2020 / 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!



Fall Diffuser Blends

Hiiiiiii friends, this week's post is dedicated to cozy fall diffuser blends. If you didn't already know, I'm signed up with young living and love them. I barely share about it because didn't want people to think that I am just trying to constantly sell them something. It's something I struggle with, but have decided that because I love using oils, I will share more about them. I am no longer avoiding things that people may not like. It's been a process, but I am finally here.

Soooooo, yah! I have been using oils for a while (read about the beginning of my journey here). I tried oils that were on the market and liked them for a while and then I decided that I wanted to sign up under young living because they have a pretty awesome rewards program. I am loving it and after a year of doing this oily life by myself, I'm looking to build a little team of like-minded women.

If you're looking someone to sign up under & for a no-pressure kinda team, you've found it. I am all about ordering oils when you want to order oils and not about the profits. I want to build an authentic team that is weary that oils do not solve all our problems -- but they can help fix a lot of them and aid us in a more toxin-free lifestyle if we're willing and wanting (because that's important too). I also want my little team to be an actual community that talks about more than just oils -- so if you're a winging mom of multiples, love jesus, baking and are curious about + want to try oils. let's get you signed up here.  

Do not hesitate to reach out and ask questions if you have some for me. I'd love to chat, get to know you a bit better, and answer them for you. now, about those fall diffuser blends -- here are some of my favorites. 

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gender neutral pajama's for the kiddos

tie dye pjs from Lenny Lemons

As the weather gets colder and the holidays approach us, it's time to stock up on some cozy pjs for our little people! Cue the entrance of the long sleeved sets. I've browsed the internet and compiled a few round ups of some the cutest pajamas I've found and am sharing them. with you guys today. 

As always, inserting a little disclaimer here and letting you know that some of these links are affiliate links which means that if you purchase something through them -- I make a little commission. 

gender neutral / amazon finds

charcoal ribbed pajamas 

yellow stripped pajamas

blue and red winter snowflake pajamas

black plaid pajamas 

ribbed camel pajamas

blue ribbed cotton pajamas

grey with white stripes pajamas 

black thermal with two buttons pajamas 

light brown pajamas

light blue / popcorn pajamas

red + thin white stripe pajamas 

a sneak peek at some christmas themed pjs

buffalo plaid

red, yellow and blue Christmas lights 

grey+ santa 

mickey mouse holiday

the grinch 

classic stripe 

christmas trees

santa + trees

reindeer fairisle

green striped henley

festive trees

green harvest plaid

brands we love when it comes to buying pajamas 

old navy 
◮ babyGap
◮ gap factory 
◮ kyte baby 

so there you have it -- these brands are our go-to when it comes to finding cozy pajamas for our little ones. next month, I'll round up some of my favorite Christmas pajamas, so keep an eye out for those! 

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Skincare | 3 Cleansers I'm Loving Right Now

If you've been a long time reader, you've probably read that I need to start a skincare routine in every single new year resolution post I right. And while I am terrible at keeping these resolutions, the skincare resolution finally was accomplished this year. I am a newbie as they say and would not count myself as a beauty blogger just yet. However, I'd like to share three cleansers that I have stumbled upon and am currently loving. 

Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm | $15

this is my go-to when it comes to cleaning my face. the first step in my skincare routine as this helps get off most of the products on my face. this product is formulated with sea buckthorn oil, camellia oil, and shea butter. it melts on contact with skin to dissolve makeup, dirt, environmental pollutants, and other impurities and rinses away with just water, leaving skin comfortably clean—not tight, dry, or stripped which is a big thing for me! 

I alternate between the next two products depending on what I feel like my face needs that day / night. 

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser | $21

this product is for days when my skin feels like it needs a break or is about to break out. I've noticed that I tend to break out around that time of the month and so a few days before my cycle arrives is when I would reach for this. I love that it's gentle and yet still powerful enough to clean my face. 

Murad's Essential C Cleanser | $40 

this has been a staple the moment it arrived in my FabFitFun box. I grab for it each morning and it smells heavenly because of the citrus oils in it -- so that's a bonus. This cleanser is gentle on the skin and leaves my skin feeling super soft. This cleanser lathers + foams up nicely and does a great job of washing away any leftover makeup the cleansing balm missed. 

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❊ per usual, I want to insert a little note here stating that some of these links are affiliate links meaning that I make a little commission if you decide to purchase through them. other products were sent to me via PR boxes and some products I bought myself because I wanted to try them out. regardless, this is not a sponsored post -- all products shared in this are because I truly love them and all opinions shared are 100% my own. also, I just wanted to say that there is no pressure to buy anything ever, but if you do, I really appreciate your support as this is one way I can support my little family financially. every click, like, buy, save, tweet and pin mean the world to me and I am so thankful for each and every one of you!

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Affordable Farmhouse Decor | Fall Edition

It's that time of year friends -- fall. Cue all the warm and cozy vibes. Hues of orange, red, yellow, and toasty browns as far as the eyes can see. Warm spicy scents with hints of pumpkin, apple, and vanilla lingering around every corner. Moody weather, crisp cold air and lots and lots of decorating! So in honor of the cozy season, Here is a little round up of cute + affordable fall decor to ring it in! As always, products will be linked under each photo / round up.  Happy fall y'all!

Amazon Picks 

◮ candles

pintuck round cushion

cotton wreath

gather sign

orange velvet pumpkin

plaid pumpkins

dried wheat stalks

white vase trio

◮ autumn leaves, pumpkin please pillow cover

white + burlap pumpkins

artificial acorns

ceramic squirrel serving dish

ceramic bowls

stacked pumpkins

pumpkin pie, vanilla, nutmeg scented sticks

Hobby Lobby Picks

give thanks milk can

pumpkin patch sign

welcome autumn truck

white pumpkin with recipe

fall sweet fall

thankful doormat

green truck serving tray

so very blessed mug

mini velvet pumpkins

bright foam pumpkins

hello pumpkin mug

thankful wall decor

magnolia leaf garland

peony + ranunculus bush

pumpkin spice latte recipe tin

Walmart Picks

blessed beyond measure jar sign

faux leather pillows

three wooden pumpkins

woven pumpkin

flowers in vase

orange woven pumpkin

dahlia trio

four bird figurines 

tin tray set

white pumpkin truck

◮ wheat wreath

farm fresh pumpkin sign

in all things give thanks sign

pumpkin spice pillow

rustic berry garland

fall crisp night candle

Target Picks


mini pumpkins

hello fall tray

thistle arrangement

aspen rust arrangement

goldenrod arrangement

ceramic candle

chunky knit

glass pumpkin candle

texture dash pillow

quail figurine

tall ceramic vase

foxtail stem

allium stem


recipe | romanian style puff pastry with apple filling

I posted on my instagram stories over the weekend that I was baking something that involved apples and several of you asked if I would share the recipe, so here I am, coming at you with yet another dessert recipe. today, I am going to share how to make a romanian style puff pastry with apple filling. fair warning, this recipe calls for you to have some time on your hands as prepping the filling can be a little time-consuming (as most romanian recipes are). 

growing up, my great aunt would put this filling into cozonac or placinta  -- which the Romanian version of a sweet loaf and mini pies. my mom would substitute the sweet loaf dough with puff pastry sheets to cut down the prep time and it's probably my favorite hack ever. 

buuuuuuut, enough with the rambling -- let's get to the recipe!


Puff Pastry 
1 box; unthawed at the time of baking.

14 medium-sized.
I used a mix of golden + red delicious apples, but you can use any apple variation in this recipe.


1/3 of a stick

to taste 

to taste

+++++++ PREP TIME: 1 HR ++++++++ BAKE TIME: 30 TO 45 MINS +++++++

How to Make

step one. 
you're going to need to wash your apples and peel them. 
this is really time-consuming, so I used my kitchen aid mixer and a peeling extension!
if you don't have a mixer, then an apple peeler is a good investment for this.

step two. 
you're going to want to remove the stem and halve the apples. 
pit them and take off any remaining skin. 

step three. 
in a large bowl, grate your apples! 
you're going to want to use a medium-sized grater.

as you grate your apples, you're going to notice that there is a lot of juice in your bowl -- this is normal and will be addressed in the next step, so whatever you do, don't panic. 

step four.
strain the apple juice from the grated flesh of the apple.
to do this, take a handful of grated apple and place in a strainer. 
then over another large bowl, press the apple with your fist (or wooden spoon) 
until all the juice comes out. place the freshly pressed apple in a clean large bowl when you're done. 
I do this cycle twice as I do not want a soggy puff pastry. 

mini side step 
after you've completed step four, pour the apple juice into a pitcher and place it in the fridge to chill.
you now have fresh-pressed apple cider at your disposal! drink within five days.

step five. 
take the 1/3 stick of butter and melt in a nonstick frying pan. 
add your apples and then sprinkle cinnamon + sugar on top. 
cook until apples are tender, making sure they do not start to burn. 

in regards to the amount of cinnamon and sugar, it really depends on your preference and on the sweetness of the apples you are using. 

for the sugar -- normally, I take a regular spoon from the utensil drawer, and measure the sugar that way. one spoon of sugar in the mixture, mix it in and taste. I do this until I can taste a hint of sweetness. 

for the cinnamon, sprinkle how much you'd like as cinnamon is an acquired taste. I typically lightly sprinkle some on top of the apples right before I cook them and taste. if I can't taste a little bit of cinnamon midway, I mix in another light sprinkling of cinnamon halfway. 

step six.
after apple mixture is cooked, let sit for about 10 minutes to chill. 
in the meantime, roll out your puff pastry sheets and slowly and gently press upward on the ends to elongate the sheet without tearing it.  

step seven. 
grab your apple filling and place a layer of apples on your pastry sheet, leaving about an inch from the sides.

step eight. 
now, roll the sheet inward and turn over. 
gently press the ends of the sheets together in addition to the body of the roll. 
we're doing this so apple filling won't leak from the roll when in the oven. 

step nine.
now, lightly spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking oil and place your roll on pan. 
take a knife and carefully cut through the roll about half an inch. 

step ten. 
beat an egg and then with a pastry brush, add the egg to the top of your rolls. 
sprinkle cinnamon on top rolls. 
then place into an oven that was preheated to 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

step eleven. 
let pastry cool for about 30 minutes and then cut along the roll and place on a serving dish.
sprinkle powdered sugar on top if desired.
serve and enjoy! 

another mini sidestep.
this pastry is also delicious if served cold.
I place leftovers in the fridge overnight and pair this cold pastry to a creamy cup of coffee! 

annnnnnd that's how you make this delicious mouth-watering dessert. 
it's perfect for a cozy fall day and will fill your home with the most pleasant aroma.  


Home School Diaries : Bee Unit (+ free printable)

for our first official homeschool unit share, we're talking bees. we took an entire day to talk about these cute little creatures and I thought it would be fun to share a little visual diary of what we did with this unit.  

painted a bumblebee

this bumblebee coloring sheet is from our habitat schoolhouse preschool curriculum. my little men love painting, so we used crayola washable watercolors to minimize the mess. 

practiced counting with a beehive 

another activity from our habitat schoolhouse preschool curriculum. the boys got to practice counting to eleven as well as identifying each number all while giving bees a place to call home in the hive. 

looked at the life cycle of a bee + different types

this was a fun little activity where we sat at the table and looked at each stage of a honey bee's life. we also talked about different kinds of bees. I used this cute little bee collection set from Twig and Moth's Etsy shop to introduce the boys to some native bees. 

made our own bees out of playdoh

my little guys love all things playdoh, so this was something they were so excited about.

read about bees in our big book of bugs

we love the big book of bugs -- it's the perfect book for toddlers and little ones to get acquainted with insects. I prefer it to other bee books because it's simple and since we're a creation focused homeschool, we love that it focuses on the way bugs live and what they do.

other resources

our life cycle tray is from a small shop on Etsy called Cat's Craft Toys; see it here.
our figurines are from safari ltd -- honeybee life cycle set + large honeybee
the anatomy of a honey bee drawing is from Julia Rothman's nature anatomy book.
the honeycomb is actually a trivet from an Etsy shop; see it here

follow @europeanhomestead on instagram for more homeschool content.

free bee anatomy printable

here's bee anatomy printable just in case you don't want to purchase one and are looking to do your own bee unit -- right-click, save to desktop, and print. please note that this print is for my readers and is not meant to be sold / redistributed; personal use only, please. 

if you do end up using this print, snap a picture and tag me on @mainlymarta / @europeanhomestead on Instagram. 

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Recipe | Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (In 4 easy steps)


hey friends, today I'm sharing a quick little recipe to ring in the fall season. it's a healthy(ish) treat that is super simple and easy to make. honestly, these little muffins are great for when you're crunched on time! Just 4 easy steps and you're ready to bake


Betty Crocker German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 box


Canola Oil
1/2 cup

Cold Water
1 1/4 cup 

Pumpkin Puree
12 ounces

a handful 

4 tsp

Brown Sugar
5 tsp

1 tsp

How To Make 

step one.
add a box of german chocolate cake mix, eggs, water, and oil in a large bowl.
mix until you get a batter consistency. ⁣
step two. 
in a separate bowl, mix pumpkin purée, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a handful of oats. ⁣
⁣then. add the pumpkin mix to batter and stir.⁣
step three.
grease muffin pan and add batter to the pan. ⁣

step four.
bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 mins. 


these muffins are good as is, but if you're like me and want to add a little extra step to make these muffins look a little more spiffy -- toss about 2 tsp of cinnamon, flour, and brown sugar with a handful of oats and pumpkin seeds (or chopped pecans) in a bowl and mix it around a few times. then, sprinkle this on top of muffins before popping them in the oven.⁣

+++++++ PREP TIME: 7 MINS ++++++++ BAKE TIME: 15 TO 20 MINS +++++++


Toddler Meal Ideas

Hey Friends!

I thought I'd share some simple toddler meal ideas in a visual diary format. I love prepping the boy's meals and thought it'd be fun to document what the boys eat for a while and then blog about it. I sometimes share these on my stories, so if you follow me on Instagram, some of these shots may be familiar. 

Before we dive in, I'd just like to address a question that I repeatedly get regarding the plates we use. When I first started blogging, Nuby sent me these animal silicone plates as a gift and I reviewed them on a whole separate blog post (read that here). It's been a while and we're still using them. They're perfect for little ones as all my boys are ridiculous in the sense that they want their food to not be touching and in a separate container. They're easy to clean and just so cute + fun. I also got a few plates from Target that are just as good! 

You can find these plates on Amazon and so many other cute designs! Also, fair warning, kids are smart and will figure out how to remove the plate, no matter how good the suction is. I see so many reviews say that it's not a good plate because their toddler figured out how to lift it and it makes me laugh because well kids are kids -- curious. Unless you want to superglue the plate to the high chair tray, then be ready for your child to be able to lift the plate / bowl off the tray. Just thought I'd throw that practical bit out there because they really are good plates. 

Anywaaaaaaay, let's get to those toddler meals!


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