Merrick's Art | 3 Ways to Make Your Own Sunshine
Merrick's Art | Pink Embroidered Dress
Merrick's Art | Blowing Bubbles
Merrick's Art | White Eyelet Dress
Merrick's Art | Flowers with B
Merrick's Art | little boy kisses
Merrick's Art | AERIN perfume Amber Musk
Merrick's Art | Ring around the rosies
Merrick's Art | AERIN Beauty Amber Musk Perfume
OUTFIT DETAILS: dress (refashioned from this dress, tutorial coming on Friday!) | sandals | perfume c/o AERIN beauty (amber musk) | sunglasses | buxom lipgloss in “bellini”  
On B: mint t-shirt | skinny jeans (cut into shorts)
*photography by sara walk

When I became a mom, my own mom taught me a super valuable lesson. She told me, “Motherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, and it’s easy to get bogged down, lonely, and unhappy. But ultimately, you are the only person who can choose to have a happy life, so it’s important to make your own sunshine.”

It’s a concept that has repeated in my mind constantly over my last five years of motherhood, and I know it will stay with me forever because it rings so true to me. Motherhood is challenging. It’s hard to find balance. It’s hard to be constantly present. It’s hard to not lose your identity a little bit amidst the spit up and sleepless nights and endless soccer practices. Don’t wait for other people or different circumstances to make your life feel happier — just do it yourself!

These are three ways I make my own sunshine to make my life happier, and you can too!

1. Make normal days special. This is a huge part of my way of making my own sunshine. I put up decorations and make festive meals for every random holiday, I throw parties with my friends regularly not because it’s someone’s birthday but just because, I make the effort to attend playgroups so my kids and I make close friends, I take the kids out to lunch occasionally just for fun, and we make picnics and eat at the park at least once a week. I also buy myself a lot of fresh flowers, because they make me really happy. These are just little ways that I make a normal day happy and fun, and in turn it makes me a better and happier mom.

2. Take care of yourself first. It is really easy to fall into the mom slump and stay in your sweats, unshowered and unkempt, the whole day. But on days like this, I feel unproductive, lazy, and by the end of the day I feel frustrated and gross. So there are three things that instantly and always make me feel better — a shower, getting dressed, and wearing perfume (especially this new Amber Musk perfume from AERIN beauty — it’s subtle, sexy, and immediately makes me feel glamorous). These are like magical steps to erasing my grouchiness and instantly making me feel prettier, more productive, and happier.

3. Believe that balance is achievable.  I heard somewhere that balance is a myth. And while it’s impossible to juggle everything, I really really really believe that balance can be achieve by making sure one area of your life isn’t taking over. For me, work is the thing that easily takes over, and as soon as it does I can absolutely feel the strain. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m going to the gym, spending quality time with my family, eating well, taking time for myself, sleeping enough, and working hard. It’s hard to do consistently, but it’s absolutely possible if you want it badly enough. And honestly, I’ve found that when I make time for the gym, all of those other things just magically fall into place and I feel like my best self. But no matter how you go about it, make sure that one area of your life isn’t hoarding all of your time and attention.

Ultimately, a happy life should be an important goal regardless of how you try to achieve it. You deserve to feel happy, beautiful and fulfilled. And making your own sunshine, even if it’s just with one simple spray of delicious smelling perfume every day, is worth the effort!

thank you to AERIN beauty for partnering on this post!


  1. Natali says:

    You look so beautiful in this girly and summertime outfit! Your little boys are super cute, real charmers! 🙂


  2. Kelsey says:

    Balance is definitely an area of my life I’ve been working on–it’s so easy to let one thing take over, but I’ve found that I really am so much happier and more calm on days where I can achieve it.

  3. Jessica says:

    I’m not a mother, but these tips are still very helpful. Love the gorgeous dress and the adorable pictures of you and your kids! 🙂
    Unique Geek

  4. Such great things to remember! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kate Khavari says:

    I’m not a mother yet, but these tips are great for anyone. The past few months I’ve had a lot of trouble with the work-school-life balance and I wish I had read this post in the midst of that struggle! It would have reminded me that the outside circumstances in life are challenging but I should never allow them to control my mood. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Leila Feys says:

    Hi Merrick,

    It ‘s incredible how you inspires people.
    I ‘m not a mother ( haha I’m 15 jears old) but your tips are still great.
    Also your post on how to find your style were really helpfull.
    I ‘m already a year weekly visiting your blog and now I started a blog to:

    thanks a lot for all that inspiration. I hope one day I’ll also inspire people with
    my post.

  7. Great post! I have also been on a journey to create my own sunshine and so far so good! I think what people need to understand is it takes effort, but once it all falls into place it’s worth it! By the way Love the perfume & the dress!

  8. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I loved this post! I’ve recently been in that “work is taking over everything” slump and it’s definitely been taking a toll on every other part of my life! I’m definitely going to try some of your tips and try to make everyone (including myself) just a little happier!



  9. Valerie says:

    This is exactly the way I’ve been trying to convey why I do the things for myself that I do. There are so many blogs that pit the “put together mom” against the “mom that doesn’t focus on her appearance” that it makes my head spin and although it’s difficult for me to fully understand not taking care of yourself, I get it that it’s not a priority for some. I love all of the things that you listed. For me the biggest things are getting dressed, putting on a little makeup and perfume every day. Fresh flowers and pressed lemonade on sunday from the farmers market are the best way to start the week! I love my munchkin to pieces but I need some things for mama!

  10. Yessel Arevalo says:

    I enjoy reading encouraging posts on topics such as these because life is more enjoyable when we (as wives and mothers) balance time with work, chores, fun, rest, family, etc. We give the best of ourselves when we are more rested and refreshed with simple things that make us happy like a bouquet of flowers or a calming bubble bath. Your mom seems to be a great woman who did a great job preparing you for motherhood, what a blessing.

  11. Elisabeth Klassen says:

    This post is so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Diary of Elegance

  12. Elsa K says:

    Thanks for this post. We really shouldn’t forget to take care of ourselves.

  13. Prudence Yeo says:

    Totally agree that it is so important to seek balance in our life although it can be difficult! But as you mentioned, if we want it bad enough, it should be achievable! Thanks for the inspiration. My most recent post is also about how to become happier and I share 10 potential ways to do so – http://prudencepetitestyle.com/2015/06/22/10-ways-to-become-happier/

  14. Veronica Malki says:

    I love this post. It’s the little things that we often forget. Thank you for reminding your readers of the importance of our own happiness.

  15. Kristie says:

    Love this post. Your mom’s advice is spot on!

  16. Deepti Chaubey says:

    I found correlation of these lines with my life. I also count my productivity by evening, and somehow get frustrated if I stands on nothing!! So sometimes planting a seed or reading, play with my kid or decorating my home helps me to be accountable in terms of happiness.

  17. I love what you said about making normal days special! That is so important to break up the daily grind, AND I think it creates wonderful family memories because the kids have fun. Great post!

  18. sandyalamode says:

    what a great post!! 🙂
    Sandy a la Mode

  19. THANK you for the article about how to balance jewelry in an outfit. I have actually just gotten into making my own jewelry. I think I want to buy more sparkly things to put together, but this is a great guide for how I should be making pieces!

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