Surviving the Holidays

5 Ways To Prepare For Holiday House Guests

Welcome Friends & Family with Thoughtful Details This Holiday
Filed Under > Entertaining

Holiday entertaining tips via @waitingonmartha Holiday entertaining ideas by @waitingonmartha How to prepare for holiday house guests via @waitingonmartha Preparing a tray for house guests, @waitingonmartha Welcoming out-of-towners for the holidays by @waitingonmartha Holiday entertaining ideas for the nightstand, @waitingonmartha

I’ve always looked forward to hosting overnight guests.  Yes, I’m admittedly a homebody, but I relish the opportunity to have loved ones here with us at home, especially this time of year.  

As you may remember, I shared my five steps to get the house “guest ready” a few years ago.  It’s one of our most popular posts with its easy entertaining inspiration and hotel-like details to replicate at home.  It’s still a favorite of mine as well, but I’d like to say I’ve honed my house guests prep game even more since then.  Today’s post is the proof.  

The secret to hosting friends and family throughout the holidays (and really any time of year) is in the details and little luxuries that so many people overlook; include things that make them feel like they’re staying at a 5-star hotel.  Think of the necessities you need and the extras you would want, but wouldn’t want to ask for!  I’ve broken the details down to five separate areas below with none being outlandish or fussy, but instead achieving that warm welcome and feelings that will make guests never want to leave.  Truly, MKR

P.S. As you prepare the guest room, find these 8 easy steps to properly dress the bed. xo



Fresh Linens

Because beautiful bedding makes all the difference

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Nothing beats clean sheets and gorgeous bedding…it’s the obvious statement of the room that can always easily be changed.  I recently bought a new comforter; I realized I was sort of over duvets in general and how they lay. So being ready for a fresh change, I ordered this punchy comforter and sham set.  I’d say it was just the refresh the room needed!

The personalized sheets are a detail I just love too; they’re subtle, crisp and simply timeless. 

The Basics

Everything they don't want to ask for

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I always like to prepare a tray or two with the necessities that people never want to ask for.  That includes things like Advil, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, razors, and even your wifi password written out on a piece of paper. 

These rattan trays are great because they’re easy and functional as they organize and corral all of these necessities. They don’t have huge handles, so they add just the right amount of texture without being overpowering to the overall design.

Cozy Details

Create a welcoming escape

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You want to make your guests feel welcome—almost as good as home—and one of the easiest ways of doing that is by providing cozy details.  A huggable throw blanket and sets of pajamas are two of my go-to’s when creating am oasis for guests.  But remember: when buying pajamas, you’ll always want to have them bigger than smaller, so size up if you want to offer a standard pair. 

More cozy details to include: offer a waffle pique bath robe, a pair of cashmere slippers or a silk sleep mask for the best beauty sleep they’ve had in awhile. 


Water, snacks & treats

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One of the reasons being away from home gets wearisome sometimes is the feeling of dependency over the little things.  By offering plenty of refreshments in the bedroom, you give your guests the chance to feel more at home…on their own.  

I like to stock up on distilled or sparkling water, healthy snacks (my favorite are from Nourish Snacks), and of course, little seasonal treats like these gourmet candied pecans

The Final Touches

Seasonal details & design

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To celebrate the season, I knew I wanted to hang a giant boxwood wreath above the bed.  Hanging a wreath is nothing new, I know.  But unlike other wreaths, boxwood won’t allow trimmings to fall on your guests’ heads in bed.  Boxwood and eucalyptus are my preferred greens whenever hanging a wreath like this one. I hung this one with a gorgeous green velvet ribbon; one that was substantial enough to hold the large wreath and had wire to make a nice bow.  And to keep things fresh, spritz frequently with a homemade Balsam Fir spray (check out @thewellcode) for more on that. 

I also displayed paperwhites I sprouted from the bulbs, along with a basket of white poinsettias.  Both are so festive, but a lot less expensive than other flowers this time of year.  But you’ll want to be careful with your poinsettias on the ground if you have furry friends around. 

Lastly, I like to have a few magazines, newspaper and any other reading material on-hand for guests.  I also place a guestbook on the dresser; it’s such a nice tradition to have people share memories, especially at Christmastime! 


Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

As pictured: pajamas | wool throw | throw pillow (different color) | comforter | personalized sheets | rattan tray with handles | rectangular rattan tray | candle | toothpaste | hand cream | soap | paperwhite bulbs | ribbonmatches | pecans | glass tumblers | glass carafe | taffy | candy | wreath | lamp (similar)

The Top 10 Best Essential Oils I’m Using Right Now

An essential oil for every area of your life
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

The Best Essential Oils to Use Today, Waiting On Martha

You know, if a couple drops of essential oil can help me feel better, help change my skincare routine, and help me get rid of so many harsh chemicals in my household then essential oils are something I can get behind.  So I thought today I’d share the ten best essential oils that I can’t stop using.  

Truthfully, I used to joke that it’s all a little too “woo-woo” for me, but I quickly found that the world of essential oils isn’t “woo-woo” but rather been around since basically the dawn of time, hello frankincense and myrrh.  And aside from the actual positive physical and mental effects I’ve found from the oils, the education of it all has been really enjoyable.  

I’ve been using essential oils here and there for years, but only recently when faced with frustrations in numerous areas of my life, did I truly plunge in.  And once I was in, I was IN!  Hence the beginning of my relationship with Young Living Essential Oils.   And since starting this journey the number one question I’ve been getting is, “okay but how do I actually use oils and what are the best essential oils?”

There’s literally an oil for EVERYTHING.  And the essential oils you’ll use will consistently change with the season and evolve with how you’re feeling, what you’re fighting, etc.  Below I’ve went into more detail about the top ten best essential oils I’m using right now and how I’m using them.  

I mentioned above that it wasn’t until late last year that I actually took the plunge with Young Living, and I’ve got to say I wish I would have purchased a Premium Starter Kit years ago when I had originally begun dabbling in oils.  It would have saved A LOT of time and A LOT of money, see the math below.  I’ve probably spent double the cost of the kit on lower quality oils and diffusers in the past.  There’s a reason why the Premium Starter Kit is simply the smartest way to get started, which you can read all about they why HERE.  And I’d LOVE to know about your go-to essential oils, your favorite uses and even ones you’re hoping to try out soon.  Truly, MKR

P.S. If you’re interested in getting started with essential oils, and have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out via email:  We know it’s all a bit overwhelming, but the entire WOM team began with the Premium Starter Kit with monthly Essential Rewards to keep the oils coming.  And once you do the math you’ll see why a starter kit is really the way to go.  The kit retails for $350, but you only pay $160 and gets you 11 essential oils averaging plus a free dew drop diffuser which retails for $60. And once you see the pricing of each oil on it’s own you’ll understand why a kit is a must.  Not to mention you forever get the wholesale pricing on anything going forward. Can’t beat that! xo

Peppermint Essential Oil

The Well Code, $21.50

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Peppermint is an easy favorite; I apply this essential oil on my forehead with water (50:50) the morning after I’ve over-indulged at holiday party, and I keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. I also add a drop to my coffee, water or tea to help me curb my appetite and soothe my always tumultuous tummy.

It’s affordable (and comes in the Premium Starter Kit because it’s such an essential), and something I always like to have on-hand for a quick boost. 

Use it for: energizing, digestive support

*Included in the Premium Starter Kit. 


The Well Code, $33.75

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The importance of nontoxic cleaning is really a no-brainer.  To me, it was simple to switch out my fragrance and chemical-laden detergents for Thieves. As opposed to chemical-laden alternatives, Thieves helps neutralize smells and purifies the air, instead of masking odors and leaving more bad stuff to breathe in! 

I use Thieves to clean throughout my house, and while doing so, it’s been easy for me to see why Thieves is one of Young Living’s bestsellers (also included in the Premium Starter Kit).  My favorite way to use it?  I mix a few drops of the oil with water for an all-purpose counter spray and a gentle linen spray. I also add a few drops to baking soda and sprinkle the mixture in all of our garbage cans to keep the stink away.  But it can be used in a wide range of household products from laundry detergents to even toothpaste, too.  

Use it for: immune support, purifying, cleaning

*Included in the Premium Starter Kit. 

Tea Tree

The Well Code, $26

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Tea tree essential oil has been used as part of skin care regimens for centuries around the world. It’s a powerful oil that can moisturize and help clear the appearance of blemishes. 

Since it’s a powerful oil, I like to apply tea tree topically to my shoulders and back (along the sports bra line) after I work out.  Its cleaning properties can help keep any post-workout breakouts at bay. 

Use it for: cleansing


The Well Code, $23.50

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Every night, I diffuse lavender essential oil bedside in my Dew Drop Diffuser plus roll it on my feet, wrists, and neck. It’s one of Young Living’s most versatile and powerful essential oils, and can be found in so many products because the calming, fresh and pleasing aroma is just second to none. 

I also recently made an easy DIY lavender nighttime spray with a 8-10 drops of oil with water that I keep in the extra bedroom for when guests stay with us. 

Use it for: skin irritations, balancing, relaxing

*Included in the Premium Starter Kit. 


The Well Code, $25

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I use purification almost everyday.  Made up of six essential oils for Purification is the ultimate weapon against odors. Citronella, Lavandin, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Myrtle, and Tea Tree work together to create a refreshing, bright scent that keeps you and your family happy and comfortable.

I diffuse it throughout my house every time I cook, in the garage, in my car, and always have a spray bottle around ready to spritz any area that just needs a little pick me up.

Use it for: cleaning & purification

**Included in the Premium Starter Kit


The Well Code, $21.05

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Tangerine is that oil that I find I add to everything. Because of its appealing aroma, Tangerine oil uses include a wealth of topical and aromatic applications. Use its cleansing benefits in your morning skin care routine for an added boost or apply it to your temples before study time or meditation.  I also add a few drops to peppermint or eucalyptus for the diffuser, a few drops on my wrist to motivate me before a workout, and a few drops of Tangerine Vitality to my water to amp up the flavor. 

Use it for: motivation, cleansing, & energy balance



The Well Code, $73.50

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It’s agreed that Frankincense can increase feelings of spirituality and inner strength!  There’s no wonder it’s been highly revered for years; it also helps me minimize breakouts from the stress of the season, while moisturizing my skin as it gets dry this time of year. 

I apply 1-2 drops to my face, neck and chest morning and night, and additionally whenever needed (I wore an itchy sweater the other day and broke out in a rash…Frankincense to the rescue!). 

Use it for: immune support, skin health, spiritual grounding 

*Included in the Premium Starter Kit. 


The Well Code, $10.75

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I place a few drops of spearmint essential oil into my tea for my tummy. It’s known to be milder than peppermint, so it’s easy on my digestion if my stomach is acting up. It also has a really great, uplifting aroma, and I enjoy it blended with lavender in my diffuser. 

Use it for: emotional release, digestive support, respiratory health


The Well Code, $43

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Along with the Frankincense, I apply a few drops of Copaiba essential oil when my face is broken out or inflamed, or I have any rash like I do right now on my chest thanks to an itchy sweater.  Not as well known as Frankincense, Copaiba has been traditionally used for similar skincare support, helping the body’s natural response to injury or irritation.

Occasionally, I also have physical tension ( thanks, Mother Nature) and I apply a few drops of Copaiba with a carrier oil when that happens.  Copaiba contains the highest amounts of beta caryophyllene (a natural substance that influences your body’s ability to respond to irritation) of all of the essential oils and is basically an MVP in that department. 

Use it for: physical discomfort and skin health

*Included in the Premium Starter Kit. 


The Well Code, $24.75

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Basil essential oil is known to have a fresh, herbaceous aroma (like the fresh herb!).  I’ve found that it can be calming and refreshing when I mix a few drops into my nighttime bath.  I’ve been doing so lately with a few drops of Basil essential oil when I need a little “me time” to think. 

Use for: mental clarity, alertness, balancing

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

**The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The information represents what I, an Independent Distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health and that of my family.  Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

Information found on this site is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. Individual articles and information on other websites are based upon the opinions of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked.

Waiting on Martha’s Holiday Gift Guide No. Two

Everything to Gift this season + A Major Giveaway You Don't Want to Miss
Filed Under > Entertaining

The Holiday Gift Guide, including the perfect skillet, a coffee subscription and at home calligraphy set!

If you missed yesterday’s big news, you’re in for a treat this week here on Waiting on Martha!  We’re sharing a handful of holiday gift guides this year, and including a MAJOR giveaway with EACH to truly celebrate the season with all of you.  Today, my friends, marks Gift Guide Number Two. 

Since we’re sharing everything we’re planning on gifting this year (the what, the to who, and the why we’re gifting it), we thought it would be fun to give it all away, too.  One lucky winner will receive everything you see in this picture! That’s right…one lucky winner will be picked for each gift guide! 

So what are you waiting for?!  Get all the details from everything in Gift Guide Number Two below, and of course the giveaway entry form widget.  We couldn’t have done this one without our generous friends at Williams-Sonoma, Thimblepress, Mark & Graham, Inkspot Workshop, Smithey Ironware, Oui Shave, Waiting On Martha Home, and Drift Away Coffee!  

Be sure to read about all of the products included below, who we’re gifting each one to, and of course enter via Rafflecopter. Good luck, good luck and let’s cheers to a great start to gift guide season!   Truly, MKR

P.S. Don’t forget to enter yesterday’s giveaway (Gift Guide Number One) HERE. xo 

Maybelle Calligraphy Set

Mark & Graham, $199

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Mark & Graham gives us a gorgeous handmade, wooden keepsake box with the basics to get your creative juices flowing to master calligraphy at home. This calligraphy set includes a wood pen with steel nib, three extra nibs, wood pen rest, miniature ink vial, 1 oz. bottle of black sumi ink with dropper, practice booklet, letterpress alphabet sheet.

We’d gift this to a friend who’s in a creative rut.

*Giveaway winner will receive one calligraphy set. 

Leather Bound World Travel Journal

Mark & Graham, $70

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Perfect for the jetsetter (or local wanderer!), this leather travel journal includes pages for journaling, full-color maps of major cities, world weather info, international dialing codes and more.

We’d gift this to the person in our life who has the most frequent flyer miles.

*Giveaway winner will receive one journal, customized and monogrammed if desired. 

Copper Measuring Cups, Set of 4

Williams-Sonoma, $39.95

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We’re big fans of these elegant measuring cups that instantly elevate your kitchen routine.  The copper offers a heavy-duty construction with low-maintenance finish, and the sturdy stainless steel means you won’t be replacing these anytime soon. The set includes 1 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup. 

We’d gift this to the baker in our life.

*Giveaway winner will receive one set of measuring cups. 

Chocolate & Wine Pairing Kit

Williams-Sonoma, $19.95

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Celebrate two of our favorite things (wine and chocolate) with handcrafted chocolate bars that have been made to perfectly pair with different wines. An easy stocking stuffer, and a simple gift for just about anyone on your list!

We’d gift this to the person who always has a glass of wine in their hand and orders dessert first.

*Giveaway winner will receive kit of four 2 oz. bars. 

CinnaMint No. 7 Chewing Sticks

Waiting on Martha Home, $7.50

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These all natural, premium batch cinnamon toothpicks have a subtle hint of mint, creating a sweet sensation while chewing. Chewing sticks are an American tradition, and prove to be a great stocking stuffer for the boys.

We’d gift this to the man in our life.

*Giveaway winner will receive two bottles of chewing sticks. 

No. 10 Cast Iron Skillet

Smithey Iron, $160

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As any Southerner will tell you, true Dixie cooking is done with cast iron. What’s destined to become an heirloom houseware, this No. 10 cast iron skillet by Charlestons’s Smithey Iron is US made and crafted with care. 

We’d gift this to the Southern chef.

*Giveaway winner will receive one skillet. 

Blood Orange Himalayan Salt Body Scrub, Aftershave Toner, Bikini Body Ingrown Relief Serum, & Lavan Shave Oil

Oui Shave, $92

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Oui Shave is seriously changing the shaving game with luxurious, all natural products that your skin will love.  We rounded up four of our favorite essentials from the brand (a body scrub, an aftershave, ingrown serum and shave oil), so you can start enjoying shaving once and for all, too. 

We’d gift this to our bestie who eats organic, but doesn’t wear patchouli.

*Giveaway will will receive all four products.

Love Taco Matches, Set of 3

Inkspot Workshop, $9

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Taco Tuesday (our favorite day of the week) just got better; just grab your margarita and you’re set. These orange matchboxes are stamped with ♥ TACOS in sparkly gold foil and couldn’t be cuter. 

We’d gift this to our work buddy.

*Giveaway winner will receive a set of 3 matchboxes. 

The Prayer Partner

Thimblepress, $32

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The Prayer Partner is a great way to keep track of the blessings in your life.  The journal provides easy spaces to fill in (even if you only have five minutes!) your thoughts, desires, dreams and prayers, along with prayers and bible verses to help inspire you on your path.  It’s simply a stunning book (188 pages!) with 20 art prints included. 

We’d gift this to our Mom or MIL, (Mother In Law).

*Giveaway winner will receive one journal. 

3-Month Coffee Subscription

Drift Away Coffee, $48

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We think a life upgrade comes in the form of a freshly roasted coffee subscription, delivered straight to your doorstep!  Drift Away Coffee offers great subscription plans (customizable and flexible for your lifestyle) that would make anyone smile this holiday.  

We’d gift this to the coffee lover in our life who prefers local the pour over method to red cups.

*Giveaway winner receives one 3-month coffee subscription. 

PLEASE NOTE: Giveaway items will be shipped directly from each retailer. xo 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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