How to be Smarter: The Myths and Realities of Doing What You Love. This piece is long, but it’s a great mix of one person’s personal journey and tips on how to make doing what you love work for your career. [Hint: it's all about the side hustle!].
How to be Prettier: 28 ways to get better deals when shopping online (#2 and #5 are the ones I use every time I shop online, without fail).
How to be (less) Awkward: Easy mental switch: instead of telling yourself I’m so busy, tell yourself that My life is so full.
How to be Smarter: To help motivate me to move through my to-do list, I write a super-short note that reminds me how easy it will be or why I’m doing the task next to each task that seems hard or boring. So instead of “Fix Chapter 9″ I write “Update Chapter 9 – 15 minutes and it will look a lot better”, “Do laundry” becomes “Do laundry so you’re ready for holiday party!”, etc. It’s a small change that helps a lot when trying to power through long lists.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Exclusive Discount Code: With the promo code SPA20, SP&A readers can get 20% off your entire order at Misfit Dynamo, a shop that sells beautiful handmade pottery that is inspired by photography, music, literature, and more. There’s a ton of beautiful pieces in the shop, but my favorites are the Stegosaurus Graffiti Mug, the colorful Tea Bag Rests, and this beautiful Speckled Blue Bowl. You can also follow the shop’s work on Instagram, here. Enjoy! [Expires 2/28/2017].
How to be (less) Awkward: “Offer to freshen a cocktail or get someone you’re speaking with a glass of water. You don’t have to be the hostess to refill someone’s drink or get him a small plate of food when you go up to the cheese board.” This and other ways to find common ground with strangers (even if the strangers are just family you don’t see very often).
How to be Smarter: I’m not usually a movie lover, but I saw La La Land over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Besides the music and the dancing (!), I loved the themes of when to follow your dreams and when to let them go, if it’s possible to make a living and do what you love, and what happens to the path we don’t chose. Recommend!
How to be Prettier: An easy (free!) way to get better wardrobe inspiration each morning while you’re picking out clothes.
How to be (less) Awkward: If you want to say thank you, don’t say sorry.
How to be Smarter: “‘Stick to teaching.’ Louisa May Alcott refuses to give up on her dream. Little Women sells millions, and is still in print 140 years later. Unlike the name of the publisher who told her to give up.” It’s inspiring to read about famous authors who didn’t give up on their art.
How to be Prettier: One of my favorite shops is Out of Print, full of literary inspired clothing and gifts. [I have no affiliation with the shop and it isn't an affiliate link - I just really love the site].
How to be (less) Awkward: 50 positive thoughts that can inspire you each day to push past awkwardness, fear, and doubt. #50 is the one I say all the time.
How to be Smarter: Ninety-nine-percenting is so much harder than one-hundred-percenting.
How to be Prettier: SP&A Discount Code: Shopbop is having a big sale right now using code GOBIG16. Some of my favorite Shopbop items that I own and love are Stance socks, Kamali Kulture Box Shirtdress, Jack by BB Dakota Ashlene Didion Printed Dress, and Paige Denim Transcend Hoxton Ultra Skinny jeans. The expiration date for the sale: 11/28/16. Enjoy!
How to be (less) Awkward: Make your stories more engaging – the best trick on this list is #4, use present tense when telling the story.