Mighty Life List
Sep 9 2010

Packing Light: Dublin


This is every item of clothing I packed for seven days in Dublin. I’m doing a campaign for L.L.Bean’s Signature Collection and they sent me a giant box of clothes, so I’m wearing a few of those items below. That means you can actually obtain some of these pieces, instead of cursing me when I tell you that everything you love was purchased at a vintage shop in 2001.

L.L.Bean Signature Silk Habutai Dress Polka Dot

For example, this perfectly faded brown dress with polka dots? It’s L.L.Bean’s Silk Habutai Dress, and it’s so Little Orphan Annie. Except it’s made of heavy silk, but who says orphans can’t have nice things? Jerks, that’s who.

Anyway, as I mentioned recently, belts are a challenge for me. I’ve been trying to up my game on that front, so I bought a few from H&M and this is my first attempt. I felt so pulled together, ya’ll. The cardigan I’m belting here is also H&M, but it’s from the men’s section, which is where they keep all the good stuff.

The grey tights are Target, and the magic travel boots are from Argentina. They’ve gotten me through more trips than I can count.

Let’s get a closer look at those blue polka dots:

Hello, little buddies.

This is my travel outfit, hence the action pose. It’s a knit dress I got at a thrift store, worn with an H&M elastic belt and the aforementioned tights and boots. I also wore a grey sweater wrap that I didn’t get a photo of, but you can see it in my New York post from a couple years ago. It doubles as an airplane blanket.

I’m wearing the dress on the way back home too, so I’ll be washing it in the bathtub while I’m here. Airplane germs gross me out. Another reason to do a quick rinse:

This is the dress worn as a top. I’ve cleverly safety pinned the sides to the outside layer of my Express Ultra Skinny Stella jean pockets. You can also use extra large safety pins to do a gathering effect on the sides of your dress, which is slightly more labor intensive, but arguably more effective. There are those boots again. I love you, boots.

The necklace is also H&M, it makes everything a little more current. Unlike these killer sleeves. What’s up 1983? We miss your economy.

I borrowed this sweater from Bryan who got it at Macy’s a few years back. He never wears it, and it’s super soft. His loss. That’s an L.L.Bean Tweed Skirt and army green tights from Target.

The circle scarf is H&M, and I love how easy it is to mess with proportions when you’re wearing it. Also, coziness.

These are my Rudolf Dassler PUMAs, which I adore, so of course they rub away the skin over my Achilles tendon. I’ve been trying to decide whether I strictly need that skin, so I’ve taken to tying them lower. This frees up a lot of extra lace, hence the creative lace tying. I like the way it looks, so I’ve been doing that with all my sneakers now.

This is a packing minimization outfit. We’re revisiting the cardigan, boots, and jeans.

I forget where the shirt came from, but I bought it because I liked the gathering around the neck and cuffs. You have to iron it like crazy though, and I only seem to have time for that when I’m on vacation.

The hat is hand knit, I got it at a thrift store where I get almost all of my hand-knit items. For the record, if someone hand knits you something and you send it to a thrift store? I’m pretty sure you need to go to confession, or sacrifice a goat or something. Or at least learn how to knit things that other people can then throw away — full circle.

I try to pack PJs I can wear as clothes in a pinch, so this is a tank top and cropped sweats from who knows where. I wear the tank under stuff for an extra layer if it’s cold. The comfy pants are nice if I get sick and want to be cozy, or if my flight is delayed and everything I’m wearing is coated in airport goo.

Chic librarian is my preferred look, so this is my favorite outfit for the trip.

These are L.L.Bean’s Cuffed Cropped Pant. They are fantastic. I’d normally wear them with a chunky heel, but we’re walking on cobblestones in the rain here, so these are cheap, destroyable flats from Target.

The cashmere cardigan is from the Alameda Flea Market, the Peter Pan collar top was 99 cents on eBay, and the modernized cat-eye glasses are Dolce and Gabbana. The hair scarf is actually a belt from a polyester ’70s dress I got at a thrift store when I was in high school. Yeah. It’s time to clean out my closet.

Thanks to the team at L.L.Bean Signature Collection for sponsoring this post.
Next time I have a clambake, you are so invited.

Sep 30 2009

Thank You, Intel

Today is the last day of Intel’s Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign on Mighty Girl. I can hardly express how grateful I am to the Intel team, and how blessed I am to have all of you guys supporting me.

A quick recap of everything Intel has made possible in the last few months. Together, we:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl, (with a little help from Helen Jane).

2. Took tap lessons from Mr. Kloss.

inteltap

3. Swam with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico.

biobay

4. Got a little closer to tasting 1,000 fruits.

starfruit

5. Had an exceptional time in Greece.

3931462485_a9e166d57d

6. Had dinner at the French Laundry.

intellamps

7. Hosted a giant food fight.

intelfoodfight

8. Learned to roll in a kayak.

intelkayak

9. Rejected paragliding as a hobby.

intelparaglide

10. Zip-lined through a canopy.

intelzip

Because the campaign let me make my life list a top priority, I even tackled a bunch of goals on my own. We took Hank camping, played with sparklers on the Fourth of July, and introduced him to ice cream cones. I did one of Miranda July’s projects. And I even got a few friends together to help me plan a retreat.

How Did this Happen?

A lot of you have asked me how I got Intel to sponsor my Mighty Life List, and the answer is I didn’t. These guys did.

paigepicjasondave

That’s Paige Thomas, Jason Ratner, and David Veneski. Paige and Jason work for Federated Media — the company that helped make blogging my job. David works for Intel, the company that made my dreams my job.

I talk to Paige nearly every day, and about a year ago I asked her to tell the sales team about my list. Ideas like this can easily come across as “some blogger wants free stuff,” but Jason understood. He told David, and showed me some of the ads around Sponsors of Tomorrow. I thought the main ideas were in line with my values: Celebrating smart people, and embracing the future.

David eventually agreed to have Intel sponsor my life list, which was bold of him, I think. Intel is a huge company with a lot at stake, and most companies of that size want full approval over any text that goes out. That clearly would never work for Mighty Girl, so David decided to trust me, which must have been scary at first.

When we first started the campaign, Matt Jessell at FM sent me this Brady Bunch collage to pin on my board:

bradysmall

It cracked me up when I first got it, and it still does, but now it makes me a little sentimental too. This is the team behind the Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign — most of them have made their own life lists, some have become Twitter friends, and all of them played a part in changing the way I approach my life. I owe them my gratitude.

What Happens Next?

Y’all, I am going to sleep. I had no idea how much I was biting off, or how much emotion I’d feel through all of it.

It may sound cheesy, but these few months have been transformative, and change takes a lot of energy. Doing all this has helped me clarify what makes me happy, and reminded me to be more gentle with myself. I understand now that a list like this requires flexibility, and writing about all of it has shown me that I can be comically rigid. It honestly came as an epiphany that I could change my own list — add new things, delete the things that just didn’t seem appealing when I actually started tackling them.

I’ve also learned so much about all of you. That you want to travel, be role models, buy homes, start businesses. I love reading your lists, and I’m still thinking about a better way for us to work on them together.

While I sleep for a year or so, Paige will be building a succulent wall; Jason is figuring out how to found bed and breakfasts for snowboarders, cyclists and vinophiles; and David wants to write a book. I’ll let you know how they do.

In the meantime, thank you, everyone. For all of it.