Good Gossip: Scott Eastwood, Ryan Reynolds and Garth

good gossip celebrities

Yes, 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 because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

As always, this feature is sponsored by Great Day Farms, a national brand based right here in NWA. Look for their products at the Walmart Supercenter. Click HERE to like them and get coupons on their Facebook page.

crisp packet clutchWho knew a chips bag could be so fashionable? Apparently the new “it” bag is called the Anya Hindmarch “Crisp Packet Clutch” and it looks like a shiny bag of chips. (“Crisp packet” is what they call chips in the United Kingdom.) Celebrities including Kerry Washington, Lily James, Olivia Wilde and Brooklyn Decker have all been photographed carrying the unusual bag. But these “chips” aren’t cheap! The clutches are made of polished metal and one bag costs more than $1,500.

garth brooks 2015We have a ton of parenting respect for Garth Brooks, who is staging a big country music comeback now that his three daughters have grown up and left the nest. In a recent People magazine interview, the singer says that people questioned how he could walk away from music 15 years ago to concentrate on being a good dad to his three daughters. His response? “…Being a dad — there’s nothing that can touch that.” He’s also pretty good at fatherly advice. Here are some of the words of wisdom he has always shared with his daughters: “I told my girls, ‘Don’t let the world decide who you are. You decide who you are.’” He also said he put his daughters to work pretty early, adding “once you’ve figured out how to wait on people and clean toilets, it makes you very mindful of how you treat the people who are serving you.” That’s one smart daddy.

kinopoisk.ruScott Eastwood is being called the “sexiest son alive” as he makes headlines as the leading man in the new movie “The Longest Ride.” (Scott is the son of legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood.) Scott said that, although people think he just started acting recently, he has been working at it for about 12 years. “I said I would give myself 10 years, and if it didn’t work out, I would be a firefighter or something. And things just sort of took off.” The actor is single and says his idea of a great weekend is renting a beach house with friends and bringing along “surfboards, fishing gear, Coronoa and pretty girls.”

ryan reynolds 2015Have you ever been busted by an onlooker while you were rocking out to a good song on the radio? It happened to Ryan Reynolds, too. He told People magazine that he was singing along to “These Dreams” by Heart. (Remember that song from the 80s?) “I was lip-synching ferociously in the car the other day. And a busload of kids were looking at me, laughing. Not the song you want to get caught rocking out to.”

Source: People magazine, April 20, 2015 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day All Natural Eggs. These eggs are produced by happy hens who are fed premium vegetarian diets with no animal fats, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Great Day Farms also offers hard-boiled eggs, which you can find in the deli section of the Walmart Supercenter. (Love the hard-boiled eggs because they’re peeled and ready to eat! Perfect in salads.)

Giveaway: Win 4 NWA Mom Prom Tickets!

Mom Prom postcard snipWOW. The NWA Mom Prom is only about six weeks away!

It’s going to be such a blast and we’d love to have you there. So we’re giving away FOUR tickets so one lucky mama can go and bring three of her favorite friends.

WHAT IS MOM PROM? Ladies (you don’t have to be a mom to attend!), NWA Mom Prom is a massive girls’ night out, intended for women and mothers age 21 and up.

It looks and sounds just like a real prom, except we ditched all the teenage drama and angst and left only the fun stuff. This is the PERFECT opportunity to dress up, go out with your friends, eat, dance, laugh, have professional and photo booth photos made with your buddies, AND possibly win one of the amazing raffle prizes featured at Mom Prom.

We don’t want to forget that one of you could also win the title of NWA Mom Prom Queen 2015 (hey, that rhymes!).

The Prom Queen will be chosen at random from among ALL the ticket holders, so anyone can win :)

There’s no other event like this one in NWA. Although Mom Proms happen across the country in various cities, this is the ONLY one in the state of Arkansas.

A portion of proceeds go to support a local non-profit called Saving Grace, which helps girls who have turned 18 and have aged out of the foster care system. Without Saving Grace, many of these young girls would end up homeless.

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win these 4 Mom Prom tickets, throw your name in the online hat! Just click on the words “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us which song you would LOVE to dance to at the prom! We’ll collect all your suggestions and ask our DJ to play them all night!

prom theme 2015We know you’ll help us make an AWESOME playlist of dance songs. The songs can be new or old — just as long as they make you want to get up and dance!

Since the theme is going to be “A Night in the Tropics”, I’m sure we’ll have to play Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

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

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about the Mom Prom tickets 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. Click here to sign up.)

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, ladies! If you don’t want to take any chances, click here to buy your ticket now!

Crystal Bridges: Summer Camps + Things to do with the Kids

crystal bridges art

Crystal Bridges has some awesome summer camps coming up.

These indoor/outdoor programs include time in the galleries, outside on the trails, and in the studios for a fun-filled week of art for kids ages 6 to 12.

Sessions include: Drawing, Painting, Mixed-Media Mania, Art and Animals, Art and Nature, Video Selfies, The Dancing Museum, and All About Andy, centered around Warhol’s Nature, an exhibition opening at the museum in July.

PrintAll materials, plus healthy snacks, are included. CLICK HERE for more info.

In addition to info about summer camps, we also asked some questions about visiting Crystal Bridges with kids.

Here’s the Q&A:

Q: Some museums are “stuffy” and kids don’t seem welcome. Are kids allowed in every part of Crystal Bridges?

Kids are always welcome in all of Crystal Bridges’ galleries!

Kids often respond to works of art quite differently from adults, because they don’t have that sense of needing to “know something” about the works in order to appreciate them. In fact, if you feel a little puzzled about, say, the Abstract Expressionist works in Van Gogh to Rothko, bring a kid along to help you see the works with fresh eyes!

van gogh

Q: Can you tell me about the areas of the museum that cater to kids?

We have two great art-making areas in the Museum right now that kids of all ages will enjoy:

  • The Artist’s Studio, associated with the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
  • Experience Art Studio, our year-round space for art making and creative play.

stellaAnd of course the Museum grounds are a wonderful resource for families—especially the Art Trail, where kids can encounter playful sculptures such as Stella the pig!

Q: For those who have never been to the museum, but they want to visit with their kids, what would you say they MUST do?

First: take it easy.

Don’t feel like you have to cram everything into one visit. And be willing to experience the artworks at a kid’s pace.

My own son, when he was about 5 to 7, viewed art galleries by moving through them three or four times at top speed. At first I thought I should slow him down, but in fact, his rocket pace kept him from whining about me moving too slowly, and me from being irritated by the whining, and we still got a good experience of the art, noticing something different on every pass.

Other than that, I’d say don’t miss some of the outside attractions, in addition to the galleries: the walk up to Crystal Spring from the South Lawn is short, and leads you to an enchanting little area that kids will enjoy where the spring comes up from under a rocky ledge.

Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture and others are out on the South Lawn, as well.

Q: What about if they’re visiting without children?

The Crystal Bridges Library is located on the third floor and is a great place for quiet reflection, to take in the views of the upper pond, and to browse through a huge selection of books about American art and artists.  Once you’ve discovered an artist you like in the galleries, come upstairs to the Library and look up some more information on that artist!  (By the way, the Library has a children’s section, too, so it’s not just for grown-ups!)

Q: What about things to do just outside the museum doors? 

This is the time of year to GET OUTSIDE at Crystal Bridges!

crystal bridgesThings are starting to bloom everywhere and in some places it’s just breathtaking, so get out there!

We have more than three miles of trails here on the grounds, and each trail has its own attractions. Pick up an Outside brochure in the lobby and choose your path, or join the Spring Showcase Trail Experience, a guided tour of the grounds that provides information about the spring blooms.

Crystal Bridges’ new Outdoor App will be available in early May and will feature maps, a plant guide, information about artworks, and more. Watch for its debut on Mother’s Day weekend.

Look for the green “Eco-Boxes” on the grounds, too: they are hand-powered audio devices that play recorded information about the history, artworks, or plants in a specific area.

If you come in the evening, stroll up the Orchard Trail or the Tulip Tree Trail toward the Museum’s Additional Parking area and stretch out on one of the comfortable benches to enjoy the mesmerizing colors of Leo Villareal’s illuminated artwork, Buckyball.

Q: Since the museum is free, do visitors have to check in or can they just walk in and start looking around?

We ask everyone to check in. It helps us keep track of how many guests are visiting Crystal Bridges and where they are coming from.

Our Guest Services associates will ask you for your zip code and one or two other questions for our records. They can also give you lots of information about the Museum and events or programs that may be happening the day of your visit.

Of course, if you want to purchase tickets to a temporary exhibition, you would do that at Guest Services, as well.

crystal bridges view

Q: Does the museum restaurant, Eleven, have food options that would appeal to kids?

Yes, there are children’s options on both the lunch and dinner menus. Eleven’s grilled-cheese sandwich is one of the snazziest anywhere!

Q: What about special evenings out for couples at Eleven?

Dinner at Eleven on a Wednesday or Friday night can be a relaxing, romantic event, and on Fridays, you can enjoy live music in the restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m.

Our Gallery Guides offer a short “Nightcap Tour” at 7:30 on Wednesday and Friday: it’s a half-hour tour that focuses on three or four of the favorite artworks in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection.

Q: What’s new at the museum right now?

We are very pleased to have recently reopened our 1940s to Now Gallery, which was closed for re-installation.  There are many artworks in this new arrangement that are either new acquisitions, or have never been on view at the Museum before.

Q: Are there any future plans we can look forward to?

There’s always something new coming!

Mother’s Day weekend will be especially fun this year, because it coincides with our first-ever Crystal Bridges Garden Party in celebration of National Public Gardens Day on Saturday, May 8.  We’ll have art making, information, live music, activities, and a native plant sale at various locations all around the grounds.

Plus, award-winning garden writer Amy Stewart will give an illustrated presentation on her popular book Wicked Plants, so don’t miss it!  The Museum Store is also hosting a jewelry trunk show and sale that weekend, just in time to pick out something pretty for Mom.

Looking further ahead, of course, we eagerly anticipate the completion of the reconstruction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman Wilson House on the Museum grounds later this year! Keep your eyes on the Museum’s website for information about the date.

For a full list of events coming up at Crystal Bridges, click here. CLICK HERE to register for summer camps online or call guest services at 479.657.2335.

2 Recipes for that Meat and Potatoes Guy (or Girl)

Mealtime-mama1

Long before there was a Food Network, Christa Roy of Springdale was taping her own cooking segments with the help of her two younger sisters who served as culinary assistants.

Christa’s mother still has the cake-making video her oldest daughter made illustrating how to, as the instructions say, “mix well by hand.” Her mother walked into the kitchen during that part of the demonstration to find Christa wrist-deep in the batter. She had taken the directions literally.

Christa’s family jokingly refers to her as Rachael Ray with her history of recipe-making recordings, bubbly personality and delicious kitchen outcomes. Christa, mom to a son and daughter, doesn’t tape her own kitchen shows anymore (she has a full-time job that doesn’t involve cooking), but she still dominates in the kitchen.

“My one and only hobby is cooking,” she says. “I’ve tried scrap-booking, you name it, but being in the kitchen is my creative outlet.”

Here are two of Christa’s delicious recipes.

MEATBALLS

3 pounds ground beef

12 ounces evaporated milk

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

onion1 cup cracker crumbs

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Roll into meatballs the size of walnuts. Put approximately 45 meatballs into a 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until no longer pink. Take the remaining meatballs and freeze them for approximately four hours, then place in the freezer to bake later. While meatballs are baking, make sauce, which should be poured over meatballs the last 10 minutes of baking.

SAUCE (for approximately 45 meatballs or half of recipe):

2 cups ketchup

1 cup brown sugar

½teaspoon liquid smoke

½teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup finely chopped onion

Directions: Cook on low until sugar is dissolved. Pour over meatballs last 10 minutes of baking.

TWICE-BAKED POTATOES (“the easy way”)

10 to 12 red potatoes

1 clove garlic

1 cup cheddar cheese

¼cup green onions

1 tablespoon Morton’s seasoning blend

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

1 stick butter

Half ‘n Half

Directions: Boil potatoes and garlic until tender then mix all ingredients with a mixer while slowly adding half n’ half to desired consistence. Place potato mixture into a 9 X 12 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until hot (about 30 to 45 minutes).

Note from the mamas: This post originally published on nwaMotherlode in April 2008. It was one of the first recipes we published on the website.

Devotion in Motion: Don’t be a two-timer

2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!.    

Psalm 119:2  (NKJV)

 By Bro. John L. Cash

I work with a lot of preachers at the school where I teach, and we are always comparing notes. All of us had big crowds at our churches on Easter Sunday. We agreed that attendance is better on Easter because you always have an influx of “two-timers.” Now, before you get the wrong idea, in preacher-talk church pew2“two-timers” aren’t people who are unfaithful to their spouses. A “two-timer” is a person who comes to church two times a year — on Christmas and Easter.

“You know,” I said to my friends, “if a person considers himself to be a part of Christianity and doesn’t come to church even on Easter, he’s really fallen off the radar screen. A Christian who doesn’t go to church even on Easter really isn’t much at all.”

One of my preacher friends gave a reply that I found particularly insightful. “Brother John,” he said, “I look at it a little differently than that. The Lord has made me, and given me life and everything that I need, and sent His Son to die in my place so that I can have eternal life. If I don’t go to His house to see Him every Sunday, I’m really not much at all.”

Ouch! I think he hit the nail on the head.

In view of what God has done for you, don’t be a two-timer.

Give your whole heart to God.

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 has been swamped with standardized-tests at school this week.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).