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.


Girl Scout Cookies for Sale!

So it’s official – Iris is a DAISY in the Girl Scouts! She joined last fall and has been counting down the days until cookie time – and today is the day! We spent the morning at Cookie Palooza, where the Girl Scout cookie season was officially kicked off. She’s going to try to sell to our friends and family, but if anyone out there wants a Thin Mint or two, you can actually place an order online and it will go towards her goal! If you’re in Fayetteville though, send me a message or select that option online, as I’ll be helping her do some local deliveries as well. She is super stoked, so any orders will be SO appreciated. Click here to support her goal of 31 boxes (she decided that goal on her own)!

Top 5 Favorite Coziest Things

There are very few things in this world that I love more than being comfy. In fact, I do believe “being cozy” was on my Instagram bio for a while. Maybe even MySpace. And after 37 years, I’ve finally fine-tuned my cozy-status to near perfection. I get a lot of questions about what kind of bedding I use, so I thought why not make a post about it – but I couldn’t stop there. Here are my top five favorite cozy things:

L.L. Bean Wicked Good Slippers
These are by far one of my most favorite things I own. I received my first pair from Todd’s parents over 10 years ago and have been wearing them ever since. While they are very well-made, I’ve had to buy a new pair every few years, but that’s mostly because I wear them literally every single day around the house. One time I tried a pair of L.L. Bean slippers with a hard sole and they were just not the same. While good, you must go for this specific style for maximum coziness. They are even comfier than Uggs if you can believe it.

Brooklinen – Down Comforter & Luxe Duvet Cover
I’d been wanting nice bedding for some time and this summer, I finally took the plunge. After reading a million reviews and asking friends for their opinions, I decided to go with Brooklinen. Their tagline is “luxury bedding, underpriced” – but their idea of underpriced is different than mine (I’m totally used to shopping at Target or TJ Maxx for bedding). I decided to go for the Brooklinen All-Season Down Comforter, the Luxe Sateen Duvet Cover, and the matching sheet set. But if you go all-in like I did, you can save 25% by purchasing the sheets and cover as a bundle.

The comforter is light and fluffy, but still somehow has the perfect amount of weight to it. It is an investment, but comes with a lifetime warranty making it more than worth it in the long-run. I was in search of something that would make me feel like I was sleeping in a luxurious cloud and this comforter helped me achieve just that. But you’ll notice the sheets aren’t bolded above…

Pure Beech Sheets
While I do really like the Brooklinen sheets, I love my Pure Beech sheets from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. My hairdresser/friend told me about them just after I purchased the ones from Brooklinen. Wanting another nice set to swap out in-between washes, I found a 20% off coupon and decided to give them a whirl. Instantly they were my new fave. They are soft and silky, without feeling like satin. Does that even make sense? It’s almost like sleeping in butter. Okay, that’s still weird, but hopefully you get the picture.

Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Robe
For my birthday one of my best friends gave me a pair of Barefoot Dreams socks from a shop in Wilson, Arkansas called White’s Mercantile. They are the coziest slipper socks which I wear either in bed when my toes are freezing or in boots when I want to take the coziness with me. When she told me Barefoot Dreams makes robes too, I immediately ordered one. This robe is heavy, but in the best way possible. It feels like you are walking around in a big hug and the fabric is as soft and cozy as you can get. I have two other regular robes that I used to alternate between, but since I purchased this one I can’t even think about going back.

Ember Mug
This is very new to me, but I felt compelled to add it to this list. Todd gave me the Ember mug for Christmas and I’ve been using it for a few days now. Basically, it’s a coffee cup that’s smarter than I am – it forever keeps your coffee or tea at the perfect temperature. The cute little coaster is actually the charging station and you control the temp through your phone. The cup even knows when it’s empty so it can go to sleep. Overall, not only does this mug keep your drink warm – it regulates the temperature to your desired degree set using the app on your phone. No more back and forth trips to the microwave for me! Instead, I get to lay in my cozy bed with my robe and socks, sipping coffee that never gets cold.

So while I have my favorite things, there are still a couple items I have yet to discover:

Mattress topper – While I love my mattress (it’s a Serta Posterpedic hybrid of memory foam and springs we bought several years ago), I want it to feel even more like I’m sleeping on a cloud, without making the bed too hot. Any suggestions?

The perfect pillow – When I was pregnant with Iris I got used to sleeping with a ton of pillows. Six years later, and I still need at least three to sleep. All of our pillows are, yet again, from Target, and they lose their fluff fairly quickly. I need to know where the best pillows are.

The fluffiest towels – Last New Years Day I fought the crowds at the annual Dillard’s sale and scored some Noble Excellence towels for like 90% off. They were recommended by Todd’s step-mom, whose towels I have always loved when we stay at her house. A year later, they are holding up strong and are still super comfy and soft. But I’m left to wonder if there are any other great towels out there that I’m missing out on?

Please shoot me your favorite cozy things that I’m missing!

This post is NOT sponsored, but does include some affiliate links. xoxo

Post-Christmas Blues

Well, the Christmas music has stopped and the pine needles from our tree have nearly all dropped. Christmas is over. After what seems like months of preparation, we pulled off another lovely holiday and now I think we are in a bit of shock now that it is all over. And by we, I mean myself and Iris. Todd is back in the office, but with another several days off of work I kind of don’t know what to do. I find myself wanting to finally relax and do nothing, but then I see all the things that need to get done that I never have time to do. Blogging, closet organizing, errand running, working out. The list goes on. As for Iris, she’s experiencing Christmas break for the first time – two and a half weeks of no school. Overall we’re navigating it pretty well, but there have been some overtired, emotional times.

All of that to say, we Christmas-ed so hard that I do feel a bit relieved it’s done for another year. I’m ready to start a new year, with new goals. We’re finishing off 2017 by staying in a cabin with a couple other families. It’s going to be absolutely freezing, but thankfully there’s a cozy fireplace, good company, and I’ll of course bring the wine.

Here’s to 2018!

Holiday Sparkle Spritzer Recipe #SimplyHolidaysAtSams

This post is sponsored by SheSpeaks, Inc. and the Simply Orange Juice Company.

If you have spent any time with me at all (or followed me for a mere second on Instagram), you know that I am a lover of wine. Red wine in particular. While it’s especially cozy to drink red in the winter months, it’s never my top-choice for a drink during daylight hours. A bit heavy and bold, red wine is always more of an evening indulgence for me. So finally last summer I found my favorite go-to day drink: wine spritzers. Light, fresh, and a bit toned down in the alcohol department, wine spritzers are perfect for parties on hot summer afternoons or to sip pool-side. But now that it’s winter, I’ve put my own holiday spin on my daytime favorite. My secret has always been to add the best tasting lemonade in conjunction with the sparkling water, so partnering with Simply® Lemonade at Sam’s Club was a natural fit. With 100% juices and juice drinks, Simply Beverages™ are deliciously simple and easy to find in the refrigerated section of your local Sam’s Club.

We’re hosting Christmas at our house again this year (one of my most favorite things to do, ever), so instead of your typical mimosas, the Holiday Sparkle Spritzer will be on the menu (you’re welcome, family!). I typically set up a little bar area, where it’s easy for me to mix up a quick drink for serving and so that guests feel welcome to help themselves. Purchasing the Simply Lemonade®, I know that I’ll have enough to last all day. And of course every holiday drink needs to be served with snacks, so I also picked up Member’s Mark Nuts to keep in bowls around the house. We usually eat our big holiday meal later in the day, so this helps keep people satisfied during the Christmas chaos leading up to the feast.

This recipe is as simple as it is festive – after pouring the Simply Lemonade®, sparkling water, and of course the wine – you just top it with pomegranate seeds and sliced lime! Personally I prefer rosé in my spritzers, but any chilled white will do. Scroll down for the full recipe details!

Holiday Sparkle Spritzer Recipe
Fill glass with ice (I prefer crushed)
1/3 glass of Simply Lemonade®
1/3 glass of chilled rosé
1/3 glass of chilled sparkling water or club soda
1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds
1 squeeze of lime, with an additional slice for flare

And there you have it – a simple holiday spin on a classic cocktail!

TRAVEL LOVE: Overland Park, KS

You know I love a good weekend road-trip, so when I got invited to check out Overland Park, Kansas I jumped at the chance. We make it up to Kansas City pretty often, but except for an occasional excursion to Deanna Rose, I’d never thought to explore Overland Park as my primary destination. Thanks to the kind folks at Visit Overland Park we got the lowdown on everywhere we needed to go. The only problem being that we couldn’t fit it all in one weekend! Typically Todd joins us on our trips, but he couldn’t make this one, so I thought it would be fun to bring my mom along. And I’m so glad I did – three generations of girls, on a family road-trip before the holidays to one of the best shopping destinations in this part of the country? Yes, please!

The first great thing about Overland Park is that it’s only a 3.5 hour drive from my front door. For the first time I did all the driving and it was easy-breezy – Didn’t even have to navigate through crazy Kansas City traffic! Checking Iris out of school just a tad early (she was super excited to hear her name called over the intercom), we arrived just before 5:00 on Friday evening. We got settled in our room at the Marriott Kansas Overland Park and, realizing we were all starving, made our way over to the Prairiefire area for dinner at Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzaria. This cute little area looks brand new, but has such charm!

At the restaurant our server brought Iris a pan of pizza dough to play with while we waited for our food – absolutely genius. After eating the most delicious pizza, we wandered around and found a fun little toy shop called Fat Brain Toys. From there, we were picked up by the nicest driver, who surprised us with hot cocoa for our tour of Christmas lights around town. Back in our hotel room, we had another surprise waiting for us – s’mores cupcakes & popcorn courtesy of our new friends at the Marriott. All-in-all, the holiday lights and sweet treats were a perfect ending to our first night in Overland Park.

Officially in the holiday spirit, we woke up fairly early the next morning and went off in search of breakfast. Landing at McLain’s Market, a lovely coffee shop and food joint, we had breakfast bites, lattes, and chocolate milk to fuel our full day. But Iris could hardly wait for our next stop – the American Girl store, where her doll had a hair appointment scheduled. Oh, so fancy! They took such great care of her doll and Iris. It was so sweet to watch. We could have stayed there all day, drooling over all the accessories. Growing up I had the Samantha doll, so I felt myself revert back to my childhood – wanting it all (to share with Iris, of course). The American Girl store is located in the Oak Park Mall, so we took full advantage and did some shopping. It was near impossible to drag Iris away from the candy and Lego shops, but we finally managed.

So what’s my favorite thing to do on our trips? Eat and drink of course! Nearing lunch time, we made our way to Dave & Buster’s – a place I hadn’t been to in years. Basically like a grown-up Chuck E. Cheese, Iris had a blast and I had a DRINK. :) We hung out for a few hours, playing games, eating food, drinking drinks, and of course – Iris’ favorite part – picking out prizes. Needing a little rest from the fun, we headed back to our hotel before our last adventure of the day – the Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Once it got dark we made our way to the Luminary Walk. It was so magical with the Christmas lights woven throughout the gardens, pathways lined with candles, and little fairy houses hidden in the trees. There was hot cider for sale, fire pits for a quick warm-up, carolers, and even a gigantic gingerbread house. Wiped out from all the fun, Iris fell asleep on the way back to the hotel. After waking her up for a cozy dinner at our hotel, she got a second wind and had a little tea party with the goodies from The American Girl store.

Sunday morning came too soon, but we weren’t ready to hit the road just yet. Heading back to Prairiefire, we had brunch at Pinstripes, which features bowling, bocce ball, and of course food and drinks. This place wasn’t your standard bowling alley though. The atmosphere was elegant, but family-friendly and the buffet was top-notch. Iris not only got to see Santa, but she experienced her very first CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN! I was most impressed with the Bloody Mary bar, but with the drive home I couldn’t quite partake. That said, if you live anywhere close (or if you go to Overland Park for a visit), I highly recommend Pinstripes’ Sunday brunch!

Back on the road, we made it home without so much as a pit-stop and even made it back in time for Iris to attend her friend’s birthday party. Living in Northwest Arkansas, I love that we live so close to so many awesome places – and now Overland Park is officially on my “weekend get-away” list!

Visit Overland Park sponsored this post.