong When You Travel” according to Anthony Bourdain, as having a reputable travel blog with strong family travel communities.
The JetSet Family blog: http://jetsetfam.com
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.