HELLO
Mom to Iris. Wife to Todd. Our little family lives at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We love it here and I love sharing little bits of our life.

© 2014 sarahfortune.

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A Few February Photos

Last weekend we had an unbelievably beautiful, warm day – in early February, mind you. I’m talking 80 degrees and sunny. I’ve had a cold for nearly two weeks now, but I made myself get out of bed and enjoy at least a little bit of the day. The light was so perfect (almost as good as that late-summer sun), so we snapped a few photos.

Iris was recently gifted her dress from one of my all-time favorite children’s lines, Pink Chicken. I first discovered the brand when she was just six-months-old. I went to a local boutique to pick out outfit for our very first family photoshoot and fell in love with this little number:


amazingly adorable photo by Benfield Photography

Now on to our photos from the other day!

Since I actually got dressed that day, I jumped in for a couple shots (I bought my dress from Anthropologie & Pons shoes by Avarcas USA):

…May your days be as sunny and bright!

Living Room Makeover – Before & After

With our kitchen renovation behind us, we needed a new (yet slightly less overwhelming/expensive) project to move on to. Ever since we moved into our house, there’s been one room that feels sort of left behind: our front living room. With three full living spaces in our ranch-style home, it never really got the attention it deserved. In fact, we literally moved the exact same hand-me-down furniture, in the exact same configuration, from our old house to this one. One of the largest rooms in the house, this front living space has a huge bay window that provides a ton of natural light. I knew it had the potential to be one of my favorite spaces in the house, but with our old, drab set-up it was my least favorite.

With the holidays behind me, I made it my mission to start the New Year with a new room and I’m happy to say that it’s officially one of my favorite rooms in the house (right behind our new kitchen). Here is our messy front living room BEFORE:

And here it is now!

Interested in where we purchased what? Here are the links:
Mid-century mod couches via Houzz
Coffee table via Houzz
Rug via Overstock
TV stand via Amazon
Baskets via TJ Maxx
Lamps via Target
Curtains via Target
Bay window curtain rods via Amazon
Yellow Eames-style desk chair via Amazon
Computer desk via Amazon

Botox Q&A

I’ve gotten asked a lot of questions about my first experience with Botox, so I wanted to share a few of the common questions I’ve received. For those of you that haven’t been keeping up, yes I tried Botox for the very first time this past fall (courtesy of Northwest Arkansas Center for Plastic Surgery), and YES – I fell in love. Hopefully my answers here will help those of ya who are on the fence!

Did it hurt?
After my very first injection I was like, “That’s it?! That’s WAY too easy.” And it was. My NWACPS nurse injector (AKA my new best friend, Annie) first gave me a little ice pack to numb my injection areas, so it really just felt like tiny little pinches. Bonus: I got to keep the reusable ice pack. We keep it in the fridge and Iris uses it as her “ouch pouch” whenever she gets hurt.

Does your face feel any different?
If anything, it feels little tighter – but in a good way. Overall, it’s not very noticeable though.

Where did you get the injections?
Where my lines and wrinkles have started to form – My crows-feet, forehead, and in-between my eyebrows.

Can you really tell a difference?
Absolutely! It’s subtle, but smooth – just like real-life photoshop. Now when I’m outside in the bright light, I don’t look like I’m scowling. When I smile, I don’t have drastic wrinkles by the corners of my eyes. And since I no longer have bangs, all you see is a smooth forehead!

Can people tell that you got it?
If I wasn’t broadcasting it on my blog (and to everyone I meet), I think it’s safe to say that no one would look at me and think, “Botox!” But once I point it out, I think the difference is pretty clear (see the before and after photos below). I’ve said this time and time again, but I love NWACPS‘s approach to Botox. They start out small because you can always add more later, but you certainly don’t want to over do it! As for right after the injections, I had little dots on my forehead, but they were gone by that evening. In fact, I got my injections on my lunch hour and went straight back to the office. Keep in mind that the effects aren’t instant though. I didn’t start seeing results until after about four days and after about two weeks it should be fully set.

How long does it last?
For me, it started to slowly wear off around the three-month mark. You can probably make it stretch more towards four months, but it’s actually more beneficial in the long-run to get another treatment when you notice it starting to fade. Since it prevents your muscles from moving, it’s also preventing some of those new wrinkles from forming! You may even find yourself needing less injections.

Have you tried any other injectable?
I have not, but I have asked about fillers. One day I might give them a try, but (thankfully) my face is still pretty full and youthful according to Annie – she’s my best friend for a reason. 😉 And that’s why it’s so important that I’m taking such care of my skin now (beyond Botox) through an advanced skincare routine – so that hopefully the need for other treatments will be a lot further out. It’s all about preservation!

Would you get Botox again?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. In fact, I’ve already gotten my second round. In a perfect world I would go every three months.

Okay, okay – I get it. You love Botox. But what about some before and after photos?
Oh I love a good before and after, so here you go. These first photos are from my very first visit to NWACPS:

And here I am recently (about two weeks after my second round of Botox):

If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are thinking about it, I will forever recommend going in for a skincare consultation at Northwest Arkansas Center for Plastic Surgery. Not only is the consultation free, but they work with you based on your personal needs and budget (not to mention they are the sweetest bunch of people you will ever meet).

A Reminder

Well this past week was a good reminder that life can change at any given moment and to be thankful for every day. Just over a week ago I found out that a friend of mine’s 18-month-old baby suddenly passed away. The news hit me hard. Maybe it was because of all the memories my friend and I have had together over the years, or maybe it was because I am a mom myself. Probably a mixture of both. Anyway, I just couldn’t stop thinking about her and her family, and how their world had been shattered. Everyone wanted to do something, but with grief on that level – what can you really do? The only thing I knew to do was hop on a plane and be there, with many hugs, at the service. I booked a last minute flight and, 12 hours later, I was on a plane headed to Washington D.C.

Working in the funeral profession has taught me a lot, but one of the things that stands out the most is to go to the funeral when you can, and this NPR story captures that message perfectly. Now I certainly had special circumstances that allowed me to travel over 1,000 miles away – Plenty of frequent flier miles to cover my airfare, time off work to spare, a husband’s flexible schedule so I didn’t have to think twice about Iris’ needs, and a knowledge of the city since I used to live there.

While it was a sad and emotional whirlwind of a trip, it was also so beautiful to see so many people remember such a sweet little soul. And as soon as I delivered my first of several hugs, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.

KinderWHAT?!

Guess what I’ll be doing one month from today? Registering Iris for KINDERGARTEN! How did this happen? Where did my squishy, gap-toothed, too-much-hair-for-newborn baby go?! I fully acknowledge that I’m as cliche as it gets when I say this, but it’s all going too damn fast.

Now I know that registering Iris for her first “real” day of school is just dipping my toes in the waterfall of tears that will soon be the first day of kindergarten. Just like any other mom, I’m sure I will be a horrendous mess on the day she actually walks through those classroom doors, but as a mom to an only child, I might just take it to another level. For us, every “first” is also a “last”. Big life events are often a little extra bittersweet.

As for the big K, I know she’s ready. I’m so proud that she’s already very interested in reading and math – and she’s actually quite good for her age. But every night when we cuddle after our evening books, I wonder how many more years she’ll want me to “stay for just one more minute.” Or how many years until she doesn’t want me to lay with her at all? Recently she got her very own alarm clock, so now she gets herself out of bed and dresses herself. The first day was awesome. She was so excited when her Frozen clock blasted, “LET IT GOOOOO!” at 7 am (simultaneously also scaring the shit out of me across the hall). She popped right out of bed, slid on the clothes I laid out for her the night before, and was ready for her bowl of shredded mini wheats.

That lasted one day. Every morning since then, she grumpily turns off the alarm (presumably after it, now, scares the crap out of her too), and stumbles into our bedroom. “I want to keep sleeping,” she usually mumbles. “Welcome to the rest of your life,” I reply.

She’s growing up. There’s no stopping that. But I can embrace all the wonderful things that come with it – where she gains her independence and, once again, so do I.