Giveaway: Maids in Red housecleaning gift card!

maids in red, clean house

In the summertime, there’s so much to do and enjoy. Cleaning house is not at the top of that to-do list for most of us, am I right?

If the idea of having someone else come in and clean your house makes you feel downright giddy, you’ll LOVE this giveaway! One mama will win a $100 gift card toward house cleaning services by a new local cleaning company called Maids in Red.

The company has reasonable rates, so the $100 gift card will cover most of your entire fee — depending on how big your house is — unless you want to add on services like deep cleaning, fridge clean-out or other specialty services. Regardless, $100 will go a long way to getting your house’s sparkle on! {Maids in Red is even waiving the first-time-cleaning fee, so no worries there}

ABOUT MAIDS IN RED: Maids in Red is a new (local) cleaning company in Northwest Arkansas. The “in red” part of the name pays homage to the Hogs :)

The company has flat rates (plus add-on services for reasonable rates) so you don’t have to guess how much they’ll charge. The founder, Andrew Flocks, said he finds the Maids in Red cleaners the same way many other folks find cleaners, by posting ads.

“But from there I devote time to multiple interviews and test cleanings,” he said. “I look at their work history and I run background checks to make sure they are going to perform a premium cleaning.  I do what you would want to do if you had the time to devote to it.”

We interviewed the founder, Andrew Flocks, last week on Motherlode. CLICK HERE to read the full interview with the Maids in Red founder to give you a better idea of how the company operates — including info about their 200% guarantee that you’ll be happy with your cleaning service.

maids in red large

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win this $100 gift card, throw your name in the online hat, mamas!

maids in red, mopTo enter, just click on the words “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us which room in your house could use a good Maids in Red cleaning right now!

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.

(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 afternoon, mamas! Good luck! CLICK HEREto visit the Maids in Red website or call the company at: 

maids in red, phone number

Mealtime Mama: No Ordinary Burger from My Brother’s Salsa

no ordinary burger, my brother's salsa

Happy Monday, mamas!

We love a burger in the summer and Helen over at My Brother’s Salsa has a DELICIOUS recipe for one that’s not ordinary! Be sure to watch the how-to video at the bottom for extra tips and tricks!

No Ordinary Burger


Mealtime Mama, My Brother's Salsa2 lbs  ground beef (80/20)

12  oz. shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

1/2  cup My Brother’s Original Salsa

salt and pepper to taste

8 hamburger buns toasted w/Salsa Butter

lettuce, sliced onion, sliced pickles, sliced tomato

My Brother’s Salsa Sauce/Butter recipes below

My Brother’s Salsa Butter (recipe below)

My Brother’s Salsa Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup My Brother’s Salsa Original Recipe

2 tbsp mustard

My Brother’s Salsa Butter:

1 stick butter, softened

1 Tbls.  fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2-3 Tbls. My Brother’s Original Salsa

salt to taste

Directions: Mix first 3 ingredients, reserving 1/3 of cheese to top burgers; season w/ salt & pepper; gently shape into 8 patties. Transfer to a hot grill and brush with melted Salsa Butter. Cook 9-11 minutes (or to desired doneness), turning once & brushing with Salsa Butter. Top burgers with additional shredded cheese during last minute of grilling. Spread Salsa Sauce on toasted bun, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles.

Salsa Sauce instructions: Mix all ingredients until smooth.  Store refrigerated 2-3 day.

Salsa Butter instructions: Place all ingredients in a food processor & blend until smooth. Chill until ready to use (melt a portion for the burgers and buns in this recipe); refrigerate leftover butter.

Click here to find more of Helen’s tasty recipes!

Devotion in Motion: Kindness 101

5 ¶ But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge. 2nd Peter 1:5 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

My wife Susan was once invited to a special program at one of our local elementary schools. The children were observing and celebrating “Kindness Day.”

In every subject the students are taught, the teachers had incorporated the study of the virtue of kindness—aligning their lesson plans to the Common Core be kindobjectives. They read the biographies of kindly people, recounted kind deeds in American history, and wrote essays about ways they could show kindness. Each classroom worked for weeks on a project in which they could demonstrate their kindness to others on the appointed day.

Upon visiting the campus, Susan was so very impressed with the children’s accomplishments. She said the entire school was imbued with a “distinct vibe”—an ambiance and spirit of kindness.

I think this is the best sort of thing that can happen in the world in which we live. Something I’ve noticed is that we have lots of great sports teams, wonderful marching bands, and students who have high scores on the SATs. All of these things are admirable and worthy. And the reason that students excel in the endeavors is because they study these things and they practice them.

Could it be that kindness and goodness are disappearing from our society because we do not consciously teach them and overtly practice them? Children become what they learn. And the world becomes what the children practice.

With the help of the Lord, and for His sake, let’s strive to always make virtue a required subject.

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 have had a very good–and very busy–week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

remix (4)Note from the mamas: The Summer Remix symbol appears on posts previously published on nwaMotherlode that were noted as a “reader favorite”. If you missed the original publication date, we hope you’ll enjoy this encore performance. Happy summer!

The Rockwood Files: No mood for rude

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

People are rude.

Not all people. And definitely not you. (My research has shown that the people who regularly read this column are not only kind but are also much smarter than the average bear. Congratulations.)

But some people – and you’ve no doubt met many of them – are just plain rude. It isn’t a new realization and yet, when I come across blatant rudeness, I’m still astonished every single time.

We could “why” this situation all day long and sometimes I do. Did their mamas not raise them right? Were their mamas rude? Do they have some kind of personality disorder that predisposes them to rudeness? Are their shoes too tight? There are a million possibilities.

No matter what the explanation, there’s never an excuse for being rude. There just isn’t.

grinch2But since being on the receiving end of rudeness seems inevitable, the big question is “What should we do about it?”

That’s what I struggle with most. Let me give you an example. My mother, who is the polar opposite of rude, once worked with a person who cruised right past rude and didn’t stop until she hit the exit for “hateful.” This lady made the Grinch look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. She was mean-spirited in nearly all her interactions – a school-yard bully in a grown-up workplace. Mom was her favorite target.

(Obviously, I’m biased in this situation. She is my mama, after all. But hundreds of friends, co-workers, church members and acquaintances spread out over more than 60 years cannot all be wrong. All of them would tell you that Mom is like Mrs. Butterworth. She just wants to feed you pancakes and love you – in that order.)

So back to the big question of what to do when someone is rude. The angel on my shoulder agrees with Mom when she says we should pray for rude people. In my heart, I know that’s right. But sometimes, especially when I’m lying in bed at night trying to pray, the devil on my other shoulder starts helping me craft the exact thing I would say to this person if I got the chance. Do you ever do that?

These middle-of-the-night internal monologues are beautifully constructed and delivered with real zing – the perfect mixture of “how dare you” blended with in-your-face truth. But then I wake up the next morning knowing I’ll likely never deliver those stinging words, and I wonder if I’ll ever learn how to stop wanting to spew them at people like the one who was mean to Mom.

The good news here is that prayers were answered. Although Mrs. Rude never changed her hateful ways, she did move away. Mom managed to wish her well as she left. (I wanted to stand by the highway as she drove out of town with a big sign that said “And don’t come back!” But Mom said that would be rude, so I didn’t.)

One thing I’m slowly accepting is that those clever comebacks I’m tempted to say when people are rude won’t solve the problem (although I imagine it would feel awesome to say it.) It wouldn’t make a light bulb go off over that person’s head. It wouldn’t make their heart grow three sizes. And they might never feel bad about what they’ve done, the same way a scorpion doesn’t regret its sting. Perhaps it’s just who they are.

Maybe that’s exactly the reason we should pity and pray for those for whom rudeness comes so easily – because they’re the dark part of everyone’s day and they either don’t know or don’t care or both. What a terrible life sentence to live.

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.

Where to watch fireworks in Northwest Arkansas + July 2015 Calendar of Events

fireworks at the crossFourth of July holiday events:

Fireworks at the Crosses

8th Annual Fireworks at the Crosses at the Pinnacle Hills Campus, will include a patriotic celebration featuring live music, outdoor baptisms, and fireworks. Lots of food and drink options for purchase.

Date: June 26

Time: 5-10 p.m.

Location: Cross Church, Pinnacle Hills campus, Rogers

More info: Click here

Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale

July 1, Rodeo Parade

Fourth of July weekend parade! Join us to observe a patriotic display of cowgirls, floats, bands, entertainment and candy for the kiddos at our Rodeo kick off parade. Beginning at 3:00 pm at the rodeo grounds and proceeding west through downtown Springdale. To win monetary prizes by participating in the float contest, find the rules and entry forms available online.

July 1 – 4    71st Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks

With 71 years of proud tradition, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see some of the roughest and toughest cowboys and cowgirls from all around in one of the Top 5 Largest Outdoor Rodeos in the U.S! Gates open at 6:00 pm. Mutton Bustin’ begins at 6:30. Rodeo begins at 7:30 pm.

July 4   Rodeo Parade

What is red, white, and blue and makes lots of noise? Our Fourth of July weekend parade! Join us to observe a patriotic display of cowgirls, floats, bands, entertainment and candy for the kiddos at our Rodeo parade. Begins at 10:00 am beginning at the rodeo grounds and proceeding west through downtown Springdale.

The last day of the 71st Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks. A fireworks display will take place after the rodeo.
Gates at 6 p.m., the rodeo starts at 7 p.m., and the fireworks begin after the rodeo.


NWA Mall kids’ activities/ fireworks on Friday, July 3rd

Uptown Fayetteville Freedom Fireworks, NWA Mall

7- 9 pm: Free Family Activities. Concert by Boom Kinetic in the upper JCPenney parking lot. Inflatables Outside. Activities Inside. Fireworks Display will be at approx. 9:25pm. *Rain date: Sunday, July 5th

Date: July 3

Time: 7-9 p.m. free kids’ activities (inflatables outside, activities inside) and the fireworks start around 9:25 p.m.

Location: NWA Mall, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Freedom on the Hill

Christian Life Cathedral and KLRC invites you to a family-friendly celebration that includes food, inflatable water slides, activities for children, a horseshoe tournament. Then you can watch the Northwest Arkansas Mall fireworks.

Date: July 3

Time: 6-9:30 p.m.

Location: Christian Life Cathedral, 1285 Millsap Rd., Fayetteville

For more info: Click here

Celebrate Prairie Grove!

The third annual Celebrate Prairie Grove celebration will be held Friday July 3rd beginning at 7   pm at the Prairie Grove Aquatic Park. The pool will be open free to the public, hot dogs and treats will be provided, and the evening will be capped off with a fireworks celebration.

Date: July 3rd

Time: Starts at 7 p.m., fireworks at dusk

Location: Prairie Grove Aquatic Park

More info: Click here

Fireworks Spectacular featuring SoNA

The Walmart AMP and the city of Rogers are presenting a brand new July 4th Fireworks Spectacular this year featuring a patriotic concert by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA). SoNA, under the musical direction of Paul Haas, will present a concert celebrating both the beauty and grandeur of America as well as honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. The program will include beloved music like “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Overture of “William Tell,” “Bugler’s Holiday,” an Armed Forces Salute and so much more! The uplifting and celebratory concert will lead right into the City of Roger’s beautiful fireworks show. FIREWORKS begin at 9:30. A musical salute will be broadcast on KIX 104 to accompany the fireworks. Blankets are welcome, no chairs.

ALSO at the AMP on July 4th, City of Rogers Family Fair:

You and your family can enjoy inflatables, games, hydration stations (provided by Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life), free watermelon (provided by Regions Bank), face painting and more! You don’t need a ticket to attend the City of Rogers Family Fair.

In the north parking lot of the Walmart AMP
Free and open to the public!

NOTE: For this show, ticket holders will be able to go back and forth between the Family Fair outside the Amp and the Amp (normally re-entry is not allowed).

Date: July 4

Time: For fireworks spectacular, gates open at 6 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m.

Location: Walmart Amp, Rogers

More info: Click here for more info and to buy tickets.


4th at the Field, NWA Naturals

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals and The Walmart Museum will be partnering on 4th at the Field at Arvest Ballpark on Saturday, July 4.  In addition to the fireworks show, 4th at the Field will include an exhibition baseball game between two teams from the M.I.N.K Collegiate Baseball League, the Joplin Outlaws and the Nevada Griffons, which will begin at 6:35 p.m. Gates will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. for the special event and the Naturals will have Kansas City Royals Kid Zone passes available for purchase for the four inflatables located down the left field concourse.  The Kids Train, Speed Pitch, and the Bella Vista POA 5-hole Mini Golf Course will also be open throughout the game. The Arvest Ballpark concessions stands will be selling food and beverage throughout the night and ALL seating is General Admission within the seating bowl. Following the exhibition game, the Fireworks Spectacular will start at approximately 9:05 p.m. to conclude the night.

4th at the Field w Walmart Museum LogoTickets for 4th at the Field are $9 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Arvest Ballpark Box Office, at, or by calling our toll free ticket hotline at (877) 444-2637.

Date: July 4th

Time: See event info in italics above

Location: Arvest Ballpark

More info: Click here

An Evening at Orchards Park, Bentonville

Entertainment  will be 19-year-old singer Kaylee Rutland first, then the Arkansas Winds Orchestra. Concessions will be available. Fireworks start around 9:30 p.m.

Date: Saturday, July 4

Time: 7-10 p.m.

Location: Orchards Park

More info: Click here

Devil’s Den State Park Games, West Fork

Join us as we celebrate the 40th year of the Devil’s Den Games! Enjoy a fun filled family day of horseshoes, softball, parades, and much more. Top it all off with homemade ice cream! Make your plans early and plan to join us for a July 4th celebration your family won’t soon forget! 

Date: July 4

Time: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Devil’s Den

More info: Click here

July events in NWA:

Special Event Thursdays at the Springdale Public Library

Thursdays, 10 am:

July 2 – Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic

July 9 – Weather Wise with Dan Skoff

More info: Click here

Opera in the Ozarks

Opera in the Ozarks, an annual summer musical summer music festival featuring emerging opera professionals from across the country, celebrates its 65th anniversary season from June 19-July 17 with 22 performances and a trio of operas that are sure to entertain. This year’s featured operas include Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Gioacchino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. 19 performances will take place at Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs and three performances will be hosted at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. Tickets are $20 and $25 and may be purchased online here or by calling 479.253.8595. Visit for season details.

Date: Now through July 17

Time: Varies

Location: Varies

More info: Click here


5th Annual Fleur Delicious Weekend, Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is excited to announce that they are once again throwing the exciting Fleur Delicious Weekend.. This event is a French-themed celebration in which restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, spas and music venues participate in French-inspired indulgences. Fleur Delicious Weekend (FDW) is an event that treats all the senses, including sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.. The celebration will take place in the historic village of Eureka Springs.

Date: Tuesday, July 7, through Sunday, July 12

Time: Varies

Location: Varies

More info: Click here

Dive-In Movies at Wilson Pool: The Lego Movie

The witty and satirical family comedy that brought you the Grammy and Oscar nominated song “Everything is Awesome,” dares the ordinary to be amazing when everyday construction worker Emmet Brickowoski is thought to be the prophesied chosen one to take down the tyrannical President Business. Break the mold with Fayetteville Parks and Recreation and Fayetteville Firefighters Association and join us for the Dive-In Movie, “The Lego Movie.”

Date: July 17

Time: 7:15 pm

Location: Wilson Pool, Fayetteville

Play it Forward Concert Series at The Walmart Museum

play it forwardThe admission fee is only $5 and all ticket proceeds will go towards the hosting nonprofit for that concert.

Saturday, July 18: Blues and rock with Fayetteville native, David Starr on Saturday, July 18th, at 6:30 pm in the Walmart World Room at The Walmart Museum. Tickets are $5 with proceeds benefiting Open Avenues. Doors open at 6. Tickets can be purchased in advance:

Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

Saturday, August 22: Piedmont blues with Little Joe McLerran on Saturday, August 22nd, at 6:30 pm in the Walmart World Room at The Walmart Museum. Tickets are $5 with proceeds benefiting the Ozarks Blues Society. Doors open at 6.

Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

firefly fling

Firefly Fing

Firefly Fling: The Summer Festival for Families returns to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks on Saturday, July 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. This year’s festival features some of Firefly‘s popular traditions as well as exciting new adventures and entertainment. New Firefly directors Dani Dingman and Jules Taylor are planning another fantastic festival. Admission will be $7 for adults; $4 for children over 3; 3 and under free. At the gate admission will be $9 for adults; $5 for children over 3; 3 and under free.

Date: July 18

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

frozen at the jones center

Special Family Ice Skating Event, The Jones Center

Join the characters of Once Upon a Party in Northwest Arkansas on the Jones Center’s Ice Arena for a magical afternoon. Come dressed as your favorite character from the movie Frozen. $3 per person, no cost for ice skates rental.

Date: July 25

Time: Noon to 3 p.m.

Location: The Jones Center, Springdale

More info: Click here