WAITING ON MARTHA
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My Caneel Bay

An Idyllic Girls Trip to Caneel Bay Resort, a Hidden Gem Located on St. John in the US Virgin Islands
February 8, 2016

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By the time December rolls around, I’m usually knee-deep in the holiday crazy, and I find myself engulfed in my absolute busiest time of year.  Between the Shop and editorial shoots, I can usually be found frantically running around town with my head cut off.  So you can imagine my excitement at the opportunity to jet away for a warm Caribbean retreat.  To be completely honest I was a bit anxious at the idea of truly unplugging during the December madness, but Kat assured me that a girl’s trip and a little “island-time” living was exactly what we needed.  

And after what turned out to be a mad-dash to the airport, during one of Atlanta’s worst traffic moments (we barely caught our flight thank you Mr. Good Samaritan for opening the gate for us!), Kat and I settled in for our three-hour flight to St. Thomas with the thought of sun on our backs, sand beneath our toes, and Painkillers in-hand.

For generations, people have made their way to Caneel Bay Resort for a luxurious, yet refreshingly simple getaway. Families and friends seek out, and always return, to this Caribbean destination to escape their daily hustle and instead drink in the relaxing, laid-back vibe on this quiet bay. It’s a place to truly unplug; no telephones or televisions can be found within the rooms.  But in its simplicity, lies what I consider true luxury; Caneel Bay‘s plush bathrobes and comfortable amenities gently reminded us to slow down and reset.

If Caneel Bay Resort is unfamiliar to you, don’t be surprised.  Caneel Bay may be one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets, though the reviews speak for themselves.  What makes it truly unique is its claim to 170 acres of St. John’s vibrant and lush National Park, as well as seven seriously stunning, pristine beaches.  We couldn’t possibly narrow it down to a favorite beach—seeing as there’s a beach for every day—but we may have been partial to the ones where we caught sight of the sweet wild donkeys roaming and happily grazing. They were just too cute! 

For all of you history buffs, Caneel Bay was discovered by none other than Laurance Rockefeller on a sailing trip, and the resort stays true to its promise of upholding Rockefeller’s dream to preserve the splendor of its natural setting. You truly have the feeling that you’re stumbling upon a hidden sanctuary, safe from tourist traps and high-rise hotels, a secret tucked in the Caribbean.  Our ocean-front views were idyllic, and the fact that our rooms were merely steps away from the water’s edge was a perk that simply could not be beat.  While the warm, friendly Caneel Bay Resort staff was happy to set us up with a slew of activities: oceanfront massages, diving expeditions, paddle boarding, snorkeling and sunset cruises, we spent most our our days relaxing in lounge chairs and just soaking it all in.

To say we had exquisite meals on our trip is a major understatement.  Atop the resort’s 18th-century sugar mill, Zozo’s restaurant and bar welcomed us with open arms on our first evening.  We shared delightful dishes while enjoying its stunning open-air perch that overlooked the entire resort.  But of course, we were then blown away by Chef Nicholas Arnold and his culinary team at Turtle Bay Estate House, taste testing and sipping through the evening with each bite and gulp better than the last.  And while the resort is where we spent most of our time we did wander through the streets of downtown St. John which embodied island life; happy, bright, and beyond welcoming.

Looking back through photos, I’m reminded how hard it is to into words just how stunning Caneel Bay Resort‘s crystal clear water really is.  It’s safe to say that we continued our love affair with blues on this vacation, studying the many shades of cerulean, aqua and sea foam floating timelessly…the way the water caught the sparkle of sunlight, and illuminated with such vibrant electricity during the 5 minute island rain showers…well it was something to behold.  And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better a rainbow appeared, but we didn’t need to search for the pot of gold, we had already found it.  Truly, MKR & Kat

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All images original to Waiting on Martha | THIS STORY WAS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Caneel Bay Resort, A resort WE LOVE AND ADORE. OPINIONS ARE 100% OUR OWN. 

Classic Chicken Wings

A Classic Gameday Recipe Made With No Oil And Our New Favorite Gadget, The Air Fryer
February 7, 2016

Classic Chicken Wings

What will I be making to watch the big game today?  Well that’s a no-brainer: classic chicken wings. And this was what got me to finally got me to pull out and use my air fryer. And Loves, I. Am. OBSESSED.

To get all sciencey on you, the air fryer “uses patented heat circulation technology to fry your favorite foods to crispy, golden brown perfection – using little or no oil.”  Can you believe it?  Because I almost couldn’t either…I mean no oil!  Since our household is committed to watching our daily calorie intake with hopes of not giving up the food we really love, it was a serious “ahhhh!” moment when we discovered the power of the air fryer.  

Whenever I’m making classic chicken wings, I simply season them with my favorite mixed bag of algean sea salt spices and pepper.  Because everyone has a personal preference on how they like their wings (hot, sweet, sweet and spicy, plain, etc.), I like to serve the seasoned wings along with various dipping sauces.  This way everyone can enjoy wings their way! 

I definitely won’t be stopping with just wings, either.  I’m thinking onion rings, potato chips, tortilla chips, fish, chicken…and doughnuts!!!  I’ve gone ahead and ordered The Air Fryer cookbook to help me with a few more ideas, which I’ll hopefully be sharing with you all once they’re taste tested and approved.  Has anyone else gone crazy over their air fryer at home? Truly, MKR

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Photography, Rustic White

5 Winter Style Essentials to Own

Must-Own Classic Pieces for Winter That Don't Sacrifice Style
February 6, 2016

With that little blip of spring weather earlier this week, I found myself yearning for warm days already.  Definitely wishful thinking on my part, but around this time every year, I’m itching to file my sweaters and scarves away for another year.  But reality has it that the temps have dipped again, and I’m still relying heavily on a few favorite cold weather staples.

Early on this winter season, I hunted down the exact black turtleneck I was on the hunt for (on major sale right now too).  This piece has proven to be just one of my favorite winter style essentials that I find myself reaching for again and again.  Like a favorite pair of jeans, this sweater makes me feel good the second I put it on…I can just depend on it to make me feel put together and like myself. I was specifically on the hunt for a lightweight option, and it’s proven to be a great buy (I bought it in grey too!).

Since I’ve recently been on a big fewer-better-pieces kick (probably in huge part due to one of my favorite brands, Cuyana), I’ve come to find that having a few basic winter style essentials that I really, really like (like said hat, a wool hat and a great oversized scarf) makes it easier to get dressed every day. So in the slideshow above, I’ve rounded up five winter style essentials that I think are crucial for anyone’s cold weather fashion game.  These pieces are classic, timeless and ones that will take your outfit up a notch or two…while keeping you warm and cozy.  Nothing crazy—we don’t need street style on the way to the office or happy hour—but practical pieces you’ll be glad you have in your closet.  What do you consider to be your winter style essentials?  Cheers, Kat

P.S. Any fellow Cuyana fans out there: can we talk about how good the spring collection is going to be?! I think I bookmarked every piece, and it’s just another reason why I’m counting down until warmer days.  xo

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SHEARLING OR (FAUX) FUR

SHEARLING OR (FAUX) FUR

A GOOD SHEARLING COAT OR FAUX FUR AUTOMATICALLY ADDS INTEREST AND TEXTURE TO YOUR WINTER LAYERS.

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VIA WHO WHAT WEAR
THE BLACK TURTLENECK

THE BLACK TURTLENECK

YOU ALREADY READ ABOUT MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE CLASSIC BLACK TURTLENECK...IT'S JUST SO GOOD.

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VIA A LOVE IS BLIND
THE WOOL HAT

THE WOOL HAT

I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY THAT A WOOL FEDORA INSTANTLY ELEVATES ANY COLD-WEATHER LOOK (WE SWEAR EVERYONE LOOKS BETTER IN ONE TOO). AN ADDED BONUS? IT KEEPS A LITTLE HEAT IN!

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA, BY KATHRYN MCCRARY
THE OVERSIZED SCARF

THE OVERSIZED SCARF

SERVING AS THE PERFECT THIRD PIECE TO YOUR ENSEMBLE, AN OVERSIZED SCARF IS THE EASIEST WAY TO BURROW YOUR FACE IN STYLE ON A COLD WINTER'S DAY.

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VIA TUMBLR, SOURCE UNKNOWN
THE OVERCOAT

THE OVERCOAT

A LONG OVERCOAT IS THE EPITOME OF WINTER WARMTH. BUT IF YOU DON'T ENJOY THE WAY IT SWALLOWS YOUR FIGURE, TRY BELTING IT. WE LOVE THIS EXTRA DETAIL ON ONE OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT WINTER FASHION STATEMENTS.

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VIA PINTEREST, SOURCE UNKNOWN

Featured image, A Love is Blind

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