Tag Archives: diy

alternative christmas trees

okay. some of you might think i’m one of “those people” that cranks up my christmas music early (nope. can’t stand it for too long), starts posting pictures of my red starbucks holiday cups (well, i’m not necessarily above it), or starts posting christmas countdowns in august (listen, i barely know what year it is), but in reality, while I LOVE christmas and all it stands for and brings– i am not one who SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT TO PUT UP ALL MANNER OF CHRISTMAS DECOR. Go ahead and call me scrooge but something about storing lots of stuff and putting up knick knacks of every shape and size; whether it be snowmen, santa or snowglobes, just doesn’t get me jazzed about the christmas season. instead, i’d rather have a few season-y pieces that still get me in the holiday mood but doesn’t require lots of storage and time. Also, while we’re at it, let’s discuss something else…. the EXORBITANT PRICES OF FAKE CHRISTMAS TREES. first of all, no. and second of all, don’t talk to me about how they last for years and all that because come january 1st, when i have to pack that sucker up for days, i’m gona be mad it wasn’t a real one that i could just toss and sweep up the needles of.

so now that i have thoroughly convinced you that i am a sour scrooge, let me say this: decorating the christmas tree used to be one of my favorite pastimes. me and my three siblings all had about 200 christmas ornaments we had made over the years in various vbs-es and school projects. we all got to put all of ours up there and my mom didn’t worry too much about having a perfect tree because our handmade ornament is what made it special and meaningful. (also, real quick: saw a cheetah print themed tree and.. not okay, people) But, getting all the ornaments out and the tree put together when we only have a few days together around christmas has become a chore. and the trillions of store-bought ornaments starts to seem like money wasted and space taken up. I think recently i have tired of stuff and material items and the excess and so while i hope one day i get to have meaningful tree time with my own family, i’d much rather go easy on spending money and focus more on what the season is really about — family and friends and the grace that was born that day.

so, naturally, when i started seeing alternative christmas tree ideas, i thought “these are genius”. circle claps for the clever people that wanted to celebrate with a tree but didn’t necessarily have the funds, space, time, etc. to go traditional. i already have a fake baby tree (thus nullifying all my previous arguments) but i’m already dreaming of other ways to incorporate a tree without the real thing. let me know what you think!


which one is your favorite? any other ideas, you better send ’em this way!


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!

let’s mix and match

Y’all, I am SO EXCITED today! Why? 1) Saturdays have kind of become baking day in my house and today I am making Chocolate Stout cupcakes. For some odd reason we now celebrate Texas A&M game days with A&M shirts and baked goods. I’m not going to complain because it gives me an excuse to pull out my kitchen aid mixer and eat chocolate. I am already drooling thinking about the cupcakes that will be coming out of my oven later . . . 2) Today we are featuring ANOTHER STYLED SHOOT! This shoot is cute and simple, just the way we like it! We had so much fun doing this, the entire Merry team was together (a rarity) and we spent the night laughing, dreaming, and taking these pictures just as a rainstorm started. Now, more about the shoot!

Do you spend your mornings staring at your closet, unsure of how you ended up with absolutely nothing to wear? Does your closet seem full of years of items you once loved but now have no idea what to do with them? We have been there. As a kid dressing up used to be so much fun and now getting dressed is a part of the day we most dread. Well, it’s time to put the fun back into clothes! Our sweet friend Anna was kind enough to bring over some of her wardrobe. We picked out a few items and put them together in a few simple and fresh ways to give her some new ideas of how to rock some of her favorite pieces. Hopefully, this will inspire you to do the same!



Don’t you love these outfits? They are so simple but adorable! The best part is that you can do exactly what we did at home- get in your closet and start creating new combinations of clothes! Don’t be afraid to try new things, chances are you will end up with some amazing new outfits that came straight from your closet. Put the fun back into getting dressed and start mixing and matching! Share your favorite new combos, we can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Stay merry

let’s meet Jenna

Good morning, sweet friends, I hope your weekend was amazing! My weekend was filled with traveling, friends, football, football, and did I mention football? Needless to say, I am excited that today is Tuesday and there are no football games (that I know of) that Hubs will want to watch tonight. I am going to enjoy every football free second tonight because I know most of my nights from now until December will be spent watching first downs and third down conversions. Such is the life of a woman who is married to a sports lover.

Now, onto much more exciting things!

Today, we are introducing another member of the Merry team- Jenna. Jenna is by far the coolest person I know. Who else could rock overalls and make them look like an expensive, high-fashion piece? Jenna is an incredible artist and designer. Don’t believe me? Take a peek at her new home that she styled all on her own. The girl is GOOD. One of the best things about Jenna is her ability to laugh at herself. She is incredibly humble, open and kind. She is a long heart-to-heart conversation, a late night diy project, an american flag shirt, and a heart of gold. Jenna is one of the most down-to-earth, loving, and selfless people I know. Am I making you want to be her best friend yet?

Jenna is an amazing addition to Merry. She pushes us creatively, encourages us to be ourselves, and adds a ton of wisdom and style to all of her posts. Enjoy getting to know her better!
merry lets meet jenna

 current jams
 MATT CORBY (dreamy and so talented)  // “come to me” by the village church  // fitzpleasure by alt+j //  all sons and daughters.

 go-to outfit?
Skinny jeans of some color/pattern + simple (and comfortable) top + flats. Or some version of boys clothing dressed up.

 best thing you cook
My style is pretty simple and fresh (when I actually do cook) so its never that complicated. Probably tilapia tacos or some such thing.

 coffee, tea, etc?
If its coffee its gota be sugared and creamed down a lot. And yes, I can feel you judging me from here. OR hot English breakfast tea is a favorite. Or passion tea. Or (my grannys) sweet tea. The bottom line is, I’m a fan.

merry lets meet jenna

best book you have read lately

Been a couple of months but “one thousand gifts” by ann voskamp and “ruthless trust” by brennan manning. Both incredible.

 current top five favorite things

1. My job. Gods pretty cool to provide a job that fit exactly the talents he gave me. Learn more about what we do here:breakawayministries.org
2. my new place. I had roommates all through college and those were great years but I was SO ready to live by myself. Its been fun decorating it with all my style. and THE NATURAL LIGHT IS INCREDIBLE. 
3. Iced white chocolate mocha. Just reiterating my love for sugar/cream.
4. Cheez Its. Sorry boutcha.
5. the sky recently has been bomb. Gods been flexin’ his creative muscle. Lovin’ it!

 ideal weekend
Adventures + outdoor activity all day long with people I love dearly! Beach or hiking is preferable.

 best thing about writing for merry?

The way it stretches me creatively for sure! And collaborating with the sister twinz.

merry lets meet jenna

Want to learn more about Jenna? Check out her bio. Want to see her style in action? Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest. I promise you will want to pin almost everything she does.

Merry is definitely a much more creative, stylish, and fun place because of this wonderful girl! I am so blessed to call her friend.

Hope you enjoy your (football free) Tuesday!

diy gift ideas

Wedding gifts seem like a trap. All a couple really wants is cash or something off their registry. However, you end up feeling boring if you get someone the traditional toaster or gift card. Couples like creative and original gifts but that means you have to spend a lot of time and energy trying to come up with something unique. Add in the time it takes to make a cute, personalized gift and you have now spent more time worrying about what to get the new Mr&Mrs than you did studying for all of your finals combined. Holy headache, when did gift giving become so hard???

To help you out, I have compiled five of my favorite DIY gift ideas that anyone can make. Some are more functional, some are just fun! They all are easy, adorable, and would make great gifts for weddings, birthdays, Christmas, or any other gift-giving holiday.

*For the chef or extreme coffee drinker: DIY LATTE BOWLS



*For the chic decorator or boat lover: DIY ROPE VASES


*For the morning person or label queen: CALLIGRAPHY JUICE PITCHERS



*For the book lover or the monogram obsessed: DIY BOOK INITIALS


*For the wine connoisseur or entertainer: ETCHED WINE DECANTER



There you have it, five super simple and absolutely adorable gift ideas for your next holiday! Don’t let DIY scare you off. I believe in you! Let us know if you have a favorite go-to DIY gift idea, we would love to hear it!

Happy crafting!

mustache&lips engagement party

My sister loves mustaches. LOVES them. She has mustache socks, a mustache t-shirt, mustache necklace, and we even threw her a surprise mustache birthday party. She can’t help it, the girl loves herself some well placed facial hair.

Most engagement parties include diamond ring cookies and pastel colors (both of which I love). However, sometime in the future whenever my sister gets engaged I know she wouldn’t want a typical party. She would want something original, funny, and super fun.

So, without further ado, I present you Madeline’s (pretend) mustache and red lips engagement party!

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(table via-Hostess with the Mostess, invitation via-Zazzle, cupcakes via-Sweet Love Chain, banner via-Etsy, signs via-Etsy, straws via-Etsy)

I know people have used mustaches and lips for baby gender reveals but it would make an AWESOME engagement party theme. Plus, you could get some huge pictures of the bride and groom and play pin the lips/mustache on them! What better way to celebrate love than with a lot of laughter, creativity, and joy?

Want another super cute idea? Put out a “my stache” jar and people can put money in there to help pay for the couples wedding or honeymoon!


via Etsy

So go get your facial hair on and get ready to party.

Now, I must(d)ache.

Happy weekend!

diy prettyin’ up packages

This may be the easiest DIY post you ever see. When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I was almost offended at my own ignorance. OF COURSE I should buy some washi tape and OF COURSE I should decorate brown paper packages (tied up with string? anyone? Sound of Music? Carry on) with it. And then, THE DOTS. Someone out there is a genius and I want to say thank you on behalf of all us crafters who are dying for a way to avoid real wrapping paper, use our creativity, and look original all at the same time.

Here is what you need:

– plain brown craft packing paper — just made that term up. All I know is it’s in the packing section of Target and/or Wal-Mart. You will find it, I believe in you.

– some cutting device. I recommend scissors.

– washi tape, dots, some other item you can stick on that paper

– tape

All you’re going to need to do is; buy your friend a present (I count as your friend, right?). Wrap that sucker up in your craft paper. Tape it up nice and tight. Then do some sort of design with your decorative item. Voila! Easiest DIY done. Now ship that package, sisters, and nod and grin when the post office worker silently applauds your creativity.

PS. with a lack of sleep that is astronomical in my terms. ie: not 8 hours every night, I may have rambled a bit. I may have even had some lame jokes. This is due to that lack of sleep. Forgive me. And if it seems to happen every time I post? Well I have no answer for you.


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