"Crayola skies for a thousand miles" -- Leigh Nash

Hi friends!

I don't update this blog as often as I once did, but you can still hang out with me online - here's my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and my newsletter signup is here

If you're interested in my writing, I'd love for you to check out my career and networking advice guidebook, Reach Out, published by McGraw-Hill in September 2017. It's available in print, e-book, audio (which I read!), and even CD :) 

I spend most of my time these days running my own company, podcast creation platform Messy.fm. If you have always wanted to start a podcast but don't know where to start, head over there. 

Starting this blog back in 2008 changed my entire professional life. The reason I was able to start a blog so easily is because sites like Blogger, Wordpress, and eventually Squarespace existed. They took care of the tech so I only needed to think about what I was going to write.

Messy.fm does that for podcasts - we handle all the technology, so you get to just focus on your show idea. You can go from idea to iTunes in minutes, no special equipment or editing knowledge required. 

If I was graduating college today, I'd likely be starting a podcast, not a blog. I'd encourage you to start a podcast of your own so your very own passion project can change your life just like Smart, Pretty & Awkward did for me. 

All my love,


PS. I chose to make the very last quote on Smart, Pretty and Awkward the same quote as the one from the very first post I ever did. It's from this song and I love it today as much as I did ten years ago. Last page of the very last chapter, it's a charmed life. 

Thank you for believing in Smart, Pretty and Awkward - and me. Onward!


"I think the reason I was successful is that I was never cynical." -- Carol Burnett

How to be Smarter: There is SO MUCH knowledge in Cosmo's easy-to-follow guide to launching a small business. If you are thinking of starting your own venture, whether that's an Etsy shop or a consulting firm, start here

How to be Prettier: SP&A Discount Code: I felt like the Quip ads for their toothbrush set were following me everywhere across the web, and I finally broke down and got one of their electric toothbrushes (in rose gold). I LOVE it. It's beautiful, there are no wires, works great, the travel case is awesome, and I love the brush-head refills that come automatically in the mail. Highly recommend, and  if you follow this link you get your first $5 refill for free. 

How to be (less) Awkward: If you are a creative person, the gap between where you are now and where you want to be will sometimes seem big. That's okay, and that's part of the process. Love this short video that reinforces this point. 

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." -- Robin Williams

How to be Smarter: Showing off faults and flaws can make you more successful - and here's why. This is a great read for anyone who manages a brand, corporate or personal. 

How to be Prettier: This (inexpensive) product is marketed as a concealer, but I use it as highlighter and it's perfect. 

How to be (less) Awkward: "This is a good launching point" is my new favorite way to say no without directly shooting down someone's idea. (Source, with lots of other helpful phrases for tricky work conversations). 

"Once in a while you get shown the light / In the strangest of places if you look at it right." -- Grateful Dead

How to be Smarter: "I hate myself because I don't work for Buzzfeed." I cannot stop thinking about this post.

How to be Prettier: This video has tons of great ideas for (all-natural) teeth whitening I'd never heard before.

How to be (less) AwkwardHave you always wanted to know how to connect with someone that you heard speak at an internal company event? My first column in a new series I'm writing for Forbes answering readers' networking questions went live this week with the answer to this question. 

"Start small, start now. This is much better than, 'start big, start later.'" -- Seth Godin

How to be Smarter: The very best ways people have spent $100 dollars. (If you are looking for a gift for someone for Valentine's Day, some of these suggestions would work great). 

How to be Prettier: "Great skin is not simply a matter of DNA — your daily habits, in fact, have a big impact on what you see in the mirror." Quote from this great piece on how, exactly, to build a skin routine, and how long it takes to see results with a new product. 

How to be (less) Awkward: If you are feeling awkward because your career choices aren't lining up as neatly as your peers or your siblings' are, read this from Ask Polly. It's great and I love it.