Sunday Self Care

8884253569d5de3d0ee97bfc1701fe9b.jpg

image

Since the new year, I’ve adapted a new Sunday, enter trendy buzz word “self care,” routine. On most Sundays, especially those following a weekend of lots of eating and drinking, I try to end the weekend with the same routine. It’s a sure way to help detox and ease the Sunday scaries…

Sunday Self Care Routine:

Take an epsom salt bath. I love Dr. Teal’s epsom salt bath, but I really love the coconut oil scent. Bonus, it makes your skin extra soft. Epsom salt baths are said to detox your skin of toxins, leave your skin smooth and ease sore muscles. A warm bath also helps with stress and aids with sleep!

Apply a thick layer of shea butter. I have really dry skin and patches of eczema. I have tried a gagillion lotions and this lotion by Aveeno has proven to be the best for an everyday lotion. However, on Sunday’s I lather up with this super thick (like really really thick) shea butter by Sun Potion.

Put on a face mask. 2018 was the year of taking better care of my skin. I’m still on the mission in 2019. When I have extra time, like on Sundays, putting on a face mask is one of my favorite acts of self care. My roommate gifted me the Super Collagen Mask by Mario Badescu for Christmas and I’ve been loving it. I put on the mask right before I get in the bath.

Sip on detox tea. I drink a lot of hot tea morning, noon and night. I often have a cup of detox tea after dinner to help settle my meal and subside any sugar cravings. But something about sipping tea, with a face mask on, in a hot bath, makes me feel like I’m really living my best life.

Get in bed early. I try to get in or start getting ready for bed around 9 each night. On Sundays especially.

Do you have a specific self care routine?

Annie

MD Comes to OKC

IMG_2308.JPG

BB MD of BOD comes to OKC to visit TAB! Enough acronyms for you?

Translation:
BB = blogger bestie. I wouldn’t say we still use this term because we are real life besties instead of just blogger besties, but back in 2014 when Molly and I first virtually met, we were BBs through and through.
MB now MD = my sweet sweet Molly Bridgett but now the Mrs. Molly Duncan
BOD = Bridget’s Own Diary aka Molly’s corner of the internet.
OKC = only the greatest big league city you’ll ever meet!
TAB = hopefully you know, but I’m talking about old Take A Bite

IMG_2300.jpg

If you’ve read Take A Bite for a while, you know Molly! We initially met through blogging (yes, it’s true), but have since met up at ACL weekend, OU/Texas games, Houston, Dallas, her wedding, and talk multiple times a week.

We had talked about it multiple times, but I was so excited when Molly texted me letting me know the plane ticket had been booked and she was heading to OKC end of January! I pulled out my OKC City Guide (yes I use my own city guide) and started crafting out our weekend.

IMG_2307.JPG

We had talked about it multiple times, but I was so excited when Molly texted me letting me know the plane ticket had been booked and she was heading to OKC end of January! I pulled out my OKC City Guide (yes I use my own city guide) and started crafting out our weekend.

IMG_2302.JPG

If you are local to OKC or plotting a trip to “the city” soon, the weekend went something like this…

Friday:
Dinner at The Jones Assembly

Saturday:
Barre3, lunch at Kitchen at Commonplace, midtown shopping at Commonplace, Shop Mode, Salt + Water, Chirps and Cheers and Sara Kate Studios.

A hot tea pick me up at Coffee Slingers then natural manicure at Well Beauty.

Wine flight at Anatomy Wine Bar and then dinner at Goro Ramen.

Sunday:
Brunch at En Croute

IMG_2303.JPG

I loved showing off my city, but even more, enjoyed getting to make stops I don’t get to make everyday.

IMG_2304.JPG

They say to play tourist in your city. But really, you should do it. I was a host, but felt like a tourist. I felt like I was looking at Oklahoma City in a new way. I’ve always loved where I’m from, but I was so excited/proud getting to show off my friends, fam and favorite spots in little ole Oklahoma.

IMG_2316.JPG

Meet you in Chapel Hill MD! (or maybe D.C!!)

Annie

How I Turned Into A Reader

I’ve never been a reader. I used to read growing up, but more because I had to for school, not because I wanted to. The idea of reading made me bored just thinking about it. I would look at the pages, but instead of getting lost in the words, my mind would run wild.

IMG_1700.JPG

I’ve made the resolution the past few years to kick the whole “non-reader” tagline I put on myself. But how most resolutions go, I would crash and burn before I even picked up a book.

IMG_1758.JPG

Then comes January 2018 and I did not make a resolution to read more. It just sort of happened. I adore Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show and I had put Sisters First, on my imaginary “must read” list ever since it came out. I purchased it and let it sit on my shelf for a few weeks (months).

IMG_1779.JPG

I was then at the gym one morning doing my routine 30 minute warm up on the elliptical or treadmill where I would watch the news and scroll social media. However, I was falling victim of the worst headaches from being on my phone for 30 straight minutes first thing in the morning. It was the worst way to start my day.

IMG_1677.JPG

The next day I declared to myself that I would not get on my phone until after my workout. I’m a multi-tasker by choice and I knew I would need something to do in addition to my machine workout to make the time pass. So I picked up my copy of Sisters First and head to the gym. I flew through the chapters. Next thing I knew I was flying through whole books.

The multitasking of doing something with my legs makes me focus more on what I’m reading because I have to concentrate more. It’s kind of like listening to music while you study or work. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I always found that it made me focus more because I was having to work harder to grasp what I was studying. Just me?

IMG_1302.JPG

Yes, I will often get stares from other gym-goers or remarks from those who love to make the comment “how do you do that while you’re working out?” Or even better “whatcha reading?” While they cock their neck to get a view of the cover of my book. Can’t a girl read and get her cardio in, in peace??

IMG_1315.JPG

I’m not saying you need to start working out to become a reader, but I’m also saying you should try it. Besides a plane ride or lying on the beach, there are not many other places besides the gym I can turn so many pages in a book. I’m working on the whole lay on the couch, do nothing and just read thing, but it’s a work in progress. #cantsitstill

IMG_1555.JPG

Now that you know walking on the treadmill was my gateway to reading (ha), let’s talk about everything I read in 2018. Disclosure: my taste in books is similar to my taste in movies. Rom coms with a few sprinkles of “based on a true story.” Think It’s Complicated, Father of the Bride and You’ve Got Mail, with Spotlight and The Social Network added in. Some may say I lend toward young adult reads, but I love an easy read with a cute story. Like I said, I’m still easing in to becoming a reader. So without further ado, my 2018 bookshelf…

IMG_1588.JPG
  1. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

  2. Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara bush

  3. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

  4. Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin

  5. The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

  6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by mindy Kaling

  7. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

  8. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

  9. DC Trip by Sara Benincasa

  10. Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell

  11. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

  12. When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

  13. Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah

  14. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

  15. Everybody Always by Bob Goff

  16. The Lipstick Gospel by Stephanie Wilson

  17. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

  18. Hey Girls by Michell Markowitz, Caroline Moss (still reading)

  19. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

  20. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (currently reading)

  21. Boom Town by Sam Anderson (still reading )

Purchase these books here.

IMG_1808.JPG

After I finished about 3 books, I set a goal to read 12 in 12. Twelve books in 12 months. Eight months went by and I was already at my goal. So then my goal became 20 in 12. I’m currently reading my 20th book of the year and have about 4 days left of the year. Think I can do it?

IMG_1830.JPG

Let me be clear. I’m reading my 20th book, but I’m still reading my 18th and 19th too. Like I said I’m a multi-tasker. Pro-tip, don’t read more than one book at a time.

IMG_1885.JPG

My favorite places to buy books are Amazon (follow me), Commonplace Books (the dreamiest book store in OKC) and Half Price Books. New books are about $5 off the retail price and used books are likely as the name suggests, half off the sticker price. Half Price Books also let’s you resell. I plan to take in a bunch of my read books to sell and then use that money to buy more!

IMG_2051.JPG

In my year of reading, I re-read two of my favorite books. I read every page, so it’s not cheating. Both of these books are by the same author, my favorite, Shauna Niequist. Shauna loves Jesus, loves food and loves people. She writes in a format similar to blog posts. Short chapters with a story in each chapter. Nothing is drawn out. I love that. If you ask me for a book recommendation or better yet my favorite book, I’ll tell you it’s Bread & Wine. You can’t not like it.

IMG_7863.jpeg

And for the biggest win of my 2018 reading saga, is when my sister texted me for a book recommendation. Yes me, not the other way around. No better compliment.

IMG_2147.JPG

Here’s to 2019 and more steps taken and more pages turned!

Annie

**For my ratings and reviews, and the books on my 2019 reading list, friend me on Goodreads. Feel free to DM or email me too for more recommendations.

OKC Staycation with Avid Hotels

IMG_2008.JPG

Have you ever taken a staycation? A one-night stay in the city you live in. A night away from your normal routine. I have never officially stay-cayed before, so I was very excited when Avid asked me to come for a night and check out their new hotel.

IMG_1995.JPG

Since my 2018 resolution was to travel more, this seemed like a the perfect trip to add into my mix. I was only traveling about 15 minutes away, but a trip none the less. I grabbed my bff and best travel buddy, Taylor, and we were off! You may remember Taylor and my’s spontaneous trip to Hawaii back in April.

IMG_1999.JPG

Avid is a new kind of hotel. They made it their goal to listen to avid travelers, and give them what they need, not what they don’t. The rooms are simple but inviting. Have ample storage and not cluttered. As a pro traveler these days (ha!), I can appreciate this. I just need a comfy bed and a place to store my bag. Bonus points for the great bath products too. Avid got a check mark in this area.

IMG_1998.JPG

We checked-in and immediately checked out the grab-and-go snack selection. Kudos for the chocolate bar in our room upon arrival too! Snacks, TV, a few jumps on the bed (seen here) and a glass of wine was the perfect way to wind down from the week. (We brought the wine, but each room does have a mini fridge for guests to stock with their choosing. WIN! I hate when hotels have a mini bar full of $15 Redbull and mini bottles of champagne. You aren’t tricking me with that).

IMG_2000.JPG

After relaxing in the room, we headed down the road a bit to meet friends for dinner. Avid is located near Quail Springs area and the new Chisholm Creek district. We did sushi at Yokozuna, drinks at Sidecar, then back to Avid to pass out. Cue the black out shades and pajamas. Pillows could be a little firmer IMO, but really those black out shades were everything.

IMG_2006.JPG

Despite the killer black out shades I woke up promptly Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I don’t sleep in. It’s not an admirable trait, but something I’ve done my whole life. I took this time to check out the rest of the hotel and the fitness center (Annie approved!). Nothing like a little cardio and Kardashians first thing in the morning - ha!

IMG_2004.JPG

After the elliptical, I grabbed some hot tea and waited for Taylor to wake up. This allowed plenty of time to scope out Avid’s complimentary breakfast. They serve breakfast every morning 7:00 — 10:00 am. Oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit. Annie approved x2.

IMG_2003.JPG

Thank you Avid for the opportunity to come stay at the your first Avid on earth! Yes that’s right. Avid chose Oklahoma as their first of many locations. Go go OKC! But be on the look out for more Avid’s popping up soon.

IMG_2007.JPG

If you are avid about traveling, the Avid is for you. Sorry I had to ;) More info or to book your next stay at AVID, click here.

Annie

Thank you Avid for letting me work with you. While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and words are 100% my own.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Halloween. I love it. I always have. I used to plan my Halloween costumes a year in advanced. I wish I were kidding. Some of my costume claims to fame include when I was a cup of hot chocolate, a present, a flower in a flower pot, candy corn…I clearly have a thing for inanimate objects as costumes. See a few more here.

Inspired by the past few years, I’m giving you three ideas for last minute costumes. Because yes, all three costumes shown below came together in about a day. They are also all food related. No surprise here.

IMG_2014.JPG

French Toast

How to:
Black and white striped shirt
Red silk neck scarf
Black felt beret
Bread
String

Toast one or a couple pieces of toast. Let sit out for a few hours to get stale. Using a hot glue gun, glue the toast to a long piece of string. Let dry then tie behind your neck to act as a necklace.

IMG_5146.JPG

Pig in a Blanket

How to:
Pink dress
Pig ears, nose and tail (buy this one today to have it in time for halloween!)
Blanket

Put on your dress, ears, tail and nose, wrap your self up in a blanket and enjoy the most comfortable costume ever. Optional, but suggested, make actual pigs in a blanket and bring to whatever halloween party you are headed to!

IMG_5147.JPG

Cookie Monster

How to:
Blue dress
Blue skinny feather boa
Light brown and dark brown felt
safety pins
Headband
1, medium size foam ball
Hot glue
Black paint

Cut big circles from the light brown felt to act as the cookies. Cut small odd shaped circles from the dark brown to act as the chocolate chips. Hot glue the “chocolate chips” to the “cookies.” Safety pin the cookies to your blue dress. Using a serrated knife, cut your foam ball in half. Paint cookie monster shaped eyes onto the foam ball halves. Hot glue blue boa to your headband. Once the eyes have dried. hot glue them to your boa headband. Use the remaining boa to tie around your wrists. Put it all together and you have yourself a cookie monster! Optional, carry around a jar of Perfect CCCs!

If you take a bite of any of these costumes, tag me on social media so I can see!

Annie