2019 / 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

12.29.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides :: Recap


Welp, I made it to 16 days and then abruptly stopped.

I know, I knooooow -- I was on a roll and it there were only 9 more days, but my entire family got the stomach flu and I just couldn't put in the effort. Y'all, one by one, we fell. & some of my extended family got it too. It was bad. That, a new job with a shifting schedule, and realizing that I hadn't wrapped any gifts (& still having to wrap up my holiday shopping) on the 20th left me with 0 levels of hope to continue the gift guide series.

I did blogmas a few years back and made it to day 19 before an out of state trip threw me off schedule then too. So, I guess what I'm saying is that this mama definitely does not have it all together. It's something I've come to term with and I'm okay with that.

I'm not that blogger that gives off that perfect life, so organized, all her ducks in a row type of gal. I'm the run with it, let's see where this goes type of gal. #noshameinmygame.

Maybe I'll do better next year -- yeaaaaaah, we'll go with that.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and I'll see ya'll in the next decade! Here's to a wonderful successful 2020.



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12.16.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | For The One With A Green Thumb | Day 16


Today we're tackling gifts for those who have a green thumb and are lovers of the garden. I don't have the greenest of thumbs, but I'd love to grab some planters and change that in this upcoming new year because who doesn't like fresh produce and blooms. Soooooo without further ado, here are some cute little gifts for someone who is super passionate about their gardening skills! 

No. 1 :: Bottle Stopper Garden Kit

No. 2 :: Gardening Tool Set

No. 3 :: Garden Harvest Basket

No. 4 :: Plant Lady Mug

No. 5 :: Wooden Flower Pots

No. 6 :: Sunflower Grower Kit

No. 7 :: Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit

No. 8 :: Clear Glass Bulb Planter

No. 9 :: Ceramic Planter

No. 10 :: Plant Mister


& that's a wrap! How'd we do? Tune in tomorrow for another gift guide -- only 9 of them left!

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12.15.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | Stocking Stuffers | Days 12 - 15


Sooooooo.. I'm gonna do a major gift guide here and combine days twelve, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen because we're tackling stocking stuffers for the whole family in this one -- him, her, baby / toddlers, kids and teens. It's the gift guide of all gift guides. & if I'm gonna be 100% transparent, I need to merge these together, so I can get back on track.

Note to self, do not take a new job around the holidays next year because it throws you off track by a lot. Although, let me just say... it's been a blessing and now that I found a rhythm, it isn't half bad.

OKAY Y'ALL -- THOSE STOCKING STUFFERS.


FOR HER 


No. 1 :: Nude Stix Eye Trio

No. 2 :: Shower Steamers

No. 3 :: Bar Necklace

No. 4 :: Fuzzy Socks

No. 5 :: Latte Mug + Wine Glass

No. 6 :: Pearl Headbands 

No. 7 ::  Reusable Mason Jar Drink Lids

No. 8 :: Body Mist

No. 9 :: Fresh Lip Sugar Balm

No. 10 :: Lush Golden Pear Soap

No. 11 :: Sephora Arctic Eye Palette

No. 12 :: Daniel Wellington Watch


FOR HIM


No. 1 :: Sports Coasters

No. 2 :: GameBoy Mug

No. 3 :: Fitbit Versa

No. 4 :: Neck Tie

No. 5 :: Fash Wash

No. 6 :: Bluetooth Speaker

No. 7 :: Malt Man Bottle Opener

No. 8 :: Quay Sunglasses

No. 9 :: Adventure Mini Tool Clip

No. 10 :: Universal Travel Adapter


For Baby + Toddler


No. 1 :: Taco Teether

No. 2 :: Key Rattle

No. 3 :: Science For Babies Board Books

No. 4 :: Disney Baby Gripper Cars

No. 5 :: Remote Control Teether

No. 6 :: Disney Little People Princesses

No. 7 :: Baby Cookie Teethers


For The Teens


For The Kids 



No. 1 :: Unicorn Sidewalk Chalk

No. 2 :: Puppy Figurines

No. 3 :: Dice

No. 4 :: Plush Ballerina Doll

No. 5 :: Chalk Crayons

No. 6 :: Wooden People

No. 7 :: Lego Sea Creatures

No. 8 :: Glow In the Dark Stars

No. 9 :: Donut Stickers


Soooo there you have it y'all -- stocking stuffer ideas for the whole fam bam. Growing up, my family never did stockings, but it's something I started to do with my boys this year because it's such a fun little way to gift smaller + practical things! I really think it's a fun tradition! 


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12.13.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | For The Animal Lover | Day 11



This one is for all the animal lovers out there. I'm not much of animal person myself, but I do have quite a few friends that adore their furry friends,  so in honor of them, here is a small round-up of gifts geared to make any animal lovers heart go, "awwwww."

THE GUIDE



No. 1 :: Flamingo Mug

No. 2 :: DIY Embroidered Hedge Hog Kit

No. 3 :: Animal Enamel Pin Set

No. 4 :: Dinosaur Taco Holder

No. 5 :: Sleepy Cat Paper Weights

No. 6 :: Customizable Pet Pillows

No. 7 :: Willow Tree Angel Hugging Cat

No. 8 :: Save Animals Mug

No. 9 :: Cat Plush

No. 10 :: Cute Animal Erasers


& that's a wrap for the animal lovers gift guide! Tune in tomorrow for the next round up!


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12.12.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | Play Kitchen Accessories | Day 10


I know what you're thinking... where is day nine? Welp, it's there -- I decided that I'd share my King of Christmas tree with you all and then last minute, I decided to add a mini gift guide to that post because why not?

So now that we've got back on track, it's time for day 10 and today we're focusing on Play Kitchen accessories for our aspiring and budding chefs because let's face it -- there are some super cute things on the market right now. So without further ado, here are some cute little gifts for your little cook.

THE GUIDE



No. 1 :: Apron

No. 2 :: Waffle Iron

No. 3 :: Wooden Breakfast Tray

No. 4 :: Pantry Trio : Honey, Salt. Vinegar

No. 5 :: Garden Salad

No. 6 :: Cooking Essentials

No. 7 :: Rolls

No. 8 :: Egg Carton

No. 9 :: Wooden Turkey

No. 10 :: Wooden Pot + Pan

No. 11 :: Mixer

No. 12 :: Garden Veggies

No. 13 :: Bottle Set

No. 14 :: Toaster

No. 15 :: Biscuits

No. 16 :: Espresso Maker

No. 17 :: Baking Utensils

No. 18 :: Wooden Ice Cream

No. 19 :: Felt Pizza

No. 20 :: Tasty Proteins


Aren't these just some of the cutest things to add to a play kitchen? I scored some of these for my little babes and I am so excited to see their faces on Christmas Day!

We posted our play kitchen on Instagram and a lot of you wanted to know where we got ours. My mom bought it for Felix for his first Christmas from Target, but it's from KidKraft. You can find it here.

Tune in tomorrow to see what gifts we're tackling next.


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12.11.2019

A Tree That Puts The King In Christmas


I just wanted to interrupt the gift guides this year and talk about how much I am loving our Christmas tree from King of Christmas this year -- it's pretty much the coolest fake tree on the planet. I know that's a big statement, but ya'll it is.


First, the delivery process was extremely easy + smooth because it arrived on our doorstep in a box.

Assembling the tree took a total of ten minutes and six of those minutes were spent fluffing the branches, so I think it's safe to say that the set up was a breeze. At first glance, you can see the quality and craftsmanship of the tree is really well done and put together. I was so happy to see my tree come alive from out of the box.

This tree not only can pass a real tree, but the lights on it are peeeeerfect for us. I didn't add a single string of lights to this baby and I feel like it's so bright. Up until this year, we had to add an additional THREE strings of lights to our fake tree to make it shine as bright as this one.




In addition to the glorious lights, I love the fact that we can switch from white lights and multi-colored lights all with a press of a button, but that's not all -- this tree comes with eight settings when it comes to those amazing lights!

✗ Warm white steady.
✗ Multi-color steady
✗ Warm white slow flash
✗ Multi-color slow flash
✗ Warm white and multi-color exchange slow flash
✗ Warm white fast flash
✗ Multi-color fast flash
✗ Warm white and multi-color exchange fast flash

I love putting on the warm white lights when the boys go nap / sleep as I have always been a fan of classic white lights. Of course, my little guys prefer colored lights, so I love that we can compromise. It's the perfect tree for our family. 


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In the spirit of my 25 days of gift guides, I'd love to share what King of Christmas has to offer on their site this year because they don't just have trees, they have pretty wreaths and decor as well. So here's to day nine of gift guides and dedicating to King of Christmas! As always I'll have the items linked below.

THE GUIDE



No. 1 :: Prince Jr. Flocked Garland with LED Lights

No. 2 :: 9' Noble Fir (with warm white lights)

No. 3 :: Natural Ornament Set

No. 4 :: Tribeca Blue Spruce Wreath

No. 5 :: 3' Royal Fir Table Top Tree

No. 6 :: Queen Flock

No. 7  :: Family Get Lit Pajamas

No. 8 :: King Flock Collection

No. 9 :: Royal Fir Wreath

No. 10 :: Royal Fir Quick Shape


& there you have it my loves -- but I must say that out of all that King of Christmas has to offer. The tree I chose is probably the best one. So get that one! Until next time, stay merry!






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12.03.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | For The VSCO Girl | Day 8


It's time to gift our VSCO girls. For those of you who don't know what a VSCO girl is -- she's a girl who's stuck in the 90s or rather someone who takes aesthetically pleasing pictures with allllll the props. This babe likes to mix vintage with the new trends and probably edits her pictures in the app... you guessed it VSCO.


T H E G I F T S 


No. 1 :: Denim Jacket


No. 2 :: Sparkly Lip Gloss


No. 3 :: Instamax Camera


No. 4 :: Birkenstock


No. 5 :: Scrunchies


No. 6 :: Hyrdo Flask


No. 7 :: Classic Backpack


No. 8 :: Checkered Vans


No. 9 :: Gellen Gel Nail Kit


No. 10 :: Stickers


No. 11 :: Silicone Straw


This gift guide gives me all the Lizzie McGuire vibes. BRB, going to turn on Disney+ ... turn in tomorrow to see who we're gifting next! 


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12.02.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | Essential Oil Enthusiast | Day 7


Today's gift guide is for the essential oil enthusiast. I started oils about a year ago. Mostly because I wanted to make my house smell amazing without the chemicals and I'm gonna be honest, I've grown to love the oily life.

I didn't join a "team" because I wasn't wanting to participate in the FB courses people host and I wasn't trying to do anything except learn about the oils at my own pace. If you're wanting to join YL without the pressure of sharing the starter kit and constant talking about sales and growing your business, join me HERE. 

Joining Young Living is super simple and fairly easy. There is no pressure to order oils, unless you join the Rewards program they have on the site. The rewards program requires that you have a monthly order that is $50+ worth of merchandise. Again, that's not required, but it's a nice little perk because points do add up and that means free oils!

Another fun perk of Young Living is that the more you buy (they have home, kids, skincare / beauty lines) each month, the more freebies they send with your order. It's always super fun to know that you have some free stuff coming too!

I'm gonna be straight up and say, yes -- if you sign up under someone they make a small commission. This is one of the many ways I support my family. I never push this on anyone because I don't want you to think that I am just trying to make a buck. I genuinely love this brand and the oily life.

If you're wanting to start a mini side hustle, then I'm here to support you. If you're wanting to just learn, have fun and have someone to talk to when you need help or have questions that works too! Whatever you need, I'm here for ya.

I've also started up an Instagram for all things health-related -- essential oils, physical health, mental health, and spiritual health because all are equally important. If you're interested in that journey, you're welcome to follow along HERE. 

Soooooooooo, let's get to the gift guide!

T H E G I F T S 




No. 1 :: Ember Spray Bottles


No. 2 :: Aroma Breeze Champagne Diffuser


No. 3 :: Rollers


No. 4 :: Oil Shelf


No. 5 :: Aroma Roam Car Diffuser


No. 6 :: Coconut Carrier Oil


No. 7 :: Essential Oil Refernce Book


No. 8 :: Wool Dryer Balls


No. 9 :: PureGlow Himalayan Diffuser


No. 10  :: French Aromatherapy


I'd like to also share some pretty diffusers with you that range from $20 to $110 in price. While I love Young Living, I feel like their diffusers are not the best quality and the really gorgeous ones are too expensive! Here are some diffusers that won't make you feel like you're breaking the bank.



No. 1 :: Teo Diffuser


No. 2 :: Jasmine Aroma


No. 3 :: Aroma Peak


No. 4 :: Aroma Gem


No. 5 :: Hathaspace Marble (in white)


No. 6 :: Ease


No. 7 :: Homedics Artisian


No. 8 :: Hathaspace Marble (in black)


No. 9 :: Ona


No. 10 :: Sofia Diffuser


No. 11 :: Rise Up Crystalize


No. 12 ::  Zoe


No. 13 :: Pink Diamond


& there you have it -- some of the prettiest diffusers on the market that any essential oil enthusiasts will love! Tune in tomorrow to see what will be our next gift guide!

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11.27.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | For The Ultimate Hostess | Day 6


We're on day six of our gift guides and today we're tackling gifts for the people who love to host parties, dinners, and larger gatherings. We are so thankful for their constant gifts of hospitality and their constant want to have us over, so here are some cute curated items you can give them this holiday season.

T H E G I F T S 


No. 1 :: Vagabond House Honeybee Hardwood Bar


No. 2 :: Seagrass Beverage Tub Basket


No. 3 ::  Marble Bark Salt & Pepper Shakers


No. 4 :: Three Tier Bamboo Serving Rack


No. 5 :: Dottie Honey Pot


No. 6 :: Leaf Carved Wooden Cheese / Sauce Serving Tray


No. 7 :: Himalayan Salt BBQ Plank


No. 8 :: Marble Pastry Board


No. 9 :: Oven To Table Two-Part Dish Set


No. 10 :: Schmidt Brother's Stainless Steel Steak Knives


No 11. :: Recycled Glass Pitcher


No. 12 :: Recycled Wine Bottle Platter


No. 13 :: HOST Cookbook


No. 14 :: Marble Tiered Stand


&&&&& that's a wrap! I feel like I want all of these in my personal collection becuase they are all so beautiful! Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I won't be posting a gift guide. I'll be enjoying the holiday with my family. I'll be back next week with more gift guides to ring in the holiday season!

H A V E A W O N D E R F U L T H A N K S G I V I N G! 


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11.26.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | Walmart :: Black Friday Specials + Gifts


It's day five of our gift guides and I'm so excited to partner up with Walmart for this one! Typically, I am alllll about the online shopper life, but Walmart makes it so easy to grab everything you need in-store, so every holiday season I make it a MUST to stop by the holiday shop and toy section when I'm in for some groceries!



Upon entering the store they have a table with all the "hot"  +  "new" stuff for this holiday season from all departments. I spy an InstaPot, a TV and some cool new toys. I always love peeking at what other consumers are getting this time of year. The fear of missing out no longer exists because the Walmart staff keeps us in the know with this table.


Another cool feature they have this year is a package pick-up station. My local Walmart had this pick up tower in front of the store and you guys, I got to see this used first hand! It was so cool! Let's say you shop online for something you didn't see in stores. During your next trip in-store, you can go back in, pick up your package without any help -- just scan a barcode on the Walmart app and BOOM. You've got your package without having to find someone to go track don your order.

OK... now brace yourself. I'm about to give you a mini-tour of the aisles of the Walmart toy section. Walmart has the biggest toy selection for the holiday season. I have yet to see a bigger selection of toys in a local store. Don't take my word for it though, see for yourself.


I have boys, so I was waltzing up and down the aisles that catered to toys for my little guys most of the time, but don't fret girl moms, Walmart has a ton of Barbies and dolls for your princesses! & speaking of princesses, Frozen II is coming to theaters which only means that there are several shelves dedicates to Anna, Elsa and Olaf!


I also really love that Walmart has its own toy line called Kid's Connection that has all kinds of gender-neutral toys that are all great prices and lower than the other brands in stores. It's a great alternative for families who are shopping on a tight budget. I love shopping this line for birthdays too because I don't feel like I am breaking the bank.


Okay, so you get the idea... Walmart has alllllll the toys you need this holiday season. They also have quite a few gift set aisles too! Here is a little sneak peek of those aisles.

Y'alllllll, okay. I think you get it -- Walmart has something for everyone! I just love how versatile their selection is. & good news, they have a ton of Pre-Black Friday sales / deals going on right now. Here  is a mini gift guide of my picks from their current listings


P R E - B L A C K F R I D A Y G I F T S

No. 1 :: Anna + Elsa Doll Set


No. 2 :: Classic Lego Bricks


No. 3 :: Interactive Robot


No. 4 :: Laugh & Learn Controller


No. 5 :: Doll House Mansion


No. 6 :: Woody Plush


No. 7 :: Ride On Stroller


No. 8 :: Barbie Baby Doctor 


No. 9 :: Tool Bench


No.  10 :: Cubby the Bear


No. 11 :: Talking + Singing Elmo


M Y W A L M A R T H A U L 

While I was in the store, I could resist shopping + picking up some Christmas gifts myself. Here's what I got for the boys and my little brothers. I'll link the products below and let you know if it's currently on sale. 


⇒ Rummikub (on sale)

Kids Connection Tool Set (on sale)

⇒ Minecraft Lego Kits

Zombie Cave (on sale) ● Blaze Bridge (on sale) ● End Battle ● Steve (on sale) ● Alex (on sale) ]

⇒ Paw Patrol Toddler Watch

Marshall ● Chase ]

... that's all I got -- for now. I'm eyeing some things on Walmart online and have them added to my cart! I'm going to do some more browsing on Wednesday and then get the rest of my Christmas gifts because I am loving all the rollback + pre black friday sales! 

Thanks so much to Walmart staff in Tigard, OR who gave me all the inside info and rundown of all their holiday deals! I always have the best time chatting with their super friendly staff. I'd also like to issue a very BIG and formal thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post! 

Okay, friends! That's all I have today for today's gift guide. See you tomorrow! 


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11.25.2019

25 Days of Gift Guides | For The Space Explorer | Day 4


This gift guide is for those of you who know people that are obsessed with outer space, planets, and NASA. I tried to incorporate gifts for all ages in this one as well as stay away from your typical NASA tee and sweatshirts that have recently popped up everywhere. I hope you find some of these gifts as neat as I did.

T H E G I F T S


& that's a wrap for our space explorer gift guide. Tomorrow is day five and I feel like these are flying by already. Tune in tomorrow for our gift guide for -- oop! I'm not gonna slip up, so you just gotta stop by tomorrow and see what kind of person we're talking about next. 


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