AOK Guide to New Orleans

guide to new orleans

Another 2018 weekend getaway is in the books! I swear, the more I travel the more I want to travel. I love being home, don't get me wrong, but there is something so exciting about experiencing different cultures and exploring new cities. One of my favorite parts of traveling is planning the trip - it fills me with anticipation and excitement! The best trips live up to those expectations.

New Orleans was one definitely one of those trips that left me wanting more - I could have stayed longer and already want to go back! However, my stomach and digestive system demanded I return home to detox. NOLA was filled with European influence (more than any other city I've been to in the U.S.) and southern charm. It is really unique and unlike any place I've been before. Parts of the French Quarter are a little junky, but they are trashy in the cutest and prettiest of ways - color everywhere! The only disappointing thing about The Big Easy was the, don't get me wrong! Every meal we had was very good - a solid A all around - I think I just had overly high expectations. Everything was enjoyable, there just wasn't much that totally and completely blew my socks off. Does that make sense?

Regardless, C and I both totally and completely loved our time in New Orleans. We visited in early March and the weather was chillier than I anticipated (in the 50s and 60s most of the time) but I think that was a good thing. On our last day, the southern humidity made its debut and I quickly realized I wouldn't want to be there in the dead of summer.

How I Edit Photos on My iPhone

floral maxi from romwe
Floral Maxi, c/o Romwe | Wedges | Lips, color is Stripped 

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to you! I've had several people reach out recently asking how I edit my blog and Instagram photos so I thought I'd do a quick post on it. I've always been a fan of good photography - my dad is a professional photographer and I had a Fischer Price film camera in my hands by the time I was five. I remember getting my first digital camera in middle school (I chose Nikon because of Ashton Kutcher, ha) and my first DSLR camera for my photography classes in college. I'm still a Nikon girl to this day!

Of course I have and use Photoshop on my computer, but a lot of the time I'm snapping photos on the go (especially when traveling) and need to edit and post them ASAP. Scroll on down to see my go-to photo editing apps for Instagram!


Encouragement for Influencers

rainy day outfit
Embroidered Tank, c/o Romwe | Similar Army Jacket | Skinnies | Steve Madden Sneaks, $20 Dupe Here | Gucci Purse | Kendra Scott Cuff BraceletLips, Color is Patina
Hi, friends! And Happy Friday! Today's post is a little more personal/from the heart. I've been struggling with feeling discouraged lately, especially when it comes to blogging and Instagram. All bloggers do a good job of making their online life look pretty....but in reality, it can be messy, frustrating, disorganized and very, very discouraging. Blogging in general is a very over saturated market, so no matter how good you're doing, there are always girls out there doing better (and worse). Sometimes, the best ones get over looked while others, who may or may not deserve it, escalade to the top.

There are a lot of "cheaters" out there who buy their likes or followers. Better numbers makes those blogs and Instagram accounts look more appealing to brands and in turn, helps them become more popular as influencers. Others get lucky and go viral overnight. Then, there are those of us who work to improve our accounts, grow our following, and try to have faith that one day it'll happen. It can be really discouraging when people pass you by, but I try to tell myself that slow and steady wins the race.

Thundering Up with Kickoff Couture

kickoff couture
Oklahoma City Choker T, c/o Kickoff Couture

You guys know I love all things home-sweet-homa! I was SO excited when Kickoff Couture reached out and asked me to partner with them. I've been wearing their stuff for years (both the OKC Thunder and Oklahoma State lines), so it was a no-brainer collaboration for me.

One of my favorite things to do is to dress up a good t-shirt. This one is extra fun because of the choker cut out. I thought pairing it with white skinnies and pumps made it ideal for a Thunder game date night! When C and I first started dating, he took me to watch the Mavs play the Thunder for my birthday since I am originally from Dallas. It was such a fun experience and something I'll always remember. He said he caught Kendrick Lamar checking me out from the sidelines...pretty sure C was just trying to make me feel special, haha, but it worked. If only I had this outfit back then instead of a KD jersey!

Going Beyond | BIG Announcement!

fitness instructor

No time for small talk, I've got big news!! I'm SO excited to finally announce that as of tomorrow, I'll officially be an instructor at Beyond Studios in Oklahoma City!

When I started really trying to grow my blog last spring, I wanted fitness to be one of my main topics because it is something I genuinely love and am very passionate about. However, I never felt comfortable creating workouts or publishing health and fitness content because I wasn't certified in anything. I had tons of real life fitness experience, yes, but no titles or certificates to show for it. Now, though, I'm becoming certified as a Group Fitness Instructor and am SO PUMPED to teach BEYOND500!


Easter Dress Roundup

easter dresses
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

Now that March is here and spring has almost sprung, Easter dresses are on my mind! As a kid, picking out my Easter dress was a BIG deal - I always looked forward to going shopping and would love to show my dress off at family gatherings after church. Well, things haven't changed in 20-something years. We typically spend Easter with C's family in Stillwater: church and brunch at the clubhouse. I always dress to the nines, even though it isn't necessarily required. I love it! And I love jelly beans, too ;)

I've had my eye on several Easter dresses already this year, so I thought I'd round up a few favorites in a variety of price ranges incase you're on the hunt for one, too! Pastels, florals, stripes, lace, ruffles, gingham and shoulder + back details.....all the spring trends - I got you covered! I added a few extras in the widget below, as well.

What's Your #SkincareStatus?

I partnered with Neutrogena to bring you today's blog post.

The most important relationship in life is our relationship with ourselves. Self-love is SO important - if you're not happy with yourself, it affects any and every area of life, whether you want it to our not. Been there, done that, never want to feel that way again! The reflection you see in the mirror can change your entire day. For me, when my skin looks good, my day always starts in the right direction.

Your body's largest organ is the skin and the body is made up of over 50% water. It makes sense that you (and your skin!) need to stay hydrated in order to thrive. Taking care of your skin and keeping it moisturized will not only help you look and feel better now, but will keep you from aging too quickly. Bring on the moisture, am I right, ladies?


A Jumpsuit for Tall Girls

black jumpsuit
Jumpsuit (available in Tall here) | Cognac Pumps | Kendra Scott Necklace | Gucci Purse | Lips, color is Beso
I wore this black jumpsuit on our trip to LA but didn't get the chance to take any good pictures in it. I thought it was fun enough (and affordable enough) to get it's own blog post - under $25 WHAT?!! I always have trouble finding jumpsuits that fit me.... I'm tall (5'9) with an athletic build, meaning broad shoulders and big quads/butt, but thin. It is really hard to find things that fit me right in every spot, but this jumpsuit came really close! I jumped for joy when I put it on. I ordered my regular size but in a tall.... it was a little big up top, so I think I could have sized down! If I was to order the regular length, though, I think I'd stick with my usual size. Can we talk about the puffy sleeves? So cute! It reminds me of an outfit I had for my Barbie!

It was SOOOOO windy during this photo hair looked flawless when I showed up but was a tangled, stringy mess two minutes later. Thanks a lot, Oklahoma! Where the wind literally comes sweeping down the plain. Do anyone else's eyes water in the wind? Thats why I look like I'm crying in some of these pictures, ha! Thank goodness it is officially March, maybe the weather will take a chill pill...but probably not.


SCOUT Bags: A Bag Lady's Best Friend

SCOUT Bags Review
Squat Goals Tank from Express (Sold Out), similar here | Leggings (only available in black, but AMAZING) | Sneaks | Plus 1 Tote Bag c/o SCOUT Bags
In the last year or two, I've become such a bag lady. I have a purse, a gym bag, a lunch bag, a weekend bag, a carry-on bag. I often times go to work, eat lunch at work and head to the gym straight from work, so I carry all three bags at once. I've learned that having one giant bag can make toting things around a lot easier because you can consolidate all the smaller bags into one and only have to carry one thing.

Insert: SCOUT Bags! I recently got the Plus 1 Bag and have been loving it so far. It has SO MUCH space inside that I can fit everything I need for the day's activities and then some. It is actually a two-in-one bag, so the tote can fold up to fit inside the snap-in, removable pouch, if needed. Even better, it comes in a bunch of different color and pattern choices to fit your personal style. My Plus 1 Bag is so durable, too, which is great for toting to the gym or using during travel. It is made of a quilted poly twill fabric, so its really soft and light! It is the perfect addition to my on-the-go, active lifestyle.

Of course, being the crazy dog lady that I am, I fell in love with the SCOUT Bags logo above all else. The pup, named Scout, is the "muse" and "top dog" of the company - he is even featured on the "About Us" page of their website. What a cutie!

February Favorites

favorite february purchases
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | teneleven | twelve

I blinked and February was over. Granted, it is the shortest month of the year but STILL! Last month I started a new monthly favorites series so I'm wrapping up my February blog posts with another round up of recent purchases that I love! It was a little harder this month because I didn't have an influx of Christmas and birthday presents to choose from.....if only I got presents every month out of the year, haha. Regardless, even though there are fewer items, I feel like all of these are winners!

5 Ways to Transition to Spring

spring transition outfit
Floral Kimono (sold out, from The Impeccable Pig), similar here, here and here | Bodysuit (only $14!) | Skinnies (size down) | Wedges, also love these | Lips, color is Beso
How in the world are we already at the end of February?! It seems like it was just Thanksgiving last week! I was holding on to winter because Oklahoma City hadn't gotten any snow days, but after last week's winter weather craziness, I've officially decided that I'm ready to transition to spring! 

Transitioning between seasons is always so fun to me - I get to pull out clothing items I forgot I had, switch up my color schemes, mix and match unexpected pieces and bare some skin! I'll need a spray tan first, though, ha! I thought I'd share a few of my favorite ways to transition between winter and spring...scroll on down to check 'em out! 

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites February 2018
Shop My Look Here

Happy Friday, ya'll! This is been such a crazy work week...between having President's Day off, taking off early for physical therapy on my shoulder several times a week and the crazy Oklahoma weather closings, the last few days have flown by! No complaints here. I wish all weeks went by this quickly! However, now that OKC finally had one winter weather day, I'm officially ready for spring to make it's appearance. Bring on the shorts......and also maybe a spray tan. My legs are ghostly!  

Today's post is definitely more of a real life post as opposed to a purposeful blog post, but that's OK! I hope it gives you all a chance to know me on a real level... more as a friend! Or, if you actually know me, I hope this catches you up on what has been going on in my life! Sometimes I forget not everyone looks at Instagram or watches my Instagram stories so you have no clue what my day-to-day life looks like. Because of that, I like to treat my blog as a recap/journal every now and then. 

Best of OKC Brunch

best brunch in oklahoma city

Last month I started a new series for 2018, the Best of OKC! Each month this year I am going to highlight my favorite places in town by category. Last month I shared my favorite local coffee shops, and this month I'm sharing my favorite places for brunch! If there are any specific categories you want to see next, please leave me a comment below. I'm thinking things like best boutique, best cocktails, etc.

Brunch is probably my favorite meal to go out to eat for. I enjoy dressing up for dinner dates, don't get me wrong, but breakfast food on a lazy Sunday afternoon is the way to my heart. C and I typically choose brunch for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries) and it is almost always worth the calories!

Scroll on down to see our picks for the best places to brunch in Oklahoma City.

Happy President's Day

president's day sale round up
Cape Scarf (30% off with code SOGOOD) | Similar Cami (50% off with code HAPPY) | Skinnies | Booties | Monogram Necklace | Warby Parker GlassesLips, color is Boca
 One of my favorite things about my job... or my absolute favorite thing if we're being real here... is getting federal holidays off! A three-day-weekend is just what the doctor ordered after several busy weekends out of town. I spent Saturday sleeping in, lounging in my PJs, shopping and getting my nails done. Sunday was spent brunching and taking blog pictures... it was the definition of "ideal weekend" in my mind! Stay tuned for Wednesday's post: the Best of OKC Brunch Edition!

For now, though, let's talk sales! If you haven't taken advantage of the President's Day sales yet, this post is for you. Or if you've taken full advantage of them but you can't stop won't stop like your's truly, then its for you, too. I scored SO MANY good deals and had to share!

By the way, the cape wrap I'm wearing here is 30% off with code SOGOOD making it $28! I wore it  for Valentine's with a red top underneath but I think it works as a spring transition piece, too. The red stripe version is sold out, but they still have a denim and white version which would look ADORABLE with white cut off shorts or white distressed skinnies!

AOK Guide to Denver

AOK Guide to Denver

Another month another vacay! We jetted off to Denver for a long weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early. The Mile High city gave us all the weather and aaaalllll the food. I am still full just thinking about the breakfasts we devoured each morning! We were lucky to have 60 degree sunshine, 40 degrees with a crisp breeze aaaaand 14 degrees and snowy.

If we're being honest, we weren't blown away by Denver itself. It was just another downtown area, it was very modern and it didn't offer a lot of local shopping or unique things to do. That being said, though, the food scene and nearby outdoor activities were top notch! We loved taking a day trip to Boulder! Scroll on down to see what our favorite stops along the way were.


14 Reasons I Love My Husband

14 reasons I love my husband

Happiest of Valentine's to you! We aren't huge celebrators of Valentine's Day around here, but I always love an excuse to eat a little extra candy, wear pink and spend some quality time together. February 13 is C's birthday, so we typically celebrate that first and foremost. Our Valentine's Day tradition has become a simple one: Chinese takeout on the couch by candlelight. Romantic, huh? It is something we both really look forward to each year! Sesame chicken is good for the heart and soul.

Since yesterday was C's birthday and today is the day of love, I thought I'd share 14 reasons I love him (and keep on loving him). I don't give him enough credit or attribution around here most of the time! Without his help and support, this blog wouldn't even be in existence and I would be living off Kraft mac and cheese and sloppy joes...coincidentally, I made him sloppy joes for his birthday dinner because its all I can make, HA! He is seriously the best (plus he's super attractive). I'm truly the luckiest! Scroll on down to see why he gives me all the feels.

Hello from Hollie's

Hollie's Steakhouse in OKC
Trench Coat | Skinnies | MK Flats | Warby Parker Glasses

Hello from Hollie's! New on the north side of Oklahoma City, this little joint is a great addition to the always delicious Hal Smith line of restaurants. Hollie's is technically a steakhouse or, "flatiron grill," but their menu includes something for everyone. Their entrees have a southwest twist that will satisfy any taste bud.

C and I stopped at Hollie's for lunch a few Saturdays back and were pleasantly surprised to discover they offer brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays. In my opinion, the first step to a successful brunch is a mimosa, and at Hollie's, you can get a whole carafe for $13! Yup, you read that right. We were able to get eight full mimosas out of it. Good start, Hollie's, good start!

Benefits of Collagen

vital proteins

I drank the collagen Kool-Aid, ya'll. Or, the collagen coffee, I should say. I've been posting about it on my Insta-stories lately and have gotten several questions so I thought I'd do a full blog post explaining the benefits of collagen, how I use it, and why I've made it a part of my daily routine.

First off, collagen is the main structural protein in the body found in connective tissues (like the skin). It helps with strength, structure and elasticity. Taking collagen regularly helps improve skin, hair, nails, tendons, joints and more. Being fresh out of shoulder surgery, I'm all for anything that will help improve my joints! And who doesn't want healthier hair, skin and nails? Sign me up!

Wine Wednesday at The Pritchard

romwe dress
Dress, c/o Romwe | Similar Jacket | Similar Hat | Similar Booties | Similar Necklace (only $7!) | Gucci Purse | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy 
Happy Wine Wednesday, ladies! Last week, I met my blogger bestie Ashley from Sass and Satin at The Pritchard in the Plaza District of OKC for a little wine and dine sesh. Neither of us had been to The Pritchard before, but we knew they had wine and cheese so it made for an easy decision. 

The Pritchard was so cute - there was a long velvet bench almost the whole length of the restaurant with tables lined up all the way down, as well as a bar and a few larger tables. They served small plates, cheese and meat, and bar snacks as well as an extensive wine, beer and cocktail menu. Rumor has it, their Sunday brunch is phenomenal....I'll definitely be back to check that out! 

How To Support Bloggers & Other Entrepreneurs

embroidered skirt outfit
Sweater ($15 and such a good basic piece) | Skirt (size WAY up) | Similar Designer Dupe Shoes, also love these | Similar Earrings | Lips, color is Patina
It seems like everyone these days has some kind of side gig.... whether that be a blog, a photography business, makeup or skincare sales, coaching, dog sitting, etc. We're all just trying to bring home the bacon and be the best versions of ourselves by doing something we enjoy. I know sometimes these "jobs" can be viewed as annoying. The constant social media updates, the sales pitches, etc. It can get old, yes, but you have to applaud people for doing their best.

I've had several friends and family members ask how they can support me and help me grow my blog, so I thought it might be helpful to talk about how to support any entrepreneur with an online presence. It can be scary to put yourself out there.....I mean really scary! Unfortunately it is a very oversaturated market in a cruel world. Any kind of love and support means a lot and is so very appreciated! Keep scrolling to see what you can do to help support me or any other loved ones online.

One Day in L.A.

guide to los angeles

I mentioned in my New Year's post that C and I are planning a ton of short weekend trips this year - we are aiming for one trip each month! We kicked off our year of U.S. travel with a quick trip to the City of Angels. Neither of us had ever been to L.A. before, and if we're being honest, it wasn't at the top of our travel lists. However, we knew it was a place we should experience and I'm glad we did!

To me, Los Angeles kind of seemed like Dallas with palm trees. It was a big, spread out city with a lot of traffic. That being said, the weather was phenomenal, the food was fantastic and the shopping was top notch. Being only a quick 20 minute drive from the beach was an added bonus - we were able to spend some time at the coast and it was definitely a highlight of the trip for me.

January Favorites

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen
I've been throwing a lot of new series and ideas at you lately to hopefully continue to grow Amanda's OK. I want this to be a space you visit for multiple reasons and enjoy coming back to. One thing I've seen a lot of YouTubers do is a monthly favorites video sharing what products or purchases they are currently loving. I'm not a big YouTube follower, but I always find my self intrigued by those videos and I thoroughly enjoy watching them and sampling some of the recommended products. I'm not gonna film myself and upload it to YouTube anytime soon, let's be real, but I can still share my current favorite items and new purchases with you right here!

A lot of these were Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers or birthday gifts and I LOVE 'em with all my heart. Truly, deeply, madly. I've been using most of them for the whole month now, so I feel like I can genuinely recommend them. Let's begin!

Be My Galentine

Galentines Date
On Me: Sweater (so soft, comes in multiple colors + on crazy good sale) | Similar Destroyed Denim Jeans | Similar Shoes | Kendra Scott Necklace | Leopard Clutch | Lips, color is Lustry Rose
Happy Monday!! I can't believe we are in the last few days of January know what that means.... it's time to pick your valentine! C and I don't do much for Valentine's Day so I knew he wouldn't mind if I asked one of my best friends to be my Galentine! Chasity and I met in college (we had the same major)... we ended up living together, working together, and getting puppies together! If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have found Chloe. Chas is for real the sweetest human on the face of the planet. She has the biggest and most caring heart of anyone I know and I'm so glad we have stayed friends. Her birthday is two days before Valentine's Day, so it seemed even more perfect that she would be my Galentine.

To kick off our Galentine date, we got blowouts at Cottonwood Salon in Edmond. Getting pampered is always so fun! It was my first time trying Oribe products and ya'll...... people aren't lying about how good they smell. Afterwards, we headed to Midtown for a a little shopping and a coffee date where we met up with Jessi Murray for a quick BFF photoshoot. Chas told me that our girl's day was good for her heart and I couldn't agree more! I think quality time is one of my biggest love languages. If you have a certain Galentine in your life, pick a day and dedicate some time to your friendship. It will truly make your heart happy and in turn make your life happy, too.

Budgeting for Travel

budgeting for travel

Good morning, friends! Happy Friday! I had a few requests to share how C and I save and budget for traveling. If you haven't noticed, we travel a lot.....we figured we better get as much in as possible now before we even think about having kids. Last year, we went on several big trips (Belize, London, Paris and Rome). This year, we are planning on doing tons of weekend trips all around the U.S. I'm hoping we can go somewhere each month of the year! So far we have three trips planned for January, February and March.....we'll see where we end up after that! 

Now, in regards to saving and budgeting..... I'm gonna be real here and tell you I am not an expert in that field. Like, at all. I might work at a financial institution, but I work in the marketing department, haha. When it comes to traveling, I handle most of the planning and C handles the finances and budgeting. He is a complete and total rockstar at that sort of thing (you should see the ridiculous spreadsheets he uses to track my credit card balances....hmm...). The following tips and insight into how we afford to travel are a combination of both our thoughts and talents! 

Eating at En Croute

En Croute OKC Review
Cold Shoulder Sweater Dress sold out, similar here, also love this one | Warby Parker Glasses | Leggings | OTK Boots, similar here in several colors and on sale! | Leopard Clutch | Kendra Scott Earrings | Lips, color is Boca (gift set on sale here)
If you've been following along here or on my Instagram, you know how much I've been day dreaming of going back to Europe. So, when it came time to choose a restaurant for my birthday dinner date, I chose En Croute in Nichol's Hills Plaza! I had been craving some good wine and a charcuterie board, so En Croute was the perfect choice and oh so delicious.

According to their website, En Croute is meant to evoke the comfort and leisurely lifestyle enjoyed in the fromageries, cafes and bars in European country villages but with an American twist. I'd say that is an accurate description! The cafe was eclectic yet simple with definite European charm in the decor; tile floors, marble tables, and seating similar to the cafes we visited in in Paris. The little bistro tables out front gave it the perfect touch! I definitely felt like we stepped into a little piece of Europe in our own hometown!

AOK Guide to Seattle

guide to seattle

It's been a while since my last Travel Guide post! Don't you worry, 2018 is going to be filled with travel around here so I will have tons of U.S. City Guides coming your way soon. For now, though, I want to share one of my favorite cities to visit, Seattle!

My aunt and uncle used to live in Seattle so I have visited multiple times throughout my life. It was fun as a kid, but it was even more fun experiencing it again as an adult! There is SO MUCH good food and coffee....C and I literally made ourselves physically ill from eating too much. Just looking back at these pictures makes me want to go back again. Of course I was saying all the 10 Things I Hate About You and Grey's Anatomy quotes, but C was singing Nirvana lyrics. It is fun to be in a city you can both appreciate for your own reasons!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! Comin' atcha live for my monthly "what's happing in real life" Friday Favorites post.... basically its just my favorite pictures from the last month that weren't necessarily blog related. How has the New Year been treating you? I'm finally at the point where I'm not crossing out "17" every time I write the date haha. After a busy holiday season and recovering from my shoulder surgery, the last few weeks have been spent catching up on life and it has been great. The house is clean and tidy, I can kinda-sorta workout again (if you count tabata air squats as a workout). I've been seeing good results from my nutrition plan now that the Christmas cookies are out of the picture and I had an amazing birthday filled with food, family, coffee, cake and puppy cuddles. Oh, and some of our good friends [finally] got engaged! Life is good.

Coming up next, I have several weekend trips booked that I'm super excited for. I also have some exciting news to share soon in the health/fitness category and lots of new clothes that I bought with birthday money (yippee!). The new year is always such a good excuse to push yourself out of your comfort zone and for that, I'm thankful. I will be checking off lots of things from my 30 Before 30 list as well as my Bucket List. The clock is ticking on the 30 Before 30 list haha. Time to get cracking!

You Can Take the Girl Out of Paris...

bonjour t
Faux Fur Coat (only $34!) | Bonjour Tassel T (comes in four colors) | Skinny Jeans - my favs and currently on sale! | Gucci Booties, Similar Here and on sale | Gucci Belt, Dupe Here for $15 | Kate Spade Purse | Similar Earrings | Lips, color is "Kinda Sexy"
I mentioned on my Instagram last week that I've been going through major Paris withdrawals. It wasn't my favorite city out of those I visited in Europe but it has become the one I want to go back to most. I think my time there was too busy/rushed and it left me feeling like there was so much more to Paris that I needed to see and explore. That and I could really go for some Angelina's Hot Chocolate and a croissant right now..... You can take the girl out of Paris but you can't take Paris out of the girl.

Needless to say, the amount of "Bonjour" shirts I've collected in the past few months is getting a bit ridiculous haha. I couldn't say no to this one since it had tassels! So fun! Of course, every fashionista is sporting a faux fur jacket these days so I had to join the club. C literally rolled his eyes and said he was embarrassed to be seen in public with me but I don't care. I'm fine being a little extra from time to time! I don't know if blush pink faux fur is popular in Paris right now, but it feels like it should be, so I'm going with it. Either way, it has me feeling like a boss babe.

No Excuses for Healthy Living

winter workout clothes
Light Down Jacket | High-Rise Moto Leggings (40% off and available in three colors) | Nike Juvenates, also love this color available in more sizes | Lips, color is "Boca"
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say something along the lines of, "I can't workout, eat healthy or lose weight because ____." Because they have kids, because they don't have time, because it's too expensive, because they have a bad knee or a bad shoulder, because they have bad genes, because they have an allergy or health issue, etc. etc. etc. UGH!! Excuses! I know it is hard and can seem impossible at times (trust me, been there), but in reality, it's simple. If you want to see a change, you have to make a change. Make time, make healthy choices, and make priorities. Make it happen!

I am a first hand example of that: I had shoulder surgery in November and was forced to stop working out for six weeks. I could have stuffed my face with Christmas cookies and felt sorry for myself that whole time, but instead I really dug in and focused on my nutrition. I did the best I could with what I had to work with and because of that I've actually trimmed up post-op....even without working out! Now that I have been released to do a few light activities, I make them a daily priority. Working out has always been a part of my routine and I want to keep it that way! Even if  my workouts are just taking the dogs for a walk and doing air squats in-between my shoulder PT exercises, I do them, and that is what counts.

28 Things About Me

28 things about me
Sparkle Sleeve Top (only $10! also comes in black) | Similar Skirt Here and Here (on sale) | Similar Pumps | Beaded Bracelet | Lips, color is Caramello
Guys!! It's my 28th birthday tomorrow, cheers to another trip around the sun. In light of celebrating ME all day (ok, all weekend), I'm sharing 28 things about me that you may or may not know. I really enjoy reading these posts when other bloggers do them, so I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little more. Lets be friends!

Total Temptation + Surgery Recovery

pink sweater
Sweater - so soft and only $21! | Similar Jeans | Beaded Bracelet | Kendra Scott EarringsGucci Purse | MK FlatsLips, color is Caramello
Guess what guys! I GET MY SLING OFF TODAY! Hallelujah praise the Lord! I'm a little nervous that the sling has become a security blanket and without it I'll hold my arm like a T-Rex, haha. But regardless, I'm excited to start making real progress on my recovery. Not sure if I'm more excited for this or my birthday?! Ha! That's saying a lot.

For those that don't know, I had shoulder surgery on a torn labrum six weeks ago (I hurt it renovating our house last year, not at the gym). The labrum is the suction cup that holds your shoulder in socket. It will be a really long, nine months to a year or more.... It is a little discouraging to see my muscles shrivel away, but I know I will eventually get back to where I was physically before I was injured. I'm excited to start seeing real progress in the coming weeks as I begin to move my arm and add some cardio back into my routine. For now, though, I'll just let you check out my scars in a few of the following pictures. Off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder tops are my favorite right now because I can show off my battle wounds!

In other news, Influenster sent me some Maybelline products to test out and review for you all (I'm wearing these products in the pictures, for reference). Keep reading to see my thoughts - I always try to be honest with you guys, so that's what I'm gonna do.

Best of OKC Coffee

best of okc coffee
Similar Cactus Top, also love this one - both are on sale!  | Kendra Scott Necklace | Lips, color is Caramello
Thanks to your suggestions, I've decided to start a monthly series on Amanda's OK called Best of OKC! Each month I'll pick a topic and share my favorite local spots in that category. I'm thinking things like best brunch, best boutique, best date night restaurant, best cocktails, best pizza, tacos, dessert, etc. If there are any specific category requests, please send them my way!

I'm kicking the series off with the best coffee in Oklahoma City because, well, coffee. I'm kind of a coffee co-workers make fun of me for bringing my own coffee to work each morning. Every time I visit a new city, I make it a priority to find the best local coffee shops and the best donuts! What can I say? I appreciate good quality coffee. Yes I frequent Starbucks, but I always prefer to drink local coffee, if at all possible.

Below are my favorite spots to grab a cup of joe in OKC.

Adding Color to Your Winter Wardrobe

how to wear bright colors in winter
Grey Sweater Cardi, c/o Romwe - only $19 and really warm! | Similar Neon Top (on sale for $10!), also love this one and this one | Flying Monkey Jeans | Quilted Kate Spade Purse | PiƱata Earrings (30% off) | Similar Bow Necklace | Similar Orange Drop Necklace | Prada SunniesOTK Boots - on major sale! | Lip Kit, color is Cocktail Kiss
Good Morning and Happy Friday! I love 4-day work weeks....why can't they all be that way? After spending the last few weekends out of town for the holidays, I am really looking forward to a few days at home to recoup and enjoy time in my favorite little city. Thanks to your suggestions, I'll be ramping up the local posts this year. I'm thinking of doing a monthly "Best of OKC" series! Each month I'll round up my favorite places in OKC for certain things (like best coffee, best boutique, best brunch, etc.). I'm excited!

In other news, I'm always sad to say goodbye to Christmas (my house looks so empty without the tree), but I love the fresh start that New Years brings! One of my favorite things to do in January is to put away the dark red and green tones and start mixing fun colors back into my wardrobe!

Healthy Holiday Skin with Neutrogena

RobePrimer | Foundation | Concealer | Under Eye Brightener | Blush | Eye Shadow Palette, Color is Soft Taupe |
Eye Liner | Mascara | Lips, Color is Deep Plum
I partnered with @Neutrogena to bring you my #HolidayHealthySkin look.

Now that Christmas is behind us, it's time to be real. The holidays are hard on our bodies. They're especially hard on our skin! All the sugar in Grandma's cookies, the dry heat from the furnace, the cold, crisp air, a few-too-many glasses of wine, a flight or road trip, and all that extra makeup for holiday parties. It can wreck havoc if you're not careful. Did your skin survive?

Luckily mine did, and I owe it all to Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. Their products contain Vitamin E, Natural Soy and Feverfew Extract which all help with luminosity, texture, and tone, plus they provide antioxidant benefits! I really loved the foundation - it was breathable and natural looking while still providing great coverage and sun protection with SPF 20. It gave my skin just the right about of luminous shine without looking greasy. The best part was knowing that it was actually helping my skin instead of hurting it! I tend to be really dry in the winter and sometimes makeup can make me look extra flaky.... but with the Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup foundation and concealer, it almost felt like I was applying moisturizer instead of makeup. It covered my dry areas and blemishes flawlessly.

New Year, New Name

Striped T (only $19 and a closet staple!) | Skirt (only $15!!) | Gucci Sock Booties, Similar Here (on sale!) |
Similar Scarf (on sale!) | Leopard Clutch | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy
Happy 2018, you guys! As I reflect back on the last year, I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I received as I started to take this blogging thing more seriously. It is crazy to think how much Amanda's OK has grown in eight months and how many new friends I have made through the process. So many exciting opportunities have come my way and I am so thankful! Each of you has played a part in that and it means more to me than I can put into words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of your day to check in here and for following along on my adventures via Instagram.

That being said, I want to look forward to 2018 and what it holds. One BIG change that just took place: I changed my Instagram handle from @amandamart15 to @AmandasOK. I want my "brand" and image to be unified and professional on all social media platforms and I thought that was a good place to start. It was a little sad to say goodbye to my personal Instagram, but it is still the same me underneath it all!
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