Anti-Haul #2

What's an Anti-haul? When you share things you're loving lately that are free. Traditionally, a "haul" is when bloggers share what they recently purchased. I wanted to share a few things that inspired me and brought me joy that didn't cost a thing. 

Reads

For reads, my two favourites this month came in the form of newsletters:

1. Mandy Lehto's Newsletter on Ronda Rousey

Recommended for: Anyone having a hard time or anyone who needs a good kick in the pants. 

So Ronda Rousey is a boxer (I didn't know that before reading this) and Mandy explains that one of Rousey's best assets is her ability to "reframe" the challenges in her life.

Great quotes from the piece: 

  • "Ronda Rousey creates her own experience.  It does not create her." 
  • "Excuses validate our victimhood. They keep us out of action.”
  • "What do you really want, and how will you stop yourself from getting it?"

Find it here.

2. Danielle Laporte on Pain 

Recommended for: Anyone wondering why life hurts so much. 

Danielle discusses how spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, prayer) won't stop bad things from happening to you. Spoiler Alert: Life will always be full of shitty stuff - that's just life. Silver lining: spiritual practice does help you handle the crap stuff when it happens. 

As someone who lives with an idiopathic (cause unknown) illness and chronic pain - I can honestly say I've spent a lot of time wondering why "bad things" happen. This piece was a gentle reminder - in a "it's not me -- it's you" way - that what I've been dealing with is just part of life. 

My favourite quote from piece: "Illumination doesn’t spare the body."

Find it here

Real Life Gems

Volunteering for Culture Days

 

Culture Days is an annual three-day national celebration of culture and the arts. It takes place in hundreds of cities across Canada and all citizens are invited to participate in free interactive activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion. 

For the event, I led a public art tour in Downtown Guelph for the Guelph Arts Council. I got to meet new people and learn new things about the public art pieces I pass by every day. It was fun to see the city as a tourist and to take time to consider the sights and installations I normally take for granted. 

 

Volunteering for Harcourt Community Garden

This past summer, I volunteered at a Community Garden that combats local food insecurity. All the vegetables grown at the garden are donated to the local food bank and distributed in weekly food hampers to families in need. 

Last month, when I volunteered at the garden, we got to harvest some of the lettuce and beans. Harvesting is so much more fun than weeding. So much so, that it actually reminding me a bit of the folk tale of "The Little Red Hen." I was always struck by the story as a kid, because the hen does all the hard work by herself and then the other farm animals are the ones that eat the cake and reap the rewards of the her hard work. One of the great things about the garden I volunteer at is that the responsibilities are shared among all, so one week some harvest, some water, some weed. We all share the work and the fun. 

Activism: Take Back the Night

Last month, one of the coolest things I did was take part in the Take Back the Night rally in Kitchener-Waterloo with my friend Sarah. It was definitely a powerful, inspiring and emotional experience.

For the rally, Sarah and I marched with hundreds of other women, of all ages, through downtown Kitchener. The police blocked off all the intersections and we chanted slogans calling for the end of violence against women. I can honestly say the experience was moving and the solidarity I felt inspired goosebumps. 

Spending Time with Family & Friends

Although I live in Ontario, a lot of my family lives in Alberta. Last month, I was lucky enough to spend time with family from Calgary.  

#FaithFindsFlowers

Sometimes I get made fun of for how often I find/photograph flowers, but I don't think that's a good enough reason to stop. So here are some of my favourite finds from last month:

Internet Treasures

1. This video by Brené Brown: "Why Your Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count" 

2. Evan Rachel Wood slaying haters and raising awareness for #BisexualAwareness Week on Twitter. Some of her tweets are quoted here.

3. This photo I found making fun of the state of Late-Night Television. It's funny but it's also sad. 

4. These 2 Inspiring Tweets:

5. And finally, this awesome interview with Clara Hughes from The Social. I watched it on the cross trainer at the YMCA and I totally cried in public #noshame. 

Let me know in the comments below what some of your September Anti-Haul favourites were :)

Anti-Haul #1

We buy items on a regular basis because we require them: dental floss, groceries, socks. There are other items though that we buy not because we need, but because we want

This second category of purchases is often for entertainment or pleasure. In an attempt to curb your need to buy to have fun or feel good, I had an idea to create an “anti-haul." Hauls are popular videos on Youtube where people show you pretty things they bought. This anti-haul will be me sharing things that I found this month that I think are awesome that also happen to be free.

My Anti-Haul Rules: 

  1. Everything listed must be free. 
  2. "Free" includes the internet. One could argue that the internet is not “free.” Access to public libraries, however, is free. In Canada, you can use the internet at a public library regardless of whether or not you have a library card (i.e. an address). 
  3. Any media that can be accessed or consumed at a public library can be included. 

I hope you enjoy. These are the best things I found this month.

Reads

2 Stellar Novels

 

A brilliant dystopian novel that existed 50 years before The Hunger Games. I would write you a synopsis but Google does it better.

Fun fact: the author Ray Bradbury would have been 95 this month. Brainpickings posted a lovely article for his birthday here. The VlogBrothers also featured Fahrenheit 451 in their book club.

 

 

This novel was perfect. It was also the longest thing I’ve read since Harry Potter. (I didn’t feel like reading War and Peace). 

If you didn't find that description helpful know that it was also listed in CBC's 30 Works of Canadian Fiction to Read Before You're 30.

 

 

 

A Beautiful Poem

Short Reads

"The scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don't hate themselves." 
Mindy Kaling's Guide to Killer Confidence
"For a very long time I felt I was being hunted, and it made me very unhappy. But in the past few years I’ve been working on changing the script inside my head. Life’s too short to be anyone but yourself. Let the chips fall where they may.” 
- Anne Hathaway in The Persecution of Anne Hathaway and our Culture of Celebrity Misogyny
"I used to think that friendship as performed for an audience would end with middle school, but the past 10 years of technology have changed that expectation. In social media, friendship gets fixed and mounted. It loses its dramatic tension. It becomes a presentation of happiness, an advertisement for friendship rather than an actual portrayal of it." 
- Female BFF's: The New Power Couples, The New York Times

Feel-Good Activities

Finding Wildflowers

This is literally one of my favourite things to do. Going outside is free and flowers are prettier than Mac lipsticks. It's a simple activity: go outside, walk, look for flowers, try not to run into things while walking and looking. Here are some pretty wild thangs I found this month that are currently outside your door. 

Yoga for Good Posture

Youtube Yoga is my favourite type of yoga because no one charges you to use the towels and no one oms pretensiously. 

New (to me) Instagram Accounts

If you like inclusive fashion: @hijab_house

If you like avant garde portrait photography: @ashleynjoncas

If you like whimsical pop art: @alia_pop

If you like me: @faithcameletti

If you have a thing for floors: @ihavethisthingwithfloors

Miscellaneous Finds

This juxtaposition from High Existence

This quote from Q with Shad:

This image that Laura Vandervoort shared on Instagram. Sidenote: Laura Vandervoort is also one of my August favourites. 

This tweet from Janet Mock:

Let me know in the comments below what some of your August Anti-Haul favourites were and if you like this type of post!

The Best Books I Read Last Year

 

Ru

A novel by Kim Thúy

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This was a gorgeous read. It felt like a feather cradled in a warm, gentle wind. An excellent pick for those interested in reading about the history Vietnam and immigration from a highly personal and poetic point of view. 

I borrowed this book from the public library and ended up taking lots of cell pics of the pages. Some sentences are just too eloquent to part with. 

 

Alice Munro’s Best

Short Stories by Alice Munro

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This collection is the definitive guide to Alice Munro. Her prose is beautiful and subtle. She’s a pioneer of my favourite literary genre, the “Southern Ontario Gothic.” The Southern Ontario Gothic is the Canlit twist on the “Southern Gothic,” a genre epitomized by the work of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty. 

Although she’s a nobel laureate and widely known as “Canada’s Chekov,” Munro is not for everyone. Much to my surprise, I found out on multiple first dates last year that not everyone enjoys reading what one past suitor astutely called “boring minutia and sh*t.” 

 

The Shadow of the Wind

A Novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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This gothic is set in Barcelona in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. It centers around young Daniel, the son of an antiquarian bookseller. It’s a richly told tale of mystery, murder and star-crossed love. 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

A Novel by Harper Lee

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I never read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and had it on my literary bucket list for the longest time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so glad I finally got the chance to read it. 

 

Racing Hummingbirds

Poetry by Jeanann Verlee 

I don’t think I can do this book justice. It’s perfect. Instead, here is my favourite poem from the collection, performed by Verlee (the Goddess): 

Photo by Marshall Goff

Heads or Tails

Comics by Lilli Carré

This book is a collection of graphic shorts that are visually piquant and surreal. Carré’s vignettes are guaranteed to whet your appetite and leave you creatively inspired and emotionally invigorated. 

 

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg

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Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novel is an epic tale of adventure, whimsy and wanderlust. It's full of striking contrast both visually in Greenberg’s ink-and-wash illustrations as well as narratively in how the cultures, characters and mythologies differ.