March 3, 2015

BEAUTY: 2015 Lipstick Trends!

Please excuse the absence - Jen is away for a couple weeks there will be a few sporadic posts. So today, we are discussing the 2015 lipstick trend...

Hi everyone! Sami from The Unexpected Type here today to talk about lipstick trends for the upcoming season! With Spring just around the corner, I need an instant beauty refresher to wake me up from using Winter neutrals and I always reach for a new lip color to do the trick. Lipstick is one of the easiest ways to transform any look from head to toe! A quick red lip can add mega drama and impact to a power outfit, rather than opting for your run-of-the-mill nude lipstick, am I right ladies

Some amazing colors hit the S/S 2015 catwalk this year and I've picked the top three trends that you can work into your style as the snow starts to melt and Spring pops into play. This year, prepare for a fiery statement lip of orange-red hues, a luscious, just-bitten look, and a perfectly plump pout. These hues will add an instant touch of Spring as you transition into the bright, sunny season.

1. NYX Cosmetics / Target
2. Nars Cosmetics / Sephora
3. Givenchy / Sephora

There's a designated statement lip for each season and this year it's a fiery, orange-red. Kiss fuchsia goodbye this year and say "Hello" to the power orange! For bright colors, you'll need a great lip liner as your base. I also recommend using a tapered lip brush to apply the color to make sure it's completely saturated and looks crisp. The rest of your face to should have minimal makeup with this look, since Spring is all about keeping it fresh and clean.

1. CoverGirl Cosmetics / Covergirl
2. Bite Beauty / Sephora
3. Rouge Dior / Sephora

The nude lip is getting an update, too! If you aren't quite ready to jump head-first into fiery hues, the 'Just-Bitten' look is perfect for you. Mauve pinks just a shade darker than your natural lip color give your lips a plump, voluminous look and is a great choice for someone just venturing into trying out lipstick trends. Compliment your lips with highlighted, bronzed cheeks and tones of brown eye shadow for a natural, but gorgeous, look.

1. Make Up Forever / Sephora
2. Yves Saint Laurent
3. MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics

If you're all about the dark lip, plum is the perfect shade for you! Instead of poppy pinks, romantic purple hues are all over the radar and complimenting a bunch of collections hitting stores soon. Complete this look with dewy skin, top-lined eyes, and a fresh coat of mascara.

Whether you're ready to make the jump to a daring statement look or ease into an update of your natural look, these trends are a fun way to get inspired and spark your creativity. Whatever your new look is, remember that trends are just guidelines and true style shines through with what you do with them!

- post by Sami

February 20, 2015

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

February 17, 2015

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

February 13, 2015

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

February 11, 2015

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

February 9, 2015


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

February 6, 2015

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

February 5, 2015

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

February 4, 2015

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

February 3, 2015

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

January 30, 2015

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

January 29, 2015


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

January 26, 2015


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


January 22, 2015

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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