Movies: The Loft Movie

Hey guys! Are you into movies? My husband I LOVE movies.  He loves action & suspense films, while I prefer horror, suspense & romance, strange combo I know.  For me, my dad got me into watching horror flicks when I was about 7 years old. He enjoyed getting startled by the monster or creepy kid in the films. Go figure.

So today, a NEW film hits the big screen called "The Loft." -  It's a suspense thriller, which I can def get into.  Mat & I are looking forward to seeing this film & seeing how it unravels!  You guys should see it & let us know what you think!  Here's a little synopsis about the film in my own words, then feel free to watch the trailer below for yourself.

The Loft starring Karl Urban & James Marsden , is a suspense thriller about 5 guys sharing a penthouse in the city where they can carry on their most luxurious & sensual fantasties.  It's interesting what could potentially happen when a woman turns up dead in a loft.  The men turn on each other when  they realize that one of them is a killer.  Friendships are torn apart & marriages crumble as you watch human behavior at it's worst.

Official movie trailer here or click below on the video.

You can also get tickets online, which is what Mat & I usually do via Fandango, much, much easier.

Thankfully this is a just a movie and we're just watching it as entertainment and nothing more.  
Anyone else going to see this film?? 

-sponsored post by jen ramos

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Hi there! Jen from Lemond Drop Love here.  Aren’t zucchini the most versatile veggie?

They substitute pasta and fries (my two favorites) surprisingly well—thank goodness! Being a french fry lover and having a few more pound to shed post pregnancy, I have been trying to eat as healthy as I can without driving myself crazy. These zucchini fries have a lot of flavor plus a really nice crunch and have been able to satisfy my cravings in a big way.  For those of you trying to eat healthy at the start of the New Year, I think you will enjoy these as much as I have.

2 medium zucchinis, sliced into skinny sticks
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Cholula)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray or oil a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Cut zucchini into thin slices and set a side. In a dish, combine the Panko, Parmesan cheese, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk two eggs.
  • Dip the zucchini sticks in the eggs and then into the Panko mixture. Coat evenly.
  • Place the coated zucchini sticks onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
  • To make the dipping sauce, place all of the ingredients in a bowl; then whisk until combined.

-photos and post by Jen Costea

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Hi everyone, this is Sandra from Blasfemmes. Since this is my first post of 2015 I want to wish you all a happy 2015, filled with lots of love, success and health! I entered this new year with a more "minimalist" approach shopping wise. The beginning of the year is always the time of amazing sales, shopping temptations and even great deals but this year I found myself thinking: what do I really need in my wardrobe right now? This post is exactly about that: the items I consider essentials and therefore great things to buy (in or out of sale season).  

Did I forget to mention anything? What are the items you consider essential in your wardrobes?   


 -post by sandra lopes

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Sweet Darla

I remember the first time I met Darla.

They had brought her to our local vet office so we could pick her up.  They informed us she was a small boxer, a year-and-a-half old female. She was the very last dog at the boxer rescue in Las Vegas  before the rescue would officially close down.  They let us know if we wanted her, we would have to come pick her up asap, so we did.  At the time, we only had Danny and we wanted a companion for him.  When we arrived the boxer rescue worker brought her out & Darla was so ecstatic to be out of the cage they had her in, she jumped all over Mat & I.  She was all smiles and had just met us for the first time.  I remember thinking for a moment as we put her into the car, "I don't know if we should take her, she's too young & crazy" - but I'm SO glad I didn't listen to that voice, because the moments that were to come were some of the happiest I've ever had. That was 2006.

 (one of the first pics I took of her)

Fast forward to January 15, 2015 around 8pm.  Mat & I were both home, I was busy painting flowers & getting the apartment ready for the 2 photo shoots I would have over the weekend.  I heard Mat call her name about 5 times as he looked down at her on the floor....she was lying on her side.  Since she didn't respond to him, he told me to call her because she didn't seem to want to go out for a walk. I called her name twice from my office and nothing....

This was strange, I immediately went over to where she was in the living room & she looked up at me, her tail wagging slowly.  I got a treat and offered it to her, she just looked at it, but no other reaction.  I lifted her head & feet with my hand & they felt weak, my heart started racing.  Unsure what to do next, I prayed.  Mat carried her, we grabbed her little orange coat & raced to the ER.  Arrived at the hospital around 8:20pm & saw her head lift to look around as we waited for the doc.  I felt hopeful.  Little did we know, what would happen just a few hours later.

They immediately took her to the back & several x-rays later, the doc informed us the diagnosis was dark.  It seemed that there was fluid around her lungs & it was starting to cause heart failure.  We were heart  broken, I felt so helpless. We went into the ICU area to see her for the 2nd time at 10:18pm, she lifted her head, but was still too weak to get up from the table.  I remember her little eyes looking up at me, then over to Mat, and then she put her head down again. My heart was breaking & tears just rolled down my face.

We kissed her a few times & told her we loved her.  We then walked out of ICU & about 10:50pm the doctor rushed to get us saying  she may not make it & that maybe we needed to say goodbye.  I couldn't believe it. We rushed back to see her and her body was shaking trying to get breath inside it......I have never seen anything die, and now I was about to see my sweet Darla pass away.

She took her last breath as I held her paws..... I wanted to fall to the floor and cry.  My husband put his arms around me & comforted me.

Today, January 22nd, I sit home with a strange emptiness that doesn't leave me. I miss her face looking up at me. She was so gentle and smart. I loved seeing her face first thing in the morning & feeling her beside me as I moved throughout the apt.  I used to call her "my little shadow".

She would wait for me with an extraordinary patience I've never seen before.  Often she would nudge the back of my leg when I was brushing my teeth, so I could look down at her. And I always did.  She knew me so well & studied everything about me.  She would sit by my desk as I worked, every so often coming over to get a few kisses from me. Whenever Mat I would watch TV, she'd want to be on the sofa with us. Sometimes she would even want Mat off the sofa, so she could have me to herself. Those days she made us both laugh, as she would GROWL at him.

We were so overjoyed taking her to the park, she absolutely loved it there. We would let her off the leash and she would sniff around then always walk back and sit beside us.  The days she went to the vet I would hold her to make her feel safe, I would tell her she was a good girl. She loved that.  One of the things we miss the most is coming home & seeing her greet us with the same HAPPINESS & JOY as the first day we met her.  I have never been so sad & heartbroken.  I ask God to get me through these next few days, and I have to remind myself to thank Him for the time he let us have with her. 

She loved us, we were her entire world & we loved & adored her.  She was my shadow, our companion, as close to a child as we've ever had together......we will forever miss her unconditional love. 

It's comforting to know that everyday that passes is a day closer to the day I'll see her again.

-post by jen ramos

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DESIGN: Pantone Color of the Year

Hello MBG readers, its Lisa with Gem Daily how are you enjoying 2015 so far? I have always loved setting new resolutions & starting the year fresh. And it wouldn't be another year without a brand new Pantone color that is completely influencing the design world. I must say I was completely surprised when this year's color marsala was announced-very unexpected but I am loving it! It is the perfect mixture of purple and red and I think it can easily add a level of sophistication and richness to a space.

 Marsala works perfectly with deep taupes and grays and its gem-like quality is perfect when paired with greens and royal blues. Give marsala a whirl in your space and celebrate the color of the year!

one// table lamp
two// votive
three// rug
four// pendant
five// clock
six// armchair
eight// throw blanket

-post by lisa fisbeck

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NEW: ever & ever

My apologies for my absence, my boxer Darla, died this past Thursday.....and it's been terribly sad around here. I will be posting a tribute post in her memory soon.  In the meanwhile, one of the newest prints arrived today & is now available in the shop.  It measures 16"x20" and yes, can be shipped anywhere in the world.  It's called 'ever & ever' in a beautiful gold color - symbolic of a love so strong that lasts forever...

-photo by jen ramos

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FOOD: Salted Caramel Pavlovas

Hello Made By Girl readers! Jen from Pretty Eats here with a gorgeous dessert that is sure
to impress, Salted Caramel Pavlovas. This meringue recipe has been a family stand-by
for ages, and I've been inspired to add a touch of caramel and sea salt. Pavlovas are such a simple cookie to make, don't tell your guests that though! These would also be lovely with fresh berries on top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Salted Caramel Pavlovas

Ingredients: makes 6 pavlovas
• 2 egg whites
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
• Sea salt
• 3/4 c sugar
• Jar of prepared caramel sauce


• Preheat oven to 325 F
• Beat egg whites, extract, tartar, and salt until soft peaks form.
• Gradually add sugar. Beat until glossy and stiff peaks form.
• On a parchment lined baking sheet, spoon 3" wide mounds of the mixture.
• Drizzle 1/2 tsp of caramel sauce on each mound. Gently swirl with a butter knife.
• Bake pavlovas for 20-25 minutes. Turn off oven, allow pavlovas to sit in oven for
another 20 minutes.
• Drizzle with additional caramel sauce, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, and enjoy!

-post by Jennifer Olson
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My Domino Picks

I love Domino magazine. Who doesn't? I've been a long time fan & honestly, my wish is to be featured along with my apartment in one of their issues. Will you root for me? 

But today, I wanted to ask if you were aware that Domino has a shopping section on their site?? I usually visit their shop once-a-week and am always intrigued by the the new additions. Hmmm I can totally see one of my paintings there too, what do you think? I love that they have my girl Jenna's Indian Chief prints, gorgeous!  Well, aside from dreaming, I've decided to show you my current picks from their shop.  I'm really lovin' this brass triangle stand - perfect for napkins on dining tables.

Tell me, have you shopped at Domino?

-post by jen ramos

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New Book: 31 Days of Prayer for the dreamer & the doer

It's Here!!! 

A few weeks back I mentioned this on my Instagram

So, last year, I was asked to join a talented group of Christian women to co-write a book called "31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer" founded by the women at The Well Studio.   I was asked to be part of this beautiful & powerful devotional by contributing a prayer on Marketing + Branding and I admit, at first I was like, "oh my gosh, what am I going to pray?!?!? God pls help!!!" Well, thank God, I figured it out.  Below is a peek at my prayer as I was writing it down, before it was even published. The book is officially released! With over 200 pages, I know this prayer book will inspire & encourage you throughout year!  My prayer is on 'branding + marketing' and you'll find it on page 171.  I am SO excited & honored to be part of this!!!

This is a different type of devotional & I love how it is specifically for the dreamer + doer.  So, I'm curious, have you ever asked yourself these questions:

What kind of dreams do I have, that I want to start putting into action? 
How does God play a role in my business? 
Can I pray about my business & goals?

YES, we CAN certainly pray about business.  Our dreams don't have to be just dreams.  In fact, 'the Lord delights in our asking' -  as written in Proverbs 15:8.  I can't wait for you to read all the prayers by these 31 women. (including mine). 

If you're wondering, the book covers topics like:

faith • comparison • God’s word • freedom • serving • online influence
authenticity • identity grace in my home • singleness
marriage • creativity • collaboration + opportunity • branding + marketing • comparison
motherhood • success + failure • busyness & more!!

You can buy the book directly via  Made By Girl - a percentage of the proceeds from each book will go to NYC Rescue Mission (the charity of my choice).

Some of the AWESOME Christian women involved in this book include: 

Aedriel Moxley / Alisa Keaton / Beth Ann Platt / Casey Wiegand / Chelsie Birks / Claire Hogan / Demi Austin-Thomas / Dianne Jago / Esther Havens / Francie Winslow / Gina Ziedler / Hilary Rushford / Holley Gerth / Jen Ramos / Jennie Allen / Jess Connolly / Jill Monaco / Marshawn Daniels / Megan Smalley / Nancy Ray / Kristen Steele McCall / Kristin Rogers / Lara Casey / Lauren Chandler / Lindsay Sherbondy / Maggie Whitley / Megan Burns / Rebecca Lyons / Tricia Goyer / Valerie Woerner

-post by jen ramos

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Our Anniversary

Yesterday was our anniversary.  

Great timing being so close to the weekend and all.  Even though we don't technically do stuff on 'anniversaries' - we still acknowledge the date & our life together.

LOVE is a strange thing, it grows the longer you're together.  It grows into a deeper more meaningful bond....or at least it's supposed to.   I read somewhere that 'a true relationship is two un-perfect people refusing to give up on each other ' - & that is what I've learned after years of being together.

Like many marriages, ours has it's ups & downs. So, keeping it together requires effort on both our parts.  It's never a forced effort, but an effort that comes about from love & a desire to make it work. It's never an "I have to make this work",  or "I feel responsible, and have to do this" - but instead an "I love my spouse, and I want to do this." 

Looking back now, we both know our faith has played a huge part in the bettering of our marriage.  Knowing John 4:19 - “We love because He first loved us" & understanding the love of Christ has been essential to our marriageWe must love each other like Jesus loved us, meaning we need to love in an unselfish way & put our spouse first.  YES, that has been very challenging because by default we all want to be first.  It is an "I" kind of world & we are also part of it.  However, coming to know God, we are aware of His love for us, and his laws.... & that changes many things.  The "I 's" we once valued, slowly disappear.  My husband and I are always striving to be patient, gentle, kind, and self-sacrificing....and most importantly available. We love to spend time together & always make sure to do so.  In all we do, we try find the joy.  YES, we do fail at times, but we pull ourselves back up.  In fact, God has an interesting way of reaching us when we fall, and He is always on time.

We pray together & read together - and one of the sites we enjoy visiting called 'Fierce Marriage' - written by a Christian couple, (Ryan & Selena) who say "they're just a guy and a girl who are learning how to build a marriage that is centered on Christ."  This site is truly inspiring!  We've learned many things, and recently I was deeply moved by an article Ryan from Fierce Marriage wrote called - "5 Phrases I tell My Wife, and I hope she Believes Me".

This article almost brought me to tears, as it dove into the honest expressions of a loving husband toward his wife, in the hopes that she would believe his words.  My husband is never short on expressing his love toward me in words, in fact, that is how I fell in LOVE with him.  This anniversary - we will not be taking any fancy trips (we rarely do) or getting any fancy cards or dinners, but instead committing ourselves to the love God has given us & expressing that love toward one another.

I love you husband.

Have a nice weekend everyone!
-post by jen ramos

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FOOD: Classic Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hey guys! Jen from Lemon Drop Love here and wow it's been a while! Hope you had a nice holiday season. I had a sweet little baby girl in October and cooking has been a struggle in my house since her debut. But today I wanted to kick start the year with a healthy chicken tortilla soup from one of my very favorite chefs, Rick Bayless.

I love all his restaurants and one of them actually catered my wedding, how big of a fan I am of this guy and his food! I have always wanted to cook tortilla soup and I finally got around to it. I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by this dish before, because after making it I realize just how easy and delicious it is. I have a feeling I will be making more and more of this soup until I can get a handle on the kitchen and cooking again. Hope you enjoy!

Classic Chicken Tortilla Soup

INGREDIENTS: (recipe adapted via Rick Bayless)
1 large dried New Mexico chile
One15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 quarts chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, breasts removed and skinned and then shredded
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheese, Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
4 cups roughly broken tortilla chips
Lime wedges for garnish

  • Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender along with the tomatoes and their juices. Heat the oil in a large (4 quart) pot over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop the onion and garlic and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.
  • Return the pot to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the puree and stir constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6-minutes. Add the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt.
  • Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Serve and garnish with cheese, avocado, chips and a lime wedge.

-post by jen costea

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Books: On My List

Welcome to almost Friday..... 

I have SO many books, and even though I've not gotten around to reading them all...I like to think I will someday. Designs books especially....

However, on my day off you'll find me submerged in books like "Girl Boss" by Sophia Amoruso or "It is Finished" by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian.  Totally different types of books, but both fascinating...since one is about faith & the other about a woman & her successful business. 
This year I've decided to read even more, and on my list are the titles below. (with the exception of 4 and 5, which I have) . 

Do you enjoy reading?? Which book is on your wish list this year?

-post by jen ramos

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DESIGN: Powder Pink + White Bedroom

First of all Happy New Year!! I hope you had an amazing Christmas holidays and a lovely New Year's Eve party!! And I hope you are ready for more décor inspiration coming your way in 2015! Let's get it going!

I found this beautiful bedroom/home tour on Style at home and I couldn't help but share! I love the powder pink and white combination and the textures on the bedside table and rug, this room is just fabulous! Scroll down to get the look! xx Monika
-post by monika

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Brunch & Unstopables Scents

My husband & I started a new thing called "hotel-style brunch" where we literally have a fancy, hotel-style brunch at our home once a week.  With this brunch set-up, we wanted the space to smell great before the food was served.  So, what did we do?

We chose one of the new Unstopables scents to freshen up the space. We got two different scents, "Shimmer" & "Fresh"  but we chose "fresh" for our brunch setting - it smells great!  It definitely made a difference while we waited for the food to be done. We loved the airy, fresh scent we got from the spray..

If you're not familiar with Unstopables - it's a long lasting spray that elevates the everyday. The Unstopables collection features 3 luxurious scents, fresh, shimmer and lush. There are scents for air, home & even fabric.  So now even you're laundry can smell beautiful too.....right out of the dryer.  The laundry crystals feature breakthrough perfume micro capsules. They're literally like crystals for your laundry..... too cute! You'll def love the scents.

-post & photo by jen ramos

-  This post has been sponsored by unstopables , but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Coming Soon

 Hello everyone! How was your Holiday? Aren't we all wishing it was a bit longer sometimes? Seems like there is never enough time.... 

But now that we are back to work, I wanted to announce that I'll be releasing the first set of Cocoa & Hearts paintings for 2015, so stay tuned! -  Hope you are had a great Holiday!

-image by jen ramos

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Welcome back & Happy NEW YEAR 2015!! 

 We continue onto our 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 lucky magazine // leopard coat top via artizia // black handbag via marc jacobs
// long eopard coat bottom via river island // torn black denim via anine bing/ black high heels via mod cloth //

-post by jen ramos

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