Aspen Grove in San Gorgonio Wilderness - Campfire Chic

Fall in Southern California is a bit of a mystery. The calendar says it is Autumn and the shorter days are clearly a sign that it is no longer summer…but the weather didn’t get the memo. My Instagram feed is filling up with photos of apple picking while wearing flannel and boots, I’m over here planning my day around free air conditioning and living in shorts and tank tops. It seems like October is deciding to stage an endless summer (if only it would stay light out longer!) and while it is nice that I was able to spend the day at the beach yesterday, the fall wreath on my front door is mocking me…palm trees don’t change color and I needed to find some signs of Fall before stores start playing Christmas music.

So, in an effort to catch up to the rest of the country and catch a glimpse of fall, I joined Jeff from SoCalHiker.net (and his wife, Joan) for a quick hike to Aspen Grove in the San Bernardino National Forest. I heard about this small patch of Aspens tucked away in our local mountains but haven’t braved the dirt road to get out there (it is the same road we would take to the trailhead for one of the highest peaks in the area, which is good to know for future hikes).

Aspen Grove in San Bernardino National Forest

I saw a photo of what the area looked like the weekend of 10/4 and was excited to see the golden leaves. Apparently the peak season only lasted a week because most of the leaves were off of the branches in the lower grove and the leaves were taking on a deeper (but still beautiful) golden tone than the rich yellow the trees are known for.

The walk to the grove is pretty straight forward and short enough that young children were able to make the walk from the parking lot to the first grove without much difficulty. This is not a wheelchair-friendly trail, nor is the road very sedan-friendly, but people drove it anyway. I knew I didn’t need a ton of water or supplies so I packed a few snacks and 1L of water in my Teton Sports Trailrunner 2.0 Hydration Pack and wore my KEEN light hikers so I wouldn’t get tired from wearing heavy boots (like my hiking boots, which are no longer available). Being comfortable on the trail is really important to me because  otherwise I’m focused on how I’m feeling (uncomfortable, itchy, chaffy, etc.) instead of enjoying my surroundings.

For a trail guide and information about getting to Aspen Grove, check out Jeff’s post here. You can find hikes all over Southern California using this great interactive map on SoCalHiker.net.

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in Adventure, California

Just a quick note to mention that I updated the SHOP section of this site. It was a mess for over a year and didn’t fully capture what I have available.

You can click on the images below to learn more about each product. If you have questions, feel free to email me or leave a question in the comments section.

I’m also looking for feedback on the landing pages…I’m not a professional landing page creator so I’m interested to hear what you think should be added/improved/removed from the different pages. I appreciate your support over the years and hope you enjoyed any previous purchases. If you own any of the products below and would like to contribute a testimonial, please let me know.

I do not have any specific plans for new products, but I do plan on updating the Spark Ecourse before the new year.

Campfire Chic Shop - About You Guide to Writing About Yourself

Campfire Chic Shop - Blog Post Ideas for Bloggers and Writers

Campfire Chic Shop - Creative Writing Prompt App for iOS and Apple

Campfire Chic Shop - Blogging Jumpstart Ecourse to Find Your Spark

 

I want to thank Kara from Kara Haupt Designs for designing the cover for the Three Sixty-Five ebook and the Write365 iOS app logo. And a big thank you to Allie of Alexandra Rae Design for designing the cover for About You and the logo for the Spark ecourse.

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in 2014, Announcement

Quilt Projects for Christmas - Campfire Chic

Two weeks ago I decided to give myself permission to finish some projects on my own terms. Finish is my One Little Word for the year, which means it is my mantra/guiding light for 2014…I’m focusing on finishing what I start, celebrating small victories, and allowing myself to quit things that just plain suck and don’t deserve my energy.

Since that time I finished the top of one lap quilt and cut the triangles for a second lap quilt (that will be a Christmas gift). Finishing the quilt top for the first lap blanket was such a great feeling…it isn’t perfect but I’m totally in love with it. It’s my second quilt (the first quilt is the yellow quilt in the photo on the left) and I’m already much more confident in my sewing abilities. I’m also learning some lessons the hard way…I didn’t think ahead with the Christmas quilt and bought two patterned fabrics that really don’t look good from all angles so I had to work around those prints. That means that quilt won’t have any sort of pattern or “sense” that the other finished quilt top has. I’ll keep that in mind for the next quilt (I’m hoping to get a third one made before Christmas as another gift…but I’m not holding my breath).

For these two projects, I ordered fabric and supplies from Fabric.com which makes buying really easy. I’m using Elise Blaha Cripe’s tutorial for a simple triangle quilt. My sewing machine is about 6 years old and is the cheapest one I could get from Walmart. The yellow quilt is from vintage bedsheets that I purchased on Etsy. The pillow in the photo is mentioned in this post and the fabric is from IKEA (similar here).

I’m working on one other project that’s leaving my living room a bit of a mess: Climbing Gym Crafty Competition – my climbing gym is having a contest this month to turn an XL shirt into something else…a tank top, shorts, whatever! I started sketching my idea for what I’m hoping to create and I’m hoping to make two items from the shirt. I’ll post my finished project(s) to Instagram.

I’m really excited about these three projects because I included making a modern lap quilt and something I can wear on my list of 14 Projects in 2014. These projects will knock those two items off of the list and that gets me motivated to get more things off of that list (and my 28 before 29 list!).

What are you working on this month?

 

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in 14 Projects in 2014, Quilting, Sewing, What I Made

Returning to Climbing After a Long Break  from Kam of Campfire Chic

 

My last climbing gym membership expired in December (or was it January?) and at the time I needed to focus my finances and energy elsewhere so I didn’t bother to start another membership at the time. When I considered getting another membership (at a different gym) in early summer, I decided I would prefer a membership to the Newport Aquatic Center so I could spend my time kayaking and stand up paddleboarding instead of avoiding the sun by hiding in a gym. Now that it’s Autumn, I decided to get back into the swing of things and get my butt back into a climbing gym.

Last weekend, I got my membership started and headed straight to the bouldering area of the gym. And I promptly got sick…like, in bed for a few days sick…so I didn’t get to climb again until yesterday. An entire week passed and I was already mentally beating myself up for getting sick and not making the most of my membership. Spoiler alert: Things went well, I focused on playing around and trying things instead of focusing on only working on routes “at my level” because there was a competition earlier in the weekend and some of the routes weren’t marked as usual (V0-V12 I’m a V0-V1 climber right now) and it was fun. Fun will keep me going back.

Was it difficult to get back into bouldering after taking so much time off? Kind of. I knew that I shouldn’t expect to be as strong as I was last year…what I didn’t expect was how I was able to get into the swing of things pretty quickly. I wasn’t very strong last year so it won’t be difficult to get back up to my former strength…in fact, I see myself getting so much more stronger at this gym! I feel so much more comfortable at this facility that I am already planning on what days during the work week I can swing by after work and I’m considering getting a handful of personal training sessions so I can learn a few things I can do on a regular basis to keep me interested in working out.

I need things to be fun. I need something that will keep me active this winter. I need something that will challenge me to step out of my comfort zone. I need something that will keep me away from a screen.

Enter: The climbing gym. I’ve visited this climbing gym a few times since it opened and I really like how the facility is enormous and doesn’t seem to favor bouldering over top rope/lead climbing (or the other way around), has a well-equipped workout area, and a dedicated yoga studio. It’s not cheap, but it is cheaper than going back to my last gym and my last yoga studio and have two memberships.

But here’s the thing…I’m scared.

I’m scared that I’ll fail the belay test (so I can climb in the ropes area) because this gym requires belayers to use a GriGri instead of an ATC. I’ve only used a GriGri for repelling and I know that I’m overthinking the whole thing and I will totally pass, but what if??

I’m scared it’ll take me a really long time to get strong/skilled enough and have enough endurance to qualify for the lead climbing available at the gym. The walls here are much much much taller than what I am used to (hello endurance! Should I bring a snack?!) and I didn’t see very many routes that are at a level that I know I can climb once I get over to that side of the gym.

I’m scared that I’m going to be too shy to make friends.

But I’m sure I’ll be back in a few months writing about how I’m so happy to be back in the gym. That I’m stronger than ever. That I finally mastered crow pose and handstands. That I love Ladies Night (It’s not what you think…it’s a meetup night for female members of the gym!). And that I cannot believe how I didn’t believe in myself 110%.

How do you talk yourself into believing in yourself?

 

P.S. I’m sure I’ll be sharing plenty of photos from the climbing gym (and outdoor climbing!) on Instagram.

 

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in About Kam, Active, Climbing

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

I’m still riding the 30 Days of Lists high and I’m looking forward to sharing my full album of lists from this previous round with you. I like to wait a few days to allow Listers to finish up their projects before I share my lists here. If you would like access to the 30 Days of Lists September 2014 edition, click here.

 

This week’s Essential Reading:

 

  • Grab some tissues before watching this video from Budweiser.

Have a great weekend.

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in Essential Reading

Now that I’m back in the swing of things with Project Life, I’m busying Pinning layout inspiration, free printables, and tutorials for different techniques that translate will to pocket pages. I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite Project Life posts and resources (with links directly to Pinterest to make it easy for you to save for later).

Some Project Life Resources:

As for more layouts…

Project Life (Year 28) Weeks 12 – 15

Week 12: May 26 – June 1, 2014

Project Life Week 12 with Kam of Campfire Chic

So this is the first week of 1 page layouts and while it doesn’t come close to including all the photos I took, it includes the ones that got printed out…Including the photo of my haircut that made me look a lot like my aunt and the photo of Rintu passed out under Alex’s bike in the living room. Classy.

Story Tip: Using a journaling card (like the Currently List shown above) on a weekly basis will help you capture what is really going on in your week…these photos don’t really say much considering I didn’t include any other journaling…

Week 13: June 2 – June 8, 2014

Project Life Week 13 - Colors

This layout is all about embracing color. Purple, electric blue, pinks, and a ton of other colors. Colors and our BBQ.

Story Tip: If you can’t take your badge home from an event, make sure to get a photo of it for your layout! Alex and I went to an open access event at the “Grand Canyon of Orange County” this week and I couldn’t take the badge home so Alex suggested we get a photo of it to include. I think it’s better than including the actual badge!

Week 14: June 9 – June 15, 2014

Project Life Week 14 Kayaking and Blue Layout

I’m back to trying to keep my layouts more cohesive looking this week. Blue is an easy color to use during the summer months since we spend so much time outdoors. It was great that this week’s date card was blue so it made it easy to match the rest of the journaling cards.

Story Tip: Don’t be afraid to add strange things to your layouts! That popsicle stick is from my popbar in the photo in the lower left-hand corner of the layout. I used some soap and water to clean it and simply slid it into the pocket with a journaling card. Other items to consider: napkins, takeout bags, fortunes from cookies, lids from yogurt/ice cream, beer bottle labels.

Week 15: June 16 – June 22, 2014

Project Life Short Week - Campfire Chic

If it wasn’t for the date card at the top of this layout, I would’ve assumed this week’s photos belonged with the previous week! This is when Alex and I knew we were addicted to kayaking (and soon paddleboarding) and spent our weekend on the water in Dana Point. I had a triumphant lunch hour where I was able to run an errand and make it through the In-n-Out drive through and back to my desk in an hour. Seriously, I deserve an award. If you follow Overland Equipment on Instagram you’ll be seeing the photo in the lower right-hand corner of the layout hitting the feed this week. If you own an Overland Equipment bag, tag your Instagram photos with #MyOverland and you may see your photo featured on the Overland Instagram account! The backpack I’m wearing in the top photo is the Summit1500 from Teton Sports (Amazon Affiliate link), which is a great day pack.

Story Tip: Get on a different level. For the photo of Rintu on the balcony, I got down on the floor and shot through the chair’s legs. I could’ve asked Alex to take a photo from where he was sitting, but capturing the two of them and some of the plants on the balcony (you can see a closeup of that pot in this pathetic tutorial) tells more of a story.

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in Project Life, Scrapbooking

Last week I mentioned that I am giving myself permission to finish some projects. It sounds dumb when I write it out like that, but when it comes to Project Life, it means that I’m giving myself permission to just finish. I was holding myself back with unrealistic expectations on keeping up with the 2 page spreads for each week…let’s be honest, some weeks are just too boring or too hectic for me to remember to pick up my phone and snap a photo (and in both portrait and landscape because you don’t want to have too few of either kind for a layout!).

So on Friday night I sat down, shuffled my layouts (while watching Call the Midwife on Netflix), did a bit of journaling, added in some decorative bits and pieces, and ended up finishing 13 weeks worth of layouts. THIRTEEN WEEKS OF PROJECT LIFE DONE IN A FEW HOURS. Yes, it’s all caps excitement here. I am allowing my layouts to be more flexible and I am thrilled with how they look and how it makes me feel to finish those 13 weeks so quickly. I only stopped because that “Are you still watching this??” message on Netflix popped up and instead of yelling at the screen that I am a grown-ass woman and I will watch 5 hours of Call the Midwife if I want, I headed to bed.

Of course, the layouts I’m sharing today don’t reflect the flexibility I’m allowing myself…

I am still using this homemade Project Life Design A design map to help me play out my weeks. You can download the PDF for free here.

Project Life (Year 28) Weeks 8 – 11

Week 8: April 28 – May 4, 2014

Project Life Design A Week 8 - Campfire Chic

This week was all about a mini-heat wave, Star Wars, working on my NYC mini-album, and National Scrapbook Weekend. I included 3 cards that Wild Olive had available for a free download, a screenshot from my Nike+ app, and a Currently List card from rukristin papercrafts. I had to be creative with my 4×6 pockets this week because I didn’t have many photos that would fit. I backed two photos on the left side of the layout with some cardstock and used the extra space for some journaling and taped two 3×4 photos together to fill another pocket.

Story Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix up the photo sizes to fit your needs…just because you don’t have a 4×6 photo to include in your layout doesn’t mean you can’t use the pocket!

Week 9: May 5 – May 11, 2014

Project Life Currently List Design from - Campfire Chic

This was a simple week that was made even better by the launch of the Spark ecourse and going to one of the newest breweries in Orange County with some of our friends. I included three postcards from the brewery in the pockets to help fill up some space and to show the overall branding of the brewery.

Story Tip: Grab business cards, stickers, or coasters from new places you visit to include in your layouts. They make for a great addition and give a cohesive look to your pages.

Week 10: May 12 – May 18, 2014

Project Life with Instax Photos Design by Campfire Chic

For big trips, I normally have many layers of inserts filling this layout. I decided to go for a simple approach this time and focus on creating a mini-album of our weekend in Portland for a wedding. In an effort to keep things looking cohesive, I used four cards from the Seafoam Project Life kit (affiliate link for Amazon) matched with a map card from a Studio Calico kit. I used circle labels directly on the photos for some journaling.

Story Tip: Include ticket stubs in your layouts, especially if they include dates and locations! This will help further the story of your travels.

Week 11: May 19 – May 25, 2014

Project Life Simple Week with Campfire Chic

This week is a little all over the place, but I think it shows the most “every day life” of the layouts shared in this post. It was a week of trying new things, binge-watching American Horror Story, spending time with friends, eating out too much…and what I think is Rintu’s first visit to the magical world known as “outside”. I used a the May calendar from Elise Blaha Cripe to fill in a square and made sure to save the coffee sleeves from two shops to include in the layout.

Story Tip: Save the coffee sleeves from your favorite shops to include in your layouts. It is fun to include seasonal or special edition sleeves, too.

I’m living Week 30 of my Project Life year, so I’ll be cranking out layouts like nobody’s business over the next few weeks in order to get some layouts done and to give other projects in my queue the attention they deserve.

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in Memory Keeping, Project Life, Scrapbooking