Voted Best Mother’s Day Out: First School at First United Presbyterian Church

Award Winner Facebook badgeThe moms in Northwest Arkansas have given their stamp of approval on the best local businesses and service providers by voting in our annual Mom-Approved Awards.

And what could be more important than the people who work with our kids when we need child care/early education?

firstschoolMoms endorsed First School at the First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville for Best Mother’s Day Out in Washington County.

First School not only has MDO, but they also have preschool and 5-day private kindergarten. This faith-based school has low child-to-teacher ratios and earned accreditation (three-start rating) from Arkansas Better Beginnings, which is very rigorous.

My daughter (Shannon here) attended First School every summer for several years in a row when she was younger and LOVED it. There was lots of outside exercise, art, music, learning and structured/unstructured play time.

Here’s are a few of the cute classrooms:

first school classroom collage

first school roomAnd we couldn’t resist sharing this cute one on the playground:

First school playground

Contact First School at 479-571-4516 or CLICK HERE to visit the website for more information! Here’s a great shot of the great teachers who work with the children at First School:

First School Teachers use this one


Voted Best Birthday Place: Jumpzone

Award Winner Facebook badgeWe ask moms to vote in the Mom-Approved Business Awards because we know that moms always pick the best of the best. Moms have such high standards when it comes to service, value, atmosphere and overall customer experience. And we moms are especially picky when it comes to choosing the right spot to celebrate something as important as our kid’s birthday.

jumpzone winnerFor the second year in a row, Jump!Zone has won the “Best Birthday Place” category for Benton County in the Mom-Approved Business Awards. (Congrats to the owner and staff at Jump!Zone for another stellar year that earned you so many votes!)

My kids and I have been going to Jump!Zone for more than six years and have had birthday parties there as well. They’re at 805 SE 22nd St. in Bentonville.

Here are some of the perks that make this place SO popular with kids and moms.

  • Jumping! The inflatables give kids a fun, safe place to use up all that extra energy (and we all know how much EXTRA energy they have when there’s a birthday party involved). They can run, jump, squeal, slide and be as silly as they want to be with their friends. (The huge pirate ship with octopus inflatable is still my kids’ favorite thing to play on at Jump!Zone.)
  • Mom-Friendly: Moms can hang out nearby and watch the action. There are benches to sit and visit with other parents and there’s also free Wi-Fi, so you can answer a few emails or catch up on your social media news feed.
  • Party rooms! The party rooms are big, clean and have great lighting so you can get good birthday party snapshots.
  • Party HELP! You always get a birthday party helper so you’re not alone when you’re trying to serve cake, pour juice, take pictures and write down who gave which gift. That extra pair of hands is SUCH a big help.
  • No clean-up: Let’s admit it. Part of the reason some of us choose to have birthdays away from home is because we’d like our home to still be standing and not covered in cake frosting and party confetti. Jump!Zone handles all the clean-up after the party, so you’re free to pack up those birthday gifts and hit the road.

jumpzone open playIf you’ve got a birthday party to plan and need a place to do it, we’d suggest you go check out Jump!Zone during one of their Open Play sessions. We have a feeling that, once your kids get a taste of it, they’ll be begging to do their birthday party there.

Discount alert! There is a “Back-to-School” coupon available right now at Jump!Zone that can be used to book a birthday party any time this year OR next year. It gets you $40 off of a 15, 20 or 25-kid party package. It also adds an extra pizza to the package (in addition to the pizzas already included.) (Be aware that you can’t combine this coupon with other coupons.) If you want to use the coupon online to book a party, the coupon code is bk2skl14. (The coupon expires on Sept. 19, 2014.)

Click HERE to see more on birthday party options at Jump!Zone, and remember that you don’t have to wait for a party to go play! Click HERE to see the calendar of Open Play times and print it out to keep on your fridge. When the weather gets ugly and you need a way for the kids to burn off energy, THIS is your answer. :-)

Mom-Approved Business Award Winners Announced!

Award Winner Facebook badgeThe votes are in! Here’s the list of winning businesses chosen as the 2014 “Mom-Approved” Award Winners, as voted by the readers of Thanks so much for taking the time to vote in the online survey, and congrats to the businesses who have earned the respect of so many local moms. (And congrats to Cori Fryar, who won a shopping spree at the NWA Mall after being chosen at random among all the voters in the survey.)

Best Birthday Place

  • jumpzone winnerJumpzone — Benton County
  • Boingo Bounce — Washington County

Best Mother’s Day Out

  • Central United Methodist Church — Benton Couty
  • First School — Washington County

Best Bank

  • Arvest — Benton and Washington Counties

Best Hair Salon

  • firstschoolBrieshi — Benton County
  • Freshair — Washington County

Best Computer Repair

  • MegaByte — Benton County
  • Best Buy Geek Squad — Washington County

Best Consignment Store

  • Plato’s — Benton County
  • Once Upon a Child — Washington County

brieshi-award-winnerBest Dance Lessons

  • All That Dance — Benton County
  • Academy of Dance — Washington County

Best Date Night

  • Theo’s — Benton County
  • Bordinos — Washington County

Best Daycare

  • Little Sunshine’s Playhouse — Benton County
  • Bright Haven Christian Learning Center — Washington County

Best Dermatologist

  • (TIE VOTE) Hull Dermatology and Premier Dermatology — Benton County
  • Ozark Dermatology — Washington County

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

  • Chick-fil-A — Benton County
  • Grub’s — Washington County

Best Local Clothing Boutique

  • The Pink Tomato — Benton County
  • Belle Boutique — Washington County

Best Pediatric Clinic

Best Place to Find Accessories

  • Charming Charlie’s — Benton County
  • Whimsy Whoo — Washington County

Best Spa

  • Spa Botanica at Embassy Suites — Benton County
  • La Vida Massage — Washington County


Best Orthodontist

  • Orthodontics Exclusively, Dr. Derek Brown — Benton County
  • Storms Orthodontics, Dr. Darrin Storms — Washington County

Best Toy Store

  • Dilly Dally’s — Benton County
  • Bella’s — Washington County

Editor’s note: Soon we’ll be sending a printable list of the winning businesses to the local moms who receive our email newsletter. It’ll be an easy way to print this list (which will include some contact info) and put it on your fridge or bulletin board for easy reference. To get the printable, just make sure you’re on our email newsletter list. The sign-up form is in the upper right-hand corner of this web page.

Mosquito Joe treatments begin this month!

It’s May 1st, mamas, which means a swarm of unwelcome visitors will soon be multiplying all over your yard. If mosquitoes bug you as much as they bug me, Mosquito-Joe-logoyou may want to nip this problem in the bud early. Mosquito Joe is a national service that began providing mosquito treatments for yards in Northwest Arkansas last summer. We paid for the service to treat our yard last year and had amazing success, as did several of our friends.

Our home backs up to the woods, so the mosquitoes can get particularly nasty back there. It’s frustrating to have gorgeous spring and summer days and feel like you have to go inside just to get away from the bugs. And we’re not big fans of slathering on the stinky insect repellant and then have to wash it off later.

After we started the Mosquito Joe treatments last summer, we hardly noticed any of those blood-suckers at all, so we know the new treatments made all the difference. We’ve already scheduled them to come back again starting this month so we can get a jump on the problem before it has a chance to get ugly and cover my kids’ skin in itchy welts.

FYI… Bill Gates (of Microsoft fame) wrote on article recently for that points out that the disease-carrying mosquito is the deadliest animal on the planet, killing more humans each year than sharks, lions, crocodiles, rabid dogs and snakes combined! Mosquitoes also outnumber all other animals except for ants and termites. Yikes. Click here to read this eye-opening report.

For more info on Mosquito Joe service on how to get on the yard treatment schedule, call our local contact (who’s also a fellow mama) Stephanie Simon at 479-202-9960. The first service for new customers is only $39. Click HERE to see their website.


HUGE surprise for 30 families at the NWA Nerdies Awards ceremony!

nerdies_adSome deserving Northwest Arkansas kids were presented NWA Nerd Award scholarships on Saturday to attend awesome Nerdies sessions this summer.

The best part?

All THIRTY of the kids who entered the contest were given a scholarship because several NWA companies stepped up to sponsor them.

The event was held at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville and the Nerdies folks didn’t let the parents and kids in on the secret until the end of the awards ceremony.

Here are just a few of the adorable kids who won scholarships:

nerdies awards collage

We loved how each company’s representative spoke about the contestant they had “picked” to receive the scholarships and what made that child special and unique. Then the students came up and accepted posters with their pictures on them and were awarded a scholarship to the particular camp they wanted to attend.

See how cool the posters are? We think the kids are pretty cool, too:

Nerdies Seth poster

FYI: Nerdies has a campus in Fayetteville and now one in Benton County as well.

Nerdies summer camps include:

  • Mods for Minecraft
  • Photography
  • Robotics
  • Video Game Development
  • Music
  • Performance
  • And more!

CLICK HERE to go see all the camps and how to sign your kids up. Several of the camps are SOLD OUT, but there are still some spots available. They’ve also added some new camps.

Brad, Head Nerd over at Nerdies, said the non-profit Foundation for Nerd Advancement had a tough time at a recent board meeting trying to decide who would win the Nerd Award scholarships. Brad said that’s when the magic happened.

The foundation started out planning to award only 10 scholarships, but companies like BlkBoxLabs, Cox Communications, Idea-Loop and Ozark STEM decided they wanted to do more. Nerdies also gave two more scholarships, which brought the total up to 20 kids who would receive scholarships. That was awesome, but there were still 10 more kids who had applied and the board meeting wasn’t over yet.

“As we were breaking up to go home, I received an email from Tyson Foods stating that they would cover 10 kids. It was such an amazing night!” Brad said.

That meant that every kid who wanted to attend a summer session — studying everything from video game development to robotics to Mods for Minecraft — would be able to attend a Nerdies class.

Here’s a list of all the kiddos who won:

Seth Greer

Jaxon Krueger

Alex Mancia

Dane Myran

Leah Becker

Aryana Amparan

Olivia Harrison

Izabel Crone

Declan Thiele

Sully Sanford

Stella Floyd

Elizabeth Harrison

Lily Davis

Madison East

Hayden Hehl

Joshua Kay

Jackson Lyons

David Rabelo

David Kay

Amelia Harrison

Kimberly Kay

Veda Farmer

Bianca Gear

Christopher Connolley

Jasmine Black

Izayah Townley

Louis Bimbi

Shannon Perry

If you’d like to sign your kids up for a Nerdies class, click here to jump over to the website and see all the awesome options.

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