Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Merry Mommas!!

Dear Friends and fellow Sharers of Merry -

Thank you so much for reading Your Merry Mailbox.
We appreciate you and hope that our blog gives you
a place to come to for inspiration and merry.

We are going to take a little time off to enjoy the MERRY with our families.
We will see you in the new year with lots more fun, tons more ideas and an infinite supply of merry!

Merriest of Christmases to each you!
Katy & Cindy

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas STATE of Mind!

Who: The Hot Mess Munsons and the Texas 3A State Champion College Station HS Cross Country Team

Location: CSHS Track & Old Settlers Park, Round Rock

Props: Hurdles, gold medals ;)

Clothes: Josh's shirt and sweater are from Gap and his pants are from Banana Republic.  All four of the Munson ladies are in Boden.  (I love their stuff!)

Comments: Oh, friends...this card...let's talk!  :)  Way back in June or July the greatest idea EVER popped in my head for our Christmas card.  I was ecstatic.  I texted Katy and Sarah and we all started brainstorming.  We had a plan, we just needed to find the prop (it's essential to the picture) and some cute clothes.  Easy-peasy. Then Cross Country practice started and Josh continued to get more excited and he really did believe that this group of talented ladies had the potential to win State.  Winning a State Championship is kind of a big deal, you I just couldn't let the opportunity pass by.  Now mind you, this added just a TAD bit of pressure to Josh.  Our photo shoot was just a few days before the district meet.  And after district, they still had to run at Regionals and State.  How corny would this card look if we they didn't win!  Ha! But they did win (and by a lot!)  We are so proud of this group of young ladies and we are blessed to have them in our lives.  It was only fitting that we add a few candid shots from the meet to the final design.  And speaking of design, Nichole's design is just awesome.  I think it is very hard to have lots of different images on a card without looking like a mess, but her design is perfect!

Designer: Nichole Quick of Quick Design Company

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography

Favorite Thing: Goodness!  I love the picture with the girls and Josh looking at the trophy - they were so proud of Daddy and his other girls.  I love the contrast between the track and our dressy clothes.  I love the different color scheme - purple and black for Christmas, why not!?!  I love the GOLD, the gold medals, the gold text, the gold(en) locks on the girls.

Extra: In addition to Josh being a wonderful coach, he is also a talented writer.  Enjoy our year-in-review poem.  (Sometimes I think that people are more excited about the letter/poem than the card! {GASP!} ;) )


Katy's Thoughts: I love it. I love that this celebrates the season of merry. And I really love that this celebrates the hard work that the entire family contributed to such a wonderful accomplishment for Josh and his team. The early mornings, long weekends, and endless practices paid off and they all got to celebrate. You can sense the pride and love in everyone! Work is personal and they incorporated that in a beautiful way! (And, let's be honest... those GOLDEN locks on all those GOLDEN merry littles are the most precious thing you see!)

Cindy's Thoughts: I'm married to the hot coach at school! :)  Who also happens to be really good at his job!


How can you recreate this card? Embrace your job, your hobby, something that your family is passionate about it and have fun with it!

Get PINspired:

  1. I think this family hit a home run!
  2. I know I have already mentioned it, but I am going to do it again...Nichole of Quick Design Company does great work!  Check it out here, here and here!
  3. And remember our board about hobbies!
  4. Winning makes everyone happy! They look happy, so do these kids and these!

May your holidays be GOLDEN and bright!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Who: We 5 Kings

Location: Field by our home (top) and the treehouse in our backyard (bottom)

Props: Blanket, s'mores goodies, hot chocolate, treehouse 

Clothes: Ryan's sweater - Next Direct, Emmy's dress - Next Direct, Landry's dress - Next Direct, Girls' tights - Next Direct, Radley - shopped his closet, Katy - Head to toe Target

Comments: I wanted our color pallet to blend, so I intentionally ordered everything from Next waayyyyyy back in August. (You say crazy, I say prepared). ;) This was the original layout:

Which is a little "blah" and the sweater I ordered for me fit horribly. Radley's shirt was adorable, but the blues were off. SO, then I ordered a dress from ModCloth for me (that I LOVE) but Cindy was a great bestie and told me the hard truth that it just didn't work for this set up. (See... everyone needs THAT person) So I went shopping for me and ended up with an unexpected pop of yellow {again} so I switched Rad to make our picture more warm and flow better. But we also made sure that he and I weren't "stacked" at any point. 

Designer: Me with my bestie PicMonkey! This is seriously a great tool for when you need to make cards, picture collages, or even tiny edits of your own!

As an aside - it was not the original plan for me to design this card. The Mommas may look like we have it all together, but y'all... I was a ginormous mess this year. Long story short - last minute, down to the wire, ball of not-so-merry Momma was me. :)

Photographer: The one and only Mrs. Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography

Favorite Thing: The shoot turned out exactly how we wanted it - a reflection of us in our home. I had been planning to use the treehouse as our backdrop for this year's card since the boys (Ryan, Pete, and Pops) starting building it in September 2012(!) and I am thrilled with how it turned out. We actually sent two versions in the mail bc we couldn't pick a favorite family picture. The day of this shoot as we were putting the kids to bed Radley said, "that's the most fun I've had taking pictures, Momma" and it was true! (Although Emmy said, "but they weren't just of me" #diva)

Extra: We always send a letter to accompany our card, and highlight our year according to scripture. However, this year I was PINspired by our "mini newsletter" post and decided to give it a go myself and I LOVED how it turned out. I was able to add a few more pics in that didn't make the card and do something unexpected, too. We still included scripture and chose two verses that reflected our theme and the season!

Blog: The Queen of the Kings (click that link for a view of the entire photo shoot!!)


Katy's Thoughts: That's a pretty adorable looking family :). 

Cindy's Thoughts: Well, it is safe to assume that you all know Merry Momma Katy is my bestie and so I love everything about this card. And of course I love the color pallet (I may have seen these clothes a couple of times before I got the actual card in the mail as we discussed lots of options). And of course I love the tree house, s'mores and warm fire. But what I love most about the card is how much it reflects the Kings. Their HOME is just what this card reflects. It is warm and cozy and welcoming. The door is always open, there is always something yummy to eat and a kind a sweet face to greet you. And that's what this blog is about. Yes, we love a good prop and some fancy clothes, but what we love most about it is how each card reflects its sender and spreads the MERRY!


How can you recreate this card? We love the idea of family photos that are in your element. Bundle up everyone in your favorite spot on the couch. Do you host game nights - then do a life style shoot with everyone going head to head. Props and set ups and themed shoots are great - but NEVER be afraid to just be you!

Get PINspired:
  1. Thinking about getting cozy by the campfire? We LOVE it - this family set up a tent. Love the added fun this bunting adds to the scene. This family is also good with sharing the s'mores!
  2. There are TONS of mini-newsletter templates... check out our entire board!
  3. Two words: Messy pigtails
  4. I am slightly obsessed with Radley's hair these days. Boys can also rock long locks!
  5. And let's discuss his puffy vest. Yep. OB-SESSED! We pinned a few more on our Getting Merry - Toddler Boys Clothes board, but this one is our favorite!
  6. And - if you are inspired to build a treehouse - check this out. (!) We LOVE this one!

So... now it's time to start planning for 2014! The first thing to do is pick a fabulous photographer and ONE lucky reader already has that taken care of!!!!


Thanks to everyone that entered! We (including Sarah) are so overwhelmed with your response!!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Days of Merry - The Wrap Up


(yep, all caps kind of fun!)

Thank you is no where near enough gratitude to give to our wonderful sponsors! We hope that you all venture their way the next time you need something sweet, or some hair flair, or a photo, or an Aggie gift idea, or personalized stationery... seriously... you won't be disappointed!!

In case you missed the winners we wanted do a little 12 Day Wrap Up...

Day 1: $35 to Jumping Jax Designs - Abby H. 
Day 2: 1 dozen decorated sugar cookies from Bird's Bites - Lydia W.
Day 3: Hair flair from Little Roo's Boutique - Emily M. 
Day 4: Personalized pillowcase from And Sew On - Desi P.
Day 5: 1.5 hour portrait shoot from Meg Cady Photography - Chantal B.
Day 6: $25 credit to The Sweet Side of Jezzebelle's - Kristin B.
Day 7: $50 credit to Quick Design Company - Magan S.
Day 8: 3 custom bows from Sweet Peas and Kisses - Laura
Day 9: $30 to Craft Cuts - Virginia S. 
Day 10: Tomorrow Session from Whimsy and Style - Stephanie L. 
Day 11: Aggie Manget Board from Old Army Spirit Co. - Kristin B. (different one!)
Day 12: Photo session from Butterfly Chaser Photography - IT COULD BE YOU!!!!

You have until MIDNIGHT tonight to enter our last giveaway!!! Seriously, no matter where you live, especially if you are driving distance then ENTER!!!

(And all you already names winners out there...PLEASE email us pics of your loot! We would love to post it later!)

And because we really really love you.... here is sneak peek for what is coming next week...

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Thursday, December 19, 2013


Hi friends!  No #TBT today!
Nope, we're having #FT.

#FT, you don't know what that is?

Well, we made it up, it stands for Futuristic Thursday.



Next year the Merry Mommas' Christmas card *MAY* be similar!

We love it! 

PS - Don't forget to enter to win the photo shoot with Butterfly Chaser Photography!
Contest ends Friday, December 20th at 11:59 p.m.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WWLW: Submissions from our readers!!


Wasn't that fun?

A BIG congrats to all of the winners and a BIG, GIGANTIC thanks to all of the sponsors! We are so happy that we could bring the 12 Days of Merry to "life!" And we are soooo thankful for the wonderful support and partnerships from each of our sponsors. Please check them out - each of them offers a great product or service! 

Know what else is fun??? Getting tons of cards in the mail. 

This is basically us for the entire month of December...

Know what else makes us do that kind of happy dance?


We know that you all have some amazing cards, styling tips and fun ideas to share!! So just click on the "submissions" button and follow those simple instructions!

See... everyone is doing it...

You should too!


So send them in! TODAY!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12 Days of Merry - Day 11 WINNER


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On the 12th Day of Merry...

So we are finally here... the 12th Day of Merry!!! And we think we saved the {best} for last...Why is it the best you ask? Well - we start with a double card feature and end with another amazing giveaway!  We are sure you will agree!

Let us being with a card that will sure to put a smile on your face...

Who: The Fords - Jennifer, Jody, Skylar (8) and Hunter (5)

Location: Research Park, College Station, TX

Clothes: I was grateful that the guys were ok with wearing purple - I know not everyone is. Jody's tie was a gift from his Fish Camp counselors but I have no idea where we found his shirt. I think the kids' clothes are from Dillards. :) 

Comments: I really loved how the purple looked good on everyone and how it was not the traditional color of family pictures. 

Designer: Shutterfly 

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography (and Merry Momma favorite) she has been taking pics of the kids since they were 3 years old and 6 months. 

Favorite Thing: On the way to the photo shoot we made sure everyone was fed, we played a song everyone liked and we just said we were going to have fun and not stress about getting the "perfect" picture. The picture where we all piled on top of Jody is a favorite and I think was one of the kids' ideas. This will be fun to recreate through the years! :)


Katy's Thoughts: Love the purple. Love the smiles. Love the family. LOVE the card! I really love how Hunter has his arm hanging all the way down to Jody's waist like he is embracing the whole family.  And if you really listen... you can actually hear them laughing! (Or at least I can!) 

Cindy's Thoughts: Purple is a favorite color in the Munson house too!  I think everyone looks good in purple. I love the white space and the brightly colored text, I think it looks awesome with the monochromatic purples. And y'all...that song and food must have worked because those smiles are to die for!


How can you recreate this card? Jennifer said it best: we just said we were going to have fun and not stress about getting the "perfect". They also chose a great color pallet - all one color in different shades... it is a great way to look coordinated but not matchy matchy!

Get PINspired:

Let's recap, shall we?...
  1. We've told you about our love for the monochromatic/tone on tone look
  2. We've also expressed our admiration for being silly.
  3. And one of our first posts was all about bright colors which we love!
  4. And just check out this. And then click on the link to the blog post. And then have six kids. :)
  5. And we love a stacked family pic too!

So what happens from laughing? Well it brings you JOY of course... just like the arrival of a sweet new bundle which is the theme of our second card!

Who: The B Family

Location: Their entry foyer at their house :)

Clothes: Gymboree, Target, Kohls, and our closets

Designer: The card was inspired by a design on Tiny Prints, but since the baby was born so close to Christmas, we made them ourselves with a few alterations.

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography

Favorite thing: We love that we were able to share our great news with family and friends while wishing everyone Happy Holidays - it was certainly a HAPPY holiday for us! We also love that his newborn picture reflects the Christmas season - there's no better gift!


Katy's Thoughts: Let's discuss how beautiful Momma B looks after DAYS post baby. I love the use of gray and red. Gray and anything really - its such a great neutral and allows other colors to pop! I also love that this momma had it together enough to have a baby, design and mail a card all in the month of December! :) 

Cindy's Thoughts: I love that they totally embraced the holidays!  And that picture of sweet Baby B with the ornaments...PRECIOUS!  And the hugged/snuggled family picture just makes my heart happy!


How can you recreate this card? Have a baby at Christmas time and be totally prepared to send out cards! What? That's not easy?!?! :)

Get PINspired:

Again, allow us to recap...
  1. We've discussed ornaments.
  2. And, the holidays are all about the birth of a baby!
  3. Siblings are also a sweet part of the holiday!
  4. And we think a baby in a sweater would be precious!!

Don't you just love those cards? Notice anything in common? Look's a hint!

We ADORE these cards, mainly because the photography just captures their personalities so perfectly! 

Speaking of perfect... we are convinced that we have the perfect ending for...

Are you dying to find out?


Because we are DYING to tell you that today we are partnering with....


This is how excited we are....

Today's winner will be treated with a full photo shoot with Sarah Burns and 30 edited files delivered to you digitally over DropBox after the shoot. 

The winner has to live in or be willing to drive to Bryan/College Station (Y'all. Any amount of travel is worth this!!!) and be expecting a baby or have child(ren) under 10. This cannot be used for an extended family shoot. 

The shot has to be redeemed in the months of March - May and is subject to Sarah's availability (We suggest you picking a date NOW!)

And while we don't think you need any motivation to enter, here is a lovely sampling of Sarah's work from March - May 2013. 

She is magical and captures families in all stages of life with beauty and grace.

From bumps....

to newborns...

and momma moments...

and sibling sweetness...

and all the fun of families...


And if these two cards and all those pictures isn't enough to convince you to enter... well just check out the Pinterest shrine to her work...

Now. Enter

(Friendly reminder ... you may only win once during the 12 Days of Merry which extends to all members of your household)

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Monday, December 16, 2013

12 Days of Merry - Day 10 WINNER

 Congrats Stephanie L!

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Old Army Says Merry Christmas!

Happy Monday, friends!

We are so excited to feature a card from the owners of Old Army Spirit Company!


Who: Randy, Jessica and Ainsley Horvath

Location: George Bush Library, College Station, Texas

Props: No props were used in the Christmas card photos, but we did use props in the photo shoot - a fun chair, a bucket, chalk, bubbles and the wild flowers on the grounds of the library.

Clothing: Ainsley's dress came from Kohl's and we shopped our closets.

Designer: Randy designed the card using Walgreens.

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography

Favorite Thing: Ainsley's hair do!

Katy's Thoughts: Nothing beats the look on a kiddos face when they are genuinely happy and Miss Ainsley looks elated in her parents arms! Love!

Cindy's Thoughts: I agree with Jessica - Ainsley's hair is TO DIE FOR!  Love that braid!  So very Katniss Everdeen! And I love the tiny smirk on Ainsley's face in the middle picture!  


How can you recreate this card?  Call your favorite beautician and tell her/him you want a Katniss braid - it is the rage!  Also, plaid photographs so well when the other subjects are in less busy patterns.  And plaid is just fun!

Get PINspired:
  1. Little girls and big girls can wear the braid.
  2. Famous girls wear it too!
  3. And if you are one that likes to make things your own, do something like this!
  4. Mad about plaid! This card is about as cute as can be!
  5. Dad can rock the plaid too!
  6. We love how this card incorporates plaid in the design and in the clothing.
  7. Don't want to wear plaid, but like the look?  Use the card design to add that plaid pop.  We love this vintage card and this simple card it pretty stinking cute!
  8. Are you madly in love with plaid?
  9. And we wouldn't recommend this look for everyone, but this family pulls it off...kinda!

Not only did the owners of Old Army Spirit Company allow us to feature their fun family - they are also the sponsor's of today's giveaway! If you didn't know, Old Army Spirit Company is your headquarters for Aggie and Greek gear! 

So, the Merry Mommas of Your Merry Mailbox proudly present

Featuring a chance to win this super cute and chic magnetic Texas A&M memo board and magnets, valued at $60!

Good luck!

(And don't and your household may only win once during the 12 Days of Merry Giveaway and you can't enter via Rafflecopter on your iPhone.)

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Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Days of Merry - Day 9 WINNER

Congrats Virginia S!

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Fantastical Friday!

It's Friday and today we have something FANTASTIC for you!

Who: Lyla Bergeron

Props: Carousel horse, lights, ornaments

Location: Pinkle Toes Studio

Clothes: Dress - Tutu Du Monde; Head piece - custom by her momma; Boots - Joyfolie; Tights - Target

Comments: It's probably a Christmas miracle...and probably the Merry Mommas and Michele from Pinkle Toes doing that I actually have my card together in time for the holidays...that never happens! I had this *gorgeous* dress in mind for the session as soon as I saw the set -- I knew something in the same tonal range (silver, white, cream, gold) would be the safer choice but I am not one to play it safe so I went with the unexpected pop of blue! And it's mighty lovely...and the headpiece/crown I wired together on the way up to Michele's studio was the perfect touch for Lyla's curly golden locks too! :)

Designer: Chantal Bergeron of Whimsy and Style Photography (Lyla's momma!)

Photographer: Pinkle Toes (Austin photographer)

Favorite Thing: Aside from my dear girl - the carousel horse of course! I can't hide the fact that I love a good prop (and my garage...errr prop warehouse...certainly can't either!)

One thing I should mention -- it's kind of hard to name a designer for the card sometimes...I always use templates from Bird Design but I modify them heavily (change colors, number of photos, shapes of photos, necessary to best fit the card).


Katy's Thoughts: My thoughts are "why did I not know about Tutu Du Monde?" :) This card screams fantastical to me - just wonderment and joy and all things Christmas magic! Almost as if a Santa's toy shop came to life!! And I am loving all the glittery touches on cards this year!

Cindy's Thoughts: All that glitters is GOLD!  I am loving the gold glitter on the card and the gold accents in the photographs -so fun!  I also love those curly golden locks!  And Tutu Du Monde...wanna sponsor the Munson's 2014 card?


How can you recreate this card? Use your imagination! Do something extraordinary - and let the focus be on the kiddos! There is just something about seeing the wonder of the season through a child's eyes and allowing the focus to be on them can take some stress away from you when trying to get everything together for pictures! 

Get PINspired:
  1. This card reminds us of Merry Momma K's carnival card from 2011 - and if you remember, we already have a whole board dedicated to carnivals and fairs
  2. Carousels can add to the picture even if the baby isn't actually riding!
  3. Carousels also make a great spot for engagement shoots** we should warn you - when searching "carousel photoshoots" on pinterest - interesting images pop up**
  4. Now - we can not tell a lie - glitter is not our favorite. But only in the "three dimensional, my kids came home with glitter art projects and now it is everywhere" variety. We are LOVING the glittery fonts and additions to cards! This navy and gold combo is super fun! The sweet addition to this dual purpose card is darling! And this card is awesome
  5. We love the added fun of the ornaments too!

See? We told you that this was a fantastic Friday?! And you know what would make it even more FANTASTIC....

That's right! An AMAZING give away!

Today, we are once again teaming up with the talented Chantal Bergerson of 

We have already worked with Chantal once on our Ultimate Christmas Card Giveaway and we are so excited for what she has in store for you!

But first, let us remind you of how fantastic her work is...

For even more images, click here!

And NOW let us tell you about the FANTASTIC prize...

The “Tomorrow” session (Retail value: $1028.37):

For so long we've stored our memories, and told our stories via still images. But your life isn't still...and your children certainly aren't why are we limiting ourselves to still portraiture? Still images provide amazing and highly rewarding artwork for your walls and for sharing on Facebook....but when all is said and done it's video that preserves your memories and tells your story best...'cause your kiddos move...they laugh, they hug, they toddle, they squirm...and video captures all these things. Beautiful video is increasingly going to be the way of preserving your family's memories. Why not have tomorrow's session today?

The “Tommorrow” session includes:
·      A 2+ hour video and photo session
·      At least 20 digital images printable to 8x10 (perfect for Facebook sharing and desk/gift prints) with a personal-use release
·      A beautifully edited 2-3 minute family video
·      The option of purchasing larger wall galleries as archival artwork for your walls or of upgrading to digital files printable to any size if you'd like to take the DIY route and design your own wall gallery

This session does full justice to your memories, your artwork, AND your web sharing needs!

Session must be scheduled to be held between December 2013 and March 2014

We'd say that this is fabulously fantastic! We'd also say that you should enter NOW....

(Couple of friendly reminders: You may only win once during the 12 Days of Merry and Rafflecopter will not allow you to enter on an iPhone.)


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