a closer look

Good morning, y’all! Today’s post is a little different (and much longer) than normal, so grab yourself a cup of coffee and a bagel and let’s get into it! I have a horrible tendency to be scatter brained and all over the place, so bear with me as I try to piece this all together.

When I started Charlton Lee, I had a very specific vision in mind. I had discovered the whole “blogging community” years before I started my own, but as cliché as it sounds, I never thought I would be able to start my own. God is so perfect in His timing, and placed me in such an amazing spot at the time that the bud that would become this blog was blooming.

circa early 2000's

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work in retail. Actually the real reason why, which is so incredibly silly as I think about it now, is because of a TV show. Growing up, I was obsessed with the show “8 Simple Rules”, like to the point where I saw every episode (and rerun) multiple times. One of the main characters, played by Kaley Cuoco, worked at a clothing store in high school and I just thought that was the ultimate dream. A few months before my 16th birthday, I went everywhere from boutiques to burger shops handing in applications. After a lot of less than kind employees and rejection, I was hired at this adorable local boutique that was still fairly new. One of the best parts about working there, other than the fact that I could get dressed up, were my coworkers. One of them in particular really understood the whole blogging thing and fully supported me to follow my dream of starting my own.

I spent weeks brainstorming and asking those close to me for suggestions on a name, and finally settled on Charlton Lee. When I started the process of putting all the details together, I was finishing my sophomore year of high school and still working at the boutique. Naturally, my parents wanted to make sure I was being smart and safe with how I put myself out there. At the same time, I wanted to be taken seriously and not just seen as another immature teenager. So, I left out details like where I lived, how old I actually was and other more personal details that were a huge part of my life, but were never shown. Now, a little over a year later, I want to be totally honest with all of y’all about who I am and what I’m up to!

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl ;)

I’ve been playing around with my About Me page and Instagram bio, so it’s about time that I explain it to all of y’all! A month or so ago I added a little something to my Insta bio… a location (*insert the cute monkey emoji covering his eyes*) A quick little backstory… I was born in Houston, but we moved before my second birthday so I never got to really appreciate the city for all that it is. My family moved to a small town in Missouri where I grew up for the next ten years. In the summer of 2009, we moved back south to Baton Rouge, LA. Now, six years later, my parents and I are making our way back to Houston. Let’s just say that “pumped” is an understatement! My older brother (and only sibling) plays baseball for a university in Louisiana, so he’ll just have to settle for shopping trips with me on the holidays instead of every weekend (like I’m sure he would just love)! I can't wait to spend this next year back in Houston and closer to family! 

Between moving and all of the little details that go into senior year, my life is crazy to say the least right now, but that’s what makes it exciting! The official moving date is a week from today, so this next week is going to be packed full of last minute errands and dinner dates. We’ll be in a temporary home for this next year, and then hopefully find a more permanent place next summer. So, that gives me double the opportunity to create some fun, moving themed posts! Whether it’s for college, an upcoming move you’re planning, or for the future, I have some tips and tricks that we’ve been using that I cannot wait to share with y’all! 

Ok, I’m sorry, this was super long. If you’ve made it this far, you definitely deserve a prize! Thank you all for your continued support and kindness as I share my journey with y’all. All of your sweet comments really do make my day and mean the world to me!

I hope all of you have a great weekend!

xoxo


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I honestly can't wrap my head around the fact that it's now been a full year since I started this blog. Hesitant doesn't even begin to describe how I felt about starting this journey, but it really has been one of the best decisions I've made. I never could have imagined how much goes into each picture, post, and comment, but all the effort is more than worth it! 

I can't even begin to thank all of the wonderful people who have read, followed, and supported Charlton Lee. Y'all's sweet comments never fail to bring a smile to my face and brighten my day. Thank you so so much for all of the continued support, even if I do go a month without posting anything (twice). 

I hope all of y'all are having an amazing Memorial Day weekend! Thank you so much for all the love and support this past year. I can't wait to see what this next one brings:)

xoxo



world water day


Happy Monday, y'all! I know it's a day late, but I still want to recognize World Water Day. For those of y'all that have been following along for a while, you'll remember how I talked about the NYC Water Tower Project this past fall {here}. Obviously, the water crisis is still very real, so bringing awareness to the matter is still so important. Like the picture says, there are still 748,000,000 people without access to clean or safe water. 748 million. I can't even fathom a number that large. 

There are so many different wonderful organizations dedicated to providing clean water to these precious souls. I personally have grown a special fondness to the organization charity:water. In our world today, there are so many needs and so many people that it's easy to create formulas, so we create mass answers. A million water filters. A million wells. A million purification systems. But you can't always put a living, breathing life into a formula. Why I love charity:water. charity: water creates personal relationships with those who are a part of the 748 million people. They find out what each village or town needs, and then find a way to provide it. Not only is the solution customized to the people of a particular location, but they help to stimulate the local economy by using as much of the local workers as possible. Pretty awesome!

So what can you do? This is something I struggle with all the time. I can read endless stories about all the need or even about the help that was provided, but it's still not tangible. There's always donating, and there are some pretty inspiration fundraising stories charity:water features. The other glaring solution I can think of is how I approach water. As much as I wish it could, my using less water doesn't provide more water to those who need it. But I can be aware. Little steps like turning off the faucet when I'm brushing my teeth and shorter showers can make a huge difference. After my previous water awareness post, I received an amazing email showing the amount of water used all over the United States {here}. It's so eye opening to actually see the bigger effects of our simple actions. 

My  goal isn't to make anyone feel guilty, but to bring awareness to a huge problem in our world. I'm the first to admit Monday's are never easy, but as you go throughout your day today, try thinking about all the blessings in your life and how you can share them with others. 

Thanks for reading!
xoxo

watch: charity:water's campaign video {here}
read: stories of how water changed these people's lives {here}
see: how much water your area uses {here}
donate: {here}


how to keep your new year's resolutions


With every new year comes new resolutions. Resolutions can be tricky though. They always start with good intentions, but I'm sure the majority of us would admit they don't last long. So what are we supposed to do, settle? Keep trying, but keep giving up? How do we make a permanent change?

Habits. We all have them. Apparently, we're all trying to make some new ones too. So why not connect the two? A few months ago I watched a TED talk that opened my eyes to change. The real kind, not just this "new year, new me" last for a day stuff. But real, genuine, permanent change. The speaker suggested starting a new habit while doing an old one. So I gave it a shot. I took something I knew I would be doing already, brushing my teeth, and connected it to something I wanted to become a habit, making my bed. 

In the morning, I save brushing my teeth until as close to the time I have to leave as possible. Something about waiting just makes me believe my breath will stay a little mintier that much longer. As I'm brushing away, I head into my room to make my bed. It doesn't take any extra time, but this way I'm getting something I have to do done, as well as something I want to do. Now there's no forgetting, no running too late, or any other excuse I used to use. It's become a habit. 

Yes, not all resolutions can be confined to a two minute tooth brushing session. Maybe you can't run a mile when you're brushing your teeth, but you can stretch. It might be kinda hard to change a personality trait in two minutes, but you can use that time to think about your goals. And don't get me wrong, it can be so much bigger than just bushing your teeth. Take a habit you've already formed and link a new one to it. Time proof. Excuse proof. Fail proof. 


xoxo