Tag Archives: inspiration

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.


girl’s guide to pinterest -part 3

Does anyone else feel like it should be much later in the week than Wednesday? Somehow I managed to pack two weeks worth of activity into the past three days. I can not wait for the Saturday- I am already dreaming about not setting an alarm, drinking my morning coffee while I read a new book, and spending the better part of the day simply relaxing.

Ok, on to our last Pinterest series post! Woohoo! We have come such a long way. I know how hard it was for most of you to stop pinning wedding things if you aren’t engaged. I am so proud of you! Hopefully you have also determined what you and your finace like, found inspiration in magazines and blogs, and started a very focused and purposeful pinterest board. At this point you are practically a rockstar at using Pinterest to find what you want. I only have two more tips for you then you will be ready to ride without training wheels. I just hope I don’t cry when you go for your first solo ride.

Here are the last things you should know about Pinterest and wedding planning

5. When in doubt, don’t use it! You are a unique and creative person. I promise, you have more fun and wonderful ideas in your head than you think. Trust your instinct and embrace what makes you special. Pinterest can take creative ideas and make them mainstream really fast. Suddenly, every wedding you go to looks like a “pinterest wedding” If you don’t want your wedding to look like that then don’t use Pinterest! Find inspiration and then take over from there. Do things that are totally and uniquely you. If you think you aren’t creative or are struggling to come up with cohesive ideas, ask someone. I am sure one of your friends is just dying to step in and help plan the absolute perfect wedding for you!

6. Use a secret board. Honestly, this is my biggest tip for people using Pinterest for wedding ideas. Want to know why? We are at the age where most of our friends are starting to get engaged. There is a better than average chance that one of your friends will become engaged while you are planning your wedding. Suddenly, she is planning a wedding too, possibly a wedding that will be happening before you. So what happens? She re-pins all of your ideas that she loves. Your style, creativity, and hard work have just been kidnapped by another bride. There is not a whole lot more frustrating than searching for ideas to create your perfect wedding only to have someone else use them, especially if she is getting married before you and inviting a lot of the same people. Just go ahead and make your board secret that way you will never have to worry if your friend really found that cute idea for a centerpiece on her own or if she copied yours. Plus, there is something to be said for keeping a little mystery in the wedding planning process. You want your guests to be surprised and amazed when they walk in to your reception and not know exactly how you will be decorating. Make your wedding board secret, TRUST ME.

Ok, that is all I have for our Pinterest talk! Here is a little picture with all of our steps so you don’t forget.

pinterest series

Stay strong girls. Fight the urge to pin everything wedding related and spend the time you would be pinning hanging out with your man. He is way better than a pinterest board.

As always, email us if you have any questions or need any help.  And feel free to follow us on Pinterest!

Too soon?

girl’s guide to pinterest

Over the next few Thursdays I am going to be bringing you a series about Pinterest. It’s called A Girls Guide to Pinterest, Planning a Wedding, and Finding the Man of Your Dreams (just kidding about the man of your dreams part). I have always wanted to have a really long title for no reason just like Jen Lancaster’s books. It just makes me feel important. After planning my wedding last year, I learned a few things about the benefits and pitfalls of Pinterest. These are the things I wish I had known back then. Plus, if you are lucky, I may even really throw in some tips on how to find the man of your dreams. Let’s get started! Here are the two main things I want to tell you today-

pinterest series 1

1. If you are NOT engaged STOP pinning. My reason for this may surprise you. I honestly don’t care if you are one of those wedding crazed girls who has only been dating a guy for a few weeks. I was one of you, not because I was obsessed with getting married but because I absolutely adore weddings. Seriously, I could sit for hours with a stack of wedding magazines, a mug of Starbucks, and a little She & Him playing in the background. In fact, that sounds like the perfect day to me. However, even if you can’t get enough of beautiful events and gorgeous weddings, pinning wedding ideas before you are engaged is not a good idea. Here’s why- your style will change. Things you once thought were cute will no longer seem charming. When Hubs and I got engaged I took a look at my “Wedding” Pinterest board. It looked like someone with multiple personalities had gotten a hold of my account. There was rustic mason jars, classic hydrangea, modern table settings, it was a mess. I had gotten caught up in pinning things that everyone else thought were great ideas. The majority of my pins I didn’t even like! Learn from my mistakes!! Keep your wedding fantasies in your head until you get a ring. It will allow you to start completely from scratch when planning your wedding which is the best way to create an amazing event. So if you aren’t engaged, stop pinning and delete that wedding board. TRUST ME, your future bride self and wedding with thank you.

Screen shot 2013-06-30 at 4.19.06 PM

These are my original pins- mostly rustic, casual, and completely the opposite of what I actually wanted my wedding to be. Don’t let yourself fall in this trap!!

2. Make a list of all the things you and your man love. One of the best and most fun things you can do to help your wedding planning process is talk to your groom and write out a list of things you like. Believe it or not, most guys do have a little bit of an opinion when it comes to their wedding. Two weeks after Hubs and I got engaged we took a 12 hour road trip to see some of his family. During that ride we got out a notebook and started taking some notes on what we wanted from our wedding. The first thing we did was make a list of what was important to us for our wedding. Our key things were 1)honoring to the Lord 2) small, intimate wedding 3) a super fun party 4) creative and original. After that we made a list of things we both liked. We both love breakfast for dinner, Shipley’s donuts, New Years Eve. Viola- we had the base for our wedding! A rocking, modern, NYE wedding with lots of personal touches.  The lists gave us a great place to start. It helped us base our wedding on US not just me. So after you delete that Pinterest board and your guy gets down on one knee, sit down and create a list of what is important to you about your wedding and the things you both love. It will most likely give you an awesome idea for what you want to base your wedding on! Don’t forget, TALK to your future hubby, he may just surprise you with some incredible ideas.

All right, I think that is plenty of Pinterest talk for today. Next Thursday I’m going to talk about how to use magazines, blogs, and Pinterest to take your list from an idea to a reality.

As far as finding a man goes, I would suggest summer camp or a mission trip. That’s how I met Hubs (which is a long story for another day). If you are too old to be a camper you can always go as a chaperone. Nothing says romance more than two chaperones meeting eyes over a cafeteria table while middle schoolers freak out over the latest drama! Ok, maybe I should get someone else to write the finding a man of your dreams portion of this series . . . .

Have a great day and follow us on Pinterest (too soon?)

Be merry!

get inspired

hi friends! MadelineRanda here. i am completely joyful (and a tad bit nervous) to be writing this first post. however, i am sitting down with my power playlist, my starbucks coffee, and am ready to get this party started. so here we go.

inspire. it’s one of my favorite words. so is dream. i probably use the two way more than an average person. but then again, it has never been said of me to be average. it can get overwhelming when trying to find inspiration-there are so many places, people, pretty things around me to even know where to start. so throw off the bowlines of fear or intimidation. inspiration is uniquely you. we’re going to dive into how to find what makes your soul sing and once you know- what to do with it. having tangible inspiration around us propels us to make dreams into a concrete reality, so today we’re making an inspiration board/wall/room. dream big. don’t limit your creativity.

where to start? oh my we have pinterest and facebook and all our friends lives to analyze. but where was inspiration found before then? wait….Madeline, you’re telling me there was life before Pinterest? yes, my friends. it was much less organized and had way less workouts and easy recipes, but it did exist. so here’s where i encourage you to start: make a list of what fires you up. here’s mine:merryblog866

the importance of being earnest is on there, as is simple and creative designs, edgy fashion, quippy sayings, and travel. now that you have seen my list go make your own! Seriously. this part of the process is the hardest to start but once you get started you can’t seem to stop! it’s so fun to see what your brain will bring to mind-some of the things you love will be obvious, some will come as surprises. take a day to think about all the things that fire you up.

im assuming if you’ve made it to this paragraph you have done your homework and written your “things that make my soul sing list”. good for you! you’re on your way to an incredible inspiration board. so from here what do we do? THIS is where you get to play. start looking for the things you love all around you. you can’t go a day without reading a good quote? find your favorites and start collecting them. you realized that you swoon every time you see peonies- go to a farmers market and grab a few or find pictures of them in magazines. if travel is where your heart is, we will be best friends. get pictures of the places you WILL go one day. collect as many unique and tangible things as you can to fill up your inspiration board. search magazines- Darling, Southern Weddings, and Vogue are some good places to start. cut out anything that strikes your fancy. for me, i can’t get enough beautiful photos around me. i check my favorite photographers websites and work like it’s my day job. (i wish-can we make that a real thing?) so print the pictures that make you gush, cut out the clippings that get you fired up, assemble the beauty around you. i’d encourage you to write somewhere on your inspiration board this quote.  “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -eleanor roosevelt. it’s one of my favorites. your dreams are beautiful. they are unique and powerful and absolutely possible. dream big and make it happen!

there are so many ways you can do this next step. in the lovely office i work in (also in my room at home), the twine and clothespin method worked beautifully. Hang up everything to where you can see it all. layer in quotes with pictures, designs with a dreamcatcher. there is no right or wrong way. grab a corkboard if you don’t have a wall and get to pinning. anything is fair game. the main thing is to see this and know you are capable of accomplishing something of beauty just like that you see. this is the board i get to look at while editing photos at work. so encouraging!


(can we all swoon at Michelle Boyd’s inspiration wall? gushing.) there can be a point where it becomes too much. when you can’t distinguish one thing from another and all you feel is overwhelmed and discouraged. keep it simple and to your absolute favorites. so put out a candle, grab some fresh flowers, and set up your board in your dream space. this is a place where anything can happen. get to dreaming, and get some inspiration. make sure to upload picture of what you create and tag Merry!