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Happy Halloween from nwaMotherlode!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Friday, October 31, 2014

webhalloweenHope you have a FUN, safe Halloween night with your family! We’d love it if you’d share a few of your snapshots with us. Send pics of your little ghosts and goblins to and we’ll feature them on the website. Or tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Pictured below are Halloween pics of our “babies” from a few years ago.

Happy Halloween!

NWA, Halloween 2014, Events and Activitieshalloween polaroid2

Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: November 2014

By nwamamas - Last updated: Friday, October 31, 2014

calendar, 450

Holiday Open House (Siloam Springs)

Main Street Siloam Springs’ annual Holiday Open House. Merchants will be open and offering refreshments, door prizes, and the first look at their holiday merchandise.

Date: Sunday, Nov. 2

Time: 1-5 p.m.

Location: Downtown Siloam

More info: Click here

Crystal Bridges events

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking exhibition, State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, has gained national attention, bringing together the artwork of 102 artists from all over the country. State of the Art will be on view through January 19, highlighting the artists’ voices with engagement opportunities including workshops, art talks, and panel discussions. For a full list of State of the Art programs, click here.

More info: See the full calendar of Crystal Bridges events here: website.

NWA Boutique Show

Mamas, we want to see you there! We’ll have a Motherlode booth with an awesome giveaway — plus a cardboard cut-out of Olaf for you and the kids to pose with. This is an amazing shoppertunity to mark off everyone on your Christmas list!

nwa boutique show adDate: Nov. 7-8

Time: Varies

Location: Holiday Inn Convention Center

More info: Click here

Veteran’s Day Parade

Annual Veteran’s Day Parade at 2:30pm around the Fayetteville Square.  The parade will feature military and emergency vehicles, soldiers of all ages, motorcycles, bands, and much more.  At 1:30 there will be special activities for children and a meet and greet with our WWII and Korean Veterans. In case of rain, all special activities will be indoors at the square with the Veterans.  Grand marshalls this year are WWII and Korean Veterans.

Date: Sunday, Nov. 9

Time: 1:30, activities for children and a meet and greet with WWII and Korean Veterans; parade 2:30 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

Central Rogers MOPS Craft Fair

Lots of vendors to shop, door prizes and a cookie walk with dozens of different cookies at $6 a pound. At Central United Methodist in Rogers.

mops craft fairDate: Nov. 15

Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Central United Methodist Church, Rogers

More info: Click here

Pennyroyals, Persimmons and Pawpaws

Date: Nov. 19

Time: Noon

Location: Shiloh Museum, Springdale

More info: Click here

21st Annual Lights of the Ozarks

Enjoy the amazing winter wonderland of lights on the Downtown Square beginning Friday, November 21st at 6 p.m. with the Lighting Night parade. Nightly carriages and pony rides, fresh hot chocolate and festive holiday music make the Lights of the Ozarks an event that cannot be missed. The romantic and breathtaking display of a half-million twinkling lights is cherished by the locals and visitors alike that stroll or drive through the Lights of the Ozarks each year. Each year Fayetteville Parks and Recreation workers spend over 2,000 hours decorating the Downtown Square with 450,000 lights.

Date: Nov. 21-Dec. 31

Time: 6 p.m. parade starts.

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

lights of the ozarks

Lighting of the Bentonville Square

Holiday market at 2 p.m. Live holiday music, 4 p.m. Lighting ceremony, 6 p.m. Christmas tree lighting at the rink, 6:30 p.m.

Date: Nov. 22

Time: Events start at 2 p.m.

Location: Bentonville Square

More info: Click here

Elf the Musical

“Endearingly goofy!” says USA Today of this delightful Broadway musical for all ages. Elf the Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole where he is welcomed into Santa’s household. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s size and poor toy-making skills cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to find his birth father and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf the Musical “is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!” says Variety magazine. Don’t miss this modern-day Christmas classic that’s sure to help you embrace your inner elf!

Elf_TNEWDate: Nov. 25-26

Time: Varies

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Green Friday

In an effort to help you reconnect with the things important in your life, Hobbs will be hosting a day of hikes, nature crafts, and family fun programming. Contact the park for a list of programming. Free.

Date: Nov. 28

Time: All day

Location: Hobbs State Park Visitor’s Center, Rogers

More info: Click here

2nd Annual Experience the Light at The Great Passion Play (Live Nativity)

Christmas Festival with Live Nativity. Drive-through light display and Christmas Carols with hot chocolate and cookies in the Great Hall. The last weekend of November through first 3 weeks of December on Fridays and Saturdays.

great passion playDate: Nov. 28-Dec. 20 (Fridays and Saturdays)

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Location: Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Christmas Parade of the Ozarks

Date: Nov. 29

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Parsons Stadium, Springdale. Starts at the rodeo grounds and goes through downtown Springdale (Emma Avenue).

More info: Click here

Holiday Hoopla Kickoff, Rogers

A community event to kick off the holiday season in downtown Rogers. Featuring the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree and downtown decorations, great food, and live music.

holiday hooplaDate: Nov. 29

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Downtown

More info: Click here

Gardenland Express

Gardenland Express will open on November 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and then continue on Saturdays, December 6 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sundays, December 7 and 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This year, visitors will be able to enjoy an evening of holiday lights and fun on Friday, December 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each Gardenland session will include a winter wonderland display of model trains in the Event Hall, refreshments and visits with Santa. Northwest Arkansas Model Train Club is providing the trains for this special event.

Date: Nov. 30, Dec. 6,7,13 & 14

Time: See above for specific times

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks Christmas Train Exhibition

Fashion Fairy Godmother: How to wear scarves this season

By nwamamas - Last updated: Thursday, October 30, 2014

scarvesBy Lizzie Miller, fashion blogger, U of A student and nwaMotherlode intern

It’s scarf weather, and we LOVE all the cute scarves we’re seeing this season. Scarves are almost universally flattering on everyone. Pictured above are some Fashion Fairy Godmothercute scarf/shirt combination ideas.

Throw these on with skinny jeans and riding boots, ankle boots or flats, and you’re good to go.

Here are a few other tips for wearing scarves this season:

Always wear only one pattern and one solid. For instance, if you choose a patterned scarf like floral or leopard, pair it with a solid-color shirt.

Make sure your scarves are practical! If it’s cold outside, make sure to wear an infinity scarf to bundle up. If it’s somewhat warm, a light, cotton scarf is perfect.

A new trend in scarves this season is the fur scarf! I absolutely love this trend and have one on my wish list from Nordstrom (and it’s only $24!) It’s called the BP Faux Fur Infinity Scarf (Juniors section) and it’s the camel color. Click here to see it.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to let your scarf reflect your personality!

I hope you enjoy these tips for fall scarves! Show us your cute fall scarves on Instagram (click here to find us) and tag us @nwamotherlode!

For more fun but practical tips on style, click here to read more from our Fashion Fairy Godmother.

Elizabeth Miller, intern (cropped)ABOUT ELIZABETH: Elizabeth is a senior Ad/PR major at the University of Arkansas. She’s been in various leadership positions in her sorority, Chi Omega, and is part of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. The Motherlode mamas would like to add that she’s a fabulous intern and we appreciate her keen eye for fashion (we’ve already lined her up to help us pick out a new fall wardrobe) as well as her work ethic, creativity and ability to quickly grasp what we need and pull it off.

Life with Ladybug: The terrible teens?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Thursday, October 30, 2014

By Shannon Magsam

Mom and LadybugWe went to a restaurant on Saturday and I requested the Kids Eat Free menu.

And while the kids’ meal was being delivered to our table, I almost choked on my Diet Dr. Pepper. Because that’s when it hit me that we can only order kids’ meals for a few more months.

Because 13.

The problem isn’t that I won’t be able to skate out of restaurants paying less. The problem is my baby girl will officially be a teenager.

I get a little jolt of adrenaline every time something reminds me that the teenage years are creeping closer every day. And when the adrenaline shot wears off, I get a little weepy aftertaste.

Truthfully, I remember all my little ladybug’s age milestones and I got a little weepy about most of them at the time:

The first birthday.

She’s 5 now! Wow!




(Poor Nine. Why does Seven always have him for lunch?)

Then: 10. Double digits!

Up next: thirTEEN.

And while I freaked about those other ages, this birthday has me the most freaked-outiest yet.

you're amazing croppedI think it’s because when I turned 13 I got stupid.

I remember my 13th birthday vividly. I looked in the mirror and expected to see a more mature version of myself looking back. But I didn’t.

I desperately wanted to be that grown-up girl, though, which led to some dumb mistakes.

So of course I get a little shaky thinking about this milestone as it relates to my girl.

The thing is (and this is a HUGE thing) I know my daughter has a better head on her shoulders than I did at 13. She knows herself better. She has very specific interests that keep her grounded. She has a great group of girl friends and they help insulate her. She’s practical and logical in a way that I just wasn’t.

See how I just talked myself down from the ledge? (I’m getting pretty good at it lately.)

Does that mean my teen-aged Ladybug won’t make any dumb mistakes during the years from 13 to 19? Of course it doesn’t. We all make mistakes in the teen years and we learn from them. I know she will, too.

But for now, I’ll breathe deeply and remember: 13 is just a number.

A very BIG number, and I’ll be paying more at Steak ‘n Shake, Red Robin and Chick-fil-A, that’s true. But I pray (boy do I pray) that when my baby girl looks in the mirror on her 13th birthday she’ll see someone she really likes.

Someone who’s just the right amount of grown up.

For 13. (But not for a few months!)

On Your Mind: Do I have an anxiety disorder?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

on your mindI’ve noticed at work a few times that I start to feel really anxious and need to go into the bathroom to settle down. I’m having a few problems with my boss and I wonder if it’s related to stress or if it could be a different health issue. How can I tell if this is just “normal” stress or possibly an anxiety disorder?

Dear Mom,

Some anxiety can be a part of normal life and usually isn’t a problem. So how do we know when it’s excessive or whether to ask for help?

As part of normal life or just our shared experience as humans, anxiety serves a purpose. It can help us prepare for or avoid difficulties in the future. Generally speaking, anxiety is what we experience when we’re thinking about something that may happen in the future that may be negative. Anxiety is on a continuum, with fear and panic being responses to something more immediate, either real or imagined. Fear, like anxiety has served a purpose as it has helped us have the physical activation for “fight or flight” and to ultimately survive danger.

So, clearly anxiety serves an adaptive purpose, and to that end there is a very physical component to the emotion. The muscle tension, restlessness, and increased heartbeat are usually early indicators. In children that can manifest as crying, clinging, or failing to speak. If this progresses to panic, these symptoms become amplified, and sweating, trembling, and even shortness of breath can occur.

Along with the physical symptoms, there are changes in thinking. With anxiety comes worry. In panic you can have thoughts that you are losing control or are going to die. And…you can have all of that without having a mental illness.

Anxiety and panic become a problem that may need treatment if these symptoms are excessive, don’t go away, and cause you to make changes in your life that may not be in your best interest. For many people who have a significant problem with anxiety, it can cause them to avoid their friends and make it very difficult to form new relationships. Often people miss social or work opportunities. It can make simple things like going to work, or class, or shopping a huge undertaking or seemingly impossible.

There are a variety of disorders that have anxiety as a component: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD being a few. There are also specific anxiety disorders such as Separation Anxiety (both children and adults), Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, and Panic Disorder.

The good news is that there are very successful treatments for anxiety. The front line of these treatments is really to learn to recognize the physical symptoms and use simple interventions to slow the physical response and prevent progression to panic. This can be as easy as learning techniques to control your breathing. Learning to identify and examine your thinking is also key. It’s not uncommon for someone with anxiety to have really negative self-talk that goes something like this: “I have a toothache. What if it’s a brain tumor? or “If I go to this party I’ll probably lose it, and it will be an epic fail,” or for children  “What if my mom dies while I’m at school?”

Those thoughts can be devastating and if not challenged create excessive worry, anxiety, and panic. The good news is that talk therapy can be very effective at slowing or stopping the physical response to anxiety and also effective at changing the negative thinking patterns that create the anxiety.

In some cases it may be necessary to consult a physician to determine whether medications may be indicated, especially if there is another disorder, such as Biploar that is contributing to anxiety. Whatever the situation, and whether it is you or a friend or loved one who may be struggling with this issue, relief from the pain and isolation caused by anxiety is absolutely within reach.

I wish you the very best as you work through this problem, and please know that we’re here to help if you need us.

Jared's Pic for MHCAJared Sparks, LCSW, PhD is the Clinical Director of Ozark Guidance. He completed his PhD in Social Work from Tulane University and has a MSW and BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama. Jared is active in the local mental health community and serves on the NW Arkansas Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

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