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.


Category : Sponsored

#VeggieSwap with Green Giant!

As with many 5-year-olds, dinner time is a struggle in our house. Getting Iris to eat her vegetables (or any part of her meal at all) takes so much effort. I actually enjoy cooking dinner every night, but I find that when it’s finally time to sit down and enjoy dinner as a family, the work has just begun. Whether it’s telling Iris to eat something other than her bread or to eat “just three more bites,” we’re constantly having to make sure she’s getting her nutrients. Things changed a little bit this weekend though.

Green Giant has launched a new line of frozen veggies, including Riced Cauliflower & Sweet Potatoes, which is 100% made with vegetables. And not only is it gluten free, but it has 70% fewer calories than rice! I also love that it comes without any sauce or seasoning, so you can prepare then just the way you like.

Finding the new Green Giant veggie options next to the other frozen vegetables at my local Walmart, I grabbed the Riced Cauliflower and Sweet Potato mix to give it a try. After throwing a couple chicken breasts in the oven, I steamed the riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes in the microwave. So instead of serving the baked chicken with the standard rice, I was able to sneak in some (yummy!) veggies – and in no time at all.

To say Iris loved it is an understatement. I think the natural sweetness of the sweet potato made her an instant fan. I paired it with another new Green Giant product, Broccoli and Cheese Veggie Tots so she got a double whammy of easy, kid-friendly veggies. The end result? Iris had a “happy plate” not even realizing that she ate all of her vegetables. As a busy mom that wants to make sure my kid eats – and eats well – these will no doubt be staples in my freezer from here on out.

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.


Did you know that February 28 is National Tooth Fairy Day? This is more timely than ever in our house because Iris has her first loose tooth! Actually, she has two of them – the front two bottom teeth are getting wigglier by the day. Iris is beyond thrilled, while I can’t help but be a tad bit sentimental about my baby growing up so fast!

Iris has been going to the dentist every six months since she was about two and a half years old and thankfully she’s THE biggest fan of dentist visits… especially after her last report of no cavities and finding out that the Tooth Fairy will soon be visiting. I sat down and asked Iris a few questions about the Tooth Fairy and here’s what she had to say:

And not only is National Tooth Fairy Day coming up, but February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). This year I’ve teamed up with Delta Dental of Arkansas, who is celebrating NCDHM by empowering parents like me with important information and myth busters to help protect our children’s smile and overall health. We started out making going to the dentist a fun, exciting experience and thankfully Iris still loves it. Even though we’ve been taking her for a while now, I was still surprised to learn a few new things myself about kids and dental care.

Here are some powerful stats from Delta Dental, along with some interesting Myth busters:

Each year, children miss an estimated 51 million hours of school because of dental-related illnesses, many of which are easily preventable.
Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease of children aged six to eleven and adolescents twelve to nineteen years of age. In fact, according to a 2010 report from the Arkansas Department of Health, 64 percent of Arkansas students have evidence of current or past cavities, 29 percent had untreated cavities and 27 percent were in need of routine care.
Studies show that the earlier a child received regularly-scheduled, quality dental care, the less likely they will develop long term oral health illnesses.

Now that we know even more about protecting Iris’ oral health and how important it is, we keep brushing, flossing, and waiting for the Tooth Fairy (and maybe even a dollar bill).

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Delta Dental. The opinions and text are all mine.

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).

Iris’ First Build-A-Bear

So Iris has been wanting to visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop ever since she saw it featured on Family Fun Pack. Have you all been introduced to this You-Tube family? Iris is obsessed and talks about the kids as if they are her best friends. So when she was presented with a gift card from THE Build-A-Bear, she was over-the-top excited. In fact, when we got to our local shop, she immediately picked out the exact same bear as Alyssa from the show.

From there, Iris went through the sweet little Build-A-Bear process of choosing a heart, rubbing it in her hands, making a wish, and then sealing it with a kiss. Iris took this process VERY seriously.. if only I could get her to tell me what she wished for.

After picking out a scent (strawberry!) and a song (a Christmas tune in January?), she fluffed her new friend with the help of a very sweet (and patient) employee. Once she hugged her bear to test out the level of fluff, it was off “wash” and brush her new friend. After about 30 minutes in the salon, it was time to pick out a couple of outfits and then – a name. I’m happy to report that Sweet Freckle Heart has finally found her forever home with my little family. And that after the success of Iris’ first Build-A-Bear experience, I’m sure she’ll be getting more bear siblings in the future.

New Skin for a New Year

Nearly everyone vows to take care of their health as part of their New Year’s resolution – exercising more, eating better, but what about taking care of your skin? Last January I started working out regularly and, one year later, I’m still going strong. So now that exercise is a normal part of my routine, 2017 is the year I pledge to take care of my skin.

Thankfully, I have a head start as I’m entering the New Year with a fresh skincare routine, which I thought would be fun to share. I will say that the best part about my routine is that it’s tailored for me. If you’ve been following along on my skincare journey, you’ll remember that I met with Krissa, my lovely esthetician, at the Northwest Arkansas Center for Plastic Surgery’s Skin Care Center a few months back (see that post here). They give free consultations and help guide you in the best direction not only for your skin, but for your time and budget.

A solid three months in and I can honestly say that my skin has never been smoother, softer, or glowy-er (that’s not a word, is it? It should be). The only downside is that when I do have an imperfection, it’s so much more noticeable because now my face is such a fresh canvas… but that’s an amazing problem to have. You can check my updates via previous posts here and here. As for my personal skincare regime, I have pretty sensitive skin so everything that NWACPS has done for me has been with that in mind, including the products that I use. Take a look!

– I start with washing my face with warm water and SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser.
– After rinsing and patting dry, I apply a few dabs of SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex. This cream smells like cinnamon and has a slight tingly feeling that my face now craves every morning like a strong cup of coffee. The main perk is that it helps pull out the redness that I get oh-so easily, especially along my T-Zone.
– From there, I apply a penny-sized portion of SkinMedica Replenish Hydrating Cream. If the cold weather has dried out my skin, I may add a little more. I’m kind of picky when it comes to facial moisturizers, but I’m in love with this one – it hydrates, soothes, and smooths all at the same time (and a little goes a long way).
– Lastly, I use SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair as the final step before makeup. With SPF 50, this goes beyond UV protection and also defends against infrared rays.
– About 2-3 times a week I also start my routine with Theraderm NuPeel. I apply about a nickle-sized portion to completely dry skin. As I scrub, it gently removes dead skin cells. Basically it’s an easy, natural facial peel that you can do at home.
– Throughout the day I apply Theraderm Anti-Aging Lip Complex (in the winter months this helps keep my lips from becoming chapped as well).

– Wash again with warm water and SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser, cleaning off any makeup I wore that day.
– About three times per week I also wash with AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. This step gently scrubs away dead skin, improving skin tone and texture.
– Next comes the GOOD stuff – TNS Recovery Complex. Orange in color, and a bit odd in smell, you can tell this really works. It rejuvenates, reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and enhances skin texture and tone. It dries very quickly, so I spread it out as fast as I can savoring every last drop. Again, a little of this goes a long way.
– Finally, I once again coat my face in my favorite SkinMedica Replenish Hydrating Cream, then off to bed I go!

– At the center of every good skin routine is a good core of maintenance. I’ve been getting Dermaplane once every month and, as you can tell from my previous post, it’s one of my favorite things. Not only does it leave my skin soft with an incredible glow, but the procedure is actually very relaxing. Dermaplane removes the peach fuzz from the face, while also creating a good foundation for other things, such as peels.
– Speaking of which, I’ve also done a couple of lactic peels, some very light and some a little stronger. I love that NWACPS eases me into things so that we can see how my skin will react. Over the last couple months my skin has become less sensitive, so I’m able to try out the stronger stuff. Yeah!
– For tougher spots to treat (like my nose), I’ve had microdermabrasion treatments instead of Dermaplane. Having the option to combine both in one sitting is great (once again, THANK YOU KRISSA!).
– One word: BOTOX. I’ve gotten it once and, three months later, I’m set to get my second round this week! While I know it can be a little intimidating to try at first, I can tell you that it is worth it a million times over. At 36-years-old, I have wrinkles that have started to form where I don’t necessarily like them (my furrowed brow, crows feet, and forehead). Botox has subtly smoothed out these lines and will also help in preventing new ones. Done and done!
– Last month I also added something new to the mix – laser! At NWACPS they used a machine called the Nordlys Hybrid Experience, which is a less painful form of laser. I must admit, I was a tad nervous to try this because I had no idea what to expect. My nerves were all for nothing though, because the pain level was completely bearable (at most it felt like a rubber band snap) and there was no recovery afterwards. The round that I did was to remove brown spots under my skin’s surface and my next round will be to remove the redness (which I have a ton of). Overall, this will give a more even look to my skin, making it look even better overall!

While this may sound like a lot, I actually only spend about 5 minutes every morning and night, plus I look forward to each face wash (and of course to each appointment). Because my skin has already changed since beginning my new regimen, I’m sure that means my routine will change as well – and that’s why I’m so happy to have professionals helping me along the way. I highly recommend at least starting with a consultation and, if you’re in NW Arkansas, NWACPS can’t be beat. Dr. Stacey and everyone who works there is so warm, welcoming, and helpful. I’ve asked a gazillion questions and I love that they’ve explained the process to me every step of the way. And while I am loving the results that I’m seeing, what’s even better is knowing that it will have lasting effects that I’ll see as I grow older.

This post is in partnership with NWACPS, however the words and opinions in my blog are truly my own.