• Above & Beyond in Northwest Arkansas
  • Northwest Arkansas Calendar + Valentine’s Events: February 2017
  • 2017 Spring Break Guide: Northwest Arkansas Camps & Events for Kids

The Friday 5: Fun things to do this weekend in Northwest Arkansas

Birds & Breakfast, Hobbs State Park


Hobbs State Park Conservation Area is hosting a program called Birds & Breakfast this weekend, and it will be perfect for the animal lovers in your family! Enjoy coffee and breakfast at the park in the close company of some of Arkansas’ favorite songbirds. The Wildlife Society of the University of Arkansas will be catching song birds like goldfinches and chickadees, handling the birds as they allow everyone a firsthand look at their beautiful plumage, and then releasing them back into the wild. Breakfast is sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited. The event sponsor is 3-D Pet Products. This event is free, and no registration is required.

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time: 9-10:30am

Location: Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area, Rogers

More info: Click here


Dr. SeussSuper Saturday: Read Across America

The Fayetteville Public Library (FPL) is celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday this weekend with a special party! Special guests will include Mayor Lioneld Jordan, local meteorologist Dan Skoff, and librarian Lolly Greenwood, who will be reading favorite Suess stories. Your kids will be thrilled with facepainting, balloons, birthday cake, and even a visit from Cat in the Hat! This event is free, and no registration is required.

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time: 10:30am

Location: Fayetteville Public Library

More info: Click here


Mardi Gras in Fayetteville

mardi gras parade

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Fayetteville this weekend with the Fat Saturday Parade of Fools! The parade will start on the Fayetteville square at 2pm, and will end at the Walton Arts Center parking lot. The parade will be led by KUAF news director, Kyle Kellams. Come for the costumes and the floats, stay for the beads, music, and dancing!

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time: 2 to 4pm

Location: Downtown Fayetteville

More info: Click here


Swing Dancing at Mama Carmen’svintage couple dancing

If you’ve never been swing dancing, you’re missing out—but Saturday night is the perfect night for you! The NWA Swing Dance Society is hosting a night of free swing dancing in a fun environment at Mama Carmen’s coffee shop this Saturday night. The club will teach a brief lesson at 5:30, and open floor dancing starts at 6pm. Bring the whole family out for this one!

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time: 5:30-8:30

Location: Mama Carmen’s Espresso Cafe, Fayetteville

More info: Click here


Slam Poetry Workshop at Crystal Bridges

This Sunday, Crystal Bridges is offering high school students with a knack for the creative an opportunity to learn to express themselves through a unique genre—slam poetry! Performance poet Houston Hughes will be teaching the basics and helping students develop their own slam poetry. This event is free, no registration required.

Date: Sunday, February 26

Time: 2-3:30pm

Location: Crystal Bridges, Bentonville

More info: Click here

5 Minutes with a Mom: Stephanie Hardy

Stephanie Hardy 2017

5 Minutes with a Mom logo 2017, FNBNWA 525

Name: Stephanie Hardy

Kids’ names and ages:

Brylee age 10, Madelyn age 8, Emily age 6

How long have you lived in NWA and what brought you here?

I was born and raised here in NWA! I did travel a lot after high school when I joined the United States Army and served for 6 years. But this is my hometown and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Tell us about a day in your mom life:

kids lunchOh boy, where do I begin?! We wake up at 6 am and get ready for work  (I am a teacher) and they get ready for school. We prepare the night before getting clothes laid out, lunches made and shoes found…because I have learned that preparing the night before saves us about a hour worth of headaches, looking for socks and that other missing shoe.

I love that I am able to drop my kiddos off at school…I still yell out the window, “I love you and have a great day!” I will do that every time even if it embarrasses them!

After work and school my kids are active in the Boys and Girls Club! They have such a amazing program and have been a huge blessing for us. They train there 2x a week for 5ks and even take cooking classes. The programs are absolutely amazing and my kids love it!

I love dinner time and dinner time is always a special time because it’s a home cooked meal and we sit together around the table and talk about everything and anything. It’s bonding time for us and I enjoy it so much!

What was the last thing you laughed out loud about?

My daughter who is 6 is always so full of surprises with what she says…they other day she came up with this and I laughed out loud for hours….I told her that she needed to get  along with her sisters and she came back with, “I just cant help it Mom, I was just born this way!”

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Definitely to be able to clone myself…Oh, the things I could get done!! To be cleaning, working, gymnastics practice, sport events,  well you get it…all of those places at once….whew that would be amazing!

What’s your favorite “me time” spot?

i love coffeeEarly in the morning I like to make a cup of coffee and just sit on my back porch and relax…its so peaceful.

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

I would love to travel route 66 and see all those incredible places along the way!

How would your best friends describe you?

Fun, outgoing and crafty!

What’s your favorite music and why?

I love the 80s music…Its just so fun!! It gets me moving and dancing, especially when cleaning!

When you’re feeling low, what’s your go-to activity?

Gardening! Who doesn’t smile when they are in a flower bed?

Do you have any plans for the summer?

This year we’ll be spending time outdoors…lots of fishing, camping and s’mores!

Which hobby would you like to pick up again?

Flea marketing!

What do you most want people to remember about you?

That I was a great Mother and even through hard times I still smiled and have gave it my all!

One word to sum me up:


Click here to visit the First National Bank of NWA website or follow them here on Facebook. FNBNWA is a full-service bank and has multiple branches, including:

  • fnb small logo801 N Dixieland Road, Rogers, 479-621-6800
  • 3706 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy, Rogers, 479-464-9060
  • E. Pleasant Grove Rd., Lowell, 479-659-7100
  • 350 E. Centerton Blvd., (Hwy 102), Centerton, 479-795-4200
  • 2638 E Joyce, Suite 1 Fayetteville, 479-856-7800

Ask an Allergist: Can I have seasonal allergies in the winter?

HEDBERG color logo 2017 200I’m used to dealing with allergy symptoms in the spring and fall, but why am I still having trouble with them in the winter? Isn’t all the pollen gone? Do rapid temperature fluctuations (like unseasonably warm days in winter) cause allergy symptoms to come back?   

Response by Dr. Matt C Bell, MD – Board Certified Allergist of Hedberg Allergy & Asthma Center

The easiest answer to this question, and the most likely, is that what you’re dealing with is not allergy-related at all. While there are some allergens that persist through the winter (dog, cat, dust mite, and cockroach, for example), winter should be a time when we have a bit of a respite from outdoor allergies.

tissue boxWe will occasionally see some outdoor allergens: outdoor mold levels spike during unseasonably warm, windy days and pollen from cedar trees peaks in the wintertime. Outside of those things, however, winter is typically a time of relief for those suffering from classic spring/fall pollen allergies.

The most likely culprit for the nasal congestion and cough that present this time of year is a viral upper respiratory infection. While viruses can (and do) spread any time of the year, they spread more readily in winter. Two key factors influence this: 1) Cold air causes constriction of blood vessels in the nose leading to slower response from immune cells to the site of initial infection;  2) Drier air in the winter time causes viruses suspended in water vapor (from a cough or sneeze) to stay airborne longer, potentially infecting more people.

The absence of sneezing and itchy eyes can help differentiate a viral respiratory infection, or cold, from symptoms caused by allergies. While there are no great treatments for viral respiratory infections, it may be worthwhile to see your primary care doctor if symptoms persist longer than 10-14 days. If your symptoms do include classic allergy signs like sneezing or itchy nose/eyes, it may be worthwhile to see an allergist as there are effective treatments for allergy-induced nasal symptoms.

Dr. BellDr. Matt C. Bell is one of the Board Certified Allergists practicing at Hedberg Allergy & Asthma Center, with locations in Rogers and Fayetteville. The clinic diagnoses and treats asthma, allergic rhinitis and other diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract, drug and insect hypersensitivity, latex allergy, hives, allergic skin disease, recurrent infections and congenital immunologic deficiencies. Hedberg Allergy & Asthma Center was ranked No. 1 in the category of “Best Allergy Clinic” in the most recent Mom-Approved Awards, as voted by mothers in Northwest Arkansas. Click here to visit the clinic’s website or call 479-464-8887 (Rogers) or 479-301-8887 (Fayetteville) for more info.

Slightly Tilted: A Whole Other Story

By Jen Adair, Blogger at Slightly Tilted, Entreprenuer, Homeschool Mom to two fab kiddos

I was in my favorite city last week — Vegas. It’s not my favorite because of the gambling, the shows, the “free” drinks, or any of that. It’s my favorite place because we always meet the most interesting people.

The first morning we were down at the craps table with one other person. It was early, but we’d had our coffee and were ready to play. This old man (I’d say in his 80s) walked over to the table. He was super nice and had a ton of questions. Apparently, he’d been up in his room watching all the tutorials. He tentatively pulled his money out of his wallet and laid it on the table. It was his turn with the dice and he was shaking – literally shaking – with nervous energy. He could barely hold the dice. He had been wanting to learn to play forever and was finally brave enough to try. I asked him if he was out there gambling alone or with family and he said his wife was up in the room, but he thought she’d make him nervous so he wouldn’t let her come down until he had played for a while.

dice-25637_640 (2)I thought…performance anxiety at your age?! But I let the thought go and just laughed to myself. It may have been the mimosa getting to me. Maybe.

The old dude was good and rolled us some awesome numbers, shaking the whole time. He was almost sweating! I was really proud of him for doing something that obviously made him uncomfortable. It reminded me to always be doing, always be learning, and always, always do the things that scare you the most.

We say goodbye and head to a different casino and meet a very nice guy from California. We talk and high five a lot and win a lot of money and then lose a lot of money together. We bonded. Then we went our separate ways.

A couple nights later, we walk into a restaurant and end up eating at the bar. The guy next to us turns around and it’s our California man. What are the odds? (I’m sure they actually know the odds for this in Vegas, but…I’m guessing they are pretty low.) Anyway, he starts talking about how long we’ve been married and blah, blah, blah, and it turns out he’s from India and he and his wife had an arranged marriage. Now, that is interesting. They met a month before they got married. A month.

They lived in India for a year or so – about the length of time it took them to have feelings for each other(!!). Then they moved to the US. He had lived here before, but she hadn’t. She’d never been out of India, and now she was living in San Francisco. Can you imagine? They lived there about a year, and she took a job in Kentucky for 9 months. She taught herself how to drive. She only saw her husband once a month. How brave do you have to be to accomplish all of that?

Don’t people have the most interesting stories? It’s a shame that we end up traveling so far away to hear them. Everyone has their story, if we’d just put down our phones and quit trying to tell our own stories, we’d learn so many things.

I also learned that if a guy on the street asks for crack, but you give him deep fried Oreos, he’s just as happy.

But that’s a whole other story.

Beauty Buzz: How to deal with under eye circles

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3

I am 1001 times over the dark circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. Once only a problem for Hungover Andi, they have become a daily struggle and the realization that this is caused by *gulp* the thinning of my skin due to aging sent me spiraling into the five stages of grief.

Denial: Dang, the lighting in my bathroom is awful…I’ll look better once I’m outside.

Anger: This is ridiculous! I’ve never had dark circles before and I WILL NOT have them now. Period.

Bargaining: Okay, if I start going to bed an hour early instead of searching Pinterest and I drink 8, no 10 glasses of water a day they’ll go away. Yeah, that will work.

Depression: If I’m going to look like a raccoon I might as well just sleep all day and create a burrow on the couch. Loafin’ Joes delivers; I’m just a fat raccoon now. Call me Rocky. *sigh*

Acceptance: Siri, how do I cover these freaking under eye circles?

So, here I am admitting that I need to add a couple of extra steps to my beauty routine which I can accept, because to be honest, I wasn’t really getting that extra hour of sleep anyway.

If your dark circles are accompanied by puffiness there are a few ways to minimize those bags. Preventatively, cut down the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet. Both lead to water retention and increased swelling. You can also sleep on an extra pillow to help drain the fluid that is accumulating around your eyes and apply a cold compress or chilled spoon under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning.

To help hide the discoloration, follow these 3 steps:

1. Prep your skin with an eye cream: Dab a drop of eye cream along the under eye area starting on the inside corner and working your way out. There are a jillion under eye creams on the market because we all know our “wisdom” shows first in our eyes, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples and test it out. A couple of top-rated options are Mario Badescu Skin Care Ceramide Eye Gel , particularly effective for puffiness if you keep it in the fridge, and Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, which lives up to it’s name.

under eye circles2. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them show: I bet Elsa depuffs her eyes every morning with her icy touch but not all of us are that lucky. Gently dot concealer along the under eye area using a thin concealer brush and starting at the inner corner of the eye were circles are darkest. Choose a concealer that brightens and has a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple color of the dark circles. (FYI: Here’s a great guide to what makeup brushes are for what)

3. Seal the deal with powder: Prevent the concealer from settling into creases and wrinkles throughout the day by applying a light translucent powder on top. Or you can use a matte eye shadow two shades lighter than your skin.

If you too are suffering with the loss of your 30-second makeup routine and having trouble coping, there is a support group. We meet at the Chick-fil-A playground in our active wear.

P.S. If your dark circles happen to be brought on by a new baby, a stomach bug raging through your house, an elementary school yearbook deadline that required several all nighters (true story), or having to wait up late for a tardy teenager, you wear those bags with pride, Mama!