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

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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! 

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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

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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

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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 

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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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DESIGN: Antiques & Vintage

Hello MBG readers, its Lisa with Gem Daily! I have really been loving designs that mix antiquities in with more contemporary, clean spaces. Antiques and vintage pieces don't have the "grandma" stigma they once had and are the quickest way to make a space feel more lived-in, more traveled and more unique. My absolute favorite is when ornate, gold pieces are thrown into an all-white space, the best of both worlds!

Check out some spaces that really capture this aesthetic and some reproduction pieces you can use to do the same with your home!

via creamylife

via jelanie

1//mirror 2//chandelier 3//daybed 4//glasses 5//tray 6//bust 7//rug

-post by lisa fisbeck

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Paperless Post: Kelly Wearstler

I'm a BIG fan of Paperless Post. If you haven't heard about this site,  Paperless Post helps you create online & paper stationery that reflects your individual aesthetic. They have many different styles to choose from & you can choose to send both online & through snail mail (the old fashion way).  

The site has a a very user-friendly interface, where you can easily customize designs for any occasion like weddings to just casual event invites!  I LOVE Paper less post because you can easily send fancy invites via email from designers like Ms. Wearstler to Kate Spade.  I've purchased a few of Kelly's paper stationery - below are my favorites from her collection!!  Check out her line, plus more here.

.....& here's my favorite customized Kelly Wearstler stationery below - super chic no?

-post by jen ramos

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FASHION: How to wear Chambray Shirts

I'm Sandra from Blasfemmes, hope everyone is doing great! Today my 'How-to-wear' post is about chambray shirts. I think everyone will agree that their versatility is unmatched and the possibilities of wearing them are endless. Chambray shirts are definitely a must-have and I've always been a huge fan because they exist in that perfect space where they can be dressed up or down. I especially like the first look which is inspired by one of the fabulous Miranda Kerr's looks (how cute are those leopard mules?).

Are you also fans of chambray shirts? How do you like to wear them? 

#1 Look: 1. Ray-Ban Aviators // 2. Topshop Chambray Shirt (also love this one) // 3. T by Alexander Wang Tank // 4. Givenchy Antigona Bag // 5. J Brand White Jeans // 6. Miu Miu Mules #2 Look: 1. Equipment Blazer // 2. Zara Necklace // 3. Topshop Chambray Shirt // 4. Blank Denim Pants // 5. Zara Shoes #3 Look: 1. Topshop Chambray Shirt// 2. Prada Tote // 3. Topshop Skirt // 4. Christian Louboutin Iriza Pumps #4 Look: 1. Nars Lipstick in Heat Wave // 2. Topshop Chambray Shirt // 3. Marc Jacobs Baker Watch // 4. Burberry Trench Coat // 5. Saint Laurent High Rise Jeans // 6. Zara Shoes

 - post by sandra lopes

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Another Birthday

It was my birthday on August 15th - another year. Time flies doesn't it? It's amazing how much happens in one year, we feel sick, we feel better, people pass away, people fall in love, babies are born, love is renewed & countless memories are made. Speaking of babies....this year we started our process towards adoption - so exciting & grateful! But most of all, I am thankful to God who has graced me life, health & love.

Speaking of love, my husband surprised me with the most beautiful birthday week EVER.  Here's how it went:
  • He surprised me by baking a delicious ombre cake...knowing I love pink frosting - he def impressed me - get this, it was ombre inside & out! Woah.
  • Then he made some beautiful roses out of paper! I was like, "what?!?" - And not just one!
  • Next day when I woke up there were a bunch of cards - around 70 - all over the kitchen counter & dining table. They all had a note inside - some funny, some very loving...and a couple that I will never forget, where he signed our future child's name on. -  I was literally touched to tears. 
  • Then the following day he placed this big banner over the dining table that said "Happy Birthday Jennifer" - that's when it started to hit home that I was turning 41 .... VERY soon!
  • The last day of the birthday week, he surprised me with my gift - but he printed the wrapping paper using one of my zebra art, this one. Can you believe this guy? So adorable. Sometimes I secretly think he's Superman.

Then, on Friday the day of my Birthday..... we headed over to Loews Regency for our Spa stay-cation . Thank you to Loews Hotels for sponsoring this complimentary getaway. Good timing!

The hotel was fantastic, very clean & was also very convenient that they are a pet friendly hotel, so we ended up bringing our Darla with us. During our stay, we went to the Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa (in the hotel) & while my husband was getting his hair re-dyed - I got a massage. SO relaxing - loved every minute of it.  Our room was surprisingly spacious (for nyc) & included a beautiful mini-kitchen with marble counter-top! Impressive.

One of my favorite features in the room was the Julien Farel hairdryer (plus we met him at the salon & he has the most beautiful salt & pepper hair). 

 I know......sounds odd that it was one of my fave features, but it's TRUE!!  This blow dryer was awesome!  The nozzle was the perfect size, and the heat temperature didn't feel like it was scorching my hair.  It had a smooth air flow, plus it was lightweight  - you have to try them!! Now, I really want one for my home.  

 So, there you have it, this was me turning 41 - and I loved every minute of it. Thank you to all those who sent me well wishes. Soooooooooooo grateful!

-post and images by jen ramos

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Hi MBG's, it's Stasia with Primp & Prime. Living in a small space, I am always hunting for pieces that are versatile. I am completely obsessed with poufs and stools. Not only are they fabulous, they can be an extra seat for guests, or transition into a side table. Here are my favorite picks.

Images from, Elle Decor & Everygirl

  1/Orange Geometric Stool 2/ White Lamb & Lucite Bench 3/Natural Stool 4/Elephant Stool 5/ Gold Pouf 6/ Bronze Stool 7/ X Bench 8/ Gold & Black Stool 9/Petal Pouf 10/ Embroidered Pouf 11/ Mirrored Cube

-post by anastasia
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Braid Tutorial + More

Last year,  I experimented with braiding at a salon here in NYC called Bleu Sur Bleu. A stylist named Leandra braided the side of my hair & I loved it! The only reason I tried it was because I was thinking of actually shaving the side of my head (sorta like Cyndi Lauper) without the crazy color and the squares.  Since I don't tend to change my hair style much, I wanted something different, BUT ....after thinking about it, that wasn't a commitment I was willing to make at the time.  So, today I shaved my head instead...............just kidding!

For those of you who keep up with hair trends, you know this Summer it's been all about braids.  They've been everywhere from the streets to the Fashion runways at the Tony & Guy events.  With that said, I arranged a collaboration between hairstylist, Gina Guercia of Oscar Blandi & Made By Girl to do a (simple) hair tutorial here at my apartment in NYC.

This is not an average tutorial where we show you on video step-by-step - it's just a fun DIY that you'll have to try out for yourself.  Trust me, I had no idea how-to-do a fishtail braid, but I learned after this experience + there are a ton of other You Tube vids you can watch that are more in-depth than mine.  Below we do have a simple tutorial in writing - with a few pics!

Hope you enjoy this.


  • Prep the Oscar Blandi Pronto Braid Paste. This will control short stubborn hairs around the hairline & give your braid grip and fullness.
  • Brush section with a natural Bristle Brush, you can use the Sam Villa Styling & Detangling Brush
  • this will remove tangles and create a smoother surface to start with.
  • Start with a 3 strand braid. As you work down, only add hair from the hairline side. This will create a cool crown-like effect around the head. Secure the braid with an elastic. 
  • Pinch & pull out the braid to expand & add texture, this will also make the braid appear fuller.
  • Repeat this on the opposite side.
  • In the back of the hair, drag the braid over the opposite side & secure with a pin. If possible try to hide the pin thru the hair. Repeat on the opposite side.   
  • For the final look and when ready, spray Oscar Blandi Lacca Medium Hold Hairspray

I ended up opting to have the bottom-half braided into a fishtail braid instead, but you can wear both styles just as easily.  I asked Gina to braid a fishtail & she was all for it! I love how it made the braid effect even more obvious. My hair isn't normally this long, we actually used a couple of hair extension clip-ins from Luxy Hair.

They have a fantastic selection of 100% real Remy hair. No one would ever know it wasn't your REAL hair!! Plus, it made the braid look even thicker !!!!!!!!!!!  - I LOVE hair clip-ins.

Ta Da!!!! The Finished look!

Watch the video below, but please NOTE..... the video below has music, so turn down your sound a bit:  

Check out this gorgeous loose braid (below) that Gina did here.  WOO HOO!

Gina did a fantastic job don't you think??!  Love.  She's based out of NYC & you can get in touch with her here.

-post by jen ramos

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DESIGN: Glittery Accents

Hi, it's Monika here, ohmydeco! If you love interior design, I am sure you know stunning home tours features on the Glitter Guide! My recent favorite is this chic and eclectic apartment belonging to the editorial director of the very same website - Caitlin Moran. The space is kept in neutral color palette with metallic accents and subtle pop of colors all around! And I simply love the glittery accents, making the space fun and girly! 

For the full tour click here

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Teeth Whitening

A few years ago I went to the dentist & got trays made to have my teeth whitened professionally. It actually worked pretty!  Well, 2 years later after drinking a bit more coffee & tea - I felt I could use a slight touch up. Thanks to a company called Smile Brilliant - I could now do it from the comfort of my own home. They sent both my husband & I an entire teeth whitening system, including the trays.

I have to say the process was a bit strange since we had to mix & then send our impressions back ...see below to the right. But nonetheless... it's a cool concept if you don't mind waiting for the trays to be shipped back. They will be custom-fitted to our teeth & once they arrive you can start the Whitening process. Both my husband & I tried it - he didn't like that he had to place the desensitizing gel first then wait, then wash then add the whitening gel & wait some more, then brush & rinse. He's not very high maintenance & that was a lot for him.

easy to do at home
no more whitening strips that are inconsistent
It's affordable compared to dentist whitening

the whitening gel has to be left on about 1-3 hours - which tends to be long.
my teeth were pretty white as is, so I didn't see much change, although my husband did.

So, there you have it - all in all, I'd recommend Smile brilliant for anyone looking to whiten their teeth instead of using white strips or spending money on dentist whitening visits. Hope it works better for you!

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FASHION: Kiss Prints

Hi everyone! It's Adri of Adri's World with a collection of Summer kisses!
I love a pretty print, and that dress is just super cute! Don't you think? I think this is a perfect dress for many occasions, a party, dinner date or a fun night out with friends.

If you want to add a bit of kisses to your every day, how about a kiss necklace, a kiss phone case, or a red hot kiss clutch? And, what about a pretty kiss print? Love!! Don't forget your favorite scent and a touch of bright lipstick! You never know who's cheek it might end up on...

Do you like a fun kiss print?

[1.msgm dress, 2.yves saint laurent lip and cheek, 3.rachel roy necklace, 4.made by girl print, fragrance, 6.lulu guiness wallet, 7.juicy phone case]

- post by Adri Reynoso
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FASHION: Summer Style

Hi everyone! This is Sandra from Blasfemmes and as it is officially Summer now (insert happy face here) I'm realizing more and more that I'm totally into easy breezy looks. The warmer weather and longer days call for lightweight fabrics and breezy materials that can keep you cool and comfortable at the same time and I personally can't go through Summer without striped garments. These two looks are exactly what I'll want to wear!  

What about you? Which look is your favorite and what do you feel like wearing this Summer? 

-post by sandra lopes


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FOOD: Pavlova with Summer Fruit

Hi there readers of Made By Girl, Amanda here from A Life Well Lived sharing a quintessential summer dessert recipe - Pavlova -  fancy name for a simple dessert. Pavlova is one of my favorites, especially in the summer because it is basically a vehicle to eat lots and lots of whipped cream. Plus the fruit this time of year is pure perfection.

 Pavlova looks like it takes a lot of technique - but it doesn't. If you have a stand mixer or hand mixer that will help. Other than that it is whipping together egg whites and sugar until they are glossy and hold stiff peaks (Here is a tip, if you are not sure if the peaks are stiff, remove the whisk attachment and hold it up. If the meringue holds its shape and doesn't sag or droop then it is good to go) Pavlova is a meringue based desert and meringue is basically baked egg whites and sugar. Which means they are gluten and dairy free.

The whipped cream in the Pavlova is not dairy free but all in all this dessert is fresh and light. If you wanted to go dairy free, just use coconut milk instead of whipped cream.  (Here is a great tutorial on how to do that) You have free rein on what you want to top the Pavlova with. I used berries and peaches but you could use just about any fresh summertime fruit.  Best part of all, the meringue portion of the Pavlova can be made a day in advance, just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap when it is cool.  When you are ready to eat it, top with whipped cream and fruit. It is a crowd pleaser that looks like you have been in the kitchen for days.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • lots of fruit, such as berries and peaches
Preheat oven to 250F Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon meringue onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or a silpat. With the back of a spatula form meringue into a circle/oval shape about 1 inch thick. It doesn't have to be perfect.  Bake meringue for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until meringue is not sticky or tacky to touch Remove meringue from oven and let cool completely.  Right before serving whip cream, sugar and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form. Spoon that onto meringue and top with a lot of fruit. Serve immediately.

-images by amanda fredrickson

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