Monday, August 31, 2015


Who: The Malnar Family - Justin, Meredith, Jackson and Andrew

Location: The park area adjacent to the Brazos Center. The location was suggested by our lovely photographer because it was a great morning location (our shoot started at 7:45 am) and does fall tones well. The bridge made an excellent backdrop.

We loved seeing y'all use the somewhat hidden park right behind the Brazos Center, it has the BEST bridge/wooden walkway ever! Merry Momma Cindy did a photo shot there with her three little ladies a few years ago. The bridge is just great!

Clothes: I was so proud of myself for really planning ahead for our outfits for this shoot. About a month before, I shopped online and bought everyone coordinating outfits. When the packages started arriving though, I realized my best laid plans were a major fail. The colors that looked to be complimentary on my computer screen clashed in real life, my top was ill fitting, etc. So without much time, I shopped our closets big time. I started with Andrew's green and blue plaid shirt and went from there. I think Jackson's shirt was the only thing we bought new and I believe it came from Target. 

Well, Momma Meredith, shopping your closet was a GREAT idea and you were WAY ahead of the curve on this one...PLAIDS! PLAIDS! PLAID! They are everywhere this year. And NAVY is always classic and timeless.
(And that navy and white plaid shirt has been in my cart at Target no less than 5 times, but I always put it back...I think I'm getting it next time!)

Momments: (As in Mom Comments) The tricycle and the way the boys interacted together on it played perfectly with the "Oh What Fun!" theme I had in my head. Having two small boys is loud, messy, crazy, exhausting, but ultimately so much fun. Capturing their relationship and the joy they bring to our family was my goal for this card and I feel like we achieved that!

The Merry Mommas LOVE a tricycle pic!

Designer: Me, with lots of "Oh What Fun" inspiration from Pinterest, Etsy, etc.

We played a bit on the internet too...we found these to be inspiring!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography (no longer taking new clients)

Merry Mommas' Favorite Thing: The boys are adorable (of course), the lighting is great and the smiles from all are so natural, but what we really love is that Meredith did the front vertical and the back horizontal. Way to not conform and do the norm! 


day dreams paper via Etsy

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites: Christmas Card Displays

Merry Readers - we have a treat for you today... remember Holly? Of course you do - her family did the ADORABLE cards with PJs of Christmas past we featured on Tuesday. Well today she is here to share all about her favorite ways to display these amazing cards we have all started planning. 


I ran across this on Pinterest and had to giggle.  But, isn't it the truth?!  Summer flies by. School starts back up and before you know it the kids are picking out Halloween costumes!  Then you realize, holy heck, we've got to get our Christmas card together!  The Merry Mommas have ideas galore to help you design your card but today I want to share some of my FAVORITE ideas on Christmas card displays! From the day after Thanksgiving (for those over achievers) to even a day or two or three after Christmas (for those that are bound and determined to get them out), my most FAVORITE thing to do is check the mail.  I absolutely love receiving Christmas cards!  The majority of the cards have pictures and I always love including them with my holiday decorations. While perusing Pinterest, I've come up with a few easy and MERRY ways for you to display your Christmas cards this year!

While I'm Waiting...Christmas card displays
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So cute and so easy - that's my FAVORITE!  Use reusable adhesive so removal will be a breeze! You can use the cards to create a shape, add twinkly lights or washi tape, or simply arrange them around your door.
While I'm Waiting...Christmas card displays
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This is great use of space!  Simply add your cards to a ribbon on the wall or hang them from the banister - ta da!  Instant Christmas decorations!

While I'm Waiting...Christmas card displays
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What a fun way to decorate windows or doorways!  So simple - so easy - my FAVORITE way to decorate!
While I'm Waiting...Christmas card displays
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A few of my FAVORITE ideas were items using household items that you might have laying around your house.  Ribbon, paperclips, an unused wire wreath, wire hangers - if you have any of these items you're set to display your Christmas cards like a pro!

And, what about when Christmas is over?  It's always a sad day when I have to take down the cards. I know the time and money that went in to these works of art and I just can not bring myself to throw them away.  Years ago, Shelly and I would get together in January and scrapbook our Christmas cards.  Sadly, I'm behind a few years but I have them in ziplocks just waiting on that free weekend with nothing to do!  :)  But, if you need a little inspiration, check out this awesome idea!

Thank you so much, Cindy and Katy, for letting me share a few of my FAVORITE things!  I hope you guys enjoy these easy and MERRY ways to display Christmas cards.  Oh, and did you realize there are only 17 Fridays till Christmas?! Have a blessed day!  Gig 'em and God bless!

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WWDLW: Edition Hair

So this is an anti WWLW post, not necessarily something we hate, but something we don't particularly love.

(Well, I haven't actually confirmed this non-love with Merry Momma C, but let's go with it).


I do not love fixing hair.

And it's not that I don't love it - it's that I'm not particularly good at it, which is ironic because we have a lot of hair in this family.

I have mastered a few things: pony tails (both regular AND side) (I mean, clearly), piggies, top knots, the occasional hair tuck in a head band and of course the curl.

But then again, I've been using a curling iron longer than the people that will be freshmen in college this year have been alive. I know. #oldie

Oh and anything with "messy" in front of it. 

Occasionally, I will have a surge of hair crafting super powers and do something great in a mediocre kind of way.

Now don't worry about my girls - they are surrounded by people that do great hair. They come home all the time with fancy new dos and they actually prefer the "been running around all day while washing my hair with glue, glitter and paint supplies" look.  But now that Emmy is in kindergarten, her days of hair playing in class are done.

So I'm determined to learn a thing or two.

But then Pinterest is all...

Seriously. What happened to just an actual ribbon?

So I searched and searched and searched. An hour later I found two pins that I think I'm going to try...

Neither lead to a real webpage - or at least one that Pinterest would let me see without warning... but they look easy enough and should be a quick enough process that Emmy will sit still. 

And just as I was about to give up all this hair research, I found it...or rather HER. A mom that gets me (and starts her post with snarky sarcasm.)

You can find the actual tutorials here

Happy hair fixing friends!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

PJs of Christmas Past...

We are so excited to share today's card with you! Holly has been a loyal follower of YMM from the beginning but we only met her IRL this past May - which is hard to believe because she and Merry Momma K exchange about 103 texts each week. She's kind, loving, selfless and just the most fun mom and friend! We know you'll love her and her DARLING family as much as we do... 

Who: The McBertys - Mike, Holly, Colby, Holden, Hope and our dog, Kennedy
Also known as the family that is simply too cute for their own good. I can't even deal with Hope's expression in that pic.

LocationCollege Station, TX

Props: Just our bed and our dog

Clothes: Girls are wearing Carter's pj's and the rest of us have pj's from Old Navy

{Mom}mentsI'm uber sentimental and love pictures of the kids at the same stages - and wearing the same clothes, if possible!  I realized when Hope was born that we would have to recreate this card and love that we could use "visions of Christmas past".

Holly, all we really want to know is - when is this card coming around again? We think perhaps for Colby's senior year in HS. He will love it and we will, too!

DesignerBrooke Designs 

Ummm. Let's pause and discuss a few things:

1. We love finding new places to order items
2. Her webpage is adorable
3. These are some of our favorite designs

You can find these and all of her holiday designs here

Photographermy mother-in-law, Mary, took the original picture and my best friend, Shelly, took the two most recent pictures

Favorite ThingI LOVE that Shelly convinced my husband to move our bed to our backyard for better lighting!

We do, too. Good call Shelly. 

From the Mommas: 

There are so many fun ideas for Christmas pj pics - we had to stop searching but no worries - there could be an entire post on this soon! (And if you are looking for the PERFECT birth announcement pic, please see #2 below. Matching pjs, sleeping baby, "shhhing" sibling. YES!)

1 (Unknown) /  2  / 3 / 4

But if we are being honest, this is what it looks like more often at our houses... 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 

And we even found some fun ideas for fur babies...
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Our plan was to leave you with some of our favorite places to shop Christmas Pjs, but y'all - they aren't online yet. WHAT?!? That's crazy but also kind of awesome. Way to give Halloween it's time in the spotlight, retail giants. Ghosts, ghouls and goblins everywhere thank you. 

We, however, are only slightly annoyed.

Out of our top picks, The Company Store, is the only one that has items out and they are SUPER on sale. So click and spend save. Hanna Andersson, Gap, Old Navy and even Carters haven't put up anything yet. You can always search Christmas PJs on Etsy and never run out of options!!!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Favorites: Boden, Next and Gap

Not sure if you realize this, but we have an entire page dedicated to our Favorite Things up all the time. (Admittedly we may need to update that page from time to time, but it's a great place to get links fast and furious when you need something.) With all of this back to school goodness in the air, we are in shopping mode, so if you haven't finalized your color scheme/theme for your cards (or let's be honest even started to THINK about them) - you are in luck because we have plenty of inspiration planned for today!

We think clothes should be affordable, durable and obviously cute! Our favorites are a combo of this - many of these retailers carry clothing from infant to adults. We are even share some of our hidden treasures. (Katy really didn't want to share Next Direct with "the world" but Cindy said that it was in the spirit of Christmas). We live by the "it's okay to spend money on clothes if we can wear them again and again" creed.  Over the next few weeks, we will be putting some boards together from our favorites this week, we start with some classics. So... In my best Julie Andrews:

Boden is awesome, we are quite smitten
Next is always ready with stockings and mittens
Gap is a classic, its' wonder still gleams
All are a few of our favorite things


We like stores that all you to shop for the entire family because they usually have pieces that will coordinate well. This palette would be fantastic for an urban photo shoot or at a carnival or fair. Just add some fun shoes, colorful tights and you are set! 

Next Direct

Someone build a campfire and grab the smores because THIS has us dying to get outside. We are loving all things plaid (or as we like to call it lumberjack chic)  - just feels comfy and cozy which are perfect adjectives for Christmas. That poncho will be arriving here soon and I **may** even have to try and squeeze myself in the biggest size of that tween tunic. Because clearly. If you never shopped at Next you are in a for a treat - TWO DAY SHIPPING is standard. And, y'all AND, if you ever need to call them (and you totally should) a real, live human answers the phone. And bonus, more than likely with a British accent. 

(Sidenote: Let's discuss our friends' across the pond definition of a vest.)


I know this may seem boring, but we love a monochromatic color scheme. This palette works well with rustic photo shoots, snow (!!),  and we think it would be awesome at a Christmas tree farm.

If you shop these looks today you will get 40% off at Gap with code BDAY - so you are saving money. Do it!

What are your favorite looks to shop? Any hidden treasures you want to share?

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WWLW: Back to School

We feel exactly like you, Billy...

For some of you, school has started, but our kids don't return until Monday which means this week is basically the "let's try our hardest to get back into a routine and resume some resemblance of normalcy before we have to go out into public as real, actual people" week.

Or something like that.

And we love it. The excitement, the fun, the new school supplies - I mean what's not to love?


(Yes, but.)

It also kind of overwhelms us! Tis true. I mean there is really only so many hours in the day and when we see all the fun things friends do or even attempt to look on Pinterest, I kind of want to crawl into bed and eat ice cream. So, we have picked some simple ways that you can celebrate the fun that back to school brings...

(Emphasis on the simple. Because we realize it's less than a week away and many of you have probably been planning this for a month. But for those of you out there like us, read along, or just pin for next year!) ;)

Back to School Breakfast

This was a sweet way to get the kiddos in your life excited about the year and you can do it over the weekend! Just grab some of those school supplies you purchased and make a cute table scape with them. Serve their favorite breakfast treats and print out these FREE printables from Tater Tots and Jello  and you are good to go! (I totally printed these already).

Back to School Interviews

Cindy discovered these a few years ago I think and sent me the pin. I LOVE looking back at Radley's kinder year and even last year to see what has changed and what has stayed the same. Positively Splendid has the ENTIRE set ready to print so I just printed 3 copies of each and placed blank copies in their school files so we are ready to go each year! Simple. Easy. FREE. (Perfect).

First Day Fun

There are approximately 129381 different printables on Pinterest for first day of school pics. I thought these from I Should be Mopping the Floor were colorful and fun and she has them all in one place. Winning.

Confession: we aren't bring gifts to the teacher on the first day of school people. GASP, I know. BUT... if we were, we would need it to be 1.simple 2. useful 3.cute. Which is exactly what this idea from  Love Dove is. Not sure if Target has this soap again, but you could do something similar with other products.

Lunch notes are some of my favorite things to leave in the kids' boxes. Radley keeps all the ones that Ryan draws but for days when you are about to pull your hair out want to strangle a kid are running behind, these notes from Make and Takes are perfect.

After School

If you can believe it, there are tons of ideas for first day of school dinners on Pinterest, too. We are opting for the "let's go out to eat" celebration. BUT we do love these conversation starters from How Does She.

 Make sure to check out The Dish today for some awesome back to school crockpot recipes and a fun giveaway in time to learn something new!!

What are some of your favorite back to school traditions? We would love to hear!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Peace from the Hawkins...

Who: Lizett, Jason, Casey and Noah Hawkins

Location: Lick Creek Park, College Station

Props: Jason's most prized possession was our only prop - his 15+ year old Takamine guitar. (I'm surprised he let me hold it ;))

Clothes: Boys are in Old Navy jeans and khakis. (Ummm, mommas, you are in luck because Old Navy is having a major sale that ends TODAY! Click that little link and shop til you drop. It's saving money!)  Casey's chambray shirt (Similar here and only $8!!!) and Noah's plaid button down (Similar here and only $10!!)  is also from Old Navy. Jason and I are in jeans form the Buckle and the boys' Fender guitar shirts are from the Lucky brand outlet store. My Counting Crows is a concert tee and Jason's Johnny Cash shirt is from Target.

Y'all. Let's pause and talk about this style - it's fun, it's trendy and most importantly, it's THEM. We love it. Great job, Momma. 

Momments: (As in Mom Comments) Music is a really big deal in our family. We listen to all types of music and love attending concerts as often as we can. Jason has played guitar for many years and we thought it would be fun to incorporate it into our theme last year. We used Galatians 5:22 as our voice of choice this year - it's a beautiful verse that is simple and very meaningful and ended up being the theme at our church for them Christmas season. Since we have a family with all boys it sometimes become challenging to come up with themes for our cards but we really had fun with this one!

Lizett, you accepted the challenge and you hit it out of the park. We love this theme and we love that you incorporated something so special to your family! That's what makes all the difference!

Designer: Nichole Quick of Quick Design Company

Photographer: Sarah Burns of Butterfly Chaser Photography (no longer taking new clients)

Favorite Thing: My favorite thing is that it absolutely suits our personality as a family.

Us, too! We loved it soooo much that we had to put a little board together... 

All of these shirts are at Old Navy since they are having that awesome sale (TODAY!). We also found a few more at Kohls:

Blog: Lizett doesn't have a blog (although we would love it if she did) but she DOES manage to amazing event spaces in town! Downtown Bryan Events has two venues for holiday parties available. SEAD Gallery and the Grand Stafford Theater. They have partnered with a few caterers in town and have some awesome packages put together to make the planning as easy as possible. Email Lizett for more information!


While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up

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