Yes, that's right. I went to France for 2 weeks. No husband. No kids. Just me and my mom exploring France and visiting family. The trip was amazing and went beyond any expectation that I had. It was a dream come true for me and I will be forever grateful for the experience. So here you go. I hope my trip inspires you to visit France for yourself.
Day 1. Part: Montmarte
I had a few hours to myself this afternoon, so I decided to explore this little part of Paris. Sacre Couer is one of the most popular landmarks in the city and sits on top of a hill in Montmartre. This Roman Catholic Church is indescribable and pictures do nothing to capture it. I wanted to climb to the top of the dome, but there was a bit of an altercation. The best part of the afternoon was walking through the charming, cobblestone streets of Montmartre. I sampled some macarons, sat at a little cafe and people watched. It was absolute perfection. I can’t wait to meet up with my mom for some more fun!
😂😂😂 COMMENTS FROM MY MOM - Day 3, Part: Palace of Versailles
First pic: Hey, I’m taking a picture can you try and look pretty?
Second pic: Prettier... you don’t look like you belong with the background.
Third pic: Smile or something. Pose. I see you do it all the time. Forget it, just stand there.
Thanks for being the most honest photographer out there. I’m going to leave you with the crazy Asian tourist groups 😂
Day 4. Part: Paris - just me
This afternoon was by far my favorite. There is something about walking through a busy, crowded city on a perfectly cool day that invigorates me. I still enjoy wandering around Sacramento even though I’ve lived there for more than 20 years.
But, this is Paris. I’ve never been here before. Everything was an exciting discovery. Norte-Dame Cathedral was my starting point and after marveling at the Catholic Church, I made my way out exploring. I spent hours walking through charming alleyways and huge, tree-lined streets enjoying both of them equally. I visited little boutique shops with quirky Paris souvenirs. I even popped my head into a Gap just because. I stopped at a brasserie and watched people rush around me while I quietly enjoyed a glass of red wine. I became much more competent at navigating the Metro system and even helped a few tourist find their bus route back to their hotel.
Today was one of the most memorable and satisfying days I’ve ever experienced. The best part was getting a selfie of my #alvesboys heading to school as I was resting from my adventurous day.
Day 6, Part: Le Castellet
I really can’t enough of these quaint little towns. Le Castellet is a medieval village where tourist flock when the weather is nice like it is today. The old buildings sit on top of a hill, and if you have the right angle, you can see a beautiful view of the sea. There just happened to a merchants fair of some sort today with wine tastings and vendors with cute little Knick knacks to browse. We walked up and down the twisty, brick paved streets to window shop. It was another lovely afternoon to add to my journal of French adventures
Day 8, Part: Monaco
I couldn’t believe it when my cousin asked if I wanted to go to Monaco. Ummmm... yeah of course I do! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I fell in love with this place. It has the feel of a busy city, but the quiet charm of a small town. Monaco is its own independent city-state and the second smallest (to the Vatican). I learned that on the “Le Petit Train” tour. Everything is immaculate and well-maintained. The port is full of ultra fancy yachts in the most beautiful blue-green water. Funny story, there are the most luxurious brands available in Monaco’s shopping area... Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Cartier. I got asked twice who made my shirt. It’s from Target 😜😂
After stuffing my face with an Italian lunch and washing it down with a glass of white wine, I wandered through a peaceful garden that led to views of the Mediterranean Sea. I kept looking up at the little windows in the buildings imagining that I could live there. I’d have to come up with a few million dollars, but hey, I can dream.
Day 8. Part: Nice
It was so hard to leave Monaco, but Nice was such a refreshing contrast. The city is livelier and louder. The main market square has a distinct black and white tiled ground and 7 figures of men sitting crisscross applesauce on tall poles. You will have to look at my pictures for reference because I sound like a crazy person. The little shops here are so cute and inviting. We visited a perfume shop, sampled (and bought) some nougat, ate Socca (chickpea pancakes), and tried some gelato before taking a stroll along the beach at sunset. As we made our way back to the main square, everything was lit up and so lovely. The 7 men figures were all in different colors and the fountains that I walked around in the day, were lit up to make a wonderful light show.
Day 10. Part: Cassis
Another day, another port city to explore. Cassis is very small compared to Marseille, but it is just as entertaining. One of the first stops was a biscuit and candy shop where we got to sample some of the most popular flavors of biscuits. Of course we had to purchase a variety for our morning coffee tomorrow. As if we didn’t have enough treats, we had to indulge with what my cousin calls the best gelato. It was beautiful and decadent. After walking the around the port, we took a quick break and I learned of a drink called a “Monaco”... beer with grenadine. I’ll have to give it a try someday.
Day 11. Part: Aix en Provence
This city sounds like a made up French name to me. Aix en Provence is home to art schools and a few universities, so it has a the feel of a college town. My cousin from Southern California and her husband Boris happened to be visiting the south of France, so we all met up. One of the first things we came across was a gathering square with an old fountain. My cousin told me that the surrounding building used to be a brothel, and the balconies were adorned with phallic designs. And yep, there they are (swipe!). My mom didn’t quite see it right away😜
Aix en Provence has many narrow, twisty roads lined with the cutest boutiques. This town is known for its “calisson” which is a candy made with almonds. Some people don’t have a taste for them, but I thought they were quite good. We built up quite an appetite walking around and ended the night with a hamburgers and fries for dinner.
“Daydream, imagine, and reflect. It’s the source of infinite creativity.”
I feel like I spend a lot of time daydreaming. I’m not wishing for anything I don’t already have. In fact, most of the time I’m thinking about something that I’m looking forward to. It could be having fun afternoon with my kids, crushing a business/fitness goal, or the anticipation of seeing someone I love. I keep positive thoughts in my head to keep a smile on my face.
Another insecurity overcome. Another fear squashed. Another boundary pushed. Be afraid, and do it anyway. I came into this photo shoot terrified, but I left feeling empowered and strong.
📷: Le Noir Photography
Earlier this week on the last day of a family vacation, I posted a picture that embodied a moment bliss and joy. I was relaxing in between a beautiful resort where my family was resting after some play at the pool and a beautiful beach with blue-green waters on the Caribbean Sea. The sun shining right above me and my favorite hat, there was a cool breeze to keep me refreshed, and I could hear the sounds of waves coming and going. Oh, and maybe I had a cocktail within reach. The best part was that it was captured by my adoring husband. If you haven’t seen the picture, it’s still there.
Why do I bring it up? Almost all of my friends are awesome. You like my #momlife shenanigans. You probably roll your eyes at mushy husband stuff I talk about. You laugh at my dorky posts. You ask me questions about style and food. You trust me with your health. You support my business in network marketing. You cheer me on when I perform. You even join me in these performances. You allow me to be genuine and embrace me for who I am. And if you don’t do these things, you have been gracious enough not to say anything negative to me.
All of you, except for one person. One person felt the need to make some pretty negative comments about a picture that captured a wonderful moment for me. I’m not going to go into detail about it because I’m not bothered by this one person. He/she doesn’t have an impact on my life. There is no real relationship there. I was going to just brush it under the rug and forget about it. Instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to spread a couple of thoughts of positivity from a negative encounter.
- No one is perfect, and no one has the perfect life no matter how much it may seem on social media. I always try to put my best, but genuine face forward. I try not to over filter/facetune my pictures. I would hate for someone to see me in real life and think, “She doesn’t look anything like her Instagram!” So yes, I will post a picture with a few crows feet, frizzy hair and no makeup. I will absolutely post a picture when I am not my most fit in a swimsuit. Trust me, I see the fluffiness! But that’s what I look like right now. While I will definitely make efforts to better myself, it really isn’t anyone’s else business, and I won’t apologize for it. Especially when the intent is show a happy moment. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. They either give you the opportunity to improve yourself, or allow you to embrace what makes you unique. And when you have that perspective, they aren’t really flaws are they?
- Everyone has a right to opinion and speak honestly. However, there is a lot to just being kind and decent. Unfortunately people that you barely know, can be cruel to you to make themselves feel better. The issue is an unhappiness or insecurity in them. Don’t let that spread to you. The only opinions that should matter to you are your own and of those that truly care about you.
I feel like making a call to action, and I want you to join me. I’m going to do more to positively impact peoples lives as many do mine. Whether it’s encouraging a new hairstyle, chatting over coffee, giving parenting advice, or supporting a new venture... I want my friends to know I think they are awesome. Again, so many of you are already so kind and supportive. Not just towards me but in general. Live your life for you and for those you love. Be kind, aware and considerate.
Don’t be afraid to take a happy, joyful snapshot in your swimsuit even though you aren’t in your best shape, and go ahead make it your profile picture so everyone can see how happy you were in that moment.
Straight from stage at the 2018 Plexus® Legacy Convention, Plexus Slim® Hunger Control—the power-packed #pinkdrink with a hunger controlling fiber that help you feel fuller. You heard that right! It’s the perfect drink to sip poolside this summer. Time to get plexysexy friends!!!
This shirt was on sale for $4 at Old Navy. I couldn’t pass it up! I have never worn a plaid shirt before. I think this is a classic trend I can continue with 😊
Clear blue skies, gentle breezes and fluffy blooms everywhere. Spring time in Sacramento is so beautiful, and I'm so excited to get to wear shorter dresses now. It is perfect weather for a casual t-shirt dress and platform wedges, which happens to be a staple for me.
Since starting Plexus, I've been delighted to observe our Nation taking a slight turn towards holistic health. We aren't quite as trusting of what Western medicine force-feeds us and we are starting to wonder if there might be other options/approaches to wellness. We have always been comfortable with the idea of supplementation during sickness. We sip hot herbal teas with honey and take Vitamin C tablets. We purchase electrolytes and make turmeric broth soups. Maybe we put a garlic clove in our ears to fend off infection. We implement natural health remedies that our Granny and Granddad taught us generations ago. So why, then, is the thought of supplementation during health so foreign?
I think when we are feeling well, it's hard to remember that our bodies are still desperate for nutrients, vitamins and minerals. We assume that our bodies must be in balance. It's only when those pesky symptoms manifest that we have this thought or fear that our bodies are OUT of balance. The Plexus health system is all about supplementation in health, or some may call it PREVENTATIVE HEALTH. If you're a Triplex customer, you are doing your body wonders in this department.
Sugar feeds disease. It also feeds the yeast in our gut that is responsible for holding our immunity hostage. When you drink Slim, you are supplementing your total body health. Google the ramifications of glucose imbalance! Between 70-80% of our immunity lives in our gut. If you're not promoting a healthy gut ecosystem (killing the bad bacteria and replenishing the good), your immunity doesn't stand a chance. Our ProBio 5 probiotic might just be the simplest thing you can take/do to improve your total body wellness. Finally, disease cannot live in oxygen. Our Bio Cleanse oxygenates our bodies as well as flushes out free radicals that so negatively impact our health. This triplex trifecta is the BEST preventative health combo available.
Our bodies need supplementation in times of sickness AND in health. So give your bodies wellness. Try supplementing your bodies with plants (herb and food-sourced nutrients that our bodies recognize) before you give your bodies pills.
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is vital to maintaining good health. Studies have shown that a sleep deprived brain reacts much like one that is intoxicated with alcohol. Chronic and severe sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure. On the less severe side, lack of sleep can cause the inability to focus, make sound decisions, and inhibits basic body functions. The most common concern for many people is how a bad nights sleep will prevent weight loss.
A tired body is a stressed body. Stress related hormones are then released into your body to cope. Cortisol, for example, allows the body to conserve energy in a "fight or flight" response to lack of sleep. In other words, your body wants to hang on to fat! The imbalance of other stress hormones (ghrelin and leptin) can cause you to feel hungry and unsatisfied when you are really in need of more zzz's. Then there is insulin, the master of hormones and a key player for your metabolism. Even a few days of insufficient sleep can negatively affect your insulin production and the body's response. This is cause for concern because insulin controls how your body handles fat and sugar in your blood. When it cannot process that fat and sugar, your body then converts the excess to body fat.
A person that is sleepy can lack the mental fortitude it takes to make good eating decisions. When I used to wake up exhausted, my first thought was how many cups of sugar-laden coffee I was going to have that day. Tired people also have a tendency to snack more than well rested people.
I'm a cool mom... or at least I try really hard to be. I have a passion for health and fitness, and I love sharing with the world.