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

Let’s Talk: How to Get Better at Accepting Criticism

Learning to Approach Feedback as a Way to Grow
June 28, 2016

Let's Talk: Getting better at accepting criticism, Waiting on Martha
I’ve alway struggled with accepting criticism.  I wish I could say otherwise.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a people-pleaser, and I have always taken things way too personally whenever criticism is shared.  

When I started my professional career, I was eager-to-please and felt I needed to prove myself.  I still remember my first personal evaluation, and how I sobbed on the way home.  I read every piece of feedback as a personal attack, feeling defensive and downright frustrated.  

Of course, a little maturity and some years of experience have strengthened my shell.  But the truth of the matter is that hearing criticism will never be fun for me.  Jobs in both Public Relations and now as an editorial director for a blog…well, those are two roles that are dependent on people’s opinions.  Even reading the reader survey results (thank you again for taking the time to share your two cents!) wasn’t easy for me.  I think I held my breath the entire time reading through all of your feedback!  But while it was difficult, it was extremely helpful.

I’m now a firm believer that accepting criticism is so important for personal and professional growth.  I’ve read articles about it (on Entrepreneur and Forbes to start), but I’ve also decided on the three main things that help me face the feedback: 

Solicit feedback before it needs to be dumped on you
I’ve found that asking how you can improve is the best way to take control of the situation.  This way, you’re not backed into a corner with scathing comments or reviews. You’re able to approach the feedback with a proactive stance, which also allows more time for you to process the results.  It’s the worst thing ever to hear surprisingly negative feedback when you’re least expecting it.  And when you solicit feedback on your own terms, you can ask your manager/supervisor for specific variables that you can work towards. 

Consider how you’d feel as the manager
In the few short recent years, I’ve begun to manage people below me.  And wow, it’s definitely not a walk in the park when you’ve got a long to-do list and a full inbox.  But being a manager has led me to understand bigger picture of how the company needs to run.  I’m now able to detach myself from being “the victim”, and instead I put myself in a supervisor’s shoes.  

Change your outlook
Simply put, you should always be growing as a professional.  Criticism is just part of the process. I know that I tend to take things too personally when I hear I’ve done something wrong or need to improve upon something.  But rather than beating myself up with self-criticism (seriously, I am my own worst enemy most of the time), I’ve challenged myself to approach the situation with a new outlook.  I remind myself that everyone’s going to make mistakes…but I ask myself, how can I learn from mine?  And everyone has strengths and weaknesses…but how am I using mine to be an even better version of myself tomorrow? 

Tell me, have you struggled with accepting criticism?  How do you deal with receiving (or dishing!) feedback?  I’d really love to know any tips or things you’ve learned.  Cheers, Kat

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Featured image, Fashion and Style

Little Black Everyday Dress

An Easy Shirt Dress, Played Up with Fringe & Platforms
June 27, 2016

Black pleated dress, Waiting on MarthaBlack dress with pleats and white fringe bagBlack and gold baublesWhite fringe bag with black dress, Waiting on MarthaBlack everyday dress from Hampden Clothing, Waiting on MarthaBlack pleated dress and white crossbody bag, Waiting on MarthaBlack everyday dress with pleats and white fringe bagBlack dress and white crossbody bag, Waiting on Martha

I always feel good in black.  It’s just one of those colors that I know I can wear and feel 100% in.  And while I’ve always known the importance of an LBD, the truth of the matter is that a lot of LBDs can’t be considered everyday staples (wah wah).  

But alas, enter this easy little black everyday dress I just scored from Hampden Clothing‘s pop-up shop here in the A last week. The second I saw the classic shirt-dress with its crisp pleats, I knew it had to be mine.  It’s just SO me.  I’m a firm believer that when you find something that fits your forever style, it’s worth the investment.  It’s those pieces that you’ll end up wearing a countless different ways over years to come.  I already know I’ll be dressing this look up with heels, and down with my favorite the-leather-is-like-butter flats). 

I would file today’s look as my everyday black dress with a little flare. For a statement and some stark contrast, I paired the dress with my white fringe Proenza Schouler bag (which is 25% off right now!) and my funky-fun stripe platform sandals (also on CRAZY sale right now). Truly, MKR

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Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

AS PICTURED: DRESS (SIMILAR HERE AND HERE) | BAG (25% off (!!!) but Pre-owned HERE and SIMILAR HERE and HERE) | PLATFORM SANDALS (marked WAY down) | LIP COLOR | SUNGLASSES (36% off!)

Cool Down with These 7 Iced Coffee Recipes This Summer

Refreshing Takes on a Summertime Staple
June 26, 2016

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Nashville it is HOT.  Every time I set out to take care of errands or run around town, I find myself melting.  My fool-proof solution these days, when I can’t of course hop in a pool, is a good iced coffee to-go.  (And while I would love to have them made for me every day, I knew I had to start trying some iced coffee recipes at home). 

For weeks, I wasn’t even considering adding anything exciting to my mix…I just wanted a good dark roast coffee over ice.  But once I remembered MKR’s uber popular caramel iced coffee recipe, I fell down a rabbit hole trying to find new, refreshing ways to enjoy my chilled cup of jo.  Scroll through the slideshow of seven great iced coffee recipes to try by clicking on the image above.  Cheers, Kat

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Caramel Iced Coffee

Caramel Iced Coffee

With this caramel iced coffee, MKR taught all of us really how life-changing homemade caramel syrup and coffee ice cubes could be.

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Lavender Iced Coffee

Lavender Iced Coffee

This lavender iced coffee recipe uses a simple lavender syrup made from dried lavender buds, sugar and water. Mix in half & half, and this iced coffee sounds not only refreshing, but absolutely divine, on a hot summer's day.

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VIA HONESTLY YUM
Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee

Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee

This creamy coconut rum iced coffee can be a pick-me-up (without the rum) or a lovely summertime treat out on the back patio after work. She uses dark roast coffee, a little coconut sugar, coconut milk to mix, and tops it with coconut cream and coconut flakes (#yum).

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VIA HEATHER CHRISTO
Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Even though I'm a HUGE fresh mint fan, I never thought about mint and coffee, but now it all makes sense with this easy fresh mint iced coffee recipe.
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VIA HOW SWEET IT IS
Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Half Baked Harvest proves with this vanilla bean iced coffee recipe that killer iced coffee calls for three things: chocolate coffee ice cubes, cold brew coffee and honey sweetened vanilla coconut milk (!).

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VIA HALF BAKED HARVEST
Hibiscus Vanilla Thai-Styled Iced Tea

Hibiscus Vanilla Thai-Styled Iced Tea

I know this isn't necessarily iced coffee, but I felt it deserved a spot on our refreshing + addicting list this summer. This hibiscus vanilla thai-styled iced tea sounds like a little slice of heaven to be honest.

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VIA WHAT'S COOKING GOOD LOOKING
Coconut Iced Coffee (with Doughnuts!)

Coconut Iced Coffee (with Doughnuts!)

So this is most certainly an after-meal treat in my book. But regardless, this coconut iced coffee is a must-try asap. Maybe I'll skip on the donuts if I make it in the AM!

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VIA HALF BAKED HARVEST

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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