Black Friday Traditions

Black Friday is next week and I’m really excited for that day. I’m not excited because of shopping and sales, but because of a Black Friday tradition my family and I have done for probably close to 15 years. Each Black Friday morning, we sleep in a little bit, throw on comfy clothes, and then meet up at Utica Square in Tulsa for coffee and shopping. Utica Square is located in mid-town Tulsa, OK and it’s such a gem to the community. The Square is an outdoor shopping center that houses stores like Madewell, Gap, Loft, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Kendra Scott, Starbucks, etc. It is so beautiful there around the fall and the holidays! On Thanksgiving night, the Square has the tradition of gathering people there to watch as they turn on the Christmas lights–that is such a fun event to go to also. Utica Square just holds a special place in my heart because of the memories, it’s a great place to take a walk, it’s where I take the majority of my blog photos, and because it always makes me so excited for the holidays.

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Maybe I’ll see you there on Black Friday! What are some of your Black Friday traditions?

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George : Coffee + Provisions

When I was in Dallas last week, I spent quite a bit of time working and drinking coffee at George : Coffee + Provisions in Coppell, TX. This coffee-house was opened this summer and since then it has become a hub of activity and place of gathering. George is such a warm, welcoming, and inviting environment for meetings, studying, or just for an awesome cup of coffee. The owners, Christian and Laura, put their heart into everything that represents George and in turn it has becoming the heart of the Coppell community. I was able to take some photos of the coffee-house and couldn’t wait to share them with you. If you are ever in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas–please go by George and support this local business!

Welcome to George

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I think I may have had most of the different latte flavors, cold brew, and house coffee and they are all amazing. The coffee is very rich and full-bodied–so it’s sure to give you the caffeine fix that you need.

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I love the clean, bright, and fresh aesthetic of George! Don’t you just want to hang out there all day?

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There is also plenty of stall seating and a large room in the back, although it was so busy that I couldn’t get any photos without disturbing others. I hope you get the chance to visit George soon and that you love it as much as so many others do!

September Favorites

I can’t believe September is already over! I look forward to that month every year and then it just seems to fly by way too fast. September brought so many good memories, cool weather, and I know fall is just getting started. Today I’m going to tell you about my favorite things from September, which is fitting because September is also my favorite month and this is my favorite time of the year.

“Chumpkin” Lattes. I’m really not a huge fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte obsession but I did have a birthday free drink at Starbucks the other day and thought “why not just get a trendy, free one.” I saw they have a new Pumpkin Spice CHAI Tea Latte and that sounded like something I would enjoy because I love chai. I had THE most amazing vanilla chai when I was visiting cousins in Virginia recently, and I’ve been looking for a chai to help fill that void since. While the PSL Chai Latte was amazing and tasted like the holidays in a cup–it was extremely sweet so you might want to ask that they not put so much syrup in it. I looked later and for a Venti sized drink, there were 5 pumps of PSL and 5 pumps of chai. Yikes. Shades of Brown on Brookside, in Tulsa, does a really yummy replica of this drink that’s not nearly as sweet.

Maple Sea Salt RX Bar. Since doing Whole30 a few times, I’ve come to enjoy RX Bars a lot because of the ingredients. RX Bar recently came out with a Maple Sea Salt flavor and it was heavenly.

Thunder by Imagine Dragons. I’ve been training for another half marathon lately and this song has pretty much been on repeat on runs. I love the beat of songs like this that make you want to move and push yourself harder. This song will definitely be on my music play list on race day.

Next I have a few beauty favorites…

 

NYX Wonder Stick. This product is meant for contouring but I’ve been using it as a bronzer. I’ve had issues with powder bronzers working for a while but then getting muddy on my face. One end has a light cream highlighter and the other has the darker shade–I don’t really use the light shade that much but I really like the product as a whole because it’s really easy to blend out.

Glossier Generation G Matte Lipstick. Oh, Glossier! My sweet cousin bought me a few Glossier items for my birthday and I got SOOO excited once I saw the iconic pink, bubble packaging. I received the Generation G Lipstick in the shade Leo and it is the PERFECT shade for me because it’s the color of my natural lips. The formula of this is very creamy and it has been long-lasting so far.

Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom. I’ve heard so much about the Balm Dotcom product and was really wanting to try it. The Rose scent/flavor is slightly tinted and has been a very moisturizing lip product to use. You can also use this on your hands, cuticles, elbows, etc. Thank you, Bec!!

Valjean Labs Facial Serum in Glow. I found this serum for around $6 at TJ Maxx when I was looking for a new bottle of vitamin c serum. This is very similar to the Glossier Super Glow Serum from what I can tell. I’ve been focusing on trying to even out my skin tone and lighten acne scars, and this has helped a lot in the few weeks I’ve been using it.

Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream. I received this moisturizer in my July BlessBox and I still love it! I’ve been using this at night and it feels like it restores my skin while I sleep. The formula is also very thick–so you don’t need to use a lot. You can see how much I’ve used since July in the picture below.

Fall Closet Essentials PDF. One of my favorite blogs to follow is The Fresh Exchange. One of the recent blog posts gave readers a PDF of Fall Closet Essentials and that has been super helpful to determine what I might be missing for the upcoming months.

Ankle Boots. IT’S BOOT SEASON!! I used to wear riding boots non-stop during the fall but in recent years I’ve only been wearing ankle boots. I was looking for a tan-ish pair of ankle boots to add to my closet and really liked these that I found at Target! I even had a Cartwheel discount for them–the Cartwheel app is a must have. This boot is called the DC Dylan Laser Cut Split Booties in Gray and I’ve had so many complements already in the few weeks I’ve worn them.

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My Autumn Mood Board

I hope you are having a wonderful September so far! I spent Labor Day weekend in Virginia and it is definitely preparing for autumn weather. September always makes me so excited for autumn because I love the colors of nature, the cozy layers of clothes, crisp mornings and nights, warm food, etc. Today I’m sharing some images with you that get me in the mood for autumn and I hope for you, as well. I’m not ready to embrace all things pumpkin spice, actually I don’t even like pumpkin spice, but I hope you understand my love of September.

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How to Become a Morning Person

Over the last few months I found myself in a bad rut when it came to getting up early and being an over-all morning person. However, I recently started a new routine and it has worked to get my sleepy bum out of bed and ready for the day. I wanted to share with you my tips for becoming a morning person, in case you’re in the same boat that I was.

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Set a schedule for the week. On Sunday nights, I have been making a schedule for the upcoming week that way I know what mornings I need to be up earlier than others, and what days I can afford to sleep in a little bit longer. By doing this, it helps me to be ok when the alarm goes off at 5am because I know that the next morning I may not have to get up that early.

Find an alarm that works for you. I have mentioned this app before but the only alarm I use is the Sleep Cycle App. This app allows you to be gradually woken up by the time you need your alarm to go off– instead of being startled to death, shaken out of deep sleep, terrified that you’re going to be late for work, etc, like the traditional alarm clock awakenings.

Just get up. Yep, just get up. When you hear your alarm off, whip off the covers and make yourself get out of bed! I can’t count the number of times that I’ve said “well I’ll just lay here for a few more minutes” and then I end up waking up an hour later. This may be the hardest part of the morning, but if you can will yourself out of bed–you can do anything!

Take your time and don’t rush. By getting up, moving, and setting a routine for myself in the morning, I have found that I’m not rushing around as frantically as I used to. By setting a routine, you too can enjoy your mornings before heading off to a hectic, busy day at the office.

Have a cup of coffee. This probably should have been the first tip, haha! I cannot function very well at all until I get some coffee in my system. My friends and family know that the pre-coffee Amy is totally different from the caffeinated Amy, i.e. not being able to have a conversation pre-coffee (sorry y’all). I also really love having some time just for drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and not having to drink it in the car.

Stick with your routine. I think it takes about a month for new habits to be formed and so once you find a routine that works for you, stick with it! If you can have a productive morning and then have evenings with more free time, I think it is totally worth it!

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