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7 Things to Do with Your Girlfriends That Don’t Involve Drinking

Pass on the bottle of vino this time, do these activities together instead
Filed Under > Everyday

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Don’t get me wrong, happy hour with the girls is one of my favorite things to do each week, and bringing a bottle of wine is always appreciated when we’re stopping by each other’s houses.  Alcohol, whether we’ll admit it or not, is a cornerstone for so many of our social activities, especially being in our late twenties and early thirties.  This realization recently had me thinking how difficult it makes it for those trying to cut back, avoid the hangovers or maybe even connect on a deeper level.  It can feel like there’s not much to do with your friends without having a drink in-hand. 

But for all of the time in between the parties, the wine nights and the happy hours, there’s a lot of life.   And these moments can offer quality time with your besties that is healthier, more stimulating and ultimately fulfilling.  In the past year, I personally have really taken a step back from going out all of the time, and now look so much more forward to catching up with my friends doing activities we love.  That includes hiking, cooking, having an at-home spa night (I’m a product junkie) and volunteering together. 

So instead of groaning about there being no things to do without drinking, get creative.  Ask yourself, when was the last time you spent time volunteering together?  Painting together?  Cooking together?  Check out my list of ideas for things to do with your girlfriends without drinking below, and tell me what you love to do with your ladies.  Cheers, Kat

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Host an At-Home Spa Night

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All of my friends know that I’m a beauty product buff.  I am absolutely obsessed with finding new great green skincare and beauty products.  So at the top of my list of things to do without drinking (and even on a night where they’re all out drinking without me…) is an at-home spa night.  

Get it on the calendar, and get your besties together to indulge in some self love.  Leave your phones at home (or in the other room) and set the mood with relaxing music, crystals charged, the diffuser turned on, nontoxic candles lit and don only you comfiest clothes.  

My favorite things to do: apply a detoxifying face mask, whip the Clarisonic out and exfoliate, hydrate from the inside out by drinking coconut water or aloe water, give your body a one-over with a dry brush, moisturize all over with coconut oil, apply a hair mask, and give yourself (or your friend) a solid mani and/or pedi (here’s our favorite nontoxic nail polish brand). 

Volunteer Together

3-Piece Garden Tool Set

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I’ve recently found such fulfillment in volunteering.  I think the key is finding something you really, really enjoy doing personally and figure out a way to give back.  I’ve recently become more and more interested in gardening (even if it’s just a potted plant and indoor herbs for right now).  So I was thrilled to find The Nashville Food Project, a local nonprofit that invited volunteers into their community gardens to help grow and harvest vegetables to feed the hungry around town, as well as help out in their prep kitchens. 

If you can sync up your interests, bring a friend or two along with you next time you visit your favorite charity or nonprofit.  It will be an incredibly refreshing chance to unplug, accomplish good acts together, and help each other live a fuller life. 

Have a Game Night

Travel Cribbage and Backgammon Set

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A game night at home can help take the pressure off a weekend night out on the town.  And no, I’m not talking about drinking games.  So many of the greatest tabletop games can be enjoyed with a few snacks and some laughs.  

When planning the night, poll the crowd and bring out the tried-and-true favorites, and consider having a new game to keep things interesting.  

My personal favorites include Balderdash (seriously so fun and better the more creative you get), Monopoly (because it’s a classic…I’m always the one that wants to play for 3 hours until she starts losing), Scrabble (always a family favorite), Settlers of Catan, Sorry and The Game of Life.  

Create Something

12-Piece Paint Brush Set

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Get together and flex your creative muscles; you’ll be surprised at how relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated you’ll feel after!  Whether that’s by doing a craft together, painting, drawing, coloring, making jewelry, knitting, crocheting, mixing essential oil blends or repurposing furniture, you can reap the benefits of meditative and inspiring work…you may even solve some world problems while doing so. 

Cook a Great Meal

The Yoga Kitchen

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Gathering together to cook a great meal doesn’t always require alcohol!  If you’re afraid of being tempted, I’d suggest picking up a healthy cookbook to encourage health-minded dining (why botch the light meal with one too many glasses of wine?!). 

The Yoga Kitchen and Nutrition Stripped are my go-to’s when I’m in the mood to stay in and cook with my girlfriends.  Both books make it easy and fun to bring together nourishing ingredients, without getting too out there. 

Go for a Hike

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Connecting with nature is so good for your mind, body and soul, and if you can do it with a girlfriend in tow, it’s even better.  I cherish the time I spend on walks or hikes with my friends; it’s the perfect time to catch up, give advice and laugh about last weekend’s shenanigans. 

Not to mention, the endorphins, fresh air and vitamin D will have you feeling like a rockstar. It’ll help you choose positivity (and get your daily steps in!). And no matter rain or shine, my favorite parks around town include Percy Warner and Radnor Lake. 

Create Mood Boards

Zodiac Watercolor Print

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I love the idea of harnessing your goals and dreams with a strong mood board. They’re visually stimulating, inspiring and just all around beautiful on the wall.  

Invite your BFF over and hash out your color palettes, pull together your favorite art prints, and fan through stacks of magazines to piece together your board. 

Featured image, Kelli Boyd Photography for The Southern C 

The Best Way To Dress For Changing Weather When Traveling

A Transitional Outfit That's Stylish & Comfortable
Filed Under > #OOTD (Outfit of the Day)

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The struggle is always real when you’re traveling from cold to warmer weather, am I right?!  And especially when packing space is limited in a carry-on suitcase.  But instead of letting this little scenario infringe on your vacay vibes, stick with a few key pieces that will transition you seamlessly in comfort and style. 

Those pieces, for me, always include a light coat that’s easily packable and doesn’t take up too much room. This trench is an absolute must-have when traveling, and it even has removable lining for more warmth if needed.  I also always like to travel with a hat so I don’t have to worry too much about my hair.  I prefer to wear my colder weather wool hat en-flight, while carrying my warm weather panama hat for once I land.  

Since flights are always on the chilly side, I like to cozy up with a cashmere sweater.  I’ve found the ivory color doesn’t make it feel heavy, even when I’m walking off the tarmac in 80-degrees weather.  And because I know I’ll likely ditch the sweater when I de-board I wear a white bodysuit or a tank.  

Along with a pair of ankle jeans, I always like to wear closed toe shoes when traveling, but they can’t feel too heavy or be clunky boots…that’s why I gravitate towards these stylish silver oxfords. While not sandals, I consider them a pair that can be worn all season long.  And they just so happen to be some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve bought.  

And to accessorize, because more is always more on vacation, I just picked up these fun gold bangles that are pool-ready and so fabulous. They’re made from a material that won’t ever fade in color, so you can wear them in the water, plus they are so light!  You can easily nail the arm stack, and major statement effect, without the extra added weight that a ton of bracelets tend to bring.

Lastly, the white luggage totally adds to the warm weather vibes.  Isn’t is so gorgeous?!  But don’t fret; if you’re nervous about investing in white luggage, just know that the white is easily wiped down if you do scuff it.  The cognac leather also protects all of the places that might naturally get dinged up in transit.  Oh and this white tote bag is perfect for day, night, or even the pool…so versatile for your trip!  

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win this Concourse Carry-on Spinner by Mark & Graham (retail value $299). Good luck!!!  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha 

As pictured: suitcase c/o | tote bag c/o | trench coat | wool hat | straw hat | sneakers | jeans | sweater | sunglasses

Seven Easy Packing Tips That Will Change The Way You Travel + A Big Giveaway with Mark & Graham

Use these simple tricks the next time you pack up your suitcase or carry on bag
Filed Under > Everyday

Easy travel packing tips with Waiting on MarthaPacking for warm weather via Waiting on Martha How to pack a small carry on suitcase via Waiting on MarthaEasy travel packing tips on waitingonmartha.comEasy packing tips on waitingonmartha.comWhite luggage and easy packing tips | Waiting on MarthaEasy packing tips on waitingonmartha.com Waiting on Martha's easy travel packing tipsEasy travel packing tips on waitingonmartha.com

Happy Friday!  We’re ending the week on a high note with a great roundup of easy travel packing tips that will help even the over-packers reading this.  Plus we’re hosting a fun giveaway that we’ve been itching to announce with our friends at Mark & Graham.  See that gorgeous white luggage in the photos?!  The monogramed carry-on suitcase can be yours; keep reading! 

I’m an over-packer.  There’s no ifs-ands-or-buts about it.  And when a work trip or vacation has me packing a small carry-on suitcase—or large suitcase, I always find myself packing and stuffing the thing until its overweight.  But recently I’ve been studying up and working on a few key, easy travel packing tips that help me maximize that coveted space. 

The most game-changing of all the travel packing tips I’ve picked up being the use of dry cleaning bags to eliminate wrinkles caused from folding clothes and them shuffling around in transit.  Plastic is our friend with packing, people. 

So as I’m literally gearing up to hit the road again today—see you soon, Ponte Vedra!—I’ll be implementing these seven easy travel packing tips I’ve outlined below.  

On a side note, I am utterly obsessed with the look of this gorgeous white carry-on suitcase, and can’t wait to put it to use on my trip.  Thanks to Mark & Graham, one of our lucky readers can win it and begin implementing our tips asap!  

Simply enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below, and stay tuned for a great transitional flying outfit post on Monday!  Truly, MKR

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Double Grosgrain Trilby

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Tip #1: Avoid letting your hat get squished by stuffing a shirt in the inside of it, then fold and layer clothes around the brim so the brim stays peaking out.

Callie Platform Oxfords

Loeffler Randall, $395

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Tip #2: Save space in your suitcase by stuffing your shoes with electronic cords, socks, jewelry, etc. Otherwise, that’s wasted space inside those shoes!

Concourse 2-in-1 Cosmetic Case

Mark & Graham, $99

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Tip #3: Pack travel size everything when it comes to beauty and personal care products…samples are great for these situations!  And buy a pill case so that you can leave your pill bottles at home too; they take up too much room and this way you can pack only the amount you need. 

Boyfriend Belt

Rag & Bone, $160

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Tip #4: Eliminate unnecessary space-hogging mistakes, like rolled belts!  Instead, snake your belts around the inside border of the suitcase. 

Lingerie Bag Set

Waiting on Martha Home, $25

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Tip #5: Put all of your lingerie and undergarments in your delicates laundry bag.  Then, as you wear an item, you can put it in the to-be-washed bag, and just throw it in the laundry when you get home.

Boyjean Mid-Rise Slim-Leg Jeans

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Tip #6: Layer appropriately.  Think of it like a cake; first layer should be rollable items that won’t get wrinkled like jeans, leggings, t-shirts, pajamas.  Next, layer the folded items on top. 

Dry Cleaning Bags

Amazon, $29.95

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Tip #7: Between your layers as we mentioned in tip #6, lay down plastic bags or dry cleaning bags between folded layers of clothes.  Since friction causes wrinkling, plastic reduces friction.  If possible, pack all of your hanger items in individual plastic bags…they’ll arrive perfect and ready-to-wear! 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Mark & Graham, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

As pictured: Carry-on Suitcase | Cosmetic Bag | Hat | Shoes | Shirt | Necklace (similar) | Bedding | Throw Blanket | Nail polish 

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