Do It Yourself Gluten Free/Organic Hair Masks

Hey you DIY junkies! A couple days ago I participated in #Chichats via Twitter hosted by event extraordinaires, Cece and Melinda. The topic was pampering and they asked a series of questions regarding salons, spas and relaxing. While I love a good massage or new hairstyle, I also love saving a buck by making my own remedies.

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Don’t get me wrong I would never trust myself with cutting my own hair but when it comes to hair masks, we all can conquer! Hair masks are easy to create and the best part is you can alter your recipe depending on allergies or even what is in your fridge.

Some tips for homemade masks are…

  1. Depending on hair length you may need to double to recipe.
  2. If possible use a blender to evenly mix ingredients together. If not, make sure to really smooth ingredients such as avocado. This avoids clumps of avocado to get stuck.
  3. To apply, section your hair into quarters and apply from root to ends.
  4. Do not leave a mask on too long because the ingredients will dry and harden causing a mess. Let it sit for about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Style and lock in the essentials oils. Avoid washing for at least 24 hrs.

Here is a list of some masks I use at home about once or twice a week.

 Avocado Mask

  • One avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Avocado has essential oils that are great for shine!

Banana Mask

  • 1 Banana
  • Tsp of Almond Extract
  • Bananas carry many vitamins that are crucial to our health. This mask will help split-ends and breakage!

Egg Mask

  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Plain Yogurt
  • Eggs carry protein that will strengthen hair and prevent from hair loss and bring shine!

Honey Mask

  • ¼ Cup of Honey
  • ¼ Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Refrigerate before use. This is a great moisturizer and will combat frizz!

Coconut Mask

  • 4 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • I Egg
  • 5 Drops of Lavender Oil
  • Great for hair growth and aids in shine!

Hope you enjoy the masks! You can even mix and match some of the recipes together. Let me know if you have any favorites! For more beauty secrets check my Pintrest beauty board out!




*Picture taken from

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Peach Pie

Tulle and Trinkets

Peach Pie Recipe

The other weekend while grocery shopping, Chris was drooling over the store-bought peach pies, but I just can’t bring myself to buy grocery store  baked goods. So, to surprise him after his week away for work, I baked a homemade peach pie on Friday afternoon.

Peach Pie Recipe

I got the recipe from my mom, and it was incredibly simple and turned out really well. The crust was flaky, and the peach center was gooey and sweet. Delicious! Here’s my pie and crust recipe:

Peach Pie Recipe:

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups peeled, fresh peaches

Combine sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Add sugar mixture to peaches and toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Place in 10″ pie crust and dot top with butter. Place top crust on pie and crimp edges. Cover edge with…

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Grilled Lettuce – on its own, and in a salad with potatoes, cornichon and peppered mackerel

food to glow

DSC_0011Can you believe I am asking you to grill lettuce? Isn’t that the one vegetable that we can just leave the heck alone? I know it sounds bonkers, but it really is quite something. As different to raw lettuce as microwaved egg is to scrambled in butter. Another level.

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My 5 Favorite Gluten Free Beauty Products!

Living in a city where food is one of the many attractions and distinctions can be one of the best places to be. Deep-dish pizza, Italian sausage and the many food festivals are only a few things I can get just steps away from my home. The only problem is living gluten & dairy free in the midst of all this scrumptious temptation.

Living gluten free for about three years has restricted me but also has heightened my health awareness. Spending years of researching how food can affect your body is interesting but thankfully, many companies are now making gluten free goodies that I thought I would never be able to eat again. But, just as soon as I took a bite from my gluten free doughnut, I realized just how much this protein could affect my life.

Interested in beauty, I found that gluten is found in most products such as, shampoo, conditioner, make-up, facial cleansers, toners – the list goes on. And, while I thought I was on the right track it took months to find that my products were making my skin itch, literally. After much research I found some tips and brands for your to try!

Now, many brands will claim to be gluten free but be careful because they may use the same equipment for products with gluten, which causes cross contamination. This happens a lot with large companies such as CoverGirl, Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena. Lets check out a couple of my favorites!

  1. DermOrganic Shampoo & Masque Conditioner. I have been using these products for a couple years now and they are amazing! These products are available online and at selected Marshalls and Nordstrom Racks and not too expensive! They are gentle while still leaving a clean feeling. They are vegan, do not use animal testing, use no artificial preservatives, sulfate & gluten free, use no sodium chloride, parabens, mea, dea or dyes. They also are have hair products and skincare but the Aragon oil serum is my favorite! Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.10.02 PM
  2.  Trish McEvoy ‘Even Skin’ Face Primer. It is soft and a great primer to use before using a mineral based foundation. It is dermatologist-tested, not tested on animals, and paraben and gluten free. It can be purchased at hereScreen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.08.39 PM
  3. I love using mineral makeup because it is light and great for our skin! My favorite brands are Everyday Mineral and Alima Pure! They are both inexpensive and also have samples that can be ordered to test! The mineral foundations are my favorite! Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.16.36 PM
  4. Skincare is very important and my favorite combo is from Cleure. The combo comes with a daily cleanser, toner and moisturizer that will not clog pores. Products are salicylate free, gluten free, paraben free, hypoallergenic, animal cruelty free and made in the USA.Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.19.14 PM
  5. LIPS! For beautiful luscious lips I stick with Red Apple Lipstick! My favorite color is Fuzzy Navel.Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.20.39 PM

For more information or to discover more fun products follow Gluten Free Makeup Gal! This is where I started and continue because she comes out with lists each year that are confirmed gluten free. Hope this helps!



*Photos were taken from the websites of DermOrganic, Trish McEvoy, Everyday Mineral, Cleure & Red Apply Lipstick!

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Chicagoians, #WatchForTheSigns!

Many of you Chicagoians maybe gearing up for one of the greatest summer festivals: Lollapalooza, but you may be missing out if you don’t #WatchForTheSigns! The signs of what? Only, one of Chicago’s hottest nightclubs:  The Underground.

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This chic, hidden gem located at 56 West Illinois has been tucked away and quiet for almost half a year. With rumors buzzing about the reconstruction, the CEO, Billy Dec is finally addressing the opening in this creative video. Completely rehabbed Dec is brining you The Underground II and it’s even sexier than ever! Doubling its original size the new and improved hot spot will be updated with new tech and design components. The Lounge will incorporate modern elements including  “plush seating with funky patterns, rich woods, swanky music and a one-of-a-kind groundbreaking mixology bar never before seen in a nightclub of this genre.” The club will reflect much of what the previous spot entailed, but feature a 40-ft digital video as the back drop to famous DJ’s.

August 1st is the big day for the opening! The party will continue through the fourth but I have the exclusive schedule just for you here. In order to get your name on the list you must #WatchForTheSigns! Follow The Underground on Twitter here or Billy Dec for clues!

For guest list email  & for table reservations email



*Image from Google and video from The Underground Vimeo

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My Life on HOLD!

The past four months have been a world-wind. Working along side with some of the most creative and interesting individuals, getting invited to Chicago’s hottest events to surgery, bed rest and endless reruns of the infamous Laguna Beach. Described as an extrovert and a “doer” the last thing I can imagine myself is being one-to-one with my beautiful Natori Ikat print bed sheets for weeks. Yes, did I mention home in the city of Rock-and-Roll Cleveland.


This marks one week past my surgery on both my feet and countless hours on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, looking at friends enjoying the beautiful weather in Chicago. Today also marks the day I received my diploma from DePaul University. I did it!

While I sit and feel pity for myself and drag about the plans that I don’t have for life I get a phone call. A 30-minute phone call with one thing remembered: take risks and don’t make excuses. Thanks dad for the encouraging call because now I have the sudden urge to job hunt, blog, heal and get back to Chicago.

So, prepare yourself for the blog to be filled with new music, DIY, beauty, recipe & so much more!


The Art Institute Welcomes You To: Night Heist

With so many fun events going on in our busy city it can be difficult to decide what to do. If you are bombarded by events and feel your friends pulling you in different directions, think no more! What if I told you, that you could experience a concert, art exhibits, and philanthropy all in one place? You are invited to The Evening Associates and The Art Institute of Chicago’s third annual fundraising celebration—Night Heist.

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On April 26, 2013 at 8 p.m. the doors of the Modern Wing will open to a night of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music entertainment and a silent auction. You will also be able to go behind the scenes of the famous art exhibit, Picasso and ChicagoLive performances by Wait, What?, Chicago’s four-piece homemade indie rock band and Keith Masters, a Chicago native whose style includes a little bit of hip-hop, electro, pop, glitch, dub and disco music. His hit songs include, “Gary Busey” and “Tonite’s Hero.” To learn more, join the artist on Kickstarter to support his talents.

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The Evening Associates, Art Institute members, welcome everyone to join their love for art through their events held about once a month. This group of Chicagoans are passionate for spreading awareness about the museum while offering a night of unique fun and socializing. To learn more about the event and Evening Associates click here.

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So while you plan your weekend remember that this Friday night you can celebrate your passion for art & music in one unique space! Tickets for the event are $85-150 and available online or by calling (312) 443-3132. Proceeds go to the museum. See you there!

Sammi Raines


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