Giveaway: Rock of Ages tickets and Dinner at Bordinos!

Mamas, are you ready to ROCK?

Because we’ve got two tickets to the opening night performance of the off-Broadway hit musical Rock of Ages on Tuesday, November 15th at 7 p.m.! And we’re pairing this incredible show with an equally incredible dinner at Bordinos, just steps away from the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. One of our rockin’ Motherlode mamas is going to win both the tickets and the $50 dinner gift card at the end of this week! Value on this giveaway package is more than $150. Woo-hoo!

This is an AWESOME date night or girls’ night out, especially if you love the 80s or 80s music. Remember these trends?

  • You loved your Cabbage Patch doll.
  • You really, really wanted a Swatch Watch.
  • You once wore frosted blue eyeshadow.
  • You had a drawer full of neon socks.
  • You remember when ATARI was SO cool.
  • The phrase “Wax on, Wax off,” makes sense.
  • You owned cassette tapes.
  • You know who shot J.R.
  • Your bangs used to defy gravity.

ABOUT THIS SHOW: This 80s-inspired musical (which is now becoming a movie starring Tom Cruise) was a huge hit on Broadway and was nominated for five Tony awards. It’s a feel-good love story set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip. A small town girl meets a big city rocker and they fall in love in L.A.’s most famous rock club. Their story plays out to some of the greatest songs of the 80s by bands including Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and lots more. (Note that this show has some mature content, so be sure to leave the kids with a sitter!)

The New York Times called this show “Impossible to resist” and the magazine Time Out says it’s “rock and comedy in perfect proportion.”

ABOUT THE FOOD: Speaking of perfect proportions and things that are impossible to resist, have you been to Bordinos lately? It’s our go-to restaurant for those times when we want the perfect metropolitan atmosphere combined with flavorful Italian food that’s sophisticated but never stuffy or pretentious. Plus, you just can’t beat the service there. The servers seem to know that a mama’s night out on the town is something to be savored and treasured, so they treat a mama right! Be sure to save room for Bordinos legendary desserts. Click here to see the menu.

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online “raspberry beret” (made famous by Prince in 1985), just click the big orange comment button below and tell us what your favorite fad from the 80s was. (Trapper Keepers, shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans, banana clips, parachute pants, etc. And does anybody besides us remember trading “friendship beads” with your BFFs in elementary school?)

Or if you’ve blocked the 80s fads from memory or are too young to remember, tell us your favorite hit song from the 80s. (“We Built This City,” by Starship; “Wanted Dead or Alive,” by Bon Jovi…. both of those are in the musical, by the way!)

Remember, winners are ALWAYS chosen at random, so don’t stress out about your answer. Just have fun with it. You can also enter via email by sending your answer to

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: As always, you can increase your odds of winning just by helping us spread the word about the giveaway to your fellow mamas. Send your friends an email letting them know about the giveaway and be sure to put on the CC line so we can give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell.

If you’d like to take luck out of the equation, you can still order tickets for this show. Just click HERE to check on ticket availability or call the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600. We’ll see you at the show!!

On Your Mind: Grief and “getting over it”

Dear Tom,

My sister died suddenly about a year ago, and I am still really struggling with it. I don’t know how long grief usually lasts, but I feel like people around me, including my husband, expect me to be “over it” by now. I have read about the five stages of grief but my feelings don’t really match up to that. I just feel a deep sadness that doesn’t seem to go away. What can I do that would help?

Dear Mom,

First of all, no one experiences grief exactly the same way as any other person. Some people feel very little, and others experience profound and persistent loss. Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one in different ways and with different levels of intensity and for different lengths of time. So don’t get down so much on yourself for not being “over it” as soon as others may think you should.

Yes, as you mentioned, there are stages, phases and theories of grief that can help us understand the experience, but these stages and phases are not experienced by everyone. If they are experienced, they’re not experienced in a linear fashion but more in overlapping or circular stages. Here are some other things that will affect the way you experience grief over your sister’s death:

  • What was your relationship with your sister like? Close, not close, or wanted to be closer?
  • What was the cause of her death? Was it unexpected and/or traumatic?
  • What would you have liked to say to her or do with her that you can’t do now that she has died?
  • What, if anything, do you think you could have done to prevent your sister’s death?

How you answer those questions will have a direct affect on four things — your emotions, your physical sensations, your behaviors, and your thought processes.

Sometimes it’s helpful to know what the most common emotions are during grief, so I’ll list them here: sadness, anger, frustration, guilt, and maybe even numbness. Some of the most common physical sensations are fatigue, upset stomach, shortness of breath, or tightness in your chest.

As far as behavior is concerned, you might have a loss of appetite, insomnia, tearfulness, social withdrawal and lack of interest in things you used to do. You may even have more dreams about your sister right now. These are all very normal behavior responses.

Finally, you should know that it’s normal for your thought processes to be impacted by grief. You may be more absent minded right now or even find yourself having mental conversations with the person you’ve lost. If you’re wondering if what you’re feeling is normal, you should know that wondering or worrying about being normal is also very common during grief.

As for time? You might experience some of these things for what feels like a really long time, but that doesn’t mean you’re unusual or crazy. It just means that grief is a unique experience that can be different for each person who goes through it.

You said in your note that you’ve felt a lot of sadness for quite a while now. One thing we know as counselors is that the more a person talks about the loss and ultimately understands it, the less intense or frequent her grief symptoms will occur. So one of the best tools for healing and recovery is to talk to someone you trust — someone who is accepting about your loss and your emotions. This may be a close friend, relative, clergy, or a  professional counselor. I hope you can identify one or more of these understanding folks to talk to. If you need help finding that person, you should give us a call at Ozark Guidance because we can help. (The number to call is 479-750-2020.)

You mentioned your husband in your note, and I know that grief can sometimes be hard on a relationship. You’ve got to keep talking to each other. It also might help if you and your husband go to an educational session about grief so you’ll both know what you’re dealing with. Remember — you’re not alone with this. There ARE resources out here and help is available. Thank you for asking such a good question, especially one that so many people experience. I hope you’ll begin to feel better soon.


Tom Petrizzo serves as CEO of Ozark Guidance and has degrees in social work and law. He has spent the last 20 years managing non-profit centers in Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas. He has also served as adjunct faculty at the social work graduate program at three large universities. He’s married to Teri Classick, a licensed clinical social worker, and they have two daughters. When he’s not at work, Tom likes to jog, bike ride, read and he even belted out the National Anthem lately at a Northwest Arkansas Naturals Game!

Tom would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback. Tom will be back each month to answer another woman’s question.

Mealtime Mama: Pumpkin treats!

It’s all about the pumpkin today! Happy Halloween to all and we hope you enjoy these pumpkin recipes from our friend, Ceri Wilkin, who recently launched her new food/cooking blog, Recipe Doodle!

For years Ceri has tried out one new recipe a day — and we have a few below as a Halloween treat. We’re so glad she’s started sharing her triumphs and tragedies (she promises not every recipe turns out as planned, but I’ve never tasted any fails) with the blogosphere. Go visit her site for inspiration and great pics!


Ceri says, “I love the combination of pumpkin and butterscotch in these two recipes – and so do my children!! The cookie recipe comes from a wonderful lady, Susan, who ran a meal delivery business. Dinner to my door once a week was an absolute life saver when I had small children! I recently took the cookies to a play date, and they received many compliments. I didn’t have time to cook the whole batch before leaving the house, so wrapped the remaining dough, popped it in the refrigerator, and cooked them up the next day – they turned out beautifully.”

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 350F.
Coat muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended.
Gradually stir in flour mixture, then fold butterscotch chips into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling cups 2/3 full.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffin tops spring back when touched lightly with a finger.
Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.


Ceri says, “My daughter’s birthday was last week, and she requested pumpkin pie milkshakes, and a pumpkin pie for her birthday cake. I love this recipe because of the very subtle spiciness of the ginger and the white pepper, and because it is from a treasured cookbook that a friend gave me years ago.”

2 pie crusts
4 cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, very finely chopped
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Position a rack in the lower half of the oven, and heat oven to 425F.
Place 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, one on top of the other, directly on the surface of each pie crust to weight it down. Bake the crusts until they turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more to crisp the crust slightly, then set them aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
Place the pumpkin puree, ginger and half-and-half in a mixer and beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.
Mix in remaining ingredients (except the whipped cream) until well blended.
Pour the filling into the pie shells, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops.
Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, 45 minutes to an hour.
Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
Serve dolloped with sweetened whipped cream.

*Recipe adapted from Celebrate, Sheila Lukins, 2003


1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
1 cup milk or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups vanilla ice cream
4 graham cracker squares
graham crackers and whipped cream for decoration

Combine pumpkin pie mix, milk and vanilla in a blender, blend until smooth.
Add ice-cream, blend until smooth.
Add graham cracker squares, pulse until small chunks remain.
Pour into glasses, garnish with graham cracker pieces and whipped cream if desired.

*Recipe adapted from Halloween Food, Fun and Crafts 2011

More about Ceri: I am a wife, mother and recipe follower. For years I have tackled one new recipe a day – some are fabulous, some are not. In a past life I was an Occupational Therapist, Rugby and Netball player, Belly Dancer, lesson taker of golf, tennis and wine appreciation. My Husband owns Pizzerias, my Father was a butcher, my Mother a caterer, my older Brother makes the absolute best birthday cakes and desserts you will ever taste, my younger Brother owns restaurants in New Zealand and my kids love to eat. 

Devotion in Motion: “Picture perfect” life is not the goal

Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

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

We have a lot of babies at our country church. I’m not just saying that.  We really pretty much have wall-to-wall babies. When you’re a preacher, it’s a wonderful thing to have a lot of babies in your church. Babies make your church grow — because every infant that’s born is another potential follower of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when you have young couples with babies, they attract other young couples with babies to your congregation. Any way you look at it, it’s wonderful.

Photo by MJW Photography

I love all the babies at my church. All of them will come to me and let me carry them around and talk to them. That’s because kids are really smart. They have built-in radar that allows them to pick up on the folks who really love them and are crazy about them.

Over the past quarter century, I’ve been to the hospital lots of times to help birth the new babies. I’ll tell you, I’ve seen customs change over the years. These babies now have their pictures beamed all over the world before they even get their first bath. When I go home from the hospital after a birth, nobody asks me what the new baby looks like. Everybody has already seen it via the Facebook photo somebody snapped with a cell phone.

I ran across a blog entry the other day written by a young mother who had just given birth to her first child. She was very aggravated with herself.  After seeing photos that other families had published online, she realized she had not gotten dressed up while she was still in the hospital and didn’t have any glamour shots taken of her with the new baby. In her defense, she had serious complications during the birth of her son and had undergone surgery. Still, she lamented how upset she was that she’d never have any “good” photos of the events surrounding the birth of their first child.

I’m sympathetic to the young mother’s plight, but, in my book, it’s not really that big of a deal. My parents don’t have any “good” photos of my mom’s hospital stay when I was born. In fact, there was only one photo taken of me when I was at the hospital when I was born. A lady from the hospital came by and took a black and white Polaroid shot of my mother and me. After waiting the three minutes it took to develop, she peeled off the negative (which was covered with with carcinogenic chemicals) and threw that part away. Then she wrote on the back of the photo with a blue ballpoint pen:  “Best Wishes to Johnnie Cash from Sallie Reed.”

I’ve always thought that it was a very nice thing for her to have written. Life is a pretty hard struggle at times. It’s nice when folks are cheering you on right from the beginning.

Now, please understand, my parents weren’t neglecting me by not taking any photos. I think this was just “Standard Operating Procedure” 50 years ago. People just didn’t have as much “stuff” back then. My parents didn’t have ANY pictures of them taken when they were born. And we all turned out okay. We’ve gone on to have happy and productive lives — in spite of the fact there are no professionally done photographs of our first minutes on the planet.

So, dear mamas, I’m writing all that to say this: Don’t ever think that your whole life rests on the proper celebration of just one day, and that if you don’t get it right the rest of your life is a wreck. I always tell school kids, “The prom is a nice evening, but it’s not the meaning of life. Sometimes I have a Tuesday afternoon that is just as nice as all-the-proms-I-ever-went-to rolled into one.”

So don’t bemoan the imperfections of your big celebrations. Don’t sweat everything so much. Just be sure to enjoy and celebrate the happiness that comes each and every day.

And, please, be sure to take an inventory of all the resources and blessings God has given to you. I have so many happy memories of growing up in my family — the family that only had one hospital photo. With all the good things that people have now, you’d think that folks would be happier than they are. How about you?

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 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 house cats hide under the china cabinet when toddlers come over to play.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to

The Rockwood Files: The Sting of Fear

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Fear is a funny thing. It divides people into distinct groups – the “Hey let’s go to the haunted house” group and the “There’s no way I’m going in there group.” With Halloween fast approaching, it’s good to know what group you’re in and why.

On our vacation last month, we planned an excursion that sounded like a fun family adventure. During our visit to a beach in the Bahamas, we swam with stingrays – all of which had their stingers removed and were tourist-friendly. The stingray trainers were with us the whole time, so there really wasn’t anything to be afraid of.

Even though my brain knew all of this, I let out a frightened yelp the first time one of the big stingrays glided past and rubbed against my leg underwater. Tom, on the other hand, was much more at ease and even fed the stingrays a snack provided by the trainers.

The kids had distinct reactions to the initial fear, too. Seven-year-old Jack was at first unnerved by the stingrays but desensitized himself by staying in the water, inching closer and closer until he was comfortable enough to hold a large stingray in his arms with the help of a trainer. (He said it felt like a big, grey slimy pancake. I took his word for it.)

Four-year-old Kate never warmed up to the rays the way her brother did but stayed in the water and watched them swim around us, as long as her dad was holding her above the grey gliders at a safe distance.

Nine-year-old Adam’s reaction amused me the most. He has what some people call an “old soul”, which basically means that most of the time he is like a 45-year-old man in a 9-year-old’s body. He walked out into the water fearlessly and stood motionless for a few moments while the stingrays swarmed around us and the other tourists. Then he calmly walked back out of the water toward the pier. I followed him to make sure he was okay. When I asked him if he was afraid, he said very matter-of-factly, “Well, I just don’t like things under the water nosing into my business.”

I knew exactly how he felt. The stingrays were fascinating to watch and see up close, but I couldn’t get comfortable with those unfamiliar creatures bumping into me under the surface. Every time I saw one of them coming toward me, I had a flashback to the 1980s when I saw the movie Jaws. I couldn’t even take a bath afterward for weeks without constantly scanning the soapy water for signs of a shark fin.

Is it rational? No, not even a little. But fear needs no rationale. It exists without logic or reality. It gets its energy from the human mind, which can conjure up all kinds of scary things that wouldn’t happen in a million years.

I’m guessing that the people who fall into the “Hey, let’s go to the haunted house” group are the type of thrill-seekers who thrive on the adrenaline rush that comes from not knowing what’s lurking right around the corner. Maybe it makes them feel alive. Maybe it makes them feel brave to conquer it. I wouldn’t know.

I’m the type who likes to know what’s around the corner or gliding toward me just under the water’s surface. Fear is fine for some people, but, to quote a wise 9-year-old I know, I’d rather not have it “nosing into my business.”

From my family to yours, here’s hoping you have a safe and happy Halloween.

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

Awesome idea: A Scentsy Warmer with glowing photo!

We mamas do admit to being a little nuts about photos of the kids. So when we spotted this Scentsy warmer featured as the October “monthly special” in the most recent catalog, we thought is was pretty genius. You just slip a snapshot into the square frame on the front of this Scentsy warmer, and the little lightbulb inside the warmer — which is responsible for warming up the scented wax — serves double-duty by also making your snapshot glow in soft, beautiful colors. Love that!

The warmer typically sells for $35 but, because it’s the October special, it’s $31.50 this month. But there’s only a few days left in the month so order it quick to get the discount. We think it would be a good gift to yourself, grandparents or to a friend for the holidays. It’s a neat twist on the photo-frame gift idea.

If you’d like to order a Scentsy, you need to find a dealer and we know one. Click HERE to visit the Scentsy website of Melanie Markley. Or you can call her at 479-285-1467. You can order online, too! Happy shopping!

PS: Scentsy has some cute Halloween warmers available now, too. Click HERE to see a picture of the two styles we’ve featured here on

Inside His Head: My family drives my husband nuts

 Dear Inside His Head guys,

My family (parents, siblings, nieces, nephews) as a whole drives my husband nuts and it’s getting close to that time of year when we’re all together a lot. He’s not used to a big family and I know it can be overwhelming. How can I make it less stressful for him?

GRAY: Don’t let your family descend on him like a wave of faceless, nameless zombies. If he’s not used to a large family, the confrontation can be daunting. While you have the luxury of having known them all your life, he’s faced with scores of names and faces, who they are in relation to you, what they do (or used to do) for a living while still juggling aspects of the holidays.

It may help to talk with him about the folks he’s not met or spent much time around and refresh his memory about the ones he’s forgotten about since the last visit. Hopefully it’ll give him a sense of familiarity when he does encounter them face to face.

Don’t let him get trapped by Uncle Ned and his 5-hour story about life in the Coast Guard. You’re the bridge between your husband and your family. You know your husband and his quirks and your family and theirs. Play each to their strengths and set them up for success.

It may help to let him have conversations with one person at a time. Two or more tend to regale newcomers with stories rather than allowing them to talk about themselves, which can be as isolating as Uncle Ned.

Don’t put the turkey in the oven and forget to take him, er, it out when it’s done. While you certainly want to catch up with your family, try to keep him in mind and don’t leave him alone all afternoon or evening. Establish gestures so he can say “Help me now!” from across the room with a wave of his hand. Break into conversations and sweep him off to another room to talk with someone else. Better yet, take some time for just the two of you to talk for a couple minutes periodically to make sure he’s doing fine.

The holidays are a great time for family. Make sure he feels like he’s part of it and not the third, or 15th, wheel he may feel like. It’s up to you to ensure he comes away from it feeling more connected to everyone and not with an ear full of Coast Guard recruitment stories.

MICHAEL: I know how your husband feels. My wife’s family is the same way. Its large and there’s lots of noise. I’m a pretty quiet talker and have always felt it was rude to be loud. So when there’s ten different conversations going on at the same time it can drive me crazy. In my case it’s not that I don’t like them it’s just a little overwhelming. Sometimes a lot overwhelming.

Seeing as I can relate to your husbands situation, I’m going to tell you what I would want my wife to do for me. Provide him opportunities to get out a house away from them without looking like he’s rude. Volunteer to run to the store together. Find an excuse, any excuse, to get some quiet and calm. Even if it is just for 15 minutes.

And don’t ignore him. What I mean is, when you’re there I know you want to see your family but he’s part of that too so make sure that you don’t treat him differently than you do at home. My wife has a tendency to go into “family” mode and I get left out in the living room while she goes off and talks in another room. Not fun. Be a couple. Show him that your grateful that he’s there even though you know it’s uncomfortable for him. Remember you left your family to marry him. Make him feel like you’re glad you did.

MAVERICK: You can do a couple of things.

First, make sure he has a way of escape.

While you might love hanging with your huge family for days on end, for him and likely anybody else for that matter, it’ll be like rolling in cactus naked.

Encourage him to take frequent breaks. Give him a guilt-free opportunity to go to the bookstore, or drive over to a sports bar or a sushi joint so he can have some down time away from all that togetherness. You could even facilitate this by sending him on a errand for something that you don’t really need and letting him know he’s free to stay gone as long as he wants.

Don’t send him on important missions for vital food items or other products. He’s bound to get something wrong and it’ll just amp his stress level up. These errands are for him to make some space, not to actually do stuff for you.

Second, let him know it’s okay for him to do his own thing even while the family is there.

Assuming he’s making decent attempts to be social and interact, give him a pass to slip away to a bedroom and watch a movie, or catch a TV show  he likes. Often at “family” things one or two of the dominant males will control the remote and dominate what there is to watch. Your husband might be able to sit through an episode or two of Ice Road Truckers, but don’t expect him to sit though the day long marathon.

Maintain situational awareness.

Cut your husband a break when it comes to dealing with your family by paying attention to what’s going on. If he’s hung up by your brother, nodding his head for the umpteenth time, while your bro talks about how he rebuilt a transmission 10 years ago in the snow, for goodness sake rescue him.

The same goes with kids. If the one kid he can’t stand is making him nuts, cut your hubby some slack and intervene. Trust me, it is not cute when he slides off to take a walk so he doesn’t start screaming and all the kids decide they’re gonna tag along with him. Help the dude out.

Sure your husband is a grown up and needs to be able to handle your family, and he should be polite and kind. But the holidays tend to put families in close contact for long periods. Visiting spouses tend to have less flexibility and often are forced to endure much more togetherness than family members who can retire to their own nearby homes at their leisure.

Finally, come up with a safe word. When he uses it you must come to his aid by doing something appropriate for the situation — like changing the topic of conversation, nixing an idea for a movie to watch that evening, or punching your Aunt Trudie who won’t shut the devil up.

In my family, that word is Snuffleupagus.

November Calendar of Events + Last-Minute Halloween Activities!

November 2011!

Last-Minute Halloween Activities:

Nightmares Haunted House

The Bentonville Breakfast Lions Club is holding their annual Nightmares Haunted House. The event benefits those in need in our local community in addition to addressing vision issues and awareness worldwide.

Date: Friday, October 28 – Monday, October 31

Time: Doors open at 7pm

Location: Cozy Heat across from Lowes (Bentonville)

More Info: Tickets can be bought online ( or at the event from 7pm to 11pm the night of the event. Adults $13 and Children under 12 $8. For more info, contact Lyn Poplin 479.631.9579.

Costume Contest

Wear a costume to the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market. Children’s and adult categories, pumpkin carving, treats.

Date: Saturday, October 29

Time: Judging at 11am

Location: Fayetteville Square (Fayetteville)

More Info: Admission is free.

I’m Sorry, the Bridge is Out… You’ll Have to Spend the Night!

Back again!  Just like Vampires, Mummies and Monsters!  This zany musical is the perfect Halloween celebration written by the guy who gave us “The Monster Mash”! Innocence is lost and found in this witty ditty of a tale about how Dr. Frankenstein and Count Dracula vie for the brains and bodies of two innocents who just happen to be caught with the Bridges down!  Family fun for Halloween!  An ACO classic written by Bobby Pickett & Sheldon Allman.

Date: Friday, October 28 – Sunday, October 30

Time: 7:30pm (Friday/Saturday) and 3pm (Sunday)

Location: Arts Center of the Ozarks (Springdale)

More Info: Visit for ticket information.

Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular!

Halloween can be a hair-raising experience, especially when you throw over 100 big cats into the mix. TCWR’s annual Halloween party is the only time you can view our cats in the dark of night. The main compound is open for the whole family to experience the night habits of our lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats and more. A terrifying trail ride past our habitats gives you the spine tingling experience of being watched by our true night stalkers. Our spooky “Trail of Terror” gets your heart racing and blood pumping as you walk through our unique haunted field. (Parents be advised, this is scary!) Games, food, and spooky storytelling is all part of the one of a kind experience, and provides fun for all ages.

Date: Saturday, October 29

Time: 7-9pm

Location: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (Eureka Springs)

More Info: Call ahead for prices at 479.253.5841.


Trick-or-Treating and costume contest — 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be given out for costumes in four age categories: 0-2,3-5,6-8,9-12, and a grand prize award for best overall children’s costume. There will also be a classic car show and test track, as well as the annual October Carnival.

Date: Saturday, October 29

Time: Trick-or-Treating from 2-5pm and Costume contest for children at 5:15pm.

Location: Frisco Station Mall (Rogers)

More Info:

Trick-or-Treat on the Square

There will be candy, games, pictures, costume contest, a pet costume contest, and pet parade. So, bring the kids and/or your family pet and experience some fun, safe, and family friendly trick or treating!

Date: Monday, October 31

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Fayetteville Square (Fayetteville)

More Info: Admission is free.

Annual Goblin Parade

Every Halloween, the merchants in Historic Downtown Rogers welcome all the little ghosts and goblins who trick-or-treat the downtown area.

Date: Monday, October 31

Time: 3:30pm – 5:30 pm or when we run out of candy!

Location: Historic Downtown Rogers, Parade starts at Frisco Pavilion on First Street

More Info:

Pinnacle Hills Promenade Trick ‘R Treat

Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Jugglers. Store-to-Store Trick ‘R Treat starts at 6 p.m.

Date: Monday, October 31

Time: 6-8 pm

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall (Rogers)

More Info: Pinnacle Hills Halloween


Trick-or-treating and costume contest!

Date: Monday, October 31

Time: 6-8 pm

Location: Northwest Arkansas Mall (Fayetteville)

More Info: For children 12 and under. Free admission.


First Fridays – Bentonville

Activities, food and live music for the whole family! Held on the Bentonville square March through November. *November Event: Bentonville in Toyland. Toy vendors are invited to set up shop and showcase their new Christmas releases, with over 27 vendors offering demos that drive kids crazy!

Date: Friday, November 4

Time: 11:30am – 1pm and 5 – 8pm

Location: Downtown Bentonville Square

More Info:

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: Fayetteville Town Center (Fayetteville)

More Info:

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: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 7am – 1pm, Saturdays 7am – 2pm

Location: Downtown Square (Fayetteville)

More Info:

Puppet Making

We’ve all seen it a hundred times or more. Your child’s attention is inevitably grabbed by that small piece of cloth on someone’s hand that has a distinctive voice, unlike any other. Nurture your child’s imagination by allowing him or her to create a hand puppet in this engaging class created just for them! By using felt, fabric, paper, found objects, and a variety of other non-toxic materials, children will have an opportunity to bring to life very special creatures of their very own.

Date: Thursday, November 3

Time: 4-6pm

Location: University of Arkansas Global Campus (Rogers)

More Info: Instructor, Nikki Kalcevic. Cost: $39. Parents must be present. All materials provided. For more info, 479.575.6489.

Alice in Wonderland – Théâtre Tout à Trac

Since 1998, Théâtre Tout à Trac has been exploring theatre through various mediums such as masks, tales and puppetry, never limiting itself to one specific method. Pursuers of imaginary lands, digging in invisible worlds and exploring a universe where the impossible is possible, the French-Canadian theatre company is known for bringing to life the most wonderful stories. The company’s production of Alice in Wonderland presents a unique reading of the classic that is still faithful to the spirit of the tale created by Lewis Carroll, with all the craziness, freedom, playful language and comic twists of the original. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to experience this classic story as never before!

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 10am

Location: Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall (Fayetteville)

More Info: for ticket information. This is an infant friendly performance. Tickets $8-16.

The Importance of Being Earnest – Aquila Theatre Company

The “classically trained, modernly hip troupe” (The New York Times) Aquila Theatre offers a delightful production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Promising to overflow with humor, elegance and romantic comedy, this like other productions of Wilde’s masterpiece is full of hilarious insights into the flamboyant lifestyle of the fashionable British upper classes. Crammed full of larger-than-life characters and memorable satirical humor, Aquila’s creative staging and sparkling flare for language make this production one not to be missed.

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 8pm

Location: Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall (Fayetteville)

More Info: for ticket information.  Tickets $10-25.

Belk Fall Charity Sale

Shop, save and support your favorite Rogers nonprofit at the Belk Fall Charity Sale with ticket sales benefiting participating schools and nonprofits. Tickets enable customers to receive $5 off first purchase & discounts from 20% to 70% off throughout the store. The first 100 adults in line when the doors open receive a free Belk Gift Card worth $5-$100 with three $1000 gift cards being awarded company wide. All schools and 501(c)(3)charities invited to participate.

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 6-10am

Location: Belk Scottsdale (Rogers)

More Info: Cost $5.

UA Homecoming Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser

R.O.T.C. Grill hosts UA Homecoming alumni, family & friends to come together to benefit Rebuilding Together. Sausage, Eggs, Bacon & Pancakes served by members of the Board of Directors is a great way to come by and start your UA Homecoming Day with a hearty breakfast and then leave directly for the stadium and a celebration of UA Football at its finest! Ticket purchases qualify for door prizes and you do not have to be present to win. Your tickets are 100% deductible.

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 7-10am

Location: R.O.T.C. Grill (Fayetteville)

More Info: Tickets $15. Children under 6 eat free!

3rd Annual Lincoln Lake Festival

This festival is designed to raise awareness of Lincoln Lake City Park, situated 3 miles north of Lincoln.  Activities begin at 9 a.m. and include guided mountain bike rides, guided rock climbing and bouldering, canoe and kayak trips on Lincoln Lake and guided hikes of 1 to 6 miles.  Activities for children are planned.  Trips depart throughout the day until 2 P.M.

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 9am

Location: Lincoln Lake (Lincoln)

More Info: All activities are free for more information please email or visit

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical – The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour

Presented by The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences and based on Mo Willems’ Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, this production lovingly celebrates the heart and heartache about family, best friends, baby steps, and memories that last a lifetime. Chockfull of adventure, song, and gigantic dancing laundry, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical tells a tale of firsts: a stuffed animal’s first trip in the laundry, a little girl’s first words, and a Daddy’s first time dealing with his child going “boneless.”

Date: Sunday, November 6

Time: 2pm

Location: Pat Walker Theater at Springdale High School (Springdale)

More Info: Best for ages 3 & up. Tickets $8-16.

Quilting a Memory, Friendship and Commemorative Quilts

This special exhibition features a selection of 19th and 20th century friendship and commemorative quilts from the collection of the Rogers Historical Museum. Examples include pieced and applique quilts, some feature highly artistic designs and lavish embroidery.

Date: Through Saturday, November 19

Location: Rogers Historical Museum (Rogers)

More Info:

Huck’s Corn Maze

This new 5-acre maze in Lowell is cut in the shape of Popeye. Hay rides, water balloon launcher, pumpkin patch, maize, concessions and more! A large portion of the money raised will go to the Lowell Fire and Police Departments.

Time: Wednesday/Thursday 2-8pm, Friday 2-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 2-6pm, Monday/Tuesday closed

Location: Lowell (Check website for a map.)

More Info:

Farmland Adventures

Corn maze, pumpkin patch, pony rides, petting farm, kid’s play area, wagon rides and campfires.

Date: Until Saturday, November 5!

Time: Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm

Location: Springdale (Check website for a map.)

More Info:


Fayetteville – for a full calendar.

Bentonville – for a full calendar.

Springdale – for a full calendar.

Rogers – for a full calendar.

Crystal Bridges Grand Opening Celebration

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.

Date: Friday, November 11

Time: 11am

Location: Bentonville Square (Bentonville)

More Info: Free admission, open to the public. Reservations to visit the museum itself are available for November 12 and dates following. Please visit or call 479.418.5700 for tickets.

Veteran’s Day Parade

Date: Friday, November 11

Time: 10am

Location: Downtown Eureka Springs

More Info: For more information call Sue Glave 580.399.5887 .

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans past and present will be accompanied by bands, color guards, and flags as they make their way through the square.

Date: Friday, November 11

Time: 4:30-7:30pm

Location: Downtown Fayetteville Square (Fayetteville)

More Info: For further information please contact either Scott Tankersley at 479.283.7103 or Paul Bixby at 479.575.7985, or visit the Association’s FACEBOOK page. For additional information on the University’s Veteran’s activities, call 479.575.VRIC (8742) or go to .

Harold & the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure by Hubbard Street 2

This interactive dance adaptation was inspired by the 1955 classic children’s book “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson. Hinging on the premise that we are all creators of our own life experience, Harold & the Purple Crayon tells the story of a young boy, who, equipped with his purple crayon and an infinite imagination, choreographs his own adventures. Designed specifically for young people and families – who can actually help create Harold’s next adventure through their own exploration of movement during the performance – this unique union of children’s literature and contemporary ballet makes for one memorable family outing.

Date: Saturday, November 12

Time: 2pm

Location: Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall (Fayetteville)

More Info: for ticket information. Tickets $8-16.

NWA Boutique Show

Shop over 150 one-of-a-kind boutiques featuring home décor, clothing, gourmet food, holiday décor, children’s items and more! A portion of our proceeds from the NWA Boutique Show benefit the worthwhile community projects of the Junior League of NWA and local elementary schools. *Note from the mamas: We love sponsoring the Boutique Show every year! Be sure to stop by our booth. We’ll have a BIG giveaway!

Date: Friday, November 18 – Saturday, November 19

Time: Friday, 2-8pm. Saturday, 9am-6pm

Location: Northwest Arkansas Convention Center (Springdale)

More Info:

Turkey Trot 5K

Date: Saturday, November 19

Time: 8am

Location: Siloam Springs

More Info: $15 adult registration. $12 student registration. Visit for more details, or email race director at

NWA Turkey Trot 5K

5K/3-Mile Run, and 1-Mile Fun Walk route; concessions; bounce houses; face painting; sponsor giveaways, and much more. Fun for the entire family! The first 300 runners/walkers will receive a 2011 NWA Turkey Trot t-shirt, and gift bag filled with great items from our sponsors.

Date: Thursday, November 24

Time: 9am

Location: Center for Non-Profits at the former St. Mary’s Hospital (Rogers)

More Info: Runner registration is $20. Walker registration is $10.

64th Annual Ozarks Folk Festival in Eureka Springs

The granddaddy of ‘em all– Bring the whole family! Friday night, enjoy music in the Barefoot Ballroom at the Basin Park Hotel. Saturday, the famous Folk Parade rolls downtown, and there’s Art Show and Crafts Demonstration in Basin Spring Park and an Arts and Crafts Fair in Pine Mtn. Village. You can listen to songwriters’ compete for prizes on Saturday, and catch the main performance Saturday night.

Date: Friday, November 4 – Saturday, November 5

Location: Eureka Springs

More Info: Email: or visit

Fayetteville MOPS

A faith-based fellowship for mothers of preschoolers age birth to 5. The group meets regularly to share breakfast, share support, to learn from guest speakers and to celebrate Jesus Christ.

Date: 2nd Monday of every month

Time: 9-11am

Location: Trinity United Methodist Church (Fayetteville)

More Info:

Rogers MOPS

A faith-based fellowship for mothers of preschoolers age birth to 5. The group meets regularly to share breakfast, share support, to learn from guest speakers and to celebrate Jesus Christ.

Date: 1st and 3rd Friday mornings

Time: 9-11am

More Info: Contact Summer Manzo,


An extension of MOPS, our group is focused on K-6th grades.

Date: Wednesdays

Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Location: Rogers 1st Nazarene Church (Rogers)

More Info: Contact Ginger Larsen,


Arts Live Theatre presents the musical CINDERELLA! The timeless fairy tale meets the magic of Disney in this adaptation of the treasured animated film. Poor Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and denied a chance to go to the Royal Ball. With a little help from her mice friends, and a lot of help from her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the Prince, and falls in love!

Date:Thursday, November 17 – Sunday, November 20

Time: 7pm

Location: Continuing Education Auditorium (Fayetteville)

More Info: Purchase tickets online at

“Swing To Sing: Tribute To Jazz and Blues Greats!”

Mashburn Scholarship Foundation Proudly presents: “Swing to Sing: A Tribute to Jazz and Blues Greats!”. A silent auction will benefit the Foundation’s UARKettes Scholarship Program.

Date: Sunday, November 20 and Monday, November 21

Time: 7pm (Sunday) and 3pm (Monday)

Location: TWO locations — Rogers Little Theatre (Sunday) and First United Methodist Church, Bella Vista (Monday)

More Info: Sunday, $20. Tickets available by calling Theater Office 479.631.8988 or Monday, $10 at the door.

23rd Annual Fall Antique Show and Sale

You’ll find 55 dealers from as many as 15 states with a complete variety of antiques: furniture, glassware, linens, books, advertising, primitives, silver, pottery, lamps, jewelry, and the unusual!

Date: Friday, November 18 – Sunday, November 20

Time: Friday, 5:30-7pm. Saturday, 10am-6pm. Sunday, 10am-4pm.
Location: Best Western Inn of the Ozarks (Eureka Springs)

More Info: Full details and prices

Lighting of the Square in Bentonville

This all-day event culminates into an extravaganza of lights, showering the downtown Square in the soft glow of the holiday season. The activities that day also include food, rides, live music and family activities, as well as the New Balance Girls on the Run 5K, Miss Winter Wonderland pageant, the Lighting of the Square, the grand opening of The Rink at Ernie Lawrence Plaza and the newest Bentonville tradition – the lighting of the city Christmas tree.

Date: Sunday, November 20

Time: All day

Location: Bentonville Square (Bentonville)

More Info: Please visit for more details.

Lights of the Ozarks – Lighting Night

Each year Fayetteville Parks and Recreation workers spend over 2,000 hours decorating the Downtown Square with 450,000 lights. The lighting of the Fayetteville Downtown Square will kick-off with the “Over the Hill We Glow” parade at 6:00 p.m. Many civic clubs and business are represented in the parade with cars and characters. The parade will close with our special guest, Santa Claus!! Walk around Center Street before you find your spot for the parade. We will have merchants from Farmer’s Market, caramel apples, kettle corn, and more. Following the parade, Santa will be available on Center Street for pictures courtesy of Bedford Camera and Video.

Date: Saturday, November 19

Time: 6pm

Location: Downtown Fayetteville Square (Fayetteville)

More Info: The lights can be enjoyed through the end of the year.

Gardenland Express

Garden-scale model trains, a barrel train ride for children, and visits from Santa on weekends from November 20 through December 10.

Date: Sunday, November 20 – Saturday, December 10

Time: 9am – 5pm (regular garden hours)

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

More Info: Admission TBD.

Christmas Parade of the Ozarks

The annual parade kicks off the Christmas season in Springdale and Northwest Arkansas. Thousands line the streets in downtown Springdale to welcome Santa. The theme for this year’s event will be “The Spirit of Christmas”.

Date: Saturday, November 26

Time: 6pm

Location: The parade will begin at the rodeo grounds at Emma & 265 and will go west through downtown Springdale.

More Info:

12th Annual Holiday Open House

Enjoy crafts, activities, refreshments, and tours of the 1895 Hawkins House decorated for the season. This year’s theme in the historic home is “A Daisy of a Christmas,” and the rooms will be decorated to portray the story of Daisy Manufacturing and that iconic holiday gift for boys, the B-B gun.

Date: Sunday, November 27

Time: 12:30-4pm

Location: Rogers Historical Museum (Rogers)

More Info:

Self Defense Class this Saturday at Fleet Feet Fayetteville

If you run or walk outside, it’s smart to learn how to avoid being a victim — or how to handle a situation if it comes up. We’ve all felt a little vulnerable while exercising outdoors and wondered how we would react if someone got too close or started following us.

Fleet Feet Fayetteville is committed not only to providing great service and fit, but also to keep you safe while on your run/walk. That’s why they’re hosting an Intro to Self Defense clinic on Saturday (Oct. 29) from 9-10 a.m at Fleet Feet in Fayetteville. It’s for women ages 18 and up. RSPV to staff@fleetfeetfayetteville. It’s only $5 and you’ll learn:

  • Self preparation and awareness
  • How to avoid being followed
  • What to do if contact occurs

Jodie Vanderwall will be teaching the class. Jodie is a 1st Dan black belt in Shorei Ryu karate, an Okinawan karate system. She has trained under Sensei Jack Grove since 2000, completing her black belt in August of 2009. During the last 11 years she has completed a variety of self-defense training seminars including: self-defense with a cane, with a kubaton & Krav Maga (an intensive Iranian close quarter combat defense system). Sensei Vanderwall has taught Shorei Ryu self-defense to children and adults for the past 6 years.

After this intro, you can also sign up for Jodi’s 3 part training session at Fleet Fleet:

  •  Dates and Times:  1st session November 5th 9am-10am, 2nd session November 6th 12pm-1pm and 3rd session November 12th 9am-10am.
  •  Location: Fleet Feet Sports
  •  Cost: $90 for all 3 sessions

Class size limited to 12 so sign up early. To sign up, email and reference 3 part self-defense class.

Miche purses: A change-your-mind, no hassle handbag

There are a lot of things I’m not picky about, but purses aren’t one of them. I know what I want. I’m picky.

And I’ve always felt like I was on a perpetual quest to find the perfect purse. When I did finally find a handbag that met my long list of requirements, I’d usually carry it until it was way past worn out. Or I’d just get so sick of the same old thing that I’d finally cave in and start the quest all over again.

So when I heard about the Miche handbag concept, I was hopeful. Here’s how it works: You pick a “base bag” which means you choose a size and a shape that you like best. The base bag is just a plain cloth bag that looks like the interior of any purse. (Note: The interior of the bag is NOT black. It’s tan, which makes it much easier to find things in there. A black interior drives me nuts because it’s like searching for your keys inside a black hole. The base bag shown at right is the mid-size “Demi” base. It’s a really popular size.)

The outside of the bag is where things get fun because you can CHANGE YOUR MIND as often as you feel like it. The outside of each handbag is called a “shell” and there are literally dozens of them. They come out with new ones every single month, and they’re affordable without looking the least bit cheap. LOVE that.

So if you’re the kind of mama who likes for your bag to go with the outfit you’re wearing, you can just slip that interior “base bag” into whichever “shell” you want for that day. You can go from fancy black purse to casual fun purse in a matter of minutes, just by changing the outer shell. (And did I mention that you don’t have to take all the stuff out of your old purse and move it into the new one? That’s a huge time saver.) You can also change the purse straps, too, if you want. Miche offers double straps, a long shoulder or cross-body strap, chain straps and more. This is the kind of bag for a woman who likes her options.

I bought the largest bag available (called the “Prima”) because I like being able to slip an iPad or a notebook or a small laptop into my bag. (I also keep a pack of Uno cards in there, along with fruit chews, travel-size Wet Ones and other “just in case” essentials for the kids. This bag is also big enough to work as a diaper bag.)

I have three different shells that I can put on the outside of my base bag, and you seriously can’t tell that it’s different than any other high-end handbag.  The outer shells are held onto the bag with fold-over magnets. The design is really pretty amazing.The first shell I tried out is called the “Jennifer”. Isn’t it beautiful? I love these colors for fall, and it has that hint of snakeskin that makes it look chic.

Last night, I put a different shell on my purse. Why? Just because I could! Plus, I was in the mood for this awesome butterscotch color. (This shell’s name is “Allie”.) Now it looks like a whole new bag.

And in a month or so when I start feeling kinda Christmas-y, I’m going to put this beautiful deep red patent leather shell on my bag. It’s called the “Adrianna” .

So long story short, I’ve got a new purse love. And the best part is that, even though I’m basically carrying the same bag, it won’t ever look that way. And I can change things up as the mood or occasion strikes me.

If you want to see these bags in person, you can shop with Lori Cagle, who is a local Miche dealer and fellow mama. (By the way, Lori is REALLY fun to shop with. She knows what looks good and can help you find purse shells that will go with a variety of styles.) Click HERE to see all the styles available on the Miche website, or call Lori at 479-236-1976 to see them up close and personal. It makes a huge difference to actually see how these things work and how easy it is to “dress your purse” in a whole new outfit of its own. Genius.

P.S.: Good news, mamas! We’ll be hosting a Miche bag giveaway coming up in a few weeks here on nwaMotherlode. So keep checking back here to watch for the chance to throw your name in the drawing. It’s gonna be fun!

5 Minutes with a Mom: Angela Taylor

Name: Angela Taylor

Daughter’s name and age? Turner Renee, 2 ½. She’s named after one of our best friends from Texas. I knew she’d be a Turner before I even knew her sex.  Now everyone says they couldn’t imagine her with any other name.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? I’m from Mckinney, Texas (just north of Dallas) and we moved to NWA in June 2010.

Tell us about your job at 40/29: I anchor the evening news at 5, 6 and 10, but I also do a lot of writing, reporting and calling around when we get a news tip. I’m always doing something so I never get bored.

How long have you worked in television? I started as an intern when I was 20. (whoa! I feel old) I’ve been in this business for 11 years.

What three makeup products do you always have on hand to keep your look “fresh”? Powder, Lip gloss and eyeliner.

How long have you been married and how did you meet your husband? We’ve been married 5 wonderful years. We actually went to college together, but didn’t meet until I started my internship at the TV station. We had an instant connection, but didn’t date for years. I knew that he would one day be my husband.

What’s your favorite kind of music right now? I’m a country girl.

What’s one of the cutest stories you’re telling about your daughter right now? We love all your twitvids! She is so animated and funny. If she spots an American flag she’ll put her hand over her heart and say “God Bless America”. It’s adorable coming from a 2-year-old.

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with her: Leading up to her May 19th birthday, we have 19 days of “Why we love Turner”. We sit down and talk about each one with her and then she colors on them. Once they’re all finished we hang them up on the fireplace. She loved doing that this year and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

What are your personal hobbies? Reading and soccer. I play for three soccer teams. It’s my ‘Me’ time.

If you could have travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Backpacking through Europe. My husband and I have put it on our bucket list, but if we’re talking practical…a trip home to Dallas to see my family!

What’s the best part about Fall? LEAVES! I’m from Texas where it goes from Summer to Winter. I love watching the transition from fall to winter. This is such a beautiful area.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn but can’t seem to find the time: How to play tennis. My husband is pretty good, but I keep finding excuses for why I can’t learn.

What are your top pet peeves? A dirty car (which I am guilty of)

How do you unwind at the end of the day? I either read or watch TV. I don’t get home until after 11 so I’m awake when everyone else is asleep.

One word to sum me up … Driven

Good Gossip: New love and new babies for these celebs!

Welcome back to another installment of Good Gossip — the only gossip column you don’t have to feel one bit guilty about. We scrub out all the nasty stuff and just give you the good news about some of your favorite celebrities. So pull up a chair and enjoy a little gossip with your fellow mamas.

Do you watch Modern Family on TV? So does David Beckham and wife Victoria. He says he loves it and watches it regularly, sometimes on his iPad if he is traveling. Everyone knows Beckham is a star on the soccer field but he’s pretty popular in a kitchen, too. He lived in Milan for 8 months and took cooking lessons while he was there. He says his boys like it when he cooks.

Paul McCartney married Nancy Shevell on October 9th in London and then the couple flew to the island of Mustique for their honeymoon. They stayed at an adults-only resort called Firefly, which is so small that there are only five guest rooms. It’s famous for picnic breakfasts and showers in the outdoor garden. McCartney’s bride, Nancy, is a cousin to Barbara Walters. Barbara said the two complement each other well because he doesn’t like a big social life and neither does she. She worked her way up to a VP position at her father’s trucking company and is also a breast cancer survivor who cofounded a cancer resource center.

Twilight actress Nikki Reed recently married Paul McDonald, who was one of the finalists on American Idol. Nikki sent out a tweet saying that it was “the most magical day of my life.” The couple married in Malibu in front of about 100 guests.

Tori Spelling is a mommy again. She and husband Dean McDermott welcomed their third baby into the family. The baby girl’s name is Hattie Margaret and she was born on October 10th. Tori tweeted that she is “in baby bliss.”

Speaking of being a mommy for the third time around, add Mariska Hargitay to that happy club. She and husband Peter Hermann had just adopted their daughter Amaya after a year-long process. After her adoption, the couple started the adoption process again because they knew they wanted to expand the family but also knew that adoptions can sometimes take years. They were surprised when the adoption agency called just days after their paperwork was processed and told them there was a baby boy on the way. Mariska said “We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly, but somehting inside of us knew that this was right, and we said yes, yes, yes! We knew this was our guy.” They named the baby Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann. He is only 3 months younger than his big sister, who sometimes holds his hand in the crib. The new babies also have a big brother named August, who is 5-years-old.

Another high-powered Hollywood couple may be in the making. Some say Jennifer Lopez and Bradley Cooper had another date recently when he flew across the country to L.A. to spend some time with her. He was only in town for 48 hours before flying back to a movie set in the Philadelphia area. Their first date was in New York about five weeks ago. Sources say they are just casually seeing each other and taking things slow.

Sources: People magazine, October 24th and October 31, 2011 issues

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.


Planting the Seed of Knowledge: Your Journey to Green

By Bethany Stephens, Ozark Natural Science Center

It’s a treat to be able to share a few green tips and tactics with you on nwaMotherlode.  The most important thing to point out is that greening your life is a journey, not a destination.  I can honestly say it’s a journey I’ve been on for more than two decades, and there is definitely no end in sight.

So, whether you’re just starting out (and harboring guilt for not beginning sooner) or feel as though you’re pretty well greened out and in need of some new ideas to keep evolving, step one should be to give yourself permission to just do what you can.  A small change and incremental steps are far better than nothing at all.  As in life, you won’t attain your dream level of healthiness or home organizing perfection until you take the first step.  Your journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle should be a gradual one, based on trial, error and constant learning.

At the Ozark Natural Science Center, where I’m privileged to work, our mission is to enhance the understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Ozark natural environment.  However, a few of us silently add “and the world” to the tail end of that mission.  One of my favorite components of our program is the nightly enactment of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  Hopefully you’ve read it (if not, get a copy!), but if not, the premise is a not-so-subtle tale of over-consumerism and the devastating results on the natural world.  The best part of both the story and the work that our staff do every day with kids (and adults) is the idea of planting a seed of knowledge.

Our hope is that visitors leave our facility with a seed of knowledge planted that will grow within them when they return to their everyday lives.  For some, it may mean taking that simple first step toward using a refillable water bottle rather than cruising through disposable ones* each week.  For others, it may mean challenging themselves and their own family to use cloth napkins at the family dinner table or adopting our ONSC mantra to “take what you need, eat what you take.”

Regardless, it’s the gradual unfurling of that seed of knowledge with a little care and attention that results in it growing and spreading.  Treat your green journey the same way, and know that if on some days you find your seed of knowledge a little shriveled, a little extra TLC and water that day will help it recover and continue to grow.

I’ll be working to give you some attainable tactics and resources for your journey, and I would be happy to try to respond to some of your questions or concerns about the challenges you encounter (from your family, your circumstances or otherwise) as you try to green your own life.  And remember – I’m no expert, I’m just on a similar journey.

→ *This month’s action item: don’t tell yourself that disposable water bottles are a convenience.  Try this: invest around the same amount that you might in multi-packs of water in a few inexpensive (or better yet, stainless) reusable water bottles.  Try color coding two per family member.  Fill them and keep them chilled in the fridge and you’ve got a quick-grab solution.  They don’t need to be washed with every use.  Make it a habit and watch your impact diminish!

Beth is the executive director of the Ozark Natural Science Center, a nonprofit field science and environmental education facility on 500 acres of Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission land in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. ONSC delivers life-altering overnight school excursions, summer camps and group programs, weaving conservation messages and its mission of enhancing the understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Ozark natural environment throughout its programs. ONSC has served more than 45,000 children since it was founded twenty years ago, often providing their first significant outdoor experience and a lasting connection to the natural world.

Connect with Beth via email, Twitter, LinkedIn or her Little Magpie blog, and learn more about ONSC at or via Twitter or Facebook

Giveaway: Alice in Wonderland tickets at Walton Arts Center!

Who’s ready to fall down the rabbit hole with Alice and visit Wonderland? We are!

This Walton Arts Center show, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, looks absolutely wonderful. We’ve got FOUR tickets so you can experience the tardy rabbit, a grinning cat, along with Alice and the rest, brought to life by Théâtre Tout à Trac.

You’ll also win dinner to U.S. Pizza! Love us some U.S. Pizza!! The ticket winner will get a gift certificate to feast on delish pizza after the show. If you haven’t experienced U.S. Pizza pizza yet, we’ll tell you that we really adore the famous crust and sauce. It’s crave-worthy and has netted U.S. Pizza a very loyal fan base of customers over the years. They have a new phone app so you can order your favorite pizza anytime. Their salads and sandwiches are amazing, too. Click here  or on the logo below to see their menu.

ABOUT THE SHOW: This imaginative adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s 19th century classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, unites actors and puppets to tell the story of Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole. Expect a whimsical stage set, conceived as a pop-up book, and beautiful costumes. This production was a winner of the Acadie-RIDEAU award at La Soirée des prix RIDEAU 2008.

The company’s production of Alice in Wonderland presents a unique reading of the classic that is still faithful to the spirit of the tale created by Lewis Carroll, with all the craziness, freedom, playful language and comic twists of the original.

Since 1998, Théâtre Tout à Trac has been exploring theatre through various mediums such as masks, tales and puppetry, never limiting itself to one specific method. Pursuers of imaginary lands, digging in invisible worlds and exploring a universe where the impossible is possible, the French-Canadian theatre company is known for bringing to life the most wonderful stories.

HOW TO ENTER: No forms to fill out, no hoops to jump through, just like you like it! Just click on the orange comment button at the bottom of this post and tell us about the craziest or most marvelous vacation (or adventure) you ever experienced. For example, you can tell us about your honeymoon or the last girls trip that ended with one of the friends being rushed to the ER because she was allergic to shellfish (that really happened to my sister). You’ll be asked for your email when you comment, but it doesn’t show up for everyone to see. We’ll just use it to let you know if you win this great giveaway!

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: As always, we reward mamas who help us spread the word about cool giveaways here on Just email your friends/family to let them know about the giveaway and be sure to put on the CC line of your email so we can give you proper credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every friend you tell.

Good luck in the giveaway! And remember you can still buy tickets to this show by calling the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600 and asking about ticket availability.

Doc Talk: How heart attack symptoms can be different for women

So many women still think heart attacks are far more common for men. In fact, heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the U.S. One of the reasons so many women don’t get the emergency treatment they need for a heart attack is because they don’t always recognize the symptoms, which can be different for women than they are for men. (Hint: Women should stop ignoring or making excuses for severe fatigue!)

In today’s virtual trip to the doctor’s office, we’ll talk to one of our favorite experts on cardiovascular issues – Deb Walker, a nurse practitioner in the Mercy Heart and Vascular Center. Deb, pictured right, has seen lots of women with various symptoms over the years and does such a great job explaining what women should be on the lookout for when it comes to cardiovascular warning signs.

Click the play arrow in the video window below to see and hear Deb’s advice on how the symptoms of heart attack can differ in men versus women. If you’d like more information or would like an appointment with Deb Walker or a physician at Mercy Heart and Vascular Center, call 479-338-4400 or CLICK HERE to visit the clinic’s website. Our thanks to Deb Walker for sharing this important info with women and mothers in Northwest Arkansas!