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I have a confession: I make a lot of excuses.

Excuses to avoid doing housework. Excuses to not launch new products. Excuses to not workout.

So many excuses.

Also…I’m scared. I’m scared and hide behind my excuses. I use my excuses to stay sheltered and safe. It’s one of the biggest reasons I chose BRAVE as my One Little Word for the year. It’s helping me try new things, like acknowledging my excuses and getting help with them.

One of the brave things I did recently was get a 90-minute coaching session with Katie Lee of The Small Change Project.

I was terrified and wanted to make a thousand excuses to not follow-through with the meeting, but I sucked it up, woke up early, and met with Katie last Friday to chat about things.

Without going into too many details, IT WAS 90 minutes of AWESOME.

Talking to somebody who doesn’t really know me, isn’t familiar with excuses, and somehow knows exactly what questions to ask so I answer my own questions was totally inspiring and mind-blowing all at once.

Why you should talk to somebody about your dreams and goals:

  • talking about your goals makes them feel more real
  • you may find the answers you were looking for
  • the other person may be able to help – you never know until you ask!
  • you shouldn’t have to keep it all to yourself, that’s a lot of pressure

I found it super helpful to talk to somebody who didn’t know me very well (Katie, in this case) when trying to figure out long-term goals, but I also know that I need somebody to talk to about short-term goals, and that’s when I go to somebody who does know me well – Amy of Lemon and Raspberry (who only has 1 spot available through the end of the year, so you better get on that).  Going to somebody who knows me well makes me feel more accountable and like I truly have somebody on my team.

My brave challenge for you: book time with a coach (Katie and Amy are fantastic, seriously) to take a brave step in the right direction to realize your goals. Consider it an investment in your dreams.



I am an online class/workshop/webinar junkie.

While I love joining awesome classes via Skillshare or directly from bloggers, I usually have a hard time finishing time-based classes. You know why? I have other things going on and I only have so many hours in the day.

I’ll sign up for a 2 week class and try to cram in all of the learning + responding + connecting in the last 2 days the class is available. I’m drowning in printed workbooks for classes I never finished because the organizer shuts the site down after the class ends (one BIG reason I like leaving all of the 30 Days of Lists private blogs up for at least 1 year).

I’m a self-paced kind of gal, what can I say?

But there is one workshop I make sure to focus on while it is active - Onward & Upward.


Because it scares the hell out of me and challenges me in ways that my day job doesn’t. It scares me how the readings make me really look at my actions and goals. It challenges me to analyze the steps I took in the last year to do my GREAT WORK. It’s a hell of a workshop, to say the least.

Unlike other workshops I join where the response portions are usually followed up with comments like, “looks great!” or “me, too!”, the responses from those participating in Onward & Upward spark a conversation and sometimes even crowdsources solutions to road blocks.

It’s fantastic.

If you saw Amy’s BUILD ecourse but weren’t sure if it was for you (if you are looking to start a blog or if you have a blog and want to take it to the next level, IT IS FOR YOU), I’m going to suggest starting with Onward and Upward to see just how motivating and inspiring Amy’s work is — and we’ll be able to work together on our journey toward our great work.

Onward & Upward is an 11 week course — with two weeks off built in for catching up, brainstorming, and doing your thing.

I never think I need Onward & Upward until day 1 of the workshop…at which point, I pull out a notebook and get straight to work.

Want to join? I’m going to suggest you get on Amy’s mailing list ASAP to get the opportunity to be one of the first to register…you’ll get some benefits including:

  • 35% off the full price (discount is automatically applied until September 22)
  • 1 hour of 1-on-1 consulting with Amy during the course of the workshop
  • Free download of my (now retired) ebook Self Love: 22 Ways to Make Your Heart Happy ebook

… all just for registering before September 22!

Cool, right? Get on that mailing list to get the deal! Regular registration will begin September 22nd.

So let’s step out of our comfort zones and do something a little brave — sharing our thoughts and ideas with others, asking for help, finding new resources, and making strides to go onward and upward with our great work.


3 reasons to take a break from Campfire Chic

To do lists. Productivity hacks. Streamlining social media. Inbox zero. Deadlines. Updates. Notifications. A growing RSS feed. Pitches.


It’s enough to make your head explode.


So why not take a break?


I must be crazy, right? You’re just much too busy to step away from the computer/phone/tablet. I just can’t possibly understand. There are blog posts to be written, statuses to be updated, and emails to be answered! I do understand. That’s why I’m telling you this: It’s OK to take a break.


I’m not saying that you need a full break, but maybe it would do you good to take a step back over the weekend or to disconnect a few nights a week. I know it helps me! But maybe you need a few more reasons why…


3 reasons to take a break:

Help Avoid Burnout

You are amazing and fantastic. But there is such a thing as having too many irons in the fire. And it’s true that multitasking isn’t always the best solution. In an effort to avoid burnout and a possible complete freak out down the road, let’s take a break. It’s okay to say “no, thank you” to awesome opportunities. It’s okay to not have a blog post up on that random Thursday. It’s perfectly acceptable to not update your Instagram/Pinterest board/Twitter account for a few days. Focus on what needs to be done right now — Pinning that Paleo birthday cake can wait. Burnout gets messy, burnout leaves you in the sandpit disguised as quicksand, burnout is hard to overcome. Take a break.


Let People Miss You

BUT KAM, MY FANS!!” Look. Let people miss you. Recruit some guest bloggers for your site for a few days and let your readers miss you a little bit. Take a look at your Twitter and Instagram feeds…how often are you currently posting? Once an hour? Once every 15 minutes? Let’s leave your fans wanting a little bit more and you’ll find that you have some time to wash your hair or change the laundry. Your fans will still be there. Step back and take some time for yourself — maybe you’ll inspire your readers to do the same.


Live the Life You’re Busying Documenting

If you’re a blogger or other memory-keeper, it may be time to take a break from the message boards and chat rooms and to get back to doing what you’re trying to document…your LIFE. Turn off your push notifications and take your dog to the park, rent a kayak, go to the movies…something that forces you to disconnect for a while. Live that life you’re telling us about all the time! And you know what? feel free to not tell anybody about it…It is perfectly OK to be a blogger and not share every little piece of your life. It gets exhausting  your hands will thank you for the break from the keyboard, and your friends/family/partner will appreciate having you and the experience just between you two! Get out there and live.


What other reasons would you add to this list?


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?



I saw one of my favorite bloggers post a teaser about Blog Inc. and quickly placed my pre-order. I waited anxiously for this book to arrive so I could get some inspiration, learn more about blogging in a community, and to write up a review for Campfire Chic readers.I’ll start with some basics: Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community* is written by Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh, Joy! The book is the perfect size to slip into your handbag and is beautifully designed, two things that made some of the drier chapters more enjoyable.

  • I like that the chapters move in a progressive manner and talk of sponsorships and advertising are held off until the end. Sometimes the topic of monetizing a blog is discussed way too early, but that is not the case with this book. The focus really is on making your blog work for you.
  • There is something for everybody - This isn’t just for bloggers looking to make money from their blogs, this is for anybody looking to start his/her first blog, looking to go beyond the “this is for my family only” kind of blogging, and those looking to start building relationships with brands.
  • Interviews –  I recognized quite a few names, and it was nice to learn more behind-the-scenes information on each one.
  • Not niche specific – It also isn’t gender specific, even if it is pretty. Joy does a great job not focusing on one specific niche, she mentions food bloggers, mommy bloggers, craft bloggers, tech bloggers, and more! I love that it isn’t so focused and the readings give examples from different types of writers.
  • So many interviews…I’ll go back eventually and read them all, I’m sure, but when I’m in the groove, I don’t want to get distracted by yet another interview. But that’s just me, I’m sure there are a ton of people who want that real-world information from “real” bloggers.
Overall, I think this is an excellent book for any blogger. Joy does a great job of not focusing on one niche or theme and really makes the information clear on the “why” for her suggestions. The “why” is what really helped me move past writing down facts/tips from the reading and onto mini-projects for making Campfire Chic better.
This can be a long book if you’re thinking of sitting down and digesting the whole thing in one weekend. I really suggest getting a notebook out and having space to write down some notes as you read and doing a bit of a synthesis at the end of each chapter. What information do you want to remember? What suggestions do you want to look more into?
Like The Handmade Marketplace, this book is going on my shelf under ‘reference’. I’ll be pulling it out from time to time to look over her suggestions and re-read the interviews to see if what I’m experiencing is a road block or just disinterest when it comes to blogging.
Have you read Blog Inc?
What blogging/selling/social media books are you reading?
*Affiliate Link. Support Campfire Chic by purchasing through these links. I did not receive compensation for this post, other than the affiliate sales generated by this post. 

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I visited a fairly new bouldering gym in Orange County over the weekend with Alex and fell in love immediately. The staff was friendly, the facility was awesome, and I felt great…like I could conquer the world.

I focused on one wall, traversing the entire length before sending (ascending) all of the VB routes and moving on to the VO routes (VB is the lowest rating in a facility, and V0 is the next lowest…these should be easier routes with nice, big holds. Good for beginners)…and then I got stuck. Literally.

I made it to the top of the 15 foot wall on my ninth route and couldn’t get down. I wasn’t frozen, I was just stuck…I couldn’t lower myself the way I came up, I couldn’t traverse to another part of the wall, because I was surrounded by holds that I couldn’t grip well…I was stuck.

And so the self-talk began. I had to talk myself out of panicking – that would get my hands sweaty and increase my chances of falling. I had to talk myself out of tiring my arms out, because I could fall if I got too tired or cramped. So I started trying to problem solve. I tried to get to different parts of the wall again, this time risking putting my feet lower than I would like to force myself to let go of my handholds…but I couldn’t reach. I was stuck on the wall, laughing at myself and wondering if anybody noticed yet. I was stuck and needed help.

After about 5 minutes, I was able to get Alex’s attention (I’m sure yelling, “Alex! Halp! Halp!” did the trick) to come help me see what I wasn’t seeing…a way down other than falling. I knew he would be able to help me when his first statement was, “don’t fall yet, you’re too high”. He worked with me to get me down far enough to jump.

Sometimes getting stuck, be it on a wall without a harness and ropes, on an idea for a new website, or applying for a graduate program in another state, is scary. You know there is a logical way to move forward, but there is either something in your way or the way isn’t clear. It is normal to get stuck, think about how many times you got stuck in Geometry!

I have found that talking to myself really helps. Yes, self-talk can do more harm than good, but learning how to talk to yourself to get you through a problem is a great skill to have in your toolbelt. You may even do a little self-talk without realizing it! I like to keep my self-talk rational and focused on facts. “Fact: I can’t get down the way I came up. That is okay, there is a whole wall with plenty of holds. Let me move to the left and see what I can reach over there….”

And then sometimes asking for and accepting help is necessary. I think the part to focus on here is accepting help. Sure you know how to ask somebody to help you decorate for a party, but are you willing to accept their help? There’s that whole pride thing that gets in the way, which happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. I have to remind myself that it takes a village to grow, so I swallow my pride and ask for help. Help can come in the form of getting dinner delivered the night before a craft fair, asking a campground neighbor to help open your bear canister, or lining up guest blog posts for the week you are out of town at a conference. Help is out there, you just need to ask for it and accept it when it arrives.

How do you handle getting stuck?
Do you talk to yourself?
How do you go about asking for help?