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LAST minute guy gifts

December 21st, 2014 1 Comment

After years of training from my mother, I’m shocked I’ve waited until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts.  This girl has been buuuuusy!  But, you already know that since I’ve been so absent on the blog.

Well, hopefully this little hit list comes through for you in the clutch.  Aggregated by one the best men I know, here is a list of things you can grab easily online.  Noooo holiday traffic rage for you.

Harry's Shaving Set

Harry’s Shaving Kits (I bought these for everyone) – $15 for the set.  Much better quality than Gillete, much better looking, and refill blades are under $2, delivered to your door.

Jaybird bluebud earphones


JayBird BlueBuds ($169) are supposedly THE BEST for working out.  I’m getting a pair for myself :)



Every man appreciates good Bourbon, and Blanton’s is exceptional.  Plus it comes in a beautiful bottle.

Hershel Duffel Bag


Herschel is all the rage in LA.  Thankfully their designs are classic enough to fit any man’s personal style.  Tons of colors to choose from.  $79.  Shop here.

SuitSupply Double Monkstrap Shoe

I’ve been singing the praises of the Double Monkstrap for years!  Get your man on board with this affordable pair. $299 at SuitSupply online.

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TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter the MTM Holiday Giveaway!

December 14th, 2012 1 Comment


It’s too easy not to enter and win some really cool stuff.  CLICK here to go to the gift guide and details.

This house is near me in Atlanta and just cracks me up.  They’ve been buying and collecting these blow-ups for over 8 years to decorate their lawn (this is only about 1/3 of it!).  In the spirit of giving, they ask people to donate money for a local charity.  Considering the display is so captivating as you drive by, I’m sure they’ve done thousands of dollars worth of good.  GREAT IDEA, right?!

We can have great ideas and give without the blow-ups, you know.

Should you want to give the gift of life instead of material items, I admire the work of AdventConspiracy that asks us not to spend money on random gifts, but to make each other things, spend time together to share your love, and donate to people who really need things.  Things like shelter, like food, like water.  Advent Conspiracy has been working with Living Water to build wells in communities without ANY clean water.

Watch three seconds of this video.  Whether or not you give to Advent Conspiracy or the charity of your choice, I encourage you to consider giving a real gift to people who really need a sweater, a water bottle , a bed to sleep in.  Because really, we don’t NEED anything, do we?


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Holiday Survival Tips from My Nutritionist

December 13th, 2012 No Comments

Hilary says you CAN have fun and still be healthy over the holidays.  Here are her tips for survival:

Before the Parties

Do NOT skip meals!! You know when people say, “Oh I’m not eating lunch because I’ve got this party tonight, and I know I’ll eat there!” WRONG!  Do NOT go to the party hungry. Try eating something before hand like a think thin bar so that you don’t go in hungry!

At the Parties

Do NOT hover around the food table. Get a small plate, put what you want on it, and walk away! Work the room, talk to people—focus on the company rather than the food.

  • Put protein on your plate FIRST!! Start with protein and then move to rich vibrant colors.
  • Rather than loading your plate the first time, put a little on, and if you want more later, you can always go back.
  • Be picky!! Passed hors d’oeuvres are small, but they add up FAST. To avoid eating 2,000 calories worth of cheese puffs, limit yourself to 3 you love—if you can, pass on the crab cakes and other fried fare.
  • If you’re at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half. That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that), and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Be Smart About Alcohol 

Keep your calories and your buzz under control!

  • A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime is about 100 calories.
  • Low-cal options like light beer or wine have fewer than 150 calories per serving. They’re perfect if you sip one all night.
  • If you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgments!), ask the bartender to fill your glass halfway each time to keep your total intake down.
  • Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—80 to 120 per glass—but you’re more likely to sip rather than guzzle.

Holiday Shopping Snack Attack

Ohhhh the mall food court! All of the gift decisions you face at the mall will make you more vulnerable to temptation at the food court so keep things in your purse.

  • Pack Snacks! 30 pistachios or 24 almonds in a Ziploc bag with two dried plums or apricots, or even some turkey jerky or a snack bar like Think Thin—get protein—it’ll keep you full.

Holiday Special Treats

Why are we such suckers for holiday desserts? The scarcity theory: things we think are in limited supply, are more desirable to us than non-scarce items.

Holiday-themed coffee drinks and sweets are often more caloric than regular ones, so stick to the basics: add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.

Fast Food At Home

We get it, you’re busy! This means less time to prepare meals, so you may be tempted to eat at the drive through for convenience.

  • Making recipes in advance that you can store in the freezer to reheat for dinner on busy evenings.
  • Crock pot dinners are another good option for protein then just add steamed veggies.

Get your Protein Early

Eat a protein-based breakfast. Healthy proteins and good fats will give you an energy boost in the morning and prevent cravings later in the day.

  • Try a whole boiled egg or some salmon with avocado instead of cereal or toast.
  • Use nut butter like almond butter on Ezekiel or gluten free toast.
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How to make your presents look like these

December 12th, 2012 No Comments


In the first video, I show you how to put the paper on the package properly.  You’ll see how to make two different bows in the second video.  Hope this is helpful!

Then this to make the big, beautiful bow:

I use C & G Satin ribbon in two sizes.  You can order it online here, but it takes up to five weeks to ship. I always buy it at The Container Store.


And thank @terryattootsies for passing down her master skills!

I’m a huge believer in presentation. A nice package shows you care, no matter what’s inside.

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December 5th, 2012 No Comments

This is probably the most inventive, fun, and EASY gift idea I’ve come across in a long time!

StickyGram, a UK based company, is a service that allows you to create a sheet of nine square magnets using any of the photos you have taken on Instagram.  It takes about 4 minutes to make and costs $15 a sheet.  BRILLIANT.  And so much fun to make.

The only one little complaint I have is that you can’t use your friends’ photos to make them personalized sheets.  You can only use your own photos.

Use my code FRIENDFMRP and get $2 off your first order.


I came across this idea on Pinterest, pinned it on my Holiday Gift Guide board and it was an instant favorite.  You can also find it on my MTM gift guide and GIVEAWAY for 2012.


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The MTM Holiday Gift Guide 2012 + Giveaway

November 30th, 2012 18 Comments

‘Tis the season of gift giving to those we love, work with, and barely know. (You know it’s true in some cases.)  The thing is, we all want to extend the gesture of a gift to show that we care and appreciate someone, no matter to what degree, and we want the gift to be thoughtful, useful, and affordable.  Following are several lists that will hopefully satisfy all three for the different people in your life. Some of the items might seem mundane, but you should know the QUALITY of the products makes them a standout gift the recipient will appreciate.

Here’s the giveaway: 

Of course I want to give you guys a little something special for the holiday!

Tweet, Pin, or Post (on Facebook) this gift guide with this link http://ow.ly/fIajM and you will be entered to win a MTM Holiday Swag Bag which will include a few of my favorite products:  SOL Republic headphones, Jouer makeup, Archipelago body products, and much more! (You’ll see some of the items featured below with a *.)  Posting ends Dec 15.  Make sure to tag your post on all platforms @MaryRambin so I’ll see it!  You can get your name in the hat twice by offering your favorite gifts in the comments section below.  Links to any products are greatly appreciated!


(Moms, girlfriends, in-laws, etc)


(Dads, boyfriends, guy friends, in-laws, etc)

Co-workers, Acquaintances, Stocking Stuffers


Also see the Valentine’s gift guide I created this year.  I constructed it around how you feel about your partner :)

Also, keep up with my Gift Guide Pinterest board.  I’ll add more stuff there as the weeks go on.

When you’re ready to wrap these guys up, watch my How-To videos to create the perfect package and bow.

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Inspiration for your Christmas decor

November 28th, 2012 No Comments

A former client, Regina Gust, is a “seasonal” interior designer.  She is flown all over the country to decorate people’s homes for the holidays. (I can’t disclose how much she gets paid to do so, just know it might make you a little queasy.)

I have her blogging her arrangements and tips on tumblr so you can grab her concepts to use in your own home.  Knowing Regina she’d love to bust into your house and help you, but as you can see, she’s a busy girl.

Follow her on tumblr@Regina_Gust, and on Facebook.

A few tips I’ve picked up thus far:

 You don’t need a pop of color if you don’t want one. Let the green pine shine through.

A blue tint amongst warm colors is refreshing.

If you opt for a traditional palette, use lime green accents to give your arrangements some life.

Purple should not be discounted.  It’s just as festive as red! (I’m glad a professional agrees with me on that one.)

Black and white combos were very trendy at the holiday market this year.  I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

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My plan of attack for a healthy holiday.

November 28th, 2011 4 Comments

If life isn’t hectic enough, now we’re going to add holiday chaos in the mix.

With everything going on, we can find a legitimate excuse NOT to exercise.  But if we’re being honest, exercise can be the key to our sanity, not to mention waistline maintenance, when everything seems crazy and caloric.

So, in an effort to stay on track, I’m committing to my usual 6 days of at least 1 hour of exercise and a few diet guidelines.

First, I’ll define exercise as getting my heart rate up and breaking a sweat for an hour.  Therefore guys, golf just won’t cut it.

To keep on this schedule, I’ve hired a new trainer to work out with twice a week, will teach spin twice a week, and I’ll do yoga twice a week.  If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford the trainer, I suggest:

  • Getting 2 friends to join in.  This way, the workout is fun and you are financially motivated.
  • Put group fitness classes on your calender.
  • Carve out an hour for a fitness DVD at home.

The point here is to be accountable and let someone else do the thinking so you can focus on the work.

We all know exercise isn’t enough to stay healthy, so I’ve also committed to a dietary checklist for each day:

  • 1 8oz fresh veggie juice a day ($3.99 at the grocery store)
  • 1 protein shake a day
  • 1 palm sized dessert (can be anything or multiple sweets divided amongst lunch, snack, and dinner)
  • No unnecessary bread
  • 2 cocktails/wine/beer (optional)

The Isagenix protein shake I like is filling, packed with vitamins, and sweet, so that takes care of a meal or snack.  The veggie juice will be a snack that serves as a substitute for the fresh veggies that have been replaced with roasted in my meals.  My usual diet usually involves dessert, but of the healthier variety (gluten free, no processed sugar, etc).  No one else I know bakes like that so I’m being realistic on that one.  Otherwise, everything else will stay the same, which is generally really healthy anyway. You know I hate food from a box and needless sauces.

Hangovers have been haunting me lately after only a couple drinks so I have a major incentive to go easy on the booze.

Plus, I taught spin then indulged in a basket of chicken fingers and fries with multiple beers watching the Texans game, so I’m thinking I’m ready for this holiday regimen.

You have a plan or just going to wing it?

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