5 Minutes with a Mom: Heather Schisler

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Name: Heather Schisler

Kids’ names and ages? I have 3 children: Zachary (age 6), Hailey (age 4) and Madden (7 months)

Where were you raised? I was born & raised in Northwest Arkansas, I lived in Fayetteville growing up.

What brought you to NWA? I have always lived in Northwest Arkansas and I am not sure I’d ever have a reason to leave, I really love this area.

What was the last song you sang along with? As much as I hate to admit this one, it was Frozen with my kids at dinner! Sometimes I use fun songs they love and change the words to help get them to do things I want them to do like eat their dinner or pick up a room. It’s a little cheesy but it works!

Where’s your favorite vacation spot? I am a beach girl so as long as there is Sun & Sand I’m happy! My favorite spots that we have visited recently include Puerto Vallarta Mexico & Costa Rica. We also love to vacation in Destin as a family.

Do you have any fun plans for the summer? We have a few small vacations planned with our families, but mostly I’m looking forward to slowing down for a few months and enjoying the pool with my kids.

What’s your favorite restaurant in NWA? My husband & I love Crabby’s in Rogers and Mary Maestri’s in Springdale is also a long time favorite.

Favorite chick flick? The Notebook. I still cry every time!

When/where did you first meet your husband? We met at the UofA my freshman semester in college. We dated all though college and got married once I graduated.

Was it love at first sight? I don’t know if it was Love at first sight, but I don’t think it took very long to realize we were meant to be together.

What are your favorite parenting moments? I love watching my children grow in their love for God and their love for others! I also love watching my children’s creativity blossom. It’s amazing what a child can do when they set their minds to it.

What’s your favorite way to get your kids laughing again after a hard day? Dancing & Singing :) I wouldn’t do it for anyone else, but it’s one of the best ways I have found to get everyone in a better mood when we have had a long day.

What’s a meal you make over and over for your kids? My kids love Stir-Fry and it’s one of my favorite meals to make. We probably have some version of Stir Fry once a week.

Your most-loved hobbies? I grew up dancing and figure skating but I don’t get a chance to do those anymore. I love shopping and baking so that’s typically what I spend my free time doing.

Tell us about how you got started with your website, Passion for Savings: I started my site to share great deals with my family and friends. I was spending a lot of time emailing people when I found a great deal so I started posting them to my blog instead of emailing them out and it just grew from there. I’ve been blogging over 5 years now and I still love sharing deals on a daily basis!

Your idea of a relaxing day? I’d vote for a day at the spa or a rainy day with a book and a nap :) Either one sounds great when you’re a mom of 3 kids.

One word to sum me up … Passionate. I am 100% passionate about whatever I am doing. I love My Family, My Church, My Savior, My Friends and My Job!

Five Minutes with a Mom: Corinna Dranow

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Name: Corinna Dranow

Where do you live in NWA? Fayetteville

Children: 9 year old boy and 12 year old girl

Tell us about your work outside the home: I have a part-time psychotherapy practice in Fayetteville. I provide counseling to adults, children and families. Click here to read more about Corinna’s practice and who she can help.

Where did you grow up? I spend the first 20 years of my life in Frankfurt, Germany. The next 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. But I still consider myself German. My parents and siblings still live there, and I still have some typical German traits.

How would you describe a typical day in your busy life? I am addicted to my workout WAYMO (What Are You Made Off at FAC). I try to squeeze this in every day or a good walk with my girl friends. Then I either head to work or do many of the typical Mom-related things. It never stops…. My favorite part is when I get to have lunch or a walk with a friend. I am my kids mom after school with everything it entails. I also volunteer a lot at my kids’ schools, my synagogue and community organizations.

Favorite all-time movie? “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”- yup, Dirty Dancing.

Last book you read? Facebook. (!) and Padma’s  ”Toss of a Lemon”. The author is a local mom. Her new book is coming out next week and I absolutely can’t wait!

What’s some great parenting advice you used and then passed along to others? “Step back and look at the big picture. What seems like a crisis now, won’t matter in the long run. So sit back and laugh it off.”

What’s a helpful piece of marriage advice you’ve given as a therapist to your clients? Often, women marry and expect their husband to be their soulmate and make them happy in all areas of their lives. Don’t make your partner responsible for all of your happiness. Try to divide up among friends and relatives and yourself to fulfill your many different needs. One spouse can not be everything to you all the time. For example, if you like nature and your husband doesn’t, go find a group to go outside with you instead of being upset about your different interest. If your partner is not the funny type, find friends that are. Then go and appreciate the great contributions your partner does have to give to your relationship. Gratefulness and appreciation are the keys to happiness. Go write notes of appreciation and gratitude about your partner and hide them in unlikely places.

What’s something you’d love to learn in the future? I began learning the piano about a year ago, that was something I always wanted to do. It is very hard for me; it’s definitely mental gymnastics. Next up: learning to fly a helicopter or a plane.

My favorite phrase: ”It is what it is, otherwise we would be somewhere else doing something else.”

Guilty pleasure? Practicing piano. It’s like meditation.

What’s the best thing about being a mother? I often can’t believe that we created these amazing creatures! Where did they come from? I look at them with awe!

And the hardest thing? Realizing that someone always has a crisis. That is just part of the game, no matter how old the kids are.

Are the kids excited about Spring Break? Any fun plans? Silver Dollar City!

What’s your favorite way to relax? Sitting in my hot tub alone or with my family.

One word to sum me up: Committed

Five Minutes with a Mom: Larra Hayward

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Name: Larra Hayward

Daughter’s name and age: Nevaeh Hayward age 8

What advice would you give to other single moms (that you wish you had known)?

Never take time for granted. I believe this applies to parents in general, but being a single mom can make it even harder. Being a single mom means you are the sole provider for your family which can be stressful when you’re trying to make ends meet.  It also means you are playing good cop and bad cop when it comes to discipline.  With all the double responsibility of doing it on your own, time can get away from you!

Just remember that they won’t always be little! If you don’t show them now how valuable they are then one day they might stop coming to you for advice and comfort. You will have missed your opportunity to teach them the important things. They are going to learn it somewhere, it’s best that they learn the truth from you.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA?

I was born in Fayetteville and lived there till 2006. I now reside in Rogers and work in Fayetteville, so I get to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Which songs are on your iPod right now?

Music plays a big part in my life. The songs I play the most would have to be things like “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys, “Firework” by Katy Perry and “Run The World (girls)” by Beyoncé. I listen to these songs because I constantly want to have positive thoughts of myself and my capability! If you don’t believe in yourself then how can you expect others to?

Tell us about your job:

I have spent the last year working for a company in Fayetteville called Data Forms. I sell print and mailing services as well as help with business development. Before switching to Data Forms I worked for an amazing event planning company called Bates Events.

The event world fit mine and my daughter’s schedules well while she was young.  I was able to stay home with her during the day and work nights and weekends while my family helped care for her.

Once Nevaeh entered into school her schedule changed. After a year of her being gone during the day and me working nights and weekends, together we decided that it was time for me to find a job that would allow us to have more time together. I was blessed to have been able to find a company that understands my situation and allows me to put Nevaeh first.

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your daughter:

I come from a family with lots of traditions & feel that they are important. One of our newest traditions is something that I picked up from our very own Mrs. Shannon Magsam. It’s called “thorns and roses”.  You tell one bad thing about the day, your thorn, then you have to tell at least one good thing that happened that day, your rose. It has been a great way to share things about our day and to also keep us focused on the positive parts. Another would be at bedtime, I always lay down with Nevaeh and cuddle with her until she gets tired. This has been such a great bonding experience for us. It seems to be when she shares most of the information about what is going on at school and with her friends. I think it also helps her to feel calm and safe before falling asleep so she sleeps better.

Where do you and your daughter love to play in NWA?

Although I live in Rogers I still feel like Fayetteville has the best parks! We typically go to Walker Park and Gully Park. In the winter we like to go to  Starlight Skatium. Nevaeh is very active.  She always wants to be doing something!

Do you have any special hobbies?

I guess I would say my hobby is dancing. Whether that is in the living room with Nevaeh or taking a ballroom dance class. Dancing is my escape and I have enjoyed being able to share my passion with my daughter.

 If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer where would it be?

If I could vacation anywhere in the world any time of the year it would be Santorini Greece. The white houses with the blue roof, the clear water that allows you to see all the way to the bottom, the food, the culture… it all just seems mesmerizing! Maybe one day =)

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

That is an easy one, Julianne Hough! I have followed her career since Dancing with the Stars. She is an incredible dancer who turned out to have an amazing voice and is a killer actress! It seems that whatever she does she excels straight to the top.

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

I have always wanted to learn how to sing. My mother has an amazing voice, it’s like listening to a bird sing in the spring. Unfortunately that was not a gift that God gave me. I was told once that anyone can sing, you just have to learn how…I am here to tell you that this statement is false! Thank goodness for the shower!

What are three things you always have with you?

#1 MY PHONE! I never go anywhere without it! For me, I’m sure like most people, it has become more like an appendage. #2 accessories! The famous saying “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” rings true. Well this girl doesn’t have to have diamonds, give me pearls, gold, silver, earrings, necklaces… I don’t discriminate. #3 my gallon jug of ionized water… that’s right I said gallon. I know how important water is to my health so it’s always a must have.

How do you relax at the end of the day?

My most favorite thing to do in the evening is to get into something comfy and snuggle up on the couch with my favorite girl and watch one of our favorite shows! It’s the small things, right?

5 Minutes with a Mom: Joyce Binam Davis


Name: Joyce Binam Davis

Daughter’s name and age: Paige, 3 years

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? Harrison, AR.  I moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas. I’m not saying how many years ago that was!

How did you meet your husband? During a haircut, my stylist said she thought her cousin and I would be a good match. That night I received a Facebook message from Pete saying that his cousin thinks we should go out.  Less than eight months later we were married.

What’s one movie you could watch over and over again? I can’t think of any that I would want to watch over and over and over.  I’m not a “repeat” person.  I’m always craving a new experience or in this case, a new movie. A couple favorite movies are The Notebook and Jerry Maguire.

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your daughter: I haven’t intentionally tried to start any traditions, but I guess some are forming.  I always make her a chocolate cake on her birthday, because to me, a chocolate cake says love.  We have always gone to see the Lights of the Ozarks and had her photo made with Santa.  We always attend the New Heights Christmas Eve service, then go around “paying it forward” with little treats for people that work on Christmas Eve.

Where does your family love to play in NWA? Outside! We love the area parks. In bad weather, we make the kid friendly circuit of libraries, Boingo Bounce, Gymnastic Joes, and just recently we added Starlight Skatium to the mix.

Do you have any special hobbies? I LOVE international travel, the more culture shock the better.  I also love playing games and learning new things.

What’s something your friends might not know about you? I’m actually less competitive than everyone thinks because I don’t like anyone to lose.  I strive for win-wins.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer where would it be? I would go on a safari in Kenya or South Africa.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life? Sandra Bullock

What’s something you have always wanted to learn? A foreign language.  Alas, I’m terrible at language. I just can’t hear the difference in the sounds.

What are three things you always have with you? Water bottle, iPhone, pen

How do you wind down at the end of the day? Lounging in bed with my husband surfing on the iPad or watching something.

One word to sum me up … Thankful

5 Minutes with a Mom: Meredith Adams Pettigrew

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Name: Meredith Adams Pettigrew

Son’s name and age: Harlan, 7 months on Jan. 19

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? I was born in Charleston, AR,  moved to Fayetteville when I was 7 and don’t ever plan on leaving. We love NWA!

How did you meet your husband? We met on Leap Day 2008. My roommate at the time and her boyfriend, now husband, introduced us at a Boom Kinetic concert. Back then they were still known as Molten Lava.

Tell us about your work at Mitchell Communications Group? I do public relations work for some of the largest companies in the world including Walmart, Sam’s Club, P&G, Kraft and Cracker Barrel to name a few. We assist them with media relations, strategic communications and event management. I also help manage our network of Project Employees who live all over the country.

What has been one of the most surprising things about new motherhood? There have been 2 for me: (1) How utterly and hopelessly clueless I am about this whole mom thing. I pride myself on being prepared and I read every book under the sun when I was pregnant but nothing really prepared me for actual motherhood. I am pretty much winging it all the time and I have learned to be ok with that. (2) How completely obsessed I am with Harlan. I am pretty sure I need him just as much as he needs me.

Do you have any fun hobbies? All through high school and college I scrapbooked but recently I have gotten into digital scrapbooking with photo books. Just as much fun and far less time consuming. I also love to be in the kitchen cooking or baking.

Where are your favorite spots in Northwest Arkansas? Any Razorback sporting event and the Farmington High School football field. My dad is a football coach (at Farmington) so I grew up as “the coach’s daughter”. To this day one of my favorite places to be is at a Friday night high school football game.

What’s something your friends might not know about you? I watch EVERY pageant or reality show about pageants that comes on TV. I never did pageants but the whole process just fascinates me. It is truly a whole different world.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer where would it be? Easy – Hawaii. I have made my husband promise he would take me there at least once. Any sunny beach is my happy place.

If you went back to college, what would you study? Education. Basically my entire family is in education as teachers, counselors and coaches. I was in a rebellious stage coming out of high school and refused to do what everybody else did. I think I would have loved teaching. Maybe one day.

What three things do you always have with you? My phone, a spare diaper bag full of the essentials and my hardcopy day planner- I am a pen and paper kind of girl and an electronic calendar just doesn’t do it for me.

How do you relax at the end of the day? After Harlan is asleep I like to get a glass of wine, plop on the couch and watch our favorite DVR’d TV shows with my husband. I can’t remember the last time we watched a show live.

One word to sum me up … organized