Spark Ecourse 2015 Updated and Expanded by Campfire Chic

The Spark Ecourse is now updated and expanded to include even more action items and valuable lessons to help you rekindle your passion for blogging.

Get 30 days of emails straight to your inbox that are designed to give you the kick-in-the-butt you need to get you out of your blogging rut.

The Spark Ecourse now includes:

  • Additional content added to the daily emails to help you set your blogging foundation
  • 300 resources specific to the lessons
  • Prompts to share your journey via social media for accountability
  • Printable workbook to encourage journaling and to help you stay on track throughout the month

Spark is a 30-day email course designed to rekindle your passion for blogging — it’s the fuel you need to get back into your blogging groove! We’ll take it slow — I’ll send you one email a day containing one topic for consideration. I’ll cover what the topic is, why it’s important to the bigger picture, what you can do to act on the topic, and additional resources in case I spark your interest in that topic…you’ll get a new topic each day for 30 days!

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

Campfire Chic Shop - Blogging Jumpstart Ecourse to Find Your Spark

What you get:

  • Daily email from me with a different lesson/action/activity for 30 days
  • Each email contains resources for additional reading on each topic covered
  • Email access to me if you have questions or need clarification on a specific topic covered

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR SPARK BACK

The ecourse will remain at the original price through May 12, 2015, at which point the price will be set at $19.99.

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in Better Blogging, Productivity

30 Days of Lists and Planners During May 2015 - Campfire Chic

My One Little Word™ for the year is STORY but I haven’t done too much with that word (except for the storytelling involved with Dungeons & Dragons, but that’s a different story). I haven’t been keeping up with Project Life, I haven’t created much with my hands, and I’m in need of a big challenge.

This may, I’m going to document my everyday with a combination of 30 Days of Lists and the MyDetails ecourse* from Kristin (rukristin) and Megan (The Nerd Nest).

Both challenges will have me looking at my ‘right now’ and both challenges will get me creating stuff with my hands. My plan is to use my new Day Designer planner for journaling and creating…we’ll see how it goes!

Now, the lists for my 30 Days of Lists aren’t a secret. They are part of the free challenge we first hosted in March 2011. I created the square image shown in the photo above to make it more Instagram-friendly and hope you’ll play along with me. You can download the image here.

MyDetails 2015 Lists - Campfire Chic

I’m looking forward to using the acrylic stamps I’ve been hoarding (and not really using) since they are very planner-oriented. I’m also looking forward to using some of the other flat embellishments in my stash. I placed a small order for planner-specific stickers and some clips that I can use to add small papers to the layouts (think menus, to-do lists, etc.) from Etsy.

I’ll be sharing my lists and layouts on Instagram. If you aren’t following me, I’m campfirechic.

P.S. I’m a MyDetails ecourse affiliate, which means I will receive a commission for each purchase made through this link. I wouldn’t share this ecourse with you if I wasn’t taking the course and if I didn’t think it was something you would be interested in taking. If you’re not into affiliate sales, here’s the non-affiliate link to the course.

 

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in 2015, 30 Days of Lists, About Kam, Memory Keeping

Spring Clean Your Social Media Accounts

It doesn’t feel like Spring in my neck of the woods (it was 80 degrees tonight at about 8:00pm last night!) but I’m declaring this week the perfect week to take a few minutes to Spring Clean our social media profiles.

It’s time to update bios, triple-check links, and take our social media efforts to the next level! In my post shared on LinkedIn, I share some tips for getting your Spring Clean underway. This shouldn’t take very long and it may even be a fresh start for you.

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in Better Blogging, Social Media

Outdoor brands making a difference this Earth Day - Campfire Chic
Just a quick post this Earth Day. I want to feature a few outdoor brands that give back in different ways.

Outdoor Brands That Give Back:

  • Munk Pack – I love having these oatmeal squeeze packs when we are at the climbing gym for a long session. Why? Because there’s trace amounts of poop on climbing holds (seriously, don’t wear your climbing shoes into the bathroom! Pull a Britney and go barefoot if you forget flip flops) and nobody wants to think about that while scooping their chalky/dirty/bleeding hands into a bag of trail mix. I’ll stick with “hands free” pouches like Munk Pack, thanks. Munk Pack is for all life’s adventures, is a gluten-free and non-gmo product, and they participate in 1% for the Planet, which connects companies with non-profits.
  • RambleGood – Campfire Chic friend, Adina, started RambleGood which launched this week! RambleGood has handmade goods designed for travelers. The custom designs are hand-painted by Adina and for each product purchased, $1 will be donated to a non-profit organization selected specifically for that collection. For the infinity scarf in the image at the top of this post, $1 will go toward International Education.
  • CotopaxiCotopaxi ties each product to a cause in the poorest regions of the world and has a 61 year warranty (aka the Human Lifespan Guarantee). There is no retail markup because Cotopaxi sells directly to you. I love the designs of the women’s apparel and the travel journals they sell.
  • LifeStraw – I’ve talked about LifeStraw before, but for a quick recap: LifeStraw is a personal filtration device that allows users to drink directly from a water source without delay. There are different options, one of which involves a sport bottle with the LifeStraw built in! For every LifeStraw purchased LifeStraw uses part of the funds to donate institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa so children can drink safe water during the school year. You can get your LifeStraw for 30% off right now through EarthEasy.com.
  • SakrootsSakroots is a collection of bags and travel accessories designed by artists and connects buyers with the artists and different charities. Each pattern design is associated with a different charity like Elephant Nature Park, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, San Fransisco Botanical Garden Society, and Harmony Project. Now that it’s festival season, you may want to find a new bag for your outings that matches your wild side.
There are a ton of other brands out there that are doing great things (like Patagonia with their 100% traceable down, fair trade certified products, and fair labor practices)! If you know of a brand you think needs to be on this list, please leave a comment below with how that brand is making a difference.

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in Review

Day Trip to San Diego, California with Kam of Campfire Chic

March was a rough month on my side of the screen so I needed a quick escape last weekend so I clear my head. I wanted to get out of the house so I wouldn’t keep staring at the piles of papers I need to file/shred/recycle or trying to unpack all the things (which really needs to happen).

So Alex and I took off early Saturday morning and headed south to San Diego.

San Diego is just a few hours away from where we live, I lived there part-time during graduate school, and it is our default “We need to get away but be home tonight” day escape. After a quick breakfast at home, we jumped in the car and we were on our way.

Grotto Bouldering Area at Grotto Climbing and Yoga in San Diego California - Campfire Chic

Grotto Climbing & Yoga

Our first stop was to a new bouldering gym (and climbing studio and training center) that opened a few months ago. I received a press release from the San Diego Tourism Board highlighting all the climbing opportunities in San Diego and Grotto Climbing & Yoga in the Grantville/Mission Valley area of San Diego was highlighted in the release. If you are familiar with the 8 freeway, it is across the freeway from San Diego State University and right next door to Adventure 16.

We were welcomed by co-founders Bryan and Matt and I got an in-depth tour of the facility while Alex immediately went to start climbing. Matt gave me a brief overview of the gym, how the gym hosted a Setter Showdown in March, and we chatted a bit about how San Diego State University students were slowly finding the gym and enjoyed studying in the lounge area (free wifi, plenty of workspace, and just a few feet from your next project? I wish this was around when I was in grad school!). Bryan took me through to the dedicated yoga studio and “the yard” which is the outdoor training center that has a 60 degree and 30 degree overhang area, giant peg board, campus board, TRX bands, kettlebells, and a bunch of other equipment that climbers embrace for training.

Grotto Climbing and Yoga Bouldering Gym in San Diego - Campfire Chic

If you’re looking for longer bouldering routes, Grotto Climbing & Yoga needs to be on your list of places to visit. The grotto climbing area allows for longer routes…think 20 feet of routes that traverse, climb, and meander their way up and under the grotto walls. The setters work on a 6 week calendar so you’ll always find something new as they make their way around the gym, putting up new routes on Mondays and Thursdays.

We also met Justin of Local Juice Co. at the gym, he’s a member and he brings his son on the weekends to run around and to give climbers samples of his awesome cold-pressed juices.  We tried all the different types he was sampling and ended up going home with the watermelon one (I can’t remember the name!) and a great green juice called Renew. So good.

Iced Tea at Cafe 21 in San Diego California - Campfire Chic

Cafe 21

After stopping in ad Adventure 16 for a quick look, Alex and I headed Downtown to the Gaslamp location of Cafe 21. We were welcomed by the manager, Angelina, and were escorted through the eclectically decorated restaurant. It was really warm outside so I was happy that we got a window seat inside. After ordering, our server made a few suggestions for things to try and explained how Chef Layla Javadov focuses on fresh, local ingredients and that Cafe 21 is known for their different infusions…from different cocktails to the sangria they proudly display in the lobby, to the custom tea blends featured on their menu.

I’m nosey as hell and as I looked around to see what others were ordering for brunch, I declared that Alex and I would return during Comic-Con weekend for one of the Bloody Marys with grilled cheese skewers, the Sangria flight, or maybe the mojito flight, because why not. The omelettes that come in skillets looked amazing and I had a hard time not staring at the stuffed French Toast.

Cafe 21 Gaslamp District San Diego California - Campfire Chic

What we ordered: Madonna Mule (a gin-version of the Moscow Mule with lots of citrus), Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan iced tea (what I’m brewing in the photo at top), roasted eggplant sandwich with poached eggs, stuffed flatbread (one veggie and cheese and one braised shortrib with red bell peppers), side salads, and for dessert we had the creme brûlée cheesecake, and the (seasonal) bread pudding French Toast with kiwi and raspberry compote.

After lunch, we walked around the outdoor mall downtown called Horton Plaza and had a good time seeing all the big groups of people enjoying the fantastic weather as we walked around the Gaslamp District. We are only ever in the Gaslamp area of San Diego during Comic-Con weekend so it was interesting to see it on a normal weekend. Less crowded, less stressful, and it was easy to find whatever we wanted (hello, iced americano).

If we had a little more time in San Diego, we wanted to visit the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego and possibly go paddle boarding. We will have to start with those places next time we need a quick day away from home and see what else San Diego has to offer.

More places to consider for your microadventure in San Diego:

  • Favorite Hike: Iron Mountain (okay, so this is the only hike I’ve done in San Diego)
  • Favorite San Diego Breweries: Stone Brewing, Coronado Brewing Company, Ballast Point (San Diego is a craft beer Mecca, there are  more breweries than I can count)
  • Favorite Family-Friendly Attractions: Self-Realization Fellowship, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park & Museums, Birch Aquarium, the beaches!

This quick escape to San Diego was made possible through the San Diego Tourism Authority, which connected us with Grotto Climbing & Yoga and Cafe 21. The opinions and views shared in this post are my own. 

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in California, Microadventure, Weekend

Red Rocks Rendezvous 2015 - Festival Grounds

What: Red Rocks Rendezvous (RRR) is the largest climbing festival in the United States. It is an annual event that is open to all types of climbers…from the brand new to the more advanced. Clinics are held by world class climbers and there is a festival where brands and organizations are able to connect with climbers.

When: This year’s event was held March 27 – 29, 2015. It’s an annual event so I expect next year’s RRR will be held around the same time.

Where: Red Rocks National Recreation Area just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The festival is easier to get to than I anticipated and we were able to stay in a hotel nearby.

Why: Alex and I wanted to attend the 2014 event but found out too late. We jumped on registration as soon as it opened and were so excited to get the opportunity to go to the event, meet more climbers, and learn more skills to help us climb outdoors.

Red Rocks Rendezvous 2015 - Campground

Red Rocks Rendezvous 2015 - Shuttles to and Hiking to Crag

We missed our clinics on Saturday so we made sure to get to the festival grounds bight and early on Sunday morning to make it to our trad climbing clinic. Our guide was Peter Croft and we both knew we heard his name before but decided to not ask too many questions (that’s what wikipedia is for!) and while we didn’t actually do any climbing, we learned several skills that will help with our climbing in general. We met another climber who goes to our gym and another young woman from LA who climbs outdoors with her friends but wanted some more skills so she can be more independent from them.

Red-Rocks-Rendezvous-2015-Climbing-Clinic

Red-Rocks-Rendezvous-2015-Rope-Work

Usually, the photos you see of RRR involve a sea of flannels during the day and a crowd of puffy jackets by night. This year’s heat had everybody in shorts and tank tops and lugging gallons of water to the climbing areas in order to beat the heat.

I wish we were able to make it to the other clinics and get some time actually climbing, but this was a good introduction to the event. I’m looking forward to attending in the future…and adding on the extra day for even more climbing!

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in Adventure, Climbing

Black Diamond Carabiner Gridlock Screwgate Review - Campfire Chic

 

I like to keep things simple when I’m at the climbing gym. I like that I have an entry-level harness and very basic climbing shoes. Maybe it’s that I like inexpensive gear that gets the job done?

One of the recent updates I made to my gear? A new carabiner that I use when belaying a lead climber.

I use an ATC-guide from Black Diamond which is admittedly a little much for gym climbing (here is a good option) but I’m comfortable using it and like the little teeth on the brake side of the device. I now pair my ATC with the Black Diamond GridLock Screwgate Carabiner.

Why the change?

Even while belaying for top rope routes (at other gyms, my current gym uses GriGris for top rope routes), I noticed that my ATC/screwgate carabiner system was cross-loading* too often. I wasn’t comfortable with the cross-loading while I was learning to belay during our lead climbing class and I noticed one of the other students using the Magnetron GridLock carabiner and knew I wanted to make the switch.

I love my screwgate carabiner! It’s lightweight and fits nicely with the belay loop on my harness (Petzl Luna – new version here). There is a little bit of a learning curve with using this type of carabiner. You need a few extra movements to get the carabiner set up properly but once you’re accustomed to the movements, you’re set!

You can find the Black Diamond GridLock Screwgate on Amazon (affiliate link), Black Diamond, The Gear Co-Op, and BackCountry.com.

*A guide to carabiners has plenty of definitions and is put together way better than what I could ever do.

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in Climbing, Gear Review, Review