Surviving the Holidays

An Easy At-Home Holiday Breakfast Bar For Guests

How to set up an easy and festive self-serve holiday breakfast bar
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

One of the favorite things I have in my home is a makeshift tea station upstairs in my bedroom.  Ove the years, I’ve become a major night-time tea drinker.  And because I spend the majority of my evenings cozied up in my bed working, reading, or watching TV I got tired of running downstairs 2-3 times just to put the kettle on to get more tea. So, to alleviate that last year I purchased an electric tea kettle and turned a bar cart into a tea station. 

It’s nothing fancy, just an electric tea kettle and a tray full of mugs, tea bags, mulling spices, and all-things cozy. So when thinking about hosting all of our holiday guests this season I thought, why not turn my upstairs bar into an at-home holiday breakfast bar.  

If you’ve been following my Blog for a while then you know I have an upstairs loft that I turned into a sort of game room/bar area. It’s an awkward space, that truly doesn’t get used a lot. But it’s beautiful and I knew it would perfect for this self-serve idea.  

So why not set this up in the kitchen? Two main reasons.  One, it’s festive and fun, and I love doing small things like this to really make guests feel welcome and like you went all out for them. 

And two, all of the bedrooms are upstairs while the kitchen is downstairs.  I, like many people, love a slow, quiet start to my morning.  I don’t necessarily want to get dressed, and ready and head downstairs and start my day right away.  By having everything guests need right outside their door they can pop out and grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a breakfast pastry and head back to their room to have that nice leisurely start that every vacation should have.  Plus at night it can be used as that sleepy time tea station has become part of my nightly routine.

Regardless of where you set it up, a self-serve, holiday breakfast bar is beyond easy to create.  First, I made sure that I had all the morning necessities present.  Coffee maker, electric tea kettle, and toaster. I love this new vintage set from Russell & Hobbs.  It’s well priced, works like a gem, looks adorable, and the toaster even has a croissant toasting shelf!

Second, stock your holiday breakfast bar with everything guests would need to make it self serve so everyone can run at their own speed in the morning.  Think mugs, water, tea bags, coffee, sugar, utensils, napkins, etc.  And I stashed all of the extras in the drawers making it super easy if guests run out of anything. 

Third, I made it festive with holiday-themed coffee blends, pastries,  jams, packets of cocoa and tea. And of course, added a wreath and a few of my favorite rosemary and lavender Christmas trees as decor.

Lastly, I always make sure guests know that this is there for them to access at any time.  There’s nothing worse than being a guest who feels they have to tip-toe around their hosts.

And that’s it.  An easy at home holiday breakfast bar that is as festive as it is functional! Tell me, how do you make guests feel welcome in your home? Truly, MKR


Santa’s Elves Reporting For Duty

Creating Santa's Sleigh with Esurance
Filed Under > Everyday

Between owning a Shoppe, running a Blog, and just living my life I spend more time in my car than anywhere else.  At the risk of sounding cliche; my car is my home away from home.  And while that sentiment rings true all year long, it’s never more true than during the holiday season when my car turns into Santa’s Sleigh. 

So with that said, it only made sense to partner with Esurance to celebrate their Holiday Campaign focusing on the creative ways we customize and love on our “home away from home.”  I mean my car already feels like Santa’s Sleigh each holiday season so why not actually turn it in to Santa’s Sleigh.

For me, my car’s transformation begins with that first trek to the Christmas Tree farm where I outfit both my home and my car with all things green.  For my car I always wrap the rails with garland and hang wreaths from the front grill and back window.  This can easily be done with green wire and my go-to command strips.  Just make sure everything is securely tied down.  Nothing is worse than losing a wreath on I-85.  Trust me.

I also make sure I have laods of holiday necessities in the car at all times.  Wrapping paper, boxes, tape and scissors because you never know when you’ll need to wrap that last minute gift.  Plenty of my homemade Chex Mix, tied up with a bow.  And I always keep toiletries, and a few extra pairs of mittens and hats in case I come across someone in need. 

Between the festive decor, holiday musts, and plenty of holiday music playing; my car always helps me to get and stay in the Christmas spirit while getting from point A to B.  It also helps that I’ve got my own little elf named Addison to help me! Happy Holidays Friends, I hope this helps you to get into the spirit this year. Truly, MKR

P.S. Thank you Esurance for such a fun project. Celebrating my “home away from home” was the perfect way to kick off the magic of the season!

Photography, Kathryn McCrary  |  This post is sponsored by Esurance, a brand I love and adore.  All opinions are 100% my own.

New Years Eve & Chill: 6 Essentials for the Best Night In

Because You Can't Get Cozy without These Details
Filed Under > Entertaining

New Years Eve chill night at home: what you'll need via @waitingonmartha

So I know I talked about NYE dress options on Wednesday…12 dresses to be exact, all decked out in sequins and silk and sparkle.  But the truth is that I’m spending a cozy night in with nine of my closest friends this year.  

I couldn’t be more excited to trade the expensive party ticket for a tasty homecooked dinner (prime rib to be exact) and drinks that we won’t have to stand in line to enjoy.  Do you have a New Years Eve chill night on the books, too?  If so, check out the six details I’ve marked as must-have for the night in.  Cheers, Kat


Cozy Cocktails

"Booze It Low" Cocktail Glass

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A cozy night in requires a few tasty cocktails for sure.  May we suggest our Salted Caramel White Russian, Hot Buttered Rum Cider or Red Wine Hot Chocolate?  Mix them up and serve in our cocktail glasses for a special touch.

Cocktails not your thing?  Check out MKR’s top wines under $30.  Cheers! 

Pajamas & Lounge Wear

LAKE Long Set Pajamas, $108

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The beauty of a NYE spent at home is ultimate comfort, is it not?!  These pajamas are perhaps the softest things I own; I’ll be snuggled up in these this year. 

A Strong Lineup of Movies

Amazon Fire Stick, $39.99

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Plan for a night of entertainment (preceding and following the Ball Drop of course) with an Amazon Fire Stick.  This one includes Alexa Voice Remote (so cool) and lets you access Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, YouTube, Amazon Video, NBC, WatchESPN, Disney, and more.  

Snacks to Nosh On

Movie Theater Popcorn Seasoning, $10.36

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Even with a big celebratory dinner in your belly, you’ll want some snacks to nosh on throughout the night!  Whether that’s homemade holiday chex mix, french onion dip with kettle chips or just some great popcorn, prepare to push new year’s resolutions off one more day. 

Relaxing Vibes

Peace & Calming Essential Oil Blend, $34.75

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We’ve been on the essential oils train (hello, The Well Code), and this bestselling oil blend in particular will be in our diffuser on NYE.  With a comforting, fresh aroma, Peace & Calming oil creates a truly relaxing environment.  

Don’t have P&C at home, talk to us to change that (ha!), but try diffusing Lavender; it’s another soothing favorite! 

A Proper Palette

Henley Wool Throw

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I’ve always revered the idea of an amazing palette: tons of pillows, blankets galore (this one is to-die-for) and anything and everything you need…to just stay put.  Maybe it goes back to my days of blanket forts in the living room when I was little, but this is a must for a cozy NYE at home!

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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