Ask Anything Answers: Part 2 [A Vlog]


Hello! I'm still working away in Salt Lake City this week, but I made another vlog to answer more of the questions you asked me, so I hope you enjoy. 

See the first round of questions here.
And as always, if you have a question you would like answered, enter it here.

The video should be embedded below, but in case it's not, watch it on YouTube by clicking here. Alsooooo, I am SO sorry about the weird beeping noise. My computer is on the fritz! It's a refurbished Mac from 2008, so... yeah. It's an old grumpy thing.

Here are the questions I'm answering in this vlog, along with the times in the video when each question starts so you can skip ahead if you want: 

1. (0:53) You are alone by yourself (Jordan is out), and you choose to watch a movie. What do you watch?
2. (1:28) At what time of day does Jordan's butt look best?
3. (2:06) Tell us about your family (siblings, parents, closeness, etc). How have those dynamics changed as you have gotten older?
4. (5:00) Are you planning to run another Tough Mudder?
5. (6:26) What is your favorite type of bra?
6. (7:51) Do you have any more marathons on your bucket list?
7. (8:41) Do you and Jordan plan to buy a house soon?
8. (9:48) Will you be my bff?

I'm going to get Jordan in on some of the questions in the next answer post! Maybe I can convince him to do a vlog with me, but no promises.

Housekeeping + Links to Love


Hello! This week I will be in Salt Lake City for work. I'll be gone until Sunday afternoon, so, like alllll week. I thought about setting up a meal train for Jordan so he wouldn't just eat rice and ramen every day, but then I decided it would be much more fun to leave him to his own devices. So yeah. Wish him luck.

That picture above was the view from my hotel room when I went to SLC back in June, also for work. I have meetings and sessions scheduled, so my access to blog emails will be sporadic, if possible at all. I did schedule another vlog to post on Wednesday answering some more questions I got from you guys, so check back for that!

Hopefully I won't have the same issue as what happened last time I went on a business trip to Salt Lake City. It definitely helps that I've already been on one trip, so I sort of know what to expect. Still, I would appreciate any prayers for safety and that I won't stress out! I'm leading two different meetings, and I hope everything goes well.

Coming up in March, I have a few posts in the works you can be looking for:

1) Another Blog Talk post! I have the topic already, but I'll keep you all in suspense for now.
2) Linking up with Jenna and Anne for a "Currently" post on March 4.
3) A review and giveaway of a healthy and delicious snack as part of the Sweat Pink Ambassador program.
4) Answers to more of the "Ask Anything" questions. I told you I got a lot of good ones! You can see answers to the first set of questions here. The comment box is still open if you want to ask a question. Totally anonymous.

Today I thought I would share some current life updates and favorite links from around the web that I've come across recently. Enjoy!

-Over the last year or so, I have been trying to move away from chemicals and look for more natural products to use on my face, hair, and body. Caroline wrote a great post on the dangers of Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), which is a chemical in most lotions, shampoos, and soaps. Since then, I've moved away from Bath & Body Works soaps and started buying all-natural, organic bars of soap. I also use a baking soda/water shampoo combo on my hair once a week, which works fantastic.  (Jordan thinks I'm becoming a hippie, but WHATEVER I'M KEEPING US HEALTHY.) 
Recently, Tracy posted about a brand called Yes to, and after checking it out online I decided to order a facial cleanser and night cream from the Yes to Carrots collection to try out. It's 96% natural with no SLS (yay!) and no fragrance (which is another harmful chemical found in a lot of lotions and such). Oh my word. You guys, I love this stuff! Even Jordan loves it. He's washing his face regularly for the first time since high school! He says his face feels so clean and not dry at all. I've loving the night cream as well. Definitely recommend if you're looking for a more natural product line.

-I look forward to these monthly desktop calendars and have been using them on my work computer for about a year. Aren't they gorgeous?

-This article about singleness is fantastic. I'm not single, obviously, but I still appreciated the article and shared it with some single friends of mine, who liked it too.

-My dad started a podcast recently! If you want to, you can check it out right here or here.

-This Pinterest board has a lot of thought-provoking posts if you feel like browsing around.

-Sarah's post on contentment totally resonated with me.

-I am encouraged, inspired, and let's be honest a little convicted by Rachel's passion for sharing about Jesus.

-A few weeks ago I made this recipe I found on Pinterest, and it was Jordan and Amanda approved. Super easy and delish. Officially added to my "Entrees I've Tried and Liked" board.
-I finished my Project Life pages for January and couldn't be happier. This is so much fun!  I plan on sharing my pages soon. I know some of you said you were interested in seeing some updates throughout the year. Find out more about Project Life here, and there's also a digital version (and an app!) for those of you techy people.

-Stationary, hand-lettering, and cute cards are my kryptonite. Especially when they're from Etsy. Because Etsy. Currently loving this, this, and this.

See you on Wednesday for another Q&A vlog! And please excuse me if it takes a few days for me to answer comments. I blame the mountains.

An Elbow to the Face


Me: Remember, we're getting each other cards for Valentine's Day.
Jordan: What? I thought we weren't doing anything! 
Me: Well, we're getting cards. We do that every year. 
Jordan: *giant sigh* Fine. I'll get you a card.

On Saturday, Jordan and I drove to Target together to buy each other cards for Valentine's Day. But instead of buying them, guess what we did? We picked them out, showed them to each other, and put them back. Then we bought ice cream with the $6 we saved. Genius.

So that's how we did Valentine's Day this year. 
Then I had a Chinese food take-out baby. 
Because egg rolls.

Jordan: Do you remember what happened last night?
Me: That depends.
Jordan: When I came to bed, you were already sleeping. I leaned over to kiss you, and you rolled over and elbowed me in the face.
Me: Oops. Yeah, I don't remember that at all.
Jordan: Well it hurt.
Me: Well it's weird to apologize for something I didn't know I was doing, but I'm sorry.
Jordan: I accept your apology.

Jordan: You're usually really loud in the mornings, so this morning when I didn't hear you stomping around, I thought maybe you'd fallen asleep in the chair in the living room. I got worried you were going to be late, so I tried calling your name to wake you up.
Me: I definitely wasn't asleep, and I didn't hear you calling my name.
Jordan: Well I was too tired to call loudly, so I just kind of whispered it.
Me: Well that's not helpful.
Jordan: Yeah, well then right after that I heard you banging around again like normal so I went back to sleep.

Me: Have you eaten any of the ice cream?
Jordan: You mean the half gallon of ice cream we bought yesterday? No.
Me: Are you serious? But it's almost gone.
Jordan: Well I guess that means you ate it all.
Me: Can you just lie and tell me you ate some so I feel better?
Jordan: Yeah, you're right. I totally ate some.
Me: Awesome.
^^^ Posted this on Twitter on Saturday with the caption: Trying to take a Valentine's Day selfie with my new iphone. #nailed it

You guys, he gets me.

Airia One // Running Shoe Review


I received these shoes last fall from Airia to try out and review on the blog. I was curious to try them, because they are definitely the strangest shoes I've ever seen.

As you can see, the toes are created to point up, so these are shoes only for running, not even for walking. The design is supposed to (from the Airia website) "better optimize the forces of the stride into forward momentum." Testers have reported that the shoes have helped them run up to 7% faster.
Airia shoes are designed in Sweden and are not currently available to buy from retailers in the United States. They do, however, offer free international shipping and 30-day returns in any condition. With a $79 price tag, these shoes are a fair price when compared to your typical running shoe from Brooks or Saucony or a brand like that.

The website does state that these shoes aren't for everyone, so they're kind of a gamble as far as whether or not you will like running in them. 

So what did I think?

First, just as far as the materials they're made out of, these shoes are of really good quality. The upper part is an open mesh with nylon topping; the bottom is Vibram ICE Trek rubber.
It's a strange feeling when you first put them on, because your toes are pointed up, and the sole has bumps on the outside that kind of make your foot turn in. The shoes came with a paper telling me to work up to wearing them for long runs by running only a mile or two at a time, eventually building up to a 10k. Similar to the concept of a minimalist shoe, these work your calves more than a regular running shoe, so that takes some getting used to as well.

However, once I got going and figured out the rhythm I needed to run with them, I actually really liked the Airias. I can't say for certain whether or not they made me faster, only because--to be completely honest--I never tried timing myself and actually racing in them, and I never wore them consistently for my runs. However, I can definitely see how the curved design would use forward momentum to help you go faster.

I can't give these a solid recommendation only because, like I said, I don't think this type of shoe is for everyone. But with free shipping and a 30-day guaranteed return with the shoes in any condition, they might be worth checking out if they sound interesting to you. You can find out more about the shoe, the company, and some FAQs on the Airia website. Thanks to Airia for letting me try these shoes out!

*I did receive a pair of Airia One shoes for free, but all opinions are my own.

What brand of shoes are your favorite? 
Do you think you would ever try a shoe like this?

Ask Anything Answers: Part 1 [A Vlog]


In today's post, I will be answering some of the questions I got in my "ask anything" post a few weeks ago. The comment box is still open, so feel free to keep adding questions! 

Below the video are the questions I answered in this first vlog. Next to each question are the times so you can jump to a specific question if you don't feel like watching the whole thing. The video should be embedded into the post, but if you're having trouble, watch it on YouTube here.

1. (0:30) Do you ever plan on moving from Oklahoma?
2. (1:03) If you didn't live in Oklahoma, where would you live?
3. (1:37) What does Jordan do for his job?
4. (2:56) How often have you edited/deleted old blog posts?
5. (4:25) Name a habit you are most proud of.
6. (6:00) You used to respond to almost every comment that you got, but I've noticed your responses are way down. What changed?

More answers will be coming at you soon! 

Question: Do you like the vlogs, or would you rather I just wrote down all the answers in a regular blog post?

Fuzzy Tacos and Selfie Sticks


In case you haven't noticed, Jordan and I aren't so much what you would call high-maintenance holiday people. Don't get me wrong: I love gifts. But once I realized that being married and sharing a bank account basically means that when you exchange gifts you're really just accepting a gift someone bought you with your own money, I was kind of over exchanging gifts for Valentine's Day or anniversaries.

Plus, I never wanted to be one of those girls who had secret expectations about things I wanted and then got mad at Jordan when I didn't get them. So ever since we started dating, I try to make it clear to Jordan exactly what I am expecting or what I want to do on special occasions (birthdays, anniversary, etc.). Writing that out makes me sound like a nazi, but the truth is, Jordan doesn't really care what we do and I usually do care (maybe because I'm the girl? I don't know), so it just works out better for my own state of mind and our relationship if we're both on the same page.

All that long ramble to say, we don't make a huge deal out of Valentine's Day. Every year we get each other a card and order Chinese or go out to eat or something. Except we never go out to eat on Valentine's Day, because it's pure madness out there.

Something we do every year, unrelated to Valentine's Day, is go to a Thunder basketball game. We've gone to at least one game every year since they came to town (Oklahoma's first and only professional sports team!). Last year my whole family came up from Texas, and we went to a game.

This year, I bought tickets for a home game on February 2, and we decided that was going to be our Valentine's date. It was a Monday, and after work we changed and headed downtown. First stop: Fuzzy's Taco Shop for dinner. Do you have a Fuzzy's in your town? I think it's the absolute worst name for a restaurant, but the tacos are delicious. 

I married him for the dimples.

I swear there's not a bad seat in the stadium. Except for the one time two years ago when I splurged on tickets in the lower section, we always end up sitting in the cheap seats, four or five rows from the top. At first when you walk in you get a little bit of vertigo, but after that it's just fine. The 7-foot players look like ants, but whatever.  

It was really fun just sitting and talking and watching the game. The Thunder won, so that made it even more fun! After the game, we attempted a selfie, but Jordan is terrible at taking selfies with his phone, so it was pretty much a blurry mess.

I think we need a selfie stick. But then again...

So that was our Valentine's 2015! Tomorrow I think we'll maybe order Chinese and chill at home. I hope those of you who are braving the crowded restaurants have fun!

*Related: Why We Don't Buy Gifts for Valentine's Day

Do you like Valentine's Day? 
Do you and your significant other buy each other gifts?

Dear Brand-New Blogger...


Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo

Today I'm linking up with Kiki for another round of her monthly linkup: The Circle! Get more details about this linkup here. This month's prompt is: a letter to our past self.

I'm getting a lot of great questions in my "Ask Anything" post, and a few of you have asked for my best advice for new bloggers. While clearly I am not a blogging prodigy of any kind, this May I will have been blogging for five years! In that time, I haven't taken any extended breaks longer than a week or two, and those were due to me being out of town or something. I don't have thousands of followers, but I think I have advice to offer new bloggers just starting out.

So if I could tell my brand-new blogger self anything, here's what I would say...

Dear Amanda, 

Congratulations! You decided to start a blog. It's going to be a lot of work, but you're really going to have fun with it. 

There are a lot of things to learn about blogging. For one thing, it's going to take you a week of Googling to figure out how to make a blog button. And I know you're wondering how other bloggers edit their pictures to put that fun text on them and draw arrows and stuff. Listen carefully: Buy Photoshop Elements on sale off Amazon as soon as possible. It will be $50 well spent.

In the beginning, you won't have very many followers. Okay, let's get real: you will have Jordan and your mom as followers. But don't stop writing. In the beginning, and for a long time after that, you won't have very many readers. You know that secret hope you have that people will randomly stumble upon your blog and soon you will be blog famous? Yeah, that's not going to happen.

But there are going to be other blogs, ones much newer than yours, and some of them are going to have hundreds and even thousands of followers after just a few months. I know it's frustrating to see other blogs grow a lot when you feel like yours isn't growing much at all, but keep writing. You can't see it yet, but blogging is helping you become a better writer and a better photographer.

Join linkups and comment on other blogs, and soon you'll find some bloggers you really love reading. You'll even get to meet some of them!

Always remember that blogging means something different to everyone, and you need to forget what other people are doing and decide what blogging means for you. Don't worry that you aren't a real blog if you don't offer sponsorships. Don't worry that people won't like you if you talk about Jesus. Don't worry that your blog will die if you don't post 5 days a week.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, stop worrying about doing it "right" and just have fun.

Don't post that day if you don't want to. Don't sponsor that product if you hate it. Don't follow that blogger if you don't enjoy reading their blog. Or, do post every day. Sponsor all the things. Follow all the bloggers. There's no right way to blog, and there never will be. Don't let anyone tell you anything different.

Oh, and one more thing: name your blog The Lady Okie Blog. That other name you're thinking of is more like the title of a romance novel with Fabio on the front. Trust me.

See you in five years!

p.s. Legging are not pants. Tell everyone. 

-My "Blogging" Page
-Kiki's "Blog Talk" series 
-Erika on Blogging Numbers



No, I'm not announcing a pregnancy. 
This is much more important and life changing.

As of Friday, February 6, I am the proud owner of an iphone! What? I know it's madness. Over the span of 3 days, I went from:

iphones are the spawn of Satan to
I'm intrigued to 

maybe I want one to 
I want one to 
I bought one. 

Otherwise known as the 5 Stages of The Dark Side.

I said goodbye to 4 months worth of blow money and spent a half hour hovering over the "purchase" button on the t-mobile site. When I finally clicked it, I got an immediate pop-up telling me that my purchase could not be completed due to an error. Of course. Two seconds later, Jordan's phone pinged with an alert from our Discover card about "suspicious activity." Aka me trying to spend hundreds of dollars on a smart phone.

Suspicious activity is no joke. I thought maybe it was a sign that smart phones actually are of the devil and I should stay far away. But all Jordan had to do was confirm that yes, Discover, I actually do want to buy an iphone, and now here we are.

I thought I would take a moment here on the old blog to acknowledge this most momentous of occasions and explain to you why I finally decided to get one after all my rants about how I'll be the last woman standing. Kind of like Will Smith in I Am Legend except without the zombies.

I honestly didn't care about being connected all the time. I don't need to have my email available to me when I'm away from my computer, and I didn't mind that I couldn't tweet a picture or upload a picture to Facebook at a moment's notice.

But here's what got me: pictures and group texting.

Let's just say group texting on my dumb phone was becoming a giant pain in the Kim Kardashian. My family often sends out group texts, and I have friends who group text to chat about scheduling Google hangouts or when our next Sunday school fellowship will be. On my old phone I had to read individual messages. Nothing showed up as part of one thread. Also, I couldn't respond to the group, just to the sender. Basically, I could never actually participate in any group text, and it made me feel sad and left out.

Second, pictures. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm making a Project Life book for 2015. Project Life involves taking pictures of life to include in the book. I love my DSLR. I saved up for a year to buy it, and I have so much fun using it; but it's big, and I don't take it with me everywhere I go. Having an iphone will allow me to have a nice camera at the ready to record moments I might not otherwise be able to. I'll still use my Canon, but I'll be able to take more pictures of daily life to record in my Project Life.

So that's happening. I have an iphone, and I'm slightly terrified of the rabbit hole of social media that awaits.

In order to combat the pressure to be constantly connected, I've turned off all notifications, so I will never get a ping or a pop-up every time I get a new "like" or retweet. I also will try to just continue my regular phone habits, which have served me well so far.

What do you think? Have I turned to the dark side? Any must-have apps or words of advice for making sure my iphone doesn't eat me alive?

Project 12 // January


*Project 12: A photo on the first day of every month*

Here we are! The first Project 12 post of 2015. For anyone who's new around here, Project 12 is something I started in 2014. Jordan and I take a picture together on the first day of every month, and at the end of the month I share the picture and recap that month with what we read, where we traveled, dates we went on, and any notable events.
^^^As you can see, I went on a serious reading kick and read five books in January! For anyone interested, Spook is by the same author who wrote Stiff (that book about cadavers I read last year). After being such a fan of Stiff, I found Spook lackluster.

The Old Man and the Sea is a Hemingway classic that I hadn't read before. It was a very quick read, and I really enjoyed it. Worth a try if you haven't read it before!

The Likeness is a murder/mystery novel. This is the second Tana French book I've read, and I liked it for the most part. Her stories are very interesting. This was one of those "stay up way past your bedtime because you can't stop reading" kinds of books. Check out my review on Goodreads if you're interested in a more detailed review.


January 24-26
Jordan and two friends drove to San Antonio to attend Pax South. Pax is a huge gaming convention, and if any of you ladies who have significant others who are gamers, they will probably have heard of Pax. It was the first time in our marriage that Jordan has gone off on a trip by himself without me! He's growing up so fast.
While Jordan was off doing nerdy manly things, I was in Dallas with my family helping my brother and his wife move apartments. Afterward, we went out to dinner to celebrate his birthday.

On Sunday, January 25, I ran my 8th half marathon! I also me a blogger friend for the first time, and we were able to run together. Read the recap and see more pictures here.


We were able to have a double-date with my grandparents! They were driving to Texas from Illinois and stopped to see us on the way. We went shopping at the outlet mall and had dinner together at one of our favorite restaurants.

Notable Events

Jordan got the flu. Not really a highlight, but it needs to be documented for historical record. He was off work for a whole week, and I quarantined him in the other bedroom and made him promise to refuse to touch anything in the apartment. Literally. He turned off the lights with his elbows. You can't be too careful. He mostly just bing-watched 3 full seasons of The Office and then refused to stop quoting Michael Scott for days.

All in all, January was great and my 2015 is off to a good start. I'm continually reminding myself of my resolution to be content this year and not wish my life were something that it's not. Because shoot. My life is pretty great.

-What have you been reading lately? I'm always looking for good reads for my reading list.

-What notable event happened in your January? I hope it didn't involve the flu!

-Don't forget to check out this post to leave Jordan or I any questions for an "Ask Anything" post coming up soon!

I know a few other awesome blogger friends are doing Project 12 this year (yay!) and so I'll be adding a linkup to my Project 12 posts. This is the lowest of low key linkups. There's not a button or any rules. Just link up if you wrote a Project 12 post!

Ask Anything!


I've been blogging for almost five years, and I thought maybe it was time to do an "ask me anything" post! Feel free to (anonymously) ask those burning questions you've always wanted to know about the Lady Okie. Just enter it into the comment box below. 

You can ask questions just for me, questions for Jordan, or even questions for both of us! Don't be afraid to get personal. I don't really believe in TMI, but if you do ask a question we don't want to answer, we just won't answer it. Simple enough.

I'll collect some questions and do an answer post in a few weeks!

*If you don't have any questions, feel free to leave any suggestions for posts that you would like to see on my blog in the future.

I Ran a 1/2 Marathon and Met a Blogger Friend!


I was going to have this post up last week, but two things happened. First, I was waiting on the official race pictures to come through since I figured there would be a few I would want to include in this post (and I was right!). Second, and more importantly, I was too emotionally distraught over the ending of Parenthood to focus on anything as silly as a race recap. I'm tearing up just thinking about it! Man, that show.

Anyway, back to the point. Two weekends ago, two really fun things happened.
1. I ran half marathon #8.
2. I met a blogger friend!

I signed up for the Miracle Match Half Marathon after reading Tamara's recap of the race from last year. She was doing it again this year, and we decided to run together! We've been reading each other's blogs for a few years, but we'd never met in person. I figured I knew her well enough by now to be fairly confident she wasn't a sociopathic killer, but just in case, my mom decided to come with me. You really can't be too safe these days.

Waco is about a two-hour drive from my parents' house in Dallas, so my mom and I had to get up at dark thirty to get there in time for the 7:30 start time. We almost didn't get up at all because my alarm was set for Wednesdays only (why?), and my mom had woken up to hear alarm then immediately turned it off. Our saving grace was my dad, who set his alarm so he could be awake to see us off. Thanks, Dad!

Two hours later, my mom and I sat anxiously in the car while I planned our meeting spot with Tamara. When she and I saw each other across the parking lot, we ran toward each other with our arms out in slow motion like Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in that last scene from Armageddon.

Okay maybe not. But the point is: she was not wielding a sharp object or wearing a ski mask. What a relief.

Tamara is a tad slower than me as far as running goes, but I decided to take friendly chatting over a chance at a PR, and we ran together the whole way. It's really just much more fun to run with someone than to run by yourself anyway, and if your like me, those opportunities are rare so you have to snatch them up!
^^Thumbs up is my default pose. All day long.

We were not, shall I say, out to break any records. I stopped to pee approximately one tramillion times (my bladder has decided it hates me and wants to be the size of a walnut), and we just ran and walked and chatted away for about 3 hours. We both agreed that if we lived closer, we would definitely be friends.
^^^ We saw this sign along the route and stopped to take a picture in front of it. I'm supposed to be fake running. It looked less lame in my mind.

The course was extremely hilly, so I was glad I wasn't going in for a PR. The scenery was beautiful! We ran around Baylor campus, through the park, and even through the zoo! We wound through exhibits and saw rhinos and wombats and some other animals I can't remember.
^^^ Right around mile 11 there was the option to take a .1-mile detour up this giant set of stairs called Jacob's Ladder. We figured what the heck. At the end of the race we got this clip-on ladder thing that we hung on our medal! (This is where I would hashtag "I run for the bling")
^^^The thumbs up. Seriously. Someone stop me.

Check out this awesome picture of us crossing the finish line! Probably one of the best race pics I have, and they were free! Winning. My mom had gone to Sbucks for coffee, but she made it back in time to cheer us on to the finish. I love my parents. They don't understand my love of running, but they support me and I appreciate it.
On our way back to Dallas, my mom and I stopped in West, Texas (the town of West, not to be confused with the general region of West Texas), at the Czech Stop for kolaches. I'd never heard of kolaches before, but apparently stopping at the Czech Stop for kolaches is a thing, so we couldn't pass it up. 

I mean, clearly a homemade pastry is just what I need for a post-race snack. They're filled with a variety of flavors depending on what you choose--apple, cheesecake, peach, lemon... They were delicious! Worth a stop in West if you happen to be driving by.
I've been sitting here for like five minutes trying to think of a good way to end this post, and I can't come up with anything better than: The End.

So, yeah.
The end.