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?!

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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.





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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!

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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 July.....how 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!
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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 me.....it'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!

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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!
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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 beverage....it'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!

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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!
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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 you.....it 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!

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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 here......am 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. Well....my calves are still cankles, but I've moved on to feeling negative about other areas of my body as an adult.....my 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. 
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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.

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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)....it 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.
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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, though......how 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?
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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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What I Wore in Europe

Amanda Martin shares what to pack for a trip to Europe
Ruffle Cami is c/o Meela Collections | Backpack is c/o VICI, similar hereShop the rest of my look here!

Bonjour! I am officially home from Europe and back at work. Womp womp. It is kind of nice to get back into a routine, though. As much as I love traveling, I always love coming home and I appreciate getting back to my gym and healthy eating habits! I really missed my bed, hubby, hair products and puppies (in no particular order haha).

My mom and I traveled to Europe for 12 days - most of that time was spent in Paris but we did hop over to London for two days via the Chunnel! I knew we wouldn't have much opportunity to do laundry so I strategically packed outfits that would be light weight.....that way I could bring more pieces. If you're curious, YES, packing cubes really do work! I packed enough outfits in one suitcase to wear something different every day + several dressier looks, as well, that I changed into for fancy dinners!
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Where to Stay in Paris: Hotel Chavanel Review

where to stay in paris: hotel chavanel review

Paris is always a good idea.....and staying at Hotel Chavanel is, too! If possible, I always choose to stay at a boutique hotel when traveling; they always seem to have more charm, a caring staff and they feel more unique to the city in which you are visiting. Hotel Chavanel was no exception....from the moment my mom and I arrived in Paris it was like we were living in a dream!

Hotel Chavanel is a 4-star, family-owned, 27-room boutique hotel located in the Le Madeleine neighborhood (the 8th Arrondissement) of Paris. It is chic, elegant and so very welcoming! When I was trying to figure out where to stay in Paris, I instantly fell in love with the photos of their property. Their website lists the decor as "discreet-luxury, not ostentatious, but well thought through with attention to detail." I couldn't agree more. The aesthetic of the hotel from the lobby to the guest rooms was beautiful but not over the top. The whole property had a modern yet fashionably elegant Parisian charm to it, which I loved, and it was filled with unique lighting and stylish touches like the Aspen trees lining the lobby and the candy bowl filled with rose and lavender flavored mints at the front desk. There was a floral shape that was carried throughout the design of the hotel from the curtains to the wall art and it really tied everything together with such a modern elegance.

When we checked in, we were greeted with a welcome card from the owner, a champagne toast, and an ornamental perfume piece to put in our luggage to keep it smelling fresh. I thought it was the sweetest touch! I will definitely be using it on future trips; I know it will hold wonderful travel memories.
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OKC by the Districts: Uptown 23rd

OKC Blog Amanda's OK |  Uptown 23rd District Review
Spotted Top (only $5!) | Yellow Chino Pants | Similar Mule Slide Shoes

Hello fellow Oklahomies (and anyone else out there reading this)! I'm getting ready to skip town for a few weeks so this post is going up earlier than normal. I shared my favorite spots in Midtown and the Plaza in months past but this month we're talking about Uptown 23rd! Uptown 23rd District is one of Oklahoma City’s premier business and entertainment areas that continues to grow. It's located along historic Route 66 (on NW 23rd Street) between Broadway and Pennsylvania Avenue. There are many iconic landmarks such as the Tower Theater, Gold Dome and the historic Milk Bottle, lots of tasty restaurants and plenty of things to see and do!

I'm rounding up my favorite local spots in the Uptown 23rd area to help you create a day filled with tasty eats and lots of fun. TONIGHT is actually Uptown Uncorked - Uptown 23rd's annual fundaiser with tastings from Uptown’s best restaurants along with local breweries and wineries, live music, a photo booth, and exciting raffle items. If there are still tickets available, it would be a great time to experience the area!
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Easter Inspo with Roma Designer Jewelry

Easter Dress Inspo from blogger Amanda's OK
Yellow Wrap Dress, similar here and here | Roman Glass Pendant, c/o Roma Designer Jewelry (use code AMANDASOK20 for 20% off) | Strap Sandals | Lips, color is Twig

Spring is in the air and Easter is right around the corner! I LOVE Easter and everything that it stands for....plus it's a good excuse to dress up, take pictures, eat candy, and bake my Grandma's homemade carrot cake! My mom and I booked a big mother-daughter vacation in April, though, and we unknowingly did so over Easter weekend...we didn't realize until it was too late. I'm sad to miss our family's Easter Sunday traditions but I guess we'll just have to indulge in Grandma's carrot cake when we get back!

The planning of my Easter Sunday outfit has been a big deal for as long as I can remember! I love all the floral prints and pastels, tulle skirts and pretty crochet details. I'm rounding up some Easter dress inspo for you below - I tried to find dresses that are appropriate for church, brunch, egg hunts and everything in-between. Even though I'll be out of the country on Easter, I'll be rocking an Easter dress all day long.
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7 Ways I Maintain a Work-Life-Blog Balance

OKC blogger Amanda Martin shares 7 ways to find a work-life-blog balance
Workout Set (only $30!) c/o Fabletics | Long Sleeve Crop Top | Crop Leggings | Nike Metcons

If you want something, you gotta work hard to make it happen. But I'm gonna be honest.......I've been working myself into the ground lately chasing my dreams and I am exhausted both mentally and physically. Of course it pays off eventually, but the pay off isn't always overnight so it can be tough to keep pushing yourself without seeing those immediate benefits. Needless to say, with so many things going on, I've had to really focus on maintaining a work-life-blog balance so that I don't burn myself out! I recently saw a quote that said, "I cannot pour from an empty well" and it really resonated with me.

I have a full time job that often includes nights or weekends, I teach fitness classes several mornings (5:30 a.m.) and evenings (6:00 p.m.) a week, plus I blog, which is more a less a job in itself (but a fun one, of course). In between all of that I try to find time to be present with my husband, visit my out-of-town family, spend time with friends, meet with blog partners, workout, clean the house / do chores, run errands, travel and maybe find some time to relax if I'm lucky. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, I know how blessed I am to have so many amazing opportunities. What I'm getting at and what I've come to learn is that sometimes I can't do it all and that's OK.

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March Favorites

Amanda Martin's Top Picks for March
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen

Hi, friends! March has been a SUPER busy month for me. I started it off with a quick trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, but since then I have just been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I'm definitely at a point in life where I'm finding it hard to balance everything (work, blog, working out, teaching, eating well, enjoying life, spending time with friends and family, resting, cleaning the house at some point in there.....). Everyone always asks me how I do it and to be honest, I have no clue.....but I'm working on a post about finding work/life balance, especially in relation to blogging and working another job (or two) at the same time. Check back next week to read!

Needless to say, with such a busy agenda recently I haven't had much time to shop or test out many new products. Good for my wallet, bad for this post, haha. But just know that the ones I rounded up below are real winners in my book! I included a few oldies but goodies since I was running low on new things :)
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OKC by the Districts: The Plaza

okc by the districts: the plaza | Amanda's OK Blog
OK. City Tee c/o Kickoff Couture | Similar Military Jacket | Heart Shaped Earrings

Hello fellow Okies! Can I get a hip-hip-hooray for the beautiful spring weather we've had this week? It has me wanting to play hookie and patio hop...can ya blame me? Last month I started a new series called OKC by the Districts where I pick a district and share all of my favorite spots...basically a roadmap for how to spend a day in that area! You can view my post on Midtown here.

Today we're heading to The Plaza! The Plaza is located on NW 16th Street between Classen and Penn. It is home to galleries, studios, retail shops and some amazing local restaurants. It is very quirky, eclectic and artsy. It is super walkable since it's only a few blocks wide and on one main street. The only downfalls of The Plaza are the parking (very limited) and the neighboring areas (some are a bit rundown). However, they have a lot of fun events like the monthly Live on the Plaza! art walk and the Plaza Festival. I love that there is a "Little Free Library" where you can borrow and/or exchange books to read!

If we're being honest, I'm not the biggest art gallery fan in general, but I LOVE good food and the Plaza has some of my absolute favorite restaurants in town! As I put this post together I realized all I really do in the Plaza is eat. There are so many stores and shops that I haven't been into, yet. I need to make it happen soon!

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Green & Gold with Roma Designer Jewelry

Blogger Amanda's OK shares how to pair green and gold
Green Eyelet Blouse c/o SheIn | Similar Button Fly Jeans | Gold Necklace c/o Roma, use code AMANDASOK20 for 20% off | Gold Earrings c/o Roma, use code AMANDASOK20 for 20% off | Block Heels
Green and gold were my high school's colors - Go Lions!! I went to a small private school in Texas and we had to wear uniforms so believe me when I say I was forced to wear a LOT of green and gold in my life. I wore it so much I kind of burnt myself out on it. When Saint Patricks Day would roll around each year, I'd always realize just how little green I had in my closet.

Eleven years later and I'm finally OK with wearing green and gold again! This outfit made the perfect St. Paddy's Day look yesterday, but I think it could easily be worn year round, so I had to share it a day later! I am usually a silver or rose gold kinda gal, but sometimes classic yellow gold is the best option. I can't help but think of a pot o' gold at the end of a rainbow when I see this gorgeous Gold Vermeil Fancy Filigree Necklace from Roma Designer Jewelry against my green blouse. I love that it has matching earrings, too!
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My Go-To Skin Brightening Serum

Blogger Amanda Martin shares her secret to bright and radiant skin

Raise your hand if you're a summer girl who loves to lounge in the sun 🙋🏼‍♀️ I am all about that my mermaid life and would happily soak up the sun for hours on end, but those warm, happy rays can be so harmful to the skin. I live for a good golden glow, don't get me wrong, but thanks to too many hours by the water (and not enough sunscreen), my face is now sprinkled with dark spots and melasma that I am constantly trying to hide and/or get rid of.

If you follow me on Instagram stories, you've probably seen me talk about different techniques I've used to combat the issue recently. IPL laser treatments and chemical peels have really helped, but  professional treatments like those can get costly quick and aren't something I want to do on a regular basis because they aren't exactly painless! My every day skin brightening solution is a good vitamin C serum and Heladerm's has become my go-to.
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AOK Guide to Crested Butte

AOK Guide to Crested Butte, Colorado

Hi, friends! I just got back from a quick trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, and it was basically like being in a real life snow globe! I'm kind of over winter at the moment, but if winter in Oklahoma was half as beautiful as it is in Crested Butte, I'd be OK with it lasting a little longer.

Crested Butte is a ski town so most people visit in the winter specifically to ski/snowboard. I don't know how to ski or snowboard (I know, I know!!) so I can't attest to that, but I heard the "pow" was fantastic while we were there. We visited the first weekend in March with some friends and stayed with family, so our trip was more of a relax and hangout type of trip. It was much needed and so much fun! I wasn't ready for it to be over (I wish we would have stayed two-ish days longer so I could have learned to snowboard)! I rounded up a few of the things we did / places we stopped at below. I really want to visit Crested Butte again in the summer to do more outdoor activities (like hiking).... I'm sure it is absolutely fabulous.

Apologies in advance for the lack of quality food and drinks photos - since we were with friends I wasn't in full-on travel blogger mode and chose to enjoy myself > taking photos non-stop. 
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February Favorites

OKC blogger Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK shares her favorite products from February
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen
Hi friends! Can you believe that February has come and gone? This month went by much quicker than January...but to be fair it is three days shorter! I'm excited to be hopping on a jet plane this afternoon to go somewhere veeeerryyy chilly for the weekend. I'm definitely ready for spring weather and a bit more color in my wardrobe, but I'm OK wearing beanies and cute sweaters a few more times + I'm really looking forward to a few days away. There's a Pinterest quote that says "sometimes you just need a little adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul," and I couldn't agree more. Not that life is bad, it's just routine. I love traveling because gives me something to look forward to and be excited about, but it also helps me appreciate my routine all at the same time.

Needless to say, stay tuned to Instagram stories to see where I'm headed! My favorite new products and purchases from February are below!

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OKC By the Districts: Midtown

OKC Blogger Amanda's OK shares her favorite spots in Midtown
Striped Sweater | Similar White Jeans | Black Slip-On Sneakers, size down a 1/2 size

Hi, friends! In 2018 I did a monthly "Best of OKC" series and those posts were by far the most popular posts of the year. I wanted to switch it up a bit in 2019 but I really struggled to find the right angle (reasons why this is just now going up at the end of February). I asked my local followers on Instagram stories for ideas and "OKC by the Districts" was the clear winner......so here we are!

As Oklahoma City has grown, each district has really taken on a character of its own. They all have their own vibe, their own culture, and their own local establishments, but they are all equally as fun (and delicious). Midtown, Downtown, Automobile Alley, Uptown 23rd, Paseo, The Plaza, Film Row.....I love certain things about each and every one! Throughout 2019, I'll take you through my favorite local hot spots and hole in the walls alike as we go district by district through the city I call home. I'll give you the information and tools necessary to put a full day of fun into action.

Let's kick this series off in Midtown! Midtown is probably my favorite district of them all (and it is one of the closest to my house) so I spend a lot of time there. If you followed my Best of OKC series, you will probably recognize a lot of the businesses below because I frequent them! I love that you can spend the whole day in Midtown going from coffee to lunch to patio drinking to dinner and everything is within walking distance (or lime-ing / bird-ing distance).
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Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurinaONEVisibleDifferences #CollectiveBias

Hover over this image to shop Chloe's new favorite dog food, Purina ONE®, available at Walmart.com!

It's no secret that health and wellness is super important in the Martin household.....but being healthy is not just for the human family members! Chloe recently took the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge and saw some seriously "paws-itive" changes. Throughout the challenge, in addition to eating Purina ONE®, Chloe put her paws on the pavement! More walks? Yes, please! Pairing a balanced, healthy diet with regular activity is the key to success, no matter if you're a pup or a person.

We love feeding Chloe Purina ONE® because every ingredient has a purpose (just like our human diet). The kibble is 0% filler, 100% nutrition, and it supports a complete and balanced diet. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients so we can trust that Chloe is getting everything she needs to live a healthy life.
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President's Day Sales

OKC Blogger Amanda's OK Shares her President's Day Sale Picks
Denim Jacket, on sale! | Camo Pants, 40% off | FP Scarf | OTBT Wedge Sneakers, 10% off with code AMANDASOK | Glasses | Lips, color is Patina

If you're a luckier person than I and you actually have today off work, I hate you.

Kidding. Kinda. President's Day is probably one of my least favorite days of the year. I work at a financial institution so we are closed on all federal holidays (eh hem, today), but we have a mandatory all employee meeting every year on President's Day, so I still have to go in to work. Womp womp. C works for a bank, so he is off today and it is absolutely and completely NOT FAIR. But shopping is great therapy and there are SO MANY President's Day sales going on right now, so I'll be fine! I rounded up some of my favs + a few of my sale picks below!

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14 Things to Look for in a Husband

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin shares 14 things to look for in a husband in honor of Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you! Yesterday was my wonderful husband's birthday and today is THE day of love so I thought it was only natural to devote this post to him! Last year on Valentine's Day I shared 14 Reasons I Love My Husband (all of those still hold true - I'm seriously the luckiest!) .... today, I want to share 14 Things to Look for in a Husband. 14 because it's February 14th, clearly :)

I'm gonna be honest, I kissed a few too many frogs before finding a prince. Some of them weren't so bad (they just weren't so "right" either) but others....yikes! All that to say, I truly believe that there really is someone out there that is made for you. They say marriage is work, yes, there is some give and take, but it shouldn't be hard work or strenuous work...ya know? The right relationship should come naturally and be a perfect fit for both of your personalities, characters and lifestyles.
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An Honest Rothy's Review

Blogger Amanda's OK shares an honest review of Rothy's The Point

Hi Friends! Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start. I got a pair of Rothy's for Christmas and no lie, every single time I wear them, someone asks my thoughts on them! I shared a little bit about them in my January Favorites post, but thought I would dive in and give you a full, honest Rothy's review. I'm not sparing any details! I have The Point style in Persimmon, for reference, but they also have a loafer, a sneaker, a standard [ballerina] flat and a TON of fun colors and designs to choose from. I'm totally crushing on the camo, the zebra and aaaall the leopards. I'd take a pair in every color, really!

For a little background, Rothy's are made from water bottles. The company has been in business for three years and they have already taken 20 million plastic bottles and repurposed them into flats. How's that for going green?! There is no waist throughout the entire shoe making process! People rave about their Rothy's for work, for travel, and for everything in between, but they're PRICEY ($145 a pair) so it's understandable to question if they live up to the hype. Below are the questions I had prior to owning a pair that I thought would be helpful in deciding if they're worth the splurge!
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Valentine's Day Outfit Inspo

Blogger Amanda's OK Shares ideas on what to wear for Valentine's Day
Heart Sweater c/o Chicwish | Pink Maxi Skirt c/o Chicwish | Gucci Purse, Dupe Here | Similar Michael Kors Flats | Lips, color is Twig

The month of love is here! Some love it, others hate it. I'm neutral. I actually haven't been single on Valentine's Day since I was 14 (HA!) but I've also never been overly into celebrating the holiday. Now-a-days, Cole's birthday is the day before Valentine's so we celebrate that big and lay low on V-Day. Note that that also means I celebrate his birthday in lieu of Galentine's Day, but I wouldn't trade it for the world (I could be persuaded to trade it for chocolate cake, though .... I kid I kid).

Our Valentine's Day tradition is to order Chinese take out and eat at home by candlelight! It's become something that we look forward to each year. We exchange small gifts (like, $30 a person) because Christmas is in December, my birthday is in January and his is in February so we are usually gifted out come Valentine's! But, those small gifts are often things we put a lot of thought into and they are always fun and special.

Even though we don't go out on a Valentine's date, I still like to dress the part leading up to it and revel in all things love! Any excuse to wear pink and eat candy....I'm here for it! I rounded up some Valentine's Day outfit inspo including comfy PJs, date night looks and cozy sweaters.....no matter what your plans are, I gotchu!
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How I Use Hartz Dog Pads for Large Breed Dogs

Blogger Amanda's OK shares why she uses Hartz Dog Pads for her large breed dogs

Thank you Hartz for sponsoring this post. Hartz Dog Pads are America’s #1 brand of dog pads and are available nationwide at Walmart, Amazon and your local grocery store.

When most people think of "Dog Pads," potty training probably comes to mind. Though they work great for puppies who are learning and small apartment dogs who are inside all day, dog pads can be used for dogs of all shapes and sizes! They serve more of a purpose than just potty pads.

I have two large breed dogs: a Bernese Mountain Dog, Kylo, and a Great Pyrenees Mix, Chloe (you can follow them on Instagram here). I love them to pieces and will always be a large breed dog kind of girl, but my goodness they track in so much dirt! My house, my floors, my car, my furniture.....it's all covered in dog hair, leaves, dirt and muddy paw prints. I promise I clean my house every weekend, but you wouldn't know it if you dropped by on a random Thursday! Throughout the winter when there is snow, sleet, etc., it has been extra hard to keep things clean.....that is, until I started using Hartz Dog Pads!
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January Favorites

Blogger Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK shares her favorite new additions from January
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen

Truth time, ya'll. Last year, I think I started 75% or more of my monthly favorites posts with "How is [insert month] already over?" This month though.......... I feel like this is January 74th! I think October-November-December as a whole went by faster than January did. Maybe because I'm not eating sweets during the work week and trying not to drink alcohol this month.........that's probably it.

Needless to say, I've found a TON of new products this month that I've been loving! I received a lot of Sephora and Ulta gift cards in my stocking at Christmas so I stocked up on beauty products + there are a few Christmas gifts that I have truly loved and had yet to share. Check them all out below!

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Classic Jewelry for Valentine's Day

OKC Blogger Amanda's OK shares ideas for Valentine's Day gifts
Wrap Top, on sale for $10, runs big | Button Up Skinny Jeans (Size Down) | Lace Bralette | Cognac Pumps | Pearl Necklace & Earring Set, c/o Roma Jewelry, use code AMANDASOK20 for 20% off | Lips, color is Velvet Teddy 

Jackie Kennedy once said, "Pearls are always appropriate," and I couldn't agree more. For as long as I can remember, pearls have been my favorite type of jewelry. Don't get me wrong, I would never be disappointed in diamonds or morganite, but there is something about pearls that screams class and sophistication and I'm here for it. Plus, they literally match everything. Pearls are always appropriate because they can be dressed up or dressed down, which I love, and they are slightly more budget friendly than other gemstones (a nice bonus!).

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about gifts. Whether that be gifts to give a Galentine or gifts to put on your own wish list (hint hint, hubby). I have been wearing this Freshwater Pearl set from Roma Jewelry non-stop lately and thought it was such a classic piece of jewelry for Valentine's Day, either to give or receive! The best part? The set is marked down to only $39 so it fits any budget!
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My Top 6 Favorite Candles

Oklahoma City Blogger Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK share her top six favorite candles
Similar Coffee Candle

Confession: I am addicted to candles. I have a cupboard that is stocked year-round and, as my husband will confirm, I never pass up a good candle sale. I've tried my fair share of scents (some winners, some not) but there are a few select brands and scents that I keep coming back to. I thought I'd share my favorite candles below in case you are on the hunt for a new one! I think candles make such good gifts for housewarmings or birthdays, especially when paired with something else small (like a mug, wine glasses, a throw or a tea towel).

I burn candles year round, but there is something extra cozy about lighting a candle in the middle of winter and cozying up with a blanket, a hot beverage and a good book (or a big puppy, that works, too). Since it's been so chilly lately, I thought this was the perfect time to share my 6 favorite candles with you. So, without further ado.....
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An Honest T3 Micro Review

Blogger Amanda's OK shares her experience with T3 Micro products
Amour Sweatshirt, on sale for $17 | Faux Leather Leggings | Nike Juvenates | Designer Dupe Sunnies | Lips, color is Patina

Hi friends! I got a T3 Micro curling iron and hairdryer for Christmas - both had been on my wishlist for yeeeears. I always wondered if they were worth the cost / really as good as bloggers said they were. I received SO MANY questions on some recent Instagram stories about how I curl my hair, so I thought I would dive in and talk about my experience with T3! There will be a curl tutorial coming to my Instagram stories soon....stay tuned!

This is 100% NOT-sponsored, by the way. It's a completely honest review! I received the products as Christmas gifts and T3 has no idea I exist or am writing this.
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