Life Skills

How I’m Using Technology to Better My Life

Intentional Tech Use & Mindful Apps to Try Today
Filed Under > Everyday

I’ll be the first to admit that technology has caused us to be more stretched and disconnected than ever; it allows us to do about 10 more things than we normally could handle, and gives us instant gratification and sometimes fulfillment at the press of a button. But while technology often brings about a negative connotation for our daily lives, I’ve found it can actually be used to help you unplug and grow for the good too. 

With a few pieces like my Apple WatchSonos speakers, and innovative and mindful apps on my iPhone like Coach, I’m able to be more present in my day-to-day life, ultimately relying less on technology.  Sounds counter-intuitive, I know!  But I’ve found myself actually on my phone LESS, living in the moment with friends, family and colleagues more, all while remembering to breathe, take care of my body and get my daily steps in. 

Below, I outline a few intentional tech tools and mindful apps that I’ve found helpful the past few months.  What would you add to the list?  We’d love to know!  Truly, MKR



Apple x Hermes Cuff Watch

Apple x Hermes

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I went back and forth for over a year debating on wether or not to purchase the Apple watch.  I was worried that I’d be more tied to technology by getting it, plus I really love the feeling of having an actual watch.  But after having it now for about 5 months I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  In fact I’d say it actually helps me to stay off my phone and away from tech more than ever.  Now, I can just glance at the notification and see if it’s something I need to answer now or if it can wait allowing me not to get sucked into my phone .  It’s also really helped my overall health; I’ve kept track of my daily steps, exercise and standing throughout the day, and I’ve set goals for myself to improve.  

Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker


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We have these wireless speakers set up throughout the house.  They stream directly from your phone’s apps like Spotify, Pandora, Podcasts and more. My favorite time to listen to them is while I’m cooking and while I’m in the shower; I can put on a podcast, a TED talk, etc. 

Coach App

by Lift Worldwide

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The Five Minute Journal recommended this app as a good way to hold yourself accountable for things.  It offers goal and habit tracking, along with reminders and checkins along the way. It’s pretty eye opening when used with simple chores like making your bed, working out, etc. 

Breathe for Apple Watch App

Apple Watch

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LOVE this app on my Apple Watch; it reminds me to breathe and meditate throughout the day.  You can customize when you’ll receive reminders to breathe and take a few moments to yourself.  The visuals also happen to be mesmerizing…helping me with my meditation practice too! 


Bedtime on iPhone

Apple iOS

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Not an app per say, but this feature on the new iOS reminds me when to go to bed to get a full night’s rest.  For those of you who know I have trouble sleeping, this app has really helped me be cognizant of the time I devote to getting some shut-eye. It’s also pretty cool to go back and see how my nights have compared, and what days of the week seem to be better for me to get my 8 hours in. 

She Reads Truth Bible + Devotional App

She Reads Truth

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Over the past year, I’ve really put a focus on my morning rituals, and that includes having some religious quiet time.  She Reads Truth is a company that I’ve been drawn to; they share intentional readings and encourage casual conversation about God’s word.  The app lets you sync up with others to read the same passages, building an inspiring and amazing community of women. 

Blinkist App

by Blinks Labs

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We’ve talked about the Blinkist app before, but it’s still a favorite.  The app lets you read or listen one of 1,800+ nonfiction and self-help books in under 15 minutes.  It’s a great way to tackle that ever-growing reading list, especially if you buy as many books on Amazon as I do!  

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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


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



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 Waiting on Martha's easy travel packing tipsEasy travel packing tips on

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



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 

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