Thursday, October 30, 2014

Transformation Thursday

Hi friends! The Merry Mommas are at it again...trying something new. I mustache...Did you like Tuesday Trends? Hahahaha! Okay, so today we are going to feature a post that we are calling Transformational Thursday. We are going to pick a card and show you how to TRANSFORM it and make it your own. The Merry Mommas know you are busy people and we want to make your life easy with direct links to clothing, props and cards. As well as, feature some locations and themes that make your card truly yours. We hope you enjoy!

Here's the card from Minted (love them!) And note that the designer is from Texas. (We love Texas!)

Let's discuss the location:
Well, I think we can all agree that a picture in front of the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty stinking cool. Alas, we don't all live in San Fran. But, I bet there is a bridge near you. Take a Sunday afternoon drive around your city and look for cool bridges, or consult one of our favorite tools - Google. We simple put in "cool houston bridges", clicked on images and this is what came up!

Let's discuss the clothes:
This family did an AWESOME job with their clothing. Layers, pops of color, not too matchy-matchy. Perfect. Must be why they are on a card site, right! ;)

Dad's sweater is cool.
{A}   {B}   {C}

Mom's scarf is beautiful.

 {A}   {B}   {C}

And we LOVE a cute vest.
{A}   {B}   {C}

Let's discuss how Minted allows you to make this card your own:
This is what the webpage looks like:

See that nifty can change the wording:

Check out the arrow again...
You can change the colors - WHAT! WHAT! Clearly, yellow works best with the clothing choices, but if you and yours like RED, it's an option!

One more time...the arrow. :)

The WAVEY trim with the water...PRECIOUS!

Let us know if you found a card on a website or Pinterest and made it your own - We would love to feature you on Transformational Thursday!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TT: The Hipster & The Christmas Card

Y'all. We are trying something new...Tuesday Trends. We'll see how this works! :)

You know what is a TRENDY now? Hipsters. You can't turn around (even in BCS) and not see at least one hipster (or a wanna-be hipster). help in this post we did a little research (we are committed like that).

Urban dictionary has this to say about hipsters:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. (Read even more here.)

And another way intellectual resource - Wikepedia - said this:
The hipster subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas. The subculture has been described as a mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior and is broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organic and artisan foods and alternative lifestyles. Hipsters are typically described as affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods.

The Hipster Family

And now you are saying, "That's all great and fine, but what does this have to do with Your Merry Mailbox?!?!"


There are hipster Christmas cards.

And they are FUNNY!
Visit Candid Caleb

And...before you go thinking we are mocking all things hipster...we are fact...we may be hipsters!

The Kurtens - The Munsons - The Kings

pearl snap shirt - craft beer - sanuk shoes - plaid shirt - moccasins - hipster glasses - dull colors - vintage tee - minimalist jewelry - boots - truck hat - long wavy hair - skinny jeans

And ya'll this picture was taken at a music festival on a land reserve.
With food trucks and craft beer.
And one of these couples just bought a Subaru!

We're bringing the HIPSTER to Bryan - College station…for sure!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Festive Friday with the Malnars

Who: Justin, Meredith, Jackson and Andrew Malnar

Location: Texas A&M University Campus, College Station, Texas 

Clothes: Meredith shopped at some of the Merry Mommas' favorite spots - Macy's, Kohl's, Old Navy and Target.

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography

Designer: Meredith (way to go Momma!)

Meredith's Comments: I typically let the photos determine the card rather than the other way around. This card was no different. I knew I wanted to do our photo shoot on the campus of Texas A&M...we have taken A LOT of pictures over the last 4 years and had never taken pictures on campus. Justin and I got engaged under the Century Tree so it is a place that is meaningful to us and we wanted to have pictures to capture that. Since we were taking pictures on campus, I decided maroon needed to be in the color scheme, but I wanted it to be more subtle than our game day jerseys.

Meredith's Favorite Thing: My favorite thing is how wonderfully Sarah was able to capture the realtionship between our two boys! Watching their relationship grow over the last year has been so fun and the two images featured on the front of the card perfectly captured their very real expressions of their love for each other. Sarah posted these two images together as a "sneak peek" shortly after our shoot and my first reaction, of course, was to swoon. My very next thought was "that's our Christmas card!"

Connect with the Malnars:The Malnar Family

Merry Mommas' Thoughts: Both of the Merry Mommas have siblings and both of us LOVE our siblings. There is just something about brothers and sisters and this card really showcases that love and we LOVE it! Meredith also did a great job having the clothes coordinate, but not match. 


How can you recreate this card? Cute kids, gorgeous outside spaces and Chuck Taylors...we are in love! Below are some direct links to help you get this look!

Chuck Taylors: Every member of the Munson family has a pair of CTs and Merry Momma Cindy thinks your family should too! Really, they are the bomb (welcome to 1991!). They are cute, comfy and aren't as tennis shoe-ish as a pair of sneakers. Even Shaeffer thinks so!

Maroon Pants: We are tickled MAROON with Meredith's pants! We may have mentioned (one or two times) that the Merry Mommas' are Aggies. And everyone knows that you can never ever have too many items in your closet that are maroon when you are an Aggie! And, well, honestly, almost everyone looks good in maroon, so even if you aren't an Aggie, purchase some maroon pants anyway. We even think the men in our lives need maroon pants, so we are ordering these! (And the great thing about H&M is the very inexpensive price tag because we aren't really sure Ryan and Josh are going to wear these...but we are getting them anyway!)

And Merry Momma Gigi (that's Katy's mom - she's the best) just picked up a pair of these jeggings for both of us! We LOVE JCP! How cute are they going to be with...a chambray shirt!

Chambray Shirt: See what we did there? :) Again, EVERYONE in your family needs a chambray shirt - Momma, Daddy, boy, girl, even the family dog!

Click HERE to see other ways to get Momma Merry!

Told ya, even the dog needs one!
(And we know it's sold out...
we just had to provide proof that you could buy your dog a chambray shirt

Cool Campus Locations: Okay, folks...this is where the Merry Mommas need YOUR help! We know where the cool places on Texas A&M's campus are - the Century Tree, the BIG ring, the Administration Building, but we don't know other COOL CAMPUS locations. Tell us where you went to school and the IT place on your campus to take pictures! (For real, please comment! Pretty please! Let us know you are reading this! And if you are an Aggie, tell us other cool place to take pictures on campus!)

Get PINspired:
1. Ain't no love like a sibling love!
2. Who doesn't need a little peace and joy in their lives?
3. And of course LOVE!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WWLW: No STRESS Photo Shoot

Hi friends! It's Merry Momma to make a confession. I sometimes get stressed out about photo shoots. Like I yell at Josh and snap at the girls. (Not good.) It can just be so stressful. The weather. The outfits. The hair. The ATTITUDES! All of it. BUT, after 6 years of lots and lots and lots (What can I say, I like a professional pic and I have three kids.) of photo shoots, I no longer look like this:

And here's why:


I know, I know...not all of our amazing readers are as Type A, controlling or maybe a tad psycho about plans as I am, but if you are - THE MERRY MOMMAS ARE HERE TO HELP!

And for you amazing, go-with-the-flow, never stress peeps out there - send this blog post to your type A friends and have a great day! #jealous

Three to Four Months Before:
1. Hire a photographer - Depending on your location and your desired photographer's schedule, this may be a little late or a little early, but the point is ... don't wait until October to try and find a photographer for your Christmas card pictures.
2. Decide on the look/feel/theme of the photo shoot - Do you want a casual outdoors-y look, are you going for urban cool? Start thinking of what you want your images to look like. What are you using these images for - Christmas card, over the mantel large picture, Facebook cover photo?

One to Two Months Before:
1. Decide on Clothes, Shoes and Accessories - You want a winning wardrobe! Start shopping, whether you are closet shopping, on-line shopping or mall shopping - start. Find one thing to start with - maybe a scarf for Momma or a bow tie for your baby boy - and work to find the items to coordinate with it.
2. Props - If you are going to use any props - cool couch, balloons, over sized letters, tricycles, or a wagon - start your search now.

Two Weeks Before:
1. Location - Because you know what look/feel/theme you are going for (see above) you probably also know a few spots to take these types of photos (or you have consulted with your photographer), so now is the time to do drive byes to check on things like height of grass in a park or field, hours of operation, payment (if applicable). Also, there are some locations that must be reserved, don't forget to check.
2. Hair & Makeup - I have to admit, I have never had my hair or make up done for a photo shoot, but I think I might! If you want these types of services, book them now. (I do admit, I do get my eyebrows a couple of days before photo shoots...I'm so fancy like that! ;))

One Week Before:
1. Try on clothes - Kids grow fast and sometimes things just look lots different go ahead and do a quick dress rehearsal. This is also a good time to iron. I swear, my ironing board only comes out for photo shoots!
2. Touch base with your photographer - Give your photographer a call or email to reconfirm times and location.
3. Talk it up! - Start talking to the kiddos (and maybe the significant other) about the photo shoot. Remind them how fun it will be to be a model and discuss expectations. We talk about listening to Ms. Sarah, doing what we ask when we ask and reminding them that if they do well, they will get a treat! Hey, we are all about bribery here! And treats can be candy, stickers, drive around the neighborhood with the windows down listening to Frozen...whatever works!

Day Before:
1. Set out clothes and accessories -I set out everything, and I do mean everything (including unmentionables...don't get caught with a black bra and white shirt! EEK!). It will make the next day go smoother and if you forgot something you will have a little while to run to Target.
2. Pack
     a. Clothes - You may have all the clothes on your body and this step isn't necessary...but you may have a wardrobe change or a scarf or something, so go ahead pack it. {And, just maybe I made the girls ride to a photo shoot in their unmentionables because I didn't want the picture clothes wrinkled...just maybe. I can't say for sure, but maybe! ;))
     b. Props - Go ahead and load the car. Remember, you want tomorrow to be STRESS free. We recently did Millicent's 3 year (tear) pictures and the car was full of pumpkins.
     c. Goodies - Get the treats ready! Stickers, lollipops, whatever.  Have it ready to reward that great behavior. Also, pack water, snacks and wipes. Hungry kids (and adults) do not take good pictures! 
     d. Toiletries - Don't forget the hair brushes, makeup and tissues. 
Day of:
1. Be on time! Y'all nothing stresses me out more than being late. I hate it. So I make it a point to be early to photo shoots. Photographers are busy, lighting matters and a stressed face is not pretty, so be on time.
2. Be reasonable - Remember that all parties involved - kids, mom, dad, photographer, etc - are people and we all have good and bad days and we all have things we are capable of doing. (Don't expect a 2 year old to do a 3 hour shoot or take pics during nap time.)
3. HAVE FUN! Seriously, have fun. Laugh. Enjoy being in the moment! HAVE FUN!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Merry Monday from the Markeys

Who: Pete and Samantha Markey and their twin daughters, Avery and Camille

Location: Bryan, Texas

Props: Christmas lights

Clothes: Pete's sweater is from Kohl's, Samantha purchased her dress from TJMaxx and the denim jacket is from Old Navy. The girls our outfitted by Target (fave!). 

Photographer: Chantal Bergeron of Whimsy & Style Photography

Samantha's Comments: I chose our colors because I wanted photos I would enjoy seeing all year long. 

Samantha's Favorite Thing: The photo, the light, the GOLD!

Merry Mommas' Thoughts: We love the family picture and the individual picture of each girl. As twins, they probably get LOTS of together attention, but we love how this card lets them have their own space. And, as much as we do not like glitter in our houses, we LOVE LOVE LOVE glitter and sparkle on cards and we love how the glitter/sparkle on the card helps highlight the lights in the trees behind the family.

How can you recreate this card? The Merry Mommas know you are busy, so here are some direct links to help you make a card like this your own!

GLITTER & SPARKLE: Y'all, if you find a card website that does not feature GLITTER & SPARKLE, let us know. We can't. GLITTER & SPARKLE are the it thing this year. In fact, the folks at Pear Tree Greetings have an entire section dedicated to it. The designers at Minted are specializing in foil pressed cards and Tiny Prints has lots of both. Our favorites are below!

HEADBAND: If you are an avid reader of Your Merry Mailbox, then you know we love an accessory - specifically hair flair! They just make photographs pop. Samantha did a great job using two different headbands in our featured card today - way to go HOT MOMMA!
Icing                              Anthropologie
(one of these headbands maybe showing up in a Merry Momma Christmas card!!! Which one do you think it will be?)

CHRISTMAS TREE: Want a card that features Christmas trees?

Love this POST CARD from Minted. Yes, we said POST CARD.
(Click on the link, come it!)

 Color. We love color.

SWEATERS FOR HIM: Pete's sweater rocks! Let's all order something for the men in our lives today. (And if you are a man reading this, order yourself something!) (And we have a price point for everyone.)
                              $                                                  $$$                                                   $$                

Get PINspired:
Bright clothes, we have some ideas for you!
Nothing says Merry Christmas like Christmas trees and lights!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WWLW: Momma Trends

So Merry Momma C and I were discussing things we thought we would see in our mailbox this year. We are pretty excited that the season is upon us and I may even go buy a new card holder, because, well, I want to.

We talked about all the things that we love right now and we are hoping to see some of them pop up on the cards we receive. So… without further a do… our predictions of Momma Trends for 2014…

1. Metallic Tattoos

This is first on the list because WE WANT METALLIC TATTOOS. (And before anyone flips out (Mom), they are fake.) Y'all. These things are precious…

They give a flash of fun without being over the top. They would be awesome on a mom or a tiny tot and we predict that a few mommas out there will be brave enough to sport one this season. (please please please!)

2. Booties

The shoes, people. Get your head out of the clouds. Merry Momma C has a pair of booties and Merry Momma K has yet to pull the trigger. But, we predict that many mommas will be rocking this look (as they should) this year so maybe my Christmas cards can also double as a bit of window shopping. Here are some of our favorites:

If you are still a little nervous, then check out this post and please note she wrote it in 2013.

#fashionforward #merrymommasarebehind #maybethisisnotatrend

3. Lumberjack Look

You know…plaid and flannel. Two things that are hot at the moment and could add a little depth and texture to any family photo shoot. We like these looks…

Green Wedding Shoes/Source Not Found/Source Not Found

Most people would think that flannel is strictly reserved for the Brawny man, lumberjacks, or hunters. But the mommas above prove that it can be worn and rocked by the ladies, too! And don't think you are limited to shirts. You could rock a scarf…

You could even dare to go dressy and match it up with a skirt or (gasp) wear a flannel dress. Neither one of us are really that brave, but I am SURE that one of you mommas out there could totally rock that look. It could also be as simple as a cute plaid blazer.

Sincerely Arizona/LL Bean (couldn't find direct link)/Source not found

Basically - we are obsessed with the idea of this look. It's casual. It's comfortable. It says home. And that's the message we are trying to send with our season's greetings. This is our favorite look by far…

The layers. The pop of jewelry. The cuffed jean. Someone make this happen on your card. :)

4. Aztec Something. Aztec anything!

Seriously this trend is hot right now and we love it. Big giant puffy heart on a painted t-shirt love it. And it could/would make the perfect pop of something for a family photo session. You don't need a lot of it, just one great piece and it would be fantastic! We REALLY love a big ol comfy cardi:

And if you want a little more interest, or are braver than us, try some patterned leggings...or oh my word - leg warmers. These would look PRECIOUS on Merry Littles.


Leather is timeless. And everyone can wear it. From biker dudes to Sandra Dee - everyone was built for leather. And before you get freaked out and worry that your leather experience will be something like this...

Take a deep breath because there are so many options. And, there are even VEGAN leather pants (which are clearly formerly known as "faux" but vegan sounds smart.) (Feel good about yourself).

And if you still aren't sure, then check out this post from Savvy Sassy Moms.

The key to any of these trends is making it your own. So - tell us (as in comment below...remember we want to have a conversation, friends!) what TREND are you dying to try? AND... what trend do you think the Momma's will rock in our card?!?

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

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