Life with Ladybug: I’m feeling 22

By Shannon Magsam

I’m slowly waking up from my music coma.

Eleven years ago, about 72 hours after giving birth to a baby girl, I started driving down a long stretch of highway where my radio could only pick up one station. And it played all kid music all the time. Even the CDs and cassette tapes I bought were all about the wheels on the bus or the perseverance of the itsy bitsy spider.

I occasionally pulled out my old music when I was driving to the grocery store or a work meeting. The equivalent of a secret smoke break.


But now? Suddenly my tween likes music. Actual music. I mean, some of you may disagree that Taylor Swift is actual music, but I’ll take it. One of Ladybug’s Christmas presents this year was two tickets to see Taylor in concert. Of course, my daughter immediately assumed the tickets were for her and a friend. Ouch. I guess she didn’t feel the need for a chaperone? Or a chauffeur? Sorry, baby, but mama’s coming to your first concert.

My daughter is still more basketball and 4-H than she is sparkle and boy-crazy, but since she started taking guitar lessons she’s more choosy about her tunes.

We definitely listen to Taylor Swift’s new Red CD more than anything else when we’re driving around town. And confession time: I popped it into the CD player the other day when I was, ahem, driving by myself. Sang at the top of my lungs and didn’t have one person shushing me.

The lyrics remind me of that emotionally raw time in life. Falling in love. Intensity. Soul-crushing breakups.

In a weird way, I was just thinking that maybe this music is important to make a mama remember.  To recall what it feels like to love and lose.

I know that’s coming someday for my little girl. I want to remember what it’s like so I don’t minimize her feelings. Tell her it’s just a crush. Tell her there are plenty of fish in the sea. That’s no consolation.

The two of us especially love the song 22 (even though she’s literally HALF of 22).

As the song played recently, she considered aloud what she might be like at that age, what it might feel like to be “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time”.

Oh, baby, do I remember.

I listen and I remember.

blue dress headshot SMALLShannon Magsam is mom to 10-year-old Ladybug, married to Ladybug’s dad, John, and co-founder of To read previously published installments of Life With Ladybug, click here.

On Your Mind: The timing of a divorce


Dear Tom,

I know there’s never a “good time” for getting a divorce, but is it wise to delay it for the kids’ benefit? My husband and I agree that we won’t stay together long-term. Our kids are in college and high school and the youngest will graduate in a year and a half. My husband wants to go forward with the divorce now, but I’d like to wait  until after our youngest graduates so we don’t mess up his senior year of school. My husband and I don’t fight and there hasn’t been any cheating, as far as I know. We’re just not in love and have been more like roommates for a while now. Should we wait or get it over with now?

Dear Mom,

You’re right – there never is a good time for a divorce. But before we get to what timing is the best, I would want you and your husband to decide for sure that a divorce is what you really want and both agree. You say you “agree you won’t stay together long-term,” but just to make sure I would recommend that you and your husband meet with a counselor to “confirm” that decision. Also, assuming you agree to go forward with a divorce, then the counselor can help you determine how and when you want to disclose that decision to your children.

Divorce is hard on a child of any age, even an adult child. However, continuing a relationship where a couple is “more like roommates” is also a factor. Children know or sense when things are not going so well between parents. Waiting to get a divorce may be as disconcerting or confusing to a child, as actually announcing that decision and moving forward.

One key factor is open communication. If you and your husband ultimately decide divorce is the course you will follow, then please make sure you communicate clearly to both of your children at the same time and ask for their input or comments. Keep communication open and continue to emphasize that the decision to divorce was not the fault or cause of your children. Even adult children will wonder what role or factor they may have had in their parents’ decision to get a divorce. Seek guidance of a counselor regarding communication with your children.

Best wishes to you.


Tom Petrizzo serves as CEO of Ozark Guidance and has degrees in social work and law. You can reach Ozark Guidance at 479-750-2020.  Tom 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.

Disclaimer:  This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Doc Talk: What you need to know about heartburn

 Doc Talk on

We’re nearly at the end of Heart Month, so we’re wrapping things up with a topic that may sound like it’s heart-related but it’s actually more of a common stomach problem — heartburn. So many people struggle with heartburn, and most moms know how it can really become a nuisance during pregnancy. But when does heartburn cross the line from annoying into an issue that deserves a closer look and possibly a prescription medication? And can it be stress-related?

We asked Dr. Chad Wingington, a gastroenterologist with Mercy Health, to give us a little straight talk on heartburn. In the video below, you’ll learn what other conditions heartburn can sometimes lead to — including more serious things like scar tissue and trouble swallowing.

Click the play arrow below to see Dr. Chad Wigington, a gastroenterologist with Mercy Health, talk about what you should know about heartburn.

To schedule an appointment with Dr, Wigington or any of the doctors at Mercy’s Gastroenterology Clinic , call 479-338-3030 or click HERE to visit them online. does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or opinions discussed on the site.

Beauty Buzz: How to treat large pores

By Dr. Cheryl Hull, dermatologist and owner of Hull Dermatology

hull-dermatologyMost women are concerned about the visibility of their facial pores. There are three main things that cause pores to enlarge: genetics, age and sun damage. People who have thick, oily skin tend to have large pores as well. With age, pore size changes because of changes in the skin.

Of these changes, decreased moisture is a big factor. There’s a lot of research in dermatology focusing on estrogen and the skin. Evidence shows estrogen is important for maintaining the skin’s moisture and thickness. As women age, estrogen levels decline, resulting in the reduced ability to maintain moisture. Reduced moisture seems to affect pore size.

Lastly, chronic sun damage destroys elastic tissue and this causes pores to dilate. When the pores dilate, debris and keratin clog the pores and accentuate their appearance.

To minimize the  appearance of pore size, it’s important to moisturize daily with a facial moisturizer with a SPF of at least 30. Exfoliation to remove the keratinous debris twice a week is important. I highly recommend the handheld Clarisonic for daily use. 

To actually decrease pore size, I have several recommendations for patients. I try to start as many of these patients as I can on a topical retinoind cream every night before bed. Regular and long-term use of retinoinds minimize pores. This class of medications can be very drying and irritating, so proper education of how to apply the creams is important. I also recommend daily use of an alpha-hydroxy acid wash, such as a glycolic acid wash. Glycolic wash helps to exfoliate and has been shown in studies to help shrink pore size with long-term use.

In addition to the nightly application of a retinoid cream, daily use of a glycolic acid wash, at least twice a week exfoliation with a mild scrub, and daily use of a facial moisturizer with a SPF of at least 30, there are other options to help minimize pore size. A series of Microdermabrasions or chemical peels reduce pores. To maintain the results achieved with these procedures, I recommend a daily regimen using a glycolic acid wash, tretinoin cream before bedtime and daily application of a moisturizer with SPF.

Also, to shrink pores in our practice we use a pneumatic (“vacuum”) assisted laser treatment referred to as Isolaz. Isolaz uses a combination of photo pneumatic energy that combines a gentle vacuum with broad-band light. Isolaz removes blockages in the pores, including blackheads, dirt, oil and dead cells. The light destroys bacteria and shrinks oil glands.

Skin is purified from the inside out. Treatments are safe, painless, effective and require no downtime. All skin types can be treated, including those with darker skin.

How does it work? The treatment tip gently pulls up the skin and vacuums pore impurities. The light energy then destroys the acne-causing bacteria. Oil glands shrink, and blackheads/debris deep in the pores are removed. Treatment takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the area treated.

*This post originally published on Motherlode in March 2010. For more info on pores or other dermatology-related issues, contact Dr. Hull by calling her office at 479-254-9662. Hull Dermatology has offices in Rogers, Bella Vista and at the Eureka Springs Hospital. Dr. Hull has published several scientific papers and has received numerous awards and honors for her work in dermatology. For more info, click here to visit the Hull Dermatology website.

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Do you suffer from Facebook envy?

family life facebook

Happy Monday, mamas!

This week in our Mamas on Magic 107.9 segments, we’ll be talking about Facebook. No technical stuff, but topics like etiquette, posting too much, how to take better pics and the benefits of staying the heck away from Facebookville.

Today we talked about how the world’s largest social network could be affecting your mental health. Specifically, we talked about what most causes people to feel envious when they’re scrolling down through all those status updates.

Click on the blue bar below to hear more:

Feb 25th Does Facebook make you jealous? 

Feb 26 Facebook Over-posting

Feb 27 Facebook etiquette

Feb 28 Facebook photos

March 1 Are you ANTI-Facebook?




Great Date Giveaway: One Night Out with Queen

You know what you need? You need a date night that rocks — seriously rocks. So this week we’re giving two tickets to one rockin’ mama so she can take her sweetie (or a hard rockin’ friend) to see One Night of Queen at the Walton Arts Center on March 15, 2013. Things start rockin’ at 8 p.m.

Click the play arrow on the video above if you want to know if this band does the legendary group Queen justice. They do. In fact, it’s hard to believe you’re watching a tribute band instead of the real thing. They cover all the Queen classics including We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fat Bottomed Girls, We Are the Champions, and The Show Must Go On.

queen1ABOUT THE SHOW: The backstory on this show is fascinating. The lead singer, Gary Mullen, applied to be on a televised talent show in Britian that was called “Stars in Their Eyes.” Each contestant was supposed to impersonate a showbiz star. In the year 2000, Garry Mullen impersonated Freddie Mercury of Queen on the show, and the reaction was as phenomenal as Queen’s music. During the finale, the show received a record number of votes for Gary’s performance — so many, in fact, that his vote totals more than doubled the runner-up and he won the entire season.

Gary began touring on his own and in 2002, he formed a band called “The Works” to pay tribute to rock legend Queen. They’ve performed through the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States, giving spectacular live concerts that recreate the look, sound, pomp and showmanship of the greatest rock band of all time.

We don’t think we need to tell you how many “cool wife” points you’ll score with your husband if you win tickets to this kind of hard rockin’ date night. This would also be a great surprise gift for a teenager who loves classic rock. And needless to say, we believe every hard-workin’ mama deserves a night off to rock out.

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat for the tickets, click the orange comment button below and tell us which Queen classic song rocks you the most. You can also email your answer to

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Help us spread the word about the giveaway and we’ll give you extra chances to win. Send an email to your friends about the giveaway and be sure to put on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell.

BE SOCIAL FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN: Spread the word via social media and we’ll give you extra chances as well. Just share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook (click here to go see the post on our BRAND NEW MOM PROM Facebook page and share from there) or share about the giveaway on Twitter to increase your odds of winning. If you do either of these things, just let us know in your posted comment or send us an email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll choose a winner for the show tickets on Friday, so be sure to put your name in the hat asap. Winners are always chosen at RANDOM.

To guarantee your tickets, buy them online by clicking HERE or call the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479-443-5600.


Mealtime Mama: A punch recipe fit for a prom


All this NWA Mom Prom talk has made us thirsty for some party punch.

(If you missed that conversation, click here to read about the Mom Prom that Motherlode is throwing on May 4 and how you can buy tickets!)

When I (Shannon) start thinking about punch, I can’t help but think of my Aunt Joyce’s recipe. She always stirs up her delicious punch for all the baby showers, wedding showers and special events on my mom’s side of the family.

I’m not sure which recipe we’ll choose for the Mom Prom, but you can bet we’ll have a punch bowl filled with delicious punch at the event!

In the meantime, you might want to whip up a pitcher full of this:

Aunt Joyce’s Favorite Punch

  • punch bowlFruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch
  • 1 can pineapple juice
  • 2-liter bottle Ginger Ale
  • Coconut flakes (to taste, optional)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 container pineapple or orange sherbet

Directions: Mix ingredients together, then use an ice cream scooper to place scoops of sherbet on top. You can also add slices of orange or lime to make it extra pretty.

To prom! To punch! Cheers!

Ozark-Logo1-300x214If you want some delicious food to take to your next party or to go with your punch, Ozark Natural Food’s deli and produce areas have been fully a remodeled. The deli is now called À La Carte, and the produce department has a new cooler that includes cut fruits and vegetables. Click here for more info on the remodel or about becoming a member at Ozark Natural Foods.


Devotion in Motion: Dangerous “friends”

1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. Luke 17:1  (NIV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Being a pastor, people often talk to me when they need help with a problem. I counsel with members of my church, friends and acquaintances from other denominations, and sometimes I’m asked for advice by strangers I’m sitting next to in a waiting room. So, I wanted to give you a “heads up” about something going on in our world today. The modern technology of our day is giving people new ways to sin.

Something I see going on everywhere is that people are getting involved in extramarital affairs using the Web or a cell phone. I’m convinced that most of these illicit relationships wouldn’t happen if it were not for the anonymity and ever-present nature of rotary phoneelectronic communication. When I entered the ministry more than 25 years ago, it was difficult to contact someone you’d lost touch with. There was no way to Google someone’s address. The only way you could talk by phone was on that ancient rotary-dial-landline hanging on the kitchen wall — the one with the long cord that was always tangled. The only text message you could send had to be in an envelope with a stamp on it.

The fact that communication was carried on in broad daylight with everyone listening did a lot to cut down on all the inappropriate stuff that goes on today.  I mean, when you’re a grown woman and get a land-line phone call from your 6th grade boyfriend who says he thinks he’s still in love with you, your first instinct is probably to question his sanity. Or, if a grown man finds a love letter in his mailbox from a girl he met at summer camp when he was 12, he’ll probably turn to his wife and say, “Hey honey, get a load of this!”

But somehow electronic communication is different. It is ever-present, private, secret, and forbidden. It lures folks in with the promise of rekindling a “friendship.” Very often, it ignites a flame that spreads to consume a marriage, a home, and a family.

So, beloved, be careful with technology. Guard your marriage, and be careful whom you become “friends” with. My dear departed father used to tell us,  “When you get married, you don’t need ‘friends” like that any more.” This is most certainly true. Let the Lord Jesus be your closest friend in Heaven and your spouse and children be your closest friends on this Earth.

john and susan cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher stood on the yellow line in the middle of the highway in the front his house to have cell coverage after Hurricane Katrina.)  The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college.  He would love to hear from you in an email sent to


The Rockwood Files: T is for Team

rockwoodfiles2-205x300By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Most parents want certain things for our kids – good health, love, happiness and a strong faith. But sometimes when I’m watching our three kids goofing around together, the thing I wish for most is that they’ll always be on each other’s team.

In this country, standing out on your own is a big deal. We’re all about setting ourselves apart. Musicians break away from their bands and “go solo.” Even on winning sports teams, a select few are singled out as superstars.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with individual achievement, I’ve learned just how important it is to be part of a team. I’d trade the glory of solo achievement for the collective joy that comes from winning as part of a team.

When I left home for college, I was a nervous wreck. The campus population was larger than the hometown where I grew up. It was a team that made college life seem manageable. I earned a spot on the majorette line with the marching band, and that team of 12 made an ocean feel more like a familiar pond. There’s something about stepping out in front of 60,000 roaring football fans wearing nothing more than a rhinestone-studded swimsuit that bonds a group of girls together.

One of my old twirling teammates just moved into the house next door to mine, which made me as happy as a girl with access to two closets full of clothes instead of just one. The bonds of true teammates run deep and last for decades.

In my day job, I have a business partner and our 5-year teamwork has made the work not only successful but also fun. We help each other around roadblocks. And when we get a win, we eat out and get our nails done – our own little “team building” exercise.

But perhaps the best kind of teammate to find is the one you marry. Marriage is the truest test of teamwork, requiring a daily give and take. When couples go through hard times, the worst part is the feeling that maybe you’re not on the same team anymore. But when times are good, a couple’s rock solid unity is one of the most gratifying parts of being together.

When I look at our kids, what I pray for most is that they’ll find a place to belong when they grow up and leave our nest for college and the adventures that lie beyond it. I pray they’ll find work colleagues that make their jobs fun and rewarding, and I pray they’ll find the right person to marry who has a kind heart and a generous spirit.

the rockwood kidsBut most of all I pray they keep each other close – that their trio remains strong over their lifetime.

Last week, 6-year-old Kate got off the school bus upset and said a boy on the bus was pestering and taunting her. She asked him to stop but he wouldn’t, she said. So I pulled her older brothers aside and said, “Tomorrow you’ll sit with your sister on the bus, and if a kid starts giving her a hard time, I expect the two of you to handle it.” Nothing wrong with a little older brother intimidation, if you ask me.

The next day, Kate bounded off the school bus in a much better mood followed by her two older brothers.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Yep,” Jack said proudly. “He won’t be bothering her again.”

Their strength in numbers had worked. So I took my little team home for an after-school snack. Go team.

gwen rockwoodGwen 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. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Mamas on Magic 107.9: What we wish we’d known then…

wish we knew then

Happy Friday, mamas!

This week in our Mamas on Magic 107.9 segments we talked about some of the things we wish we’d known when were were, you know, YOUNGER.

No, we’re not ancient, but we do have a few parenting years under our belt and can definitely say that time is a great teacher. We’re also finally old enough to understand that sometimes the best advice can come from parents whose kids are older than ours.

If you missed any segment this week (we’re on Magic every weekday morning around 7:45 a.m.) click on the blue bar and the segments below to hear them now:

What we wish we’d known then that we know now              Monday, Feb 18, 2013

Tuesday’s segment

Wednesday’s segment

Thursday’s segment

Friday’s segment

Five Minutes with a Mom: Emily Garrett


Name: Emily Garrett

Where do you live in NWA?  East Fayetteville

Child(ren)’s names and ages: Maddisen 10, Phoebe 5, Cooper 2

Where did you grow up?  Northern Arizona

How would you describe a typical day in your busy mama life? Everyday is different, but I try to start each day by spending some time in God’s word and in prayer. When I make time for those things, everything else seems to go smoothly for the rest of the day.

Favorite all-time movie?  Les Miserables

Last book you read?  Respectable Sins

What’s some great parenting advice you used and then passed along to others? Pick your battles. Some things just aren’t worth the fight.

Something you’d love to learn in the future? I am working on learning to control my temper and hope that I can continue to get better in the future.

Favorite phrase: “I’ll send you to the moon” My Grandma would say this, jokingly with a fist when I could misbehave.

Guilty pleasure? Hot cookies fresh out of the oven.

Best thing about being a mother? When my kids tell me they love me, and mean it.

And the hardest thing? Not knowing their future, and trying to trust God to take care of them.

Are the kids excited about Spring Break? Yes, especially my oldest!

What’s your favorite way to relax? Take a hot bath, put on comfy clothes, and put my feet up.

One word to sum me up … Perceptive

Inside His Head: Wife finds ‘questionable’ email in husband’s account


Dear Inside His Head,

I found a questionable email from my husband’s female co-worker when I was on his account the other day. I was looking for a deal coupon to print out, but couldn’t resist looking at his other emails, too. He might be mad that I read other emails, but I’m mad that this woman is flirting with him on his personal email. There’s no telling what she’s doing at work.

Please advise.

GRAY: That you came across this email is probably proof nothing more serious is going on with the woman in question. How does that make sense? If he had something to hide it’s unlikely you would have stumbled upon it to begin with. Unless he’s a tad on the slow side, if he was really serious about going after someone he’d probably be more aware about covering his tracks.

Some folks are flirty by nature and their advances mean nothing. Flirting in the office probably isn’t the best behavior to engage in, yet it’s commonplace. So why does she have his personal email? It’s been my experience that having such information is more common than not. The line between work and home has been increasingly blurred as technology advances.

So you shouldn’t be mad. Right? Well…no. I think you’re completely within your right to be upset. If I were in your shoes I’d simply ask who this so-and-so is who’s acting so friendly. Most likely it’ll be something completely innocent – like the feisty 73-year old from payroll – and you’ll both be left with a good laugh

Even if the woman has genuine intentions, it could be that he’s tolerating her behavior to keep things diplomatic knowing she’ll have her eye caught by someone else next week. And he may not want to cause hard feelings over such a non-issue. You’ll never know until you ask him. So ask!

Will he be mad that you looked at his email? Please. We know how you women are. I think we just assume you read and monitor these things as a strange way of showing your affection. It’s great that you came up with the cover story about the coupon though :)

MAVERICK: The fact that you found out about the flirty, emailing co-worker by prying into your husband’s personal email takes a lot of the zip out of your otherwise justifiable wrath.

While your apparent willingness to tromp all over his rights to privacy isn’t admirable in any respect, the danger of him being involved in an extra-marital affair isn’t something you can ignore.

If he’s guilty, it needs to be addressed, if he’s playing footsie with the idea of a fling that has to be stopped, if he’s innocent, you’ll still think he’s guilty without finding out the truth so the marriage is in danger on that end.

So, tell the truth. Tell him you’re less than proud of how you came across this email, apologize for being a snoop, but tell him this information you came across has you deeply concerned.

Be prepared for him to turn this back on you. Take full responsibility for the prying but don’t let that be the end of things. Find out what’s going on with this woman. Also, don’t let him minimize it or laugh it off. This stuff is serious – it’s  how affairs start or is an indicator one is ongoing.

This coworker could be flirting with him and he might have done nothing to warrant the attention. It happens. Ask him to nip this in the bud. While women are much smarter about this sort of thing then men, he needs to be direct and tell her he’s not interested in this sort of communication.

If he’s been equally flirty with her but nothing has “happened” between the two, urge him to disengage from this woman and to do so clearly and cleanly. No subtle stuff. It needs to stop.

Now the really hard part. If the flirting is simply part of an already ongoing extramarital fling he needs to end it and to find another job and you two need to go directly to marriage counseling. Any other “solution” will not work in the long run.

It’s regrettable that you found out about this the way you did but it could be a real problem if this “flirting” is left unchecked. If your husband is totally innocent,  he still needs to know what you did.

The ends do not justify the means in a marriage. And stay out of his email.

MICHAEL: We’ll skip the issue of you “not being able to resist” reading his mail for now and focus on the coworker.

I believe that he’s innocent until proven otherwise. Context can be very difficult to discern in an email so I will caution you not to jump to conclusions.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t address the issue. Sometimes work relationships become closer than we intend and we need to be reminded where those boundaries should be.  This is your opportunity to do that.  Of course this is complicated by the way that you came upon this information.

You should bring this up to your husband in a non-confrontational way. Explain to him what happened and apologize for reading his email. Tell him you want to hear what he has to say before making any judgements. Find out if perhaps this attention is only one way.

I would ask him why he’s getting emails of that nature from this woman. If he gets defensive about it then I think you need to push it a bit further and find out if there’s anything more to it.  More than likely if it was just playful banter he’ll blow it off as nothing.

If it bothers you though then you need to make it clear that its unacceptable and it is damaging to your relationship.  It’s unlikely that he can completely avoid this woman but he should try to minimize his contact if it bothers you.

Now back to reading his email. I’ll tell you what I tell my children. If its not yours, leave it alone.

Pet Parenting: That dog won’t stop barking!

Dear Denise,

My dog barks all day long and I’m worried my neighbors are getting annoyed. What anti-bark techniques or devices would you recommend? What about the sonic devices? I’m a little desperate.

Thank you!

Dear Mama:

Barking dogs can be a real barrier to harmonious neighborhood living. Thank you for recognizing that. I get asked all the time by my own clients how they can stop a neighbor’s dog from barking.

The easy answer to that question is to recommend a device that works. I really like the ultra sonic devices. They emit a noise only the animal can hear, so it doesn’t disturb the neighbors further. The noise is also emited when the dog barks, so it’s immediate and easily associated with the barking behavior.

I don’t really like shock collars, and oftentimes, the dogs either get used to the citronella spray, or the collar rotates and doesn’t target the face like it should.

dogwaggingtailUse one of these devices if you must, but I urge you to also try to address the reason for the barking. Some dogs bark for no reason, but very few. I’d look for reasons.

Is your dog getting enough exercise? Just because he’s outside in the yard all day, doesn’t mean he’s getting exercise. Does he get walked regularly? Regular walks can solve a multitude of problems.

Does he have things to do in the yard? Not just toys, but things that engage him. A kong stuffed with something yummy, a place to dig and find cool things (I have instructions for a digging hole on my facebook page), or even a tether ball tied to a tree, can give bored dogs something to do besides bark.

Another option is an occasional visit to daycare. Even just once or twice a week could be a nice change of pace, and most dogs come home from daycare very tired.

I really encourage you to address this behavior from both ends. Obviously, you need to stop the barking, or at least minimize it, but it isn’t fair to punish your dog for being a dog. Make sure your dog is being physically and mentally stimulated in such a way as to alleviate boredom. You may discover that the barking will diminish on its own when that energy is redirected.

Good luck,


Denise HolmesLove. Trust. Teach. CDP, Inc
“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Good Gossip: Celebrities, comebacks and coffee perks

good gossip celebritiesIt’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a little “Good Gossip” — the only guilt-free celebrity gossip column in Northwest Arkansas. We scour the magazines and the Web for the latest in celebrity news, being careful to weed out the nasty rumors so that you can enjoy your gossip without the guilty conscience. As always, this feature is sponsored by Great Day Farms, a national brand based right here in NWA. Look for their products at the Walmart Supercenter. Click HERE to like them and get coupons on their Facebook page.

FYI: Great Day Farms is also the premier sponsor of the very first Mom Prom in Northwest Arkansas! It’s happening May 4, 2013 at the Springdale Holiday Inn Ballroom. Get the prom details by clicking here. And sign up for a chance to win free tickets by clicking here.

dumbo rideRemember that time you spent all day riding kiddie rides at an amusement park with your kids? Well, celebrities do that, too! Kevin Costner was recently caught on camera on the Dumbo ride with his 4-year-old son Hayes during a trip to Disneyland in Paris.

tom cruise bracesIf your teenager is complaining about getting braces, it might help them to know that even celebrities have spent their time in the dental trenches. Some of the famous faces that once sported braces include Tom Cruise in 2002, Faye Dunaway in 2002, Gwen Stefani in 1999, Fantasia in 2010 and Faith Hill this year! For pictures of the stars in braces, check out the most recent issue of People magazine and flip to page 26.

jillianOne of reality television’s top trainers, Jillian Michaels, has published a new book with tips for staying slim. Jillian says drinking a cup of cofffee or a chemical-free caffeine supplement 30 minutes before exercising can help you last longer in a workout. She also said that she puts peppermint oil on her wrists because it is supposed to increase exercise intensity. The last tip is great for busy moms because she says time spent on your feet (and we mamas have a lot of that ) is good for you. She said that people with desk jobs should pace around or stand up more throughout the day to help stay slim.

robin robertsIf you’ve been rooting for Robin Roberts of Good Morning America to make a strong comeback from her cancer treatment, you were probably thrilled to see her back at the anchor desk this morning on GMA. Yay Robin! Her inspiring story is in the most recent issue of People magazine, where she talks about the day she had the bone marrow transplant. She said she remembers that her transplant specialist, Dr. Sergio Giralt, injected a syringe filled with her sister’s stem cells into a catheter in Robin’s chest, and as he did so, he said a prayer. “I love that he prayed,” Robin said. You can hear more about Robin’s unique journey on a special edition of 20/20 this Friday, February 22nd.

kelly clarkson2You may have heard that Kelly Clarkson is getting married. Her Mr. Right is Brandon Blackstock, who also happens to be the stepson of Kelly’s mentor, Reba McEntire. Kelly’s engagement ring is a canary yellow diamond sunk deep into a beautiful diamond setting. So pretty! The decorations for the outdoor wedding will be earthy, with yellow roses and sunflowers and will feature the couple’s favorite meals — steak for him and turkey and gravy for her. Congrats to the happy couple!

safe havenDo you like Nicholas Sparks‘ novels? His latest just hit theaters on Valentine’s Day and stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in Safe Haven. But get this: When Nicholas Sparks and his wife designed their dream home in North Carolina, they included amenities like a theater room and a bowling alley. But we think the most genius idea they had was including a secret passageway which leads to a “napping room.” Sparks goes in for 20-minute power naps to help fuel his imagination. Mamas of Northwest Arkansas…. what we need is a napping room and time to take some naps!

Source: People magazine February 25, 2013 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day All Natural Eggs. These eggs are produced by happy hens who are fed premium vegetarian diets with no animal fats, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Great Day Farms also offers hard-boiled eggs, which you can find in the deli section of the Walmart Supercenter. (Love the hard-boiled eggs because they’re peeled and ready to eat! Perfect in salads.)


Giveaway: You’re invited to the first annual NWA Mom Prom presented by nwaMotherlode!

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It’s Motherlode’s fifth birthday in May and we wanted to have a BIG party to celebrate this milestone. So the mamas decided a Mom Prom was the way to go! Why should the teenagers have all the fun?

This will be the MOTHER of all Girls’ Night Outs!

We’re going to get this party started early with a giveaway! The winner will receive a party pack of 5 MOM PROM TICKETS! That’s one for you and four of your best dancing buddies! (See below about how to win these tickets.)

disco-ballThe NWA Mom Prom is Saturday, May 4, at the Springdale Holiday Inn Ballroom. Save the date! We promise you will LOVE what we have planned for you at this inaugural prom.

Top 10 things you need to know about the NWA Mom Prom right now:

  • It’s a massive Girls’ Night Out. We want this to be a great time for women and moms 21 and older to get together and dance, eat, drink, talk, laugh, pose for pictures with their friends, relive some of their own glory days and make new memories with friends.
  • Ticket sales officially started today. Click here to visit. and purchase one for yourself. You can also buy raffle tickets while you’re there!
  • It’s a Prom with a Purpose. Buying a ticket will support local charity The Cobblestone Project. In particular, the money will help parents living in poverty send their children to school in clean clothes Laundry Love logothrough the Laundry Love program.
  • There will be amazing.swag.bags. Expect fabulous goodies inside beautiful Thirty-One Gifts thermal totes.
  • Our sponsors rock. We have some generous sponsors who are making this happen. Thank you Great Day Farms, Metro Appliances & More, Hull Dermatology and Aesthetics, Lifestyle Dentistry, Mercy Health, Magic 107.9, KNWA,  Parachuting Penguins, Aspire Gymnastics Academy, Thirty-One Gifts and Dillard’s. We’re still accepting sponsors, so if you know a great company that would love to support local moms and The Cobblestone Project at an event for 300 women, tell them to email us at mamas{at}
  • Dancing will happen. Be thinking about your favorite dance music because you’ll be helping us decide on the playlist for Prom Night!
  • You can attend the prom with Ryan Gosling. No men are allowed — except for gorgeous celebs! Cozy up to a life-size cardboard cutout of your favorite actor or singer. They’ll be lined up along the red carpet, waiting to get their picture taken with YOU. (Think Channing Tatum and George Clooney.)
  • Prizes galore. At the end of the night, we’ll crown a Prom Queen (chosen at random among ticket holders) and she’ll receive a huge prize package. Tears of real joy may be shed.

shoesHOW TO ENTER: If you’ love to win tickets to the first annual NWA Mom Prom, just click on the orange button below and tell us about a favorite memory from your own prom night — or tell us what you look forward to doing at the NWA Mom Prom! Dancing? Dressing up and walking the red carpet? Posing for pics with your favorite girlfriends?

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Help us spread the word about the giveaway and we’ll give you extra chances to win. Send an email to your friends about the giveaway and be sure to put on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell.

BE SOCIAL FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN: Spread the word via social media and we’ll give you extra chances as well. Just share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook (click here to go see the post on our BRAND NEW MOM PROM Facebook page and share from there) or share about the giveaway on Twitter to increase your odds of winning. If you do either of these things, just let us know in your posted comment or send us an email so we can give you proper credit.

BUY PROM TICKETS NOW: If you want to secure your NWA Mom Prom tickets, click HERE to visit to order. Don’t forget: You can also buy tickets for the fabulous items that great day logowill be raffled away on prom night! Raffle tickets are only 1 dollar each.

We are so pumped about this event and can’t wait to reveal more info as plans roll along. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, buy a ticket and dust off your dancing shoes! This will be an amazing night! We also want to give a shout-out to our premier sponsor, Great Day Farms and these other awesome local companies that are helping to make this first NWA Mom Prom epic.



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