Let’s take a quick brake from a selly-selly types of posts and posts with numbered tips. We could both use a break , right?

I know that those readers who follow my Instagram and Twitter feeds get a pretty good behind-the-scenes look at what goes on with Campfire Chic, I thought it would be good to write it down…mainly so I follow through with them.

 

Going on behind the scenes at Campfire Chic:

  • An ebook coming out soon, get on my mailing list for updates
  • Trading Project Life cards
  • Experimenting with all sorts of green smoothies. I know it’s super “blogger” to be talking about them, but getting a Vitamix has really changed my eating habits and really helps out when you live in a plant-based household.
  • Purging the apartment of things that no longer serve us. It’s a small space and having stuff doesn’t help that. As I move onto my craft supplies, expect to see some posts offering up the supplies for low prices – I want them out but I also want them to go to people who will use them instead of the recycling bin.
  • I’ll be able to more officially announce a new partnership, and I think you’ll really like it.

 

What projects are you working on right now?

 

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These posts are inspired by the Around Here posts by Elise Blaha Cripe

Space Shuttle Endeavor - Campfire ChicEveryday photos - around hereEveryday photos - Around Here

 

  • I went to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavor a few weeks ago with work. It was really cool to see it up close because the last time I saw it, it was flying over Disneyland piggyback-style.
  • Free hazelnut latte + GIANT cinnamon bun + lactose pills
  • Rintu is a giant cat. If you’ve seen the fox pillow at Target, you’ll understand what I mean.
  • Roasted veggies for enchilladas + pizza + stirfry
  • The revolving sushi place is now dead to me. Not only did they get rid of my favorite rolls, they jacked up their prices! Never again.
  • Sometimes, the boys like to play “family time” and just pile on top of me.
  • Domo decided to come to work with me and eat all the Cuties.
  • We bought a shitton of eggs from one of the local farmers markets…and then a TON of veggies…and we’ll probably be going back for more next weekend.
  • Sushi + udon after climbing
  • Bri plate after climbing (on a different day)
  • Back to bouldering. Wearing my UpLift tank from the first yoga rave I attended…I’ll be attending another in a few weeks and I’m SO excited :)

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I made a new page!

List of National Parks - Campfire Chic

Visiting National Parks and sharing posts from our adventures inside and around the parks is a high priority for me. I wanted to make it easier to find posts for each National Park and decided to create a whole page dedicated to organizing those articles!

 

If you visit campfirechic.com/national-parks, you will find an alphabetical list of the 59 U.S. National Parks and the posts associated with the parks we’ve visited since Campfire Chic began in June 2010. The parks we’ve visited are bolded and the posts are included below the name of the park.

 

It may not look like a lot right now, but we have plans to add at least two more parks to the “bolded” list and plenty of articles for each of the parks we visit this year. I love the idea of having this page grow over time and possibly look prettier in the future, but for now it will do just fine.

 

Feel free to check out the new National Parks page and let me know what you think.

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Keen CNX Clearwater Sandal Review by Kam of Campfire Chic

 

I’ve been in the market for a ‘base camp shoe’ to bring with me on backpacking trips that isn’t heavy and will protect my feet more than a pair of Rainbow sandals. Enter the brand new CNX Clearwater Sandals from Keen Footwear!

Specs (from Keenfootwear.com)

  • Weight: 7.6 oz/214 g
  • Type: CNX, Bungee Styles
  • Fit Tip: We find this style runs pretty true to size
  • Lining: AEGIS microbe shield treated hydrophobic mesh
  • Upper: Washable polyester webbing
  • Rubber: Non-marking rubber outsole with razor siping

That’s right, these shoes are lightweight when compared to the familiar Keen Newport Sandal which comes in at 11.64 oz (according to the website) or even the Newport H2 which is 12.03 oz. The lining of the shoe has a microbe shield, so you won’t need to wear socks with your sandals (why would you??), and the shoes are easy to clean.

Here are some more (post testing) photos of the shoe so you can get an idea of what the shoes look like:

NEW CNX Clearwater Sandal by Keen Footwear - gear review by Campfire Chic

 I wasn’t sure about these shoes at first, I saw Keen promoting the new CNX line online but waiting until I was able to talk to one of my girlfriends about the shoes and try on a pair (at the time they were only secretly-available at REI but she had a pair in my size). As soon as I held the shoe, I knew I was hooked. Unlike the other Keen sandals I’ve held before, these were noticeably light and the shape is more feminine than some of the others I’ve tried on in the past. I think I said something along the lines of, “Oh hey, I don’t look like I have a club foot or belong on a boat!”. I’m lady-like like that.

 

I quickly ordered a pair online, and thanks to Keen’s quick shipping, I had my own pair of shoes and a sweet new wallet in no time at all.

 

I took the CNX Sandals out for a test for a weekend in Death Valley National Park, located in California near the Nevada border. I wanted to test the shoes on a variety of terrain in a short amount of time, and it was the perfect excuse to bring them along for our camping trip.

 

 Here are some action shots:

CNX Clearwater Sandals by KEEN Footwear - Great shoes for traveling, handles slick surfaces (like salt!) really well. // Gear review on Campfirechic.com

Kam's review of the new CNX Clearwater Sandals by KEEN Footwear -- Visit Campfire Chic for full gear report
I do have to say: Please don’t be dumb like me and go hiking on what is essentially baby-gravel wearing sandals. Why am I so dumb? Thankfully, the CNX sandals are easy to get on and off, so I was able to remove the tiny rocks from between my toes really easily…it’s not the shoe’s fault, it’s mine.

 

As you can kind of see in my photos, my pinky toe is not in an danger of escaping, which can be a problem when wearing sandals like this — or maybe I’m the only one with a rogue toe sometimes?

 

Also? No break-in time. I was nervous about wearing the shoes for so long and doing a lot of walking around in them, but they were so comfortable and no chaffing what-so-ever! Yes, I would venture to say that these could possibly be Disneyland-approved footwear. Yep, I went there. While I live in my TOMS, they are not so great for a trek around the Disneyland Resort…but I’m guessing these would be perfect!

These are perfect for:

  • Travelling
  • Road trips
  • Amusement parks
  • Anywhere you need some lightweight shoes and would like to wear sandals

Not-so-perfect for:

  • Gravel surfaces
  • Winter
  • Anybody worried about strange tan lines (I’ll be earning my ‘Keen Stripes’ this summer!)

You can order your own pair of CNX Clearwater Sandals by Keen Footwear via Amazon.com while also supporting Campfire Chic!

Have you tried the new CNX Sandals?
Do you own any Keen shoes?
What are your go-to travel shoes?

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I want to share a little secret of mine…or maybe it’s me admitting a guilty pleasure…I’m a life-long learner. What a buzzphrase, right? Life-long learner.

 

That’s right, I love to learn. I can’t help it…in fact, my grandmother once told me that “learning is our religion”, and that really stuck with me. After finishing my Masters program, I felt a bit lost. I went from being a student for the past 19 years to being…not a student. I filled that void for a while by signing up for online challenges and mini-courses, but I needed something more than a self-paced PDF with ways to document my trips.

 

Enter, Skillshare.

Skillshare: Learn Differently

 

I found Skillshare in September 2012 when there was a $5 class about telling your story on Pinterest. I also signed up for another class on customer loyalty…all while also taking part in Amy’s (AMAZING) Onward and Upward course. After being without classes for so long, I hit the jackpot!

 

A few classes later, and I’m sitting here wondering why I haven’t shared this great resource with you! This is totally something you’d dig.

 

In fact, you may even decide to teach a Skillshare class (yeah, I took a class on how to teach a Skillshare class–you know me, I like to be prepared!) after seeing how cool the classrooms are and the different types of classes being taught. Seriously. You’ll love this website.

 

What is Skillshare?

 

Skillshare has a quick video for you to check out, it’s really well done and does a fantastic job of telling you just what Skillshare can do for you. I’ll try to do it justice: Skillshare is a way for you to learn either online or locally. The teachers are just like you and me…in fact, you can teach a class if you have something to share! There are opportunities to meet up with people in your area who are taking the same class, for you to connect with your instructor via Google Hangouts, or you can take a class at your own pace.

 

To start, you’ll need to create your free profile. Once you do, let’s be friends! You can find my Skillshare profile here. Then, search for classes and sign up! There is a small fee, but many times there are discounts if you are one of the first students to register, which is nice!

 

The classes I’ve taken all have some sort of final project, and you get your own section of the classroom to create and share your project. I really like the setup and think it is a great way to connect with the other people in my classes.

 

Two of my final projects:

  • My Pinterest board that I created for my Pinterest class. I should be full of pins that tell the story of Campfire Chic’s core values
  • I took a class by the Director of Possibility from Lululemon/Founder of igolu, which focused on goal-setting as a way to create the life you want. My final project was a 5 and 10-year plan for my life that included health/fitness, relationship, and career goals

 

I’m just finishing up another class, but I’m going to talk about that one in a few weeks after I’m able to better put my final project together to share with you all!

Have you taken a Skillshare class?
If you could learn something, what would it be?

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finish your to do list
 
I’m a chronic lister. 
 
Maybe that’s why I love 30 Days of Lists so much?
 
Well, lists. What can I say about them? They help me organize my thoughts, reduce my stress, and give me a visual marker for my progress.
 
But how do I tackle my list and why do I take a few extra steps before just diving in? I have no trouble starting, it’s finishing that needs work…and that’s why I need to make lists. Lists help me finish.
 

Conquering my to do list – The HOW and the WHY

 
Get out of my head
I’m sitting here and my anxiety is getting the best of me because I have a million things/ideas/deadlines/questions going through my head…so now is probably a great time to get a list going. This “get out of my head” list isn’t going to be pretty, so I skip the cute glitter pens. It may not make sense, and it may not seem like it will end…but I give myself 10 minutes to write down everything.
 
And I mean everything. I usually end up writing some things for grocery lists (I can’t seem to remember to pick up paper towels!), blog post ideas, deadlines that are looming, housework that needs to be done, trip ideas, more blog post ideas, reminders to clear out our DVR, and more housework that could be done (because doing a “Tupperware audit” always sounds like a good idea to me).


Prioritize
While a Tupperware audit sounds like a ton of fun, it shouldn’t be at the top of my priorities if I have a deadline looming and we’re running out of clean socks. Sorry audit, you’re being pushed to the bottom of the list. The really important things on this crazy list get stars to help me pick them out of the crowd. Things that are more like “hey, it would be fun to redo my entire Pinterest account!” get kicked off the list immediately. Priorities show us what means the most to us…and a perfectly curated Pinterest board isn’t as important as clean socks.
 
Break down
Not quite a ‘breakdown’ but more of break down the large things on your list into smaller pieces. Let’s use the example of redesigning your blog or website. That is a giant thing to have on your to do list…and I’m not exactly sure where to start.
 
So let’s break it down: you’ll need to come up with a color scheme, find some fonts/typefaces that you want to use, find some new social media icons to use, tinker with the html/css to see if an overhaul is something you can do on your own, decide if you want to hire a designer, contact that designer, etc. etc. At least with this list, you’re able to pick out a few tasks that you can sneak into your to do list while feeling less overwhelmed by the idea of completely redoing your design.
 
Separate into days
I do this at work. I have 5 colored folders, each labeled with a day of the week (shown above). When my inbox starts getting a little crazy (read: everyday), I simply put projects/paperwork into the different folders. Filing can be done on Friday, helping somebody with their travel reservations can be done on Tuesday, and I’ll work on meeting minutes on Thursday. Having these things out of my inbox and waiting for me on other days is my way of delegating while at work. It helps, it really does.
 
I do the same thing at home. I’ll take my giant (broken down) list of things and start assigning 5 things a day to different days of the week. Sunday is usually for writing blog posts, taking out the recycling, and getting my purse ready for the week. Maybe I’ll include a quick run to the post office (to use the machine) and paying bills on that list. If I finish those 5 things, I can always move onto other things on the giant list, but I know that I can
 
Go into types
So you’ve written down the things that are swarming around in your brain. You prioritized them to some extent. You broke down the large projects into smaller tasks, and you pretty much gave yourself homework by separating those tasks to different days.
 
I go even further sometimes…especially the days I have off from work and know I can probably tackle more than 5 items.
 
Then, I go ahead and divide my list of things to do up into types. I take a dry erase board and divide it into sections: Campfire Chic, housework, errands, and whatever else seems to be looming (maybe Project Life, 30 Days of Lists, a new ebook or workshop).
 
Once I have the sections created, I go ahead and plop the tasks that need to get done for that type into the appropriate section. So, under Campfire Chic, I’ll put in: write Monday’s blog post, order business cards, respond to guest blog post inquiry, pay affiliates. And under housework, I’ll put: clean kitchen floor, move recycling to patio, and dust blinds. See? Simple!
 
Why do I do this? So when I get up to take out the trash, I can take a look at the dry erase board and see what other housework things I can do…taking out the recycling at the same time sounds just dandy. And on my way back into the apartment, I’ll clean the kitchen floor and dust the blinds before I sit down and work on some blog posts.
 
Get started
I think this is my favorite part…I know that with the list of specific tasks sitting in front of me, I can chug along and get quite a few things done before plopping back down onto the sofa to re-watch Downton Abbey for the ump-teenth time. To keep me from just lounging around, I go ahead and use the Pomodoro method, which I blogged about previously. Instead of using my phone (which tempts me to sit down and check Twitter, Instagram, my inbox, and whatever else I can make an excuse to check), I use a timer on the microwave…and put my phone in the closet so I’m not tempted to stop. Because stopping doesn’t feel as good as starting and finishing!
 
 
For some, this is going to look like a lot more work that what is necessary to just get started. And maybe it is. But maybe for those of you who are like me and prefer to have a list of specific action items in front of them, try this out!
 
How do you keep track of your tasks?
Are you a chronic lister?

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Now that I’m posting more of my Project Life layouts, I feel like it’s time to share some of my Project Life Essentials.
This list goes beyond photos and words.
I tried to be good and share a listing of all the items I use in my Project Life layouts and include links, but that takes too much time, and to be honest, I’m using some really old products, so they may not be available at this time.
My essentials include:

The bowl in the top corner is a koa wood bowl from Hawaii. It’s been in my family since my dad was really young…kind of like the table I use for these photographs. I like that I’m able to use it to hold all that flair, stamps, and whatever other supplies need to move with me from one place to another. I’ll say that bowl is an essential item, too!
What are your essentials?
When you’re working on a project, do you leave it out when you’re not working on it, 
or do you fully clean up between sessions?
Do you re-purpose things from your family to organize?
*Affiliate links. Support Campfire Chic by visiting Amazon.com to make your next purchase.

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