Hi MadeByGirl readers, it is Alison here from Heart of Gold and I am incredibly excited to share with you a rustic fall dessert that incorporates one of my favorite fall fruits, plums.  The farmers market here in New York is over-flowing with delicious fruit, in particularly stone fruit like peaches and a variety of plums. We have already approached apple season, but I wanted to really savor the season so I decided to make a galette incorporating beautiful Italian Blue Plus.  

This type of 'pie' is very easy because it doesn't require a pan and the beauty is that it doesn't look perfect, but it tastes delicious.  As the plums bake, they succumb to almost a syrup like consistency, while the nutmeg and cinnamon create a comforting taste reminiscent of fall.  

Rustic Plum Galette
Serves 6

Crust Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg
sanding sugar, optional 

Filling Ingredients:
1 pound plums, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  To make the crust, combine the flour and sugar into a food processor.  Add the diced butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal.  Slowly add the egg yolks and ice water and pulse until combined.  Pour mixture into plastic wrap, form into a ball and let chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator.  Meanwhile make the filling - add the plums, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and a pinch of salt and stir to combine.  Once the crust has been chilled, roll-out onto a floured surface.

Roll into a circle and arrange the plums in the center of the crust allowing for about 2 inches of overhang.  Once filling as been assembled, close the galette by folding the sides in.  Beat the remaining egg and brush onto crust and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

- Post & Photography by Alison

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ShoeMint Giveaway


Happy Friday! Guess how we're celebrating? WITH A GIVEAWAY!! We're so excited to be working with ShoeMint to give one lucky reader a free pair of shoes!! Read on for details....

WHY WE LOVE ShoeMint //
  • Beautiful, Steve Madden shoes at affordable prices – only $79.89 for each style!
  • The highest quality – always made with real leather and suede.
  • Free tips, personal recommendations & trend reports with exclusive membership.
  • New styles every month!!
  • Free shipping and returns guaranteed.


It's super easy. All you have to do is CLICK HERE to sign up for ShoeMint (don't worry, membership is free!) and browse through the site. Find a pair you like & leave a comment here telling me which pair you love!!


ONE winner will be chosen to receive  free pair of shoes of their choice!


Saturday October 5, 2013.  Please keep in mind: This giveaway is only open to US and Canada.


Not only does your ShoeMint sign-up lead you one step closer to a free pair of shoes, but all new members receive 20% off their first purchase!! Sign up now!

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One of my favorites - Nespresso coffee.  National coffee day is 9/29 - did you know?!!?! 

  Today, I'm sipping on some of the most intense grand crus Nespresso has to offer: Kazaar & Dharkan - great flavors & perfect for the upcoming cold season!

These are the COMFY Yosi Samra dalmation flats I've been sporting around NYC lately. These pretties will be available on their site soon!

These BLACK chic office pencils are now available in packs of 6 via:  MADE BY GIRL

Prepping for a gorgeous tray giveaway - stay tuned!

-images by jen ramos

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Hi everyone! Adri here of Adri's World. We are officially in fall season and I'm loving this weather!
For any season black and white are colors that you can never go wrong with—especially when worn together. What I love about this combination is the simplicity, but also how it makes a bold statement!

That coat in a classic houndstooth print with that black and white graphic necklace will make any outfit look amazing. And since the cooler weather is approaching, a pair of gloves are the perfect addition to a fall wardrobe. What about those shoes? I think they would look great with any of those bags for a day or night look. 
What about you? Do you like the look of black and white? 

Definitely one of my favorite looks!

[1.rag & bone gloves, 2.topshop bag, coat, 4.loeffler randall bag, 5.tildon shoes, 6.rebecca minkoff bag, 7.kelly wearstler necklace]

- post by Adri Reynoso

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The Perfect Beet Salad

Hey! This is Mat, Jen's husband guest-posting today.

This beet salad was inspired by the beet salad served at Lincoln Restaurant in Washington, DC. - one of the best salads we've ever had. Jen was so excited about this salad, but unfortunately we live in NYC & couldn't go back again to have it. So, I thought, why not make something similar for her? You can also try this recipe, since it turned out pretty good Here we go.


Raw beets, mixed colors
Sea salt
Micro-greens or sprouts
Nicoise olives, drained
Red wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Ahi tuna - sushi grade
Soy sauce or
Sesame seeds

If you can find baby beets, they work best but you can just as easily cut bigger ones. In a pot of boiling water, add 1/2 tsp salt and boil the beets whole until tender - about 25-30 mins for smaller ones, 45 for larger. When finished, drop into an ice bath to cool them. The outer skin should peel off easily. If larger, cut the beets into bite-sized chunks.

Finely grate some peeled ginger until you have about 1/2 tsp of mash. In a bowl, mix that with 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 C honey, 1/4 C vinegar and 1/3 C olive oil. Finely chop or grate the nicoise olives into a crumb. Slice very thin slices of radish.

In a large bowl, roughly toss the beets, radishes and greens in the dressing and then place a batch into a serving bowl, spreading about 1 tsp of the olive crumb on top.

Heat a skillet with a smeared layer of olive oil. When very hot, gently place the tuna into the pan, sear for 45 seconds on one side, flip and do the same on the other. Remove from the heat and let rest.

In a small bowl, mix 1 Tbs soy sauce with 1 tsp honey. Slice the tuna into 1/4" slices and plate, then drizzle with the soy mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

The original recipe calls for sunflower sprouts for the micro-greens but you can substitute with any hearty stemmed green such as daikon sprouts or snow pea shoots. Traditionally beet salads are served with mache, which is also a good green but more difficult to find and a bit delicate.

images by jen ramos

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The Hottest Boots For Fall

Hello Monday! Hope you all are doing well! As for me, today I'm prepping a few canvases for some new Cocoa & Hearts  paintings, can't wait to show you! Many of you have been asking - so stay tuned!

On another note - aren't you glad it's Fall?!!?  I am. Today is the perfect weather here in NYC & that means it's boot season.  So, if you're tired of the pair you have - I pulled together a selection of boots you may want to invest money into. As for me, I recently bought the Jimmy Choo Gem boots - they were a bit pricey, in fact I don't think I've dropped that much 'dinero' on some boots - so hopefully I'll still love them next Fall.

I figure with a classic black boot - you can't go wrong. You can pair them up with anything from skinny jeans to leather skirts.  Are Fall boots on your must-buy list? 

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Hi everyone! This is Sandra from Blasfemmes. I’m here to share with you a trend I personally love and wear: leopard loafers. For me leopard loafers are super versatile because they combine comfort and trendiness and although their shape is rather masculine in this particular print I consider them to be very feminine. They’re also perfect to add that little extra touch to a casual or a wear to work look. Here are some of my favorites this season:

These are the two pairs I own and I can’t live without (left: Massimo Dutti / right: Tosca Blu).
Are you a fan of loafers or not really? Do you own this kind of shoes?

-post by sandra

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Hi MadeByGirl readers! Kelsey here from Kelsey Nicole. If there is one thing I love more than fall clothes, it's fall nail polish colors. I love experimenting with different deep shades, or if all else fails, I reach for classic black. Here are a few shade's I am excited to try this season:

What nail colors are you excited to wear this fall?

- post by kelsey

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Hello MBG!  Fallon here sharing with you a delicious way to enjoy what is left of summer.  Can you believe Fall is right around the corner?  I for one couldn't be more thrilled (it's my favorite season after all) but that doesn't mean I'm not going to spend the next few weeks enjoying all the summer fruit options while I still can.  I made this appetizer for dinner and ended up eating every last one, never making it to my main course. That's what I love about crostini's they are perfect for an appetizer when having friends over for dinner,  but also work well as a quick and delicious dinner for one.

Ingredients:  makes 6
  • 1/2  small baguette (I used a combo of Italian & pumpernickel)
  • 2 oz Soft Goat Cheese (or Tofutti cream cheese for those allergic to Dairy)
  • 1 Peach
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • Honey for drizzle
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Slice bread, place on cookie sheet, and drizzle both sides with EVOO;  bake for 5 min each side
  • Meanwhile slice peach and grill, both sides
  • Slice basil and saute in a small pan with a dash of EVOO for approx. 3 mins, until slightly crunchy
  • Remove bread from over and let cool
  • Style it yummy... starting with the  goat cheese, adding the peach slice, and a pinch of crunchy basil
  •  Make it sparkle with a drizzle of honey

 - recipe & photos by Fallon Carmichael, Sage & Sparkle

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Good morning! We recently went on a road-trip VACATION to Washington D.C. & Philly.  I'm a chicken when it comes to flying, so road trips are super ideal. For this trip, Nissan provided us with a 1-week loan of the 2014 Versa Note in addition to a $500 gift card to explore our passions & things we love to do the most.

We took a ton of photos - but I'm going to post a few before you actually get sick of it all, ha!
The first few days we drove to D.C- & it was my favorite part of the trip. Seeing the historic sites - the White House, the Capitol & the Lincoln Memorial all for the very first time.  D.C. was a very clean city overall & we loved the architecture of the buildings.

Above is my husband sitting in the Nissan VersaNote in front of the capitol building - I love that this car was our door to more during this trip!

Our hotel, The Westin Washington DC City Center was fantastic, with great service & attention to detail. Their continental breakfast was top-notch too, with some amazing Eggs Benedict.  They also had a state-of-the-art gym facility where my husband & I worked out during our stay. We'd love to stay there again during our next visit because it was such a great central location. I took advantage of the room service breakfast & ordered almost everyday we were there. At one point, it was my husband's birthday & I asked them to sign a card & deliver it with the food, & they did.  Loved that!! The room we stayed in was spacious and clean & the hotel was pretty quiet & relaxing.

While in D.C. I also explored one of my fave things to do, getting pampered at a spa. Thanks To Nissan, I got to spend some time at the Paris Alexander Day Spa - with a long hot stone massage by Tammy.  If you've never had one, you have to. So GOOD.

While driving around the city, parking was super easy. D.C.  has a COOL parking system where you can pay at the meter directly from your mobile phone. HOW? By simply downloading a free app called ParkMobile. We don't have this in NYC (that I know of) - so we were blown away at how easy & convenient it was to park with this app. We could pay directly through the app and input the amount of time we wanted to park for. Let's say we were in the museum & the meter was about to expire, the app would notify us through my iPhone & we would just add more time & money directly through our phone.  You don't even have to rush back to your car! Brilliant. Please NYC do this! 

Parking was also made easy with the Nissan VersaNote - the car has a cool technology feature called Around View® Monitor.  It uses four small superwide-angle cameras mounted on the front, side and rear of the car which provide a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, with selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear and curb views, helping us get into tight parking spots.

I love this pic of my husband getting the car from the hotel valet  - the car appears small & compact but when you look inside, it's quite spacious.

Went to the Lincoln memorial,  museums, then some shopping in Georgetown at Intermix.

Breakfast in the hotel Westin Hotel room - one of my fave things!

Had to eat at one of the MANY lunch trucks in D.C. as well as head over to get gluten & dairy free cupcakes at Sticky Fingers Bakery.

After our D.C. trip, we headed toward Philly in the VersaNote & it was a smooth & quiet ride. You can't hear a lot of the outside traffic noise, which we loved.  The car was extremely roomy and the back seat could be pushed forward creating a large flat back area - perfect for luggage.  On our way to Philly we stopped at a few Starbucks locations. As many of you know I'm a BIG coffee fan & Nissan gifted us a nice Starbucks card which we used on the trip!

We arrived at the Hotel Monaco in Philly, which was super cute. I loved it!  They really paid attention to the details of the room. The view was gorgeous as well - with lots of greenery outside our windows. Check out the mirrored headboard - so chic. I have to say, the lobby was the most impressive, with a beautiful pink wall lined with hanging brushes and carpeting to die for, looked like a gigantic Franz Kline painting!

The blue velvet Chesterfield sofa in the lobby - how amazing right?

Check out the funky leopard bathrobe they had for the guests along with the bright yellow doors.

The lovely view from our hotel window while I had breakfast.

While in Philly - we decided to officially celebrate Mat's Birthday. We went to dinner at Alma De Cuba  - this was a modern Latin cuisine & by far OUR fave restaurant while on our trip. We enjoyed some lovely dishes as well as a gorgeous chocolate cigar dessert - which I surprised him with.

Thankfully we were able to get around without using a map because the NissanVersa note had a built in GPS system which we used for the entire trip. So handy.  This car is definitely on our list, if we end up buying another car. It gets great mileage - 40 MPG on the interstate, so we only had to fill the tank once and it's only $13,990 - super affordable.

this post is sponsored by Nissan.

-images by jen ramos

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FASHION: Metal Madness

Hi everyone! Adri here of Adri's World. Have you seen all the metals in store for fall fashion? Everything from shoes to accessories and even clothes! This season metallics are in every fashionistas closet and just by adding one item to any outfit you are sure to shine.
I love how that belt can be worn with a simple dress or jeans and completely change the look. Wear those classic silver oxfords to add a touch of shimmer or that pair of gold mirrored sandals and you are perfect for a night out!

That skirt looks great with a white shirt, as shown, or add a black top and you're ready for a party. How about a colored blocked clutch, a shiny phone case or an edgy card holder? I'd love to have my business cards in that metallic case!

What about you? Will you be embracing the metal trend?

[1.kate spade belt, 2.j crew clutch, 3.j crew oxfords, 4.marc by marc jacobs phone case, sandals, 6.alexander mc queen card holder, skirt]

- post by Adri Reynoso

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Hello Monday! It's back to work right? 

Well, before you go, I think it's time we have a serious discussion about a pretty serious topic -- our hair.  Let's be real. You could have the nicest top-designer shoes & an outfit that compliments your figure so well, you'd think you were born for each other. BUT.....if your hair isn't as healthy and beautiful & styled the way you'd like, then it really doesn't matter what you're wearing.

I think we can admit it: the hair makes the outfit. The hair boosts our confidence!! There's a reason there's no such thing as "a bad shoe day" or "a bad nail day"...

So now that the summer has done it's damage & we brace ourselves for a new, cooler season, it's time to take a second look at our hair care regimen. Cleanse, treat, replenish? What do YOU want to work on as you welcome fall?

Here's a few items I have on my "Hair Wishlist" - you should def consider!

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Fallon of Sage and Sparkle here, and I have to admit I'm pretty excited we're now in mid-September!  This month signifies Fall, my favorite season! And while Fall doesn't officially start until the 22nd, it feels perfectly appropriate to start to incorporate some "Fall Favorites" back into the mix.  For me, soup is at the top of the list, however the star of this quick and easy meal is not the soup, but rather the amazingly delicious polenta fries! Up until a few weeks ago, when I had Polenta Lasagna, I had never thought of Polenta in any other form that creamy, but there is so much you can do with polenta... seriously, check out Pinterest.

I decided Polenta Fries would be a nice addition to my favorite store bought soup, Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup. Using store bought Polenta... (yes, your seeing a trend here, as I said, this meal is quick and easy, but trust me, you will be impressed), this meal took a little over 30min to make.  Keep in mind, if you have the time, polenta is easy to make, but if you wanted to make fries, you would have to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees 2. Slice the polenta in half, then thinly cut off the edges to make more rectangular, and slice into medium shaped fries

3. Drizzle a large baking tray with olive oil and place sliced polenta on top;  drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper 4. Bake for 25 min, until crispy, then turn and bake an additional 5-10 min 5. Heat soup on stove in a small sauce pan 6. Garnish soup with chives and freshly grated parmesan.  Make it sparkle with a "polenta fry fort"... and enjoy!

 -post & photos by Fallon Carmichael, Sage & Sparkle 

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