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Happy 4th of July


Happy Fourth of July!

I hope today is a day where we can all put our differences aside and enjoy the freedoms we have here. It’s incredible to me when I think of all the opportunities and chances that I am blessed with just because I was born in America.

So in the midst of fireworks, cookouts, and parades take a moment to be thankful for what we have and those who have fought for it.

Love love,

Amanda

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Happy 3rd of July! I can’t believe we at already here, almost to the Fourth of July. This date seemed so far three and a half months ago when I was slaving away at a job that treated me like crap, just waiting for summer to come to finally start living again.  Thank goodness I had patience and support from a lot of good people and I feel like I am finally in the clear!

This weekend Shane and I headed out of town to his hometown to celebrate the fourth. Before that, we ran some errands and came across this beautiful rooftop fountain. Luckily I had my best little buddy there to shoot some photos! This dress is new, I found it at Ross for around $9.00. I am not usually the form fitting dress type, but I decided to give it a shot. It is summer after all and I’m still technically in my 20s!

I classed it up with a plaited headband braid (pardon my shameful roots) and some blingy gladiator sandals. I love this dress because it’s easy to dress down or I could dress it up for a date night or a night on the town. Lastly I paired it with my favorite accessory, my puppins!!!

I hope you are enjoying a (hopefully) long weekend as well. While I’m class in it up in this picture, I am currently in gym shorts, tank, and bikini and it feels amazing! Don’t forget to do at least one thing that makes you happy this weekend!

Love love,

Amanda

10 Things I Love About Summer


What I really should have titled this is “The Only 10 Things I Do Not Like About Summer”, because I am 100% obsessed with this season. Always have been, always will. Who needs winter when you can have ALL. OF. DIS. (Snap snap)

I will also be having a lot of more deep and soul searching posts in the coming weeks. To provide a little more lightness before that starts, here ya go!

Ten Things I Love About Summer

1.) No more perma cold. Yes, I am one of those people who are always cold. Summer doesn’t totally fix it (because air conditioning) but it sure helps!

2.) You get to go play outside. Winter in Oklahoma is not only cold but also icy and treacherous. Summer reopens my life back to hiking, kayaking, long walks, swimming, laying out, and so many other fun activities!

3.) Cold beer. Maybe it’s the Okie in me but I love cold beer. Cheap beer on top of that. Judge me for being unbloggerly but I love the stuff! And also now that I am no lover a teacher I can admit that without being secretly scared someone is going to come take me away…

4.) That goodtiredlayintheACfeeling. Who else knows that feeling where you have been in the sun all day and you wear yourself, come home, and lay in the cool AC? It’s the best. If you don’t know go try it now.

5,) Fashion. Fashion just becomes so much more fun to me in the summer. More options! I can be so girly or be a little tough girl like in this outfit I’m wearing above.

6.) Late sunsets. I am the sleepiest person you will meet, but the late sunsets in the summer even make me stay up late.

7.) Food. Shrimp boils. Hot dogs. Kabobs on the grill. Ice cream. Popsickes. Grilled pineapple (anybody else?). Fresh veggies. Food in the summer is just so fresh and delicious.

8.) Iced Coffee. Or a reason to drink my coffee sweet, iced, and delicious!

9.) Festivities  Cookouts, pool parties, late night hangs, and music fests sure aren’t happening in the winter!

10.) Brings out the inner child. I think everyone remembers back to childhood and playing outside, water balloon fights and long days in the sun (at least my generation here here!). The summer sun brings us all to life again.

What is your favorite thing or outfit for summer? 

Love love,

Amanda

Here’s To Scruffy Living

in other news my first crown braid! success!

enjoying this beautiful day!


Hello, and I have missed you. It has been such a crazy, painful, awesome, and life changing six weeks for me. In short, I quit my career. I started a new one. I moved to my first “tiny home”. I’m now in the middle of a personal cleanse where I really weigh who my friends are and who are not. These are all topics to really be discussed another time, another post, but I wanted my amazing readers to knew where I have been.

Now onto today’s topic. Recently one of my best friends since I was in elementary school posted this article in praise of “scruffy hospitality”.  What is scruffy hospitality? Scruffy hospitality in a nutshell is not waiting until your house is picture perfect to host people and make memories.

This hit my heart so much. How many of us wait for that picture perfect moment that we are wasting time not really living our lives? Not really enjoying every moment with our friends and family? I can’t count how many dinners I have stressed over, pushed the time later so I could do dishes, and had a not so great time because of my worry of appearances.  Even tonight I had the best dinner of rice a roni and sausage. With three sweet, amazing people. We sat at a messy table and talked about interests, relationships, and politics. Pretty pictures and meals are wonderful.  So are people. 

I also always want to promote on my blog that perfect pictures online are not the be all end all be all of a perfect life. They don’t show the mess in the corner cropped out. The outtakes. The laughs, the cringes, the awkward poses. It also doesn’t show the real experience. Which is most important.

Embarrasing but real. tired. dog in the way. awkward pose. smirking. still trying though!

Blogging is an amazing experience for me. I love the expression, the relationships, and the fun of it. Not the pictures. Life is the same. Focus on the life, the experiences, the fun before all else.  You only get this moment, so let’s make it count, together. 

8 Reasons You Are MORE Than Ready For Summer

Hello, lovelies. Welcome back.  I hope you are having a delightful week.  If not, you can rejoice (hopefully) in the fact that it is Thursday which means we are OH SO CLOSE to Friday!

Here in good ole OKC we have been having a variety of weather the past few weeks… tornadoes, thunderstorms, general cloudiness, and pretty much any weather NOT involving the sun. For someone who is pretty much a plant (I thrive on sunlight!) this has been no bueno for me.  I thought April showers brought May flowers? Soon, hopefully soon!

In the meantime, my apartments LUCKILY has a hot tub, which helps me at least pretend it is summer already and I am lounging by the pool, fishing, kayaking, walking the pups, and all those other awesome warm weather things.  I can sip my wine and RELAX.  If you can’t tell I am MORE than ready for summer.  I usually am not this antsy for the change of the seasons, especially since spring is usually very short in these parts, but this year is just different.

Here are my 8 Ways I Am MORE Than Ready for Summer:

  1.  My skin is officially borderlining between “Snow White” and “pale is the new tan” cuteness to more of a sickly “Edward of Twilight” color.  Especially next to my sister.
  2. Every night I pick out an adorable sunny day outfit, only to realize the next morning its back to tights and a shirt/dress/more tights over my tights sort of outfit.
  3. Fruits and veggies are finally easy to come by again in bright, non-drab colors that they display in supermarkets around here in the winter.
  4. Outdoor concerts sound fun again!.
  5. I’m a teacher. Need I say more?!
  6. Iced coffee sounds delicious again!
  7. Denim shorts, tanks, and swimmies are waiting on deck with a bottle of SPF 50.
  8.  Did I mention I’m a teacher?!

5 days left of school! So many new things are on the way, and summer just marks the beginning of them all! How do you know you are summer ready?

Graduation Weekend

Guess where I went this weekend…

Hello Lovelies! Let me start by saying Happy Graduation and CONGRATULATIONS to all the graduates this weekend!

This weekend I got to see my own lovely sister graduate from Texas Tech University with her Masters as a Nurse Practitioner.  I am so incredibly proud of her. We have been through A LOT together, and I love her to the moon and back.  She makes me so proud every day!

My beautiful sister and I.

I’m so proud of her!

This weekend was a fun weekend but a fast one.  We traveled to Lubbock, TX (6 hours from where I live) right after work Friday.  Oh, this is also after I got a ticket for “running a red light”.  Note to all: yellow=red. Le sigh…. Anyways, after I survived my run in with the law, THEN we headed to Lubbock.  I have been to Lubbock before, and it’s a decent town but not one I would necessarily pick haha.  There were Texas sized waffles, and lots of reasons to celebrate so it was still an awesome time.

It is always great when you have all of your favorite people together to celebrate something awesome!  It was unseasonally cool, especially for Texas!  I am so thankful I was a smart packer and packed two dress up outfits (my hopeful spring/summer outfit, and one for cooler weather).  I actually had a black leather jacket on over it, but took it off for pictures.  I loved it though, I felt cute, dressy, and warm! It was cool and rainy for most of the morning.

I am OBSESSED with this cobalt blue maxi skirt I found on consignment (Plato’s Closet) for $8.00.  I love the style of these high-waisted maxis.  They are super flattering, and easy to dress-up/dress-down.  I would dress this down with a soft grey or white tee and a felt hat.  I would dress it up more with a sleek bun and more accessories.  SInce graduation was during the day, I wore a statement necklace and sparkly sandals.  I sported a half top-knot to keep things fun and casual. Oh, one more thing about these skirts? SO. COMFORTABLE.

I love the sheer overlay on this skirt!

Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, TX.

Did you celebrate a graduation this weekend? What did you wear? Leave me some love in the comments!

 

Instas and things from my life

My new beautiful mug.. @LiliesandLattesBlog

Hello lovelies! Today I wanted to share some of my Instagram posts with you that haven’t made it to the blog this week.  I am definitely active on insta because it is easier for me to quickly snap a moment of my day right away then to post it here. Oh, and also I LOVE LOVE LOVE pictures so Instagram has always been my favorite social media! Follow me @LiliesandLattesBlog. Now, go go!

Also this cup is another one of my budget steals.  I found this lovely at Walmart (Yes Walmart!) for a steal at $4.97.  It is a ceramic to go cup with a plastic lid.  It keeps my coffee nice and hot, and I just feel so feminine drinking out of it.  Its these little details that I think help make your life lovely, especially when you can do it AND stay on budget.

Delicious pizza at home, with lilies.

With 9 days of school left, there is quite a bit of resting at home these weeks.  Yesterday was definitely one of those days, so a pizza was in order! I am always craving vegetables however, so I went with a spinach, mushroom, and garlic pizza topped with avocado. YUM.  I have never put avocado on my pizza, and with every basic fiber in my being I say TRY IT! So delicious. Oh, and of course beer to also help make it through these crazy next two weeks!

my summer shoes @LiliesandLattesBlog

This is definitely part of my self pampering this week (see yesterdays post!).  I went consignment shopping (after cleaning out my closet which always is so therapeutic to me).  I made some cash back which is awesome just for trading in items you don’t wear anymore.  I also scored these 3 BEAUTIFUL pairs of shoes for $20 for all 3!  I am really working on stepping up my shoe game this season, and I think I am ready! For more tips on consignment shopping see my post HERE.

sweet fur baby.

To close out, here is a picture of my most beloved fur babe, Puppins! He is a crazy little dude and I love being his fur mama.  This pup is one of the best anti-stress remedies for me because he is so silly and keeps me laughing (most of the time).

Also, tomorrow is FRI-YAY!

Love,

Amanda

Some Goals For May


Hello, lovelies. Welcome back and happy Wednesday.  While I know it is already May 11th, I thought there is no time like the present to start setting goals.  I decided to start thinking about my goals for May.  Before I actually get into those, let me tell you first what got me to this point.

I have always been a goal setter.  I am an over achiever (when it’s something I care about) and I will go the extra TEN miles if I need to to achieve it.  I don’t know if it’s because I grew up being an “honors kid”, always in advanced classes, or if it is because I am simply hard on myself.  Either way, I have always been goal driven.

 

I am 28 years old now, actually one month shy of 29.  My goals have definitely changed over the years, but in the last 6 months I have really decided to overhaul my LIFE goals.  There’s the tried and true “in front of me” goals, like eat healthier, exercise more, spend less, etc.  But I realized I wanted more specific life goals, because my life is changing.  I’m changing.  But it is God changing me and I know (even when it’s hard) it’s all for the best,

What brought on my recent goal setting? Honestly a huge showing of what I want to avoid in my life.  I have unfortunately seen so much negativity and disingenuous behavior in the past 6 months.  I have been blessed to be around so many sincere and honest people that I was sheltered from the idea that these people existed. Catty, deceitful people who don’t seem to have passed their adolescence.  Women who will be kind to your face and then pick you apart the minute you walk out of the door.  Things I have no respect for.

 

I am moving forward by focusing on my own life and my own goals.  Knowing that I stand for what I believe in whether it is the popular thing or not.  I am also happy to make goals to move me away from these kind of people who have no urgency to change for the better.  I will definitely open up more on this subject when I am ready.  In the meantime, here are my goals for May, and why I know I need them:

  1.  Self care.  In the past few months my job and other obligations have taken a big toll on my stress level.  Although it may seem from my blog that I indulge in a lot of self care, I really have fallen short lately.  I think self care is so important to women, because we give so much of ourselves with often little in return.  To me it can be the smallest things.  Using a delicious creamer in your coffee, doing some stretches in the morning, taking a bath rather than a shower, or taking a walk through your neighborhood.  Self care is whatever helps you to feel happy and loved just for being you.  Something for you, and for no one else.
  2. More nature. I mean this inside and out.  I want to encourage myself to eat more greens, veggies, and fruit.  I also want to get out in the sunshine and outdoors as often as possible.  I swear I am a flower, because I get very sad when I don’t get outside and in the sunshine.  Now that it is May, I definitely need to take advantage of this sun!
  3. Handle it right away. What I mean by this is handle projects and tasks as quickly as I can when I have them.  I am a terrible procrastinator, and part of that is my level of exhaustion from work right now.  However, I still want to encourage myself to handle things as quickly as is comfortable possible for me so I can eliminate that stress.
  4. Laugh often. This may seem silly, but right now with my work situation I find myself not laughing like I normally do. I also have other financial and personal stress weighing me down currently.  I want to try and encourage myself to enjoy as many minutes of the day as possible.  Whether it’s playing with my puppy, or watching New Girl, or talking to a friend who always makes me laugh, I know I need this.

What are your goals for May? Leave me comments and encouragement in the comments below! Adieu, my loves!

Amanda

Word Up

Word up, homies, and a happiy Monday afternoon to you.  I am currently in a state of Oklahoma spring weather exhaustion.  If you are not sure what that means (aka you are not from nor have ever lived in Oklahoma), it is that time during April and May every year where our grand ole state decides to produce mass amounts of swirling, destructive tornados.  I want to say there have been 5 in the last 24 hours? Not all in my area, but across the state.  This has you staying up late watching weather, learning Oklahoma geography, and possibly hunkering down in storm shelters and bathrooms.  While I know that there is a relatively unlikely chance of them actually touching down where I am, I have been in two in the last two years that came within 3 miles or less of my house.  SCARY.  Needless to say, my nerves get shot anytime the weathermen are tracking storms now a days.  Anyone else out there with me?!

Other than that, this weekend was great and jam packed.  I celebrated my sweet friends 28th birthday at the zoo, visited with my sister and nephew, and went out of town for mothers day.  The weather (aside from nasty tornadoes and hail) has been gorgeous! Warm temperatures, partly cloudy skies during the day and highs in the 70’s and 80’s. This is honestly my ideal weather.  I splurged on a set of hammocks for my porch, and they are my favorite thing right now.  I actually just came in from reading a book (now that storms are far past us) and cuddling up in the hammock.  It is seriously the perfect way to end your day and watch the sunset.  If you haven’t ever done it, I dare you to!

All of this beautiful, warm, and lazy weather has me craving very cool and comfy outfits.   Outfits that call for a topknot, a pair of sandals, and a walk through the park.  The kind of things you can plop down in the grass in and be totally fine.  Honestly that is my whole vibe this summer, which is funny as I am usually much more dressy and frou frou.

Since I am loving laid back style I have been in search of stylish loose tank tops that can go with literally anything.  This find is my favorite in my closet right now.  It is originally from Forever 21, but I found mine at a consignment shop (like new) for only $4.50 (!!!!).  I wear it with jeans, shorts, sweats, and even a black maxi skirt here.  This look is so perfect for running around in because it is cute and comfortable all at the same time.

Also my first foray into the half top knot.  I seriously hated this hairstyle when I first saw it and now I really love it.  Who knew?!

What style are you living in this spring? Leave me love in the comments below!

Love,

Amanda

Fri-YAY!!!

Happy Fri-Yay everybody!

I am so thankful for this beautiful Friday today.  It is sunny and 80 degrees outside in dear old OKC, which is a rare treat because it’s usually somewhere closer to 30 degrees or 102 degrees.  Oh, and did I mention it’s Friday? With about 15 days left of school, the kids are crazy and I think us teachers are feeling crazier!

Speaking of crazy, LIFE itself has just been nuts lately.  I am moving (again) in June because my apartments are raising my rent $75 a month! It’s a great apartment, but already more than I want to spend.  I found the perfect place YESTERDAY and I am so excited.  It will be much smaller (I have about 750 square feet now and I will be changing to 500 square feet).  This may sound so strange, but I am so pumped to narrow down my belongings (even my clothes) to my favorite things that I actually utilize.  I am in love with the tiny house trend that has been going on (where you buy a very small house and save a TON of money to put towards land and just general financial freedom).  This is going to be my best trial run to see if I can SURVIVE in a tiny house in the future! I already feel more financially free knowing my rent will be much lower.  I also plan on selling and donating things that I don’t use or won’t serve me anymore.

The other changes (all good) will be posted soon but not today! I gotta keep you reading! Also check the picture above.  This was my mini-CInco De Mayo celebration!  Ritas, guacomole, some beautiful flowers that were gifted to me for Teacher Appreciation Week… perfect.  However, the end of year exhaustion set in so the celebration didn’t last too long!

Leave me love in the comments below! I am looking for any suggestions for decorating a tiny space in particular!

Love,

Amanda