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{Sponsored} Minted + Mexico: Paper, Paradise & Happily Ever After

MIN-84O-INV-001_A_PZ Disclosure: This post was sponsored by

It has been almost a week since I left Mexico, and I'm still experiencing a major case of the post-vacation blues. That's how you know you've been on a truly special trip; you wake in the middle of the night dreaming about sunshine, sangria and Sergio (not necessarily in that order). You convince yourself that if you can inhale deep enough, you'll catch a breath of that glorious ocean air. (You find yourself quietly checking flight schedules against your calendar at 2 a.m. as visions of Mexico 2.0 dance in your head...)

I'll be honest. Until this vacation, I'd never really given much thought to the notion of a destination wedding. But one afternoon we found ourselves lounging in the pool watching as the resort staff begin erecting an arch on the beach. Over the next several hours, they transformed a few boards and rolls of material into a site fit for a magical moment. As wafts of white tulle danced in the breeze in front of a stunningly aqua sea, I began to see the destination wedding appeal. But it wasn't just about the beautiful backdrop. 

Over the course of our stay, I heard several people refer to a "Mexico State of Mind." By the end of our trip, I wholly understood what they were talking about. It's a passion for the present moment. It's joy in being together with the people you love. It's finding beauty in everyone and everything. It's simply enjoying your life. There's something to be said for beginning your forever journey in a Mexico State of Mind and starting the clock on "happily ever after" with a major emphasis on the happy.

Though I did receive two marriage proposals while in Mexico, it's doubtful I'll be walking down the aisle anytime soon. Nonetheless,'s new Wedding Collection  has provided me with some visual eye candy and fodder for fantasy. These are just a few of the invites I have cast in my hypothetical destination Mexico wedding. Whether you're going sassy or simple, ritzy or rustic, when it comes to finding the perfect paper, Minted has got you covered. As for finding the perfect partner? That's up to you, my friend.

ps: If you're not in wedding mode, check out Minted's Art Marketplace to score yourself (or at least your walls) a little something pretty. I was originally introduced to Minted by way of The Homesteady, and have since formed something of an addiction. My collection of office "animal art" has benefited greatly with the addition of Runny Bunny and Swift Fox.

*pps: me, maybe.

MIN-OY5-IFS-001_A_PZCan't you almost smell the tropical flowersMIN-DRZ-INV-001B_A_PZThis print reminds me of the gorgeous, hand-embroidered Mexican tapestries we saw in many of the local markets. Such pretty!MIN-84O-INV-001_A_PZDoes this count as "something blue?" I think it does. MIN-FF9-IFS-001_E_PZThere's something to be said for simple elegance. And gold. MIN-48Q-INV-001J_C_PZ Love this pattern.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. In exchange for writing it, I received compensation from I only recommend products or services I personally use and believe offer benefits to my blog audience. All opinions are my own. 

8 Badass Columbus Female Founders You Should Know

female founder collage Columbus has been named the seventh best city in the country for female founders, a top 10 city for small business and the best city for working mothers. Whatever you call it, there's no denying that we have some mighty talented, badass, creative female founders in our midst -- and they're not only doing great business, they're doing great things for the Columbus community.

If you haven't met these ladies, you should. If you don't know them by name yet, you will.

Allie Lehman, Death to the Stock Photo Something about Allie Lehman's photography makes me feel like we're all living in an eternal state of autumnal bliss on a never-ending Saturday morning. She has such a gift for capturing the subtle, intimate, meaningful moments of daily living most people miss by rushing through life. Not only is Allie a super-talented photog, she's also an author, an entrepreneur and the founder of Death to the Stock Photo, a movement that is changing the way the world views stock photography.

About-Allie-Lehman3allie lehman

Lisa LaMantia, Willow & Wren Color Free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor (aka: the really bad stuff) Willow & Wren is doing nail color in a newer, better way. Alongside classics like Sticks + Stones (a creamy, vampy red) and the perfectly peachy Fizzy Pop (a personal fav), you'll discover an ever-evolving palette of now-inspired shades that rotate and retire with the changing of seasons and trends. From All That Glitters (a gorgeous, glittering rose gold) to Maine Attraction (a vibrant, emerald green that will make you want to get in the car and hit the road), W&W offers a signature color for every style and taste. The passion project of Lisa LaMantia, a local City Planner (and good friend), Willow & Wren has become a permanent fixture on my toe tips and my go-to gift for lady friends. 

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Allison Chapman, Igloo Letterpress If you've never had the opportunity to lay your hands on a letterpress, drop what you're doing and head to Worthington. Look for Igloo Letterpress situated squarely at the intersection of history, wordology and design (39 West New England Avenue). Allison has brought a magical thing to the central Ohio community, and invites visitors to put down their technology and take a step back in time by creating something beautiful and meaningful with their hands. 

1AA CLERK 13igloo letterpress cards

Heather Whaling, Geben Communication Thought leader. Crisis averter. World changer. Do gooder. Of all the things I could call Heather Whaling, I'm most thankful to call her my friend. As Founder and President of Geben Communication, a German Village-based boutique public relations firm, Heather leads a savvy PR team that is kicking ass and taking names on a daily basis. (And moving the needle in a big way for their clients in the process.) With a guiding mantra of "Doing well by doing good," you'll find Heather giving of her time and talent as a tireless philanthropist, mentor to many and friend to the community.

heather whalingScreen Shot 2015-02-03 at 12.50.11 AM

Danielle Evans, Marmalade Bleue As I mentioned in a recent post, when it comes to my list of likes, food and typography rank near the top. So it should come as no surprise I’ve got a serious creative crush on the woman who brings both of these things together to create magical, storybook-worthy works of art. If your brand is a foodie brand, drop what you’re doing and call Danielle. If your brand isn’t a foodie brand, after you see her work…you’re gonna wish it was.

Danielle-2014 thewonderjam_for_site

Mollie + Kelly Fankhauser, Kittie's Cakes There are cakes...and then there are Kittie's Cakes. It's easy to tell the difference. Kittie's Cakes are the kind of thing that compel a person to get out of bed, put on real pants and drive across town on a Saturday morning because you know the rest of the city is going to see today's Instagram and race to German Village to buy up whatever is left. (Not that I would know anything about that.) When it comes to these former-golfers-turned-bakers, it would be easy to love Mollie and Kelly based solely on their product, but the love doesn't stop there. This duo somehow manages to run an awesome business, support several community initiatives and rule the Instagram world on behalf of both Kittie's and their golden child, Linus. Living proof that you really can have your cake and eat it too...and have a meaningful impact on the world in the process.


Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams No list of Columbus female founders would be complete without mention of our Patron Saintess of Creativity, Jeni Britton Bauer. What can be said about Jeni that hasn't been said before? (Probably not a lot, given that her name yields over 91,000 hits on Google.) As she suggests in her book, anyone can make great ice cream. Inspiring an entire city to fall deeply in love with a better way of doing things, however, takes a special person, a tireless spirit and a true passion. For those of us who live in Columbus, we've bought into Jeni's story and better way with each scoop and spoonful. Jeni's isn't just a story about great ice cream; it's the story of the spirit of our community -- innovative, creative, passionate, fun and relentlessly focused on doing, not just being, good.

Jeni jenis




AUTHOR /// Amy Taylor is a Columbus, Ohio-based Marketing Strategist + Copywriter. Learn more about her at or follow her on Twitter @NoMeatballs.

Meet Marmalade Bleue

thewonderjam_for_siteWhen it comes to my list of likes, food and typography rank near the top. So it should come as no surprise I've got a serious creative crush on the woman who brings both of these things together to create magical, storybook-worthy works of art. (Anyone who has ever tried to wrangle sprinkles into submission knows this is no small accomplishment.)

Columbus-based artist, Danielle Evans (aka Marmalade Bleue) creates eye- and awe-inspiring masterpieces by way of "lettering and typography, which she exhibits through brush pen, paper cutting and most notably, dimensional type. She art directs, food styles, and collaborates with personable and quirky clients to achieve authentic, evocative, and approachable work for social media campaigns, editorials, and advertising."

To put it another way, if your brand is a foodie brand, drop what you're doing and call Danielle. If your brand isn't a foodie brand, after you check out her're gonna wish it was.

In conclusion, any woman willing to get her hands dirty (and spend a morning knuckles-deep in raw meat) is my kind of awesome.

Learn more about Danielle and her work at

(All images via

Belcampo-full-imageBelcampo-me-workingDo-Something-finalENG_FFT_Bullseye-for-site get-crackin


Happy birthday, Julia Child!


Happy day to my birthday twin, Julia Child! She was tall and awkward, courageous, brilliant and simply amazing. In a time when women were supposed to "be modest and polite," Julia made messes, stirred things up, got her hands dirty, forged her own path, played by her own rules and created her own destiny. And she did it all in heels.

I feel honored to share a birthday with such an incredible woman. Long live her brazen spirit and penchant for living joyfully.

Tub cleaner + carpet spot remover (DIY)

Tub cleaner + carpet spot remover (DIY)

Writer Sylvia Plath once said, "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." As a nightly bath taker, I'm inclined to agree. As a nightly bath taker, I'm also intimately familiar with the nightmare that is soap scum and hard water stains. In fact, the ring of doom and I are in a bit of a cold war. And I've tried everything short of nuclear weaponry to help me win the battle. From bleach sprays to organic sprays, caustic powders to baking soda scrubs -- nothing seems to work.

Until last night.

The thing that finally did the trick was a DIY recipe floating around the interwebs. It uses only two ingredients, both of which cost less than $5 combined...and are probably already residing in that creepy cabinet under your kitchen sink. White vinegar + blue Dawn dish soap.

I am not sure what kind of magic they put in blue Dawn, but holy moly, I am a believer! When it pairs with white vinegar some kind of magical love connection ensues...and now I will share it with you.


RECIPE 1 part blue Dawn dish soap to 1 part white vinegar.

INSTRUCTIONS Put ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before using. (Some recipes suggest heating the vinegar first for added oomph.) Spray mixture onto tub (be sure to thoroughly coat any extra grimy or gross spots.) Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse. More than likely you won't even have to work up a sweat with a scrub brush, especially if you use this mixture routinely moving forward.

PROS: amazingly effective - works better than any commercial cleaners I have tried, semi-natural, inexpensive, Dawn saves wildlife, uses ingredients you probably already have around the house

CONS: Takes a little more effort to rinse than some cleaners, but the viscosity it part of what makes it effective. Definitely has a soapy vinegar aroma, but I far prefer "soap pickles" to the scent of chemical cleaners.


As it turns out, the super powers of vinegar and blue Dawn don't stop at the bathroom. At least not IN the bathroom. As the proud pet parent of a rescue dog, I can honestly say there are few things on Earth I love more than Rocky. I mean, just look at that face...

Don't let the look deceive you. He's 80% adorable lovehound, 20% terror. And while he's pretty much a genius, every now and then he tips into evil genius territory (occasionally just-plain-evil). I was reminded of this last week when I started moving furniture and discovered someone had peed on the leg of chair in the living room, which had pooled under the foot on the carpet below. Initial efforts to remove the spot with my Little Green Machine proved fruitless, so I did what any normal person would do: I ordered a full-size carpet cleaner at 2 a.m. on Amazon. (It's actually pretty great.)

But I knew I'd need a spot treatment if there was a chance of getting the stain out.

While perusing Youtube for vinegar + Dawn bathroom results, I noticed that someone had recommended vinegar and Dawn as a carpet spot treatment for such purposes.

Could it be? 

Yes. It could totally be. I wish I had taken before and after photos to share. I have no idea how long that stain had been setting into my carpet, but with just a spray and blot it was barely noticable. A pass of the carpet cleaner and things were good as new.

RECIPE 1 part blue Dawn dish soap to 2 parts white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS Spray on stain, allow to set for a minute, blot. Note: I would definitely suggest spot testing this on an inconspicuous area of your carpet before you go spraying it all over the place. While my carpeting is light, I do not have natural carpet fibers. The mixture definitely comes out blue, so use at your own risk.

Happy cleaning!

Chicken Salad Gone Christmas | Recipe

christmas chicken salad While much of the world is busy groaning about Christmas in October, I am one of those people who starts longing for the holiday season right around the time I start packing away the 4th of July decorations. No doubt about it, my soul is dipped in red-and-green glitter and strung with twinkle lights. And I'm okay with that.

Like any good Christmas fanatic, I have a rotation of recipes that scream "HOLY HOLIDAYS LETS DO THIS THING!" And this is one of them. If you're not a cook, no worries. If you can chop things with a knife and wield a wooden spoon, you're golden.

Note: pretty much everyone on the planet has a variation on this recipe in their stash (or their mom's stash or their grandma's stash). Adapt at will. It's hard to mess it up.

Christmas Chicken Salad

4 c. cubed or shredded chicken (or 2 cans if you're not into getting hands-on with your poultry) 1 c. dried cranberries 1 c. chopped walnuts 1. c. finely chopped celery 1 c. quartered red or green grapes 1 c. finely chopped green apple 3 stalks chopped green onions salt + pepper to taste Enough mayo to wet it all down (appx. 1 cup)

Now for the super complicated instructions...

Add ingredients to bowl. Stir. Spread on a croissant and prepare to have your bells jingled.

Note: If you can resist for a day or two, this is even more delicious on day two or three.

Meet Poppy Soap Co: Organic Soap on a Give-Back Mission

poppy soap According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Only a small percentage (5%) will ever seek help from organizations, shelters or the police. While shelters provide valuable resources and support for women in need, the experience can often feel dehumanizing, isolating and lonely.

What if there were a simple way to foster a sense of support and community by providing women in shelters with a warm welcome and a human touch? Meet a company that is doing exactly that with a little help from their customers…and me!

I’m proud to announce that I recently became an official Ambassador for Poppy Soap Co., a California-based organic, handmade soap company founded on the tenets of quality ingredients, sustainable practices and giving back to local communities around the country. Poppy Soap Co. makes beautiful, organic soaps using a unique blend of organic oils that specifically address a range skin issues. Not only is their soap exceptional, they really care about the details, from their ingredients to the hand-stamped muslin bags each bar of soap is packaged in to the carbon offsets they purchase. And the good doesn’t stop there.

Since it was founded in 2012, Poppy Soap has been empowering a give-back movement in the United States. They call it the “Bar for Bar” program. For every bar of Poppy Soap purchased online or in stores, the brand donates an additional bar to a women’s shelter their customer’s local community. To date, they have donated more than 3,000 bars to women’s shelters across the world.

On October 16, Poppy Soap Co. kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to raise some much needed funding. The Poppy Soap team is currently working out of a studio in founder Lindy LaRoche’s garage. They’re thrilled to be taking large orders from customers like The Four Seasons, but in order to fill the orders, they’ve got to have the space and equipment to grow their production. With any luck their crowdfunding campaign will help provide the funds to do just that.

More importantly, the funds will help keep the Bar for Bar program alive. Up to now, Lindy has been financially supporting the Bar for Bar program out of her own pocket. As support for the program has grown, the postage is really starting to add up. It’s time to help the Bar for Bar program stand on its own two legs so Poppy Soap Co. can continue making donations to shelters on behalf of their customers.

>>> To support the campaign (and claim their awesome perks) click here. <<<



Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. However, I  will receive Poppy Soap product as a Bar for Bar Ambassador. In addition, a women’s shelter in my community will receive a donation from Poppy Soap Co. on my behalf. 

Buy This Book...Then Go Cook Yourself.

go cook yourself book By now my regular creepers followers know that the list of things that bring me joy is long, varied and ongoing. From bare feet to wooden spoons, narwhals to misheard lyrics, it's sort of an ever-evolving archive of Amy-endorsed awesomeness in no particular order. Two things consistently hovering near the top of the list: dinner parties and friends.

To date, one of the best days of my life remains the evening GVL BFF and I live-streamed the making of "The Turducken of Cheese Balls" (Yes, it is a thing. Yes, it is a crazy pain in the ass to make. Yes, it is just as glorious as you could ever possibly imagine.) after stumbling across the recipe on the internets. Roughly a hundred dollars, a couple bottles of wine, a little hysteria and a dozen layers of foodstuffs later, we arrived at this. AND OUR LIVES WERE NEVER THE SAME AGAIN. 

My birthday twin, Julia Child, once said, "In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” If you're looking for a way to stoke your what-the-hell fire, Go Cook Yourself is a good place to start. Coincidentally, they just published their first book...and I have assembled ten incredibly compelling reasons you will instantly fall in heart with GCY and should pick up a copy of their book right now.


  1. Let's cut to the chase. The authors* are British people, so when you read the book in the voice in your mind, you can pretend the recipe calls for “basil” instead of “basil.” And we all know THAT IS WAY MORE ADORABLE. (Also, for some reason, much less bothersome to the American ear than the way the British insist on pronouncing "aluminum.") (Side note: the dictionary claims we all pronounce basil the same way. The dictionary is clearly in denial and I can no longer trust anything it says.)
  2. (Straight men...skip directly to bullet 3. Gays and girls...come with me.) The “British people” are actually “British twin brothers.” Coincidentally they are also “British handsome.” If commercials have taught us anything, it is that two are better than one. And if you haven’t based your entire understanding of everything that is right and good in the world on the indisputable wisdom of late-80s advertising, you’re no friend of mine.
  3. Now is your chance to finally get around to learning something about the metric system, which you probably did in fifth grade and again in tenth grade and then promptly forgot because "IT'S NOT LIKE I'M EVER GOING TO USE THIS." Guess what, younger self? You were WRONG. Not only will mastery of the metric system help you win friends and influence people, it will also take you one step closer to becoming a badass like Walter White. Bonus: instead of leading you down a path of sin that ruins your life and destroys your family, GCY will lead you down a path to a delicious pile of something delicious.
  4. Know who likes bacon? Go Cook Yourself. Know who else likes bacon? Ron Swanson. Know what else Ron Swanson likes? Puppies and dancing. If you don’t buy this book I will assume that means you hate puppies, dancing and bacon, which will leave me with no choice but to write an open letter about you. And we all know how that goes.
  5. Cooking is sexy…and it knows it.
  6. Three Reasons, One Photo. rob
  7. One word: s’moreos. THIS IS A THING.
  8. The book is gloriously meatball and meatloaf-free. In every conceivable way.
  9. The book will challenge you to challenge eating "black pudding." After reading up on the matter, I have come to realize that "black pudding" is just a polite British way of saying "SAUSAGE OF DOOM." If you are American and send me a video of you eating (or even attempting to eat) black pudding, I will create a post on this blog and you will become an honorary member of The Hall of WTFame. Note: *I* will never become a member of the Hall of WTFame because NO.
  10. Because I said so. And I would never lie to you.

>>> Buy the book on Amazon or B&N. <<<

Then go follow Go Cook Yourself...


amy loves go cook yourself

*Full disclosure: I am faraway friends with half of the authors, however he neither compensated me for nor encouraged me to write this post. It is also entirely possible he will be completely mortified by it. Hi Dan. Congratulations on the book!