Well Hey There! Ella’s Birth + Thoughts on Hospital Bags

Oh man.

Back at the blog game. Its been a while.

Since my last post a lot has changed

We’ve moved back to our hometown, and welcomed our daughter, Ella, into the world in November!

Y’all don’t even know how hard I was trying to look cute in this photo. Labor was not good to me.

Last night I was thinking about this Podcast I used to BINGE during my pregnancy called The Birth Hour.

I have a very long commute to work (about an hour one way), so I listened to a couple episodes of this podcast a day. Basically, the host of the show interviews women on how their pregnancies and deliveries went — super cool! 

Anyway, I was thinking that it might be cool to share mine.

I did not enjoy pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong. I loved feeling baby kick and move, and I feel so blessed to be able to house our sweet little baby for 9 months. But my goodness, I was more than ready for her to be born. My maternity leave started on November 1st, which was just a few days before E’s due date (the 4th). A few days ago, I was joking with my sister-in-law that my google search history in those days looked like “how to naturally induce labor at home” “does spicy food induce labor” “how many miles to walk to induce labor”. I was a hot mess. Despite the occasional contractions, Ella remained a little bun in the oven.

Finally, my due date rolled around. I woke up around 8:30 am REALLY needing to go to the bathroom (per usual), and because I had nothing better to do, I got back into bed. After a while, I began to get uncomfortable so I rolled over. And then I felt a small gush of fluid.

Me: …No way…

So I got up to check out what happened. It wasn’t a lot of fluid, so I thought that maybe I had just peed myself. Because, you know…pregnancy.

I waited, and had a few contractions over the next several minutes but because I had been having contractions on and off for a while, I didn’t really think anything of it. I made sure that all of our bags were packed just in case, but I continued on normally with my day. At about 6 pm, I decided that it might be best to call my doctor because I wasn’t really sure what was going on at that point. She told me to come in to get checked out, so we packed up and headed out.

When we got to the hospital, they checked and confirmed that it WAS my water that had broken. I labored naturally until about 4 am on the 5th when I asked for pain medication. That worked until it didn’t, and then I finally requested an epidural. The nurse promised that an anesthesiologist would come asap. After a few minutes, she came back in and let me know that the anesthesiologist there had just been called into an emergency surgery, and so they were waiting on another to arrive.


After waiting what felt like an eternity, he finally walked in my room and I have never loved another doctor more. Contractions are no joke.

I continued to labor throughout the day, and was making little progress. My OB came in and said that if I hadn’t made significant progress in the next hour that I would have to have a C-Section. This is the part that I thought I might be upset by, but at that point I was so tired that she could have started wheeling me back to the OR right then and I wouldn’t have cared. About 30 minutes later I began to spike a fever, so it was decided that it was time for E to be born. At 7:54 pm on the 5th Ella Kimber was born.

After that, the days that we were in the hospital were pretty much a blur. But let me tell you, I packed SO MUCH STUFF that I didn’t need.

Like a lot of people, I read blog posts, asked friends, and did a ton of research on what to pack in our hospital bags. Even though I didn’t pack as many things as some people (you don’t need an essential oil diffuser, I promise) I actually only needed just a few of the things I packed. Below are are my thoughts.

For the baby:

While we were in the hospital, Ella used 2 of her own outfits. One sleeper and one going home outfit. All of the other time, she was in a hospital shirt and swaddle. That cute Milkmaid Goods  headband and swaddle set I spent good money on? Nope. Didn’t use it. I was just too tired!

^Additionally, you’ll need a carseat…but we all knew that. 

For me:

For the first day (at least), I wore a hospital gown to avoid bleeding on my own stuff. #glamorous Once I was ready to put on my own clothes, I realized I had only packed some tshirts and high wasted leggings but I severely miscalculated 1. how difficult it would be as a beginner to nurse in a tshirt, and 2. how much I would not want to wear anything high wasted after a C-section. Luckily, my brother and his girlfriend were able to pick me up some oversized pajamas from target. Woo! They were button down, so I was able to wear a nursing cami under and still feed Ella easily. Other than that, I used the slippers and socks I brought, as well as my toiletries and small amount of makeup that I brought to spruce up my going home outfit (which consisted of some maternity jeans and a tshirt with a nursing cami underneath). I also purchased a gray, lightweight cotton robe, which was great to have too, but I wouldn’t consider it an absolute necessity.

And thats it. No chapstick that everyone swears you’ll need. No curling iron. No zen iPod playlist.

If you’re a pregnant first time mom and you’re reading this and you’re obsessing over every detail like I was, know that everything is going to be okay! You don’t need to worry about what to pack. The hospital will likely provide you with more than enough to keep you going throughout your stay. Even if all you came to the hospital with was a carseat, you’d be fine.


Bring an empty bag. If you’ve opened a pack of those huge (read: wonderful) pads,  you’re being charged for them so bring them home! Ask your nurse what else you can take. You might be surprised. We left with a mostly full bag of diapers and pumping parts, along with the usual stuff like one of those massive water cups and socks.

Take sooo many pictures. I was so tired and looked awful, I wish we would have taken more.

Take. Naps. The first few days can be stressful. Its okay to stop and take care of yourself.

There are 2 things that I wish I would have packed that I didn’t — A phone charger with an extra long cord and a boppy pillow. I’m not sure why they put the outlets so far away, but they always do! With everyone texting, it would have been nice to have a longer cord so I wouldn’t have had to keep asking Adam to plug my phone in for me. And as for the boppy…breast feeding is so awkward with such a tiny baby! I wish I would have grabbed mine.


Did you have any must-have items on your list? Let me (and others!) know in the comments…and as always, thanks for reading!



‘Tis the Season







It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas over in the Willis house!

When we were looking at homes to lease, I knew this was the one when I saw the built-in bookshelves in the living room.  They’re easily my favorite part of the house, and I love decorating them for the different seasons.

What is it about christmas decor that makes a home feel so cozy? If Adam would let me, our house would be dressed to the nines in evergreen and glitter from about mid November until mid January. NO SHAME.

You know those Target commercials from a few years ago with the crazy Christmas lady?

You know, this one:

Thats me. That lady is the essence of me. Not kidding. 

Maybe I have a problem? I dunno. Who cares?

But hey, if you ever need anyone to help you to decorate, I’m your girl.

My favorite part of our decor this year are those pinecones. I bought them from Walmart on a whim one day after work. They were under $5 and they smell like Christmas. (similar)

What more could you ask for?


Happy almost December, y’all.

Disclaimer: Just don’t look at the empty picture frame on the top shelf. Apparently I have a real problem with picture frames.

How is it Almost Christmas Already?

Happy Black Friday, guys.

You know what I’m purchasing today?

…nothing. [crying emoji]

HOWEVER, my sister in law is armed with Facetime in the event that she comes across something that I absolutely cannot live without. [enter all the Kendra Scott]


Adam and I have had a very busy few days! First a Rockets game, then a ton of sweet family time with my in-laws. Now I’m at work (peppermint mocha in hand), and tonight I plan on reheating some left over chicken and dumplings, watching The Walking Dead with A, and decorating our home for CHRISTMAS. (one of those things is not like the others, ha!) 


It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of color, so I took to Pinterest for inspiration because I am the. worst. at coming up with decor ideas on my own. I’m swooning over all of the silver and gold decor I’m seeing, so I plan on recreating some of these looks. I picked up a few things at Marshalls, Ross, and Walmart, and I can’t wait to put it all together.

how cute is this printable? download it and others here!

Happy Saturday!


How about that weather, though? I had to go into the office this morning, and I was greeted by crisp air and crunchy leaves when I opened up our front door. OH YES. Bring on the pumpkin pie and blanket scarves, friends.

I always love seeing “What’s in My Makeup Bag” posts. Its like a little peek into people’s real life preferences and habits, which I always find interesting. So, because friends ask me from time to time about my favorite products, I figured I would compile a list of my go-tos for a day where I was rushing out the door and only had time for the absolute basics.


IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream

I’ve talked about this foundation here and it’s still my absolute favorite. I have very polarized combination-type skin (lovely, right?). It’s very dry in some places, and too oily in others. This foundation works well in all areas of my face, and stays put all day. And it’s SPF 50+, which is a definite bonus.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush

I loooooove Tarte products. They’re cruelty free and vegan (if you’re into that sort of thing) and the blush especially is SUPER pigmented. I own both Blissful and Celebrated, but I find myself reaching for Celebrated more. It’s more of a subtle, neutral pink. And be careful putting this one on because it does. not. budge. (Sad news, I looked for Celebrated to link, but apparently it was limited edition. *insert crying emoji*)


Naked2 Basics 

So if you don’t try anything else from this post, try this pallet. Adam bought this for me last Christmas, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used it every day since. Its just got a really great selection of matte colors ranging from a soft off-white to a dark brown. Super easy to wear.


Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I feel like I’m on a quest for the worlds best mascara. Not too long ago, I tried Benefit They’re Real Mascara and it was definitely underwhelming. I might have even returned it? I don’t remember. ANYWAY, I heard so many good thing about Roller Lash that I decided to give it a go. Now it my absolute favorite. I’ve got tiiiinnny lashes, but Roller Lash gives them a nice curl without being to clumpy or thick.

Happy Saturday!


Favorites Round Up 

from @parkandmarkit. Follow her on insta!

Hey y’all

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a favorites post so I figured I’d do one since we’re diving into fall!

It’s unseasonably warm here in Texas, but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing a utility vest (almost daily). I bought one at Marshalls (similar) a couple months ago after regretting not purchasing one last fall. I feel like it pulls together almost every outfit (since apparently I only wear neutrals these days).

prairie jewel boutique

While we’re on the topic of clothes, lets talk  about these booties from Prairie Jewel Boutique. After seeing my best friend wear these, I had to get a pair of my own. They’re perfect. Not too tall, but still dressy enough for work or a casual night out. Disclaimer: I can’t find them on their website anymore so I’m not sure if they’re still in stock, but here’s the link to their insta from a while back if you’re interested in reaching out to them.

Have you heard everyone talking about The Woman in Cabin 10? I feel like I’ve seen it everywhere on social media and a few bloggers that I follow have posted about it, so I decided to download it via the Kindle app on my phone. I’m only 5 chapters in, but it’s been great so far!

I love that cooler weather calls for a more neutral nail scheme because you know I’m all about those neutrals. OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques has been on repeat for me after finding it at Marshall’s for $3.99. (Can we talk about how awesome Marshall’s is?)

I made this yummy corn chowder recipe for my parents when they came to visit and it was a total hit. ITS SO GOOD. And perfect for a cool evening.

I bit the bullet and finally purchased an Apple Watch. I got really lucky and found it on EBay for a great price, so I figured that if I didn’t like it I could relist it and make a profit. The first day I didn’t understand the hype, but the more I wear it the more I love it. It takes some getting used to, but now that I’ve transitioned from going to my iPhone for everything it’s been really helpful.


Finally, is this mug not the cutest? You can also get the matching notepad here.

Happy Friday, guys!

this post contains affiliate links. all opinions are my own.

Something a Little Different

It happened in Kroger in the middle of the artisan bread section.

You know, the ‘not good enough’ feeling?

And why? Because I was purchasing a loaf of bread instead of making it from scratch. All these thoughts were running through my head, and I felt guilty for serving my family anything less than a freshly made, organic, warm out of the oven piece of Pinterest worthy bread.

[So I stood there getting all in my feelings]

And then I realized that while my family would certainly enjoy a loaf homemade bread, they would still be perfectly happy with a baguette made with love from the Kroger bakery.

And that got me thinking — Why is it that we live in a world where you’ve got to make your bread from scratch, that mocha doesn’t count unless you Snap it, and you never went on that vacation if you didn’t triple digits on your Insa post? We’ve gone from keeping up with the Joneses to keeping up with the Kardashians, and its turned into a viral storm of well meaning rapid consumerism and oversharing that I just can’t seem to get enough of. And it’s all so silly.

I came across the quote “interrupt anxiety with gratitude” and it really resonated with me. How many times in just one day do we take for granted the blessings in our lives? How often are we discontent with what we have because it’s not what we’re seeing on a polished instagram page?

So that’s my goal as we ease into this season of thanksgiving.


And learning to be grateful for what I have instead of being sad for the homemade bread I don’t have time to make.

Gratitude has become my best medicine for anxiety.:



It’s Review Time Y’all

Okay, so have you heard of Rocksbox? Total game changer let me tell you.



I’m not sure how I happened upon it, maybe Pinterest? But its a subscription service that sends you 3 pieces of jewelry (think Kendra Scott) for $19. When you’re ready to swap them out, you send them back in a prepaid envelope and they send you 3 more. Sounds dreamy, right?

So I signed up for the service, filled out my style profile, and submitted everything but my credit card information because I wasn’t quite sure if I was committed yet.

Then I completely forgot about it for probably a month until I got an email one day offering a free box (wooo!).

So my box arrived about a week after I subscribed and I was very pleasantly surprised. My Rocksbox stylist really paid attention to my profile in picking out my jewelry. I love every piece!


And the cool part is that I got three pieces very similar to what I requested on my wishlist: The Kendra Scott Gold Choker in Gold, Kendra Scott Bexley Earrings in Gold and Navy Crackle Illusion, and the Sophie Harper Pavé Bar Necklace.

This is one subscription that I think I’m going to keep. It seems like a great value, especially if you’re a Kendra girl like me.



Want more info about RocksBox? Find out here!

Hey Look. I’m Back!

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So, its been a hot minute since I’ve blogged. I know all [three] of my readers have really missed me (HA.). You’d think that it just being summer and all, that I’d have more time to work on stuff like this. BUT, I think that having a less regimented schedule has made me more procrastinate-y (especially when paired with my recent Grey’s Anatomy obsession*). *please go watch it because it is literally the best

Anyway, I thought I’d kick it back into gear by rounding up a few of the things that I’ve obsessed with over the last few months before it gets to be boot and scarf weather.

  1. Old Navy Shorts. Tried and true. And so many cute prints. And isn’t it nifty that they make all the prints in different lengths?
  2. IT Cosmetics CC Cream – You. Guys. Hear me out on this. Because I know its expensive. I’ve tried a lot of foundations, both drug store and high end, and this one is absolutely dreamy. I’d say its probably a medium build-able coverage, and stays on all. day. long. I wear the shade Light. Its a touch darker than my natural skin tone but I feel like it melts into my skin enough that it’s no an issue.
  3. Its no secret that I’m addicted to coffee. This summer, my Starbucks order is a grande iced coffee with 2 pumps of vanilla and a splash of heavy cream. So good. Lately, I’ve been DIY-ing this combo at home with Starbucks Unsweetened Iced Coffee (which you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store), coconut milk, and some sugar free vanilla flavoring syrup. I especially love this version because it’s cheaper than buying from Starbucks, and I don’t have to put on real clothes to go get it. Hollaaaa.
  4. My sweet, sweet husband surprised me with some adorable ett:twa sunglasses from Anthropologie that I’ve been pining over for months. And I mean, oh my goodness. They are worth the investment.
  5. I’ve been seeing Burt’s Bees lipsticks everywhere and they do not disappoint! I’ve had the hardest time finding a nude lipstick that doesn’t make me look like an actual dead person, but y’all, Blush Basin is the b e s t.


Coffee Bar Reveal



Okay, so… its finally done and I’m super pumped to share!DSCN5894



Like I said in my last post, I already had the cube organizer, I just needed baskets to fill up all the sections. And y’all, this was way harder than I expected it to be. Apparently I’m picky about baskets?

Anyway, I found these gems after one very long trip at my favorite place to waste time — (you guessed it) Target. They’re actually from the bathroom organization section, which I thought was odd.

They were more pricey than I originally was looking for, but I decided to splurge on them because the quality was so much higher than the cloth cube baskets that you normally see in this type of setup.

As for shelving, I really wanted something that could keep my k-cups within arms reach without having to keep them in their original boxes. I looked around forever for the organizer from this pinterest post. And I finally found it at Hobby Lobby for $119.99.

You. Guys. I wanted to buy it soo bad. I even went to the store and walked around with it in my cart for 30 minutes. I tried to justify it, but even after the 40% off coupon it would still be 72 bucks + tax and I was not about to do that (not to mention, my husband would have shut down this whole coffee bar scheme reaaaaal quick).

Luckily, when I was shopping at Target for the baskets I found this bad boyDSCN5903

While its not an exact dupe of the Hobby Lobby unit, the baskets have plenty of room for an assortment of k-cups and tea. And the hooks at the bottom are great for holding a few mugs.

On top of the shelf beside the Keurig are glass containers (left over from my wedding decor, ha) that I got from the dollar store filled with coffee grounds and sugar, and I got the ampersand from Hobby Lobby last year.

And, of course, I hung the Hobby Lobby print I mentioned in the last post at the top.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way it turned out! Not only did I gain more counter space in my cluttered kitchen, I got a new happy little corner to enjoy.

Top 7 Faves

Pixi by Petra eyebrow Pencil
My natural hair color is an ashy blonde, and for so long I’ve had the hardest time finding a good eyebrow pencil thats not too red or too brown. But this one is great! It’s super neutral without being too dark. Its nifty
because it blends in well and gives the option of both a pencil and a gel.
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Anthro Mug
Adam and I are terrible at secrets, so I knew what all of my Christmas gifts were before I opened them. But I guess he knew I had been eyeing one of these little guys, because he surprised me with this adorable mug  from Anthropologie for christmas, and it’s been my go-to since.
The comfiest of  Tshirts
So, you know, typical Target shopping trip: Went in for markers, came out with this v-neck in 2 different colors (and I limited myself to two only because my husband was there, y’all) and they’ve been on repeat ever since. Super soft/v-neck/assorted colors. What more could you need?
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Pixi by Petra Lipstick
I’m a closet lipstick hoarder, and had to pick up this one in Peach Blossom. Looooove this color. It gives a nice spring vibe without being too wild.
Twist Me Pretty
My sweet friend told me about this blogger years ago, but I’ve just now started looking at her content daily. Abby of Twist Me Pretty focuses mainly on hairstyles, braids, etc., but I enjoy her blog most because the volume of content she uploads. I’m the kind of person who quickly looses interest in things if there’s not a lot to look at, so this blogger is my kind of gal. She constantly posts to social media in addition to updating her blog every Wednesday.
Subscribed to Ipsy last month, and I was pleasantly surprised. Each month Ipsy sends out a small cosmetics bag filled with 4-5 beauty products (in both sample a full sizes) based off of a style profile questionnaire you fill out upon signing up. I think Ipsy is super fun for 2 reasons: 1. I love getting stuff in the mail and 2. Its great to be able to try out so many different brands for only 10 bucks a month. Learn more here.
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Prairie Jewel Boutique
Pjb is a super cute boutique style shop near Cleveland, TX.
 Got this shirt from them, and I absolutely love it! You can find their website here or shop their stuff via instagram here.