Looking for a new series to watch on Netflix this summer?

netflix, cropped

We recently asked our nwaMotherlode. com Facebook friends about their favorite shows to watch on Netflix.

If you’re looking for a series to binge-watch this summer, you might try a few of these series suggestion. Some are a little “older”, but if you never watched them, now could be the time!

nwaMotherlode Readers’ Top Picks:

Call the Midwife

About: Set in the 1950s, this period drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth follows new midwife Jenny Lee and the other midwives and nuns working in a nursing convent in an impoverished section of London’s East End.

parenthood

About: Four grown siblings juggle parenthood, relationships, careers and more as they cope with life’s ups and downs in this family drama set in Berkeley, Calif. Meanwhile, their parents face an unraveling marriage and their own parenting challenges.

west wing

About: Winning four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, creator Aaron Sorkin’s powerful political epic chronicles the triumphs and travails of White House senior staff under the administration of President Josiah Bartlet.

orange

About: From the creator of “Weeds” comes a heartbreaking and hilarious series set in a women’s prison. Piper trades her comfortable life for an orange jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.

bob's burgers

About: In this animated series, hamburger restaurant owner Bob Belcher, his happy-go-lucky wife, Linda, and their three rambunctious kids try to outwit a rival eatery and overcome their own family dysfunction to get their greasy spoon off the ground.

raising hope

About: Slacker Jimmy suddenly finds himself a father after a one-night stand with a murderer, but his eccentric family — including his dim-bulb father, sarcastic mother and addled great-grandmother — reluctantly pitches in to help with the new arrival.

breaking bad

About: Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White, a high school science teacher who learns that he has terminal lung cancer and teams with a former student to manufacture and sell high-quality crystal meth to secure his family’s future.

house of cards

About: Ruthless politician Francis Underwood and his ambitious wife Claire will stop at nothing to conquer Washington D.C. in this dark political drama, winner of three Emmy Awards, including Best Director, and a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

arrow

About: This adaptation of the story of DC Comics’ Green Arrow stars Stephen Amell as the titular character, an affluent playboy who becomes an archer superhero at night, saving the city from villains armed with just a bow and arrows.

once upon a time

About: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin and Robert Carlyle star in this fantastical series that follows the travails of a young woman who is drawn to a small Maine town and discovers that it’s filled with the mystical elements of the fairy tale world.

dr. who

About: After more than a decade off the air, this epic sci-fi series returns with an all-new look — and the ninth (and beyond) incarnation of everybody’s favorite time-traveling Doctor, who promptly sets about fighting nefarious aliens and other foes.

sherlock

About: In this updated take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved mystery tales, the eccentric sleuth prowls the streets of modern-day London in search of clues. At his side — though hobbling — is flatmate Dr. John Watson, fresh from the war in Afghanistan.

freaks and geeks

About: A group of high school students in 1980 faces various social struggles. Lindsay Weir rebels and begins hanging out with a crowd of burnouts, courtesy of an invitation from Daniel Desario.

the walking dead

About: In the wake of a zombie apocalypse that desolates the world as we know it, a group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes holds on to the hope of humanity by banding together to wage a never-ending fight for their own survival.

scandal

About: Olivia Pope leads a team of Washington, D.C., lawyers who specialize in making scandals disappear. As they secretly handle crises at the highest levels of government, the dysfunctional team must also cope with problems closer to home.

revenge

About: Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, this modern-day drama follows a lovely young woman who moves to the Hamptons and charms the pants off her new neighbors — while plotting their downfall for sins committed against her family.

Summer-Remix4Here’s to a little downtime. Happy watching, mamas :) If you’d like to join our fun conversations on Facebook, click here! Note: We’re republishing this post because it was so popular — and we know some mamas may have missed it!

2015 Northwest Arkansas Summer Fun Printable!

One of the worst phrases a parent can hear from their kids over the summer is, “I’m bored”.

That’s why we rounded up a list of fun things to do in Northwest Arkansas in this UPDATED 2015 Summer Fun Printable. We also added a few summer camp ideas (click here for a more detailed list of 2015 camps with links and descriptions), rainy day ideas and annual events that happen every summer here.

We couldn’t include everything, of course, because that would fill an entire book! But if we missed one of your VERY FAVORITES, click on the words “post a comment” below and tell us what your family loves doing in the summer here in NWA.

CLICK HERE to print out the Summer Fun list. Stick it on the fridge as a reminder of all your options, no matter what your mood.

Summer Fun Printable 2015

Savvy Banking: How should I start saving for my child’s college?

savvybanking FNBNWA use this

In this new nwaMotherlode segment, Savvy Banking, you’ll find the answers to your most pressing money questions.

Local moms asked lots of questions in last week’s $50 Visa shopping card giveaway (courtesy of FNBNWA) and financial experts will answer them here — in this new money category.

Many of you wanted to know the answer to this question: How do I begin to start saving for my child’s college?

Don Paul, an investment executive with First National Investment Services, offers some good advice here:

Saving for your child’s college education can be a very difficult and tiring journey. It’s already challenging to save money for any purpose, but putting the money in the right places to save for college funding can make it even tougher.

Before you get overwhelmed with this challenging task, let’s break it down to smaller, more manageable tasks.

Step 1: Determine what to save each month.

piggy bankLook over your budget and come up with a dollar amount that you are comfortable saving each month. The amount may be small, which is perfectly fine. Rome wasn’t built in a day! If it’s $25 a month and that is all you can do, then start saving that $25. You can always increase the amount later!

Step 2: Determine where to invest the savings.

There are two good options. One is the 529 College Savings Plan account. This account can be started with as little as $25. There are very strong tax savings to this type of account for now and for the time when you pull the money out for college.

A very important note on the 529 Plan is that the money can only be used for “Qualified College Expenses” which is primarily tuition, room & board and books. There are many things that a college student needs and uses that would not be considered “Qualified Expenses” so you must be careful with how you save for this account.

The 529 Plan is a very popular option however it may not necessarily be the best option for you and your situation.  Don’t be too quick to open one of these without looking into the next option.

The next option for College Savings is the UTMA account or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act. This is a great place to save money for college but also for all types of expenses that a child will have during Jr. High, High School and College.

There is no restriction on what you can use the money for as long as it is for the benefit of the child. The UTMA account is opened under the child’s social security number so none of the taxes related to the account would be a burden on the parents.  This account can also be opened with as little as $25.  It is just more flexible and a very good option for college savings.

Step 3: Get Started

Like most things, the hardest part of executing any plan can be making the first step and getting the plan into motion. After completing the first two steps, all you have to do is press play!

My encouragement would be to sit down with a financial advisor and discuss these options and figure out the best option for you. Our children are not getting younger and every day that goes by is moving them closer to that first day of college classes. Start savings for their college education today.

You won’t regret it!

Don Paul, FNBDon Paul is an investment executive for First National Investment Services. He has been working with individuals and families in the areas of financial services for over 23 years specializing in Financial and Retirement Planning. Don is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and is the father to three boys. He and his wife Terri live in Fayetteville.

The fine print: Arkansas Insurance Producer License #32555 located at 3706 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy, Rogers, AR 72757. Securities and Insurance Products offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services are officered through Cetera Investment Advisors LLC. Neither Cetera Investment Services nor Cetera Investment Advisors is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: Not FDIC Insured ·  No bank guarantee ·  May lose value ·  Not a deposit ·  Not insured by any federal government agency

Which of these cute accessories would you like to see at James + James?

collage2We do love our hogs here in Razorback country. So which of these home decor accessories pictured ABOVE would you be most likely to want for your own home? Number 1 or Number 2?

Okay, here are two more fun accessories featuring bamboo, so decide on your favorite. Number 3 or Number 4?

collage1And what about these last two options for kids, which are similar push toys but in different designs. Do you like Number 5 or Number 6 best?

collage3These are the kinds of questions we’re asking the local women and moms who are in the James+James Advisory Group. (If you love furniture and home accessories, you can still get in on this group. The members get some special “perks” just by sharing their opinions and feedback with the buyers at James+James Furniture. To join the group, just email us by clicking here.)

Time to vote! Please click the words “post a comment” below and vote for your favorites. (Also, be sure to tell us which one of the 6 items pictured above is your absolute favorite out of all the items.) You can also send your vote and any comments you might have about them to us via email by clicking HERE. We’ll be sure to pass it along to the James+James buyers.

To see more of the fun, eclectic mix of home accessories as well as some amazing, hand-crafted furniture, click HERE to browse around the James+James website. (Did we mention that this is a Northwest Arkansas company that has grown to enjoy nationwide sales? Yep, it is.)

Thanks for your opinions, comments and your good taste! :-)

james slider

It’s April 1! Here are some fun ways to fool your kids {insert evil laugh}

cat with mustache

Happy April Fool’s Day, mamas!

Are you a prankster? We think harmless pranks are fun, so we thought we’d share a few to make your kids laugh. Well, let’s face it: mostly to make you laugh.

Some ideas:

If you have a sprayer on your sink, put a rubber band around the handle and make sure it’s pointed out. That way, it will be on soaker mode for the next person to turn on the kitchen faucet. If you don’t want to miss the fun, call one of the kids into the kitchen to wash his hands.

Superglue a quarter to the sidewalk and watch your kids try to pick it up. And try. And try.

whoopie cushion If you want to go old school, just buy a whoopee cushion and put it in your kids’ favorite chair around the dining room table (or in his “usual” chair). Surprise! Don’t forget to say April Fool’s!

If your kids drink juice, mix up some jello, then pour it into clear cups and go ahead and pop in the straw. Put the cups into the refrigerator so the jello will set. The kids will be confused when nothing comes out when they sip through the straw.

After they try to drink their jello, the kids will need to go brush their teeth. Be a nice mom and load up the toothpaste onto their brush early, to save them some time. Except why don’t you use vanilla frosting instead of white toothpaste? If your kids use the gel kind, use a gel icing for the perfect switcheroo.

Paint a mustache on them with a black eyeliner pencil while they’re sleeping. That first look in the mirror will be a surprise!

Freeze plastic bugs in ice cubes. Serve up some with your kid’s dinner. (First, the whoopie cushion, then a bug in her drink. Ha!)

bug in ice cube

We hope you have a fool-ish day! Happy pranking!