Life Skills

How to Have Better Posture

6 Easy Tips to Improve Your Stance
Filed Under > Everyday


It’s funny how you start to feel little shifts in your body during your late twenties.  Small aches and pains.   Subtle changes in things you took for granted for years.  I know I, for one, have started to feel faint back pain, I can no longer sit on the ground for long periods of time, and I’m pretty sure I have a case of “tech neck.”  See, I’m at a computer all day, I’m guilty of slouching in chairs, and I can constantly be found checking my phone while I’m walking.  I’m guilty of all of the bad habits.

Lately, I’ve realized how much this is affecting my posture in everyday life.  Thanks to seeing myself in a few photographs recently, I’ve finally admitted to myself that my posture needs to drastically improve.  Standing tall goes hand-in-hand with high self esteem in my book, and I want to be the one carrying myself well for years to come.  Check out a few tips I’ve picked up in my recent research to help my back, give myself a little self-esteem boost, and ultimately have better posture once and for all.  Cheers, Kat


Limit Wearing High Heels

Women's Manolo Blahnik 'BB' Pointy Toe Pump

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Studies have shown us that wearing high heels takes its toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet, while altering your posture and gait. It places excess pressure on your knees, and takes your hips and spine out of alignment.  Though we’ll never give them up for good, we’re trying to limit our wears for the sake of our posture. 

Don't Cross Your Legs at Your Desk

Neptune Writing Desk

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Sitting with your legs crossed while you’re working causes your pelvis to roll forward.  This will cause pressure on your lower back because your spine will be “unstacked.”  Instead, sit with your feet flat on the ground if possible. 

It’s a hard habit to break, but staying cognizant of it will help you slowly change for the better.

Work on Strengthening Your Back

Stamina Air Rower

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Stretching and exercises that help lengthen the muscles in your chest, forearms and biceps will help improve your overall posture.  One of my favorites?  A deep crescent lunge with hands energetically reaching for the sky. You can also work on having a stronger back with rowing or pulling motions; the shoulder blades will pull down and allow for you to have an easier time standing up straight later. 


Don't Keep Your Hands in your Pockets When Standing

Carly Crop Jeans

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I’m guilty of doing this when I’m idle; shoving my hands in my pockets while waiting for something.  But this small gesture actually does more bad than good.  It leads to slouching shoulders, which will cause them to round and set your spine out of whack.  Instead, try to keep your hands by the side of the body when you’re standing still. 

Set Up a Proper Work Station at Your Desk

Easy Posture Lumbar Back Support Mesh

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If you’re at a computer all day, your computer monitor should be at eye level. Looking downward at for long periods of time creates excess strain on your neck.  Furthermore, any cushion or prop you can use for your lower back is helpful.  This back support does just the trick. 

Stand with Your Feet Shoulder Width Apart, with Shoulders Back

Callie Wedge Oxford

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Think you already do this?  To test yourself, try standing against a wall. Everything except the head should touch the wall, everything lined up with the spinal cord.  Your pelvis shouldn’t tilt forward, and everything should be stacked with your spine. 


Swap Out Your Mattress

Select Luxury Medium Firm 14-inch Queen-Size Gel Memory Foam Mattress

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You’ll be wise to look for a firm mattress, rather than a soft, pillowy one.  It provides better support to the body while sleeping, helping the body remain in a perfectly aligned position as you sleep. 

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

Refresh: How to Find the Perfect Fitting Bra

It's Time You Found the Proper Fit
Filed Under > Everyday


When I walked into Rigby & Peller a few weeks ago, I thought I knew what there was to know about the perfect bra fitting.  I had my go-to’s (a nude, black and strapless…standard), and I had never invested too much thought into this detail of my wardrobe.  

But a visit to the luxe lingerie brand’s boutique in Atlanta taught me a thing or two about lingerie; its collection of bras were as functional and flattering as they were beautiful, and I took a few notes on the perfect bra fitting once and for all.  I learned that the perfect bra fitting always means: smooth cups, low and even straps across your back, with the center section lying flat against your sternum.  I’m not going to lie; I was guilty of owning a few everyday bras that gaped, with some that had straps that cut into me.  NOT good! 

Since this is our month to “Refresh, Recharge and Renew,” I wanted to share a those takeaways here for you today. There was no tape measure (you’re as shocked as I was), and the visit reminded me just how powerful a role a perfect bra fitting can play with your confidence.  It’s the best gift you can give yourself as you refresh your wardrobe in the new year!  Check out the 5 tips on how to find the perfect bra fitting below.  Truly, MKR


Own At Least 7 Bras (One for Each Day)

Sophie Surprising Stretch-lace & Mesh Underwired Bra

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When explained, this tip made a lot of advice to me. When you’re wearing the same bra every day, the straps will lose their elasticity much faster than if you switched them out every day (or every other day).  If you find yourself adjusting the straps constantly, it’s time to replace the bra; once the bra loses its elasticity in the straps, it’s not serving you well at all.  By having several “go-to” bras in your lingerie lineup, this allows for better care (and better fit) of the pieces for longer. 

Focus on the Fit of the Band First

Souple Lace-trimmed Stretch Cotton-blend Jersey Contour Bra

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I learned that the band is the most important detail of the bra for providing the necessary support. To ensure that you have the right size band, fasten the bra on the middle hook.  If isn’t sitting horizontally and evenly across your back, and is instead riding up, the band size is too loose and you probably need to go down a number size and up a cup size. 

A good rule of thumb: you should be able to fit two fingers under the fastening of the band at the back. If more than two fingers fit, the band is too loose (and if fitting two fingers is difficult, the band is too tight). 

A bra’s band will stretch about three inches in its lifetime, so you never want to fasten it on the last hook in the beginning. 

The Wire Should Fit Comfortably Against Your Bust

Marie Jo L'Adventure Tom Push-Up Bra

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If the center part of the bra and the wire parts around your breasts are away from your chest, the cup is too small.  This means you’ll probably want to try one (or two) cup sizes bigger.  You want the wire to sit comfortably against your bust, without squeezing or gaping. 

Never Wear a Bra Two Days in a Row

No-Rinse Soak Lingerie Wash

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Along the lines of a bra’s elasticity, you should never wear a bra two days in a row.  It needs to rest to regain its stretchy strength for the best fit.  Hand-washing the bra in cold water with lingerie wash will also help extend its life. 

Turn to Various Styles for Different Fits

Seamless U Plunge Bra

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There’s a wide world of different bra styles, so you’d be wise to them all on to find your perfect fit. Here’s a quick run-down of common fits, and what to expect. 

1. Balconette bras offer little to no coverage, creating dramatic uplift and cleavage.
2. A bra with demi-cups give you a sexy, cleavage enhancing shape. This style is best for smaller breast sizes, because they offer less coverage than a full cup and more than a balconette.
3. Plunge bras will give you the appearance of more cleavage thanks to the deep silhouette and angled cups. They’re usually not as padded as your standard push-up bra.
4. Like plunge bras, push-up bras add the appearance of cleavage, and usually have underwires and much padding. 
5. Underwire bras have a thin, flexible wire that shapes the bottom of your breasts for support. Some underwire bras include padding, while others simply have a layer of lace.

Featured image, Kathryn McCary for Waiting on Martha | Bra

Refresh: 8 DIY Nontoxic Cleaning Recipes to Try Today

Cut down on chemicals and waste with These Simple & Effective Cleaning Solutions
Filed Under > Everyday

8 DIY Nontoxic Cleaning Solutions, Waiting On Martha

It’s pretty scary to learn that not all products on the market are safe for our bodies; many have harmful chemicals that become carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer) and many include “fragrance”, which could mean they have as many as 200 undisclosed chemicals in their ingredients.  It can be daunting to try to decode these labels, so that’s why I’ve turned to DIY nontoxic cleaning thanks to inspiration from my journey with essential oils.

Good news is that switching out your cleaning supplies is probably the easiest and least expensive step in detoxing your home/life plus with the concern of toxins growing our options are more readily available than ever.  From “green” laundry detergent, surface spray, and even clean candles your choices are literally endless.  As I began detoxifying my home I found myself leaning Thieves essential oil, the Thieves cleaning line and a lot of easy, DIY nontoxic cleaning recipes.  

Of course, when you decide to make the switch to nontoxic cleaning products, you’re faced with an initial investment that can seem daunting.  Believe me, I know.  Throwing out the tried-and-true name brand counter sprays, dishwashing detergents, window sprays and air fresheners feels like a waste of money just to turn around and spend more on all this Thieves business.  (And actually, you shouldn’t just throw these toxic products out in the trash because they’ll end up back in the environment; check out your local Department of Public Works to find a safe way to dispose of them.) But once you make the switch, you’ll find that you actually save money in the long run.  

For example, the Thieves Household Cleaner bottle is highly concentrated and equates to about 128 all-purpose 30 oz. spray bottles for only 88 cents per bottle (!) and 67 cents per bottle and the majority of DIY recipes include inexpensive and easy to find items such as baking soda, fresh lemon, and white vinegar.  By creating these simple DIY concoctions I’m able to create cleaning solutions that are MORE effective and longer lasting than their store-bought counterparts.  Which means less trips to Target where I walk in for one thing and out with a whole cart full of items I do not need.  Another money saving tip; buy bulk when you can, and common cleaning ingredients for your recipes will include: essential oils (click HERE to learn more about all of that), baking soda, white vinegar, castille soap and of course your reusable amber spray bottles.  

Anyway, enough rambling; check out a few of my go-to ways that I’m putting DIY nontoxic cleaning to work.  It’s become an important factor of our household, especially with my dog Addison running around (and licking the floor).  These solutions are great to keep in mind especially for anyone with dogs or kids.  Truly, MKR

"Fresh & Clean" DIY All Purpose Cleaner

Thieves Household Cleaner Bottle Label / Essential Oil Labels

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Love love love this all purpose cleaner for just about everything.  It’s easy to make and cheap to refill. 

DIY All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
5 drops Thieves essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil or the juice of at least 3 lemons (one drop = 1 lb. of lemons!)
5 drops rosemary essential oil or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup distilled water

DIY Window Cleaner (Windex Alternative)

100% Natural and Biodegradable Amala Magic Sponge Cloth

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In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that Windex was horrible for us; the smell alone can suffocate you!  Next time you’re looking to clean your shower door or wash our windows, use this recipe (just be sure to use enough lemon to cover the vinegar smell).

DIY Window Cleaner
2 cups of water (distilled or filtered)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil

DIY Heavy Degreaser

Thieves Household Cleaner

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For the heavy degreasing jobs, when the all purpose cleaner just won’t cut it, I like to pull out the big guns.  And that means simply Thieves Household cleaner and water!

DIY Heavy Degreaser
15 parts water: 1 part Thieves Household Cleaner

Click HERE to sign up and get a major discount on the Thieves cleaning kit. 

DIY Bleach Alternative

Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

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I don’t know about you, but bleach scares the heeby-jeebies out of me with its toxicity level.  So when I found a safer alternative, I jumped at the chance to try it myself. This combination will help keep whites a bit whiter.

DIY Bleach Alternative
3/4 cup 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
15 drops lemon essential oil

DIY Laundry Stain Remover

Thieves Household Cleaner

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This practically isn’t even a recipe; it only requires one ingredient!  I use the cleaner directly on stains (with no water) and gently scrub until the stain disappears. I mean, I’ve even used it on red wine stains!

Click HERE to sign up and get a major discount on the Thieves cleaning kit. 

DIY Carpet Deodorizer

Glass Airtight Canister (Set of 3)

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I’ve found that using essential oils to fight odors is the trick because comparable store-bought air fresheners and spray simply mask odors, never getting rid of it completely. That’s why I love this simple, yet effective DIY carpet cleaner recipe.  By all means, you can swap out the essential oils used; though Thieves, Lavender and Purification are some of my go-to’s.

DIY Carpet Deodorizer
2 cups baking soda
10 drops Thieves essential oil
10 drops Lavender essential oil 


20 drops Purification essential oil blend

DIY Workout Equipment Cleaner

Thayers Witch Hazel

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Not only does Thayers’ Witch Hazel have a cult following for being an all natural skin toner, it’s a staple ingredient in DIY essential oil sprays. Of course, you can sub it with vodka, but I prefer this wonder-product witch hazel (and it’s so cheap on Amazon).  Use this DIY workout equipment cleaner on yoga mats, dumbbells, treadmills and more, and store in a small spray bottle. 

DIY Workout Equipment Cleaner
10 drops Thieves essential oil
1 teaspoon witch hazel (or vodka)
Top with distilled water

DIY Trash Freshener

Thieves Essential Oil

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This simply combination is a game-changer, friends. I mix it together, sprinkle in the bottom of my trash cans and I never get a whiff of something terrible! Like I mentioned above, Thieves works as a true odor neutralizer (rather than just masking it, making it worse). 

DIY Trash Freshener

10 drops Thieves essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
2 cups baking soda

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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