Who will be this year’s Mom Prom Queen?

One of the things we love about hosting the NWA Mom Prom is the element of surprise. We never know who might be crowned the next NWA Mom Prom crownQueen because we choose the queen at random from among all the ticket holders. Anyone can win.

Your high school prom queen crowning might have been all about a popularity contest, but we’ve ditched all that teenage drama. We’re a little older, wiser and “ain’t nobody got time for that.” We believe every woman deserves the title of queen for a night.

Here are a few photos of the past two prom queen crownings at the 2013 and 2014 Mom Prom. Marie Starr wore the crown beautifully as the first queen of Mom Prom in 2013. Last year, she passed the crown along to her lovely successor, Queen Abby Ivy. The Queen’s “court” is made up of the friends who came with her to Mom Prom that night, and we always love seeing how the Queen’s friends are over-the-moon excited for their friend.

2013 Mom Prom Queen: Marie Starr

2013 crowning2014 Mom Prom Queen: Abby Ivy

2014 crowningThis year the Queen will be given a tiara, flowers and a $500 Visa shopping card. (Yeah, baby!! The Queen is going to SHOP!)

The Queen’s crowning and her incredibly generous prize is sponsored this year by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. This year’s Prom theme is “A Night in the Tropics” so we think it’s more than fitting that a local company like Tropical Smoothie Cafe is part of the pinnacle moment at Mom Prom. Thank you to the owners of this mom-friendly company for making this year’s Prom Queen crowning possible.

We’re so excited to see all of you on Prom night on May 30, 2015 at the Metroplex Event Center in Springdale. (Click here if you need a ticket.) This just might be your year to be QUEEN!

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, nwa

Fashion Fairy Godmother: Swimsuit trends for 2015

may june 2015 2

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that swimsuit season is upon us. And we all know that when we’re lucky enough to find a swimsuit we really fairy-godmotherlove, going to the pool, the beach or the water park is a whole lot more fun. The Fashion Fairy Godmother is here to help.

Overall, a cute cover up is always a great investment for swimsuit season. At the pool or at the beach, a light cover up is a must. This year I recommend going for an option with LACE. With either a small embellishment or full-on lace, this is definitely on-trend. But for the more athletic momma, the bottom left and middle options (pictured in the collage above) are perfect.

Next up let me show you some fun pairings of beach bags, sunglasses, towels, and different types of swimsuits. These swimsuit picks are fun, affordable and right on-trend.

First is a look that’s absolutely perfect for the beach. This black and white suit is timeless and flattering. The cover-up dress really makes the outfit cute along with slip-on sandals and a floppy hat. This hat is great for reading on the beach and the bag can hold all your goodies and your kids’ stuff! The large, tortoise sunglasses are timeless as well and you can’t forget your sunscreen!

may june 2015 4Secondly we have this bright, hot pink one piece. I am absolutely in love with this floral suit. The colors are spot-on for summer and the bow in the middle is so cute. Pair with a simple beach bag and flip-flops, and you have a great summer poolside look.

tankinisFor our third option we have a gorgeous tankini. This swimsuit is from an affordable online site that I have ordered tankinis from before called Boden USA. The pattern is eye-catching and the fit is modest. Pair it with cute tan sandals, a coral beach towel and a woven beach bag and you’re all set.

may june 2015 3And last but not least, check out this bright blue bikini from J Crew Factory. This is #1 on my swimsuit wish list this year! A big trend this summer is a large, floppy beach hat. These are easy to find and perfect for keeping your face safe from getting too much sun. A striped beach bag looks great with this subtle pattern and the aviator sunglasses are super stylish.

may june 2015Hope these ideas give you some shopping inspiration, and I hope you find the perfect swimsuit and coverup to wear this summer. Most of all, get in the water and have fun with your kids! Happy Summer!





Birth Center of NWA: Unique facility is expanding to other states

By Shannon Magsam

Big, white fluffy robe. Check.

Soft white comforter adorned with bird-themed toss pillows. Check.

Large, tiled walk-in shower. Check.

Warmed toilet seats. Check.

HUGE, deep bathtub. CHECK.

Nope, we weren’t checking into a ritzy hotel, we were taking a tour of the Birth Center of Northwest Arkansas — the only accredited, licensed birth center in Arkansas — with some blogger friends. That’s right, all this at a place where you go to have a baby.

Not only does it not look like a normal hospital setting, it doesn’t smell antiseptic like one either. Which is the point. The idea is that you’ll feel more comfortable giving birth while surrounded by a home-like environment. All the medical supplies are there, but are tucked away in a dresser drawer in the birthing suites. {In other words, they have the same sterile instruments, but in a home-like environment.}

And, of course, they have certified nurse midwives and registered nurses who encourage and assist mamas to labor in ways that they are most comfortable – like, say, in the aforementioned huge warm tub – minus being tethered to an IV and a catheter. Look at this cushy birthing suite:

Birth Center, birthing suite

Touring the center, I almost wanted to have another baby just to experience the miracle of childbirth there.

Almost. (I have a teenager, so I’m not sure I want to start over.)

The first baby to be born at the Birth Center, at Village on the Creeks in Rogers, was on May 2 two years ago. The center has been so popular and well received that the owners are expanding into other states. There will be four new birth centers within the next few years in other states.

It really did surprise us how cozy the place was and we peppered the co-founder, Cara Osborne, with questions about the facility and services offered to women at the beginning of the tour. Cara has quite the impressive medical background and is the mom of two kids:

Birth Center, Cara Osborne

Cara Osborne, co-founder of The Birth Center of NWA, visits with bloggers

We also asked lots of questions during the walk-through, tweeting and instagramming our way through the facility. (If you’d like to see all the tweets and IG posts from us and fellow bloggers, search #BirthCenterNWA.)Acorn Disclosure

Since BCNWA is one of our sponsors here on Motherlode, we were very familiar with the facility, but hadn’t had a chance to tour the whole place.

Here’s a sampling of the Q&A we asked at the Birth Center throughout the tour, because we’re betting you probably have some of the same questions that we did:

Who would you consider a great candidate for giving birth at the Birth Center?

birth center, sign

We love this sign that’s in all the Birth Center birthing suites. Sweet.

Co-founder Cara explained that the Birth Center is a low-risk setting, so families are assessed at the beginning of the relationship. Women who want to give birth there can’t have any chronic health issues or develop any issues during the pregnancy.

The Birth Center team has a partnership with the family practice group at Mercy and women who have (or develop) high-risk pregnancies are referred there.

Pregnant women with OB care can be accepted into the Birth Center at 32 weeks gestation and those who haven’t received any OB care can start at the center at no more than 20 weeks.

One of the Birth Center team members said it’s hard to “bucket” the women who come there to have their babies. She said it’s a very diverse group of women, but there’s one common thread among them: they want what’s best for their baby.

Are laboring moms allowed to eat?

Women are encouraged to bring their favorite food and drink to enjoy while in labor and there’s a well-equipped kitchen for everyone to share. There’s also a pretty family room to visit with friends and family who are there to cheer on the mama:

birth center, family room

Do you have to be pregnant to use the services at the birth center?

No, they also offer services like well woman visits (annual exams, etc.), fertility counseling and birth control management.

Here’s one of the rooms for annual exams. It’s certainly prettier than a normal doctor’s office:

Birth Center, annual exam

The Birth Center offers services like annual exams and fertility counseling in addition to birth days.

What if you really, really want to go to a hospital where you could get an epidural while in labor?

Teresa said they make sure to interview women thoroughly about the whole process so they feel pretty confident that unless there was a complication, most women will want to stay and labor without an epidural.

However, she said if a woman really wanted to move to a hospital, they would help her with the transfer to Mercy (just minutes away) and get her settled.

What if a laboring mom feels panicky during childbirth?

Teresa said they do offer nitrous oxide for the mom to breathe (because it doesn’t reach the baby) and that can help keep her calm. They don’t have epidurals at the birth center and Teresa said it’s rare that a mom wants to be transferred to their partner, Mercy Hospital, to have the baby.

She said they have extensive conversations with expectant moms and their families well in advance to make sure they are a good candidate for labor without pain medication.

We love that the birthing suites overlook water and there are trails that families — or laboring mamas — can walk. Pretty view, huh?

Birth Center, view

A serene view for the mamas.

What kinds of classes/baby and pregnancy items do you offer?

The Birth Center has classes ranging from yoga to childbirth education, new mom groups, newborn care and breastfeeding education. Click here for a full list of upcoming classes.

They also have lots of items in their store for new moms. Click here to see some of the products.

Click here to visit the Birth Center website for more information.

Giveaway: Win a “Summer of Salsa” from My Brother’s Salsa!

Summertime and salsa just go together.

The warm breezes, the downtime, the days when the only exercise you get is from dipping your chip. (We really like those days.)

So this week we’re giving away — get this — a WHOLE SUMMER’S WORTH OF SALSA!

salsa lineup

This giveaway comes courtesy of our sponsor, My Brother’s Salsa, which is a national brand based right here in Northwest Arkansas. The company’s founder, helenHelen Lampkin, is a fellow NWA mother who took a salsa recipe (given to her by her brother) and turned it into an amazing success story with devoted fans all across the United States.

This “Summer of Salsa” giveaway includes enough salsa to last you all summer long — 15 jars in a variety of flavors and heat. You’ll also get 6 bags of organic corn chips, 1 chip and dip tray in a beautiful hammered silver finish, recipes from Helen herself that will teach you how to make new dishes using the salsa, and — last but definitely not least — you’ll get your own personal sombrero so you’ll look extra festive on Taco Tuesdays. :-)

Everyone is a winner with this giveaway because by signing up you’ll receive recipes from Helen, a personal chef, which will be delivered straight to your inbox. No need to go hunting online for new recipes.

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online sombrero to win this “Summer of Salsa” giveaway package, click on the words “post a comment” below and tell us at least one fun thing you’re planning to do this summer. (Awesome vacation? Play on Beaver Lake with friends? Chill out by the pool while the kids splash around?)

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

my brothers salsaINCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word 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.

mom prom 2015 logoSPECIAL NOTE: If you’re planning to join us for the NWA Mom Prom on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Metroplex Event Center in Springdale, you can get an extra chance to win the “Summer of Salsa” giveaway package. Helen herself will be at this year’s Mom Prom with an amazing salsa bar provided for the ladies of Northwest Arkansas. You can throw your name in the hat in person at Mom Prom when you visit Helen at the My Brother’s Salsa quesadilla station!

Click here to get ticket info for the NWA Mom Prom.

Watch your inboxes, mamas! We’ll choose a winner (at random) and send her a note with the good news during the first week of June. Good luck!

Flash Mob Dance for 2015 Mom Prom!

Let’s dance!!! Click on the video above to see the 2015 NWA Mom Prom Flash Mob Dance!

This has become a Mom Prom tradition. Just learn the moves above and then join a few hundred women on the dance floor so we can flash mob together Mom Prom 2015 Are You Induring Mom Prom on May 30th. (The flash mob is not mandatory. It’s just for fun and you certainly don’t have to do it perfectly to join in and enjoy it. Or… sit back and enjoy the people-watching. Either way, it’s fun!)

Back by popular demand for the third year running, our fearless choreographer is the beautiful Kelsey Lee, who is a fellow mom, teacher and Zumba instructor here in Northwest Arkansas. (Thanks, Kelsey, for putting together another fun dance for this year’s Prom night! You rock!) Kelsey will be on stage during the Flash Mob dance, leading us through the moves just in case we forget a few.

Every year we love hearing stories about moms getting together to practice the Flash Mob dance in the living room while their kids play. Have fun with it! (We’d love to see photos or videos of your practice sessions!)

The only thing you MUST have in order to do this Flash Mob dance is a ticket to the Prom! If you don’t have a ticket yet, click HERE to get it.

Below are a couple of photos of previous Flash Mob dances taken during Mom Prom 2013 and 2014. It really is as fun as it looks. We’ll let you know on Prom night when the Flash Mob dance is about to happen so you can be sure to grab a spot on the dance floor. See you then!

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