2018 in a Nutshell

Amanda's OK 2018 Recap

Happy New Year's Eve! 2018 came and went in a flash. For the last seven years I've written a year in review post......it is almost a requirement at this point! My first ever blog post was a New Year's one, believe it or not. I always love looking back and reflecting on what my years held, both as I write and as I look back years down the road. It is so fun to see how I've changed and grown with each passing year.

2018 can be called the year of travel - we went on [almost] one trip per month and I will cherish those memories forever. As all years do, it had some lows (i.e. surgery and home repairs) but plenty of highs, as well! Let's choose to remember the good!
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December Favorites

Blogger Amanda's OK shares her favorite purchases from December

Hi Friends! I don't know how it happened so quickly, but 2018 has come and gone! This is my last monthly favorites post of the year and I'm pretty sure I started at least 50% of them with "How is it already [insert month]?". 

I've got lots of fun products and items to share this month... a lot of which I got as Christmas gifts! I always love getting new beauty products and little somethings in my stocking. My lifelong best friend gave me a beauty product advent calendar this year and it was such a fun gift to receive. She wanted me to have a little piece of her with me the whole season, so every day I got to open up a new mini beauty product! It was really fun and I've loved sampling them all December long - several of them made this list!
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Best of OKC According to Me

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK lists off her picks for the best of OKC lifestyle category
Ruffle Cold Shoulder Top | Similar Blanket Scarf | Free People Jeans | Wedge Sneakers, Dupes Here | OKC Hat 

I can't believe I've been written 12 Best of OKC blog posts. I had such fun time rounding up my favorite places in town this year....I'm going to have to think of a new spin to put on my local posts for 2019. I thought about going district by district and talking about my favorite things to do/see/eat in each neighborhood....thoughts?? Ideas? Suggestions?

To wrap up my final Best of OKC post, I wanted to touch on everyday life in Oklahoma City. So, this is the Best of OKC according to me! I get asked all the time where I get my hair and nails done, where I workout, who my favorite photographer is, etc., so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my personal lifestyle choices. Think of it as my own "Best of OKC Awards" kind of like the newspapers do.
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Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

gift guide for stocking stuffers

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Less than a week until Christmas WUT. I don't know how that happened but luckily I'm done with my shopping! It seems like the stocking stuffers always get saved for last (at least they do for me) so for my last gift guide of the year, I rounded up some quick, cheap and fun ideas for you! Most of them are from Amazon so you can use prime shipping OR they're from stores that have physical locations in most cities....if you're tough enough to brave the crowds, that is! If you're using Amazon, they will let you know if it is expected to arrive before or after Christmas, just FYI! A lot of the things I linked have similar options if you just search on Amazon itself.

I think girl's stocking are pretty easy to fill (lipstick, nail polish, pony tail holders, etc) but guy's can be a bit tougher! I tried to pick some things that were gender neutral + items for both guys and girls! Did Santa ever bring you something specific each year? I ALWAYS got dried pineapple (the best) and my brother got Wint-o-green Lifesavers. Cole's stocking always had Reeses stuffed in the toe! Were your stocking stuffers wrapped or no? I'd love to hear your traditions!
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Gift Guide for Pups & Pup Parents

gift guide for dogs

In the Martin household, the pups are a v. important part of the family and Santa always visits them - regardless of if they've been naughty or nice! I've been called a crazy dog lady on multiple occasions and I have no shame in it. Since we don't have kids, my pups are my babies! And they bring so much joy into our home and lives.

We usually give them some dog-friendly pup cakes from a local dog bakery along with a stocking full of toys, treats and if they're lucky, a new sweater, collar or leash! I love spoiling my pups but I also love giving and receiving dog-related items, they are always fitting, especially when they're breed specific! I thought I'd round up some of my favorite dog items and create a gift guide for pups & pup parents!
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How to Get in the Christmas Spirit

Blogger Amanda's OK shares tips on getting in the Christmas spirit while wearing a festive holiday inspired outfit
Blue Sweater (I sized up - on sale and comes in several colors) | Scarf | Similar Skirt, also love this one | Boots | Earmuffs | White Pearl Necklace | Rose Gold Watch | Gucci Crossbody BagRed Lip, color is Fiery 

Que the song, "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?" 

I feel like that more and more with every passing year. It becomes harder and harder to enjoy the magic of Christmas and not get caught up with life, work and busy schedules. I spend more time checking off my to-do-list and trying to avoid Christmas calories than I do enjoying the season. With Christmas being ten days from tomorrow (seriously though, what the heck) it's time to get in the Christmas spirit, hit pause for a few seconds, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

I came up with a 15 things that always put a little holiday pep in my step, help me feel festive and help me get in a Christmas mood. Even if I only feel that magic for a few minutes, it's better than not feeling it at all! I'm ready to bring out the holly jolly that has been hiding inside.

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Christmas in NYC

Guide to Christmas in New York City

Is there anything more magical than Christmastime in New York City?! I think not! It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit NYC during the holidays and I finally checked it off my bucket list....ya'll, it did not disappoint! I've been to New York many times before (it's one of my favorite places to visit....see my guide to NYC here) but visiting at Christmas is an entirely different experience.

First off, YES it is magical. Second, it is BUSY. Like I said, this was not my first time in the city (I've been three times in the fall and during New York Fashion Week) and I have never seen it as crowded as it was this December. I am 100% glad I went and I very much enjoyed the trip, but I don't think I would go back at Christmas again...it was a lot to handle and take in! That being said, it is definitely worth it to experience Christmas in NYC once if you aren't claustrophobic and don't mind crowds!

Since we have been to NYC so many times, we booked this trip with the intention of just doing Christmas-specific things. We stayed Thursday night - Sunday afternoon and it was great!! Scroll on down to see all the holiday activities we took part in.
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Gift Guide for the Guys

gift guide for guys
1 | 23 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Good morning and happy Monday to you!! I'm writing this from the sky on my way back from New York City. I cannot believe that Christmas is a 15 days away. HOW did that happen? December used to be the slowest month of the year when I was a kid but now I blink and it's nearly halfway over. I'm barely even in the Christmas mood yet....better get on it!

I'm slightly freaking out about getting the rest of my Christmas shopping done before the big day. And by 'the rest' I mean almost all of it. Normally I'm on top of shopping and more or less done by now but this year I am so far behind! It seems like every year, no matter how far ahead or behind I am, I save the guys in my life for last. My husband, dad, brother and father-in-law are all sooooo hard to shop for! I convinced C to help me put this gift guide for guys together - these are all items he has and loves or items on his wish list this year! He is pretty well-rounded (he likes sports, traveling, hiking, has recently gotten into woodworking, is a master chef and works out a lot) so I think these could work for a variety of guys.

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Christmas PJ Roundup

blogger Amanda's OK shares a roundup of Christmas PJs
Christmas PJs (only $12!) | UGG Slippers | Faux Fur Blanket | Fair Isle Stocking | Snowflake Stocking Hanger

Good morning a happy Friday! I'm waking up in New York City this morning! C and I flew in last night and will be doing all the Christmas things. I've been to NYC many times but never during the holidays so I.Am.Ecstatic! I watched Elf and Home Alone 2 this week in preparation haha. You can follow along on Instagram stories throughout the weekend!

It seems like everyone and their mother have the tradition of opening one single present on Christmas Eve and for most of us it was always matching Christmas PJs. When I was young I wished I could open a different present instead of PJs but now as an adult I buy myself like six pairs of Christmas 'jams every year. I love them so much! Not sure why pajamas bring me that much joy but it's fine. I rounded up aaaaallll the pairs for you below - a lot of them come in different prints, too! The pair I'm wearing above is only $12 and they are thermals (so warm but breathable and not too hot to sleep in)....I sized up for a baggy fit but I'd say they fit true to size.
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Holiday Party Outfit Inspo

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK shares ideas for holiday party outfits.
Velvet Wrap Bodysuit | Pleated Midi Skirt | Similar Leopard Clutch | 'A' Initial Necklace

Confession: I LIVE for holiday parties! I am always looking for an excuse to get dressed up. The holidays make being "extra" acceptable and I'm here for it! I know not everyone spends weeks planning their outfits out, so I thought I'd share some inspiration on what to wear to a holiday party to make it easier for you! Whether it be a Christmas party, New Years Eve, or just a festive night out on the town, my tips are to play with textures and patterns, add pops of red and never underestimate a touch of sparkle.

This outfit is actually repurposed from other blog posts.....I ordered the actual outfit I planned on using for this post on Black Friday and it hasn't arrived yet (tisk tisk Macy's & Express......). BUT, I love how this look turned out! My velvet bodysuit is so soft and the midi skirt gives it some sass without being too dressy. I think it would be perfect for a work Christmas party or somewhere  else where you don't want to show too much skin. Ya feel me?

I put some other outfits together at the bottom of this post so scroll on down for more holiday party outfit inspo! Like I said, I look for ways to incorporate patterns and textures like leopard, plaid, velvet, fur, leather, sequins, silk, wool, tulle and lots of holiday colors!!
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Gift Guide for the Traveler

blogger amanda's ok's gift guide for the traveler
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It's officially December which means it's time to get shopping! I'm done shopping for one person on my list but I haven't thought twice about what to get anyone else. Yikes! I love looking at other blogger's gift guides for inspo - whether it be for someone else or for my own wish list!

In honor of a fun little Christmas getaway we're taking later this week, I thought I'd put together a gift guide for the traveler in your life! I've been on my fair share of trips this year so I feel pretty qualified to recommend these items - I use and love each and every one.
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Christmas Card Outfit Inspo

Blogger Amanda's OK shares ideas and inspiration for Christmas Card outfits
C's Crew Neck | My Sweater Dress (on sale + comes in several colors) | Scarf, Similar Here
Similar Sock Booties | Lips, color is Fiery 

'Tis the season for Christmas Cards!! One member of the Martin family LIVES for taking family photos and the other three feel quite the opposite. I'll let you guess which is which, HA! Needless to say, I start planning our yearly family photo months in advance because it is one of the only times C will agree to getting a professional photo done with me! Luckily my dad is a professional photographer, so that makes it easy. We don't have kids yet so we always make sure to include the pups.

A quick Pinterest search will get you lots of Christmas card inspo for magical winter wonderland scenes, Christmas tree farm backdrops and matching holiday themed outfits complete with fur, velvet and sequins but sometimes those things just aren't feasible. It isn't always realistic to hike into the snowy winter woods in a sparkly dress with a happy family and a photographer in tow...although I wish it was!
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Cyber Monday + Gift Guide for Her

gift guide for her
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With Thanksgiving behind us, it's officially time to get your head in the holiday game. Christmas is coming and I haven't bought a single gift yet! I'm normally super on top of Christmas shopping but this year I'm waaay behind.....I haven't even finished putting my own list together! Luckily Cyber Monday is the perfect time to order gifts for everyone on my list. I rounded up the best sales below. I only shopped for myself on Black Friday so I've gotta switch it up today, ha!

In addition, I put together a little gift guide for all the ladies in your life! Wives, friend, daughters, moms, sisters, girlfriends, etc. These are all items I either have and love or really want for myself......and I have pretty basic taste, so I think these gifts would work for almost anyone. I think ladies (at least this lady...) like to be gifted items they wouldn't buy for themselves / something they will use/wear regularly and think of you every time they do! Several of these items are on sale, so it's the perfect time to buy....for yourself or for someone else. I won't judge!
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Black Friday Sales

OKC blogger Amanda Martin shares her Black Friday sale picks
Sweater - c/o Pink Lily. It's a Black Friday DOORBUSTER! | Camo Pants, 50% off! | Fuzzy Wedge Sneakers, 20% off with code BIG20 | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy | Gucci Crossbody Purse | Chain Link Cable Bracelet | Oklahoma Earrings

Black Friday has arriiiiiivvveed! I've never been a huge Black Friday shopper....I value sleep more than saving my monies, but luckily Black Friday deals can be found from the comfort of your couch thanks to the world wide web (with a side of apple cider mimosa). I searched high and low and found some of the best sale items for you! My personal favorite stores and sales are listed below including the specific items I'll be shopping.

How was everyone's Turkey Day? I had the best time celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents, brother, aunt and uncle in NW Arkansas. I definitely ate my weight in apple pie! It is a bit gloomy today but it's all the more perfect for staying cozy and comfy.
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Feeling Thankful + GIVEAWAY

OKC blogger Amanda Martin wearing a Coffee graphic tee from Thread Tank
Knit Cardigan | Coffee Graphic Tee c/o Thread Tank | Jeans | Boots, on sale, highly recommend! | Similar Pom Knit Beanie, on sale! | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy 

'Tis the season to be thankful! I'm reminded every year around this time how thankful I am for my husband because we went on our first official date seven years ago on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving! I was driving home to Dallas from college and stopped in OKC to see him! We got sushi which I don't recommend for a first date - you can't very well eat sushi and look cute hahaha. Anyways, I will always remember meeting my best friend for dinner in Dallas a few days later and gushing all about it.....I told her I wasn't going to let myself fall for him which obviously didn't last! We became "Facebook official" on News Years Day and ever since this time of year is full of reflection for us. 

I love to look back on the memories we made.....we were such babies! In the years since, we've gone through a lot together.....good and bad and great and so-so. Through it all, I've become so thankful for a strong relationship that can't be easily shaken and a husband who encourages me to chase my dreams and helps me every step along the way. And also a man who cooks all of our meals - PRAISE HANDS. He puts up with my emotions and I put up with his clutter. We love each other unconditionally and I couldn't imagine life without him. Cheesy, but true. He was recently in Tokyo for a week and let me tell you, absence really does make the heart grow fonder - our house was so empty without him there! I'm feeling thankful that 1) he is home and 2) he is mine! 
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Gift Guide for the Home

gift guide for the home
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I've always had a secret dream of being an interior designer. I have loved decorating since I was a little kid. Back in the day (I'm talking in the 90s) when my parents were house hunting I would draw birds eye views of every house I liked and decide where the furniture would go haha. Needless to say, I still love it to this day! I was so relieved when our house renovation was over but I really miss the decorating part and often contemplate redecorating some of our extra rooms just for the fun of it. And I love receiving gifts for my own home, just saying.

I had so much fun picking out these gifts for the home. They'd be perfect for hostesses, newlyweds or the newly-engaged, college kids who are new to being on their own, new homeowners, the homebody or just your every day girl who loves decor and being cozy, like me!

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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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