ready to bloom.

i am always on the hunt for things and people that motivate me.

the majority of people i follow on my instagram (my fitness instagram in particular - follow along if you’d like!) are people who motivate me to keep getting on my mat, to the gym, or going after my goals. i love seeing where other’s journeys begin and where they are now. before and afters/progress pictures are the biggest motivators for me.

with the new year in full-swing, my feed is filled with people’s goals, their progress or starting points, and just all the positivity that a fresh year brings. i decided to do something different this year and set goals or intentions for each month instead of a bunch of goals with no real '“deadline”. for january, i am making it my goal to find my rhythm with yoga - learn to freestyle - but also work on my king pigeon pose (along with the splits, but those progress pictures will come later!).

i never thought i would have my own “before and after/ progress” photo because my body’s shape has not changed much and i haven’t taken those types of photos intentionally (but i want to soon!). but just the other day, 2 days into the new yoga program i have started (it’s called letsstartyoga by my favourite yogi on instagram, jessica olie) i not only found a deeper love for yoga, but i also unintentionally got my “after”/ “progress” picture!

i used to be able to do this variation of king pigeon a couple of years ago with ease, but when i tried it out last month (december 13th to be exact), i wasn’t quite there with it. fast forward to january 2nd, day two of the #letsstartyoga program (for me), and i am so amazed to see my progress! with the proper warmup, breathing, and practice, i was able to almost get back to where i was a couple of years ago!

but most importantly, i became my own motivation!

it may not be perfect, and i have a long way to go yet, but it feels amazing to see and feel the difference.

everyone’s goals are different, and progress is subjective - something that i forget sometimes - so, learn to look at where you started with any goal you have and see where you are now. if you have fallen off your “goal train”, hop back on and try again! you’ll never know if you can accomplish something until you give it your all!

i am making this year a big one for me - lots of goals i want to reach and things i need to get done. lots of growing, doing, and “blooming”. these photos have me so pumped to see what else i can accomplish this year!

what or who motivates you?

trip down memory lane.

just a little warning: this post contains a lot of christmas memories and things that may only mean something to me -i just felt the need to get it out there. if you are not into reading about people’s live’s, please come back soon for a future post! :)

i also wanted to take a moment to remember all of my loved ones who are no longer around celebrate this time of year with their family. christmas for me has always been about traditions - but over time, i have lost them. this has been due to marriage which comes with a new family and new traditions, my parent’s separation, and of course, the loss of loved ones. this post is a way for me to bring my childhood and my loved back to life for a moment. you may not see the tears, but they are falling and the nose is definitely running.

in the spirit of the season and reminiscing, i wanted to share some of the traditions/ memories that i will i always cherish!

1. going out into the woods by our house with my dad and one or both of my brothers and cutting down a pretty ugly tree (my dad didn’t have the best taste).

2. fighting over who’s turn it was to put the angel on top of the tree with my brothers - which, by the way, that thing was treated like it was this amazing and delicate piece of art with it’s own box and tissue paper but it was plastic and looked so worn out but nevertheless, we fought over it.

3. going along with the tree, it would always be my brothers, my dad and i who would decorate the tree. our tree would always be covered in silver tinsel, homemade ornaments dating back to the late 80’s, and then just a bunch of random ornaments that we would receive as gifts or just liked. there was no colour scheme or theme which i kind of like better than the “perfect looking” christmas tree, if i’m being honest (no offence to the people who have perfect beautiful trees!).

4. christmas eve - my favourite day of the whole year! this was the day that, annie, my best friend in the entire world, and her family would come for christmas eve supper and we would eat, exchange gifts, and just spend an evening all together. fun fact: my mom and annie’s mom, pam, are best friends and that is how we met - annie was there the day i was born (that is 27 years of best friendery - that is now a word if it wasn’t already!) and the rest is history!

5. on christmas eve, most years, channel 37 (back in the day, haha!) would run the movie a christmas story for 24 hours. this, my friends, is my absolute favourite christmas movie! so, i would turn the tiny tv i had in my room to channel 37 and watch that movie at least 3 times, falling in and out of sleep. this tradition is still going strong but i bought the movie, haha!

6. christmas day would start off early, like crazy early. my oldest brother was notorious for waking up around 4am or even earlier some years, and he would come wake my other brother and i. we would walk out to see that our tree was hidden by a wall of presents - we were definitely spoiled children that didn’t realize it. we were not allowed to wake our parent’s that early, nor would we ever dare wake my mother up that early - she was like a sleeping dragon, and you never wake a sleeping dragon! so, while we waited for a reasonable time to wake them up (between 6am and 7am…) we would open our stockings.

7. after early morning presents - we would normally be done by 8am… - most of us would nap while mom and dad would slave away getting food ready for the woodworth’s annual christmas potluck lunch (it wasn’t officially called that but that’s what it was, haha). luckily for my family, we lived next-door to my grandparents! we always ate well there, it was always warm in their house and they had a big screen tv (like the chunky ones that first came out)! i loved my grandparent’s house - i would crawl under the table to get to the other side and always sit next to my poppy. whatever i didn’t finish, he would pick up and put on his plate. we were a pretty good team. my grammy, who was a beautiful and kind little lady (she was shorter than i am) who always wore dresses and made sure that her family was fed before she would sit in her little rocking chair on the other side of my poppy and eat her food. side note: we would have lunch at my grandparent’s house every sunday and it was the best thing ever!

8. boxing day in the east is treated like an actual holiday where most people do not work (not like here in onterrible… i mean, ontario, haha!) so we would hit the highway to the city (halifax area) most years and have boxing day supper with my mom’s side of the family. my nan, who i am named after, was a strict lady but she always treated me like a princess. she was a bit scary - my brother’s and i would say that she kind of looked and acted like ursula from little mermaid, but she was much more beautiful! she had a presence and i am lucky that my mom, who i used to scared of (refer to memory #5) is a lot like her mother. so, even though my nan is no longer here, i still have a little bit of her in living form through my mom!

i am sorry if this post seemed pointless, but every year, i think back to these memories that i have and hold so dearly in my heart and think of how many of these traditions will never happen again. but that is why traditions are also great - when some have to end, new ones can be made with new family and friends. traditions are what make christmas so special for me - it’s not the gifts or the giving (i LOVE giving gifts but that’s not my favourite part. please don’t hurt me!), it’s the old and new traditions that my husband, my family and his, and my friends have. this time of year for me is about loving who i have in my life and who i have lost. it’s about family and community.

i would love to know what your favourite tradition is or was! have you made any new ones? please share because i love hearing what other’s do around this time of year! :)

happy christmas, merry holidays, and happy december everyone! i hope that you are all making the most out of what time we have left of 2018 and be sure to hug or call your loved ones!

and remember, you do not know what others are going through, especially at this time of year, so please be kind to one another. <3




without water wings

as i slowly prepare for the new year, i find myself getting a little anxious as each day passes.

i don’t know about you, but i have some big-ish plans for myself in this new year/ new chapter. it’s not so much a “fresh start” for me this year as it would normally be, but it is a “kicking into high gear” year! i am ready to push beyond where i am in my life - career, fitness, friendships, and education wise - and create a better and more rewarding path for myself and my family.

but let’s start with education/ career - one thing at time!

as most of you may not know (because i never share it) i do not have a university degree or college diploma. yes, i am 27 year old without a degree. honestly, i am little embarrassed to even share that, but whatever! i am an adult.. right? haha!

i digress..

i have attended to three universities - acadia university, st. thomas university, and brandon university - and all were wonderful and had their pros and cons. for my situation, i felt unprepared and rushed into post-secondary education without a real idea of what i wanted to accomplish. i switched degrees a handful of times, but never truly felt like i found my “calling”. i am still unsure of what my calling(s) is/are but 2019 is the year i plan to do a ton of research, look into schools and programs, and “jump in the pool without water-wings”!… i may have made that up, but hopefully you get the point, haha! i have many ideas of what i would possibly love to do, which can be an issue, but i am hoping i can really narrow it down and get started on a structured path to (some) success!

with all of that being said, i would love to know any of the following:

what you do for work? what you did in school? if you went to university or college? and/ or if you could go back in time, would you pick the same program?

i always love learning what people do for a living and how they got there!

Outfit: top and pants from american eagle, booties from ardene.

above the clouds.

it feels like forever that i have sat down and wrote what i’m thinking. do you even remember me? haha!

so, hi! hello! my name is charlotte and i consistently start things and then take breaks from them - so, at least i am consistent with something, right? :)

for realsies though, i have been busy! being back at my regular job working at night has my brain all discombobulated - i am not a night owl. for the entirety of last week, i felt like i was hungover but i cannot tell you the last time i had alcohol - probably november, so not a crazy long time but it wasn’t last week, hah! but i had this constant headache which caused a lot of “brain fog” and loss of all motivation for everyday life. i felt like i was on autopilot - just going through the motions and not enjoying much.

this week, i am getting back to finding my thoughts and myself. i’ve made myself a priority and given my body and mind what it needs to clear up and prepare for the remainder of this crazy month (i love december though - it’s seriously the best!).

i wanted to give you a little glimpse into my “priori-me” list (just made that up… yes, it’s lame but i kind of love it):

roll out your mat. rolling out my mat is like building my own little temporary space for me, myself and i. even if i roll it out and just lay on it for 10 minutes with my eyes closed, i have accomplished what i had set to do.

get yourself to the gym. what is the hardest part about going to the gym? going to the gym, haha! it’s so easy to say that i will go to the gym and get dressed for it but getting myself there is a whole other story. i’ve learned to not overdo it, do it for me, and to just go! once i am there, the hardest part is over and i instantly feel more pumped and happy to get strong!

sudoku. yes, i am an old lady. i have a secret obsession with sudoku. i have a book of sudoku puzzles and i do at least 3 a day (#cantstopwontstop) and i also do the one in the free newsletters that you can get at tim hortons and other spots. they are a great way to get away from technology and give my mind a little workout!

read a chapter of current book. i recently finished a book by iain reid (a canadian author) called foe and it was excellent! i normally prefer non-fiction book but this book was fantastic and i never wanted to put it down - highly highly recommend it!

get outside. fresh air makes everyone happy.

play ukelele. this is a new thing that has been added to this list. if you didn’t know, i recently got a ukelele as an early christmas gift from my wonderful husband, and now i am obsessed! i am not good but learning a new instrument (i played clarinet and saxophone in middle school and high school) has been a blast!

write. this is something that i have slacked on but i think is one of the most crucial priorities for me. writing with a pen on paper is my preferred way to write but even just blogging or writing a caption on instagram sometimes does the trick. whenever my brain feels jumbled, getting my thoughts out in front of me helps to understand what the heck is going on inside my head.

listen to a podcast or blast music and dance. one of my favourites on this list! i am a huge fan of podcasts and will more than likely choose a podcast over music nowadays - unless i want to sing, then music will obviously win. my favourite podcasts to listen to are anything crime related - more specifically canadian crime. my most recent favourite podcasts are canadian true crime, thunder bay podcast , and dark poutine. give them a listen if you are into that kind of stuff!

and there you have it! that is a little taste of how i take care of me when i am feeling overwhelmed, unproductive, and just lost!

what are some things that you like to do to get the brain-juices flowing? (sorry if that sounded gross, haha!)

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!