Santa Claus + some great buys at Northwest Arkansas Mall this month!

NWA Mall November

Santa Claus is parking his reindeer at the Northwest Arkansas Mall this month and he’s going to have a beautiful new house for the kids to visit this year!

The mall is going to have all new holiday decor and Santa’s workshop is also getting a major makeover.

Santa arrives at the mall on Friday, Nov. 21, and there will be some fun kick-off festivities. There will be a FREE show at 6 p.m. in Food Court with Brian & Terri Kinder. They’ll be singing holiday songs for kids of all ages.

Santa will arrive after the show and kids will then be invited to parade with Santa from the Food Court to Santa’s new home in Center Court. Bring the kids dressed for pictures with Santa because he’ll start posing for photos in his new digs right away!

Photo packages start at $22 and some will include free Shutterfly gift cards. Packages will be posted on the mall’s website soon.

CLICK HERE to jump over to the mall’s website. Like their Facebook page HERE and stay up to date on all the sales going on at the mall during this holiday season. The mall is a great one-stop shop for Christmas gifts (and moms love a sale!).

Speaking of sales, stay tuned for information about Black Friday events and discounts. A little birdy told us the mall event is going to be HUGE.

Here’s a partial list of stores at the NWA Mall that will help you with getting that Christmas list knocked out:

  • See’s Candies (headed back to the mall for the holiday season)
  • nwa mall giftDillard’s
  • Razorback Shop
  • JC Penney
  • Sear’s
  • Melody’s Choices
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Francesca’s
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Bath and Body Works
  • Candy Craze
  • Gap
  • Gymboree
  • Justice

CLICK HERE to see a full list of stores at the NWA Mall.


Classes on tap for adults at local start-up Nerdies

Nerdies_learning banner

Should the kids have all the fun?

We don’t think so and neither does local start-up Nerdies/Arties. They’ve added some classes for the grown-ups, too! Woo-hoo!

In our 5 Minutes with a Mom interviews, we often ask local mamas what they would like to learn if they went back to school. Everyone has something they would love to learn more about. The Nerdies (and Arties) classes give adults a way to dip their toe back into the classroom.

It’s always fun to learn something new and it’s good to give your brain a workout.

These adult classes are on tap right now at Nerdies/Arties:

Trashleys logo.jpgTurn trash to treasure with Trashley’s Junk. DIY, mamas! Bring in an old piece furniture — or something else that needs a new paint job — and turn it into something incredible. Ashley Henry will fully assist you in a “Junk Paint Makeover”. Click here to read more.

Build a computer. Seriously, they’ll teach you how to build your own computer. This class is in cooperation with the local non-profit Free Geek. Click here to read more.

Self Publishing 101. Who wants to publish their own book? Learn how to do it right (and on a shoe-string budget) in this 4-week course. Click here to read more.

self publishing, nerdies

Photoshop and lightroom. Professional photographer Maliah Pinkleton (remember that time she shot the mamas in fashionable dresses from Maude Boutique?) will help you take your photos to the next level, ladies. Click here to read more.

Tech 101. Head Nerd Brad is teaching this class and will help you with all things techy. Topics could include things like: How to use my iPhone, What is Minecraft and Why Do My Kids Love It So Much, Internet Safety, Easy Ways to Take Great Photos with Your Phone, All Things Social (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter). Click here to read more.

Minecraft Server Building. Speaking of Minecraft, this class will take you right to the motherboard. It’s in cooperation with Free Geek and adults are encouraged to bring their Minecraft-loving kids along for some great family bonding. Click here to read more.

Check back often because they keep adding sessions. Also? You can join a session anytime, which is awesome.

CLICK HERE to visit the Nerdies website to see what classes are available for kids this fall!

Ideas for where to shoot family photos!


A friend asked for suggestions on the best places to have family pictures taken in Northwest Arkansas and lots of mamas spoke up with their faves on the nwaMotherlode Facebook page!

Below are some of their suggestions. We’d love to know if you have any other ideas. Let us know in comments!

These spots are beautiful in any season:

Amy Cowan: Tanyard Creek (aka Bella Vista walking trail).

Laurie Marshall: War Eagle Mill on the bridge, Wilson Park at the castle, the open fields on the trails of Lake Fayetteville.

tree-in-autumnKristy Brown: Mount Sequoyah

Tina Banerjee: Memorial Park ….near the fountain & Crystal Bridges.

Cori Fryar: U of A campus

Taylor Dodson: Crystal Bridges and also Bella Vista lake!

Kaylin Gilkey: The Crystal Bridges grounds are beautiful. And Tanyard Creek trails in Bella Vista!

Rhonda Franz: Downtown Springdale by the trains/train station/old buildings

Stacye Peebles: Boyle Park in Bentonville

We’d love to know what you think! Do you have any other ideas for where to shoot family photos? Click the ‘post a comment’ button below and let us know!

The ‘Mom Brain’ in action at the grocery store

mamas on magic 107.9We have so much fun with our radio show, Mamas on Magic, which runs every weekday at 7:45 a.m. over at Magic 107.9.

We recently talked about the “Mom Brain” during one of our 90-second segments and, in case you missed it, we wanted to share. It’s a real-time listen to the types of things that might be going on at any given time in a mother’s head.

Can you relate?

Listen and see if you recognize how fast a train of thought can derail when you’ve got Mom Brain (or read a transcript from the Mamas on Magic segment if you like to read rather than listen!):

Good morning. I’m Gwen and I’m Shannon and this week we’re sharing a few words and phrases from our own personal Mama Wikipedia

Yes, and today we’re going to discuss Mom Brain. Instead of offering a definition, we thought we’d just give you a little peek INSIDE the Mom Brain to help describe this phenomenon.

Why don’t we set the scene? Mom is at the grocery store. She somehow made it there ALONE to shop. But her kids are still with her. In HER HEAD.

Listen to the subject’s Mom Brain engage, right there in the frozen vegetable aisle:

“Green beans, great, fabulous, but my kid won’t EAT green beans. That child will probably get rickets if I don’t get some green beans into her body – no, wait, rickets are related to oranges, right?”

“Oranges! I forgot the flippin’ oranges. Now I have to go all the way back to produce because I forgot the CUTIES for snack at soccer. I’m sure everyone will love oranges instead of Oreos. Well too bad. I’m gonna be that annoying healthy mom. No junk food!”

“Ooooh, Milk Duds! I haven’t had any Milk Duds since our last date night at the movies. When was that? Six months ago? GAHHH, I can’t remember. I’ve GOT to get a sitter or we’re probably headed to divorce court.”

OK, pause. That was just a little peek into the Mom Brain, which, as you can tell, is very, very full. If we moms occasionally hesitate when you ask us a question – or we seem to be staring into space a lot  – just realize we’re probably having a very rich inner dialogue that would be HIGHLY entertaining if you could hear it out loud.

No doubt. Well, thanks for listening and we hope your mom brain has a few minutes of downtime today.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Fall classes start next week at Nerdies — and Arties!

The new Northwest Arkansas start-up, Nerdies, had a GREAT summer.

And so did all the kids and teenagers who attended their summer sessions.

The Nerdies summer school registrations were off the charts, the founders built a new gaming center for birthday parties and corporate events and they also started a new company for kids who may have a different bent called Arties.

The new studio is a thing of beauty for gamers (it has an adjoining “chill room” where you can have the birthday cake or other food/drinks. Cool.):

nerdies gaming studio

This news just happened this week: Nerdies Founder Head Nerd, Brad Harvey, was named one of the “Visionary Arkansans” of 2014 by the Arkansas Times.

In the most recent August 28th Issue, The Arkansas Times chose 25 people from across the state of Arkansas whose vision and leadership in their respective areas makes Arkansas a better place to live.

Click  here to what Brad had to say about Nerdies in the Times article. We loved this quote:

Head Nerd, Brad Harvey

Head Nerd, Brad Harvey

“The big deal is that we’ve just gotta go do,” Harvey said. “The learning is secondary to the doing. If we’re going to build this, write this, shoot this, the learning has to occur. But we’re very much outcome-focused. … By the time they’re 18 and they’re applying for jobs, they can say, ‘I’ve already shot 12 films.’”

Fall classes at Nerdies start next week, so be sure to check out the awesome sessions to see which ones would be a good fit for your kiddo. Nerdies and Arties will offer some of the same awesome classes they had over the summer, but are adding some new ones, too.

Classes for the fall include: Minecraft World Building, Web Design, Mods for Minecraft, Comic Book, Photography & Editing. Click here for all the fall classes at Nerdies.

There’s also some good news for adults! Starting next month, Nerdies and Arties will offer some classes just for grown-ups, like how to set up and run your own blog! You know the Motherlode mamas love that topic :)

Here’s a full list of kid and teen classes Nerdies and Arties will offer for fall:

nerdies and arties fall lineup

Click here to see the entire list of Arties classes.

comics comic

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