Health & Wellness

Join Me For A New Year Challenge + A Massive $775 Giveaway!

31 small changes in 31 days and a $775 giveaway to help you get started!
Filed Under > Everyday

A few weeks ago I caught myself off guard by the date. Actually, it wasn’t so much the date, but more by the fact of what the date meant. It meant that 2018 was almost over and 2019 was almost here.  I thought to myself, how could 2018 be over? There was so much change I wanted 2018 to bring. But in all the areas of my life I wanted to see “change” in 2018, I instead saw a massive backslide.

Which led me to thinking a lot about change, and how to go about making change actually happen.  And not just happen, but more importantly, stick. 

You see, I always have grand plans.  And maybe my plans are just too grand.  And maybe, just maybe I always seem to want to change parts of me that will never really change.  And maybe, just maybe, I’m now sounding like a Dr. Seuss book.

Dr. Seuss aside, I believe I’m on to something. Sometimes the best way to make something big happen is slowly, simply, one foot in front of the other, each and every day. And hence, the first annual 31 in 31 has been born.  

So what is 31 in 31?  Well, it’s 31 small changes in 31 days to renew, refocus and recharge your life.  The changes, or rather challenges, will focus on mental health, physical health, non-toxic living, and getting your sh** together. Each day you’ll be presented with a challenge of sorts, and yes there will be a big ol’ grand prize at the end.  Because we need accountability, and we all need prizes, and if there’s one thing I’ll always it’s competitive.

I’ve spread out and set up the challenges via a customizable calendar you’ll get emailed to you on the 30th when signing up, but the calendar is customizable so you can change what you do on what day based on your schedules.  Some days will only take 5 minutes, and some a bit more time. Some examples of the “challenges” will be things like: schedule all of your 2019 doctor’s appointments and don’t cancel (because you know we all wait till December to see every single doctor we go to), drink more water, to deleting 60 minutes of television from your DVR.  

The challenge won’t cost you a dime.  Yes, there will always be suggestions of products or calls to action. But spending money is not mandatory. The entire “challenge” will be via email and social media because let’s be honest that’s where we all live.  Emails will be going out the morning of the 31st with your calendar and everything you need to participate.  Then each day you’ll get an additional email with each day’s challenge.

If you want to truly participate I’m asking you to share your day’s challenge and if you’re accomplishing it on social media taking me and using the hashtag #31in31. I did mention a prize, basically, the more you share the more points you get.  We’ll also be sharing fun graphics, and questions that will be easily shareable throughout the challenge making it easy for you to earn points.  And the prize is BIG, so you’ll want to share.  Don’t worry all of this will be explained via emails!

So with small steps in mind, I say no there will be no major fasts, no purging of my entire life in one week, no 10 days to a new me.  There will just be simple ways to bring about change and make time for what has always made me (and likely you) the happiest.

And one more thing, there’s nothing magical about January 1st.  So if you’ve found you’re reading this on January 25ht, sign up, print it out, and just begin. Small steps lead to big leaps, and consistency is key so let’s do this friends!  Oh, and keep reading for a MAJOR ($775 value) giveaway to kick the challenge off right! Truly, MKR 

P.S. if you’re reading this on Bloglovin’ or anything else you’ll need to click in to the post to enter the giveaway. 

 
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An Easy At-Home Holiday Breakfast Bar For Guests

How to set up an easy and festive self-serve holiday breakfast bar
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

One of the favorite things I have in my home is a makeshift tea station upstairs in my bedroom.  Ove the years, I’ve become a major night-time tea drinker.  And because I spend the majority of my evenings cozied up in my bed working, reading, or watching TV I got tired of running downstairs 2-3 times just to put the kettle on to get more tea. So, to alleviate that last year I purchased an electric tea kettle and turned a bar cart into a tea station. 

It’s nothing fancy, just an electric tea kettle and a tray full of mugs, tea bags, mulling spices, and all-things cozy. So when thinking about hosting all of our holiday guests this season I thought, why not turn my upstairs bar into an at-home holiday breakfast bar.  

If you’ve been following my Blog for a while then you know I have an upstairs loft that I turned into a sort of game room/bar area. It’s an awkward space, that truly doesn’t get used a lot. But it’s beautiful and I knew it would perfect for this self-serve idea.  

So why not set this up in the kitchen? Two main reasons.  One, it’s festive and fun, and I love doing small things like this to really make guests feel welcome and like you went all out for them. 

And two, all of the bedrooms are upstairs while the kitchen is downstairs.  I, like many people, love a slow, quiet start to my morning.  I don’t necessarily want to get dressed, and ready and head downstairs and start my day right away.  By having everything guests need right outside their door they can pop out and grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a breakfast pastry and head back to their room to have that nice leisurely start that every vacation should have.  Plus at night it can be used as that sleepy time tea station has become part of my nightly routine.

Regardless of where you set it up, a self-serve, holiday breakfast bar is beyond easy to create.  First, I made sure that I had all the morning necessities present.  Coffee maker, electric tea kettle, and toaster. I love this new vintage set from Russell & Hobbs.  It’s well priced, works like a gem, looks adorable, and the toaster even has a croissant toasting shelf!

Second, stock your holiday breakfast bar with everything guests would need to make it self serve so everyone can run at their own speed in the morning.  Think mugs, water, tea bags, coffee, sugar, utensils, napkins, etc.  And I stashed all of the extras in the drawers making it super easy if guests run out of anything. 

Third, I made it festive with holiday-themed coffee blends, pastries,  jams, packets of cocoa and tea. And of course, added a wreath and a few of my favorite rosemary and lavender Christmas trees as decor.

Lastly, I always make sure guests know that this is there for them to access at any time.  There’s nothing worse than being a guest who feels they have to tip-toe around their hosts.

And that’s it.  An easy at home holiday breakfast bar that is as festive as it is functional! Tell me, how do you make guests feel welcome in your home? Truly, MKR
 


 

Currently Coveting “Green” Beauty

From a health transforming probiotic, non-toxic mascara that actually works, & a $10 ice roller here's everything I'm loving in beauty now
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

A roundup of the best non toxic beauty buys, including the best non toxic mascara

top to bottom: The best non toxic mascara, overnight resurfacing peel, eye rescue creamcoconut melt, seed probiotic, lemongrass sugar scrub, BC body lotion, perfume from Tulum that will have you smelling like the beach, orchid face oil, the only eyeshadow palette you’ll ever need, facial ice roller, Himalayan salt scalp scrub & wash, coconut sea mist texturizing spray

While I’m not a makeup obsessed person (my everyday makeup routine consists of less than 8 products which I’ll be sharing with y’all next week), I am a product-obsessed person.

It’s probably because I’ve struggled with my skin since the age of thirteen.  And while my skin is better than ever, it seems that every day there’s a new issue to tackle thanks to mother nature so I’m always on the hunt for the next best magic concoction. Plus, someone has to test all of those Waiting On Martha Home beauty products before they go on the shelf right?!

But today’s roundup doesn’t just have to do with what I’m currently putting on my skin, but also what I’ve been taking every day with my morning coffee.  I’m talking about the holy grail, the motherload, the best probiotic I’ve ever taken. And trust me when I say I’ve tried out at least a dozen probiotics over the past six or so years, but this one by Seed has been a gut-health game changer.

Along with my new probiotic, some of my favorite products I’m sharing today include a $10 ice roller that will roll the stress away along with your eye bags. A Himalayan scalp scrub that might be the best shampoo I’ve ever used. A perfume from Tulum that has me smelling like the beach all year long. A face oil with a cult following, and so many other great green, non-toxic beauty products I swear by.

And lastly, I have finally found a non-toxic mascara that actually works.  You see the problem with non-toxic or “green” mascara is they tend to flake before noon leaving me with a constant racoon eye I have to rub away.  Not with this one. Not only does it volumize as it says, but it doesn’t flake like the others. Plus it lasts, I can confidently wear this mascara all day, without re-applying once! Best non toxic mascara ever!

Keep reading below to see more in-depth descriptions of these thirteen products and how I use them. And if you’re following along via Bloglovin, please note you have to actually click into the post to see all thirteen products broken down. Truly, MKR

P.S. If you’re interested in why I’ve changed my entire beauty routine over to clean products I encourage you to read THIS.

Beauty Counter Volumizing Mascara

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I have found it, FINALLY! The best ever non toxic mascara! Made with natural fibers, this advanced formula increases volume by 385%* to create fuller, more dramatic-looking lashes without clumping, flaking or smudging.

Cleaner, plant-derived ingredients, like carnauba wax and rice bran wax, replace harmful emollients, while bataua oil helps soften lashes.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel

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Goodnight, dullness. Good morning, glow. Formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids clear away dull surface skin cells, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion.

Why is it safer?

This Overnight Resurfacing Peel is formulated without synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and formaldehyde-based preservatives commonly found in peels.

Beauty Counter Eye Rescue Cream

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Hello, bright eyes. Formulated for the delicate eye area, this nourishing cream awakens eyes. Squalane hydrates skin, while betaine and phytic acid boost oxygenation to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and shadows for brighter-looking eyes. Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to match the composition of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn’t.

I use this in combination with One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm. Trust me, it’s a winning combo!

Kopari Coconut Melt

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This coconut melt is unlike others, I’m not quite sure how or why, but it’s definitely the best I’ve used to date. You can use it as a hair mask, moisturizer, makeup remover, shaving oil, and so much more.  I love it as a chapstick. And it will last forever! A little goes a long way!

Heres a few more ideas… as a hair mask by applying it to your hair from root to tip and letting it sit from 40 minutes to overnight; slather it all over your body from head to toe to moisturize; dab a little on a cotton ball and wipe it over your face to remove makeup; or even massage onto dry or damp legs as a shaving oil. Scoop out a generous glob and drop it in a hot bath; dab underneath your eyes to reduce dark circles; massage it all over your baby’s skin; or rub it all over your pregnant belly.

  • Paraben-free; sulfate-free; phthalate-free; gluten-free; silicone-free; GMO-free; synthetic fragrance-free

Beauty Counter Sugar Lemongrass Body Scrub

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Energizing exfoliation at its best! While brown sugar buffs away dull skin, hydrating sweet almond, apricot kernel, and sunflower oils and mineral-rich evening primrose leave skin looking supple and smooth. Lastly, a blend of pure citrus and lemongrass oils leaves a fresh and invigorating scent.

Coqui Coqui Coco Coco Parfum

http://bit.ly/2MMgMir

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I picked up this perfume while vacationing at Alys Beach. Direct from Tulum, they couldn’t have captured the smell of the beach any better.  I loved it so much I got a candle as well! Thinking I would never find it again, I was thrilled to find that Net-A-Porter carries the entire line!

Herbivore Orchid Oil

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Lush, exotic floral oils give skin a bright new glow while gently preserving its youth and replenishing hydration. An exquisite blend of Orchid Extract, precious Jasmine Sambac, and Japanese Camellia Flower Oil combine to defend against free radicals, increase elasticity, and feed the skin with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 to protect against premature aging.

I’ve tried all 3 of the face oils Herbivore makes and I understand why this one has the cult following.  While I liked them all, I loved this one!

 

Beauty Counter Ultimate Eye Shadow Palette

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The question I get the most on Instagram Stories is what eye shadow I use.  Well here you go! This ultimate anytime, anywhere eyeshadow palette includes 18 neutral shades, a double-ended brush, and a removable mirror. A trifecta of finishes—satin, metallic, and matte—creates endless looks for every skin tone. Though I use the brown tones the most, and highlight with the white. All shadows get their luxurious texture from naturally-derived cocoa seed butter. 

Pretty See Ice Roller

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The $10 miracle worker! Keep this roller in the freezer, and get ready to roll yourself into a zen state while it depuffs the lack of sleep you got the night before.

The roller is helpful to lessen wrinkles and moisture dry skin, release tension, fatigue, sunburn, sore muscles, bruises, and minor injury. It’s also great for shrinking pores. Use the ice roller after applying a mask to shrink pores and make your face more comfortable.

 

 

G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub

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I get migraines, so I was immediately sold when I read about Goops Himalayan salt scalp scrub. I mean doesn’t it sound so refershing?  What I didn’t expect was what an amazing shampoo it would be!

Made of exfoliating mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt, nourishing cold-pressed moringa oil, and pure unfiltered rose hip oil purifies and detoxifies all at once. The scrub cleanses the hair and scalp of product buildup, dirt, and oil, leaving both clean and refreshed. The cleansing scent—rosemary, geranium, orange, and peppermint—lingers subtly in hair and smells amazing as you wash.  

And I know its a bit on the pricey side, but a little goes a long way. This container lasted me about a month and a half.

Herbivore Coconut Sea Mist Texturizing Spray

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Formulated with the same salinity as the Pacific Ocean, this naturally fragrant sea salt spray will bring new life and beachy volume to flat uninspired locks. The essential oils of coconut and vanilla give off an exotic aroma. I use this spray whenever I’m airdrying my hair or want a little extra volume.

 

Seed Probiotic

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As I stated above, I’ve tried at least a dozen different probiotics over the years, but this one has been the biggest game changer.  My explanation here won’t do it justices because it involves a lot of science, so I suggest visiting their site and reading for yourself.  And if you do decide to give it a whirl, make sure you follow their dosing protocol to get started.  I ended up not reading the directions and taking the full dosage right away rather than working up to it and it made me nauseous.  Once I actually followed directions I was good to go!

Beauty Counter Countermatch Body Moisturizer

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Your skin is your largest organ, so what you put on it is EXTREMELY important.  That’s one of the many reasons I love this all over body moisturizer from Beauty Counter.  I can rest easy that I’m not slathering myself in chemicals and toxins. 

Created with patent-pending Bio-Mimic Technology, Countermatch adapts to your skin, delivering exactly the nourishment it needs and nothing it doesn’t. Rich yet rapidly absorbing, it softens without a trace of stickiness. The result? Refreshed, vibrant, radiant skin at its peak performance.

Key Ingredients: Shea Butter: rich in vitamin E, it boosts hydration and restores elasticity. Squalane: Derived from olives, it draws moisture into the skin and visibly restores elasticity. Plum Oil (Prunus Domestica Seed Extract): Rich in omegas 6 & 9 and vitamin E, it reinforces the moisture barrier for healthy-looking skin.

  • 100% said product spreads easily*
  • 97.06% said skin felt well hydrated*
  • 97.06% said skin felt softer and smoother*

 

Photography Rustic White Interiors

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