“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken” — Warren Buffett

11/19/2010 - 2 Responses

How to be Smarter: Eight baby-steps equals one big step; remember to chose each baby-step strategically so that it is going in the direction you want the big step to head off into.

How to be Prettier: Keeping your tall leather riding boots shiny and clean makes any pair you own, regardless of price point, look designer.

How to be (less) Awkward: Wishing your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend is horrible doesn’t actually make her horrible; it just makes you kinda mean.

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans” — Kahlil Gibran

11/18/2010 - 5 Responses

How to be Smarter: An easy way to convert webpages to PDFs.

How to be Prettier: Lively tortilla warmers, great to perk up your kitchen or to give as a gift to a chef-inclined friend.

How to be (less) Awkward: Sometimes at work you need to speak loudly to be heard; sometimes in relationships you need to speak softly to be heard.

“A man gives many question marks, however, a woman is a whole mystery” — Diana Stürm

11/17/2010 - 2 Responses

How to be Smarter: If you can’t figure out what you would like to do for a career, pretend you are introducing yourself at a party. Do you want to say “Hi, I’m Molly and I’m a teacher”? “Hi, I’m Molly and I’m a dentist?” or something else? Practice a few different ones; which one makes you feel most confident and excited? Be that one.

How to be Prettier: Everyone always calls a sequined skirt a holiday basic, because, well, it is. This one is reasonably price and not super tight.

How to be (less) Awkward: Friends make you feel comfortable by letting you be yourself. People that make fun of you for not doing things you don’t want to do, are not your friends. And there is a decent chance they were never your friends.

“My mother is a poem I’ll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother” — Sharon Doubiago

11/16/2010 - 6 Responses

How to be Smarter: A book I recommend to get some new ideas flowing in your head: Four Hour Workweek.

How to be Prettier: A really soothing brand of end-of-the day facewipes that are less irritating for the winter. Use only half of a wipe at a time to make the package last longer.

How to be (less) Awkward: I think a cute thing to do when it rains is to look out the window and say, “oh good, a free window washing!”

“Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure” — Earl Wilson

11/15/2010 - 5 Responses

How to be Smarter: A truth: there are more resources available to help you than you can believe, and more people willing to help you than you can believe.

How to be Prettier: I have three holiday parties to go to the first week of December; with the exception of my date, there will be different people at each one, so I am planning on wearing this red dress to all of them. I cannot wait.

How to be (less) Awkward: Buy two or three of these shower caps, wrap them up sweetly, and you have a perfect holiday White Elephant/Yankee Swap gift.

“If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

11/12/2010 - 3 Responses

How to be Smarter: “To illustrate” is a nice alternative to “for example” in school papers.

How to be Prettier: How you feel you look affects your whole day. Five extra minutes in the morning–just five–spent arranging your hair or whitening your teeth or doing your eye makeup–can change the course of your whole day. Spend the time–the 5 minutes of time–for a whole day’s worth of rewards.

How to be (less) Awkward: When at a large group dinner, it can be hard to talk to everyone; your primary responsiblity is to make sure the people to the left, right, and directly across from you are involved in the conversation.

“Other things are just food. But chocolate’s chocolate” – Patrick Skene Catling

11/11/2010 - 2 Responses

How to be Smarter: If you are supportive of the people in your life when they need it, they will be supportive of you when you need it. Build your support network on good days so it is available for you on bad days.

How to be Prettier: My absolute favorite winter hydrating mask, which also happens to smell amazing and be the prettiest pink color.

How to be (less) Awkward: If your significant other exhibits behaviors that a parent would discipline a kid for (not wanting to share, lying, name-calling, or putting down others’ accomplishments), it’s time to think if they should really be your significant other.

“Moving on is a simple thing; what it leaves behind is hard” — Dave Mustaine

11/10/2010 - Leave a Response

How to be Smarter: If you start the month by doing the hardest thing on your to-do list, the month can only get easier after it is completed.

How to be Prettier: A short NY Times piece about the positive effect of wearing red for a first date or in an online dating photo.

How to be (less) Awkward: It’s nearly impossible to make someone else laugh without making yourself happier. If you want to have more fun, make someone else have more fun. It can be as simple as emailing an old inside joke, one you haven’t used in a while, to a friend, while waiting for the ‘hahahaha’  to come back into your inbox.

“You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent them making a nest in your hair” — Chinese Proverb

11/09/2010 - 8 Responses

How to be Smarter: In relationships, the ability to factor the other person’s interests and personality into your own idea of the future, without causing problems in the present, is important. If you have spent your whole life imagining being with a laid-back reader, and you fall in love with an outgoing hiker, you don’t need to pout and cause a fight each time reading quietly on Saturday afternoons is turned into an all-friends-included trip outdoors.  But you can ask yourself: is this the type of Saturday afternoon I’d like to have forever? The idea is to accept the other person for who they are presently, while reconciling this person’s lifestyle choices with your own vision of the future life you’d like to have. From there, it is easier to determine how long the relationship should last.

How to be Prettier: It’s November, so if you’re planning on having an appropriate dress to wear to your own or a significant other’s Thanksgiving meal, now’s the time to start looking. Some of my favorites: here, here and here.

How to be (less) Awkward: iPhone corrections.

“Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess” — Samuel Johnson

11/08/2010 - 7 Responses

How to be Smarter: In every way I can think of, succeeding is less about being the absolute best of the bunch, and more about being the one that absolutely doesn’t give up. Lots of people can say they stayed up late and saw the stars, but a much, much smaller number of people can say they fought through the tiredness and didn’t give in to their comfy bed to stay up to see the sun.

How to be Prettier: A really sweet shoe charm (and a slighty cheeky one).

How to be (less) Awkward: For a quick smile: look up Google Maps directions from Japan to Connecticut; then scroll down to number #27.

“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, ‘You mean they forget?'” — Howard Ikemoto

11/05/2010 - 7 Responses

How to be Smarter: Next time you’re running errands, buy a sheet of stamps and keep it in your wallet. You probably use stamps more often than you realize, and it’s an inconvenience to always be hunting around for them when you want to mail just one letter. Plus, every time you are with someone and they complain they don’t have a stamp, you’ll look like a hero when you pull one out of your purse and present it to them.

How to be Prettier: This is an entire site devoted to brand-name beauty products, all available in 3 fl. ounces or less for airplane travel.

How to be (less) Awkward: If you really wanted a job in marketing, and someone offered you a job in finance, you would not hestiate to tell them thank you, but that’s not what you are looking for. If you really want a committed relationship, and your crush offers you something less than that, you should not hesitate to politely thank them for your time together, but that’s not what you are looking for. This frees you to move on to find someone that wants the same thing you do.

“If you want to be found, stand where the seeker seeks” — Sidney Lanier

11/04/2010 - 3 Responses

How to be Smarter: Once an assignment is out of your hands, instead of worrying about its outcome, turn your attention to the project after it. Thinking ahead is always more productive than hand-wringing.

How to be Prettier: You can wear whatever you have the confidence to wear; if you want to make your closet bigger without spending money, expand your  idea of what you can pull off. Hint: You can pull off more than you currently do.

How to be (less) Awkward: If your boss asks you for coffee or lunch, only talk about business if he or she brings it up first. However, if you are the one to initiate the out-of-the-office meeting, you can bring up business first if that’s what’s on your mind.

“If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eyed Joe, I’d been married long time ago” — Cotton-Eyed Joe (Various Artists)

11/03/2010 - 7 Responses

How to be Smarter: When you take a test, teachers always tell you to fill out what you do know first, and then go back for the rest. Right now, depending on the stage of life you are in, you don’t have to know exactly what to get a degree in, exactly where to study abroad, exactly what types of jobs to interview for, exactly where to live out of college, exactly what type of pet to get, exactly who to marry, exactly how many kids to have, or even exactly who to invite to Prom. Fill in the blanks you do know now (you want a degree in medicine! you want to live in California after graduation! golden retrievers rock!), read the sentence of your life again, and the other blanks might become easier to fill in (San Diego has good med schools with enough parks for dogs!).

How to be Prettier: I own a pair of these; warmest socks ever to wear under tall boots.

How to be (less) Awkward: Ready-made playlists to listen to while you work. I especially like “Finding  Joy.”

“To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one’s freedom” — Andre Gide

11/02/2010 - 7 Responses

How to be Smarter: If you get up everyday, do something you feel is meaningful, and try your best at being your best, your part of the world will get better. And if we all do that, the whole world gets better.

How to be Prettier: Darker tights lengthen the leg more than paler colors, so white tights are best worn with heels.

How to be (less) Awkward: Start each day like this.

Happy 23 Months!

11/01/2010 - 8 Responses

Happy 23 Months!

“Earth laughs in flowers” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

10/29/2010 - 5 Responses

How to be Smarter: Before you sign something legally-binding, read it the whole thing. Start at page 1, and go until the end. If you have a question or something looks fishy, ask for clarification–because your credit score or potential extra fees are more important than your landlord looking at you funny while you read the whole thing.

How to be Prettier: Drinking iced green tea can help improve a red or blotchy complexion (Source).

How to be (less) Awkward: Literally any stuffed animal you want can be bought off this site. This huge seal is adorable, but it’s this giraffe that I own and is sitting on my end of my bed looking at me as I write this post.

“I was at this restaurant. The sign said ‘Breakfast Anytime.’ So I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance” — Steven Wright

10/28/2010 - 7 Responses

How to be Smarter: You can’t be a person who yells. Boys don’t like to date girls that yell; girls don’t like to be friends with other girls who yell; family members don’t like to talk to other family members who yell; co-workers don’t want people on their team that yell. Nobody, nobody, nobody likes the ones that yell.

How to be Prettier: I just received in the mail my large, dangly butterfly earrings I ordered from this shop; they are lovely. I’m going to wear them with a streamlined dress so they really stand out.

How to be (less) Awkward: Amazing soaps for breakfast-lovers.

“I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it” — Harry Emerson Fosdick

10/27/2010 - 4 Responses

How to be Smarter: When buying new furniture from a specific brand, find a set of drawers from the desired label, pull the drawer out, and try to wiggle it. In general, the more it wiggles, the less sturdy and less well-made the brand’s furniture is built.

How to be Prettier: Clothes that make you wish you looked differently do not belong in your closet. Give negative-energy pieces away; when you open your closet doors you should see wonderful possibilities for outfits that make you feel confident and happy, not numbers on a scale from 3 years ago.

How to be (less) Awkward:  In general, call people by the name they introduce themselves as. If Harry’s mom says “Hi, I’m Emily,” you can call Harry’s mom Emily. But if she says “Hi, I’m Mrs. Allen,” then call her Mrs. Allen.

“Forever is composed of nows” — Emily Dickinson

10/26/2010 - 3 Responses

How to be Smarter: We reach back to boys from our past when boys in our present aren’t working for us. Seriously thinking (not just fondly reminiscing) about past relationships means something big needs to change in your current one.

How to be Prettier: I just love everything–everything–about this dress. I’d wear it with a black collarless blazer and tip-toe tall heels.

How to be (less) Awkward: If you’re having a bad day, and you find yourself getting cranky at someone who doesn’t deserve it, don’t lash out–just think of them as a pampered poodle. It’s pretty hard to say something mean to someone while you’re busy imagining them as a cute, spoiled cuddly little pup.