Giveaway: Tickets to see Sid the Science Kid on stage + dinner!

sid artThis is a HAPPY MONDAY, mamas, because we’re starting a super fun giveaway.

One lucky Northwest Arkansas mother will win four tickets to see Sid The Science Kid Live! on stage at Walton Arts Center on Oct. 12. You’ll definitely win some major “cool mom” points for this one!

In the PBS KIDS show Sid the Science Kid LIVE!, kids and parents discover the curiosities of the world with characters Sid, May, Gabriela and Gerald.

A lively musical score sets the tone for fun and adventure with audience interaction, cooperative problem solving and plenty of laughs. Join the gang in the Super Fab Lab!

The winner also scores dinner at Hammontree’s! Delicious food AND a show. YES!

Hammontree’s is a cheese lover’s dream. Seriously, their grilled cheese sandwiches are downright addictive. They have names like Parmageddon, Bries Company, The Scarlet Cheddar and Cheebacca. They actually have 15 different grilled cheese options including build-your-own.


Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese

Hammontree’s also has gourmet hot dogs, soups, fabulous salads, classic melts — if you don’t like all that fancy stuff — and amazing desserts.

The atmosphere at Hammontree’s is really fun and they have outside seating. It’s on West Avenue, just around the corner from Dickson Street.

HOW TO ENTER: Mamas, this one’s going to be a little different to enter, but FUN! Just send us a short video of your kids asking a “science” question. Kids ask questions all the time, so you might just get them to repeat one they asked you recently.

Here are a few examples of questions your kids could ask on the video:

Why is the sky blue?

Why do snakes shed their skin?

Why do leaves change colors in the fall?

candy making machineYour second option to enter the giveaway is this: Have your child(ren) draw a picture of their “big idea”.

It could be an invention, a wish for mankind (world peace) or just the solution to a problem they recently had.

Just in case what they drew is not obvious to us (wink!), write the name of their big idea on the page, take a picture of it on your phone/camera and email it to us! Email is: mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Here are some Big Idea art ideas:

A homework-erator (Does all your homework for you!)

A jet pack (Who doesn’t want to fly?)

A candy-making machine (Kids love their candy)

A bully shrinker (Shrink that mean kid down to size)

We can’t wait to see all the videos and Big Idea art! Have your entries submitted to us by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, and we’ll announce the winner that next week. BONUS: Some of the art/videos may be shared on the Walton Arts Center website or at the show!

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning this Sid family pack, just share! 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 pbs kidschance 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.

If you don’t want to take any chances and want to make sure you get to go see Sid with your kids, CLICK HERE to visit the Walton Arts Center page about the show and grab some tickets. It’s coming up SOON and you don’t want to miss out on the fun! (There’s also the option of paying $20 more per ticket so your kids can interact with the cast after the show.) 

Good luck!

The Rockwood Files: Note to the younger me

capable kidsBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

A wonderful thing is happening at our house. The kids are becoming… capable. That sounds weird, I know. It’s not like they were helpless blobs all this time, but lately I’ve noticed they can really do things – helpful things, necessary things – things Tom and I have been doing for them for more than a decade now.

Today I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and making a mental checklist of the things I’d need to get done before morning. I caught 12-year-old Adam as he was on his way up the stairs to play video games and said, “Before you play, I need you to make three sandwiches to go in tomorrow’s lunchboxes, okay?”

“Okay,” he said. Then he pulled out the sandwich-making supplies and I heard him call out to his little sister, “Kate, do you want cheese on your sandwich?” bologna sandwichShe answered and he continued his work. Moments later, I opened the fridge and found three bologna sandwiches sealed up in sandwich bags, ready to put into lunch bags the next morning.

Here’s the surprising part. He didn’t need my help. He didn’t complain. He didn’t act like I was asking him to perform brain surgery on the cat. The sandwiches looked just the way they’d look if I’d done it myself, and he put the bread, mustard and sandwich meat away when he was done.

It’s odd to be surprised by evidence that your kids are growing up because that’s what they’re supposed to do. That was the plan all along. But it feels like a minor miracle when you notice it’s really happening.

We spent so much time doing things for them when they were little that it became our new normal – tie the shoes, wash the clothes, make the meals, cut their meat. We’ve taught them things along the way, but there was a small part of us that assumed they’d always need us to help them navigate daily life.

Then today, either through instruction or observation or just household osmosis, the kid suddenly makes the sandwiches and cleans up the mess. No biggie. And it’s so… rewarding.

If I could, I’d send an email back in time to my younger self – the frazzled young mom who spent much of the day chasing a 5,3 and 1-year-old around the house, changing diapers and wiping noses. Here’s what I’d tell her:

Dear Younger Me,

You know this parenting thing that keeps you sprinting around 12 hours a day? It gets easier. One day they’re not only going to be able to find their own shoes but also put them on and tie the laces. They won’t need you in the bathroom anymore. They’ll stop watching Barney the Dinosaur and occasionally even watch the news and ask questions about the world. They’ll start to crack jokes – funny ones — not just that tired knock-knock joke about the banana and the orange.

Then one day, seemingly overnight, you’ll ask your oldest to make the sandwiches and he’ll just do it. Your middle child who refuses to change out of his Superman t-shirt for days on end? He’s going to be able to start and finish a load of clothes, so you’ll have help staying on top of that mountain of dirty laundry. And that sweet baby on your hip? She’s going to be 7 one day, and when you accidentally cut your finger in the kitchen, she’ll get the first aid kit and put the Band-Aid on for you. (Start putting some money aside for medical school. This kid has potential.)

So hang in there, mama. You’re doing good and important work. All this time in the not-so-glamorous parenting trenches is going to pay off. They get bigger and smarter and even more interesting. One day you’re going to look at them and realize that, not only do you love them intensely, you also respect and admire the people they’re turning out to be – capable people who can do things, partly because you loved and helped them through all the years when they couldn’t.

gwen rockwoodGwen 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 new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

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!

Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: September 2014


Farmland Adventures Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze opens

A great place for fall outdoor family fun on the farm. A variety of attractions including a 9-acre Giant Corn Maze (they have a new theme for 2014!), a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, pony rides, petting zoo, pig races, a kids play area and more. Open September 5th to November 1st on Fridays from 1PM-9:30PM and Saturdays from 9AM-9:30PM. It’s a short drive from where ever you are in Northwest Arkansas. They also facilitate group outings or birthday parties.

farmland adventures 2014Date: Sept. 5-Nov. 1

Time: Varies

Location: Springdale

More info: Click here

CLICK HERE to see the complete guide to Northwest Arkansas pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

Chefs in the Garden

Date: Sept. 9

Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

vintage market days

Vintage Market Days of NWA

Date: Sept. 12-14

Time: Varies

Location: Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Polo in the Ozarks

Date: Sept. 13

Time: 4 p.m.

Location: Buell Farm, Goshen

More info: Click here

Bacon Bowl, Petit Jean Meats

bacon bowlTeams consisting of chefs and amateur cooks will compete in Entrée and Dessert Divisions and test their culinary skills by creating innovative bacon creations featuring Arkansas’s own Petit Jean Meats bacon. Bacon Bowl attendees of all ages will vote for their favorite dishes in both divisions as well as the overall People’s Champion.

There will be live music, Petit Jean Meats sampling, other foods and beverages, and more. Tickets are $10 at the gate and advance tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Bentonville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Date: Sept. 13

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Downtown Bentonville

Note: Teams or individuals interested in competing should visit Team registration is open until Friday, September 5. Space is limited.

More info: Click here. Visit and the Bacon Bowl Facebook page for more details.

2nd Annual Bella Vista Hay Days

All activities for children and families are free. Activities include inflatable slides, obstacle courses and a bounce house; water balloon chunkin’ with a big slingshot; face painting; train rides; Earthshakers spark plug competition, Bella Vista Fly Tyers casting competition; Bella Vista Woodcarvers Club demonstrations; and a dunk tank with local “celebrities”. Pony rides will be available from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and Marshall Mitchell, a children’s entertainer, will perform at 1 p.m. In addition to family activities, Bella Vista Hay Days will feature food – barbecue ribs and hotdogs on Friday and brats and hotdogs on Saturday. Other events include live music, a car and bike show, rain-gutter regatta races, Bella Vista’s Public Safety Day, Bella Vista Animal Shelter’s “Wiener Takes All” Wiener Dog Races, the Arkansas Department of Conservation’s traveling aquarium and a 5K walk benefitting the animal shelter, Bella Vista Library and Cooper Elementary PTO. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the walk begins at 2:30 p.m. Concerts and events are free. The concerts will be performed in open-air venues, so attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets.

Date: Sept. 19-20

Time: 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Location: The site of the Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival, corner of Rogers Drive and Arkansas 279

More info: Click here

NWA Steak Cook-Off

Teams made up of chefs and amateur cooks will fire up their grills and other cooking apparatus’s to find out who is the master of the ribeye steak that day. Each team submits one 16oz ribeye steak to be judged by a panel of experienced beef eaters who sample, vote and determine who moves on to the 2015 World Championship Steak Cook-off in Magnolia, AR. The overall winner also wins free entry into the 2015 U.S. Steak Championship in Tulsa, OK. In addition to the steak competition, there will be an appetizer competition that the public determine the winner by sampling and voting for their favorite.

Date: Sept. 27

Time: 1-7 p.m.

Location: Arvest Ballpark during Bikes Blues & BBQ rally

More info: Click here

New Kindermusik classes in Fayetteville

Pam Lipinski has opened a Kindermusik studio which is opening this month. Kindermusik is a music and movement class for babies and toddlers; preschoolers and big kids. It’s a program devoted to the development of the whole child – cognitive, physical, emotional, and, of course, musical. In classes children play games, sing songs, pretend to be boats, trains, cars, monkeys; play with scarves, balls, and have a lot of fun. Within all this fun is where the learning occurs. These classes are done with the caregiver present so Kindermusik provides a unique bonding experience with the parent/caregiver. Here’s the schedule:

9:00 Sing and Play ages 0-2
10:30 Wiggle and Grow ages 2-3
4:00 Laugh and learn ages 3-4
6:00 Wiggle and Grow Family ages 0-7 (for families with siblings wh0 want to do class together)

9:00 Sing and Play ages 0-2
10:30 Wiggle and Grow ages 2-3
4:00 Laugh and Learn ages 3-4
6:00 Wiggle and Grow ages 2-3

9:30 Wiggle and Grow Family ages 0-7 (for families with siblings who want to do class together)

Date: Studio opens in September

Time: Class times vary.

Location: 2863 Old Missouri Rd., Fayetteville, in the Butterfield Plaza (diagonal from Butterfield Trail Elementary School)

More info: Click here

Coming up:


Tinkerfest (The Amazeum event)

The Amazeum announced the inaugural Tinkerfest presented by 3M to be held 10am – 3pm, Saturday October 4th, 2014 at Old High Middle School in Bentonville.  This event is free and open to the public. Tinkerfest is a hands-on event where makers, artists, and tinkerers showcase their work and attendees of all ages join in the fun. Tinkerfest is a fun family activity where all can experiment and learn things together.

Learn how to pick a lock, how to solder electronics, or how to create an electric circuit. Make gigantic bubbles, launch your own rocket, or discover what goes into making a car by taking one apart.

Date: Oct. 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Old High Middle School, Bentonville

More info: Click here or call 479-696-9280 x 201. Click here if you’d like to bring an activity to Tinkerfest.


Date: Oct. 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Frisco Park, First & Elm Streets, Rogers

More info: Click here

Happy Hollow Harvest Moon Festival

Date: Oct. 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: 2175 E. Peppervine Drive, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

happy hollow 2014

Fashion Fairy Godmother: Game Day Outfit Inspiration


By Lizzy Miller, fashion blogger, U of A student and nwaMotherlode intern

Fashion Fairy GodmotherIt’s beginning to look a lot like game day here in Northwest Arkansas, and I could not be happier. Hog football is in our roots and we Arkansans go all out for our team. Ever since I began school at the U of A, game days have always been my favorite. The school spirit in Arkansas is contagious, and I like to show my pride in my game day outfits.button

For me, the perfect game day outfit is something simple: a little red, a little white or cream, a little black.

Being in a sorority, I always have my Chi Omega loves the Hogs button to wear, so even if I’m wearing a plain, casual black dress, I still tie in a little red. I love game day buttons like this one from

If you’re looking for a little game day outfit inspiration, take a look at these collages we’ve put together with pieces you can find right here at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. Happy shopping and Go Hogs!

jc penney game day

gameoutfitcasualgamedayElizabeth 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.

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