Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog



What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and those "aha!" moments. All with a hint of sarcasm, a dash of truth and bold European wit. Thanks for following along!


9 Places To Shop When Building Your Homeschool Library

Hey y'all, I thought I'd share some tips and hacks on where to shop when you're trying to build your homeschool library because books can be so expensive. If you're anything like me, collecting books has become a hobby and you're always looking for a good deal, so this post is here to share my what I do when I am in search of a good deal on some amazing books!  


I just want to be upfront and say that this post has several coupon codes and some of the links listed are affiliate links which means that if you purchase through them, I do make a bit of commission! As always, no pressure, but if you do choose to purchase through them, I am so grateful as this passive income is helping me feed our family and pay the rent. 



I buy a lot of books from Amazon and by that, I mean a lot of books. I have over 100 books listed in my storefront and more than half of those, I've gotten from Amazon. If there is a certain book I have my eyes on, I will wait until the book I want undergoes a price cut. Every once in a while, they will have a BOGO 50% or a buy two get one free sale. For this reason, I check Amazon daily. It's a great place to get books and get them fast. Amazon also has bargain books section that I frequent often. 

Here is a sampling of some of the genres of books you can buy on Amazon. 

The only con to buying books off of Amazon is that sometimes you get them with dinged-up corners or scuff marks on the cover which can be annoying. If you don't mind a mark here and there, then Amazon is the place to get books quickly.


The next place I go to buy books is Thriftbooks! I always come here before I purchase anywhere else to compare the price because you can get some amazing books for really good prices. After you create an account with them, with every purchase, you can rack up points and earn free books! 

Because it's a thrift store, I only buy books that are listed as "like new" or "very good." 

I've only been disappointed by the quality of one book and that was because the inside cover was messier than all the other books I had received up to that point. I've ordered over 30 books from them and more often than not, they come in really good shape.

I have a code for 15% off your first purchase -- click here to shop & redeem! 

* please note :: code is only valid for 5 of you, so it's a first-come-first-served basis. 


Another one of my favorite places to shop is BookOutlet. I have bought some amazing books at some really good prices here. I've found popular books marked 57% off, so this is one of my favorite spots to check. They have new markdowns weekly, so I make it a goal to check the website every Tuesday and search keywords that pertain to what we're learning, what I'm planning, and the boy's interest. 

One thing I love about BookOutlet is that they tell you the stock count in the listing. I hate having things in my cart and then for them to disappear as I search, so I feel like the count gives me peace of mind and a sense of urgency in cases where there are only a few copies left. 

The only con to BookOutlet is that they ship with USPS and sometimes they lose things in transit. I had this happen to me once and I was so bummed. I reached out to their customer service and they were so nice. I had no trouble reaching them or getting a refund. 

To get $10 off your first purchase of $25click here.

Better World Books

Another great place to shop if you love the idea of thrifted books. I really appreciate the initiative behind Better World Books because not only do they recycle books, but they donate books and funds to low-income families, libraries, and literacy programs. 

Because these books are thrifted, I do what I always do and that is to only buy books that are listed as "like new" or "very good" quality. Another thing I look at when buying books here is making sure that the shipping is listed as free. I love comparing prices to other thrift stores and getting the bang for my buck. 

get $5 off an order of $30 by clicking here.


As you can tell, I love books, so of course, you can guess that I always stop by their book table! I've found some amazing book packs that ended up being a really great deal. I've found the Botanicum and Animaliaum from the Welcome to the Museum collection in a pack for $30 -- just one of those books is listed between $33-$35, so getting two for that price was a STEAL. 

Some other books I've seen at (and bought from) Costco include:

The Magnificent Book of Animals and so much more! is another great place to look for books that you may have spotted in-store but didn't have a chance to pick up. Sometimes, they can be spotted online a few months after they were in the store.

Some of my favorite sets include:

One thing I recommend when shopping in-store is peeking under the table because sometimes you can see books that haven't made it on top of the table. I've spotted several books under the table that were placed on the table a few weeks later! 

Book Warehouse

Another great place to get more books for your buck. The entire warehouse has books that are marked anywhere from 50% to 80% off. They have always had bundle deals available and a lot of times you can find 10% off books that have just been released! If you have a location nearby, then I'd check them out. I rarely leave this store without several books in my hand. 


I'm going to let you in on a little secret -- as a homeschool mom, I opted to try registering as a teacher and it worked! Once you get approved, you have books at 25% off at your disposal. Every few months they have packs of 75 books for $50 which is a great deal. 

I've read from other moms online that weren't able to get approved for the teacher's account as a homeschooler and I think that may have been for two reasons. 

1 | because they didn't have a school name. I've branded the homeschooling segment of my brand European Homestead, so I used that for the name and it worked! 

2 | if you're an early learning teacher, you probably won't get approved. I tried that first and it automatically redirected me to the parent's page. If you list any grade/age prior to first grade, you will get declined. I have two homeschooled brothers that I often teach in the 2nd and 3rd grades and once I listed them as grades I teach, my form went through. 

I think it is worth mentioning that most of the affordable books you purchase at scholastic are probably going to be paperback, so if you're okay with that, then I'd say sign up! They do have some hardcover books, but those aren't as heavily discounted as the paperbacks are. 

Local Thrift Stores & Secondhand Stores

I don't frequent these shops as much as I want to because I have fidgety littles who don't have the patience to wait on me as I ruffle through unorganized shelves of what seems like an endless amount of books, but if you have the time, I'd say go for it. I go book thrifting about twice a year and sometimes, you can find real treasures. 

Barnes and Noble

This is probably my last stop when I am looking to buy books because you're going to see books listed at their full retail price almost always -- especially the newly published ones. One place I frequent is their bargain bookshelves as well as the coupons + sales that they have online. Every once in a while, they have some good sales and if you're signed up for a membership, you can get 10% off on your purchase.  


Soooo, there you have it -- these are my most frequented book stores + online shops! every once in a while, I'll be shopping at a small shop that I love and if they have books listed as items and it's been a book I've been eyeing, I'll buy it from them. I also frequent places like Target and Walmart (both online and in-store) when they have sales on books. Basically, book sales are the way to go when a book you want isn't in a discounted store or thrift shop. 

annnnnnd, that's a wrap y'all! I hope you've found this post helpful. I love you guys! 

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Friendly Reminder | Drop The Stone

read this quote the other day and it’s been ringing in my head ever since.

just think —
a woman so immoral.
seen so low in the eyes of society.
a lost cause they said.
a sinner with no purpose.
when the justice of the world called for her life.

๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ.
it did not throw her faults in her face.
it did not compare her to the set standards of the world.
it didn’t confront, condemn and destroy.

y’all, He did not pick up a stone.
๐˜๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ.
He could have raised His righteous hand, but He ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต.
๐—›๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜.

no harsh tone.
no mockery of what she was.
no condemnation for her faults.
no scoffing at what she had become.

how many times have we opted to take the road of the world. we judge harshly, we condemn, we scoff at someone’s theology and lifestyle, we hang onto what we think should be done rather than focusing on His heart for His children. we often forget that He does not seek justice the way seek it. He seeks to save, to touch souls, to love all His people in ways that the world doesn’t. He grants mercy to those who we consider lost, unworthy, or unmerited.

we often forget that to the people who had gathered to judge in what they thought was righteous, He turned and said, “if any of you is without sin, let him be first to throw the stone.” (john 8:7)

——————————————————  ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น. —————————————————————— 

to those of you who feel like you’ve been thrown away and disregarded, please know that ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—›๐—ถ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—›๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ — ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜€๐—ฒ.

it doesn’t matter how the most righteous of men on this planet see you, but how He sees you.

friendly reminder that:
๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ,
๐—›๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜†.

and He looks down upon you with love every. single. day — you are worthy in His eyes no matter what the world has to say about it.


Full Passage | John 8:2-11 

2 | Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.

3 | The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst

4 | they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.

5 | Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?”

6 | This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

7 | And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

8 | And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

9 | But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.

10 | Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.

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Sermon Share | Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit


In addition to the digging deeper series, I want to start a little series where I share sermons that I love, from teachers that I admire, and the notes that I take on their teachings. Whenever possible, I will link the sermon and then the notes. I'd encourage you to print and read over the notes, listen to the sermon with the notes in front of you, and then jotting down anything else that stands out to you. 

So, with all that said, here is the first sermon I want to share with y'all -- on the Holy Spirit. I find this message so incredibly important. My husband and I have actively talked about the works of the Spirit this past week and so I thought I'd start to listen to some in-depth sermons on the Spirit because most of the time, it's merely a mention or a footnote. 

I invite you to study with me and let's get closer to God together. 

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I bought a house!

wellllll, a dollhouse, but still it's a house and I bought it at such a bargain of a price off of FB marketplace -- shoutout to my husband for supporting this purchase and my new hobby. I've been looking for over a year for something like this, so to find a house that has the bones of a house without the need to patch up the interior or remove ugly carpet / wallpaper is amazing!

ya'll already know that I adore interior design, so I am so stoked to have this house with eight rooms AND a terrace to decorate. It's going to be so much fun. I am already so pumped about seasonal decor and revamping / refreshing it to match the seasons. 

Annnnd before you start with the "Marta, aren't you a little bit too old for this kind of stuff," remember that I live with 4 males. This is probably the only girly thing that I can do right now and I'm kind of hopeful that down the line, the Lord will bless us with a daughter too whom I can pass this down. Even if that doesn't happen, I'll be praying for granddaughters. LOL. Before I get ahead of myself, the boys are super excited about this house too, so either way, it's worth it. 

I've already been having so much fun with looking at miniature scales, styles and furniture, I just need to figure out what kind of house it will be -- I'm leaning toward a modernistic farmhouse with rustic touches here and there. so, yah -- I am pumped to get started. 

I plan on sharing the process and stages of this house project via the blog and I also created an Instagram to share it all in the form of a photo diary — you can follow along at @theminiestates.

Buuuuut first, what should I paint the outside of the house? I'm thinking white paneling and black trims. That's what my future farmhouse dreams are made of -- time to make it a miniature reality! Eeeep, so excited for this and to share it all with you. 

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Digging Deeper | Introduction + Ruth 1

hey ya'll. welcome to my little bible study corner on the blog! 

I feel like I want to share, document, and make more faith-based content, so this is my first mini-study post. I'll continue to post visual verses as I make them, but I am wanting to share closer and deeper looks into the things I'm studying. 

I want to say that these will be consistently flowing, but if I'm going to be honest, they're probably going to be all over the place. I'll be sharing what God puts on my heart and that may mean I'll be in the new testament even though we're starting in Ruth.

These studies will reflect the seasons of life I'm in, the emotions I am feeling, and the wanting to connect with the Lord on a deeper level. 

I'm letting you know now that I want to share + show y'all that faith isn't just going to church and wearing Sunday's best. it's about a real relationship and pursuing Him in all that you do, in how you treat others, and how you allow Him to lead your life. 

Before you come at me, let me just say the church is important, yes, but the church, biblically speaking, is not the building -- it's the fellowship with your fellow believer. 

It's loving people around you, it's showing the world that you are set apart. It's gathering with a fellow believer in Christ and encouraging them in hard seasons. It's having dinner with the family next door and singing worship music together. It's gathering with your members of your community and praying. It's so much more than getting dressed on Sunday and listening to a sermon. so yes, the church is essential when it's about the jesus, community and fellowship -- 100% 

so long tanget made short, all I really want to say is that I want to help lead others to Christ in whatever form I can. When I was a teen, I made visual verses and posted them all over the internet. I stopped after I got married, but it's time to take that same passion, revive it and bring it here to the blog. 

Digging Deeper into Ruth 1

๐—ฎ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ⁣
one thing I love about the word is the way it stays relevant and parallels throughout the entire text. here’s a conversation between Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth that has withstood the test of time and is still so relevant. ⁣

๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป⁣
Naomi: go, return each of you to her mother's house (v.8)⁣

Orpah & Ruth: no, we will return with you to your people (v.10) ⁣

‭‭Naomi: turn back, my daughters (v.11)⁣

Orpah: kissed her mother in law and left (v.14) ⁣

Ruth: do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God (v.16) ⁣

๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†⁣
Orpah did what was expected, but what beautiful words from Ruth! I feel as if they are the perfect examples of believers today • Orpah was eager at first, but then times got tough and she went back on her worldly way... but Ruth? she would not be moved even though all their provisions were gone, their was security gone, and comfort was found only in each other. ⁣

today, let us be like Ruth and stand firm on Him and His word even when we are left wondering what comes next. be assured that He has a plan & that you are a part of it. ⁣

๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—น ⁣
๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜บ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ, ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ⅃ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜„‬ ‭๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฏ:๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ-๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ‬ ‭• ex. orpah

๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ญ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ⅃ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜„‬ ‭๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฏ:๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ‬ ‭• ex. ruth


Mood Board | Spring Themed Rooms

Hey friends! 

It's been spring for awhile now, so I thought it would be fun to create spring themed mood boards for a living room, kitchen and patio. As always, all things presented in the board will be linked right below. I had such a fun time creating these spaces and love how they turned out. 

Sven Sofa | Colorful Wall Art | Pouf | String of Hearts Plant | Lamp | Sideboard | Birds | Accent Chair | Flower Vase | Rug | Vintage Floral Pillow | Accent Table | Book Bundle | Yellow Throw Blanket

Cast Iron Pot | Carafe | Medallion Dinner Plate | Floral Glass | Wooden Serving Bowl | Floral Oven Mit | Serving PlatterBee Trivet | Yellow Jute Runner | Bowl Set | Life Gives You Lemons Sign | Clean Slate Cookbook | Tulips in Vase | Market Dish Towels | Berry Boxes

Bird Runner | Wooden Bench | Round Side Table | Rocker | Black Wire Lanterns | Round Fire Pit | Copper Chime | Bird Bath | Round Cusions | Fringe Throw Blanket

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