Fit for Adventure - Campfire Chic

I was invited to a Honda Press Event in San Diego, CA to learn about and test drive the 2015 Honda Fit a few weeks ago (I didn’t share this earlier due to an embargo) and I have to say…it was quite the experience!

When I was first invited it sounded too good to be true: a few days in San Diego to learn about a car and then drive it around for a while…for free. I agreed to join in on the fun and was super excited to find out that some of my internet friends were invited, too. While I’ve met Jeff (@TheSoCalHiker) before, Casey (@modernhiker) and Katie (@themorningfresh) were still internet-only friends.

Let me give you some background on me and my experience with cars: I drive BIG cars. I have a Chevy Equinox but also drive a Toyota Tundra, raised Chevy Silverado, Chevy Astro Van, Toyota Highlander…and my first car was an El Camino. I feel super claustrophobic in little cars like the Honda Civic and Ellipse Spyder I learned to drive in is one of my personal circles of hell.

I like BIG. I was really nervous about test driving the car and stressed about being so terrible that Honda would just send me home. What made me change my mind? First, somebody at Honda placed a blue Honda Fit in front of a sign that said “Bigger on the Inside” — obviously there was a Whovian in the crowd so I knew I was in good company. Second, the fine people at Honda were super cool with us climbing into the car (yes, even with glasses of wine) and laying down in the back, moving the seats around however we wanted, and encouraged us to really test each car.

Cargo Room for 2015 Honda Fit - Campfire Chic

We had a long day of learning about the all new 2015 Honda Fit and driving the car (I paired up with Jeff to do the driving portion of the event) and what I liked about the whole thing was that there was a competition involved. I’m super competitive. We were sent out into San Diego with our car and a list of categories to guide our social sharing for the day…essentially, they wanted us to go out and take photos of the car to show off the technology, the car in the city, how it fits into our lives, and more. Can I say how excited I was when it was announced that one of my photos won for “Fit for Technology”?? Honda will be donating $500 to the Special Olympics of San Diego in my name. Casey & Katie paired up for their test drive and each won for Fuel Economy (Casey managed to get 42 miles to the gallon, while the car is toted as getting 40 mpg!) and Fit for Duty, respectively.

2015 Honda Fit Test Drive in San Diego - Campfire Chic

2015 Honda Fit Press Event - Campfire Chic

Jeff and I managed to get a local outfitter shop to let us borrow some luggage to throw into the back of the Fit so we could see what would actually fit in the car. During the official presentations, a professional organizer (yes, it’s a real job) stuffed a bunch of bean bag chairs into the car but I don’t usually find myself trying to fit squishy dorm furniture into my car. I am more concerned with fitting my car camping supplies into the back of this thing, which it looks like it’ll totally hold, I just can’t bring anybody other than Alex with me (not a problem at all! I like my space).

While the car is great (I would very strongly consider getting one should Alex and I need a smaller car any time soon), the best part of the experience was hanging out with my Internet friends. Casey’s hiking blog was one of the first I came upon when I was looking for hikes in the LA/OC area, Katie is a fierce lady-adventurer who I totally admire for her bravery when it comes to traveling alone, and  Jeff (and his wife Joan!) is super knowledgeable about longer hikes and makes me want to tackle the John Muir Trail ASAP. I even carpooled down to San Diego with Jeff and Joan, how’s that for Internet-friends-becoming-IRL-friends? Our group of four (five including Joan) ate most of our meals together, chatted about blogging and being outdoors, and cheered each other on during our competitions. It was nice to be with people who understand what blogging is and who really got me thinking about my audience and how to be brave.

Seriously, these folks are great.

I’ve met blogging/Internet friends “in real life” before to have breakfast at IKEA, dinner at Marie Calendar’s, to go camping, to go to Disneyland…and a few other instances, and each time was super fun, but this experience was totally out of left field and we didn’t know we were all invited until a few days before the event took place! I’m so happy that Honda selected the four of us (and the other bloggers who were all amazing in their own ways) to explore San Diego while testing out the new Honda Fit.

Have you met friends you made on the internet?

What qualities in a vehicle do you look for?

Photos courtesy of Casey (@modernhiker) and Jeff (@TheSoCalHiker)

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in Adventure, Blog Friends

What is one way for you to grow your community, connect with fans, and get your message out to the masses? Starting a YouTube (or similar) channel.

Now, I don’t have a channel so I didn’t feel I would be the best person to share information on how to start a channel — especially a super niche channel with the aim to further your blog/brand.

I did a quick interview with Paul from The Outdoor Adventure to get a better idea on how to best start a YouTube channel. His channel is an extension of his website and is a way to educate others.

3 Tips for Starting a YouTube Channel - Campfire Chic

Paul, your site, The Outdoor Adventure, is full of information and gear reviews. What inspired you to share all this outdoor information with others?

I guess there were two reasons: a need to document our family adventures and a desire to share what I was learning.

I was in South America with our young family on a long-term missionary stint (four years). I was in some amazing countries and even though we didn’t get have a lot of free time, family and friends wanted to hear how we were doing. I am not a letter writer, so a blog was a great alternative to share those adventures and what we were learning.

As the work was volunteer based, money was a big factor. We love to adventure, but I wasn’t earning any money, so anything I could make myself meant that our family didn’t have to dig into savings. What I couldn’t make, and therefore had to buy, had to be a good purchase. Those careful purchases and DIY projects started making their way into those early blog posts.

The Outdoor Adventure Family Photo - Campfire Chic

One way you share information with your audience is through your YouTube channel. It is very well-organized and you have quite a followership! What 3 pieces of advice would you give to bloggers looking to start a YouTube channel?

You’ve caught me at a pivotal moment in my video production. I’ve done a lot of reading recently on how to improve my videos. I have a lot of videos on youtube… many that I can’t watch any more myself. Seriously. I cringe through them. And that’s the biggest tip really.

Plan your shots and take the time to set them up. On the way to the trail, at home, or even while you’re hiking you should be planning shots. If a ground shot of you walking over the camera is better, take the time and do it. If you need a close up of a product in action, plan it out.If you think your shot would look really cool if you put the tripod on a cliff above the trail, then take the time to do it (oh, and always carry a tripod).

Take out the boring bits. Make your biggest critic watch your video… and listen to them. My wife is my biggest critic. She has always said, “make it shorter”, or “that shot is too long.” NO ONE wants to watch a boring video, not even your relatives. I typically use less than 25% of the footage I take… as low as 5% if I don’t plan the video before hand. So, get a critic and get them to be merciless with your finished video. If you, or your family can’t even sit through the video, then no-one else will… and they certainly won’t share it with their friends.

Make sure the audio is good. That can mean everything from buying a better mic, doing a voice over or cutting the audio and replacing it with music. There’s a reason that GOPro videos have songs playing and the internal audio turned off. If you need to talk, and the audio is bad on your camera is bad, try recording voice overs at home. If you don’t need to talk, don’t. Rely on music to make it more interesting. Try taking a video you’ve done and swapping the audio with a song from soundcloud.com. You’ll be amazed how much better it is.

What is the one piece non-essential of equipment/gear you never leave home without?

Probably my video camera (attached to my tripod). My wife rolls her eyes when I walk to the car with them, but that’s just the way I roll.

How can readers connect with you online?

I’m most active on twitter, but you can find me on Facebook, and of course through my website, and YouTube channel

Want a taste of Paul’s videos? Here are three to check out:

 

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in Interview, Social Media

I’ve been invited to host a giveaway for an upcoming class that covers one of my favorite projects: Project Life® — the class starts April 17, 2014, so let’s get this giveaway going!

Project Life LessonsExpert photo tips, journaling solutions, and organizing ideas for Project Life scrapbookers workshop taught by Elise Blaha Cripe, Annette Haring, and Megan Anderson

Project Life Lessons Giveaway - Campfire Chic

More about Project Life Lessons:

Set yourself up for memory-keeping success in Project Life Lessons! Three experts have teamed up to share tons of insider secrets for making the most of any Project Life project. Packed with videos, downloads, handouts, and beautiful layout examples, Project Life Lessons includes three times the content you’d find in a typical 3-week workshop.

Project Life Lessons is Hosted by Elise Blaha Cripe Megan Anderson and Annette Harring - Campfire Chic

Three experienced Project Lifers to the rescue! Elise Blaha Cripe, Annette Haring, and Megan Anderson (I LOVE all three of these women! Their styles are SO different, which I think it super important for a class like this) and will share their tried-and-true tips in the areas of photo management, storytelling, organization, assembly, and more. Whether your approach involves weekly spreads, monthly highlights, or something more custom, you can establish an effective working process that will help you make your albums a better reflection of who you really are and what matters most to you.

 

Check out the video for the class:

Find out more and register for the class here. The class is $45 and starts on 4/17, so you better hurry!

And now for the giveaway! This giveaway is open to all Campfire Chic readers 18 years and older. Giveaway ends April 10, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time. One winner will be randomly selected (the odds of winning depends on the number of entrants) and will be announced here on April 11, 2014.

To enter: Leave a comment below with your name,
email address, and tell me why you love Project Life®

 Please note, I am a Big Picture Classes affiliate, so purchases made through the links on this page will be attributed to me…if you would like to support Campfire Chic, please use the links here.

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in Giveaway, Memory Keeping

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

 

No matter how many links I add to my Buffer account, I have so many more to share. What can I say? The Internet is full of wonderful things! You know what else is wonderful? Being able to stream old seasons of shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I’m being serious: I love that I’m able to start the shows I’ve heard so much about! I can re-watch Firefly whenever I want, and I can give Once Upon a Time a third chance. Yeah…third time’s the charm, it seems!

But I digress. This is all about sharing, and I love sharing these links with you.

This week’s Essential Reading:

 

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in Essential Reading

The last prompt for March’s 30 Days of Lists went up a few days ago, so I think it’s safe for me to share my lists from the challenge.

30 Days of Lists is a creative journaling challenge I co-host with Amy of Lemon & Raspberry twice a year. We post a different writing prompt each morning to inspire a list made by each person who participates — the day’s theme could be about favorite celebrities or songs to listen to after a breakup. There are 30 different prompts, one prompt daily, resulting in 30 different lists. It’s fun and easy, which I like.

March 2014 30 Days of Lists - Campfire ChicMarch 2014 30 Days of Lists - Campfire ChicMarch 2014 30 Days of Lists - Campfire ChicMarch 2014 30 Days of Lists - Campfire Chic

With this challenge, I wanted to keep things easy by using similar 4×3 journaling cards from the Project Life® Seafoam kit (Amazon affiliate link) and having a few simple embellishments to help cut down on my stash.

Why do I like 30 Days of Lists?

I like it because it’s such an easy project — take a few minutes each day to make a simple list. Just one list. It doesn’t have to be fancy, I can change the project to fit my needs, and I can spend time catching up on lists if I fall behind…It doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive days of lists, does it? I also like it because the project acts as a snapshot of what I’m thinking/doing during March and September of each year.

Do you like creative challenges like this?

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in 2014, 30 Days of Lists, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking, What I Made