Today is my birthday! To celebrate, I’m answering some of my most frequently asked questions and sharing a few more things about me!
Today’s my birthday! I have loved being in my mid 30’s – It’s amazing how much confidence and joy has come in my thirties as a mother, wife, friend, and business owner.
I opened up a question box on my Instagram the other day and today I’m answering your questions!
Questions and Answers
“How tall are you?”
- I’m 5’6″!
“How old are you?”
- I’m 36 today! I feel more confident and happy than ever.
“Kids names and ages — who is who??”
- I wrote a whole post about the story behind by boy’s names IN THIS POST! I don’t use their full names most of the time because I don’t want them plastered all over the internet, but I shared them here. Our oldest is 13, our middle is 10, and our youngest is 7. The younger two look super similar and get mistaken for twins often, or people will mix them up if they see just one or the other. But they’re 3 1/2 years apart!
“Are you religious?”
- Yes! We are Christians and we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
“What do you love most about your job?”
- I really love the creative freedom that I have. I’m never forced to write or share about something in particular. If I want to talk about shoes, or hair, or home decor, or belts, or makeup, or birthday parties….I can! If I’m feeling particularly passionate about something, no one is stopping me from writing 10 posts about it (ahem, THEE Chelsea Boots). I also love that this job pushes me to be creative in new ways, like adding lots of video content in the last few years, or adjusting Get Dressed With Merrick content to be more interesting and interactive. No two days are the same, and it’s fun to always be pushing myself to grow and try new things and be creative in new ways.
“How long have you been blogging?”
- I published my very first post on January 2, 2008 while I was in college getting my art degree (hence the name, Merrick’s Art). It was a place to share the art I was working on, mostly so my mom could see. I started adding fashion and DIY content in 2010 after my first baby was born, and then started taking the styling and fashion content much more seriously in 2012 after we moved to California and I’d just had my second baby. We also launched a women’s clothing line in 2019! It’s been amazing to see it grow and shift over the years.
“Can you share more about your sewing/design background?”
- I took sewing lessons for a few years when I was growing up. My mom and both my grandmothers were great seamstresses, so it ran in my family and was an important skill to my mom. After I graduated college and art school, I met Leanne Barlow, and at the time she was making most of her clothing. We instantly clicked and she ended up teaching me a ton about making your own clothing patterns and leveling up my sewing skills. I spent the next 5 or 6 years designing and making tons of my own clothing (and sharing them on the blog), and found that my artistic talent lended itself better to sewing and designing than to painting and drawing. I rarely sew anymore because my content has shifted to styling more than sewing, but I do a lot of designing for my clothing collection now.
“Do you have a degree? What was your major?”
- I mentioned above that I was working on my art degree when I started my blog. I got my Bachelors degree in Visual Arts from Brigham Young University, and then I spent the next three years after graduating studying under local artists at a small art academy.
“Did you envision your present career when you were growing up?”
- Absolutely not! For one, the internet barely existed back then, so this kind of career wasn’t even an idea. But also I wasn’t interested in fashion at all back then. My style was non existent in high school…it was super basic, borderline grungy. Dirty converse sneakers, basic tee, and flared jeans were my everyday, which maybe sounds cute, but it wasn’t particularly purposeful. Also when I started my blog, I literally had no clue it would turn into anything. I just planned to share family things and artwork on there, but I’ve been willing to roll with the punches and adapt, so here we are!
“How old were you when you had your first baby?”
- I was 22!
“Favorite part about being a boy mom?”
- Obviously I don’t know any difference since I don’t have girls, but all three of my boys are mama’s boys. They are so kind and sweet to me, give me so much love and affection, and love spending time with me. I also am super passionate about them growing up to be respectful and kind and good men, and I feel really really blessed to be given that special (although daunting) responsibility.
“What helped you heal after your miscarriages?”
- We lost two babies, one in between our oldest two, and one between our youngest two. It was so hard, and terrifying to get pregnant again. Time, as always, was the biggest healer, but also focusing on other things and finding joy in them, helped a ton. I found a lot of joy in gathering friends during that time, and threw fun and extravagant parties with friends. We also lived at the beach during our second loss and I spent lots of time there. Being outside is so healing. It was also so important to talk about it with friends and my mom and my husband, rather than burying my feelings and sadness, or just trying to “move on.”
“How did you and your husband meet?”
- We met in college and I shared the whole story in THIS POST!
“Tell us about your time spent in California. Where did you live, for how long, kids born?”
- We moved to California at the end of 2012, one month after our second baby was born. My husband’s job promotion took us there. We first moved to Huntington Beach, where we lived for four years and will always feel like “home” to us. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. We made so many lifelong friends there, and we lived a mile from the water and it was magical. Our third baby was born here. We rented a beach house for 4 years and then saved up enough to buy a house a little farther inland, and we lived there for two years until my husband got another job promotion that brought us to Texas.
“How to get/stay motivated to exercise”
- Make it a daily habit, and start small. Before I got really consistent about exercising, I would tell myself that I’d exercise 3 times per week, but then I’d put it off and put it off everyday and never be able to fit all three days in. When I decided to do just 30 minutes everyday (except I take Sundays off), I was able to get in a good, consistent habit. I’ve worked up to more than 30 minutes per day, but starting there helped me get in a routine of daily exercise. I also put my workout clothes on first thing, and get my workout in as early in the morning as possible because the longer the day goes on, the less motivated I get and my workouts end up being super lame with way less effort. Now it’s just a habit and I don’t have to think about it — I just know I’m doing it everyday and I just do it!
“Where did you grow up?”
- I was born in Wisconsin, but my family moved to Las Vegas when I was four years old and I lived there until I graduated high school and went to college. I’ve never moved back, but I love Las Vegas and love going back to visit my parents, who still live there, every year.
“What is your favorite vacation spot (with the kids and as a couple)?”
- We’re not really the kind of family that does repeat trips. We want to see as many places in the world as possible, so we’ve done very few trips to the same location. But we did take the kids to Hawaii twice (different islands) and that was a dream. Philip and I love big cities, so I’m willing to go to any big city! We did New York City a few years ago and Chicago last spring, and Paris, Belgium, and Switzerland this last spring.
“What’s your favorite color?”
- I don’t really have one. My favorite color to wear is white though!
- I’m one of the least picky people that you’ll find. I’ll eat almost everything (although I hate olives). But if I have to choose, I’ll almost always choose Mexican food. I love tacos, and I really love good chips and salsa.
“What advice would you give your younger self?”
- This is a hard one! I think I’d tell myself to worry less about what others think and just unabashedly be myself. I feel like this comes with time anyway, but when I was young I tried so hard to fit in that sometimes I lost myself a little bit. I’m naturally a people pleaser, so the two combined was tough to navigate. But as I’ve gotten older, I care less about what anyone thinks and I’m much better at doing what I want to do, saying what I want to say, and living exactly how I want to live regardless of what other people think.
“If you could put together one YOU outfit, what would it be.”
- This is such a fun question! Definitely great fitting jeans, a better than basic top, cute sneakers, an easy layer like an olive jacket or wool coat or blazer, and some simple hoop earrings.
“How many photos are in your camera roll right this second?”
- Oh my gosh, you don’t even want to know. FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND. I make a Mixbook album of our year every December and give it to my husband for Christmas/our wedding anniversary (which is two days after Christmas) and it’s the best time to go through your photos and delete unnecessary ones. If you need to do this too, use Mixbook! They’re the best quality for the price, and make gorgeous coffee table books. It’s a perfect way to actually do something with those thousands of photos you might have in your camera roll too.
“Upcoming trips? How far in advance do you plan them?”
- We have finished all our summer trips, and are focusing on moving into and renovating our new house over the next few months, so we’re not traveling much for a while, except for a quick beach trip with Philip’s work group in November. Philip is our resident trip planner, and he is constantly planning trips. It’s his favorite thing! He usually books them about six months in advance (closer to a year for international trips) and then starts planning the itinerary and booking restaurant and museum and other attraction reservations about a month in advance. I basically ask for the itinerary, plan my outfits, and show up. It’s a dream!
“Before Instagram and Blogging, what was your dream job?”
- I wanted to be an artist! I thought I would paint for a living and have my art in galleries and do commissions for people. I loved that time of my life when I did that, but I’m so happy to be where I am now.
“How has your work/life balance changed over time as a working mom?”
- I’m always working on this! When you own your own business, it’s so hard to have that work/life balance because there’s always something that could be done. But I’ve learned to set pretty clear boundaries on some things…I protect my weekends fiercely and never do work on Sundays, and rarely on Saturdays, cause I want to make sure I spend that time with my kids. I also make sure I prioritize things with my kids, like reading aloud to them, date nights with them, or days off to do an outing together. This summer I’ve taken every Thursday off and we go to Six Flags with friends, and it’s been so good for me! I miss plenty of things, and am certainly not perfect at this balance, but I’m very aware of prioritizing my family and do my best.
“What’s the most important thing you do for your health?”
- Get enough sleep and exercise everyday. For years, I loved staying up late working and would get very little sleep, but in the last few years I’ve made a big effort to get enough sleep. I still have late nights sometimes, but they’re fewer and farther between, because I realize how much it impacts me when I don’t get enough sleep. Also exercising everyday has been such a great gift in my life. I love exercising and love that it has been a part of my routine for so long.
“How would you spend a day off, entirely on your own?”
- Good question! I think I’d sleep in, do a nice long workout while listening to my audiobook, take a really long shower, order food (I hate eating out by myself), get a manicure and pedicure, and eat a treat while watching a movie or tv show.
“How do you make friends in a new community?”
- I actually wrote a post about this a few years ago! You can READ IT HERE. For us, church has been a huge help in connecting us with people. We’re living about 30 minutes away from our new house, but we are driving out to church every week so we can connect with our new congregation and get to know people. Sports have also been a great way for me to meet people in the past…I’m not a PTA mom or a classroom mom (although those are great ways to get to know people), but taking my kids to sports practices and games has helped me meet some of my favorite friends.
“What’s the story of your name?”
- I have a post all about it RIGHT HERE!
- One of my all time favorite movies is a really stupid and hilarious movie called “What’s Up, Doc?” with Barbra Streisand. My mom introduced it to us when we were younger and I’ve watched it dozens of times. It’s even more funny because the antagonist in the film is named “Eunice,” which is my grandmother’s name, and there are several funny lines about the character that have had us rolling for years.
“Favorite trend that is currently ‘out'”
- I wracked my brain about this one and cannot think of a single trend that is “out” that I wish was in. Most trends are better off gone by the time they’ve run their course.
“What is your go-to snack”
- Right now it’s Oikos Triple Zero vanilla yogurt mixed with natural peanut butter, then topped with melted dark chocolate, pretzels, and sea salt on top. I mix the yogurt and peanut butter, then pour the melted dark chocolate over the top, add the pretzels and salt on top of that, then toss it in the freezer for 10 minutes and it’s the most delicious, high protein snack.
“One piece of clothing you couldn’t live without”
- I’m going to say THEE Chelsea Boots. Seriously. They are a game changer during the winter and I literally wear them almost everyday for the whole winter. Mine are THESE ONES, but THESE ONES are the newer version and they have a zipper on the side, which makes them super easy to take off and slide on, so that could be a better choice!
“Favorite birthday memory”
- My parents always did breakfast in bed for us when we were kids, and that was one of my favorite memories…waking up to my family singing Happy Birthday with a tray full of breakfast. As an adult, one of my favorite birthday memories was on my thirtieth birthday. I woke up to a huge surprise from Philip. He gave me a packing list, told me to get packed, my mom showed up that afternoon, and we flew to Spain the next morning for a surprise Mediterranean cruise.I shared all the details of this trip HERE.
“Where did you get married”
- In Salt Lake City in the SLC temple!
“Favorite part of life right now”
- I think my favorite thing is seeing my kids grow up. I loved the baby years in so many ways, and it was sad to see them growing up and losing those cute little mannerisms or phrases or tiny bodies. But big kids are SO FUN. My boys are so fun and funny and I love teaching and learning with them, traveling with them, reading to them, watching movies and shows together, making food and eating out together, and so on! Big kids are just such a blast.
“How has your style changed in the past few years”
- My style has definitely become more classic! I do a series on Instagram called #merrickupdatesoutfits where I share outfits from 10 years ago and how I would style them now. The biggest difference is that I reach less for trendy pieces and more for classic pieces as I get older. I still love trying trends, but I really love pairing them with classic pieces to make them feel more my style and more age appropriate!