How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. I am not sure what words I could say that would accurately convey how strongly I think every 20-something needs to read this book, except to say that if you are 20-something, I couldn’t recommend this book more. [Even my friends that traditionally don't choose non-fiction books really loved this one].
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off their entire order at one of my favorite jewelry sites, Astrid & Miyu, with the discount code molly20. I also did a fun interview with Astrid & Miyu where I talked about some of my favorite pieces and my daily style. [Code expires on 5/28].
How to be (less) Awkward: When I’m over-thinking about a far-off event, I remind myself of the “Weather Rule of Worrying”: no worrying about an event until the event date shows up in the weather forecast.
How to be Smarter: Healthy behaviors do not need to be hidden. They can be kept private, but, if pushed, they do not need to be kept secret. If you have a strong desire to keep something secret, whether it is a relationship, a habit, or a ritual, ask someone trusted for help. A simple sentence,”I’ve been keeping X a secret, and I think I need some help to make the situation a little healthier” is a surprisingly easy, effective way to start the conversation.
How to be Prettier: My new favorite moisturizer product is Vaseline Spray & Go in Cocoa Radiant: you spray it on your skin after a shower and then can put your clothes on right after without staining. [I also have it in Aloe Vera, and while the links go to the product on Amazon, I just buy it directly from the drugstore].
How to be (less) Awkward: Working to develop empathy helps reduce unnecessary annoyances: forcing yourself to think about being in someone else’s shoes is the easiest way to keep yourself from getting worked up over nothing. ["WHY is the cashier going so slow?" turns into "Maybe today is her first day...I'll smile at her so she feels less nervous about messing up"].
How to be Smarter: The quickest way to be unhappy is to be too lazy to do what makes you happy. And using “being scared” as an excuse for not chasing a dream is a form of being lazy: instead of pushing through the feeling of being uncomfortable while you grow bravery, you are choosing not to push anything at all.
How to be Prettier: Love this super-easy blanket crafting idea [I just ordered fun fabric to make a few as gifts].
How to be (less) Awkward: Fun site about the moment you realize someone else is wearing the same thing as you: One of Us Should Change.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. A well-written book with many case studies about both how habits work, and how to change them. [The whole book was great, but the appendix with the chocolate cookie example was probably my favorite part].
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 25% off their entire order at Shop Mamie with the discount code AWKWARDMAMIE . [Exp. 4/30]. Some of my favorites: this chevron dress, this pale pink cozy top, and this metallic skirt.
How to be (less) Awkward: Now awkward, just awesome: Such a great poem.
Also, was thrilled to have a sweet write-up about SP&A on the site This Is Why I Love NY. Click here to see the piece! xo, Molly.
How to be Smarter: The 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list “celebrates women over 40 who are disruptors, role models and makers…creating momentum and changing the world.” Have you nominated someone you know for the list yet? [Nominations close April 30].
How to be Prettier: If you tend to fidget with your hair when you are nervous, pulling it back off your face with a bobby pin or in an updo helps keep the habit under control on dates, public speaking, in jobs interviews, etc.
How to be (less) Awkward: Book Recommendation: Love At First Click by Laurie Davis. I really enjoyed this fab, fun read filled with online dating hints and tricks. The book has tons of easy-to-apply takeaways, whether you’re just thinking about online dating or have been looking for love on the Internet for a long time.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Highly recommend for anyone who either works in or is interested in marketing.
How to be Prettier: Bringing a couple of different types of undergarments from home with you in your purse when you go shopping for summer clothes prevents the need to guess if a certain tank top or sundress would work if only you had the right undergarment on.
How to be (less) Awkward: How not to say the wrong thing. [I LOVE the concept of Ring Theory].
How to be Smarter: 11 Questions to Ask Yourself. [I love #4, #8, and #11].
How to be Prettier: Items Worth Splurging On. [I especially agree with the last one].
How to be (less) Awkward: You do not need to put “aspiring” in front of a creative title. If you write, you’re a writer. If you paint, you’re a painter. If you sing, you’re a singer. To put aspiring in front of a creative label negates the work you are currently doing.
How to be Smarter: You have to be out there to get noticed. You have to volunteer to stand in the spotlight. You have to raise your hand. You have to send the first email. You still might fail to be noticed if you do these things. But you for certain will not be noticed in the dark. Or by staying quiet. Or by waiting for someone else to reach out to you.
How to be Prettier: Love this creative little girl’s method of getting dressed. [Via Already Pretty].
How to be Smarter: A great site to use when you’d like to have some background noise to work but music would be too distracting.
How to be Prettier: I’m about four months into a dry brushing routine, and I’ve been loving it so far. This is the brush I use, and this is a good article that explains what dry brushing is.
How to be (less) Awkward: When feeling uncomfortable in social situations, one of the quickest ways to feel better is to do something action-oriented, like standing up to get a drink, taking a stroll around the party, or opening the menu to look at food options. The longer you stay still feeling nervous, the worst it gets: physically doing something to change the situation takes the focus off your feelings.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: How Will You Measure Your Life?. I was writing down notes on almost every single page, and it would be a fantastic choice for a book club to discuss.
How to be Prettier: By far the best scent of deodorant I’ve found is Dove Go Sleeveless in Beauty Finish. [It is also available at drugstores].
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just fun: Ask A Magic 8-Ball.
How to be Smarter: What is the cost of your bad habits? [Quick, easy-to-use quiz that is surprisingly informative].
How to be Prettier: Super-excited to wear my new spring dress this weekend.
How to be (less) Awkward: A simple word swap makes it easier to say something difficult to someone you love.
How to be Smarter: The Value of a “Family Story.” [I loved this].
How to be Prettier: Layering two different brands of mascara, one coat of each, helps the lashes to stay longer and more defined than using two coats of only one brand.
How to be (less) Awkward: “If you’re a fearful person, chances are you’ve been scared your whole life. But since you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely gotten over some of those fears, maybe even in spite of yourself. That’s worth applauding, even if the fears were of things so mundane you felt you shouldn’t be afraid of them in the first place.” — Great quote from this article.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. It was nice to read something super-current (the book came out last week) so that I could participate in the many online/offline conversations about the book, the author and the topic, which are all getting a lot of media attention right now.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code Reminder: SP&A readers will get 15% off their entire order at Musana Jewerly with the discount code MOLLY15. [Exp. 3/31]. You can see my favorite picks here.
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just adorable: Short-Term Memory Loss Letter from a Best Friend.
How to be Smarter: If you are a glasses-wearer, putting a few business cards in your glasses case ensures you will always have one or two to hand out in an unexpected networking moment.
How to be Prettier: Paper flowers can brighten up any space, no watering or needing to constantly replace withered ones requiring. These are the ones I have sitting on my desk, and Etsy also has tons of options.
How to be (less) Awkward: Hilarious, great infographic about how to chose the right seat at dinner. [Very light profanity].
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin. A rallying read on leadership and the difference one person can make in a movement, with an idea, or to a group of people. I really loved this book and the message. Bonus: the physical size of the book is small and it is written in a mini-chapter format, making it easy to throw in your bag to read between classes or on the train.
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just adorable: Calming Manatee.
How to be Prettier: To spruce up a space, move around the furniture you already have. It does not need to be big changes: just switching the lamps to a new spot in the room or moving an armchair to the opposite corner can give a room a (free!) mini-facelift.
How to be (less) Awkward: No matter how long you can hold your breath underwater, you will always feel the worst right before you surface. The same is true for most challenges: the most uncomfortable part of the experience usually happens the moment before you feel better. If things are hard now, just remind yourself a long, deep breath will be coming soon.
How to be Smarter: Rereading books you already love before bed is a nice way to relax: because you know the plot, there is no need to stay up too late to see what happens next, and you can read in a more relaxing, sleep-inducing way than reading something new where you have to concentrate more.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: I am thrilled to be the March 2013 Ambassador for Musana Jewerly, a non-profit that employs women in Uganda to make jewelry that is sold in the US. All of the profits from the jewelry sales support the artisans’ salaries, as well as educational programming to help the artisans learn English, raise healthy families and start their own businesses. SP&A readers will also get 15% off their entire order with the discount code MOLLY15 for the entire month of March. Happy Shopping!
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just adorable: Tiny Love Stories.