Covenant House

Hey everyone! How's your Friday so far? The weather in NYC has been so odd. According to Apple weather on my iPhone - it says rainy all week. I think it only rained once!!?! Hey, I'm not going to complain....I need the sun, was told I was vitamin D deficient, yikes! 

On another note, every so often I try to volunteer through my church, Liberty Church here in NYC & one opportunity in particular has really interested me. Volunteering with the homeless teens at Covenant House here in Manhattan. A group of us go there every so often to mentor these kids, bring them hope, & to brighten their day!  This week we did a Creative workshop on how the kids could discover their unique creativity & how to use it. We were so blessed to have Etsy there to speak as well as Kristine Banasik

Originally I WASN'T supposed to speak, & the reason for that was, I tend to get NERVOUS speaking. I had only planned to answer questions & introduce my business to the kids. Turns out my PRAYERS were answered, I ended up speaking for like 7 minutes  about my start, my company & gave them some great tips on how they can get their own businesses started down the line. This was my first time speaking in front of an audience... I wasn't even nervous only shocked that I got through it......but grateful. We helped out with crafts & gifted the kids with items from MadeByGirl

I'm so happy that I was able to be part of this event - to be able to inspire anyone who thinks "they can't" - I'm there to tell them, "they can". 

Everything I have - I believe God has given me.  He has blessed me with talent that I didn't even know I had.  I always love to go back to this verse, which you can find in the Message version - "God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes". (2 Samuel 22:25)

If anyone out there is in NYC & interested in volunteer opportunity- feel free to email me.

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Painted Bird Shoes

Girl code 101 states that the more painful the shoe, the better it looks... well I'm about to prove that rule wrong!!! I'm here to introduce to you Painted Bird shoes, they are hand-crocheted & incredibly unique shoes crafted by Jennifer Samson and Nicole Halpern. These two Southern California women are passionate about crafting beautiful shoes for you ladies! 

With inspiration stemming from the luxury fashion market and the relaxed feel of the surf industry, these shoes allow women to express themselves freely and effortlessly. When you feel great, you look great, and Painted Bird shoes have the right shoe that will look great on you! Not that I'm afraid of color - but my favorite is DEF the black & tan cute!

-images via painted bird

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Fashion: Silk Printed Pants

Hi everyone!  Kat from With Love From Kat here.  I have a new obsession and it's with silk printed pants!  I can't get enough of them.  They are comfortable, stylish and light (perfect for hot summer days.)  They're ideal for a girl-on-the-go because you can hop in and out of your car, or run up and down the subway stairs (like me!) with ease.  

They can be worn with a great sandal, wedge, stiletto or even boot.  There are so many options out there so I decided to narrow it down to my 10 favorites.  I found great silk pants everywhere from Zara to Parker to Rebecca Taylor.

Top image source via citizen couture - Hanii Y trouser

-post by kat tanita

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What is your favorite area in your home and why?

 Hi MBG readers! I'm Jaclyn an Interior Design Consultant and Owner of Pavilion Decor! Today I'm showing you My Home, My Space & telling you why I love it! My favorite space in the home that I share with my husband and two daughters would definitely be our living room.  This room took me a few years to wrap my head around with the unique "V" shaped fireplace and windows.  

I found choosing a furniture arrangement was difficult, and even as an interior design consultant I had a hard time choosing a direction.  I love so many styles and so many pieces that I finally had to take the leap and make a decision! 

I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  It works perfectly for cozy nights by the fire watching movies with my husband and daughters, entertaining friends, or working on my lap top with the natural light streaming in.  It feels clean, peaceful, and is the perfect fit for the way we live as a family. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

- Images by Jaclyn Peters of Pavilion Decor

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Julie Vos Jewelry

Welcome back this MONDAY! If you haven't heard of jewelry designer Julie Vos - then I'm happy to introduce her to you. She launched her collection in 2006 (almost same time that I launched this blog!) and her line has been a real hit - featured in the pages of Marie Claire, Lucky, InStyle, Martha Stewart,  Lonny Magazine and Vogue & more!  

I've admired her jewelry line for quite sometime and am dying to get a few pieces! I love the gold aspect in almost all her designs - don't you? It's obvious I love them all but if I had to choose only two to add to my current collection, I'd choose this one and this one. The prices are reasonable & all these can totally be worn day or night!

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FOOD: Coconut Crisps

Hey guys! Its Teann here. Today I am bringing you Coconut Crisps. These little crisps are delicate, crunchy and delicious. The whip cream center is the perfect match making this dessert nice and light. I suggest making these for your next dinner party.


Coconut Crisps 

3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp flour
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds extracted (or 2 tsp Vanilla Extract)
4 tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter with the sugar and honey in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; carefully stir in vanilla.
2. Combine flour and coconut in a large bowl. Stir in butter mixture. Drop 1 tbsp batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave enough space between the drops as they will spread during baking.
3. Bake until golden, 10 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes. Quickly lift the crisps and drape over a round object. I used a metal baster. Let set.
4. Whip whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add vanilla bean seeds and honey. Whip until peaks are firm. Using a piping bag and tip, pipe the whipped cream into the completely cools crisp.

-post by teann ingramm

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Victoria's Secret Summer Dresses

Hi everyone! Summer is so happening today in NYC!
  I hope everyone is enjoying & ready to welcome the summer sun. It may be hurricane season, and we may have had a bit more rain than we would've liked, but I found something that gives us a reason to celebrate summer! 

These gorgeous dresses from Victoria's Secret are the perfect way to kick-off the season and look great while doing so. I've been into maxi dresses lately & they have a ton of them for great prices. In fact most of them are on sale right now! How amazing is #5?? 

Enjoy shopping!!

1. Chain-link Halter Maxi Dress
2. Striped Maxi Dress
3. The Must-have Maxi Dress
4. The Sexy Maxi Dress
5. Knife-pleat Maxi Dress
6. Tie-back Maxi Dress
7. Maxi Lightly Padded Bra Top Dress
8. Sparkle-stripe Tee Dress
9. Strapless Tulip-hem Dress

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Fashion: Summer Hats

Hi everyone, Kat from With Love From Kat here.  Summer in New York has gotten off to a steamy start and hats have been my lifesaver.  No matter what I seem to do with my hair - flat iron it, curl it, or let it air dry - it ends up looking like a mess!  I've been alternating between wearing my J.Crew Panama hat and Rag & Bone floppy hat.  

Both have been able to hide my crazy hair situation and enhance my outfit.  I have my eye on that Collection XIIX hat for the beach and Nordstrom B.P. hat for another everyday option - it's only $18! 

 Which hat is your favorite?

1. Splurge: Rag & Bone hat // 2. Save: J.Crew hat
3. Save: Collection XIIX hat // 4. Splurge: Emilio Pucci hat 5. Save: Nordstrom B.P. hat // 6. Splurge: A.P.C. hat

Below is Jen with her black floppy brim fedora from Rag & Bone - you can buy it here.

-post by kat tanita

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Madewell Swimwear

Back to work for most of us right? It's actually super sunny here in NYC today- which has me thinking about the beach. Speaking of beach, have you bought your summer bikini yet??  

If not, how about one of these 6 styles from Madewell?  I prefer a two piece & I definitely don't mind tan lines - in fact, I find them rather sexy.
My favorite has to be #3 - I'm  loving the flower trend on swimwear.  I can see wearing this at the beach this summer or lying out in the about you?

1. lauren moffet ruffle bikini
2. basta surf raglan bikini
3. brightside bikini
4. allure sporty bikini
5. zimmermann vapour
6. basta surf tonga bikini

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Design: Coral + Leopard

Hi lovelies!  Sam here, from The Peak of Tres Chic, back for another lovely dose of decor! Today I wanted to share with you one of my all-time favorite pairings:  orange or coral with leopard.  Whether it be for your home or for your wardrobe, this duo always makes a statement. 

Shop This Board:

The Quinn Club Chair $675/Steve Madden Leopard VAMP flat $79.95/Leopard Pillow Cover $70/Kazak Orange & Pink Pillow Cover $119/Anthropologie Tassel Earrings $188/Leopard Spotted Skinny Belt $38/Michael Kors Ostrich Clutch $450

To me, the combination of bright, poppy orange with a luxe leopard print is so sophisticated and memorable.  Do you agree?  If not, what color combo do you prefer?

 -post by samantha penner

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Food: Cherry, Pistachio & Coconut Breakfast Bars

Hi everyone! It's Lauren from Perpetually Chic. Quick show of hands: Who is guilty of skipping breakfast? When you're dashing out the door in the morning to work, school, or to drop the off kids, breakfast can be the last thing on your mind. 

Yes? It happens more often than I care to admit, but these breakfast bars are my new time-saving trick. Just whip up a batch over the weekend, and you're set for the week. Keep reading for the recipe--no baking required! 

cherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast bars

To be clear, these bars are packed with some healthy ingredients like raw almonds, pistachios, and dried cherries. And while they may be better for you than many store-bought granola bars, they're certainly not free of sugar. 

That said, they strike that just-right balance of sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy that I love in a snack... 
cherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast bars

I used almonds, pistachios, dried cherries, and toasted coconut flakes for my fruit and nut mix. You can also change things up using this same basic recipe--try dried cranberries and walnuts or dried apricots and cashews instead.
cherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast barscherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast bars

These bars do have a tendency to stick together, so be sure to layer parchment paper in between the cut squares when you store them. 
cherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast barscherry, pistachio & coconut breakfast bars

Cherry, Pistachio & Coconut Breakfast Bars

 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (I used Kashi brand)
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup raw pistachios
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes, toasted
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (try Whole Foods if your local grocery doesn't have it)
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Leave a few inches overhanging. Grease with 1 teaspoon butter. This allows easy removal later. 
2. In a large bowl, combine cereal, nuts, cherries and coconut flakes. 

3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together brown rice syrup, almond butter, brown sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix until smooth, allowing to simmer and cook just a minute.

4. Immediately pour the hot mixture into the bowl with the cereal mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything until evenly coated. 

5. Pour the mixture into the pan. Press the mixture evenly with your hands. It will be very sticky! Refrigerate the bars in the pan about 1 hour to set.

6. Lift the foil to remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars into 2-inch squares (small bars).

7. Place the bars in an airtight container with sheets of parchment paper in between each layer of bars. Store in the refrigerator for a week.

*Recipe and images by Lauren Craig

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The Very Stylish DADS

Growing up I never saw thought of my DAD as a cool & stylish. He was 'just' dad. A very strong, disciplinarian and extremely out-spoken.
But men nowadays, well dads, are looking very stylish. They're dressed to impress & look super cool carrying their babies! 

This Father's day I'm pulling out a few BLACK & WHITE gift ideas for the coolest looking dads. Is that you??

Happy Father's day!

-image above copyright: Insight News and Features, Inc.

 A. bose' headphones/nordstroms
B. lanvin watersnake crest tie/barneys
C. fendi card case/barneys
D. leather iPhone case/jcrew
E. salvatore ferragamo briefcase/barneys
F. tom ford noir eua de parfum/barneys
G. carrera eyewear/nordstroms
H. oxfords/nordstroms
I. adidas

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Food: Kale Salad

I love salads - especially during the summer season. At our place - salads have been very popular lately, especially kale salad. Kale salad is super easy to make - a great alternative to lettuce because it holds its texture better. 

Strip the leaves from the woody stems and then chop them well. Add any normal extras - goes great especially with fruit such as pears or peaches, and some nuts like pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Toss it well in a simple, sweet dressing - mix 3 Tbs olive oil, 2 Tbs honey or agave, 2 Tbs balsamic or lemon, 1/2 tsp poppy seeds, 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt.

My version

His version - so much fancier than mine, I know.

Here we added some easy-to-make polenta chips

How do you make polenta chips?? Well, go to your local market & buy pre-formed polenta (in a tube) and using a very sharp, thin blade knife to cut very thin slices (about 1/8" thick). Deep fry in vegetable oil over medium heat - allow to crisp but don't burn. Drain the oil. While still hot, sprinkle with garlic powder or fine sea salt.

Did you know that Kale is healthy for you?
Kale’s health benefits are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K.  Kale is a veggie which is also known as borecole, & is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet! They say it also helps lower cholesterol if i could only get my dad to start eating it!  So, there you go!

Do you eat kale? How do you like it?

-images by jen ramos
-recipes from Mat

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SERIES: My Home, My Space

What is your favorite area in your home and why?

Hi This is Dana! I live in an old railroad-style walk-up building on New York City's Upper East Side (we are neighbors!).  The apartment layout requires you to walk through one room to get to the next.  So, the "final" room is the master bedroom and my favorite room in the apartment.  

I love the contrast of the all white bedding against the moody blue walls and the mirrored accents. Similar to your style, I'm obsessed with the Greek key rug!  A previous tenant built a closet over half of one of the windows, so I tried to create as much symmetry as possible with the pair of gray and white chevron chairs. 

The room is simple and serene, yet a bit glamorous at the same time!  I just love ending every day in this space!

-images by dana

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Updating in all Places

Thank God it's Friday right?? It is like the rainiest day here in NYC. With so little sun, I'm seriously in need of Vitamin D!!

On another note, do you sometimes feel like updating a 'little bit' of everything from your 'home TO your wardrobe'?!?!? That's how I'm feeling lately, so of course I decided to pick a few pieces to - so let's get started. I'm pillow obsessed and although my new sofa doesn't have cushions (only bolsters) it doesn't mean I can't LOVE these right?? 

What pieces could you see adding to your wardrobe & home??

1. les touches arianna belle
2. greek key border arianna belle
3. leopard velvet arianna belle
4. channels arianna belle
5. salad bowl barneys
6. salt & pepper cellars jayson home
7. gold flatware DWR
8. cococozy throw
9. gold scallop pillow caitlin wilson
10. jonathan adler meurice table lamp
11. tibetan rug calypso st. barth
12. 'slow fade' art calypso st. barth
13. michael stars maxi dress
14. leather sandal calypso st. barth
15. women's panama hat jcrew
16. rocco satchel alexander wang
17. 24k goldplate double-skull bracelet MadeByGirl
18. pour la victorie veronica heel

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