Best of Beauty: The Bun and Other Fun Things

Today’s Beauty Inspiration

Photographer: Marcel Vocino

Hair: Rachel Hopkins



I have been wanting to try this hairstyle for so long and my friend Rachel was kind enough to do my hair. I have never been great with doing my hair, I usually just take a shower and let it dry and that’s that, so this is cool for me.

I paired this hairstyle with one of my favorite looks: sunglasses, shorts, a tee, and another shirt wrapped around my waist. The extra shirt comes in handy while walking in the city. If it ever gets a little too breezy out, you have a sweater.




As you can see, I grabbed my camera and some of my friends, and I walked around the city a bit! Here are some fun little snapshots of the day. Enjoy!


Rach’s shoes.


The Daily Thistle: Downtown Lights & Sights

Since I have a few short months left in the Big Apple, I’ve been documenting my little travels more frequently, as I want to remember this trip fully. So, this was how I spent my Monday!

 I had a few errands to run around Chelsea and after I met up with my favorite person, Dana, and we had a casual stroll through SoHo. It was 80 degrees and sunny, such a beautiful day.

I’m going to miss this city so much! I will always hold a special place in my heart for NYC.



Lots of pops of vibrant blues, pinks, and greens!



Shorts: Vintage Levi’s

Shirt: Vintage Eric Clapton Band Tee

Shoes: Dr. Martens

Sunglasses: Ray Ban

These cookies are from the best little bakery in SoHo, called Vesuvio Bakery. Check it out if love chocolate cookie goodness and happen to be in the area!




A cute feather head piece.


Dana Landman, my favorite little Brit.

Overalls: Top Shop (Petite)

Shirt: American Apparel

Glasses: Ray Ban


Shoes: Converse

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Enjoy the day!

Brooklyn Bound: The Botanical Gardens

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! Today, my roommate Kayla and I traveled to Brooklyn to see the Botanical Gardens in Prospect Park, a beautiful oasis full of gorgeous Spring blooms. It was the last good weekend for the Spring time Cherry Blossom garden and everyone flocked to see the sights. We even crashed a wedding and sang along to that song that was in the last scene of The Parent Trap movie, you know that song about love. It made me realize that if and when I get hitched, it will most definitely be a garden wedding. It was so beautiful!

Here are some of the photos I took while wandering around with Kayla. From beginning to end, It was such a lovely afternoon.



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My favorite part of the park was definitely the Lilac garden. The colors and aromas were simply intoxicating. I could have stayed there forever. Lilacs also remind me of the traditional road trips my family used to take to idyllic Mackinac Island, near Lake Superior in Michigan. I hope to travel back there this summer with my mom and sister for the annual Lilac Festival in June. Fingers crossed!





Th overalls were also a favorite recent purchase of mine, only $10 from a cute vintage shop.

Overalls: Gap

Shoes: Dr. Martens

Shirt: Brandy Melville

Bag: Vintage Coach

Sunglasses: Ray Ban

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I hope you enjoyed our little adventure! Stick around for more fun times ahead!

Best of Beauty: A Citrus Skin Scrub

I was online the other day, looking for some skin cleansing remedies. My skin has been acting up lately and I wanted to find a healthy, cheap skin cleanser. Luckily, I found this amazing simple recipe for a lemon and sugar skin scrub. It’s easy, fast, and it works like an absolute dream. My skin feels so soft and smooth. The after-effects of this skin scrub are immediate and it instantly enhanced my skins natural radiance. This scrub also has many other benefits, including the reduction of age spots, evening skin tone, getting rid of dead skin cells, helping with acne, blackheads, sun spots, and many more common, problematic skin issues.

This remedy is perfect for Spring and Summer months, as you will most likely be outside; tanning, running around, getting more exercise, more sun, more sweat. So in order to have good skin, it’s crucial to have a good face routine. Here are some good tips for keeping good care of your skin: apply moisturizer and sun block daily, cleanse the face every morning/evening, and make sure to pay good attention to applying those moisturizers and sun lotions throughout the day. It takes no more than 5 or 10 minutes, and you can do it without emptying your bank account!


What You’ll Need

Some paper towel (cut and folded into squares)

Some sugar ( I used organic, granulated sugar, just because your skin is very important and so it’s equally important to apply quality ingredients and products on to your skin)

Lemons (I have three)

A clean/rinsed face (make sure you rinsed with warm water prior to scrub, your pores will open and that will give you a deeper and more thorough scrub and cleanse)

Honey (if you have sensitive skin, I recommend adding some honey, it will lessen any extra or unneeded abrasion)



1. Apply some lemon pulp to a paper towel, add some sugar (and honey, if desired) and make sure it’s all packed on the towel.

2. Scrub in circular motions around the face, making sure to get the T-zone area, as that is the most effected area for blackheads, sun damage, skin spots, etc.

3. Gently do this as many times as you see fit. Have many paper towel squares so when they get too dirty you can replace them for a better and cleaner scrub.

4. When you’re finished, rinse your face with cool water and dry face with a clean towel or cloth.

5. Apply some moisturizer to your skin.


There you have it! Enjoy!

Hummingbird How-To: Gluten-Free Cupcakes

My friend Sarah was in town to visit me; she came all the way from my hometown in Wisconsin. Sarah is one of my dearest and oldest friends – we had such an amazing time together. She and I love to go on adventures. So, we went to Central Park and saw lots of beautiful scenery, even in the rain. I showed her the Subway, which she found quite interesting, and walked up and down the city until we couldn’t walk any more. The second day we was here, I thought we could do something fun for my blog, so we came up with a recipe for gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Sarah is lactose intolerant and can’t have any gluten either, so she has lots of cool, easy and healthy recipes.

We went to the market, picked up the ingredients, and got to it! This was what we did. She was a wonderful assistant and the cupcakes turned out so delicious, I was convinced we should audition for Cupcake Wars.


What You’ll Need

1 1/3 cup water

1 cup veg. oil

4 large eggs

1 cupcake mix box (gluten-free)

Toppings (I have strawberries and blueberries with powdered sugar)


1. Make sure you have all of things you’ll need, like cupcake pans (I have two pans with 6 cupcake holes), a couple bowls of various sizes to do mixing, pouring, etc., napkins or towels, utensils, oven mitts, plates, the list goes on. Make sure to “Pam” the cupcake pans.


2. Grab a large bowl, add 1 1/3 cups water, crack 4 eggs into it, and add the vegetable oil (1 cup). Whisk until creamed.

3. Add the gluten-free cupcake mix to the bowl (all of it), and slowly stir it in until all of it is completely blended.



4. Pour the mix into the cupcake pans, it may get messy, so have a napkin on hand.



5. When the oven in ready, put the cupcakes into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, check periodically with a toothpick or small utensil of some kind, insert it into a cupcake, if it’s clean then it’s done.


6. Take them out of the oven, and start to go around the edges of the cups with a knife to separate them. This makes it smoother and easier when you are taking them out of the pan.

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7. Start to put them on a board or a rack of some kind, so you can let them cool.


8. When cooled, you can start the fun part! To decorate mine, I made a cupcake holder out of old newspapers I had lying around. It’s a bit tricky, but you must have a steady hand and an extra friend to help. To secure, find some string and wrap it around the cupcake/newspaper, tie it tight!

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9. Then, I added strawberries, blueberries, and powdered sugar!


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I hope you enjoyed this little recipe. It’s great fun and you can personalize it however you please. Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah!


Best of Beauty: Studio Secrets

I hope you don’t mind if I take you back in time to one of my very first photoshoots. It was in Chicago, with a wonderfully talented photographer, Meredith, and hair and makeup artist, Lynee, who was from the Milwaukee area. The pictures from the shoot turned out beautiful, I had a great time and learned a ton. I remembered Lynee well because she had a natural talent for hair and makeup and she was so kind and warm on set. Because it was one of my very first shoots, I was a bit nervous. So it’s always nice when you meet down-to-earth people.

We met on several occasions after the shoot in Chicago and always got along very well. Lynee’s career has blossomed since then. She started as a desk secretary at a great hair salon in Wisconsin and was eager to learn more about the industry, as she shadowed a talented stylist and learned to hone her skills.

Fast forward to 2014-2015, and she is signed with Ford Artists in Chicago and Miami, has worked on set with big names like Sam Smith, shooting for Teen Vogue, and frequently works with Bryan Whitely, a very talented photographer in Chicago. To sum her up, she is a beautiful person inside and out, with amazing talent.

So, I recently got in touch and asked if she would be interested in writing up a little something for my blog. She very kindly agreed. We brainstormed and came up with something very cool indeed.

Lynee tests out tons of beauty products, on sets or at home. Here are some of her current favorites.


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On Set and In the Studio

I work away from home constantly, so I purposely make sure I have things in my hair and makeup kits that remind me of my favorite places and memories. My models don’t mind so much either, as they feel pampered by the products’ rich scents and beautiful bottles! Of course, you can get by using drugstore products, but the luxury of these make the experience oh-so much sweeter.

*Pictured, from left to right

1) Koh-I-Noor brush. A recent purchase at Chicago’s Americas Beauty Show. This small, quiet and unassuming booth was a haven among the usual noise and flash of the show. The company’s Italian owner was almost apologetic about their high prices, but the quality of their brushes was obviously worth the expense. Now it’s a staple when I’m brushing out bouncy Hollywood locks, and reminds me of my aunts horse stable!

2) Ranunculus Flower. In the warmer months I have gardens surrounding my house and I care for them every morning, when I’m having my morning coffee. And when I leave home I snip off a flower and see how long I can keep it alive floating in a dish of water.

3) Oribe Gold Lust Hair Oil. One of the most luxurious hair brands, I’ve filled my entire kit with his products, as well as my showers and baths at home. Its’ scent brings me right back to where my heart is, and of course the results I get with the hair are nothing short of magical! I finish off a hair style by running a tiny drop over my palms and smoothing through the ends.

4) Hermès Un Jardin En Mediterranee perfume. I bought this specifically after a trip with my husband to Saint Lucia, still my favorite island of all time! Whenever the wind blew, the scent of Saint Lucia island was out of this world. I couldn’t have been more pleased when I found Hermès had captured it in a bottle! The last thing I do before I begin my day is dab a bit of it on.

I just want to say thank you Lynee for writing this up, I love the products you picked, and I hope we get a chance to grab lunch soon! I will be linking her website as well her Instagram so you can go check her out! Thanks!

Lyneé Ruiz,

Instagram: @lyneeruiz

Hummingbird How-To: Blooms, Blossoms & Bouquets

Happy Saturday!

Spring is in the air.

Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and flowers are blooming. I went on a little trek in New York yesterday and I stumbled across a beautiful little flower shop in Chelsea. And since it’s peak season for blooms, blossoms and bouquets, I thought it would be nice to share with you a very easy way to prep your Spring time blooms just in time!


Yesterday, I was originally on the look out for another, particular flower shop around 23rd street, I believe. ( I have always been directionally challenged so when I found out I was headed the wrong way I wasn’t too surprised) But I don’t mind getting lost as long as I have no where important to go or I’m not running late. I think it can be a lot of serendipitous fun. Getting lost and finding a little cafe or a great vintage store somewhere, especially in Manhattan, is a wonderful thing.

The flower shop had beautiful, healthy flowers and even a cat named Hazel. Within 10 minutes we were best friends. I only wish I would’ve had my camera with me. It was definitely a Kodak moment.

The owner of the shop and I got to chatting and he told me some interesting tips for keeping your blooms healthy.


1. Make sure you have all of the tools and things that you need. I have a scissors, a knife, a penny, a vase full of water, and some special flower powder for healthy growth and nutrition


3. After you’ve removed the paper and unbound the flowers, lay out them all out. Then, cut all of the ends off of the stems. This not only ensures that the stem will receive enough nutrients, it will also help the flowers fit into the vase nicely.


4. After that, grade the ends of the stems with a knife. This step is usually only for the thicker stems. The owner of the flower shop told me, for my particular bouquet, only do this for my Hydrangea.

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5. Arrange the flowers so they’ll fit nicely and cut them so the stem isn’t too long for your vase. When I arrange my blooms, I always tend to put my favorites in the middle, which are usually the bigger flowers; like Hydrangeas, Hyacinths, some Tulips or a few Roses. I then take the smaller, more delicate blooms, like Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath), Daisies, greenery or leaves, and arrange them in between and around the bigger ones.

6. After that’s all finished, have your vase ready and fill about 2/3 of the way. And if you have it, mix in the special flower powder along with it. I also add a penny into the vase as well. I’ve heard this helps make the bouquet last longer.



7. Gently place the blooms into the vase and feel free to experiment with whimsical ideas. For instance, I chose an old tea pot. I thought it matched the flowers quite well and gave it a very charming and unique look.

8. Make sure you have all of the flowers in your vase, and the ingredients as well. Now, you’ve done it! A beautiful little piece of Spring in your home.