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Good Gossip: Meryl, Sandra, Rachel and Shonda

Good Gossip slider 700Yes, we do love a little celebrity gossip but we also know it’s not cool to do something we teach our kids NOT to do. It’s never okay to indulge in stuff meant to humiliate or hurt another person. That’s why we came up with the concept of “Good Gossip,” which is celeb news minus any mean stuff. Have as much as you want and share it with your celeb-loving friends because this “dish” is all guilt-free.meryl streep 2015 small

Okay, so we’re giving the “Quote of the Month” award to the awe-inspiring Meryl Streep, who recently said this when asked what advice she would give to her 18-year-old self: “Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh. There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.” Amen, Meryl.

sandra bullock smallOh, we love reading happy news about celebrity mama, Sandra Bullock. According to a People magazine report, she is dating a photographer named Bryan Randall (and he’s a hottie). Bryan photographed her super cute son, Louis, for his kindergarten graduation photo. Becarachel ray 2015 smalluse he is also a parent, he respects that Louis is her No. 1 priority. The couple have been photographed walking arm-in-arm and looking pretty happy.

Celebrity chef Rachel Ray recently renewed her wedding vows at a castle in Italy. Rachel and her husband, John Cusimano, got married there 10 years ago and often return to the special spot with family anshonda rhimes 2015 smalld friends. Speaking of family, they brought their fur baby, a rescued dog named Isaboo, along on their romantic trip back to Italy.

The creator of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes, looks like a whole new person. She recently lost more than 100 pounds after deciding that she needed to lose weight in order to live a longer, healthy life for her kids. (She’s a single mom to three daughters.) Because she spends so much of her time sitting and writing for her hit shows, she moved a treadmill into her office so she can walk while watching show footage. She also ate smaller portions, wmoana smallhich she said has been hard work. She talks about the weight loss journey and lots more in her new memoir called “Year of Yes” which will hit bookstores next month.

For those of us who still love Disney’s The Little Mermaid, this is exciting news. There’s going to be a new princess in town soon! A 14-year-old actress named Auli’i Cravalho said she wanted to be a Disney princess when she was a little girl. Then a casting director heard her sing in a contest and suddenly she became the lead voice in a new Disney animated film called Moana, which will hit theaters in 2016. It’s about a girl who sails across the uncharted South Pacific, and the film will be directed by the same person who directed The Little Mermaid. Dwayne Johnson will voice another one of the movie characters named Maui. Can’t wait to see it!

Source: People magazine, October 19, 2015 issue

Giveaway: NWA Boutique Show VIP Event tickets + gift cards!

Boutique Show graphic 2015

It’s getting close, mamas! One of our favorite shopping weekends of the year!

The NWA Boutique Show will be Nov. 6-7 this year and you will LOVE it if you’ve never shopped this event. If you have, you know what all the fuss is about and why you need to be there to snag some awesome gifts and goodies for yourself from the 150 unique boutiques.

We’ll have a booth there again this year and we’re planning a spectacular giveaway for the show. Be sure to stop by and see us.

But right now, let’s get to the giveaway: Five winners will each receive ticket packages, which will allow you to bring friends + shop for yourself! Each bundle includes 2 VIP passes ($50 value), 5 general admission passes ($25 value) and 1 $15 merchant gift certificate to be used at the show. Each package is valued at $90. YAS.

About the VIP Shopping Event: This will kick everything off on Friday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. and will run through 11 a.m. when general admission shopping will start.

This will allow you to be the FIRST TO SHOP at the event benefiting the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas!  As a VIP, you’ll get first dibs on all the fabulous shopping, live Christmas jazz and treats from Mama Carmen’s Espresso Café and Ozark Natural Foods. Don’t forget to grab a swag bag filled with goodies. You’ll also receive free return general admission ALL weekend and the chance to win hundreds of great door prizes.

*Girls Night Out requires a separate ticket.

Each of the five nwaMotherlode winners will receive a $15 gift card to one of the following Boutique Show merchants:

curly willow designs, cropped

Curly Willow Designs

sweet home candle, cropped

Sweet Home

chic gypsy boutique.aztec top, cropped

Chic Gypsy Boutique


Summerlin Design Company

kyya chocolate with purpose

Kyya Chocolate

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat to win one of these 5 Boutique Show packages, just click on the words “post a comment” below and tell us what you love most about the Boutique Show. If you’ve never been, we’d love to hear why you want to go!

You can also email your answer to us at giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week.

Our newsletter subscribers get access to the good stuff, including exclusive giveaways (like this one from last week), information about local events, local mom interviews, recipes and more. It’s delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything awesome. CLICK HERE to sign up. We won’t fill your inbox with info, no worries. We only send out newsletters when there’s something in it for you — and we know you’ll be interested in hearing about it.

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll choose a winner on Friday afternoon, mamas! Good luck!

Devotion in Motion: It’s what you know, NOT what you feel


“For we walk by faith, not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

I’m writing this devotion on Tuesday, and I feel one thousand times better than I did yesterday. That’s because most preachers feel terrible on Monday. On Mondays I typically find myself fighting fatigue and a dark mood. Yesterday I told people the same thing that I always say on Monday: “I’ll feel better monday-and-coffee1tomorrow, when Tuesday gets here, just by virtue of the fact that it won’t be Monday.”

I’ve asked a lot of pastors for their opinions, and the consensus is pretty much unanimous. Monday is a hard day for preachers. My brother-in-law, Dr. Ron M. Buck, told me when I entered the ministry that he thought a minister should take a different day besides Monday for his day off, because Monday is pretty much shot anyway.

I asked Bro. C. E. Wall, one of my mentors who’s nearing the age of 80, what he thought of the situation. He told me that for many years he preached twice each Sunday and then went to work at the Highway Department bright and early Monday morning. He summed it up simply: “Oh, John, Mondays were rough. Tuesdays were always better, but Mondays were rough.”

I’m not sure why Mondays are so hard for preachers, but I have some theories. Most preachers work really hard on Sundays and are really happy on the Lord’s Day. As so often is the case, an emotional high is followed by an emotional low. Sometimes we get so wound up that it’s hard to get to sleep Sunday night.

I like my friend Bro. Archie Taflinger’s idea the best. He believes that sometimes we probably don’t take care of ourselves the way we should on the other six days of the week. He says that when we preach on Sundays, the Holy Spirit works in us and through us. God is so much stronger than we are that our frail bodies are overworked by His presence. I think there’s more than a grain of truth in his explanation.

Everybody has a hard day now and again, and I think that’s especially true for mothers. God has placed mothers in a ministry that never ends and that never has a day off. Yet, one thing I have learned is absolutely true. When you’re tired and blue, it’s important not to focus on the way that you FEEL but on what you KNOW to be true.

We walk by faith and not by sight. We are saved by our faith, not by our feelings. The promises that God told us in the light are still true in our darkness. And Jesus’ last promise to His children before He ascended into Heaven is this:“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, dear mother, take heart. The light of Jesus is always with you, even on the cloudiest Monday. And Tuesday always comes again, right in God’s perfect timing.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the preacher and his wife are on their way to visit kinfolks.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: High mileage

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

When I was growing up, we kept our navy blue Pontiac Bonneville a long time – mostly out of necessity and partly because my mother had a hard time letting go of things, including cars, empty Cool Whip bowls and every picture I ever colored in the second grade.

At one point, the car’s headliner – that fabric on the ceiling of the car’s interior – started to pull away from the roof and sag down like an inverted parachute. Before it got low enough to brush against the tops of our heads, we performed a do-it-yourself fix using thumbtacks. We spaced them out evenly which created a quilted appearance, and we used gold thumbtacks, which did not add the touch of class we were hoping for.

From that point on, the car had a series of things go wrong with it until finally the fixes cost more than the car was worth, so Mom and Dad were forced to get a new one. No one was happier to see that old car go than I was – dumb old car with its dumb old problems.

But now I feel bad about looking down on that dumb old car. Because now I am that dumb old car, experiencing my own series of malfunctions on the highway of life.

It started a few months ago when I woke up one morning and limped my way to the bathroom. The bottom of my left foot felt like it had a permanent cramp in it. It was weak and sore and completely unwilling to be used like a regular foot. I chalked it up to a pulled muscle and assumed it would go away in a day or two. It didn’t.

Two weeks of limping to the bathroom convinced me to Google the problem which led me to a WebMD page about plantar fasciitis, which really is as dr-scholls-kioskunpleasant as it sounds. Part of the suggested treatment was wearing orthopedic insoles, which really are as uncool as they sound. So off I went to Walmart to stand on that foot-analyzing Dr. Scholl’s machine in the pharmacy, hoping nobody I knew would walk by while I stood there getting my new insoles.

After a week of using the insoles and stretching my foot, I felt good enough to start walking again for exercise. It was just a few fast walking sessions – not a marathon, not a 5K, not even a slow jog. But after a week of walking, I woke up with a strange pain in my hip – bad enough to send me to Dr. Google once again. The diagnosis? Hip bursitis. Then I checked my birth certificate to make sure I was actually 42 and not 82 because the word “bursitis” does not line up with my youthful outlook on life.

The treatment for my mid-life bursitis is Advil and rest, which is great because I’m an excellent “rester.” No one avoids exercise as well as I do.

But the cherry on top of my broken-down sundae came last week when I felt this mysterious hitch in my ribs – almost like something is stuck in there. It’s more annoying than painful, mostly because it’s a constant reminder of this gradual yet inevitable “wearing out” process that happens to all of us sooner or later.

I haven’t Googled the rib problem yet but I’m pretty sure one of my ribs is out of line, a problem my chiropractor can hopefully help remedy. If not, I may try putting it back in place with a gold thumbtack.

After all, it worked for that old Pontiac.

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Funny Friday: When you can’t find your phone

Does anyone besides us freak out a little when we can’t find our phone? Good to know we’re not alone. This cat totally understands that feeling. (Enjoy and Happy Friday, mamas.)