Mighty Life List
Jun 9 2010

Packing Light: CM Summit, Day 2

Hey Laura, let’s take a moment to pause in the scenic parking lot outside our hotel at 2 a.m. because I forgot to take a picture of my outfit today.

Excellent. The jacket is thrifted, the purse is vintage, the expression is happy exhaustion. In real life, the blues are a little more harmonious than they appear under the parking lot spotlights.

This dress is a new favorite. I just picked it up at a vintage shop, and it fit like this right off the rack. Bam! it also rolls up into a little ball for packing and doesn’t wrinkle. Pow! Sock! Tights are from Target, and the little thing on my shoulder is a Fitbit. It’s like a pedometer that makes out with the Internet.

My shoes are also Target, and the pink purse has snaps on the side that let you make it clutch-sized, or larger like I have it here. My bracelet is from a museum shop in Buenos Aires, and so I especially enjoy it when people ask me where I got it.

Jun 8 2010

Packing Light: CM Summit

I’m sorry for the silence yesterday, I’m in New York for the CM Summit and wifi has been tough to come by. But! Travel means Packing Light, and this time I thought I’d show you what I brought while I’m still here.

This is what I wore for the first day of the conference:

The dress was a steal at H&M, as were the safety-first neon tights. The librarian shoes are thrifted, and the bracelet is from a little boutique in Seattle. I look embarrassed in this photo because I’m about to start leaping around in the middle of the street.

See? I’d just come from champagne at The Algonquin with Laura and Liz, and I was feeling exuberant. Liz has me all caught up on The Real Housewives of New York City, so this trip is already paying dividends.

Sep 11 2009

Packing Light: Greece Edition

If you’ve been reading long, you already know the drill from my packing posts about New York and Puerto Rico. I don’t like to check luggage if I can help it, so I try to fit everything in a carry-on and my laptop bag. This is what I packed for two weeks in Greece. It’s eight outfits total, and my plan was to wear everything twice, but on different islands.


This is my favorite vintage dress. It’s cotton and it has pockets, purrrr. Great for visiting churches when I’m traveling, because it covers the shoulders and knees, but it’s cool and easy to move in. I can also plop down on the ground without worrying I’m flashing everyone, so it’s good for traveling with the toddler too. The shoes are my navy saltwater sandals.


Because it’s cotton, this dress wrinkles in the suitcase, so Bryan taught me a trick from his acting days. Head into your hotel bathroom with the dress on a hanger, turn the shower on hot, wet a washcloth, wring it slightly, and then pat the dress down. The little wrinkles will fall out with the steam, and the wet washcloth takes care of the big ones. I just put the dress on damp and let it dry on me, but you can also let it dry overnight.

The glasses are a drugstore purchase from years ago, the headband is an elastic 99-center from H&M. So useful, that I actually gave Melissa one when we were in Puerto Rico, because she lamented having lost the ones she picked up in San Francisco. You need one too. More on that later.


This is a simple black, drop-waist dress that I got for $7 at a thrift store when I was in college. On the plane, I wore this with a pair of black leggings, my trusty slip-off gold flats (see Puerto Rico post if you’re curious about those), a pale blue cardigan, and my swimsuit wrap worn as a scarf (the wrap also doubled as a blanket). Again, I’ve failed you in photographing my travel outfit. Don’t think I can’t hear you cursing me from here.


I think the dress is rayon, but it reacts to water like crepe — either way, it doesn’t really wrinkle. I bought the hat for 10 Euros in Santorini, because I didn’t pack a sunhat. Which was dumb. Be ye not so dumb, my traveling friends.

The purse is from Buenos Aires, the necklace is my favorite, a gift from Bryan purchased at Rare Device. I can’t believe I’m blanking on the artist’s name. One of you knows, I’ll bet. Let me know in comments, and I’ll update.


These are the same shorts I took to Puerto Rico, they’re Rocawear. The shirt is a men’s undershirt, Hanes I think.


The brooch is a long vintage silk scarf that I made into a flower shape and pinned to my shirt with safety pins. Because I am crafty.


Oh man this dress is so good. Also vintage, and unfortunately polyester — the yucky kind. I got past it though, and it’s great for traveling.


Bryan brought back the bracelet from a work trip to China. All my cool jewelry is from Bryan.


The gladiator sandals were my main shoes for this trip. They’re surprisingly comfy, though buckled a little loose in this photo. They’re from Delia’s, which is a teen catalog that’s great for accessories and trendy stuff that you only need to last for a year or so.


Speaking of trendy stuff that doesn’t need to last, here’s a $15 romper I bought for the trip from Urban Outfitters (Be careful, that site now has music! Ugh).


I told you a while ago that I like to pack jammies that can double as outfits, and these were supposed to be my jammies. I ended up wearing them almost more than anything else, the knit was crazy comfortable. Action wear!


The giant earrings are from a shop in Kentucky. They’re lightweight.


Back to that headband. I keep it in my purse when I travel because my hair invariably starts to look scraggly with wind and swimming, or I get too hot to wear it down. With this, I can pull it into a ponytail and use the band to clean up the stray frizz caused by humidity. It’s easy to do without a mirror, and the result is casual, but a little more polished.


This dress is by 25singles. The sleeves are constructed so I can push them to the front and back and wear a cardigan without any added bulk on my shoulders. Great for the city.


Greece is all about jumping for me, apparently. Anyway, you can see here how the sleeves only attach at the top, so you can arrange the folds for more tummy or bum coverage, as you desire. Genius.


The necklace is actually two necklaces from H&M, which I knotted together.


Here are those shorts again. The tank is by H&M, and is much fuller than it appears in this photo. I actually decided it was a little unflattering on this trip, and probably won’t be wearing it again. Such are the perils of seeing yourself in photos.

The shoes were a blog rec by Elizabeth from Browner Brown. They’re $17 Saniya Pointed Toe Flats from Target, and they’re rubber soled. They didn’t give me problems on this trip, but have since given me pinky toe blisters. Great with tights though, and I love the color.


The scarf is the same one I used as a brooch above. This time I looped it twice around my head, tied it on top, and tucked the loose ends under for an updated Rosie the Riveter vibe.


This is another vintage find. That green band has crazy giraffes and other jungle animals in play, which is spectacular. Super comfy.


The fish-scale belt is elasticized, I got it at a thrift store. The waist on this dress is a little high for me, so I like to define it a bit.


Sunglasses were on loan from Laura, as an Englishman had accidentally absconded with mine the night before, thinking they were his girlfriend’s.


This is my swim wrap, which I bought in Bali on my honeymoon. It’s essentially a large rectangle of linen with a random button and a random tie. I have to figure out how to wear the damn thing every time I put it on, but it’s great to travel with because I can also use it as a scarf or a blanket on the plane. It’s by Oka Diputra.


The back gives you a little insight into how it’s fashioned. Button at the neck, tie at the waist. Supposedly you can wear it like fifteen different ways, but I have no idea how.


Here’s my new La Blanca suit! I’m excited because I almost never buy new swimsuits. I may just be turning over a new leaf on that though. (Sorry this is a little blown out, my camera was on the wrong setting.) I got it on sale at Nordstrom.com. I like that it’s a sexy one piece, but I don’t feel like my boobs are hanging out. Also? Red! Which is the very best color for a swimsuit.

And that’s it! Here’s a shot of my suitcase.


I had so much extra room, that I decided to throw in my rollers, which was ludicrous. I used them twice and they made my bag heavy, which is a Packing Light fail.

You can also sort of see that I packed two things that didn’t get much play, a yellow turban purchased in Puerto Rico, and a white men’s button down to wear as a coverup (I wore it for sleeping instead). The red and white striped thing is an adorable $10 beach bag from Walmart, which I used a couple times as a shopping bag, and to carry home Hank’s gifts without crushing them. I also had a pair of black flip-flops, which got a ton of use.

Regrets? Well, the stupid curlers. Come on, Maggie. Also, I should have worn a sunhat on the plane. It took a while to find a reasonable one, and I don’t totally love it. Also, in retrospect, I would have thrown in three or four more evening dresses. We tended to wear casual clothes during the day, and dress things up at night. It would have been good to have a few more in the vein of my 25singles dress.

Also, I would have stuffed my busy husband and my cranky toddler in, because as fun as it is to travel with girlfriends, I missed those guys.

I was in Greece because Intel is sponsoring my Mighty Life List. Next week, I’m going skin diving in the Arctic Circle! Stay tuned.

Jul 20 2009

Packing Light: Puerto Rico Edition

This is every item of clothing I packed for eight days in Puerto Rico, minus my traveling dress and sweater, which somehow escaped my camera.

Regular readers know I like to pack light, so my goal for this trip was to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase and my laptop backpack. This is relatively easy to do if you’re going somewhere warm and casual, but Melissa was still surprised by how much I managed to cram into my bag.

This is a green dress I bought at H&M shortly after I had Hank. I love it, because the front pleat is very tummy forgiving, and that’s the area I worry about most, especially post-baby. When it’s not belted, it’s a comfy, loose shift. The purse is a thrift find; it’s lined with a spectacular hunting scene.

These peacock feather earrings are from Claire’s, and I love them.

The skinny gunmetal belt is J Crew. Versatile, ladies.

These simple, functional flats are my sneakers. They’re ideal for travel because they go with everything, you can step right out of them at airport security, and they flatten completely in your bag. I don’t like blisters while I’m out exploring, and you don’t need to “break them in,” which is really just code for “my shoes are defective.” What other item of clothing could make you bleed without giving you just cause to return it for a full refund? Girl shoes piss me off.

Anyway, I’ve gone through three pairs of these magic flats, and I’ve raved about them before on Mighty Goods. They’re by Navid o Nadia.

I bought this BP dress for Blogher very early in my pregnancy. It has a subtle stripe of blue and green that you can’t see in the photo, and it has proven to be a great layering piece. I can do tights (or slim pants), boots and a little jacket if it’s cold. On warm days, wearing this is like pulling on a T-shirt and walking out the door without worrying about finding pants. Dresses are magic.

This skirt is a vintage piece begging for a West Side Story dance number — quintessential Puerto Rico. The ribbed tank is from Old Navy.

These are my indestructible Saltwater Sandals, which I grew up wearing. I’ve had this pair for years. They come in tons of colors, and again, zero blisters. They’re made for walking on the beach, so sand isn’t an issue — so much more pleasant than flip-flops thwacking sand against your calves.

These earrings are also from Claire’s. You definitely have to dig, but they have some great deals in there.

I bought this dress years ago in New York to supplement what I’d packed for a Morning News retreat. It’s Club Monaco, and I got it on super sale. It packs down to nothing, so I always throw it in to wear over my suit, which you can see in this photo.

Claire’s again, all from the same shopping trip. Can you tell my accessories were getting outdated?

I haven’t worn shorts in a hundred years, because of the glare. People gasp on the street and throw bottles of sunscreen at my head.

These shorts have little bronze sailor buttons up the front, which is spectacular. I’ve contemplated wearing them as bikini bottoms, because they’re kind of short for shorts, but very demure as swimsuit bottoms, eh? I forget the brand, but I had to seam-rip an enormous metal tag off the back, seriously the size of a belt buckle, so we’ll let them work their marketing magic elsewhere. The shirt is Banana Republic.

This is the very best swimsuit in the entire world. It’s by Donna Karan, and I’ve had it for three years. When retro suits made a tentative comeback, I checked in every day online until it went on sale, because I can’t justify spending over $100 on a swimsuit. Which is silly because I wear them for like a decade, but still. The most awesome thing about this awesome suit is, if you’re having a crisis of thigh confidence, you can pull down the outer layer to make it into a very short dress, like so:

Action wear! Actually, this shot makes it look a little shorter than can go. This is more illustrative:

I love it because I can wear it with a T-shirt in the hotel elevator while I’m heading to the pool, and I don’t feel totally naked. In this photo, I’m heading out to pick mangoes from the hotel fruit trees with Melissa. We made Mango cocktails to enjoy in the pool. Sounds amazing, right? But they were actually terrible. I have no idea what we did wrong, but we did it all the way. The bag is Envirosax. I have a set I use as travel totes if I can’t fit a big purse in my suitcase.

Not only did Intel sponsor my trip, they also sponsored my jammies. Leggings are from H&M, the shirt was a gift in lieu of the apparently rare Ajay Bhatt rockstar T-shirt that haunts my dreams (watch for it here at 14-16 seconds).

I’ve mentioned before that I try to pack PJs that can double as an outfit. This is what I packed in lieu of jeans, in case we got a chance to go horseback riding. We didn’t end up doing it, but I did do a lot of napping, so no harm no foul.

Regrets? Holy, holy, I should have packed a second swimsuit. We almost never left the water while I was there. I ended up with angry chafing on my side that looked like something laid eggs under my skin. I showed it to Melissa.

Melissa: GEEEEZE!
Me: I’m not going to worry unless it hatches.
Melissa: Signs your Prozac is Working too Well.

Also, it’s great to have flip flops to wear as slippers. I always regret not throwing in some flip flops.

Next trip I’ll tell you what’s in my toiletries bag too. It’ll be like sneaking a look at my medicine cabinet when you’re drunk at a dinner party, but without all the dental floss. See you then.

Jun 25 2009

Masons on Fashioni.st

Bryan and Hank made a Father’s Day appearance on the San Francisco street fashion site, Fashioni.st. Awww.

I was also on the site a few months ago when I ran out of the house to take some quick Bay to Breakers photos, so I was featured in one of my favorite dresses and zero makeup. Mai’s photo skills saved me from looking like I’d just recovered from a bout of stomach flu, and so I owe her lunch.

Apr 15 2009

Packing Light: New York City Edition

So this is every item of clothing I packed for five days in New York. My goal was to fit everything in my hiking backpack (plus a little rucksack for the plane), because unwieldy luggage really affects trip quality. I hate dreading the subway stairs, or sleeping through my first day because I’m exhausted from lifting my suitcase.

I wore one outfit twice, and everything fit neatly in my hiking backpack. I brought two pairs of shoes so I could change things up if my feet started to hurt, but only ended up wearing one.

How To Pack Light for a Trip to  New York City | Mighty Girl

How crazy cute is this ducky yellow hat? I know! Bryan hates it, because he is blind. Anyway, the skirt, sweater, and hat are all thrift store scores, and the neck warmer was a gift from a friend who got it on Etsy. The gloves are from Ann Taylor and I got the purse in Argentina, which is also where I got…

The magical, one-pair-of-shoes-for-this-whole-trip boots! They’re a metallic navy blue that goes with everything. I’ve actually made out with them. They taste like gumdrops.

This is me, Zoolander style, in a layered look that worked well for New York’s freakishly schitzo weather (Rain? Snow? Hot Sun? The hell, New York. You’re lucky I brought magic boots.) Everything I’m wearing here is also thrifted, except the hat, which is H&M. I’m wearing a long-sleeved turquoise tee, a sweater with a surprisingly warm silk scarf tied as an ascot, all under a corduroy blazer. In retrospect, the cardigan was a little bulky under that blazer, but I was nice and warm.

Beloved JCrew Red Pants! I’m showing incredible restraint in this photo, as it’s practically impossible not to do karate poses in these. Paired with a black turtleneck sweater and fingerless arm warmers, which were hand knit with love by a stranger (thanks again, Etsy). This look is matchy-matchy, but I’m pretty Doris Day about wardrobe matters, so I like it. I got the heavy wool wrap at a little boutique in Vermont when I was preggo. Best maternity to regular wardrobe transition ever, plus it doubles as a blanket on the airplane.

Nothing is hotter than posing alone in front of a mirror in your hotel room. Do you feel the heat? There’s the blazer again, this time with vintage wide-leg jeans and a circle scarf from H&M. American Apparel also makes circle scarves, and you should get one, as they are crazy versatile.

When I take the blazer off, I pull the scarf down around my shoulders over this long-sleeve tee I got at Target. That tee is awesome, by the way. I have monkey arms and a long torso, and Mossimo makes proportions just right for me.

These are my jammies. In a pinch, you can pull your hair into a ponytail, belt the shirt, and wear this out with flats. Or you can just watch Top Chef reruns in your hotel bed while you cram mini-bar chocolate in your mouth. It’s perfect for that.

Jan 27 2009

Rainbows. Kittens. My hair.

I just closed comments on the circumcision post, because for the first time ever on Mighty Girl, Godwin’s Law is in effect. We made it to post number 58 before the Nazi mention though, so kudos kids. Also, I love conversations like this because it’s fun to see all the doctors and scientists come out of the woodwork. Hi, guys!

OK, now for a palate cleanser. Every time I do one of these videos, people ask how I got my hair that way. I’ve ignored it, because I do have curly hair, but you know when people keep asking about your hair through the Nazi comments, it’s time to pony up. So here’s what I do:

-I wash it with Burt’s Bees Pomegranite and Soy Shampoo.
-I condition with the Costco bottle of Paul Mitchell for dry hair.
-I towel dry, and comb it with a wide-tooth comb.
-While it’s wet, I scrunch in some type of curly product like: Curl Friends Replenish Leave in Conditioner, TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier, or lately DevaCurl B’Leave-In, which was recommended by the lovely Sarah Brown.
-Once it air dries, I scrunch in John Frieda Secret Weapon to make the curls less frizzy and smooth flyaways.
-If I’m going to be on camera or it’s a special occasion, I take the remaining frizzy bits and use three or four medium sized rollers to tame them. I like the Conair Hot Sticks because they make curls that look like the rest of my curls.

Voila! Tomorrow, we’ll discuss Obama’s stimulus package and my awesome new lipstick.