Blogging Night - Campfire Chic

I am thankful for…

  • sick days
  • friends who ask me for blogging advice
  • rdio – so I can listen to bands like Cartel, M83, and Taking Back Sunday while I work
  • the mysterious $50 Target gift card I found under the bed
  • streaming services like Hulu+, Netflix, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime
  • earplugs
  • Alex not being too upset that I leave projects all over the place
  • a family who trusts that I’m making good choices
  • opportunities to try new things
  • last year’s One Little Word – BRAVE – still having a big hold on my life
  • Amazon selling my favorite spicy ramen in bulk so I don’t starve (on sick days when I don’t want to leave the house, mostly)

What are you thankful for this week?

This post was inspired by the write365 iOS app — I was originally planning on writing about WonderCon today only to find out than none of the photos came out well. I opened the app on my phone and started tapping away — this topic spoke to me the most. Find out more about the write365 app here.

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in About Kam

Today’s post is brought to you by Amy of Lemon & Raspberry.

3 Reasons Why You Will Never Finish That Project from Amy of Lemon and Raspberry on CampfireChic.com

 

If you’re anything like Kam or I you’ve also got a long list of projects that you want to finish. Craft projects and business projects and home projects and the list goes on and on. For example, I have a memory keeping project that I’ve been working on and off for almost three years. There are a lot of reasons why it is still not done – not least of which is because it is far bigger than I expected (see number one below).

You probably have one or two or ten projects you’re in the middle of too. Plus all the pins you want to try. Plus all the ideas you have brainstormed for the future and not yet started.

Let me be honest with you. Tough love time.

You’re never going to finish that project and here’s why:

3 reasons you will never finish that project

You don’t know what you’re doing

You’re lost and you don’t know what that next step is. Maybe it’s a quilt that you’re struggling with the binding. Maybe it’s an ebook that you don’t know how to conclude. Maybe it’s a new career that you don’t yet have all the skills for.

Either way, you’re either hoping the answer will float into your brain through no effort on your part or you think that if enough time passes you’ll be able to figure it out.

Which means you’re never going to finish.

You don’t know your priorities

Is it more important that you finish reading that novel because the library due date is soon or more important that you finish that baby quilt for your cousin’s upcoming shower? Is it more important that you hang out with your neighbor or that you finish putting together the new free ebook for your subscribers? Neither answer is right or wrong; hang out with your friends all you want.

Just know that if that project is not made a priority you’re never going to finish it.

You are afraid of what will happen when you finish

Once you finish that novel you’ve been chipping away at for six years since college, then what? What if it is incredibly terrible and a train wreck and you have just wasted six years of your life? Or, even worse, what if it is genius literature and then you have another huge to do list of writing your query letter and sending it out to agents and risking rejection or even having to decide between more than one offer and then having to deal with being a famous author? I know, it’s rough.

Of course, if you never finish it you don’t have to worry about either outcome.

There are so many reasons why you are never going to finish that project. Or, you know, prove me wrong.

In the comments, I’d love to hear what project you’re working on and your next step to FINISH! (I know you can do it!)

At the daily blog Lemon and Raspberry, Amy T Schubert helps you tell your story, build your platform and find your GREAT WORK … and how those all combine to help you live your best creative life. Check out her free guide to jumpstart your creativity!

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in Finish, Productivity

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve - Campfire Chic

 

I got up early on Friday and asked Alex to drop me off at the trains station so I could head up to meet Amy for a visit to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. The poppy reserve is a beautiful grassland habitat that is super alive and vibrant in the spring when the California Poppies (our state flower) bloom. I used to take the train from San Diego to Orange County on the weekends while I was in grad school, but going on a two hour train ride with a transfer at Union Station in Los Angeles was a little worrisome for me…I haven’t made a transfer like that before (I made a transfer to the subway from the train once, but I don’t really remember the whole process) on my own but I figured there were plenty of signs and people to ask…and after coming home from New York City, I figured it would be cake once I got on the train!

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve Hills - Campfire Chic

There are 10 miles of dirt trails at the reserve, an interpretive center, picnic tables, both vault and flush toilets, and a parking lot. It is $10 to get into the reserve (which is a California State Park) but please note that they only accept cash. As you drive from the freeway to the reserve, you’ll pass plenty of places where you can pull off on the side of the road for some quick photos, but please be careful as people drive very quickly on these roads to and from the prison. The picnic tables are covered, and have the only shade to be found in the park — Amy and I forgot sunscreen and are both sporting some very impressive sunburns now.

In addition to the trails to explore the hills, there is an ADA-approved walkway from the parking lot to the visitor center and a short way into the preserve. You can read about all of the other facilities and accommodations available at the reserve here.

The flowers were so beautiful and seeing people out in the fields enjoying the beauty and fresh air was great. It was very windy out and the fields looked extra pretty rippling in the breeze. I’m glad I wore a long sleeve to keep me warm while the wind was blowing and help keep the sun off of my arms — I highly suggest finding long and light layers to wear when you’re in desert regions. In addition to minding the sun, if you go to the poppy fields, please be aware that you are in rattlesnake country and stepping off of the trail may lead to danger. Heck, there were rattlesnake warning signs posted as soon as I stepped off of the train! Other critters you may run into: scorpions, coyotes, kangaroo mice, lizards, butterflies, badgers, jackrabbits, bobcats, and other snakes.

Jerky Dynasty Snack Pack

Amy packed an awesome lunch for us — giant salads with a ton of veggies, turkey, cheese, and great dressing…and enough to keep us fed for a few days! We retreated from the sun and pulled the food out of her car and set up at one of the many picnic tables available. I brought some fun things to try, too: a selection of exotic jerky from the fine folks at Jerky Dynasty! I tried some of the jerky while on the SoCal Hiker Tweetup Campout (thanks, Josh, for sharing!) so when I was sent a package filled with these treats, I was excited to try a few more of the stranger varieties. My favorites from the group are the spicy pepper Buffalo and the barbecue-flavored alligator jerky. With so many options available from the Jerky Dynasty website, I bet the other meat-eaters reading this will find flavors they’d love. I told my dad about trying the different flavors over breakfast on Saturday and well, I think I figured out this year’s Father’s Day gift. Get 15% off snack packs from Jerky Dynasty with code KAMROCKS through May 15, 2014.

California Poppy Fields in Southern California - Campfire Chic

Amy and I spent the day talking about blogging, business, marketing, gear testing, getting feedback, and future partnerships. I love that we get together at least twice a year face-to-face to hash things out that we can talk about over Skype because it means so much more to do the work in person. We didn’t have any cell reception so we weren’t focused on answering emails, updating our social media statuses to share the views, or anything like that. We had a few things with us, our ideas, and got down to business as soon as I got into her car and it didn’t stop until I crashed into my bed later that night. We chatted about her love of travel and travel scrapbooking, how I want to spend more time focusing on micro-adventures instead of devoting so much time to larger trips this year, and we threw around ideas about a possible new collaboration.

If you’re in Southern California and are able to make it out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, I highly suggest making that trip happen. There is a festival coming up April 26 – 27th in Lancaster to celebrate the poppy season, find out more information here.

Are there festivals focused on your state flower?

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in Adventure, California

Essential Reading Posts from Campfire Chic - Articles, Blog Posts, and Videos from Around the Web

 

  • It’s hard to be an adult sometimes, but after reading Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup, I am better able to take charge of my financial situation and plan for the future. I know where my retirement accounts are, I am more familiar with my student loans, and I’m able to face my business finances with gratitude rather than resentment (I mean, who goes into quarterly taxes thinking, “Yay!!!!!”?). It’s not like other boring personal finance books, Kate does a great job of letting the reader know that she hasn’t always been perfect, how her emotions were a big part of her relationship with her finances, and she gets the reader involved through a quiz and some journaling.
  • How to repurpose your old content 
  • I’m hoping to meet up with Josh to expand on his list of the best donuts in Southern California because gourmet donuts are a big deal right now.
  • I think it’s about the right time to be heading out to the parks in Utah. I didn’t get to spend enough time in Bryce Canyon and it is on my mind a lot right now.
  • Ready for a mega-eye-roll? We have a “coffee cart” in our apartment. I know, it sounds totally dumb and boarderline douche-y, but, we have zero counter space (I have to stow the dish drying rack when we aren’t using it) and we needed room for our grinder, Chemex, beans, filters, and…the Vitamix. To make matters worse, I keep losing the bottle opener and figure one of those novelty bottle openers that you mount to a wall (in this case, the coffee cart) would be a good choice. Now, I have to ask you, would a bear bottle opener be a little bit too much? What about this tea infuser? Too much?
  • Elise knows these small business things to be true.
  • Somebody emailed me to ask what affiliate network I use (not for Campfire Chic, but to be an affiliate for others) and my main network is through Share a Sale. It’s pretty easy to use, many of the brands you’re currently linking to are on there, and it’s nice to have everything organized and in one spot. If you’re thinking of expanding your income streams to include affiliate sales, this is a good option.
  • Track your progress with a “done” list rather than a to-get-done list.
  • Once upon a time, I considered dropping some big $$$ to attend this social media conference…but if this is what happens at them, I’ll pass.
  • I refuse to drive to Las Vegas…it’s a popular “quick weekend” escape for Southern Californians since it’s only about 4 or 5 hours away…it’s probably the worst drive of my life and it’s never fun getting stuck in Vegas traffic on Sunday afternoon. I’d much rather fly…it’s so much faster! BUT, Josh wrote this great post of cool things to see/do on the drive to/from Las Vegas that may make the drive tolerable…
  • In Orange County this summer? Here are 17 interpretive centers to share with your kids.

 

The Finishing Manifesto - Campfire Chic

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in Essential Reading

Currently List for April 14 2014 - Campfire Chic

Kam of Campfire Chic

Soup Date - Campfire Chic

Dessert in San Diego - Campfire Chic

LAX Hallway - Campfire Chic

This week’s Currently List is the blue card from the Currently List Starter Pack. The book I’m reading is here.

Kristin took the photo of me while we enjoyed the weather and lounged on the grass in Brooklyn between bouts of eating fantastic food at Smorgasburg. Check out Kristin’s mini-album focused on an accidental trip to the Met.

I’m trying to branch out meal-wise — I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately when it comes to my meals and I’m happy that we were forced to shake things up when we were in New York. Even if shaking things up was a simple veggie soup. Oh and I need to slow down on the brownies.

I love this hallway in LAX. The tile is gorgeous, and it is one of those very strong visual reminders that I’m either coming or going from a great trip.

I’m working on the final touches of an upcoming email-based ecourse — Spark –…it’s turning out to be way more personal than I thought and I think it shows in the content and delivery. Subscribe to the Campfire Chic mailing list to be the first to hear about it.

While many people are going through another very popular “school”, I’m focusing about 2 hours a week on the BUILD ecourse…what I like is that it’s totally self-paced, I can jump around from topic to topic, and head over to the private Facebook Group to bounce ideas off of the other folks in the course. This week, I’m reviewing the content about including videos as a part of my normal content and the section about auto-responders (it’ll help with the Spark ecourse). If you’re interested in learning more and/or getting FREE weekly blogging tips straight to your inbox, click here.

I’m can officially announce that I’m an Ambassador for Flow397 – a socially responsible “for-profit” business with philanthropic origins. Flow397 is committed to donating $3.97 for each item sold to charities that support our National Parks. Expect to see me guest blogging on their site in the next few months!

I was asked about fun places to find Project Life cards by a reader (via email – feel free to contact me with questions, post ideas, or anything else) and wanted to let you know that I will be updating my Project Life Inspiration Pinterest board with some of the resources I found for her.

I joined a Biggest Loser Challenge at work — damn, peer pressure. I won’t talk about it much here, no worries, but if I try anything new in the next few months (my first check-in is in May and the final is in mid-July), I’ll be sharing more “Tips from a Beginner” posts, which is one of the biggest reason I joined.

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in Around Here., Currently List