Life Skills

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

drinking

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

WOM's One Love Organics Essentials Kit

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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

Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boots

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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 

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

kate spade new york

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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

Madewell, $78

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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 

How to Plant an Indoor Lettuce Cart in 5 Steps

A Convenient and Satisfying Addition to Your Salad Routine
Filed Under > Everyday

How to plant an indoor lettuce cart, Waiting on Martha

I’m not sure if you remember, but this time last year I was falling in love with growing herbs in my garden.  That love for gardening, the taste of fresh-picked greens, and the fulfillment from seeing something grow and prosper at my very fingertips has only doubled, as can be expected.  So this year, I set out to expand my home garden by learning how to plant an indoor lettuce cart.  

The idea of an indoor lettuce cart struck a chord with me; I loved the thought of cultivating some of my most-used vegetables in the kitchen at home, and the wheeling the cart up to my counter whenever I wanted to use them.  And the fact that it’s INDOORS helps make it possible to enjoy homegrown greens all winter long.  I was in love with the idea of just with a little snip-snip-snip, having homegrown spinach in my salads, arugula on my flatbreads, cabbage in my slaw and broccoli on my plate!  

I did a little research, and after buying this super convenient salad garden on wheels, I set out to plant the already-sprouted varieties with fresh soil and fertilizer.  I visited my local nursery and bought already-growing vegetables: spinach, red leaf lettuce, cabbage and broccoli.  But you can, of course, grow the lettuce from seed and a seed starting mix (one that’s gentle enough to grow the crops from seed).   I really wanted to do arugula since it’s one of my all-time favorites, but sadly the nursery didn’t have it when I looked. And I know broccoli may be a little ambitious this time around, but I’m willing to give it a shot! 

You’ll find that lettuce is a very low maintenance vegetable to grow, but it does need a lot of sun.  One of my favorite things about this lettuce cart is that I can fit a lot of vegetable varieties on it, and since lettuce can grow pretty close together, I don’t run the risk of overcrowding the sprouted plants.  Since we may still get another frost here in the A before it’s truly springtime, it’s nice to have this cart that I can wheel in and out of my garage to get optimal sunlight. 

Tell me friends, do you have plans to grow an indoor lettuce cart this year?  Find a few essentials as you get started on your own indoor lettuce cart in the scrolling widget, and read a step-by-step tutorial below!  Truly, MKR

P.S. We just added these amazing Organic Grow Kits in the shoppe! Get started with your lettuce cart with one of these…so fun! xo

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Scout Your Location

Stack-n-Grow Light System

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You want to find a place in your house that gets 12 hours of bright sunlight every day. For lettuce especially, a south-facing window is apparently best.  Try to find a place that won’t have any cold drafts or too much heat (and of course, away from curious furry friends!).  If you can’t find enough light from a window, you can grow your crops under special lights like these

Gather the Container, Soil & Seeds

Organic Seed Starter

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Next, you’ll want to find good containers for your crops.  Look for flat, shallow containers that allow for good drainage. 

For the soil, stay away from “potting soil” – it’s usually too rough/course in texture for growing your plants from seeds.  Instead, this organic seed starter works great. 

 

Plant the Varieties

3-Piece Garden Tool Set

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For those of you (like me) who bought their crops already-growing, transfer them into the containers with the seed starter mix.  Otherwise, moisten the soil and fill the containers a few inches with the mix.  Next, scatter the seeds about an inch apart.  Top them with a thin layer of planting mix. 

You’ll want the containers to maintain moisture, so you can cover them loosely with plastic wrap to create a greenhouse-effect.  Keep the seedlings moist but not overwatered.

Watch Their Growth & Trim If Necessary

Easy Grow Fertilizer

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Check the crops daily for signs of sprouts, and once they appear, you’ll want to remove the plastic cover.  Thin the seedlings out with a pair of scissors so that they have about an inch around them to grow.

As soon as the plants start to have their first set of true leaves, you can give them liquid fertilizer like this one. Watch their moisture level, and make sure the seedlings stay moist but don’t ever get drowned in too much water.  

Harvest Your Crops

Gold Scissors

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Indoor baby lettuce will be ready to be harvested after 3-4 weeks (it will be about 4″ tall). To harvest, cut the outer leaves first, trimming the base about an inch from the soil.  You’ll want to leave the rest of the leaves to grow a few days longer.  When the plant is completely harvested, you can plant another from scratch.

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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