7 October, 2011  |   631 Comments

Let’s do it again, shall we?
A Mighty Summit tote giveaway

Congrats to black belt/wine lover/redhead Karina Jean, winner of the Mighty Summit bag.
She’s a goodie. And so are you. 

Since it was so fun to give away the Epiphanie bag, when I had another chance to give you cats something good, I jumped. Thanks long term readers for helping me out. Thanks new readers too!

You’ve heard about those Mighty Summit bags filled with treats?
I have this year’s for you.
It’s a doozy.

We start with the bag.
Large Natural Zip Top Canvas Tote Bag by Lands End
This is our go-to carry on. Perfect for packing children. Not actual children. Come to think of it, I do tote both toddlers around in mine from time to time.
They’re little and fun to put into things.
The children, not the bags.
(I’m going to stop now.)

Tieks by Gavrieli
Mine are coppery and glittery and perfect. When you’re at as many parties as I am, these are essential. They are beautifully packaged and come with a little bag for storage.

Bamboo Dahlia Necklace By Feisty Elle
I always find something more practical to spend my money on than accessories. This necklace makes it seem as if that’s not the case

Mixed bag
This bag doesn’t get as much use as it will with my NEXT laptop. The laptop I have now is rather jacked from the toddlers.

Tattly Temporary Tattoos
My little ladies love the rainbow tattoos. I prefer the robots. James likes them all.

Typekit Subscription
I am proud to use Typekit for lots of projects. Easy, straightforward to implement and beautiful

The Happiness Project
I sat next to Gretchen Rubin at our closing dinner. She’s the most curious lady I’ve ever met. (And I don’t mean that she’s CURIOUS. I mean she’s honestly curious. She wants to know how the world works. It all fascinates her. Which is awesome.) Her blog and her New York Times Bestselling book demonstrate her curiosity and her willingness to share all she’s learned.

The Quintet Necklace by Lemonade Handmade
This little necklace isn’t just special for representing a commitment to yourself. It’s also looks great with lots of other kinds of jewelry.

Maggie tells me that the contest is over next Thursday, October 13. (So enter quickly). Midnight, PST. Triple your chances to win by commenting at the sites of Ms. Maggie and Ms. Laura at The Queso.

Like I just did for the Epiphanie bag, I’ll use random.org to select the winner. If you win, I’ll reach out by email to make it real and then let you know who won next Friday in its own post and in this original post. You can only win if you’re in U.S. and Canada.

27 July, 2010  |   1 Comment

Raise your glass!

That Maggie, always with the cleverness.

I’ll be in New York for that big lady internet writing conference next week, leaving James to tread on his own with two little children. (Not so excited about that last part, but we’ll all grow and change and learn and cry and call and get no sleep.)

If you’re in town, do you mind dropping by and bringing him a casserole? Thanks!

Saturday night, August 7 at 6 pm, I’m joining in on the sponsor-free old-school pay-for-yourself tomfoolery at the The Volstead on 125 East 54th St.

It’s fun to do things for fun.
Fun, funnity fun fun fun.

17 May, 2010  |   6 Comments

Weekendy friendy.

Well, hello!

I think I’ve mentioned it before, we’ve been thinking and working and writing lists.
My old life feels uncomfortable.
James’ old life feels uncomfortable.

We feel a change in the air.
We keep our eyes open for signs and opportunities.
We struggle with questions like,
“What am I here to do?”
“How will we support our family?”
“Should I pursue this next new thing?”

It gets better when we spontaneously decide to go to a friend’s cabin in Guerneville for the night.
We brought the babies,
we experienced our first projectile car vomiting.
We sat around a fire, we watched the little ones run and run.

In the morning, we were served mimosas and amazing lemon-brown-sugar blueberry pancakes.
(The kids ran and ran and ran some more.)

My favorite, nay, most refreshing part of the evening?

Upon arrival, BMay handed us the most delicious drink.

Watermelon Fresca.

Water Melon (Bon Appetit!), originally uploaded by * }-{@

29 April, 2010  |   7 Comments

Hello Mighty Events!

The amazing Laura Mayes and I are helping Maggie throw the Mighty Summit this year as part of her Mighty Events series.

This is good news.

Especially as I feel caught between supporting my family and living the fabulous life.
What’s smart?
What parts of my dream are logical to pursue right now?
Where can I put my limited time to the best use?

Events like these help us look at these big questions, together.

Buh BYE.

And then we style each other’s hair.

28 January, 2010  |   10 Comments

Mighty Mighty List

Ice cream on sick daysJust like you, we’ve had illness central here at our Napa Valley home.
Sad, sad indeed.

We spent most of the week hugging, holding, wiping and soothing. Thankfully James worked from home this week so I had a partner in help. He’s an expert hugger, holder, wiper and soother. (Part of the reason I married him.)

All the time I spent wiping little girl tears gave me oodles of time to think of what I really want out of life. I’ve had this list, mostly called “What I want to do before I die,” since I was fifteen. I prefer the Mighty Life List moniker, what without oh, the “DIE” part of the name. Maggie’s good. Very good.

This list will grow and change, but here, at this hugging, holding, wiping and soothing part of my life, this is what I want.

Helen Jane’s Mighty Life List

Grow a large flower garden

Pay for a stranger to attend college

Hire an interior decorator

Tour a bourbon distillery

Own a helium tank

Attend the Alt Summit

Make themed Halloween costumes for the family

Write and illustrate a book for children (note to HJ: That does not necessarily mean publish said book.)

Learn to speak Italian

Sew a quilt

Hire a staff

Run a marathon

Knit James a sweater

Teach a college-level class

Write a screenplay

Learn to play guitar

Own a lake house with a canoe and deck

Attend the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Pay for my kids’ college education in full

Make ravioli

Take singing lessons

Speak at SXSW

Own a vintage Jaguar convertible

Purchase box seats for all my friends at a Packer game

Go on tour paid for by someone else

Take family on an extended (like 6 months or more) cross-country road trip

Own a house with a barn on the property

Publish a cookbook

Get married to a man who would play guitar to our children

Throw an amazing surprise party

Host a baby shower

Give a motivational speech

Own exceptional luggage

Take my family (brothers, nephews, in-laws, the works) on an Alaskan cruise

Visit Ireland

Visit Italy

Host a television show

Take the family to Death Valley

Go back to Tahiti

Live in Napa Valley

Eat food with the following: Ina Gartner, Michael Chiarello, Rachel Ray and Nigella Lawson.

Play craps confidently in Vegas

Make a coloring book

Host a bridal shower

Have at least two children

Take piano lessons

Take an extended canoe trip with my sister

Own an easel

Take my family to Mount Rushmore

Learn to make gnocchi

Tour a winery