Archive for the ‘Smart Pretty and Awkward’ Category

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it” — Author Unknown

How to be Smarter: Making a decision is climbing a diving board. Realizing you have a choice to make is walking up to the ladder; figuring out your options are the steps of the ladder; considering each option’s pros and cons is walking down the board; standing at the end of the board is the time when you really think about your choice and if it is what you want; and jumping is making that choice. If you try to jump off the diving board before you’ve reached the end of the board, the decision probably won’t turn out into the perfect swan dive you want.

How to be Prettier: One of my closest friends gave me this necklace as a Christmas gift, and I haven’t taken it off since.

How to be (less) Awkward: Pretty cool language application demonstration.

“Be very strong… be very methodical in your life if you want to be a champion” — Alberto Juantorena

How to be Smarter: Relationships with upstanding, decent people should be celebrated and shared, not hidden. If you are embarrassed to tell your mom who you are dating, it is probably a bad idea to be dating them.

How to be Prettier: The longer you can sit with your hands under the dryer at the salon, the longer your polish stays on without chipping. (This has long been my hypothesis, but a recent four week-long study with myself as the subject confirmed this).

How to be (less) Awkward: Snuggly gag gift for sushi lovers.

“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow” — Charlotte Brontë

How to be Smarter: When you first get in the ocean, the water is usually really cold and uncomfortable until you duck your head under. As soon as your head is under, the water usually starts to feel warmer. Sometimes when you first try new activities, jobs, or majors,  they can be really cold-feeling and uncomfortable until you make a commitment to fully immerse yourself in your new environment. To reach out and make new friends in your writing class; to run for office in your film club; to invite a girl in the cubicle next to you out for lunch. In order for nervousness  and uncomfortable feelings to go away, you often have to dive right in and swim around a little until you warm up.

How to be Prettier: Stylish, warm lounging slippers–great for a dad, brother or boyfriend.

How to be (less) Awkward: Just a really great proposal video and story.

“I got tired of playing other people’s songs” — Gregg Allman

How to be Smarter: During reviews at work, it can be helpful to ask your boss on ways you can improve your job performance to convey your investment and interest in the future of the company. This concept of asking for feedback on how you can improve can also be applied to your relationship to show you are invested and interested in the future of your relationship. A simple “how can I be a better partner to you?” said in a sweet, earnest way, can yield surprising answers from your significant other on ways you can better the relationship by bettering yourself.

How to be Prettier: Short little article on the effect of sleep on attractiveness.

How to be (less) Awkward: At a holiday party, if you want to refresh your breath but don’t have gum on you, nibble on a candy cane.

“Say that we tried/And if one of us makes it big/We can spill our regrets” — “Reason Why,” Rachael Yamagata

How to be Smarter: If you’re lying about something important, you will be found out. And if you’re lying and the truth is never found out, it means the issue was unimportant and there was no need to lie to begin with.

How to be Prettier: As I write this, I’m lounging around in this snuggly, cultured sweatshirt.

How to be (less) Awkward: In a pinch, all you really need to do before company comes is clean off the floor, clean off the counter tops, and take out the trash.

“The best way to get a puppy is to beg for a baby brother – and they’ll settle for a puppy every time” — Winston Pendelton

How to be Smarter: It is almost impossible to make fun of your hometown without making fun of the people in it. The people who shaped, loved and helped you grow up–not just your parents but neighbors, elementary school teachers, family friends–they all helped. Making fun of your hometown doesn’t make you look “cool” for outgrowing it, it makes you look ungrateful for not appreciating it.

How to be Prettier: Since everyone already looks kind of silly in earmuffs, but they really do keep you warm without messing up your hair, go unapologetically large and fun with them, especially if you have a neutral-colored coat: here, here and here.

How to be (less) Awkward: When someone goes away to a place you’ve been, it is fun to compare experience. However  before the trip your job is to give helpful advice about the fun you had; after a trip, your job is to listen to the fun they had (not to mention what attractions you think they  missed out on).

“Put your future in good hands – your own” — Author Unknown

How to be Smarter: If you are stuck and can’t think of ideas for how to celebrate a milestone, think back to what you did when you were little. Did you celebrate your tenth birthday at LaserQuest–why don’t you do that for your 10 month with your beau? Was your kindergarten graduation party ladybug-themed–why not have a college graduation brunch with the same color scheme? Parties that were fun when you were little are still fun–maybe more so–as an adult.

How to be Prettier: If you’re going to pluck your eyebrows, do it after a shower when your pores are still open so it hurts less.

How to be (less) Awkward:  At work or at home, no sending huge email attachments unless the person has specifically asked for the material. And even then, double-check before sending so you don’t clog up their entire inbox.

“The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself” — Mark Twain

How to be Smarter: Sometimes people who are rescuing you are doing it by letting you rescue yourself.

How to be Prettier: If you can’t get motivated, feel overwhelmed or are not happy, changing a little piece of your outfit can often change the day. In your work desk or school bag, keep a fun-colored thin cardigan or dangly earrings to whip on if suddenly your current state of mind feels blah.

How to be (less) Awkward: Graphs about life.

“Don’t call the world dirty because you forgot to clean your glasses” — Aaron Hill

How to be Smarter: The more unexpectedly harsher someone is with you is usually directly proportional to the number of personal issues they are dealing with that are unrelated to you.

How to be Prettier: Stocking stuffer for a best friend–great girlie touch to a formal work outfit, or to layer on with gold bangles.

How to be (less) Awkward: Celebrities at My Parties — cute idea and fun to look through.

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them” — Brendan Francis

How to be Smarter: Extremely addicting geography game (Photos of the World is my favorite level).

How to be Prettier: I bought this bag a few months ago as a gift for someone; when it came in the mail, I quickly ordered one for me. The version I ordered was pink/black, which is sold out now, but this bag is a similar styling.

How to be (less) Awkward: When you pull a stick of gum or a mint out of your purse in a group setting, offer one to everyone. If you don’t have enough to share (or just don’t feel like sharing), wait for a moment alone to grab one for yourself.

2 Years.

Two years ago today,  the first SP&A post hit the web.

For the first two months, I told almost no one, but by month 5, I noticed my readership slowly growing. 8 months in, I switched hosting services for a cleaner layout; 10 months in I added merchandise and starting growing the Twitter and Facebook page;  13 months in there was a readership survey;  and at the 20 month mark, I had a little party with my friends.

Many lovely comments from readers, a lot of time spent sitting alone in front of the computer, and 1,260 tips later, we’ve arrived at 2 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
I am really blessed and honored to have you include me in a part of your day.                                                                                                         
I’m also really looking forward to sharing some new and exciting SP&A ventures with you in our upcoming year together!                           

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Enjoy! Just a little house-keeping before tomorrow’s 2 Year Anniversary!

“When a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it” — Edgar Watson Howe

How to be Smarter: Have you ever heard your boss complain? Maybe not. Have you ever heard your boss’s boss complain? Probably not. What about the CEO of your company? Definitely not. The farther up the chain of command you go, the less you hear complaining because it’s the people with the best attitudes that rise to the top. If you want to be at the top of the chain someday, you won’t get there by complaining.

How to be Prettier: I have professed my love for Bandolino shoes before; they are a great blend of affordability, walk-ability, and style. These are a nice mixture of work-appropriate feminine comfort, and they come in a huge variety of colors (I like the brown/dark brown, wine, and black suede).

How to be (less) Awkward: In general, the boyfriend or girlfriend of the driver gets the front seat on long drives; the exception would be if venturing into unfamiliar territory, and another passenger knows the route or area better.

“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways” — Stephen Vincent Benet

How to be Smarter: Sometimes we become so afraid of trying something new, we tell ourselves trying something small that is new will build up our confidence to try something big.  But I really believe that it is the act of making that one big change that can give you the courage to not only conquer that task, but conquer your entire “scary list.” Instead of giving yourself bangs and hoping it will give you the confidence to change jobs, change your job and then cut your bangs for the first day of work.

How to be Prettier: Candy-cane stripes: for work and for play.

How to be (less) Awkward: Sometimes when we see people we know very well, we forget to give them a proper greeting, and instead greet them with “did you bring the package I asked you to?” or “why are you wearing that coat?” But everyone, from siblings to boyfriends (maybe especially siblings and boyfriends), deserve a proper greeting before a snappy comment is said.

“Those who wish to sing, always find a song” — Swedish Proverb

How to be Smarter: To increase the chances of your wallet being returned if you lose it, have a photograph of a baby in it (Source).

How to be Prettier: Having white teeth is one of the quickest ways to appear more pulled-together and youthful. To help your teeth appear whiter, use a lipstick or lip gloss with blue undertones.

How to be (less) Awkward: If you want to be listened to, think about how your words sound to others. Make them interesting with inflection, clearly spoken with enunciation, and intelligent-sounding with word choice.

“And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen” — Terri Guillemets

Happy Thanksgiving!

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was” — Abraham Lincoln

How to be Smarter: When someone posts big news via their Facebook status (“I’m engaged!,” “I got into my dream school!”), instead of responding to that status, write an individual comment congratulating them on their wall. That way when everyone else comments on their status, you will not get 35 notification messages.

How to be Prettier: The most fun an elegant winter hat can be.

How to be (less) Awkward: Daily events to be grateful for.

“You will find the key to success under the alarm clock” — Benjamin Franklin

How to be Smarter: Marriage secrets from two different perspectives; good article to discuss with girlfriends.

How to be Prettier: Occasionally when you and a friend go together to get your nails done, let them chose the color you will wear. They might choose a color you had never considered that looks great, and even if they don’t, it’s still nice to look at your nails for the next week and be reminded of your girls.

How to be (less) Awkward: You can’t worry about the people who don’t like you. You can only try to be the best friend/daughter/sister to the ones who do.

“Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?” — George Gobel

How to be Smarter: Keep your resume fresh by updating it every few months, even if you are not currently looking for a new job. It’s easier to update your resume while you are doing the job each day and your tasks are fresh in your mind, as opposed to after you leave. A good place to start when updating your resume is to read the company’s formal job description for your current job (it might be saved in an email from when you first applied or went on the interview), and then add or subtract so you are only left with your most relevant duties.

How to be Prettier: I bought this minidress–one of my favorites–at a sale event; now it is available online for a sale price as well. It’s pretty short, so I usually wear it as a tunic over skinny jeans with navy boots or flats.

How to be (less) Awkward: A cheap thrill when you’re feeling down is to google all the songs with your name in them, and download the good ones. For other Molly’s: Miss Molly by Bob Wills, Molly’s Lips by Nirvana, and Molly Smiles by You Army.