Molly Ford's
Smart, Pretty & Awkward

How to be Smarter: “It’s important to remember that free time doesn’t have to be available time. In other words, just because Wednesday night is empty on your calendar, doesn’t mean you have to say ‘yes’ when your co-worker asks you to go to an event with her. It’s important to remind yourself that you can turn invitations down for no other reason than you want that time to yourself, that your free time can be just that—free. ” — Great tip from this article about work/life balance.

How to be Prettier: When you go on a beach vacation, make sure to bring make-up, especially concealor/foundation, that will work both pre- and post- getting some sun.

How to be (less) Awkward: Some people get their nails done once a week, some once a month, and some once a lifetime. Remember that even if this is just another part of your weekly beauty routine, for some people sitting around you at the salon, this a big indulgence. Let them enjoy their splurge without you talking on a cell phone next to them, and let yourself enjoy the process without the outside world butting in via calls, plus avoid the worry of handling the phone with wet nails.

July 1, 2014

How to be Smarter: When you are networking with someone, either in person or by email, end the conversation with “do you know anyone else who might also be good for me to talk to?” This simple question allows your network to grow organically through connections and introductions by those you already know.

How to be Prettier: If you are not sure what color to get something in when decorating, going with white, black, or your favorite color is usually a safe bet.

How to be (less) Awkward: When giving criticism to someone, avoid adding words like “extremely,” “really,” or “very” in front of the adjective. A simple example would be “this was bad” versus “this was very bad.” Adding a superlative to the front of negative word doesn’t do anything but make the person feel worse.

This was originally written for Parade magazine; you can read all my Parade columns here. xo, Molly

June 30, 2014

How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. Whether you love fashion, want some entrepreneurship inspiration, or just want a kick-in-the-pants to go after your dreams, this is the book for you.

How to be Prettier: While washing dishes, put hand moisturizer on before putting on the dish gloves; by the time you’re done, the moisturizer will have absorbed into your skin. – Source, with other tips for tackling chore lists.

How to be (less) Awkward: Love the idea of applying this to school or workplace hallways: “Marriott Hotels has a ’15-5 rule’ for its employees. Whenever an employee comes within 15 feet of anyone in the hotel, they must acknowledge the guest with eye contact or a friendly nod. If the person comes within five feet, then the employee must smile and say hello.” — Source, with 5 other great tips for turning strangers into connections.

June 27, 2014

How to be Smarter: I really love this commencement speech by Shonda Rhimes - highly recommend reading. One of my favorite lines: “My dreams did not come true. But I worked really hard. And I ended up building an empire out of my imagination. So my dreams? Can suck it.”

How to be Prettier: Great tips on how to do easy faux calligraphy for special notes.

How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just adorable: a modern-day mix tape. [Would be a super fun gift for an anniversary or birthday].

June 24, 2014

How to be Smarter: Sometimes choices have already been made, and so the type of advice needed is really support for the direction you have decided to move in. If a decision has been made, instead of asking a friend “for advice” ask them “for support”; this changes the conversation from ways you could have managed the situation differently to support for the way you have decided to go.

How to be Prettier: Blow dry your hair in a different room than the bathroom; the moisture in the air left over from your bath/shower usually makes the drying process take even longer.

How to be (less) Awkward: A paradox of feeling comfortable at social events is that doing things that feel uncomfortable in the short-term actually make you more comfortable in the long-term. Saying hi to someone new is very nerve-wracking the first five times, but by the 15th time, it’s much easier. If networking or meeting new people makes you nervous, remind yourself that doing something that feels scary at this moment will make it much easier the next time so you won’t have to feel this way again – it will get better.

This was originally written for Parade magazine; you can read all my Parade columns here. xo, Molly

June 23, 2014
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