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?

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!)

seeing double.

There are currently 5 days of April remaining but I never want it to end! I have loved this month SO much! But, before it leaves us for another year, I wanted to share the rest of the photos and the other two outfits from mine and Elexis's "friendship shoot"!

Still, this is my favourite thing that happened this entire month and I am looking forward to doing more (maybe even some for other people?!? - Hi, I take photos!). It was such a fun and hilarious experience - and a pretty exhausting one to photograph myself (but totally worth it!). I felt like I was back in middle school with one of my best friends, acting goofy and trying to match. Those were the days!

Shoot me a message if you are wanting a friendship shoot of your own -  I am looking at you 2018 grads!

Tank tops and Mom jeans: American Eagle.

Floral Jumpsuit: American Eagle (are you noticing a trend?)

frink center - belleville, ontario.

Earth Day is one of my favourite days because, I mean, I love this Earth! Who doesn't?! 

This Earth Day was a spectacular one with loads of sun, a bit of heat, and one of my best gals and fellow blogger, Jenn (writer and creator of Posted Discoveries - you NEED to check it out!)! She got me out to a spot that is quite close to me but one that I have not yet been to, the Frink Center. The ground is still muddy, and the ice is slowly melting causing for some messy trekking, but it made for a great adventure.

This spot is perfect for the avid bird watcher - or maybe you are like me and you find birds to be quite entertaining. It's also a beautiful spot for photos, to relax, and spend a sunny afternoon with friends (human and furry)!

I am so lucky to have adventurous friends who get out more than me, haha! Make sure to check out Jenn's blog to learn more about other local destinations and the many cool spots that she has been all over! 

mornings downtown.

I didn't think that I could love downtown Belleville more than I already did, but I was proven wrong. 

I have spent a lot of time down there lately - and loving every minute of it. The other morning, I woke up at 6:15am (not by choice), and saw that the sun was making an appearance - finally! - so, for some reason, my head told me to head downtown. And I am so happy that I did!

I saw a whole new side of downtown. Probably a side that not many have experienced. The streets were quiet, the birds were chirping, and the sun laid this blanket of warmth along brick walls that line the street. It was a site that residents and visitors need to see! 

So, if you are in the area - or even in your own town - and you find yourself up at the buttcrack of dawn, then head downtown and take in the piece and quiet of a spot that is normally filled with the hustle and bustle of people on a mission.

pure honey.

Yes! Another post about my favourite boutique on the planet!! 

I swear, every time I go into this boutique it feels like the first time! It is always filled with different items and different colour schemes - it always feels fresh! And I just cannot get over that exposed brick! It's stunning. 

Even if you don't have much money, you should pop down to get inspiration and chat with the extremely friendly women that work this shop. You could not ask for a better experience in any store - these women truly love what they do, love what the store has, and love to help you find what will truly flatter your body and personality! I most enjoy that they all get excited about the pieces in the store and have a different positive reaction to each one you hold up. 

Monique and the few other women that work here and really made this spot feel like a 'shopping sanctuary'. That may sound weird but if you have been here, you know what I am saying. They will remember your face and always greet you with the biggest and most sincere smile.

I cannot say enough good things about this place and I hope that if any of you live in or visit the area, that you go to Pure Honey Boutique! 

You can find this little gem at 217 North Front Street, Belleville, ON. 

PS. I was told that there is a big shipment hitting the store sometime soon - so follow them on their  Facebook and Instagram for updates! I can't wait!! :D

Thank you to Monique for allowing me to take these photos (she will never say no), for letting me take a photo of her - even though she was hesitant - and for always being such a kind and wonderful person to everyone!!

young (ish), (sorta) wild, and free (like a bird).

Friendship sessions are ALL I can think about now!

My bestie here, Elexis, suggested that we do a 'friend shoot' and wear matching outfits! She supplied one (as a super sweet birthday gift!), we each picked the same jumpsuit, and I said to bring just an extra outfit. Surprisingly, we both brought a similar 'feel' look. They each showcased our free, wild, and weird spirits! 

Though I don't have a remote for my camera - which means I had to run back and forth to focus and set the timer - this was one of the funnest days I have had in a long time! It was such an awesome idea by Elexis and I want to do more like yesterday!

So, if you're in the area and interested in a friend session, shoot me a message and we can chat about it!!

Outfits:

Elexis: Top and Bottoms from American Eagle

Charlotte: Top - Urban Outfitters | Bottoms - Top Shop

i don't know about you, but i'm not 22.

Are you getting sick of my cheesy titles yet?

K, good. Me either.

Today, I am 27. I don't particularly like this number as I am not a fan of the number 2 (it's alright I guess) or 7. But, nonetheless, I am here. 27.

Hello. 

To ring in the new year/ day, I thought that I should dress for the occasion. And with this beauty of a coat/ blazer (crazer?) from my favourite local boutique, Pure Honey. It's the kind of piece that says (to me anyway), "Hi. My name is *insert name*, it's my birthday, and I am ready to act like the adult the my nieces and nephews are told I am. Can you tell I think that I am funny? 

But in all seriousness, I love this piece! It's a great transition piece from not only cold Spring to warm Spring (haha!), but also from 26 to 27. I ready to kick some butt, take some names, sign some papers, photograph some weddings, and be somewhat of a professional!

Happy Birthday to me, two of my cousins, and my girls, Mandy Moore and Daisy Ridley!! - oh, and Steven Seagal, gotta wish that man a happy birthday, too!

And to everyone else born on the 10th of April - happiest of birthdays to you!!

<3

2 days til' B-Day.

 In 2 days, I say farewell to 26, and I am slightly sad about it. Not only because my age changes - only people turning 16, 19, and 21 like that - but also because of all of the incredible things that have come my way this past year.

Just to list a few things:

  1. I shot my first wedding and my first elopement. 
  2. I was published in the Bay of Quinte Tourism Guide - still on cloud nine from that one!
  3. I have built the greatest of friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
  4. I did two maternity sessions and got to meet both babies - seems like a strange thing to be excited about but it means a lot!
  5. I did a re-vamp of my website.
  6. I did an anniversary / family gathering shoot at the most beautiful spot in Tweed, Ontario!
  7. I went on a road-trip with my husband around PEI!
  8. My photos have been shared by brands that I love - ie. American Eagle (where you can find this BEAUTIFUL jumpsuit!), Eclipse, and My Home Apparel (a Nova Scotia company)!
  9. I have started getting into real estate photography - a secret thing that I haven't really shared!
  10. And I have come to love myself a little bit more.

There have been so many other amazing opportunities that I have been given as a 26 year old (one which I will spill in a few weeks!!). I am sad to call it quits on 26, but if 26 was this good, I cannot wait to see what 27 will be like!