Real life sisters Emma and Carla Papas, ‘The Merrymaker Sisters’ are passionate entrepreneurs, health and happiness advocates and health coaches.
They provide positive mindset advice and real food recipes to over 200,000 people every month through their website, podcast and social media accounts, always inspiring people to live their best life!
They have published their cookbook Make It Merry, which features over 70 healthy recipes and created Merrymaker Club, an online community which offers support, recipes, meal plans and advice from world class health experts.
To connect like minded people together they have partnered with brands including Fitness First, Reebok and Microsoft and have been featured across international and national media channels including Foxtel, MindBodyGreen, The Age, Virgin Australia and Channel 10.
1. What inspired you to start your blog and when did it all begin?
Flash back to mid 2012, we were sick of feeling sick, fed up with counting calories, beyond tired from the guilt we felt after eating, with low self-esteem and terribly confused as to why we felt this way. We were in this obsessive whirlwind of fad diets, quick fixes and negative body image.
When we looked around this seemed completely normal, everyone was spinning. This unhealthy way of living needed to stop, so we searched for something that would work. REAL FOOD was our answer and the catalyst to creating The Merrymaker Sisters.
Being the food lovers we always have been, we started to share photos of our healthy foodie creations to our personal social media accounts and our followers started to grow organically. We loved it so much and wanted a place to document all of our recipes and thoughts so we googled ‘How to start a blog’ (seriously!).
We both studied and worked in the Communication industry and were passionate about health and happiness and so we began The Merrymaker Sisters – it was like two passions perfectly intertwined!
Our overall mission for The Merrymaker Sisters is to create a healthy, happy, more magic filled world.
We haven’t looked back since starting our merrymaker journey in February 2013, and feel truly lucky to have found a career path that makes us happy and gives us a sense of fulfilment. We always say ‘To Merrymake, is to follow your bliss, passion, dream’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
2. What has been the highlight of your blogging careers so far?
There’s SO many we could tell you about but overall the highlight is the journey. The fact that we get to wake up and do what we love every single day. How could anything beat that?
3. Can you explain a bit more about the Merrymaker Lifestyle and how people can apply it to their own lives?
Here in Merrymaker Land it’s all about doing what works for you and what makes you feel good. Let’s call it: bio-individuality. The idea that everyone’s ‘healthy’ is different and every body thrives on different fuel.
When you live a merrymaker lifestyle, you eat REAL FOOD! We cut out the processed crap and instead fill our plates with really, really ridiculously yummy food like veggies, fruit, good quality meat, fish, poultry and dairy (sometimes), nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and good fats (because fat is where it’s at… fat is your friend!).
We believe that it may start with food but for overall health and happiness we also have to focus on other areas of our lives like movement, mindfulness and bliss.
Our number one rule to living is that less stress is best, in every situation. Our simple action is to find what you love to do, or what makes you happy… and do more of that.
4. Your Make it Merry cookbook offers over 70 nutritious, quick and tasty dishes. How do you find new ideas for your recipes?
A lot of our inspiration comes from our Mum’s old recipes. We love to take them and health-a-fy them! Plus we’re big Instagram and Pinterest lovers, so taking a scroll or search on those platforms always makes our taste buds go crazy! We might see something and wonder how can we make that healthy? The biggest thing we make sure is that our recipes are all nutritious, quick and easy. You don’t have to be a super chef to make it merry, you need a few simple ingredients and an open mind to try new things!
5. What advice can you give people who want to start writing their own blog?
We say that now is the BEST time to start any business because of the online world! To succeed, you need to be an ACTION TAKER! You have to learn new things every day and be prepared to have lots of JUST DO IT moments. It’s fast paced, forever changed and ridiculously exciting! We think if you combine your passion with your business along with the online world… that’s the perfect combo! Some other key things that will make you stand out: enthusiasm, confidence, consistency, integrity and authenticity. You gotta be YOU!
And just for fun…
6. Can you tell us something that might surprise us?
We have an older brother! Merrymaker Bro?
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Raw chocolate and Nashville… together.
8. What is the best compliment you have ever received?
The best compliment that we can ever receive is when people meet us from reading or listening to our #MerryBiz podcast is “You’re just like I imagined!” this means that we’re truly being authentic to ourselves and our brand!
9. Can you tell us something you have learned in the last week?
We’ve just started Reformer Pilates… what we’ve learnt is that it’s the BEST workout ever! Makes you feel super tall and strong. We’re totally loving it.
10. You have some wonderful quotes on happiness and positivity on your Instagram page but which one is your favourite?
Ooo good question! We have to pick two! ‘Follow your bliss’ and ‘What you focus on grows’. Both align so well with our philosophy and way of living.