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.

Inside His Head: My husband won’t say no to our kids

Dear Inside His Head,

My husband doesn’t seem to be able to say no to our kids. They’ll go to him rather than me when we’re shopping (for example) because they know he’ll let them buy a certain toy or candy. He works long hours and I think he might be trying to make up for not being home as much, but it makes it harder on me when I try to put limits on spending — or taking them on outings, etc. How can I help my husband understand he’s not doing them any favors by saying yes most of the time?

GRAY: Kids can smell which parent will say yes and which will say no. Whether it’s asking for a piece of candy or the keys for the car, they know how to play the two of you off each other better than anyone else you’ll ever encounter.

I know when my daughter puts on her puppy dog eyes it’s difficult for me not to just open my wallet and say “Here, just take it all.” It doesn’t have anything to do with the hours I work, I just think some kids know how to wrap parents around their finger.

I’d suggest three things to make sure he doesn’t rock the boat too much:

Set limits. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing a smile on my daughter’s face, but the reality is she’ll often be just as happy with something that cost a buck as she would something costing twenty. Set a cap on what he has to spend – or, better yet, suggest they get that money as an allowance so they’ll learn how to be responsible with their own money. He can still have fun with them picking out what they want to buy for themselves.

Back each other up. In the heat of the moment we can forget how saying yes to that piece of candy may be undermining the lesson you were teaching them about finishing their dinner. Take some time to talk about what’s important to teach your kids so you’re not pulling on opposite sides of the same issue. Being on the same page about those goals can keep you covering each other’s backs when the kids zoom in on the weakest link.

Focus on the long term. That $2 pack of gum at the cash register sometimes seems innocent enough, but if you succumb to that every week you’re looking at over $100 a year. Make plans for that family vacation, maybe something really obvious like a jar with how much money you need to make the vacation happen. It’s a lot harder to spend that $2 when you can see how it would instantly make an impact on a long-term goal. It’s also easier for a kid to weigh the merits of a piece of gum they’ll spit out in 5 minutes against some genuine fun, such as a roller coaster ride.

MAVERICK: First you have to ask yourself if this is how your husband has always been or if its a new behavior.

If it’s his standard, go-to move to spoil the kids with material stuff, particularly in a store, it’s likely how he was raised.

Some families put a lot of emphasis on stuff. Likely his dad got him stuff and that’s how he perceived he was cared for and loved. Not always, but you often see this behavior with folks who focus on the material. Often they’re oblivious that they were basically bought off as a child. With some folks, it doesn’t matter. Nature or nurture, you make the call.

It didn’t matter that my dad never had an honest-to-God conversation with me, he bought me a new car when I turned 16.

It didn’t matter that my father never spent four hours with me uninterrupted, understood me, or even ever tried to, since, you see, he paid for my college.

If the stuff equals affection/love link is hardwired in your hubby, it will be slow going getting him to change.

In this case I’d suggest you just point out, when you’re away from the kids,  that he’s clearly buying them stuff so they’ll like him maybe he could quit the Santa Claus act for a while and just act like an actual father.

Fathers consider the long term implications of what they do with their children. So they don’t do stuff like lie to to their kids because it’s easier in the short term; or let their kids watch something on TV that’s inappropriate because they want to watch it for themselves or buy them the latest device, or shoes or heaven help us car, so their kids can keep up with trends because they don’t want to face the blowback or even worse. It’s important to them that they look as cool as their peer’s kids.

In the same vein, tell him lovingly that actual fathers don’t let their kids buy everything at a store because it’s a vital lesson to learn that A) they can’t always have everything they want whenever they want it. B) Stuff costs money and even though you can afford to buy them tons of crap, it’s still crap at the end of the day and they don’t need it C) That fathers are confident enough in their relationships with their kids that it can survive the kid being mad at him because the kid didn’t get  a Coke, pop-rocks and a bag of sugar at 10 p.m. at Walmart on a school night.

If this is a sudden thing, then I think your assessment that it could be guilt because of all the hours is dead on. Try to be gentle but let him know he’s not doing you any favors because he’s making it harder and harder for you to keep the troops in order. Use some of the examples above but give him more slack if he’s not actually a materialistic numbskull.

Bottom line is,  a simple, non-critical discussion is the best solution. He might  not even realize he’s doing it. If it’s an ingrained behavior, it’ll take quite a while but you should eventually be able to convince him always saying yes does nobody any favors.

MICHAEL: You have to tell him. You’re most likely right.

He probably feels like he’s not giving his children enough of his time so he compensates by giving them things. I doubt he’s doing it just to make your life difficult, though. But you can’t tell him he’s doing something wrong.

Raising children requires that the parents come to an agreement about how to best compromise and give their children the direction they can both agree on. You can’t fix the problem if you can’t agree that there is one.

Tell him you’ve noticed he’s been doing this and question whether he thinks it’s happening as well. If he doesn’t, then you need to have several concrete examples. Let him know that since you’re the one that spends the most time with the children, he’s undermining your authority by circumventing the rules and guidelines you’re giving them while he isn’t there.

You also have to give him an outlet to show his affection to the children. Some people see gifts as a way to communicate that, so it just needs to be controlled. Have him do it as a reward for something the children have done for you instead of just because they ask.

In the end you both need to get to the root cause, discuss the impacts of the actions and reconcile to a common approach.

Have a question for the guys? Email it to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Good Gossip: Latest news on favorite celebs

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.

ryan-reynolds-and-blake-livelyAwwww, Ryan Reynolds is going to be a daddy. Ryan and his wife actress Blake Lively are expecting their first baby. Blake revealed the good news on her website called preserve.us. Congrats to the new parents-to-be!

jennifer lawrenceLooks like Jennifer Lawrence may have cozied up to a new boyfriend. She has been spotted recently with singer Chris Martin (who “uncoupled” from Gwyneth Paltrow not long ago.) Chris is the lead singer for Coldplay. They’ve been spotted together in London and in Malibu, where Chris lives. Jennifer once said that all she needs in a relationship is somebody “to watch TV with me.” Pass the remote!

tony goldwynScandal‘s fake president, actor Tony Goldwyn, met the real President this year. He said that President Obama came up to him and said, “Mr. President! How do you do it? Where’s the grey hair? Where are the wrinkles?” Goldwyn said he was very charming. The actor’s response was this: “Sir, my job isn’t nearly as stressful as yours.”

emma stoneEmma Stone is SO pretty in a picture in the most recently issue of People magazine. And she is getting some Oscar buzz for her new movie called Birdman with Michael Keaton. Her next job is to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway. When she does get a little time away from work, she hangs out with boyfriend Andrew Garfield (who starred with her in Spider-Man,) and her perfect day off would be reading, watching a movie or walking along the river. Emma says that, in 10 years, she hopes for “family, peace, a home and challenging work.”

hilary swankWhen she’s not busy making movies or winning Oscars, Hilary Swank loves to dance. For her 40th birthday party, she hired a teacher who taught everyone at the party how to line dance. “We danced the night away under the stars at this incredible ranch north of Los Angeles,” she said.

Josh-ElliottJosh Elliot of NBC Sports (formerly on Good Morning America) got engaged to Liz Cho, who is an anchor on a local news station in New York City. Josh proposed to her during a trip to Europe.

Source: People magazine, October 27, 2014 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.)

James + James adds retail location, new surprises

james jamesad 2

Can we start out by saying that we think the world of the owner at James + James?

We first met James Smith when he was shooting video Christmas cards for families and then we recruited him to shoot and edit videos for our brand new (at the time) Doc Talk series with Mercy Health.

Then James (and his friend, James) shifted gears. He noticed there was a need for affordable, quality and real-wood furniture, so he tried his hand at another passion — furniture building. Now his start-up, James+James is one of the fastest growing furniture companies in the country.

James+James products are found in nearly every state from coast to coast. Job creation right here in the U.S. continues to remain a top priority. The company now provides work to over 20 team members and growing.

And just a few months ago, James + James opened a new retail store and it is a furniture showcase that’s filled with amazing home decor, lighting and gift options you don’t see in other places. They are headed to market soon and plan to come back with a HAUL. We can’t wait to see the new surprises in store!

We have to tell you, the retail location (at 4217 S. Thompson St. in Springdale, 1 mile north of the NWA Mall) is beautiful even without all the great furniture and accessories.

Here’s a little peek inside:

james inside store

Here’s a video about their story. In it, James talks about the versatility of their hand-crafted furniture and how it has led them to selling to people living in all but two states in the U.S. (and lots of other  countries) from penthouses in New York City to farmhouses in Illinois.

The retail store and showroom is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 12 to 5pm. In addition to the amazing tables and chairs, we’re partial to the lighting options at the retail store:

james lighting

CLICK HERE to visit the James + James website. You can order online or stop by their retail store and showroom on “furniture row” in Springdale! Like them on Facebook to stay in the loop about what’s new. They have some surprises coming soon!

Want to win a $100 gift card? Fill out this survey!

Soapware MHW-Motherlode-Ad2 Sept14

Maybe the kids don’t listen to their mamas as much as we want them to, but more and more companies ARE paying attention to what we mothers have to say. In fact, a local company called SOAPware is going to give one local mom a $100 Amazon Gift Card in exchange for less than five minutes of her time. (SOAPware is a software development company that works with healthcare clinics and hospitals across the country.)

Fill out this online Mom’s Survey and your name automatically goes into an online hat for the random drawing to win the $100 Amazon Gift Card Woo-hoo! This would be perfect for buying Christmas presents or for mama to use on herself ;)

gift cardAs always, we have thoroughly checked out this survey and have also taken it ourselves, so we can assure you that there’s no scam here. Here’s what you need to know about the Mom’s Survey:

  • They’re not asking for too much personal information — just first name and email address and your “age range.” (No specifics.)
  • They’re not asking for too much of your time. (The survey is only 5 multiple-choice questions long. That’s it. We took it in less than five minutes, and it’s all multiple choice point and click. No essay questions here.)
  • They’re asking these questions in order to make the healthcare system more helpful and efficient — which is something we moms can appreciate since we’re usually the ones who are taking kids, aging parents (and even reluctant husbands) to the doctor.

We hope you’ll participate by providing your honest feedback on these healthcare-related questions. And if you happen to help yourself to a $100 Amazon Gift Card because you offered your opinion?? Well then everyone wins. :-)

Good luck, mamas!

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