Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Bonjour & Welcome! Conscious by Chloé is a Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion coming to you from Central Oregon.

21 for 2021

21 for 2021 List by Conscious by Chloé

For some reason I never published my 20 in 2020 list so, even though I'm not even sure I have 21 items I want to accomplish this year, I'm gonna start writing it and commit to publish it before the end of January.

1. Read 21 books

My local library basically saved my life during the pandemic. It was for a very long time my only contact with real people when I moved to my new hometown in June. I've read more in 2020 (see my 2020 reading list) than any other year of my life and I'm planning on keeping that same pace in 2021. Like I mentioned in this article, I'm gonna keep focusing on POC and female authors.

2. Find a way to treat my parents from afar

I'm the worst and haven't planned anything for my mom's 60th birthday last year. I haven't planned ahead to make sure my parents would get gifts from me for Christmas and I'm generally not a great gift giver (why are my parents so hard to find presents for). I usually treat them to experiences but you know, COVID... I haven't seen my parents in almost a year and have no clue about the next time I'll get to see them (the borders are still shut for non US citizens/green card holders) so if you have any idea for great gifts to mail to France (or shop there) or general amazing gifts for parents, milestone birthdays and retirement celebrations, please send them my way!

3. Write 12 letters

I've been meaning to reconnect with a friend once a month and started a project I'll talk to you about soon, and I like the idea of taking the time to make a card, write it, get a stamp and mail it. Who's tired of text groups, Zoom calls, Facetimes and voice texts? I know I am!

4. Go on a multiple day hike

I need an accountability partner for this one otherwise this will never get accomplished. Who's willing to share my bubble?

5. Host a party in our backyard

We love our neighbors and haven't had the opportunity to connect once winter came so I'm excited, as the weather gets warmer, to host a socially-distant pizza party (Octave got the cutest portable wood fire pizza oven) in our backyard for a couple of us.

6. Sell stuff

A yard sale has been on my list for a couple years-moves-seasons and, considering the current situation and my lack to commit to a date, I should simple take a afternoon to shoot and list things I want to sell via Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. I've already put a dent in my wardrobe and sold most of what I wanted to on my Poshmark profile, but now I'm ready to clear out the garage.

7. Pay off my credit cards

Last year has been challenging. I'm ready for a clean slate and want to make sure I get to be able to pay off my credit cards and then maintain a full-balance payment each month.

8. Watch 12 documentaries and classic movies

I'm guilty of watching too many TV shows and want to educate myself a little on important subjects. Did you know that your library card gives you access to movie streaming platforms for free? At least mine does, check yours out!

9. Donate blood

I am not eligible to donate blood in the US so I want to make sure I do this if I ever get to go back to France this year.

10. Re-launch the Zero Waste Switch Challenge

I want to make it possible for you to join the Zero Waste Switch Challenge any time you like. You can already sign up here to receive the first challenge as soon as it's up and running.

12. Travel to Hawaii

A girl can dream. Only once it's safe to travel, fly. I have never lived this close to Hawaii. This trip has been on my wishlist for a couple years and I really feel like if I do not do it soon I never will.

13. Go on a yoga retreat

I've been loving Yoga with Adriene's 30-day challenges and would love to deepen my practice during a retreat. The idea of leaving my house for a couple days on a trip alone also sounds very appealing. Again, pending the pandemic becomes a thing of the past.

14. Plan and plant a garden

My dear friend Sarah got me a plot at the community garden last June and I'm signing up again for this year. This time I'll have more time to plan and plant the garden and I'm already doing some research. Anyone else planting a garden in the high desert? I would love to have a look at your seeding calendar!

15. Host a canning party

This might be a party of one but I really want to dedicate a couple days to canning during the bountiful season so I can reap the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor in the dead of winter.

16. Make jam

I see a theme here. Yes, gardening, preserving, cooking are all very important to me this year (remember my word of the year?)

17. Build a fire

It's as simple as it sounds, I just want to learn how to properly and safely light a fire, even though I do not like to burn fires when camping, I still think it's an important survival skill to have in my toolbox.

18. Weave a basket

I watched a couple awesome videos of women weaving baskets from pine needles. It's gonna be a lot of work but I haven't committed on the size of the basket yet ;)

19. Knit a sweater

I'm pretty sure this one is gonna be a fail, but I'm still gonna put it on the list. My maternal grandma taught me how to knit when I was a kid and I have found memories of these times. Also, there's a gang of older ladies who I saw gather at a local coffee shop on Wednesday afternoons and I'm dying for them to take me in.

20. Take a first-aid or an avalanche course

I'm putting these 2 items in one because I'm willing to commit to one or the other. I've taken both courses in the past but would love a refresher as Octave and I are spending more and more time in the wild.

21. Make my own chai mix

I had to put a recipe on the list. I have so many more I want to try, but this one sounds easy enough to kickstart the year.

Wow, I did not expect to write this list so fast. I'm sure I'm going to go back to the planner that's sitting on my desk and I'm too lazy to get up and reach (I'm typing from my bed) and realize that there is so much more I want to accomplish this year.

Also, some of these are repeats from my 19 for 2019 list) which shows that I will definitely not accomplish all of this in 2021.

That's OK though, 21 is just a number. I'll be happy if I complete half of that list, which I need to print and display somewhere, otherwise I'm gonna forget about it. Hold on, my favorite podcaster made a template for it.


What's on your list?

The Conscious List

Crater Lake National Park Oregon Snow by Nitish Meena for Conscious by Chloé

Picture by Nitish Meena

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend?

We're either going to the Painted Hills or Crater Lake tomorrow? Where would you go?

Here are a couple links to things that have caught my attention or kept me busy this week:

Note: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I recommend only products I genuinely like. Thank you so much for supporting my work.


What are your plans for the weekend?

My One-Word Theme for 2021

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé

For a couple years now, I've been choosing a word of the year. I usually take a day off, most often the 31st, to reflect on the year that's coming to an end and think about what I want to see come to fruition in the next one.

2020 has been different though. Work, life, protests, politics, a global pandemic and a general urge to see a dreadful year come to an end did not induce the peace and quiet I usually long for at the end of December. But, somehow, a word still came to me when I tried to imagine what I would want 2021 to look like.

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé

I started choosing themes for the new year in 2016.

My theme for 2017 was ROUTINE. I had been living in Portland for a couple months and needed to find my rhythm, balancing many freelance projects and working from home.

My theme for 2018 was LEARN. I had identified a number of stumbling blocks while building a routine and wanted to make sure I was self-sufficient while also reaching out to others to learn from them in areas that were not necessarily useful but would also spark my creativity.

I did not chose a word for 2019... but I think my theme could have been LET IT GO. It is pretty crazy how many times I've said this to myself (and to other people) and I have to say that it has really helped me embrace the ebb and flow of life.

My theme for 2020 was GROUNDED. I had spent the previous year between 2 continents, 2 homes, 2 families and felt a strong need to settle down. Although I knew this was not likely to happen I still wanted to feel supported, like I belonged somewhere and was in the process of growing.

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé

For 2021, my word is PREPARE.

After months of coping and being in emergency mode, I want to take the time to take a step back and reassess basic aspects of my life.

I would have imagined that I would have longed for more whimsy and lightness after a year of basically trying to survive and was surprised that I channeled such a pedestrian theme.

But I also know that I cannot function unless I know that my basic needs are met.

So how does the my word translate into action?

Here are a some of the ways I imagine being prepared:

I've written a list of all the things I want to learn to achieve and learn this year and divided them into 3 categories:

  • Cooking
  • Home
  • Life

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé

I will then choose from that list according to the time of the year. I really want to keep the idea I had in 2020 to feel GROUNDED and respect the rhythms of the seasons. This will naturally translate into cooking what's in season, canning at the end of the summer, signing up for avalanche training in the winter.

Here's a non exhaustive list of recipes and skills I'd love to try and acquire in the cooking department: tomato sauce, pizza dough, chai mix, jam, preserves, pickles, vegan cheese, fire cider, apple cider vinegar, taffee, vegan burger, ginger beer, syrups, scones, kimchi.

For my home, I'd love to try new DIYs. I stockpiled supplies during the pandemic which means I have my work cut out for me. I really want to make soap and lip balm, learn how to properly sharpen knives, carve wood, paint with natural and foraged pigments, maybe even plant an herb and a dye garden. Will I finally have the patience to learn (again) how to knit and crochet? Also, I'd love to put into practice the skills I acquired during a basket weaving class a couple year ago...

And lastly, I'd like to brush up on basic survival skills, because I'm spending a lot of time in the wild now that I live in the woods, so building a fire, first-aid and avalanche training are on my to-do list.

And as for my day to day life, I just want to be and feel prepared, whether it's having a backpack that's always ready for adventures or making sure that I pay off my credit card on time.

I'm sure more ideas and "resolutions" will come up as the year unfolds, but I'm already feeling excited for what's to come.

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé

As shown by the theme I had chosen in 2018, I do love learning from other people, taking classes and attending workshops. But our new reality will prevent me from making new friends in real life in my new hometown.

But I'm lucky to have a dear and wonderful friend who has agreed to indulge me and meet up via Facetime once a week(-ish) to learn new tricks. So far I've tried to teach her how to make natural laundry detergent and she's taught me how to make ghee, fire cider and fudge. We keep a shared Google Doc and add recipes and DIYs we want to try as we find them!

So this is my intention for 2021. I hope you'll follow me on this journey and share your own "words of the year" with me along the way.

One-Word Theme Inspiration for the New Year 2021 by Conscious by Chloé


Now, it's your turn, if you had to choose one word, or a short phrase, to sum up what you want to focus on in the new year, what would it be?

The Conscious List

Cookie Cooling Tray for Conscious by Chloé

Picture by Erol Ahmed

Happy Wednesday! How are you planning to celebrate the New Year?

Octave & I will stay home and probably watch yet another holiday movie while eating homemade pizza!

Here are a couple links to things that have caught my attention or kept me busy lately:

Note: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I recommend only products I genuinely like. Thank you so much for supporting my work.


What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

What to Wear for a Day Hike

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé

Over the years, I've put together a list of my Day Hiking Essentials. I keep my backpack ready at all times and only add food and drinks at the last minute so they're always fresh.

But I did not make a list of what I wear...

It's usually pretty straightforward. The idea is to be protected from the sun, the wind, the rain, the cold, etc. Plan accordingly by chosing the appropriate gear in the following categories.

Hiking Clothes

Underwear

Baselayer

  • Crewneck, long or short sleeves: depending on the weather

  • Long bottoms: depending on the weather, to wear underneath hiking pants

Polyester/nylon and wool are recommended for moisture management, make your own choice according to what works for you in terms of comfort, ethics, sustainability.

Mid Layer

Outerlayer

  • Rainjacket, which I usually keep in my backpack and use against the wind and rain (all seasons)

Accessories

  • Hat or beanie: depending on the weather

  • Gloves: depending on the weather

  • Hiking boots: No matter how long the hike, I'll wear my boots, I sprain my ankles easily and need the support.

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé

I usually wear leggings when going on hikes but was glad when Colatree offered to send me gear to test as I had been meaning to give their Trailhead Pants a try for a little while (I had seen their Kickstarter).

And here's a complete list of my hiking essentials.

Coalatree Trailhead Pants Review

Fit / Sizing

The Traihead pants are unisex but offer 2 different fits: regular and slim. I chose my usual size (M) in the regular fit (because my thighs and booty are not "slim").

The size guide is pretty detailed so I would recommend having a look because I must say I was surprised to realize that the M are actually a M/L (as shown on the tag).

I contacted the customer service and here's the explanation:

"The regular fit trailheads do say S/M, M/L, L/XL, etc to indicate that they are regular fit rather than slim fit. Despite the dual sizing on the tag, the M/L is just the medium and there are 10 total options available."

The pants fit me really great at the calves but were quite bulky at the belly, so I eventually decided to size down to a S, without choosing the slim fit, following the customer service recommendations.

"If the medium regular fit are not working out for you, I would recommend either the small regular fit or the medium slim fit. The medium slim will be similar to the small regular but a bit slimmer in the calves."

So my tip is : Do check your measurements in the size guide and email customer service if you have any doubt.

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé

Comfort

These pants feel super light and are extra comfy (once you find the right fit), thanks to the 4-way stretch (up-down, left-right).

The pockets are super, super deep because the pants are packable, like a sleeping bag. There's even a little fabric hook at the bottom which I thought could also be useful to secure your keys.

The drawstrings at the waist and the ankles are cute, but not useful per se, unless you want to make your pants shorter by tying the strings above your calves...

My only (minor) complaint, the gusset feels a little stiff, but this might evolve with wear.

Performance

The fabric is waterproof, breathable, 4-way stretch, anti-microbial and tear-resistant. I haven't had the opportunity to stress test the last 2 features yet but can attest to the 3 first ones.

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé

Style

The pants are available in 5 colors: black, olive, grey, dark blue, sand. I chose the sand color because I already own black and green hiking pants/leggings and because grey and blue are not in my color palette. Yes, I have a color palette, even for outdoor activities.

Final thoughts

It's a yes. I like the idea of unisex clothing, as long as it's done well, with detailed measurements and guidelines. If you ever need a new pair of hiking pants, the Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants are a great option.

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé

Colatree gifted me a pair of Trailhead Pants. This post is NOT sponsored, but when you shop via some of the links I may make a small commission. Thanks for supporting the carefully selected brands that support Conscious by Chloé!

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants Sand Regular Women by Conscious by Chloé


What are your hiking essentials?