April 16, 2014

Lamps Plus Giveaway

How would you like one of my Icons Collection Designs from Lamp Plus??  Here's your chance to win.

I’m pleased to have my designs featured as part of the exclusive Icons Collections from Lamps Plus. The “Icons Collection” is comprised of an elite number of designers asked to design a shade pattern that is unique and available exclusively at Lamps Plus for a limited time.  My Chevron lamp shade pattern is inspired by the artfully defined lines of an ikat textile.  

The pattern is also customizable in the Lamps Plus Design Your Own feature, which gives you the ability to select the pattern, color, and base. 

Lamps Plus is launching an exciting sweepstakes where you can win one of five Icons Collection table lamps. Enter to win here.  

After you’ve entered, you will be prompted to earn extra entries by referring your friends and increase your odds of winning.  See the entire Made By Girl collection and don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes! Good luck!

-post by jen ramos

April 15, 2014

FASHION: Minty Spring

Hi everyone! Adri of Adri's World. I have to say, the best part of fashion is the change of seasons, and the colors that come with it. This Spring we will be seeing a lot of pastels & Mint is my favorite. It can be styled with lighter colors for a softer look or with edgy prints like that leopard bag too!

I love that Mint can be worn with gold accents and with silver too, like in those glitter flats. Love!
A blazer can be a great way to add this color to an everyday outfit or maybe a cute top with jeans, a skirt or if it's warm enough shorts. And if you want only a bit of this color, an amazing nail polish, a bracelet or earrings will look perfect!

Are you a fan of Mint for Spring? 

- post by Adri Reynoso

Beauty: Rosy Pink Makeup

Hi MADE BY GIRL readers, it's Rachel from Life Unsweetened. If you're anything like me, you're excited about all the possibilities of Spring. Although the weather outside feels more like winter lately in some parts of the country, spring is here!  With the change in seasons comes a standard change in makeup as well. Instead of the matte foundation and dark liners we loved in winter, spring is all about a dewy finish and pastel hues. This gorgeous rosy look features pretty pink cheeks and shadow and a girly milkmaid braid.

To copy this look, let's start off with your hair. Prep by spraying with a texturizing spray for hold. To make a simple milkmaid braid, part your hair down the center and then divide your hair into two sections. Braid each section so you have pigtails. Then criss-cross each braid and pin with bobby pins.

To get a youthful, dewy look on your skin, try a spray foundation, like the Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation. Once it dries, apply a pink blush to cheeks, like Buxom True Hue Blush in "Blushing Peach". Make sure to blend enough with a brush that the blush mimics your natural flush color, since sometimes the color in the package can be intimidating. Now it's time to focus on the eyes. Pink shadow might seem odd, but if you choose a pastel shade with some shimmer you're set.

Try the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in "Ballet Pink"- you won't be disappointed. The model's pale complexion and light hair calls for a black-brown mascara, since dark black can be too harsh. Try the Clinique High Impact Mascara in "Black/Brown" for a similar effect.

-post by rachel

April 14, 2014

My Spring Wishlist

The weather here in NYC is sort of warming up - but it's been taking forever - how about in your town??

I can't wait to start wearing some Spring outfits! Come on weather! These are a few of my favorites right now - although the only thing I own are the Deborah Lippman nail varnish. woo hoo! Everything else is on my wishlist.  

Do you have your Spring wardrobe ready?

1. black dress via zara  // 2. heel via schutz   // 3. nina ricci dress via the outnet  // 4. iro saika boot via the dreslyn  // 5. dress via nasty gal 6. rebecca taylor twill blazer // 7. rise in god's love tee via praise clothing // 8. deborah lippmann polish // 9. rag & bone boyfriend jean via net-a-porter // 10. quilted mini affair via rebecca minkoff

April 11, 2014

10 Reasons to Send a Handwritten Note

When was the last time you wrote a handwritten note or card?  What's the point when we can just send an email, right? 

Well, there certainly is a point to sending handwritten notes. It allows the receiver to receive a "thoughtful" gesture.  It shows that the sender took time to write the note - & that is definitely much more meaningful.  I don't know about you - but the few times I receive a handwritten note or card in the mail, I got excited! Don't you?? When writing notes, you can throw in your own personality & even show off your great penmanship (if you have) - and if not, no worries. You still stand out in the crowd for sending handwritten versus digital.

There is something about's sort of vintage & special I guess. Ok, so for letters, you can easily send note cards when you want to send a simple message like "I love you" to someone special. Who has time to write a long letter? Well, not many of us, but a sentence or  two on a note card shows that you're still willing to take time out to send something personal when most people won't.  In many instances it gives you an edge. When I want to send a BIG thank you to a client - 99.9% of the time, I mail them a handwritten thank you card. The best part is... you can choose from so many styles, from luxurious to sweet & simple!

Below are 10 reasons why I feel handwritten notes are awesome:
  • they're thoughtful
  • it's a nice gesture
  • makes people feel important
  • it's exciting to open
  • feels good to receive beautiful & luxurious card stock / note cards like this one
  • it has more meaning behind it
  • great way to encourage or brighten someone's day
  • makes you stand out to a client 
  • when a man writes a handwritten love note, it's much sweeter
  • it can be kept as a reminder or memento

Now you see...handwritten notes are a great way to show what's in your heart.

Who was the last person you sent a handwritten note to?

/// All note cards available via MADE BY GIRL ///

-post by jen ramos

April 10, 2014

DESIGN: Multiplicity in Design

Hi everyone, it's Lisa from Gem Daily! Lately I've been hunting for interesting art for a large space in my house and have come up unsuccessful. Throughout this search, I have discovered that so many interior design elements are most intriguing and visually strong when in multiples. Whether it be a gallery wall or an arrangement of gorgeous light fixtures, there is just something about taking one particular design element and repeating it that makes it so much more appealing! Thus, the theory of power in numbers.

Designers are even taking unconventional, unique objects that on their own are simple, but when multiplied, their impact is much more powerful. Take Kelly Wearstler's application of the tortoise shells at the Tides Hotel in South Beach for example- just one of these shells is interesting but once she applies hundreds to the wall, it quickly becomes a focal point with unforgettable detail.

OR what about the amazing woven lanterns in George Clooney's Courtyard just recently featured in Architectural Digest? The sheer amount of fixtures is enough to create a stunning scene, but the height at which they are hung is the ultimate cherry on the cake.

I really love spotting thoughtful and smart retail spaces that utilize great interior design as a way to make their goodies look even better. Like this Artifacts store in Dunhua by Taiwanese interior designers Michelle Wei and Cheng Chia Hao, for example. Their shoe displays are so unique and architectural, each shoe is almost like a piece of art, framed and illuminated. The rows and rows of displays are much more powerful as an entire composition than if we just saw one display on its own.

And finally, it doesn't get much better than this vertical garden by Joost Bakker. By taking really simple materials and multiplying them, this outdoor space is transformed on a much grander scale.

 photo shoes_zpsa3b07464.jpg

-post by lisa fisbeck


April 9, 2014

DESIGN: Powder Room

Hi darlings, it's Monika here from ohmydeco! I was doing my usual tour on the blogs the other day and found the most stunning powder room design, by Amber from amber interior design
Have you seen it? I love it to the core and just couldn't resist sharing with you!! I love the bold, floral wallpaper on the walls and the brass details, not to mention the marble sink!

Have a look here and find the inspired look below!

/ 1 Floral wallpaper / 2 Fresh soap / 3 Round mirror / 4 Chic stool / 5 Soap pump / 
/ 6 Vintage washbasin / 7 Jewelery box/ 8 Glass vase / 9 Wall scone /

-post by monika

April 8, 2014

Thoughts + Nursery

As we get closer & closer to this adoption journey - my head is full of thoughts. But I've been so busy I haven't put much thought into a baby's room / nursery.  I know we haven't signed up with an adoption agency yet, but we've narrowed it down to two & will make our selection this month! Exciting & nervous?? Yes.  Anyway, living in NYC will pose a few challenges when baby enters the picture. Hint: Apt. size.

We currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment - but the 2nd bedroom is my office. I work there every single day...& honestly, not much room for a crib.

So......I was glancing around at nurseries online today for a total of 15 minutes (crazy busy day) - I realized, we may not be able to pull this off, at least not as gorgeous as this one below designed by Sissy + MarleySomething will have to give, right??  I can't say I'm ready to move to Brooklyn or anything - because we love our Manhattan, but we have to be able to make an area for the baby while maintaining some of my office space.  Anyone out there currently facing these challenges? Apt. size??  These thoughts have been on my mind the last few days......luckily, we still have plenty of time to think about it - so that's a good thing. Phew.


-images via moms best network

Sometimes I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl... 

Funny, this picture below has been on my hard drive for several months now - I labeled it 'future' - to remind myself of the future God has waiting for us.  I pictured myself walking in on my own child as she/he put their toys away.  And above her/him would hang one of my Cocoa & Hearts paintings....the art that led to this journey.

pic above via

April 7, 2014

FOOD: Spicy, Warm Kale Salad with Sausage

Hi. Jen from Lemon Drop Love here. Do you ever find yourself burned out on the same old salads? I do. Sometimes their texture and flavors are all so similar, they just end up tasting the same. When this happens and I still want to get my veggie fix, I like to experiment with different kinds of ingredients. Hence, my new favorite---spicy, warm kale salad. The jalapeno infused dressing packs a ton of flavor and the kale holds up to all of the warm ingredients. This is the perfect salad when you feel like a hot meal but don’t necessarily want to break the diet with comfort food. Enjoy!


12 oz. grape tomatoes
10 oz. kale chopped (ribs removed)
8 oz. spicy Italian sausages (2 large links)
3 jalapenos
1/2 cup olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
4 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Grill sausage links on medium heat for 15 minutes, turning often.
  • Meanwhile, place tomatoes on a baking pan and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes or until bursting and slightly charred on the outside.
  • Slice jalapenos and sauté in 1/2 cup olive oil for about 6 minutes or until jalapenos are soft and you can begin to smell their spicy aroma.
  • While the jalapenos are cooking, slice the cooked sausage links in to thin slices.
  • Remove pan from heat and discard jalapenos, but keep the oil in the pan.
  • Place kale into the infused oil and toss until all the leaves are coated in the oil. The heat from the oil and pan will warm the kale and soften it slightly.
  • Combine the kale, tomatoes and sausage in a large bowl. Add ricotta cheese and the juice from 1/2 of a lemon and toss.
Serves 4.

-post by jen costea

April 4, 2014


Tomorrow is 4/5 & a SALE is going to happen on Made By Girl.

For me, this SALE is very special - it is the first time a sale benefiting adoption (ours) goes live!  As some of you may know, my husband & I are in the process of starting our adoption, once all the funds have been put together (God willing) - we are ready to begin.  The whole process from start to finish can be very expensive ranging from (35k-45k) and so we want to be prepared. We are doing all we can to raise these funds - my husband has started teaching some awesome cooking workshops here in NYC called Pot Pan Knife & I have been busy working away!

We've also added ourselves to a fundraising site called: Go Fund Me. Which I like to call, Please Go Fund Me.  Doesn't sound so harsh..... Ha! You can check out our page if you'd rather just make a  donation or read our story. We would be so grateful.

As for the sale, if you've already bought items from my shop, please feel free to buy something for a friend as a gift, a pack of note cards, a print, thank you note cards a pretty double-skull bracelet & more. The proceeds from this sale will go towards our adoption. Every little bit helps, and we can't wait to share with you when the time comes!

Thank you & have a great weekend!!


This is a series called, "Let's Get This Look" - where we put together a SIMILAR wardrobe to help you "get that look".   It's super simple.  If you missed the previous post, here it is.

model image via kelly wearsler ///  leathe navy jacket via mango /// schutz black pumps via nasty gal ///  lips tshirt via kelly wearstler /// black collar jacket by mango /// black torn polya pant denim via kelly wearstler

April 3, 2014


Hi MBG readers it’s Allie from ALLIE NYC and today we are going to talk about a daring and bold trend—the sixties eye. First it was all about a strong brow and now that strong brow is accompanied by a prominent and structured smoky eye, otherwise known as the sixties eye. There is nothing subtle about this look, it turned heads in the 1960’s and it will turn heads today. We first saw this at the shows last spring where Mac Jacobs featured the look with side swept bangs. This trend continued during Paris Fashion week for fall 2014 with the overtly sixties eye at Saint Laurent—complete with drawn on lower lashes.

This may not be the easiest of looks to pull off, and it may be best to leave the drawn on lashes to the professionals, but if you are feeling adventurous then I say go for it. You will need lots of dark smoky shadow, you can do grays or browns or even a deep purple. Traditionally a very dark almost black shadow is used like this one from Marc Jacobs, but if this a bit to goth for you then this kit by Clinique has everything you need. From lightest beige to a deep brown and everything in-between it has got you covered. And black liquid liner is a must. This liner by EYEKO is super black and also features WIDELASH lash enhancer, which will make your eye lashes appear longer and stronger in three weeks, so no need for falsies! And it should be a no brainer that a good brow pencil should be in the makeup bag of any self respecting fashionista. This Benefit brow pencil has a blending spoolie, drys to a powder finish, and even comes with step by step instructions.

Now if you have very dark brows like me it can be hard to find a pencil that is dark enough. I generally use a matte black powder and an angled brush. I also get them tinted. I love this, because my brows look done all the time and requires no skill on my part. Cool, huh? And finally a pale lip is key in pulling off this look. So look for light pink based lipsticks and lip stains. I love this shade from Givenchy with it’s subtle light reflecting color—just enough to look dewy with out looking frosted, plus it contains antioxidants so it nourishes while adding color—a great feature for someone like me who suffers from chronic chapped lips. I didn’t get to the shows in Paris this year, ok any year, who I am kidding, but I can feel like I attended the YVL shows by spritzing myself with their fragrance aptly named “Parisienne”. Well there is always next year!

 So, would you do the sixties eye? Is this too dramatic for you, or do love the drama?

-Image of Twiggy via Imgur, second image via ALLURE
-post by alicia mackin

April 1, 2014


Hollywood Glamour Revised Hello Made by Girl Readers, It's Stasia with Primp & Prime. During a recent trip to Los Angeles, I stopped by the recently remodeled Beverly Hills Hotel. I have always lusted for the iconic old Hollywood decor. Yet I became even more obsessed after seeing it's recent renovations. Designer Adam Tihany did such an amazing job adding a modern touch to the iconic design. On my flight home, I felt so inspired I decided to create a room that evoked a similar classic modern Hollywood sophistication.

-post by anastasia viray

March 31, 2014


Hi MBG readers! It's Rachel from Life Unsweetened here today to talk every girl's favorite topic- nail polish. It's time to change out the dark, moody shades that were in for winter and welcome the pretty pastels for spring. To me, spring means it's more socially acceptable to start wearing cheerful, feminine colors and patterns, and my nails and toes are no exception. Here are my tips for pulling off the pastel nail trend.

1. Keep your nails short. Long talons may look great on Lana Del Rey, but the average woman can't always pull them off (especially when you spend 8 hours a day typing on a computer, like me!) You want to let the color shine here, not your nails, so keep them short, clean and shaped.

2. Apply a white nail polish as a base coat.For light shades, this white base coat will help the color show up better. Tip: this also works for neon nail polishes as well. With light shades, I find that I have to apply 3-4 coats for the color to really show up, which stinks. The layers always end up getting too thick and bubbly, so the white base coat really helps prevent this.

 3.Don't be afraid of color. Pastel doesn't just mean a light pink- why not try a cool orange or light yellow? The days of matching your nails to your outfit are so over, so take a risk!

March 28, 2014

SWEET PAUL Book Review

You guys are going to love this new book (launching April 1st) called: Sweet Paul Eat & Make.

I love this book for so many reasons. First, because fellow blogger Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul (fellow blogger from back in the days) sent it to me as gift & second, it has a ton of interesting & great recipes with eggs, which I love! Ok there's a third reason, the book is made up of beautiful matte pages with an artistic-flair. It's like they mixed two of my favorite things - art + food.   

Paul has been a food & craft stylist for more than 20 years - in fact, his blog was one of the first I started reading - mainly because of my husband's love for food.  It was definitely a source of inspiration for our own home cooking. So, to finally see Paul write this book was so exciting!  Paul has been around the block - with his his work appearing in publications like Real Simple, Food Network Magazine, Better homes & Gardens & more! The book is a personal book to him, filled with stories of his childhood memories, family recipes & unique craft ideas.  Speaking of of my favorite craft ideas in the book are the bottles with printout flowers on page 253. Clever. As for the food in this book, my favorite recipes include the Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate & the Smoked-Trout Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs. YUM!

BY THE WAY - Sweet Paul will be joining my husband Mat (Pot Pan Knife) for a 'Making Breakfast' workshop on March 29th. The story + photos should appear in an upcoming issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. Exciting!!!!!!

-images by jen ramos


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