Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Conscious by Chloé is a lifestyle blog focused on Zero Waste, Sustainable Living and Ethical Fashion written by Chloé Lepeltier.

Minimalist Bathroom Essentials

Minimalist Bathroom Essentials by Conscious by Chloé

After a pretty thorough spring cleaning session, I moved stuff around, switched up art and decor and I'm now feeling like we're ready to take you on a house tour.

For some reason, I decided to start the tour with the bathroom. It makes sense since it's the place where it all started, and by that I mean that my journey to a simpler, greener and happier life debuted in my bathroom cabinet.

As soon as I discovered the Think Dirty App, I got rid of 100% of the products I used to put on my skin, i.e. I finished them and never bought them again.

To me, a bathroom needs to look and feel clean. It's the place where my morning routine starts so I like it to be light, to smell good and to be functional (how many times have I knocked perfume bottles down because my eyes weren't quite open early in the morning?).

We're renting our house, and we're on a budget, so there's not much that we can do. I could switch this wall sconce and repaint the dark cabinets, but let's be honest, I'd rather put my money elsewhere.

While we're dreaming of owning a house some day, we just decided to make it do.

Minimalist Bathroom Essentials by Conscious by Chloé

Linen

Our bathroom linen happens to be pretty neutral - I've had these striped towels for years and bought white ones back when were planning to rent our SoCal photo studio as an artsy Airbnb retreat - and I'm not mad about it. Of course I'd love it all to be natural and organic but I'll wait until it's time to replace it.

I regret this shower curtain so much! There was already a white plastic liner when we moved in. We kept it for a while but after having to repair it numerous time (the holes were not reinforced) I gave up and replaced it in a rush the day before my parents came for an extended stay at our place. I got a clear liner and the less-than-original Ikea shower curtain (you know the one I mean, with the black shower head and water droplets on a white background). Anyways, after a while I just removed the curtain and only kept the transparent liner. It lets the light in (as I almost always keep it closed) but requires a lot of maintenance (water + soap = yuck!). A friend of mine told me she has a plain linen shower curtain and tosses it in her weekly laundry, no big deal. If you have any recommendations for non-plastic/non-toxic options, I'm all ears! Otherwise, I'll opt for a plain organic linen shower curtain, or this amazing US made canvas one, some day...

As for the bath rug, no comment, Octave picked one up at Ikea back when we lived in SoCal, it's black and white and coordinated with our grey carpet (yes, carpet!). I'd love a fun one, or a graphic one, or just a plain natural colored one.

Minimalist Bathroom Essentials by Conscious by Chloé

Accessories

Accessory-wise, I've had my hair brush for a long time and just drilled a hole in it so I could hang it on the hooks (which are hanged super low, I know the previous owners had young children, so that makes sense).

My trusted body brush is also displayed here, to remind me to use it.

The ugly and bulky electronics (hair dryer, epilator/trimmer/razor) are hidden in the canvas bag (which was originally a shoe duster bag).

In the shower, I like to use an exfoliating wash cloth to get rid of dead skin.

We started using bamboo toothbrushes 3 years ago. I recently switched to an electric toothbrush after having been reprimanded by my dentist at my 2 last annual check-ups (manual brushing seems to be too harsh for my gums, I remain perplex).

I reused a nut butter glass container to store our toothpaste (DIY coming soon) and made the toothbrush holder at a ceramics class.

I found some vintage glass containers at the Salvation Army for our body soap (that we shop in bulk) and we use simple hand pumps for our hand soap and my shampoo (that we buy in bulk too). We also have a spray bottle for apple cider vinegar that I use to rinse my hair and that Octave sometimes uses to wash his hair (he's been washing his hair with water only for at least 2 years, since I threw away his last empty bottle of super chemical anti-dandruff shampoo).

I use another spray bottle for our lavender air deodorizer (the toilet is not pictured here). Oh and we got this toilet brush that we store in a plain white Ikea plant pot.

Our bathroom also features an ugly dark cabinet above the toilet. Inside, we keep our cosmetics: Octave's electric beard trimmer, his beard and hair balm (DIY coming soon), my deodorant & scented rollers, our contact lenses and solutions (we only wear them on special occasions like when he's filming and when we go swimming, snowboarding or mountain biking), a mug containing tweezers, nail clippers and 2 hair ties that I use when I shower and don't want to wet my hair, and 2 cute wooden ear picks that Octave's aunt gave him as a present. On top of this cabinet lives our water flosser and 2 metal boxes. I keep my make-up in one and hair accessories in the other (I cut my own hair & regularly trim my bangs).

Minimalist Bathroom Essentials by Conscious by Chloé

That's it for our minimalist bathroom tour! I hope you liked it. I compiled below links to most of the items that we use on a daily basis. You can also find more inspiration in my shop or on this wish list that I update pretty regularly. I hope you'll find them useful!

Linen

Natural and organic fabrics are on top of my list.

Accessories

Wood, glass and metal are not only durable but also beautiful!

This was the first time I hanged eucalyptus in my shower. I read somewhere that it's the ultimate spa experience (the warm water makes the leaves release their refreshing scent). As I was stopping by a friend's shop, I saw that her eucalyptus branches were on sale, so I did not think twice. It was a fun new experiment. Have you ever tried it? What are your favorite bath rituals? I'd love to her them!


Photographs by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

This post is not sponsored but when you shop via some of the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Conscious by Chloé!

10 little things #6

Avocado Tree Growing by Conscious by Chloé

Here are 10 little things that have been making me happy lately:

  1. Planting seeds.
  2. Decluttering, always.
  3. Planning my summer wardrobe.
  4. Having health insurance.
  5. Growing my bangs.
  6. A hands-on landlord.
  7. Pet chickens.
  8. Open windows.
  9. A new neighborhood tavern.
  10. Our little neighbor who likes to run barefoot.

Please share in the comments section below what little things have been making you happy lately.

Photograph by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Seasonal Cleansing

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

Winter has been pretty gloomy, long, and snowy here in Portland, and spring has been, well, unsurprisingly very rainy. I felt like I needed a break to start afresh for the new season, but did not know how to implement this by myself.

In autumn of 2015, I had done a 21-day purification program for healthy eating and living and habits changing with a group of girlfriends, led by my acupuncturist.

After I completed it, I promised myself to do something similar before each major seasonal change, to put my eating habits back on the right track. But I've never succeeded. I missed the accountability and support provided by our weekly group meetings.

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

A couple weeks ago, I attended a brunch at a local restaurant and met Lydia, a local entrepreneur. She was attending the event as a vendor and I immediately knew that our paths would cross again soon. Here's why:

Lydia is the owner of Pure Simple Juice, a Portland-based juice company whose juices are raw, cold-pressed, made from local, organic and seasonal ingredients, and served in reusable glass bottles!

As you can imagine, I contacted her a couple days later, and soon started my first juice cleanse.

Pure Simple Juice offers a wide variety of juicing and cleansing options. I was feeling highly motivated, so I opted for the 5-day Deep Green Cleanse. Each day of the cleanse you get to drink the following:

  • Green lemonade (lemon, apple, parsley, E-3 blue-green algae)
  • Pumpkin Seed milk (pumpkin seeds, dates, maple syrup, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, pink himalayan sea salt)
  • Green Juice (cucumber, kale, lettuce, celery, fennel, spinach, parsley, cilantro)
  • Ginger Turmeric Tonic (grapefruit, apple, ginger, turmeric, just add hot or cold water)
  • Green Juice (kale, lettuce, celery, fennel, apple, parsley, lemon)
  • Veggie Miso Broth with leeks

Don't ask me why I chose the Deep Green Cleanse rather than the Standard Cleanse. I suppose I wanted to show how motivated I was and probably convinced myself that it was the healthiest option.

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

I never thought I'd do a juice fast. The idea of a juice cleanse did not really make sense to me. Having followed a very strict diet a couple years ago, I had learnt that eating real food, masticating, was indispensable and I had been discouraged from drinking juices in lieu of eating real and whole fruit.

Coincidentally, I had watched Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead 1 & 2 recently and saw juicing with a somehow critical eye as I did not believe that it could be a viable option in the long run.

But since I'm a questioner, I wanted to try it for myself to decide whether a juice cleanse is worth all the current hype.

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

Reasons why I decided to go on a 5-day cleanse

  • I wanted to experience it for myself and form my own opinion.
  • I wanted to challenge myself by fasting (with benefits) for 5 days.
  • I wanted to take a step back and connect to my body.

So on Wednesday morning I drove to Lydia's kitchen to pick up my juices for the next 3 days (and would come back on Sunday to pick up the last fresh juice batch for the last 2 days of the cleanse).

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

My experience

Everything went pretty smoothly on day 1, 2 and 3. I even went out with friends on the night of day 3, which included dinner at a pizza place and drinks and cake at a fundraising.

I switched the order of the juices throughout the day according to my mood and program, but would usually keep the miso for dinner time and try to spread out the green juices as much as possible.

My favorite combo was the following:

  • Breakfast - Seed Milk - I need something sweet in the morning, always
  • Lunch - Green Juice - Because I have to drink it at some point.
  • Dessert - Lemonade - I always eat something sweet after lunch.
  • Pick me up - Ginger Turmeric - I prefer not to have it too late at night as it definitely gives me a boost of energy.
  • Dinner - Miso Broth - I need something warm in the evening.
  • Snack - Green Juice - Because I have to drink it at some point.

Then things became a little shaky. I was so excited that I started the cleanse on Wednesday when I picked up my order. So when Friday night came, I realized that the second pick-up day was Sunday and that I would have to find a solution to continue the fast on my own on Saturday. I called Lydia to the rescue and she gave me some very useful tips.

But I was not prepared, did not have the necessary ingredients at home and totally went off track because I no longer had a framework. I did go to the farmers market on Saturday, ate steamed greens at a Japanese restaurant and drank all the ginger tea at my favorite tea house. But once I was home, all I could think of was bread and cheese.

The next day, I was back on track. I exercised a little, brought the empty bottles back to the Pure Simple Juice kitchen and picked up the rest of the order. Even though I was a little discouraged by the idea of tasting the same flavors for yet another 2 days, it was also very comforting to be back on track and not have to worry about shopping and meal prepping.

The last day was pretty interesting as I was working at a client's office. The people who work there are only working on short projects and usually just eat at their desk or take short breaks at random times. So I had no social pressure to eat real food, and the bottles were actually pretty convenient to "snack" at my desk (though they were a little heavy to carry in my backpack on my bus commute).

Finally, I went back to a regular diet at the same time as Octave came back home (perfect timing as he's the one who cooks at home!).

I unfortunately got sick during that week - I blame public transportation, the non-dedicated workstations at the office, and my being cooped up at home all winter (working from home does not reinforce your immune system) - so I did not really measure the benefits post-cleanse.

But it was overall a very interesting experiment. I did not beat myself up for "bending the rules" on day 4 and was actually proud for not giving up overall after this little transgression.

I would definitely do it again next time I feel like my eating patterns are aiming to much towards comfort food.

And of course, I'm always very committed to supporting young, local, and female entrepreneurs who share my values by being ruthless about the quality of their products and their impact on the environment.

Juice Cleansing with Pure Simple Juice by Conscious by Chloé

My recommendations for a successful cleanse

1. Take it slow

Gradually reduce your intake of stimulants and foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat 1 or 2 days before the cleanse. This includes alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, dairy products, red meat, white flour, sugar foods and fried foods.

Reintroduce them gradually into your life and notice their impact on your mind and body. It's a great way to monitor their effect and notice intolerances and allergies.

2. Find your own space

To me, this cleanse was a great moment to focus on me, and me only. I was lucky enough to be able to program the cleanse while Octave was out of town, so I had the whole house to myself. It sure helped a lot, not having someone eating regular meals around me.

And again, since I work from home, I did not have to struggle with the temptations of snacks and coffee machines from the break room at the office.

3. Treat yourself

I took epsom salt baths, dry brushed my skin, mediated and took many naps throughout the day to take my mind of food.

My budget did not allow me to do so during this period but I would definitely schedule a massage, a sauna, an acupuncture session, or, for the most adventurous among you, a colon hydrotherapy.

4. Be active (but not too much)

I took that advice and stayed home reading books and bathing (see 1.) but, on Sunday morning, as the weather was really good, I did hop on my bike and cycle through my neighborhood, admiring the blooming flowers and trees along the way.

5. Journal

Not having to worry about grocery shopping, menu planning, cooking and dishwashing, for 5 days, my mind suddenly had more room to wander. So I filled pages of notes, ideas, resolutions.

I also took note of the triggers of my food cravings and of the satisfaction I felt for not indulging.

As mentioned at 1., monitor the reactions of your body to the reintroduction of certain foods into your diet.


Have you ever done a juice cleanse? Would you ever want to try one?

This post is sponsored by Pure Simple Juice. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support the original content on Conscious by Chloé.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Photographs by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.