May 5, 2015

The Maxi Dress

Spring time arrived in NYC - but yesterday it felt more like Summer. WOAH, it was HOT. Especially if you're walking around for a bit... 

During this time of year I jump online and hunt down the best fitting maxi dresses. Maxi dresses can start at $26 and go upwards of $300. Crazy, I know.  Two Summers ago I bought 3 maxi dresses & ended up spending about $100 each.  Now I look around & realize there are some really great fitting ones for the half the price. Go figure. 

It pays to shop around & one of my fave places to shop dresses is BooHoo.  Seriously, you cannot beat their prices!  If you scroll down you'll notice the long black (form-fitting) maxi I wore this past  weekend, it was only $26!! They have a ton of other cute options but I felt this was the best fit for me. In case you're wondering it's number 4 (below) and I'm a size 4.  

I love this style of dress...I must admit when I'm feeling lazy or don't have time to shave my legs, this dress is ideal. Ha.

So, tell me are you into maxi dresses? Which is your fave?

1. asos white frill dress  2. cami maxi asos 3. leopard print maxi via asos 4. black strappy frill maxi via boohoo 5. young fabulous & broke maxi 6. caftan maxi by young fabulous & broke 7. racer back maxi via shopbop

IVVI stroller by nuna

-post by jen ramos

May 4, 2015


Hi, Monica from Beauty Parler! So excited Spring is finally here and the sun is shining. Some of you might be planning Summer vacations already and to get you started on a few travel essentials I've chosen a few favourites. Aside from beauty blogging I also work as a flight attendant and I always carry a few beauty essentials in my carry-on.

One word that is key when traveling by plane is moisturize. From the moment you step on that airplane, the dry air sucks the moisture out of you. Aside from the obvious as drinks lots of water! You need to replenish the moisture loss.

There are many brands of water spray cans, Vichy Thermal Spa Water Spray is one of my favourites. Adds moisture but for me it's the refreshing factor. Right before landing a spritz of water on the face feels cool and awakens.

Facial wipes, disposal and easy to carry. I like the Neutrogena All-In-One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes, not only for in-flight but as part of my skincare routine.

Hand cream is a must! I tend to carry more than one as my hands get so dry. The L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream is an old favourite and classic. Creamy and leaves hands so soft. Love the scent too!

I've lost count of how many lip balms are in my uniform pockets. However, Benefit Hydrating Lip Tints are great because they add a hint of colour which in my case is necessary under those horrible lights.

Lastly, not so much for the flight but any skincare that isn't in liquid format for travel is a smart choice. Especially if you're a carry-on only type of gal. With liquid restrictions at airports, the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is an amazing product. It's a gentle powder exfoliate that suds when mixed with water.

-post by Monica Da Rosa

April 27, 2015

FOOD: Double Chocolate Pancakes

Hi Made By Girls! This is Jen from Pretty Eats bringing you a fun and decadent way to wake up, Double Chocolate Pancakes.  I love trying to incorporate non-dairy options in my recipes, and experimented with Chocolate Soy Milk with these pancakes…delish!! Now these thick, chocolately treats are really more dessert than breakfast, but once in a while won't hurt. Don't forget my trick to make these cakes even more special, a sprinkle of fresh berries on top! Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Pancakes
Ingredients:  makes 10 medium sized pancakes

    •    1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 cup sugar
    •    2 tsp baking soda
    •    1/4 tsp salt
    •    1 1/2 cup chocolate soy milk
    •    1 egg
    •    1 tsp vanilla
    •    High quality maple syrup
    •    Fresh berries of your choice

    •    In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and whisk well. Allow batter to sit for 15 minutes (or refrigerate if longer than 15 min).
    •    On a greased griddle (medium heat), scoop 1/4 cups of the batter onto surface. Flip when bubbles begin to rise to the top.
    •    Stack 'em up, drizzle some syrup, and enjoy with a topping of fresh berries!

-post by jen olson

April 21, 2015


Hello lovelies! Sami from The Unexpected Type here to chat about 2015 Spring trends. With the official first day of the season behind us, it’s time to start transitioning your wardrobe! I’ve taken this Spring’s top three runway trends and given you a complete, wearable look to effortlessly transition your style towards warmer weather and fresh color palettes.

The Shirtdress // Seen in collections by Altuzarra, Charlotte Ronson, and Rebecca Minkoff
The classic silhouette gets a revamp with punchy patterns, clean design, and fun accents, like an unexpected high slit. Pair the silhouette great with a patterned bag and lace-up sandals.

Black & White // Seen in collections by Thakoon, Public School, DKNY

This year black and white gets an extreme update with innovative textures and unexpected shapes. The best part about this trend? You can transition seamlessly by stretching the life into some of your Winter blacks. A patterned piece works great with one of the season's hottest shoes, the mule, and a fun, sporty bag. 

The Kimono Coat // Seen in collections by Tracy Reese, Tibi, Thakoon Winter’s cocoon trench coats are replaced with free flowing, feminine “kimono” inspired wraps and coats. Slouchy, light weight, and comfortable—what’s not to like? Pair the coat with an ultra-feminine pair of heels, like these d'orsay pumps, and a neutral bag.

(All runway photos courtesy of Vogue)
-post by sami davis

April 20, 2015

MamaRoo is the way to go

Before baby came into the picture my husband & I were not into BIG baby things. So, when we first saw the MamaRoo - we both looked at each other & said, "no way." 

Well, fast-forward a month later (baby now in the picture) & that "no way" became "yes way!" On the recommendation of a friend whose a mom & my own mother, we were convinced that the MamaRoo was the way to go for comforting our baby when we couldn't hold him.  This infant seat basically swings from side-to-side & bounces up-and-down just like we do when we are holding him. 

As fate would have it, the people over at 4 Moms contacted me & said they'd gift Noah a MamaRoo - so I said YES!! I'll try it. 

I admit, we had no idea where we would put this thing.  We certainly didn't want our home looking like a baby palace...we tend to be clutter-free types.  This was going to be a challenge.  When we received the MamaRoo, Noah immediately LOVED it.  And honestly, it wasn't as humongous when we saw it in relation to everything else in our home.  Here he is (below) asleep in my work studio.  This thing gets him to SLEEP pretty quickly & I am now able to concentrate on other tasks.  Seriously, I don't know what we would've done without this.

Here's a bit about the seat & what it does:

  • sways back & forth, side to side
  • can do 5 unique motions
  • can be controlled with your smartphone
  • has built-in sounds & P3 Plug-in
  • Can play your own music from your smartphone 
  • seat fully reclines really well
  • reversible toy balls for your baby to look at  (Noah is still figuring these out)
  • reversible newborn insert, (I recommend this for added support!)
  • several colors to choose from, (we chose the classic black)

'BABY' onesie from hello apparel

Have you tried the MamaRoo? What do you think?

-images by jen ramos

April 17, 2015

7 beauty products I use every day

I get a lot of questions about what I use for beauty products everyday. Well, it's pretty simple.  I tend to try different things, but like most women, I'll usually stick to what works. Here are 6 beauty products I use that work for me & why:

2. joeur cosmetics mineral powder blush

-post by jen ramos

April 14, 2015


Hey guys! Great news!!! Have you seen the new Made By Girl site yet?

WE have officially merged Cocoa & Hearts (my original paintings) with Made By Girl!  You can now find all prints & original paintings on one website. This is easier for us, hope it's easier for you too! We have several new pieces that I think you'll want to check out like:

Lily the Swan - perfect for nurseries & kids rooms. Hand-drawn art by me, sold as a print.
love, love, LOVE - Perfect print for any decor. 
Black Abstract Swirl - add a little modern abstract piece to your gallery wall. Hand painted by me, sold as a print.
EVER & EVER in gold foil - this print would make a great print for a wedding, or a gift.

THEN we have the Original ART section | Cocoa & Hearts:
Darla's Flowers - original painted art by me
Le Kissy - original painted art by me

Plus, I'll be adding these hand-painted 'Hot Pink Swans' soon to the Original Paintings section!! Cocoa & Hearts Stay tuned!! You can always request a custom one if they sell-out.

Thank you for checking out the new site, enjoy your week!

-image by jen ramos

April 13, 2015

Design: Get her stylish living room

Hi there! Monika here bringing you today's dose of design! I love to take a sneak peak into other bloggers/designers' houses, home tours are such a great source of inspiration! Who doesn't right?? This is definitely the case of this gorgeous living room belonging to Nicole Gibbons from So Haute blog!  I love her eclectic, elegant apartment, full of vintage finds and beautiful vignettes! You can see the full tour here and get the style below!

For a similar look & feel to Nicole's space, here are a few home items I'd recommend!

April 10, 2015

New Site. BIG SALE.

Have you heard? 

Made By Girl & Cocoa & Hearts has now merged into one site!  Read below +  A BIG SALE going on right now! 20% off some of your favorite art + some NEW ART in the Cocoa & Hearts section.... some have already sold out, so hurry!

-post by jen ramos
-image of jen above by Taleen Dersdepanian

April 6, 2015


 Hi! Monica, here from beautyparler.  Jen, is away enjoying her bundle of joy today! So happy for her & her husband! As a mom to an 18 month old, I know how tiring and exciting those first weeks are.

So, March is here already which means Spring is near. One beauty trend that will continue this Spring is the full brow. In all honesty, regardless of trendy or not I've always been a fan of a fuller brow. Now, not all of us are born with full brows. So, sometimes we just have to FAKE it.  Growing up as a teen in the 90's meant that two brow trends came into effect. For the first part of the 90's full sculpted brows and by the mid to late 90's a thinner brow was in.  My mom warned me, "once you start tweezing those brows they'll never grow back the same or ever".  Mom knows best! Thankfully, I listened.

Weather you use a brow pencil, cream or powder there are countless brow products to choose from and fake it if necessary.  A new release is Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama, an easy to use mascara for brows. A great method for those that don't want to fully commit to a full sculpted brow. Looking to fill in sparse brows, a pencil is another easy method. An old favorite of mine, MAC Cosmetics Brow Pencil, is a no nonsense pencil that defines and allows for a more precise brow. For shading in brows, Benefit Cosmetics Brow Zings is a great kit for beginners.

Although, brow powders can be a tad time consuming you can achieve a more natural looking brow. The newest brow product in my kit, Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade is a water-proof cream formula that basically does the job of all three products listed above but in one product. Sculpt, define, shade, and fill-in brows using the dip brow. This product is for those not afraid of a more intense brow. Lastly, Wink Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer is for those that over tweezed. Increase and thicken hair with usage of Wink.

What do you think of fuller more natural eyebrows?

-post by monica darosa

April 3, 2015


I didn't even know Zara had a kids section, until a friend of mine mentioned it.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I visited their online kids store.  I decided to order a few pieces & I'm in love with the quality & stylish pieces they offer.  I gathered a few of my fave items for little boys (of course), that I have, or hope to get for Noah.  The clothes are really nice, and about mid-range prices...

Have you shopped Zara Kids yet??

Below is my little guy wearing the tee-pee pants from Zara Kids , one of my favorites.  He's also sporting some cute little 'batman' super-hero shoes from Sahnda Marie Kids

Have a nice weekend! Happy Good Friday.

-Post by jen ramos

March 30, 2015

Coming SOON TO made by girl

I've been busy with the new baby + re-designing the new Made By Girl site. Can't wait to show you! Plus we are adding new paintings & prints, including some of these below. Stay tuned! Are you on the mailing list? If not, sign up to be notified when it all happens! 

-image by jen ramos

FASHION: Milly Dresses

Milly is one of my favorite shops to visit here in NYC. They have the most amazing dresses, that just flow and make you feel like a princess. Even though I hate the term 'princess' - this is DEF true about these will feel like a princess. The dresses & skirts are really full with a generous amount of fabric so your dress will move & flow when you walk.  I also LOVE how the unique prints on the MILLY dresses are so luxurious & feminine - these are bound to be the highlight of any event! 

OK, I confess - I already own the painted (pink) flower one, I wore it for a feature in Adore Home Magazine which comes out April 1st !!!   Can't wait to share it with you.....I think Designer, Michelle Smith will love it!!  

Which of these is your favorite?

-post by jen ramos

March 27, 2015


Hello, lovelies! Sami from The Unexpected Type here with another super simple recipe that will add instant flavor to your everyday routine! Avocado toast is having a total moment, so I had to see for myself what all the hype was about and make some for myself! I also had a lovely ripe heirloom tomato and some fresh corn I knew would make a flavorful addition. All the hype was totally worth it, avocado toast is simply amazing. Three ingredients, three ways... you'll be craving this snack all week!

- 2 pieces sourdough toast
- 1 avocado
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lime
- 1 heirloom tomato
- 1/3 cup fresh corn

1. First, pop your bread into the toaster. Meanwhile, scoop out your avocado into a bowl, add a squeeze of lime, red paper flakes, and mash up with a fork. Spread over your toast and add enough sea salt & pepper to your liking. Version one is done!

2. Wash and dry your heirloom tomato, then slice it. Add to your toast and voila, version two is done!

3. For the final version, add a little bit of olive oil into a skillet and add your corn. Keep it on the heat until it develops a nice char and then top your heirloom avocado toast. Voila, version three! 

Now you have three ways to enjoy your avocado toast! 

-post by sami davis

March 25, 2015

Cool Clothes for BOYS

It's been a little over a month since we've had our son.  I have to admit, little girls seem to have a lot more FASHIONABLE options than little boys. So, I've been doing research on some cool baby clothes for boys.  It's been a long process of looking around - but, I finally found a few shops that I LOVE.  

Noah doesn't know much about fashion yet, so in the meanwhile.... it's my job to dress him. Below are some items on my wishlist for his wardrobe.

What are your favorite places to shop for kids clothes?

1. hello pullover via hello apparel 2. i like you a lot via kid & kind 3.  star pants via nununu 4. overalls via h & m 5. KID tee via hello apparel 6. star onesie via nununu 7. le be'be' onesie via hugo loves tiki 8. jumper via nununu 9. house tee via kid & kind 10. skull tee via nununu 11. au chocolat onesie via hugo loves tiki 12. garcon sweater via hugo loves tiki 13. paint splatter pants via nununu 14. washed out denim via h & m 15. cross baggy pants via nununu 16. 'i'm not tired' onesie  via hello apparel

below: my little guy

P.S.  ------> If you're a baby brand & want to introduce me to your product/apparel, please email me.  We love to work with fun & interesting brands! We can dress Noah up & post the pics on my instagram.  Just another way to display your brand to a new audience!

-bottom image by jen ramos

March 24, 2015

fashion: Parisian style

Hi everyone! Sandra from Blasfemmes here. Today’s post is very much alike this post I did a while ago (here) but let’s be honest: who can possibly get tired of Parisian style? What I love the most about Parisian-chic wardrobes are the timeless essentials that every woman should have. Even bigger sizes can’t get it wrong with a classic trench coat, a simple day dress or a striped tee. Below are two look suggestions: a more work appropriate outfit and a girly-girl outfit. More ideas here.

Are you also deeply fascinated by Parisian way of dressing? What are your favorite pieces from this style? Take one: 

1. Céline Sunglasses // 2. Kate Spade Trench Coat // 3. Maje Pussy-Bow Shirt // 4. MadeByGirl  // 5. Stylebystories Earrings // 6. Saint Laurent Bag // 7. Guerlain 'Kiss Kiss' Lipstick // 8. Blank Denim Pants // 9. Wonderelle Peonies Bouquet // 10. Christian Louboutin Décolleté Shoes Take two: 11. Asos Beret // 12. Oasis Scarf // 13. Comme des Garçons Striped Sweater // 14. Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange Book // 15. Alexandra Ferguson Pillow // 16. Topshop Skirt // 17. Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats // 18. Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

 -post by sandra lopes


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