Beauty Buzz: Best lip balms heading into fall

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and beauty editor

When the kids head back to school, it is glorious! Freedom, sweet freedom!

For the first few weeks.

Then the after-school activities start to feel impossible and the homework assignments continue piling up — and the morning fights over what to wear because your daughter REFUSES TO WEAR THE CLOTHES YOU BOUGHT HER! Okay, deep breath. I had a point.

As we get back into the swing of things, I’m finding my summer makeup of chapstick, tinted moisturizer and mascara is not enough for all of the meet-the-teachers and PTA meetings. I look less “I’ve been hanging at the pool all day” and more “I just rolled out of bed and may have forgotten my bra”.

Yikes, not the look I’m going for. But it is still way too hot for full makeup that is probably going to melt off sitting at soccer practice anyway. Luckily, there is a magical product that lights your whole face up, adds color and makes it looks like you care (even if you kind of don’t) and that is lipstick. As Elizabeth Taylor said, “Put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

When you are still in the in-between stages of summer and winter makeup, the perfect solution is tinted lip balms. They add color while still hydrating when you are sweltering in the sun and will prep your lips nicely for the drying, winter months ahead.

baby lipsMaybelline Babylips lip balm is my personal favorite because of it’s super moisturizing properties as well as it’s lack of a distinct flavor or smell (as a compulsive lip-licker, flavored anything is a major no-no). The Grapevine shade pairs well with my normal lip stick choices for when I want more color but still need the moisture, but I am dying to try Berry Bomb, that boasts a sweet berry tinge.

If you know you are going to be stuck in the sun with no shade (I’m looking at you, soccer fields) don’t forget to protect the delicate skin of your lips. Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm with SPF 20 in Soft Caramel provides protection and leaves you with a beautiful cappuccino hue.

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I went out to dinner this weekend with some family and three of the women pulled out Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm after dinner, all in different shades. Traditional Burt’s has been at the top of every chapstick list I’ve ever read but I didn’t realize how large of a selection they had now. With Shea butter and plant oils combined with the famous bees wax, you can’t go wrong.

burt's bees cropped

If you have the self control to not lick your lips and you always steal the Bonne Bell chapstick out of your daughter’s Easter basket, then try NYC Applelicious Glossy Balm. The sweet smelling gloss leaves a pinkish-red sheen.

colorburst croppedIf you’re looking for more color saturation but still want the benefits of a balm, try Revlon Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Sultry. Revlon combined a long lasting lipstick with a trio of moisturizing butters to achieve hydrating color that lasts all day. This is going on my shopping list right now.

One of the other benefits to tinted lip balms is the ability to add multiple layers for more color or one light layer for just a touch of blush.

That makes them a perfect starter for tweens who are suddenly wanting to wear makeup to school or for special occasions. As our junior high yearbooks can attest, it is so easy to go so wrong in the early stages of make up wearing.

Two words: mood lipstick.

Happy fall!

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Giveaway: Farmland Adventures Family Fun Pack!


Now that it’s officially fall, it’s officially time to get to the PUMPKIN PATCH, mamas!

And we’re proud that one of the best pumpkin patches/corn mazes in Northwest Arkansas is a sponsor here at nwaMotherlode. Farmland Adventures allows families the opportunity to experience a real farm and to enjoy LOTS of great family-friendly activities for one admission price.

Admission covers all of Farmland’s attractions, including the giant corn maze, mini maze, pumpkin patch, pedal karts, play areas, wagon ride, pony rides, petting farmhuman foosball and more. And today we’re giving away a Family 4-Pack to visit Farmland Adventures and enjoy all of these activities!

farmland adventures 2016HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win this Family 4-Pack to Farmland Adventures, click on the word “comments” (right under the headline of this post) and scroll down to the bottom of the comments posted by other moms. Then write a quick comment telling us what your kids love most about Farmland Adventures — or what they look forward to doing when you visit!

Click here to see all the activities offered at Farmland.

You can also email your answer to us at

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 on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

flashlight-nightsYou 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), 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.

CLICK HERE to visit the Farmland Adventures Facebook page so you can be the first to know about any special hours, special admission prices or fun tidbits about life on the farm! Here’s their latest coupon, which you can use this coming weekend:


Devotion in Motion: An important truth for all couples

9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  ~ Mark 10:9  (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I think the State of Tennessee is onto something good. If you’ll participate in 4 hours of pastoral counseling before your wedding, they’ll give you a big discount on the cost of your marriage license. I don’t know if it will help cut down on the divorce rate there, but it surely couldn’t hurt anything.

wedding-rings2Last year a young man from my congregation was marrying a lovely young woman from Tennessee. They came to my house for the prerequisite pre-marital counseling. He asked me how many years Susan and I had been married, and I told him that we had been married for 30 years. “Thirty happy years, right Brother John?” he replied.

I think they were shocked by my answer. “No, we haven’t had thirty happy years,” I said. “Maybe 27 happy years. Or maybe only 25. It depends if you count pieces of years. And how you define ‘happy’.”

The young man went to his mother’s home and asked her if she thought I was kidding him. She told him,“If Brother John told you that, he probably wasn’t teasing. Marriage isn’t easy. And true love doesn’t always run smooth.”

Susan and I have had more good days (and years) than bad ones. We’ve had much more joy than sadness. But there’ve been some rough patches, too. Serious problems. Maybe we even (briefly) thought about getting divorced. It’s been especially hard because we’ve always had to work out problems on our own. When you’re the preacher and his wife, you don’t really advertise that you’re not getting along.

So I think one of the best things we can do is to be honest with young married couples. True love doesn’t always run smoothly. But with some work (and the grace of God) most things can be worked out.

Well, Susan and I went to that young couple’s wedding in Tennessee. At the reception, the DJ said that all the married couples had to get up and dance, so Susan and I did. After that, he started thinning out the crowd; everybody married for less than 5 years had to sit down, and then everybody who had been married less than 10 years had to sit down.

Finally, he had all the couples who had been married less than 30 years sit down. Susan and I looked around, and we were left with about five other couples.

It was a really cool feeling to be numbered among the couples who had beaten the odds, weathered the storms, and stayed together. I told Susan, “I sure am glad we didn’t bust up.”

Then Susan started crying. I hope that was because she was happy, too.

rp_john-l-cash-212x300.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 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 calendar says “Autumn” but the thermometer says “92 Degrees”.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at

The Rockwood Files: What’s for dinner?

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

There’s one question that haunts me. I can’t shake it. No matter how many times I answer, it comes back for more, more, more: “What’s for dinner?”question mark2

Honestly? I have no idea. But that doesn’t keep everyone from asking. These kids and their growing appetites have made answering this question more pressing than ever.

When the kids were between the ages of 3 and 7, we lived in the stage of questions. “Why are cars able to go so fast, Mom?” “Why do people call them cars? How did they get that name?” “Who gets to name things?” Tom and I felt like all we ever did was answer questions and then answer the questions triggered by the answers.

But now that the kids are between the ages of 14 and 9, we’ve left the constant questioning behind and have entered the age of constant hunger. The only times the kids aren’t hungry are the times when they’re unconscious. If their eyes are open, they’re hungry or they’re thinking about the next time they might get hungry and planning accordingly.

They’re hungry in the morning, at lunch, after school, right before dinner, at dinner, an hour after dinner and right before bed. The after-school hunger seems to be the most intense. Judging by how famished they are at 3 p.m., I’d guess that their teachers are having them dig educational trenches all day.

Today I picked up our 14-year-old son from school, and he hadn’t even shut the car door yet when he started reporting on his extreme hunger: “Mom, I’m so hungry. I really need some food right now. My stomach is so empty. I could eat a cow. No, I could eat two cows, stacked on top of each other – with mustard.”frenchs-mustard

(I’m still trying to erase the visual image of stacked cows slathered in mustard.)

The good news is that this near-constant state of hunger has helped the kids develop some cooking skills. The teenager has learned to make his own burgers and practices almost daily. Over the summer alone, his burger consumption probably wiped out an entire herd of cattle and doubled profits for the French’s mustard company.

When they were little, there were days when I had to practically beg the kids to eat. I’d do almost anything to get them to consume a chicken nugget or a bite of green beans before they ran off to their next adventure. But now, food is the adventure they’re interested in. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” “Are we going somewhere for dinner?” “Can we go right now?” “Are you going to eat that dinner roll, or can I have it?”

As you might imagine, all the eating has fueled some serious growth spurts. When I bump into friends who ask what I’ve been up to lately, I say two things: “I am the maker of food and the buyer of pants.” When I’m not at the grocery store, I’m at the mall buying longer jeans because their current pants are now an inch above the ankle.

I’ve never been a fan of those all-you-can-eat buffets, but I’m beginning to understand the logic behind it. When kids are in a growth spurt, they are much like a swarm of locusts, capable of wiping out an entire pantry before you can say burrito.

The next time they ask me what’s for dinner, maybe I’ll just hand them my checkbook and tell them to gnaw on that while I go out and wrangle a couple of stacked cows – with mustard on top.

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of 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.

The Friday 5: Fun things to do this weekend in NWA, Sept. 23-25

Friday 5

Of course, there’s Bikes, Blues and BBQ happening this weekend! There are also a few offshoots:

bikes-blues-and-brains1. Bikes, Brews & Brains, Saturday. Make the Razoback Greenway your get-away route to Bikes, Brews and Brains for an evening of games, downtown brews and fun. On Saturday, the Downtown Springdale Alliance will host a Northwest Arkansas event that’s really unique.

Participants will fill downtown businesses while competing to see who is the brainiest person in Northwest Arkansas (based on points added up on your scorecard by the end of the event) and walk away with a crisp $100 bill.

Come play your favorite games and ride in bike drag races (if that’s your thing) in an easily walkable or bikable stretch of downtown from 6-9 p.m. for just $5. Games on tap include a bike drag race on Emma Avenue, Pictionary in Core Public House, Street Twister, giant Connect Four, bike-themed trivia at Black Apple Crossing, Clue at Emma Avenue Bar & Tap and many, many more.

Other awards include a “bikealope” wall hanging, $50 for second place, and a downtown gift card for third place.

Click here for more info!

2. Barks & Brews, Saturday. From 3-8pm (3-4 registration, 4-6 show, 6-8 after party) at the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market on Cherry Street. Main Street is hosting a dog show to raise money for City of Rogers Animal Shelter.

barks-and-brews-useContest Categories include:

  • Dog/Owner Lookalike
  • Best Trick
  • Best Costume
  • I’m so ugly, I’m cute
  • Cutest Dog (under 20lbs)
  • Most Adorable Medium Dog (21-40lbs)
  • Best Looking Big Dog (40lbs or more)
  • Best in Show

Click here for more info and to register your dog!

3. Family Story Time, Bentonville Public Library, Saturday.

This event happens every Saturday and is from 2-2:30 p.m. at BPL. After story time, families can work on a craft together. No registration required. All ages.

Click here for more info!

Amazeum logo4. Zing Adventures at the Amazeum, Saturday, 9-10 a.m. or 11 a.m. to noon. This program is for kids ages 4-6 and is open to members and non-members.

September’s theme is VROOM! WHOOSH! BOING! Time to ride some sound waves! Sound is all around us at the Amazeum. Many exhibits throughout the museum include experiences with sound and this workshop will ignite your child’s desire to want to learn more about science of sound.

$10 Amazeum member child + adult caregiver
$15 non-member child + adult caregiver

Advanced registration and payment required.

Click here for more information!

5. Super Saturday, Stevens Puppets, FPL. Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Walker Community Room.

Stevens Puppets tours fully-staged productions of fairy-tales and classic children’s literature, featuring hand-carved wooden marionettes in front of colorfully hand-painted scenery.  The charming puppets come alive in their miniature worlds, transporting their audiences through magical journeys of endearing stories, raucous laughter, and artistic beauty.  The puppeteers give life to their little actors, weaving a spell of childhood over audiences of all ages, as they invite everyone along for a trip through “once upon a time.”

Click here for more info!