Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Amy Cornwell

Amy Cornwell!

Amy Cornwell is a jewelry designer that I first found on Instagram (@amycornwell). She is so inspiring. Her blog has taught me so much and given me so much encouragement about life, business, and personal goals. I'm always amazed at her positive outlook on life and the joy that clearly shows through her products.

Amy started making jewelry in the '90s during high school to save up money for spring break. Once she realized her passion for the creative design of jewelry, she started her business and the rest is history!

Most of her jewelry has a southern feel to it (which is probably why I love it so much) and slightly resembles every Texas-girl's favorite, James Avery.

Here are some of my favorite Amy Cornwell designs:

True Love Ring (includes custom engraving. one of her most popular designs!): $27.50
You Are The Key: $40
Skeleton Key in sterling silver (one of her newest designs) : $27.50

As of June 2011, Amy is running Amy Cornwell Designs full-time! CONGRATS AMY! (read more about that amazing story here)

Shop for Amy Cornwell jewelry at her Etsy shop or at her website,

Charity by Design

Charity by Design is a beautiful jewelry collection from Alex and Ani. They work closely with different charities and organizations to create unique pieces of jewelry that represent the message that each wants to get across. Each piece has a different meaning, purpose, and a slightly different look from the rest. I love that their designs are simple, classy, and can be paired with almost any outfit. These bracelets are a perfect addition to my arm candy obsession! :)

PLUS Alex and Ani is an eco-friendly business that uses recycled materials to create their products.

Learn more about these priceless pieces and shop at

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ginger 13

I love it when I find local Hawaii shops that sell their products online. I always feel the need to share my finds with family and friends (on the mainland) but there's almost no point if the business doesn't sell online.

Ginger 13 is a jewelry boutique started by Cindy Yokoyama and based out of Hawaii. I love them because although their pieces show off their unique Hawaiian origin, they will fit in anyone's wardrobe no matter where you are.
I first learned of them from Lei Chic's weekly e-letter (which I LOVE and look forward to every week!) where I read that Ginger 13 was having some kind of promotion. I don't remember what the exact promotion was but I'm all over sales. Even if it's a small 10% off, it makes me feel less guilty about my shopping addiction.

I was so pleased with my first Ginger 13 order and have been a supporter of them ever since. Their pieces are so unique and best of all, they are really good quality.

They just released their Spring line and it's so on point with this season's trends.

Green Cleopatra: $75
TRIO- White/Aqua: $64

Shop online at and you can now find them on Instagram @ginger13hawaii!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Don't] Be Realistic

I like to remind myself of this.

"Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity." - Will Smith 

Your Body is a Wonderland [Denim]

I've recently discovered Wonderland Denim by Jess Shedlock. She creates "one of a kind hand dyed and distressed denim pieces and vintage gems". I'm dying to get my hands on one of her pieces!

Shop her designs at her Etsy shop or visit Bamboo Sky who is now carrying Wonderland Denim in-store.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Learn to Love

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.- Nelson Mandela


Visual Resume

How AMAZING is this resume by Michelle Magoffin?

I need this.


Men vs Wine

Pure Life

How cute are these bracelets that my friend Tarole has??

They're Pura Vida bracelets. Pura Vida means "pure life" in Spanish.

Simple and cute. These bracelets are entirely handmade in Costa Rica, helping employ local artisans there. Additionally, Pura Vida is part of "One Percent for the Planet" and donates 1% of proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation.

Shop for bracelets and find out how you can get involved at

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jessica Who?

I love the name Jessica. What I don't love is that I share it with a good chunk of the United States. Or world.

Let's add my middle name into the mix. Marie. Really?

To make matters worse, 3 of my closest friends have the most unique names ever. Stella Tatiana, Suzanne Gatlin, Charlotte Diane.. Diane isn't too unique but how many people can say they know a Charlotte??

I think most Jessica's will tell you that they've spent a lot of their lives answering the question: "Jessica who?" or "Which Jessica is this?" Of course these are via text or internet. Luckily, I've never met a Jessica who looks and sounds like me too. And then there's the "What's your last name? I need to put it in my phone because I have 3 other Jessica's in here." I'm grateful for this one because I'd rather be Jessica T than "Jessica- bar" or "Jessica- Hawaii" or the dreaded "Jessica- DO NOT ANSWER" (I've used this one). I spent most of my childhood being grateful for my last name, Romero. At least that was a little different. Most people don't have more than one Romero in their contact list.

Then, in 2010, I married a man with the last name Taylor. TAYLOR! Dumb move, right? And to top it off, his sister's name is Jessica. No, I'm not joking. I can't even use the nickname "JT" because 1) Justin Timberlake owns that and 2) My husband's name (and his 3 siblings) also starts with a J.

So, here I am. Jessica. Marie. Taylor. Google me. Dare you to find me by only using my name.

I'm grateful though. I guess I'd rather be the 9848765th Jessica than something like Olga. (Sorry to all of the Olga's out there.)

I just wanted you all to know that my journey to "find myself" (or whatever you call this stage of a 20's something girl) is not just an emotional one. It's a real life attempt at making myself stand out from the rest. And not just the rest of the people in the world, but the rest of the Jessica Marie Taylors.

Obsession: TOMS

I've recently become a bit obsessed with TOMS, their products, their mission, and their service. My collection has grown to 8 and I still want more. Check out some of my collection below and also the sweet sweet note that was included in one of my orders. Love them.

Find out more here and get your TOMS here.

Thinking About Coco

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Maya Brenner

Maya Brenner is known for her timeless classics that everyone, including celebrities, seem to love. I keep coming across her name and her jewelry. I think it's about time that I owned one of her pieces.

I've been obsessing over this necklace for a while. It was love at first sight.

"Texas" in 14k Gold by Maya Brenner: $275 

I like these too.

"Africa" in Sterling Silver by Maya Brenner: $140

"Seven Seas" Necklace by Maya Brenner: $88

"The Grace Bracelet" by Maya Brenner: $88

"Diamond in the Rough Disc" by Maya Brenner: $380

Check out more of her work at

I Suck at Being a Girl

I love being girly but I suck at most girly things. I suck at shopping because I'm so indecisive. I suck at hair which is why you'll always see me with my hair down (I don't even own a blow dryer) and I've had the same hairstyle and color for the majority of my life. I suck at beauty/ makeup... I wear very little makeup and use very little (if any) products mostly because I have know idea what to use. The problem isn't that I'm picky.. It's that I love everything! Which means I just end up with a bunch of crap. I usually end up buying things that are in a pretty bottle.

SO since I'll be 25 this year (yuck), I thought it would be appropriate for me to attempt to treat my body like a grown-up would. You know..with wrinkle cream, moisturizers.. Ok, maybe not the wrinkle cream yet, but you get what I mean, right? I'm not going to look like this forever so I need to at least attempt to take care of myself!

So how do I go about this? I didn't even know where to start. And then it hit me.
A few months back my mom told me about something called Birchbox. I didn't really look into it like I should have (I mean who really listens to their mom the first time?) until recently when I started to hear more about it and even from people my age! The way I understand it is that you sign up for a monthly subscription to Birchbox (only $10) which entitles you to one box every month full of beauty samples. They deliver the box right to your door. My mom described it as "Christmas once a month". She has received samples of things like lotion, perfume, eyeliner, and lipgloss. If you find a product that you like, you can buy the full-size version from their website. Oh and I forgot to mention that upon signing up, you fill out a profile telling them about your skin type, color, etc. so that they know what to send you. Sounds cool right? I think it might work well for someone like me who has no idea what the heck I'm doing. I'll be able to try things and find out what actually works for me instead of buying products that come in pretty bottles (although I still don't think there's anything wrong with that).

So I signed up! Anddddd there's a waiting list. I have no idea what that's about. Do they not have enough products to send out? Pretty annoying. But anyway, I'll write after I get my first box whenever that may be. And let's put some points on my mom's scoreboard for finding out about something cool BEFORE me! Thanks, mom.

To learn more and to get your own Birchbox, visit

P.S. I also just wanted to note that I recently kinda learned how to use a curling iron.. nothing major, but on a good day you may catch a few soft curls in my hair. Don't make fun of me. This is a big step on my road to becoming a grown-up.

Monday, February 13, 2012


If you don't know, now you know.

Priceless Threads: Bits of Uganda

I'm obsessing over this line of jewelry. Most people know that Uganda has a special place in my heart. I went on a mission trip there that completely changed my life. Knowing that these purchases help the people there make me want to buy this stuff even more.

Here are some of the things I've already purchased from them:

Wind Spark: $30

Puddle Wrap: $24

Daphne: $10

Gypsy: $46

Find out more here: Priceless Threads: Bits of Uganda: and SHOP at their online store

Galentine's Day

Today has been dubbed Galentine's Day. So, rightfully, this post is about my gals.

For those of you who don't know what Galentine's Day is, it's a day that you celebrate your "gals". It was originally created by Amy Poheller's character, Leslie Knope, in an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Of course, this makes me miss my girlfriends more than I already do. Don't get me wrong, I love the friends that I've made here (making friends here is incredibly difficult btw) but nothing can replace my girls from back home.

I love how I have such a diverse group of friends. Want someone to talk some sense into me? Call Suzanna. Want someone to listen to me cry and support me even if I'm being dumb? Call Stell. Want anything relating to style or my career? Call Em. Wanna talk about married life or puppy problems? Call Char. And who do I call if I get (or want to) into trouble? Well, Steph, of course. Have an embarrassing story to tell? Call all of the above.

Although each of my gals "specialize" in different areas of friendship, I know that I can count on all of them to be there in any category of my life. I've also been blessed with a few people who I haven't spent much time with but am lucky enough to call my friends. Some people think that's weird, but I think it's amazing. I've connected with several people via social media outlets because we have mutual friends. We talk online and through text and realize we have so much in common....and then before you know it, I realize that I actually talk to this person more than I do to some of my very close friends. So doesn't that make them a friend too?
Before you go knocking it, let's note that this is basically how I met my husband. We knew each other for 4 years before we actually ever met in person... and the rest is history.

Anyway, I've been told that I have an "odd" group of friends. I'm guessing it's because we all look and seem so different. This is probably true for the most part but I think that's what makes us work. We balance each other out like a good relationship should. I'm not sure what categories of friendship I specialize in but I'd like to think that I'm giving just as much as I'm receiving. A good friendship takes work from both people. I mean it really is like a relationship right? I've had my share of girlfriend "break-ups" and fights, but, just like a relationship, true friendship conquers all.

So if we can celebrate Valentine's Day with the man that we love, shouldn't we celebrate it with the girls that we love too? I think so. Happy Galentine's Day y'all! Tell your girlfriends that you love them.

annie o boutique

Annie O. Boutique collaborates with women in remote communities in Peru who have been victims of domestic violence to create vibrant one-of-a-kind accessories. Each design captures the lively culture of Peru. The boutique uses local materials and artisans which truly keeps their products unique.

Check out these colors!

Margarita Embroidered Clutch: $105

Embroidered Floral Peruvian Belts: $68 each

Horn Cuffs: $30 - $36

Designer and founder, Annie O. Waterman, believes in empowering women. With the start of her business, she has been able to provide an income, financial stability, and safe environment for women in Peru.

I'm all for women helping women!

Check out more of these bright designs at

Cake Batter Popcorn

Ok. I have a giant weak spot for sweets.

I came across this recipe on Chrissy Teigen's blog: SO DELUSHIOUS. I literally started making it about 30 minutes after I read about it.

She's right.. it's super addictive, super delicious, super dangerous, and thinking about it kinda makes me want to throw up. I CAN'T STOP EATING IT.

Since I've had many requests for the recipe since releasing this photo (and rightfully so...I mean look at it!), here it is!!

CAKE BATTER POPCORN (aka Birthday Cake Popcorn)

1 bag of popcorn, popped (I used white popcorn, lightly buttered)
8 ounces of white chocolate, melted
4 heaping teaspoons of yellow cake mix (or Funfetti!! which I recommend)
Mini M&Ms (optional)
Assorted sprinkles

Pop popcorn. Place in a large bowl after removing kernels and any burnt pieces. Mix in mini M&Ms.

Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Stir in cake mix until smooth, then stir in about 3 teaspoons of sprinkles. Immediately pour over popcorn. Mix the popcorn and M&Ms until completely coated.

Pour onto wax paper or into a wax-paper lined jelly roll pan and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle with sprinkles until festive. Let cool and harden. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Original recipe from

I made cupcakes with the leftover cake batter... and I may or may not have made 2 batches of Cake Batter Popcorn... I couldn't let it go to waste...right? :)

Howdy + Aloha

Hello. My name is Jessica Marie Taylor (= JMT = jay + emm + tee = jayemmtee.... get it?). I'm a Texas girl living on a crazy little island called Oahu. I live with my incredibly sexy husband, Jared, and our adorable (seriously, he's freaking cute but I guess I'm biased...) pup, Duke.We've lived here for roughly 2 years now and are learning to call it home.

My Twitter profile says "PR & Marketing. Foodie. Traveler. Networkoholic. Media Junkie. Photo Addict. Football Fanatic. Lover of all things Texas." ... which I think describes me pretty well.

I make my living doing PR & Marketing. I've found that a lot of people don't really know what that means. Now that I think about it, I don't think the majority of my friends and family even know what I do. Simply put, I manage the flow of information between a business and the public.

I'm a STICKLER when it comes to grammar and spelling. PLEASE tell me if you EVER see something that needs to be corrected on ANYTHING that I write. Because it absolutely irks me.

One more thing: It's true what they say, you can take a girl out of Texas but you can't take Texas out of the girl.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Founded in 2008, Kayu is based on 3 concepts: using eco-friendly materials to create their products, engaging designers of various countries to promote international and cultural business, and giving back to the community.

For every pair of sunglasses purchased, a 2% donation is made towards funding vision-repairing surgeries in India. (Donations made through Unite For Sight)

Cebu Wood Sunglasses: $184

For every handbag sold, a 2% donation is made towards the funding of school supplies in Cambodia. (Donations made through Awareness Cambodia)

Wren Shell Clutch: $569

Rachel Straw Clutch: $155

Find out more at: and visit their blog at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Changing Lives With Prints

"Just as one values the beauty of a print, Give Prints values the beauty of lives changed."

Professional photographers and charities from around the globe have come together to form Give Prints.

The process is simple. Buy a photograph, select a charity, done! 50% of the cost of your purchase goes to one of their partner charities.

Here are some of my favorite photographs from their online shop:

"Thread" by Samantha May: Starting at $25

"US Open Wall" by Ryan Longnecker: Starting at $25

"Red Door" by Kara Marnell: Starting at $25

"Peace" by Jenn Gibello: Starting at $25

Each photo is available in a variety of sizes. View their selections and learn more at