July Calendar of Events!

July Calendar!

Performance and Fireworks Show at the AMP

Free family event! The MDA Central Casting Studios student show team will perform two shows of “Made in the USA”, that includes some of the greatest songs in American pop history. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and make a day of it! There will be kids’ play areas, refreshments for purchase, and other local talent will be playing the AMP between shows. Tune in on Magic 107.9.

Date: Saturday, July 2

Time: First show @11am, Second show @7:30pm, Fireworks immediately following

Location: AMP at the Northwest Arkansas Mall (Fayetteville)

More Info: Free to the public. Click here to see a previous nwaMotherlode story about this event.

Rodeo of the Ozarks – Fireworks Night

67th Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks.

Date: Saturday, July 2

Time: Gates open @6pm, Show kicks off @7:30pm, Fireworks immediately following

Location: Parsons Stadium (Springdale)

More Info: www.parsonsstadium.com

Veterans Park Independence Day Celebration

Fireworks in the park!

Date: Sunday, July 3

Time: Dusk – Approximately 9pm

Location: Veterans Park (Rogers)

More Info: www.rogerslowellarcoc.weblinkconnect.com

Fireworks at the Crosses

A perfect chance for families to relax and fellowship together as they enjoy an evening of patriotism.

Date: Sunday, July 3

Time: 5pm

Location: Cross Church – Pinnacle Hills Campus (Rogers)

More Info: www.crosschurch.com/fireworks

An Evening in Orchards Park

Musical performances and “The Brightest Fireworks Display in Northwest Arkansas”. Featuring Chase Missy and the Arkansas Winds.

Date: Monday, July 4

Time: Show begins @7pm. Fireworks @9:30pm.

Location: Orchards Park (Bentonville)

More Info: Free to the public. For more information, call 479.464.PARK (7275) or online at www.bentonvillear.com

Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza

Celebrate the Fourth of July at one of the largest fireworks shows in all of Northwest Arkansas. Presented by Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corporation, KNWA, KIX 104, Magic 107.9, Hot Mix 101.9, and 93.3 The Eagle.

Date: Monday, July 4

Time: Game @6, Fireworks immediately following

Location: Arvest Ballpark (Springdale)

More info: Admission is $6-12 for adults, $5-11 for children 12 and under. For ticket info, www.nwanaturals.com

Devil’s Den Family Activities

Family festivities but no fireworks display. Face painting, food, bird watching, hiking, softball tournament, relay races, nature activities, ice cream making and a patriotic bike parade.

Date: Saturday, July 1 – Monday, July 4

Time: Varies throughout the weekend.

Location: Devil’s Den State Park

More info: For specific times, call 479.761.3325.

Firecracker 5K and Fun Run

Kids Fun Run and competitive 5K. Free pancake breakfast after the race!

Date: Monday, July 4

Time: 8am

Location: Lake Atalanta (Rogers)

More info: Get race forms and race-day information at www.fccrogers.org or by contacting firecracker5K@juno.com

Break a World Record! – Arvest Ballpark

Help set an all-time “Air Guitar” record! Plus post-game fireworks.

Date: Friday, July 1

Time: 7pm

Location: Arvest Ballpark (Springdale)

More Info: Tickets start at $6 when ordered in advance. For ticket info, www.nwanaturals.com

First Fridays – Bentonville

Activities, food and live music for the whole family! Held on the Bentonville square March through November.

Date: Fridays

Time: 11:30am

Location: Downtown Bentonville Square

More Info: www.downtownbentonville.org

First Thursdays – Fayetteville

First Thursday Fayetteville is a monthly event held on the Downtown Fayetteville Square. It features various works of art, live music, outdoor movies and other cultural arts representations. This year the event has expanded onto Mountain Street and includes a Kids’ Zone! Terra Studios will sponsor the kids’ activities. Free and open to the public.

Date: First Thursday of the month

Time: 5 – 8pm

Location: Downtown Fayetteville Square

More Info: www.firstthursdayfayetteville.com

Fayetteville Farmers’ Market

For the last 37 years, the downtown square market has offered the finest in locally produced vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, meats, baked goods, honey, eggs, jams, crafts, and  fine art from the NWA area. Each market day is a feast for the eyes, ears and palate, with a riot of color, aromas, and sounds — street performers, tourists, and the residents of Northwest Arkansas visiting with over 60 vendors around the beautiful square gardens.

Date: Saturdays

Time: 7am – 2pm

Location: Downtown Square (Fayetteville)

More Info: www.fayettevillefarmersmarket.org

Springdale Farmers’ Market

Fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey, eggs, baked goods, plants and crafts. All items sold are produced by members of the market.

Date: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Time: 7am – 1pm

Location: Memorial Walk of the Jones Center for Families (Springdale)

More Info: Free admission. Call 479.751.3352 with questions.

Pickin’ in the Park Series

Bring your instrument and join in with live gospel, country and bluegrass music or just bring your lawn chair, sit a spell, and enjoy a memorable Ozarks evening. Acoustic instruments only. No alcoholic beverages please.

Date: Saturdays

Time: 6pm

Location: Frisco Park (Rogers)

More Info: Admission is free. www.mainstreetrogers.com

Little Sprouts

Join the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks for a short nature-based activity, weather permitting. Activities include a story, game or a take-home craft.

Date: Wednesdays

Time: 10am

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

More Info: Tickets – Kids over 13 are $5, Ages 5-13 are $2.50 and Kiddos under 5 are free. www.bgozarks.org

First Friday Flicks – Shrek

The Bentonville Parks & Recreation department will host a family-friendly movie on a 25 foot inflatable outdoor screen at Lawrence Plaza. This event will be in conjunction with the First Friday events on the Bentonville Square. Bring your blanket and popcorn!

Date: Friday, July 1

Time: 8pm

Location: Lawrence Plaza (Bentonville)

More Info: www.bentonvillear.com. Shrek is rated PG and runs for 1hr 29min.

Kids Workshop – Home Depot

On the first Saturday of each month, the FREE Home Depot Kids Workshops offer useful projects like building toolboxes, fire trucks and mail organizers, as well as more educational projects, such as window birdhouses, bughouses or a Declaration of Independence frame kit.

Date: Saturday, July 2

Time: 9am – Noon

Location: Your local Home Depot (Fayetteville or Rogers)

More Info: Great for ages 5-12. www.homedepot.com or CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

Fast Lane Entertainment Birthday Blowout

Play all day with unlimited activities and grab an All-American Grill Combo (hot dog, chips & 12 oz. soft drink) to snack on. Also, the brand new arcade will be making a debut along with an all new LED light show!

Date: Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4

Time: 10am – Midnight

Location: Fast Lane (Lowell)

More Info: All-inclusive $25. www.fastlanebowl.com

Orchards Park – Summer Concert Series

All shows are free to the public. Come enjoy great music and a good time!

Date: July dates are July 4 (4th of July evening and fireworks), July 8, July 15 and July 22

Time: 7pm

Location: Orchards Park (Bentonville)

More Info: July 4 features Chase Missy and the Arkansas Winds, July 8 features Oreo Blue, July 15 features Identity Crisis, and July 22 features Total Defrag. www.bentonvillear.com

Hello, Dolly!

Make plans to be a part of the Opening Night Celebration for “Hello, Dolly!” – the first production of the season at the Arts Center of the Ozarks. Enjoy delightful hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Date: Friday, July 8 (Opening Night) Show runs July 8-9 and 14-16.

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Arts Center of the Ozarks (Springdale)

More Info: Adults $30/Students $15 www.artscenteroftheozarks.org

Guys and Dolls

An oddball romantic comedy considered by many to be the perfect musical. The New York Post said, “If you have one musical to see, make it this – and make it quick!”

Date: Saturday, July 9

Time: Two shows – 2pm and 8pm

Location: Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville)

More Info: For ticket info, www.waltonartscenter.org

Antique Festival of the Ozarks

Vendors from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas bring quality antique merchandise to this 2-day show and sale.

Date: Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10

Time: Saturday 9am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm

Location: NWA Holiday Inn Convention Center (Springdale)

More Info: Adult admission is $5, kids under 12 are free. www.ozarksantiquefestival.com

Arts Live Theatre – Summer Camps

Northwest Arkansas’ only dedicated children’s and youth theatre company will begin its summer camps June 13. Camps available for grades K-12 including Musical Theatre, Theatre Production, Theatre Dance, Stage Makeup, Stage Combat and Comedy Improv. Camps are one week each and offered monthly.

Date: Throughout the summer.

Time: Varies

Location: Arts Live Theatre (Fayetteville)

More Info: For a complete schedule of camps, fees and downloadable registration form, visit www.artslivetheatre.com. There are still spots available!

July Day Camps at Hobbs

Some of the activities for kiddos include hikes, crafts, games, stream studios, and other nature-related fun. Snacks and a t-shirt are provided, too.

Date: Dates for ages 9-12 are July 12-14. Must register by July 5. Dates for ages 6-8 are July 19-21. Register by July 11.

Time: 9am – 3pm

Location: Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area (Rogers)

More Info: Cost is $50 per child and class size is limited, so make your reservation now! Call 479.789.5000 for more information or to reserve a spot.

Gulley Park – Summer Concert Series

FREE concerts in the park – six concerts throughout the summer.

Date: July dates are July 14 and July 28

Time: 7pm

Location: Gulley Park (Fayetteville)

More Info: July 14 features Casual Flyze & the Earth from Fayetteville and July 28 features Tim Brantley from Atlanta, Georgia. www.accessfayetteville.org

Ice Cream Social Fundraiser

All proceeds go to Swat Malaria to raise money for mosquito nets for Nothing but Nets and One Book Foundation in Tanzania.

Date: Friday, July 15

Time: 7 – 9pm

Location: Sequoyah United Methodist Church (Fayetteville)

More Info: The public is invited. Contact SUMC at 479.442.8677 for more information.

FireFly Fling 2011

THE Summer Festival for Families is a great mid-summer event focused on outdoor, nature-oriented activities and entertainment for all ages. Activities throughout the evening and after dark include building fairy houses, cooking bread on a stick, and sky lanterns.

Date: Saturday, July 16

Time: 6 – 10pm

Location: The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

More Info: Admission is $8 for individuals, $24 for families of 4, and $40 for groups of 6. Contact the Garden at 479.750.2620 or jsmith@bgozarks.org. Website www.bgozarks.org

Third Friday Twilight Walks

July theme: Summer in the City. Merchants downtown host local artists, photographers and musicians, and promote special sales on the third Friday of each month from May through September. Also enjoy live music, community art projects for kids, street musicians, artists and crafters lining the sidewalks, loft tours of historic downtown residences, and food vendors.

Date: Friday, July 15

Time: 5 – 9pm

Location: Downtown Historic District (Rogers)

More Info: www.rogerslowellarcoc.weblinkconnect.com

Family Sundays – Arvest Ballpark

Families rule on Sunday at Arvest Ballpark! Kids 12 and under Eat Free and can run the bases after the game. Stop by and visit our face painter and balloon artist!

Date: Sundays, July 17, 24

Time: Varies

Location: Arvest Ballpark (Springdale)

More Info: For ticket info, www.nwanaturals.com

Tomato Fest

Sample and learn about several varieties of tomatoes grown in Arkansas, including unusual and heirloom types. Meet master gardeners who can provide free information about growing tomatoes and hear a local chef talk about pairing the unique flavors of these tomatoes with other foods and in special dishes.

Date: Sunday, July 24

Time: 11am – 1pm

Location: The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

More Info: Adults – $5, Kids 10 and under – $2.50, www.bgozarks.org

Imagination Movers

A one-of-a-kind interactive concert experience that the entire family will love! According to Indie Kids Rock, The Movers are considered “the U2 of kids music with a big anthemic pop-rock sound, catchy lyrics and of course, imagination.”

Date: Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31

Time: 11am and 4pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday)

Location: Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville)

More Info: For ticket info, www.waltonartscenter.org

Inside His Head: Vacation or ‘staycation’?

Dear Inside His Head,

My husband wants to go on an expensive vacation this summer, but I don’t think we should spend the money (it would set us back on our financial goals). I’d like to talk him into a “staycation” which would save us some money. Do you have any advice on how to “sell” him taking a week off from work and staying home?

GRAY: A lot can be said from truly getting away from it all and sometimes vacationing in a different city forces us to drop more of the mental baggage we carry; however, it’s rare to encounter a person who’s taken the time to explore their own neck of the woods fully.

Ask him how many times you’ve both said, “You know, we ought to do that some day,” after hearing a friend talk about a hike out to a local landmark, a show at a performance theater or a visit to a museum. Just this year I went out to a beautiful cliff I’d wanted to see for years and never made the time for. Now I’ve realized there’s a zip line not too far away and some bike trails I’ve been trying to get to since they opened. Odds are, both of you have these kinds of things on your list to get around to as well. Take some time to explore them and you may find you’ve already got more on your hands than vacation time to do them.

Tell him about the places you could finally check out and no doubt they include a bunch of restaurants you’ve wanted to eat at. My guess is you could indulge yourself more and still spend a lot less than you’d spend on the gas/airplane tickets and hotel costs.

And I don’t want to spoil good fun, but sometimes a good vacation can be spent around the house. Have a potential patio area the two of you could build? Wanted to finally turn that makeshift office into a real one? Working on such things can pay dividends down the road because you get to enjoy them all year long.

But the best part is if you find a new favorite, whether it’s an activity, place to eat, place to relax, it’s right there in your own back yard waiting for you to return.

MAVERICK: He likely is feeling pretty stressed and thinks he really deserves some time away from work and the house. While the logic of spending less money is a good starting point in selling him on staying home, you also need to convince him he can get some relaxation and fun during a “stay-cation.”

The best way to do this is develop an itinerary. Show him what you’ll do as a family each day that way it won’t seem like he’s “wasting”his vacation time sitting around the house. Include a day your husband can keep for himself where he can do something he really enjoys, like a fishing or trip to a golf course he’s always wanted to play but may be a bit too expensive, or far away, for every day. Include some structured family time, like trips to a splash park or a visit to a museum or zoo.

Aim for at least one overnight stay, like a camping trip or a visit to nearby city for some change of scenery.

To really encourage him, plan on a night where the kids stay with friends or relatives and you both get away someplace romantic for alone time. Showing him how you’ll spend the time and how much fun you’ll have should go a long way in convincing him to play along. The only danger here is any activity will cost money. Look for ways to economize, like packing lunches and bringing sodas or drinks for your day trips.

But for goodness sake don’t be a cheapskate. You’re on vacation. Allow for some treats and extravagances. You’ll still save a considerable amount of money even with a lot of activities close to home compared to traveling and staying in hotels for a week and eating every meal out. And the bottom line is to enjoy yourself.  If everyone isn’t having fun, what’s the point? He may as well be at work.

Life with Ladybug: First state blogging conference for chicks

By Shannon Magsam

As Gwen and I drove over the rocky, slowly narrowing, dirt road in separate vehicles, we chatted non-stop on our cell phones. We had wanted to ride together, but Gwen had to head back that evening and I was spending a night in the Hunstsville woods. Her husband’s red Pilot was about four car lengths ahead of my Rav4 and I would occasionally see the bumper as it turned another hairpin corner.

Then we apparently went too far out for available towers, because we lost cell service.

About four minutes later, we had arrived. It was time to unplug. We drove up to the Ozark Natural Science Center and shimmied our vehicles into the only few spaces left. All the other NWA blogger types (and a few from surrounding states) had arrived Friday night for the first Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference.

The conference was a few weeks ago, and I’ve been meaning to post about it, but other bloggerly/websitey/lifey duties kept me from the subject.

Truly, it was the perfect weekend for me to unplug since a bad case of carpal tunnel had been making me wince every time I tried to use my left hand or wrist. I was praying the pain would stop before I had to go to the conference, schlep my suitcases up to my cabin and also be coherent enough to talk about personal branding with Gwen in a session. Prayer plus three strong anti-inflammatory pills and two nights of wrist-brace wearing had me feeling much better. BUT it was good that I wouldn’t be typing at all over the weekend. Better to really let that wrist rest. I normally like to “get a little work done” on Saturday and Sunday. My husband jokes that he has to email me, even on the weekends, just to find out what I want to eat for lunch. Ha.

As I said, Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged (AWBU) was a weekend filled with good food, brand new friends, under-the-trees breezes and … I actually slept in a cabin in a sleeping with two roomies in bunks on each side. It was like church camp, except … well, it really wasn’t. The rustic cabins, the beautiful scenery, yes, but I chose when it was lights out and the food was actually good (“The biscuits at the church camp, they say are mighty fine, but one fell off the table and killed a friend of mine!” Did you ever sing that?)

On Saturday night, a small group of us started talking in the “comfy area” as Bethany Stephens (exec. director at Ozark Natural Science Center and my new good friend) called it. By 1 a.m., it wasn’t such a small group anymore. We laughed so hard we cried — or snorted — and talked about how different we all are as women and moms (while being acutely aware of just how much we’re alike).

Oh! And there was also the professional development component of the conference, ahem. Since it was for bloggers, we challenged each other to do more good with our blogs (gracias, Fawn, you awesome do-gooder), to be more mindful of our grammar, to pull blog topics out of the air – or even the old timey phone book – and other awesome sessions to improve our craft. (We even did a real-life craft with Elmer’s Glue! Talk about a bonding experience.)

But really? Having time to connect – really connect – with other women was my favorite part. When do we have opportunities for that anymore?

I’ve been teased a little since the conference about some of the stuff we talked about at our little impromptu gathering in the comfy chairs. But those rockin’ blogger chicks, my new friends, have honored the “What happens at AWBU stays at AWBU”.

I’ve decided to out myself.

Can I first tell you the setting? As I said, it was late. We were being silly. I hadn’t laughed that loud, or that long, in a while. I was doing my favorite thing – talking to a group of women, really talking about our true feelings – and I got a little verbose. In the estrogen-soaked open room, late at night, I admitted something that the other bloggers teased me about the next day.

I admitted that I really, really don’t like my man “tooting” (hate the word fart, so sue me) in my presence and that his discretion has historically earned him some extra romance time, wink, wink. Cuz, honey, lettin’ it rip will totally stall my passion. Indefinitely. It pays to be romantic and not share every gas bubble that wants to pop out, is what I say. I might have even said something along the lines of, “I admit I’m prissy” to the blogger girls. At least when it comes to gastrointestinal noises, I pointed out.

Whew. I’ve outed myself, so I don’t have to worry about anyone else doing it. Though I never doubted their fidelity. Thanks, girls.

I mentioned that one of the campy things we did was make crafts with some great tools that the Elmer’s Glue folks let us take home. I LOVE all that stuff and Ladybug was thrilled when I walked in the door with my Elmer’s SWAG. Anyway, we made some fun tri-fold boards decorated with AWBU memories and lessons learned. We had each other sign them like it was the last day of school. “Stay sweet!” I wanted to write. Or maybe LYLAS.

I made a point to talk to every woman there, which was easier since it was a mini-conference. I loved hearing their stories. And even without an Elmer’s paint pen, some final thoughts:

See you girls at the next meetup — or at next year’s AWBU!

Shannon Magsam is mom to 9-year-old Ladybug, married to Ladybug’s dad, John, and co-creator of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of Life With Ladybug, click here. Leave a comment if you please.

Inconceivable Mama: If wishes and buts were candy and nuts

By Inconceivable Mama

I never imagined myself having children so I certainly never imagined there would come a time in my life in which I would deal with infertility. My little girl dreams never really involved me being a mom some day. The sound of babies crying made my skin crawl and just the thought of poopie diapers made me gag. My husband understood this and so kids were never really a part of our family plan.

We both teach so we enjoyed the 500 or so kids we came in contact with every day and enjoyed it even more when we could send them home to their parents for the nights and weekends. The hubs and I rocked and rolled through the ups and downs of our marriage for nine years getting to know each other, learning how to live with each other and realizing that we couldn’t live without each other. One day in 2009 we had a moment (yes, in the heat of passion) where we knew we wanted to have a baby.  There was no big discussion about it – there wasn’t a need for one. We just knew this was our new path and we walked down it hand in hand.

I don’t think anyone imagines that when they decide to get pregnant that it could actually take work beyond the fun stuff and that at some point trying to conceive becomes a chore and loses it sense of intimacy and pleasure. I didn’t think it would necessarily happen the first month we tried but I certainly didn’t think I would be sitting here two years later facing a third year of unsuccessfully conceiving a child.  The first six months rolled by and I didn’t really stress about it too bad but as the year mark came upon us I knew it was time to take action so we consulted my doctor.

In the past year, Hubs and I have both undergone some tests and procedures through our local OBGYN to help us identify the problems.  Some procedures were quick and easy and some were painful and invasive. Most provided little or no clues as to the problem.

As we move into this third year of trying to conceive, we are about to consult a fertility clinic for further help. This journey we are on is in the here and now.  This is my real life.  I am 33 and my husband is 37 so I find myself wondering if we waited too long. This story is about us desperately wanting a child and questioning every move we’ve made until now.  Should we have just had kids right away?  Did I do something that caused my body to reject the idea of pregnancy? What steps do we take now? Are drugs and science really the way to go? Will incurring debt to conceive a child be beneficial to the child later in life? How long do we keep trying?

I am inviting you to walk this path with us. Whether it takes weeks, months, years, or even possibly never happens at all, I would like you to join me as we go through the process of trying to conceive a child. I will share with you the procedures we participate in, the advice of my doctors, and perhaps most importantly the true thoughts and feelings of a couple dealing with the intimate and often un-discussed subject of infertility.

We welcome new mom blogger, Inconceivable Mama, to nwaMotherlode. We appreciate her sharing this difficult journey with us. We know there are many of you out there who are walking a similar path. Inconceivable Mama has lived in Arkansas for 15 years and is a teacher. She and her Hubs don’t have any kids (…yet) but live on a small farm with dogs, cats, chickens and horses. She is writing anonymously for now.

Pet Parenting: Fur, fur everywhere!

Dear Denise,

My dog is shedding like crazy. I could make a whole new dog out of the hair he’s leaving behind on my chairs, carpet, BED. Is there anything I can do to cut down on the shedding? Also, do you have any good ideas for getting the hair off everything in my house (besides normal vacuuming)?

Dear Mama:

It’s that time of year for sure, and depending on your breed or mix, it can be a mess! Fortunately, I’ve always had St. Bernards, so I have a few solutions for you.

Aside from regular brushing (2-3 times a week), I recommend calling a groomer and making an appointment to have your dog ‘Furminated.’ This is a great de-shedding treatment that includes a special shampoo, conditioner, and the use of a very special Furminator grooming tool. The full treatment can last (and decrease shedding) for up to 6 weeks. You can also buy your own Furminator tool at most major pet stores and use it once a week or so.

To remove hair from FURniture (that’s why they call it that), try a roller brush with tape. That’s about the best solution I’ve found. Long hair is easier to remove than short but the tape seems to work well on both. Scotch also now makes a ‘Fur Fighter’ product that I’ve seen at Wally World, but I’ve yet to try.

If all else fails, you may want to consider redecorating in colors to match the pet hair. :-)

Good Luck!

Denise Holmes is a pet behavior counselor with over 25 years of experience. She focuses on family pet training and animal-assisted therapy.  She has consulted with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, helped set up a variety of local programs and produced a CD to help expecting parents introduce the family pet to a newborn, www.LoveTrustTeach.com.

Star-spangled scents!

You’ve heard about Scensty here before because Gwen and I have several Scentsy warmers around our houses and we love them! These are “wickless” candles that just happen to also double as beautiful/whimsical decor. They have all kinds of designs, making it easy to find a style that will match your own home. Local “Star Director” Melanie Markley, one of the sponsors here at Motherlode, always has lots of products on hand or can get your order filled fast.

Right now, you can get the Star-Spangled warmer to celebrate the upcoming holiday. Isn’t it cute? We likey.

Also, big news if you love Scentsy — or want to see what all the fuss is about: Melanie is having a Customer Appreciation Day on July 9th.  She’ll be having giveaways and LOTS of discounts at the drop-in event at her house, 5709 S. 45th Street in Rogers (Warren Glen Subdivision).

E-mail her at PerfectlyScentsable[AT]yahoo[DOT]com to RSVP so she can get a feel for how many plan to attend. Or give her a call at 479-285-1467. Since it’s come and go, drop in for a few minutes and grab what you need or stay, visit, and enjoy some great food. Scentsy’s Bring Back My Bars will also be available for purchase at Melanie’s event.  These are special scents that are ONLY available in JULY.

Melanie says, “And let me tell you they are AMAZING!!!! I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas to get here. I’m SO ready for July to be here so I can order them.  lol.”

Melanie is also on Facebook now at WAXINISTAS-Melanie Markley.  She posts updates, specials, and giveaways there weekly.

Here’s a story about Melanie and Scentsy on Motherlode. CLICK HERE to visit Melanie’s website and shop around.

All Akimbo: Two years of Moxie

By Kim Blakely

Moxie turned 2 last week, and because those kinds of birthdays tend to have special meaning for those of us who have birthed, I spent a few quiet moments contemplating.

I still remember vividly how I longed to have a baby during the more than 2 ½ years my husband and I tried to make that happen, and in hindsight I wonder if I might have been still under an umbrella of shock when Moxie was born.  I was thrilled to meet her, of course – but I felt sort of slightly distanced from the whole experience, if that makes any sense.

When I look at pictures of Moxie as a baby, I can recall a few of the memories behind the shots, but several of them just leave me blank. I know I was there, because I either took the pictures (in most cases) or I’m in them (there are blessedly fewer of those).

Or maybe … Is it normal for the infancy of a second child to be a blur?

Either way, the memories of Moxie from the last year and a half or so are solidly ingrained in my brain, and I am here to tell you she fully lives up to her pseudonym. I know you’re not supposed to compare your children but there are some things about mine that are so glaringly different that it’s impossible for even the mailman not to notice.

Mojo is a fairly mild-mannered kid – for the first three years of his life he wouldn’t even have considered lifting a hand against another kid, even in defense. (Believe me, there were plenty of times I wished he would.) Moxie, on the other hand, is wont to haul off and slug her brother before he can bat his long dark eyelashes. She got so mad at him a couple of weeks ago when he wouldn’t let her have a turn on his little plastic keyboard fast enough that she POKED HIM IN THE EYE! He’s pretty good-natured about it at least, usually just telling her to stop without reciprocating and even encouraging her to show off her eagerness to pull his hair as he stands in line to leave his kindergarten classroom.

He’s still fairly cautious about things that might lead to injury. Hang upside down from the monkey bars? No thank you, he would say. Jump off the swings? Even go down the big tunnel slide at the park? Uh uh. Those big inflatable bounce houses? Oh, heck no.  But Moxie squeals that she wants to “nump” (that’s Moxie-talk for “jump”) every time we see one – even if it’s on the side of the highway we’re zooming down on our way to parts unknown. We cannot get her out of these things, though, so she’s only allowed in when we have lots of time on our hands. She also went down the 5-foot tunnel slide at the little pool 45 bazilliion times last weekend, and then begged to go down the BIG tunnel slide. She cried when she only got three turns there before we told her it was time to go home.

Mojo remains shy, though not as markedly so as when he was younger. “In the old times” as he likes to refer to anything that happened pre-2009, he would cry if the checker at the grocery store so much as said hello to him. Moxie? She would race down the hill to meet the mailman if I would let her. She wouldn’t want him to so much as shake her hand, of course, but that wouldn’t stop her from belting out a greeting.

One more thing (although there are many): Mojo is and always has been a homebody. It has always been a challenge to get him dressed and out the door to go anywhere. Even the park. Or the zoo. Or the pool!  Moxie, in contrast, wakes up in the morning asking for a new diaper, a dress and her shoes. (I’ve wondered off and on if she’s a follower of the Flylady, who urges who Flybabies to get “dressed to the laces” every morning.) Just now, she woke up from her nap, came downstairs and put on shoes – her brother’s hightops, but still – and she wanted them tied. She’s clomping around in them and has clearly made a pass through the playroom, where she bedecked herself with four strands of brightly colored plastic beads. Any minute now she’ll ask, “Where are we going?”

On that note, I suppose I should close my laptop, which Mojo has long understood was off-limits but which Moxie likes to pound and attempt to plug things into – like headphones and, um, markers.

I guess the point of all this is that although those early memories may be foggy, the fact that my kids are so different will make it easy to distinguish which remember-when-you-did-that stories belong to each  one. That’s a good thing. And so is making the memories in the first place.

Kim Blakely is mom to a 2-year-old  girl “Moxie” and 5-year-old boy “Mojo”. She’s also a freelance writer who works from home.  To read previous All Akimbo posts, click here!

Devotion in Motion: That’s gonna leave a mark

7 ¶ As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17  (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

Well, the Cash family has made it home from their week of working on staff at Bible camp. We’re exceedingly joyful but a bit exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with 32 middle-schoolers — and the cots in the barracks are not quite as comfortable as the nice beds that we have at home. We’ve been doing some resting since we got back and we’re almost back to our old selves.

For 30 years, helping at Bible camp in one way or another has been part of my summer tradition. Susan and I haven’t really given it much thought. Camp is just what the church does when summertime gets here.

But something happened in the past few years that made a big difference in the way I think about Christian camping. A young mother came to our church and began to worship with our congregation. She brought her husband with her and their babies. Gradually, she invited other relatives, and they brought their friends and family members. All in all, we have over a dozen new faces (all of whom we dearly love) worshiping with our congregation.

So one day I asked the young mother how, out of all of the congregations in the world, she had chosen ours. She said, “Oh, that’s easy. I knew you and Miss Susan at Bible Camp — when I was 8-years-old.”

To be honest, I’d forgotten that she’d been a camper so many years ago. I thought for a moment, and then I remembered her. I could see her clearly in my mind’s eye. She was the quiet little girl with the big brown eyes. The one who was never loud and who never drew a lot of attention to herself. The one with the very sweet smile.

And, in a flash, I had a profound realization about the Christian work that we do with children. We are all making an impression and exerting an influence. Even when we don’t realize it and even if we don’t remember it, we’re making a mark. It is both sobering and thrilling!

It is for that reason I am so very proud of and thankful for the fine staff members that I had this week — especially those who were college-aged and younger. There was Brooke (the Bible class teacher), who cheerfully led campers in calisthenics and the recitation “Gray Squirrel” each morning, and Jake, who delivered heart-felt and heart-stirring devotions (even when asked to speak at the last moment.)

There was Spencer, who taught the children about his mission trip to the country of Haiti, and who (along with Jake) directed afternoon-long marathons of “Capture the Flag.” There was Elizabeth, who so sweetly carried out anything and everything she was asked to do, and Madeline, who made a special trip home to search her closet for dresses for the little girls to wear on their “dates” for the Thursday night banquet.

And then there were our high-school-aged helpers, Melissa, Seth, and Lucas, who daily helped with the physical “grunt” work that has to be done to make church camp possible. Among these 8 dedicated workers, I’ve never had such a young group of staffers who carried out a week of camp with such thoroughness and love. Their kind and patient deeds will surely leave a mark.

I encourage you today to sign up your kids for a week of Christian camping. Perhaps you can volunteer to help in some way. It’s gonna leave a mark. But I guarantee it won’t hurt a bit.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher and his wife made a 10-foot-long ice cream sundae for the campers this week in a piece of gutter that they bought at Hailey’s Hardware.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to jcash@scott.k12.ms.us.

The Rockwood Files: If it bleeds, it leads

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Tom and I realized a long time ago that our kids, ages 9, 7 and 4, wouldn’t be able to watch much television past 7 p.m. Even at that hour, I can count on two fingers the number of shows without bad language, adult situations or jokes heavy with sexual innuendo.

But we never thought we’d have to sprint across the room at 5:30 p.m. to turn off the nightly news. We often watch the news in the kitchen while we’re making dinner, and we always thought it would be good if the kids saw it, too, so we could talk about what’s going on in the world – economics, foreign relations, business trends, politics and natural disasters. What we didn’t anticipate, however, was trying to explain something like “Weinergate” to kids under the age of 10.

Thankfully, they didn’t see much of the Weiner report before we hurriedly changed the channel, so they haven’t asked questions yet. But it’s certainly not the only bad behavior making headlines. Last month we were dodging news stories about Schwarzenegger’s dirty little secret with the maid. Before that it was Charlie Sheen’s unique brand of crazy and crude which got an alarming amount of media attention. And last year we couldn’t watch five minutes of a newscast without hearing about how Tiger Woods betrayed his family with a string of high-heeled mistakes. Watching the televised scandals unfold is like a game of Whack-a-Mole. Just when you smack down one report, another one pops right back up.

There’s an old saying in the news industry that says, “If it bleeds, it leads.” It basically means that if the story involves blood, guts, and/or death, it’ll be the lead story. Perhaps news producers have added a new mantra these past few years that says, “If it’s nude, it gets viewed.”

But here’s the real question: Is it a good change or not? On one hand, I’m happy that a guy like Weiner got busted in a big media way because anyone with that combination of arrogance and stupidity should not be making decisions that affect the whole country. Because of the publicity, he will likely resign or be voted out of office in short order.

On the other hand, I wish my kids were growing up watching news stories about things that really matter – improving education, lowering crime rates, finding cures for disease, getting the country out of debt. In the grand scheme of things, will a report about some moron’s fascination with his private parts create any real progress? Or is it just titillating and ironic, given his descriptive last name?

I’ve been mulling over these questions ever since Weiner’s infamous tweet was heard around the world, and I’m still not sure about the answers. But I do know I don’t want my kids to see so much scandal reporting that they grow up thinking that lying, cheating and cover-ups are just par for the course, whether you’re a movie star, top athlete, an elected official or anything between.

I want them to know there are good men and women in the world tackling tough problems – people who love their families and are too busy to waste time flirting online or taking stupid risks. I want them to know those people are newsworthy, too.

In the meantime, we’re watching mostly sports in the kitchen now. Slam dunks are so much easier to talk about during dinner than what’s being served up on the evening news. We wait until the kids go to bed to watch a newscast because, far too often, sensationalism trumps serious issues, and shocking wins out over thought-provoking almost every time. Lately, the “breaking news” is breaking our spirit, too.

Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here.

Fireworks show on July 2nd!

If you’re making plans for the July 4th weekend, mark your calendar for the big fireworks show at the Arkansas Music Pavillion (AMP) at the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville on July 2nd. The  MDA Central Casting Studios student show team will perform two shows of “Made In the USA“, that includes some  of the greatest songs in American “pop” history. The first show starts at 11 a.m., if you’d like to see it before the fireworks crowd begins to gather. Attendance at the fireworks show is expected to be in the thousands!

The second show starts at 7:30 p.m and will be followed by the National Anthem and a United States Military Color Guard just before the big fireworks show. You can also hear it on Magic 107.9.

Keep in mind this is a FREE family event (no liquor), and you can bring lawn chairs and blankets and stay all day if you like. There will be kids’ play areas set up. There will also be lots of refreshments available for purchase, and you’ll have a chance to see lots of local talent perform at the AMP throughout the day.

Be sure to catch these other performances at the AMP during the day on July 2nd:

  • Papa Dave Chiodo and the Soul Deep Rhythm Section (playing selections from their Blue Jazz album)
  • Talent from the Walton Arts Center
  • Amanda Cramer (new recording artist)



What We’re Reading: Beach Books!

Don’t say you’re too busy to read, mamas. We know you’re busy. Crazy busy. So busy you barely have time to shower. We get it. We’re right there with you. But we double-dog dare you to read anyway. Why? Because it’s SO good to get away from it all every now and then, and a book will totally do that for you — no frequent flier miles required. And reading, by its very nature, requires you to do it alone, which means you’ll get that down time for yourself you’ve been craving for so long.

But here’s the very best reason — the one you can’t refuse: Read a book you love because it’s GOOD FOR THE CHILDREN, and good mommies like you always do what’s good for the children, right? One of the best ways to get your own kids hooked on reading is to show them that it’s so much fun that even grown-ups do it every chance they get. Show them that reading is so important that you actually make time for it (instead of waiting for “one day” when you might magically have more time). And don’t tell us you’re way too behind on the laundry. We’re all behind. You’ll get used to it. Besides, nobody is handing out medals for being all caught up on folding the towels. :-)

If it’s been forever since you’ve read a book that you couldn’t put down, you need to dive back in with a good beach book. A beach book isn’t too heavy, isn’t too long, doesn’t have a zillion characters to keep up with, and won’t make you ponder the meaning of life or reach for a dictionary. A beach book just wants you to have a good time. So we’ve picked two of our favorite beach books by an author, Emily Griffin, who keeps you turning pages and always provides a satisfying ending. The first book — Something Borrowed — was turned into a movie that is still showing in some theatres. After you read the book, you could also rent it on DVD. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and LOVED it nearly as much as the book itself. The casting was perfect.

Something Borrowed, by Emily Griffin

What it’s about: Two friends, Rachel and Darcy, have grown up together and are as close (and as secretly competitive) as two sisters. But Darcy has always been the dominant and often manipulative one, and Rachel is the “good girl” who always plays the cooperative sidekick role. But then one night Rachel has a few too many drinks and confesses to Darcy’s fiance, Dex, that she had a huge crush on him in law school (before he met Darcy) but was always too chicken to say so. That confession triggered a HUGE chain reaction because Dex said he always had a thing for Rachel, too, and only pursued Darcy because he thought Rachel wasn’t interested. So…a drunken kiss leads to an affair, and it may be the only affair you’ll ever read about where you don’t hate the cheaters. You’ll feel absolutely compelled to see what happens next.

Something Blue, by Emily Griffin

What it’s about: This book basically picks up where Something Borrowed leaves off, only this one is told from Darcy’s point of view which makes it totally different from its predecessor. Darcy takes us along as she tries to figure out how to be single, pregnant and fabulous enough to snag a handsome rich man in London. But somewhere along the way, she realizes it’s time to become more than the spoiled, shallow beauty that she always was in her twenties. With the help of her new roommate, she finally figures things out and finds love where she wasn’t even looking for it.

And if you like those two beach books, try these two other titles by Emily Griffin, which I also enjoyed. Click on each title to read more about it.

The Heart of the Matter

Love the One You’re With

Baby-proof (I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my nightstand!)


Mamas on Magic 107.9 Friday mornings

Since summer officially began this week, we’ll be talking about beach books and summer blockbuster movies this morning when we stop by Magic 107.9 to chat with radio hosts Jennifer Irwin and Guy Westmoland. We’ll also talk about some fun ways to make sure your kids keep reading during their summer vacation from school. Turn your radio on about 7:25 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to join the discussion.

You can also click on the graphic on the right to listen to the radio live on your computer!

If you’re on the hunt for great books to read this summer — or books to read to the kids — we’ll have a little of both. And we’ll talk about some of the fun movies we’ve seen recently as well as the ones we’re anxious to see later this summer.

Here’s a list of links to other items we’ll be discussing on air:

  • Book suggestions for Kids: KidsReads.com



Five Minutes with a Mom: Kate Wallis

Name: Kate Wallis

Daughter’s name and age: Kinley Morgan, age 3

Where was she born? Johnson

Where were you born and raised? Gravette

We know you own the new Ozark Corn Maze. How did the first year go? We were wonderfully blessed beyond our wildest dreams. We are so happy to be able to have as our work something that families can enjoy together.

Will the maze have any new features this fall? We’re using a different design this year to make the maze more challenging, but it’s still Razorback-inspired!

What’s a funny story you’re telling about Kinley right now? I had done laundry and had it “staged” in the living room. Kinley spied a stack of folded kitchen towels. As she reached for them, I asked her not to put them in the floor. She says, “I’m just SMOOTHING them.”

My favorite parenting moments are: When I have an opportunity for a “teaching moment” about some of the challenges in life like disappointments or things that make Kinley sad. Many times my 3 yr old has shown me she’s wise beyond her years. I’m so proud of her for her caring heart. Sometimes the teaching moments come my way as well. I hear her say things that leave no doubt in my mind where she heard them– from me. It’s a big reminder that what we say and do with our children does matter.

I wish someone had told me before I had kids: Sleep is not as important as you think.

My favorite hobbies are: yoga, listening to music (blues, zydeco, classic r&b), cooking, extreme coupon shopping

I have been meaning to: recover the dining room chairs

The last good book I read was: I haven’t read a book in three years. I used to like legal thrillers by Jeffry Deaver, Patricia Cornwell, and Scott Turow.

What’s your favorite part of the day? Reading Kinley a book and rocking her before she goes to bed

What’s your idea of a great weekend? Doing something together as a family– concerts in the park, picnics, etc.

One word to sum me up …. grateful

Mama Guest Post: On following your ‘Mommy Gut’

By Kristy Brown

Photo credit: Marria Hamlin Photography

Colic, Reflux, Allergies, and Asthma.

Those are the names of our first four children. My fifth child is John Lleyton. I’m kidding, of course, but I do have to say that I finally feel — after almost three years — like I’m getting to know the REAL John Lleyton.

I’m going to describe all the battles we’ve fought and are still fighting by placing them in categories. It feels like I’m abbreviating the issues, but this is the quickest way I can address very common issues that other mothers are experiencing.

(For an expanded version, please visit gkbrown.blogspot.com and click the John Lleyton page on our blog. It’s constantly under construction!)

First I want to acknowledge that our battles, I know, are small compared to those fought by others, and I want those mommies to know that this may not compare to what you’re going through. I just hope to help at least one fellow mama out there by sharing my personal experience.

  • Colic: As an infant, even in the hospital, JL cried all the time. The most common question I get asked is “When did you know he had colic?” Upon having him, my “mommy gut” told me something was wrong. I thought I had swaddled him too tight and broken a rib. He wouldn’t even stop crying to feed. HE. CRIED. ALL. THE TIME. During the first 8 weeks, he cried 22 hours a day. It lessened to 10 hours at night for about two to three months and then tapered off to 3-5 hours at night for a while. By 12 months of age, we were finally past the colic. At four weeks of age, I took him to the doc and they told me it was colic. There is a specific definition for colic and it isn’t just “a cranky baby”….believe me.
  • Reflux: At the same four-week doctor’s visit, we were told our baby had severe reflux. He virtually spit up everything he ate. We were told to sit him upright for 1 hour after each feeding. It helped, but he still spit up and cried in pain all the time. He clawed at his face, ears, and throat every time he ate and after eating. At four months, we went back to the doctor and they discovered he had ulcerated his throat and nose. We tried the medication called Prevacid, which he still takes. At almost 3 years old, he still refluxes on Prevacid, so we’re working through what is actually causing his reflux. As a baby, he slept upright and I took a class (in conjunction with my job as a speech pathologist) for babies with reflux. THIS WORKED WONDERS. I now consult with mothers whose babies are having issues with reflux.
  • Allergies: I’m addressing allergies next because they actually cause John Lleyton’s asthma issues. (We’ll talk asthma in the next paragraph.) With the suggestion of our ENT (JL had tubes at the age of 8 months after 7 ear infections in 3 months while on meds) we went to an allergist. Allergy tests are really not conclusive at the age of 2, but his allergies were so severe that we were told we really should see an allergist. We went and the testing showed an allergy to pigweed and maple trees. But the doc is not convinced because JL stays flared up year-round and his flare ups mimic food allergies. We had been trying an organic diet and health issues started turning around. When we put him on a fully organic diet, he went four months straight without a flare up. He goes back to the allergist on August 1st for another allergy test at the age of 3.
  • Asthma: John Lleyton was diagnosed with asthma at 12 months. By this time he had already had pneumonia, RSV, bronchitis many times, and the list goes on. We were prescribed a nebulizer which we used A LOT for the next year. I kept thinking we needed to be under a specialist’s supervision since we were using it so much, but no one ever referred us to one. So I took matters into my own hands and went to see a pulmonologist. BEST DECISION EVER. A strict asthma routine (nebulizer treatments daily) has given us some freedom. He still can’t dance or run without having an attack, but at least we’re not having to do rescue treatments.

I think the best decisions we ever made were:

  • Being followed by a pulmonologist and an allergist
  • Changing to an organic diet (See expanded version on our blog.)
  • FOLLOWING THE ‘MOMMY GUT’.  It’s just what has worked best for us.

    Photo credit: David Craton Photography

Now in the beginning of this post, I said John Lleyton was my fifth child. That’s because I feel like I’m just now getting to know the REAL John Lleyton. Not the child doped up on steroids which caused him to pull out his hair and have nose bleeds. Not the child who vomited all the time, coughed himself to sleep, or always had stomach cramps. I’m seeing a very happy, healthy child who’s able to talk about his day at school rather than where he hurts or itches, or who is always wondering where the bathroom is in case he needs to throw up or ‘have diarrhea’. I’m liking who I see.  :)

Kristy Brown is a Speech Language Pathologist and mother of almost 3-year-old John Lleyton Brown. After graduating with her Masters in Communication Disorders in 1999, she has worked with the Fayetteville Public Schools, a local private therapy clinic, and now co-owns Arkansas Regional Therapy Services, LLC, which provides speech therapy to the NWA community from birth to adults. Her hobbies include blogging, reading, any type of puzzle, and her job (she LOVES her job!). She lives by two very important quotes: “Never judge a book by its cover” and “This too shall pass”. Kristy met the love of her life on a blind date in 2004 and they’ve been married for five years. She believes the best paying job is being a mother. You can keep up with the Brown’s at gkbrown.blogspot.com.

Good Gossip: Hot news on the first day of summer!

Happy Tuesday, mamas! And welcome to the first official day of summer 2011 (even though it has been feeling like summer for weeks now). Did you notice our spring daisy wallpaper has been replaced by a new summer design? If you don’t see it, just click your “refresh” button and it’ll pop up. Hope you like it. This first day of summer is a perfect time to publish the newest installment of our “hot” gossip column. As always, “Good Gossip” includes only the positive stuff you won’t mind if your kids read over your shoulder while you’re surfing the site. So enjoy your gossip completely guilt-free, and come back for another helping every other Tuesday on nwaMotherlode.com.

Hoda Kotb

Love this idea, mamas! A company called Unique Solutions has invented a body scanner which will tell you the brands and sizes that will fit you best. The CEO of the company said that each designer designs clothes with a different body type in mind, so that’s why the same person can wear so many different sizes in various brand names. Hoda Kotb of The Today Show recently tested the new body scanner. Although she said she typically wears a size 8 or 10, the scanner said she could fit into a size 2 in one brand of jeans and a size 9 in another brand.

In the latest issue of People magazine, several celebrities offered advice on how to be beach-ready this year. Bethenny Frankel reminds us that confidence is important as well as good posture because it makes you look and feel thinner. Jackie Keller, the founder of NutriFit, said to be careful about diet soda bloat and go with iced tea instead. The personal trainer for Jennifer Hudson said she trains her clients while playing hip-hop music and then fast dance music to keep them moving and doing repetitions. The trainer for Julia Roberts said to hold your body in a plank position for a minute to work your core and strengthen your abs. And Mark Townsend, who is a hair stylist for Glee’s Lea Michele, reminds us to use sunscreen on our hair to protect it on long days at the pool.

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson recently had a baby shower and is due with her second child in July. Attending the shower were celebs including Courtney Cox, Jessica Capshaw, Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie. The shower was held at a private home in Malibu. Kate is also mom to son Ryder, who is now 7. She is engaged to Matt Bellamy, who is the frontman for the band Muse.

Yikes! This made us feel kinda old. Did you realize that the movie Top Gun turned 25 years old this summer? Starring a young Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer and Kelly McGillis, the movie was a huge hit and boosted military recruitment. It also received an Oscar for one of the movie’s songs, “Take My Breath Away”.

President Obama wrote an interesting feature article about fatherhood in one of the recent issues of People magazine. In it, he says he recently took on a second job as assistant coach for daughter Sasha’s basketball team. He said that on Sundays the teammates get together for practice. (Can you even imagine your kid being taught basketball by the President? The Commander and Coach? Talk about “cool points”.) To read the full article, pick up the June 20, 2011 issue. It’s a good read.

Singer Pink and her husband Carey Hart have a lot more pink in the house these days. The couple welcomed a new baby girl on June 2nd, and her name is Willow Sage. Congrats to the new parents!

Sources: People magazine, June 20, 2011 issue and June 27, 2011 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day Foods. Below is a photo of their Great Day All Natural Eggs. We love that these eggs are untouched by antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products. They come from hens that are fed vegetarian, whole-grain diets. Look for these during your next trip out for groceries, or click here for more info.