In less than two weeks I will be in Palm Springs, California, attending Camp Mighty. It is a three-day retreat, coordinated by the totally awesome Team Mighty.

camp mighty life list

Several months ago my friend, mentor and blogger extraordinaire, Sarah Bryden Brown, suggested that I attend Camp Mighty. And, as I always do what Sarah tells me to, I pretty much signed up right away. It seemed like an amazing experience, and in recent months I’ve become even more excited about the prospect of truly exploring (and implementing) my personal and professional goals.

I will be staying at a mid-century modern hotel, meeting many friends that I’ve only communicated with on-line thus far, and – most importantly – sharing my life list.

With a group mostly consisting of total strangers.


As I’m much more comfortable being “one to one” than I ever am in a group (and by “group”, I mean more than one person), this is big for me. And I don’t mind sharing with you how nervous I am. The few women I’ve met who will be there are truly forces to reckon with – all smart, stylish, funny and so, so accomplished.

But I’m jumping in, taking a risk, and having lots of faith that this will be a truly life-changing experience.

Which, of course, I’ll be sharing every step of the way with all of you – starting with “the list”!

A few notes:

The “suggested” number for the list is 100. 100. That’s a LOT, and I was literally paralyzed every time I sat down to start. Then I read another blogger’s suggestion of breaking the list into sub-categories – which made a huge difference, and you’ll see that it is loosely organized that way.

I’ll highlight each goal as it’s accomplished, and give credit where credit is due.

You’ll see that some goals are crossed out – upon later reflection I decided to “not” accomplish those goals; you can read more about that here.

Ready? Here goes!

1. Make puff pastry from scratch
2. Make homemade ice cream
3. Make bread from scratch
4. Find THE foolproof pie crust recipe – make a pie using it
5. Eat at Per Se
6. Eat at French Laundry
7. Eat at Blue Hill Stone Barns again
8. Bake pretzel croissants with Maury Rubin
9. Take a tour of Mast Brothers Chocolate
10. Visit Sweden
11. Visit Finland
12. Visit Denmark
13. Visit Norway
14. Visit all 50 states and eat the quintessential food from that state
15. See the case study houses in L. A.
16. Visit Scotland
17. Visit Disneyland
18. Take a tour of mid-century modern architecture in Palm Springs
19. Visit Portland as a possible place to live
20. Visit Austin as a possible place to live
21. Visit Seattle as a possible place to live
22. Visit Asheville as a possible place to live
23. Visit Chapel Hill as a possible place to live
24. Stand at the equator
25. Stand at the North Pole
26. Stand at the South Pole
27. Really learn my camera – beyond just “point and shoot”
28. Complete Justin Hackworth’s photo workshop
29. Have more accepts than rejects on Foodgawker
30. Take 12 pictures in the same spots on the High Line, once a month, for a year Do 4 posts about the High Line, with photos that capture what I love about it most in each season. Winter Spring Summer
31. Learn to speak fluent Italian
32. Move out of New York
33. Compost
34. Re-read the entire Chronicles of Narnia
35. Learn to knit
36. Purge my wardrobe of every item that I no longer wear/use
37. Stop interrupting
38. Wear my hair in its naturally curly state for a month
39. Shut down my landscape design business for good
40. Meet Kevin Bacon
41. See the Rolling Stones in concert
42. Sit in on the Howard Stern show
43. Ride my bike around the perimeter of Manhattan
44. Take up yoga again
45. Meet Lena Dunham; hug her
46. Own a Vespa
47. Conquer my fear of the Statue of Liberty
48. Design and plant a cutting garden
49. Learn to make small talk in a room of strangers
50. Re-commit to TM twice a day, every day for 6 months
51. Meet Molly Wizenberg and eat at Delancey
52. Spend a day at the Martha Stewart offices
53. Meet Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman
54. Have a professional photo shoot
55. Get a massage once a month for a year
56. Spend 3 days on a beach, alone
57. Own an apartment in NYC or Brooklyn
58. Ride the 6 train down and around Manhattan, to catch a glimpse of the City Hall subway station
59. Live in Rome for a year
60. Establish Chelsea in her own apartment in New York City
61. Make my own bubbles and giant bubble wand
62. Take Noah on the Roosevelt Island tram
63. Help Conor through the college search and application process, to find the best college for him to attend in 2014
64. Have a professional photo taken of my family
65. Speak with 5 bloggers that I admire – put at least one of their suggestions into action. 1. Sarah Bryden Brown (write each post with purpose) 2. Isabel Kallman (write more gardening posts) 3. Melanie Biehle (have a logo; tighten up the appearance of the blog) 4. Jessie Artigue (create a series of “e-maps” for purchase through the blog) 5. Sandra Harris (create a mini version of “that book idea”)
66. Publish a series of e-maps (1-day excursions in and around New York) for purchase through my blog
67. Attend Alt Summit
68. Begin earning an income through my blog
69. Take a “nostalgia” ride on a vintage New York City subway – photograph and write about it
70. Visit and photograph 5 “off the grid” streets in Manhattan
71. Eat gluten-free for one month
72. Eat dairy-free for one month
73. Eat sugar-free for one month

So what do you think? Do any of you keep a similar list? I heard Maggie Mason say that she put her list on her blog with the hopes that having it “out there” would motivate her more than if it were written in a private journal. Do you agree? Would love to hear about your lists, goals and dreams too!


  1. Sara on November 5, 2012 at 7:31 am

    38. Wear my hair in its naturally curly state for a month

    That one is so much easier than you think … there is a quote somewhere from DVF, something like the most liberating day of her life, was the day she stopped straightening …

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

      If only I were as glamorous as DVF!! 🙂

  2. Lacy on November 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I love this! And I found the PERFECT pie crust a couple years ago. I think it’s from Pioneer Woman. The key is vinegar!

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Lacy – interesting, I read a piece by Cook’s Illustrated saying vodka is key (maybe I need to make two??) xo

  3. Leslie on November 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I can’t even imagine you with curls. I want to see pictures.:-) I recommend Asheville–it’s close to me! When you visit there be sure to come in the fall! This is a wonderful list. Thank you for sharing.

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Ugh – I suppose I WOULD have to post photos, yes?? xo

  4. Lisa on November 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Love this, Leslie! Many of mine would be eerily similar to yours; must be the love of family and food that makes both of our hearts beat a little bit faster. I’ve not written a life list but now I want to! Can’t wait to hear about Camp Mighty; attending that would definitely be on MY list 🙂 ((hugs))

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Lisa – I’m so excited and feel very lucky to be attending. xo

  5. Melanie on November 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I love your list! January is coming up…you need to get that High Line photo project started! Such an awesome idea.

    See you soon! xo

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks, you! I was going to start this week but am avoiding the city for the time being………..can’t wait to see you!

  6. Peach on November 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’m going to Camp Mighty, too. You are not alone in your nervousness. I already have sweaty pits. (no, really… trust me) But your list is amazing, and I can’t wait to meet your amazing self in person!

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Gah! So glad to hear that – can’t wait to meet you too! xo

  7. Caitlin on November 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Love your list and can’t wait to introduce myself at Camp! I’m pretty nervous as well and almost cancelled last week because I just wasn’t sure of all of it (“but I’m not a blogger! but I won’t know anyone!…). I’m so happy I didn’t. See you there!

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Caitlin – NO ONE is more shy than I am – seriously! Can’t wait to meet you too! xo

  8. Leslie on November 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    When you get around to the “Howard Stern” event,
    I’d be happy to join you, if you feeling shy.

    Would love a ride on the “Vespa,” especially in Rome!
    Have a blast at camp!!

    Love you!

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Don’t you join me in all of my “media” adventures?? xoxo

  9. Maggie May on November 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Great List Sheri, it is fun to read through!

    • sherisilver on November 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks so much – once I stopped panicking it was actually fun to do (minus the “putting it out there” part!) xoxo

  10. Karen on November 6, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Your list of possible places to live mirrors mine! Please share with us what you discover when you do visit. In the meantime, I pretend to house hunt on to see what I could afford if I ever do move!

    • sherisilver on November 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I will Karen; thank you. By the way, your blog is beautiful. Really beautiful.

      • Karen on November 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

        Thank you!!

  11. Marti on November 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Great list!! Thanks for sharing, I feel like I know you a little better. I would also enjoy #14 the HB and I love to eat.
    Camp Mighty sounds like a great experience I think once you become familiar with the people and your surroundings you might feel more comfortable.
    My husband participated in a tour of mid-century modern architecture in Palm Springs. He’s an architect and enjoys that.
    If you get a chance I would highly recommend going to Melvyns for a drink. Melvyns is inside the Ingleside Inn
    a hotel where the pack rat used to go and even to this day celebs are seen there.
    I can’t wait to read about your trip and keep us informed about it.

    • sherisilver on November 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks so much! I went to architecture school myself but never practiced professionally. Would he recommend the tour he took? Just put Melvyn’s on my list – thanks for the suggestion! xo

      • Marti on November 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        Hi Sheri
        My husband said he thought it was very well worth it. (mid-century modern architecture tour)
        BTW drink a lot of water – It’s very dry, I always feel like a prune if I don’t stay hydrated.

        • sherisilver on November 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

          Thanks! Sounds like it will be great for my hair! 😉

  12. Robin on November 9, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Yay! Visit Portland as a possible place to live! Let me know if you come, I’ll take you to Tumbleweed!

    • sherisilver on November 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

      You know it! xoxo

  13. Megan on November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Just came across this list… for item #4 I think the crust from this recipe is fabulous and I haven’t managed to mess it up yet:
    This has to be one of the easier tarts but don’t tell the rest of the worldwide web that because it looks and tastes like something far more difficult.

    • sherisilver on November 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      You’re the best – thank you! 🙂

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