September 15, 2014

You're Invited: Natori + Made By Girl

Hey everyone! If you're in NYC on Wednesday evening September 17th - be sure to stop by & join Designer Josie Natori & myself at Natori here in NYC, for an exclusive night of shopping + cocktails!  You'll also be able to view her beautiful high-end collection of clothes + see my top picks for Fall - in person.  In the meanwhile, here are 4 of my favorite pieces from the beautiful Natori collection... So, come visit the boutique this Wednesday - you won't want to miss it!

You can click on each photo (below) to go to it's page.

-post by jen ramos

September 12, 2014


So excited to announce that I will be co-hosting a 'Private Shopping Party' at Madewell NYC on the Upper East Side on Sept 27th.  If you're around please stop by!!

It's between 1-4pm and you'll be able to view & purchase some of my artwork in person, both Made By Girl and Cocoa & Hearts + many sweet treats & pretty girly drinks!!  There are other reasons to drop in as well...such as 20% off discount for purchasing $125 or more from Madewell & more!

Sooooo, save the date, stop in, say hello & leave with a few goodies! Check out the Facebook Event page here and RSVP to

-post by jen ramos

September 10, 2014

FOOD: Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread

Hi there, Amanda here from A Life Well Lived. Today I am sharing my recipe for Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread.  Zucchini seems to be everywhere this time of year.  If anyone has a zucchini plant, you know that is grows like a weed in the let's put it to use before Summer ends!

In fact, I'm trying my hand at my own garden and I am up to my ears in zucchini. So, I thought this would be the perfect way to use some of it. Plus it is a sneaky way to add some vegetables to your day by combining it with chocolate. Now those are some veggies that I will eat!  I added some coconut flake to the top before I baked it for an added crunch. The result is a tender quick bread that is moist, flavorful and all together delicious. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread 

2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2  teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then gently stir into egg and zucchini mixture. Fold in chocolate.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake loaf for 55 - 60 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (You can also adapt this recipe for muffins, just use a muffin tin and adapt the bake time to about 20 -25 minutes)
Recipe makes 1 loaf of Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread.

-post and images by amanda fredrickson

September 8, 2014

design: boho glam

Hello MBG readers! It's Lisa from Gem Daily this Monday with a look at a fun fresh space I recently stumbled upon on Domaine by the Swedish designer Isabelle Dahlin!  I am such a sucker for bohemian vibes and spaces that feel very imperfect and lived-in and this space is the epitome of boho, effortless glam from top to bottom. The key is really picking textiles that blend well together, textures that create interest and finishes that aren't too fussy.

Check out some of my picks that can help you get the look!

1// leather chair 2//chandelier 3//pillow 4//pouf 5//rug 6//console 7//art 8//basket
-post by lisa

September 5, 2014

Fashion: Culottes Trend

Hi everyone! It's Adri of Adri's World with my last post as a MBG contributor.  It's been an amazing experience & I am very thankful to all of you for following along!

With Fashion Week just starting here in NYC, today I wanted to discuss a trend that many fashionable ladies are wearing: culottes, also known as knee-breeches.  These pants have been around a while, but not many have added them to their closets. They can be worn with a fitted top, silk cami, a graphic tee or even a white shirt.

Because of the length, the shoes you wear are very important! I think they would look great with a pair of animal print pumps. Add a gorgeous bag, a gold necklace and gold bangle.
No day look is complete without a pair of sunglasses (love those gold speckled ones), a beautiful shade of red lipstick and an amazing scent—perfect!

Do you like this trend and will you be adding it to your closet?

- post by Adri Reynoso

September 4, 2014


This is a series called, "Let's Get This Look" - where we put together a SIMILAR wardrobe to help you "get that look" based on what others are wearing.  It's that simple.  If you missed the previous post, here it is.

model image via denim blog // chambray top via jcrew // hermes belt via ebay
//denim via zara // sunglasses by stella mccartney via shop bop // hand bag by gigi newyork // booties by joe's jeans 

-post by jen ramos

September 2, 2014

FOOD: Chocolate Cherry Creme Tarts

Hi Made By Girl! This is Jen from Pretty Eats with a beautiful and decadent end of summer dessert, Chocolate Cherry Creme Tarts.  If you're still feeling this hot weather, you can also celebrate the beautiful fruit of summer and get your chocolate fix at the same time. The key to making the creme over the top is to use high quality (and yes, full fat!) ingredients.

These sweet treats are bite sized and guaranteed to impress!

Chocolate Cherry Creme Tarts Ingredients: 

Makes 12 mini tarts Chocolate Cherry Filling
• 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1 tbsp cherry liqueur (such as Cherry Heering)
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/3 cup chocolate bar, chopped finely
• Pre-made mini filo tart shells
• Fresh Bing or sweet cherries


In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk milk and cream, gradually adding dry ingredients.
Whisk constantly, heating to boiling, about 2-3 minutes.
Whisk in chocolate and cherry liqueur until smooth.
Remove from heat and chill for an hour in the fridge.
Simply assemble by filling tart shells and topping with a fresh cherry. Enjoy!

 -images and post by jen olson via pretty eats


Hello MBG girls, it's Stasia with Primp & Prime! As summer winds down, I love to host an end of the summer cocktail party. I am obsessed with styled bar carts with fun accessories that are not bar related. Adding a bold lamp, flower arrangement, large vase, or framed print, makes the cart oh so chic! Not only is it a great gathering area, it's a glamorous backdrop for that special signature cocktail of yours. Cheers! 

1//Gold Pineapple Lamp 2//Dwell Studio 3//Pineapple Print & Sip Sip art via Made By Girl 4//ZGallerie 5//Gold Giraffe via Dwell Studio 6//Ikat Vase 7//Bamboo Bar Cart via Layla Grace 8//Cocktail Glass 9//Cocktail Napkins

-post by stasia


August 29, 2014


It's not often that you hear the words "hair" and "oil" together in a sentence with a positive connotation. But for the past year, we've seen a rise in the trend of oils- whether it's facial oils, skin oils or hair oils, what about these products are so great? Hair oils can help you grow healthy, shiny hair, and prevent damage and split ends. 

 Here are 4 of my current favorite hair oils.

 Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible OilThe bottle may be colorful, but the oil is clear as can be and works on all hair colors. This lightweight oil absorbs very quickly, eliminating any worries of grease. Ingredients include six different oils and two extracts that work to add shine and tame flyaways. An added bonus? It contains UVA/UVB filters and offers heat styling protection.  

Josie Maran 100 percent Pure Argan OilThis versatile oil can be used on hair, skin, nails and more. Grown in Morocco, this oil is rich in vitamin E. The oil gives your hair a nice shine while working to mend split ends from over-styling or using heat tools.  

Ojon Rare Blend Oil Rejuvenating TherapyThis oil works particularly well on women with super frizzy or fine hair (something I deal with on a daily basic), and a bottle will last forever. It also works to seal cuticles with a light-protecting shield.

 Carol's Daughter Lisa's Hair Elixir Restoring Hair OilThis oil is not only for your hair, but your scalp, too. It works to soothe your scalp while nourishing your hair's follicle as well.

-post by rachel maleady

August 28, 2014

My 2nd Birthday Party

So, this past weekend I decided to celebrate my birthday a second time, but only with my favorite girlfriends here in NYC.  We all went to Tolache on the Upper East Side & had a blast! The food at  this restaurant is DELICIOUS, so if you've never been.... I suggest you try.  On a nice day, ask to sit outside in the back. 

It was one of the most memorable parties I've ever had. Why? because each girl talked about a close friend or a wonderful memory they had & shared it with everyone. I love how open and honest each girl was... I brought each girl a gift - and on the hot pink wrapping paper I randomly wrote compliments such as "I love your hair", "You are beautiful just the way you are" & more! They loved them - yay!  My friend Anne Marie said, "this is the only birthday party I've received gifts!" - Well, that's me. I love to give to others, it makes my day. Even if it was MY birthday.

So, turning 41 is interesting, I can't say it feels great, but at least I'm healthy, wiser, more secure with myself as a woman and a wife....& soon hopefully as a mother.

Can you guess what my B-day wish was?

The cake we bought at Tu Lu's Gluten-free bakery here in NYC -it's an amazing gluten -free , dairy free bakery. The cakes are delicious! We ended up having them sprinkle hot pink sprinkles, then we added the edible flowers ourselves. Saw this idea on Pinterest somewhere, wish I could recall where!?

.....& for the gold splatter balloons, well, this was a project I saw on DIY Studio & decided to try it for my party! It was a hit, and they looked fantastic! Go here for the how-to instructions!

These are the gifts with the compliments I brought for each girl! neat huh?

-images by jen ramos

Sorry for some of the bad quality pics, some were taken with my iphone! 

August 27, 2014

Dude, Sweet Chocolate

Dude, Sweet Chocolate. What a cute name for a company no?  Lets' face it, pretty much anything with dark chocolate will make me look twice.  So, this company based out of Texas is no exception. It's run & owned by Chef Katherine Clapner - with 3 locations in Texas.  They manufacture, distribute, and retail dark chocolate inspired creations as their core business. The chocolates usually contain fudges, truffles, toffees, nuts, artisan chocolates, and basically anything the talented chef decides to improve by introducing it to cacao.

Another thing I thought was cute... was the names they give their unique chocolate products, such as, Crack in a Box , FDA Chocolate Vegetarian Salami (which is made with dates & dried figs ground and added to California marzipan with Valrohna cocoa nibs), Tub of Love Spread (great for spreading on breads),  One Night Stand Potion (great with sorbets or coffee) & more!! Unfortunately, I'm lactose intolerant - so I'd have to stay with the vegetarian & dairy-free options they have...would love to try these someday!

Have you tried Dude, Sweet Chocolate??

-post by jen ramos

August 25, 2014

JCREW: 4 outfits

JCREW is one of my favorite brands, with stores all over the USA - they are always on top of their game. The brand is mostly casual, yet chic. One of my favorite must-have items are the JCREW skirts & denim.

They always have amazing selections & you can mix & match pieces very easily. With Summer still here, and Fall just around the corner....I put together 4 possible outfits you can wear during the warmer daytime weather & cooler nights.  I love visiting the store here in NYC - it's always fun to walk in & see all the new stuff! Check them out & feel free to visit JCREW for more!

-post by jen ramos

August 22, 2014


Hey guys Allie here from ALLIE NYC. How has summer been treating you? And what about your hair? Do you spend more time on your hair in the summer or less? I definitely spend less time on my hair in the summer months—mainly due to the fact that I do not blow it dry.

It is just too hot and I like to take advantage of the warm air and humidity which brings out the natural wave. However, it also brings out the frizz too. Not fun. So I look for products that not only enhance the curl, but also help combat the excess moisture in the air.

Currently I am loving the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious line. It is specifically designed to bring out the natural wave in your hair while keeping frizz at bay. Plus it smells great and the packaging is so cute. I love having this in my bathroom. After using a curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner like the Curl Conscious line from Bumble and Bumble, I then follow up with two styling products: one to add extra conditioning and reduce frizz, and a spray as an added step to bring out the curl. My hair is on the thin side so I use the the Curl Defining Creme as it gives waves and curls in fine hair more bounce. They also make a Curl Conscious Calming Creme which is for more course hair with tight curls. Then I follow up with a beach spray.

On the weekends when I am going out at night or to the beach I use the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. During the week I use Alterna’s Summer Ocean Waves Tousled Texture Spray from their Bamboo Beach line, it is a little lighter and does not build up. I just wash my hair, apply the products, do a little scrunching and then let it air dry. I also curl it with an iron once it is fully dry. Very different from my winter routine, but when summer rolls around the last thing I want to do is spend too much time styling my hair. What about you? Does your routine change?

All products available at Sephora 


Hi there MadeByGirl! I'm Jen from Pretty Eats serving up a fun and easy take on one of my favorite dishes, Pho.  As we approach the last days of Summer (can you believe it?) this piping hot bowl of rich broth offers up a great way to highlight summer herbs & vegetables. Adapt your pho ingredients to what looks great at the farm stand or what happens to be popping out of your garden. The cool greens and whites of this dish are a blank canvas for seasonal cooking at its best. Don't forget the hot sauce, nothing like a little spice to cool down on a summer day!

 Summer Pho 

Ingredients: (serves 2)
 • 1 chicken breast, poached or grilled, sliced
 • 1 quart high quality chicken stock
 • 2 c rice noodles, cooked according to directions
• 2 tbsp minced ginger • 1 tbsp minced garlic
 • 1/2 c each, finely sliced shallot, fennel, and green onion
 • 1/2 c bean sprouts
 • A few slices of jalapeno
 • Fresh sprigs of basil and cilantro
 • Lime wedges, plum sauce, hot sauce Directions:
• Heat chicken stock, ginger, and garlic until boiling. Remove from heat.
 • Simply assemble bowls beginning with noodles, chicken, and vegetables.
 • Ladle hot broth into bowls and top with herbs, sauces, and a squeeze of lime!


-recipe and photos by jen olsen


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