Sweat In Style

Making it to the gym can be quite a struggle, and to be honest it doesn’t happen often. However, I find that I am more excited about spending time sweating it out if I have something fabulous to wear. Since fitness is an essential part of every SMW’s life, and we’re here to inspire you to reach your full potential as such a woman, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places to find awesome workout clothes.

  • Old Navy: Their compression pants and capris are THE BOMB! The come in great colors and patterns, make my rear end look perfectly perky and don’t create a muffin top. If you look on the sale rack you can find them for under $15! What gets better than that?
  • Victoria’s Secret: when it comes to sports bras and yoga pants, this is the place to go. They’re a bit more expensive, but they last forever and are ALWAYS in style.
  • Nike: If you want the best and brightest shoes, this is the brand to go with. Plus if you go to a Nike store their experts can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Gap: When it comes to jackets, Gap definitely makes the best. I can throw one on in the winter and not only is it warm but it’s flattering and my phone doesn’t fall out of the pockets when I run…which makes it great. Also, this brand makes great tanks and tees. If you go by the store in March you can find items on their last chance sale racks for super cheap. I found a shirt that I LOVE for only $2.99.

Where’s your favorite place to find workout gear? Let us know in the comments!

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You Party Animal

It still amazes my how many people my age have no clue how to behave at parties. They’ll show up uninvited, not show up at all, get so drunk that they get sick all over the floor, or completely embarrass the hosts. I have many friends who have stopped hosting all together because they’re tired of dealing with all the undignified behavior. This is unfortunate, because parties are a blast.

In order to promote more celebrations and festivities, today’s post will consist of a guide to appropriate party behavior. The Smart Modern Woman is dignified above all else, and she should know how to behave at the party. (That way she’ll get invited to more!)

  • RSVP. You should always tell the host that you will be attending, even if it’s a causal college party. That way they’ll know to expect you and can stop worrying about whether or not anybody will show up. On the other hand, they won’t be waiting around for you all night if you decline the invitation – this is especially important if the party is being thrown by someone you’re romantically interested in. Also, if you say you’re going, you better show up.
    ***IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE AN INVITATION, DON’T SHOW UP OR INVITE YOURSELF*** If someone other than the host invites you, check with the host that it’s okay for you to attend.
  • Arrive Fashionably Late. Plan on arriving between 10 and 20 minutes of the event’s start time. If it’s a college party you can arrive up to an hour after, but be earlier if you’re close friends with the host. Never ever arrive early, sit in your car if you have to but don’t you dare interrupt the host’s preparations. If you’re running late text or call the host to let them know you’re still coming.
  • Bring Something. The host probably spent a good bit on the party so bring them a gift that you know they will genuinely enjoy as a thank you. If it’s a college party it’s always a good idea to bring your own liquor/beer and mixers. If you don’t know what to bring, call the host before the start of the party and ask if they need anything specific for the party.
  • Circle the Room. Make sure you take the time to talk to everyone. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know and participate in conversation and activities. Your job as a guest is to help the host make sure the party runs smoothly; so if you see someone standing alone, say hi. You don’t have to get into anything lengthy, just talk about how they know the hosts, any upcoming local events, etc. once you’ve gotten the group into a longer conversation keep moving around the room. Once you’ve spoken to everyone, feel free to join the most interesting conversation going on, and enjoy it.
  • Drink responsibly. It’s perfectly fine to indulge, just make sure you’re in control. You don’t want to embarrass yourself, annoy other guests, or anger the host. If you think you’ve had a bit too much, apologize to the host and find a safe way to leave gracefully and quickly.
  • Make A Graceful Exit. If the party has a stated end time, leave within 15 minutes of it. Otherwise, leave when things seem to be winding down or when the host stops engaging with the party. Always thank the host and ask if you can do anything to help clean up before you leave. Don’t forget to offer a ride to anyone who may have had too much to drink. Do not drive if you’ve been drinking.

With these tips and tricks you are sure to be welcome at every party your friends throw. So go out and enjoy their company!

Emma Watson

Emma Watson has been an idol of ours since she first appeared as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Not only did she inspire girls everywhere to embrace their intelligence, but she also portrayed a strong female character who was every bit (and often times more) capable than her male counterparts. But Emma’s influence extends far past the big screen. She is the face of the UN’s campaign He For She which promotes women’s rights all over the world. She is an active feminist, and one of the most intelligent actresses in Hollywood today – she got top marks in her A-levels people! Oh, and did we mention she’s GORGEOUS! Emma Watson is clearly the epitome of a Smart Modern Woman.

Here’s a few things that we think every woman can learn from Emma Watson:

  • Stand up for what you believe in, with compassion. Emma is not only a UN Ambassador promoting women’s rights, but she is also the face of other humanitarian causes. Our favorite part about her activism is that she never bashes anyone. Instead she points out logically why someone is wrong, and how the can fix their behavior. That type of courtesy is essential if you want to be taken seriously and enact real change.
  • Be multifaceted. Emma isn’t just an actress, or just a humanitarian. Instead she’s an actress, humanitarian, feminist, scholar, artist, friend, daughter, and a whole bunch of other things. Embrace what you’re passionate about and never let anyone tell you that you have to fit a specific stereotype.
  • Don’t get a big head. You won’t find her on the cover of a tabloid for some public disaster. You’re more likely to see her highlighted in the media for random acts of kindness and compassion. She has a lot of non-famous friends and hasn’t let her superstardom go to her head.
  • Read. A good chunk of her twitter is dedicated to books she loves. Every woman should read, take it from us.
  • Don’t take life seriously. Emma’s not afraid to laugh or make fun of herself. Just look at her performance in This Is The End and The Bling Ring.
  • Take risks. She isn’t afraid to take risks in fashion, roles, or her interviews…but these risks are always calculated and in god taste.

Overall, Emma Watson is a great role model and we should all be inspired by her general awesomeness.

Vroom Vroom

Our cars are an essential extension of our lives, and as such there are certain essentials that should live inside your car so that you’re never caught without. Obviously things like a spare tire and your car manual should be somewhere in your vehicle, but there are other things that make a smart modern woman’s car her own. Here’s our list of things every woman should store in her car:

  • Chapstick. Have you ever been on a long drive when suddenly your lips start burning or feeling tight and there’s nothing you can do. It’s the single most annoying thing ever. Keep a tube of chapstick in your console at all times, and never ever take it out of your vehicle.
  • A snack. I personally keep a jar of nuts in my glove compartment, but power bars, crackers, and other non-perishables work just as well. The goal here is to never be caught hungry and cranky on the road.
  • A water bottle. You’ll need something to wash down the snack.
  • An umbrella or raincoat. You never know when it’s going to rain, go ahead and stash one in your back seat for that unexpected storm.
  • A blanket. This one is mainly to keep your passengers comfortable, but it also helps if you have leather seats that heat up in summer.
  • Paper towels. God only knows how many times I’ve spilled something in my car. Paper towels will prevent any lasting damage from occurring.
  • A trash bag. Seriously, you don’t need to be sitting in a pile of receipts, fast food wrappers, and who knows what else. Bag it up!
  • Tissues. You never know when you’ll need to blow your nose.
  • A pen and notebook. I’ve taken calls while sitting in my car and need to write something down – I was parked. Having a pen and paper on hand is crucial. (You don’t want to write your next appointment time in eyeliner.)
  • Cell phone charger. Because if you get a flat tire and your phone is dead you can’t call AAA.
  • Spare change. Keep at least a roll of quarters on hand for paying parking meters and tolls.
  • Sunglasses. Don’t keep your designer pair in the car, but have a pair of plastic ray-bans or something similarly cheap that you can use in a pinch if the sunset or glare blinds you.

Is there anything you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Care of the Soul – Book Review

Every so often we come across a book that changes the way we look at life, or at ourselves. Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore did both.

The book combines freudian and jungian philosophies of the self with ancient greek mythology and modern life to create an experience of the soul that is unmatched. While reading this guide I gained insights on why I felt certain feelings, how to handle difficult situations, and most importantly how to accept myself.

The book itself is divided into sections about family interactions, narcissism and one’s self-image, depression and anxiety, work-life balance and spirituality (and other topics. It’s a difficult and slow read but absolutely invaluable when it comes to shifting your perspective on life.

Essentially the book teaches you how to live your life in a way that fulfills your deepest desires and touches your soul. If you’re looking for a self-help book that will revolutionize your life with out making you actually DO anything, this is it. I’m sorry we can’t describe it better, but you’ll have to see for yourself.

Welcome to Narnia

It’s no coincidence that Narnia was a magical realm located inside a wardrobe. Any woman’s closet can be magical if she has it properly organized. That means everything in plain sight, properly stored, and easily reachable.

  • Your closet is likely dominated by a hanging rack. This is where most of your clothing will reside, and where it should be appropriately displayed. We’re big fans of first dividing your clothing into categories: dresses, coats, jackets, blazers, hanging sweaters (not ones that belong in a dresser), vests, blouses, pants, and skirts. Next, arrange all items within these categories by color: white, cream, pink, red to purple (gold with yellow), brown, grey, to black. If you need to add a multi-colored section after the black go right ahead. This way, you know exactly where to look when putting together your outfit.
  • When it comes to shoes you probably have two types – expensive and not. Hang your inexpensive pairs, organized by color, in over-the-door racks, or along the floor. Expensive pairs should be stored in cardboard (NOT PLASTIC) boxes, preferably on a shelf above your clothes. Be sure to stuff any boots with paper so that they maintain their shape. Most shoeboxes have a description tag with a sketch of the shoe on one end (if not, make one). This end should face you so that you know what you’re reaching for.
  • Hang scarves by color on shower curtain rings that are attached to a pant’s hanger. Belts can be hung from hooks (or a clothesline) on the wall or you can purchase special belt hangers for them (men’s tie organizers work great as well).
  • The only other thing that should be kept in a closet is purses. Organize these by color. Inexpensive options can be hun on hooks along the top shelf of your closet. Expensive ones should be stored in their fabric bags and set on a shelf (not hung).
  • Keep a small box full of maintenance items – lint roller, razor, pilling stone, buttons, sewing kit, safety pins, fashion tape, etc – on the same shelf as your nice shoes. That way you can easily find what you need before you commit any fashion faux pas.

This should get you well on your way to enjoying your closet, and actually wearing everything in it.

Let us know if you have any other closet organization tips or ideas!