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Guys: How-To gift your woman Beauty Products

I always find that beauty products make great gifts, but people don't often gift them.  My husband rarely gets me makeup, unless I request it...but if I told him to guess, I'm sure he would have a pretty good idea of what to get.  So, guys....if you don't know anything about make-up (don't feel so bad, most men don't) there are many different ways to find out what your gal would love beauty-wise.  My suggestion would be
  • Take note of the beauty products your gal currently uses daily.  
  • See if anything is running low. 
  • You can also discretely ask how she likes a certain product she is using...or ask what it's for. 
  • Ask her what her favorite shades are if you're thinking of gifting lipstick.  
  • Be creative, add a box of luxurious chocolates with your gift!  My suggestion would be Vosges luxury truffles. 
In the meanwhile, you can also just try something new & gift her either of these beauty items I've suggested below. Of course the Voges bon bons are a must and the candles, why not? Up your romance game with some delicious scents from DL & CO! Always my favorite!! 
  




 
-post by jen ramos


VALENTINES Day Gift Ideas

Another year, another Valentine's Day.

We have made our V-day dinner reservations and I am DEF looking forward to a romantic night alone with my husband.  In the meanwhile, for those of you looking to buy your lady a gift, I've gathered (10) items I'm sure she'll be excited about!

Take notes fellas. XO

 
1.  feminin pouch by clare vivier
2. Olivine Atelier 'You Are Loved' set
3. heart dish via kate spade
4. heart & arrow stackable rings by kate spade
4. 'walk on air' perfume via kate spade
6. lollia hand cream via anthropologie
7. cedar street passpoprt holder via kate spade
8. rouge volupte shine by 'yves saint laurent' via neiman marcus
9. emmie flats via kate spade
10. pearl place rosebowl vase by kate spade



P.S. Don't forget romance. Write a short poem and attach it to your gift! XO

-first image via dana boulos
-post by jen ramos


Hansa Plush Toys for kids

Now that I'm a mother, I keep my eyes open for interesting baby toys. 

One toy company I love is Hansa.  It was originally created for exclusive European collectors & each Hansa plush animal is handcrafted from portraits of real animals. What I love about the Hansa animals is how realistic they looks. I know many interior designers who use these wonderful plush toys to create one-of-a-kind spaces for kids! From the VERY large ones to the smallest.  My little Noah is about to get his own space soon, right before his birthday in mid February.

I love the idea of adding a Hansa toy to his collection! As if you couldn't tell, the face & body of each animal/toy is carefully sculpted & sewn inside-out to create its unique features, minimizing visible seams.Making each animal unique, just like in real life!  Every Hansa animal comes with a "Toys that Teach" tag describing each animal's lifestyle, habitat,  gestation period, care of their young & eating habits. The company uses this to try & educate children about these beautiful creatures, & appreciate the importance of our co-existence with all animals!   

Pretty cool - huh? If I had to choose, My favorites are the little zebra & the baby giraffe.  How about you? Any Hansa Faves?

 




-post by jen ramos


GIGI NYC : My New Phone case

I have been a fan of GIGI NY for as long as I can remember.  They offer handbags, clutches, phone cases, wallets & more...all made with the highest quality leather.. I really love their brand for many reason, one is, they offer personalization on almost any of their products.  They are super stylish & come in a variety of colors as well!

I recently got an iPhone 6 and wanted a case that would match my personality... but also be functional. I remembered the ones that GIGI NY had and I really loved the this black embossed python one + their iPhone wallets. The wallet cases are super cool & come in a variety of styles & color! I admit, I  was hesitant at first...thinking that my phone would just fall out when I opened it. But no. The phone somehow stays on with a strong piece of velcro, that almost seems like a magnet. But it def holds, so that's good news.  I would highly recommend the wallet cases for all the working women out there.

In case you're wondering,  this is the one I have.

So, thank you to GIGI NY for sending a few pieces my way.  I'm quite happy with my cases. In fact, I've gotten many compliments on my embossed hard shell case when I'm using my new iPhone. If you're in the shopping mood, they are currently having a HUGE sale 30-40% off.  Check them out here.





My iphone case + wallet case


-post by jen ramos
-images of phone cases by jen ramos

BEAUTY: DIY LIPSTICK PALETTE

Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to share a little something I learned. 

During a photo shoot last year,  I noticed my make-up artist, Mayela Vazquez using a makeup palette with lots of colors for my lips. At first, I didn't know what to think. It looked like a painter's palette and a bit MESSY...Hmmm. I knew she did AWESOME work, so I wondered in silence where she got this palette from. 

When she was finished applying my lip color - I looked in the mirror & WOW! They looked fabulous & smooth! Perfection!  I somehow knew this palette (& her skills) had something to do with this. I asked her where she got the palette from...& this is what I learned from her.


After she told me, I decided to DIY this. So, if you want smooth, neat, long-lasting color..... keep reading.

  • Buy an empty make-up palette.  I bought the 35 well-pro lipstick palette from The Tanning Store.  It has 35 deep compartments, 14 large & 21 medium. This particular palette also includes a white center divider attached with a long hinge. The brand is by MITSUYOSHI. 
  • Purchase several of your favorite lipstick shades. I haven't filled up the palette yet, but I plan to. Right now I have about (12) of my favorite shades. From brands like Nars, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Givenchy & more. 
  • Once you purchase all the lip color,  add one color at a time by slicing the lipstick into rounds. It's easier this way, trust me. Maybe cut 2-3 rounds at a time into the palette compartment of your choice. The reason for starting off with 2-3 slices of lipstick color is because it is easier to mash the lipstick into the compartment with fewer rounds.  You can use any flat or rounded object to mash the lip color.  This part can get messy if you rush it. So, be patient & make sure your mashing object isn't too large.. 
  • Continue down the lipstick & cut 2-3 more slices off.  Repeat the mashing into the palette. Once a lip color is done, feel free to move onto the next lipstick shade. 
  • Once you have all your colors in the palette - it should look somewhat like mine - you can start testing it out on your lips. 
  • For trying the shades -  I recommend using a lip brush like the Sephora Pro Lip Brush #81 or the Make Up Forever #302 Precision brush.  Folks, using a brush to add color to your lips makes a HUGE difference!!  For one, the lipstick appears to look neater & your lips look more defined. Also, the color seeps into the lines in your lips & that allows the color to remain on your lips longer!!  Trust me, once you try this -  you will not turn back. 
  • A benefit of using a make-up palette for lipstick color is that it allows you to mix & match colors.  I've found that having all my shades available to me (at the same time) makes it easier to blend the perfect color for my lips!
  • Another item I added to my palette was lip gloss. I love Tickled Pink by Lancome it adds the perfect finishing touch to my lipstick!

-post & images by jen ramos

REAL LIFE: "Our Day" Together

Hey guys! Hope you're having a good end-of-week so far!  My day is busy & dealing with some in-law family issues, but mostly all is well.  I posted this on my instagram, but also wanted to share it on my blog. Scroll down to read... 


One day a week, I am home alone for 10-11 hours straight with my son. It's one day a week because I still work & run my business (from home).. the other 4 days. Every week on "our day" together...I wonder if I can make it through the entire day without collapsing. Maybe because I'm an older mom & don't have as much energy or maybe because my mind wants to do MadeByGirl work or maybe just because being a MOM is hard stuff! 10-11 hours straight devoted completely to someone else... when it used to be "just me", is definitely something new Moms have to get used to. I'm still getting used to it. There isn't much freedom on the day I spend with him because my time is his. I like freedom, but it is a sacrifice I've made to raise this beautiful boy.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it and tell you BS......It's exhausting being a mom! On the day we spend together (all day).... I wish I could just sit down uninterrupted for 20 minutes straight ....doing nothing. But I can't. I don't know how other moms who have more than 1 child do it... Props to you, really. I am TRULY grateful that I have a (p/t) nanny 4 days a week..(while I work), because at my age (42), it's def challenging. But, I'm ready. Exhausted, but ready for the challenge. Today on our day together I took him out in his stroller... Getting an 11 month old ready to go out into the cold, is a job in itself. Moms, you know what I mean. He doesn't like to put on his coat... So... a little bit of crying & resistance happens. Once his coat is on & he knows we are headed out, I know I have like 4 minutes to hurry & put all my layers on before he starts getting agitated again!!

As I sit here... Going thru all these "mom-moments" I can't help but love him & still be grateful for him. Being a mom is hard. So, YES....I appreciate Moms with more than one child & nannies MORE THAN EVER now.......you are all HEROES.


 -post & photo by jen ramos

Nespresso: A Cup Above for Breakfast

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is have a nice breakfast at home with family... & that includes coffee. There's something special about taking the time to cook & enjoy food together that creates memories.  In this particular case, maybe it's the hot pancakes stacked high, or the warm blueberry sauce dripping off the sides, or maybe it's the crispy bacon on the side.

One thing's for sure, a hot cup of foamy cappuccino with breakfast is always a must! Personally, we love Nespresso.  Not only do they have the best coffees with every level of intensity to suit your tastes, but the VertuoLine Evoluo machine from Nespresso takes it up a notch. The Evoluo makes superb American-style coffee as well as Espresso, and with the centrifuge technology, the rich crema on top makes every cappuccino smooth and frothy even before you add the milk.  In my case, I use soy milk, which is just as tasty. Breakfast without coffee would feel incomplete & I love how the aroma fills our apartment and really peps me up for the day.




If you don't remember,  this past year Nespresso welcomed George Clooney as its new brand ambassador in the U.S. & they launched their new campaign "Experience A Cup Above."  I enjoy Nespresso & their premium, single-serve coffee and if you've never tried Nespresso, it's time to experience 'A Cup Above' and Nespresso's elegant lifestyle - head over to a boutique and try all the different tastes they have until you find the one that's just right for you. Then take it home and create new breakfast memories.

New Year: Changes are Coming

Hey guys! Sorry I've been a bit MIA, but as I said, I will not be updating my blog on a daily-basis anymore. To tell you the truth, I just don't have the time.  But I'm hoping to update 2-3x a week. For now, we've updated the look & feel of the blog, hope you like it!  - Speaking about updating, I am STILL in the process of re-designing the MadeByGirl shop. 

We are working on a few things & these are some of the changes to come:
  • New paintings being added without a flash sale.
  • Larger paintings added.
  • More color series art.
  • 98-99% of the art sold will be only my original paintings. 
  • We will probably ONLY keep 2-3 MBG prints (prob the most popular ones)
  • The ones we do keep, we will be selling framed. 
  • You will still have option to frame the paintings.
  • I will still be accepting commissions, so you are welcomed to email me. 
  • New photos will  be added of the artwork & more.


If you hadn't heard, please read this post on why I'm shutting down a portion of my business. Stay tuned - it's a whole different ball game running a biz and being a mom. I'm sure some of you can relate & know what I mean! - Have a great week!


-post & photo by jen ramos



Made By Girl News

Hello everyone, Happy New Year! WOAH it is super cold today in NYC! -  Like 14 degrees. Good reason to stay in & write this important post.

I've been in the process of selling a few things in my home & making way for some BIG changes. A baby-space/office (if you can believe that).   Our son is growing quickly & needs a little more space to move around.... so, I've decided to sell a few things including my white leather daybed. (pictured below).  In the process of all this... we are also working on a new blog design + new site design....and I've been painting a bunch of new ART to add!

Now for the BIGGEST news....after 10 years in business as Made By Girl, a portion of my business will be partially closed down.  What I mean by that is - the prints/poster section of my company will no longer be available.  So basically, 98% of the ART on Made By Girl from that point on, will be original paintings.  I've thought about this change long & hard & contemplated on many things. To be honest, it feels like the RIGHT CHOICE for me at this time.  Perhaps this is the beginning of something more meaningful?? I don't know.  But what I do know, is that new beginnings make room for others things to grow.

THANK YOU for all your support throughout these years with my art-prints portion of my business.  I can't even begin to tell you how HAPPY it made me & how much I learned from it.  Unfortunately, the ART PRINTS business has become terribly saturated & EVERYONE is now a designer of prints/posters CREATING prints with every quote in the book!  Sadly, the uniqueness has died.

So, on I go to the NEXT THING.....to innovate & create new work. And in the meanwhile, my Original paintings come with me.  That +  a bit more is what I will be showing you with the new site (for the most part).  Stay tuned, as we will have a HUGE sale soon .....on... ART PRINTS.


-image & post by jen ramos



Dagne Dover Event

Was such a pleasure to work with talented ladies from Dagne Dover this past weekend! I was at their pop-up shop hand-painting bags for their customers. This was such a fun event & so fun for everyone that popped in. A few people weren't sure at first about a painted handbag, and then when they saw them in person they were convinced to get one! I left with my all-white mini-tote, but my mom snagged it when I showed it to her that evening. I couldn't say no!

Speaking of bags, these bags are some of the nicest work bags I've seen. Before I work with a brand I have to really love the product and know that I would absolutely use it myself. When I first received my bag from Dagne Dover, I was super impressed. The beauty of the bag flowed from the inside-out. The inside has many (well thought out) compartments, even one for your umbrella! But can also be used for shoes & water bottles! The zipper is a gorgeous chunky gold on most of the bags, which I love! A bag with a cheap looking zipper is a huge turn-off, but these do NOT disappoint there!  The tote bags come in a variety of sizes like:

The 15 inch Tote :  the ultimate day-to-night carryall, made with highly functional compartments to keep specific items in place. Stylish and spacious. I own this one in black & can carry my new gold 11" macbook. Made with a canvas material almost identical to the Louis Vuitton bags.

The 13" Tote :  It's made for 7am-10pm lifestyle, with the same clever compartments but a slightly a slimmer shape and fold-down handles for tighter situations.

The Mini-Tote This small-bodied model is designed for speedy days-about-town that call for more than a purse but less than a full-size carryall. Fully-equipped with a 10.5” tablet sleeve, pen loops, a water bottle holder, and an array of convenient compartments for wallets, phones, cards and more! Since I don't tend to carry a lot, this is my favorite size!

The Tiny Tote:  For day-to-night dressing, our smallest tote is your smartest choice. This miniature version of our classic style features the same stashable compartments with a stylish size to take you well into the evening. In addition to a separate 3-pocket card case, it includes a secure zip pocket, magnetic-close pocket for a phone or your card case, and pen loops. Detachable cross-body strap frees up your hands!





I highly recommend these bags if you're a working girl, or a busy entrepreneur. These bags are well designed and well thought out....I can't highlight this enough.  They are much prettier in person too!
You can buy yours directly from Dagne Dover.



-post by jen ramos


Gift Guide: Kids Must-Have Books

Christmas is around the corner.  

Have you shopped for your grand kids or your own children yet? On the off-chance that you haven't yet, have you considered gifting them books? I LOVE books & my son loves them too!
Book are one of my fave gifts to give.  They are just TIMELESS & so special.  I remember when I was a little girl...my dad would always buy me all  kinds of books, even if I wasn't old enough to read them. I would be amazed just staring at the pictures on the pages.

Here are some must-have titles for kids books right now.  These are sure to be a hit in any child's life! Happy Holidays!






-post by jen ramos

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