Who, what, where, when, why, and how?

I have many thoughts - most are not important or deep but I always wonder if anyone else thinks them. I cannot be the only one, right?

If you have thought of any of these or you have some weird/ funny thoughts/questions, let me know! I would love to know what other people are thinking.

Why do pimples exist? Other than to annoy the living heck out of me and make me insecure!

What arm rest is mine at the movies? And why do they make theatre rooms where the seats are so close to the screen? They could definitely add those two rows to the back of the farthest rows.

Adding to the movie thing: why don’t they have an option where you can watch an hour of previews?

Do I have to get a new driver’s license every time I change my hair colour?

Why does my pinky-toe look so weird?

Who made up words/ language? Also, why wouldn’t they just pick different words for “their”, “there” and “they’re”? And who made up apostrophes, commas, semicolons, etc.?

Why do buildings exclude the 13th floor? If you go from 12 to 14, isn’t 14 the new 13? (a question from a recent wedding where there was no table 13 which I also did not know was a thing).

Why are hockey nets so small but soccer nets so big?

Why does my cat stare at me for so long?

Why is it 7-years of bad luck if you break a mirror? Who makes these superstitions up?

Why did Geri (Ginger Spice) leave the Spice Girls? Did she really think she could do better on her own? Tsk tsk..

How is a 17 year old supposed to know what they want to do as a career/ choose colleges or universities to apply to when they can’t even vote or do a lot of things without the consent of their parent’s?

I saw this question once and it kind of made sense to me (it’s a weird one): why is 11 not pronounced “onety one”?

Why are there silent letters?

Why do I make a wish on an eyelash but not an eyebrow hair? Why do I make a wish on an eyelash…? Haha! I wish they wouldn’t fall out!

Why do older people tell me to smile? Like, who do they know that walks around smiling all the time? My face needs a rest or else I am going to look like a major creep!

I think I will stop here but I may do this again once I have more thoughts written down and if you like it! If not, I may do it anyway, haha!

Fall 'Gotta-Do's' 2018

I am currently listening to Drake (my go-to when editing and also the only thing I can listen to when writing), witnessing the monsoon-like rain and wind take over the afternoon while sitting in a Starbucks with a tall strawberry acai, no lemonade - highly recommend!

I think I have officially become a legit blogger! Right? Coffee shops are where bloggers and novelists come to make magic. There are currently 3 other people with laptops and one with an iPad making, what I can only assume, will one day be masterpieces.

As for me, I am just writing out my Fall ‘Gotta-Do’s’. Masterpiece? No. But it’s fun! So here we go!

  1. Go apple picking. My first time apple picking was last year during a surprise engagement that I was photographing and I loved it! So, I must do it again.

  2. Make a pie. I have put the apples that I have just picked to good use, right? I have never made a homemade pie and should probably learn since pie is like my favourite thing to eat.

  3. Carve a pumpkin. I am the worst at thinking of something cool to carve, so I may just decide to steal the pumpkin seeds and leave it. But the plan is to carve! If you have any ideas for what to carve, let me know!

  4. Bake pumpkin seeds. Another thing that I have never done (I am not a kitchen person) but I LOVE eating pumpkin seeds!

  5. Go to a pumpkin patch. Do you see a theme for this list yet?

  6. Do a Fall photoshoot. I have many Fall sessions come October but I want to make sure that I put time aside to do one for Mark and I. I want cute Fall photos, too!

  7. Go on a hike. This is actually something that Mark and I have not done much since moving to Ontario 2 years ago and I have a huge hike-itch that needs scratching(?). If you have any hikes that we should check between Kingston and Port Hope, let me know!

  8. Watch all the Saw movies and/or IT. I LOVE horror movies! It has to be my favourite genre of movie. But, I am the type of person who will plug her ears while watching them because it is the sounds that scare me the most(?), haha! Also, I have been scared of clowns most of my life, and I saw the original IT movie back in the day and when Mark and I discussed watching the new IT last year, I had horrible nightmares about it before even watching it, so we decided to not watch it. But this year, I am determined. Wish me luck!

  9. Drink Apple Cider (with Fireball). I don’t drink often but when I do, I love me some cinnamon flavoured alcohol and paired with apple cider… perfection!

  10. Go to a corn maze. Back in the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia for those that don’t know), I would pass by the corn maze every fall and always wonder what it’s like to be lost in corn… but I was never curious enough to find out, haha!

  11. Go kayaking. Mark and I have both been so busy and haven’t had much time to get out on our kayaks, and what better time than when the air is crisp and the leaves are changing.

  12. Go stargazing. This seems really lame but when Mark and I started dating 8 years ago, most of our dates happened in the evening that led late into the night and we would stargaze at Evangeline Beach and make up star constellations that already had names. I miss that. So, this Fall, I want to make sure that we go somewhere, sit under the stars (maybe with some spiked apple cider? or not spiked seeing as Mark hates Fireball) and take a trip back to our 19 and 20 year old selves. <3

Well, that is my must-do, bucket list, gotta-do list for Fall! If you think that I should add something else to the list, let me know. And I want to know what you are hoping to do this Fall!

fwfg.

you may be thinking, "that's a weird title... it's just random letters. is this girl okay?"

and to that i say, thank you for your concern but those are not just any random letters! they stand for "find what feels good" - a community (and feeling) that one of my favourite yoga instructors and biggest inspirations, Adriene Mishler (Yoga with Adriene), conjured up!

i started following along with Adriene's youtube videos about 4 years ago (holy cow!) and i fell in LOVE with yoga instantly! after about a year of doing it off and on (i am the worst at consistency), i felt like i may have found a new dream/ goal of mine - to become a yoga instructor! 

well, as you can plainly see, it is three years later and i am not a yoga instructor. i stopped getting on my mat, taking time to connect with my body, and getting to know myself. i cannot tell why this happened because there are "so many" excuses, but the only excuse that is true is that there is no excuse.

i stopped making it a priority and i just gave up. i gave up because i saw how difficult becoming an instructor is. it takes so much time and dedication. i was scared. scared of failing... scared of disappointing people if i didn't do well. but in the end, the only person i disappointed was myself for not trying.

so, i am making a promise to myself to try! i am going to try my best to get back on my mat, find what feels good, and take the proper steps toward conquering a 3 year old goal!! 

what is a goal or dream of yours that you put on the back-burner? is there something that you have always wanted to do or try that you thought you could never do or just never made the time to do it? 

 

also, if you are interested, i have made a fitness/lifestyle/mini-blog instagram - @charlottebuckleup - where i  document my fitness progress, my thoughts, my bad days and good, and just all the nitty-grittiness! 

(some of) my favourite spots in the annapolis valley. (pt.2)

I think that I could make about 20 parts of this series. I love my home so much and I refuse to stop talking about it! But this will be the end of the series until I go back home, see more spots, and take more photos! :D

4. Ettinger Fall, Three Mile Plains (just outside of Windsor).

This little gem is one that I had never heard of until this summer's visit back home. My sister-in-law showed us these falls and it has now become one of my new favourite spots! I have not spent much time in the Windsor or surrounding area, so it was really cool to go to a pretty secluded spot and enjoy the falls without a ton of people around (something that does not happen often in Ontario). 

5. Hall's Harbour. 

We will end our journey (for now) by the sea. Hall's Harbour is just the best place! The houses are cute, the water is crisp, the rocks are rocky (I am an avid rock collector), and the view is perfect.

My family and I would come here in the summer and have a KFC picnic (yep, we are those people) and just enjoy an afternoon drinking up that salty air. There is a fantastic restaurant where you can get some extremely sought after Atlantic lobster - I have been told that people fly all the way from British Columbia to have this lobster... what I am about to tell you may make you hate me, but... I am not a fan of lobster or many foods from the sea. Yes, I realize I am from the East Coast and apparently we are all supposed to love seafood, but that's not a thing. I'm sorry.

But anyway! Hall's Harbour is a MUST MUST MUST for me! I absolutely love it and I wish that I could live here!

6. Baxter's Harbour

This spot was a slightly random, googled, but had heard of before spot! Baxter's Harbour is a little gem that I had never heard anyone talk about. It is a 20-25 minute drive from Kentville and I am so stunned that I never knew about it before. I have come across photos of these falls in the Winter and man, they are GORGEOUS! I am so sad that we will not be going east this Christmas but if you get the chance to go here in the Winter, DO IT!

Such a great spot for a picnic, adventuring, a bit of rock climbing, fishing i'm sure, photos, and also whale watching! We were lucky enough to spot a whale off in the distance before we left - not my first time seeing a whale but it is always a special and very exciting moment when it happens!

There you have it! These are just a few of my favourite places to go when I am able to visit my home. I would love to know where you are from and where your favourite spots to go are when you are home! And, of all the places I have mentioned, where would you go and visit?

(some of) my favourite spots in the annapolis valley (pt.1)

This post is going to focus on some of favourite spots in the Annapolis Valley - where I was born and raised! If you ever get the chance to go to Nova Scotia, don't skip out on this beautiful part of the province! I know that the Halifax area is fun and gorgeous, and the Southern Shore is just stunning, and Cape Breton is just full of the friendliest folks - but the Annapolis Valley has all of that! Yes, I am biased, but I am also not wrong. Okay, cool!

Here we go!

1. Evangeline Beach, Grand Pre.

This place is like a second home to me. My grandparent's found a little slice of heaven right along the beach and plopped (built) a cottage (I call it a cabin) there and made a space for our family - the Woodworth's - to come together and make memories! The beach itself is a beautiful place to go and swim, walk along or have a bon fire on. It is a tad muddy but who goes to the beach to stay clean, am I right? 

And down the way from our cabin is a cute little campground and a canteen with an arcade and candy! We used to get penny candies there - yes, I am old enough to have been alive to get penny candies!

2. Blomidon Provincial Park, Canning (Cape Blomidon).

Now, let's take a look at another beautiful beach spot right across the same water from Evangeline Beach! 

This place is still quite new to me - my first time going to Blomidon was last year... yes, I have been looking at these cliff from my cabin for 27 years, and I had never been until last summer. Ridiculous. But, I digress. 

This beach is a stunner! It's not as muddy (still muddy but not as bad) and lined along it's coast are some freakin' amazing cliffs! This is a must-see spot - and enjoy the scenery along the country roads.

3. The Look-off, Canning.

This is the iconic view of the Annapolis Valley! No, you cannot see all of the valley from this spot, but you see a lot of it! The Look-off is a spot that I, without a doubt, have to visit when I am home. I need to take in the beautiful place that I was born and raised in. This view keeps me humble and reminds me of who I am, where I came from, and what I have accomplished to be where I am at this point in my life!

It's a pretty outstanding view! And if you are an ice cream lover, there is a great spot across the street where you can grab a sweet treat to enjoy with this incredible view!

(some of) my favourite spots in nova scotia.

As I am sure you have figured out by now, I am from Nova Scotia... and I love it!

Every time I get to go home, there are a few spots that are on my list of places to go. Even though I have been to most of these spots a ton of times - I grew up going to these places - I still love them with all my heart!

So, I wanted to share these little Nova Scotia gems that I love so much with you all!

I have so many favourite spots in the Annapolis Valley (where I am from), so I am going to make a few posts of some of my favourite spots there! Stay tuned!

1. Lunenburg. 

Lunenburg is one of those spots that doesn't even seem real to me. It is such a unique little town on the water with so much happening. From boat tours, to a gorgeous landscape (so many hills - you will get a great workout visiting here!), to horse and carriage rides through town (yes, this is a real thing!!), and to unique little shops and great restaurants - check out Big Red's and the Salt Shaker Deli!

Fun little fact: Mark and I originally wanted to get married in Lunenburg but instead got married in the similarly landscaped province of Newfoundland!

2. Peggy's Cove Lighthouse.

Yes, I went there. Such a typical spot to mention but Peggy's Cove IS the landmark of Nova Scotia. People can identify our province by a photo of this lighthouse without having seen the lighthouse or been to the province. It is such a beautiful spot with a gorgeous landscape and the sounds of the waves crashing... it's just the perfect spot to go, pop-a-squat on a the rocks, and just take everything in. And if you are lucky enough (we weren't this time) you may get to hear the tied-for-first (with crashing waves) most beautiful sound in the world - bagpipes!

3. Bear River (Near Digby).

I found out about this place when I was just a young girl. My friend's Grandparents lived there and we stayed with them and at a cabin deep in the woods. Bear River is such a small town in this deep valley which makes it feel even smaller. Everyone there is so sweet and everyone knows everyone. It's a literal dream spot for me. On top of all of this dreaminess, they have been holding the Cherry Carnival for 125 years!!! I went to my first one yeeeeaaarrrrssss ago, and I ever since, I wanted to go back and watch the infamous "grease pole" - a greased up log that people pay a small amount to try and get the flag at the end of the pole without falling into the water. That's it. That is the "grease pole". And I love it! I find it so entertaining and I could watch it forever - if there was a Netflix series on it, I would be watching it!  

But yes, this place is magical! I haven't been that many times but it has a special spot in my heart!

the before - the charlotte letter

She has been feeling it for a while now - that sense of awakening. There is a gentle rage simmering inside her, and it is getting stronger by the day. She will hold it close to her - she will nurture it and let it grow. She won't let anyone take it away from her. It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places. She can feel it down to her very core - this is her time. She will not only climb mountains - she will move them too.

'Her Time'  by Lang Leav

 

There are many days I feel defeated. I feel run down, out of sorts, out of creativity. This age of social media presses us to show the best and most beautiful life. We are encouraged to share "the after" and not "the before". But it is the before that makes the after beautiful - worth sharing with Instagram. The before is the story - it is the plot that leads to the fairytale ending that the world gets to see. The before is the battle with the orcs, or the insane journey to Mordor (Jenn, I know you will appreciate these references!). Without the before, the after would not exist. There would be no lesson learned, no inspirational quote, and no growth.

I want to make it a goal of mine to embrace more of the before moments in my life. Where was I a month ago? A year ago? 5 years ago? What and who has made me into the person that I am today? What lessons have I learned? I want to look at how far I have come - both in life in general and in my photography. I want to embrace more of the storylines in my life. I want to figure out the pivotal moments that made me want to progress and make a difference in my life. I want to "climb mountains and move them too".

And I encourage you all to take a moment and look at who you are. What is your story? What is a lesson you have learned that has helped to shape who you are at this moment? 

the memories we keep.

"sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

- Dr. Seuss - 

 

It is photos like these -  my husband and his nephew with some beautiful evening light in my sister-in-law's backyard forest in Nova Scotia; or of Mark sitting with my nephew in Bear River during the Cherry Carnival watching the grease pole (something I will go into more detail about in a future post, haha!); or of Mark sitting with my nephew and his cousin who also calls Mark "Uncle Mark" - it is photos like these ones, and so many more, why I got my first DSLR.

5 years ago, Mark got me my first DSLR - the wonderfully underrated Canon t3i. I had no intentions of using it to make a "career" (I still don't feel like I am at 'career status' yet with my photography). All I wanted it for was to document our life together. To capture moments like these. Moments that we can both cherish for the rest of our days. We can look at them and remember snippets of those particular days - the funny things that happened or were said (my nephew Wesson say "jamp" instead of "jump", "swamich" instead of "sandwich", and many other hilarious words that make him sound like Bubbles from 'The Trailer Park Boys' (he knows how to say the words correctly, he just thinks too quickly sometimes/ is just cute - and is also 5). 

I guess what I am getting at is it really does pay to have something more than just phone photos. Not that there is anything wrong with them - my phone is jam-packed with photos and videos that I love! But with my DSLR, I not only get to capture these moments, I then get to edit them - add a little magic - and as I am doing that, I think about those days. How we were feeling, the things that we learned, the people and views that we saw, and the ice cream that we ate (we ate SO much ice cream in Nova Scotia! It's a bit ridiculous.). 

Now, I not only capture my own memories, but I am able to capture so many other's! Complete strangers who trust me to capture the moments that mean the most to them. 

And that makes me feel pretty freakin' cool.

What are your favourite memories? What photos do you keep on your phone or computer because you just can't stand the thought of removing them? What is your desktop or phone background? 

the charlotte letter.

and just as the phoenix rose from the ashes, she too will rise. returning from the flames, clothed in nothing but her strength, more beautiful than ever.

- shannen heartzs -

It has been a while.. and if I am being honest, it has felt so great to be away!

I have been, and still am, feeling creatively drained. I don't want to work on photos, I don't want to write. I don't want to do anything really. But, I cannot be a hermit forever (or can it?). And after listening to one of my new favourite podcasts today (Nova Church Podcast), I am ready to get back, give back and rock this life!

I've recently been working on a bit of a project to help me get back to myself, my creativity, and what makes me happy.

I call it "the charlotte letter".

I want to dedicate one day a week (probably Sunday since I am posting this on a Sunday) to get a little deeper with you but also, and most importantly, with myself. Along with this, I will be using the red dress you see below (or different variations along the way) as sort of the "symbol" for this whole journey - hence the play on words with The Charlotte Letter  instead of 'The Scarlet Letter' (just incase you didn't get it - it's totally cool if you didn't!). 

I am really excited to dive deep with you all and get a little more personal (yes, I get even more personal than I already am)! If you are not into this type of thing, I will still be sharing other posts that may be a little more light and goofy. :)

 

Also, as I mentioned above, I am a big fan of the Nova Church Podcast! I was able to attend one of their services while on vacation in Nova Scotia and it has left such a huge imprint on my heart. The people were incredible, the music was incredible, and the message was incredible. I have never been to such a fun church or to a church where you not only see people's love for God and for being at church, but you feel it. I cried a few times from the overwhelming amount of love in the room - and I may be tearing up just thinking about it... my experience there changed my heart for the better.

Even if you are not a believer in God or you believe in something or someone else, I feel that this podcast could relate to everyone's life in some way. Maybe you just need a little encouragement, a little enlightenment, or maybe even a laugh - they are so funny! Definitely give it a listen or share it with someone you think would like it or need it!

Try something new. <3

ride the wave.

"human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished. the person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and temporary as al the people you've ever been. the one constant in our lives is change." - daniel gilbert

i am one of those people who constantly tries to figure out who she is. it's honestly annoying.

this quote sort of snapped me out of those thoughts the other day and reminded me that i am never the same person as i was 5 minutes ago. i am constantly growing (not literally..), learning, obtaining, observing, listening, discovering. i am constantly changing. 

and though this constant change brings many obstacles and annoyances (i just want to know who i am!), i want to learn to love it, to embrace it, and strive in the change. 

we are all going through this as i write this and as you read (if you are still reading, you are a real champ!). it's a struggle somedays, looking in the mirror, seeing the impurities, listening to my thoughts - "who are you? what do you bring to the world? what are you doing with your life? why are you so shy?". the most important question i ask myself, "who do you want to be?". i need to stop focusing on who i am in this moment, because she is already gone by the next moment. 

and that is what i want to work on amongst this constant change happening. i want to ride this wave of change and see where it will take me! 

first stop: Nova Scotia next week! bring on the new memories, the ocean air (waves!... ocean!), and some quality time with family, friends, and my other half! :)

 

dress/skort/dort(?) haha!: Winners.