For our inaugural Blogger of the Week (Chatting with Bloggers edition), we’re super excited to feature the sisters behind popular Australian health blog, The Merrymaker Sisters. Emma and Carla Papas decided to get into health blogging after Emma was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. They began by posting recipes on Instagram in 2012, but by 2014, they made the brave decision to quit their office jobs and set on a mission to merrymake the world full-time! These health advocates and entrepreneurs regularly share healthy, paleo-inspired recipes (our co-founder Victoria swears by them) and positive mindset tools on their colorful and informative website (we like it that bit extra ‘cause it’s pink). In less than two years, the sisters have wowed fans with their bright smiles, infectious energy, and authentic voices. They’ve published a book of recipes, Make It Merry, launched their own meal plans and healthy-eating challenges, and started a podcast. We chat to the girls whose aim is to “inspire you to dream a little bigger, live more positively, and question the ordinary!” Now, how awesome is that?
What breakfast item gets you jumping out of bed in the morning?
Definitely has to be our choc-ahni smoothie! It’s made with coconut milk, ice, tahini, avocado, and raw cacao. We add heaps of extra good stuff like gelatin powder, matcha, and chia seeds. YUM!
What piece of advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?
Ohhhh…we have so much to tell our 13-year-old selves! To dream big and don’t do what “you should do.” Don’t spend a second wasting time thinking about what others think of you. Find the thing you love doing and JUST DO IT! Only accept what you deserve in a relationship, which is the best! Put your health first. Always show your family and friends you love them. Always show yourself that you love YOU.
What is the most kickass thing about the paleo diet?
There are so many benefits but, for us, the best thing about paleo is that it 100% changed our whole life directions. It was like cutting the processed crap out—saying goodbye to sugar, gluten, most grains, and most dairy—removed the brain fog and allowed us to think bigger. We literally had more brain space. We’d been dieting on and off since what seemed like forever and our thoughts always revolved around food: the lack of food, what we should or shouldn’t eat, or over-indulging and feeling guilty about it. Paleo stopped this! And although we don’t eat 100% paleo anymore, it was the catalyst to a major shift to health and happiness! It also led us to find our passion and start our business!
What is the best air-punch feeling in the world?
We feel like we get these everyday! We love our jobs (if you can call them that), we get to connect with thousands of like-minded people, we receive emails everyday thanking us for our recipes and articles, we work with amazing brands, and we interview epic inspirational people on our podcast MerryBiz.
The double air-punch action would definitely have to come from our Make Life Merry Challenge. It’s so amazing to see almost instant health results from our Make Life Merrymakers. The feedback we receive, the connections we make, the positivity is just insane! We’re very grateful!
What song breaks you out in a 500 Days of Summer-esque dorky power dance?
We play music all day everyday while we work at home! Our all-time favorite song is “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. There will be A LOT of dorky Merrymaker power dancing when it plays! But also anything by Taylor, Justin, from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Very eclectic music interests!
The paleo diet isn’t exactly known for its comfort food. Is there a dish you make that dismantles this notion?
Oh believe us, there are many comfort food choices within the paleo diet. It might mean they’re not the healthiest of choices, but they are perfect for a Sunday sweet treat or Friday night hangs with friends.
Our favorite sweet treat has to be our paleo de-snicker-licious cake (recipe here), and savory is our crunchy sweet potato chips (recipe here) and, of course, pizza (recipe here)! It’s just as good as regular pizza!
How often do you check yourself out in the mirror?
We have no idea how many times! Definitely when applying make-up and getting dressed. Bathroom visits (hah)! What we love most about this topic is mirror work! We love Louise Hay and introducing positive affirmation mirror work to our lives really helped us gain confidence and deal with body image issues!
How do you cheer yourself up on a “want-to-stay-in-bed-all-day” day?
We officially do not have any days like this. Ever. We have days where we don’t want to do any work, so we do the absolute bare minimum and we do whatever we want the rest of the day. We might get outside, go out for lunch, or even stay home and watch Netflix all day, because FUN!
What health/food-related issue really gets your goat?
There’s definitely a couple (hundred), but we really try not to get too consumed with the ‘fight.’ We like to focus on putting positive out into the world, so we help people and make them and ourselves feel better. We truly believe like attracts like. We’re generally pretty darn enthusiastic about life so we put that out there!
What is your favorite go-to old movie?
We love 10 Things I Hate About You, Breakfast at Tiffany’s…typical most-loved movies! We also love that old Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner, that is a great movie!
When was the last time you let out a belly laugh?
We’re always having belly laughs, it’s our favorite thing to do! The last time was with our mom and dad. We were Snapchatting them. It was freaking hilarious. We are officially obsessed with Snapchat!
What was the last thing you stuffed your face with?
Our choc-ahni smoothie! Deeeeelish!
What is one thing you are super excited about for in 2016?
This list could go on and on! We’re so excited about all our 2016 Merrymaker plans! We’re hosting two more Make Life Merry Challenges, we launch our MerryBiz podcast in a week, where we are interviewing some of the most inspirational entrepreneurs (very excited about this!). We’re currently working on a jewelry and stationery line! We just started working with a new brand partnerships manager and she is one of our friends, so it’s so exciting to grow our businesses together. Carla is training to be a yoga instructor, Emma is getting back into calligraphy. We’re also moving to the beach and have several overseas trips planned. Ahhh, excited!
Lastly, who is your all-time Girl Boss role model?
It’s gotta be Oprah! Her business success is epic. Her generosity is inspirational. We love her!
All images courtesy of The Merrymaker Sisters.