FOOD: Cinnamon and Sugar Palmiers

Hi there, Amanda here from A Life Well Lived. Today I am sharing one of my super simple and super delicious entertaining secrets - puffed pastry. Store bought puffed pasty is a godsend. It is versatile, easy, and always delicious. I love to use it both in sweet treats and savory dishes- so I always keep a box in my freezer just in case. Today I am sharing with you my easy puffed pastry recipe for the French cookies - palmiers.

I  love palmiers because they remind me of elephant ears I used to get at the country fair growing up. Elephant ears were huge (huge!) pieces of fried dough topped with mounds and mounds of cinnamon and sugar.

These palmiers are a little more sophisticated and instead of frying the dough, layers of sweet puffed pastry are baked until golden and crispy.

My choice in puffed pastry is Dufor Brand from Whole Foods. I know it is a little more expensive than the Pepperridge Farm version, but the reason I like Dufor is that it uses real butter. But if Pepperridge Farms is easier for you - no worries - I promise your palmiers will be just as delicious.

There are so many different versions  you can make these palmiers. Right now they are sweet palmiers stuffed with cinnamon and sugar but you could also add in lemon in place of the cinnamon to make them light and refreshing. Or maybe brown sugar and cardamon.  I like recipes that are versatile and can be amended pretty easily depending on what I want. These puffed pastry palmiers are just that.

You don't have to keep them sweet either. You can make savory palmiers by using parmesan cheese and an herb like thyme or rosemary or maybe get crazy and add in proscuitto and djion mustard. The possibilities are endless. So if you like to entertain try these palmiers  - you can make them ahead of time and bake them off just as your guests arrive.


1 box puffed pastry such as Dufor Puffed Pastry 
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Make sure to defrost puffed pastry in the refrigerator  2 -3 hours (or overnight) before making these cookies.
Preheat oven to 400F.
On a well floured board or countertop, unfold puffed pastry and roll out to a 13 x 15 rectangle. Combine sugar and cinnamon and spread over puffed pastry in an even layer. Beginning at the shorter end of the rectangle roll in the puffed pastry until you reach the center. Repeat on the other side of the puffed pastry.  Cut 1/4" cookies out of the dough and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes or until palmiers are browned and sugar has begun to caramelize.

have a nice weekend!!!!

-post by amanda frederickson smiley

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Pineapples: Summer Trend

This Summer, one of the biggest trends to hit the streets are - Pineapples. We are seeing them everywhere. How did this trend even start? Personally, I love pineapples. I even launched a collection of original pineapple paintings via my online gallery, Cocoa & Hearts. 

It's no lie, it's one of my fave fruits during the Summer & of course, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality/welcome! Made By Girl has just added a few new items that include pineapples - such as this new phone case with a light pink background & this SUPER cute tank top!  This trend will  definitely be on everything from t-shirts to bathing suits this upcoming Summer, so look out for it! Or should I say, you will NOT miss it.

What do you think of the Pineapple trend? What do you like to see Pineapples on?

top images left to right:
pineapple heels aquazzura // who what wear // streetstrut // style bistro

pineapple sequin mini skirt // pineapple illustration tank by jen ramos // pineapple phone case // klear pineapple clutch via asos // pineapple rambla one-piece via shoptiques // original pineapple art by jen ramos via cocoa & hearts

-post by jen ramos

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Poppin for the office

poppin // I love this company & how they've created an interesting twist on the regular day-to-day office supplies we use. By adding color into to those BORING office items like staplers, pens, scissors, calculators & more! 

Not only did they add color, but also a sleeker look & feel to your average stapler etc. For me, I'm not so much into the colorful hot pink staplers, but would rather go for an all-white modern look for my office space.  I've actually tried their ballpoint pens, they're super SMOOTH to write with & have been a favorite in my home office!  I can't say enough about this small business - and it's growth within the last few months...except I wish every office stocked up with poppin items.

So, if you're looking for cool office supplies in a variety of colors, check out their easy-to-navigate website to fill your office necessities!  Right now, one of my main necessities here in my office is  pens & these handy white letter trays.  In order to make more space on my current shelf - I'm going to need to go up, and stacking these trays will help create a ton more space for paperwork & so on.

So, tell me, have you heard of poppin? What's your fave poppin office item?

-post by jen ramos

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Hi Made By Girl readers, it's Stasia with Primp & Prime. I love adding a bit of Chinoiserie to a space, whether it be a blue and white printed pillow, pagoda wallpaper or a porcelain ginger pot. Chinoiserie is not only chic, it adds a bit of exotic sophistication that will never go out of style. Check out a few of my favorite finds...

1. White Chandelier 2.Wallpaper 3. Bamboo Mirror 4.. Bamboo Coral Armchair 5. Bamboo Lantern 6.Bamboo Pillow 7. Chinoiserie Printed Pillow 8.Lamp 9. Foo Dogs 10.Orange Chinoiserie Pillow11.Bamboo Gold Table 12. Jars 

Photo Credit In Order (Domino, Harper's Bazzar, House Beautiful)

-post by anastasia

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Hey there, it's Monika here from ohmydeco! You probably came across the ABC home website before, it's one of my favorite online destination and a real treasury full of beautiful home decor finds. From luxurious rugs, through stunning sofas and printed scatter cushions, to wooden side tables, the collection will make all decor addicts sight..   I put together my favorite items for you and it happened to create a lovely living room layout as well!


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

-post by monika boruch

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Pineapple Prints Have ARRIVED!

A few weeks ago I launched a series of Pineapple paintings to the Cocoa & Hearts gallery. I have been asked several times if I would be making prints - and so here is the first. An all BLACK pineapple.

This piece of art is perfect for those who weren't able to buy one of the original paintings, but still want the same look & feel in their home! They are 11"x14" and are actually high-quality prints from an original painting I did.  It's pictured below with a brushed gold custom frame - both available now at MadeByGirl.

-image by jen ramos

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Mara Hoffman

Prints will be huge this Summer, in fact they're already BIG.. One designer making her mark with a fun collection of prints is Mara Hoffman. Her stuff is so vibrant & fun and I especially love the jumpsuit, number 2 below. Mara is a NYC based designer, so you're bound to find her designs in stores all around NY, and online like Net-A-Porter, without a doubt. This Summer, let's get bold & pull out the prints.

How do you feel about this print trend? Is this something you would wear?

-post by jen ramos

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FASHION: White Shirt: Day & Night

Hi everyone! Adri of Adri's World here. One item I love this season is the simple white shirt. It's classic and can be styled in unlimited ways!  Here are a couple ways for day and night to style your white button up.  Let's start with the day look. A great pair of jeans, in this case the super comfy distressed boyfriend jeans, paired with a simple necklace, a pair of striped espadrilles, a fun watch and a bit of lip gloss and you can go from brunch to shopping in a chic and comfortable way.

The night look is perfect for a date, drinks or a dinner party. A striped midi skirt brings the shirt to a different level. Add a statement necklace, a pair of gorgeous pumps and of course a bit of red lipstick— perfect!

What about you? How do you like to wear a white shirt?

- post by Adri Reynoso

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Hi MBG readers, Sandra from Blasfemmes here. This is my second post on how to wear blazers: I guess that makes it official that I really love blazers. They’re in fact a key component of my wardrobe for their versatility and elegance and I especially love how can they turn a casual outfit into a more polished one. This time my post is about two different ways of wearing a soft pink tone blazer. These are just two ways but the options are endless. Are there more blazer's fans out there? Have a great week everyone!

First Look: 1. Ray-Ban Sunglasses // 2. Topshop Blazer// 3. M&S Scarf // 4. Topshop Playsuit // 5. Pour La Victoire Sandals Second Look: 1. Topshop Blazer // 2. Equipment Top // 3. Frame Denim Jeans // 4. Valentino Rockstud Bag // 5. Giuseppe Zanotti Shoes

-post by sandra lopes

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This is a series called - "Morning BEAUTY Routine" - it's all about what YOU put on your face every morning.  I, (Jen Ramos) featured myself in the first one, which you can read here. we have Christiana from the blog, Bliss and Misc  This is a great way to learn about beauty products others are using & what they think of them!

I actually was just recently introduced to this at a "Favorite Things Party". I had just run out of my favorite (and more expensive) facewash so it was a case of right place and right time! I was blessed with flawless skin during my pregnancy but now that my baby is nearing a year my skin has started to get back to it's old (awful) habits. This has a nice clean scent and is non-drying. It's full of wonderful organic ingredients like Coconut oil, aloe and Vitamin E, plus it's sustainably produced. Even better a bar is around $4. I love something that works and is a great deal!

Anything that can save me a step or two in the morning is a must-have, especially if I don't have time for much more than washing my face and throwing on a moisturizer. This one is fabulous. It's got SPF (which we all need) and contains a little bit of a sheen which helps to even out the appearance of my skin. It's non-greasy and has a scent of it since many combo products smell a bit to much like sunscreen.

I started using this a few years ago and it's absolutely worth every penny. It goes on smoothly and provides great coverage despite being very lightweight (which means it doesn't sink into the wrinkles I'm trying to hide). Being fair skinned I have always had a hard time finding a color that matched my skin without totally washing me out and this comes in a good variety of in-between shades. Like my moisturizer it contains sunscreen so between the two of them hopefully I've protected my face!

I've never been much of a fan of lipstick on myself, I can't seem to get the color right or it wipes off and I forget to reapply. I love Burt's Bees products in general and this 100% natural lip balm gives my lips a touch of color while keeping them from getting dry, plus it's error proof (no needing to worry about "color in the lines"). My favorite color is Honeysuckle, it's a nice peachy natural color with just a little sheen.

Pretty lashes help make me feel more pulled together even when in reality most of the time I'm far from it. This mascara goes on great and doesn't flake or require more than one coat. It stays on all day and doesn't clump. That's pretty much everything you'd ever want from a mascara - unless it could apply itself.

While I love the larger Urban Decay Naked palettes this mini eye palette is the one I use EVERY SINGLE day. It contains six flattering matte shades which is great because while I love some shimmer and glitter I don't really need to look like a disco ball while I'm running errands. The small size makes it super portable so even if I don't get a chance to do it before I walk out the door I can throw it in my bag to finish up later.

- If you're a blogger & would love to participate this series, email us pics of your FAVE morning beauty facial products & a pic or two of yourself.  Pls send in a similar format as this post above. If we like what you sent, we will feature you!!

-post by christina from bliss and misc 

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FOOD: Strawberry Popsicles with Greek Yogurt

Hi there, Amanda here from A Life Well Lived bringing you an easy, refreshing, and healthy treat just in time for spring strawberry popsicles.  I know these aren't the hardest things to make but sometimes simple is just better.

If you can't tell from my previous posts here on Made By Girl, I like recipes that serve as a foundation for many recipes. Recipes that can be adapted and changed depending on the season, the event, or even my mood. Just like the creme brûlée and the palmiers that I posted here before, these popsicles can be adapted to whatever flavor you want.

As long as the method is the same, you can't go wrong. So, since Spring is upon us and that means the start of strawberry season here in California(not to mention warmer weather!), I thought I would make strawberry popsicles with greek yogurt. Only 4 ingredients to get you to the perfect healthy warm weather treat.

Also, I don't know about you but I love dessert. I mean love it so much that I need to have something sweet after every meal. These popsicles are not only easy but they are also healthy so I won't feel guilty if I eat one or three at a time. If you want to switch up the flavors, you can try watermelon in the summer or peaches or maybe even cantaloupe or mango. Whatever fruit you can blend can be made into popsicles.

Strawberry Popsicles with Greek Yogurt:
  • 1 8-oz containers of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 lb carton of strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup honey
In a blender, blend together the yogurt, berries, and honey until smooth. Pour into the popsicle molds. Press on the lids and transfer to the freezer to freeze overnight. Makes 12 popsicles.

-post by amanda fredrickson

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Hi ladies- Rachel from Life Unsweetened here. As much as I love my natural curls, there are days when all I want in sleek, pin-straight hair. Luckily for me and the rest of the women who feel the same, there are a variety of styling products and tools that make this easily achievable. The photo of Doutzen Krous above shows just why women covet the center-parted, straight look.

Want to copy her style without the help of a professional hairdresser? Read on below. Start off by prepping wet hair with a product like Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry.

This lightweight balm allows you to get straight hair while also reducing frizz. Since the product is activated by heat, it's perfect for using right before blow-drying. Plug in your favorite blow dryer and use a GHD Paddle Brush to dry hair in sections, starting on the lower layers by clipping the tops layers out of the way. Straight hair looks amazing with a center part, so if you can pull it off, try it. After the hair is dry from blow drying, it's time to straighten the locks.

Chances are your hair is semi-straight from blow-drying with the paddle brush, but for pin-straight hair you'll want to eliminate any bends or bumps. The GHD Classic 1 Inch Styler gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Lastly, it's time for shine and hold. The Ouidad Climate Control Frizz & Flyaway Fighter Taming Shine Spray will eliminate any frizzies that popped up after blow-drying or straightening. As an added bonus, it adds shine without looking too greasy. Lightly mist your entire head with the Drybar Money Maker Flexible Hold Hairspray. This product has a long-lasting hold and is formulated without parabens.

-post by Rachel

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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 carolines mode///  black tuxedo blazer isabel marant /// matthew williamson silk pants via outnet ///  printed jcrew pants via net-a-porter  /// tangerine olivia bag via Gigi New York  /// manolo blahnik via neiman marcus ///  jcrew floral cotton pants via net-a-porter /// double zip handbag via topshop

-post by jen ramos

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BEAUTY: Tokyo Milk

Hi lovelies, Allie of ALLIENYC here. I am so glad spring has finally arrived! This was one cold winter and I can’t wait for summer. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to spend the day at one of the many beach front towns that this area is known for. Last summer a couple of friends and I headed to one of these beach front towns called Green Port and we had such a wonderful day.

We strolled along the boardwalk, road the carousel, had lunch in a cute store front coffee shop and of course—we shopped. Green Port is full of charming gift shops and boutiques and it is pretty easy to part with one’s money. So when I saw a beautifully packaged bar of soap in the window I just had to have it.

Well fast forward almost a year later, and I still have that bar of soap because it is packaged so beautifully I just can not bring myself to open it. Though I must say it smells divine and I have been tempted many times. I had not heard of the Tokyo Milk company before, but I was over joyed when I found their website. I so want to try that Bon Bon Shea Butter Lotion, and the best part? I won’t ruin the packaging if I open it. Roses and skulls? OK I think that is right up a certain blogger’s ally yes? So if you want your bathroom to look and smell good and do not want to beak the bank doing a complete overhaul, head on over to the Tokyo Milk site. They also have lovely gift sets that to me, seem ready made for a bathroom vanity.

-post by alicia mackin

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Hello Made by Girl readers, it's Stasia from Primp & Prime. Who's obsessing over Pantone's Spring 2014 color - placid blue? My fellow MBG contributor Sandra, recently did an amazing fashion post on this season's must have color. Not only are we seeing this color on the runway, we are seeing it in decorative details and architectural accents. I'm lusting over this soothing icy blue color...  

-post by anastasia

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Cocoa & Hearts News

Just a few days ago - I launched my newest collection of paintings in the Cocoa & Hearts gallery.... Pineapples.

The collection did so well, (13) were sold out within 22 minutes.  I honestly did not know what to expect, but I'm just so grateful that God has blessed me with art that people love. In the next few days we will be adding more 11" x 14" Pineapple paintings (some pre-framed in gold ) + several abstracts. So, if you want to grab one, add your name to the mailing list on Cocoa & Hearts & stay tuned! 
Thank you so much for those who purchased the first 13 - the proceeds will go toward our adoption.

If you have an online or brick & mortar shop & would like to carry these original paintings, email us here.

-image by jen ramos

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Lonny ReLaunch

In case you hadn't heard - the New Lonny is back.  There is a relaunch issue out right now featuring Cindy Crawford on the cover & I love it.

I admit, ever since Michelle Adams left & joined Domino Magazine, I lost interest. I guess I just adored Michelle's style & got caught by surprise with her departure.  Anyone else felt that way??! Anyhow, today I am back in LOVE with Lonny, the whole site has changed & I love the newest home tour featuring one of my fave designers, Susan Greenleaf's home. Great job to the Lonny crew with this relaunch, can't wait to see what else you have in store!

-images by bess friday for lonny magazine

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