Tag Archives: friendship

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!

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!

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!

let’s meet Maddy

On this bright and sunny Tuesday morning I am celebrating. Why, you may ask? I am celebrating for a few reasons. 1) I made salted chocolate coffee creamer yesterday and had it for the first time this morning. Oh my goodness it is amazing. 2) We are a little closer to Saturday when I will be on the edge of my seat watching one of the most anticipated college football games of the year (more on that on Friday). 3) Over the next few Tuesdays, starting today, we are going to be giving you a more in depth look at Merry! I am so excited for you to learn more about our writers and our blog.

Today we are introducing you to one of the members of the Merry team- Maddy. Maddy is crazy talented y’all. She is an amazing photographer and an even better friend. Don’t believe me? Check out what her boss Michelle Boyd (another seriously wonderful photographer) had to say about Maddy after she finished her internship.  She is your go to girl for a laugh, adventure, hug, and great mixed cd. Maddy is one of the coolest, kindest, and most genuine people you will ever meet. And I’m not just saying that because she is my sister and best friend, I mean it!

Maddy brings so much to Merry. She adds touches of spunk, style, and sunshine to everything she touches. Hope you enjoy getting to know her a little bit better!


Current jams?
kill your heroes- awolnation
royals- lorde
san fransisco- the mowgli’s
counting stars- one republic
blurred lines- robin thicke

Go-to outfit?
blue jean shorts, cute tank, denim button down, coral keds

Best thing you cook?
pasta or mexican quinoa
i am also great at kraft macaroni and cheese

Coffee, tea, or other favorite drinks?
soy vanilla latte
green tea


Best book you have read lately?
love does by Bob Goff

Current top 5 favorite things?
fresh flowers
running around the lake
paddle boarding
blackberry cobbler
summer playlists

Ideal weekend?
going on an adventure!
playing with friends, paddle boarding, going to an outdoor concert

Best thing about writing for Merry?
getting to be creative with my sister and collaborate with friends.


If you want to see some of Maddy’s work, learn more about her, or copy her style here are her photography page, bio, instagram, and pinterest.

The Merry team is definitely better off because of this beauty!

Now, go drink some yummy coffee and enjoy your Tuesday.

Stay merry!


let’s have tea


Y’all, we are SO excited to be posting our first ever styled shoot today! This was such a fun project- we got to style, photograph, and hang out with our friends. Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend a night?

I don’t know why we ever stopped having tea parties. As little girls we would set up colorful tables filled with cups, imaginary food, and occasionally stuffed animals. Those morning teas were special; they were filled with friends, laughter, and sweet moments. Well, it is time tea-parties make a comeback! We created this grown up version of a tea-party for our friends. It has vintage vases, simple place settings, and a whole lot of joy. I don’t know about you but that is how I would like to start my weekends! Plus, as an added bonus, everything we used was from one home, meaning this tea-party did not cost us a thing (Even the flowers were created with plants from the backyard) Ok, enough gabbing, let’s get to the party!

edit007 edit020edit023edit008edit011edit029edit018edit027edit017edit015edit022

Goodness, I love how simple and sweet this is. If these images don’t make you want to throw a tea-party I don’t know what will. Go enjoy your weekend! (If it is like mine it will be filled with college football)

Now, anyone want to have tea?



All images owned by MadelineRanda Photography and the Merry team

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.)

atx 001
atx 001_1

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.