Voting is about to close for the 2016 Mom-Approved Awards!

awardsVoting is open for just a few more days in the 2016 Mom-Approved Awards! Voting ends Monday, August 22nd!

Vote for your favorite mom-friendly businesses in Northwest Arkansas. (CLICK HERE to vote online!)

We know from personal experience that the best recommendations are from our fellow mamas. If you want to know where the best places are to eat, shop, get a haircut, buy a car or go to preschool, ask another mom. She’ll know where to send you for the best stuff from the friendliest people.click here to vote

Moms are often the CES of the family (Chief Executive Shopper), which is why it’s important to have a list of some of the best stores and services in the area. Your votes will help other moms (especially those new to the area) make more informed decisions, and it’s also a great way to recognize those local businesses and service providers who know how to treat a mama right.

Another BIG perk? When you fill out the survey (CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW) you’ll automatically be entered to win $350 in gift cards for the “Unique Boutique Shopping Spree.” We put together a list of some of our favorite places to shop, and each of those boutiques has contributed a gift card. We’ll choose a name (at random) and that voter will receive a total of $350 in gift cards to use at these participating boutiques: (Click the name of each shop to visit their online stores.)

shopping bags2 The Anchor

Belle Boutique

Blue Moon on the Square

The Haley Boutique

Kate Austin

The Mustache

Use your shopping spree to add some new things to your fall wardrobe or your home, or use it to get a jump on gift shopping before the holidays. You’re going to LOVE these one-of-a-kind shops.

The details: Cast your vote by August 20th. (It takes less than 5 minutes.) Be sure to complete at least 30 of the 35 categories in order to be eligible to win the Unique Boutique Shopping Spree. We always choose our winners at random using a random number generator, so anyone can win.

The award winners will be posted on nwaMotherlode.com in late August. We’ll also provide a downloadable list of the winning businesses that you can print and keep as a handy reference.

We’d love for you to tell your friends about the giveaway — or share it with those business owners you may be voting for. We’re sure they would love to know they’ve got your support!

We can’t wait to reveal your favorite businesses and announce the BIG WINNER of the Unique Boutique Shopping Spree. Thanks and good luck!

collage2

August 2016: Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events

Calendar, August

First Thursday Fayetteville

FirstThursday_LimeOn the first Thursday of each month from April to October, First Thursday Fayetteville transforms the city’s historic Downtown Square in to a vibrant arts district, featuring the work of more than 40 visual artists, live music, street performers, food and drink, and children’s activities. First Thursday Fayetteville is a monthly event held on the Downtown Fayetteville Square, celebrating original works of art. On the first Thursday of each month, an outdoor art walk, live music, and a local craft beer garden take over the Square, while participating galleries and art-related venues offer free access to visual and performing art starting at 6:30 p.m. Starting in May, the Kids Stage act will be from 6 pm – 6:45 pm.

It’s a safe, family-friendly, community event for people of all ages, free to the public, and a lot of fun. First Thursday feels like a giant gallery opening, with all the energy and excitement of a street festival.

Date: Aug. 4

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

gulley park concert series 2016Gulley Park Summer Concert Series

Last concert of the season! Effron White from 7-9 p.m. Free event. Bring your blankets, picnics and drinks.

Date: Aug. 4

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Location: Gulley Park, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

First Friday Bentonville

On the First Friday of every month, Bentonville Square is transformed into a themed community block party with live music, outstanding food and family friendly activities. Thousands of members come out to celebrate the community. The theme for this First Friday is back to school.

Date: Aug. 5

Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Downtown Bentonville

More info: Click here

First Fridays august

Dog Day of Summer at the Siloam Springs Farmer’s Market

The annual Dog Day of Summer event at the Farmers Market will have: Special Dog-Themed Vendors All Day; 9:30am – Dog Walk; 10am – FREE Contests:

  • Cutest Dog
  • Cutest Puppy
  • Dog/Owner Look Alike
  • Best Costume
  • No registration required – contests are FREE! Farmers Market Vendors will be the judges.

10:30am – Live Music from Sam Thompson

Date: Aug. 6

Time: See above

Location: Downtown Siloam Springs

More info: Click here

Astronomy Night at Hobbs State Park (Features the Milky Way and the Perseid Meteor Showers)

night sky, hobbsThe Sugar Creek Astronomical Society (SCAS) will once again partner with Hobbs State Park for another FREE night sky viewing on August 6th. Each astronomy event at Hobbs is different because the night sky constantly changes.

According to Katherine Auld, President of the SCAS, “The Perseid meteor shower bursts into light as Earth passes through the long trail left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.  The Perseid meteor shower runs through most of August, but it will not peak until the following week so the number of meteors we will spot will likely only range up to 20 per hour.  During the lecture we will talk about the Perseid meter shower; its source, location in the sky and viewing practices so that you can have the best possible chance of viewing this spectacle.

With only a wee sliver of a moon this night, we will have the dark skies necessary for a beautiful view of the Milky Way.  Members of SCAS will have telescopes set up for the public viewing.  We will be able to explore The Great Rift (massive clouds of starlight-soaking dust extending from Sagittarius across Cygnus).  We will also have the chance to view several deep sky objects including M51, the Whirlpool galaxy, and M39, an open star cluster in Cygnus.”

What to Bring:

  • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
  • Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
  • Folding chair – one per person`
  • Star chart (if you have one)

Date: Aug. 6

Time: Beginning astronomy class at 7:30 p.m.; observation using binoculars, telescopes and the naked eye will begin shortly after sunset, about 8:30 pm

Location: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

More info:  Call 479-789-5000 or visit http://www.friendsofhobbs.com/

Coffee & Cars

coffee and carsCoffee & Cars in Downtown Springdale will be Aug. 6 from 8a.m. – noon. This family friendly event is FREE and open to the public. Downtown Springdale will be filled with antique cars, muscle cars, show cars, motorcycles, and your favorite classics the first Saturday of the month through October across from the Shiloh Square. You’re invited to bring your own car or motorcycle to register for FREE! Five trophies will be awarded by various community leaders including Mayor Sprouse and the Downtown Springdale Alliance.

Complimentary coffee and pastries will be available from Springdale’s own Pontiac Coffee House while supplies last. The Mill Street Market is just one block over – meaning lots of tasty treats and fantastic shopping.

Date: Aug. 6

Time: 8 a.m. to noon

Location: Downtown Springdale

More info: Click here

Tontitown Grape Festival

FREE parking, FREE admission, FREE entertainment, armband SPECIALS each night, & much more.

grape festival 2016FREE NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT schedule:
Tues 8/9 – 7pm: Backroad Anthem, 9pm: Clayton Anderson
Wed 8/10 – 7pm: Eye for a LiE, 9pm: Maren Morris
Thurs 8/11 – 7pm: Kelly Road Band, 9pm: Shenandoah
Fri 8/12 – 7pm: J.R. & The All Stars, 9:30pm: J.R. Moore
Sat 8/13 – 6pm: Kyla Horton Stephens, 7pm: Kevin Upshaw & One Night Stand, 9pm: John Berry

Date: Aug. 9-13

Time: Varies

Location: Tontitown

More info: Click here

Summer Concert Series, BGO

Gates open at 5 and the Garden is free to enter! Bring a picnic and a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy some mid-week entertainment. Featuring The Silvershakers.

Date: Aug. 16

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival

Date: Aug. 18-20

Time: Varies

Location: Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Secchi Day on Beaver Lake

secchi dayThe public is invited to attend the 11th annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at Prairie Creek on Beaver Lake, five miles east of Rogers, Arkansas, on Hwy. 12. The Science Education Festival includes activities for all ages, with a mobile aquarium, on shore scavenger hunt with prizes, free lunch and ice cream, kayak test rides, microscope activities, a photo contest and more. This event is free. Email awilson@bwdh2o.org. The event is named for the Secchi Disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity.

Date: Aug. 20

Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Prairie Creek on Beaver Lake

More info: Click here

Buckin’ in the Ozarks PBR

Date: Aug. 20

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Parsons Stadium, Springdale

More info: Click here

’80s Night at the Rink

This special 1980′s-themed ice skating session sounds awesome. Dress up in your favorite neon, windbreakers, or poofy hair to introduce your children to what life was like in the 80′s. This is a free ice skating event for member only and their families. Become a member or renew your membership online here http://bit.ly/1Nmq9Vs or by calling 479-756-8090.

Date: Aug. 21

Time: 5-7 p.m.

Location: The Jones Center, Springdale

More info: Click here

Frisco Festival

frisco festival 2016Live music on Friday night and Saturday from 3pm until 11pm. Musicians include: Got It Covered, CalleSoul Salsa, Voxana, The Show and Tellers and Crescent City Combo. Expanded kid zone includes magicians, street performers and games. There will be Southern BMX Stunt Show performing on Saturday, dancing, food and craft vendors and a BBQ contest and chicken cook-off. There are still more surprises planned so stay tuned.

Date: Aug. 26-27

Time: Varies

Location: Downtown Rogers

More info: Click here

Model Railroad Show

Enjoy a model train display in the Annex of the Rogers Historical Museum on the Saturday of Frisco Festival.

Date: Aug. 27

Time: See link below for more info

Location: Rogers Historical Museum

More info: Click here

Dickson Street Slide

slideThis event will have you slip-slidin’ on a water slide spanning Dickson Street from Collier Drug Store to WAC! This benefits Solider On Service Dogs, which will be working with the Dickson Street Merchants Association and the City of Fayetteville, local businesses and nonprofits to provide food, fun, and entertainment.

Date: Aug. 28

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

Location: Dickson Street

More info: Click here

The Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events is sponsored by The Jones Center for Families in Springdale. There’s ALWAYS something fun happening at The Jones Center, plus they have all kinds of classes for adults and kids — and great birthday party options at the indoor swimming pool, gymnastics or ice skating rink! CLICK HERE to visit the Jones Center website to see more!

jones center, small

Kids playing Pokemon GO in NWA? Here’s your Poke-Mom cheat sheet!

Pokestop, fountain

This PokeStop is one of several at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville

If your kids are like ours (or maybe you’re into it, too!), all they’ve talked about this week is Pokemon GO.

jigglypuff pokemon goOur teenagers have emerged from their bedrooms, blinking in the bright sunlight. They’re definitely getting more exercise. And we’ve taken full advantage of the bonding opportunity by driving them around town hunting Pokemon.

If you’re not completely caught up on the craze, there’s a Poke-Mom’s Vocabulary Cheat Sheet at the bottom of this post to help you speak your child’s Poke-language.

In the meantime, we want to help you earn some “cool mom” points by knowing just where to go around town to “Catch ‘Em All”. It’s also just a great excuse to get out and explore NWA!

Here’s a list of the Best Pokemon Go Hunting Grounds around Northwest Arkansas (and we’ll continue to update the list as we learn about new locations):

Fayetteville

Northwest Arkansas Mall

The PIGShibition sculpture at the NWA Mall is a PokeStop. Tip: Lots of the PIGShibition pigs around town are PokeStops as well as murals and other pieces of art.

Dickson Street

Eevee on dickson

Great hunting on Dickson Street!

This street has been even busier since Pokemon GO play started; it’s teeming with trainers at night.

Poke-event alert: On July 30th, for adult Pokemon players, there’s a Pokemon Go Pub Crawl. The Facebook event page says, “Meet at the corner of Dickson and Arkansas (where all those great pokestops are)! Pub Crawl with great people, catching Pokemon and meeting fellow trainers!” Click here to read more about the event.

It’s totally true about the intersection at Dickson and Arkansas being filled with PokeStops. We stopped by there last night and scooped ‘em up like crazy! And you’ll definitely be in good company since there will be lots of other trainers hanging out with friends and phones, too.

Fayetteville Square

After successfully hunting Dickson Street, you should head over to the Fayetteville Square. You can find lots of pretty flowers and a passel of pocket monsters.

You’ll also find Pokemon in some of the great shops lining the square, including The Mustache Goods and Wears.

Lots of PokeStops (look for the Fulbright sculpture) and lures here.

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

You’ll have to pay to see Pokemon in the gardens, but it’s so beautiful, that’s ok! Tip: If you go on Tuesday nights (from 5-8 p.m.) this summer, it’s FREE. We were there recently and the place was brimming with Pokemon and trainers trying to catch ‘em.

Lake Fayetteville/Veteran’s Park

WOW, this place is hoppin’ with Pokemon and trainers. You will capture mucho Pokemon just by driving through the park here. They might even hop into your car:

Driving

Ozark Natural Foods

You can stop by and battle your level 5 Pokemon at the co-op! Then you can fuel up for your next stop. :)

Washington Regional Medical Center

Several friends said they’d scored Pokemon while visiting inside the hospital or on the grounds.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

It’s a PokeStop! The pastor even has some “max potion” (a.k.a. water) outside the church for trainers.

Fayetteville Public Library

It’s a gym! There are also several PokeStops in and around the library.

Gulley Park

Lots of stops there, players.

Springdale

Springdale Public Library

Poke Party, SPLPoke-Event Alert: The SPL and surrounding grounds are filled with Pokemon! And the library is having fun with the whole craze, calling all Pokemon Trainers to come to the library on Monday (July 18) at 4:30 to catch Pokemon and make their own Pokeball to take home. “Take advantage of our lures, charging stations for low batteries, and free Premium Pokemon Trainer Fuel after catching Pokemon in the heat!”

Holiday Inn Convention Center

The convention center has definitely seen a few Pokemon visitors this week!

Downtown Springdale, Emma Avenue

This is a cool stretch of downtown with restaurants, flea markets and the Shiloh Museum. There are lots of Pokemon hanging around there.

Also? We hear that a fun Springdale mama is making HAND-CROCHETED poke balls and hiding them around downtown for players to find. How cute is that?

The Jones Center for Families

While you’re headed down Emma, keep going until  you reach The Jones Center. The campus is crawling with Pokémon! There are 3 Pokestops there, and a Pokemon Gym inside the facility. Squirtle has been known to hang around, too. You can see him here staying cool by the pool:

Jones Center, squirtle use

Rogers

Downtown Rogers

Lots of PokeStops here!

Target

There’s a PokeStop right outside the doors.

Global Outreach Center – Immanuel Baptist

It’s on 26th St. and it has a huge globe that you’ll see from the road.

Benton County Memorial Park & Cemetery

Check by the statue near the entrance.

Rogers Aquatic Center

Look for the PokeStop near the sign by the entrance.

Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall

The mall is oozing Pokemon. Jack found a Spearow today!

Jack at Pinnacle Promendae Mall

First Presbyterian Church on New Hope Road

It’s a PokeStop!

Hobbs State Park

Check for Pokemon at their entrance sign and around the park. They have some really cool things happening this summer, too, so be sure to stay and enjoy the activities (and nature)!

Bentonville

Crystal Bridges

Randolph Rogers, “Atala and Chactas” (and Spearow). Photo via Crystal Bridges

Crystal Bridges Museum

Lots of Pokemon have been captured while they were hanging out beside pieces of art! Not only are the creatures hanging out inside, they’re also all over the trails and museum grounds. Just remember to be respectful of art lovers who aren’t trainers.

You’ll be in good trainer company if you visit James Turrell’s Skyspace, “The Way of Color,” on Crystal Bridges’ Art Trail.

You’ll really level up here!

Northwest Arkansas Florist

Look for the painted horse statue out front and find the PokeStop nearby!

Northwest Arkansas Community College

You’ll find several PokeStops and gyms here.

Bentonville Square

You’ll find loads of stops around the square! The place is hopping every night with trainers.

Bentonville Public Library

If you’re walking around Bentonville playing Pokémon Go, stop by the Bentonville Public Library. It’s a PokeStop! BPL invites you to come inside the library to catch Pokémon and knowledge.

BPL

Eevee resting on the Bentonville Public Library shelves

Eureka Springs

Eureka is crawling with critters! They have a charging station in Basin Spring Park and there are tons of PokeStops.

How to Speak Poke-Language: If your kid’s vocabulary suddenly makes no sense, don’t worry. Pokemon terms sometimes sound like your kid is speaking Portuguese. As promised, here’s a handy cheat sheet so you’ll (sorta) know what your kid is talking about when he says something like “Hey, Mom! I finally got my Weedle to evolve!”

pokemon sheet 700

Note from the Mamas: The Fayetteville Animal Shelter is encouraging people to harness the power of Pokemon Go, Walk for a Dog and shelter dogs for the ultimate trifecta of doing good and helping others! So here’s how you can get involved: If you just like walking, consider downloading the Walk for a Dog app and have it running in the background while you jog/walk, etc and select “Fayetteville Animal Services” as the beneficiary. You can use the app in conjunction with Pokemon Go.

FAS adds: And, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, consider becoming a volunteer at the shelter and you can check out an awesome shelter dog for the day or afternoon and go Pokemon hunting or just walking our beautiful trails, through our Hounds Around Town program! Our next orientation will be Thursday, July 21st at 5:15 pm!!

Extra NOTE: Remember to be careful out there, trainers! And mind your manners! Hunt in groups and look up from your phone often. Here’s a warning Mercy Hospital shared recently about playing it safe.

The best snow cone stands in Northwest Arkansas!

snow cone graphic from printableUPDATED for Summer 2016: We love a sweet, syrupy snow cone on a hot summer day!

snow coneWe rounded up a list of where you can find great snow cones throughout Northwest Arkansas. If you don’t see your favorite snow cone stand on the list, email us and let us know where it is!

Click HERE to download a printer-friendly version of this list. Keep it in your purse or car so you’ll know where to go for an icy treat.

Note: We’ve linked to as many of the businesses below as possible so you can visit their Facebook page to check for hours of operation (and list of flavors) before you visit.

Fayetteville:

Shave the Planet: 3078 N. College Ave. (Next to the Bank of Fayetteville and Hobby Lobby)

Tropical Sno: 464 E. Joyce Blvd. (near TJ Maxx and Best Buy)

Springdale:

Shave the Planet: 1308 N. Thompson (Across from AQ Chicken and Kum&Go)

Shave the Planet: 2940 W. Sunset Ave. (in front of Malco Theater and Harps grocery store)

Lowell:

The Ice Box (formerly Sugar Shack): 1115 N. Dixieland Rd. (in the Golf Mountain parking lot)

Rogers:

The Frozen Coconut: 718 N. 2nd St. (across from Harps, near the Rogers Activity Center)

The Ice Box (formerly Cam’s Mountain Sno): Walnut Rd. (in the Frisco Station Mall parking lot near Hobby Lobby)

Brain Freeze Sno & Whips: 4205 S. Pleasant Crossing Blvd. (in the Burlington parking lot)

Bentonville:

The Chill Zone: 214 NE “A” St. (by the Lawrence Plaza Splash Pad)

Brain Freeze of Bentonville: 200 SW Regional Airport Blvd. (just off Rainbow Curve)

Frozen Tung: 604 Southwest A Street

Kona Ice: Shaved ice truck that travels around Northwest Arkansas (Call for today’s location.)

sno cone slider

Beauty Buzz: How to deal with under-eye circles

By Andi Douglas

I am 1001 times over the dark circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. Once only a problem for Hungover Andi, they have become a daily struggle and the realization that this is caused by *gulp* the thinning of my skin due to aging sent me spiraling into the five stages of grief.

Denial: Dang, the lighting in my bathroom is awful…I’ll look better once I’m outside.

Anger: This is ridiculous! I’ve never had dark circles before and I WILL NOT have them now. Period.

Bargaining: Okay, if I start going to bed an hour early instead of searching Pinterest and I drink 8, no 10 glasses of water a day they’ll go away. Yeah, that will work.

Depression: If I’m going to look like a raccoon I might as well just sleep all day and create a burrow on the couch. Loafin’ Joes delivers; I’m just a fat raccoon now. Call me Rocky. *sigh*

Acceptance: Siri, how do I cover these freaking under eye circles?

So, here I am admitting that I need to add a couple of extra steps to my beauty routine which I can accept, because to be honest, I wasn’t really getting that extra hour of sleep anyway.

If your dark circles are accompanied by puffiness there are a few ways to minimize those bags. Preventatively, cut down the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet. Both lead to water retention and increased swelling. You can also sleep on an extra pillow to help drain the fluid that is accumulating around your eyes and apply a cold compress or chilled spoon under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning.

To help hide the discoloration, follow these 3 steps:

1. Prep your skin with an eye cream: Dab a drop of eye cream along the under eye area starting on the inside corner and working your way out. There are a jillion under eye creams on the market because we all know our “wisdom” shows first in our eyes, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples and test it out. A couple of top-rated options are Mario Badescu Skin Care Ceramide Eye Gel , particularly effective for puffiness if you keep it in the fridge, and Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, which lives up to it’s name.

under eye circles2. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them show: I bet Elsa depuffs her eyes every morning with her icy touch but not all of us are that lucky. Gently dot concealer along the under eye area using a thin concealer brush and starting at the inner corner of the eye were circles are darkest. Choose a concealer that brightens and has a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple color of the dark circles. (FYI: Here’s a great guide to what makeup brushes are for what)

3. Seal the deal with powder: Prevent the concealer from settling into creases and wrinkles throughout the day by applying a light translucent powder on top. Or you can use a matte eye shadow two shades lighter than your skin.

If you too are suffering with the loss of your 30-second makeup routine and having trouble coping, there is a support group. We meet at the Chick-fil-A playground in our active wear.

P.S. If your dark circles happen to be brought on by a new baby, a stomach bug raging through your house, an elementary school yearbook deadline that required several all nighters (true story), or having to wait up late for a tardy teenager, you wear those bags with pride, Mama!