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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TRAVEL LOVE: Eureka Springs

Last week I had a long weekend from work, so we decided to do a little something different. After looking at the (amazing) weather forecast, we drove the short hour to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and spend some time wandering the winding streets. With Iris in tow, we packed a small over night bag, booked a room at the Basin Park Hotel and were on our way.

After we checked into our room, I did a quick Google search because I had heard rumors that our hotel was haunted. Before I could even finish typing “Basin Park Hotel haunted,” OUR ROOM NUMBER popped up as a search option. That’s right, we were about to spend the night in one of the most haunted rooms at the property. I don’t get spooked out by things like that, but I do like to have fun with it, so I kept an eye out all night for spirits or orbs or whatever it may be, but sadly – we had no visitors during our stay.

The location of the Basin Park is perfect for a couple of reasons. One, it’s smack dab in the middle of downtown, so once you arrive, everything is within walking distance. Also, it’s next to (obviously) Basin Park. This park just so happens to be where Todd and I got engaged oh-so-many years ago. One cold January night, we walked up to the stage that overlooks the park and he got down on one knee. Beforehand, we even had dinner at the Basin Park Hotel, but until last weekend we never had stayed the night.

As for exploring Eureka, we walked around, popping into cute little stores and candy shops. Iris LOVED finding these little Eureka Springs Rocks around town. Apparently folks paint rocks and leave them out and about for people to find, then keep or re-hide. It was a fun little game for Iris to play throughout the day and it kept her entertained. Eating brunch at Local Flavor, drinks at Brews, and dinner at Grotto, we were full and happy by the end of the day. Ready to sleep tight with the ghosts. The entire little downtown is so adorable, I found myself snapping photos at every turn, so here are some photos from our mini-getaway!

Our stay at the Basin Park Hotel

IRIS AND THE TOOTH FAIRY (FEATURING DELTA DENTAL)

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.

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).