Around Here is inspired by the series by Elise Blaha-Cripe.

In this series, I want to share some photos of the more personal-side of Campfire Chic and to hold myself accountable for a few projects that I would like to finish.

Kam Mountain Adventure Team - Teton Sports

 

Project Life Workspace in a Small Apartment - Campfire Chic

Ticket to Ride Game Night with Friends - Campfire Chic

I have a serious question: Are board shorts for women not “a thing” anymore? I know I griped about this in my kayaking essentials post, but holy crap, talk about hard to find! Board shorts are my new white whale. Anyway, Alex and I are kayaking quite a bit (no, we didn’t end up buying kayaks last weekend — the issues of storage and transportation outweighed everything else) lately and one of the places we visited to get back into the swing of things was Dana Point, CA. Alex took the top photo as we tried to find a spot to sit down and enjoy the waves on the jetty that separates the calm marina from the ocean.

What’s the most difficult part of Project Life®? There are a few: remembering to take enough photos, remembering to sit down and order said photos, and then sitting down to put them all together. I worked in front of the A/C to put together a master list of all the photos I needed to order in order to catch up on this year’s binder. I expect the photos to be in my mailbox tomorrow, so this weekend should be full of the sound of my paper cutter!

Some friends hosted a Game Night at their apartment and we played Ticket to Ride (I won!) To be fair, I play the iPad version of this game A LOT, so maybe that helped with my unexpected win? We also played Munchkin, which was fantastic. If I didn’t mention this before (maybe on Twitter?) I may be joining a Dungeons and Dragons campaign this fall. Because, why not?

30 Days of Lists Behind the Scenes Skype Meeting - Campfire Chic

Around Here Photo 1 - 2Kam of Campfire Chic Shares Her Story as a Crafty Camper and Part-Time Adventurer on CampfireChic.com

In case you missed the email, Amy and I announced that 30 Days of Lists will be back in September! We had a 3 hour working Skype meeting two weeks ago and got a ton of work done. We’ll be posting some more behind-the-scenes photos on the 30 Days of Lists Facebook page and in upcoming emails to the mailing list, so if you’re interested in how we plan such a big event, you can like the page and subscribe to the list.

Seriously, I’m spoiled living someplace where I can get to the beach in about 2o minutes and have the opportunity to kayak in places as beautiful as the Newport Lower Bay and Newport Back Bay. We’ll be spending much more time on the water this summer…it’ll give my legs a chance to catch some rays!

I finally updated my profile photo here on this site and on my Twitter profile — Amy took the old photo of me last July and my hair has changed a lot since then and I think a photo of me in a dress didn’t make any sense here. I have Alex to thank for the new photo!

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in Around Here.

Updated Products from Campfire Chic

Just a quick note today that the well-loved ebook, Three Sixty-Five: Ideas for blog posts, scrapbook pages, and art journal entries, has been updated! I first released the ebook in April 2012 and 370+ downloads later, the ebook now has 390 ideas and a fresh cover (designed by Kara). I spruced up some of the content and added a resources page at the end of the book to (hopefully) help answer a lot of the questions I received from current owners.

If you currently own this ebook, please check the inbox of the email account you used to purchase the product…I sent everybody an email (through e-junkie) on Sunday with a link to the updated ebook. There is no need for current owners to re-purchase the product. If you would like to find out more about this ebook, click here.

In addition to the ebook update, I wanted to announce an update to the write365 iOS app!  The app now has 400 ideas for brainstormers-on-the go. All the same functions are still available — simply tap the “get inspired” button and a new prompt will appear on the screen. You can also email yourself the prompt and start drafting your thoughts in the body of that email. Not a giant update, but I wanted to let you know that there are more ideas in the app now! There is not an Android version of this app at this time.

If you currently own this app, simply navigate to the App Store on your device and update the app. If you would like to find out more about the app, click here.

 

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in Announcement

3 Tips for Planning Your Escape - Campfire Chic
Today’s “3 Tips” post is an interview with Krystal of Krystal’s Kitsch. She lives in Florida where she enjoys sunshine, palm trees, and a good sangria…and blogging! She recently took the leap into freelancing full time and has some tips to share with Campfire Chic readers.

Krystal, tell readers a little about yourself and what you share on your site.

I’m Krystal, and I’m officially a full time blogger. It wasn’t always that way though. I worked in radio, marketing, public relations, and even retail while working on my Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. I thought that there had to be a way to blend blogging and education together, so that degree made the most sense. When I graduated, I wasn’t met with very many opportunities so I worked for a university. I did the typical 9-5 grind for way too long advising students, creating newsletters, and goofing off too much on Facebook.
When I had to move unexpectedly when my husband got a new job, I sort of hit the “reset” button. I was in a new area with new people and opportunities. I didn’t find steady work, and I was left pooling my pennies together to make a living. It didn’t seem to be something that I could do forever. When I did finally find a professional job in my industry, I hated it. I felt bored, uninspired, and just plain uninterested. This wasn’t for me.

How you did you decide it was a good time to make your escape from your 9-5?

When blogging began filling up my weekends with money-making opportunities and I started writing more on the side, I knew it was time to make a change. I waited until I received a few high payments for my work, and I fled. I couldn’t have done it without REALLY working double duty for a few months. I needed that cushion of extra cash when it became time to take the big leap.

What 3 tips do you have for somebody who is planning her escape?

  1. You might have to work 80 hours a week at first. I juggled a full time job, a full time blog, a family, and a toddler for many, many months. I can’t say that it was easy. I had to let certain things slide sometimes (dishes are optional) or come up with creative ways to publish a blog post while at work (I do not condone that!). But, hey, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
  2. Don’t take no for an answer. My husband didn’t think it would work if I left a stable job with benefits for the freelancing world. And, you know, it might not. But, at least I am trying. I have more work now than I know what to do with, and I am grateful for the opportunities.
  3. Wait for the right moment. There were many days I wanted to quit hastily without a good excuse. I knew that wouldn’t work though. I still needed a paycheck. I put in long hours and did a lot of assignments in one big burst. When I received that payment, I knew I could do it. I took the leap and didn’t look back. Give yourself a date (mine was actually June 13th but I left two weeks before then!) and work toward that.

What are some online resources that you use everyday and think potential-escapees should be using, too?

Learn Photoshop* if you think it will be helpful. It has certainly elevated my photography which has helped me secure more writing and photography gigs. I have a plan where I pay by the month for a subscription to Photoshop, Lightroom, and Bridge. Also, TinyScan helps me with scanning in photos as PDFs (contracts, etc.), and Pocket helps me remember to read things later. I’m a big fan of Buffer, Dropbox, Workflowy, and Google Docs.

What tips do YOU have for cubicle-dwellers looking to escape?

*Photoshop Elements 12 is currently 40% off on Amazon. This is an affiliate link. If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may receive a small commission. To find out more about Krystal, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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in Better Blogging, Guest Post, Interview

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

 

Happy 4th, fellow Americans! To the rest of the world: Happy Friday! 

Amy and I are not-so-secretly working on the next round of 30 Days of Lists (subscribe to our mailing list here if you want to be the first to get awesome news from us) and one of the lists that came out of our brainstorming session was a variation of “the little things”…As I sit here, I’m reminded of that simple prompt and have a few things I would list right away: Iced green tea, gold glitter nail polish, the smell of sunscreen, sore forearms from kayaking, fostering friendships, working with best friends (on different projects), and that warmth your skin gives off after being in the sun for a little while. I liked that prompt because it reminds me to stay in the moment — which is difficult for me when I’m writing posts like this and scheduling social media updates a week ahead of time (not always, but I try). I’m always working weeks or months in the future that I find it difficult to slow down…It’s nice to have a holiday that’s so family-centered to remind me to slow the heck down.

This week’s essential reading:

 

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

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in Essential Reading

 

Kayaking Essentials for Beginners from Campfire Chic

I may or may not be buying a kayak tomorrow (follow me on Instagram to see if it actually happens) because I’ve come to the point where if I keep renting a kayak, I’m going to be paying more than if I just buy one for myself. It’s a little nuts and I’m not exactly sure I know what I’m getting myself into, but I have my eye on a super entry-level sit-on-top kayak that will be pretty perfect for the casual kayaking I’ve been doing for the past month.

While you don’t need much to go kayaking, I wanted to share what this beginner was bringing with her on her weekends on the water. Nothing fancy, but I know I would’ve liked to know about a few things before going out the first time…like, board shorts are a good idea because getting just the seat of my hiking short wet looked like I had an accident instead of being in the water.

My (Beginner-Level) Kayaking Essentials

  • Lifeproof Case – I’ve been using my Lifeproof case for a while now and have used it in different circumstances (like The Color Run — PERFECT use of this case) and I will probably buy the Lifeproof Lifejacket soon because it won’t help that my phone is protected from water if it is at the bottom of the bay. I feel so much better knowing that I can bring my phone to take photos (because a GoPro is a little out of my budget right now) and to track our route using apps like RunKeeper or Ramblr.
  • Keen Clearwater CNX Sandals – I wrote a review of these sandals when I first got them and I’m still using them! I like that they are light so I don’t feel weighed down when I step into the water and they are super comfortable. I’ll be earning my “Keen Stripes” soon, I’m sure. Alex wears his Clearwater CNX sandals, too, and likes them for the toe protection they provide.
  • Patagonia Board Shorts – I missed the memo that board shorts are nearly impossible to find for women this year! Thankfully, I have a pair from two years ago I can squeeze myself into. I just ordered the ones in the photo above and I’m looking forward to having a second pair with a little bit longer inseam (I’m not going to lie, these board shorts will probably be in my next order…I like the pattern more, but the price difference pushed me to get the ones above). Like I mentioned, wearing board shorts over my swim bottoms is much more comfortable than my hiking shorts, which I wore the first time out. I have no idea what I was thinking…
  • Hat, Buff - While we are having a bit of June Gloom right now, the sun seems to break through while I’m on the water and going without a hat or Buff headwear to protect my head/face is out of the question. I use my hiking hat (or my super-dorky visor from Disneyland if I can’t find my hat, like last weekend…this is the hat I will buy over and over again, I love it so) while on the water and it’s great because it’s super comfortable and I can get it wet without worrying about it. I also like to have my Buff with me because I can use it as a headband or wear it around my wrist (super sexy alert!) if I have really bad allergies (like last weekend) and need a “portable tissue”. Yeah, that.
  • Sunglasses - How could I forget sunglasses?? Actually, I did the first time out and totally regretted it. Thankfully, Alex and I were sharing a pair of Cabana sunglasses from Fisherman Eyewear and while they weren’t comfortable for him, they felt just fine for me when on the water. They’re polarized and fit snugly on my face so I wasn’t worried about them falling off my face and they’re cheaper than my Tumbleweed sunglasses so I could easily replace them if needed. Another bonus? They survived the bottom of my overflowing tote bag for a few days — the cheapie glasses we bought (think: 2 for $20 swapmeet sunglasses) in the past would never be able to withstand that test! Lesson: get durable sunglasses that don’t feel like they’re going to fall off your face!
  • Sea to Summit Dry Sack – I bought this when we went canyoneering a few year ago and I love having it tow whenever we go to the beach. Having my Sea to Summit bag in the kayak with me allows me to keep a few things handy (like my car keys and debit card) without needing to worry about them getting wet. I usually stow my phone in the bag, too, if the lifevest I’m wearing doesn’t have a zipper pocket. This is also a good bag to have when traveling, it’s super small and lightweight so it’s great in a carryon or in your luggage to keep things in one place and secure.
  • Cleaning Wipes (Paper Shower) – I didn’t realize how salty/sweaty/sunscreen-y I would get after an hour or so on the water so I made sure to have wipes in the car for a quick cleanup before heading out to lunch after paddling. I normally have a box of baby wipes in my car, but after trying out Paper Shower, I’m hooked. The wipes are much larger than a baby wipe (10″ x 12″) so I can use less and there is a dry wipe for each wet wipe. Paper Shower donates to organizations like the American Cancer Society and homeless shelters and sends products to disaster relief efforts.

Items not pictured above but worth a consideration: A bottle of water to keep in your kayak! I would also suggest having a towel, change of clothes, a post-paddle snack, and sunscreen in your car.

What do you bring with you when you go kayaking?

Have you tried kayaking before?

Paper Shower and Fisherman Eyewear sent samples of their product to me for review. While I received free product in exchange for a review, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. Also, many links in this post are affiliate links. Shopping through these links supports Campfire Chic through a small commission from Amazon.com.

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in Adventure, From a Beginner