My 2020 New Years Resolutions

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda Martin's new years resolutions for 2020

I’m not sure how it happened so quickly but it’s time to say au revoir to 2019 and hello to 2020! This year was such a whirlwind filled with travel, new opportunities and lots of learning but along with it came my fair share of trials and frustrations.…per the usual! It’s all about the balance and enjoying the mediocre days in between the good and bad ones, right?! I’m excited to see where the new year will take me and I love being able to start fresh on January 1st. It’s the perfect time to set goals and it is easier (and more fun) to stick to them when the whole world is working to keep their own resolutions along beside you. I’ve teamed up with Red Diamond to share my 2020 New Years resolutions below!

But first…. New Year’s Eve! No matter how big or small my New Year’s Eve plans are, I always love to add a little sparkle to my outfit. C and I have started a tradition of getting pizza with our best married friends and sipping drinks / playing games on the couch until 12:01 when we all go to bed. It’s a quiet night but a fun one and one I always look forward to. I know this year we will be sipping on Red Diamond Iced Tea before breaking out the bubbly at midnight. You can find my recipe for sweet tea sangria in THIS post - not to toot my own horn, but it is a super yummy and refreshing drink, just saying!

Red Diamond’s motto is “Perfect’s Not Easy” and I think that aligns so well with New Year’s Resolutions, don’t you? You come up with the perfect idea of who you want to become but it’s not easy to get there…it takes hard work and consistency, as does making the perfect tea!


Christmas Netflix & Chill

I'm always down to "Netflix & Chill" but there is something extra special about it during the holidays! Relaxing by the light of the tree, cozied up in my favorite Christmas PJs and sipping a cup of hot is just the best!! There are so many classic movies I watch every year but I also love adding new holiday movies to the watch list.

I've been v. busy watching my favorite Christmas movies, both new and old, so I thought I would share some of my favorites that are available for streaming. Along with it, I rounded up the cutest Christmas jams on the world wide web....I've already snagged a few pairs for myself!

Okie Gift Guide

okc blogger amanda martin shares ideas for local oklahoma themed christmas gifts

Hi friends!! I'm totes slacking on gift guides this year. To be honest, creating gift guides takes a TON of time and energy and I just haven't had enough of it to go around lately (incase you didn't know, I just changed jobs and it has been taking a lot of my attention). Shopping and searching for gift ideas online has been at the bottom of my to-do list......but there are tons of other amazing bloggers out there who have you covered on chain stores and big online businesses! However, I did want to give some shoutouts to local businesses I love and share some gift ideas right here in Oklahoma City.

I love to gift Oklahoma City themed apparel or Okie gift baskets to friends / family that are out of state.....and those in state, as well! It's like sharing a little piece of home with those I love. Plus, gift cards to local places allow me to treat myself which I thoroughly enjoy!!


Gifts for Her at James Avery

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda Martin wearing a James Avery twisted wire necklace

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it is full speed ahead to Christmas! What are you asking Santa for this year? Honestly, the older I get the less I know what I want for Christmas.... I am at the [very blessed] stage in life where I have everything I need and if I want something, I can just buy it myself. It makes creating a wish list really tough...and not buying anything off that list after I create it even tougher!

One thing that is always on my wish list year after year, though, is jewelry from James Avery! I remember receiving special pieces from James Avery ever since I was a little girl. From birthdays and Christmases to big accomplishments and milestones, James Avery was a household name and a brand frequently used to celebrate the things that mean the most (i.e. family, faith, love and friendship). I've bought countless pieces from their collections to gift the special ladies in my life, as well. Personally, I think heirloom-quality jewels make the best kind of gifts, regardless of the occasion, because they hold special memories for years to come.


Thanksgiving Outfit Inspo

blogger Amanda Martin shares thanksgiving outfit inspo
Free People Sweater | Jeans | Similar Boots

Ya'll. I feel like I blinked and the holiday season was halfway over. I don't know how October and November went by in such a flash but they did and it's officially Thanksgiving week. And that means Christmas will be here and gone before I know it and it will be 2020 and I'll be 30...WHAT!

All that to say, I still have absolutely no idea what I'm going to wear to Thanksgiving..... I've been in a major blogger/social media/outfit rut lately. I've been leaning away from the fashion/beauty blogger stuff and focusing more on lifestyle and travel content (both near and far) because that is what really inspires me, what I enjoy creating and what my end goal of blogging has always been. Of course what I'm wearing still matters to me and I'll always love a good outfit, so I try to include fun clothes in my wanderlust-y posts. BUT, since my posts as of late haven't been solely focused on clothes, I feel like I haven't been on top of my outfit game as much as I was this time last year!

5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin shares 5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

There is no denying it, the holidays are here and are in full swing! How did that happen?!! Truth be told, I'm not quite ready to go all in on Christmas just yet....but I'm happily soaking up the last little bit of foliage, fall decor and all the Thanksgiving food coming this week! Cranberries, stuffing and pies, oh my! Pour me a glass of sparkling water (preferably Cascade Ice) and I'm a happy girl!

Along with the holidays come holiday treats and I have little to no self control. I can only get peppermint and pumpkin flavored things for a few weeks out of the year so you've got to take advantage of it while it lasts, am I right?! You only live once! But at the same time, I always want to look my best in a sparkly party dress come New Years, so I try to maintain balance and stay healthy during the holidays as best I can. I'm sharing five tips below that really help me keep myself in check.

A Weekend in Manchester, England

Travel blogger Amanda Martin's guide to Manchester, UK

Hi, hello! I recently visited the UK on a ten day road trip....though the majority of the trip was spent in Scotland (see posts herehere and here), I flew in and out of Manchester, England and spent a whole weekend there exploring the surprisingly fun little city. My great grandmother was actually born and raised in Manchester, so it held a special place in my heart!

Manchester is a very industrial city filled with thick accents, history and its fair share of old British pubs. Mostly known for its soccer (I mean football) team, Manchester United, the city has so much more to it than just sports! It is definitely considered by many to be "up and coming," but boy is it coming! The restaurants, bars, pubs and shops are filled with trendy foods and hip, young people. If I lived in England, Manchester is a city I could see myself hanging out in for weekend trips with hopping and just enjoying life. That being said, I don't think Manchester itself is worth an international trip alone.....but it is definitely worth a stop if you're traveling around England / Great Britain.

Road Tripping in Scotland

Travel blogger Amanda Martin shares her experience road tripping in Scotland

Hi friends! I'm wrapping up my Scotland post series today with some road trip destinations! I shared tips on what to pack in this post and did a full guide to Edinburgh here. I'm certainly no expert on the best places in Scotland to road trip to as our ten day vacation was entirely too short to experience all that Scotland has to offer....BUT, the places we made it to were pretty spectacular and definitely worth a visit. Most of them were within easy driving distance to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and could easily be fit into a day trip from either city.

Scotland in and of itself was amazing. Everywhere we went was fantastic, but our favorite and most memorable experiences came from our days spent in the car road tripping around the beautiful countryside! We called it "car hiking" - lol - as we spent a lot of time purposefully getting lost on tiny, hilly backroads. We only barely dipped our toes in the water that is "adventuring in Scotland"....there is SO MUCH we didn't have time for like the Isle of Skye (and the other isles), Loch Ness (and the other lochs), the northern Highlands, Culloden, Inverness, Glen Coe, etc. but I'm sharing what we DID do below.

AOK Guide to Edinburgh

Blogger Amanda Martin's guide to Edinburgh

Hi there, friends! I recently got back from a ten day roadtrip around the UK. Though we started in Manchester, England, my husband and I spent the majority of the trip in Scotland. We ended our trip with three and a half days in Edinburgh and the capital city completely stole my heart. I've never been so sad to leave a place! I've always been a victim of the post vacation blues but this time it was different.....I wasn't just sad that vacation was over, I was and still am sad that I'm no longer in Scotland itself.

Edinburgh is one of the most unique cities I've ever visited - and one of the most haunted city in the world. It has the charm of London, the history of Rome, the wind of Oklahoma (and then some), the rain of Seattle and the hills of San Francisco. I was shocked at just how medieval and historical the city was; if you took the cars and modern day signs/electricity away, I would believe I had stepped back in to the 1800s. All of the buildings are made of stone and look like they came straight out of a storybook. There was overwhelming beauty and history around every corner! I could have wandered for hours and never gotten tired of the cute storefront shops covered in flowers, greenery and ivy, the views of the castle towering over the city, the historical monuments and the genuine niceness of the locals. Though it was a bustling city, it was never overwhelming or dirty like New York or other large European cities can be (unless you were walking by a bus stop, that is). It was very compact but still quiet and peaceful; it made me feel instantly at home.

What to Pack for a Trip to Europe

OKC blogger Amanda Martin shares what to pack for a trip to Europe
Shop This Post Here

Hi, hello! I'm home from Scotland and I have a terrible case of the post vacation blues. It was seriously the BEST trip I've ever taken; I don't know if I've ever been so sad to leave a country before. It is always sad for vacation to end, yes, but Scotland itself truly stole my heart and I feel like I left a part of me behind. I would go back tomorrow if money and work didn't hold me back. Work, save, travel, repeat....ya feel me?

I'm working on a Guide to Edinburgh blog post as well as a post about roadtripping around Scotland seeing castles, ruins, going on hikes, etc. Stay tuned! In the mean time, I wanted to share a quick recap of what I wore as well as tips on what to pack for a trip to Europe. I received a lot of questions over Instagram DMs about European approved hair tools, power converters, etc. and thought I'd share my tips. But IG outfit roundup! 

How to Survive a Long Flight

Blogger Amanda's OK shares tips on how to survive a long flight

Hola! Bonjour! 'Ello! I'm jetting off on an exciting international trip across the pond today! C and I are going somewhere we've never been before and I.AM.PUMPED. Any guesses where?! Stay tuned to my Instagram stories to find out! I'm so excited to share our destination with you (or actually two destinations) but until then I thought I would share some tips on how to survive a long flight. They can be really stressful....flying in general can be stressful....but luckily with the right tips, tricks and accessories, the phrase "sit back, relax and enjoy the flight" can be a reality!

This will be my third trip to Europe. The first time, I was so anxious about the long flight. I didn't know how I would survive! We ended up doing a 24 hour layover in NYC to break up the flying time.....turns out, though, the long flight wasn't that bad! The second time I flew to Europe, it was a nine hour overnight flight (my first overnight flight) straight from Dallas. Again, I was so anxious.....I usually can't sleep on planes and I was so worried it would be awake the entire time and it would cause me to start the trip off feeling exhausted. It was much better than I anticipated, though! On both of those trips I actually enjoyed the flights and looked forward to the flights home!

Fall Favorites

blogger Amanda's OK fall favorites
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen

Happy October 1! Happy Fall! Happy National Pumpkin Spice Day! My favorite time of the year is FINALLY here and I couldn't be more excited.....not to mention there is a cold front coming and I'm going on a fall vacay later this week, eeeeek!

You may have noticed I didn't post my monthly favorites roundup in August or September. Honestly, I was having a hard time finding enough items I truly loved to fill up a blog post and I wasn't getting many views on those posts. They take a lot of time to put together so I didn't think they were worth the effort BUT several of you noticed they were missing and asked what had happened to them. Moving forward, I think I'm going to do seasonal favorites, instead! I might throw in an occasional holiday themed post in addition to spring, summer, fall and winter...if you'd like that, please let me know as it's hard to gauge people's interest without feedback.

So, without further ado, here are my Fall Favorites! Get ready for pumpkin spice everything!

Tailgate Sweet Tea Sangria

tailgate sweet tea sangria by amanda's ok

Football season is here; game day snacks and beverages abound! Whether tailgating at the stadium for a home game or hosting a crowd for a watch party, I always have a drink in hand. My beverage of choice this season is a Tailgate Sweet Tea Sangria made with Red Diamond Ready-to-Drink tea and white wine. It only takes a few minutes to make and can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for taking to game day festivities!

In the south, we take both football and sweet tea veeerry seriously. Red Diamond takes their products seriously, too. Every tea is perfectly crafted without compromise. Tea leaves are handpicked from the world's finest fields and made purely of water, tea and sugar only (or Splenda / no sweetener, depending on your tea preference). There are no powders, concentrates or preservatives to ensure that every sip is perfectly fresh and delicious.

Most Instagrammable Spots in NYC

Blogger Amanda's OK shares the Most Instagrammable Spots in NYC

There is nothing quite like the hustle, bustle and magic of New York City! I've visited the big apple six times now - at least once a year for the last five years and twice in 2018! I like to think I know my way around by now, but New York is a whole 'nother world and it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it can be to get across Manhattan whether by car, foot, or subway.

Between all of my trips, though, I've been able to visit almost all of the most instagrammable spots in NYC. It seems like every time I visit, a new Instagrammable cafe has popped up....there is always something new to see! If you're heading to Manhattan soon, here are some of my favorite photo spots that you won't want to miss...although I will say, just a random street pic in New York often turns out better than a photo almost anywhere else!


NYFW Outfits + How My Feet Survived

how my feet survived new york fashion week
Band Tee | Leather Skirt | Leopard Golden Goose Dupes | Studded Strappy Heels

"Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe

I couldn't agree more; I felt like I was on top of the world while at New York Fashion Week with my best babes last week! It was my second trip to Fashion Week and my sixth trip to NYC overall. I never tire of visiting the city that never sleeps, it is just as magical every time I go! I have visited Manhattan enough that I know my way around the city and to really perfect the art of "touristing" in NYC. In my opinion, one of the most important things to do in New York, whether visiting during Fashion Week or just for fun, is to take care of your feet! You will do a LOT of walking and your feet will take a beating! Even the comfiest of tennies can rub a blister if you aren't careful.... Add fashionable heels or booties into the mix and your toes and arches will be screaming and that can ruin a day of sight seeing real quick! With the right pair of shoes, though (and a little help from Foot Petals), anyone can conquer New York City.....or the world!

I'm rounding up all of my NYFW outfits below (even the ones that haven't made it to Instagram, yet) and sharing my secret to making any pair of shoes more comfortable to walk in.


Perfect's Not Easy: My Struggle with Being a Perfectionist

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin shares her struggle with being a perfectionist
Hat | Tank | Leggings | Sneakers

Warning: I'm about to get real with you! Pour yourself a glass of Red Diamond iced tea and let's dig in.

I'm far from perfect, but I am a perfectionist. It's a flaw, but it can also be a good thing. I spend entirely too much time and effort trying to look perfect, act perfect, have the perfect house, the perfect hair, the perfect Instagram feed, the perfect marriage, the perfect life. I am very much a victim of Keeping up with the Jones' and hate doing things I'm not good at (hello, enneagram 3). One tiny flaw from my perfectly structured agenda can make me feel like an utter failure and can cause me to lose my mind for a hot second (or a hot couple of hours, ha). I run myself into the ground by saying yes / doing too many things at once and it always catches up to me. I do something perfect for so long until I burn out and can't do it at all anymore.....I say screw it and ruin or unravel all my hard work. Those are faults that I'm aware of and trying hard to overcome.

On the other hand, being a perfectionist has its perks and can be a good thing, in a way. I'm constantly trying to be the best version of "me" that I can be. I'm always working to grow my blog/Instagram and make something of myself. I'm trying to eat better, tone up and get stronger/faster/fitter at the gym on a regular basis. I'm attempting to keep my house cleaner, my dogs more brushed and my marriage as happy as it can be. I give myself me time, the occasional slice of chocolate cake and lots of self love (even if it's in the form of lash extensions or spray tans). These are all things that when done correctly, bring happiness and contentment to my very structured, type A mind and make me feel successful and pleased with myself.

All that being said, perfect's not easy, ya'll (even if it looks like it from my feed). I am not even close to perfect and have my fair share of flaws, but I still keep trying to better myself.....even if that means being less of a perfectionist!

My Experience with Hand Tied Extensions

According to OKC blogger Amanda Martin, hand tied extensions make chunky braids much better!

Truth time: my hair is my favorite thing about myself. It always has been! That might be shallow, but whatever. I've been a "Becky with the Good Hair" since I was in highschool and it makes me feel beautiful. I chopped my hair off like Reece Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama when I was 12 and vowed to never have short hair again. I grew it back out and since I was 14, I've had the exact same hair cut, color and style. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...ya feel me? the last year or so my perfect blonde locks started thinning out and not growing like they used to. Maybe it is from too much heat, maybe it is from color, maybe it is a part of getting older. Whatever it is, since my hair has always been such a big part of my identity (especially on Instagram), it was causing some insecurities and frustrations. Most people would probably say it would be healthier to reinvent your identity and love your new self instead of indulging yourself....but I digress. I tried hair growth supplements, I tried expensive repairing products and nothing was working.

OKC by the Districts: Deep Deuce

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin shares her guide to the Deep Deuce District of Oklahoma City

Hi, fellow Okies and potential visitors!! I'm back with another OKC by the Districts post (you can find my others here). These are some of my favorite posts to write because I get to share places I genuinely love in my home-sweet-homa. Today we're heading to Deep is not an area that I frequent but that doesn't mean it isn't worth visiting! Deep Deuce is just north of Bricktown and was originally OKC's African American neighborhood in the 20's - 50's; it was known for it's jazz music! Today, it is a vibrant urban neighborhood filled with apartments, condos and other urban homes surrounded by a few delicious restaurants.

I always think of Deep Deuce as being very clean and well kept. It doesn't have that grimy downtown/city feel, but it definitely feels like it is at the heart of an urban area.

Roomkey Took Us Out to the Ballgame

This post is sponsored by Roomkey. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Raise your hand if you're guilty of booking a trip and completely neglecting to find a place to stay until the last minute. 🙋🏼‍♀️ I am a huge type-A planner and love a good hotel stay but the process of finding the right one for the right price can be so tedious, stressful and frustrating! It has to be aesthetically pleasing but affordable, conveniently located, and a part of the right loyalty program. Bonus points if there is a yummy breakfast included!

Insert: Roomkey. They make the hotel search quick and easy. When C and I snagged four amazing tickets to a Texas Rangers game and asked our friends to tag along for a double date, we knew we had to find two affordable hotel rooms close to the ballpark....and equally as close to some of our favorite DFW restaurants (i.e. La Madeleine and Twisted Root, YUM)! Roomkey came to the rescue and helped us score two gigantic king rooms at the Hilton Arlington. From our 14th floor room window, you could see Six Flags, Globe Life Park, and Dallas Cowboy Stadium!


July Favorites

blogger Amanda Martin's favorite items from July 2019
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen | sixteen
Hi, hello, what's up?! July has come to an end in the blink of an will be football season in just a few weeks and Halloween before we know it and I am 100% OK with that. I used to be a summer girl but the older I get the more I love fall and winter. I like being tan and all but I'm just not into sweating and I much prefer chunky sweaters to scandalous crop tops haha.

One of the best parts about blogging is getting PR packages in the mail! Half the time I don't know they are coming so it's a fun surprise. It allows me to sample a lot of new products and find new favorites to share! Also, I recently signed up for a Boxycharm subscription (you get a box of full-size, high-end makeup every month for only $21) so I've got a lot of new products lined up that I'm loving. This month's post is kind of heavy on beauty products thanks to Boxycharm and my PR packages but other months have more clothes or other items, just FYI!

OKC by the Districts: Western Avenue

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK shares her favorite spots in the Western Avenue District
Red Crop Top c/o Chicwish | Similar Denim Skirt, this one is super affordable! 

Hey there, fellow Oklahomies! And a special hello to anyone else looking to visit my home-sweet-homa. It's time for my monthly OKC by the Districts post.....I've shared my favorite local establishments in Midtown, The Plaza, Uptown 23rd, Automobile Alley and the Paseo but today we're heading to the Western Avenue District! I actually live in the district just a few blocks off Western so it is near and dear to my heart.

When I first started working on this post, I thought the Western Avenue district was only Western Avenue itself from I-44 to NW 36th street but I was so wrong! The district as a whole encompasses all of Classen Curve and Nichols Hills Plaza and stretches from Wilshire to NW 36th and from Penn to Broadway Extension.

The Western Avenue district is filled with places to eat, shop, browse, and explore from high-end boutiques to local antique stores to major retailers like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. It really has a little bit of everything! I'm here to let you know about my personal favorite spots and help you plan a day on Western from start to finish.


Life Lately + 30 Before 30 Update

OKC Blogger Amanda's OK shares a life update
Swarovski Pendant & Tennis Bracelet c/o Roma Designer Jewelry (20% off with code AMANDASOK20) | Pink Romper c/o The Impeccable Pig (20% off with code AMANDA20) | Strappy Snakeskin Heels

Hi, friends! Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start. It has been a while since I posted a blog post and it's been even longer since I posted a real life update.....I had these pictures ready to go but was struggling to come up with a post topic so I figured I'd just catch you up on my life lately. It has been a busy summer and as of last week I only have six months to go until I turn 30.....yikes! I came up with this 30 before 30 list a few years ago and have been slowly chipping away at it but now it is time to get down to business! Time is running out!

Before we get into my summer adventures, though, I wanted to take a second to talk about this pretty Swarovski crystal necklace! The pendent makes such a statement without being over the top and the chain is adjustable so you can make it short or long depending on what you are wearing. It's from Roma Designer Jewelry and you can get 20% off site wide with code AMANDASOK20 (plus orders over $50 ship free). I think this pendant would look beautiful with a v-neck top or a strapless dress! I paired it with my Swarovski Tennis Bracelet from Roma and this cute little Impeccable Pig romper which C hates but oh well, what do men know about fashion amirite?!


My 2019 N-Sale Top Picks

Happy N-Sale Day! I'm writing this while sitting on a porch overlooking a river in Colorado...we're on a family vacation and I haven't really had much of an opportunity to shop the sale to it's fullest. You know what they say.....wander where the wifi is weak!

To be honest, though, I'm not overly excited about anything in the N-Sale this year and only bought a fraction of what I have in years past. I quickly looked through the women's section and the beauty section and pulled all of my favorite things into the widget below. Some of them I have from year's past, some of them I ordered today and some of them I just think are really cute!

What are your thoughts on the N-Sale this year? I kind of feel like it is losing it's momentum BUT they still have some really great deals on staple items that will last for years to come.


Tips for Shopping the N-Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale shopping tips

The best sale of the year is almost here - let the one week countdown begin! To be honest, it kind of snuck up on me this year but I'm starting to get REALLY excited for it! This will be my fourth year shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and by this point, I'm basically a pro. I feel like I really mastered the art of N-Sale shopping last year (third times the charm, right?) so I know this year will be the least stressful year yet. Yes.....I said stressful haha. I get serious sale anxiety. It's fine, I'm fine ;) just don't you dare steal that pair of boots out of my cart before I check out ya feel me?!

What is it? 
The N-Sale is a sale on BRAND NEW, never before seen merchandise for the upcoming season...and by next season I mean fall which is BEST season and has the best clothes! Most sales are meant to clear out old items from last season, but not the N-Sale. It's the only sale all year that I truly go nuts over. They always have a ton of really good basic items (think: leggings, cardigans, flannels, sneakers, jeans, solid colored tees, boots, hats, scarves, home, beauty, etc) that you can wear on repeat all year long. It always gets me PUMPED for fall and cooler weather! Once the sale is over, though, all items go back up to full price.

Here's the thing, though. Every fashionista goes crazy over the N-Sale and popular things sell out FAST. Like, within hours. So, if you plan on shopping, it's important to be prepared in advance. Luckily, I'm here to walk you through! I'm sharing my tips for shopping the N-Sale below!


June Favorites

Oklahoma Blogger Amanda Martin's June Favorites
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen

Another month has come and gone; it's already time for my monthly favorites post, June edition! I seriously can't believe this time next week it will be the 4th of is 2019 halfway over already?!! I don't know about you but I'm ready for football season and fall to be here so in that regard, I'm happy that time is moving quickly. Six months until Christmas and my 30th birthday, though? Yikes!

Some months I kind of struggle to come up with enough new items to fill a favorites post but this month I had to narrow it down! I found sooooo many products I fell in love with. I'm sharing them below!

A Weekend in Chickasaw Country

A weekend guide to Chickasaw Country by OKC blogger Amanda's OK

Hi, hello! I'm going back to my blogging roots today and talking about my home-sweet-homa. It's easy to get caught up in how many likes or comments I get on Instagram or to choose sponsored posts over personal ones but I think it's important to stay true to myself and the topics that made me want to start a blog in the first place.....and that's exploring Oklahoma! If you didn't know or haven't put two and two together, the "OK" in my blog name Amanda's OK stands for Oklahoma! So many people think of it as a fly over state but it is so much more than that to's home!

Last weekend Cole and I had the opportunity to explore Chickasaw Country (i.e. South Central Oklahoma) and it was such a wonderful experience! It's only an hour and a half drive from Oklahoma City - more or less half way between OKC and Dallas. The Chickasaw Nation encompasses 13 counties and over 7,600 square miles filled with rolling landscapes, delicious BBQ, the cutest boutiques and some amazing places to stay and play.

Scroll on down to see my Chickasaw Country weekend itinerary and a snippet from each stop along the way - trust me when I say the weekend was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure!


OKC by the Districts: The Paseo

Blogger Amanda Martin shares her favorite places in the Paseo Arts District of OKC
Pink Dress, c/o Red Dress Boutique (size up for length if you're tall) | Flatform Sandals, c/o Red Dress Boutique |
Similar Hair Scarf Scrunchie
Hey what's up hello! It's time for my monthly OKC by the Districts post and this time we're heading to the Paseo Arts District! Paseo is only a few minutes away from my 'hood so I spend quite a lot of time here......mostly drinking, sometimes eating, and always taking pictures (soooo many of my blog and IG photos are taken here). C and I love to ride our bikes to Paseo for patio drinks when the weather is nice! The little two-block district is home to over 20 art galleries and has a funky, eclectic vibe to it. The colorful, Spanish revival architecture with stucco buildings and clay roof tiles reminds me of Santa Fe....or somewhere...definitely not Okla.! Paseo was actually the first shopping district north of downtown and it was home to the first art studio and gallery in the city; it's so cool to me that the arts have always been the center of the district.

A few years ago, Paseo was pretty worn down (or trashy for lack of a better word) but new businesses have been moving in to the district and have really helped the neighborhood up its game. It is now a hip and popular area that I love to visit!

Starbucks & Swarovski: My Go-To Healthy Starbucks Drinks

Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK Blog shares her favorite healthy Starbucks drinks
Crystal Tennis Bracelet c/o Roma Designer Jewelry (20% off with code AMANDASOK20) | Pleated Midi Skirt c/o Chicwish | Similar Cami | Pearl BarretteRose Gold Sandals, Similar & Less Expensive Version | Lips, color is Patina | Eyeshadow

Raise your hand if you're a coffee addict! 🙋🏼‍♀️ I legit don't think I could survive without coffee in the mornings. It is as much a part of my morning routine as washing my face or brushing my hair. I am a bit of a coffee snob and always make my "fancy" coffee at home in the mornings (as opposed to drinking work coffee, bleh). Recently I've gotten in a terrible habit of wanting a post-lunch / afternoon pick-me-up's usually a drink from Starbucks (hello, gold star member here!), a Diet Coke or a zero calorie energy drink. When it comes to Starbucks, though, it can be hard to order a drink that is both delicious and low-calorie (some grande lattes have like 400 calories and 50+ grams of carbs - that's more than a typical meal for me). I have a few staple low-cal drinks that I love and thought I would share them! I polled my Instagram followers a while back and am sharing some of their suggestions below, as well.

First, though, let's talk about my outfit!! I wore this on C and my four-year anniversary day date last weekend. We got brunch (with all the coffee, duh) and then got afternoon cocktails! Roma Designer Jewelry sent me this Swarovski Crystal bracelet and I just love the simple sparkle it gave to my look. It is so elegant and classic - it shimmered in the sunlight right along with my wedding rings. It's technically a "friendship" bracelet but I think friendship is one of the most important parts of a marriage so it seemed fitting to wear it on our special date. The tennis bracelet will never go out of style and it is so easy to pair with all of my outfits (and even stack with other jewels). I know I'll be wearing it for years to come!


My Experience with Microblading

Blogger AmandasOK Microblading Experience in Oklahoma City

Let's talk brows! I've been having a lot of good brow days lately thanks to my recent microblading + powder brow combo sessions with Gilded Beauty OKC! In short, I got my eyebrows tattoo'd on. If you haven't heard of microblading, let me fill you in. It's a semi-permanent tattoo that fills in and shapes your brows perfectly (just like you would do with a brow pencil) by mimicking hair-like strokes with a pigmented ink (similar to tattoo ink, but safe for your face). It's done with a hand tool, which is more like a tiny razor blade as opposed to a tattoo pen, and basically gives you extra brow hairs. I had wanted to get my brows microbladed for several years so I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Michele at Gilded Beauty when she reached out to me!

I'm going to share my experience with microblading below from start to finish and will follow it up with some common questions I received from my followers. If there is anything I didn't answer, feel free to leave a comment or send me a DM on Instagram!

Four Years

Spring Oklahoma Wedding at the McGranahan Barn in Yukon, OK

Haaaaappy anniversary to me and C! Today marks four years since our wedding day - it was truly the best day of my life thus far, surrounded by my favorite people in the most beautiful setting. It exceeded my dreams and it holds such a special place in my memory. It was not only beautiful but it was FUN! It is kinda nuts to see how much weddings and styles have changed just since our own special day.....but looking back on it I still wouldn't change a thing (except maybe the lavender toss at the end......that stuff went all down my dress and in my hair, lol).

Our wedding day was perfect but our marriage is what really matters. This year had its fair share of challenges, both as individuals and as a couple, but I'm thankful that with each struggle we've faced we have strengthened our relationship and become stronger as a team. I'm so thankful to have someone I can face the world with, side-by-side and hand-in-hand (or as the kids say these days, someone to "do life with"). Someone who shares the same views on the big things, has the same long term goals and helps me to be the best version of myself. Someone who keeps me accountable and balances out my strengths and weaknesses (and vice-versa). Yes, we have our own struggles, but I think we make a pretty great pair.

May Favorites

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin's May Favorites Roundup
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleventwelvethirteen | fourteenfifteen | sixteen

Ok ya'll, HOW are we already halfway through 2019?! It seems like May came and went in the blink of an eye. I spent several weekends in a row at home this month which rarely happens anymore and boy did it feel good to relax and catch up on real life things. I took a bit of an unplanned but much needed Instagram break and I'm feeling so refreshed from it! I'm ready to take on the summer and all the exciting things it brings.... First up....a weekend trip to Dallas!

I have SO MANY good products to share with you guys this month. It seems like some months I struggle to find enough items to fill a collage for my monthly favorites post and other months (like this one) I have to stop myself from going crazy.

Memorial Day Weekend Sales

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin shares her picks of the best Memorial Day Weekend Sales
Distressed Skinnies, 40% off | Strappy Sandals, 20% off with code SANDALS20, Similar Here
Hi Friends! Happy three-day-weekend! I usually don't do blog post on Fridays or on weekends but I have been ALL OVER the Memorial Day Weekend Sales and wanted to round up some of my favorite items for you! There are soooo many good sales going on. I listed the best ones below + my picks are in the widget!

I'm posting the above picture because 1) The shoes and jeans are on sale and 2) it makes me think of the quote, "May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary." It has been storming something crazy in Oklahoma this week so I'm crossing my fingers the sun comes out for the weekend (and the flowers can come out, too). We could certainly use some sunshine! My heart is breaking for families along the Cimmaron river who's houses have been literally washed away from the severe flooding. I can't even imagine. On top of that, the rain keeps coming (and hail and wind and tornados). I think it's safe to say all of Oklahoma is ready for storm season to end! Luckily, May is usually the worst month for storms so there is *hopefully* a light at the end of the tunnel. Please keep us Okies in your thoughts and prayers, especially those who have been hit hard by the storms! Luckily my part of town has had little to no damage...I am so thankful!

Faux Tan 101 + My Favorite Self Tanners

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin shares her secrets to the perfect spray tan.
USA Kiss Tank Top c/o Pink Lily | USA Baseball Tee c/o Pink Lily | Shorts, Similar Here | Designer Inspired Sunnies 
Fake baking is out and faux tanning is in! I always crave that golden glow and feel like a whole new person (and a much better and prettier person) when I'm tan. Luckily, spray tans and self tanners are getting better and more natural looking by the day. Long gone are the days of looking like you rolled in Doritos! With such great faux tanning options available, it makes laying in a tanning bed or getting sunburnt sound so unappealing (plus, I mean, no one wants to look like leather by the time they are 40 amirite).

I talk about spray tans pretty frequently on my Instagram stories so I thought I'd bring that conversation to the blog! I get my spray tans done by Paxton with Get Naked Tans. She is located at 822 Broadway Salon in Automobile Alley. They last about 1.5-2 weeks if taken care of (more on that in a minute) and look so natural! I mean......just look at my legs in these pictures!

Below I'm sharing how to prep for a faux tan and take care of it afterwards - aka Faux Tan 101. The same strategy applies whether it is a spray tan or a self tanner! I like to use self tanner in-between my sprays to make them last a bit longer and keep me looking bronze, so I'm including a few of my favorite self tanners, as well.

OKC by the Districts: Automobile Alley

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin's Guide to Automobile Alley District in Oklahoma City
Black Tank Dress | Hair Scarf | Tory Burch Sandals

Hi, what's up, hello! I'm back with another OKC by the Districts post - today we are talking about the Automobile Alley district. You can view my other OKC-specific posts here! I spent most of the last month on-the-go traveling to Paris and London with my mom and then jetting over to Miami for a work trip. Let me tell has been SO NICE to spend a few weekends in home-sweet-homa. I love to travel and explore new places, but home is definitely where the heart is.

In the 20s, Automobile Alley was home to over 50 car dealers (hints the name). The area kind of declined in the 70s and 80s but has since been revitalized. Today, some of the old vintage dealerships signs are still present which I think is so cool!

Below I'm rounding up some of my favorite spots in Automobile Alley from coffee to cocktails and everything in between. You could spend a whole day going from place to place! I love Automobile Alley because it is super walkable. It is right next to Midtown and just north of downtown - it more or less connects the two. I will mention that a lot of the restaurants in the area are closed on Sundays so keep that in mind!


Talking Swimsuits + Body Image + Pool Floats

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin shares her thoughts on body image while wearing an Amazon Tassel Bikini
Tassel Bikini, only $25 and comes in a ton of colors! | Unicorn Float & Watermelon Island c/o Intex | $10 Designer Inspired Sunnies 

Swimsuit season is here which means swimsuit shopping is I the only one who loathes trying on swimsuits and looking in the mirror? No? Good. There was a day a few years ago that I loved my body and was proud of my thick thighs and broad shoulders but now? Not so much. I'm challenging myself to get back to that mindset - both physically and mentally - and I thought the best way to do that was to put it in writing. Hopefully my vulnerability encourages someone along the way! 

As women, I think we all battle body image issues at some point in our lives (or all the time) no matter how big or small we are. I remember my first "negative" thought about myself was how huge my calves were during Vacation Bible School sitting next to my two best friends. calves are still cankles, but I've moved on to feeling negative about other areas of my body as an muffin top, love handles, bra bulge, bingo wings, thunder thighs, etc. Sure, I'm good at hiding them in real clothes that flatter me, but in a swimsuit? It's all out in the open. 

I've been on a roller coaster of health and fitness stages the last couple of years and I'm currently in a valley. I was at my fittest in 2015-2016 but I had a pretty intense shoulder surgery a year and a half ago that was followed up by a gallbladder surgery last summer. My "comeback" has been challenging (just as much mentally as physically) and getting back into a healthy eating and workout routine (especially both at the same time) has been much harder than I expected. I think knowing what I once was has made me feel worse and more insecure about my current physical state. 

A Charming Sale at James Avery

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK shares the James Avery Charm Bracelet Sale

James Avery has been a household name for as long as I remember! As a kid, I always received James Avery charms as gifts for birthdays, accomplishments, milestones and special celebrations. Somewhere I still have that jingly little bracelet covered in horses and ballet slippers. As I grew, my James Avery pieces grew with me....I started asking for rings and earrings that I could wear into adulthood, and I still wear those items today! If you look closely you can see my two favorite James Avery rings in these pictures.

Honestly, I thought I had outgrown the charm bracelet phase, but when I discovered James Avery's new bracelet designs, I was smitten! I'm a sucker for twisted wire cable bracelets and this Oval Twist Charm Bracelet compliments my daily wrist stack perfectly. I chose to add two charms on the same link to give it just a little something extra. I chose an "A" for Amanda and a black onyx bead because it will match everything. I like having two charms on the same link because it keeps it simple and dainty but makes it pop at the same time! No lie, I have worn it almost every single day since I got it and I love it.


Derby Fashion with Roma Designer Jewelry

Amanda's OK wears a Retro Floral Dress with Pearls
Dress, c/o Chicwish | Pearl Necklace & Pearl Drop Earrings c/o Roma Designer Jewelry, use code AMANDASOK20 for a discount | Shoes | Lips, color is Patina

Channeling my inner Betty Draper here! I wore this outfit for my neighborhood's big Kentucky Derby dinner party over the weekend (complete with a fascinator, of course) and I LOVED it. It is so fun and fabulous - I got a ton of compliments! I placed my bets on Maximum Security and was so bummed when his win got overturned......even though I lost my money, C and I won second place best dressed couple, so at least there is that! We lost to a couple dressed as a horse and jockey and I'm OK with that. I think I carried the team with this outfit, though - I have always loved retro fashion, in particular the 50s and 60s. This dress is no exception and the pearls compliment it perfectly. I like to imagine my Grandma used to wear something similar to cocktail parties!

I shared in this post that I've always been a pearl girl.....whether they are simple and stately or bold and attention grabbing, pearls are always appropriate! What I love most about this specific pearl strand necklace and drop earring set from Roma Designer Jewelry is that it can be dressed up, like it is here, or dressed down with something simple and classy like a black shirt and denim. Either way, it accentuates an outfit perfectly and makes a statement. I love that this strand of genuine South Sea Shell pearls is a bit oversized (10mm pearls) really makes you stand out in a good way! The clasp is actually a round bead made of sterling and inlaid with crystals that twists together! I really appreciate that the necklace still looks OK when the clasp sneaks around to the front and I love how it sparkles. You can see it peaking out in a few of the photos below if you look closely.

Paris & London Travel Diaries

Amanda Martin's Paris & London Travel Diaries

Bonjour! Hello! I'm currently suffering from a terrible case of the post vacation blues and really need to have my sweet tooth pulled. After spending 10 days eating my heart out in Paris and London with my mom, it was nice to come home and get back into a healthy routine......but it has been a week and I'm tired of said routine and ready to travel again! Ha! #HaveCameraWillTravel. Seriously, does one get an HGTV show?

I wanted to share our trip with you but since this was my second time visiting both Paris and London, I've already published my usual "AOK Guide to...." posts for both cities. You can find my Paris Guide here and my London Guide here. So, that being said, today's post is more of a travel diary....things we did, things we ate, and experiences we had. You can read about where we stayed for the first half of our time in Paris here - shoutout to Hotel Chavanel, they get all the stars! I shared all of my outfits and tips on what to pack in this post!

Now, let's dig in, shall we?

April Favorites

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin's April Favorites 2019
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I'm finally back in the swing of things around here and feeling recovered from jet lag....mostly! April was a crazy month - half of it being spent in Europe - so my monthly favorites list is a bit different this go round. Most of these items were things I purchased to take with me on the trip and I loved them so much that I had to share!
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