How to be Smarter: Backing up every opinion statement with at least one fact and one example can help you both get A’s in school papers and make a stronger case in a disagreement with a significant other.
How to be Prettier: If you walk into the bathroom, glance in the mirror and see flat hair, before you duck into the stall throw your hair in a bun on the way tip-top of your head and wrap the elastic tight. Then, after your hands are washed and you are just about to leave, take the elastic out. Your hair being held at the tip-top of your head–even if just for a minute or two–can give it a boost of volume when product is short.
How to be (less) Awkward: Adorable chipmunk in slow motion (there is no sound to the video so you can watch it at work).
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How to be Smarter: If you knew someone you loved would be outside in the cold for a very long time and would not be allowed to wear mittens, you would give them the warmest jacket you could find. Because when someone you love is going through a tough time out of your control, what they need from you is a warm, caring, sweet attitude, not a constant reminder of how cold their fingers must be.
How to be Prettier: In general, shampoo is for the scalp and conditioner is for the ends.
How to be (less) Awkward: When new parents tell you their new baby’s name, the only appropriate response is positive. If you don’t love the name and saying “I love that name!” feels too forced, other things to say that are positive include “I knew the nicest girl/boy in elementary school named that,” “What a great meaning,” or “I can’t wait to buy a bib/diaper bag/dress with the little one’s name on it!”
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How to be Smarter: I think you are in the right career when you are more excited for the panels at a work-related conference than the cocktail hour.
How to be Prettier: I really love items with scalloped edges; it might be because I go through life with a near-constant craving for scallops wrapped in bacon. In the mean time, scalloped edges can be seen here on: initial pendants, mint crop tops, and candy-colored dresses.
How to be (less) Awkward: For guests, it can feel forward to offer suggestions when a host asks what you would like for a meal at their house. But if a host is asking you, it means they haven’t planned the menu yet and are genuinely looking for your input, so please don’t feel shy about speaking up and offering thoughtful feedback on culinary options.
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How to be Smarter: If an opportunity is presented to you that you don’t want, be nice. The world spins funny and something you hate right now could be something you desperately want in a few months or years. Smart people don’t slam doors; they gently shut them with a gracious smile.
How to be Prettier: This blazer is one of my favorites–I’ve worn it for several days in a row, unbuttoned, with the sleeves rolled up (and it’s currently on sale).
How to be (less) Awkward: When you get out of a bus, train, plane, or taxi, it’s nice to thank the driver, conductor, or pilot for the ride, and tell them to travel safely. They work hard to get their passengers to their destination safely all day long, and they probably don’t get told ‘thank you’ enough.
P.S. I was thrilled to be on St. Louis’ KMOV-Channel 4 Morning Program, Great Day St. Louis, on Friday. If you are interested, the clip is here.
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