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!

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? 

lilac lovin'.

I looooooove lilacs! 

They smell amazing, they look amazing; they are just amazing!

So, when I heard that there was a Lilac Festival in Warkworth (just Northwest of Belleville, ON), I knew I had to check it out!

We didn't get to the festival until very close to the end of the first day - vendors were packing up -, but we were able to take a nice leisurely walk alongside the most beautiful creek that was surrounded by lush green grass, hills of trees, and some lilac bushes!

This was our first visit to Warkworth and it was an extremely short one (due to the thunderstorm that we just missed!) but I know that we will be visiting again very soon and a lot more often! Seriously, the cutest little town in a sort of valley of trees! I am in love!

And obviously I had to get some photos of myself, haha! I am the type of person who when she hears the plan, she thinks to herself, "will there be photo opportunities?" and then proceeds to get herself somewhat presentable. 

I swear I am not high-maintenance (says every person is probably high-maintenance)! I just like to feel confident! And my husband won't let me take nice photos of him, so someone needs to step up to the plate, right?! Haha!

My super cute jumpsuit (I am SO in love with red!) is from Garage Clothing :)

Question: What is your favourite flower? Mine is a toss-up between Lilacs and Peonies! Oh! And I love love LOVE Ranunculus! Ugh! They are all so beautiful! 

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!

i get by with a little help from my friends.

Yay! Another lyric title! 

But seriously, I LOVE my friends. And I cannot thank them all enough for everything that they do for me, big and small. There are two specific ladies that I want to quickly shout out.

Jenn, a fellow Nova Scotia woman and introvert - she is my rock. She has been such an incredible listener to my ramblings and concerns as well as an inspiration. She has overcome some not-so-easy obstacles that I, too, have trouble with. And now, she is has started a FANTASTIC (and I mean it!) blog about her discoveries in the area which we have both been posted to. If you are curious as to where we live, what there is to and see (and drink), then you need to go check out her blog, Posted Discoveries (what an awesome name, eh?!) and Instagram. She is amazing and I am so thankful to have her as a friend and my go-to horror movie goer!

Haha! I need more photos of this beauty - but it truly sums up her amazing personality!

Elexis, the gal who started dragging me out of my house and on adventures. And for that, I am so thankful! If it wasn't for Elexis, I would not have seen and been to so many beautiful spots in and around the Bay of Quinte and other parts of Southern Ontario. She has also helped me get my camera out more and inspired me to be more creative. She herself is the queen of DIY and makes the most beautiful blankets, home decor, and clothing (coming soon!). If you are in the market for something made with love and a little bit of sunshine, you should check out her Facebook Page - Something About Sunshine Co. - and her Instagram

(Elexis is probably the most free-spirited person I know and I think this photo mirrors that!)

Write here…

Write here…

I am so lucky to have these women and the few other's that I know (I don't know that many women that well) in my life. This posting has been hard, and I get homesick quite often, but these women are the silver-lining to being here. 

Mushy post over.

But like, I love my friends and I love having friends - so yeah!

Who pushes you to be better?