France with Friends 101

France with Friends 101

I spent this memorial day a little differently than usual, I went to France for the week with my two good friends from college and it was incredible. We were so sad to leave and had such an incredible time. In just a week span we traveled to Paris, Nice, Cannes (just for a day trip),  and Bordeaux. It was all so beautiful and I think I have eaten enough charcuterie/gelato/croissants to last me until next memorial day!

Our first day in Paris felt like christmas morning because I was so excited to see the eiffel tower – in all of my traveling throughout my life I had yet to go to France so this was huge for me because I grew up loving Paris’s architecture, fashion and culture. I also was incredibly obsessed with the eiffel tower, so I could not WAIT to see it in person! It was such an exciting feeling to even get a small glimpse of it! Seeing it during the day was incredible, but at night during our dinner cruise watching it sparkle on the hour of 11 pm, was something I won’t ever forget!

Paris, France

A side from the sight seeing, my biggest fear going into the trip was how to pack. We were only there for a week but traveling to many places, so I wanted to pack light but also needed a versatile wardrobe! I also had to consider all of the potential souvenirs that would be coming home with me. One perk for sure traveling with friends is that you have multiple options! Shared wardrobes are always a plus. My friends, Jess & Lexi, also have a jacket obsession so we all had multiple jean and leather jackets to rotate for the week.

In the photos you can see the various jean jacket styles that we rocked – my personal favorite jacket I wore was a whopping $7 from salvation army. My one friend and I were in there a few months back looking for clothes for a 90s bar crawl and she found it for me and it perfectly over sized and light weight. I love it! A lot of jean jackets and jeans for that matter I end up distressing and tweaking to make it exactly how I want them to look.

While packing I thought of practical pieces and easy ways to switch up my outfits with a few core items. Layering is also key so I made sure I had a few go to sweaters (I brought a white sweater, a neutral cashmere topper, jean jacket, rain jacket, and a baroque wind breaker with me). It rained in Bordeaux so I was very thankful I had a rain coat! I also packed a over size black knit dress from Club Monaco that I wore pretty much the entire trip, just used different shoes and jackets to dress it up or down. I also wore a pair of white jean shorts from revolve with some different blouses and sweaters which were perfect and I shockingly did not spill anything on them!! I also rocked my small red gucci bag the entire trip along with my small MZ wallace backpack and both were useful and versatile items.

As far as footwear went, I stuck with a pair of addidas sneakers and slides, lace up sandals, flip flops and then this new style shoe from everlane called the day glove, they were so comfortable and a nice easy shoe to walk around in all day. I did not pack a single pair of heels (1 because I am tall already and 2 cobble streets and heels are not a good mix). By the end of the day our feet were pretty tired so it was nice to put on comfy sandals after a long day of having closed shoes on.

I could post photos all day long about this trip, we had such an awesome time. A few things to mention is that when you travel and have a budget, keep in mind all of the ubers, cabs, and trains. Since we went to so many different places a lot of travel was required and it adds up! So research the cheapest and fastest way to get where you need to! We had a champagne tour booked at Moet but we did not plan our timeline well and keep in mind how far places are and the price for travel! So unfortunately we did not make it there since it was in another town almost 2 hours away and the train was over 100 euro, so instead we went to Disneyland Paris! Which I absolutely loved. Seeing that castle was almost as great as seeing the eiffel tower!

thanks for reading xx

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Parisian Pharmacies 101

Parisian Pharmacies 101

Bonjour!

I apologize for my lack of posts – these last two months I was finalizing my move from Buffalo to California and finally have some free time to get back to blogging!

I was just in France with two of my good friends from college and we had such an incredible time. We visited Paris, Nice, and Bordeaux. It was my first time to France and I absolutely loved it. Once of my favorite parts was the pharmacies at almost every corner. French pharmacies are a little different then ours over here in the U.S, sure they sell medicine and toothpaste, but they also sell higher end skincare (a little less the price too) that we usually have to purchase at Sephora or department stores.

One of my absolute favorite skincare brands, Caudalie, comes from the heart of Bordeaux and the creators of the line created it on their families winery and estate in Bordeaux. They discovered that the vines and grapes held much more power than just becoming wine. Their secret is polyphenols and they have multiple patents in their skincare. It all started in 1993 and now they have a hotel and spa on their estate which is apparently incredible. We unfortunately did not have time to visit their so it gives me all the more reason to go back!

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So, being in the home of Caudalie, I made sure to stock up on my favorites and even branch out and try a few other things from them. I had actually purchased so much that they gave me a free gift with purchase! It consisted of a Caudalie makeup case with small travel items!

The des vignes (1)

I of course had to add in some of the nougat I purchased from Laduree since they matched the color ways so well. Don’t worry – I made sure to buy macarons as well. So good. Three of my all time favorite products are in this picture above us, Make-up removing cleansing oil, deep cleansing exfoliator, and the moisturizing mask.

Make-removing Cleansing Oil – NUMBER ONE it smells amazing. It has almond oil in it and I love the smell of almond oil. It is also super gentle on the eyes, I often times just do a few pumps in my hand and then rub all over my face, especially the eye area and it does not burn or irritate them at all. I think rinse with warm water and even the most stubborn makeup comes off!

Deep Cleansing Exfoliator – this is one of the greatest exfoliators. It is spa grade and really gritty, that being said you are sure to get all of the dead skin and built up grime on your face off. I have had this product used on me in multiple facials and it is so awesome that you are able to use it in your own home! It is perfect for clearing up your skin and prepping it for a clean slate. Your skincare will absorb into the skin better which will in turn give you better results with your face.

Moisturizing Mask – Caudalie makes three really great masks and it is super hard to pick a favorite but since I was traveling when I purchased this travel size mask, I chose the moisturizing because it is perfect for tired and dry skin. I will apply a thin layer of this mask before bed or before a flight and just leave it on. It leaves my skin super hydrated and looking super healthy afterwards.

The des vignes

The Des Vignes collection is another one of my favorites from Caudalie, the smell is absolutely incredible. It is not an over powering fragrance, very refreshing and sweet smell. It has notes of neroli, musk, a hint of ginger liqour, and infusion of jasmine and orange blossom. Shown above are their body care products. One that stood out that I had to buy was the body & hair nourishing oil, I had never seen it before and it is absolutely AMAZING. Perfect for the ends of your hair, you’ll smell it all day. Or do a little on your legs, arm and chest when you’re tan for a nice hydrating shimmer.

I am so excited to use all of the products. France was an incredible time and I am so happy I was able to experience it! Also, now that I am home there will be much more content heading your way.

xoxo,

Annalee

Surviving a Juice Cleanse 101

Happy Monday everyone!

Per my last post – I promised a follow up on my juice cleanse and I am ready to report back. The cleanse went from Wednesday – Friday. 72 hours. Keep in mind this cleanse did allow you to eat once a day (thank God). I waited until now to write about it because I wanted to see how the weekend went after the cleanse.

Day 1 – Wednesday

The first day was definitely the hardest. I stayed home all day and did not leave the house until around 5 pm. I probably should have been out doing productive things and distracting myself so I wouldn’t be as hungry but I’d rather torture myself !! I drank two juices which was a total of 32 oz and plenty of water and honestly after the second one I felt ill – so around 2 pm I fell asleep for two hours while re-watching Stranger Things. After I woke up I felt super lethargic and just out of it, but not super hungry. I was not physically capable to take another sip of juice so since it was dinner-ish time I made a morning star protein burger. Only about 4 net carbs (grams of fiber minus total grams of carbs = net carb) and 17g of protein!! I had also planned on making brussels but I was too lazy.

I made myself tea to drink around 7 pm since you are not supposed to eat after then and that was tough. I was super hungry. My stomach was growling but I had to stay strong. I know I had two more juices to drink but I could not fathom drinking more, 100%  would have thrown it up. I ended up falling asleep around 10 pm and day one was finally over.

Day 2 – Thursday

Shockingly I woke up feeling GREAT. I was super energized and proud of myself for doing so well my first day and not cheating at all. Once noon rolled around though I felt very hungry and started to feel shaky. I drank one of the leftover juices I had and ended up eating a bowl of strawberries. Oh and added one scoop of that berry nut butter that I am in love with. Here is a picture.

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I had to listen to my body at this point and I would have not lasted until dinner without eating. This is the part of the cleanse where I started making my own rules. I also cheated again and ate around 2-3 pm for a late lunch versus dinner time but as long as I am only eating one full meal it does not really matter. I was shopping around with my cousin and she was hungry too. We ended up going to chipotle… is it the healthiest? Probably not but if you choose the right ingredients it can be. The rules said few carbs as possible. I ordered a bowl and did brown rice, steak, some cheese, and lettuce. Very plain jane and simple. I also had some guacamole. I am not sure if that is considered cheating but that was all I ate the rest of the day besides the juice.

Again, only managed to drink two again that day. I then ordered a peach tranquility tea from Starbucks later that night. It was SO good. Drank it plain. I felt great all that night and was not hungry at all.

LAST DAY. Day 3 – Friday

I ALMOST made it. I honestly forget how I felt this day, I should have written it down. I remember it being very cold (I am still in Buffalo and it has been snowing too frequently for April, makes me even more happier to know I will never deal with this weather again). I made coffee this morning and also had a juice. They said to avoid caffeine but I had gone two days so I treated myself. I needed some warmth on this snowy morning. I was super lazy this day (shocker) and just stayed in and watched movies.

I was not too hungry but I did end up having some more fruit this day again around noon, it seemed to work better for me and I realistically I can’t skip a morning – after noon snack. I ate around 6 and I hate to say it but I went back to chipotle and ordered the exact same thing again. I am such a creature of habit it is so bad. But again, sooo lazy!! I did not feel like cooking. This was a much easier option. I then went to Starbucks right after and ordered my tea again and I wish I could say I went to bed early but I had to bartend at 9 pm so I did not go to bed until 5 am.

Saturday – Day after cleanse

I woke up around noon on Saturday and immediately ordered a double shot espresso on ice from Starbs. I survived my altered version of the cleanse! Later that afternoon I ate a slice of my favorite avocado toast with some strawberries on the side and that lasted me until dinner time.

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Here is an old snap of the avo toast I make since I forgot to take a picture. It is my favorite

I came to a realization during this cleanse that it is really crazy how your schedule and routine can revolve so much around food. It is truly a mental game and half the time I eat solely just to eat! This cleanse showed me to just listen to my body and eat when I am hungry.

I am working on my diet still and restricting carb intakes and sugar. I definitely crave the feeling of drinking the juices and will also probably make smoothies as meal replacements.

Will I do a cleanse again? Probably not. It is super hard. Even my personalized version. I give people credit. I just saw on snapchat that Chelsea Handler is on a 5 day fast. No thanks. I would die.

So if you ever consider doing a cleanse, I say go for it! It is a great challenge for yourself.

 

Jet Lag Mask 101

Jet Lag Mask 101

So this post is a tad bit delayed because I traveled back to New York on the red eye from LA in order to truly test the “jet lag mask” from Summer Fridays. Just kidding, I went back for Easter to see my family but I won’t lie, I did feel semi-fabulous about taking the red eye and then using the jet lag mask after the flight to revive myself like every blogger and celeb talks about. But what they don’t tell you is that the red eye actually sucks. I sat in the middle seat and basically cried myself to sleep. These celebs prob take their private jet anyway.

Now let’s get down to business and let me touch on the Jet Lag Mask from Summer Fridays. First of all, never have I seen a skincare product blow up like this and I have never felt so inclined to buy something without barely knowing anything about it. Usually when I buy something on a whim, it is around midnight and I am a bottle deep in wine. I am notorious for drunk online shopping. But this jet lag mask I bought dead sober after seeing Marianna Hewitt’s (one of the creators) insta-story about how it is almost sold out! So I swiped up and within a week it was at my door.

ps. if you don’t follow Marianna, I highly recommend you do, she is super cool and here is the link to her blog, Life With Me.

I was so eager to try the mask because all that week while patiently waiting for it, everyone, I mean everyone, was posting about it. So I could not wait to see what the hype was about. So I used to once it came in just mid day and left it on for the entire day, you can apply it under your eyes which I liked a lot because usually masks say to avoid the under eyes.

Here are my before, during, and after photos. My skin was legitimately glowing. Tried to tame my duck face in my selfies but I just can’t help myself.

 

You bring a lot of joy into our lives.

I was surprised it did not really have a strong smell, there is a slight minty scent due to the peppermint oil, which also gives your skin a nice tingly feel. Marianna & Lauren (creators) did create this product without any harmful chemicals, artificial fragrances, or minerals, so it is an incredible product and definitely a mask worth buying.

It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and even a slight exfoliant to help expose even dewey and healthier skin. It really quenches your skin and makes you feel revived. After my long flight back to New York, I showered and then applied the mask, I then fell asleep for about five hours (whoops) and my skin felt very quenched and not so zombie like.

I have been incorporating it in my daily skin routine. After I cleanse, I apply and then do my serums and moisturizer. You can do any order you are comfortable with but I like the mask a lot. I have always had drier skin so I apply a decent amount and let it all soak in and leave it on my face.

Here is a cute excerpt about the mask found on Sephora,

“You don’t have to be a jetsetter to have that lag. Upgrade your skin to a business-class complexion—no matter what time your red-eye gets in, or what time your head hits the pillow. This uber-dewy, hydrating mask soothes thirsty, stressed-out skin by steeping cells in a nourishing mix of vitamins, ceramides, antioxidants, and gently exfoliating extracts. Skin looks instantly renewed, radiant, and ready for anything.”

It is sold at Sephora and directly on their website at Summer Fridays  .

 

 

 

Juice Cleanse 101

Juice Cleanse 101

If I had a dollar for every time I said I was going on a cleanse, I would easily have a millionaire dollars. Okay probably not. But I wish. So today is the day. I binged on so much candy and chocolate this past week, my jeans no longer button and I am now mentally and physically ready for a cleanse.

I have never successfully gone a cleanse before except one time in high school when the lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper drink was a thing. Mind you I would drink that and then continue to snack like no other. Hadn’t quite grasped the idea yet.

Since I am super lazy and do not have the energy or desire to make my own juice, I opted for going to Squeeze Juicery in Buffalo. They are an awesome locally own juice shop and everything is all super fresh and organic. This morning I bought 4 of the “Alive” juices (all of their juices and smoothies have catchy names mostly pertaining to well known songs).

Life can take youhigher than anyother kind of drug.

I am doing a three day cleanse so I consume 4 juices a day and then I have one meal for dinner, keeping it small and lean protein and veggies only. I honestly am not sure if I could handle three entire days of no eating. The idea actually scares me, I am sure I can do it but it would not be easy. My hope for this cleanse is to detox my body and mentally prepare myself to try out the Keto diet (don’t worry a post on that will follow).

Here is what squeeze juicery has to say about cleansing…

When you do a Squeeze juice cleanse, you flood your body with nutrients and give your digestive system a rest from solid food.  This allows your body to more easily flush out the bad and repair and rebuild damaged cells.

A healthy body and mind is what we all desire, and cleansing with pure cold-pressed juices packed with vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes is a great way to reset, restore and rebuild your health.

The potential benefits of doing a juice cleanse are limitless and include:

  1. Provide a pathway to a healthier lifestyle and a long-term commitment to better health
  2. Break out of poor dietary habits
  3. Reset your body
  4. Improve digestion and elimination
  5. Decrease gastrointestinal stress and bloating
  6. Increase natural energy
  7. Lower toxicity in your body
  8. Better sleep
  9. Strengthen your immune system
  10. Reduce inflammation
  11. Diminish allergies
  12. Improve appearance of skin, hair, and nails
  13. Invigorate metabolism
  14. Improve mental clarity

I am currently on day 1 and have had one juice so far. I am pretty hungry but I think it is mostly all mental. I just need to stay busy and make sure I drink enough water as well. For dinner I will eat some roasted veggies, probably brussels and then my favorite veggie burger from Morning star farms.

I’ll be back on day 3 to let you know how this all went. Prayers that I am still breathing by then.

 

Jet Lag Mask 101

Jet Lag Mask 101

So this post is a tad bit delayed because I traveled back to New York on the red eye from LA in order to truly test the “jet lag mask” from Summer Fridays. Just kidding, I went back for Easter to see my family but I won’t lie, I did feel semi-fabulous about taking the red eye and then using the jet lag mask after the flight to revive myself like every blogger and celeb talks about. But what they don’t tell you is that the red eye actually sucks. I sat in the middle seat and basically cried myself to sleep. These celebs prob take their private jet anyway.

Now let’s get down to business and let me touch on the Jet Lag Mask from Summer Fridays. First of all, never have I seen a skincare product blow up like this and I have never felt so inclined to buy something without barely knowing anything about it. Usually when I buy something on a whim, it is around midnight and I am a bottle deep in wine. I am notorious for drunk online shopping. But this jet lag mask I bought dead sober after seeing Marianna Hewitt’s (one of the creators) insta-story about how it is almost sold out! So I swiped up and within a week it was at my door.

ps. if you don’t follow Marianna, I highly recommend you do, she is super cool and here is the link to her blog, Life With Me.

I was so eager to try the mask because all that week while patiently waiting for it, everyone, I mean everyone, was posting about it. So I could not wait to see what the hype was about. So I used to once it came in just mid day and left it on for the entire day, you can apply it under your eyes which I liked a lot because usually masks say to avoid the under eyes.

Here are my before, during, and after photos. My skin was legitimately glowing. Tried to tame my duck face in my selfies but I just can’t help myself.

 

 

You bring a lot of joy into our lives.

I was surprised it did not really have a strong smell, there is a slight minty scent due to the peppermint oil, which also gives your skin a nice tingly feel. Marianna & Lauren (creators) did create this product without any harmful chemicals, artificial fragrances, or minerals, so it is an incredible product and definitely a mask worth buying.

It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and even a slight exfoliant to help expose even dewey and healthier skin. It really quenches your skin and makes you feel revived. After my long flight back to New York, I showered and then applied the mask, I then fell asleep for about five hours (whoops) and my skin felt very quenched and not so zombie like.

I have been incorporating it in my daily skin routine. After I cleanse, I apply and then do my serums and moisturizer. You can do any order you are comfortable with but I like the mask a lot. I have always had drier skin so I apply a decent amount and let it all soak in and leave it on my face.

Here is a cute excerpt about the mask found on Sephora,

“You don’t have to be a jetsetter to have that lag. Upgrade your skin to a business-class complexion—no matter what time your red-eye gets in, or what time your head hits the pillow. This uber-dewy, hydrating mask soothes thirsty, stressed-out skin by steeping cells in a nourishing mix of vitamins, ceramides, antioxidants, and gently exfoliating extracts. Skin looks instantly renewed, radiant, and ready for anything.”

It is sold at Sephora and directly on their website at Summer Fridays  .

 

 

 

Decorating 101

Decorating 101

I am by no means a decorating expert, unless you consider having multiple boards on Pinterest titled “dream house” or “apartment goals” expert level. None the less as much as I love living in fantasyland and scrolling through images of kitchens and bedrooms I will probably never own I was motivated more than ever to make my new bedroom something of a fantasy and reality. There is a boutique in Pittsburgh, PA named No. 14 and their store is very small but the way they have it decorated is that out of a dream. They utilize these huge floral wall decals and they were my main inspiration for my newest endeavor.

I researched a few places for the wall decal and urban walls has some beautiful ones and semi reasonable but since I have an unhealthy addiction to amazon, I searched there to see if they had any. Alas, they did and for $60 cheaper and free shipping! Luckily for me, the ones on amazon also gave me my inspiration for how to display them. They had them pictured with a framed photo in the center of the wall and the flowers around it, this was of course featured in a baby room but we will just ignore that fact.

Once they arrived I figured I would “fake” hang them before sticking them officially onto the walls even though they are reusable and not completely permanent which is nice. So I taped them up and eventually we just sort of winged it based on how they looked. It took about 15-20 minutes so it was super easy and now I feel like I live in a room out of a Pinterest post!

You can also see that I added gray curtains which help pull all of the colors nicely together. You can so see that I have a slight obsession with pillows and they have completely taken over my bed! Another great addition to my room was a vanity – I have always wanted one and could never seem to find the right one but I went to IKEA for the first time ever – WOW – what an experience. They have pretty much everything and they way they display everything is so cool. The second I saw a vanity there, I knew I needed it. An added bonus is that you see the floral wall decals in the vanity mirror reflection and it just looks so chic.

This also brings me back to my next aspect of decorating- I need either a vanity stool or I was thinking a lucite chair (found one on amazon, of course!). I am in no rush because I want to find the perfect one and because they are pretty expensive despite how teeny they are! Feel free to comment what you think would go best there.

Xox, Annalee