Mighty Summit 2012

• Attend a state dinner
• Take breakdancing lessons
• Learn to apply false eyelashes

The best thing about Mighty Summit is reading everyone’s Life Lists. It’s like speed dating for your brain.

Though reading everyone’s posts afterward is a close second:

“We stayed at Boon Hotel + Spa for the weekend. The air up there was just so clean. I felt like I could breathe deeper.” – Meg Biram of Mimi+Meg

• Have a sexy marriage
• Own 200 dresses
• Help someone through college

Reading someone’s goals gives me the same thrill I used to get when I first started reading personal websites in the early days of the Internet. You get to know about someone before you dive into knowing them for real. It gives you so many good places to start, so many chances to find their most sympathetic side.

“Each woman at Mighty Summit brought a life list. 100 or so things she wanted to accomplish over her lifetime. And on our last day together we picked five that we want to tackle in the next year. It sounds like it could be a little hippie-dippie woo-woo (and we all know I’m totally hippie-dippie woo-woo) but it was truly powerful.” – Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative


“There is power in sharing your goals, in being vulnerable, and frankly, in being willing to fail. To really live out our dreams, we need to be prepared for the possibility that we won’t achieve them. It’s easy to make a list of things we can easily do (and there’s a need for that too), but to get to the heart of the matter, we need to dive in, leave fear behind, and say what we really, really want.” – Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

• See North Korea
• Own a popcorn machine
• Take up barefoot running

It’s scary speaking your hopes out loud. I used to worry that I’d fail to achieve something I said I wanted. Or oddly, I worried that I would succeed, which means you can no longer define yourself by your struggle for a particular dream. What does it mean once you’ve written the book, had the kid, climbed the mountain? What next?

• Renovate a barn
• Drive a stick shift
• Be a junior member of the Explorer’s Club

Hoping for these things suggests that you deserve them. You never know how the people around you will react to that, or even how you will. I think that’s why so many people disdain this kind of emotional exercise. It’s easier to laugh at the idea of improving yourself, or your lot, than it is to face the terrifying vulnerability of claiming something better for yourself, and then attempting it.


“…as we went around the circle sharing dreams and goals of all scales of magnitude — the redwoods towering over us in an appropriately protective fashion — one by one, deep breaths were taken, souls were bared, vulnerabilities shared, help asked for. And 30 women became stronger by way of dipping their toes (sometimes their whole body) into a pool of vulnerability.” – Christine Koh of Boston Mamas


“The whole retreat was a perfect mix of socialization and thoughtful contemplation.” – Catie Nienaber of Cuffington

Talking about Life Lists is filling for me. It’s an exercise in trust, and an education in possibility.


“I left Might Summit with a better sense of self than I’ve had in quite some time. Goals clearly outlined, plans written down, proposals in the works.” – Kelly Beall of Design Crush

So what are you hoping for yourself? Who can help get you there? And if you had to choose, just five things to knock off your life list this year, what would they be?

Mighty Summit Giveaway: Congratulations to Our Winners!

Mighty Summit | Mighty Girl

Last week, Laura Mayes and I announced the Mighty Summit giveaway, offering two lucky commenters the incredible gifts — Tieks! Epiphanie and Lands’ End Bags! Jewelry! Life-changing books! — enjoyed by Mighty Summit attendees earlier this month.

The results are in, and congratulations to our number 1357, Ursula! (Life List goal: Wear a fresh-picked Hibiscus flower in my hair, in Hawaii.) Laura announced our other winner on her Blog con Queso earlier today.

Congratulations you two, and thank you to all who participated!

Photo credit: Maile Wilson of Epiphanie Bags.

Hugs, Kisses, Big Naps

I haven’t slept very much in the last few weeks.

I hosted a W.A.S.P.-Off Challenge for Labor Day, and the fourth-annual Mighty Summit, attended the first-ever XOXO Festival, and now I’m in New York for the Social Good Summit, attending as one of the United Nations Social Good Fellows. (Which whaaaa? No big deal, just hangin’ with the UN, you guys. We should totes go dancing with the Secretary General later.)

So things have been going well, right? Very well. I’m feeling happy, and grateful, and in need of a three-day coma.

Woof. I have so much to tell you, team. Let’s meet here next week for some good, long chats. I’ll bring the Secretary General, you bring the beer.

Free Stuff! Mighty Summit Gift Giveaway

When we were pulling together gifts for the Mighty Summit, we set a few aside to give away.

If you’d like to enter to win one, please share an item from your Life List in the comments below. One winner will be chosen from comments on this site, the other from Mighty Summit co-founder Laura Mayes’s Blog Con Queso.

Now for the fine print: Please only leave one comment on each site, because it’s the nice thing to do, and also because multiple entries will be disqualified. I’ll use random.org to select the winner, and I’ll announce who won at the top of this post and in a separate post next Wednesday. You have to live in the United States or Canada to enter, because holy holy the shipping is ludicrous if you don’t. Fingers crossed for you.

Update: We have two winners, announced here and here. Thank you to all who participated!

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Mighty Summit Giveaway | Mighty Girl

1. Ephiphanie Camera Bag by Maile Wilson (shown in top and side views)
These compartmentalized camera totes were designed by Summit photographer Maile Wilson, who used to wrap her DSLR in a towel and shove it in her purse. Sound familiar? Contest winners can choose form any of the designs and colors shown on the site. So you should probably get a yellow one.

2. Chevron Necklace by Feisty Elle
This delicate wood necklace is by San Francisco designer Leslie Yang of Feisty Elle, who makes light easy pieces that make you look pulled together in jeans and a T-shirt. We love this necklace because it resembles an arrow, which is a symbol of courage.

3. Tieks by Gavrieli
Gah! These are my favorite things. Tieks are beautifully made, non-skid flats that fold up to fit in your purse. Once you try them on, they’ll never leave your feet, and they stand up to years of daily wear. Contest winner can choose among the rainbow of fruit flavors available on the Tieks website.

4. Scarf by Mixed Bag Design
These soft scarves go with everything, and the Mixed Bag website allows you to hold fundraisers for causes close to your heart.

5. Bliss Beauty Soaps and Scrubs
In blood orange and white pepper. Do not eat them.

6. The Quintet Necklace by Lemonade Handmade
Another favorite thing that makes me sigh. Every year, Mighty Summit attendees make a list of five things they hope to accomplish in the coming year. This delicate, simple necklace symbolizes those goals. Tiny brass rings just within reach.

7. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
A book that encourages you to go be brave. We are pro bravery around here.

8. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
Mighty Summit alum Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess, wrote this movingly funny book, which includes a chapter on the very first Mighty Summit, and photos of me slaughtering the author with a meat cleaver.

9. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Summit alum Gretchen Rubin is once again on the New York Times Bestseller list with her sequel to the Happiness Project, a tome about a year of seeking happiness at home.

10. Oh Happy Day Piñata
Jordan Ferney, the genius behind the website Oh Happy Day, made these teeny eeny piñatas by hand, and they are perfect. You’ll wish you had two so you could pit them against each other.

11. Lands End Canvas Tote
These extra-large natural zip-top tote bags by Lands End are awesome for trips to the pool or beach, picnics, and summering on your fleet of yachts.

12. Daring Greatly Action Book by Behance
Get started on your Life List goals! This notebook is designed to help you plan visually, too.

Winner of the Mighty Summit Necklace and Brooch

Congratulations to commenter number 533, Dawn, who just won a necklace from Feisty Elle and a brooch from Mama’s Little Babies with her comment:

“Dear crazy over extended younger self,

Stop and take a breath every once in a while. It is good for the soul. And for all that is good in this world stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing amazing things with your life and you will continue to and stop calling yourself fat!

Love, your older self who looks at pictures and wonders how I ever thought I was fat.”

Hooray for you, Dawn! Pretty stuff coming your way.

Giveaway: Mighty Summit Tote

This here is the last Mighty Summit giveaway! Hello, trusty tote.

Large Natural Zip Top Canvas Tote Bag by Lands End

Man, these things are useful, and strong. We use ours to carry our child like an expensive, overbred dog. No, I kid. We use it on our yacht.

Yours will not say “Gifts” on the front, but it will have yellow trim. You could use it to carry around all these books:

You Lost Me There, by Rosecrans Baldwin

Hey, my friend Rosecrans is a novelist! Even better, the book he wrote is very good, and you will like it. It’s about a memory specialist who loses his wife and later finds a set of index cards covered in her writing. He comes to learn that his memories of a perfect partnership aren’t true to his wife’s feelings of isolation and disenchantment with the marriage.

No One Cares What You Had fro Lunch, by Margaret Mason

This is a signed copy of my book, which is not a novel. But! It is very green and full of good ideas for your blog.

Wiley’s Guide to California Wine

In which you will learn that California wine is delicious. Apologies for the spoiler.

Kirtsy Takes a bow By Kirtsy

This is the book Laura edited full of great writing and photography from women around the Web. Also, it is pretty.

$100 Gift Card from Lands End

In addition to the tote, Lands’ End also threw in a gift card. You could use yours for this. Or this. Or one of these. Whatever you want, really.

$50 Gift Card from Soma Intimates

And who doesn’t need new skivvies?

To enter, please tell us about one thing that always makes you happy. And remember that we still have a few open giveaways, so put your name in over there too if you haven’t already.

Fine print: Please only leave one comment for each giveaway, because it’s the nice thing to do, and also because multiple entries will be disqualified. I’ll use random.org to select the winner, and I’ll announce who won at the top of this post and in a separate post next Monday.

Giveaway: Mighty Summit Necklace and Print

Today’s giveaway is a little more symbolic. First up is the Quintet Necklace, by one of my favorite etsy jewelers Lemonade Handmade:

Gold Rings Necklace — the Quintet by Lemonade Handmade

I’ve mentioned this necklace before, we gave one to each of the attendees to symbolize the five Life List goals they hoped to accomplish in the coming year. (Nicole did a lovely write up about it.) I love the necklace for its simplicity, and I like the idea of five golden rings being little commitments to yourself. I’ve been wearing mine every day since the Summit. Lovely.

Every year, we have an artist make limited edition prints to commemorate the weekend. This year Alma and Mike Loveland of Ollibird.com did block prints of the vintage blankets we lug onsite to keep everyone warm.

Alma, whose yellow sweater you may remember from a previous post, did the illustrations.

Mike hand painted the blankets for a little pop of color.

Mike and Alma teach all kinds of art and computer classes and they live in the Salt Lake City area. In fact, they’re hosting an art weekend in Salt Lake at this very moment, so head over if you’re in town.

The finished prints each featured a different color, but yours will be plum.

To enter, please tell us about your proudest accomplishment in comments. And the drawings are still open for our the Mighty Summit Giftbag and the Summit Necklace and Brooch giveaway, so throw your hat in there too.

Fine print: Please only leave one comment for each giveaway, because it’s the nice thing to do, and also because multiple entries will be disqualified. I’ll use random.org to select the winner, and I’ll announce who won at the top of this post and in a separate post next Thursday.

Make 1,000 Lovely Things: Flower Party Hats How To

 

For those of you who requested a how to on the fiesta party hats, here you go:

You’ll need:
Crepe paper flowers (we got ours at Fantastico!)
Wire cutters
A hot glue gun and glue sticks
Lingerie elastic for the headbands

This is how the flowers come, pre-muss.

First, I turned them inside out for maximum fullness. You have to do this gently, stretching each layer as much as possible without tearing it. Then I clipped out the center stamens with a pair of wire cutters and turned the flower right side out again.

Now it’s time to glue one side of the petals down to create a larger flower that looks more like a rose than a trumpet flower.You’re about to glue the first layer of tissue down, but avoid gluing down the raw edge of outermost tissue shown in the photo above. You’ll want to hide that edge, and if you glue it to the stem, it will be visible in the end result. Instead glue at least three fingers width away from that edge.

(Bam! Color change. I am blowing your mind right now with the magic of the Internet.)
Anyway, once you have your spot, put a little hotglue on the stem about two inches away from the base of the flower,

and pat the first layer of tissue into place.

Repeat with the next two or three layers of tissue, gluing each to the “stem” through the layers of tissue that are already tacked down. Your dots of glue will get a little closer to the center with each layer.

Your end result will look like a lopsided flower before you put it on, but this shape follows the curve of the head in an attractive way.

Now for the headband. I just measured by pulling it around my head and making sure there was some tension to the elastic so it would have to stretch a bit for the girls to put their hats on. That worked fine, and the photo above shows you about how long it is.

Once you’ve cut a piece of elastic to size, glue the ends together with a half-inch stripe of hot glue.Now glue the flower base onto the point where the elastic is joined, so you can hide that ridge. Use your wire cutters to snip off the excess wire on the flower stem, and voila!

The hat can be worn four different ways, so it’s perfect for folks who are irritated by party hats or don’t like to muss their hair. My favorite way to wear it is as a headband:

Then you can use it as a proper hat:

Wear it around your neck or wear it as a wrist corsage:

Hooray! You are so extra- fancy right now.