2017: my year in review

berner pup

It's that time of year again.....time for a year in review post! These posts may seem silly (and probably pretty repetitive this time of year) but I always love looking back and reflecting on years past. My first EVER blog post was a review of 2011....my how things have changed in six years!

2017 was a great year filled with exciting opportunities and new adventures. I traveled all around the world, checked a lot of things off my bucket list, had a bunch of "firsts." learned to be happy with who I am and where I'm at while working towards my goals and dreams. Of course some crappy things happened - health, home warranties, insurance and finances don't always go according to plan - but taking those things in stride and looking at the big picture makes it all OK. If 2018 is half as great as 2017, I'll be more than satisfied.
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Spending Christmas Cash

outfit inspo
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve
Good morning! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas filled with joy and cheer. I'm always a little sad that my favorite time of year is over... I know some of you are probably relieved to stop listening to Christmas music everywhere you go and get back to your regularly scheduled programming.... and that's OK! 

One good thing about Christmas being over is spending Christmas cash and gift cards during after Christmas sales! I always *try* to participate in No Shop November and Don't Shop December, so by the time December 26 rolls around I'm ready to go on a shopping spree for ME! I put together some adorable and affordable outfits from Romwe to inspire you to do your own after Christmas shopping! I'm totally crushing on this velvet bodysuit and I love the poncho inspired by Burberry - always  classic! Also, can we talk about these designer dupe heels? Insert heart eyes!
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Merry Christmas from the Martins

christmas card photo
Open Back Sweater | Similar Tulle Skirt | MK Flats
Happy Friday and happy weekend! I wanted to pop in real quick and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We are heading to my parent's tonight for a Christmas weekend at the lake in NW Arkansas. Cookies, carols and cheer! I love it. No matter how old I am, I will always love waking up on Christmas morning and feeling like a little kid again. We always have orange cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket for breakfast after opening presents. It is such a simple breakfast but it is a tradition I always look forward to. 

I thought I'd share our Christmas card photo shoot with you today - I just love how they turned out! These silly pups make any photo better...and more difficult to achieve haha. I wore this same skirt to a Christmas party paired with a plaid button down and leopard flats - I'm not sure which way I like better! I think it would look equally as adorable with a chambray top. 
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NYE Outfit Inspo

new years eve outfit
Velvet Body Suit (only available in black), Similar Here | The Comfiest Jeans | Similar Faux Fur Vest |
Kate Spade Bag | Similar Heels | Gucci Belt, Dupe Here | Lips, Color is "Fiery" 
Picking out the perfect New Years Eve outfit is always such a fun activity! Sparkles, velvet, sequins, silk, fur, leather.....it seems to me that New Years is all about wearing fun and festive fabrics. In years past, I spent my NYEs out on the town. Naturally they included lots of sequins and high heels! As I get older, though, I prefer to stay home with friends and family.....but I still like to look the part! 

The outfit I'm wearing here could be worn out to a casual NYE setting or it can be worn on the couch!  This body suit is seriously the softest thing I've ever worn and these jeans are so comfy and stretchy I could sleep in them. I had to add a touch of sparkle with my shoes - I've had them for several years and I literally only wear them on New Years! I added a few other festive pieces I'm crushing on in the widget at the end of this post. 
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Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

stocking stuffer ideas
one: a fun water bottle | two: my fav lipstick | three: pony-tail holders | four: a portable phone charger | five: the cutest contact case | six: a selfie light | everyone's fave chap stick (no number, oops!) | seven: my favorite sheet mask | eight: a pop socket | nine: bath bombs | ten: phone camera lens kit | eleven: a fun mug | twelve: a fun usb drive | thirteen: custom dog breed tie | fourteen: crazy socks | fifteen: a cocktail kit (throw in mini liquor bottles!) | sixteen: beard bomb | seventeen: a kitchen tool kit | eighteen: a tea infuser
With only a week left until Christmas, I hope you are all done with your shopping! But that sounds much easier in theory than it is in reality amirite?! Hopefully by now, though, all you have left are those little last minute gifts and stocking stuffers. According to Santa, girl's stockings are easy to fill with lipstick, nail polish and pony tail holders but guy's stockings are a little more difficult. I tried to include options for both in this post!

Santa always brings me dried pineapple while my brother gets a bag of wintergreen Lifesavers. The toe of C's stocking always gets filled with mini Reese's! Do you get any specific stocking stuffers from the big guy each Christmas? I'd love to hear your traditions!
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Friday Favorites

presents

10 days till Christmas?! Where did this month go? Even though I'm done with my shopping and wrapping, I haven't watched all my Christmas movies yet! I'm guessing many of you are still busy shopping.....or maybe you haven't even started yet?? If that's you, there will be one more gift guide for last minute gifts on the blog Monday, so check back.

For now, I'm gonna share a few things that have happened in real life this month for my monthly Friday Favorites post. It has definitely been a challenging month in the Martin household but a good one.
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Christmas PJ Roundup

christmas pajamas
Long Sleeve Tee | Thermal PJ Pants - size up! | Similar Santa Mug
Raise your hand if you always got to open ONE present on Christmas Eve as a kid. Raise your other hand if it was always a pair of Christmas PJs! As an adult, I've developed an obsession with cute and cozy PJs. I have WAY too many ranging from my husband's torn up t-shirts and baggy sweat pants to fun little lace numbers. Insert monkey covering eyes emoji. Christmas PJs, though, have to be just the right combination of festive, cute, comfy, warm (but not too warm if you live in the south) and modest enough to wear around company or when staying at a family member's house.

I've had my eye out for festive PJs all season in anticipation of this post! I snagged mine on Black Friday but was heartbroken when my doctor told me I could only wear button ups through the end of the year thanks to my shoulder surgery. Womp womp. Luckily there are plenty of festive flannel button PJs out there. I rounded up ALL my favorites Christmas PJs below.
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Gift Guide for Animal Lovers + GIVEAWAY

gift guide for animal lovers
one | two, also love this one for dog people | three: custom illustrated phone case | four, love these for dog people | five, also love this one for the holidays! | six: on my wish list! comes in tons of breeds | seven: a doggie selfie stick! | eight: this candle helps cover up animal smells and the proceeds go to rescues! | nine: LOVE this b/c Chloe always has to ride shotgun | ten: dog or cat Christmas socks | eleven: I've wanted this for years, looks so comfy! | twelve: because dogs need Christmas PJs too! 
Can you believe there are only two weeks till Christmas?!! What the holly berries?! This is always the week I start panicking about finding those last few little gifts for random people. While creating my other gift guides, I came across a ton of cute pet-related items so I decided to do a gift guide for animal lovers. As a crazy dog lady myself, I know these fun gifts would be appreciated by any pet owner or four-legged friend. I included a few other fun finds in this widget:

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15 Ways to Get in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas Spirit Outfit
Bell Sleeve Stripe Top (so flattering!) | Blanket Scarf | Similar Clutch Here & Here | Beaded BraceletHunter Boots | Lips, color is "Fiery"
I typically spend 345 days out of the year looking forward to and anticipating Christmas. You know, that feeling of joy and happiness and magic that fills you up inside? But it seems that with every passing year as I get older and life gets busier and busier, I find it more difficult to get in the Christmas spirit. Instead, I'm worried about checking off my to-do list, getting to work on time and not sneaking too many holiday treats. This year especially, since I am recovering from shoulder surgery, I've been saying "Bah Hum Bug" more than ever before and ya'll.....that's just not OK! Cue Faith Hill, "Where Are You, Christmas?"

I've challenged myself this weekend to get in the Christmas spirit, one way or another! I put together a list of 15 things to help bring out the holly jolly hiding inside. How do you get in a festive mood?
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Preparing for the Perfect Christmas

perfect holiday party
Sweater Dress | Similar Scarf, also love this one and this one | Lips, color is Fiery | Christmas Cup
'Tis the season to deck the halls! Nothing puts me in the Christmas mood more than decorating. Pulling out old favorites and purchasing new pieces to add to my collection - I love every bit! I always seem to put pressure on myself to decorate everything perfectly, though. Let me tell you what... Perfect's not easy!

This year, I insisted on hanging Christmas lights on the exterior of the house as well as putting wreaths on all the windows. Christmas Queen, over here. It ended up looking perfect, like a house straight out of a movie, but my poor husband had to spend two whole weekends on a ladder to meet my high expectations. He strung and re-strung the lights, he took them down and exchanged them for a different color. He called out a professional to help, then said professional quit halfway through. Once it was finally all up and working, a fuse blew. Back on the roof he went! God bless him, he deserves a major award. Thankfully I was able to serve him a glass or two of Red Diamond Iced Tea to show my appreciation. How 1950's house wife of me!
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Gift Guide for Guys

gift guide for guys
one: a cocktail book or cookbook | two: google home, have and love | three: bbq or grill tools | four: a cocktail carry on kit for the jet setter | five: a herschel backpack, have and love | six: a yeti | seven: a decanter & glass set paired with his favorite liquor | eight: a watch | nine: a new wallet | ten: crazy work socks | eleven: a toiletry bag for travel | twelve: a turntable for the music lover | thirteen: nintendo switch - only get him this if you're ok being ignored! | fourteen: a puffy vest | fifteen: a plaid shirt | sixteen: aviators | seventeen: a new hat | eighteen: house shoes, have and love | nineteen: lounge pants | twenty: a stylish but warm sweater, have and love

Good morning and Happy Monday! Can you believe we are already four days into December? Time seriously flies. As a kid, December seemed to be the slowest month of the year but it is definitely not that way anymore. It goes by so fast I don't even need an advent calendar.

I'm slightly freaking out about getting my shopping done in time for Christmas. I pretty much finished buying things for all the ladies in my life but I haven't even started on my husband, dad or brother. Isn't that the way it always is? I save the hardest for last and lets face it, dudes are just really hard to buy for.
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Holiday Party Look

holiday party outfit
Lucky Brand Plaid Top, Similar Here and Here | BB Dakota Leather Skirt, Similar Here and Here, Would Also Look AMAZING with a Sequin Skirt! | Gucci Sock Booties, Similar Here | Kate Spade Bag | Lips, Color is Fiery
How cute is this look for a holiday party? I purposefully made it not tooooo over the top dressy because when in real life do you go to a full-on Christmas cocktail party? Never in my experience. Most Christmas parties I've attended are more like casual get togethers. I'm heading to my neighborhood Christmas party on Sunday and will be sporting my new arm sling, how fashionable!

All the pieces in this look can be worn other ways, too, which I love! I've worn this skirt with chunky sweaters and the top looks great with skinnies and booties for a more casual look. I don't know if plaid button downs will ever go out of style and I'm totally A-OK with it. Do you have any holiday parties coming up? I'd love to hear what you're wearing! There are so many opportunities to spice up your wardrobe this time of year and it makes me so happy!
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5 Ways to Stay Motivated Through the Holidays

motivation
Exact Top Here, Available Here in Charcoal, Also Love This One | Similar Bootie Shorts | Nikes | Lips, color is Sugar Fig
Good morning! Today is kind of a big day for me....  I'm having surgery on a torn labrum in my shoulder. I tore it about a year ago and decided it was time to get it fixed so that I can work out and stay active without restrictions and get some quality of life back.

For those that don't know, I am very passionate about fitness - I used to compete in Crossfit competitions before I got hurt and I absolutely loved it. Since getting injured (which, by the way, did NOT happen at the gym) I've felt very limited and have lost a lot of motivation, both in my diet and my workout routines. I'm hoping that this surgery will help me get back on track as I will have to reprioritize a lot of things in life while I recover.
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Cyber Monday Deals + Gift Guide for Her

wish list graphic
one - a new carry on tote for upcoming trips | two - word has it these hair ties are amazing | three - wireless headphones for the gym | four - the cutest beanie! | five - high rise leggings, por fa vor, this brand is incredible! on sale in black here | SUNNIES (no number, oops) | six - smells so good! | seven - bc everyone loves kendra | eight - DYING to try this curler, on sale here with code MONDAY17 | nine - some of my holy grail makeup products, great value | ten | eleven - a faux fur blanket to cozy up by the fire | twelve - my yearly Nike upgrade| thirteen - this has been on my wish list for months...everyone has one except  me! | fourteen | fifteen - love those ruffles | sixteen - wanted this during the N-Sale but it sold out, it looks so soft! | seventeen - I'm a sucker for fun back details | eighteen | nineteen - some of my favorite things!  
I thought I'd do something a little different for this gift guide and share some of the things on my personal wish list! My original thought was that it would help you put together your own wish list, but I think everything on here would make great gifts for any of the ladies in your life, as well! I have pretty basic taste, so whether you're shopping for wives, girlfriends, daughters, moms, sisters, etc. these items could work!
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AOK Guide to Black Friday

black friday sidewalk
Sweater - 35% off & comes in 4 colors! | Jeans, size up one size | Similar Clutch - 40% off! | Similar Leopard Flats + THIS pair is 50% off | Lips, color is Fiery - PERFECT for the holidays + 40% off!
OK, lets be real here, what time did you wake up this morning to start snagging deals? Or did you even go to sleep? Have you been snagging deals for days? I have never been much of a Black Friday shopper in years past because I hate crowds and I value my sleep more than money, HA! BUT, I'm all about shopping online from the comfort of my bed! Thank goodness for the internet. Unfortunately I almost always have to work on Black Friday. Life is really unfair. Don't tell my boss I'll be shopping from my work computer all day........oops!
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Romwe Sale + Thankful

young blonde woman smiling over her shoulder
Plaid Dress, c/o Romwe | Monogram Necklace - would make a great gift! | The Perfect Holiday Lip, color is Fiery
Every year at this time I'm reminded how thankful I am for my marriage! Six years ago on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (SIX years!! What the?!) C & I went on our first official date. We got sushi....I don't recommend eating sushi on a first date, ha! I remember driving back to Dallas that night, meeting up with my BFF and gushing aaaaallll about it. I told her I wasn't going to let myself fall for him - obviously that changed! In the six years since, the holidays have become a special time for us to reflect on those first few months together and the memories we created. We became "official" on New Years Day and every holiday season since has been just as magical!
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Gift Guide for the Home

one - a cozy blanket (this one is super soft and on sale) | two - a coffee mug (fill it with cocoa and a gift card!) | three - coasters | four - a cookbook or coffee table book | five - personalized letters | six - a cozy candle (this is my all time favorite scent) | seven - a festive pillow | eight - a marble cheese board | nine - holiday wine glasses (gift them early so they can be used all season) | ten - a wine cooler or ice bucket | eleven - a cozy cardi | twelve - silk pillowcases (soooo good for your skin and hair) | thirteen - house shoes | fourteen - a monogrammed cocktail shaker
This is our first holiday season in the #WhiteHouseOnThePrairie! Although we owned it this time last year, it was stripped down to the studs and under serious renovation. I'm sooooo beyond excited to decorate for Christmas soon! I've known where the Christmas tree will go since day one, ha.

In light of my love for Christmas decor....aaaand my love for being a homebody.....I put together this Gift Guide for the Home! These would make great hostess gifts, friend gifts, house warming gifts, or gifts for newlyweds! I have some of them (and love them), and others are on my personal wish list. I tried to include a variety of price ranges fit for anyone on your list. Several of these would make great gift baskets if paired together or with a beverage, gift card or food item. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with gifting blankets, coffee mugs and candles - no one can ever have enough!
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Friday Favorites

Tourist standing in front of Austin Motel sign
Similar Peplum Top Here and Here, also love This One! | Similar Moto Jacket - on sale! | Skinny Jeans | Shoes | Monogram Necklace - would make a great Christmas gift!
I seriously can't believe the holidays are upon us. November has FLOWN so far; it seems like I did my last Friday Favorites post just few days ago. About once a month I like to take a day and talk about my real life - not just pre-planned content type of blog posts. These are some of my favorite posts to write (and read on other blogger's sites).

This month has seriously been a whirl wind...like, I had to open my planner just to remember everything I did! I'm sure the next month will be just as crazy since it is filled with big holidays, parties, family time and tons of shopping (and a shoulder surgery, if your name is Amanda Martin).
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Time to Feast + A Thanksgiving Outfit

Similar Turtleneck Bell Sleeve Sweater | Dark Skinny Jeans - size down | Black Boots - on sale for $35!
Thanksgiving is here and that means my hunger is in full force. When Influenster sent me the Feast VoxBox for free in exchange for review, I was a little (OK, a lot) confused because I am far from a recipe/food blogger.....however, I'll take free mint cookies any day. I had fun sampling some of the items in the VoxBox and am sharing my thoughts and a few family favorite recipes below.

By the way....how cute is this turtleneck sweater? I think it would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner! It is just classy enough to look nice but it is cozy, comfy and very flattering (i.e. it hides the food babies). I wore it with jeans here, but it would look equally as great with my favorite pair of leggings and a pair of riding boots for maximum turkey day comfort.
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Gift Guide for Your Bestie

one | two - this candle smells incredible | three | four - current fav lip color! | five | six | seven - the best color for dry lips | eight | nineten | eleven | twelve - such a popular scarf this year! | thirteen | fourteen - majorly on my wish list!
Happy Monday, loves! Can you believe we are basically half way through November?! I'm not allowing myself to turn on Christmas music until the radio stations start playing it.......but I'm gonna be honest, I check 104.1 every morning! I have a feeling it will be on any day now...

I make it a goal to get all my Christmas shopping done ASAP so that I can actually enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing out all of December! I do most of my shopping online in November, so I thought I'd start putting together some gift guides so that you can do the same. I'll be publishing gift guides each Monday through Christmas. Today's guide is ideas for your BFF or sister and is filled with things I either have or would love to get.
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One Dress Two Ways

girl leaning against wall wrapped in aztec poncho
Dress, Long Sleeve Version Here, Green Version on Major Sale Here | Similar Poncho, on major sale (also love This One for 25% off) | Similar BootiesMonogram NecklaceBraceletLips, color is Patina
Happy Happy Friday! Today I wanted to do something a little different....I'm sharing two different looks with the same dress! As you saw in Monday's post, I'm teeeerrible about buying something and only wearing it once (sometimes only for photos!). Terrible, I know, but I am just not an outfit repeater, ha! I've been consciously trying to find ways to repeat my outfits by styling basic pieces different ways. I thought this dress was the perfect opportunity to do just that!

You've probably seen 47 different bloggers wear this dress but there is a good explanation: it really is that good. It is so dang flattering, I can't even begin to explain - you just have to try it for yourself! I was sooooo bloated the day I took these photos (thanks to a few too many bottles of wine at a Halloween party the night before) but I still felt flawless once I put the dress on. That's the kind of dress every girl needs in her life. The ruching seriously flattens you out and highlights your curves in the best kind of way.
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All About the Accent Sleeves

smiling girl wearing ruffle sleeve sweater
Pearl Ruffle Sleeve Sweater c/o SheIn | Similar Distressed Skinnies | David Yurman Bracelet | Similar Ruffle Shoes | Lips, color is Patina
One of this season's hottest trends is accent sleeves: bell sleeves, ruffle sleeves, balloon sleeves, etc., etc. I personally dove head first into the accent sleeve pool and am loving it. One HUGE tip, though, don't wear bell sleeves to Thanksgiving Dinner! Been there, done that, not a good idea. Gravy, 'errwhere.

This ruffle sleeve sweater is only $24 and is super thick and warm (plus, gimme anything with pearls). I love that the ruffles start a little lower down on your arm - I have really broad shoulders so when ruffles start higher up, it makes me look even wider than I am! I think it would look incredible with a leather pencil skirt, with a statement necklace, or even distressed black jeans for a black-on-black look! So many options.
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Clothing Rental Companies + My TV Appearance

young woman sitting on kitchen counter
Dalmatian Print OTS Top (size up if between sizes) | Skinnies (size down) | Wedge Booties - on sale for $25 and so comfy! | Bracelet | Lip Stain, color is Patina
Happy Monday Morning! Did you catch me on TV last week?? My friend Mireya from Fox25 News did a story on clothing rental companies and asked to interview me (along with Ashley from Sass & Satin) to get my thoughts. The full story aired Thursday at 5 pm - you can view it here.

I did a lot of research for this piece and I wanted to share all the details so you can know which companies are worth your time. Mireya asked me to look into Rent The Runway, Le Tote, Parcel 22 and The Ms. Collection. Some of them I really liked and would use myself, others....not so much. There are also some pretty cool jewelry rental companies on the market right now like Rocksbox or Switch that deserve some recognition, as well!
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The Perfect Orange Friday Sweater

girl wearing orange sweater in okc
Split Back Turtleneck (on sale here in black) | Distressed Skinnies (size down) | Keds | Belt, Dupe Here |
Exact Vince Camuto Purse Sold Out, Similar Here
Happy Orange Friday, friends! It's one of the most important Orange Fridays of the year - Orange Friday, Bedlam Edition. For anyone not from Oklahoma, Bedlam is when Oklahoma State University and The University of Oklahoma play each other. Its a big rivalry that awards even bigger bragging rights. You know I'll be cheering on my Pokes - even though I'm not overly confident that we'll pull off a W, ha!

I want to note how perfectly cute and cozy this sweater is! It can be hard to find a sweater that is cute, soft, just-warm-enough, and that can be dressed up or down, but I found it!! This Free People Sweater comes in several colors (the black version is on sale here) and is so cozy without being too stuffy or itchy. I love the slit in the back to give it a little extra character, but it could be easily made work-appropriate by wearing a cami underneath. It also looks great with a moto jacket for extra chilly days. I was totally planning on wearing this to the Bedlam game tomorrow, but.....that Oklahoma weather is doing it's thang and it will be too hot. Luckily I have roughly 17,245 other orange items to wear instead. 
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"Pucci" Tee

Girl in tree lined street wearing a leopard cardigan
Pucci Tee (sold out), Similar Here | Similar Leopard Cardigan | Skinny Jeans (size down) | Gucci Belt, Dupe Here | Booties | Lips, Color is Patina
I love all kinds of designer goods (probably a little too much), but I've been especially partial to Gucci ever since visiting their store in Rome. I'm head over heels obsessed with the popular Gucci T-shirt that is out right now, but I just can't bring myself to pay that much for a tee! I already shared this dupe a few posts back, but I found one I like even more, because, puppies!!

I've been shopping from Puppies Make Me Happy for a few years now and their stuff just keeps getting better. The Weekend Tees are SO soft and comfy (made with their trademarked PuppySoft material) and are one of my all-time-favorite shirts to sleep in. When I saw this "Pucci" version, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to have it. 
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My Go-To Trader Joe's Items

Girl in pile of pumpkins
Side Slit T (perfect for layering - comes in multiple colors - size down!) | Similar Destroyed Denim | Exact Scarf | Michael Kors Flats (seriously so comfy) | Oakley Sunglasses | Monogram Necklace
Give yourself a pat on the back, ‘cause you made it to Friday! I’ve been in Houston all week for a work conference and am so happy to be heading home today - 1) I am mentally exhausted and 2) we’ve got big Halloween costume plans to take care of! 

With all the traveling we’ve been doing lately, finding the time and energy for healthy meal prep has been hard. I say we, but I mean Cole, ha! He does all our cooking and meal prep (how lucky am I, right?!). Trader Joe’s is just a few minutes away, so they make it easy to "meal prep" in a time crunch! I thought I’d share some of our go-to items for quick and easy meals that fit into our flexible dieting nutrition plan as well as a few delicious treats. I love when other people recommend specific items at TJ’s, so I wanted to do the same for you - this is not sponsored in any way. 
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How to Use LikeToKnow.It

girl and dog on lake dock
Crossback Sweater (50% off), Similar Here | Distressed Skinnies | Similar Scarves Here and Here  | Wedge Booties
Guys!! I’ve got news. I’m so excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into the Reward Style program! That may not mean much to you, but it is a big deal in the blogger world and has been a goal of mine since I started actively trying to grow Amanda’s OK. I’m feeling real proud of myself and I definitely popped some champagne to celebrate. 

What it means for YOU is that it is now even easier to shop my outfits and home decor. Below is a short tutorial on how you can use Reward Style, aka LIKEtoKNOW.it, for anyone that may not understand it or already use it. 
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Favorite Fall Cocktails

Sipping from a coffee mug by the lake
Selfie Sweatshirt c/o Romwe | Mug | Bracelet | Lips (color is Patina)
Good morning, friends! I spent the weekend at my parent's house - they live on a lake in Northwest Arkansas and the fall leaves all around them were starting to change! With the changing of the seasons comes a change in what I like to drink - gone are the days of refreshing poolside cocktails....give me something that warms my soul! I'm unapologetically obsessed with all things fall.

There are two seasonal cocktails that I love, so I always make sure to have the ingredients on hand this time of year. They are perfect for sipping by the fire pit or while cozied up on the deck.
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Highlighting History in Your Home

M wooden sign hanging in kitchen

One of the biggest trends right now, at least in terms of home decor, is turning something old into something new and appreciating the history behind it. You can thank Joanna Gaines for that. I fully support the trend, so much so that I bought my own historic 1920s home exactly one year ago.

Since purchasing the White House on the Prairie, my husband and I (with the help of an incredible contractor) completely renovated, remodeled and redesigned our dream home. It was a HUGE task that took a lot of time and money, but it is something I will forever be proud of! I love coming home and feel so lucky to live here.

One of my favorite parts of the process was getting to decorate and put my touch on everything. Since it is a historical home in a historical preservation area, I wanted our decor to balance out the new and the old and play a part in telling the story of the home (and of our city and state). One of my favorite decor pieces, which is hanging on the wall next to our kitchen bar top, has the coolest story behind it. The history and background of the piece makes me love it even more.
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AOK Guide to OKC

Guide to OKC with Birds Eye View of Downtown

Between hopping around Europe and traveling to several U.S. destinations in the last year, I've written my fair share of travel guides. I figured it was due time I add my own city to the line up, since I know it best! I actually grew up outside of Dallas/Denton, but have fallen head over heels with Oklahoma City since moving here after graduating from Oklahoma State University almost six years ago. I'm so glad I get to call OKC home and #SeeOKC grow!

Oklahoma City: Population 1.3 million. The 8th largest city in the U.S. in terms of landmass. More than just a flyover state. Home of the first shopping cart and parking meter. Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. The capital of Oklahoma. Home-sweet-homa.
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Shopping At SheIn

Girl wearing a tassel sweater in pumpkin patch
Sequin Sweater c/o SheIn | White Hi-Rise Skinnies ($15), also love these! | OTK Boots, Similar Here
Happy Monday loves! I hope you had an incredible weekend. Mine was filled with lots of orange: OSU homecoming and pumpkin everything. Fall weather has finally sorta-kinda made an appearance in Oklahoma and I've been loving every second. Basic is beautiful, amirite?!

I've had several folks ask me recently for my thoughts and experiences with SheIn, so I thought I'd share them with the masses. According to their website, SheIn offers on-trend styles that won't break the bank and prides itself on being "the ultimate one-stop-shop for the modern yet economical fashionista." In my opinion, SheIn offers a HUGE selection of trendy, fashion forward statement pieces for every season at an extremely affordable price. BUT, that being said, you often times get what you pay for. Let me break it down for you.....
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Friday Favorites

Orange Fountain at Oklahoma State Homecoming

We made it - happy Friday! It is an especially happy [orange] Friday around here because it is Oklahoma State's Homecoming Weekend, otherwise known as America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration. This year's theme is "Herald Your Fame" - I can't wait to see it brought to life!

Each year, sororities and fraternities team up to create house decs, aka giant floats attached to their houses, to match the homecoming theme. The students spend hours on hours on hours pomping (sticking tissue paper into chicken wire) to create incredible, larger than life designs. Man, I do not miss those days one bit, ha! Nearly 100,000 alumni, family and students participate in "Walk Around" the Friday evening before Homecoming to see all the decorated houses. It is such a fun Stillwater tradition to experience.

There are a bajillion more traditions (like the orange fountain pictured above that makes me want to drink a Sunkist) and they all hold a special place in my heart. Forever loyal and true!
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OKC Staycation, Part 2: Kick Back & Relax

OKC Wheeler District Ferris Wheel

If you read Part 1 of my OKC Staycation series, you know I had a bad case of the post-vacation blues after vacationing in London, Paris and Rome. The blues were quickly cured, though, after my husband and I staycationed in OKC and explored our own city from a tourist's perspective.

One of our favorite parts of traveling is eating our way through a city. Some might say we're foodies....I say we're self-proclaimed food critics. To put it simply, we just really appreciate and enjoy good, authentic food from local establishments. In our honest opinion, Oklahoma City has just as good of food as anywhere in the world! No lie. New York, London, Paris, Rome, Seattle, Austin..... We've toured them all, yet we still prefer many of the restaurants in our own backyard. It is so fun to #SeeOKC's food scene grow and flourish before our own eyes (and mouths).

I already shared what we did on our staycation, but now I want to talk about how we relaxed. AKA, where we stayed and where we ate!
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Columbus Day Sales


My favorite kind of Mondays are those that are part of a three-day-weekend! I hope you have today off work so you can enjoy sipping coffee on the couch in your PJs while watching Netflix. You know that's how I'm spending my morning! As you can see, Kylo approves.

Regardless of if you're at home or at the office, you can take advantage of some superb Columbus Day Sales online. I rounded up a few sales at my favorites places to shop and am sharing a few of my favorite picks in the widget below. I already snagged some of them myself!
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OKC Staycation, Part 1: The Adventure

Standing in front of the Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge Conservatory
Gucci Dupe T, Very Similar Here, Gucci Version Here | Similar Bomber Jacket | Shorts | Belt | Prada Sunnies, Similar Here for $12
One might say I'm part gypsy and part homebody. There is no place I'd rather be than at home - I thrive in my favorite little corner of the world. At the same time, though, I'm constantly filled with wanderlust and the need to explore, always counting down until my next adventure.

After spending two weeks galavanting around Europe (London, Paris & Rome), I had a bad case of the post-vacation blues. Worse than ever before! Can you blame me? I decided the best cure for the post-vacation blues was re-discovering what I love about the place I call home: Oklahoma City!
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Designing My Holiday Cards

I don't know about you, but I absolutely live for the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and most importantly, Christmas. Every year around this time, I anxiously start waiting for Christmas music to come on the radio and I start thinking about what to wear in our family Christmas Card photo. I mean......you can never be too prepared! It truly is the hap-happiest season of all.

Ever since I was a kid, the family Christmas card has been my responsibility. The outfits, the design, the addressing of the envelopes. I've always loved every part of it! Now that I have my own little family, I love it even more. Covering the fridge with friends and family always fills me with holiday cheer. Since we will be in a new house for the holidays this year, I'm already thinking of new holiday traditions to start like a Friendsgiving, a Christmas Cookie Exchange or a Holiday Dinner Party. There is so much fun to be had!
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AOK Guide to Rome


Ciao, friends! We've officially been home from Europe for two weeks now - the same amount of time we were there. I think my post-vacation blues have finally passed.....but I'd go back in a heartbeat if I had the chance! It was truly the best trip I've ever taken and I'm already trying to convince C to go back for a full tour of Italy. I'm thinking it would be a great 30th birthday trip, don't you agree??

Rome totally surpassed all of my expectations - there was beauty around every corner! It was C's favorite stop out of the three cities we visited; for me, it was pretty much tied with London. I loved them equally but in completely different ways. The history of Rome is hard to fathom - some things dated back to centuries before Christ! The streets were all made of cobblestones and were so skinny and windy (because they were made for carts and donkeys, not cars!!). The food, OH MAN. Although I wouldn't consider anything we ate in Rome to be the best meal of the entire Euro trip, the Italian food in general is what I've been craving most since we got home. Gimme all the pasta!

Now, let's dig in to the details!
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The Ideal Girl's Night Out

Tassel Sleeve Top, c/o Romwe (sold out), | Skinnies (size down) | Ruffled Mule Slides (only $14 - comes in 2 colors!) | Similar Wool Floppy Hat | Belt
Praise the Lord, we made it to Friday! This has been a whirlwind of a week - I've barely had time to catch my breath. There's nothing quite like a girl's night to recover from a busy week, but let me tell ya......I'm too old to get dolled up and hit the clubs until 2 a.m.! These days, the ideal girl's night includes wine, chocolate, an early 2000s playlist and good conversation.

Lucky for me, I was invited to an OKC blogger meet up at Pinot's Palette in Bricktown hosted by BedrĂ© Chocolate. Ya'll - it was the best! I am such a homebody 99% of the time and would rather watch Gossip Girl on Netflix with my dogs instead of putting on skinnies and heels, but I had the best time hanging out with other like-minded, local gals. We snapped pics, painted, sang a few Britney songs, ate [way too much] chocolate, sipped wine and had such a fun time!
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AOK Guide to Paris


Bonjour! In cause you're curious, YES, I'm still suffering from the post-vacation blues and still struggling to get back on the healthy train after two weeks of vacation. My legs are hella-sore after a few rounds of wall ball shots and my sweet tooth needs to be pulled. Heaven help me - I need some motivation! Or another vacation......:)

C & I ate relatively healthy while we were in London (we didn't want to make ourselves miserable too early on in the trip) but when we got to Paris, things started to go south. As in, I ripped my skinny jeans one morning after eating a few too many croissants. Whoops! The French don't really eat an "American" breakfast; instead, they have an espresso with a baguette. I quickly adapted to their way of eating and enjoyed carbs on carbs on carbs all day everyday. Can you blame me?

Now, let's get down to the details!
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Florals for Fall

Crochet Shoulder Sweater | Similar Shorts | Tory Burch Miller Sandals | Rustic Cuff Beaded Bracelet 
Fall is "officially" here. I had to add quotation marks because the calendar and this weekend's weather didn't exactly match up...... I definitely got a little sunburned on Saturday and am still getting sweaty walking to my car BUT, the weatherman promises cooler weather is on its way this week. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

My all time favorite outfit for transitional weather is a cozy sweater + jean shorts. Any long sleeve top with any pair of shorts, really, as I'm sure you can tell from these pictures and other posts I've done. I'm loving this season's trend of pastels and florals for fall. As much as I love breaking out the oranges, mustards and pumpkin spice, I always get a little sad when it replaces pinks, lilacs and florals. Luckily this season, I can have it all and still be in style! I put together a few fall transition outfits below inspired by florals - I hope they are good inspiration for your own fall closet.
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AOK Guide to London


Cheers to Friday! I've officially been home for a week and I am mostly recovered from jet lag, but let me tell you.........I've never been so sad that a vacation is over in my entire life. Serious post-vacation blues going on over here. I'm already DYING to go back to Europe - London in particular! I've always firmly believed that NYC was the best city in the world, but London put it to shame (IMO, at least). It is somewhere I would genuinely want to live, work, hang out in, etc. The people are friendly, the accents are just as I always imagined, the shopping is wonderful and the scenery is to.die.for. Seriously! There are flowers and inspiration everywhere you look. My entire camera roll was filled with pictures of buildings, houses and greenery. London was filled with charm around every corner.

OK, enough of my rambling, let's get down to business!!
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Fashion Inspo Throughout Europe

Since London Fashion Week just came to a close, Paris Fashion Week is coming up AND I just got back from visiting both cities (+ Rome), I thought a little European Fashion Inspo post seemed fitting!

Based on what I observed during our trip, the outfits and pieces I picked out below really fit the look and vibe that each city gives off. It's crazy how different countries can have noticeably different styles - I definitely stood out as an American tourist, even though my outfits wouldn't get second glance at home! If WHEN I go back, I'd love to wear one of the outfits in my wish list below.


Bell Sleeve Top | Frayed Hem Skinnies | Letter Detail Bucket Hat | Velvet Lace Up Sneakers | Pink Longline Vest

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European Instagram Roundup

Walk-Thru Romper | Tory Burch Sandals | Prada SunniesSimilar Here for $12
Happy Monday, Friends! What a very Monday-ish Monday. After literally spending 24 hours traveling home on Friday and a weekend full of recovering from jet lag, I am back in the real world today.... I have such mixed emotions - it was the best two weeks abroad and part of me wishes it could have kept going, but I missed my puppies, my pillow, and my hair products - ha! It's always such a nice feeling to come home and get back into a routine. I will be sharing a recap of each city we visited in individual posts soon, but for now I thought I'd do a quick Instagram roundup to show you the highlights!
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Lancer Skin Care Review


I've really struggled with my skin the last year and a half. I spent countless hours at the dermatologist, I tried R+F (I even sold it for a bit), all natural products, prescription drugs and lots more to get rid of my cystic acne and NOTHING worked. I cried in front of the mirror and wanted to hide where no one could see my skin. I got really good at editing zits out of pictures......ha. It was BAD. And I'm not even exaggerating the tiniest bit. About six months ago, with the help of my dermatologist and esthetician, I finally got it under control (praise the good Lord in heaven) and have had relatively normal skin ever since.
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Travel WOD + Helping Pups In Need

Tank | Leggings, Similar Here | Nike Shoes | Lululemon Sports Bra | Engraved Bar Necklace | Sunnies (sold out), Similar Here
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had the best weekend - we spent ours in Paris! Currently wrapping up our stay here and flying to Rome next. It has been the best trip so far and I can't wait to share more of it with you soon.

It has officially been over a week since my last workout -- I couldn't tell you the last time I took that many days off in a row! I think it is so important to give your body rest and have a little fun every now and then. It helps you reset mentally, recover physically and remember why you liked working out in the first place. However, taking toooo much time off can be a step in the wrong direction.....especially when you're consuming copious amounts of Parisian bread and wine - ha!
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