“Don’t join an easy crowd. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.” — Jim Rohn
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”].
“You can either practice being right or practice being kind.”
— Anne Lamott
“The world is too quiet without you nearby.” — Lemony Snicket
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.
“The things that we love tell us what we are.” — Thomas Aquinas
How To Be Smart, Pretty, Less Awkward, & A Success: Meet Molly Ford
“A couple of months in, I came out to my roommate,” says NYer Molly Ford, recalling a moment in 2009, after creating her site Smart, Pretty & Awkward. “I said to her: ‘I’ve been blogging.’ And I said it really dramatically and she just responded, ‘Um, okay… do you want to share?’” And so, in its appropriately awkward way, this conversation marked the end of Smart, Pretty, and Awkward’s quiet existence, and the beginning of a site that has since exploded into Molly’s own franchise, with a platform that’s expanded into a column, email newsletter, and an enormous and beloved fan base.
But the site’s overall concept has always remained simple: several times a week, Molly offers a quote and three pieces of advice on how to be smarter, prettier, and less awkward.
“I created it at a time when bloggers were stereotyped as girls sitting in their bedroom, writing about why they don’t have boyfriends,” says the Massachusetts native. “It was country-song rhetoric, personal stuff, and I didn’t want that.” Instead, what you find on Smart, Pretty, & Awkward are book recommendations about leaning into leadership and happiness, discounts on handmade gemstone jewelry, links to pictures of calming manatees - and absolutely no photos of Molly herself.
“The point is that you’re not supposed to imagine me,” she says. “You’re supposed to imagine yourself aligning with these tips. It’s about you.”
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
— Helen Keller
“To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.” — Katharine Hepburn
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 are just thinking about online dating or have been looking for love on the Internet for a long time.
“My life is my message.” — Mahatma Gandhi
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].
“It’s sad when girls think they don’t have anything going on except being pretty.” — Keri Russell
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.
Pretty flowers at the corner of 49th and 3rd, New York City.