My November was chock-full of weird little moments of validation. For example, after a meeting I had in Nanaimo, British Columbia that left me unsure about my next step in the grand scheme of things, I stepped into a quaint cafe where I met a wise owl of a man who reminded me to always let creativity and passion guide the way. It was a small encounter, but it reaffirmed what I was already thinking about the situation.
In fact, more to that, this entire month was a reminder for me to trust my intuition, don’t rush into decisions, and that passion and creativity will always win in my life.
“Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Buddha
And, instead of just flying all the way to Nanaimo for the aforementioned meeting, I decided to go on a road-trip up the east Vancouver Island coast. After Nanaimo, I then drove up to Campbell River and back before I hopped on a ferry to Vancouver.
Where I Went
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Courtenay, British Columbia
Campbell River, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
On my way up to Courtenay from Nanaimo, I stopped in Coombs before making my way up to Cathedral Grove. Coombs was everything my hippie heart could ever want – cute restaurants, handmade goods galore, and a market with goats on the roof. Yes, you heard me right. goats. on. the. roof.
I have family in about four different cities on Vancouver Island, and I was so excited to be able to stop in for a couple visits on my way up the coast!
Here I am striking a pose with my auntie Bev in Campbell River!
What I Read
Back in January I made the decision to participate in a reading challenge courtesy of The Girl Who Wanders. The challenge is to read 26 books over one year, which is roughly one book every two weeks. The challenge outlines different criteria for each book selection to help with book choices.
This month I read:
The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker
I’ll admit, I was naive about flavour before reading ‘The Dorito Effect.’ We all know junk food is unhealthy because of x, y, and z, but I never thought of the implications simulated, and a lack of, flavour has on our brains and waistlines.
From chicken to tomatoes to vanilla, Schatzker takes an uninformed reader on a fragrant rollercoaster, dissecting how and why we got to this tasteless place, and what can be, and currently is, being done to bring natural flavor back into our lives.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
I first heard of Lindy West because of her 2012 Jezebel piece, “How To Make A Rape Joke.”. I kept her on my radar for a few years after that, and when I heard that she was putting out a whole novel!!! of her own, I immediately added it to my bookshelf, where it (ashamedly) sat for far too long.
I’ll admit, it takes a lot to make me laugh, like laugh-out-loud kind of laugh, not just subtly chuckling in public kind of faking it, and, that said, this novel had me rolling on the floor within its first pages. Brutally honest in a completely endearing way, West takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster that goes from aforementioned humor, to deadly serious in a matter of chapters, intimately drawing on her comedy background the whole way through.
I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone who is looking for honesty, perspective, and expertly executed comedic relief on some very dark subjects.
Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood by Michael Walker
CSNY, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Frank Zappa, the groupies, the mayhem. The usual suspects are all here in an easy, breezy narrative that takes us right through Laurel Canyon’s nondescript beginnings, straight through its salad days and out the other end.
The first half of this book was beautifully nostalgic, gripping and self-aware. However, right around the ‘cocaine’ chapter, just like the neighbourhood scene it’s about, the story begins to fall apart. No longer are we reading solely about the happenings of the canyon, but about the LA scene as a whole, about San Francisco, about the money and the drugs and the lavish music industry.
Suddenly the focus is off the canyon and, just like the times, the reader is left without a base camp.
Want to geek out on books with me? Let’s connect on Goodreads!
What I Listened To
If you know me, you know that in my mind, Garage Rock is where it’s at.
Ty Segall released a new track that may just be one of my all time favorites of his.
Most Popular Post
This month’s award for most popular post goes to…
Groot-Bijgaarden Castle: A Floralia Brussels Photo Essay
Most Popular Instagram Photo
This little number taken in Courtenay, British Columbia.
On The Side…
Not only am I a blogger here, but I also work with my mom at her holistic wellness centre in Saskatchewan, Orenda Healing! At Orenda, I am in charge of maintaining her website, creating posters, and miscellaneous other tasks.
Check out the website I designed for her here!