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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The Daily Grind

Around here, every weekday is more or less the same… LONG. I typically wake up around 7 am, start my coffee, drink just enough to get me going, and then spend the next 10 minutes trying to convince Iris to start her day (why is it that kids are impossible to wake up on weekdays, but will pop out of bed like it’s Christmas every weekend?). Once Iris is slowly moving around, I help get her dressed and then we both stumble through the rest of our morning. Breakfast – usually just cereal or yogurt with fruit for her, and more coffee for me. Todd always takes Iris to school, and I rush off to work after haphazardly putting my own self together. I have to stop right here and say how thankful I am that, A) I live less than 10 minutes away from my office and B) my office is super casual so I don’t have to dress up each day. I’m in the office by 8 o’clock and I usually get to leave by 4:30, which means I have just enough time to make it to Jazzercise.

After a full hour of working out, off to Iris’ school I go! Usually with just minutes to spare, I pick her up, dripping with sweat, right before closing time. Should I feel bad that she’s often the last kid to get picked up? Nah. I’m just getting my money’s worth. Well, and there’s the fact that she gets really pissed if I pick her up any earlier. In the afternoon they get to look past all of the “work” and pick the fun toys to play with. Yesterday when I picked Iris up, she was shoving glow sticks into baby dolls’ mouths – and was in pure heaven doing so. Can’t take her away from that!

From school we go home, but not to rest. That’s when another round of work begins, but it’s the best kind. It’s the kind where I make dinner while my family hangs around. Todd’s usually playing a record, Iris is usually begging for a snack, our animals are generally annoying me at my feet, and wine is usually somewhere near my mouth. Finally, we get to eat! And by eat, I mean that we shove food into our faces while Iris sits there eating only her bread, complaining that everything else looks disgusting.

Straight after dinner, it’s Iris’ bath time. After bath time, it’s book time. After book time, it’s song time. After song time, it’s “one plus two equals three time” (that means stay three extra minutes, please). After “one plus two equals three time,” it’s finally MY TIME. Around 9 o’clock I get to take a shower and wash all the work of the day away. From there, it’s time to climb right into a mountain of pillows in bed and watch some sort of mindless television (Real Housewives of ANYTHING). Even though it’s the only time for myself, I usually don’t last more than an hour or so before falling asleep… And then start it all over again the next morning.

Just typing all of this out makes me feel exhausted, however I’m usually excited and ready for each new morning. I realize how fortunate I am to have the family that I have, a job that I love, and to live in a city that makes everything so sweet and easy. One of the very best parts of my day is kissing Iris’ cheek as I wake her up in the morning, even knowing I have a marathon to run until it’s dark. My other favorite part is the feeling of driving to Iris’ school to pick her up in the afternoon. She’s nearly five years old and I still get excited to hang out with my tiniest best friend after work each day. The wine isn’t bad either.

These days, they are long. But more than anything, they are good. In fact, they might just be the best. They will continue to evolve and I will continue to try to capture them, like in this post, because one day I will miss these moments – sweat and all – more than anything.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths NWA

I recently had the honor of attending the 10th anniversary of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths event here in Northwest Arkansas. As part of #NWAChampionship week, the Pantene Beautiful Lengths ponytail cutting event unfolded Monday night at the Walmart AMP. This year P&G, in partnership with the LPGA Tournament, set a goal of 1,000 donations in celebration of the 10th anniversary. That’s up from 669 donations in 2015! Businesses and organizations across NW Arkansas joined together and took the pledge to give hope through hair. Research has shown that one in three women will be affected by cancer at some point in their life. The hair that is donated through the Beautiful Lengths program goes to make real hair wigs for those people battling cancer. All wigs are given to recipients free of charge through the American Cancer Society Wig Bank and many stay right here in our community.

I arrived to the event a little early to check out the transformation of the Walmart AMP in Rogers, which is normally a concert venue. With tons of balloons, a pink carpet, and pink lemonade, it was quite the celebration.

As I walked around, I ran into a few people I knew like my friend Cathy who volunteered as a stylist.

I also stopped to chat with some of the donors, like Shea Newport who was donating her hair for the third time. When I asked what inspired her to give, she told me about her friend who is a new mom to a 3-month-old-baby, but is also battling stage-four lung cancer, despite never being a smoker. It was so powerful to see all the donors in pink shirts, knowing that they were inspired in some way, each with their own story.


Shea Newport, with a supporting friend

As the event got underway, Mindy Sherwood, VP, P&G Walmart Team, first spoke about the impact of the program. As of 2015, the campaign has received more than 800,000 donations, which has provided 54,000 real-hair wigs to women battling cancer (it takes between 8-15 ponytails to create one wig). Mindy announced that this year they not only met their goal of 1,000 donations, but surpassed it with over 1,300 hair donors! Joined by Michelle Gloeckler, Executive VP at Walmart, and Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis of the LPGA on stage, the group helped lead the “kindest cut” live on stage.

While hundreds of people donated their hair ahead of the event, over 300 brave souls signed up to have their hair cut on stage. On a count of three, ponytails went flying. There were cheers, applause, and maybe even a Hog call. While I’m not eligible to be a donor (you must have at least 8 inches of untreated hair), it was really something special to watch women, men, and even kids literally give a piece of themselves to help others.

Want to learn a little more about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign in Northwest Arkansas? Below is a short video that tells about the history of the program and if you’d like to get involved, visit www.beautifullengthsnwa.com to sign up.

P&G_PanteneBL_FINAL_2016-06-22

This is a sponsored post.

Kansas City Dreamin

Less than three and half hours away, Kansas City is one of our favorite weekend getaways. We have several friends that live there, so that adds to the fun and the ease of traveling there. I think my love of visiting KC is in part because the city reminds me of my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Tons of beautiful, historic homes. Wide streets lined with huge, shady trees. Old buildings revitalized into cool projects. And, bar-b-que – duh. While we didn’t get out and explore a ton on this trip, we did fill our visit with great food, drinks, and company. On Saturday night we went over to my buddy Bev’s house to watch Pee Wee’s Big Adventure in the backyard. Blankets, pillows, candy, rosé, popcorn, the biggest pizza I have ever seen and a lot of sleepy kids, made for the perfect KC evening to cap off our quick trip. Here are our adventures in pictures.

Dad-Do Kits: Pantene at Walmart

Two things have never been more certain: Iris has had fabulous hair since the day she was born and she loves her dad more than just about anything (except he might be tied with chocolate). So when we received the opportunity to team up with Pantene at Walmart for Father’s Day, it was a no-brainer. Even at birth Iris had the thickest head of hair, and since then it’s just kept growing. Naturally, I seem to be traveling for nearly every school picture day, leaving Todd to wrangle her locks alone. When we get the photos back a few weeks later, it’s always sweet to see her crooked piggy tails or messy little top-knot created by her dad (and captured for all of eternity).

Research has shown that fathers generally have as much or more impact than mothers on many aspects of their daughters’ lives.

Pantene’s Strong is Beautiful how-to videos show dads how easy and fun it can be to spend quality time with their daughters by doing their hair. Just in time for Father’s Day, Pantene at Walmart is inspiring dads and daughters to spend time together with “Dad-Do” kits. To share the sweetness, I’ve partnered with Pantene at Walmart to give away 35 Dad-Do kits over on my Instagram.

This Dad-Do kit includes:
• “Dad-Do” Instruction Cards
• Pantene Detangler
• Brush and Mirror
• Hairbands, and a
• $5 Walmart Gift Card

Enter here and, for more cuteness, check out the new video of Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams receiving a DAUGHTER-DO at Walmart.com/Pantene.

This is a sponsored post.