Mighty Life List
Apr 17 2014

Campfire Boyfriend Sweater

After an evening by a campfire, I’m reluctant to wash my hair. I want the whole world to smell like a sweater borrowed from an Eagle Scout boyfriend. I am quite serious about it.

I looked years for fragrances to help me achieve this effect. When I found them, I was very excited about finally smelling like me, so I got cagey when blogger friends asked me how I was doing it. You cannot tell the Internet, I said. Because I wanted all the smokey stuff for myself! Mine! The bonfire delicious!

But that was dumb. So! If you want everything you own to smell like a Campfire Boyfriend Sweater too, these are the three things you must own. I have put in the time on this, so trust:

Victory Wolf perfume by OLO, $45

OLO is a Portland-based perfume line created by Heather Sielaff, who is a genius. Almost everything she makes is unique, but Victory Wolf is unlike anything else I’ve smelled. It actually makes me salivate. Taxi drivers, elevator companions, people in checkout lines, strangers stop me everywhere to ask what it is. After I’d just reapplied one day, a guy stopped in front of the patio where I was having tea and shouted, “Someone over there smells amazing!” Aw yeah.

When I first bought it, I asked the woman at the counter about it, and she was similarly agog. “I shouldn’t say this to a customer,” she said, “but when my friend tried it, he said, ‘It makes you want to eat something or f**k something.’” Whoa. And truth.

Palo Santo Wood, $10 for 10-15 sticks

A friend of mine bought this as a gift. “I feel sort of stupid giving you a stick of wood,” she said, “but it reminded me of your perfume.” Palo Santo, or holy wood, works like incense. You light it on fire and wave the smoke around to make everything smell sweet and campfire-y. Here’s a video how to, which contains some aura and healing talk, but the first 30 seconds shows you how it works to just make your house smell good. I keep mine in my bathroom in a pretty ceramic container filled with rice, so the rice definitively snuffs the embers when I’m done waving it around.

(Image via Cool Hunting, which has a more thorough explanation of Palo Santo’s history.)

Woodfire Candle by Illume, $15-$36

Ms. Chao told me about this most recent discovery. If you’re looking for something a little more dinner-party ready than waving a burning stick around, Illume’s Woodfire candle. Woof.

It apparently started as a holiday thing that then gained a cult following. This is what finally made my apartment smell like campfire full time, because the candle smells even when you’re not burning it. Plus, the votive has a pretty etched pattern on it and is nice and heavy. This is a thing for me because I plan to clean the containers out and use them as large lowball glasses for sipping bourbon around the campfire at the cabin. Full circle.

If you’re a smokey perfume person, please overcome your reluctance to share product recs in comments. Love, Maggie.

If you liked this post, you might also like:
What’s in My Dopp Kit
My Everyday Purse Kit
Vintage Perfume Bottle

Apr 10 2014

The Best Parts of Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

I found this book and its online component very useful. The book introduction outlines an overall philosophy on effort, and then has a chapter covering thirty-four strengths they’ve identified through research. Each chapter gives an overview of the strengths and then offers ideas for action.

You can read the whole book, like I did, or take an online quiz to show which strengths are yours so you can focus on those.

Overarching points:

“…people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.”

“The key to human development is building on who you already are.”

“Most successful people start with a dominant talent — and then add skills, knowledge, and practice to the mix. When they do this, the raw talent actually serves as a multiplier.”

Sample text from a strengths chapter:


Sample information: “If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away… who knows when they might become useful?”

Sample action item: “As you gather and absorb information, be aware of the individuals and groups that can most benefit from your knowledge, and be intentional about sharing with them.”

I found the book valuable mostly because some of the best decisions I’ve made have come from following what felt like the path of least resistance. But that can also feel like a cop out, because I have a lot of internal voices saying, “Overcome your weaknesses! Be a better you!” And so forth. The truth is, the you you’ve got is just fine. Work with those raw materials instead of fighting your nature, and you make more progress.

I have a friend who makes hiring decisions based on the philosophies in this book. I’m curious about whether any of you have done it, and whether you found it useful.

Apr 10 2014

How to Build a Creative Brand

Have you heard of Creative Bug? They make beautiful craft classes and video workshops, and their team made that crazy CRUSH yarn wall at our Go Mighty ALT party:

I know lots of you are small business owners, and right now Creative Bug is offering a 5-week course on Building a Creative Brand. It features coursework by Heather Ross and Lisa Congdon, who spoke at the first Camp Mighty, among others.

The class is regularly $175, but you can get it for $125:

Enter the code BRAND
And boom, $50 off.


This post is in partnership with Creativebug, which was built by people I like. Hi, guys.

Apr 9 2014

True or Falsie

OK, here’s the stuff I bought at the last Alameda Flea Market:

Festive Hat! Festive Hat is my new favorite. My Aussie friend Clarko says the poms are to keep flies off your face. I like them because they make me want to bob my head around to watch them dance. And so I will be adding pom poms to everything I own. And a rick-rack chin strap. Why else do I own a glue gun?

Technically, I bought this cashmere sweater at the last Flea, the one that rained out, but let’s talk about it. You can get cashmere so cheap at the Flea (like $10-$30 per sweater), it almost doesn’t make sense. You never see it at garage sales and thrift stores. Where is the secret baby-soft sweater pipeline? Let’s find out so we can stand naked at the spigot.

I also bought a vintage fencing mask for $25, because I needed it. I’ve been looking for one since I found a vintage fencing uniform a year ago. Now I can be an old-timey fencer for Halloween, because it’s what I want. Until then, it will look pretty cool on a shelf.


Apr 4 2014

Would You Look at That

I want to learn French mostly for karaoke purposes.

Kate Moss is so chill about her nakedity. I’m like, “Yikes! A sunhat at least.” This is why I can’t join your bohemian biker gang.

A list of fictional female robots and cyborgs is a thing someone made on Wikipedia.

I find this necklace touching.

Zelda was nutty, but whoa. She could also write. I got about halfway through her stream-of-consciousness memories with F. Scott Fitzgerald before my brain went fizzy. Still, lovely.

Katherine Hepburn laughing.

The bouquet above is number 16 of 100 for my Life List, I’m up to 20 cocktails, and one bathtub. My lord, we need an app.

Also, Go Mighty and Camp Mighty are nominated for an Iris award in the Game Changer category. And three(!) of our brand campaigns are nominated for Best Content Campaign: Go Australia, Too Small To Fail on Closing the Word Gap, and Hyundai’s Epic Playdate (which I worked on with Federated Media). Also Jenny at The Bloggess has been nominated for her work with Go Mighty on the Go Australia campaign too. So that feels really nice.

And finally, Space cakes!

Apr 3 2014

Chairish Has Gorgeous Vintage Stuff and $250 for You

Old stuff! I’m so into it.

As you maybe already noticed, I spend most of my free time at antique shops and flea markets. Nearly all of my furniture is vintage, but I never considered shopping for furniture online because pain in my butt. That is, until Chairish.

Chairish is a curated collection of designer vintage furniture. Making it easy to buy furniture online, and much simpler to sell and ship it, is their thing. Suggested prices are about what you’d pay at the Alameda Flea for furniture made by well-known designers, but they also have a “make an offer” button that lets you interact with the seller (in your pajamas with a glass of wine).

I put together a full collection of my favorite pieces here so go look. Chairish also asked me to put together a couple of dream rooms from their collection, so I went with Boy Meets Girl living spaces — strong silhouettes and feminine lines.

Shop for the pieces above: 1. Handblown Blue Glass Goblet 2. Henri Mathieu Moon Light 3. Soft Grey Chesterfield Sofa 4. Portrait of a Bare Shouldered Woman, Oil Painting by G. Dangman 5. Shagreen Cocktail Table 6. Midcentury Desk with Rear-Facing Bookshelf And below: 7. Mid-Century Jade Velvet Chair 8. Pagoda Plant Stand or Charging Station 9. Color-Pop Ginger Jars 10. Woman with Fan, Oil Painting by Kathryn Jenkins 11. Bachelorette Pink Linen Sofa 12. Deco Brass Floor Lamp

Download their free app if you want to browse their collection on your commute, or submit your own items by uploading a photo and info in about five minutes.

If you’d like a little head start on your decorating budget, enter the Chairish + Mighty Girl Giveaway for a $250 credit on Chairish. Here’s how to win:

1. Visit the giveaway page and enter your email address,
2. Go to the Chairish site or app and find something you want,
3. Leave a comment below with your favorite item.

Then cross your fingers. One winner will be chosen April 17. This is open to U.S. readers only, though this does not diminish my affection for Canadians, and Brits, and Aussies. Don’t you even think it. (Also, pro tip: There’s still time to enter over on Design Mom, and Door Sixteen, so up your odds.)

This post is in partnership with Chairish. I picked all the items on my own, in my pajamas with a glass of wine, and I will take any one of them and put them in my house. Twist my arm.

Apr 2 2014

Here’s to Simple Toasts

I love people who always have a toast at ready. I’ve been collecting favorites over the years. For a short wedding toast, or to wrap up a long one, “May you grow old on one pillow.” Over drinks I like to say, “Here’s mud in your eye!” I think because my grandma said it? No idea.

For dinner, I like, “May you never go to hell, but be always on your way.” or “Here’s to those who’ve seen us at our best and seen us at our worst and can’t tell the difference.”

Is this just an Irish thing, or do you have a favorite toast too? Is it because you’re Irish? Either way, spill.