My Rocky Reading List

My Rocky Reading List

Happy 2018 everyone!

With the tinsel stored back in the cupboard, the stockings put away and our earnestly made New Years resolutions beginning to wane in conviction… it’s no surprise that January has started to make us all feel a little down in the dumps. The mornings are dark as we trudge off to work and begin to wonder whether the eternal Canadian winter will ever have an end in sight. Our snowboots stand diligently at the front door, and the mittens we once thought were warm in the shop don’t seem to stand up to a  -30 morning as our vehicle chugs pathetically to life. If anything, the blizzard this past Saturday was just natures (not so gentle) reminder that sometimes it’s simply better to stay cozied up on your couch with a very good book and forget about outside for a little bit.

A little reminder for my succulent plants… but also applicable for myself when I have a cold.

Often the frantic busyness of January can also make our immune systems weak, as I found out a couple weeks ago as I got back into the swing of things at work… tackling the long list of responsibilities piling up in sticky note form on my desktop and inevitably wearing myself out to the point where I felt that nasty sore throat start to rear its ugly head. So naturally, 24 hours later, I found myself at home coughing and sniffling on my couch, bundled up in wooly pendleton blankets (hipster even when im sick, now that’s commitment) sipping a cup of tea pathetically while being accompanied by two of my most loyal friends during the flu season;

Rocky Mountain Soap Company & and a stack of good books.

With my snotty, illness laden image fresh in your minds, I thought i’d share my Rocky Reading List with you all and a smattering of my personal favourites for the winter season. Many of you will probably end up in the same dismal position I was in last week… and there is nothing quite like a little self love and light reading to help get through those days of recovery. So feel free to thank me in the comments 😉

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR – Paul Kalanithi

First on the list is a book that changed my life. When it first hit the shelves in 2016 I didn’t give it much notice, it was absolutely everywhere and at the time I wasn’t bothered with having another addition to the ever expanding bookshelf…but eventually I picked up a copy after reading a great review on it.

‘When Breath Becomes Air’ is an autobiographical book written by Paul Kalanithi, and is a memoir of his life and illness battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer. Being a doctor himself, a neurosurgeon who often sat in the white coat on the more favourable side of the table, Paul was familiar with telling patients about how long they had to live, and naturally knew the correct methods and procedure of breaking bad news to fragile and fearful patients standing on deaths door. It was I suppose, a tragic irony that the doctor himself be suddenly faced with such a devastating diagnosis, and his account of the events and emotions he experienced left me in tears during some portions. He writes with such a raw practicality that draws the reader into his experience, but at the same time, leaves them oddly at peace with the looming notion of death. The reader soon discovers it is a book about life, rather than death… and despite Paul not being able to complete the last portion of the book, his wife took the torch from him, finishing up the book and gifting the world with an amazing account of a truly courgeous, dying man. It’s a heavy book, but one that will push the bounds of vulnerability than Brene Brown so often encourages us to face in our daily lives.

Alongside this Rocky Read i’ve featured the 3 different face polish blends from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. They are purifiers, which I think compliments this Rocky Read perfectly. They come in 3 different intensity levels, the Aloe Vera ($17.50) being the gentlest (for sensitive skin), Vanilla coconut ($17.50) being a little rougher (for normal skin) and the Bamboo polish ($17.50- for deep exfoliation, particularly great after a work out). With the winter season in full force now, I find myself using the aloe vera one the most, and gently applying it to my skin in small circles after a hot shower. It gets very dry in Calgary, and I have found it is better to use a gentler polish to avoid damaging the skin or worsening any dryness caused by freezing conditions. It leaves me revitalized afterwards.

THE WISDOM OF SUNDAYS – Oprah Winfrey

This book may only appeal to a certain demographic, but being a huge fan of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday interviews I absolutely had to include it in my list of Rocky Reads. This is the PERFECT bath time book… and is best complimented by a Raspberry Rooiboos ($5.95) or Juicy Orange ($5.95) bath bomb as you browse though the excepts which are complimented by beautiful imagery. The reason I bought this book was actually due to a well known TED talk by BJ Miller, who endured a horrific accident in his youth where he lost multiple limbs after an electrical current surged through his body on a night out with friends. He appeared on Oprahs show, and it was incredible to hear his experiences in palliative care and how his accident inspired him to help the dying…. die better. This book contains small excerpts from these interviews with some of the most interesting and inspiring people. It’s a book for light reading, but results in a heavy impact. Soften up your heels after your bath with the classic (and personal favourite) Fir foot butter ($8)and apply the Transformative Cleansing Oil ($41.50) to wipe away any excess makeup and impurities. It’s the perfect way to pamper yourself.

LOVE & LEMONS – Jeanine Donofrio

If you are like me and you like to read cookbooks the same way you would read a good fiction novel, then this is a beautiful and simple cookbook to pick up. ‘Love and Lemons’ is a reminder that vegetables matter. In a day and age where we rely heavily on processed foods and meat products due to their affordability, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on a healthy trajectory and not cause our bodies to suffer from an influx of preservatives and sugar. During the flu season, I often find myself realizing the importance of nutritious veg in my diet and its remarkable healing properties. I crave the antioxidants in a bowl of spinach salad or the comforting flavour of a minestrone soup. Alongside my wellness balms from Rocky Mountain Soap, it is the perfect way to recover from illness or simply unwind after a stressful week. I love the wellness balms not only because they are small enough to keep in your pocket, but also because the essential oils are potent enough to give you that relaxing release straight away. This winter I’ve been using the Headache ($18) and Breathe Easy balms ($18) religiously. With the introduction of their Wellness Bath Salts ($6), it’s also another good excuse to take a bath while clearing the sinuses and relaxing the muscles with the Sport Blend of Rosemary, Wintergreen and Epsom Salt. I suppose the importance of this Rocky Read is to remember to feed yourself well, because that’s half the battle won when it comes to our physical and mental well being.

THE HAPPINESS PROJECT – Gretchen Rubin

Many of you probably have this one sitting in your bookshelf already. Its a playful and funny book written by Gretchen Rubin about how she managed to change her level of gratitude and joy simply by making small and seemingly insignificant changes to her life. Her social experiment was comical but completely relatable in many portions. This one has been a staple on my bookshelf at work for a few years now, and when I feel overwhelmed by the stresses of adulthood and the working world, it serves me up little reminder that I don’t need to do an awful lot to feel joyful and blessed in life again.

I felt that the Blossom Berry shampoo ($15.50) and conditioner ($15.50) was a good item to feature alongside this Rocky Read. Because lets just admit it, it smells freakin fantastic and one of the small changes to bring you more joy is to sing loud and proud in the shower. Since 2016 I have become very intentional about using organic shampoos and conditioners on my hair after experiencing years of sporadic allergic reactions to the cheap store bought products. That small change has not only resulted in a new, good habit, but it also makes me feel better about what products I chose to support and use in the future. It is my firm belief that as as a part of the influencer world, I SHOULD use products I advertise, and I have a responsibility to research them thoroughly before sharing them with my audience. If anything, this Rocky Read is the perfect example of how much of an impact seemingly small changes can make in your life. Oh, and also the Tea Tree toner ($27) is a perfect refresher after the gym.

THE DEFINING DECADE – Meg Jay

Alright, so for all you thirty-somethings out there who are piecing your life together in this crazy world, don’t be turned off by the title of this book. While it is geared toward the university student and graduate, it is a lesson for all in having the courage to make changes in our lives. A few years back, Meg Jay had a powerful and popular TED talk pop up online that I believe didn’t garner as much feedback as it was worthy of. It was titled “Twenty is not the new Thirty” and during a rather rough time in my early twenties I found it enlightening and striking to listen to her experiences with young clients as they made their way through the early years of adulthood.

Meg Jay is a psychologist, but one who took a particular interest in twenty-somethings who felt a little lost, directionless, and sometimes completely oblivious to the potential they had within themselves. This book outlines her most memorable experiences with patients and how they managed to change their lives in not only relationships, finances, family and career paths… but also mental well being. With just a few simple changes and a little encouragement, she shares her admiration for the fortitude and resourcefulness of the younger generations and paints herself as the trusty cheerleader, guiding her patients to a happier and more confident pathway to their goals. As someone who is in the midst of their twenties, it was a rude awakening and a source of new inspiration about what I can do in this 10 year window. It certainly doesn’t mean we are tired and old as 29 waves goodbye to us, not at all, but its a reminder not to play into any narrative in this world that tells you to be lazy with your goals and dreams and that you can always just “get to it later”.

To compliment this final Rocky Read, I chose my favourite therapeutic items. Nail and Cuticle butter ($8.50- to heal those nervously bitten nails during exams), Seaweed & Spirulina bath bomb ($5.95) PLUS the new Cleansing Wellness Salts ($22) for when you are pondering these things in the bath (and perhaps wondering how to pay for rent), and of course some trusty Peppermint lip butter ($5.50) to keep those lips moisturized during those cold winter days to class or the office.

So what do you think of these book suggestions?

Hopefully I’ve inspired some new reads for you all, please comment below with suggestions of your own!

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Comments ( 68 )

  • Jordana

    When Breathe becomes air is such an emotional read… Love all the suggestions here (and the RMSC pairings…) 😉

  • Chanel

    Love the book suggestions! Im leaning towards grabbing the cookbook Love & Lemons. Trying to have a healthier diet for myself and my family. We do love veggies, so Ill have to check that one out! Thank you

  • Chanel

    Also, the Headache wellness balm is the bomb!

  • Sarah K

    Great post with books I need to go get!

  • Miranda

    When breath becomes air is such a good book, totally heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. The defining decade was also an A+ read!

  • Pam

    This frigid weather has me yearning for some good reads! Also obsessed with RMSC so it’s a great pairing !

  • Natasha

    Thanks for sharing ❤️

    So many wonderful Rocky products. I need to check out the books you have mentioned. I have the happiness project. I should pick it up and give it a chance.

  • Elizabeth V

    I really enjoyed The Happiness Project (maybe time for a reread), but I’m definitely interested in The Defining Decade. Between the two, hopefully I can get a jumpstart on some personal growth this spring! I’m currently reading The Omnivores Dilemma, which has been a nice change of pace from the novels I usually favor this time of year.

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Im happy to hear that this has been helpful! Both books are well written, and easy reads… which I believe is the best for people trying to further their personal growth. I will definitely be looking into that book you mentioned as well! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • Nicole

    I love Tje Wisdom of Sunday’s. Almost daily, I’ll randomly select a page to read and it’s usualy very fitting for that day. thank you for the other suggestions, I’m going to look into them!!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering Nicole! I totally agree, I love that you could just read a small portion instead of committing to finish a chapter or section. It’s the perfect bedside or bathtime read!

  • Jordan

    Love how their products are all natural! I want to switch everything over to them

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering Jordan! They are so nicely packaged as well! I’ve given away countless gift sets to friends and family. It’s a company I stand behind 100% 🙂

  • Des Voyks

    Happy that the RMSC has pointed me in the direction of your wonderful blog. Even if I do not receive the giveaway, I will continue to read your blog and admire your photography.
    Maybe even pick up a book or two that you mentioned in this posting!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway!

      That’s always so wonderful to hear! 🙂 I love featuring Rocky on my blog and I appreciate your kind words about my work! Hope you have a great day!

  • Jennifer

    I love seeing other people’s favourites from Rock Mountain! I’ve been using their products for the last 2-3 years and have definitely found my holy grail products. Their pomegranate day cream is one of my faves, just waiting for them to come out with a night cream now!!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway Jennifer! It’s always so nice to hear from people who are fellow fans of RMSC… a night cream would be fantastic. Im also a fan of their pomegranate day cream, especially in this dismal cold weather. Thank you for commenting!

  • Brittany Fitzpatrick

    Wow such a lovely blog! Super inspiring and I absolutely love all the photos! 🙂

  • Celine

    I absolutely loved this blog. Some of my favorite winter passtimes are reading and self care and Rocky Mountain Soap products are my absolute favorite. When Breath Becomes Air seems like such a raw, emotional read. I may need to pick it up this week.

    • Chloe Hibbert

      It’s a remarkable book, I managed to get through it on a 6 hour plane ride. Im so glad you appreciated the RMSC pairings as well. Thanks for entering the giveaway! 🙂

  • Megan

    That made me want to curl up and read. And try all those awesome Rocky Mountain soap products! I’m trying to get rid of all my toxic products and these are all amazing! Hopefully I can try some 🙂 this Alberta winter weather is taking a toll on my skin…

    • Chloe Hibbert

      I’m so happy to hear it! I think that’s such a great initiative to have, and RMSC is always quick to answer any questions about the toxin-free movement. The weather certainly is taking a toll on us all at the moment 🙁 I would recommend their new omega hand lotions, they are a lifesaver!

  • Carina

    I have been so curious about the RMSC products! It is telling that they have so many devoted customers.

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway Carina! It makes me proud to see Canadian companies with such a great mission become so successful 🙂 glad you’ve been finally introduced to them

  • Lois

    Hey! I loved the happiness Project! If you like it, Gretchen Rubin also did some podcasts that are pretty nice. I’m currently reading When breath becomes air but it’s heavy I find, so I keep taking breaks in between readings.
    Great list, I’ll save it to remember the other ones you picked!
    ( and loooooooove Rocky Mountains products)

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway Lois! I will definitely check out those podcasts, and i agree that the Kalanithi book is a heavy one, but i’m glad you are enjoying reading it! Have a great afternoon!

  • Rheagan Stewart

    Definitely going to check out some of your reading suggestions! Right now I’m thick into “Feeding My Mother” by Jann Arden. I love her style of writing and her strength as she battles time as her parents age. (I’d pair it with vitality essential oil blend by RMSC!!…I’m obsessed with the majority of their products tho!!)

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway Rheagan! I appreciate the book suggestion as well… it sounds like a great read… especially paired with that essential oil blend! 😀 RMSC has the best one for sleep as well!

  • Orysha

    I love how you paired books with RMSC products! A couple new books to go on my list and your photography is stunning!

  • Mackenzie

    I love The Happiness Project, I can’t wait to check out the others! Thanks for the suggestions and paired with my favourite soap company… What’s not to love!

  • Frida

    Aaah, Love & Lemons has been my favourite food blog for years now so OF COURSE the book is in my collection!
    I wanna recommend the book “The subtitle art of not giving a fuck”, WOW! Got it from my boyfriend this Christmas because I guess he had noticed that the illusional perfection on Instagram had gotten the best of me. I was really just doubting myself & was out of my normal groove. But while I was reading the book (will be read at least 5 more times) I helped me get back to where I was, thinking: YES, YES & YES this is exactly what I need to regain my strong mind. And now I’m back at my A game!! Really recommend it!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for your comment and entry Frida! I really appreciate the detailed comment and book recommendation. I had a friend suggest this to me recently so i’ll have to see what it’s all about 😀 The online world is just an illusion most of the time, its a great place for inspiration but can also be a hinderance for our confidence and general well being and i’ve fallen victim to it many times. Glad you have found yourself in a better, happier place!

  • Tricia

    I ❤️ Books & Rocky Mountain Soap! Love & Lemons is next on my “must buy” list! I currently have ~75 cookbooks…but you can never have too many! I have not heard of “The Defining Decade” before…I will definitely check it out!
    The last book I read was “Finding Gobi” by Dion Leonard – I really liked it. Gobi the dog is adorable

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for commenting Tricia! I got Love and Lemons as a gift and it remains one of my fav veggie based cookbooks. Glad I could suggest some new reads for you and thank you for leaving a suggestion of your own 🙂 I will definitely be looking into that today. 😀

  • Lisa Myles

    Thank you for the wonderful book suggestions! I very much agree that self care/love is extremely important. 🙂 Our body and mind is the very essence of our being and we need to take care of it. Using natural toxin free products is a greatway in which we cando that and I love RockMountain Soap Co products! 🙂 Nothing like relaxing with a good book and breathing in beautiful essential oils. 🙂 Ps. Your photography is gorgeous! Being in nature is my favourite place to be!:)

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for commenting Lisa! Its so true that we just need to stop sometimes and look after ourselves a little bit. After experiencing reactions to certain drugstore/supermarket products I realized how important it was to use natural, gentle products… particularly with my shampoos and deodorants. 🙂 Hope you have a great Tuesday!

  • Kat

    Love your blog and thank you for your suggestions for some good reads! Perfect for these dreary rainy days here on the West Coast! That and Rocky Mountain Soap Company products

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Aaaah your comment makes me miss the west coast, recently RMSC released some wellness bath salts that makes me think of the rainy west coast. Hope you enjoy the new reads! Thanks for entering the giveaway Kat!

  • Nikita

    This is great! Definitely adding some of these to my reading list!

  • Kathy

    Thanks for the reading lists! I’m a stay at home mom so I’m always looking for some new books to read to help pass the time! As for RMSC , I LOVE this company!!! I love the fact that it is a Canadian company and the whole message behind this company!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering Kathy! There is nothing quite like a good book, in a day and age of over stimulation, people forget how therapeutic it is to be able to sit quietly and just read. RMSC helps make that experience better, especially with their essential oils and diffuser! 😀

  • Al

    When Breath Becomes Air was a life changing read. I am just finishing up a trip in Canmore, my first time in Canada. I absolutely loved the people and the mountains. I would love nothing more than a year ahead full of good reads and essential oils, and after visiting the Rocky Mountain Soap Co store in Canmore, can’t wait to tell all of my friends about their awesome products and would love to help them test them out. Stay happy and free!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      I’m so happy to hear that you visited Canada for the first time! Thanks for entering the giveaway, Canmore is a fantastic mountain community and the store there is fantastic, so it sounds like you made some great pitstops ;). Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay!

  • Taylor

    Thanks for the book ideas! And Rocky Mountain Soap products are the bomb.com! My current favourites are their blossom berry shampoo and conditioner and the bamboo face scrub!

  • Michelle

    Love the book suggestions! We have similar tastes!

  • Sarah-Beth

    Thank you for the book suggestions- I have been looking for some inspiration lately! Will definitely add The Happiness Project to my list.

    I absolutely love RMSC products- discovered them when I was visiting my brother in law and his fam 2 years ago in Calgary. That transformative cleansing oil… it’s terrific. Gentle, effective, and goes a long way. And I am obsessed with the lemongrass soap and always have it on hand in my kitchen!! 🙂

    Your photos are beautiful btw…

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering the giveaway Sarah-Beth! I totally agree with your RMSC favourite, it’s one of mine as well! 🙂 They are a great company made up of some wholehearted people!

  • Ann

    Wow! Great post! When Breath Becomes Air just made it to my vacation reading list. Love all the RMSC products you featured too. I highly recommend the lavender and arnica toner for sensitive skin! 🙂 Gorgeous photos too by the way!

    • Chloe Hibbert

      Thanks for entering Ann! You’ve also suggested a product that i’ve never tried, i love anything with arnica in it, until recently I was not aware of its healing properties! Have a great Tuesday! 🙂

  • Olivia

    Rocky Mountain is my saving grace through these winters in the prairies! Couldn’t do it without them. But this list has given me some great new things to try!!

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