Posted on April 26, 2016 .

Montlake Big Merin


Papaya Canvas, Spring Green Webbing, Expresso Bottom & Fuchsia Thread.

Montlake Merin is back for a limited time, it is named after my childhood neighborhood and made Overseas four years ago. I stashed them away because the snaps had not been attached properly (just another reason why we make our Merin's in the USA now). Recently I realized that they sill had a life and could be enjoyed if they had new snaps. We took them to our production team in Portland, returning two weeks later, proudly sporting new and strong snaps, good as new and ready for new homes.

This is a personal old time favorite with a papaya body with spring green straps and fuschsia thread, pure Spring Joy!

Posted on April 26, 2016 .

Merin Designs + Swoop Bags Giveaway!!!

Sarah and Kea met at the University of Washington. Later in life, they each found, love, marriage, and a baby carriage (you know the story)...

Years later, and five kids between their two families, the plot took a turn…

They each realized that raising kids wasn’t so easy, and something was missing.

Posted on April 26, 2016 .

Care for Merin

We know you all had a great summer with lots of adventures at the beach, trips to the Islands, visiting family all over the States... All of us at Merin Designs, love seeing your pictures in Instagram and Facebook and are so proud to be a part of your everyday life.

Even though our bags are designed to stay strong and are made of the softest pliable cotton canvas, at some point they might need a good wash... If you've loved your Merin well this summer you probably wonder how to take care of it and what's the best way to wash it?

Yes!! You can machine wash it!!

Please wash your merin with a gentle detergent, by itself in your machine and hang dry!

Your Merin should wear and wash like your favorite pair of jeans, developing a soft patina of love over time, with fading as a natural part of it's life cycle.

Posted on September 29, 2015 .

Taco Tuesday

We've started a new practice in our house and I would love some encouragement and reminders to help us stick to it (Yes, email if you have noticed that i haven't posted anything about it each Tuesday.  Say something like, " You must have chosen Tacos tonight?").  Instead of "Taco Tuesday" (because who really loves tacos THAT much (wait, don't answer that!)?), we are doing TED talk Tuesdays.  I am sure there will be arguing, wining and protesting but maybe on the other side is enlightenment, curiosity, and thanks (I won't hold my breath), but I figure if I keep pushing uphill, one step at a time, like an ancient Egyptian slave, at some point, I will get to a vista, and look out and feel that I've achieved one small thing, and that is all I need.  

I bet you want to know what talk we started with?  I let Drew choose this week.  He's in 4th grade and after looking through a few categories, landed on, "5 dangerous things for kids".  What young child doesn't want to hear that their parents should let them play with fire??  My daughter already has a TED talk she wants to share with us next Tuesday, and I can't wait.  Turns out, I am building my own little Pyramids.

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Posted on September 29, 2015 .

"Busy" is not always "Productive."


"I've written a lot about how busyness is less a sign of significance or success than it is a sign of what researchers call "cognitive overload," which (ironically) holds us back, keeping us from fulfilling our potential in any given realm.

But if we aren't busy are we lazy? Actually, plenty of research shows that people who are able to sustain high performance don't let themselves get busy. Moreover, their not-busyness makes them much more productive than average. 

But how, exactly, do highly productive people keep from feeling busy? They rest a lot, and they take a lot of breaks. 

No matter how much we have going on, it is important for us to refuel the part of our brain that enables us to focus. Although it might feel scary to let yourself take a break, when you do so you'll not only feel better -- less overwhelmed, less harried, less paralyzed by your massive to-do list -- but you'll also become more creative and more productive. "

taken from Dr. Christine Carter (check out her site!)


I think about this all the "busy" I am, and how we answer someone's question, "How have you been and what are you up to?" with, "I've been really busy," or "I've got too much on my plate."

I've noticed that even though I can't stop feeling this way and I feel the need to say this to people because it validates the way we spend our days, it is a silly way to live.  Yes, it's true, we have way too much to do, and, speaking for myself, we let these lists fill our conscience to the point that we aren't actually enjoying the process of anything, or the actual "living" in life.  I catch myself feeling guilty for having a long conversation with a friend I might run into on the street because, I should be getting back to the pile of jobs that are on my list, or feeling like i'm wasting time if i put on make-up on a day where i don't have a meeting or a "reason."  Why?  This is life!  Take it slow, chip away at what needs to be done but enjoy the moments in between.  I find that in actuality, i feel the best when I force  myself to move slowly through a job, instead of rushing.  I can hear my Mom saying, "Haste makes waste!" and it's true.  The more you rush, the more you miss, and usually the more un-productive you are.  Take it slow and steady (wins the race), chip away, "Get Determined and Carry Through," but, try not to feel so darn "busy."  We are all busy whether we let it get to us or not, but it will all get done, whether it's today or tomorrow, so for now, take a break & "smell the roses", you will be more productive in the end.


Posted on April 17, 2015 .

It's your own To-Do List.

What is it that we really do all day?  What makes us "productive?"  I ask myself this question all the time, so much in fact, that it detracts from my own productivity.  Lately, I have been feeling like I haven't done anything with my my life, that i have nothing to show, no fancy degree, no sparkly, pre-kid career, and i have only lived in one city, my whole life (yes, it's true).  I am 43, mid-life by most standards, however, in my estimation, i will reach mid-life in 7 years, and, i have only lived in Seattle. 

So, what makes our lives meaningful, productive, and worthy in others eyes?  Is it the big accomplishments that matter?  Or, is it the the homemade meal, the clean, folded clothes, the talks you have with your kids, and, no, i don't mean, the dreamy, beautiful little talks about how much you love them, and how perfect their little flowery-smelling hair is (blah, blah, blah), but, the "talks", the difficult talks, the ones where you think to your self, "are they going to still love me after all of this tough-love i am dishing?" Is it the slow, painfully, slow, chipping away at your "to-do" list because even though your kids are gone all day, there is still so much to do to keep your household running, and not running beautifully, just "running" (I mean, the dish washer filled, emptied, the dog fed and walked, the piles of crap sorted or at the very least, just moved to the right part of the house, toilet paper in the bathroom, towels washed - once a week? - and at least your own bed made…).  Is productivity something that we should EVER measure in OTHER's eyes?  

People are always asking me, how many bags i sell every year and shouldn't i sell more?, what am i doing to promote my bags, do i sell them at Nordstrom, when am i adding a new product or color?, why don't i add this, do that, have i ever thought about getting them on Oprah's favorite things?, and when am going to start writing a blog?!  Well, guess what? I am starting the blog, write now, typing, drinking coffee, the Today Show on in the background, my dog waiting for his walk, the dryer tumbling my kid's clothes (my 14 year old son still complained that his sweatshirt that he put in the wash yesterday is still not clean?!), the dish-washer still waiting to be unloaded, a new pile of breakfast dishes waiting by the sink, my bed UN-made, and yes, i am still in my sleeping clothes (this sounds better than pajamas doesn't it?), and it's 9:45am.  What ever do i do with my day?!  

Remind yourself, this is YOUR life, your day, and your moment, little moments that add up to a life, a long life.  Try to fit in something that makes YOU happy and productive today.  if it's tennis, great!  If it's organizing your sock drawer or every sock drawer in your house, wow! If it's cooking a good, healthy meal for your family, gold star!  if it's simply giving your kid(s) a hug and telling them you love them at the end of today, you've been productive.  Just be kind, keep a few things clean, eat good food, and chip away at your OWN list.

Posted on February 23, 2015 .

color in the dark...

Winter is a test…a test of our endurance.  It looks us square in the eyes some days, and teases us on others…here in Seattle, our Winter has been mild, too mild, strangely mild, the kind of weather that makes you feel there is DEFINITELY something wrong with our global climate and it's here, right here, slapping us in the face, trying to tell us, "wake up stupid!"  despite, the temperature, days are grey, moss is everywhere, and dark comes early.  How do i get through?  well, i've pledged to myself that this will be one way, to try to type a few thoughts, honestly, openly, a few days a week, while listening to dark, yet oddly uplifting music, right now, Sia, "elastic heart" is playing (just a little too loud for a Monday before noon).  Winter, i have come to believe, is not a time when we deny how we feel, but instead, a time to let the darkness come in, let it challenge you, look it back in the eyes, and say, "you can't bring me down because i accept you."  this is part of life's cycle, dark days, dark moods that make the light and color that much better.  Let yourself feel blue, maybe cry if you need to, put a sweater on, boil some water, drink HOT tea (lots of it), and then, if it's raining (even pouring), put your raincoat on, go out and LET it get you wet, sopping wet, angry wet.  When you come home, dry off, take a warm shower, make a fire, and start all over again.  This too shall pass, Spring will come, but until then, find color in the dark...

Posted on February 9, 2015 .