8 Things I Do To Beat Depression.

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I have struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. If you have ever dealt with any mental health issues, you know it can be a dark place to be.  It can be crippling, terrifying, and hopeless. I want to share how I have learned to deal with it and how I have learned to break the cycle. These things have helped me so many times over the years and I find myself repeating them all the time, so I though I would share!

1. Compliment someone else. There is nothing better in this  world than to make someone else happy.  The more you do it, the better you will feel.

2. Think about the hardest time in your life.  Think about whatever it was and then think about how you overcame it. My bet is that you are stronger, braver, and smarter than you were before. Own it.

3. Be generous. Go help someone else by giving something. Donate clothes you don’t need, give food , or donate to a charity that you love. Being generous doesn’t have to mean a monetary donation, time and love are priceless. You can volunteer, bake something, or go talk to someone that needs someone.

4. Write down what you are thankful for. There is nothing that will make you feel good like putting your blessings on paper.

5. Make your bed. It is crazy what a simple task like this can do for your self -esteem.  Try to do at least one task on your to-do list a day, even if it is as small as making your bed or finishing the dishes.  You will feel a sense of accomplishment and sleep much better because of it.

6. Tell someone you love them.  This one speaks for itself, it’s why we are all here.

7. Remember that you aren’t alone. Millions and millions of people struggle with depression in the U.S. every single day. It is common, but not talked about enough. You are not weird or forgotten. Reach out to people and organizations that will help you!

8. Get off your phone.  Stop scrolling through social media and talk to someone face-to-face. Go visit that family member or friend you’ve been promising to visit for six months. There is nothing better for the soul than having a cup of coffee with a friendly face.


I hope these simple ideas can help you get through a rough time or a bad day when you need it. My heart goes out to you if you are struggling and always remember that light will always overcome darkness. You just have to keep fighting.





Neutrals, A Love Affair.

Colleen Merchant Photography
Colleen Merchant Photography
Colleen Merchant Photography
Colleen Merchant Photography

If you walked into my closet right now, (past the Legos Lincoln likes to hide in there) you would see an abundance of black, white, and tan. Neutrals are clean, mixable, and staples in my closet. So when I found this tan + white dress from Roolee, I was sold. I convinced myself I needed it because these stripes were vertical, which would be a great change of pace from all the horizontal stripes in my closet. (I have an addiction.)  The bag is H&M, the shoes are Target, and don’t tell anyone, but I found those sunglasses on a glacier in Iceland.

My adoration towards neutrals has trickled down into my son’s wardrobe. I believe in putting Lincoln in simple clothing that doesn’t take away from his sweet face. I also think a little boy in baseball shirt is one of the cutest things ever. I got the one he’s wearing at Old Navy for $8! His harem pants are Zara and his  bib is from Amazon. These bibs are in my top baby items that  I think every parent should have. They are super adorable and functional, and have you seen how much babies drool the first year? It’s crazy.

Are you a neutral lover or do you enjoy color? What is your favorite children’s clothing brand? I want to know!





Culottes are Gaucho pants with better pleating.


Anyone else remember gaucho pants? Your mom probably wore some with knee boots when you were a sweaty preteen and your biggest goal was to build your Soffe short collection. No, Just me? Okay, we can move on now.

Unless you have been under a rock, these infamous pants have been coming back in for a few years now. Buyers can easily purchase them for a mere $15.99 at fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M (like I did). Which essentially means that all the actual fashion people are already sick of them. Did I mention they have a new name? They now go by “culottes”. It sounds super french (it might be), and they remind me of that effortless French-girl vibe that cannot be replicated by anyone other than a French girl. Seriously, go Pinterest “French girl style”. You’ll be drooling. With that being said, these pants actually have more meaning to me other than just being some wide-legged, PJ-esque trousers.


They are the first pair of pants that I bought that were not skinny jeans. I realize this doesn’t sound like a profound moment in life, but I can assure you, it was. The first time I noticed this silhouette coming back was in  2014. I remember thinking, “those are so cool!”, and then immediately thought, “I can’t wear wide-legged pants. They will make me look bigger!” So then I put back on my skinny jeans and went on my way.

These culotte pants plagued me, guys. I thought about how cool it would be to wear them more than I would care to admit. I just could not shake my body issues and get over it. This year, (3 years post-obsession) I made myself buy some cheap culottes off of Zara. I had the full intention of having to send them back, but I would at least hope for them to fit. I finally received them in the mail and promptly tried them on. I was totally taken aback by how comfortable they were. I was in love. I slowly walked to the mirror to see them on, still prepping myself for the worst.

They fit me, and they looked great.  I made myself wait three years for these pants because I didn’t think my body would work in them. How stupid is that?

Colleen Merchant Photography

Moral of the story; Wear whatever you want and be happy. Don’t put yourself in a box that was created by someone else because of your size, financial status, career, or whatever else. Wear the bathing suit, wear the bright yellow fur coat, wear the grandpa cardigan, and wear the freaking culottes because you love them.

Build your own damn box.