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Category Archives: essential things

ethical dental hygiene

Every purchase made is a vote for a certain type of product, so I do my best to make those votes count. Everyone needs to brush their teeth, so naturally a toothbrush and toothpaste are required. Sort of.

Introducing, my toothpaste substitute!

When I first saw Lush’s Toothy Tabs I was just as skeptical as perhaps you are right now. The idea is, you chew on one tablet, then brush your teeth normally. It feels weird and tastes weird at first (especially, if like me, you start out with the Atomic flavor, which is a spicy “clove bud oil” flavor), but my teeth have never felt cleaner. The best part is, you don’t have to stress about squeezing out the very last bits to make sure none is wasted since they’re packed into solid single-use tablets! Then when you’re done, the box is 100% recyclable.

My toothbrush is more conventional, but also ethical 🙂

Made by Monte-Bianco, this toothbrush has a replaceable head, reducing the amount of plastic discarded when you need a new brush. Even better, Oxfam carries them, so the money goes towards a good cause (For every £1, Oxfam donates 83p to emergency, development, and campaigning work, 10p to running costs and support, and 7p to generating future income).


essential thing: chocolate truffles

my name is xandra burns and i am a chocoholic.

i don’t know if chocolate truffles would be listed as an “essential thing” for any other minimalist, but hear me out:

truffles are a prime example of quality over quantity.

minimalism is about eliminating excess – what you can live without, what you don’t truly love – and i truly love chocolate. however, i don’t love all chocolate. i think i can say that i like almost all kinds of chocolate. i’m satisfied with the cheap sainsbury’s bars. but i would much prefer a champagne truffle, a rich slice of chocolate cheesecake from caffe nero, a triple chocolate bens cookie hot out of the oven.

so no more sainsbury’s. no more vending machine chocolate. no more packaged chocolate cookies. if i’m going to eat chocolate, i’m going to eat it luxuriously, with style.

an expensive habit? a bit, but ultimately, i eat less chocolate and i eat better chocolate. it evens out when i factor in health and happiness.

since my truffles are so exquisite, so cherished, i only eat them on occasion, and when i have earned them. i have made it a habit to eat a truffle only when i have accomplished a daunting task or worked solidly for a considerable amount of time.

i keep a jar of truffles on my desk as an incentive. when i limit the kinds of chocolate i eat and limit the amount i consume, it becomes more of a treat, which, after all, is the point of truffle-eating in the first place.

essential thing: lemony flutter by lush

lush is my favorite cosmetics store, and lemony flutter is my favorite lotion. while it is technically cuticle butter, and is very good for that, it is also great for feet, elbows, and as chap-stick.

as a minimalist i’m always looking out for effective, eco-friendly, multi-purpose products like this one. do you have any favorites?

essential thing: my lovely bird purse

my minimalist purse. adorable and compact.

it zips up nicely to keep everything clean and contained, and it fits in my coat pocket.

my purse is just the right size to fit my cards, coins, and cash.