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!)

(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!

cheap dress and hairy legs.

Probably my favourite title for a post thus far! Hah!

I luuuurrrrrrvve a good deal - says every normal person. Seriously, who doesn't like paying less for something? If you don't, why? Haha!

I digress.

Whenever I am feeling like I need (want) to add something fresh to my wardrobe, I hit the one place that maybe a lot of people don't think about. No, not Value Village - that's my spot for random household knick-knacks. And no, not any other thrift store you are thinking of. I go to.... Winners! Yay! We did it!

Yes, Winners always has what I don't need and everything that I want or didn't know that I wanted. I get a lot of my 'filler' pieces and active wear at Winners. This dress? Winners!! How much you may be asking? $25.00. Yup! And it made me feel like a moody chick meets dark Little House on the Prairie. I never buy dresses this long - I have a strictly 'above the knees to make myself appear taller' policy when it comes to dresses - but this dress broke that policy! Now, I have a new love for long dresses and their ability to hide my pasty and probably unshaven legs in the Summer! (that was a nice way of saying 'hairy', just so you know).

Okay, I think that I am done with this very rambly and odd conversation about a cheap dress and my hairy legs.

If you gather anything from this post, it should be to check out Winners! They are constantly adding different pieces and allow you to freshen up your wardrobe without breaking the bank!

And no, this is not sponsored. I freaken' wish!

will you remember me?

I go through really weird funks where I just look in the mirror and make the "gross, what's that smell"** face at my own reflection. I point out all of my flaws - crooked nose, pimples, acne scarring, uneven skin tone... the list goes on, people!

But recently (like yesterday), I had a few thoughts come to mind: Are people actually looking at my "flaws"? Is that how people will remember me?

I want to be remembered for my sense of humour - for my terrible jokes and ability to lift spirits. I want to be the ‘positive paddy’ in the room, whipping out my sarcastic jokes accompanied by a weird scrunched face or silly voice to make the joke actually funny - I really feel my facial expressions and weird voices are the gateway to my comedy career. 

Those are the things that people are going to remember me by. Not my appearance (well, maybe the short and blonde things). 

I know this is a somewhat “morbid”(?) topic to talk about but it was an eye-opener for me. It reminded me of who I want to be as a person now, today. If you take anything from the rambling above, please let it be that people love you for you, not who see in the mirror (and make a stinky face at).

Finally, with these thoughts going through my mind, I found it time to have a mini photoshoot where I wear cute things and have a public dance party! That always makes me feel more confident and brings me back to loving who I am - you should give it a try! 

 

**I know that 'smell' has nothing to do with my reflection but I feel it gives you a better visualization of the face that I make.

for the love of mom.

Mother's Day is tomorrow, and I wanted to thank all of the amazing, caring, strong, funny, incredible, hard-working mama's that I get to call my sister-in-law, my best friend, and those who I have met through my photography career so far!

Each and every one of you amaze me! You have created life! How incredible is that?! You are all such a blessing to your little ones, to your partners, your parents, your nieces and nephews, and your friends. 

I know that when it is finally my time to become a mother, I will have so many women to look up to, to go to for guidance, and to help me when I feel like I can't do it. 

Thank you for being the everyday hero! <3

PS. Annie, we will get A LOT of photos of you and Alexander this Summer, haha! Love you!

beach weatha'.

Probably my favourite part about living in the Bay of Quinte area is having beaches, like Sandbanks in Prince Edward County, just a little drive away! It is not the Atlantic, but it helps to fill that void of missing the ocean and my home province a little bit.

Elexis and I share the non-traditional work schedule and hit the beach late on a Wednesday morning. With our pups excited to be able to enjoy some water time (Reeses is a water fiend!), snacks at the ready (which got covered in sand by an excited Reeses, haha!), and the sun in our eyes, we enjoyed a quiet a beach day. 

If you get the chance to visit Sandbanks Provincial Park or even just take a drive through, do it! 

Question: Are you a beach person, a woods person or a city person?

Presqu'ile Prov. Park - Brighton, ON.

I love having a friend who A. has an odd schedule like me, and B. is always up for a weekday adventure. Elexis is that person who gets me and my pups out of the house and to places we don't normally get to!

A couple of weeks ago, we ended up in the first Provincial Park that Mark and I went to when we first moved to the area almost 2 years ago - Presqu'ile Provincial Park! Nestled in the cutest little town of Brighton, Ontario, this park is a stunner and has so much to offer that I have only seen a small portion of it. It's a great escape for an afternoon to just walk around, hit the beach, and check out a lighthouse (they are an obsession of mine!).

There is definitely a lot more that you can do - but you will have to go find out for yourself!

Have you been to Presqu'ile? If so, what did you do there? Also, what is your favourite Provincial or State Park (or any Park in the World)? I am really curious!

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! 

Cozy Grey Days.

The coziest sweaters are the ones that have sleeves longer than your arms so that you can tuck your hands inside, am I right? I love this sweater from TopShop. It's the perfect sweater for the Spring weather that is slowly making it's way to us here in Canada (well, Ontario and East. Sorry Prairie provinces!). 

I love a cute sweater because it allows the "basic" me to look a little more put together while also staying warm. I still love a good ol' "jeans and t-shirt" look, but I have been preferring a "jeans and sweater" outfit. Everything looks good with jeans my friends, even more jeans (aka. jean jackets)! Almost all of my jeans, or I should say, jeggings, are from American Eagle. I may work there but I have been wearing AE jeans/jeggings since I was 16 (10 years!!) and I swear by them! Great quality, decent price, and the stretch-to-fit has only gotten better. I live in my jeans, so comfort is key. (Sorry, got a little off topic. I just really love AE pants and want to share my thoughts with whoever will read them).