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Life with Ladybug: Are you up for The Kissing Challenge?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014

the kissing challenge

By Shannon Magsam

A blogger over at the MOPS website issued a Be Brave 2014 Kissing Challenge yesterday, noting that some married couples who may have kissed passionately while dating – or when they first got married – have let those lip-smacking sessions go by the wayside.

I kiss my husband quite a bit, but lately we’ve been passing like ships (lips?) in the night. A peck on the way out the door, a kiss on the back of my neck when I’m at my computer, a brush of the cheek when one of us goes to bed first (I’m still having trouble adjusting my sleep schedule from summer mode to back-to-school mode). But we haven’t shared any real lip-lockers lately, to tell you the truth.

So I’m gonna do it. I’m taking the challenge. Who’s with me?

Here’s a paragraph from the post about The Kissing Challenge:

“The Be Brave 2014 Kissing Challenge is a commitment to kiss your husband passionately every day for a month. Yes, I said a month. Pecks don’t count. I’m talking about real kisses. The kind of kiss that leaves you breathless and makes onscreen kisses pale in comparison. It doesn’t have to be a make-out marathon, but it does have to be the kind of kiss that says, “Welcome home. I’m glad to see you, and just in case you’re wondering, I can’t get enough of you.”

I started the challenge yesterday. When my husband came home from work, I pulled him into our bedroom and laid one on him. His reaction was …. very positive.

After the kiss, he happily said, “That was a nice welcome home! I’ll take that every day.”

Mission accomplished.

I didn’t tell him about the challenge, although I don’t think secrecy is required. I want organic results plus I don’t want to feel like I “have” to kiss passionately every day (I’m rebellious like that).

If you’re joining me in this kissing challenge with your own honey, let’s meet back here in a month and discuss the results. I bet we’ll all see some changes (for the better) in our relationships.

If you need some convincing, here are some links to stories about why kissing it’s good for us (click to read):

Kissing as a way to fight the common cold?

And a way to burn calories?

People who kiss more often are more satisfied with their relationships.

Kiss more to live longer.

P.S. — If you don’t want to participate in the kissing challenge, what about a bear hug challenge with your kids? Give your kids an actual, full-on hug every day for a month.

Are you and your lips in? Let me know in comments or email me at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. 

shan, blue dress, circleShannon Magsam is mama to Ladybug (a salty/sweet tween girl who still likes things like superheroes and unicorns, thank goodness) is wife to newspaperman/entrepreneur John and is co-founder of

Abrakadoodle offers new art classes, including Pint-Sized Picassos

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Since Joy Davis and her mom, Cora, started Abrakadoodle in Northwest Arkansas, they’ve been spreading the joy of art all around the region.

They’ve helped kids create at First Thursday in Fayetteville, at First Friday in Bentonville, at summer camps at Fast Lane Entertainment and other local businesses/non-profits. Now that school is back in session, it’s time for a new format.

Abrakadoodle classes are great for schools, after-school kids, homeschooled kids and pre-k kids. This fall they’re offering The Abrakadoodle Express: 50-minute art lessons for a special fee. They specialize in art education for kids ages 2-12. Abrakadoodle also offer classes for adults. That could be FUN with the right group of girls! Joy and Cora bring the party to you.

Joy said they just started Pint-Sized Picasso Play Dates for Pre-K kids — or just plain Picasso Play Dates for older kids. Abrakadoodle can bring out the supplies on Saturday or after school. They also offer private lessons in homes or can meet in a public space like a library.

Here’s some of the art from a recent Picasso Play Date themed “Animal Doodles”:

animal doodles

Oh and we can’t forget that they can provide everything you need for an Arty Birthday Party. As artists, you can bet the face painting is AWESOME.

eventsAbrakadoodle Art Classes for kids are all about creativity. Kids use their imaginations while using a wide variety of materials, such as paints, wire, clays and more.  They explore artists, techniques, world cultures and more.

They offer a wide variety of art classes for kids of these age groups:

  • Toddler Art Classes called Twoosy Doodlers (ages 20 months – 3)
  • Preschool Art Classes called Mini Doodlers (ages 3-5)
  • Elementary School Art Classes called Doodlers (ages 6 and up)

Give Joy a call at 479-856-6651 to find out about options for your kids.

Click here to check out the Abrakadoodle website and click here to connect with them on Facebook.

Be sure to tell Joy that you heard about Abrakadoodle of NWA here on Motherlode!

Inside His Head: Too ‘friend’ly for Facebook?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

insidehishead, 500

OK, ladies, it’s time to travel back to the strange land called …  “Inside His Head”. This month’s question is quite timely for many of us. Check it out:

(Oh, and if you’ve got a question for our outspoken guys, just send it to and it may be featured in an upcoming installment.)

Q: I recently noticed my husband had friended an old girlfriend on Facebook. From conversations, I know they had a very passionate relationship. I’m not happy about this at all. What do you suggest I do?

johnthumbnail.jpgMAVERICK: I see Facebook sort of like a party.

I have a Facebook page but I use it to keep up with my pals and old friends but I rarely post. So in party terms, I’m the guy who sits over in the dark corner and sips his beer, who maybe goes outside to smoke for long periods or goes to the store for ice.

So, look  at this Facebook stuff like like him meeting an old flame at a party.

If she friended him first, she’s the one who walked up to him. If he friended her, well it’s the opposite.

Would that make you concerned at a party?

They might have regained contact through a mutual friend, so it’s sorta like they’re all huddled up in a group of old chums in the middle  of the room chatting.

Problem with that?

If she has a Facebook picture taken in soft focus that makes her look all glam or she’s wearing something revealing or you can otherwise tell she thinks she’s hot-stuff from her picture, — and let’s face it, you can tell — I’d consider that a variable. It’s something akin to her showing at the party all tarted up wearing a miniskirt and she’s chatting with your husband, standing close and with her hand on his arm.

Now what do you think?

While this might help sort out the interaction, the bottom line is , they are interacting.  She’s also not only an ex — but a significant ex that he had a smoking sexual relationship with. He might just be being friendly but the reality is, he’ll think about her, and if the sex was good he’ll likely think about her fondly and nostalgically, and likely without clothing.

If this is really bothering you, tell him you’re uncomfortable. Be direct.

If he says something about trust, tell him it’s nothing about trust, it simply is not prudent to put himself in those sorts of situations. If he listens fine. If he acts really, really defensive, or acts mad but then goes all easy-going like, I’d consider that  a red flag.

But, if you aren’t concerned about him talking to an ex-flame in plain sight at a party, I’d not sweat the Facebook issue too much. It’s pretty public.

In any event, if you’re really bugged and your husband is being a pain and not giving you satisfactory answers and you want to let her know you’re wise to what’s up,  just friend her yourself.

This is like you walking up and introducing yourself at a party. You can tell a lot by how she reacts.

Oh, and before you do, change your Facebook picture to the one where you’re breaking a board in your Karate class.

GRAY: I’d suggest you just get over it and move on. Their relationship ended badly once, so what are you afraid of? That he’s going to leave a presumably good relationship so he can pursue one he’s already had?

He/she may have wanted to make sure the other was doing ok after all these years, or perhaps they were hoping to find the other in the misery they’d wished on them upon breaking up. The point is, it’s doubtful they’re going to look at each other and say: “Man, you’re perfect. Why did we break up?” More realistically they’ll realize the decision they made to split was the right one and chatting a little on Facebook will only confirm their suspicions.

Facebook is an odd animal to begin with, filled with people who “friend” others to be better virtual farmers and all that. I’d be a lot more alarmed if he was doing that and potentially exposing strangers to your personal telephone number or street address. I think a lot of old flames tend to get in touch as a form of catharsis and because Facebook provides the perfect medium. After all, it means you don’t have an awkward social situation, you can still keep ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends in a controlled environment, and if they’re still as annoying as they were when you broke up there’s always that lovely “hide” button.

MAX: “I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think she’s having her own way. And second, let her have it.” ~ Lyndon Johnson

Who are these lugnuts, I mean husbands, the readers of nwaMotherlode are constantly complaining about? I show these questions to my wife so she realizes I’m not half as bad as the other turds in the diaper.

There is no justification nor acceptable rationale that any decent man could come up with to excuse continuing an elective friendship with a former flame that the current wife disproves of. It’s just that simple.

If your lugnut maintains his cluelessness, ask him how he would feel if you hooked back up with a former passion. This “friendship” serves no purpose, it should fill no emotional need (and if it does, there are bigger problems here) and is a huge show of disrespect to the wife.

Tell him this and if he disagrees, I would recommend counseling or, better, smashing his computer in with an iron skillet.

To read more Inside His Head questions and answers, click here.

Note from the mamas: This post first appeared on nwaMotherlode in 2010. We thought it was a Q&A worth publishing again.

Beauty Buzz: 10 Common Make-up Mistakes with Foundation

By nwamamas - Last updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

While cleaning out my old magazines, of which there are dozens stashed around the house, I came across a great article in the October 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Even though it’s not recent, an article called Ten Makeup Missteps”, which focuses on foundation, caught my eye because of the timeless advice on applying foundation and the fact that my summer glow is long gone and it’s time for me to start wearing makeup again. Here are the 10 Missteps and how to avoid making them:

  • Your makeup seeps into pores and lines. Prep skin with a primer, which fills in all the nooks and gives makeup something to grip onto.
  • Your skin is dry and flaky. Mix a drop of moisturizer into your foundation.
  • You choose your foundation color by matching it to the skin on your arm. The skin on the inner part of your arm hasn’t had the sun exposure your face has, so the color is not the same.
  • You apply foundation all over. Eyelids and ears don’t need makeup.
  • Your makeup stops at the jawline. Be sure to brush a little foundation on the neck area. You don’t want your face to be one color and your neck another.
  • Your skin appears mask-like. If your makeup looks too heavy, it’s best to wash it off and start again.
  • You use a darker foundation to look tanned. Stick with your regular shade, and warm the tone with bronzer.
  • You forget to take a quick look in the mirror. Take the time to rub out errant foundation streaks. *I am so guilty of this, after applying in a rush in the dimly lit playroom, I am always shocked at the spots I find in the car mirror.
  • Your foundation is over a year old. Pitch it. Oxidation causes the shade to darken and it may be harboring bacteria.
  • You forget the cardinal rule. Foundation should enhance skin, not conceal it.

Now if my husband asks, I can say this is why I keep all of those magazines. You never know what great advice you might forget!

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at

Giveaway: Show us your favorite back to school pics for a chance to win concert tickets/dinner!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Monday, August 18, 2014


John Lleyton on a rockFor lots of Northwest Arkansas kids, today’s the day!

The first day back at school!

That means moms will either be boo-hooing or woo-hooing (or possibly a little bit of both).

Angela's boysBut you can bet all mamas will be snapping a few photos before the kids head off for their first day back at school. So since we know you have those cute snapshots on your smartphone, Facebook wall or camera memory, we want to show them off here on, too!

These can be homeschooled kids, private/public school kids or even your big college kid!

The giveaway part: We’ll choose one back-to-school photo at random and that mama will win two tickets to see Foreigner in concert at The Amp plus dinner at P.F. Chang’s!

Foreigner will be at The Amp on Aug. 29. Click here for tickets if you don’t want to risk missing out on the show.

Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with ten multiplatinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits. Founded in 1976, the band is comprised of Mick Jones, Kelly Hansen, Jeff Pilson and Tom Gimbel.

Their debut album propelled the group onto the music scene and featured hits such as “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice.” In 2013, Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the band released Juke Box Heroes, a new compilation of digitally recorded Foreigner hits. The band continues to produce sold out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million.

We absolutely LOVE P.F. Chang’s and always order the Crispy Green Beans. Or lettuce wraps. Sometimes we order both :) Look at this deliciousness:

pf food

Don’t have kids in school yet? No worries. We’ve got a way for all you mamas of babies and toddlers to get in on the giveaway action. Older kids learn in school, but babies and toddlers are very busy learners, too — especially when they’re playing! So if your kid is not quite school age yet, send us a favorite snapshot of him or her hard at play. (Playing in your kitchen cabinets? Learning to snack on Cheerios? Discovering the joys of petting the family dog? Send us any shot you like best.)

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win the Foreigner concert tickets + dinner at P.F. Chang’s, just send your back-to-school snapshots (or babies at play snapshots) to or you can post them on our Facebook page by clicking HERE. You can also enter by simply clicking the words “leave a comment” below and tell us what your favorite Foreigner song is or your favorite back-to-school moment.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: To increase your odds of winning this great giveaway, email your friends and family to let them know about it. Just be sure to put on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

4th grader printableBE SOCIAL: Spread the word via social media and we’ll give you extra chances as well. Just share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook (click here to go see the post on our Facebook page and share from there) or share about the giveaway on Twitter to increase your odds of winning. If you do either of these things, just let us know in a posted comment or send us an email so we can give you proper credit.

Good luck in this week’s giveaway! We’re looking forward to seeing your snapshots. Thanks to the local mamas who shared these cute back-to-school pictures with us. We hope your kids have a GREAT first day of school.

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