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!



DIY | Farmer's Market :: Fresh Mart Makeover

Hi friends! 

Today I'm sharing our play grocery store makeover! The boys got this play grocery store from Melissa & Doug for Christmas last year. If I'm going to be honest, I was planning to give it a makeover from the moment that it was in the cart. I wasn't a fan of the red and green, so when we opted to set a playroom up for the boys, I took it as a chance to give the whole room a cohesive feel and start with my own little DIY project. 


Surprisingly, the store was in decent shape -- the only thing the boys managed to break off was the fridge door on the side of the store. I ended up throwing it away because I was tired of trying to fix it. Other than that, it was functional. I love this grocery store because it's so sturdy. It gets so much playtime from three little guys who love to climb, pull and throw things, so the fact that only the door was broken is a win!  

All it really needed was a fresh coat of paint. I mean, this was such a simple task because we only took off the scanner and conveyer belt when we painted it. Once those were off, we painted the store with three colors from our master playroom color scheme and waited for it to dry. 

S O S I M P L E -- seriously you guys, it's like a whole new toy! I love how it turned out. 

Once everything was dry and touch ups were added, I went to decorate + style the Market with their toys! I'll link some of the play food + products just in case you want to snag some for your collection. But first, let's take a closer look at the farmer's market. 

A F T E R 

Eggs -- Target Dollar Spot; these always appear around March / April 

Small Wicker Basket (with lid) -- this came in a set from IKEA; it comes with two other baskets that I use in the house and the smallest one is perfect for play crackers and small things. 

Mini Wooden Crates -- from Melissa & Doug Food Groups; this can be found on Amazon and at Target if you don't want to purchase it from Pottery Barn.

Baskets -- from HomeGoods and Marshalls 

Honey Jar -- came in a set. 

Plush Cupcakes -- from IKEA but are no longer available; they have a cute roll set though!  

Play Fruit + Veggies -- I've been collecting play food from the moment Felix got a play kitchen at 18 months and he's almost four, so I have a pretty hefty collection. I like to buy sets and when they're on sale. Here are some of my favorite places to look when I'm on the hunt for more house play items. 

Learning Resources ● Target ●  Amazon ●  Pottery Barn Kids ●  Crate + Barrel Kids ● Walmart

⊿  TIP :: the key here is to constantly look at these places because sales appear when you least expect it. 
Waiting for Black Friday is usually when you get the best bang for your buck, but you need to move fast because a lot of times, they sell out fast!

↓ S H A R E ●  S A V E ●  P I N  ↓

F R E E P R I N T A B L E S 

Here are the little prints I created for the market. Feel free to right-click and download! I placed them in 5x7 YLLEVAD frames from IKEA because it's perfect size-wise + they're 49 cents each. These little prints can be interchanged by the season if you'd like. I love how they give the market a more personal feel. 



... and that's a wrap y'all! I hope you've enjoyed this little makeover and that I've inspired you to dream up your own little DIY project. Stay tuned to see what I did with the boy's KidKraft play kitchen! 

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Wrap Up + Future Plans | Always Eat After 7 PM

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.
Hey y'all, so it's time to wrap up my time talking about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion. You probably already know how I feel about it from my three other blog posts -- read those here, here, and here. If you're just now jumping on the blog for the first time or missed these posts, I'd recommend reading them to hear all about the lifestyle change I've implemented. 

Basically, I started intermittent fasting and it's been great. I'm going off the plan written in Joel Marion's books as it's easy to follow, has starter recipes and talks common sense. Marion had me on board when he said that "most diets are extremely narrow with regard to food choices and variety, and many even limit entire macronutrients altogether over the course of the entire program (think low-carb and low-fat diets). Three months with no carbs? No thanks. Such practices not only are entirely unnecessary, but make for a miserable, unsustainable experience." I mean, how true its that? Most diet books are telling us to stop eating whole food groups and that's not okay with me. 

So, yah, you get it -- this book + plan is working wonders. I've lost 15 lb in a month by following this plan and I plan on keeping the momentum up and running because it is a lifestyle change! The book itself is a 14-day plan with three phases: the acceleration phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results, the main phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals and the final lifestyle phase to help keep the weight off for good. It really is a must have + read for anyone who is tired of restrictive and tedious diets.

Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.

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Mini Update | Always Eat After 7 pm

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

Hi again friends! For those of you who have been following this weight loss journey, I'm coming at you today with a mini update. For those of you who haven't been following along, I've implemented a lifestyle change (read allllll about it here) when it comes to my eating habits. 

And it's been going great! I have been loving all the easy to follow recipes in Joel Marion's Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight. They're quick to make, great to eat and I love that this lifestyle encourages no guilt when you eat a food you love. It's easy to follow meal planning is so helpful to stay on track too. It's really been a breeze to plan and stick to it.

The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of: The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results, The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals, The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good. The plan is laid out in a way that is simple to understand + follow. 

Since implementing this change, I've had so much more energy to take care / run after my three little guys! “Intermittent fasting really shines when it comes to improving the hormones that directly affect your hunger, blood sugar, and metabolism. One is insulin. IF combats insulin resistance, meaning that it helps your body use insulin more normally, thereby lowering your diabetes risk and boosting your metabolism.” In turn, more energy and more time to enjoy with the family -- something that was I looking for when I started this weight loss journey.

So yaaaah, this is something I highly recommend. 
I'd like to share one of my favorite recipes with y'all. That way you can see that I'm not bluffing. You can eat well and enjoy delicious food while losing weight.

So without further ado, here's a little excerpt from the book...

Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Ice cream is known as one of the world’s most “fattening” foods. Until now. What do you get when you combine cherries, dark chocolate, and bananas?

Well, to start with you get reduced inflammation and a hefty dose of melatonin from the cherries. Then add some iron and antioxidants from the dark chocolate and bananas to help boost heart health, lower blood pressure, lower insulin resistance, and even increase mental clarity.

All from eating ice cream.

Now you can enjoy this fat-loss friendly version of healthy ice cream any time of day—guilt free!

When you need ice cream in a flash, but you want to stick with your clean eating diet, then this is the recipe for you. Keep frozen bananas in your freezer at all time for emergency ice cream making sessions!

Quick Tip: Blend 3 frozen bananas with ¼ cup of coconut milk and use as the base for any combination of ice cream flavors. Throw in Mexican Brownie pieces (page TK) or Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough (page TK) or blend in fresh berries or chopped tropical fruit.

Prep: 10 minutes * Cook: 0 minutes * Makes: 4 servings


· ¼ cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved

· ¼ cup stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bar, chopped

· 3 overripe, frozen bananas, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

· ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk

· Pinch of sea salt

 S T E P S

1. Chill the cherries and dark chocolate.

2. Combine the frozen bananas, milk and salt in a food processor until the smooth, creamy consistency of soft serve is achieved. Stir in the cherries and chocolate and serve immediately, or place into a freezer safe container and freeze until serving.


Calories: 165

Fat: 7g 

Carbohydrates: 27g 

Sodium: 134mg 

Fiber: 6g 

Protein: 2g 

Sugar: 12g

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.
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seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly; my prayer

It's been a heavy week -- I still don't have many words.
Social media, the news, protests, riots, fighting words from all sides of the table. 
It's a confusing time right now. 

What I do know is that if people are hurting, it is my job as a follower of Jesus to listen and comfort those people. period. I often think of my Savior looking down on us and being disappointed by the fact that we do not seem to understand that → E V E R Y O N E ← was made in His image. We are all precious in His sight -- red, yellow, black, and white

so when my fellow brothers and sisters say that all lives can't matter until black lives matter, I have would have to agree no matter how controversial it may sound to some. their lives matter to my Savior, so they matter to me. 

y'all Jesus did not come to the earth and die for our sins, so we could treat others like they treated Him.
they persecuted Him, accused Him unjustly, they hated Him and they killed Him. 

we cannot stand for that behavior towards people who were created in HIS imagine. 
we just can't. 

My heart is heavy as I write this. 
I am sad for America. 
My heart yearns for God to heal our land. 

this is my prayer..

Jesus, please please please break our hearts for what breaks Yours. 
May we be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to judge, and slow to become angry.
Jesus, we need Your light now more than ever.
Clean our hearts, make them clean, so we can do Your work.
Help us lead the broken hearted to You by our actions, love, and words.
Soften the hearts of Your people and fill them with love. 
Fill us so we can pour out Your love on our hurting brothers and sisters.
Sow peace in all our aching hearts.

I'd like to list a few petitions + resources down below for the people who are interested in them. 
I aim to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly because that's what Jesus would do. 

I also want to commend, give kudos, and say thank you to all the God-fearing men and women who are addressing others with kindness, respect, and love during this crazy time. y'all are my favorite people. 

*this section will be updated periodically as I am still researching and compiling sources. 


& for the record,

I do not consider myself an activist and I don't have anything to promote except Jesus and his love. 
Here is the post I shared on Instagram regarding our responsibility as a church when it comes to racism.
I quoted the late Billy Graham because he so eloquently put the thoughts that I had jumbled in my head on the topic. 

View this post on Instagram

| hi again friends, I’ve been silent on here for two reasons — one, I’ve been sick and have taken a social media pause. but once I started feeling better + almost ready to bounce back in the game, the name George Floyd flooded the news. I didn’t feel right posting “normal” content, so I just kept reading and listening. my heart is hurting at such a senseless tragedy. —————————————————————————————— ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ง๐จ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐†๐ซ๐š๐ก๐š๐ฆ’๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐๐ž๐š ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ˆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ’๐ฌ ๐œ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ. ⁣ ————————————————————————⁣—————— We must not underestimate the devastating effects of racism on our world.⁣ ⁣ Racism is a sin precisely because it keeps us from obeying God’s command to love our neighbor, and because it has its roots in pride and arrogance. Christians who harbor racism in their attitudes or actions are not following their Lord at this point, for Christ came to bring reconciliation—reconciliation between us and God, and reconciliation between each other.⁣ ⁣ Tragically, too often in the past evangelical Christians have turned a blind eye to racism or have been willing to stand aside while others take the lead in racial reconciliation, saying it was not our responsibility. ⁣ ⁣ As a result, many efforts toward reconciliation in America have lacked a Christian foundation and may not outlive the immediate circumstances that brought them into existence. Our consciences should be stirred to repentance by how far we have fallen short of what God asks us to be as his agents of reconciliation.⁣ ——————————————————————⁣———————— so yes, #blacklivesmatter & no, that doesn’t mean that I hate the police or that I feel like all police officers are racist. it just means that I want my brothers + sisters of color to live free of fear and feel love pouring out from this little corner of the gram. I love y’all, stay safe & god bless you today, tomorrow and forever more.

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About The Author | Always Eat After 7 PM

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

Hi y'all, I'd like to take today to talk about the lifestyle change that I've implemented around my eating habits and their benefits. I talked about this change in my last post -- you can read it here. 

Basically, the research shows that "the average person's metabolic rate is no different during sleep than during the day." In short, your metabolism doesn't slow down in the evening. Your body also doesn't store fat at the end of the day. It doesn't matter if it's 8 am or 8 pm, you're using food for energy the same way. 

OKAY -- so that is exactly the exact opposite of what I've been hearing from other diets and honestly it makes sense! My goal is to lose the baby weight while still being able to eat actual food without too many restrictions and plan laid out in Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion helps me attain those goals. Intermittent fasting is the perfect solution because it doesn't focus on portions and all the can / can nots. It is all about a lifestyle change. 

Bestselling author, Joel Marion, is a fitness expert and nutritionist debunking the myths underlying traditional dieting and offers a simple, highly effective weight loss program. His Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance. 

Here are several things he said that really resonated with me when he was asked about this plan. I'm sharing these because these are his own words and there is nothing better than hearing things straight from the source! 

Q: What is different about this book compared to your others?

Although many of the concepts are similar, the biggest difference is that you don't have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods. You don't have to deal with the burden of eating every few hours. And you don't have to skip the carbs at dinnertime or avoid eating before bed.

Q: How difficult is the Always Eat After 7 PM plan to follow?

It's not. And that's exactly why I wrote the book. While any diet is never truly easy, it can be more enjoyable and much easier to adhere to when you understand how Always Eat After 7pm works because it caters to our bodies natural instincts.

So, y'all, doesn't it just make sense?! I mean really though, it's not earth-shattering information, but boy does it feel like it. I am just so excited about the lifestyle change and can't wait to share more about how it's impacting my weight loss journey. 

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.  Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.
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LifeStyle Change | Always Eat After 7 PM

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

Hi Friends!

Today I wanted to talk to you about a book that has inspired a lifestyle change.

Truth is, I want to lose 100 pounds by the time Alexander turns two. Yes, you heard that right, I am 100 pounds overweight and I am so embarrassed by it. Having three babies back to back wrecked my body in a way that I never thought imaginable. I wish I was one of those women who had a tiny baby bump and one of those "breastfeeding helped the baby weight come right off" stories, but I don't. I'm left with pounds I don't want and the need to implement a program that will aid in getting to where I want to be.

I've opted to follow a plan listed in the Always Eat After 7 PM written by Joel Marion.

In the Joel's own words, "Always Eat After 7 pm is a three-phase program that teaches you how to lose big by strategically eating big when you are naturally hungriest—in the evening. This may sound too good to be true, but let me assure you it is no gimmick. It’s all about making strategic and smart food swaps, and you can still eat your favorite foods."

The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, while putting you into ketosis.

I've done intermittent fasting + follow Joel's tips on what to eat for about two weeks now and I am loving it. The book is a super simple guide with a ton of recipes that are easy to make. It's been such a great lifestyle change!
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