FOOD: On-The-Go Breakfast Bowl

Hi everyone! Sami from XO, Sami Davis here. I'm the newest contributor here at Made By Girl & am so excited to be posting today for the first time! So, here we go! Let's chat about breakfast.

Breakfast used to be the hardest meal of the day for me to put together. From rushing out the door or just not feeling particularly hungry, skipping breakfast was seriously make a dent in my daily routine. With the need for a great recipe I could make in a snap, I cultivated a yummy breakfast bowl perfect for the girl on the go. Today, I’m sharing with you a honey greek yogurt bowl topped with strawberries, bananas, and your favorite granola.

- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp clover honey
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 cup your favorite granola 

1. Start by placing your greek yogurt in a bowl and pouring the honey over the yogurt.
2. Slice up your strawberries and bananas then 
assemble them on top of your yogurt honey mixture.
3. Top with your favorite granola, enjoy!

TIP: These make great make-ahead meals and would hold perfectly in small mason jars assembled like a parfait. That way, all you have to do is grab a jar on your way out the door!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

-post and photos by Sami Davis

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FOOD: Almond Milk Oatmeal with Chia & Blackberries

Good morning Made By Girl readers! Jen from Pretty Eats here with a great way to start your day, Almond Milk Oatmeal with lots of yummy toppings. I'll admit it, I'm more of a "coffee for breakfast" type of girl, something I'm trying to change this year. To make breakfast tempting, I make it beautiful and adaptable to any tastes I'm craving at the moment - sliced nuts and fresh fruit are my favorites! The lovely thing about multi grain oatmeal is that you don't need  a lot to fend off hunger for hours. Also, high quality grain blends can be found pre-packaged or simply in your grocery's bulk bins. Simple, tasty, and easy!

Almond Milk Oatmeal with Chia & Blackberries:
Ingredients:  makes 1 serving

    •    1 c 7 Grain Blend cereal (rye, wheat, oats, barley, etc)
    •    1/2 c almond milk
    •    pinch of sea salt
    •    2 big dollops of your favorite yogurt
    •    1 tsp chia seeds
    •    Additional toppings such as sliced almonds, crushed pistachios, and blackberries.

    •    Heat almond milk to simmering and pour over oats with a small pinch of salt.
    •    Stir and allow oats to soften for a few minutes.
    •    Add toppings of your choice, such as yogurt, chia seeds, almonds, crushed pistachios and blackberries. Enjoy!

-Post & photos by jen olson

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On Valentine's Day...

Valentine's Day should be everyday if you're in a relationship. 

My husband & I are firm believers in keeping L-O-V-E alive by nurturing it daily. We strive hard to place God at the center of our marriage, and even though some days it's not easy, the most important thing is we 'both' keep trying.

This week, my husband & I were practicing making desserts for Valentine's day.  He loves cooking, while I'm more the creative type who likes to decorate them .... we work well together!  Below are the sweets we made, which we'll also be making on V-day!  Hope we can inspire you to show someone...that you LOVE them....whether you have a husband, wife, bf or gf...or you're single. comes in many forms.  Have a Happy Valentine's Day.

Above: a bouquet of flowers I brought home - couldn't resist!

Below: The newest Love print in Blush pink+gold - gorgeous! Available in my Made By Girl shop.

Below: Chocolate cupcake with butter cream frosting & a side of pink cotton candy, don't forget the conversation hearts!

Enjoy a good LOVE LETTER? I do! In fact, my husband STILL leaves notes & LOVE letters for me even after many years together.  Paying attention to the small meaningful things is key.  

In 2013 I created an online magazine devoted to Love Letters, where several blogger shared their favorites. I shared one my husband wrote me, you can see a peek below. See the entire letter & more in the online magazine here

I'm sure you'll LOVE it!

Below: chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting & conversation hearts - yum!

below: Chocolate heart ice-cream sandwich? Sure, why not?

Below: one of the many Pink Ombre original paintings I painted for clients - great reminder to LOVE.

-all images by jen ramos

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FOOD: S'mores for TWO

Hi guy! Jen from Lemon Drop Love here. We are in the month of love and Valentines Day is creeping up on us. Today, I wanted to share a version of one of my favorite sweet treats—s’mores! But this time you get to share it with your special someone and get a little messy in the process.

S’more For Two

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Graham crackers for dipping
1 small skillet
 Get this one at Sur La Table or others via Madyson's Marshmallows or (or extra large marshmallows cut in half)
Heart-shaped cookie cutter

Preheat the oven to 450.
In a small cast iron skillet, add chocolate chips. Take each Maddy Melt and cut into heart shapes or cut the large marshmallows in half and top the chocolate chips with them.
Once the oven is up to temperature, add the skillet to the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn golden brown.
Serve with graham crackers for scooping.

-images and recipe by jen costea
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Hi everyone, Sandra from Blasfemmes here! Just thought I’d share a little Valentine’s Day inspiration with you today. I can't think of a more appropriate time to focus on pink though I don't really need excuses to wear/buy pink. :) From the items below I'm definitely getting the 'Blush Pink LOVE' print, I already own the gold one but this new blush edition is killing me. And you, how will your surprise the ones you love? Do you have plans yet?

-post by sandra lopes

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Books for KIDS on Vday

Valentine's Day is usually for lovers no? Well, I believe it's a day to celebrate L-O-V-E with anyone you adore!  Including your children.

At this stage in my life, my husband & I do not have kids (yet) .........but we are still in the process of adoption & we're excited! If I had a child this very second, I would get them books for Valentine's Day. Why?

Well, to be honest, I love books & I hope to instill the same passion for them to our child.  My love for books started when I was about 6 dad brought home several encyclopedias for us.  Between my sister & I, I was the one more interested in diving into these complex historical encyclopedias, even if I had no idea what I was looking at!  No matter what, I was enthralled by books of every kind.  As a young kid my favorites were Charlotte's Web, Charlie & The Chocolate factory and of course, CorduroyEver read any of these?

So, I selected a few titles I thought would be a lovely addition to any child's book collection. Great & useful gifts for Valentine's Day

Ball, I love my mom, I love my dad, a walk in New York, The magic bunny, Louise loves art, Dog loves books via:  Barneys.

Mr. Funny
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

-post by jen ramos

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BEAUTY: Color Of the Year

Hello! Bonjour! My name is Monica and I write a beauty blog called Beauty Parler. No, not a spelling mistake. Parler, the french verb to talk/speak in this case Beauty Talk. So excited to contribute my first beauty post here at Made by Girl. What better way to begin my first post than with Pantone's 2015 color, Marsala. The perfect earthy wine shade that translates beautifully to makeup. A universal shade that suits most skin tones. A warm shade that is perfect for Winter.

Marsala is such a fabulous shade to wear.
(1) NARS Almerla Blush- Use it as a hint of color on cheeks.
(2) OPI Nail Lacquer- the easiest way to wear Marsala this year is using a nail lacquer like shade Lost on Lombard.
(3) Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - this waterproof cream liner is a great for those that want to try a shade other than black. Shade Honey Black is not black but rather a reddish brown liner.
(4) NARS Satin Lipstick- a bold lip always makes a fabulous statement in Winter. Shade Afghan Red is balance of reddish brown. Making it a close match to marsala.

What do you think of the color Marsala?

-post by Monica

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Valentine Gift Ideas

I know it can be overwhelming to shop for a Valentine's gift, but for the next day or two, I've decided to give you a few ideas. You don't have much time left - so here we go!

Men, If you give your wife or gf perfume, chocolates, a massage etc....try adding in a little something extra to the mix such as an art print from my Made By Girl shop, a gorgeous card from Paperless Post or some cute stickers from Paper-Source! These are just thought ful extras she'll love! 

Ladies.... you can also do the same for your's not just men doing the gifting, you know?!

-post by jen ramos
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William Sonoma This V-DAY

How will you be celebrating this Valentine's Day? My husband & I were originally going to go out to a nice dinner, but we decided to take the fancy dinner money & donate it to a charity.  It's the first time we've ever done this on V-day....but we knew that we could come up with something fun to do anyway.  So, Mat offered to make a lovely dinner instead - then we both will be making something FUN for dessert! Neat huh?

However, if you're NOT in the cooking or going out mode, I suggest ordering something sweet & pretty for your Valentine - I recommend William Sonoma.  They have the prettiest cakes & candies for that special day.

Here are a few of my faves, and even though I'm still looking to try some of these....just out of sheer beauty I'd buy some.

Seriously, who wouldn't be impressed with any of these arriving at their door?

-post by jen ramos

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