September 2017 / Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog

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Welcome

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!

NEWSLETTER

9.20.2017

Review | HerStyler's Titanium Digital Violet Straightener


So, let me just start this post by saying -- what used to take 45+ minutes is now done in just TEN and as a mom that's pressed for time, I call that a win

I don't usually straighten my hair because the very act of straightening my hair has always taken me a longer time that curling my naturally wavy thick hair. When HerStyler contacted me through Shopping Links to try one of their hairstyling product -- I almost played it safe and chose a curler.

But on a whim, I chose a straightener and started hoping for the best! When I received the blogger mail, I was nervous because my hair has been trying to cope with all the postpartum hair loss having a baby brought about.

My hair is growing, but that means having a thick mane up top and a lot of fly aways -- this straightener was definitely a risk. However, when I opted to actually straighten my hair with the Titanium Digital Violet  Straightener, I was pleasantly surprised!

It gets the job done in a matter of minutes. I love that the tool itself heats up super fast, so you're not waiting a long time for the tool to actually heat up! Once it's hot enough to use, I apply some heat protectant oil that HerStyler so kindly gifted me and then I style! What's great about the oil is that it doesn't leave your hair greasy -- instead it gives you a beautiful shine and hair that is super soft to the touch.

I find myself needing to do only two strokes with this straightener to get the soft sleek look I'm going for which makes the process seem like a breeze! I'm so glad I decided to walk the line and choose this tool because I no longer have to avoid straightening my hair -- all thanks to HerStyler!

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9.11.2017

It's True -- I've Hopped on the Essential Oil Train


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But -- I did it on my own terms.

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Before I start explaining what I mean, I just want to throw a disclaimer out there -- This post is not by any means intended to offend, mock, hurt feelings, shame or criticize anyone. If you swear by certain brands and oils, then that's totally OKAY. I'm sure you have legitimate reason and logic behind those opinions which I totally RESPECT.

I'm just throwing my very new and fresh perspective and experience with oils in this post.

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Using essential oils -- it's something I never thought I'd do because it seemed sooo overrated to me.

I mean everyone is supposedly using them and it got to a point where it felt like it was another money making machine business.

I felt that way because I'd get message requests on Instagram telling me that oils changed someone's life and then when I went to look at the prices of the company they were promoting -- my jaw dropped.

A diffuser that costs more than $200 and you're giving me a discount and selling it for $160 if I buy a HUGE kit? It's super overwhelming for someone who knows nothing about oils. It didn't help that those very messages would say something like "I understand that oils are overwhelming if you've never used them..." and then they'd counter that with the notion that there is this aspect of community essential oils brings. I mean -- yes, I'm all about community, but I was still hooked on that super spendy diffuser and ginormous kit. Don't get me wrong -- there is no shame in promoting a product you love on social media (I do that all the time in my posts), but I just wasn't feeling it when it came to essential oils. What can I say? I'm sort of a skeptic. 

One things those messages did spark was my interest -- I mean, if someone is willing to spend a small fortune on oils, then there MUST be something about them. I bought my very first diffuser that came with two oils -- rosemary mint and lavender.


I got this diffuser on a whim because it was $20.00 at Costco. If I'm going to be honest, at that point I just wanted to see what the big deal / hype was all about.

It's safe to say -- I love the scent lavender, so diffusing lavender quickly became a favorite bedtime ritual.

The diffuser itself had LED lights which I loved. My all time favorite color palette includes shades of white and green, so the fact that this diffuser had a pretty soft white light was amazing! It's the only color I used.

My love for this diffuser was short lived because after 2 months of diffusing my oils consistently -- I found a pool of water underneath it. I stopped using it right then and there!

I was pretty bummed, but decided to take a break and do some diffuser research before I plunged in again. This time around, I looked into the two expensive brands -- but I still couldn't get myself to buy into them. I didn't want to commit to buying from them every month for the discounts, so I took my search to Amazon.

I will say that I found the expensive brand diffusers there too and I wasn't all to impressed with the reviews. I took them with a grain of salt though because sometimes competitors go negative reviews to lower the rating.

After much consideration and thought, I settled on the VicTsing 300 ml Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser.

I've had this for about a month now and I love it! 

The wooden look makes it look so chic and the fact that it has seven different LED lights that have both a bright and dim setting makes it so much better. Another amazing feature is that it has 3 different time settings -- 1 HR, 3 HRS, and 6 HRS.

Another feature that I love about this diffuser is that it turns off when there is no more water to diffuse -- AUHMAZING. I don't know about you, but small safety features like that give me piece of mind. I just love this product and I would recommend it to everyone!

This diffuser is in my living room and the whole room plus my kitchen, the play area, hallway and my large staircase / entry way smells when I have it going.

 [ FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS DIFFUSER / TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON :: CLICK HERE.  ]

Now that I had an amazing diffuser, I decided it was time to find some oils. I still refused to buy the high brand oils because a .5 ml bottle costs like $20 and I just can't commit to that. It's way overpriced. so, off I went to TJ MAXX and bought a little set they were selling from the brand Woolzies.


This kit cost me like $10 and for that price, I'd say they were well worth it. This set includes the following oils :: peppermint, lemon, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and orange.

I've used all but the peppermint and eucalyptus oils and I think they all smell great so far.

I love blending the tea tree and lemon oils from this set. Makes the house smell heavenly.

I also bough from the brand Lily & Lush -- I got their lavender and lemon oils off of Amazon because those are my favorite scents.

Can I just say that I looooooove this brand because the bottle size + price is so affordable!?! The aroma these oils give off are pretty strong too, so I see this lasting me quite a while.

I bought their XL sized bottles which is 4 ounces and they both came with a dropper which makes life so much easier. The only issue I had was that the droppers don't stay on the bottle to replace the cap, but I don't mind because this product is a bargain! If you order from Lily and Lush, they give you a user guide with your purchase which makes life easier for a essential oil newcomer like me.

Lily & Lush also have this VIP Club where you give your email and they send you freebie informational prints, discount codes, and recipes which is all kinds of awesome!  [ JOIN THIER VIP CLUB HERE.  ]

For right now, I'm really happy with these two brands. I plan on trying a few other brands before I thrust my commitment towards one brand -- if that ever happens.

I'm currently happy with just diffusing and haven't even started researching the other benefits of oils. I don't feel like I'm ready to start placing oil on my wrists and temples, but I'm sure that day will come. When that time does come, I'll be sure to share that experience with you too!


LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.
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9.06.2017

Review | Mod Straps Scarf Strap



Hello everyone, 

I just wanted to pop on here and share my current obsession -- the scarf strap by Mod Straps. It's seriously the most comfortable strap on the market. 

You need this strap because let's be real for a second -- taking the perfect picture of your little one takes a lot of work -- get the baby, grab the camera, style / prep the background, make baby smile, style again because the baby decided to move everything annnnnnd repeat.

That whole process is stressful right? One of the most annoying things to realize is... after all that work, your neck hurts because your camera strap has been digging into your neck.







Thanks to Mod Straps, that no longer has to be a problem.

I'm telling you that this strap is probably the best thing to happen to photographers because it's SO comfortable! It's super soft and stretchy which makes wearing it a DREAM. It's so amazing that you forget that you have a camera around your neck when you're taking pictures! Thinking ahead, I know I am going to love this when fall comes around and it's starting to get chilly because it keeps your neck super warm. My husband and I used this strap while we took some family photos at the beach and it kept us super warm.

Both and my husband love this product & find it extremely useful, so I just had to share it with you all. 

I promise, this will be a purchase that you will not regret! 




MORE INFORMATION ON MOD STRAPS


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9.01.2017

Review | SIIG 5-Port Changing Station (+ Giveaway)


Hey again! I'm so excited you're reading this because I've teamed up with SIIG to showcase their awesome 5-Port Charging Station -- can you spot it on my desk? It's made my life so much easier and organized that I had to share it with all of you!



If you're anything like me, you hate a cluttered workspace. But if there was one thing that I hate more than a cluttered workspace, it would be all the wires that I have on my desk as I try to charge my devices while I work.

I feel like I can't think if there's too much stuff around (especially when it's all piled on my desk); I suddenly become overwhelmed and in turn, my work suffers. As a stay at home working mom, I can't have that happen -- which is where the SIIG 5-Port Charging Station comes in. This product helps keep my desk tidy, my devices charged and my mind clear so I can get to doing efficient work.




I really love this product because it adapts to my workspace as I need it too -- since the shelves are foldable! I really haven't seen anything on the market that compares to this and I just find it so neat.

I also love that the 5-Port Charger has a dock in additional to the organizing shelves. It keeps my desk super tidy and I feel like I work better knowing that there is a place for everything and that everything is in it's place!






The charger itself has 5 ports (duh Marta, it's in the name for Pete's sake). There is one type-c port, one quick charging 3.0 port and 3 USB ports. I can't tell you enough how much I love that this charger is multifunctional! I tend to always use the quick charging port for my cell phone and am consistently left amazed at how fast my cell phone is charged!


I really love that this product caters to me and that I don't find myself having to work around it. It's a MUST have for any workspace!

Sounds like an awesome product, right? To learn more about the SIIG 5-Port Charging Station and snag one for yourself -- CLICK HERE.




Before you go and purchase your very own, maybe you should hang around here for a few minutes because -- I'm so excited to announce that I've teamed with SIIG and we're awarding FIVE lucky readers with their very own charging station -- free of charge! 

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TO ENTER:: FILL OUT GIVE AWAY FORM 
GIVEAWAY ENDS :: SEPTEMBER 7 @ 11:59 PM PST
(winners will be contacted by email on September 9th and will have 24 hours to redeem their prize)

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