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!

Marathon Mama: Tips for making a race day plan

By Beth Gallini, mama of 2 and runner

keep calmRace day for the Hogeye Marathon is approaching quickly!  At this point, many of you are likely knee deep in training and the anticipation to see it all come together on race day is starting to build.

Having a race plan is critical to having a good race.  Although there are a number of things you cannot control on race day, there are a number of things you can control and these things can make or break a race.

Before the race:

Taper. The length and amount of your taper will depend on which race you are running – the longer your race, the longer you will taper.  You want to go into the race well rested and with fresh legs.

Have a realistic goal. In the weeks leading up to the race, it is important to review your training and to be honest with yourself when thinking about your race goals.

Review the course map and elevation chart. Race websites should offer you a course map and elevation chart so you know what to expect.

Plan your morning. Plan what time you need to wake up, what you are going to wear, what you will eat, what time you need to leave, where you will park, and what time you want to arrive.

Sleep. Two nights before a race is commonly thought to be the most important night to get a good night’s sleep because most people have too many race day jitters to sleep well the night before.

Race day:

Don’t try anything new. Race day is not the time to experiment with anything new!  What you eat, drink, fuel with, and wear should all be tested during your training.

Be prepared for the weather. If it is cold outside, you will want something to keep you warm before the race.  Most races will donate clothes runners toss at the start or during the first few miles (the Hogeye Marathon donates all clothes to 7 Hills Homeless Center).

You can either wear something you won’t miss or pick up something on clearance at a discount store.  If it is raining or the ground is wet, bring a trash bag to keep you dry.

Line up in the right corral. If the race has a corral system, it is best to line up in your assigned corral.  You will be assigned a corral based on your expected finish time and it will place you near runners of comparable ability.  If you start too far up, you will be in the way of faster runners.  If you start too far back, slower runners will be in your way and you will have to weave around them.

Don’t start too fast! This is a hard, but important point.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a race and to start faster than you intend.  It is also easy to think you can “bank” time.  However, starting too fast causes you to go through stored energy, your muscles to fatigue, and you end up losing more time in the end.  Instead, starting a little slow or at your target pace will not have a negative effect on your overall time.

Run the tangents. Race courses are measured on the shortest possible route, but most runners will end up running slightly over the race distance.  If you wear a watch with GPS, this is why you will often see a distance on the watch that is longer than the race distance.  To run the tangents, you want to run turns close to the curb and generally run the shortest distance between two points.  You also want to avoid weaving around other runners as much as possible.

Remember to have fun! There are many things you can’t control on race day.  You may have a great day where everything goes perfectly or you may have a day where you wish you stayed in bed.  Regardless of how your race goes, remember to have fun and to be thankful that you are healthy and active enough to be out there!

Beth Gallini runningAbout Beth: Beth is mom, runner, running coach, and the blogger behind RUNNING around my kitchen.  She and her husband adopted two boys who are a month apart and are 1 year old. Beth serves on the board for the Hogeye Marathon and is interested in helping other moms with their training and answering any questions you have.   Be social, connect with other Hogeye runners, and let them hear from you by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  #hogeyemarathon


Sneak Peek: Natural Grocers opens Tuesday in Fayetteville

natural grocersWe had a great time yesterday visiting the new Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, which officially opens on Tuesday at 4116 N. College Ave. in  Fayetteville.

There are 93 Natural Grocers stores in 15 states, but this is the first one in Arkansas. (And in case you missed it, Whole Foods is expected to open in Fayetteville this Fall.)

The Natural Grocers soft opening is happening now, so pop over today if you get a chance. It’s not a huge, overwhelming store. It’s just small enough that it doesn’t feel like you might get lost among the aisles, but it’s big enough to have LOTS of great organic and natural products (including food for your pets, too).

natural collage yummyThe prices were pretty competitive, especially for organic products. They’ll be open seven days a week and you can check out deals and get more info by clicking here.

The store will have a series of grand-opening activities, including cooking demos, nutrition classes and food tastings.

On March 10 (opening day) there will be a cooking demo and nutrition class from 4:30-6 p.m.

Here are some of the upcoming events over the next few Saturdays:

§   March 14: Block Party and Gluten-Free St. Patty’s Fair and special cooking demo (at 3 p.m.) by Charles Mayfield, author of Paleo Comfort Foods

§  March 21: Organic Fair

§  March 28: Spa Day Health Fair

§  April 4: Paleo Fair

They seem really big on health education and have a great community room for classes and events (and heads-up, friends, they’ll be serving free coffee there in the mornings):

natural community room

natural community room, inside

We loved that they have local products like Oh Baby Foods and My Brother’s Salsa. It’s interesting to note they have nuts and various flours in the refrigerated section so they stay fresh. They also have a huge section for supplements and you can actually fill your own capsules.

They also have lots of products for your body, dish soap and some paraben-free, rganic makeup lines. (Shannon has a teenager now, so the idea of natural makeup for her daughter is really appealing):

natural face stuff

One quick note: Be sure to bring some reusable totes for checking out. Natural Grocers doesn’t offer plastic or paper shopping bags. If you forget, they’ll pack your purchases in free boxes, though :) They do sell inexpensive reusable shopping bags and each time you shop with your own reusable totes, they’ll make a donation to a local food bank.

Happy shopping, mamas!


Marathon Mama: Different types of run options

Hogeye MarathonThe Hogeye Marathon is about a month away and there’s something for everyone – races of all distances, volunteer opportunities, and lots of room to just watch the running show.

We’ll have two more posts from Northwest Arkansas mom Beth Gallini in the Marathon Mama series before race day and Beth said she’d love to hear from new runners (or any level, really).

If you have a question for Beth — or if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered here — feel free to email her at efgallini@gmail.com.

Here’s Beth’s latest Marathon Mama post:

At first running seems straightforward – lace up your shoes and head outside.  However, it won’t be long before you’ll find yourself getting more curious about how you can take things one step further.

Whether you want to extend how far you can go, reach the finish line faster, or become a stronger runner, varying the types of runs you do each week can help.

Here are different types of runs you can add to your training:

running womanLong run – The long run is a staple run for any distance runner.  In its simplest form, this run is the longest run of the week.  The length of your long run will vary according to your goals.  Someone training for a 10K or half marathon will have shorter long runs than someone training for a marathon.  These runs are normally run at a slow pace (60-90 seconds slower than your goal pace).

The goal is to get accustomed to being on your feet for longer periods of time.  You will get the same physiological benefits as you would if you ran faster, but you will reduce your risk of injury by keeping your pace easy.

Easy/recovery run – Easy runs are run at a slow pace and are runs that allow you to get extra mileage during the week while allowing your body to recover from harder workouts.

Speed workThe last post in this series covered how to introduce speed work and I would encourage you to reference those tips before adding in any of the speed workouts below:

  • Fartleks – Despite the silly name, fartleks are a great way to introduce speed work.  Fartleks are unstructured speed work where you add surges of speed into an easy run.  You can do this by running fast until you reach the third street light, five cars pass you, or any other form of measurement.
  • Hill repeats – Hills are speed work in disguise and will quickly make you a stronger and faster runner.  To perform hill repeats, you will want to find a hill that will take you 20-90 seconds to run up, run at about a 5K effort, and then run easy downhill for recovery.  Hills encourage proper form and will make you a more efficient runner.
  • Tempos – Tempo runs help you learn how to run faster for longer periods of time.  They are run at a “comfortably hard” pace that falls between your 10K and half-marathon pace.  Those who are new to tempo runs or training for shorter distances will want to work up to a tempo run of about 20 minutes in length, whereas more experienced runners or those training for longer distances will want to work up to a 40-60 minute tempo run.
  • Intervals – Intervals are a more structured and advanced form of speed work and should only be introduced once you have a comfortable base and have already incorporated other forms of speed work.   Tracks are the best place to run them because they are flat, a standard distance, and you can easily measure how far you are running.   One lap around most tracks is 400 meters, which is a quarter of a mile. Common interval workouts include 400s, 800s, or 1600s with a recovery distance in between each interval.  You will want to run hard for each interval, but do not go all out.

Rest days – Taking days off to allow your body to recover are just important as all of the other training you do!

McMillan Running offers a calculator where you can enter recent race time and it will provide you with training paces for a variety of runs.

Beth Gallini runningAbout Beth: Beth is mom, runner, running coach, and the blogger behind RUNNING around my kitchen.  She and her husband adopted two boys who are a month apart and are 1 year old. Beth serves on the board for the Hogeye Marathon and is interested in helping other moms with their training and answering any questions you have.   Be social, connect with other Hogeye runners, and let them hear from you by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  #hogeyemarathon