Parisian Pharmacies 101


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.



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.


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.


Farmer’s Market 101

Now let’s get this straight, I am not a farmer’s market person. I would have no idea what I am looking for or what I would even need. It is far too fresh and healthy for me but I am trying to work on my health so here we go…

Every Wednesday in our new little town they have a farmers market and once summer hits they pick up greatly and people walk over with their baskets of wine and beverages and it becomes more of a social hour.

This last Wednesday it was a little rainy out, so the market had not reached its full capacity of customers. But while walking around I was able to see the freshest fruits and veggies I have ever seen! They also had farm fresh eggs in a variety of colors. Something about it all made me want to throw out every box of cereal and cookies in my pantry and just live off of it all. But then we saw the crepe truck and the second I smelled Nutella I knew that wouldn’t work out.


I ended up going home with a few great things including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and a “berry freak” healthy nut butter. The nut butter was a whopping $19 but worth every penny. It is SO good and so good for you. I added a photo of all of the ingredients listed and called a few that I knew were beneficial for you but didn’t know exactly why so I did some research. I have been trying to learn about every unique ingredient I hear about because every time I walk down the aisles of Whole Foods I feel like I am reading a difference language and greatly missing out on what beneficial stuff is out there for you!


Maca powder – naturally high in minerals such as, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has up to 20 essential fatty acids, lipids, fiber, protein, and amino acids. It is often times recommended to those with adrenal fatigue to help nourish them and it helps reduce stress. Chia seeds as well provide a rich amount of antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals.

Goji berries provide high levels of antioxidants and nutrients, they also help in many ways to promote healthy skin, protect eye health, keep your energy and mood up, boost fertility, and my personal favorite – detoxify the liver!

Acai berries are known as a superfood and are full of anti-aging and weight loss properties. They have plenty of antioxidants but it does not have any of healthy benefits than its similar fruits. A lot of times beauty products utilize acai oil due to their strong antioxidants.

So I guess you could say after eating multiple spoonfuls of this pure deliciousness I felt slightly better about myself knowing all of the healthy ingredients inside. I also put it on top of a rice cake and added a few slices of the fresh strawberries and it tasted even better than it looks (even though I did spend a good five minutes perfectly arranging the strawberry slices).


Thanks for reading,

Xo, Annalee