New appliance colors for our kitchens? Yes, please!

appliance colors collage

1. Viking Duel Fuel Range in Apple Red; 2. Viking Series 7 Duel Fuel Range in Cobalt Blue; 3. KitchenAid Wall Oven in Black Stainless; 4. GE French Door Refrigerator in Slate Grey; 5. GE Dishwasher in the Artistry Finish

By Judy Bilyeu of Metro Appliances & More

There’s a reason the kitchen is called the heart of the home. It’s where memories are created, from stealing bites of cookie dough to learning how to operate more than just the toaster or microwave. Over the years, the kitchen has become more than where food is prepared — it has transformed into the central hub of entertaining. Likewise, the kitchen continues to see design trends come and go, especially when it comes to appliance color.

In the 80s and 90s, the predominant kitchen color was white. Following white was monochromatic, a white on white. It wasn’t until the mid-90s that the public embraced stainless steel. Stainless steel has reigned supreme in the court of public opinion for more than twenty years and has proven its true staying power. Still, while there’s no denying that stainless steel remains incredibly popular, it is starting to have a bit of competition.

Some heavyweight contenders for the stainless steel crown include Slate from GE, which debuted in 2012. Slate makes a bold statement and stands as a premium alternative to stainless steel with a warm grey matte and a low-gloss metallic finish. With GE’s Slate, homeowners can choose a small slategamut of wall colors, countertop materials, floor and cabinetry finishes. GE’s Slate appliances deliver a bold look that captures the warmth of the kitchen while embodying the spirit of all things fresh and modern.

GE’s Slate is also a hit among homeowners. 72% of Slate appliance owners are committed to adding more Slate appliances to their kitchens. The reasons listed for choosing Slate over other industry alternatives are numerous; Slate doesn’t show fingerprints, liking the color and appearance, it’s easy to clean, and it matches existing décor. GE’s Slate might not yet be a household name, but with overwhelming approval from current Slate-appliance homeowners, it’s a safe bet that Slate’s popularity will continue to grow.

black stainless smallKitchenAid has just launched a new line with a color called Black Stainless Steel. The new Black Stainless finish provides a fresh contrast against the traditional stainless steel. The new color offers a satiny luster, paired with a modern sleekness that makes its own style statement, according to KitchenAid product designers.

The classics still have a way of reinventing themselves every ten or fifteen years. Favorite brands such as Whirlpool have made the old new again with color trend appliances such as “White or Black Ice” with a new twist on a smooth, almost glass-like finish. (The photo below shows a kitchen equipped with the new “white ice” appliances.)

whirpool white ice resizedartistry smallGE likewise has a line featuring a retro look entitled “Artistry.”  This new class of bold appliances takes the fast lane to epic style with cool metallic handles, sleek chrome trim and classic lines.

GE is currently requesting feedback from potential customers who may be interested in Cupcake Blue or Bell Pepper Red for their next appliance purchase. For those who truly desire bold color in their kitchen, Viking appliances are available in seven colors, including dark blue, apple red, graphite grey, cobalt blue and burgundy in addition to white, black and stainless steel.

While stainless steel might be on its way out in terms of the next big thing, it isn’t going without a fight. A survey conducted by Houzz in 2014 confirmed the lasting appeal of stainless, with 83% of respondents citing it as a preferred appliance finish.

You can see all of these different color options on the showroom floor at Metro Appliances & More in Springdale. (It’s located at 5700 N. Thompson. Call them at 479-750-2200 if you have questions.) Seeing an appliance color in person is such a big help when you’re trying to decide what colors you want in your kitchen. No matter your preferred finish—whether you’re ready for something new and exciting or something comfortable but modern, Metro Appliances & More will help you find the perfect fit, for you, your home, and your budget.

metro appliances and more

Sponsor Spotlight: Maids in Red, a new, conscientious cleaning service in NWA

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Here at nwaMotherlode, local mamas are always asking us for cleaning service recommendations.

Moms are busy, and in between work, taking care of kids, outside activities, committees and you fill in the blank, we need HELP with keeping our houses clean. Enter our newest website sponsor, Maids in Red. We like that Maids in Red has flat rates (plus add-on services) so you don’t have to guess how much they’ll charge.

They also offer an overall outline of everything they’ll clean while they’re at your house, so you know what you’re getting.

We interviewed Andrew Flocks, the Maids in Red founder, about the company so all you mamas out there could learn more about this local, independent new cleaning service:

Q: What inspired you to launch Maids in Red in Northwest Arkansas?

I saw a way that I could use technology to improve the cleaning industry in the Northwest Arkansas area.  We offer online booking, online schedule management, online payment and you know what a cleaning will cost you before we come to your home.

Q: What inspired the “in red” part of the name?

The “In Red” part honest is simply paying homage to the Hogs.  I went to the UofA to get a degree in Economics and I am a Hogs fan through and through.

Q: Where do you find your cleaning people and are they background checked?

maids in red, safety firstI find cleaners the same way many other folks find cleaners, I post ads looking for cleaners.  But from there I devote time to multiple interviews and test cleanings.  I look at their work history and I run background checks to make sure they are going to perform a premium cleaning.  I do what you would want to do if you had the time to devote to it.

Q: What would you say to a busy mom who’s on the fence about whether to book Maids in Red?

The simple answer is they should book a clean, right now.  But the longer answer is all about time.  Make a list of things you want to be doing and who you want to be doing those things with, if cleaning is on that list great, want a job?  But likely, you want to spend time with your family and do things that enrich your life and theirs.  The act of cleaning does not enrich your life, having a clean home is enriching.  So let us do the work and we’ll let you enjoy the pleasure of having a clean home.

maids in red, clean house

A clean house. Ahhhhhhhh.

Q: Tell us about your flat rate service charges:

We use flat rate pricing for one reason, it is simple.  Most homes have similar needs as far as cleaning goes and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel each time.  If a family has needs that are outside the norm they can let us know and we will figure things out.  I have found that 95%+ of homes out there fit easily into the flat rate pricing model.  We trust our customers to accurately let us know what their needs are and we haven’t had any issues with this yet.

Q: And you offer extra “add-on” cleaning services, correct? What kinds of extra cleaning jobs can we request?

We have standard cleaning that covers most needs but we also offer extras that allow customers to get exactly what they need.  We offer a green cleaning option, oven clean outs, frig clean outs, extras to handle cleaning up pet hair, etc.  The biggest thing we see people use is our Deep Cleaning add on.  That just covers your bases for a good thorough cleaning if you haven’t had your homed cleaned professionally in a while.  A deep cleaning will get your home ready for your boss to come over for dinner.

Q: What if we need someone to clean our house on a regular basis? Is there a discount?

If a customer wants to have us handle their cleaning on a regular basis we have two different discount levels.  If they are looking for a monthly cleaning they get a 15% discount to their total bill.  If they are looking for a weekly or a bi-weekly cleaning we offer a 30% discount.  The idea behind the discount is that will get to know your home and learn the ins and outs of it, allowing us to clean it much faster than normal.

Q: Can you explain what your 200% money-back guarantee involves?

The 200% money-back guarantee is something pretty special, I think.  If we clean your home and you are not happy enough with the work to share us with your friends and family then we will come back out and re-clean your home.  If you are still not satisfied with our work then we will refund your payment for the cleaning.

maids in red, what they do

Q: We noticed you have move in/move out cleanings. That’s awesome! How much extra does that cost?

We definitely offer move out cleanings.  A normal move out cleaning is going to cost an extra $60 and cover a cleaning that will take care of all the extra real estate that comes with an empty house.  If your house is particularly in need of a Deep Cleaning as well as a Move Out/Move In Cleaning then you may want to consider combining them to make sure every nook and cranny is polished.

Note from the mamas: We have an awesome GIVEAWAY starting on Monday, so stay tuned! Hint: The giveaway will make your abode feel squeaky clean. CLICK HERE to watch a testimonial from a local mom about Maids in Red. CLICK HERE to visit the Maids in Red website to book online or call Andrew at:

maids in red, phone number

National Flip Flop Day is June 19, 2015

flip flop day graphicSlide into your favorite flip-flops, ladies! Tropical Smoothie Café is celebrating National Flip Flop Day on June 19, 2015. Anyone who wears flip flops to Tropical Smoothie Cafe between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19th will get a FREE 24-ounce Jetty Punch Smoothie.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, nwa(The cafes will also offer a Chipotle Chicken Flatbbread for only $1.99 between 2 and 7 p.m. The food is amazing! We’re big fans.)

You can find Tropical Smoothie Cafe at these three locations in Northwest Arkansas:

Fayetteville: 3878 Crossover Road

Springdale: 7022 W. Sunset Ave.

Rogers: 3351 S. Pinnacle Hills Parkway

While you’re enjoying your smoothie, consider making a donation because National Flip Flop Day raises money for Camp Sunshine  — a resort that provides rest, support and joy to kids with life-threatening illnesses in times of need. The kids’ families are also invited to join them at this special camp.

This is the 9th year for National Flip Flop Day at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and the company is committed to reaching $1 million in donations this year with the help of their locations across the nation. Each Tropical Smoothie Cafe location will have a donation box available during the month of June.

When you’re there, be sure to get one of the cute flip flop key fobs for $5. That key fob will get you 10 percent off for the rest of the summer and proceeds of the key fob sales go straight to Camp Sunshine. (This is the ONLY time of year that Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers the key fobs, and you have to get it by the end of the day on June 19th.) If you like, you could also purchase a paper flip flop for a $1 donation.

Mamas, we hope you’ll take your kids and go enjoy a free treat at Tropical Smoothie Cafe on National Flip Flop Day (Friday) June 19th. This local, mom-friendly company is the leading fast casual cafe concept and it’s known across Northwest Arkansas for its better-for-you food and smoothies. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is also a sponsor of nwaMotherlode.com and their support helps this website provide online resources for moms across NWA.

tropical smoothie cafe mojitos

Tshirt Tuesday: Favorite styles from Rock City Outfitters

After what seemed like a particularly brutal winter, it’s FINALLY t-shirt weather in Arkansas. (Cue the choir singing Hallelujah!)

To celebrate the warmer temps, we’re posting a few of our favorite t-shirts from Arkansas’ premier t-shirt company, Rock City Outfitters. This company is owned and operated by fellow Arkansans who have a whole line of shirts devoted to all things Arkansas. Here’s the one we’re loving this week. (Notice how the design is made up of hand-drawn pigs? Clever, huh?) Just click on the photo if you want more info or if you want to order one for yourself.

rockcity collage revised1And we can’t leave out the kids, who also happen to LOVE a soft, comfortable t-shirt. We think the style shown below has a certain amount of preschool swagger. (We love the all-American look of a baseball tee!) Click the photo if you want info on how to order the shirt.

rock city collage2There are LOTS of different styles of shirts made by Rock City, so click HERE to see the line-up. Some are specific to different areas of the state, which is fun for those of us who grew up in a different part of Arkansas.

Rock City Outfitters made the shirts for last year’s NWA Mom Prom and they are our favorite t-shirts EVER. They’re crazy soft with a shallow V-neck, no scratchy tag and they have the ability to go through the washer and dryer hundreds of times without falling apart or shrinking. We love ‘em.

Rock City will be doing this year’s Mom Prom shirt, too! Can’t wait to show you guys the new design at this year’s NWA Mom Prom on May 30th. Click here if you still need to get your ticket.

rock city logo

Sponsor spotlight: Tropical Smoothie Cafe

tropical smoothie food and smoothiesIf the amazing photo above makes you hungry, you’re going to love our newest website sponsor, Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Now that the weather is warmer, we know many of you will be Tropical Smoothie Cafe, nwamaking regular stops at Tropical Smoothie Cafe and there are SO many new things to try. We recently interviewed the owner, Wes Couch, who operates the three Tropical Smoothie locations in Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers) to find out more about the new menu, the new look and the kid-friendly options now available.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is one of the few places where you can get food and smoothies in a hurry and still include some really nutritious ingredients in what you and the kids are eating. Gluten-free eaters and those watching calories have great options here, too. (Who knew that kale and spinach smoothies could be so good?) Read on for more info and be sure to “like” their Facebook page because Facebook fans get info on special discounts.

Tell us why you wanted to bring Tropical Smoothie Café to Northwest Arkansas. What’s your favorite thing about running the cafes?

I purchased the Tropical Smoothie in Fayetteville in 2009 because there was nothing else like it in NWA. Working in a corporate environment for 20 years, I had no plans to open more stores until we started experiencing phenomenal growth in Fayetteville. I knew then that opening a location in Rogers Pinnacle Hills was our next step. Rogers has become one of the top cafes in the country. Springdale was our next logical market and we’ve experienced strong double-digit sales increases since 2013. I love offering a healthy, quick-service menu to our customers.

You’re known for your smoothies but some people might not realize that there’s plenty to eat at Tropical Smoothie Café. Tell us about tropical smoothie foodthe food and the range of items on the menu.

We make everything to order including our new tacos, flatbreads, wraps, sandwiches, and salads. We recently revamped our menu and now offer fresh, made in-house toppings on most of our food items. Many of our customers now come in just for our food.

What’s your favorite thing to eat and drink at Tropical Smoothie Café?

I love all four of our tacos, especially the tilapia. The Buffalo Chicken and Jamaican Jerk wraps are my favorite along with the Spinach Feta breakfast wrap. island green smoothie(We open for breakfast at 7 a.m. on weekdays and at 9 a.m. on weekends.)

My favorite smoothie is the Island Green (spinach and kale) and the Peanut Paradise with whey protein.

Are there options for vegetarians, those who are gluten-free, or for people trying to limit their calorie intake?

Absolutely, we have the Hummus Veggie wrap and three types of salads, including the Loaded Spinach salad that has no meat. We also have a meat-free chicken substitute product for vegetarians. Most of our smoothies are gluten-free.

We have a nutritional card at each counter for customers to peruse. All smoothies can be made without our unprocessed, turbinado sugar that dramatically reduces the calorie intake, and we also offer honey and Splenda as alternatives.

tropical smoothie cafe signHow has the look of Tropical Smoothie Café changed since the recent remodeling project? 

The remodel dramatically changed the look and feel of the Fayetteville Crossover café, which was built in 2005. We now have an open, wrap-around bar for customers to sit at so they can watch their smoothie being made while they talk with our staff. We reconstructed the lobby with new wall décor, flooring, and new tables/chairs. We now have three table areas that seat 8 people for dining. It’s just a sharp, clean look and feel that I hope our customers will enjoy.

What’s the most popular item on your Kids Menu?

We now have cheese quesadillas and also a pizza quesadilla with or without chicken. These are by far our most popular. We also offer ham or turkey and cheese wraps. Our newest addition is a peanut butter crunch flatbread with peanut butter, granola, banana, and honey.

What do you wish more moms knew about what Tropical Smoothie Café has to offer?

For the moms who worry about their family getting enough nutritious greens, you absolutely need to come try our Superfood smoothies. Your family will not even know they’re taking in spinach and kale, cucumbers, celery, apples, avocado, etc. Our corporate staff did a wonderful job with the ingredients and taste of these smoothies.

Our thanks to Wes Couch of Tropical Smoothie Cafe for taking some time to answer our questions. And another BIG thank you to Tropical Smoothie Cafe for being the sponsor of this year’s Mom Prom Queen, who will be selected (at random) from among the attendees of the upcoming Mom Prom on May 30th. Click here to get tickets to Mom Prom — the ultimate girls’ night out in Northwest Arkansas.

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