Let’s Talk About it.

December 23, 2014. I was grocery shopping with my husband for our Christmas dinner ingredients. I hadn’t been feeling well all week and had even thrown up a few times but I was also eating terribly so I didn’t think much of it. Then, while grocery shopping I knew I needed to throw up NOW. So I did. Immediately after I thought, “I NEED cold cereal. That will totally help me feel better.” Just like that I knew I was pregnant.

Clearly by the very last post on this blog I have never kept my struggle with postpartum depression a secret. I got a lot of “oh is it a surprise?” responses to my recent pregnancy announcement, and while I can’t blame people for the assumption I still think it is a weird thing to say. Anyways. Regardless of anything else, here I am. About to dive back in to postpartum round three. Sure, maybe this time will be different, but it also might be exactly the same.

From day one dealing with another round of depression has been on the very front of my mind. As much as I would like to plan a nursery, or make cute baby things, I really have devoted almost all of my pregnancy energy towards planning and protecting myself and my family for the journey ahead. I have thought a lot recently how spreading awareness and preparedness about postpartum depression might just be my life calling. The problem is HUGE, and the conversation about it is nearly silent. That silence is a problem for multiple reasons, but that is a whole other post entirely. Tonight I just feel like sharing a small list of things I have thought of to prepare.

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF. If you are having your first baby, or have had others and didn’t experience postpartum depression, my biggest advice is to educate yourself with an open mind. When I was pregnant with my first I brushed off any chapter in any book about “baby blues” because I had never struggled with emotional problems. I really felt like I wasn’t susceptible and any warnings simply did not apply to me. Because of that, when it DID happen to me I was completely unprepared. It can happen to you. It has most definitely happened to someone close to you. Learn about symptoms and internalize that it is an honest possibility and rid your mind of any thoughts or judgement or criticism towards the problem.

2. Understand that if it has happened once, it might happen again. I am two for two, but each experience was very unique which is important to understand. No two people experience it the same way, and the same individual might not even experience it the same way twice. This makes it difficult to prepare for and easy to pass judgement on others. Watch yourself. You don’t know anyone else’s struggle.

3. Open up to those close to you. Be honest with close friends and family. Ask them to check in on you even if you aren’t receptive. Ask them to be persistent even if you are rude. Ask them to dish out the love until you are able to receive it. My first round I declined 18 international calls from my sister before I finally answered out of annoyance and fell apart. I had another close friend who just came one night a week invited or not and sat with me. I will NEVER forget those things, because they saved me. You won’t want to talk. You won’t want people there, but it might save you too.

4. Understand you might not know it is happening. Even going through it for a second time I lived in constant denial it was happening again. “This time is different (and it was), I am totally fine (and I wasn’t)” etc… You will feel guilty for not being happy, you might hate your baby, you might hate your husband, you will probably hate yourself, you might hate your life entirely… it is different for everyone. One common denominator I have found however, is that you will not understand or be aware that this is not you and this is not your fault. This is why opening up to your spouse, friend, or anyone is important. You won’t be able to see out of the fog, you will need people who can.

5. Talk with your doctor before giving birth to start the conversation. This way when you go in for your postpartum check up they will ask, and you might feel more comfortable answering honestly. I have a doctor who has been amazing at working with me… once I opened my mouth. This time around he is on board and we have a plan to fight this battle from the day I give birth. I am not saying you have to choose medication, but as your doctor they can give you options and really help you understand what is happening.

6. Try and identify your triggers. This time around I am going in armed with weapons to kill my triggers. Meditation, exercise, eating well, forcing myself out of the house, allowing people to come over, and even getting a spray tan are on me list. However, I have had to learn and accept that regardless of what I do, I am not safe because postpartum depression is not my fault. It is not in my control. When we can learn to be brave and talk out loud about this problem, and internalize it as a mental illness that is no one’s fault, that is when healing will begin.

I have chosen to be public about my struggle because I wish someone had talked to me about it before I went through it. I feel a responsibility to share what I have learned, and I have a deep passion for trying to get others through their darkness. I just will not quit until education for pregnant women about postpartum depression is mainstream.


My fight.

I have recently been asked about 500 million times some form of the question, “are you seriously done having kids!?”

While I view the number of children, if any, people decide to have as a private and personal matter, I realize I have said some things alluding to my decisions online so in an effort to avoid being that annoying cryptic instagrammer, here are some thoughts.

I want to first make clear that when people ask me this question I don’t think they do it critically or judgmentally. I also want to be very clear that I feel no pressure from my religion, community, or family to have a certain number of children. But honestly? Yes, I would love to have more children. Will I? Probably not.

Having never personally experienced infertility, I know I cannot fully appreciate the blessing I have been given in that getting pregnant, sustaining a healthy pregnancy, and delivering healthy babies has come easy for me. I will never discount that blessing and my gratitude for that in my life. My trials begin after the baby is here.

I have talked before about my postpartum depression but never as it relates to our family size. After I have a baby my world changes. I enter an inexplicable darkness that envelopes every aspect of my life. I do not wish to share private details about my experience here, but I do need to try to have you understand it is scary, dark, lonely, and debilitating. Depression is a bear that the world is finally making an effort to understand. It is also something you can’t understand until you have been there. For me, having a baby is the trigger that sends the next year+ of mine, and my family’s lives into chaos and despair.

It rocked my world in a way I never anticipated. It strained my marriage, and the second time around, took a toll on my older child as well. I was watching my world fall apart while I felt like a helpless bystander.

I am now still struggling, but definitely on the way out of my second round of this postpartum hell. The thought of going back in for round three is completely unbearable not only to me, but to my husband as well. I also see it as extremely selfish and irresponsible to have more children that I am unable to emotionally provide for. I joke around that I don’t like kids, and honestly I sort of don’t. But the truth is I would love to have one or two more children, and maybe someday I will. But for now? The only way I can live another day is the hope of never diving back into that black hole. Selling all of my baby stuff and finding peace with my family being complete as it is now is how I function. I have two of the most beautiful, amazing children in the world. They are gifts that I work daily to be worthy of, and truly, they complete me.

Everyone we meet is fighting a battle. This is a piece of my fight.

xoxo Julie

Frankly Patriotic| DIY 4th of July shirt

Funny story. When I was in hair school they hung up a list of dates that we would have off from school. I heard a girl go back and angrily say “I can’t believe we don’t get the 4th of July off!”… I was surprised so I went back and looked at the list. On it, “Independence Day” was listed. Add to the list of comments that made all the ditzy hairstylist cliches seem so real to me that year (myself being guilty of a few as well).


Anyways, whatever you call it, it is almost here! You won’t care what you eat or do that day if you don’t look patriotically fly. So get on it! (Just kidding though, food first, fashion second is my motto). Here is our DIY shirt for the season. I am only showing the kids version for now, but I am sure we will make ourselves some soon. Cause that’s what we do. Super fast, super easy, and totally Go USA. (could also be used in world cup festivities!)



1. I couldn’t find any knit in the color or print I wanted, granted I didn’t look too hard. Ain’t nobody got the time. So I ended up buying a blue tee in the color I wanted then cut the pockets out of it. Be sure to cut so the top of your pocket lines up with the hem of the shirt. This saves you having to hem the top of your pocket, and it looks nice an professional.

2. Sew pocket on top stitch style, leaving the top open obviously.

3. Use a pencil eraser to put polkadots on pockets.

4. Freehand stripes with foam brush. You can use masking tape and tape off stripes before you paint if freehand stresses you out. I wanted an imperfect look so I was ok with some mistakes.

I honestly made three of these things in under 30 minutes and for under $10. Have some fun! You could do a million variations to this, and I am sure you can make yours look way better than mine. So go! Do it! And use #franklypatriotic to share your pics with us!



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Girl, where you at?

When we decided to start this blog we did it for many reasons, but the top being wanting to share a more “real” perspective, and most of all, we wanted a project to work on together. We wanted to have fun. We wanted to share our fun. So that being said, and in the spirit of keeping things real, this blog is just fun for us. So when life happens, it might be the first thing to get neglected by the three of us. We have had some serious life happening, so we thought we should apologize for our absence. But then we thought, why apologize? We can’t pretend this blog will ever come first on our list of priorities. That’s just how it is. We love sharing here, and we appreciate you guys who follow along! New posts will resume shortly! Dare I say, this evening even?


Frank Girls

Gimme S’more

I love everything about s’mores. I also love peanut butter. Well, these two just got married and I’ve never seen a happier union. Enjoy!


Baby Faves |friday roundup|

It seems as though baby season is upon us! As my baby is coming up on her first birthday (please send condolences) I have been thinking a lot about a year ago and what products helped make my life easier then. We are sort of minimalists when it comes to baby gear. No swing, no monitor, not even a real high chair. You can get by with a whole lot less than you think. But I do find the things I end up liking most are those that are mom tested rather than commercially recommended. So here are the things I loved most.

Baby Faves

1. The Jujube BFF diaper bag. It costs a little more than you might be wanting to spend on a diaper bag BUT. Oh. My. Word. I could be a spokesperson for this bag. Besides being really cute in the mint and black, it is the ultimate mom bag. It has a back pack, shoulder, or stroller strap option. The side pockets are insulated so NO ice pack carrying. It can go in the washing machine and wipes off clean. It has pockets for everything you could ever need AND it fits SO much stuff without looking too massive. I have been using mine for a year and its just like new. It really is my BFF. No, seriously. Buy this bag, especially if you are lucky enough to have a toddler along with your newborn. Trust me, you will need your hands free and a lot of cargo space. Link Below.

Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. Diaper Bag, Shadow Waltz

2. Dr. Brown’s Bottles. I learned about these from Kels back when our boys were babies. They have a filter in them that reduces stomach discomfort and it is FOR REAL. I can’t even explain to you the reduction is reflux and gas discomfort these bottles give. I also love that the nipple has a smaller circumference, making it easier for new born mouths to handle. Link below.
Dr. Brown’s 3 Pack BPA Free Polypropylene Bottle, 8 oz

3. Ergo baby carrier. This carrier wins the prize from me. It is comfortable to wear, comfortable for the baby, and even has a built in sun shade and cargo pocket. It also slips right on and off, so no wrapping yourself and it keeps you and the baby nice and cool. I have loved it since the newborn days, but now I can even take my three year old for a hike in it. I wear it shopping, hiking, and even cooking. Worth the money ladies. If you are planning on using it for a newborn, be sure to get the newborn insert. (I also used a Mobe wrap for the newborn stage and was overall really happy with it, it was just a little warm for the summer days) Link below.
Ergobaby Performance Collection Charcoal Grey Carrier

4. Aden and Anais Swaddle blankets. Besides being super cute, these things are huge and light making even a summer baby comfortable being swaddled or covered up. Neither of my kid tolerated swaddling but these were so great for everything else you do with a blanket. Big fan. BIG fan. Link below.
Aden By aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket 4 Pack, Safari Friends

5. Baby Feeding Log App. It is free! There are a ton that cost money, but this one was totally sufficient for me. You can track feeding, either time and sides nursing/pumping or ounces and bottles. You can also track sleep and diapers if you are into that. I loved having it all tracked there on my phone and not needing to remember anything myself.  Free in the app store!

I know a few of these items are spendy, but I feel like I have really gotten my money’s worth. I think less is more when it comes to baby gear, but definitely quality over quantity. Happy shopping!

xoxo gossip girl

just kidding,

xoxo julie

Shirts speak louder than words.

We have been at it again! More freezer paper stenciled shirts. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Here are a few we have been loving. For these ones we used a Silhouette to cut out the stencil to make it faster, but it really isn’t necessary. I love how easy it is to take a $3 plain tee and turn it into a wardrobe favorite, completely personalized. Kels and I have been wanting tees with our fave song lyrics on them for.ev.er. so we finally did it! Even with three kids hanging out we got all of this done in about two hours! Have fun and show us what you make!

If you need a refresher, find the tutorial here.

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Love, Julie


Cinco de Mayo may not be on your list of holidays to celebrate, but we LOVE having a Cinco de Mayo party. Eat tacos, chips/salsa, listen to some Latin tunes, gather with your friends … what’s not to love? As a group of friends we have had a fiesta for the past 4 years or so. We have so many fun memories with these nice, casual, and relaxed parties (including the first time my friends met and approved of my husband).

Well these celebrations just got a whole lot more festive because Courtney from All Things Bright and Beautiful has done it again! Seriously you guys these prints are so fun!

imageDo you see what I’m saying? So fun!! The Nacho Libre masks kill me.

Click HERE to download the 8×10 print
Click HERE to download the photo booth props
Click HERE to download the food toppers

So go grab some chips, salsa, and a sombrero and enjoy these amazing prints for FREE!

*You can download a PDF of the prints by clicking on the link for each one. It goes to Google Drive and you download the files from there. We (along with Courtney) only provide the PDF files, as the quality is much better for printing purposes and we want her prints to not be changed or altered. 

*We love to get our prints printed at FedEx Office. You can upload them online and pick them up OR go into the store with a USB and print them there. The quality is good and the people are helpful if you have questions. Alphagraphics, Persnickety Prints, and Costco also provide good printing services. 


Friday Favorites | Mare Style

Here are some of my favorites lately.

1. White Collar – re-watching the series with my husband and loving it even more



2. Fridge Bins from Crate & Barrel - I drool over these frequently


3. Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes


4. Little State Necklaces - too stinkin’ cute


5. Spring Nail Colors


What’s on your favorites list this week?

Easy Braid

I am guilty of cutting bangs without really thinking it through about a million times. Then I have the pain of growing them out. So annoying, and I only have myself to blame. Anyways because of this chronic problem I developed a quick hairline french braid to disguise my cutting addiction. There is not really anything special about it, but its a great way to change things up, keep your hair out of your face, or hide chronic cutting disorder (of the hair, let’s not get dramatic). Ps. When I say “a lot of people have been asking” I probably mean like 3, but who’s counting.