Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stress free card prep

So, the number one question we have gotten since starting this blog is "How in the world do you do it?" Easy. 

Y'all. We are CRAY CRAY!

But in the best way. Simply put - we start early. We have already started chatting about our plans for this year's card and I can guarantee that they will be so much fun. And listen, friends, we don't do this because we want everyone to think our families are flawless (because we are far from it) - we put thought into it because that's how we show our love. We want our nearest and dearest to be touched by the thought and effort of our cards and, we ENJOY it. 

Because again. We are CRAY CRAY!

So how do we do it? Well, here you go... 


I think we got ahead of ourselves last year - we only helped you plan your photoshoot and we forgot to help you focus on your card. Silly, us... we apologize. When we have our "what are you thinking about your card" chat sessions we cover the following... 

1. What's trending this year? 

Now this may affect you in one of two ways... you could be the type that is all about those trends like men are all about that bass. Or, you could be the opposite and run away from what everyone else is doing and stand out. We like either option.  Either way, a good idea is to start perusing those big hitters in the card business. Tiny Prints, Shutterfly, and Minted, have their designs out all year. Sometimes they even run random sales so if you start early, you may score! 

And even if you don't want to purchase from them - use them to help you create your own. I have done this almost every year. I see a design I like and I mimic it the best I can. 


The top was my inspiration card from Tiny Prints in 2013. I knew I wanted a card with lots of pics on the back to tell our story, but I also knew I didn't want to pay $1.50 per card. So I copied it as best I could using PicMonkey and I think it turned out pretty darn cute. But, I was only able to do this because I am crazy and started looking at designs way ahead!

2. What story do you want to tell?

Our cards do just that - tell our story to our loved ones. So choose your story. Does your family play sports? Do y'all love nature? Are you all total hipsters?  Or are you attached to technology? Whatever your story is - tell it. Use this as the opportunity to capture those moments. Pictures don't have to be these perfectly posed editions of our lives. Lifestyle shoots are amazing ways to tell the story of your life. One of my favorite cards was from 2011... 


Our story was kind of sad at that moment - we had just gotten the news that Fely was sick but we rallied and chose to rejoice and be glad in the days that the Lord had given us. We looked for the joy and we found it. I don't know if a bible verse has ever stuck out to me so strongly as that one did the morning I was emailing Sarah about our card. But that's the story we wanted to tell and I am so glad we did. 

3. Think about the details!

Start thinking about 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. 

Props - If you are going to use any props - cool couchballoonsover sized letterstricycles, or a wagon - start your search now. 


Location - Because you know what story you want to tell (see above) you probably also know a few spots to take these types of photos, so now is the time to chat with your photographer about when to schedule pics to meet your desired expectation of the shoot.  They will know 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, so don't forget to check.

4. Relax

Christmas is months away, y'all! You have plenty of time!


And to help you relax, we want to remind you about our awesome Christmas in July giveaways with our friends at The Dish BCS


Today we are giving away an adorable lunchbox from Lacey Rae Designs. Lacey Rae Designs is a local Bryan-College Station business offering embroidered and monogrammed items. They offer the cutest options for baby shower gifts, children's personalized clothing and holiday items. You can find them on Facebook or order through Etsy.

And to get into the Christmas spirit, Lacey Rae Designs is offering a discount code on all Back to School items. Starting today through July 19th, you can use our code when checking out through Etsy to receive 10% off!!!

Oh. And if that wasn't enough - we are giving away a bag for YOU filled with some of our essentials for photoshoots. You can read all about it at The Dish so head on over there, get that code and enter to win!


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24 comments:

  1. Great tips! I think I just found one of my Friday favorites! Oh my goodness I love Christmas cards!

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    1. Us too!! Ryan has only rolled his eyes at me once so far when discussing "the plan!" That's win!

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  2. Would love to see a post on those cards that summarize the year? Like took a trip to Disney, went to 6 football games, etc. Are they too humble braggy?

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    1. We love year in review cards - I don't think it's braggy at all! We'll start putting together a post - great suggestion!

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  3. Great giveaway and suggestions! We have a family photo shoot in August and our daughter starts Kinder next month. Any tips you can share on outfit selection/color coordination?

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    1. One of our most popular posts is selecting a winning wardrobe - http://yourmerrymailbox.blogspot.com/2013/10/card-prep-week-winning-wardrobe.html

      let us know if that helps!

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  4. Thanks for these tips. Can Your Merry Mommas just plan my card? Thanks.

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  5. Love these tips! I used to participate in a Christmas card challenge where I had to make one each week during the year. It sas fun but also challenging, because instead of stressing by November, I was stressing each Sunday.

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    1. Oh my goodness! What did you do with all those cards? We may need to hear more about this - perhaps a guest post for our readers?

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  6. Great tips and crazy is right already planning in July! Kristin

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    1. Haha - but you have to love our crazy anyway! ;)

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  7. Great tips. Glad I found a new blog!

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  8. Great tips. I needed a kick to get organising earlier thane usual x

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    1. We are definitely on the "you can never start too early" bandwagon! Glad we could help!

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  9. These are awesome tips! Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Amber! Hope you swing by again for more tips!

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  10. The card with the mustache glasses is my fave of the ones shown - a great example of just having fun!

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    1. Thanks, Kayley! It was an unexpected pop of fun on the back after the more formal front. We got lots of compliments on it! Hope you swing by again!

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  11. Great job ladies. Its never too early to start Christmas prep. You and Steph need to go to her favorite Christmas store. Its open year round.

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  12. I just found a box of Christmas Cards the other day in my house and said maybe this year I'll get it done early. Now, I see your post. I think something or someone is trying to tell me something. We have never done personalized cards. Maybe this is the year. I hate getting my picture taken, but I may suck it up!

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  13. Haha - when the universe speaks, we have learned to listen! Thanks for stopping by, Marie! Hope you will be back!

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  14. I've got another post idea for you - how to keep all those precious cards you receive from year to year or how to use them in your Christmas decorations. I LOVE sending Christmas cards but I REALLY LOVE receiving them too! I scrapbook them from year to year (I might be behind a few years but I will catch up!) but would love to see what others do with them. Surely people don't just throw away those treasures {gasp!}.

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