FASHION: 5 Vavoom dresses for NYE

Hey guys! I am so excited for the Holidays! BIGGEST reason is because I will get to spend time with my family. Also, I'm excited about going on more than (1) date night......thanks to my mom! With that said...anyone have plans for the New Year?? 

We hadn't been out on New Year's Eve since NYE 2015, right before Noah popped into the mix & we became a family of 3. So, this year even though we may not make it out to party, I wanted to inspire those of you who would be. I put together some dresses that are sure to draw some attention & get you noticed while ringing in 2017. 

Hope you all have a great Christmas!!

which one is your favorite?

uno.  | mesh ruffle dress via topshop
dos. | nude pink sequin dress via zara
tres. | green sequin print dress via topshop
cuatro. | metalllic camellia dress via rebacca taylor
cinco. | black sequin pleaded midi dress via topshop

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Design: Throwback of My Apartment

Earlier this year, I was featured in a popular Decor magazine called Casa e Jardim from Brazil.

I don't believe I ever shared all these photos on my I wanted to post them today.  The photos were shot earlier this year when Noah was much younger & wasn't standing or walking yet...hence, why the coffee table is styled so nicely in the pic below! Ha! These days, the apartment is not as nicely decorated because having a toddler changes everything! Simple things like a glass vase are now considered "armed & dangerous." haha 

This apartment holds so many memories but one of my favorites was decorating it.  I hope my home decor will inspire you! Please feel free to pin these pics!

area rug by madeline weinrib 
| Art by Jen Ramos  
| zig zag blk & white ceramic vase by Emilia Ceramics

small spotted rug by Caitlin Wilson

desk by west elm

blue abstract art set + gold frames via  Jen Ramos

 indian chief art by jenna snyder-phillips

pillows are old by cb2 and west elm
| velvet sofa by Jayson Home

-pic by jen ramos

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FASHION: 5 Comfy Holiday Sweaters

Many of us will be attending Holiday parties or just family gatherings this Season.  For me, I'll be heading to a family gathering where we will (for the first time ever) do a Christmas sweater theme. This is NOT a common thing for my family, but my brother suggested it 2 weeks ago along with some hot chocolate - & I said, "Um, YEA!!"

With that said, I spent the last week looking for the right sweater that wasn't going to have me sweating up a storm while indoors!  I finally decided on this one.

If you're thinking of the same, I pulled together 5 sweatshirts that I thought would work nicely for a family gathering or office party. In the meanwhile Happy Shopping! I will shoot a few pics for my instagram + show it on my SnapChat: CocoaAndHearts around Christmas time. Stay tuned!

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ART: Birds Painting

I recently launched another sale with 8 paintings & only 3 are left.

Today I wanted to highlight a piece I've done more than a few times for clients called "Birds".
This painting is one of my favorites & probably one of the prettiest in person. People ask me why this piece costs more than the other large ones...and the reason is because this painting takes around 3-4 days to complete. I literally have to do this piece in layers to make sure it turns out the way I want it.  I also add oils which takes longer to dry. 

Looking at this piece of art, I can picture it in a little girl's room, a home office or even a bedroom! It's versatile & seems to mix well in any space even with the pink colors! This Large BIRDS painting is currently available in my online gallery, see it here.

Hope you have a great weekend!! Happy Holidays. 

-1st pic by mia baxter (superimposed with my painting) + 3rd photo via Domino with painting superimposed.

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FASHION: Top 10 SheIn fashion picks

Hey guys, a friend recommended I visit this shop called SheIn.  

I really loved all the cute outfits they had available and the best part was they were unique & also VERY affordable! The every day gal could shop all the time on this site because they have sweaters, t-shirts, makeup brushes, shoes, gorgeous skirts (a la' Carrie Bradshaw) & more! I rounded up my top 10 pics from their site & will be purchasing a few of these faves for myself. Ladies, check them out here, you will not be disappointed. They also have amazing sales to save even more!  

happy holidays! 

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New Sweatshirt for the kids!!

Hey guys, I know many of us are anticipating Thanksgiving for some time off......but I wanted to give you a heads up & let you know we launched a new design in a sweatshirt! Check it out here in our kids shop : Cocoa & Hearts. - perfect timing as the weather is already getting chilly! - This unisex sweatshirt is only available in gray & in sizes 2T-4T for toddlers! will get a FREE Hot Pink heart print with each sweater purchase! 

available at cocoa & hearts

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TOP 5 Picks from SJP Shoe Collection

Hey guys, I have been contemplating if I am going to continue blogging. Each day that goes by I think I get more 'unmotivated'.  Wonder if anyone else feels this way? - Call me crazy but today out of nowhere, I saw Sarah Jessica Parker & felt inspired to write a NEW Year's Fashion post. As many of you know...the uncertainty our country faces can seem a little daunting & often times we need to put our minds on other things to get through the day.  Normally, when I feel inspired... it allows me to create & get away for a bit.  In this case, to start planning an outfit for the New Year.

If I know I am going out on New Year's eve, I tend to put together an outfit a few days after Thanksgiving. Since shoes are a BIG deal,  SJP has a great line & although it's not SUPER affordable, it's just one option. However, there are other budget friendly options at some of my faves like Mango & Zara you might like!  Here are my top 5 picks from the SJP collection.

P.S. I will try my best to blog, if not......then feel free to join me on instagram.

-post by jen ramos

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Real Life: Balance

Being a mom & running a business is HARD work. There aren't enough hours in a day to do both as well as I'd like. I admit it. There are days I wish I had my nanny even longer, but then I'd never spend time with my son. It's all about perfecting balance I guess.....& that, I am still working on. Today I looked down at my little guy & he was wearing this t-shirt I designed. Says "mom & dad are my heroes" .... It made me smile. ...that maybe he thought I was doing just great... That in his eyes, I was HIS HERO.  

It made all this hard work today...feel a little better.

Follow more on my instagram.

T-shirt from my shop Cocoa & Hearts
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Hey Moms, Check out the new shop!

Hey everyone! I have been working on some new things theses days, my apologies that I am not on here as much. However, for those not following on social media, you can now see the new Kids shop I've launched!

The t-shirts are for KIDS (boys & girls) 10 styles in the launch collection! We just LAUNCHED today! Shop for your kiddos give them as gifts ...Check them out at Cocoa & Hearts & take advantage of our launch discount code.

-pic by sage and sparkle
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Cocoa & Hearts News

Hey everyone! Hope this Monday is going good for you! -  I thought I'd pop in & update you on this NEW Kids t-shirt line we are putting together!!  We are actually re-doing our entire Cocoa & Hearts website + re-branding it.  The Cocoa & Hearts site will no longer be paintings, but you can go to Made By Girl if you're looking to have me paint an original painting for you. Sound good?

The new Cocoa & Hearts logo will look like this (below) & we will be seeking out a few K-I-D-S brand ambassadors. That means.... we will send them a few t-shirts in exchange for some cool pics on social media, tagging us & letting others know where to find the line!  The kids will be carefully selected based on your social media account, follower count etc.  Excited to introduce this to all of you! I know this is a different route and I may have many people un-follow me or stop reading the blog all together...because you you preferred to see home decor....& that's ok. When I first started Made By Girl, I had only 7 followers, so I understand what it's like to be at ZERO pretty much (if I have to be).  BUT, I really hope to have your support through this in any way, especially all YOU moms!

As I mentioned before - we'll be launching about 8-10 t-shirt designs to start with. Can't wait to see which is your favorite.  Sizes will range from 18 Months old - 4 years of age. Please don't forget, if you'd like be notified of the launch date - SIGN UP to our mailer at Cocoa & Hearts.  XO

-post by jen ramos

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Revealed: What's Next

Hey guys! I am finally REVEALING the main reason why I haven't been on my blog much.
For those of you who've been with me since the beginning in 2006 - and remember my first post may seem odd that I've been taking such a BIG break from blogging!  But like everything else in life, this too gets a bit boring.  Sometimes we just need a break, a refresher.... to re-think what else we'd like to try & hopefully accomplish in our lives.  So, here's a small look into what I've been working on lately.

Ever since Noah popped into the mix - I've been thinking more & more about clothing for KIDS.  I LOVE TO CREATE.  I love painting, drawing, designing & coming up with new ideas & concepts. In fact, both of my businesses were about ART that I created for people's homes.  So, after contemplating this for quite some time,  I decided to try my hand at a market that is completely saturated & competitive.  I'm talking about kids apparel. 

Trust me, I realize I am taking a BIG risk in jumping into an industry that is already full of wonderful talent. Even with the same hesitation & fear many of you felt at first... I am ready & here I come!

As I said, this is a NEW market for me.  My head keeps going back & forth between fear & excitement.  I had forgotten what this fear felt like after running my previous business, Made By Girl for over 10 years.  Throughout that time, I remember many women emailing me & asking how they could start their own businesses. They always wondered if they would be able to put aside their own fears & introduce their business ideas to the world.  I often wonder what many of those women ended up doing.  Well, here I am, back at the 'starting line' with another adventure ready to be introduced. 

For me, this is yet another medium to express my art.  I am super EXCITED about these hand-drawn designs for kids tees I created.  I really think other moms will love them too!  The t-shirts are all screen-printed & we will be launching ONLY 8-10 designs to start! We will ACTUALLY be RE-branding the Cocoa & Hearts website & launching it into this new brand. Hope it doesn't cause too much confusion! If you want to know the launch date + news updates -  feel free to sign up to the newsletter here.

I hope you will welcome this NEW & fun kids brand we are launching SOON - from one MAMA to another, THANK YOU in advance!!!!

-images & post by jen ramos

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Hey guys! It's been awhile but I have been mostly on SNAPCHAT as (CocoaAndHearts) these days as well as my instagram

But I've also been hitting the gym a bit more to try & work out and get my tone back. 
You see, after Noah came I really slacked off going to the gym. It really feels horrible to look at myself in the mirror and not see my abs as toned anymore...or even feel as tight all over. Going to gym really helped my bloating issues, I could eat & not feel BLOATED.

So in order to motivate myself & get back to the gym.... I decided to buy some new work-out leggings! Anyone else EVER get motivated when they buy a new outfit??! I do!  I also thought I'd make it easy for you to shop some cute leggings by rounding up 5 of my favorites.  Enjoy your work-out!

Which is your favorite?

1. adidas by stella mccartney 2. adidas by stella mccartney  (I have this one)
3.  Gray adidas by Stella Mccartney  4. norma kamali stretch leggings  5. lucas hugh leggings 

-post by jen ramos

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Hey everyone!

It's been awhile since we've done a painting sale......I've been busy working on quite a few things. Being a mom, working a few collaborations with other companies, paintings commissions & possibly even starting another company, so stay tuned to hear more!! - Woo Hoo!  But today, I'd like to introduce you to 5 NEW (5"X7") MINI Colors paintings! Although one of the pieces is not pictured below, it is available in the online gallery!

P.S. please keep in mind, these are vertical mini 5 x7 paintings at $65 each.

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Dagne Dover + Made By Girl

If you didn't know,  I recently collaborated with Dagne Dover. A handbag company that focuses on sophisticated organized handbags for the modern woman. Their bags are the most functional bags I've owned. In fact, I can't say enough of how functional they are on he inside, while still looking beautiful on the outside. I own their black 15 inch tote and if you're a business owner like myself, this bag is great! This design is very well thought out and even allows a protective slot for my laptop! With that said... when they approached me about a collaboration - I was on-board! 

We collaborated on around 45 items (card cases + handbags) which I hand-painted myself with my signature style. There are limited quantities available & they're almost all sold out. You can view the entire collection here.  It includes brushstrokes, lipstick kisses & flamingos!  

If interested in collaborating with me on something, shoot me an email! I'd love to hear about it!

-post by jen ramos

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FASHION: 6 Dresses for warm weather

Hey everyone! Happy Friday!! 

New York City weather has been unpredictable - but last week we got a taste of warmer weather & I got excited at the prospect of wearing dresses again! I actually went shopping yesterday and purchased a few styles. But, if you're like me, you know there are styles online that you just won't find in stores. So, I ended up buying a couple more for the warmer weather....

I also decided to make your shopping experience a but more fuss-free & choose 6 styles that I'm sure you'll love.  I'm a size 4 - so these would suit my figure.  My husband was nice enough to get me this one by James Perse for early Mother's Day I just have to make sure I can keep working on my abs! Ha. 

Hope these will suit you too! 

1. Asos jersey dress
2. boohoo stripe shirt dress
3. House of Sunny tie front dress
4. Asos ruffle low back dress
5. james perse twisted sleeve dress
6. Asos off-shoulder mini dress

-post by jen ramos

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Will you be in NYC tomorrow May 7th? 

If so, I'd like to invite you to a wonderful Mother's Day DIY event that I'll be hosting at Fossil on 5th avenue.  There will be breakfast bites, mimosas & more! Plus you'll get a chance to paint your own tin & plant a succulent to bring home to mom! 

Or you can just treat yourself! All info below! Come by & say hello! Please RSVP here.

-post by jen ramos
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12 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Hello everyone!!!

It's almost the end of April & guess what? Mother's day next month! I know some of you may be wondering....what in the world do I get mom??? Or the wife?   - Often times even my husband will be at a loss what to get his own mom or me on Mom's day!  So, if you're like my husband and not so good at figuring those things out, I'm here to give you a few ideas.

So, this Mother's Day I partnered with Fossil to make that shopping decision a little easier.  Below is my list of 12 Gift Ideas for mom...but I wanted to highlight 9 & 10 and mention these two in particular.  They're from Fossil's newest collection in partnership with Me to We.  It’s a social enterprise which empowers women who are artisans from around the world in order to end poverty in their communities.  The Fossil x ME to WE collection celebrates African Mamas with a beautiful beaded collection handcrafted by artisan mamas in Kenya.

9.  Live Color Fully perfume via Kate Spade

-post by jen ramos
-Sponsored by Fossil Group, Ind. All thoughts and opinion expresses are my own.

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Hey everyone! How are you? It's been raining in New York City today. On rainy days I feel like I could use a bit of color inspiration! I'm sure you could do too... whether it's rainy where you are or not!  I'd like to introduce Sasha Bikoff, she's a young designer whose edgy style is really impressive in today's design scene.  She's known for her bright colors & playful style.

Her unique take on design reminds me of a Barbie's playhouse - with bright colored objects and often times touches of hot pink!  She's only 26 years old & has already been featured on countless blogs... most recently a great spread in Lonny Mag you must see here! These pics will get you started, but def head over to Lonny for more inspiration by this designer.

 -images via sasha bikoff
-post by jen ramos

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FASHION: 5 Off-The Shoulder Ruffle Tops

Hey guys! Hope you're week is going well so far!

I know I have been MIA, but I will be popping in & out when I can. I apologize for disappearing once again, but I have a lot of projects on my plate these days. One of those includes an event I will be hosting with Fossil here in New York City! Can't wait to share. On that note, I need to go shopping!  I have been seeing ruffle, off-the shoulder tops everywhere right now!!

I LOVE this trend, especially for the upcoming warmer weather. This season you're going to have a lot of styles to choose from with many designers jumping in & creating their version of the ruffle off the shoulder top. From high to low prices, you will definitely find one for this Spring/Summer! Here are 5 of my favorites to help you get started!

L to R:

Ramy Brook Sadie top 
Bella Dahl off shoulder top 
Mara Hoffman ruffle off the shoulder top
Rachel Pally esmeralda top 
One Teaspoon off-shoulder top

-post by jen ramos

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Thred-UP: Like-New Affordable Clothes

Hey everyone! Great news for moms today...keep reading!

I have a new favorite shopping site called Thred-Up.  It's a company that offers "like-new" clothing from popular name brands we all love!  I discovered this site when Noah was around 7 months and it has been heaven-sent!  The reason I say this is because....every mom out there knows how pricey kids clothing can be.  Especially when they grow out of it SO QUICKLY!  & you have to buy again.

Thred-Up works for us because we can buy gently used clothing that no longer fit other children or were "never even worn" and buy them at a fraction of the cost! For example like the Toddler Polo by Ralph Lauren gray sweater highlighted below.... retails new for around $55, but at Thred-Up you'll be able to purchase a gently used version for only $13.99. Insanity no?  

Anyway, I can say from firsthand experience that I am HAPPY with the quality of the items I ordered for my son. Everything looked pretty new, no complaints!  For every item you are looking at, Thred-Up offers a description, measurements, material it's made from, along with the condition it is in. They also offer free returns for store credit + they're very generous and love offering their customers incentives to come back with discount codes!  If you're a mom & you're wondering what to do with the clothing you already bought your little one that doesn't fit, Thred-up actually allows you to sell your (gently used) clothing on their site. Not just kids clothing, but adults too!

Here's pretty much how it works:

You order a free Clean Out Kit. pack it full of styles you love & return it to Thred-Up for free. Keep in mind the clothing you send should be in excellent condition. No stains, holes, piling, or signs of wear will be accepted. Styles you send should be on-Trend and in season.  You'll find a variety of brands like J-Crew, DVF, Mini Boden , Theory, Ralph Lauren & more for women, men & children! For the entire list of brands they carry go here.

I love this company!  Thred-up is ideal for moms who are looking for nice, affordable baby clothes! So moms, take notes. Watch the video above & see for yourself how cool this is.

-post by jen ramos
-office images via Thred-Up

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