Tick Tock! Soak in summer before it’s gone.

parrot4We can’t believe that the kids’ summer break from school is coming to a close. But you DO have a little more time to squeeze in one more fun day trip before it’s over.parrotisland-logo

We suggest you check out one of our great website sponsors, Parrot Island Waterpark in Fort Smith, which just happens to be home to the only giant wave pool in this part of the state! It also has several water slides to choose from and a relaxing lazy river (our personal favorite).

If you want to throw a last-minute birthday bash, sports team celebration or “end of summer” party, there are also party packages available at Parrot Island.

A trip to Parrot Island would be a great way for one last opportunity to “get out of town” for the day without the hassle or expense of a long drive. For more info on directions and park hours, click HERE.



Picture perfect at Parrot Island

parrot6 690Happy Tuesday, mamas! Just wanted to remind you that if you’d like to do an easy day trip with the kids and try something new, our sponsor Parrot Island water park in Fort Smith has parrotisland-logothousands of gallons of water just waiting for your swimmers and splashers. It’s great for a fun day out of the house or for a special occasion. (They offer party packages, too.)

There are plenty of slides to choose from not to mention the lazy river and the HUGE wave pool — the only one in our area of the state.

Click HERE for more info and directions on how to get to Parrot Island. Have fun!



Splash down at Parrot Island

parrot8Happy Friday, mamas! Now that we have some beautiful June weather to enjoy, we wanted to remind you that there’s an awesome water park (complete with the only wave pool in this part of the state) just a short drive from NWA. Parrot Island in Fort Smith recently opened for their second summer season.

parrotisland-logoClick HERE to read an article we wrote recently about Parrot Island to find out more about what’s available at the water park. Park passes are very reasonably priced, but you can get an even better deal if you visit the park on Mondays when they offer “Value Passes” that are good for the entire day. Click here for info on Value Passes.

As you can see in the photo above, there are LOTS of fun slides in addition to the wave pool. There’s also a long, winding lazy river and a big open, shallow area called Tiny Turtle Island that’s great for toddlers and preschoolers. (In fact, on Wednesdays they restrict this area so that it’s used only by guests age 5 and under, which makes it easier to avoid having your little ones get bumped into or accidentally knocked down by older kids.)

Click HERE for info about hours of operation and how to get to Parrot Island.

Have fun, and don’t forget the sunscreen!


Kitchen is becoming the smartest room in the house

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Note from the mamas: Besides our cell phones, the machines in our kitchens are the ones we interact with most on a day-to-day basis. That’s why we’re constantly on the lookout for the latest advancements in the appliances we rely on so much. We asked our friend and website sponsor, Judy Bilyeu of Metro Appliances & More, to bring us up to speed on some of the new technology she is seeing introduced in the appliance industry. Keep in mind you can see some of these appliances in person on the showroom floor at Metro Appliances & More in Springdale.

By Judy Bilyeu, Metro Appliances & More

Technology has made some pretty impressive advancements over the years, and the appliance industry is no exception. Consumers everywhere now have the ability to make their kitchens a little smarter with interactive, metro technology2streamlined appliances that can be accessed and engaged remotely. Indeed, the lines of Internet-connected appliances — from ovens to refrigerators and washing machines — have made technological leaps in household maintenance.

This summer, Electrolux is introducing a new innovative product that eliminates the need to stand beside the oven, checking every few seconds to see if your roast is ready. These new cookers are equipped with cameras inside the oven, allowing you to monitor the progress of your meal on your mobile phone. This appliance will also revolutionize cooking life for those among us who don’t have a natural instinct for when to put certain things in the oven or get started on sides to ensure everything is metro technology1 680completed at once and maintains its heat. A separate app will signal when work needs to begin on each component of the meal and help ensure the heat remains in proportion to the recipe.

Other innovations come in the form of the new Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, which is revolutionizing the way families communicate. The Family Hub Refrigerator streamlines household communications. With a 2.1-inch full HD LCD resolution screen, families can post, share, and update calendars, leave notes, pin photos, and even display the kids’ latest artistic masterpiece. The Family Hub will also help organize groceries and identify items that need to be restocked.

Kitchens really are becoming one of the smartest rooms in the house. The latest in appliances offered by premium brands are designed to modernize your kitchen experience. Digital panels on appliances have become more and more mainstream, but Metro metro technology3 300brands such as Dacor, Viking, Jenn-Air and Wolf have upped the ante with touch-screen displays and guided cooking tutorials. Many of these ovens feature the added ability to choose the meal you intend to prepare from a specific stored recipe. The application will suggest the appropriate temperature based on your meal’s specifications, which range from how done your meat should be to the type of pans you intend to use.

As we advance further, appliances working in tandem will help maintain connections to gauge when one process ends and the other begins, reinvigorating everyday tasks. We have officially entered the era of at-home James Bond technology.

For more info on the appliances mentioned in this post, swing by the Metro Appliances & More showroom in Springdale or call them at 479-750-2200. Click here to visit Metro on the Web.

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Sponsor Spotlight: A Q&A with Cosmetic Surgery Clinic

Dr. Rhys BranmanWe interviewed Dr. Rhys Branman of Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, one of our sponsors here at nwaMotherlode, about  the “mommy makeover” and other cosmetic surgery questions mamas might want to ask.

Of course, we LOVE before and after shots and there are lots to look at HERE.

Dr. Branman regularly appears on Arkansas television answering patient questions about cosmetic surgery and has been featured nationally on Dateline NBC. CLICK HERE to see some of his most popular videos and media features on Good Morning Arkansas.

Q: How long has your clinic been open? Can you tell us a little about your approach?

Our clinic was originally opened by Dr. Jim Billie in 1986. I originally trained with Dr. Billie in 1998 and was asked by him to take over the practice in 2002. Since that time, we have grown the practice to include a certified surgery center and all aspects of cosmetic surgery and aesthetician services.

Our practice approach is patient-centric. I want to know how the patient feels about themselves and what they see as aesthetic issues. We work hand-in-hand with our patients to guide them through the process of aesthetic change and partner with our patients to achieve the best, most natural results.

Q: What does a free consultation consist of?

meet dr branman's staffA cosmetic consultation is an opportunity for patients to meet privately with a potential surgeon to discuss their concerns, learn about which procedures and treatments can help, and ask questions. When arriving for an initial consultation, you will first be greeted by one of our friendly staff members, who will provide you with necessary patient forms.

When your registration is complete, it is time to meet with me and my nurse.  During this time, I will listen to your concerns, evaluate your trouble areas, and make expert recommendations for the best course of treatment.

The consultation is all about you, and it’s the perfect time to learn more about your procedure(s) of interest and ask any questions you may have about surgery, recovery, and results. We will also go over a number of other things, including:

  • My qualifications, credentials, and experience.
  • Where your procedure will be performed.
  • Who will be administering anesthesia.
  • Before and after photos of patients with a similar body type and concerns as yours.

Once your examination is complete, you’ll meet again with a patient coordinator to discuss your financing and payment options and, if you feel comfortable moving forward, schedule your procedure.

Q: What’s the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery?

While there is quite a bit of overlap between the two, there are some distinct differences. Plastic surgery is largely focused on restoring normal functionality and appearance, with surgery being reconstructive in nature. Plastic surgery usually includes reconstructing or improving defects on the body and face that result from injury, trauma, disease, or birth defects.

Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is focused on enhancing or improving appearance from an aesthetic standpoint. Goals include enhancing symmetry, proportion, and balance of the body, face, or breasts to achieve a more pleasing appearance.

Q: What types of surgeries do you perform at your clinic?

branman testimonialI perform a wide variety of facial, breast, and body cosmetic procedures, including breast enhancement (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction), body contouring (liposuction, tummy tuck, mommy makeovers), and facial rejuvenation (facelift, rhinoplasty, facial implants). Additionally, I offer a number of non-surgical or minimally invasive options to address a variety of concerns.

Q: What’s the Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is a customized set of procedures designed to help address some of the main concerns mothers have after pregnancy and childbirth. Typically, these concerns are related to excess or sagging skin around the abdomen and changes in breast appearance.

While a mommy makeover can be customized with any number of procedures or treatments based on the patient’s needs, mommy makeovers most frequently include a breast lift (with or without breast implants), liposuction, and tummy tuck surgery.

Q: What do you say to women who are afraid of feeling “vain” or too preoccupied with their appearance to have a procedure?

If there is something about your appearance that bothers you, makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, or negatively impacts your self-esteem, there is nothing at all wrong with getting a little extra help.

The confidence that comes from feeling and looking your best can have a positive impact on your family and almost every other area of your life. I firmly disagree with the idea that correcting or improving a feature that causes you despair is vain.

Q: What about a woman’s concern that a procedure isn’t safe?

When performed by a qualified, board certified cosmetic surgeon, these procedures are quite safe and come with few risks. Prior to any procedure, your health and medical history is assessed to ensure there are no underlying factors that may lead to surgical complications—so be sure to answer all questions honestly and thoroughly.

Safe anesthesia is also paramount. That’s why I work only with board certified anesthesiologists in my practice.

The third key to your safety is checking that your surgeon operates in an accredited surgery center.

If you have any concerns about the safety of a procedure, get a second opinion. It’s also wise to independently verify all of the practice’s certifications before proceeding with any surgery, no matter how minor it sounds.

Q: When you’re not helping patients, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy camping, hiking, playing guitar, and travel. I also definitely enjoy trying out new foods and wines and, when I have the time, enjoy cooking at home.