Fashion Fairy Godmother: How to wear scarves this season

scarvesBy Lizzie Miller, fashion blogger, U of A student and nwaMotherlode intern

It’s scarf weather, and we LOVE all the cute scarves we’re seeing this season. Scarves are almost universally flattering on everyone. Pictured above are some Fashion Fairy Godmothercute scarf/shirt combination ideas.

Throw these on with skinny jeans and riding boots, ankle boots or flats, and you’re good to go.

Here are a few other tips for wearing scarves this season:

Always wear only one pattern and one solid. For instance, if you choose a patterned scarf like floral or leopard, pair it with a solid-color shirt.

Make sure your scarves are practical! If it’s cold outside, make sure to wear an infinity scarf to bundle up. If it’s somewhat warm, a light, cotton scarf is perfect.

A new trend in scarves this season is the fur scarf! I absolutely love this trend and have one on my wish list from Nordstrom (and it’s only $24!) It’s called the BP Faux Fur Infinity Scarf (Juniors section) and it’s the camel color. Click here to see it.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to let your scarf reflect your personality!

I hope you enjoy these tips for fall scarves! Show us your cute fall scarves on Instagram (click here to find us) and tag us @nwamotherlode!

For more fun but practical tips on style, click here to read more from our Fashion Fairy Godmother.

Elizabeth Miller, intern (cropped)ABOUT ELIZABETH: Elizabeth is a senior Ad/PR major at the University of Arkansas. She’s been in various leadership positions in her sorority, Chi Omega, and is part of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. The Motherlode mamas would like to add that she’s a fabulous intern and we appreciate her keen eye for fashion (we’ve already lined her up to help us pick out a new fall wardrobe) as well as her work ethic, creativity and ability to quickly grasp what we need and pull it off.

Life with Ladybug: The terrible teens?

By Shannon Magsam

Mom and LadybugWe went to a restaurant on Saturday and I requested the Kids Eat Free menu.

And while the kids’ meal was being delivered to our table, I almost choked on my Diet Dr. Pepper. Because that’s when it hit me that we can only order kids’ meals for a few more months.

Because 13.

The problem isn’t that I won’t be able to skate out of restaurants paying less. The problem is my baby girl will officially be a teenager.

I get a little jolt of adrenaline every time something reminds me that the teenage years are creeping closer every day. And when the adrenaline shot wears off, I get a little weepy aftertaste.

Truthfully, I remember all my little ladybug’s age milestones and I got a little weepy about most of them at the time:

The first birthday.

She’s 5 now! Wow!




(Poor Nine. Why does Seven always have him for lunch?)

Then: 10. Double digits!

Up next: thirTEEN.

And while I freaked about those other ages, this birthday has me the most freaked-outiest yet.

you're amazing croppedI think it’s because when I turned 13 I got stupid.

I remember my 13th birthday vividly. I looked in the mirror and expected to see a more mature version of myself looking back. But I didn’t.

I desperately wanted to be that grown-up girl, though, which led to some dumb mistakes.

So of course I get a little shaky thinking about this milestone as it relates to my girl.

The thing is (and this is a HUGE thing) I know my daughter has a better head on her shoulders than I did at 13. She knows herself better. She has very specific interests that keep her grounded. She has a great group of girl friends and they help insulate her. She’s practical and logical in a way that I just wasn’t.

See how I just talked myself down from the ledge? (I’m getting pretty good at it lately.)

Does that mean my teen-aged Ladybug won’t make any dumb mistakes during the years from 13 to 19? Of course it doesn’t. We all make mistakes in the teen years and we learn from them. I know she will, too.

But for now, I’ll breathe deeply and remember: 13 is just a number.

A very BIG number, and I’ll be paying more at Steak ‘n Shake, Red Robin and Chick-fil-A, that’s true. But I pray (boy do I pray) that when my baby girl looks in the mirror on her 13th birthday she’ll see someone she really likes.

Someone who’s just the right amount of grown up.

For 13. (But not for a few months!)

On Your Mind: Do I have an anxiety disorder?

on your mindI’ve noticed at work a few times that I start to feel really anxious and need to go into the bathroom to settle down. I’m having a few problems with my boss and I wonder if it’s related to stress or if it could be a different health issue. How can I tell if this is just “normal” stress or possibly an anxiety disorder?

Dear Mom,

Some anxiety can be a part of normal life and usually isn’t a problem. So how do we know when it’s excessive or whether to ask for help?

As part of normal life or just our shared experience as humans, anxiety serves a purpose. It can help us prepare for or avoid difficulties in the future. Generally speaking, anxiety is what we experience when we’re thinking about something that may happen in the future that may be negative. Anxiety is on a continuum, with fear and panic being responses to something more immediate, either real or imagined. Fear, like anxiety has served a purpose as it has helped us have the physical activation for “fight or flight” and to ultimately survive danger.

So, clearly anxiety serves an adaptive purpose, and to that end there is a very physical component to the emotion. The muscle tension, restlessness, and increased heartbeat are usually early indicators. In children that can manifest as crying, clinging, or failing to speak. If this progresses to panic, these symptoms become amplified, and sweating, trembling, and even shortness of breath can occur.

Along with the physical symptoms, there are changes in thinking. With anxiety comes worry. In panic you can have thoughts that you are losing control or are going to die. And…you can have all of that without having a mental illness.

Anxiety and panic become a problem that may need treatment if these symptoms are excessive, don’t go away, and cause you to make changes in your life that may not be in your best interest. For many people who have a significant problem with anxiety, it can cause them to avoid their friends and make it very difficult to form new relationships. Often people miss social or work opportunities. It can make simple things like going to work, or class, or shopping a huge undertaking or seemingly impossible.

There are a variety of disorders that have anxiety as a component: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD being a few. There are also specific anxiety disorders such as Separation Anxiety (both children and adults), Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, and Panic Disorder.

The good news is that there are very successful treatments for anxiety. The front line of these treatments is really to learn to recognize the physical symptoms and use simple interventions to slow the physical response and prevent progression to panic. This can be as easy as learning techniques to control your breathing. Learning to identify and examine your thinking is also key. It’s not uncommon for someone with anxiety to have really negative self-talk that goes something like this: “I have a toothache. What if it’s a brain tumor? or “If I go to this party I’ll probably lose it, and it will be an epic fail,” or for children  “What if my mom dies while I’m at school?”

Those thoughts can be devastating and if not challenged create excessive worry, anxiety, and panic. The good news is that talk therapy can be very effective at slowing or stopping the physical response to anxiety and also effective at changing the negative thinking patterns that create the anxiety.

In some cases it may be necessary to consult a physician to determine whether medications may be indicated, especially if there is another disorder, such as Biploar that is contributing to anxiety. Whatever the situation, and whether it is you or a friend or loved one who may be struggling with this issue, relief from the pain and isolation caused by anxiety is absolutely within reach.

I wish you the very best as you work through this problem, and please know that we’re here to help if you need us.

Jared's Pic for MHCAJared Sparks, LCSW, PhD is the Clinical Director of Ozark Guidance. He completed his PhD in Social Work from Tulane University and has a MSW and BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama. Jared is active in the local mental health community and serves on the NW Arkansas Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Beauty Buzz: What makes you feel beautiful?

wordswag beautiful

We recently asked Northwest Arkansas moms what makes them feel beautiful for a chance to win a photo shoot experience with Marsha Foster.

The responses we received were fantastic and a few made us tear up. It reminded us that we live among some amazing mothers.

In case you missed reading the comments on that giveaway, we wanted to share a few of them with you so you could think about what your answer would be to: What makes you feel beautiful?

Chelsea: A good lip gloss and a sunny day can do worlds for me!

Stephanie: I feel beautiful just being me. I see the beautiful children I have made and the battles I have conquered in my life and I smile each day at the wonderful things God has provided to me and my kids.

Lindsay: I feel beautiful when I’m running.

Rachel: The way my husband looks at me when I am holding our daughter, that is what makes me feel beautiful.

Traci: As a cancer survivor with many physical scars, sometimes it is really hard to ever feel beautiful. This is not typically my kinda thing, but I can’t help but wonder if it would make me see myself in a different light and feel beautiful despite the physical toll my body has taken.­­­

Cammi: I feel beautiful when my attitude is good.. Smiling and being kind and just having an overall positive outlook on life :)

Amanda: I am beginning to feel beautiful now for the first time ever (long tragic story, I’ll spare you the details). I feel beautiful when my fiancee looks at me with “that look”, smiles and says ” I can’t believe I have you”. I’d love to surprise him with boudoir photos.

Stephanni: I feel beautiful when I look at my kids. Knowing they love me unconditionally no matter if I’m in a baggy sweatshirt or all fixed up for an outing, they think I’m beautiful.

Lisa: I feel beautiful when I read how precious I am to my Savior. Also when my students tell me I look 25!

Sharon: Being a breast cancer survivor makes me feel strong and beautiful!

Angel: I feel the most beautiful when I’m just being me. Making people smile and empowering women younger than me. Catching that random stare from my husband and having him tell me he is the luckiest man alive. Holding my babies and knowing I made them. Looking at myself in the mirror and holding my head high no matter the day, making someone else know how beautiful they are. That makes me feel beautiful.

Jennifer: I feel beautiful when my husband gives me that second head turn when I’m getting ready. He always compliments me but it’s that second smile that brightens my morning.

Shannon: Many things can make me feel beautiful including a good nights sleep, a new outfit, a hair cut, a compliment from a friend, and knowing that I am a child of God, beautifully and wonderfully made!

Ashley: I feel most beautiful out in the woods. Natural light, minimal makeup, gorgeous backgrounds.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the giveaway. We think you’re beautiful, mamas. Battle scars and all.

Giveaway: Win NWA Boutique Show Girls’ Night Out tix + gift cards!

boutique show decor

Ladies, it’s almost time for the NWA Boutique Show! This awesome event is on Nov. 7th and 8th and is a great place to get most — if not all! — of your Christmas shopping done. We love that the items are unique. It’s so much fun to give friends and family one-of-a-kind gifts.

olafAnd you might even find something for yourself :) We always do!

Please stop by and say hello to us at our booth. We’re proud sponsors of the Boutique Show and will be there with an AMAZING giveaway. We’ll also have a “guest” at our booth that your kids will definitely want to visit with — a cardboard cutout of Olaf from the movie Frozen.

So who’s going to the Boutique Show Girls’ Night Out? Who wants to WIN tickets to the Girls’ Night Out? Plus lots of other goodies?

We’re giving away 5 ticket bundles to 5 different moms. Each $70 bundle includes:

4 Girls Night Out passes

5 general admission tickets

1 $15 merchant gift certificate to be used at the show

Each winner will receive a gift card from one of the following NWA Boutique Show merchants:

the floating buffalo.rainboots

The Floating Buffalo

Lee Lynn Crafts

Lee Lynn Crafts

Two Bored Chicks

Two Bored Chicks

Sassy Nanny

Sassy Nanny

The Pink Lilli AR

The Pink Lilli

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d like to win one of 5 ticket bundles just click the words “post a comment” below and tell us who you’d really love to find a gift for at this year’s boutique show. Your hard-to-buy-for mother-in-law? Your Secret Santa friend? A fabulous find for the office party?

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning one of the 5 Boutique Show ticket bundles, just email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell. The email is

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

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.

Good luck! We’ll choose a winner on Friday at 5 p.m., so keep an eye out for an email from the mamas!

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