How to be Smarter: When you ask for help, ask for something specific. It is easier for someone to help you if they are given a specific project, item, or task to focus on. “I really need some help around here!” is a lot harder request to fulfill than “could you help me by chopping these vegetables?”.
How to be Prettier: This article has many ideas for how to pare down your stuff to beautify a room. [My favorite is the last one, "Opt for a Trial Separation."].
How to be (less) Awkward: Great examples of smart questions to ask in a job interview.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Powered by Happy by Beth Thomas. The book’s subtitle is “How to Get and Stay Happy at Work,” but the strategies shared apply to all aspects of life, both in and out of the office. The book is a relatively quick read, and it’s small size and short-chapter format makes it easy to toss into your bag and read on your commute to start the day off right.
How to be Prettier: A fall-inspired nail polish quiz.
How to be (less) Awkward: This post has lots of helpful tips on traveling well with others.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get free shipping off your entire order at the sweet jewelry store Anemone Jewelry with the discount code PrettierFS. The tube bracelet section is especially beautiful. Enjoy! [Expires 12/31/2013].
How to be (less) Awkward: If you find group meetings to be overwhelming, offer to be the notetaker. Having a defined purpose can be helpful in structuring your involvement so you feel less unsure of how much or little to participate, and being the one to record the key points of the conversation to distribute to the team after the meeting keeps you as an integral and valuable part of the project.
How to be Smarter: When you need to say no, say “I don’t do X” instead of “I can’t do X.”
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off your entire order at the adorable jewelry, stationery, & gifts store Compliment with the discount code SPA20. I adore the sweet stationery like this card, and also this gorgeous autumn ring. Plus, it’s wonderful that a portion of every sale goes to a scholarship fund for first-generation college students. Enjoy! [Expires 10/18/2013].
How to be (less) Awkward: How to introduce people.
How to be Smarter: How to beat jet lag.
How to be Prettier: Good selection of fall work clothes, with the highest price point being $100.
How to be (less) Awkward: Question to ask to spark a fun conversation: “Were you ever in a fan club?” [I totally was in the Babysitters Club Fan Club when I was a kid!]
How to be Prettier: An easy [slightly funny] way to keep lipstick off your drinking glass.
How to be (less) Awkward: When in doubt what to do or say, start with “thank you.” Thank you for letting me squeeze by you on this crowded bus. Thank you for listening. Thank you for interviewing me. Thank you for taking my call. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for holding the elevator. Thank you for bringing me home taco salad. Thank you for being my mom. There is never a bad time or the wrong place to say “thank you.”
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. A jam-packed read about how others live their lives, full of great ideas to adapt or modify so you can live your best life.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 15% off your entire purchase at the home decor store 90 Proof Designs with the discount code prettier15. [My kitchen has a chevron theme, so I am definitely eying the Burlap Corkboard for my front hall]. Enjoy!
How to be (less) Awkward: “The only way to become confident is to do things that frighten you. When I was 14 years old, I started doing one constructive thing that feels scary every day. I still hold myself to that. It’s the only reason I have any confidence at all.” — Martha Beck. [Great quote from this article].
How to be Smarter: Be the Michael Jordan.
How to be Prettier: As we turn into the colder months, start using moisturizing products and lotions before the first sign of dry skin. I find it’s usually easier to prevent dry skin than treat dry skin. Eucerin is my current favorite hand lotion, which you can buy at almost every drugstore.
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just awesome: Heartwarming Facts about Mr. Rogers.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day by Cali Williams Yost. This book focuses on helping the reader create and execute achievable goals, or “tweaks,” so that your day-to-day life best represents what you want to focus on in the long-term. I loved the way the book integrated a plan for identifying tweaks to make in your own life with expert advice on a huge variety of topics and real case studies (of people from many different backgrounds) to show the huge variety of ways to structure your day so that it matches your values. A focused, helpful read.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off your entire purchase at the jewelry shop Ever + Ever with the discount code SPA20. I have my eye on the amazingly priced initial birthstone necklaces – so sweet and would make a great gift. Enjoy! [Expires on 10/31/13].
How to be (less) Awkward: An easy pick-me-up is to watch the trailers of your favorite, beloved movies. Since you already know the plot line, the movie trailer can produce the same happy feeling that watching the whole movie would create, in less time. Two of my favorites trailers to re-watch are You’ve Got Mail and Notting Hill, and, if I’m feeling nostalgic, It Takes Two.
How to be Smarter: Awesome list of (inexpensive) professional development classes. Taking classes is a great way to explore potential new interests, and/or bolster skills you want to learn to improve your current job performance or add to your resume.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off your entire purchase at the awesome art shop Faune Yerby with the discount code Prettier20. I especially love the New York City section and the really unique Toy Animal section. Enjoy! [Expires on 11/1/13].
How to be (less) Awkward: Love this site’s tagline: “True facts for when you find yourself in the middle of an awkward pause.”
How to be Smarter: How far would your salary go in another city? [An interesting reference point, even if you are not considering moving anytime soon].
How to be Prettier: A cap-toe detail on shoes continues to be trending this fall; this is the pair I’ve been wearing and loving lately [in black].
How to be (less) Awkward: Regarding small talk: “My favorite question is: ‘What’s keeping you busy these days?’ It’s useful because it allows people to choose their focus (work, volunteer, family, hobby) — preferable to the inevitable question (well, inevitable at least in New York City): ‘What do you do?’” — Great quote from this article on small-talk strategies.
How to be Smarter: “The most important quality for an employee is enthusiasm.” — Great quote from this article about attitude.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off your entire purchase at Walls Need Love with the discount code SPA4WNL20. This site has a huge, awesome selection of wall decals and wall art; I especially love the inspiration quotes section. Enjoy! [Expires on 12/1/13].
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just awesome: Wheel Of Lunch.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel. This book has a HUGE amount of content, with tons of helpful tricks on topics as varied as how to get ready faster, clean your house better, start your own business, etc. Great beach/vacation/downtime read to pump you up for the start of fall.
How to be Prettier: Just like carrying a few stamps in your wallet can save time, carrying a band-aid or two in your wallet can be so helpful when you feel a blister coming on. [A few band-aids tucked between credit cards or in a pocket of your purse take up hardly any room, and you will be really grateful that you thought ahead when the day comes that you need them].
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just adorable: Cute to send to someone who needs a hug but is too far away for an in-person one.
How to be Smarter: Very interesting: Ages of the Founding Fathers in 1776.
How to be Prettier: “When should I start using anti-aging products?…If you’re old enough to ask the question, you’re old enough to be using anti-aging products.” – Quote from this Q&A.
How to be (less) Awkward: Not awkward, just fun: Who do you share a birthday with?
How to be Smarter: Really love this post on how the “fear of missing out” can hurt your financial goals.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 10% off your entire purchase at Everly Lane Design with the discount code Pretty10. I love this shop myself: this is the wall tassel that has been hanging over my bed for the last year. Enjoy! [Expires on 8/31].
How to be (less) Awkward: The 23 Unwritten Rules of Email. [These are so true, and so genius. Would be a great post to share with someone just starting out in their career].
How to be Smarter: When someone tells you “no,” ask them, nicely, why. Then take that feedback graciously and refine your resume, skills, behavior, or pitch to do better next time. Knowing where you can improve is as valuable as knowing where your strengths are.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 10% off your entire order at Sparkly Soul, a fun company that creates cool headbands to keep your hair out of your face while exercising, with the discount code MOLLY. I have my eye on this one or this one. Enjoy! [Expires on 8/19].
How to be (less) Awkward: “Truly confident people know that access is almost universal. They can connect with almost anyone through social media. (Everyone you know knows someone you should know.) They know they can attract their own funding, create their own products, build their own relationships and networks, choose their own path – they can choose to follow whatever course they wish.” – One of my favorite quotes from this article on truly confident people.
How to be Smarter: Book Recommendation: Quiet by Susan Cain. This highly-cited book has excellent advice for dealing with the world if you are an introvert, and/or have close relationships (your partner, your boss, your child) with someone who might consider themselves an introvert. It is both an academic read, and a practical one, too.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: SP&A readers will get 20% off your entire order at Hari Mari, an eco-responsible, colorful flip-flop company that donates a percentage of each pair sold to pediatric cancer causes, with the discount code MOLLY. Enjoy! [Expires on 8/12].
How to be Smarter: Unusual tips to being a better writer.
How to be Prettier: I love the current loafer trend, and these are one of my favorite pairs. After a few days of breaking them in, they are also one of my few pairs of loafers that can be worn without socks or tights. [I have them in Black Suede].
How to be (less) Awkward: At parties or events, carry your drink in your left hand so your right stays free to shake hands.