BEAUTY: PRETTY PASTEL POLISH

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!



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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 craft....one 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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FASHION: Pretty in Pink

Hi ladies, this is Sandra from Blasfemmes. How is everyone doing? Today I bring you a collage post fully dedicated to pink. This is not the first time I do this (remember this post?) but as a huge fan of pink I figured there's no such thing as too much pink.  Luckily for pink lovers like me we have a sweet, sweet and pink kind of Spring ahead of us! Are there more pink lovers out there? 


1. Marc Jacobs Watch // 2. Zoe Karssen 'Eau Yeah' Sweater // 3. By Malene Birger Coat (this is adorable) // 4. Valentino Rockstud Bag (also love this) // 5. Marc Jacobs Jeans // 6. Alexander Wang 'Malgosia' Sandals // 7. Carven Coat // 8. Topshop Dress // 9. Wonderelle Macaron Trinket Box // 10. Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair Bag // 11. Dior 'Blooming Bouquet' Perfume // 12. Alexandre Birman Sandals 


 
- post by sandra lopes




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MORNING BEAUTY ROUTINE

This is a new series called -  "Morning BEAUTY Routine" - it's all about what YOU put on your face every morning.  For me, it's pretty simple, although my husband would disagree.  He always wonders why I have so many beauty products.  Then like most men he asks me, "Do you really need all this stuff?" My response is "no, but you never know when it will come in handy."

I normally buy 2 different eye creams & although this Estee Lauder is my current fave (which I got for free), I also really love the Revitalizing eye-cream by Restorsea.  If used correctly, eye-creams can actually last a long time, saving you lots of money. Because let's face it, eye-creams aren't cheap. However, when you're 40 like I am (& everything starts to dry up) they come in handy! Below I'll go more in depth on the rest of the products I use each morning!


GARNIER BB CREAM:
Like many of you - I had been spending top dollar $$$ on liquid foundations like Laura Mercier & Chanel.  Well, not anymore. Ever since Garnier came out with their BB Cream - I was hooked. I started to add up all the monies I spent on foundation in the last several years, and gulp! However, BB cream just recently came into the scene, so it wasn't even available to me when I was 24.  Ok, so For $12.99 you can enjoy this multi-benefit product. It gives you awesome skin coverage as well as brightens complexion, evens skin tone (my fave), hydrates & also has sunscreen! 


CETAPHIL OIL CONTROL FOAM WASH: 
I remember I was introduced to Cetaphil by a masseuse in Philadelphia. I ordered it immediately and was surprised at how well it worked. Before this, my skin would get oily.... especially around my period.  But I swear, I rarely see oily skin anymore!  It's definitely been a life-saver in that sense. I've had acne-prone skin most of my life, even at this age, can you believe it? Anyone else with me?  If you have acne, you MUST try this. This foam wash removes makeup really well & never leaves my face dry. Will not stop using this, I'm hooked!

DR. HAUSCHKA CLARIFYING TONER: 
This is the only toner I use everyday. It's a holistic skin care product that helps diminish signs of blemishes, large pores & oily skin. It feels refreshing when sprayed on my face & never feels drying. Its not like some toners that when sprayed on face, your face feels tight, it feels natural and smells nice too!

EARTH SCIENCE  HERBAL TONIC MIST:
The Earth Science Tonic mist is another toner + mositurizer I use off & on.  I tend to spray it after my makeup, for a nice glow.  Most people tend to spray it before makeup...which is fine too. However you use it, I love it! It's also oil-free, which all of the products I use tend to be. I do like that it's Paraben free & has no animal ingredients. I am working on this...for all my daily use products.


SKIN CEUTICALS SUNSCREEN:
This is by far my favorite sunscreen by Skin Ceuticals.  It's in the high price range for sunscreen, but if you just dab on very little, it should last you awhile. It's also paraben-free & carries an SPF protection for the face, not bad huh? I wear this even when there is no sun out - which is most of the time here in NYC. It def provides all-day hydration, which I think is important when choosing a a sunscreen. Have you tried this brand?


- If you're a blogger & would love to be part of this series, email us pics of your FAVE morning beauty facial products & a pic or two of yourself.  If we like what you sent, we will invite you to participate!!!! 

-post by jen ramos


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FOOD: Creamy Potato Soup

Hi Made By Girl! This is Jen from Pretty Eats with a gorgeous creamy dish that will warm you up - until Spring is in full bloom!  Love rich flavors but not the guilt? This Creamy Potato Soup with Pancetta & Chives gives comfort food satisfaction in a small package! Incredibly easy to whip up, this method can be used to make just about any vegetable soup you'd like. What I adore about this recipe is it's versatility - it's perfect for a cozy dinner at home yet elegant enough to serve at your next party (don't chives make everything look fancy?) So stay in tonight and snuggle up to this warming, creamy meal.


Creamy Potato Soup with Pancetta & Chives


Ingredients:  serves 2 as dinner /6 as small appetizer

    •    4 russet potatoes / washed, peeled, and diced
    •    1 clove minced garlic
    •    1 cup milk (or your favorite dairy-free milk)
    •    1 cup good chicken stock
    •    4 thin slices of pancetta
    •    1/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
    •    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    •    Chopped chives for garnish


Directions:

    •    Boil diced potatoes in a large pot of water until very soft, 8-10 min. Drain.
    •    Over medium heat, pan-fry the pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan and quickly saute the minced garlic for 1 minute.
    •    In a blender or food processor, in 2-3 batches, blend potatoes, sauteed garlic, milk, and stock to a smooth consistency.  
    •    Return blended soup to pot. Add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp fresh pepper, or more/less to suit your taste.     •    Heat soup over medium heat until nice and warm.
    •    Top with a dollop of creme fraiche, a piece of crispy pancetta, and a sprinkle of chives. Enjoy!





- post by jen olson



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6 Stylish Jumpsuits for Spring

With Spring back in gear - I'm ready to leave the coat and throw on some Spring fashion. Speaking of....have you seen the latest in Jumpsuits? Floral & patterns are everywhere, but I don't know how bold I'd be wearing a full-on floral jumper on the street...I'd feel like Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex & The City. But for a night-out...now that is a different story. Here are a few of my current faves! How about you??


Are you into jumpsuits? Would you sport an all-floral one?






Have a great weekend!!!!!


-post by  jen ramos



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FASHION: SPRING SHOES & BAGS

Hi everyone! Adri of Adri's World here to bring you some Spring inspiration. It's March so it's the perfect time to start getting ready for Spring fashion, and what better way than to add more shoes and bags to your closet, right?

I love the new shoe trend of mules and those color block and blue ones below are definitely on my wishlist! The snake trend pattern is popping up in all the Spring collections and a pair of flat sandals are a perfect way to add that trend every day. What about a neutral open toe bootie? Perfect with any outfit—day or night!

Now to the bags. A backpack is stylish and comfortable, perfect if you live in the city or if you like to carry a lot of things. A color block tote or clutch are a great way to add color and will match many colors and types of shoes. Whatever the occasion, shoes and bags are always a great way to change an outfit.

Are you ready for all the Spring shoes and bags? 





[1.vince mules, 2.brian atwood backpack, 3.maison martin margiela booties, 4.clare vivier clutch, 5.kate spade sandals, 6.rebecca minkoff tote, 7.sergio rossi mule, 8.rebecca minkoff bag]


- post by Adri Reynoso
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Doggies: lasso dogs

Have you heard of Lasso? They are a company based in Puerto Rico. As you all know I love dogs and my darling Darla. As any pet owner you know there are always must have accessories and these are no exception. They have colorful and intricate collars and leashes made out of rope for any dogs delight as seen in 4 Rig or 6 Eco Leash. They even make an adorable chew toy, 1 Ultimus Toy, that looks like a real bone. Best part is how sturdy it is....good to know because Darla likes to chew her toys & break them.

By the way- Get 20% OFF your doggie purchase using code: MADE BY GIRL - expires tonight at midnight!

Darla uses 2 Cruiser.  It's a really soft & lightweight cotton collar + leash. With the cutest gold brass ring detailing! It doesn't feel harsh on your hand unlike other leashes. I LOVE it!


Which of these styles would you choose for your dog?




- image of darla by jen ramos

 
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DESIGN: Neon Phenomenon

Hi MBG readers, its Lisa with Gem Daily! A major component of the interior design and decor world that I love to watch is trends. I can obsess about how long they stick around, unique ways designers interpret them and even better yet, how quickly e-commerce and retail gets a hold of the trend!

The neon phenomenon has slowly but surely made its way into celebrity homes, becoming a mainstay on Etsy as the most unexpected element to any space. There is something about using neon colors in contemporary spaces that instantly becomes an art piece. And I always love seeing neon color to rehab an older vintage piece; it always does the trick and suddenly you have a revived classic with so much personality.

Take Kourtney Kardashian's master bedroom for example- the bold prints and deep, sexy colors are the perfect backdrop to the hot pink neon "love me" sign over the bed. 


Or what about this incredibly clean, crisp and jarring use of orange? So inspiring, memorable and contemporary.

And this clean, fresh bathroom is the perfect blend of playful neon color, white modern lines and warm wood tones.

via homedit


1// heart it neon pillow cover 2// pendant light 3// home sweet home sign  4// triangles (neon) art print 5// pink skull head 6// radiant acrylic coffee table 7// neon yellow air plant pot 8// holy stool medium neon yellow 9// disco fever wall clock 10// robert farkas party deer woven rug
 
 
 
 
- post by lisa



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FOOD: Lemon Bars

Hi there Made By Girl readers, Amanda here from A Life Well Lived again. Today I am sharing one of my favorite dessert recipes - lemon bars.  These treats are perfect to bring to a shower or brunch, as well as snack on at anytime.





These lemon bars are made with a layer of sweet and flaky brown sugar shortbread that is topped with a creamy lemon filling. They are sweet and tangy and all together delicious.  




I love “lemony” desserts. This was a recent taste bud shift but given the choice, I might choose a lemon dessert over a chocolate dessert. Gasp,  I know! 



It is purely psychological yes, but I feel like I won’t be as full if I go for the lemon dessert.  Plus is a great way to end a meal with something tart and not overly sweet.



Also, I am a Florida girl so there is always a soft spot for citrus in my heart, not to mention in my belly!  So here is my version of the perfect lemon dessert.



Enjoy! 

Lemon Bars 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of lemon juice 
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line  8”x8” square pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Using electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat well. Mix in flour and salt until just combined (do not overmix). With your hands or a spatula, press dough into the prepared pan. Bake until shortbread is brown, firm at edges, and slightly soft in center, about 35 minutes. 

Meanwhile, whisk sugar and eggs in medium bowl until blended. Stir in fresh lemon juice, zest and flour, Pour lemon filling over hot crust. Bake until filling is set in center and begins to brown on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Cut into triangles or squares and dust the top with powdered sugar. 


Make about 20 lemon bars.






- post by amanda



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DESIGN: Eclectic Boho

Hi guys, Monika here from ohmydeco! As much as I love sophisticated, minimalistic places, I am just dying over those colorful and eclectic living rooms, full of texture and prints. It takes a real talent to dig into different styles, mix and match quirky accessories and prints and come up with something stylish and original. Those spaces are the definition of a tasteful eclectic boho mix and definitely a great source of inspiration!!



 Via Mixandchic


What those places have in common? The coolest round coffee tables!
one :: two :: three :: four :: five :: six 


And fun, bold accessories!


1 Table lamp :: 2 Cushion :: 3 Sofa :: 4 Rug  :: 5 Chair :: 6 Set of dishes :: Ottoman :: 8 Art::
:: 9 Side table ::




- post by Monika




 
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Baked Hazelnut Doughnuts with Coconut Frosting

Hello MadeByGirl! This is Jen from Pretty Eats bringing you a sweet treat that's almost too pretty to eat. Almost. The secret to these beautiful Hazelnut Doughnuts is that they are baked. Baking doughnuts is so much easier that frying your own, or getting one of those belly bombs at the local doughnut shop. I use coconut oil instead of butter in both the glaze and the batter which adds a healthier twist and a delicious flavor boost.

You don't need a special occasion for these beauties, they are a little celebration all by themselves!



Ingredients:  makes 24 mini doughnuts

Batter
    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    3/4 tsp salt
    •    1 tsp baking powder
    •    1/2 cup sugar
    •    1 egg
    •    3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    •    1/2 cup milk (or dairy-free milk of your choice)
    •    1 tsp vanilla extract
 

Glaze
    •    3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    •    1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted finely
    •    1/2 tsp salt
    •    1/4 cup milk (or dairy-free milk of your choice)
    •    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    •    1 drop red food coloring for pink glaze


Additional
    •    Chopped hazelnuts for topping


Directions: 
    •    Preheat oven to 350F.
    •    For the batter, whisk the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry to wet ingredients, whisking together until combined.
    •    Slightly grease a doughnut pan. Fill each doughnut cup halfway with batter.
    •    Bake doughnuts for 8-11 minutes and cool on a rack.
    •    For the glaze, whisk dry ingredients into wet. *Make sure to sift confectioner's sugar to ensure a smooth consistency in the glaze. Add one drop of  red coloring for pink glaze.
    •    Dip each cooled doughnut into glaze and allow to dry on a rack for a few minutes before topping with chopped hazelnuts.





-post & images by jennifer olson of pretty-eats


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