Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

A Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

My March Reading List

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate by Conscious by Chloé

March was off to a great start, our visa was renewed for three years, which means we then had to go to Portland (I'm never mad about it)! Then it was Octave's birthday and I ended the month being busy with a big project. But I had the time to squeeze a little reading in between.

So here's what I borrowed from the library during the month of March.

If you're interested to see what else is on my waiting list, check out my 2023 reading list.

And please share your recommendations in the comments (women, queer, POC authors are more or less all I've been reading since 2017 and I'd like to keep this trend going!)

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai by Conscious by Chloé

1. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

I wish I had made a note of how I first heard about this book (I started doing this in Google Maps when adding spots to check out, to remember who recommended them to me).
Anyhow, I can’t believe how fast I read its 448 pages, even though I didn’t even open it when we were in Portland (I would just crash in bed at night).
I did spend a great part of last Sunday cuddled on the couch though.
The story was riveting, propelled me back to my own college experience through the # metoo lens.
It had been a while since I last read this kind of murder mystery novel. It was an interesting break from my usually serious feminist reading.
I might do it more often...

Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life by Marie Kondo by Conscious by Chloé

2. Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life by Marie Kondo

Toward the end of her book, Marie Kondo mentions that a few of her clients, now that they have more free time after having decluttered their home/life, sometimes decide to make their life “more inconvenient”.
They start making their own clothes or fermenting their own food.
This really resonated with me.
When I hosted tours of my “Zero Waste Home” I would joke that I didn’t have kids but had baby plants and a kombucha mother to take care of.
At that time, I was also making most of my cleaning products and had started experimenting with more DIYs (reusable food wrap, body butter).
I was reclaiming my life, I wanted to break up with consumerism, chemicals, plastic, fast fashion, you name it!
It consumed a lot of my free time, but I had so much fun learning!
Now, I feel like I have reached a healthier and less consuming balance.
Knowing how things are made, who makes them, and how much work and time it takes to make them, I have chosen to buy some ready-made and keep making others.
I have found brands and makers that help me simplify my life and I follow trusted recipes to prepare certain essentials.
This frees up time so I can do activities that truly bring me joy.
Some would think that mending or altering a pair of pants that don’t fit right is an inconvenience, I find the challenge rather fun!
Some love baking sourdough, and I, for the life of me, cannot get into it! And that’s OK. The bakery next door makes a perfect loaf.
Mari Kondo helped me realize that I have the privilege to decide to make my life more or less “inconvenient”.
How lucky am I?

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate by Conscious by Chloé

3. Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

I'm a total fan of Jenny Slate's! Marcel the Shell is my favorite character and I've always wondered what was inside the head of its creator. Now I know, and it's a little weird, but also moving, poetic, and hilarious!

Regretting Motherhood: A Study by Orna Donath by Conscious by Chloé

4. Regretting Motherhood: A Study by Orna Donath

By now I suppose you know how I feel about having kids. I've read about people's decisions not to have kids, but now reading about mothers who regretted having kids was a vastly different experience. The stigma, the shame, the reasons why they had kids and the reasons why they regretted it, whether having them was their decision or the result of social pressure was absolutely fascinating.

What are you currently reading? I'd love to know, please share your recommendations in the comments below!

The Conscious List

Purple Spring Flowers for Conscious by Chloé

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? A big project has been keeping me busy but I'll make sure to spend some time outside as spring might be arriving here in the high desert!

Picture by Aaron Burden

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

How to Start a Natural Dye Garden

Peonies for Conscious by Chloé

For the past couple of years, I've had gardens of various shaped and forms, whether it was raised beds in my backyard, a plot at the community garden, or metal barrels on the sidewalk.

Gardening is a thrilling activity, but it can be consuming. I've had a plot at the community garden 2 seasons in a row and decided to take a break while I waited for my visa to be renewed (I wasn't gonna start a garden without knowing whether I'd be here to reap the fruits of my labor!)

It can also be a little intimidating. I'm surrounded by amazing gardeners and farmers and can easily struggle with imposter syndrome. But I've come to realize that the gardening community is extremely generous, from sharing tips to seeds, starts, stories, fruit, veggies and so much more!

Like many, I have this fantasy of farming a piece of land, having a beautiful herb, flower, fruit and vegetable garden and living my best cottage core life. But let's be honest, this is more than a full-time job and the stress of having a planting and watering schedule would probably be the end of me.

So this year I've decided to follow my gut. After failing to attend and complete the Master Gardener program last year and taking a mini-gardening course this winter, I'm letting the pros do their thing, I will gladly shop my veggies at the farmers' market, and I'm going to focus on two small areas around my house to grow flowers and herbs.

1. Get in the mood / Get inspired

It's not that serious. I've been listening to Haley Heynderickx' Oom Sha La La non stop, screaming "I need to start a garden" at the top of my lungs for the past 2 months. If this song does not make you want to start your own, I don't know what will...

Gardeners, farmers, bakers, dyers are an endless source of inspiration (and envy, let's admit it). Here are a few of my favorites:




  • Loria Stern, a culinary artist, who really makes me want to grow edible flowers.
  • Jenna Rainey, a very talented watercolor artist. How cool would it be to be able to paint the flowers I grow as well as she does?! Fun fact: I took my first calligraphy course with Jenna years ago and she ended up taking over my studio when I left California!
  • Em Blood, who helped me get over my fear of using lye. I can't wait to use my own flowers to decorate my soaps!
  • Erin Lovell Verinder, who inspired me to learn more about the plants that surround me and their beneficial properties.

2. Learn the fundamentals

Ask your neighbor who has a beautiful garden, take an online course, become a Master Gardener, or volunteer at your local farm.

I took this free start flowers from seeds mini-course this winter to learn how to start flowers from seed, what supplies I’ll need for success, step-by-step instructions, special tips and tricks, and how to create a simple seed-starting area. I'm feeling rather confident now!

I also binge-watched Growing Floret, but you might not need to learn how to scale your flower farm just yet...

3. Gather your supplies

If you're lucky to have a tool library in your neighborhood, an active Buy Nothing group or a generous neighbor, you might be able to get your basic tools for free.

Otherwise, second-hand and resale stores, and local garden centers are great options.

Finally, this gardening list might come handy.

4. Choose a spot / Prepare your soil

Depending on where you live, your gardening area will range from a bucket to a backyard, I think that one of the most important takeaways from what you'll learn in any gardening course is: it all starts with good soil!

I've been dumping compost in my gardening area for the past year and I cannot wait to see how happy my seeds will be. Last year, squash spontaneoulsy grew on my compost pile!

Have I mentioned my passion for composting? I think I did... Also, worm are life!

5. Order your seeds

Now for the fun part (for me)!

I'm having the hardest time narrowing down my list considering how small my garden will be.

I asked my friends what their favorite flowers are and here's what my friend Sarah had to share: "marigolds, cornflower and nasturtium!! All edible!!"

I considered focusing on an herb garden, but then a whole new world opened itself to me when I considered edible flowers!

Coreopsis and cosmos are also on my list because I've used them before during my dyeing experiments.

My friends also shared their favorite seed sellers with me:

  • Grand Prismatic, happy, non-gmo, untreated, patent-free, and cutie-patootie certified seeds. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides (Kristin)
  • Adaptive Seeds
  • Uprising Seeds, a small family-run certified-organic seed farm in Bellingham, Washington (Maren)
  • Wild Garden Seed, an organic seed farm in Corvallis, Oregon. (Maren)
  • Deep Harvest Farm, 100% certified organic seed, produce and flowers from the Pacific Northwest (Sarah)
  • Floret, a family-run flower farm & seed company, specializing in unique, uncommon, and heirloom flowers (Maren)
  • Johnny's (budget- friendly, check out the organic section)

And Floret also has a list of their favorite specialty seed sources.

6. Have fun!

The stakes are low. Some experiments will succeed, and others will fail. My philosophy: enjoy the process and spend as much time outside as you can, especially at sunrise and sunset!

If you have less than you need, ask a friend. If you have more than you need, share with a friend!

What's your favorite flower to grow? Do you have gardening tips to share?

Picture by Daiga Ellaby

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

The Conscious List

Spring Green Mountain for Conscious by Chloé

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I was dreaming of spring but woke up to snow, so I'm not sure what my plans are for the next couple of days.

Picture by Tino Rischawy

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Spring activities

Spring Flowers by Conscious by Chloé

Happy spring!

I love crafting, cooking and creating but sometimes find myself realizing that certain activities require planning (I have missed nettle foraging season 2 years in a row!). So, at the beginning of last year, I decided to fill my planner with lots of fun seasonal activities such as wreath, candle, and soap making, mushroom and plants foraging, bird watching, natural dyeing, and so much more!

Item 19 of my 22 for 2022 list was also "Write a list of seasonal activities" so here's the third installment of my seasonal activities list!

I'd love to add more, please share yours in the comments below!

Spring activities

Outdoor activities

  • Seek out the first spring flowers.
  • Plant garden
  • Go for a run
  • Ride your bike
  • Join a sports team
  • Try a new sport (pickleball?)
  • U-pick strawberries
  • Picnic
  • Host a garage sale
  • Go for a picnic
  • Learn how to whistle with a blade of grass
  • Go to the farmers' market (or volunteer there)
  • Play disc golf
  • Go bird watching
  • Participate in a neighborhood/beacj/stream spring clean-up
  • Go geo-caching


  • Nettles
  • Cherry blossoms
  • Elderberry flowers

Indoor Activities

  • Do a little spring cleaning
  • Tune up your bike
  • Take your spring/summer wardrobe out of storage
  • Wash/mend/assess what needs a little TLC
  • Gather items to create a ready-to-go picnic basket
  • Plan your garden
  • Start seeds
  • Watch Oscar-winning movies


  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Rhubarb pie

What are you excited to do this spring?

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Picture by Sergey Shmidt