WAITING ON MARTHA
A blog dedicated to helping you create a beautiful day every day

5 Easy Bathroom Updates (That Don’t Involve Paint)

Take the Design Into Your Own Hands with Updates that Are Affordable and Doable
August 23, 2016

As you know if you’ve been following MKR on snapchat (username WAITINGONMARTHA), she’s in the process of updating her downstairs guest bathroom.  Naturally, she wanted to rip everything out to design the idyllic bathroom…marble countertops, a new vanity, etc. etc.  But since she didn’t want a complete construction zone in there, with thousands of dollars poured into the project, she decided to turn to a few easy bathroom updates that are completely doable and affordable. I found her tips especially helpful and relevant being in a rental apartment myself.  

In a dream world, we’d all be able to completely design the bathroom of our dreams, but in reality, we have to make do with a few easy bathroom updates instead.  Think a pretty chandelier, updated hardware, bath mats, rugs, shower curtains and more.  Click through the slideshow to check out the easy bathroom updates and get inspired for your space. Cheers, Kat

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Hand-towels

Hand-towels

A beautiful set of hand towels is one of the easiest ways of updating your bathroom in a pinch. And since this item won't break the bank, it's great to update often by season to keep things looking fresh.

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VIA LONNY
Lighting

Lighting

Whether it's with a gorgeous chandy or sharp wall sconces, lighting is one of the strongest ways to add character to a bathroom.

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VIA HOUSE OF JADE
Hardware

Hardware

Changing out the hardware can elevate the overall look and feel of your bathroom if you're feeling blah about the space. We're smitten with Nest Studio for all things hardware right now, and Anthropologie is another option and long-time favorite of ours.

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VIA MY DOMAINE
Art

Art

You spend so much time in the bathroom, so why not invest in a good piece of art for the walls? Two of our favorite sources for art are Minted and Simply Framed, who frames your photos and artwork for you. The one thing to keep in mind: you most likely want to avoid original painted artwork on canvas since the bathroom gets steamy.

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VIA MONIKA HIBBS
Rugs & Shower Curtains

Rugs & Shower Curtains

When you're going for a big statement, think about rugs and shower curtains. Both are perfectly changeable accents in the space. And even if you want to stay classic with your shower curtain, you can always change out your shower curtain hooks! Target is a great source for these.

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VIA AMBER INTERIORS

Featured image, My Domaine

Homemade Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Fudge with M&M’s

Celebrating Back-to-School Days with Our Favorite (and Easy) Homemade Fudge
August 22, 2016

Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge with Peanut Butter M&M’s + Milk Chocolate Fudge with Pretzel M&M’s recipe | @mmschocolate @waitingonmartha #ad #CelebrateWithMHomemade Peanut Butter Fudge with Peanut Butter M&M’s + Milk Chocolate Fudge with Pretzel M&M’s recipe | @mmschocolate @waitingonmartha #ad #CelebrateWithMHomemade Peanut Butter Fudge with Peanut Butter M&M’s + Milk Chocolate Fudge with Pretzel M&M’s recipe Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge with Peanut Butter M&M’s + Milk Chocolate Fudge with Pretzel M&M’s recipe @waitingonmartha 2016-07-27_0006

When M&M’s invited me to celebrate its 75th Anniversary, I jumped at the chance of working with one of my favorite candies.  M&M’s are my movie staple, and the first thing I grab in the mini bar when traveling, (I’m partial to the classic milk chocolate M&M’s, but I recently tried the pretzel and I’m warning you do not to try a bag unless you’re prepared to get hooked).  And while I’ve always loved them on their own, my favorite way to use M&M’s is in baking.  I’m constantly mixing in a bag to my chocolate chip cookies and brownies, but since this wasn’t just any old occasion, I knew brownies or cookies wouldn’t do.  I wanted something more memorable, a bit more personal, and with fall around the corner something I could cozy up with.  But I also wanted the recipe to stay on the more classic side just like M&M’s themselves. So after a little chat with Mama K, it was decided; my grandmother’s homemade fudge with colorful M&M’s front and center would be the winner.  And perhaps the best part about making fudge (other than the taste) is that people will think you spent a lot more time on this dessert than you actually did, making it a great treat for back-to-school, birthday parties and even just a little Sunday baking with the family.  

Though I’ve enjoyed my family’s homemade fudge time and time again, I had never actually made it myself.  But armed with my mother on the phone walking me through each step, I found that it was incredibly easy to make.  And the M&M’s were definitely a welcome addition.  Not only do the M&M’s add a bright and cheery pop, but by being both in the fudge and as a topping the M&M’s gave each bite that crispy crunch.  Plus they really took this family favorite recipe to the next level.  

If you’re a first timer like me, the two pieces of advice I have is…first: make sure you have all of your ingredients and baking dish prepped and ready to go.  And second: don’t walk away from the fudge.  When making fudge, or candy of any kind, it only takes five seconds for it to burn and ruin your whole dish.  And also, line your baking dish with unbleached parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up.  Because let’s be honest, who wants to do more dishes than we have to? 

With homemade M&M fudge now under my belt, I really have to say this is why I love my job.  Taking part in celebrating a beloved brand like M&M’s, while having the excuse to whip out a family recipe; what other job allows you to do that!?  A big thanks to our neighborhood Kroger, too, for always having your shelves stocked with my favorite M&M’s and everything else I need.  And with that, I’d love to know my friend’s what’s your favorite kind of M&M’s?!  Truly, MKR

Peanut Butter Fudge with M&M's
Yields 15
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Ingredients
  1. 10 oz. peanut butter
  2. 1 1/2 stick butter
  3. 1 jar marshmallow fluff
  4. 1 can evaporated milk
  5. 3 cups sugar
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
  7. 1 bag Peanut Butter M&M's, rough chopped
  8. 1 bag Milk Chocolate M&M's for topping
Instructions
  1. Line 9" baking pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure paper extends over sides.
  2. Bring butter, sugar and evaporated milk to a rolling boil in a large sauce pan, stirring occasionally.
  3. The second the mixture hits a rolling boil, begin stirring constantly, never stopping for 4-6 minutes. Stir until mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and quickly add marshmallow fluff, vanilla and peanut butter. Stir until mixture is creamy and starts to look like fudge.
  5. Once combined, mix in your rough chopped Peanut Butter M&M's.
  6. Pour mixture into baking dish, smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Top with Milk Chocolate M&M's, and let rest. Fudge needs to set for at least a few hours, or even overnight. You can also place the fudge in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Milk Chocolate Fudge with Pretzel M&M's
Yields 15
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 sticks butter
  2. 3 cups sugar
  3. 1 jar marshmallow fluff
  4. 1 can evaporated milk
  5. 3 cups milk chocolate chocolate chips
  6. 1 bag Pretzel M&M's, rough chopped
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 bag Milk Chocolate M&M's for topping
Instructions
  1. Line 9" baking pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure paper extends over sides.
  2. Bring butter, sugar and evaporated milk to a rolling boil in a large sauce pan, stirring occasionally.
  3. The second the mixture hits a rolling boil, begin stirring constantly, never stopping for 4-6 minutes. Stir until mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and quickly add marshmallow fluff, vanilla and milk chocolate chocolate chips. Stir until mixture is creamy and starts to look like fudge.
  5. Once combined, mix in your rough chopped Pretzel M&M's.
  6. Pour mixture into baking dish, smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Top with Mini M&M's, and let rest. Fudge needs to set for at least a few hours, or even overnight. You can also place the fudge in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post was in collaboration with M&M’s. All opinions are 100% our own. 

Get Some Shut-Eye with These 8 Better Sleep Hacks

Say Goodbye to all of those terrible, restless nights for good
August 21, 2016

There’s seriously nothing worse than a night spent tossing and turning in bed.  Good news is that it’s actually easier than ever to have a better night’s sleep with a few simple sleep hacks.  These sleep hacks prove that you CAN take your sleep quality into your own hands, whether that’s by using insightful apps that track your sleep quality and patterns, trying out basic breathing exercises, diffusing relaxing essential oils or simply listening to ambient sounds that have the power to lull even the busiest mind to sleep.  So instead of groaning about it all day at work the next day, try doing something about it BEFORE you hit the hay with a silk face mask and these eight better sleep hacks.  Cheers, Kat

P.S. If you’re up for taking it even deeper, check out this list of sleep biohacks by Ben Greenfield (my boyfriend introduced me to the Pzizz app Ben mentions…and it works). 

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Nix the Nightcap

Nix the Nightcap

That nightcap drink may not help you find that shut-eye after all. Alcohol decreases the amount of REM sleep that we get, and its effects can seep into the next day, decreasing your ability to concentrate. For the best sleep, avoid drinking alcohol 2-3 hours before you turn in for the night.

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Put the Screens Away AT LEAST An Hour Before

Put the Screens Away AT LEAST An Hour Before

We've all heard the recent advice to eliminate glowing screens on laptops, tablets and phones an hour before bed. But according to the king of life hacking, Dave Asprey, you want to start shutting them down two hours before bedtime.

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VIA GLITTER GUIDE, BY JESSIE WEBSTER
Catch Up on Reading

Catch Up on Reading

Reading before bed will not only help you sleep better, you'll lower your stress levels, be able to concentrate better, be more emphatic and become more creative (sign me up). If you're still not convinced why you should pick up that book, read on here.

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Put on Ambient Noise

Put on Ambient Noise

Finding a good sound machine or sleep app is key to easing your mind to relax, while also drowning out distracting noises so you can sleep in peace. Here's a list of the top apps for 2016.

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VIA GLITTER GUIDE, BY KRISTA A. JONES
Close the Blackout Curtains

Close the Blackout Curtains

A simple secret to sleeping like a baby? Blackout. Curtains. They play a big part in making your room as dark as possible, which is another important factor on Dave Asprey's List of Sleep Hacks.

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Enjoy Lavender Essential Oil

Enjoy Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil has an incredibly soothing, relaxing effect, and it can help put even the busiest mind to rest. Consider ways to enjoy this natural, affordable sleep-aid by using an oil diffuser or by sprinkling drops of the oil onto the pillow before bed.

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VIA AVE STYLES
Pull Out the Eye Mask

Pull Out the Eye Mask

If you can't get your room dark enough, try wearing an eye mask. These pretty numbers get bonus points with us in fighting crow's feet wrinkles, too!

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Do These Breathing Exercises

Do These Breathing Exercises

Have you heard of this "4-7-8 breathing trick"? You breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Somehow, the combination of numbers has the perfect effect on our brains to slow down the heart rate and put you right to sleep.

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VIA PENNYWEIGHT, BY CHELSEA O'LEARY

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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