Best of OKC for the Holidays

View of Downtown Oklahoma City from the Midtown Pop Up Shops

Happy Friday, everyone! I can't believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away. That means it is officially time to start listening to Christmas music, buying presents, putting up Christmas decor and taking part in all the fun festivities. Certain activities have become tradition / things I look forward to year after year. I thought for this month's Best of OKC post I would list off my favorite things to do in OKC during the holidays.

For YEARS I've been all over the Downtown in December events. There is something magical about all the decor and Christmas cheer throughout the city! OKC really goes all out for the holidays and it is such a fun time to enjoy my little corner of the world. Below you will find the best holiday activities in town according to moi!

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Fall Outfit Roundup + Thanksgiving Inspo

fall outfit roundup

Hi, friends! I have been off my blogging game lately. Time has been getting away from me between work, teaching, gym and life and I have said 'yes' to way too many things so I haven't been getting as many posts up as normal. Luckily, I had a three day weekend all to myself (C has been in Tokyo - he comes home tonight) so I had plenty of time to relax and knock out some content. It was just what I needed after being at a work conference all last week. I'm feeling so refreshed and much more creative! Sometimes we all just need a few days off, ya know?! HOWEVER, I'm so ready for Cole to be home...I enjoyed my alone time but life is just better when he's around!

Anyways, since C has been gone I haven't been able to shoot much new content so I thought a fall outfit roundup was in order! I tried to pick outfits that would work for Thanksgiving...whether you lounge around or get dressed up, comfort is KEY - gotta wear something loose, flattering and stretchy, ya feel me!? Obviously the outfit above is a little too form fitting for Turkey Day hahaha but I wanted to post it because it is the epitome of fall outfits and I'm excited to see my cute hubs tonight! Everything below the fold is Thanksgiving food baby approved, don't you worry.

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Gift Guide for Your BFF

gift guide for your best friend
one | twothree | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen

Good morning, everyone! It's supposed to start SNOWING in OKC today and it is a bank holiday so I have the day off work! All the cozy Christmas vibes going on in my house. I normally try to hold off on Christmas music, movies and decor until after Thanksgiving but with the snow falling and the fire crackling.....I just can't help myself!

I'm a major believer in getting my Christmas shopping done as early as possible - that way the holidays have a better chance of being stress free and I can actually enjoy all the magic of the season. I do most of my shopping online in November, so I thought I'd start putting together some gift guides for you so that you can do the same. I'm planning on publishing one a week from now until Christmas! My ideas for topics include gifts for her, for the home, for him, for the traveler, for the animal lover, stocking stuffers......maybe even my personal wish list for Santa??
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What I Eat in a Day

what I eat in a day
Ruffle Cowl Neck Sweater | Destroyed Denim (size down) | Quilted Sneakers, Dupes Here

I'm always so intrigued by the "What I Eat in a Day" videos on YouTube. Anyone else? I could watch them for hours! I'm not a YouTuber by any means (I can barely get my words out in an Instagram story, let's be real haha) but I thought it would be fun to share my own blog version with you.

I talked about it in stories a few weeks back, but I choose to follow a macro-tracking diet. In the past I've eaten Paleo, all natural + sugar free, etc., but the high amounts of fat in those diets really aggravated my gallblader (which I no longer have) and caused digestion in general to be really hard for me. A few years back I switched to "If It Fits Your Macros" and have since made it a part of my lifestyle. I work with Greg from MyoBrain; he is located in OKC but does nutrition coaching online for anyone.
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October Favorites

october favorites
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

Happy Halloweeeeeen!!!! Huge Halloween lover over here - always have been, always will be! Eight-year-old me and twenty eight-year-old me both love any excuse to play dress up and eat candy......some things never change. Check my Instagram to see this year's costumes - Regina George with my friends and an 80s Hair Band Rocker at work!

I honestly can't believe it is already the last day of October. I really wish fall in general lasted a bit longer (especially in Oklahoma). I love Christmas with all my heart but I hate how rushed everyone gets skipping straight to Christmas. I'm just as guilty, I'll turn the Christmas music on in my car any day now, but I'm also still trying to soak up all the pumpkins and leaves over here! I'm really excited for Thanksgiving - it will be my first Thanksgiving with my parents in several years (like....five?). I'm ready for my Grandma's Pumpkin Bread and my Aunt Karen's Pecan Pie! YUM. But for now, let's talk about my October favorites! I've been anxiously waiting for this post for weeks because there are SO MANY good things to share.

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Lash Extension Q+A

lash extensions review
Ribbed Long Sleeve Tee (sold out), similar here and here | Similar Scarf, also love this one! | "A" Necklace | Heart Earrings | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy | Braid Tutorial is on my Instagram Highlights

Hi, friends! I recently jumped on the eyelash extension train and have received so many questions about them so I thought I'd put a little review and Q+A together for you. Long lashes are all the rage right now; I tried so many of the lash options out there before giving extensions a try so I feel like I have a good perspective on it. Spoiler alert....my life will never be the same!!

I've tried glue on strip lashes, magnetic lashes, serums, lash primer and even growth enhancing essential oils. My lashes were never short by any means, but they didn't wow anyone, either. I hated how heavy strip lashes felt (and sucked at putting them on), magnetic lashes were too "straight" on me (for lack of a better word) - I loved how they looked in photos but they didn't fit the curve of my eye and always stuck out on the edges. Serums and primer definitely helped my lashes look longer, but they were never very voluminous, partially because my natural lashes are a bit of a lighter color. When I first tried lash extensions, I wasn't sure if I would keep them up but now I can't imagine life without them!! I seriously wake up every day, look in the mirror and think.... "I woke up like this!"
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How I Use Essential Oils

young living essential oils

Hi friends! I haven't talked too much about it on here because I don't want to come off as pushy or salesy but I started using Young Living essential oils a few months ago and have really enjoyed it so far. I've had a few people ask me to share more about it, so here I am! I certainly do not think of myself as an expert AT ALL....I don't really even know what certain oils are supposed to do for you so I basically google and Pinterest everything haha. But I can tell you what diffuser blends smell good and what specific oils have helped me thus far!

I'm going to start off by sharing a few of my favorite oils and how I use them and then I'll share a few of my favorite diffuser blend recipes! Sound good? Good!

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Fabletics Review

fabletics review
Tammy Sports Bra | Cashel Legging

If you read my Friday Favorites life update post last week, you know I recently worked with Fabletics to create images for their website and social media pages. Basically modeling, I guess? I was so impressed that they are choosing to use REAL people as their models! Although it does make me wish I would have skipped my latest order of french fries so my stomach was a tad flatter in these pictures haha. But hey, that's life.

Needless to say, I had always wondered about the quality of Fabletics. They have a great subscription service with fantastic prices, I adore Kate Hudson, and their pieces are so stylish and cute! I was always hesitant to give it a try, though. I am pretty picky with my leggings but after shooting these outfits and wearing some of them to the gym, I'm a Fabletics believer!
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Best of OKC Pizza

best pizza in oklahoma city
Whole Outfit is Vici Dolls | Top | Jeans | Booties

I can't believe this is my 10th Best of OKC blog post! It's been such a fun series to put together. With only two months left in the year, are there any specific OKC roundups you want me to do? I was thinking of doing best of OKC holiday activities next.........yay! But I'm open to suggestions for the other post!

Today, though, I want to talk about OKC's P-I-Z-Z-A (gimme pizza). If you're singing the Mary Kate and Ashley pizza party song now, we can be friends. In high school and even into college I could have cared less about pizza....it was one of those cheat meals that was super easy for me to pass on or say no to. A switch has flipped in me, though, and now I legit CRAVE pizza all the dang time. I'm a bit of a food snob, both with pizza and coffee and Mexican a lot of other foods hahaha. I just have high standards, OK?! What I'm saying is, know that these pizza picks were not chosen lightly. If you've been keeping up throughout the Best of OKC series, you may notice that lot of these places have been named time and time again.... that's because they are truly delicious and my favorite spots in town!
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Friday Favorites

lululemon outerwear
Lululemon Extra Mile Jacket

Hi hello! Long time no life update! Mostly because life has been NUTS lately and I haven't had time to write one. It sounded so fun to plan two trips back to back (three if you count NYFW).... and it was fun but it was also hella-stressful! Cramming two weeks worth of work in before/between/after my trips meant I had little to no free time the entire month of September and all of October thus far. Literally, all I've done is werk werk werk werk werk to *try* and stay on top of things. I even bought WiFi on two flights to catch up on emails! Who am I?!

Not to complain, though. I am so grateful for everything that keeps me this busy: a have a full-time job that pays the bills, blogging that gives me so many fun experiences and teaching at Beyond which lets me share my one of my biggest passions (fitness) with others.

So, now for the fun stuff.....let's begin!
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AOK Guide to Vermont in the Fall

Vermont in the Fall

Every time I told someone I was going to Vermont, they asked me why....it kind of surprised me. 1) For obvious reasons, FALL! Vermont is every basic white girl's fall dream! 2) My mom grew up in Vermont so I wanted to see her hometown....it made the trip a bit more meaningful than some of the others I have taken.

Vermont did not disappoint; it was seriously fall heaven around every corner! Apples, pumpkins, maple everything, changing leaves, historic homes....I loved it so much! It was one of those places that was so beautiful that it had me questioning why I live in Oklahoma haha.

We visited both Manchester and Stowe (which is a ski town about 20 minutes outside of Montpelier, the capital and my mom's home town). I liked Manchester a teeny bit more but honestly every part of the state is equally as charming in it's own way - you really can't go wrong! Please take note on all of my suggestions below which city I'm referring to.

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The Kimpton Taconic: A Vermont Hotel Review

kimpton taconic review
Hat | Monogram Scarf/Cape c/o I Love Jewelry | Tee | Jeans | Boots

I just got home from the most amazing fall getaway to Vermont with C! My mom grew up in Vermont so I've always wanted to see her home town, plus, what basic white girl doesn't want to do all the fall things? Vermont is the perfect autumn destination - if the foliage isn't enough of an enticer, the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple cider and maple flavored things are sure to convince you! I'll be doing a full guide to Vermont next week but today I wanted to share my experience at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester.

Before we dive in, I just want to say that the Kimpton Taconic truly wowed me! I've stayed at a lot of hotels this year throughout all of our travels (and C's family is in the hotel business) so I know a good hotel when I see one. This property was top notch, the staff was so accommodating and, what really matters most (let's be real here), dogs of all sizes are welcome and the bed and shower were both superb! I'm already wanting to plan a trip back to Manchester next fall and of course, the Taconic will be my home base.

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AOK Guide to Bend, Oregon

guide to bend oregon

I took a little travel break over the summer but jumped back in head first this fall! I went to NYFW with my girls a few weeks back and then C and I headed to Oregon for a much needed entire week long vacation. Normally when we travel, it's for a long weekend so we cram as much as possible into those few days. We pick out restaurants and make reservations, set an itinerary, wake up early and go go gooooo. This time, though, we didn't really plan a single thing. It was kind of nice! On top of that I didn't have service a lot of the time so I was forced to put my phone down and live in the moment.

I've been to Oregon multiple times throughout the years because my aunt and uncle and two of my cousins and their families all live in Bend, Oregon. We stayed with my family throughout the whole trip and we just kinda winged it! There were a few places that I'd been before that I wanted to go back to but besides that, we slept in, took our time exploring and relied on my family's local recommendations. It was a great time and I seriously love the Pacific Northwest so much - it's a place I could be happy living in (and I don't say that about many destinations). Bend is a super fun town but the entire state of Oregon is absolutely gorgeous - every corner of it has something different to explore and it would take weeks to see it all!

BTW.... Sorry in advance about the lack of quality travel / food photos......I wasn't really in full on blogger mode since we were visiting family.

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5 Best Skinny Jeans for Athletic Girls

best skinny jeans for athletic girls
Sweater | Express Jean Leggings | Shoes | Lips, color is Patina | All Jewelry from BC Clark

Hi loves and Happy October! Long time no blog, huh?! I've been seriously slacking on blog posts lately because #life. I was sick, I was on vacation, I was trying to get everything else done somewhere in between it all....sometimes the world wide web just has to go on the back burner and that's OK. But this week, I'm back and I've got several posts coming your way!

Today I want to share my top 5 skinny jeans! My entire life I've never ever found a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly. I'm very tall (5'10) and have muscular legs (quadzilla over here) and a big booty but a small waist. They just don't make pants with athletic girls in mind! However, recently I've found several brands that I LOVE and that fit me flawlessly! For reference, you can see photos of me wearing all the jeans at the bottom of this post.
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September Favorites

my september favorites
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven

I know,  I know, I say this every single month but holy macaroni time flies. September, especially! With New York Fashion Week at the beginning of the month and another trip starting today, I feel like I blinked and September was nearly over. This time next month it will officially be the holidays....WHAT THE!? No complaints, though, it's my favorite time of year and I am ready for it! I am 100% done with my summer closet...I'm so sick of tank tops and shorts. If the Oklahoma weather could just drop a few degrees so I could break out my sweaters and boots, that'd be great!

I was able to find lots of new items and products this month thanks to fashion week! And thanks to my bad habit of burning a hole in my pocket (and by that I mean swiping that credit card...sorry babe). Do you have any new items you're loving? If so, let me know in the comments! I'm such a product junkie and I love to try new things!
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Attending NYFW as a Micro-Influencer

nyfw in the rain
Shop this outfit here!

Hi friends! If you follow me on Instagram I'm sure you saw my overload of New York Fashion Week photos! It was my first time attending fashion week and it was such an experience. I shared a roundup of what I wore in this post but I wanted to talk a little bit about why I went, how I went, what I learned and what I would do differently next time.

At the time I decided to go to fashion week, I probably had around 6-7,000 followers which is not a ton in the influencer world, but I was still able to get invited shows, meet with brands and get some of my outfits sponsored! I think you really get out of it what you put into it - if you're willing to work your booty off, you can make it happen. Of course, some of it was luck, but most of it was hard work.

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Best of OKC State Fair

best of okc state fair
Tee | Shorts | Sam Edelman Rose Gold Shoes (on sale!)
Disclaimer: I promised this post would be up Monday but I got hit with the stomach bug on the way home from the fair  Womp womp. I wrote this post in the midst of the bug so I did not go into much detail on each food item for obvious reasons. Sorryyy.

Every September the great state fair makes it way to Oklahoma! Along with it come the trashiest residents of the state which makes for some great people watching. The way I see it, there are only a few reasons to attend the fair 1) food 2) people watching 3) games/rides. C and I choose to go for the food but we limit ourselves to going every other year. As you can see, 2018 was our year to go! Honestly, I was really disappointed this year (and I usually am). I grew up going to the Texas State Fair and though I love Oklahoma from the bottom of my heart, it just does not compare. I always look forward to going, though! Maybe its the nostalgia. 

I typically do a lot of research on what food will be available so that I have a game plan going in and can ensure we'll get the best stuff available..... but this year I kinda slipped up. I had been way too busy planning my NYFW trip and then playing catch up on life......so, we winged it! However, with several years of Oklahoma State Fair experience, I feel well equipped enough to share the best foods of the state fair.  
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What I Wore to NYFW

what i wore to nyfw

Hi everyone! I just got back from my first New York Fashion Week and it was such a whirlwind experience. It's hard to put it all into words, so before I tried to do that, I thought I'd do a roundup of what I wore. That's what fashion week is about, anyways, right? My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to take all these amazing pictures - every corner of NYC is a great backdrop and I am obsessed with how they all turned out, so I had to share!

Packing for fashion week was harder than packing for any trip I've ever been on - even harder than year's two week Euro-Trip, and that's saying a lot! I started planning my outfits back in July, then I ordered/purchased things in early August. I wanted my items to still be in-stock come September so that I could like them for you guys, so I didn't want to order tooooo early, but I also wanted to give myself enough time to try on and return things, if necessary.

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House Tour

amanda's ok home tour
Wreath is from Kirklands, similar here

Hi friends! I asked a while back for feedback and suggestions on what you wanted to read on my blog and literally every single response I got was asking for home and decor content + several requested a house tour! I forget that even though I did blog about buying my historical home and renovating it, most of you weren't following me back then so you had no idea!

I did a before and after renovation home tour back in the day (you can find all my house posts by clicking the "white house on the prairie" topic link at the bottom of this post), but I thought it was time for home tour 2.0 now that my sunroom is complete and we've been living here for a few years / really made it home.

Special shoutout to Hive Helper for doing all my cleaning prior to the photo shoot! Having two giant long haired dogs means my house is rarely this clean.......(read as: dirty paw prints and dog hair everywhere) but Hive Helper saved the day! They offer home cleaning with tons of add ons, errand running, organization, garden work.....you name it, they'll help. I can't recommend them enough. They serve all of Oklahoma City and Denver, too!
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Labor Day Sales

sale searching labor day sales

Haaaappy Friday! This is an extra special Friday because 1) it's payday 2) it's football season (GO POKES) 3) it's a three day weekend!! Nothing can go wrong today. Plus, PSLs are out and this time next week I'll be in NYC for fashion week with some of my best gal pals, so all is right with the world.

A holiday weekend means one thing in particular: SALES!! I can't say no to a sale. I'm terrible, really, I know. I rounded up some of the best sales going on right now and included a few of my favorite sale items at the end of the post.

P.S. My tee above is c/o LivLuvShop....you can't really read it, but it says "Sale Searching" which is way too perfect for me!
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August Favorites

Amanda's OK August Favorites
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve

I know I say this in every monthly favorites post but holy moly this year is FLYING. I can't believe I can finally quit saying "PSLs will be here before we know it" because THEY'RE HERE, friends, they're here. Yes, I'm planning on getting one today. If you're basic and you know it, clap your hands [clap clap].

I haven't tried tooooo many new products or gadgets this month because all my moneys have gone to clothes to take to New York Fashion Week next week. HOWEVER, the couple of new things I have gotten are serious winners!
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Best of OKC Patios

best patios in oklahoma city

After a summer of sweaty days, patio season is aaaaaalmost upon us! Truth be told this post has been in the works since May, but then it got too hot in Oklahoma to enjoy being outside. Now, fall is right around the corner and I'm ready to soak it up!

One of my favorite weekend activities is sitting on a patio and sipping a good beverage with my favorite people (and sometimes a pup or two)...that and having brunch or dinner on a patio! This post seems like it's almost a carbon copy of other Best of OKC posts I've done..... best cocktails, best places to take your dog, best brunch spots.....but just let that be some assurance that I really do love the places I recommend. I love them enough to mention them time and time again!

Without further ado, though, let's get to the best patios in Oklahoma City!
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Friday Favorites

young living oils

Happy Friday, friends!! It has been a hectic last few weeks for no reason other than just being busy with life in general. Work, work, work, blog, teach at Beyond Studios, work, clean, chores, maybe sleep, blog stuff, work. Repeat. If we're being honest, there aren't many pictures to share that weren't taken specifically for the blog and already shared in other posts. In some ways, I'm proud of that, because it means I put my phone down and focus on what's in front of me when I need to. But in other ways, I need to start documenting the little moments and saving those memories again!

I did, however, get a new iPhone so I'm hopeful that my cell phone picture game will be substantially better moving forward! I realized I had my old iPhone 6s for three years......pretty sure that's the longest I've EVER had a phone! The X is treating me very nicely so far.

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Tips for Healthy Hair Growth + My Weekly Hair Routine

tips for hair growth

I get a lot of comments on my hair - they are always my favorite kind of comments because my hair is my crown of confidence! I have had the exact same long hair cut since I was 15....if it ain't broke don't fix it, ya feel me? In the 13+ years I've been taking care of it, I've learned a thing or two about overall hair health and how to grow it long / keep it long, thick and healthy.

Obviously everyone's hair is v. different, so what works for me might not work for you, BUT it's worth a shot!

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5 Steps to the Perfect Faux Tan

how to get the perfect faux tan
One Piece Suit - comes in several colors and is on sale for $18! | Similar HatLips, color is Patina

As I say farewell to summer, I'm suddenly realizing just how little time I've spent out in the sun this year. My pool days were few and far between....good for the health of my skin, yes, but I feel sooooo much better about life in general when I'm tan. It's just a fact! Anyone else? Lucky for me, faux tans are not frowned upon in today's society. Faux tans mean you're taking better care of your skin instead of lathering on some oil and cooking under the hot summer sun. Long gone are the days of fake baking in the tanning booth, too. I hung up my key card two years ago and even though I miss my year-round tan (and my heart sticker tan line tattoo circa 2008), I know my skin is eternally grateful that I'm using a self tanning lotion instead of those harmful rays. I'm not here to lecture you, though!

I believe I've mastered the art of applying self tanner. Follow these steps and you too will have a streakless, natural glow all year round that doesn't make you look like a Jersey Shore character.....but can I still get a GTL fist pump for old times sake??

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Designer-Look Jewelry for Less

kinsley armelle bracelets
Bar Bracelet | Spike Bracelet | Goddess Choker Bracelet | Quartz Ring 

I’ve always been a jewelry person but my style of jewelry has significantly changed throughout the years. Who’s hasn’t? I mean all of us had a puka shell necklace and a mood ring at one point in time, right? Right?!!?? Now-a-days, my taste in jewelry leans toward the simple but classy side. I like mostly dainty pieces for necklaces and bracelets (because I like the layer them) but I love a good statement earring. It's just a fact that no outfit is complete without a little bling! I tend to learn towards the designer jewelry look, though, so when Kinsley Armelle reached out to me to collaborate, I jumped right on board! I'm so excited to introduce you to them.

All the Kinsley Armelle pieces are such high quality. They look expensive, like designer items, but they are reasonably priced. Some of their pieces are very dainty and simple (like the ones I’m wearing here) while others are more like statement pieces. What I love most, though, is that all of them mix and match and compliment each other perfectly! I love to mix colors, metals and styles but other times I want everything to match. Kinsley Amelle makes both options possible. They offer druzy styles, rhinestones, chunky boho pieces, colored beads and more.
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How to Style Paperbag Pants

paperbag pants
Black Lace Cami | Yellow Pants (they come in three other colors!) | Black Strappy Heels | Leopard ClutchLips, color is Patina | A Necklace | Bracelets are Kinsley Armelle, get a discount with code AMANDASOK

Hi, friends! I’m coming atcha live from my car, heading home from a weekend at my parent’s house in NW Arkansas. Every time I visit I always have to swing by Onyx Coffee on the Bentonville Square. It is my favorite coffee in the entire world - so much so that I always stock up on their beans to brew at home! I’m a coffee snob through and through, I know. You can also order their beans online from Trade Coffee Co. and get 50% off your first bag with code TRADE_2f674j if you want to give them a try! You’ll love them, I promise.

Now, onto clothes! I want to talk about one of my favorite trends right now: paperbag pants. I was hesitant to try them at first, but the second I put my first pair on I was SOLD and immediately ordered about three or four more pairs in different colors and lengths. I think they are some of the most flattering pants on the market right now; the high-rise hugs you in all the right places without giving you too much of a mom-jean booty if you know what I mean. I struggled a little bit with how to style them, but after some pinterest-inspo I feel like I’ve got the hang of it. Scroll on down to see my tips on how to style paperbag pants [or shorts].
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Sunroom Reno | How to Create Faux Shiplap

sunroom shiplap renovation

Hi, friends! It has been a hot second since I talked about the #WhiteHouseOnThePrairie. Back before I was seriously blogging I talked about it a lot, but I forget that most of you weren't around back then! Let me give you a quick run down......

I live in a historical home built in 1920. C and I bought it in October of 2016 and spent about four or five months renovating it. It wasn't in bad shape necessarily but it wasn't good, either. It was not tastefully updated, the yard was an overgrown disaster and there were structural and cosmetic changes that we wanted to make (knocking down walls, adding a bathroom/closet, rearranging/redoing the kitchen, bathrooms, e tc). We didn't do the work ourselves (we hired a contractor) but I did most of the design and am so proud of the way it turned out.

The one room that didn't turn out like we hoped was the sunroom. We tried to take the cheap and easy way out on the floors and it turned out teeeerrrrribbly. Plus, the walls were cinderblock and they just looked cold and blah. For the last two years it became "the dog's room." It has a door to the backyard so it is easy to let the dogs in and out and then lock them in there if they are wet and muddy. It is also where Kylo sleeps.....so it was always dirty. I finally had enough of it and decided to do something about it!

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5 Things to Do When You Can't Travel

things to do when you can't travel
Vacation Mode Tank c/o LivLuvShop | Initial Rose Gold Necklace c/o AUrate | Heart Sunnies, $14 Chloe Dupe! | Rose Gold Greece Slides

I'm just gonna come straight out and say it: I'm in a rut! A blogging rut, a content rut, a photo rut, a travel rut......basically, I'm lacking some serious inspiration here lately. Womp womp. I think a lot of it is due to that fact that I haven't traveled anywhere since June.....that's two months if you're curious and that's the longest I've gone all year without a weekend getaway. Travel feeds my gypsy soul, ya'll! And I need food to survive, ha.

C and I have been very blessed to go on so many trips this year but as it turns out, quick weekend trips start to add up. Between having to work within a tight budget, having surgery, attending a few weddings, being insanely busy at work and trying to catch up on real life things at home, traveling took a bit of a back burner but my brain is always in Vacation Mode. To satisfy my wanderlust, I started to think of fun things to do in the mean time to get me through until my next trip - one month to go but who's counting? Scroll on down to read my "What to Do When You Can't Travel" suggestions!
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What's Left of the N-Sale

final days of the nordstrom anniversary sale
N-Sale Top | Jeans (BOGO for $9.90) | Similar Booties 

If I was to guess, I'd say you are sick of hearing about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and are 100% over it. If you were to shop it, you most definitely have shopped it by now. If you weren't going to shop it, you probably aren't even interested in reading this post. I feel ya. This sale is kind of like Christmas music in that it is SO EXCITING at first but after a few weeks you are ready to get back to your regularly scheduled programming (which in this case is summer clothing because it is HOT out).

Needless to say, the N-Sale only has a few days left before it ends. It won't be back until next July so if you've been thinking about pulling the trigger on something, now is the time to do it. Returns are piling in so certain sizes and colors are getting restocked here and there. There are still a few items, believe it or not, that are almost fully stocked. Everything will go back up to its original price on August 6, so if there is anything (and I mean anything) that you might regret not buying, snag it now! I rounded up some of my favorites items that are still in stock and those last few things that have my eye below.

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Ride OKC: Bike & Brews Tour

ride okc bike and brews tour

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to hit the pavement and explore the nooks and crannies of a city. Finding uniquely cool areas and instagrammable spots makes my heart so happy! I got to do just that and play tourist in my own city last weekend during Ride OKC's Bike and Brews Tour. It was such a fun experience - I just had to share. 

The Bike and Brews tour starts at Myriad Gardens and winds you through downtown Oklahoma City stopping at five of the local craft breweries on the way. Between breweries, you see unique street art, historic buildings, modern architecture and Oklahoma City's best attractions and local districts. According to Ride OKC, the goal is to show off the main attractions of the city along with hidden gems and local favorites. Being a local myself, I concur! I discovered several new gems I didn't know existed while riding through some of my favorite areas of town. 
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July Favorites

Amanda's OK July Favorites

Another month has come and gone - that means it's time for another monthly favorites roundup! I received a lot of goodies from different brands this month so I have quite the list for you! Blogging has turned me into a bit of a product junkie and I am A-OK with it. It is so fun to sample things and find new favorites to share.
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Friday Favorites

friday favorites
Jumpsuit | Similar Hat | Similar Shoes

Hello hello!! Happy Friday, friends and family! We made it to the end of the week....aaaand the end of the month! Oklahoma has been in the midst of a heat wave lately (I'm talking 110+ degrees for days in a row) so I am glad that the months seem to be flying....your girl is ready to wear some of her fall N-Sale purchases, stat!

Though we didn't get to travel anywhere exciting in July, it was still a super busy month. You might remember I had gallbladder surgery at the end of June so I spent the first few weeks of the month taking it easy but I'm back in the swing of things and feeling a million times better! It's crazy to think that getting rid of an organ can make your body so much happier. Besides that, I've still been loving my new 4-Runner, teaching my Beyond 500 classes, working hard at my day job, working like crazy on growing the blog, doing a lot of fun collabs and gearing up for several exciting trips in the next few months. Though there hasn't been any specific huge events lately to share, life in general has just been hectic! I've been running around like a crazy person and am in need of a relaxing weekend!

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My Workout Playlist

Amanda's OK Workout Playlist
Similar Workout Tank (get 20% off $100 with code AMANDAMARB20) | Crop Leggings | Earbuds, c/o Sudio, 15% off with code AMANDASOK | Nikes | Sunnies (only $14!) | Lips, color is Nude
Did anyone else used to spend hours upon hours listing to music and burning mix CDs back in the day? I know I certainly did. The iTunes app on my dad's old computer was fiiiiilllled with early 2000's jams and I'm pretty sure my brain is still 40% lyrics......how do I still know every word to every Hilary Duff song but I can't remember what day it is? That music phase lasted up through college and then all of a sudden music just became way less important to me. Maybe because school drama was over and I had found my now husband so I no longer felt a connection to T. Swift and Kelly Clarkson's heart felt breakup lyrics? I don't know! Either way, I hadn't made a playlist in ages.

When I started teaching Beyond 500, though, I all of a sudden had to get back in the saddle and start making playlists for class. It stressed me out at first, if we're being honest, but I've had so much fun with it! My taste in workout music has some throwbacks, a little rap, a lot of pop and always a good beat to keep you moving. I'm pretty picky with my workout songs in that they have to keep me excited....no slow stuff! I put together a huge playlist below with aaaaall my favorite workout songs that I like to shuffle whenever I workout on my own. 
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N-Sale Outfit Inspo

nordstrom anniversary sale outfits
Button Neck Tee, $30 | Similar Shorts | Similar Hat | Tory Burch Miller Sandals


I got to road trip to Dallas a few days back with two of my favorite OKC blogger babes, Ashley and Courtney (plus we met up with the sweetest Dallas blogger, Hannah) to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in person! We don't have a Nordstrom in Oklahoma - it is truly a tragedy but probably a good thing for my wallet - and Dallas is the closest location. It made for such a fun girl's day.

Even though most of the items I was hoping to try on were already sold out, we still had a blast and found some really great deals! You can view my dressing room diaries post here. After shopping our booties off, we ate a delicious lunch at Bird Bakery in Highland Park and squeezed in a quick photo shoot before heading home. Let me tell you, shooting fall looks in the middle of a Texas July day is terrrrrribbbblllleee. We got a lot of weird looks and multiple comments but I just love how the photos turned out. Hopefully these outfits give you a little bit of N-Sale inspo - most everything in this post is still in stock (at least it is as a I type this)!
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N-Sale Try On

nordstrom anniversary sale try on
Similar Tank | Tie Waist Shorts | Tory Burch Miller Sandals | Monogram Necklace

Good morning, friends and fellow Nordstrom Anniversary Sale fanatics! Friday, July 20, (well, actually Thursday in the middle of the night) the N-Sale opens to the public. I shopped the sale during public access the last two years - you can find my tips here from last year's experience. It is a bit on the crazy side, so definitely be prepared! If you're shopping online, I'd recommend you set your alarms and have your must-have items picked out and waiting for you in your wishlist so you can click add to cart and checkout as quickly as possible! Things will sell out in the blink of an eye....it is nuts!

I road tripped down to Nordstrom in Dallas over the weekend to shop the sale in person and tried on a TON of stuff + my order from opening day FINALLY arrived! The box was 15 pounds, ha! I'm sharing a little "dressing room diaries" for you below with size information. Some of this stuff is sold out currently but I'm hoping they will restock before the sale opens to the public on Friday. Let me know if you have any questions on any of these items!
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Gigi's Cupcake Delivery


gigi's cupcake delivery
Plaid Shirt (Part of the N-Sale - see the rest of my picks here!) | Similar White Shorts

If I've had a horrible day and want to eat my feelings, or if I've had a fantastic, celebration-worthy type of day, I always jokingly tweet, "Someone send cupcakes, Attn: Amanda." or "Now accepting celebratory cupcakes." I 100% would always choose cupcakes over flowers......anyone else?!

Get this: you can actually make my silly little cupcake dreams a reality! Gigi's Cupcakes now has a shipping option, meaning they can deliver cupcakes to anywhere in the United States! Yup, you read that right. You can enjoy Gigi's Cupcakes and treats anywhere, anytime or send them to anyone you'd like. The cupcake delivery man is always welcome to knock on my front door.
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My N-Sale Wish List

nordstrom anniversary sale wishlist

It's here it's here! My favorite sale of the entire year is here! I am literally still recovering from how much money I spent last year during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but what can I say...........it was worth every penny! Full disclosure: my husband may not agree....

This sale is THE BEST for several reasons: 1) It is a sale on NEW merchandise for fall (my favorite season and my favorite style of clothes) 2) The markdowns are out of this world and you will find some crazy good deals 3) The sale items are so good I will literally want one of everything. The N-Sale prices are currently only for Nordstrom Card holders but the sale will open to the public on July 20.
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Best of OKC Dog Friendly Spots

best dog friendly spots in okc
Buffalo Tee - only $12! | Shorts | Flip Flops | Lips

I was a little stumped this month when thinking of a topic for my Best of OKC series. I considered doing best patios, but it is just so dang hot out I thought I'd save that for the fall when patio season returns. Then, it hit me.......best places to go with your dog! I'm a HUGE crazy dog lady and love my dogs more than life so it seemed fitting!

Chloe and Kylo don't get out as much as they used to.....two dogs are a little harder to handle than one and Kylo's elbow dysplasia makes things difficult sometimes, but we still like to take them places with us whenever we can! I rounded up their favorite spots in town below!

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Trade Coffee Co: Love at First Sip

morning coffee
Similar PJ Set Here & Here | Robe | Similar Warby Parker Glasses | Slippers | Mug | Lips, color is Honey

It is no secret that I'm a coffee lover. I'm kind of a coffee snob, too, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I hate work coffee, gas station coffee and church coffee that is brewed in bulk, watered down and tastes like dirt..... I prefer quality coffee that is filled with flavor and makes your taste buds dance. I don't use creamer because I genuinely love the flavor of the coffee I buy - just a splash of milk enhances it so well! Now, of course, I'm basic and love me some Starbucks BUT local coffee shops are always my first choice because they brew the best stuff. I'm literally such a coffee snob that I just bought THIS single serve coffee maker for my office because I hate work coffee so much haha. No shame.

Weekend mornings in our house are aaaaall about waking up slow with good coffee and couch time. While C cooks breakfast, I play barista. I grind coffee beans, prepare our morning brew and pick out our mugs of the day (I have quite the collection). We always buy craft coffee so I was super excited to discover Trade Coffee Co. They sell freshly roasted coffee from all the best roasters in the country and ship it directly to your doorstep.

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Beauty Products for Travel

best beauty items for travel
Jumpsuit (white is sold out), available in Navy for $14 and very similar in Yellow! | Heels | Gucci Bag | Lips, color is Caramello

If you've been following along for long, you know that I've been doing a LOT of traveling this year. I've more or less got the whole packing thing down to a science (I didn't think I would ever say that). I still struggle with what outfits to bring sometimes, but I have specific go-to travel toiletries and beauty items that I never leave home without.

For those of you who don't travel frequently, I know packing can be daunting, so I rounded up a few of my favorite hair and beauty items for you. These are all proven (by your's truly) to work for gals on the go!

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide

nordstrom anniversary sale

I feel like I blinked and it was suddenly N-Sale Season! My favorite season! Strap in because every fashion blogger will be talking about this sale for weeks (and for good reason). It is seriously the best sale EVER - it totally trumps Black Friday in my opinion! This will be my third year shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale so I feel like I'm pretty much a pro by now. I included a few pictures below of items I've purchased in past years and still wear today (there are lots).
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Friday Favorites

one piece swimsuit
Swimsuit (only $17) | Similar Beach Hat | Favorite Sunscreen for Faces

Happy Friday, friends! I'm closing out this month's blog posts with some Friday Favorites - just a few of my favorite "life" things going on as of late. You may or may not have noticed, but I've kind of slowed down on my blog posts this month. I feel like I've gotten to the point that I choose quality over quantity and real life over internet life. Sometimes I just don't have anything to write about and other times I don't have the time to sit on my laptop and put a post together and that's OK! It is actually kind of freeing to take that pressure off of myself. I don't HAVE to get three posts up every week, and honestly, I'm probably the only one that notices if I don't! Putting my phone down and having a real life conversation always trumps an Instagram DM am I right?!

That being said, June has been such a fun and crazy month! A lot has happened in a short amount of time. I seriously can't believe that we're deep into summer already - football season and fall will be here in the blink of an eye. The older I get the more time flies and it is such a gentle reminder to appreciate where I am at in life and take time to enjoy the little moments.
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June Favorites

june favorite purchases
one | two | three | four | fivesix | seven | eight | nine | ten

Another month has come and gone! HOW?! I know I say that every month but for good reason! As of today we are halfway to Christmas and I seriously cannot believe it - but I'm 100% OK with it because I'm a total basic b.

I've been trying real hard not to spend a lot of money this month......other than, you know, on a new car (!!!!!)/ Cutting out unnecessary little expenses has made making a monthly favorites post a bit tough so my apologies for the lack of items. Just know that everything I listed is a REAL winner in my book!

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AOK Guide to Nashville

guide to nashville
Shop My Outfit Here

I've felt like such a jet setter lately! I just got back from my fifth weekend getaway so far in 2018. I get a lot of comments about how I travel so much - I shared how I budget for travel in this post! I will be taking the rest of the summer off from any major travel, though, and spending some much needed time at home and with friends/family nearby, but I have some more fun trips lined up starting in September. Yay!

For now, though, let's talk Nashville! To be honest, it was never a must-visit location for me / wasn't at the top of my U.S. Bucket List. But, when C was sent to Nash for a work conference, I gladly accepted the invitation to tag along. While he was conferencing, I planned to do my own thing...... Turns out I'm not cut out to be a solo traveler, ha! Though I enjoyed shopping without having someone wait on me, I missed having someone to talk to and I really hated eating alone. Also, how is one supposed to get a perfect Instagram without a photographer?!! Needless to say, I was happy when the conference was over and I had my favorite travel companion back.

We enjoyed Nashville and had a lot of good food and even better drinks (plus I scored several cute outfits) but it wasn't our favorite place we've ever been. We aren't huge country music people so a lot of Nashville's charm was lost on us. Don't get me wrong, though, we had a good time! It reminded me a lot of Austin and Dallas combined into one with a southern twist. Scroll on down to see what we did and what we'd recommend!

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Hydration + Caffeination with Hydrive Energy Water

hydrive energy water
Similar Tank, also love this one! | Star Print Leggings, on sale and SO good! | Nike Roshe Shoes

I always seem to have caffeine in one hand and water in the other. No matter if I'm traveling, working, working out or hanging at home, it just seems to be how I roll! Hydration is very important to me and my active lifestyle (I aim to drink a gallon of water every day) BUT, being so active means I get worn out! I've become more or less addicted to afternoon pick me ups, whether that be coffee, soda or an energy drink. know I shouldn't drink them, but I do.....they are my guilty pleasure!

I don't like feeling guilty about what I put in my body, though, so I was super excited to discover Hydrive Energy Water! It is basically the best of both worlds: hydration and caffeination, all with zero calories, zero sugar and made with all natural flavors. Yes, yes and yes! My afternoon pick me up no longer sets me back on my water intake and I feel good about drinking it. Most other caffeinated beverages come filled with sugar and calories so I'm very pleased to find something energizing and flavorful that fits within my target caloric/macro intake.

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Best of OKC Instagram Spots

oklahoma city instagram spots

Every time I travel somewhere, I find myself searching the internet for the best Instagram spots in town so that I'm prepared and can fit them into my itinerary. Call me basic, it's fine. I do a lot for the 'gram. Some cities have a TON of blog posts and articles on the most photogenic places and others have little to none. 

I figured I'd put together a round up my favorite photo-worthy spots in town whether it be for tourists or for bloggers! The OKC mural scene is BLOWING up lately, so I don't have pictures of all of them, but I'll include the locations of all my favorites below. These are numbered but are in no particular order.....just the order I thought of them! 

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10 Holy Grail Makeup Items

10 holy grail makeup items
Tank Top - on major sale! | Shorts - my all time favs | Rose Gold Sandals | LV Designer Dupe Sunnies | Lips, color is Bahama
Disclaimer: I by no means consider myself a beauty blogger or a makeup pro. I barely know enough about makeup to get by! BUT, I am a product junkie and I love sampling things until I find a product I love. Once I do that, I'm a repeat customer for life! I did a "Holy Grail Hair Products" post a while back that was very popular, so I thought I'd do a similar one for makeup! I am definitely more of a hair guru than a makeup junkie, just saying!

Now, go figure, I took these pictures before I came up with a topic for this post so I'm not wearing any of the lipsticks or chapsticks that I linked below BUT, I am wearing everything else on my list!
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3 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

staying fit while traveling
Hat | Similar Tank, also love this one! | Leggings, under $10! Also love these and these | Sports Bra, Similar Here | Nike Juvenates

Two of my greatest passions / pleasures in life are fitness and travel. One would assume the two don't coincide all that well, and that's understandable. I used to eat everything in sight when I traveled including extra snacks, drinks and desserts. I totally don't blame anyone that does that - it is a well-earned vacation, after all, and you should live it up. However, being someone who travels pretty regularly, I've had to tone it back and keep things a little more balanced. One week of total splurging once or twice a year is good for your mental health but since I travel somewhere almost monthly, I can't justify pigging out that often and still maintaining my current level of health and fitness. Ya feel me?

It has definitely been a learning experience, but after multiple back to back trips, I feel like I've got a pretty good feel for it! I thought I'd share what has really helped me incase anyone out there is wanting to stay fit and healthy in the midst of travel.
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Three Years

oklahoma wedding
Photo by Candi Coffman Photography

You guys! As of tomorrow, June 5, C and I have been married for three years. THREE YEARS. Time seriously flies when you're having fun. Our wedding day is still my favorite day that I have ever lived. It was magical and perfect and everything I ever dreamed it would be. Every day since isn't always quite that magical, but that's what we have each other for! To lean on and encourage when times are tough and to celebrate and laugh with when times are swell.

In our three years of marriage (and 6.5 years of being together) I've grown to be so grateful to have a husband who enjoys the same things as me and who has the same long term goals as me. We have the same overall opinions and beliefs on the important stuff, but we are able to balance each other out on the not-so-important stuff. We've learned how to communicate and how to fight, when to leave each other alone and when to go full speed ahead. Marriage is work and it takes time and effort, but it is the best thing ever to have your favorite person by your side. This year was filled with travel and adventure - one of our favorite things! I'm not sure if I enjoy the planning and anticipation or the actual vacations more. Of course, life threw a few curveballs like unexpected surgeries, doggy + human health issues and home repairs, but that's just how it goes. You take the good times with the bad and make it through hand in hand.

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