Author Archives: madelineranda

About madelineranda

This is just the beginning of a very beautiful journey.

Thursday Trend: Thankfulness

Hi friends!

Colder weather has arrive with November. I finally get to break out the fall boots, best day ever! Thanksgiving is coming up- it’s one of my absolute favorite holidays. How beautiful is it that we get to take a day alongside family and friends just to be grateful. While every day should be filled with gratitude, I love the idea of throwing a big party for those we love to hear what they are thankful for. So let’s look at some Thanksgiving party trends. I am seeing a lot of non-traditional outdoor parties, which you should know we are a fan of here at Merry!

Instead of going with the cornucopia in the center of the table, try some bright flowers! I love the added pops of color in these tables. Fall colors are gorgeous- the golds, burgundies, bright reds. But it’s okay to mix in some cool colors or bright creams in to lighten the mood! Throw in some fuchsia or even some bold blue like the bottom picture! I also adore the long tables with wooden benches. It adds a rustic charm to the table, throw on a burlap table runner but add in some unexpected decorations. Pumpkins covered in gold glitter! Place cards that you can fill in with a thankful list! Or maybe even some apples for pops of color! Get creative. Just because Thanksgiving is an old holiday doesn’t mean it can’t be spiced up in new ways! Here are some pictures to get you started. Enjoy the season of thankfulness.





Love and Sunshine! Thanks for reading, friends.

Thursday Trends: Heartfelt and Handmade

Hi friends! I feel like a kid again. I just spent ten minutes crafting and made a card that I want to hang on my fridge! This summer, a dear friend made me a handmade card and it brought tears to my eyes. When did we get out of that habit? When did it become all about getting the gift faster rather than giving the most personalized “you matter” to someone? In light of this, it’s my goal to only give handmade happy birthday cards this year! Believe me, I’m not totally against hilarious store bought cards (I sent one to Meredith with a Narwhale one that to this day makes me die laughing).

Making a card can be so simple. All you need is some construction paper, card stock, twine, a sharpie, and some glue! Fold the card stock, write a sweet note. Cut out triangles for your banner. Glue them to your twine, which you then attach to the card. Make sure you can still open it! I finish mine off with a fun balloon on the front, but the options are endless! So easy but it looks like you took a bunch of time.


Love and sunshine, and happy crafting!

Thursday Trends: Naked Cakes

Hi friends! So today’s Thursday trend might sound slightly scandalous, but it’s one of the sweetest fads around! Definitely one of my favorites to see at weddings! Naked cakes. These beauties are the up and coming wedding sensation. It can fit any wedding style, from rustic to elegant. I fell in love with these. I am so excited to write about this! (The possible post names I ran by the Merry team got more and more hilarious over time. My personal favorite- Thursday Trends: Nakey Bakey. Don’t know why that got vetoed…)

Traditional iced cakes are beautiful, but for those brides who want something unexpected and enchantingly different- I would look into naked cakes! They offer a unique spin on a classic wedding staple and are able to look so versatile depending on the season. Even more than weddings, this trendy favorite could be a hit of any type of party! I’m thinking of throwing a backyard shindig in a few weeks, one of these will be perfect. Let’s see if I inherited the amazing baking ability Meredith has! So check out these mouth watering creations, grab some inspiration, and have fun designing your own!





Love and Sunshine!

let’s meet Meredith

Hi friends! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve gotten to write. Probably because it has been, so hi there, I’ve missed you! Today I get to tell you about the last member of the Merry team- the brains behind the beautiful blog. The creator and main writer for Merry just so happens to also be my favorite person on this planet, my fantastic sister- Meredith.

Meredith is one of the most creative and talented people I know. She can whip up a witty and heartfelt blog, make a floral crown, and bake an amazing cobbler all in a matter of minutes. She is passionate and loyal, an incredible friend and an even better movie quoter. She will encourage you when you don’t believe in yourself. She is persistent and hilarious and loves her family so well. Her and her Hubs have the most precious fairytale love story every. Plus she has the cutest puppy ever, Ellie Mae. Meredith is the creator and editor of this adventure we call Merry. This babe rallied the team together and pursued her dream. I think that’s pretty rad. So get to know Meredith, you won’t be able to help falling in love with my sister and best friend.


Current jams?
Michael Buble- to be loved album
The Village Church- beneath the canopy album
One Republic- counting stars album
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
Go-to outfit?
 riding pants/black leggings, boots, baggy sweater, and a scarf. fall is my season
Best thing you cook?
blackberry cobbler
calzones from scratch (yes, even the dough)
 homemade brownies. I have a lot of time on my hands . . . 
Coffee, Tea, Ect?
 coffee, all day every day. I usually have a Starbucks in my hand.
I am currently loving whole milk mistos with a pump of mocha. Tastes like delicious, caffeinated  hot chocolate.
Best book you have read lately?
fresh wind, fresh fire- Jim Cymballa 
the millionaire next door (yep, I am a financial nerd)
my life in paris- Julia Childs
Current top five favorite things?
1. fall weather
2. college football
3. watching new girl with Hubs
4. creating flowers for styled shoots
5. curling up with coffee and a good book
Ideal weekend?
 church, relaxing at home, baking, going on walks with Hubs and our puppy
Best thing about writing for Merry?
 being stretched and challenged creatively by Maddy & Jenna,
learning new things,
and getting to chase dreams


 If you want to get to know Meredith a little bit more (which who wouldn’t?) check out her bio, instagram, pinterest, and wonderfully authentic personal blog

Merry is her dream come to life, I’d say it’s a pretty great one!

Now go do her proud and grab a cup of coffee, a book, and get to having a beautiful Tuesday.

Love and Sunshine!

Thursday Trend: Let Them Eat Pie!

Hi friends! Fall is oh-so-close! I am literally counting the days until it cools down and I can snuggle up with apple cider and leggings. My heart can hardly handle the anticipation. With the new season comes new fruit, and with that comes my new trend! I have seen it in quite a few weddings recently, and the trend is fantastic no matter if it’s summer or winter. Today’s trend: pies at weddings! I absolutely love how having pies allows for tons of different flavor options, but you can still have your cake and eat it too! Pie tables add a sense of whimsical personality to the traditional wedding dessert table. Mark them with flags, make custom place cards, or adorn them with bride and groom toppers. Pumpkin and apple and pecan, OH MY! Enjoy these scrumptious looking pies, I’m about to go pretend to be Julia Child and try to make one of these delicious desserts.


Hope this inspired you to whip up some rustic, fall filled pies for your big day! Love and sunshine!

Thursday Trends

Hi friends! I am so excited to be bringing you this Thursday’s trends! I am obsessed. This has been around forever and the fact that everyone is getting back to them makes me so excited. Here it is folk…..can I get a drumroll…..


Oh my word, on girls or guys oxfords are to die for! They are classic and sharp and get my fashion heart so happy. So many designers are coming out with Oxfords in all sorts of patters: polka dots and lace, stripes and colors, cats and flowers! They can go from casual to fancy, and are the perfect shoe for any type of party. Hop on this trend, I have the feeling that it won’t go out of style any time soon. I’m in love. I hope you are too!


I can’t wait to go get a pair in every color, style, and pattern. What- a girl can dream, right? Send us pictures of you in your favorite Oxfords! Hope they make your Thursday as much as they make mine.

Love and Sunshine!

the art of gift giving

hi friends!

yesterday was one of my favorite days. it was my 21st birthday and was spent beautifully with friends and family making sure the day was special. i am such a fan of other people’s birthdays, but when it comes to mine I tend to get uncomfortable. I am awful at accepting gifts, but this year my loved ones made it easy. Big gifts overwhelm me. However, if the gifts represent our friendships and are more thoughtful than expensive- they melt my heart. this year it seemed everyone was bent on spoiling me with personalized gifts that completely wowed me. it got me thinking about what makes a gift amazing- it’s not the money spent, but the thought behind it. not the packaging, but the time put into making it personal. Here are just a few of the lovely gifts that brightened my day and showed me how sweet friendships can be. (p.s. sorry for some of the iPhone pictures. I just had to share.)

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These  precious moments of my day made it one of the best. A bracelet from my parents of an arrow- my photography logo that’s so dear to me. ! homemade card complete with pictures and an Icee cup (we have an Icee addiction) from my summer roommate. ! painting from one of my very best friends that are “sunshine colors because I love sunshine.” A friend got me a life-size Superman cutout because I drew him a Superman for his locker our senior year of highschool that he still has. A surprise party with my YoungLife team. Not to mention the homemade gourmet cupcakes or the Starbucks runs or Austin trip the night before. There were countless other moments that made that day so special, but seeing the thought and the generosity behind the gifts I was given- I have never felt so loved. There is truly an art to gift giving. I hope the next time you have a loved one with a birthday you take the time to personalize their gift and make it unique to y’alls friendship. Let these inspire you!

Love and sunshine.