Alex and I took a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood right before the first of the year to check out the new-to-us areas of the park and to enjoy a long weekend away from the office. We got annual passes (there was a great offer for Southern California residents that was discounted through my work) and decided this trip would be a good opportunity to get our bearings so we can dive in on future trips.

I haven’t been in the park since grade school, rides like E.T. and Backdraft were still there when I went and the Jurassic Park ride was brand new! The park is so different now! There is an area for Dr. Suess, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Shrek, and Transformers. Alex hasn’t been in years either, so we considered this a “first trip” for both of us.

Orange High School's last game, and final home game, of the 2016-17 season

Before I talk about the park, I have to talk about my tank top. My parents got me three tanks from Jorandene for Christmas and I knew I needed to wear my Mischief Managed tank to Universal Studios because this would be my first time seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I wanted to be dress appropriately. The tank tops are super soft and the color combinations are beautiful. All the products on the website are made in the United States and the shirts are hand screened in Brooklyn. I love that there are different fandoms represented in the shop and styles available for adults and kids. Honestly, check them out.

Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood - Kam of Campfire Chic

Before we even parked the car (it was 10 a.m. and we had to park on the roof of one of the “cheap” structures), we knew we were in over our heads and underestimated the crowds. We got through the gates and I buried my face in the map so we could find our way to the Harry Potter area. We passed a large sign showing the wait times for the different rides and attractions in the park and most of the rides were over an hour and a half…with one of the Harry Potter rides being a 240 minute wait. Yes, a four hour wait.

Instead of joining the long lines and committing most of our day to one thing, we tried to explore Hogsmeade. The area is very small and there were so many people walking around that it was a little difficult to walk around. Thankfully, it looked like Honeydukes would be a good place to start.

Honeydukes Windows at Universal Studios Hollywood - Kam of Campfire Chic

Honeydukes in Universal Studios Hollywood - Kam of Campfire Chic

Honeydukes in Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood - Kam of Campfire Chic

We walked through the other stores and took note of the different things available next time we visit. If you visit on a very busy day, make sure to have cash with you in case you want a Butterbeer and the lines are long. One of the stations (there were two the day we were there) had some drinks available for cash so you didn’t have to stay in line for long. We weren’t able to get a souvenir cup this way, but it was worth the shorter wait!

Springfield USA at Universal Studios Hollywood - Kam of Campfire Chic

I think Alex’s favorite part of the park was the Simpsons area, which is super cute and the attention to detail was great. I saw the city symbol and new I needed a quick photo of it. One of the things I love about Disneyland is the insane attention to detail and it was nice to see some of that at Universal Studios. We didn’t go on any rides in this area but we will be back to find one of the Marge Simpson pretzels!

We did end up waiting about and hour and a half for the backlot tour. The tour lasts about an hour, so it seemed like a good trade off and the line moves pretty quickly, so you’re not just sitting in one spot for long, which is nice. The tour is a little different than what we remember from years ago and the 4D additions for King Kong and The Fast and the Furious were really cool. Part of the backlot is set up for The Good Place which was really cute because every other store is a frozen yogurt place.

Our proudest thing about this trip: Taking in enough snacks that we only bought coffee and the Butterbeer while in the park. We will buy an interactive wand eventually and I know I want to try some of the snacks in the Simpsons area! I added our next Universal date to our calendar for next month and I hope the crowds will be less than when we were there so we can hopefully get on more rides.

Here’s to more close-to-home adventures in 2017.

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in Around Here., California, Geekery, Microadventure

Awesome Ladies Project - Creative Self-Documenting Challenge

I believe that I am the best person to tell my story and while I participate in different short-term challenges and projects throughout the year, I am very excited to join a community that is actively documenting their stories year-round.

I enjoy being a part of the memory-keeping/scrapbook community through listening to podcasts, following my favorite scrapbookers on Instagram, subscribing to different YouTube channels, and talking with others.

What I’m missing is a centralized location to see what others are creating, share what I’m creating, and to have conversations about approaches, techniques, and off-topic conversations that can help spur more stories to document.

That’s where The Awesome Ladies Project comes in.

I am really enjoying how I have a space of my own within the Awesome Ladies Project community. I have my own profile that allows me to update what I’m working on, share photos of the projects on my desk, and meet other awesome ladies who are documenting their stories, too!

Here is information from the website:

The Awesome Ladies Project is a creative self-documenting challenge started in March 2013 by rukristin: Feminist Scrapbooker. The ALP exists to encourage and empower women to prioritize self-storytelling. The Awesome Ladies Project challenges you to document your life on your terms. No matter what your life looks like, you’re awesome and your stories deserve to be documented in a way that makes you feel awesome. We’re here to help.

The Awesome Ladies Community is a collective of women from around the world who passionately believe in creative self-storytelling. We are scrapbookers, photographers, journalers, and more. If you’re interested in telling your awesome lady stories with photos, words, and crafty supplies, you’re in the right place. We believe in diversity, bravery, and challenging yourself in our creative safe space. Most of all, we believe in each other.

The Awesome Ladies Project VIP Membership offers exclusive content, discounts, and private community share spaces. The signature of our VIP membership is our Monthly Mini-Storytelling Workshops. With these workshops, we dive deep into a single storytelling topic and explore it through our Personal Awesome Ladies Projects.

Each Monthly Storytelling Workshop includes: 

  • Audio/Video lesson from rukristin
  • Printable PDF storytelling workbook
  • Three monthly challenges (photo, word, and supply)
  • Exclusive tutorials
  • Private storytelling forum
  • Private workshop gallery
  • and more

If you’re interested, act fast, because Awesome Ladies VIP Memberships are available now through January 31st.

After that, VIP memberships will open again in mid-June. By offering membership twice a year, rukristin and The Awesome Ladies Team are able to concentrate on providing our VIPs with the best possible content instead of spending our time doing sales and marketing. We love our Awesome Ladies and we want to provide them with the best creative self-storytelling experience possible.

Your story is important to us, and we want to help you document your life on your terms. Sign up for the membership option that best fits your needs.

 

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in Blog Friends, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking

Create a December Daily Album and Include 30 Days of Lists Journaling

December Daily 2016 Album with 30 Days of Lists

December Daily is a yearly challenge created by Ali Edwards that encourages you to tell one story each day throughout December. The stories might be about the holiday-related things you are doing (hanging lights, shopping) or the everyday stories you want to document that may be overlooked in your regular scrapbooking during the holiday season.

30 Days of Lists is the creative journaling challenge I co-host three times a year as a way to encourage folks to incorporate creative time into their lives. The December challenge is not holiday-related, but we make sure to have prompts included that could be interpreted by Listers celebrating holidays during December.

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Cover Page

 

I pulled together a small kit for myself before December 1st in order to make sure I was organized and ready to get going. I cleared out the top shelf of my RASKOG cart* and put all my supplies there so they were all in one spot so I didn’t have to hunt anything down during the month and could roll the cart into the living room if I wanted to scrapbook while sitting on the couch.

My supplies for December Daily/30 Days of Lists:

  • Simple Stories Holiday Snap! Binder – a 6×8 inch binder that is similar to the ones I used in previous years. I love using this style binder for projects including my wedding album, December Daily/#30Lists, and vacation albums.
  • Simple Stories pocket pages in various styles but my favorites are the 3×4 page protectors and the 3×4 with 4×6 page protectors.
  • My beloved Fiskars paper trimmer (this is the more updated version). This is my tried and true paper trimmer that has been by my slide for about eight years. One of the first things on my shopping list for this project was new blades. Like sewing projects, you want to have fresh paper trimmer blades available for a big project.
  • Echo Park Paper’s Deck the Halls paper line (this is a big pack so you get an idea of what I picked up). I have the 6×6 paper pad, a handful of 12×12 papers, and a paper embellishment pack from this line. It’s more traditional that I normally go, but I fell in love with the patterns and several of the papers can be used year-round for my outdoor adventures
  • The 3×4 number cards are from the 2015 December Daily mini kit designed by Ashley Goldberg for Ali Edwards. You can see the digital kit here.
  • Painted wood veneer trees are by American Crafts. Another staple in my scrapbook stash!
  • Currently List cards and other papers/cards from the Awesome Ladies paper line by Kristin of rukristin papercrafts. Kristin is working on her shop right now, so you’ll want to subscribe to her email list to know when these are available again!
  • Other embellishments, stamps, washi, and stuff. I’m trying to use my stash from last year and add in a few pieces that are new — I didn’t use a lot of stamps last year and I’m hoping to use more this year to justify my shopping (ha!).
*The links to Amazon.com in this list are affiliate links. I will receive a small commission on sales made through these links at no extra cost to you. I use the money to purchase supplies and my favorite spicy ramen #realtalk. If you want a RASKOG don’t live near an IKEA, you can order one on Amazon.

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Cover Pocket Pages

I had a very good time putting together my album this year.

It seemed easier and I think that is because I reviewed my previous albums right before getting my album started for 2016.

I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself to scrapbook each day, I let myself work on the album whenever I wanted.

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Backside of clear pocket pages

I decided to include more stuff in my album this year and not hold back on including the 2×2 pocket pages throughout the album. I started this album with some paper I love from the Echo Park line. I included a 3×4 card from one of the Ali Edwards kits from last year and mounting that card on a transparency overlay, also from a previous kit.

Then I included my first 2×2 pocket page of the album to give some early layering to the album, include the year, and mirror the transparency used on the opposite page in the pockets to create a cohesive look.

I spent the first day of December at home with a bad cold. It was my first time using Amazon PrimeNow, so I included part of the bag in the album as a reminder that I’m super lucky to live in an area that has a service that can bring me medicine within an hour or two!

 

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Including Packaging in Your Scrapbook Album

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Day 1

While I was home sick so I prepared my album with number cards from a December Daily kit from 2015 that includes numbers 1 through 31. I am not thrilled with the look of all the number cards, but I wanted to use them up and this is the best project for it.

I also created the List cards using stamps and mounting the list papers on the patterned paper I bought for the project. It was nice to have these made ahead of time so I would be able to grab the cards as I worked on my lists.

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists - Days 2 and 3 with Kam of Campfire Chic

In an effort to keep up with the project on a regular basis, I printed my photos at home using my Selphy printer (check out my Canon Selphy printer review here). It may not be a perfect solution for all scrapbookers, but I like having my projects done rather than waiting until the end of the month to order a bunch of photos or running to Target whenever I need photos for my project (because it’s impossible to leave Target without spending $50).

This is going to be a very photo-heavy post, so it continues after the jump.

[click to continue…]

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in 16 Projects in 2016, 2016, 30 Days of Lists, December Daily, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking

One Little Word 2017 Word of the Year

My One Little Word for 2017 is GO

Are you new to the idea of One Little Word? Here’s an excerpt from Ali Edwards’ website:

The premise is simple – choose a word to invite into your life for the coming year. You live with it. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities and no right or wrong way to approach the adventure. Sometimes words have come to me out of the blue and other years I’ve gone looking for what it was I most wanted to bring into my life. 

This will be my 6th year selecting a word that will help direct my year. I really enjoy having a word instead of resolutions because it gives me something to come back to throughout the year that will help me remember the kind of experience I want to have rather than getting down on myself for not achieving (not too specific) goals or changing my habits.

Previous One Little Words:

Honestly, the last two years weren’t documented very well and I forgot about story altogether as I was putting this post together. I’m thankful that I save things to this site, but I wish I did more to thoughtfully include my words into my everyday life. I want to be able to SEE me word and think about it in a way that it becomes my mantra for the year.

2017 will be the year of GO.

One of my favorite things that Ali Edwards suggested to do in the past was to select 12 intentions around your word so you have something to reflect on each month. I know I enjoyed putting together posts about my 12 intentions for the year of brave. I think this year will be great, too.

My 12 Go Intentions:

  • Ready, set, go
  • Go with the flow
  • Go above and beyond
  • Go ahead
  • Go out
  • Go away
  • Go further
  • Go on
  • Go all in
  • Just go
  • Go back
  • Let go

I have the intentions loosely organized as I think makes sense over the year. Some of the phrases feel the same, but I know as I reflect on each month, I will interpret the intentions differently.

I know this will be a great year.

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in 2017, Go, One Little Word

2016 in Review - Campfire Chic

 

I did not post as much as I wanted to this year, but as I sat down to put together 2016 in Review, I saw that I had a pretty good year. I didn’t find myself skipping over many posts because I didn’t think they deserve to be on this list, and that is what matters to me. As I went through my posts for the year to see what I should include, I knew I wanted each one to answer the question, “could this post help somebody?” I want Campfire Chic to be a place where I enjoy sharing what is going on in my life but is also a place that can be one of those blogs that people use to plan adventures, get inspired to document their story, and try new things.
2016 was another great year for travel (I still have a few destinations to share, but they can wait until next year!), sharing some creative projects, being a tourist in my own backyard, and more.

Here are the posts I’m most proud of from 2016.

Travel

Creative Projects

Microadventures

Reviews and Things to Read

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in 2016, Year in Review