I thought it would be fun to do something a little different today — a full Q&A Day! You guys submitted a bunch of questions, and here are the answers.
What does your husband do? Where did y’all meet? Where is he from? – Mandie
Philip works for Enterprise. He’s been the director over Southern California for the last four years, and his promotion that is taking us to Texas moves him to Director of Sales over the Dallas region.
We met in college at Brigham Young University in Utah. He’s originally from Phoenix, and I’m from Las Vegas.
I was wondering if you could do a tutorial or something on how to style tall boots? I used to wear them a lot and then when booties became a thing I nearly abandoned them all together. I still wear my tall Hunter Rain Boots, but all the rest are shorter. I am short (5’2”) and never tried OTK boots because I feel like they would make me look shorter??? Anyway, I would love to know if non-OTK tall boots are even a thing still and if so, how to style them? Or should I take the plunge and try OTK boots instead? – Sarah
To be honest, I’ve phased out all tall riding boots from my closet. I’m 100% sure they’ll come back into style at some point because they’re such a classic look, so don’t toss them. But right now ankle boots and OTK boots are definitely trending.
You can absolutely wear OTK boots at your height — one of my blogger friends is just under 5’0” and she rocks them — she did a whole blog post with different ways to wear them RIGHT HERE.
Do you ever get recognized out in public? – Jaclyn
Yes! I love when you guys stop and say hi and introduce yourselves!
Who do you like following on instagram for style, parenting, etc. inspiration? – Jaclyn
STYLE: @SincerelyJules — she has the best laid back, easy style. I love using her style as inspiration and making more mom-friendly outfits.
PARENTING: @SimplyOnPurpose. She has the most incredible, realistic, doable advice for parents. We’ve implemented so many of her ideas into our home and have seen big changes.
INSPIRATION: @Juliahengel I’ve followed her for years and loved watching her style and business evolve. So inspired by what she and her husband have accomplished at such a young age!
I often wonder how to style boyfriend/mom jeans. They’re cute, but sometimes I feel like they look frumpy if I don’t wear them right. – Anna
The thing about boyfriend jeans and mom jeans is that the focus is all on your bottom half because the waist is high, or the legs are wider. I’d recommend pairing them with more fitted, feminine, or embellished tops that bring the attention up toward your face a little more.
How do I tailor a faux leather jacket? – Jenni
I’d recommend taking it to a tailor! You can usually find a good recommendation by asking your dry cleaner!
What are some jeans that look flattering for a busy mother without being skin tight! – Sharon
I’d recommend Madewell Jeans! Their skinny jeans are stretchy and comfortable, and are thicker than most “jeggings.” I love the 9” and 10” rise jeans — they’re comfortable without being too high rise or too low rise.
How do you juggle being an awesome Mum, Wife and work at the same time? – Mary
I have a babysitter! She works about 20 hours a week, and she comes while the big boys are at school so I don’t miss tons of time away from them. She picks them up from school, feeds them lunch, and then in the afternoon I’m done with work and she leaves so we have our whole afternoon together!
I wrote a post all about how we found here RIGHT HERE.
Honestly, having help with my kids is the only way I can get work done. Being interrupted constantly by little kids would make it impossible. And when I’m in my work hours, I put my phone away so I’m not distracted and can get all my stuff done in that time period so I can be with my kids when they get home!
You mentioned in your beachy curls hair tutorial that a terrycloth towel is really bad for curly hair. I have a microfiber towel that I put on my mine when I’m “plopping” my curly hair. Does that do the same damage? – Kasidy
No, microfiber towels are great for hair! That’s what mine is made of and it’s way less damaging than a standard terrycloth towel. You’re good!
You can see the video and post she’s referring to RIGHT HERE.
Several years ago, I received a pair of Frye Veronica Short boots for Christmas and I have never been able to style them in a way that I like. I have large-ish calves and the boots look so strange. Can you think of a cute way to style a low boot like them? – Ashley
Those tall ankle boots can be tricky — I’d recommend wearing your skinniest pants with them and tucking the ankles right into the boot. Then wear an oversized sweater, jacket, tunic, or tee to balance out the skinny jean!
I absolutely love the dedication you have to the blog and your Instagram account! Thank you for all your posts and the content in them. I would love to see more “what I eat in a day” material, it doesn’t matter how simple you may eat. – Karen
I can definitely share more of this as we go throughout 2019! But in the past I’ve found one thing I love and then I stick to it for a long time. This egg scramble was a favorite for MANY months, and this was another post I wrote about daily eating!
Let me know if you’d like to see more food content here on MERRICK’S ART!
Here’s my question, how tall are you? We’re both about the same size when it comes to clothes but it’s hard to tell how tall you are. Sometimes when you have midi dresses on that I like, it would be nice to know where they would hit me on my 5’2” frame if I were considering buying one – Teri
Is there a rule for wearing jackets? I have a few “cropped” jackets-they come to my hips. I have a few longer shirts that go past my bottom or some shorter dresses that I wear tights or pants underneath. I know that longer cardigan type sweaters are very popular right now and do look better over these shirts but I didn’t know if there were specific rules about what to wear over what type of shirt for layering. Hope this makes sense.
I used one of my “cropped” jackets with a shorter shirt which looked better and I feel they look good with a dress without pants or leggings. – Christine
Cropped jackets definitely look best with dresses, as you mentioned!
If you wear them with jeans, just make sure you’re wearing a higher waisted jean and tucking the shirt into your jeans so it’s not hanging out past the jacket and creating funky proportions!
What do you think about vintage styles? Like Dior’s “New Look”, glamorous Hollywood inspired 1930’s attire, the more masculine styles during World War II, and other styles before the 1960’s? Would you wear vintage clothing? – Effel
I definitely like looking at vintage clothing, but my style is much more modern so I personally don’t wear anything vintage or vintage-inspired!
My question is… Can you suggest 5-10 key items of clothing/accessories I should take with me to the Florida Keys next month? The weather is going to be mild (highs in the 70’s and lows in the 60’s) I really want to keep what I bring to a minimum because my husband and I are flying with our 11 month twin girls and we’ll have a bunch of stuff that we’ll need to pack for them (stroller, car seats, etc.). – Jaime
When you’re packing for a beach destination, here are some essentials I’d recommend bringing
- DRESS that can be worn as a dress by itself, with a jacket or cardigan, or as a skirt with a shirt knotted at the waist or a pullover sweater over it.
- BUTTON DOWN SHIRT that can be worn with pants, a skirt, or over your dress – pick something neutral like crisp white or blue, or a small polka dot or stripe.
- PANTS/SHORTS — depending on your style you could do linen pants, or cutoff denim shorts
- JACKET or CARDIGAN SWEATER – again, depends on your style
- 2-3 TEES or TOPS
- DRESSY SHOES – something with a heel or wedge you can wear if you need to get dressed up while you’re there
Hope that helps!
What are some things that never go out of style that you go back to in your closet year after year and then what are some items you know right when you buy them this is going to be in style for now but may quickly leave the closet? I think it would be cool and super helpful for like things you may want to spend a bit more money on but you know you’ll keep a while so getting good quality is key. – B
A few thing I’m willing to splurge on because they won’t go out of style:
- Mid rise dark wash jeans (my current favorite are THESE ONES)
- Black or brown ankle boots (THIS STYLE will never go out of style)
- A wool coat (I bought THIS ONE this year and it was worth every penny)
- Classic button down shirts (I like a good WHITE ONE or a GINGHAM ONE)
- Loafers (something like THESE)
- Good, low profile sneakers (My favorites are THESE ONES)
What do you use to stay organized and focused? – Leslie
I make lists! Everyday before I start work I make a list of things I need to accomplish that day, and then prioritize them. It helps a ton!
Also, exercise helps me a ton with my focus. If I haven’t done a workout that day, I notice a big decline in my focus.
How do you stay so disciplined with eating well (I know you said you sometimes slip but it doesn’t seem to be daily or even weekly), teaching your kids (the chores! the schedule! the life lessons!), and exercise (I’m super impressed by your running and find it inspiring)? What happens on the days your discipline isn’t there? Does your husband help, or do you just indulge in a lazy day?
I wrote a post all about motivation RIGHT HERE last year. It took me a long time to find a system that worked for me, and my system might not work for you. But I’d recommend reading that post and seeing how you can get yourself into a routine that works for your lifestyle, personality, and schedule!
For eating: Meal planning and prepping is my best friend. If I plan to eat well, I’m much more likely to eat well. I like to have a big salad for lunch, so having cut up veggies, baked chicken, and a good dressing ready to go makes it easy to make good choices when 12pm hits and I’m hungry.
Also, for the first year after kicking myself into shape (eating better and exercising everyday), my husband wasn’t on board. But that was ok, because I found that I was the only one who could keep myself motivated and I couldn’t rely on other people. About six months ago he jumped on board so we’ve been supporting each other a lot, but it was good for me to recognize that I didn’t need anyone else’s permission or support to do what was best for me.
Do you really wear shoes at home? Your outfit posts are always in shoes, but I want to assume that’s when you’re going outside. – Joanna
I almost never wear shoes at home. I wear slippers downstairs where we have wood tile, but we have a no-shoe rule on the carpet upstairs. So my outfit photos in my mirror are staged with shoes — I toss them on for a second to take a picture, and then they come right off!
Family / Child question. How do you approach sleep/ sleep training with multiple kids? We are expecting our second and our first was such a bad sleeper, I don’t know what we will do if we have two that don’t like to sleep in their cribs! – Sophia
We used the BabyWise method with our first, and then implemented some of it with our second and third. We found the three hour block to be really helpful with our first, since he was a really bad sleeper too.
Our second came along and although he wasn’t an amazing sleeper, we were a little more lenient with his schedule and did some co-sleeping which was best for him.
Honestly, read the BabyWise book, and then be willing to be flexible a little bit when the 3 hour block doesn’t quite work. But having that three hour time schedule makes it so much easier to know when they’re hungry or tired or just uncomfortable. Definitely recommend!
I’d love to hear more about your move, and how you balance quality time with three kiddos. I’m also interested in ways you keep your children engaged during church–not sure if they go off to a separate space, but we keep our 2 year old with us and an hour is a long time at that age! – Vanessa
Regarding our move — we’re still in limbo at the moment! My husband starts his new job in a couple of weeks, and we’ll follow him down there as soon as our house sells and we find some temporary housing. We purchased a house in Dallas, but it’s a new build and won’t be ready for a few more months. Once things are a little more finalized, we’ll be sharing lots more details!
Quality time with the kids — that’s always the tricky thing. Right now, reading and meals is how we do quality time. We have family dinner at the table together every night, and then I read to them every night before bed. We haven’t been great about individual reading time in the last few weeks, but once school is back in next week we’ll start up again!
For our kids during church — we are all together for the first hour of church, and then we separate into classes. Once they’re 18 months old, they go to their own class. Up til that point, they stay with the parents for the full church block. All of our kids are old enough to go to their own classes, so we have them for the first hour only. We bring paper and colored pencils, plus our church’s children magazine, and sometimes some little matchbox cars. It keeps them happy for the full hour!
What are some other baby boy names, and girl names you love? – Elle
I really love Lawson for a boy, but Philip doesn’t like it. And we both love Arden for a girl.
What kind of cleaning do you have your cleaner do? Deep clean/pick up? I want to hire but need insight. – Emma
Our house cleaner comes twice a month and does mostly deep cleaning. Sometimes I’ll wash the sheets before she comes and she’ll re-make the beds, and occasionally some toys will be left out and she’ll pick up those. But mostly it’s deep cleaning of the floors, toilets, baseboards, walls, dusting, etc.
Do you get many mean/hurtful comments? How do you deal with negative people? – Ash
Happily, I rarely get unkind comments. I’m a very non confrontational person, and I have very few really strong opinions. So my little space on the internet tends to be pretty low key and doesn’t bring out many internet trolls.
But every once in a while if someone says something unkind, my favorite policy is to kill them with kindness.
Do you still sew everyday clothes? Or just Halloween and events? – Toria
Yes, I still do lots of everyday sewing! You can see all my recent projects HERE!
Did you find a house in Dallas? – Nicole
Yes! Will be sharing more about it in the coming weeks!
How did you become a fashion blogger? – Brittany
Honestly, I never was into fashion when I was young, so this opportunity kind of fell in my lap unexpectedly. I started sewing back in 2011, and realized I liked styling the pieces I made, especially after watching hundreds of episodes of What Not to Wear.
In 2011, I shared a refashion sewing project and it went viral on Pinterest, which kind of threw my blog into the limelight for a minute. I ran with it, and because creating content more regularly, both style and sewing content.
I got a job at Babble as a style writer in 2013, and that was basically like a crash course in writing and styling, and I learned a ton from that.
As I’ve had kids, I’ve added more lifestyle content to the blog, but still love sharing style and sewing content!
How did running change your body? – Aya
I have seen big changes in my body since I started running. I’m stronger, my legs and core are more toned than ever, and I just feel healthier overall.
But I’ve also been doing the BBG strength training program, and that’s helped me tone my arms and legs and stomach so much.
Where did you get inspo for your kids’ names? – Lindsey
Philip actually came up with all three of our boys names. Benson was a last name that we loved. No big story — just liked the name!
Foster’s name actually came from a crazy experience — my husband was on a business trip and went to a a meeting at a client’s home with his business partner. Her little boy’s name was Foster, and he kept interrupting their meeting to ask for chicken nuggets for lunch. He finally took matters into his own hand and ended up cutting himself really badly with a knife, and my husband and his business partner had to rush this little boy and his mom to the ER during their meeting. It was a pretty traumatic experience (thankfully he ended up being fine!), but we got a really good baby name out of it 😉
Sanford was originally Stanford (when I was still pregnant), but I felt like Stanford would get shortened to Stan and I didn’t like that. So we eliminated the T and love the nickname “Sanny” for him.
Most exciting thing about moving to Texas? – Lauren
Honestly? How much cheaper the cost of living will be! We’re so excited for no state income tax, cheaper housing, cheaper gas, etc.
But also we’re excited for a fresh start and a new adventure. We also only hear great things about the people, so we’re excited to find a new tribe out there!
What do you usually do when your kids are home? – Fernanda
We play games, we read, we cook together, or we just hang around the house! We have a very low key household, and my kids are very independent players, so we don’t have a lot of structure or routine during our afternoon hours. We all love it that way!
You can see our favorite games IN THIS POST!
Wondering what kind of car you drive? – Karina
I have an Infinti QX60. It has a third row, but all three of my boys fit across the middle seat so we keep them all there because it’s easier and happier for them if they can help each other and see each other.
Do you have another job besides Merrick’s Art?
Not another paying job, but I’m a mom to three little boys and a wife to my husband, and I have a pretty busy assignment at church working with the youth. So lots to keep my plate full!!
In the past, as I mentioned, I worked for Babble as style writer, and I also worked for JoAnn’s as a sewing content creator, and for SheKnows as a style writer. But currently I only work for myself!
Thanks so much for submitting your questions — that was a blast! I’ll be doing more of these in the coming weeks so feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a question!