Renovation Progress

We are roughly half way through renovations at our White House on the Prairie. Everything has gone so smoothly [knock on wood] and we are anxiously awaiting completion. It has been so fun to see my ideas and designs become a reality as the house starts to take shape - it is all coming together just like I envisioned and I couldn't be happier!

Side note: if anyone wants to buy our old house, it will be on the market next week! The open house will be Sunday, January 8, from 2 - 4. Email me for more information or keep an eye on Verbode's website!

Choosing paint colors has probably been the most difficult part of the entire renovation process. There are way more than 50 shades of grey, you guys. We decided on wood floors for the kitchen, white hex tile for the bathroom floors and white subway tile for the showers and kitchen backsplash! Classic Joanna. There will be "rococo" countertops and white cabinets in the kitchen. We also have started collecting new furniture - I am so excited to get in there and figure out where everything goes! I've always dreamed of being an interior designer so I feel like I'm fulfilling my destiny.

One of my favorite parts of the house will be a reclaimed wood vent hood cover that will go over the stove. My dad is making it for us - it will be so special to have a handmade piece in the heart of our home. I can't wait to show you the finished product - and everything else that goes with it!

This was taken in the beginning stages of the master bathroom addition - it actually has four walls and a shower, now!
Check out those grocery store floors in the sun room! They will be stained/painted concrete...eventually!
I chopped so many branches you guys. Then I tore my shoulder.
This is the countertop we chose for the kitchen. It is called "Rococo."
Current kitchen situation. Floors installed but awaiting stain. Cabinets and backsplash coming soon. 
Chloe & Kylo (mostly just Kylo) are really excited to move to a house with stairs.
Paint samples! We are going with "Repose Gray" (bottom) for the main living areas and Dorian Gray (second from bottom) in the kitchen.
Bathroom floors are on deck!
Our master shower is nearing completion! I'm obsessed with the penny rounds on the shower floor - they were in our hotel shower in NYC and we knew right then we had to have them!

I can't wait to show you more progress, as well as before and after pics, as we get closer to move-in. Stay tuned!


Merry Christmas from the Martins

I just love sending and receiving Christmas cards! I also love looking back on cards from previous years and seeing how I've grown and how styles have changed. Being a graphic designer by trade with a photographer for a dad, I more or less obsess over finding the best card design and getting the cutest picture each year. I search Minted, Etsy, Pinterest and Shutterfly for ideas and inspiration and then usually end up designing it myself.

Last year, it was easy. A wedding picture with a cute "Married & Merry" or "First Christmas as Mr. & Mrs." quote on it. This year, however, it took a little more time and thought. Obviously, we had to include the pups. I also wanted a photo we could print and hang in our new house for years to come! On top of all that, it seemed like the opportune time to include a picture of our new house with the new mailing address. Thank goodness for double sided cards.

I had my dad snap some family photos the last time we visited their lake house in Northwest Arkansas. I'm obsessing over all of them -- I had the hardest time deciding which one to use for our cards! So, naturally, I'm posting my favorites here to show off how incredibly adorable our little family is. Sorry not sorry.

Thanks, Daddy, for the photo shoot :)

I am counting the hours until we head back to my parent's for Christmas! We leave tomorrow (Thursday) after work and will be hiding out/cozying up at the lake all weekend long! We'll do Christmas with Cole's family in Stillwater over New Year's know you're getting old when your in-laws probably have bigger NYE plans than you do! Maybe they'll let us tag along....if not, I'll be raiding their wine cabinet. ;) 

How are you spending your holiday week? Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope it's full of happiness and cheer. 

Merry Christmas to all! 

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My Christmas Wish List

one: pom pom blanket | two: candle | three: the north face beanie | four: silk pillowcase | five: dog breed ornament - multiple breeds available | six: fresh sugar lip set - my favorite lip balm of all time! | seven: ugg slippers | eight: christmas mug | nine: nike juvenate - I have these in grey and wear them all the time! so comfy | ten: mk tote - currently on sale + a great dupe for the designer version | eleven: kate spade portable charger - a must if going on vacation! | twelve: off the shoulder sweater | thirteen: mock neck sweater  - comes in several colors! | fourteen: texture knit pullover - comes in several colors! | fifteen: moto jeans - so in right now | sixteen: pj pants - I have the fox print and they are the comfiest pj pants EVER! I want all the other color options!

I love the convenience of wish lists. It makes Christmas shopping for friends and family so much easier - you can confidently pick out the perfect item and know they'll be pleased! I have zero shame in the fact that my wish list on is a mile long....I like to give people options, ya know?!

This Christmas I am hoping to get lots of home stuff for our new house! This pom pom blanket would be the perfect addition to our living there is no such thing as too many candles! And of course, a #KyloTheMountainDog ornament..... I need it! It may seem silly, but I also really want a silk pillowcase. I've read they help your hair and skin and prevent those crinkles you get while sleeping. I want to test it out!

Obviously, I want all the clothes, too. A girl can never have enough stuff hanging in her closet, amirite?! And since my average size closet is about to become a giant walk-in closet at the new house.........well...fill 'er up! Workout clothes, sweaters and cute PJs have been my jam lately. These jogger style PJ pants are everything. I have them in the fox print and I can barely bring myself to take them off on weekends in order to wash them! I think that means a pair in a different print is a must....don't you agree?

What are you asking Santa for this year? I'd love to hear....I may need to add it to my list!

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My Go-To Winter Weather Remedies

Top | Jeans (so cheap but so comfy! runs extra small, so size up!) | Leopard Flats (sold out, similar here) | Engraved Necklace | Quilted Watch | Sailor's Knot Bracelet

It's no secret....the basic white girl in me has been anxiously waiting for cooler weather to make its appearance in Oklahoma for months and months. I mean....I had a closet full of new sweaters, scarves, boots and beanies to break out!

While the Peppermint Mochas, fuzzy socks and Christmas music fill me with joy, the dry skin/lips, scratchy nose and staticky hair do not. But have no fear, my go-to remedies are here! 

Dry Skin
  • Matte lipstick is all the rage right now and I love it. My lips, however, do not. So, I like to use a lip stain and top it (after it dries, of course) with a little lip balm. It helps my color to not crack throughout the day while keeping my lips hydrated and smooth. Try evolution of smooth and your lips will thank you! I keep an "egg" in my purse, my desk drawer, my bathroom and next to my bed! It has just the right amount of moisture and shine without being too thick or sticky. It doesn't hurt that their products are gluten and paraben free and not tested on animals! 
  • I never go anywhere without my eos hand lotion. My hands crack really bad in the winter, especially if I'm outside in the cold wind, so having lotion readily available is a must! eos's formula is fast absorbing and non-greasy - a major requirement for me.....and for my hubby who uses it more than I do, ha! Plus it's in a cute shaped bottle that fits in most purses, big or small. 
Scratchy Nose
  • I recently had a facial where my esthetician used a humidifier and OMG you guys, it made all my dryness go away! I could literally feel my skin and sinuses loosen up and fill with moisture. It was amazing! You can get the same effect at home with a humidifier of your own, or put a hot steamy towel over your face for a few minutes. Also, turn the heat down at helps!
  • Drink water! This seems to be the go-to cure for everything from weight loss to recovering from the flu......but, if your body is dehydrated, it can't provide any excess water to hydrate your nose! 
Staticky Hair
  • Use a anti-frizz treatment. My favorite (I'm more or less obsessed) is Kevin Murphy Shimmer.Shine Spray. It not only smells incredible, but it softens and smooths crazy, staticky hair better than anything I've tried. I spray it on after styling and it makes my hair so silky. 
  • Rub a dryer sheet on your hair! It also works to rub it on your body if you're wearing a particularly sticky outfit. It might seem weird to carry one with you, but it comes in handy and sure makes your purse smell good in the mean time.
Do you have any winter weather remedies to share? If so, I'd love to hear!

Thanks to Evolution of Smooth for sponsoring this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Things I Wish I Knew

PJ Pants (exact pair sold out, similar here and here) | Puppies & Wine Top (use code AMANDAMART for a discount!) | Boots

#KyloTheMountainDog officially hit double digits! 10 months old, that is. He celebrated on Thanksgiving with a long walk through the woods and some turkey giblets. Now that he is finally starting to exit his destructive puppy stage, I thought I'd reflect back on puppyhood and the things I wish I'd known at the time.

  1. Buy some earplugs. You know how they say you're supposed to let a crying baby cry so it doesn't get used to being picked up instantly? Well, you should let a whining puppy whine, too. But man, one certain Bernese Mountain Dog whined LOUDLY and non-stop for the first month of his life with us. We didn't get a good night's sleep for weeks! I remember going to the grocery store and just sitting in the car in the parking lot and enjoying the peace and quiet for a few minutes. It was heaven! If only we had spent $2 on a pack of squishy orange earplugs, puppyhood may have been less exhausting!
  2. Never underestimate what pups will use as a chew toy.** Read all about that here. Currently, the rug in our den seems to scream, "pick me!" but always having real chew toys readily available seems to help tremendously! We try to keep his favorites toys on rotation so he doesn't get bored playing with the same ones all the time. When we bring one back out, he gets so excited! He also really likes koozies.........whatever, dude.
  3. Taking a puppy to a patio bar will mean you have to talk to strangers for hours! Great if you're single, not great if you're married and looking for a quiet, relaxing day with your spouse and no one else. Maybe consider renting said puppy out to your single friends at an hourly rate? Ha! Kidding. Kind of. 
  4. Puppies like schedules.  My husband and I both work full time, so our schedules are pretty consistent Monday through Friday. After a few weeks of potty training, we started to notice a reoccurring trend.......we always had a case of "poopy puppy" on the weekends. Whenever we changed up our schedule in the slightest, the poor little guy got all thrown off (as did his digestive system.....yuck)! We did a lot of crate scrubbing, towel washing and bath was not fun. Once we started trying to replicate his weekday potty and sleep schedule on Saturdays and Sundays, it helped tremendously.
  5. Don't worry, it gets better. When Kylo was a puppy, I caught myself saying "Chloe was never this bad!" all the time. However, I just read back on some old posts (here and here and here) and ya'll......she was definitely that bad! Maybe worse! Killing rabbits, pooping in the car and climbing out the car window while I was driving? Heavens! Knowing that she turned into the best dog in the universe gives me so much hope and reassurance for Kylo......even though he is already pretty great! 

In hind site, what would you have done differently with your pup? If you're looking for ideas on preparing your home/life for a puppy, check out and their No Puppy Mill Promise.

Thanks for reading! 



**We're anticipating the stuffed ornaments hung on the bottom of the Christmas tree to go missing soon....I expect to find them on someone's bed. 

The Martins Do Manhattan 2

NYC is without a doubt my favorite place to visit. I could go back on repeat and never get tired of it.

After seeing New York for the first time last fall, I demanded we make a return trip. I had to go back to several places (i.e.: Doughnut Plant) as well as mark some new ones off my ever-growing list.

After months of planning, researching, reading restaurant blogs, and creating maps and itineraries, it was finally time to turn my plans into a reality. If I was to do it all over again (boy, wouldn't that be nice!) these are the things I wouldn't change in the least:

1. Explore Central Park

It's a must!! Whether you walk, run, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, rent a bike, or whatever....GO! Especially if it is in the fall and the leaves are turning. This year, they were the most beautiful shade of mustard yellow with a few red trees here and there. We rented bikes and rode around for two hours. The park is HUGE - we even got lost a few times! Believe it or not, there were some hills in there that made me huff and puff. Although you are able to cover a lot more ground with a bike, there are a lot of smaller trails that bikes aren't allowed on, so I recommend taking the time to walk, too, as these areas typically have the best views!

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating in NYC at Christmas has been on my bucket list for forever and ever. It was my absolute favorite part of the entire trip - it was straight up magical! We skated at Bryant Park Winter Village because it was the only ice rink with Christmas decor up. We went first thing in the morning and there was hardly anyone there! The only downside was that most of the Christmas shops surrounding it weren't open yet, but that's OK. It was a rainy day, but I just pretended the rain was snow and it made it that much more magical.

3. See a Broadway Show

Last year we saw The Lion King and I didn't think anything could surpass it; this year, we saw Aladdin (clearly I choose the shows....). The costumes and decor weren't quite as over the top as in The Lion King, but the storyline was amazing and, in my opinion, much easier to follow. Also, I have to say, the actor who played Aladdin sang just like the Disney Aladdin's voice! I wanted to sing along but Cole wouldn't let me. Rude.

4. Wander through West Village / Greenwich Village

This is my favorite area of Manhattan to get lost in. I could take a picture of every single building, it is all so picturesque! If you have an afternoon with nothing to do, take a stroll through the streets, stop and sit on a park bench, and just enjoy. You'll find plenty of adorable restaurants, ice cream and coffee shops and bakeries and even a few "famous" places! The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. apartment and Carrie's apartment from Sex and the City are both located here! You might even see a celebrity - we saw Mario Batali!

5. Eat Your Heart Out

I've said it before and I'll say it again...every trip we take is more of a "food tour" of the city. It is glorious and gluttonous all at once. We hit a few restaurants up again (Doughnut Plant, Laduree and much yum) and tried a few new ones that are worth mentioning.

  • Catch - obviously a hip and popular place; it was poppin at 9:30 at night and we saw some NBA players! One of our favorite dishes of the entire trip was their Truffle Scallop Gnocchi. Yes and amen. 
  • Ivan Ramen - I feel like we've become ramen nerds. That ish is good, man. I ordered the Breakfast All Day ramen which was full of a cheesy sauce, an omelet and ham over whole wheat noodles. It was unlike any other ramen I've tried, and I loved it.

  • The Butcher's Daughter - this was by far the most instagramable place I've ever been to. We walked in and Cole said, "wow, this place was made for you!" White subway tile, wood countertops, pops of color, succulents errwhere! The food was meh (a little too "healthy" tasting for a vacation...ya feel me?) but the drinks....oh, the drinks! The best almond milk latte I've ever tasted and their fresh squeezed juice was the bee's knees. 
  • Joe's On Carmine - I requested we find a legit slice of New York style pizza and man, Joe's did not disappoint. The cheese was better than the pepperoni, but both were delicious and satisfying as can be.
  • Le Bernardin - we are really spoiled. Cole's parents were coming to NYC for a work conference so they scheduled their arrival a day early just to take us out to eat at their favorite restaurant. Let's just say they have very good taste. We went out with a bang and made our last night in New York one to remember. It was by far the best meal we've had in a looooonnnnngggg time (and that's saying a lot after a week in New York)! I had octopus, salmon, truffle pasta, ice wine, and a whole lot more. YUM. Thanks Joe and Pam! 
We also shopped in SoHo and on 5th Avenue, saw the World Trade Center Memorial, stopped by the Breakfast at Tiffany's house (and Tiffany's, of course), went to China Town, whispered across the walls at Grand Central and drank a LOT of coffee. It was a blast and I am already planning our 2017 trip to see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular ;) 

What NYC places are on your list? 




White House on the Prairie

Incase you haven't already heard the news via Facebook, Snap, or Instagram.......we bought a house!!!!!!! A nearly 100-year-old house in need some love and TLC.

Our White House on the Prairie is a 1920 prairie four-square home in the Putnam Heights Historic District of Oklahoma City. It was a four bedroom, 1.5 bath, but we are turning it into a three bedroom, 2.5 bath. We are also knocking down some walls to open up the main living area, gutting the kitchen, facelifting both original bathrooms, redoing the floors in the sunroom and repainting EVERYTHING. I'm going for a farmhouse/industrial/chic blend (think pottery barn/restoration hardware/anthro) and it is going to be gorg. 
My Master Plan - Kitchen South Wall

So far, the remodeling process has been SO much fun (knock on wood). I channeled my inner-Joanna Gaines (I think I missed my calling in life as an interior designer.....) and drew up some plans for the kitchen and master suite - see right and below! It has been incredibly exciting to stop by everyday and see what our contractor has accomplished. I love seeing my vision come to life before my eyes! I can't wait for the finished product - from the cement sunroom floor to the chandelier in the master closet, I know it will be perfect! 

Side note: deciding on paint colors has been a more daunting task than I imagined....who knew there were 5,000 shades of white and grey?!

My Master Plan: Kitchen East Wall - Open to Dining Room

Before: Yuck.

During: Can we talk about the exposed brick? It makes me so happy.

This weekend we are picking out our kitchen floor and countertops and tackling the backyard. It is MASSIVE (Chloe and Kylo are pumped) but in need of some major clearing out. Boy oh boy! I love yard work! ;) Anyone want to help? I'll pay in the form of cheap beer and homemade Christmas cookies.

I will be sure to post some before, during, and after photos soon so you can follow along on our fixer upper journey!



30 Before 30

Truth time: it's a little crazy to think I'm in my late twenties. In three years [and three months] I will be 30. THIRTY! I remember when I was 20 and 30 seemed so old and far it's right around the corner. Gracious sakes.

In light of this alarming realization, I put together a 30 before 30 list. Because that seems to be what girls my age do - almost like a right of passage. 

Thirty things in three years seems doable, right? Some of them I already have plans to complete in the next few months while others are almost more of hopes and dreams and random shit. None of them include babies. Please keep baby comments to yourself and/or wait until I am 30+.

Follow along on my adventures using the hashtag #AM30before30. Keep me accountable, ya'll!

  1. Visit NYC at Christmas
  2. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  3. Make a Wish at the Trevi Fountain
  4. Take a picture with a guard at Buckingham Palace
  5. Eat a beignet in NOLA
  6. Ride a horse on the beach
  7. Buy a historical home
  8. Go on a mother/daughter weekend adventure
  9. Start a side hustle 
  10. Love my job
  11. Volunteer
  12. Buy a Louis Vuitton
  13. Host a dinner party
  14. Hike/camp in the Wichita Mountains
  15. Do a juice cleanse 
  16. Start a vegetable and/or herb garden
  17. Beat an old school video game again (MK&A or Crazy Castle)
  18. Attend a workshop over something I enjoy
  19. Take a class in something fun
  20. Start riding horses again
  21. Pay off my student loans
  22. Perform a random act of kindness
  23. Go to the movies by myself
  24. Try a new and strange food
  25. Buy a new car
  26. Learn what wines pair with what foods
  27. Make a nice homemade dinner for my husband
  28. Make a point to read more books for fun/relaxation 
  29. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop
  30. Turn 30 in style (a.k.a. partaaaay)

Puppies Make Me Happy

Fact: Not much in this world makes me happier than puppies do.

There's a reason I have over 140 pounds of dog in my house. I get so much joy from those two fur balls....even if they eat enough to drain my bank account, bark at all hours of the day/night, slobber on my work pants and leave dust and dirt and hair all over my freshly cleaned wood floors. #worthit

When I came across this Puppies Make Me Happy tank, I knew I had to have it. I'm a self-proclaimed dog aficionado / crazy dog lady and proud of it. It's perfect to wear to the gym with bootie shorts but I also love to style it with a cardi for a cozy look.

Photo by Chad Hamilton - The Athlete's Media

The Puppies, Wine and I'm Fine Weekend Tee is becoming a go-to for me. 1) Wine and puppies are the greatest combo since peanut butter and jelly and 2) it can be worn so many ways! It's great with leggings and booties and a plaid shirt like I'm wearing here, but would also be cute with Nikes and a zip up hoodie for a sportier look! Throw on some skinnies and pumps (or even boyfriend jeans and flats) and you have a whole different outfit. Confession: it's also super soft and comfy to sleep in. Guilty as charged. 

I love Puppies Make Me Happy for obvious reasons (because puppies really do many me happy...duh), but what I love most is that a portion of their sales go to dog-related charities and shelters. Win-win! Their clothes come with a "lifetime happiness guarantee," so you really can't go wrong. Also.....they sent a tennis ball to Chloe and Kylo. They really know their audience. 

Check out all the clothes Puppies Make Me Happy has to offer and use code AMANDAMART for 10% off your purchase! A few shirts I have my eye on (i.e.: adding to my cart as I type) are this Puppies And Fitness Crop and this Muscle T. So cute and functional and I love all their sayings! Plus they have "Humans Make Me Happy" hoodies for your dogs....if you're into that sort of thing ;) 

Happy shopping!


How to Make a Custom Travel Map

In light of our upcoming annual trip to New York City, I want to share with you THE biggest game changer when it comes to vacation planning....a custom travel map!

I mentioned in this post that I am an over-planner. I like having my Google Spreadsheet itinerary in hand at all times and knowing what's next on the agenda....with backup plans in place, of course! When the bakery you originally planned on visiting for a mid-morning coffee has too long of a line, sometimes you need a good plan B! It's SO important to have an idea of where you are and what is around you at all times, just incase you need to implement or kill some time.

Insert: Custom Travel Maps with Google

My saving grace. My best friend. My favorite travel buddy (sorry, Cole).

I used to print out a map and draw on every restaurant, activity, etc. and list it by number according to type. It was super time consuming, very old school, messy and inconvenient. When I discovered I could make my own personalized Google map AND have access to it at all times on my phone......hallelujah, yes and amen. All the praise hands! It has made planning our NYC vacation so much simpler and I know it will make the trip itself smoother, as well.

So, without further ado......

How To Make a Custom Travel Map with Google Maps

  1. Go to and click "Create new map."
  2. Name your map in the top left hand corner.
  3. Using the search bar, add locations. You can search by name or address! Click "+ Add to map."
  4. Repeat as many times as necessary!
  5. You can change the icon style and color to keep everything organized. 
  6. You can add notes and pictures to each location to remind yourself what it is, why you chose it, or what you want to do/order. 
  7. You can add layers per your choosing. I have a layer for each day's agenda, plus one for plan B restaurants, one for shopping/activities, and one for coffee shops......because, well, coffee :) 
  8. Click the "share" button underneath the map title to share your map with your travel companion so they can access/edit, too!
And that's it! You can access your map through the Google Drive app on your phone. I hope this helps you as much as it has me! What are your favorite vacay planning tips? 

xoxo, Amanda


Kylo The Mountain Dog

"I didn't know what love was until I met you" - Me, holding tiny six pound baby Kylo. 

Fast forwards 8 months and #KyloTheMountainDog is now 75 pounds and gaining. I love him so much it hurts. 

I've been an obsessive dog lover since day one - 101 Dalmatians was on repeat circa 1992, I was always the dog when my friends and I played "house," and I prayed every night for years and years that I would be allowed to get a Golden Retriever puppy (it worked, eventually). Seems only natural that twenty-something years later I would be an obsessive instagramming dog mom. 

Sorry I'm not sorry. I can't help myself. They're just so cute!

Kylo is literally the happiest dog I've ever encountered. His smile is a mile wide and his excitement for daily activities is comparable to that of a six-year-old on Christmas morning. He is loving and smart and fluffy and funny and ADORABLE and an expert cuddler. I've been told I glow when I talk about him. It's kind of ridiculous how happy he makes me.

Although Kylo is many wonderful things, he is also still a mischievous puppy. A very large puppy, mind you. We had our fair share of struggles in the early days of puppy ownership but we ended up with a wonderfully well behaved dog overall (thank you Sit Means Sit!). However, when attempting to wean him off his crate, we left him in our half bathroom while we were at work. The bathroom is fully tiled, so we foolishly assumed he couldn't get into any trouble while we were gone.

We assumed wrong. 

Upon returning home for the day, a high pitched howling could be heard from the garage. Oh no. When we opened the bathroom door, water was spewing EVERYWHERE, Kylo was soaked and the toilet hose was no longer connected to the wall. 

Life with a puppy, man. It's a good thing he's so cute. 

On that note, any suggestions on weaning puppies off crates is welcomed in the comments. That gigantic thing is such an eye sore! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! We are heading to Stillwater for the third weekend in a row for the OSU game. The pups love visiting their Grammy Pam because she feeds them bacon  - haha! 

xoxo, Amanda 

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