Hello readers! I am so glad you decided to come over my blog today. Summer is finally here in Nova Scotia with warm 30 degrees over the last few days. I enjoyed every single one of these even when it gets stuffy with humidity. I hope you have as well. During the warm months, I enjoy reading books (hardcovers or ebooks on my tablet) instead of watching TV. I love learning new things and readings something that makes me question how and why I do things. Today I want to share a few of the books on my list and would love to know what books are on yours in the comments below.
Harry Potter Serie
I have started to read them again in January. The goal was to read a book every month but life got busy as usual and I am behind. Currently, I am on book 4 or The Goblet of Fire and I have read about half so far.
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential by Leo Babauta
I have seen this book on Instagram and it was a current read from one ethical/minimalist account I love. So I decided it was worth putting on my list for the summer and maybe take advantage of the nice weather to downsize our possessions.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg
This way of life has been intriguing me for almost a year now. It was big all over social media all winter long. It is also described as a way of life and thinking which fits in the minimalist/simplicity lifestyle. Have any of you read it?
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (Audible)
I started to read the labels and research what my beauty products contain over a year ago now and I love learning about the benefits of certain plants as well as which chemical to avoid. I am always going back and forth between 100% natural products and more traditional ones. I always try to look at the ingredient list to avoid what I consider dangerous and what my skin does not like (it’s a bit of a princess – hello sensitive skin!). This book seems to touch all of those subjects and more. I decided to read it with Audible while at the gym or cleaning the house.
I hope it inspired you to read some books over the summer. Please comment below if you read any of the books I mentioned and any recommendations I should add to the list. I wish you a lovely day and hope to see you back here in for the next post. As usually, please subscribe to get the notification when I post, share on social media if you like the comment. The blog is growing very slowly and I would love for more people to join us. You can also follow me on social media. In the meantime, have a great day!
Hello readers! I am so glad to see you back on the blog today or welcome if you are new here. I share content related to simple and conscious living as I navigate this new lifestyle. This week I noticed how much plastic entered our house with the things we purchase every week and all the plastic already in our house. A great thing I love about my boyfriend is his knowledge of chemical (he is a chemical engineer). It is so helpful to have him around to know what can be recycled, things that are safe to use or things to avoid. Since not everyone has that resource available, I wanted to share some information everyone should know and where you can get more info. I hope you will find this helpful and share on your social media.
Types of plastics
In short, there are 2 main types or categories of plastics: thermoset or thermosetting plastics and thermoplastics. The first type, thermoset, is hard and durable, can be used for auto parts, aircrafts parts and tires. This type of plastic is cooled and hardened which means it retains it shape but cannot return to its original form. Polyurethanes, polyesters, and certain type of resins can count of thermoset plastics. The second type, thermoplastics, is less rigid and can soften with heat as well as return to its original form. It is easily molded and extruded into films, fibers and packaging. All poly can be considered thermoplastics; e.g. polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), etc. (1) There are other variations of plastics but for simplicity, I will limit this post with those 2 previously mentioned.
When we order online, most things will come in cardboard and plastic wrapping. It is almost inevitable and we don’t notice anymore. At our house, this is one of the main source of plastic and comes from grocery stores, online purchases and in store purchases. To limit plastic packaging, we try to bulk order online and have it delivered in one cardboard box with less plastic or even opt for the eco-friendly packaging whenever available (brands are starting to offer it more often). Our base line is “we refuse whenever possible on what we control”. We use fabric bags for shopping at the grocery store or any stores. I also purchased some produce bag to avoid the plastic store ones and we try to buy in bulk with glass jars when we can.
I am talking about the containers you use for lunches and leftovers. I will be honest, we have a lot of them in our cupboards and use them daily for lunches and snack at work. We are slowly replacing the broken or very dirty/old containers with glass ones. Not all plastic containers are bad for you (BPA), especially if you do not use them in the microwave (that is a whole other issue). I prefer to use what I currently have, slowly replace when needed and make sure we don’t waste food then going to the crazy and throwing away everything plastic, going to the store to buy all glass containers. To me, this does not make any sense and is wasteful.
We could also talk about the plastic containers from the grocery store for some produce, milk, yogourt, etc. These are hard to avoid while shopping, unless you have a bulk store near you and lots of glass containers. One thing you can do, and we will discuss it next, is to look for recycle plastics over non-recyclable plastics.
What can be recycled
Sadly, not every plastic can be recycled and the percentage of plastic recycled is limited because of mixing of packaging materials by manufacturers and contaminants. In the USA, post-consumer plastic waste for 2008 was estimated at 33.6 million tons, of which was as follows:
2.2 million tons were recycled (6.5%);
2.6 million tons were burned for energy (8%); and
28.9 million tons were discarded in landfills (86%).
As much as we would like to thing recycling plastic is great and everything can be reused, it is not the case and cities do what they can but there are lots that cannot be reused.
” When different types of plastics are melted together, they tend to phase-separate, like oil and water, and set in these layers. The phase boundaries cause structural weakness in the resulting material, meaning that polymer blends are useful in only limited applications. The two most widely manufactured plastics, polypropylene and polyethylene, behave this way, which limits their utility for recycling. Recently, the use of block copolymers as “molecular stitches” or “macromolecular welding flux” has been proposed to overcome the difficulties associated with phase separation during recycling.“(2)
You might know the simple for recycling as it is widely used in green or black color. It is 4 arrows rotating clockwise to form a triangle. They usually have a number in the middle to indicate what it is made of. The number broadly refers to the type of plastic used in the product, by chronological order of when that plastic became recyclable:
“1” signifies that the product is made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (beverage bottles, cups, other packaging, etc.)
“7” signifies other plastics, such as acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate and polylactic acid (PLA). (3)
To help with visualization, I copied part of the chart below which is available on Wikipedia and can be found under the recycling code page (also with the link here). I also left all the links originally in the table.
List of resin identification codes (RIC) and codes defined by the European Commission
My recommendation would be to avoid any dangerous plastic and all that cannot be recycled or reused but I understand that would be in an ideal world. I will leave this up to you and what you think is best for your family. Hopefully with the information about and you own research, you are a little more informed of the various types of plastics, their usage and the recyclable potential. Instead of telling you what to avoid, I will share below some alternatives to commonly used plastics.
How to replace plastic things in your daily life
This was a staple in my house growing up. I admit that we still have some in our house but I plan to replace it with beeswax food wrap (Amazon link). I have seen these everywhere and comments seems to be largely positive. I already have some silicone covers for bowls and containers but I would like to add options and flexibility with those food wraps.
It has been hard to replace this in our household because the silicone we used kept a soapy taste. We still use it from time to time to roast vegetable but have also been using parchment paper for cooking meat.
This is on my list to replace slowly because I find the price for reusable silicone bags to be between $8-15 per bags. Silicone bags can be found online but I would recommend Stasher bags because they have the best reviews. I like that they can go to the dishwasher and do not stain.
I rarely use them anymore and have replaced paper cups with silicone. Just like the silicone baking sheet, you have to be very careful when you wash them or they will keep a soapy taste. Another way to avoid paper cups would be to use your metal pan with oil (butter, olive, canola, coconut), depending on what temperature you bake at because various oils have a different burning point.
While at the store, you can use mesh bags or fabric bags for your produce instead of the provided plastic bags. You can use what you already have or you can purchase a set of 2-4 produce bags.
Plastic glasses or cups and utensils
When we have a large group over, it is tempting to use plastic cups and utensils but they are a one type use while taking centuries to degrade. Instead, use your normal glasses and utensils or use bamboo (or any biodegradable option available near you).
Plastic water bottles
This is a big one. Invest a few dollars in a good reusable water bottle and reuse it while washing it every few days. You can now find them in glass, metal or safe plastic with fun colours and design. If you do not like the test of you municipal water, a great option would be Brita water bottles or a Brita filter and regular reusable water bottles.
In conclusion, we are able to limit the use of plastic in our life but it does require a constant effort and awareness to make it happen. I hope this post was helpful to you and that you will share on social media. I do not pretend to know it all so if you have more information you would like to share, please comment below or message me. I am curious to see if you already avoid plastic as much as possible or if you are like me with half way there. I hope to see you back on the blog and don’t forget to subscribe to get notified when I post new content. In the meantime, you can follow me on social media (links are above). I wish you a great week!
Hello readers! I hope your day is well so far. I took the past few weeks off and feel so rejuvenated. I was going through an uninspired phase and was not sure what more to share on the blog. To be honest, I have not been trying anything new in beauty as I still have some products from my Body Shop advent calendar (I know, like 3 months worth of things). In fashion, I do not have the need for anything urgent at the moment and have been focused on finance (saving) rather than spending. A little while ago I wrote “leather” on my list of topics to write about. I did a lot a ready these past weeks about the various types of leathers, their categorization and environmental impact. Today, I decided to share my findings of this very opinionated topic in the ethical and sustainable community. I understand not everyone has the same opinion and see things the same way. Which is why I ask that everyone stay open-minded and respect one and another with their comments and opinion. I did so much research and read so many articles and wanted to create a little guide for you in helping you decide which would be the best option for you and your values. It will be a very extensive post and I hope you will share widely because I put a lot of effort into this piece. As usual, please like and follow me on social media for more content. Now, without further due, I divided this piece into 2 categories: real leather and fake or “vegan” leather. I will discuss their various origins, their treatments (both animal and care), their durability, and environmental impact. There will also be an infographic at the end if you would like to save it to your Pinterest boards.
Introduction and disclaimer
I am not an expert on the subject but these are a summary of what I found and understood on the subject of leather in the fashion industry. I will list all my sources at the end if you wish to read for yourselves. I draw my conclusions and made a decision of which I prefer in line with my values. I understand we might not come to the same conclusions and that is totally fine. I will try my best to give the information without any opinion and as simple/short as possible.
This is probably one of the oldest fabric used in clothing. As you can imagine, it comes from animals’skin (mostly mammals like cows and goats) raised for their meat or milk. What you may not know is that the quality and price varies upon which layer is used for the garment. The out layer of the skin is tough with tight natural fibres. This makes it stronger and durable. The other layers of skin get looser as you get further down and thus the price, durability and quality lessen. To compensate for the looser natural fibres, it will often get mixed with polyurethane.
The treatment of animal used for leather is a complicated analysis. It is very hard to get the information about where the leather is from, how the animal was treated and if the factories were ethical. However, there are alternative ways to shop for leather:
surplus leather: is scrap leather from agricultural or manufacturing production;
vintage leather: (also called second-hand) pre-existing clothing;
handcrafted/artisan leather: support local craftsmen, closer to the supply chain to get information about ethical practices;
local leather: eliminate the carbon impact link with transport and closer to the supply chain.
alternative leather: is a by-product of food, maybe fish skins like eel, salmon, sheep, ostrich, chicken or pineapple leaves.
Because it is animal skin, it needs to be treated regularly, such as cleaning and butter treatment to keep it moisturized and flexible. It can also be repaired as needed.
Animal leather is durable in the sense that it can last a very long time if it is of high quality and taken care of. It is also biodegradable in nature and can be recycled.
These types of leather will need to be treated otherwise the skin putrefies and harden. The treatment is called tanning and can be done 2 ways: vegetable or chrome. The later is a modern method (as early as mid-1800) and is currently used in about 99% of the tanned leather. It is a faster method than the vegetable. It offers the possibility of vivid colours, fairly resistant to water, stains and heat while keeping costs low. As for the vegetable tanning, it is the oldest method since it has been around for thousands of years. The principle is to soak the skin in vegetable tannins (trees and plants) and the process takes about 2 months. It is generally biodegradable thus environmentally friendly. In short, the making process those have an environmental impact but the disposal of it may not have a negative impact (recycle the material or biodegradable).
Some research and progress have been made to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of the tanning process (see research mentioned in “sources”).
Fake or “Vegan” Leather
This type of leather is fully or partially man-made, which means it is made from chemicals. The two main product of faux leather is PVC and polyurethane to make faux leather goods. It can sometimes be made from cork, barkcloth, gazed cotton waxed cotton and paper, although uncommon. It is easily modified and custom made and can be used for a wide range of goods. It is not expensive to make and lighter fabric than animal leather. You may notice that this type of leather is machine washable and can be dry cleaned. There is also a leather called bi-cast made of the lowest layer of a hide and mixed in polyurethane coding. Bonded leather is made of upcycled leather remnants (dust and scrapings – discarded leather pieces) pressed and glued together with a coat of polyurethane.
Since this faux leather does not come from animals, there is no real mistreatment of animal issues. On a care note, it is not easy to clean this type of leather and may have a shinier appearance. It could be possible to treat the leather to extend its usage.
It varies greatly and depends on usage, type of garment and products used. In general, it is fairly resistant to water and regular usage. It is possible, just like real leather, to treat it for a longer “life”. It is not possible to reuse or repair this type of leather. It might be possible to recycle some parts but it would require extensive research on where and how this would be possible.
As you may understand, PVC and polyurethane are plastic components and have a very large as well as complex environmental impact. It impacts in the production on the leather by its making process as well as it’s disposable after usage.
There is research for biomaterial to be used to create faux leather.
Both have an environmental impact we need to be aware of when purchasing leather of any kind, let it be in the making process or the disposal. Real leather does have the animal rights component to consider. More and more sustainable and ethical options are emerging and offer customers possibilities to meet their values. I hope this post helps you make a decision on what type of leather to support or avoid it completely. I would be grateful if you would share this post if you liked it or comment. I would love to hear from you if I misunderstood some things, miss things or if you have information to add. As always, I wish you a very good day and hope to see you back on the blog soon. In the meantime, you can follow me on social media.
Hello readers! I am so happy and excited to announce that the blog turns one this month. Can you believe it? I started after joining “The socially conscious women” Facebook group and the encouragement from the ladies in the group. It has been such a wonderful time and yet feels like only a week ago. Time is funny that way I guess. So today I wanted to share with you my progress, changes, struggles and answer all of your questions. I hope you will enjoy this post and leave comments below. I always love to read you and get a chance to discuss simple conscious living alternatives.
Why did I start?
I developed an interest in zero-waste, eco-friendly and ethical living about 2-3 years ago after reading about it on Pinterest or somewhere else online. The concepts fascinate me and the suggestions of little changes seem so easy at first. Truth be told, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. I slowly started to look at what I own differently and seeing them as things. The decluttering process started with the duplicates we had from us moving together. This was a great starting point for me because I like things to be useful and multiples of things can be just holding space without serving any purpose. With time, I realized our impact throughout are trash, purchases and brands we gave money to. After all this, I noticed people sharing their lifestyle (“minimalist”, “zero-waste”, or “simplicity”) but not a lot of bloggers were talking about the transition. I started my blog to share my findings, evolve with you and, with much hope, inspire you to make small changes as well.
I am proud to say this year was transforming and a rollercoaster. I learned so much from all the bloggers out there, Facebook groups and social media. I discovered amazing people from around the world with the same philosophy and like-minded people who believe they can make a difference in the world. I drastically downsized my wardrobe and now started to purchase from ethical and eco-friendly brands or secondhand. I keep selling or donating unused items and make an effort to still get rid of things I no longer have a use for. My finances are doing better (no thanks to the boxing day shopping I did, trust me) but I am mindful of what I wish to encourage while spending my hard earned money. We drastically have reduced the amount of trash we produce every week and we recycle or compost as much as we can. In general, I would say I developed awareness in every aspect of my life and really think about the impact it has in general.
I still struggle with a conflicted way of thinking, e.g. some days I just need to replace a moisturizer but now I will look at the content as well as the brand which takes time and I have to admit my time is valuable. I also have issues letting go of dreams I had when I was a kid of beautifully decorated house from a magazine because 1) I rather spend my money some other places, 2) my house never stay like that because we do live in that house, 3) I do not like to clean everyday and dust everything, and 4) I come to realize I am very basic when it comes to decorations and colours. Another aspect I do struggle with is purchasing ethical shoes and jackets. I am still torn between ethical real leather or fake leather. I am doing the research and it is getting me more confused than being helpful. Both have valuable points but real leather has the animal aspect of it (cruelty) while the fake leather has the environmental aspect of it (plastic). Anyway, these are only a few of the struggle I have with this year of simple conscious living.
I hope you relate to some of the points I mentioned above and am not alone with all of this confusion. As usual, you can find me on social media (mostly Facebook and IG). Please subscribe if you want to be notified when I post new content and hope to see you back on the blog soon. I wish you a very good day and hope to inspire you for another year. Thank you for following my adventures and discoveries while sharing your own.
Hello there! Following my previous post on Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method, I thought it would be appropriate to write on ways to reduce our waste, in other words, the zero-waste movement. Have you noticed how much trash and recycling you produce in a year? The answer varies greatly between household but the average American produces about 1,600 pounds (726 kg) of trash every year (1). Can you believe it? Did you know, only 50% of your recycling is actually recycled? (2) There is already so much out there, yet we waste so much every year while people, less fortunate, really need it. Today is not about shaming you about your trash but to teach you simple little changes to help you produce less trash, use everything you have to the fullest and save some money. Yes, yes, I did dare say the M word. As you probably have read across the web, there are 5 “R” of sustainability: Rot, recycle, reuse, repurpose, and reduce. So let’s look over them and see how you can apply them every day.
This process allows using of some of the house waste for the garden. It is possible to compost food, yard waste and some paper (can also be recycled). This is a great solution if you have a garden or if your city offers a compost program. To create your own compost takes a lot of constant work and attention. Here is an idea on how to start your own compost at home (link). There is also an entire site dedicated to composting (link).
I think everyone has heard of this by now but you can recycle cans, paper, cardboard, and plastics. The issue is to make sure to do it properly and consult your city recycle centre’s site to confirm how to recycle electronics, batteries, construction waste and more. Some cities have recycled centres you can go to donate your waste items and they will recycle it for you. Here is a useful tool for a few things you can recycle (waste management).
Pinterest is full of DIY ideas to reuse what you already have in your house like coffee tins, car tires, cereal boxes, etc. I highly encourage you to research what you are looking to get rid of and see what else it can be used at. I was surprised to use cereal boxes for organizing.
Once again, Pinterest is a great resource of ideas to repurpose things, e.g. a plant holder, an old pair of jeans, an old t-shirt, etc.
This has probably the biggest impact on our waste because if we don’t buy we don’t waste. Simple enough right? Well, it is a change in your lifestyle and like any changes, it requires time and hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight otherwise, everyone would do it easily. In other words, you need to buy less of everything (food, plastic, clothing, etc.) and make sure to use what you already have on hand or in your home.
This is a whole issue in itself but I really wanted to mention it because of all the food we produce about 50% is wasted every year (this is across all of the earth’s countries). People go hungry and yet families overspend on food (money and quantity) which ends up in the trash uneaten. The whole concept of waste upsets me but food waste even more. Here are some tips to help you limit your food waste (see Fun Cheap or Free website for great ideas):
Meal plan for your week (breakfast ideas, lunches and dinners);
Inventory what you have in your cabinets, fridge and freezer to create meals using items that might go bad soon;
Shelf-cook at least one week every few months;
Consider buying frozen fruits and vegetables over fresh if they end up in the trash often;
Can or freeze your food – you can use canning for your own tomato sauce, apple sauce, diced tomatoes, soup or you can freeze most leftovers but keep a list to know what you already have;
While grocery shopping, only buy what you need for the week or things you can stock up while on sale; and
Consider eating less meat – there are many health benefits, it is saving you money and you lower the need for grain production as well as CO2 that are implicated in the production of meat. (I will speak more about this in a future post)
Here is also a list of things you can do to limit your food waste (link).
To conclude, waste, in general, is a social issue and we need to work towards reducing it and creative ways to use what we have. I will be honest, I am not perfect nor zero-waste but I am inspired by people’s zero-waste lifestyle and make slow but continuous changes to my life to reduce waste. I hope this gave you some ideas to change some of your habits and help the environment and society, use what you have while saving some money and the planet. As always, I thank you for visiting the blog and hope you will subscribe and follow me on social media. In the meantime, I hope to see you back here as I post new content every week. I wish you a very nice week!
Hello everyone! Welcome on my little blog about simple conscious living. I share my experience and progress towards this new lifestyle with my struggles and foundings. Over the past few weeks, the new Netflix show ” Tidying up with Marie Kondo” has become more and more popular. It seems everyone on social media is talking about and YouTube exploded with videos of people trying her KonMarie Method to declutter their home, especially their wardrobe. I do enjoy her method and philosophy using joy to decide if an item should stay or go. My main concern is with all the people trying her method to declutter their house, mostly how they decide to dispose of their unwanted items. One thing that truly upsets me is waste and unnecessary pollution. As great as her method and this movement is, it does create a lot of waste.
image from https://www.forbes.com/sites/elizabethharris/2016/01/10/marie-kondo-the-magical-art-of-tidying-your-financial-life/#7ba4f27c419f
Who is Marie Kondo?
She is a Japanese organizing consultant and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011)“. She founded her organizing consulting business when she was 19 and a sociology student at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. (1)
What is the KonMari Method?
Her approach is fantastic to make sure you only keep what you need, use and brings you joy. It is very innovative and makes more sense to me than cleaning room after room. I did enjoy reading her book and watching some of the episodes on Netflix. Organizing and having a clean space is important to me but sometimes the mess does get out of hands. Her method is described on her website as:(2)
Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.
The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.
People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.
What the show projects?
Like most reality-show, this shows is over the top showing families with houses full of things or overflowing (this is an understatement). They struggle with clutter and maintaining a clean house. Marie Kondo helps them decluttering their house of unwanted items (things that no longer spark joy) over a few weeks. Some families have an easier time than others to let items leave the house. In the end, the families seem to enjoy a clutter-free home and can maintain a clean house easily. This is the main premise of the show but I did not watch all the episodes.
It presents typical American families with large and cluttered houses, over-consumers, and unhappy. During their decluttering process, you see a lot of black garbage bags all over their house filled with their unwanted things. This is the point where I have an issue with the show.
How to declutter without over polluting?
I will start by saying I agree with her method of decluttering and it has helped me let go of a few things around that house. That being said, I would like the show to include the ways you can let go of things in an ethical and environmentally-friendly way. Landfills do not need more fabric nor plastic from our homes. Furthermore, we have people struggling to make ends meet every month, immigrants coming to start a new life, people losing their homes to natural disasters, people leaving life-threatening situations, as well as communities, friends and families in need.
Some items of clothing might not bring us “joy” anymore but it could help someone in those situations. Pots, pans and utensils can help someone start a new life; a winter jacket can keep an immigrant warm this winter; clothing can help a victim from a house fire start anew. It can really make a difference in someone’s life and give them hope. There are a lot of organizations that help people every day and they can use your unwanted items. Get in touch with them and ask if they are in need of anything you wish to let go. Another great alternative is also women’s shelters, churches, community centers and secondhand shops. Do some research, take an hour of your time and help.
If you are part of my generation and have a lot of student loans to pay back, you can try to sell some of your items online, e.g. Kijiji. Please note that not everything can be sold and you will not get rich doing this, but it can help you get a little bit of money to put towards your debts. If you have old electronics that you no longer use and are outdated, did you know they can be recycled and most cities will have centers where you can drop them off and they will take care of the recycling for you. Another great thing about electronics is the ink from your printer. The cartridges from laser or jet printers can be reused and all you have to do is dropped them off at a store like Staples or send them to the company by mail, look at their website for instructions.
In conclusion, there are other ways to declutter and let go of items than putting them in garbage bags and sending them to the landfills. I would love your thoughts about this post. Do you agree? Do you know other ways to recycle various household items? How do you declutter in an ethical and eco-friendly way? I hope you enjoyed this post and that you will share on social media. I do not criticize any particular individual in that show nor Netflix but would like to raise awareness on the impact it can have on our environment and provide alternative ways to donate, recycle or reuse our items. I hope you will subscribe to my blog via the link in the top left menu or on Bloglovin and look forward to seeing you back here for more content. I wish you a wonderful day and maybe some reflection for the upcoming spring cleaning.
Hello there! I hope this love month teaches you a few things but mostly how to love and take care of yourselves. In my last post, Simpler & Conscious Valentine’s Day, I shared some way to share the love with your friends and family but I realized that I forgot the most important person, you. Everyone takes care of themselves differently because people have different needs. Here I will share with you my Sunday routine that helps me unwind and start the week on the right path as well as a few things I do during the week.
Sunday is usually my “get ready for the week” day and Saturday is mostly about relaxing from all the things that happened over the week. I will get groceries, plan meals for the week, laundry, clean and write a little for this blog. It is not super busy but I do a few things to keep the house clean, have clean clothes and have healthy options available to us. I know it is not super exciting but those things need to get done.
This is my us/me time. We usually have dinner together while watching some TV (not everybody agrees on that but this is a nice time for us). Lately, we have been rewatching The Big Bang Theory and are currently on season 6. If we feel like it, we will sometimes watch a movie from Netflix. After dinner and watching TV, I will start my self-care routine. I like to prepare my gym bag the night before with everything I need for the next day: makeup, skin care, clothing, workout clothes, book, lunch, etc. After everything is ready for the next day, I start with a nice warm bath and a face mask. While in the bath, I usually read a book or listen to an audiobook. After a chapter or two, I will do 10-15 minutes of meditation and sit there for a few minutes before getting out of the tub. After I pad-drying my skin, I will use a face cloth to take the mask off and use my Clarisonic brush with a cleanser. After my face is all nice and clean, I will apply a toner and let it sink into my skin for a few minutes, letting me time to moisturize my body (I will sometimes use my own body butter, other I will use the Body Shop creams I got with their advent calendar). It is now time to moisturize my face with a heavier moisturizer and apply some oil to seal in the moisture. And lastly, it is time for some more reading in bed before finally falling asleep.
How to create a self-care routine
If you feel the need to had some “me” time into your routine, it can start by adding a few minutes to meditate, go to a yoga class (or use YouTube), taking a bath, reading a few pages over your lunch break or even going for a walk whenever possible. It does not have to be long, it does not have to cost you money but it does need to make you feel good and makes you happy. My main advice would be to try a few things to see what helps you unwind and relax. Step by step you can add to this routine and create an oasis of relaxation. I also suggest looking at other people’s routine on Pinterest to get some inspiration and ideas.
I hope you enjoyed this little post on self-care. I purposely did not mention any of the products I currently use because they have been changing frequently to help balance my skin back to normal. Please share in the comments your self-care routine and suggestions you may have. I wish you a wonderful Valentine’s day and hope you will have a great week. I look forward to seeing you back on the blog soon.
Hello readers! I hope all is well. It makes me so happy to share my wishlist of all things with you today. I have saved most of the items below in my browser and am waiting for the perfect time to make the purchases. A fair warning for today’s post as it will be very long, full of links and references so please grab a tea/coffee/water and take your time to go through this post or maybe come back to it when you get a chance. I hope this will inspire you that ethical and sustainable can be very stylish and fashionable. There are many reasons why I have not yet purchased the items or tried the brand below (mainly 2: no need to replace something in my current collection and money). If you tried some of the companies below, please DM me or comment below your experience and recommendations.
This is not sponsored in any way and there are no affiliated links in this blog post. All the opinions below are my own and the information from the descriptions of the brands come from their website directly. I do not own the images used and mostly from the brands’ websites.
Image from Justly Market
Wallis Evera Kristina Pants in tan, available at Justly Market ($147)
It is a Canadian brand from Vancouver with core values of sustainability, simplicity and individuality. They are both ethical and eco-friendly in their use of hemp to create modern workwear.
I love the chic and classic design which is perfect for the office. Yet, the details at the ankle give a casual look as well. This matches my style perfectly and can easily be mistaken for tradition high-end brands.
Founded in 1991, this British company retails online. Their core values include joy, the best of British style, bravery, and trust. They also have a sustainable aspect in their company by committing to responsible sourcing across their business, their Modern Slavery statement, using the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code for their suppliers, environmental friendly by using 100% recycled material boxes, and more community involvement.
I love these work pants designed like skinny stretchy jeans. We all love some stretch pants, even better when you can wear them at work. They also have side pockets and are machine washable.
As mentioned above, this company has some great sustainable and ethical aspect. I am obsessed with the cut of their silk shirt as well as the beautiful colours and patterns. It gives a bit of funk and fun to your everyday work outfit. It also can be paired quite nicely with the pants previously mentioned.
You might remember this great bird patterns from my boxing day purchases since it is the same as my loafers. I find it so simple yet playful. During the winter months, sweaters are my favourite for the office; just as is or layered with a nice shirt underneath. It keeps you warm and stylish.
They create their clothing with versatility in mind as well as fabrics that don’t pollute and have the lowest possible environmental impact from their local supply chain. They also have a campaign where if you buy a tee they plant a tree with their partner American Forest (link).
I was first interested in their brand from this pair of work pants. It would look great paired with some of my shirts as well as sweaters. I am not sure about the colour but absolutely love the design and the cut of the pants.
Amour Vert Silk Blouse ($158-168)
As you probably realized by now, I really like shirts for work with pants, skirts even with jeans on the weekend. I find these so versatile and classic yet modern.
These joggers are made from beech wood fibre (their soft Modal fabric). They are stretch with pockets. It is made in the USA and machine washable. I currently do not need loungewear but I am curious about the fabric and just love comfy clothes around the house. I will probably wear them outside the house for short walks or even for grocery shopping.
Because no wardrobe is complete without shoes and accessories, here are some of the things I have on my wishlist.
I mentioned Everlane in my boxing day purchases but I will reintroduce them to you. They are a great company with the claim of “Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency.” They have an ethical approach with lasting quality in mind and great prices.
I tested loafers when I purchased my first pair from Boden and am in love with the style and comfort. I would like to give a try to these leather pair in this great neutral colour.
The Root Collective Gaby Flat ($98)
The Root Collective is a shoe company based in the US and handcrafted in Guatemala. They provide employment to communities with fair wages.
They are colourful and play with texture for both flats and boots. The design and mix are beautiful. This was a discovery from the blog The Good Trade.
I discovered this brand because of Nikki Philippi (YouTube Channel) since she is a representative of the brand. I do not know much about the brand behind the scene but their mission is:
“We honor our stewardship to champion nature’s living energy, essential oils, by fostering a community of healing and discovery while inspiring individuals to wellness, purpose, and abundance.”
They offer a wide range of essential oils, cleaning products and skin care. I am curious to use essential oils in my skin care and see the effects on my skin. I also enjoy diffusing oils in the house as oppose to using air refresher.
They are an alternative to Lush bath bombs. They use natural ingredients and essential oils. Bare Skin Bars are handcrafted in microbatches and offer various benefits from detox to softening. The colours are fun and the pack they come in is fairly large ($24 for 4 bars).
This company has expanded since its inception. I remember when the products were mainly for babies. Now, it offers from cleaning products to baby products as well as skin care and makeup. They pride themselves with avoiding chemicals without compromising the high-quality products. They also give back by donating baby products, skin care and cleaning supplies.
I have heard great things about their baby line and am so excited to test their skin care as well as their cleaning products. My main issue with this company is their products being constantly out of stock. I have been unable to purchase anything on my wishlist because they are sold out. I keep looking periodically but no luck. Let me know if you did use them.
This is a Canadian own and operated company. Saje is rooted in environmental sustainability and ethical responsibility. All of our ingredients are derived from safe and renewable resources. They offer essential oils, diffusers, and natural skin care products.
I tried their moisturizer before and my skin reacted very well to it. I would eventually like to try the whole line for dry/sensitive skin.
I mentioned this brand in a previous post about my beauty routine. They are a natural beauty company that provides quality products without the chemical ingredients inside (their full list is here). I have previously tried their nourishing day cream, brown pencil, stick sunscreen, makeup remover, and sugar body scrub. I love all of these and look forward to trying more of their products. With the winter drying my skin, I am interested in their countermatch collection for a lightweight moisturizer adapted to my skin’s need.
The story behind this company is a very interesting one. The owner, Bethany, originally “started beyond organic livestock farm in Southern California called Primal Pastures, she discovered the power of eating real food and her eyes were opened to a new world of wellness. Bethany subsequently purged her bathroom cabinets of toxic conventional skincare products and began formulating her own replacements with pure, simple ingredients.” They use fewer ingredients from natural sources.
I have been looking for an alternative to conventional deodorant but have not found a good replacement yet. I discovered this brand with social media and the reviews are very good. Once I finish my current deodorant, I will give one of these a try.
This company is based in Montreal and their products are made in the same city. Their products are made in small quantities to keep them as fresh as possible. Effective, simple and honest with 100% without chemicals as well as not tested on animals.
The colours of their mask are so cute. Some can also work for face and hair, who doesn’t love double duty? The reviews are also great for this company, especially for the mask.
There! I know this was a very long post and it did take me weeks to complete. I apologize for not posting last week but hope this post will get you interested in some of those great brands. Let me know if you do recommend other brands, products and if you have tested some of the above brands or products. I look forward to testing these at some point this year and will review them on the blog so make sure to subscribe to get notified when I post (simply enter your email in the box from the top left menu). I hope to see you back on the blog soon and keep following me regularly on my IG stories. Have a lovely day!
Hello lovely readers! I would like to take a second to thank you for coming over the blog and reading my content. I sometimes forget that I write things for you and I truly enjoy when the readings and comments are there. It really warms my heart to know you are there and interested in my posts (views are up as well as follows 😲). I am planning my content for 2019 and would love to know your interests and things you would like to see on the blog. You can message me in private or leave comments below. There are also a few great changes coming so make sure to subscribe or follow me on social media to get the scoop. This topic might be a bit late but I did change my beauty routine with the colder weather making its official coming. It is later here in Nova Scotia than probably other places in the world but we did get -20 degrees Celsius and my skin is feeling it. That means it is time to change things up and increase moisture as well as enter the cocooning mode. I also started to have some acne on my skin and oily hair which means increase scrubs as well as hydration. What is your current routine?
I start with micellar water to remove any dirt left from the night before using Garnier Micellar water following with my cleanser and Clarisonic Mia 2. I switch between 2 cleansers at the moment (La Roche Posay Effaclar and Omnorovieza) but both are very gentle.
Then I would normally use some toner to seal things before a serum and moisturizer. This being said, this winter I try to keep it simple with Khiel’s eye cream and JoWaë moisturizing light cream. An eye cream is a must in my opinion so I use it every single day.
On the days I work, I will apply sunscreen to protect my skin from lights (blue light). I currently use the Beauty Counter mineral sunscreen stick. In the winter, I like to add a primer before the foundation to help keep moisture in but also help my makeup hold all day long. I tend to go heavier with a foundation in the winter for more coverage and long-lasting. My daily makeup is very natural and consist mostly of concealer, foundation, mascara and eyebrow pencil/gel. It has not really changed since my last makeup post. I want to get back into eyeshadows and eyeliner because I miss playing with colours and eye shapes. Would you be interested to see it on IG?
After a long day, I am so excited to take the day away so I use makeup remover to take everything off (micellar water doesn’t work as well with heavier makeup). After that, I usually will use some micellar water to take any dirt before using my Clarisonic Mia 2 with a gentle cleanser or this konjac sponge (this one is from Saje). Then my favourite part is to feel my skin to see if it needs a mask or toner before my moisturizer (currently trying Clarins Hydra-Essentiel). I finish things with a hydrating oil to seal in all the moisture and help my skin settle before bed. Once or twice a week I will exfoliate my face and body following with a deeply hydrating moisturizer or oil or both depending on how I feel. Every other night, I try to use the AlphaH glycolic acid and the Sunday Riley Luna oil.
Clarisonic – I love this thing! I haven’t used it and my skin does tell me when it needs it. So far I tried to use it twice a day but it often becomes too much and I bring it back to once a day. You can change the head brush depending on what your skin needs.
Cleaning brushes – I am guilty of not cleaning my makeup brushes and sponges enough. It is one of my goals to clean them bi-weekly, even weekly.
Makeup remover – I know people that can only use micellar water to remove makeup but I do think it is not enough. I tried it multiple times and my skin does need a traditional makeup remover before the micellar water. Otherwise, my pores get clogged and dirt stays on my skin.
Mask – I absolutely love masks but always forget about them. I try to set a reminder to at least have one every week to help my skin with hydration or clogged pores or acne.
What is your secret to keeping moisture into your skin during the dry winter season? Any secret weapon or products you swear by? Does your skin change with the season? Leave comments below and as usual don’t forget to like and subscribe if you like the content and want to know when I post more on the blog. You can do that from the menu on the top left corner by entering your email. I hope this was helpful to you and help you keep hydrated and glowing skin during this harsh season. This will be my last post of the year but will be back in 2019 to share more content with you. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Holiday season!
Hello readers! I am glad to see you on the blog today and hope you will have a look around and, maybe subscribe to get the emails when I post new content. As the holiday season comes, a few of you will be travelling to be with family, friends or on a holiday trip and thought it would be the perfect time to share how we travel with a minimal impact. Is travelling ethically possible? Or should you be conscious of your impact? I believe the answer is yes. You should support companies with good ethics and minimize your impact on the environment whenever possible. Since our families both leave quite far away, we travel every few years to be with them over the holidays. As I try to improve my impact while I travel, here are a few things I keep in mind and support.
The company I choose is mainly based on the price because of the flights to Calgary are expensive, we try to find good deals to limit the impact on our finances. We have been travelling for a few years now and usually go with the same airline which, funny enough, one of my friends works for them. They are very good to their employees (wages, vacations, etc.), they usually have great customer service, an extra plane in case there are any issues and their prices are usually fair. Sometimes, other companies are cheaper or have better times but we keep using the same one as we are very happy to support them. A bonus is their reward points program.
During our travels, I try to limit my footprints and impact whenever possible. We use our own reusable water bottle, share the registered suitcase, only have one carry-on (on top of my purse obviously), and we realize that travelling, in general, is not the most environmental-friendly thing. But flights work best for us to go from the East Coast to the West Coast compared to trains (which are not great in Canada versus Europe) or even driving there.
As mentioned, these are only a few things I have in mind while travelling and I try to improve as we go because I know it does have negative impacts. I truly enjoy travelling, exploring new places, discovering a new culture, trying new food and interacting with people from other countries. If you have a different way to travel or have great tips or tricks to be ethical and conscious while you travel, please leave a comment below. If you read other posts from conscious bloggers on the topic, please leave them below as well. I hope this helps you in a small or large way to think about travel. Don’t forget to subscribe for more conscious living content and I hope to see you back soon.