NWA Calendar of Events: May 2013

Little Sprouts Opening Day, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Join BGO for the first day of the Little Sprouts program. Wednesday mornings throughout the summer are a special time for preschoolers at the Garden. Sessions are at 9:30 and 10:15. The program is free for the kids, but accompanying adults do have to be members of the Garden.

Date: May 1

Time: 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

*Please note that Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Events are happening May through December, including Trail Mix Concert tours, Chapel Music Series events and many other great events. CLICK HERE for a complete listing of all Artosphere events.

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Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live!

Jungle Jack’s live show features many of his favorite animal friends, as well as fascinating and humorous stories and footage from his adventures around the world. Audiences give Jack rave reviews – everyone from the youngest child to the oldest adult is entertained and inspired.

Date: Friday, May 3

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

NWA Mom Prom

A HUGE girls’ night out for women and moms in Northwest Arkansas, presented by nwaMotherlode.com. The evening starts with red carpet arrivals at 7 p.m. and ends with the crowning of a Prom Queen (chosen from among all ticket-holders) who will win a huge prize package. Join us for dancing, DJ, great food, a dessert bar, raffle packages and great swag!

Facebook Mom PromDate: Saturday, May 4

Time: 7 p.m. to midnight

Location: Holiday Inn Ballroom

More info: Click here to buy tickets

Delbert McClinton

Three-time Grammy® Award-winner Delbert McClinton is returning to Walton Arts Center for the first time since his much-loved Valentine’s Day performance in 2010. Delbert McClinton is set to deliver another powerful performance to his highly devoted Arkansas audience. The upcoming show features some of McClinton’s classic hits as well as plenty of new songs from his more recent albums. McClinton won his first Grammy in 1991 for a duet with Bonnie Raitt titled “Good Man, Good Woman.” After a stellar decade, he carried his success into the 2000s by winning two Grammys in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category – for his LPs Nothing Personal in 2001 and The Cost of Living in 2006.

Date: Sunday, May 5

Time: 7pm

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Free Comic Book Day

The Fayetteville Public Library will host Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4 with a variety of activities events for all ages beginning at 10:30 am and concluding with a presentation at 2:00 pm by Marvel Comics’ own husband and wife illustration team, Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser. Refreshments will be provided, and limit of one free comic per person, while supplies last.

10:30 am – Kids – Children will receive free comic books and enjoy snacks as well as superhero-themed fun, games, crafts for kids, and a free screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the Walmart Storytime Room.

Noon – Teens – Teens can receive free comics and snacks as well as play superhero-themed video games, participate in a “take a comic, leave a comic” swap table, take in a free screening of Batman: Year One, and enter a drawing to win tickets to see Marvel’s new summer blockbuster, Iron Man 3.

2 pm – Everyone – Everyone can enjoy a special appearance by Marvel Comics’ own husband and wife illustration team, Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser. The Breitweisers will discuss their work on titles such as Captain America, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk, followed by an autograph session where attendees can receive free head sketches of Captain America!

Date: May 4

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More info: Click here

*Please note: Children’s at FPL will take a programming break, May 18- May 31 to prepare for Summer Reading (No Baby Bookworms, PreSchool Storytime or Toddler Time. These programs will resume June 3rd.)

Touch A Truck (*Rescheduled for May 18!)

Date: May 4 (Rain date May 18)

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

Location: Pinnacle Promenade Mall

More info: Click here

Teal In The Park benefiting Ozark Guidance

Date: May 4

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Arvest Ballpark with The Naturals

More info: Click here

Springfest, Fayetteville

SpringfestDate: May 4

Time: Varies

Location: Downtown Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Kendrick Fincher Youth Run, 5K and One-Mile Walk

Kendrick Fincher 15th Annual Youth Run & 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk and Family Fun Event at Pinnacle Hills Promenade. The Youth Run is free for children K-8th grades; the 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk is a fundraiser. The Family Fun Event will include vendor booths and fun activities for the family. Involvement ranges from participation, sponsorship, corporate teams, and volunteer opportunities.

Date: May 11

Time: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall

More info: Click here

12th Annual Root Rocket Run

Root Elementary PTO will host its 12th Annual Root Rocket Run, Saturday, May 11th at 8 A.M. Lace up your running shoes, bring the family, and run the USATF Certified 5K Race or 1 Mile Family Fun Run. The Root Rocket Run has not only become a Root tradition, but also a Fayetteville tradition! Money raised goes directly back to the school, creating an enhanced education for our kids! Goodie Bags & Giveaways for all registrants so sign up now at www.rootrun.com. 5K Race start time is 8 A.M.; Family Fun Run start time is 8:45 A.M.

Date: May 11

Time: 8 a.m.

More info: Click here

Graphic Novelist and Illustrator Kazu Kibuishi at Fayetteville Public Library

FLP will host an author talk and book signing with graphic novel author/illustrator Kazu Kibuishi. Kazu Kibuishi, the author of the highly successful graphic novel series Amulet, will discuss his artistic process and he experience as the editor/art director and contributor to the critically acclaimed comics anthology Flight. Kazu is also the creator of Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, winner of the YALSA 2006 Best Books for Young Adults Award.  Most recently, Kazu has been chosen to illustrate the new covers for the paperback re-issues of the Harry Potter series. Kazu Kibuishi was born in Japan and moved to the United States as a child. He currently lives in Alhambra, California and is married to fellow illustrator and collaborator, Amy Kim Ganter. More of his work and art can be seen at boltcity.com. This event is free and open to the public.

Date: May 11

Time: 2 p.m.

Location: FPL, Walker Community Room, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

18th Annual Greening of the Garden, BGO

This unique outdoor gala, under a giant tent on the Great Lawn, is the Garden’s signature fundraising event of the year. This year’s theme, Big in the South, is an invitation to enjoy southern culture, including a Cajun dinner catered by Maudie Schmitt and Cafe Rue Orleans. Live music will be provided by Nathan A Blues, whose lead is the young Nathan Aronowitz, backed up by several veteran blues players from around Northwest Arkansas. Tickets $75.

Date: May 14

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

Men’s Night 2013 to benefit St. Joseph Catholic School

The largest “Guy’s Only” night in NWA. Steak Dinner, Top-shelf Bar, Cigars, Raffle. Auction: Sports, Fishing, Hunting Packages, Tech, Beach House, Trips. Tickets are $100.

Date: May 17

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Location: Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

Dogwood Walk in the Park

Bring out your dogs to enjoy booths, dog contests, face painting, balloon animals, fun photos of you with your dog and a walk around the park. Humane Society of the Ozarks fundraiser. $20 to register, $15 for HSO members. Grand marshal Jen Bielema. T-shirt and lunch included with registration.

Date: Saturday, May 18

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Gulley Park, Fayetteville

More info: Click here to pre-register

Scooby-Doo! Live Musical Mysteries

Jeepers! SCOOBY-DOO and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called in to help solve an epic mystery in Northwest Arkansas. A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theater and SHAGGY, FRED, DAPHNE, VELMA and SCOOBY-DOO are on their way in the MYSTERY MACHINE to help solve it! This hilarious live theater show brings everyone’s favorite animated series to life. Filled with wacky new characters, fantastic songs and outrageous antics, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES, presented by Warner Bros. and Life Like Touring, will have audiences on the edge of their seats in traditional Scooby-Doo fashion. See if this time the gang is in over its head!

Date: May 28-29

Time: Varies

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

War Horse

England, 1914. As World War One begins, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

This powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness that is currently playing to packed houses in London and New York. At its heart are astonishing life-sized puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, that bring to life breathing, galloping, charging horses strong enough for men to ride. Winner! Five 2011 Tony® Awards.

Content consideration: This performance contains themes and scenes of war that may be unsuitable for younger audiences.

Dates: Wednesday, May 22 through Sunday, May 26.

Times: Show times vary by performance.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Gulley Park concert series

Beauty Buzz: Signature beauty tricks for your favorite decade

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

momprom logoIs everyone looking forward to Mom Prom this weekend?

As soon as I heard about the event, I started reminiscing about my “sophisticated” prom styles. My junior year, I grew two inches between buying my dress and prom and had to rush out to find a replacement the week before.

Three other girls wore my dress, not to mention the endless parade of french twists with curls on top.

Senior year, I grew a cup size after I bought my dress and was very self conscious of my new-found decolletage. Luckily, I was able to use my waist length hair, done in millions of spiral curls, as camouflage. As far as makeup, since it was a special night, I put on an inch of blush and bright red lipstick and possibly some mascara.

I can definitely tell you, I did NOT have my eyebrows waxed. Holy Unibrow, Batman! Ah, the good ol’ days.

How many times have you Pinned a gorgeous gown or a cool eyeliner tutorial with the caption “Maybe someday I’ll have a place to wear this”? Enter The Mom Prom! Now, hopefully you have a dress, but the night won’t be complete without a little extra time spent on your makeup.

If you are like me and memories of your prom came flooding back and you would like to relive the glory days, try giving a nod to your favorite decade with one of these signature beauty tricks:

Twiggy

Twiggy

1960s: Made famous by the iconic model Twiggy, nude makeup with almost spider-like lashes defines the era. This is a very easy look to make current, since neutral lips and bold eyes are always in fashion.

To embrace your inner Twiggy, apply liner on your top lash line only, starting thinner at the inner corner and thickening as you go. End in a slight wing. Apply several coats of black mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. If you are not blessed with full lashes (I’m raising my hand here), this is the perfect time to try false lashes.

Individual lashes are easiest to apply for a newbie, or you can have them put on at a makeup counter for the cost of the lashes.

1970s: Women of the seventies drew attention to their eyes with eyeshadow, especially blues and greens. Mascara was rarely used, but eyeliner was a 70s girls best friend.

To get the look without getting too costume-y, try a colored eyeliner applied on the top and bottom lash lines and accented with a shimmering powder eyeshadow applied from the lash line to the crease. Fill in your brows a shade darker than your hair for more drama.

1980s: See above, times 10 and add the darkest streak of blush ever below your cheekbone and throw in some neon lipstick, just to be safe. The 80s were the decade of “more is more”.

If you are the kind of girl who dreams of the day Flock of Seagulls has a reunion tour and you have a secret stash of neon legwarmers under your bed, bring back the 80s! Colored mascara will add an extra punch of color and find a true red or fuchsia lipstick to dazzle people as you Go-Go.

1990s: Best known for grunge, it’s hard to translate the “just rolled out of a gutter and found an old man’s flannel” look to formal wear. But if you combine it with the equally popular, and exact opposite, overuse of glitter that was the brainchild of the 90s pop star, I think you come out with a beautiful smokey eye.

Lay on the black eyeliner and smudge the lines with a q-tip dipped in a shimmery coal eyeshadow. Use the same shadow on the lid from your lash line to the crease in your eyelid, lighter toward the inner corner and darkening as you move out. Using a pale shimmer shadow, blend the shadow up until you reach your brow.

Keep in mind, because of the intensity of a black smokey eye, it can make your eyes look smaller, but there are endless variations out there for every eye shape.

Have the babysitter come hour early and pamper yourself. I officially forbid you to do your make-up in the car!

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. Click here to read more about Andi.

Top Ten Reasons to go to the NWA Mom Prom 2013!

mom prom logo

Need a good reason to go to the NWA Mom Prom this Saturday, May 4th, at the Springdale Holiday Inn Ballroom. Okay, we’ll give you 10.

But don’t wait too long to get your ticket. Only the first 300 ticket holders will get one of the awesome swag bags which will be given out at the end of the night. Click HERE to buy your ticket online.

top ten list10. Because it’s going to be THE girls’ night out of the entire year.

We have been working non-stop to make sure this is an AMAZING  party for women in NWA. It’ll be glamorous but not stuffy. And thanks to incredible business sponsors — like presenting sponsor Great Day Farms — it’s also going to be a beautiful, fun setting where you can relax and feel like you’re 18 years old again — minus all the teenage drama.

9. Because you like to eat.

We mamas do like good food. So we’ve worked with the executive chef of the Holiday Inn in Springdale to make sure there’ll be plenty of delicious things to eat at the Mom Prom.

It will be served buffet style and the spread will include things like this:

  • coconut chicken bites
  • turkey pinwheels
  • miniature twice baked potatoes
  • spinach artichoke dip
  • cheese and fruit
  • chocolate-dipped strawberries (by Dojo’s Designs)
  • miniature cupcakes (by Fancy Flours Cupcakery)
  • candy from Nestle

8. Because you like to DANCE!

The best part about any prom night is the music. And we’ve got a DJ for Prom Night who will play all your favorites. In fact, we’ve been taking song suggestions for several weeks now. If you haven’t told us your favorite dance songs yet, you can still do that by clicking the “post a comment” link below.

So come ready to shake your money maker because the music is going to be AWESOME. And if you want to join our little flash mob, click HERE to check out the flash mob dance we’ll do sometime during prom night.

blue dress7. Because you don’t get that many chances to dress up and party.

How many times a year do you have a chance to get dressed up and go out with your best girlfriends? Sure, you can wear your yoga pants and hoodie to Chick-fil-a anytime you want. But when is the last time you put on something you really love and hit the town for a fun night out?

But don’t stress out about what to wear. There will be a WIDE range of clothes there. We suggest wearing something you feel good in that will also let you dance. Whether it’s a little black dress, a maxi dress or a full-on prom dress with lots of bling, just have fun with it.

6. Because there will be amazing photos of you and your friends that you’ll enjoy all year long.

Lisa Mac Photography will be doing all the prom pictures, and we LOVE her photos. She’s a pro. We have lots of fun photo props like mustaches, lips, hats, sunglasses, crowns, feather boas and lots more.

And ALL of the prom pictures will be available for FREE download after prom night. Print as many as you like and post them on Facebook. They’re all yours!

5. Because it’ll be fun to walk the red carpet and pose with celebrities.

adam-levine-889Where else will you get a chance to pose for pictures with People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” Channing Tatum? Oh, and did we mention that Ryan Gosling, Robert Pattinson, David Beckham, Adam Levine, Taylor Lautner, Will Smith and George Clooney will be there, too? Yep, they will. (Okay, they’re cardboard, but they’re still REALLY cute.)

4. Because the raffle packages are SO GOOD.

Thanks to some very generous local businesses, our 13 raffle packages are worth THOUSANDS of dollars. Seriously. Each package, which includes multiple items, is worth hundreds of dollars. And raffle tickets are only one dollar each. You can buy as many as you like if you’d like to increase your odds of winning that package. But we love this raffle system because it means we all get a chance to win something great. Here are some of the raffle package themes: Pampering, Razorback, Date Night, Kids Fun, Branson Getaway, Summer Fun, and lots more.

3. Because you might become Prom Queen!

We don’t like those old popularity contests from high school. So we ditched that method, and we’ll be picking our Prom Queen at random among all the ticket holders at the event. The Prom Queen not only gets a great package of gifts, she also gets the tiara, the prom queen sash and a chance to sit in the special Queen’s chair on stage while she does her best “pageant wave” to the crowd.

2. Because it’s even more fun to go to a party with a purpose.

This “prom with a purpose” will help raise money for a local non-profit called Laundry Love, which partners with local laundromats to clean the clothes of those living in poverty in Northwest Arkansas. And you don’t need to feel one bit guilty for having a fun night out with the girls when you know the party is raising money for a great cause.

1. countdown1Because you DESERVE a great night out.

We know there are a million other things you could be doing Saturday night. We know you’re busy. And we also know that you probably tend to put yourself last on the list, just like most of us do.  Most of the time, we take care of other people and make sure everybody else in the family is happy and having fun.

But we think moms also deserve a night off to have fun. The responsibilities and chores and busy schedules will all be waiting for you the next day. But for this one night, we hope you’ll join us for a night of fun that will celebrate the special bond we share with other women and mothers.

Click HERE to get your ticket to the Mom Prom. See you Saturday!!

Giveaway: Tickets to see a kids’ show at Walton Arts Center

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Note from the mamas: Congratulations to Tricia Moore, winner of the Boats tickets! Have a great time!

Happy Monday, mamas! We’re kicking off the week with a giveaway for FOUR tickets to a fun kids’ show at the Walton Arts Center called Boats.

These tickets are for the 10 a.m. performance on Saturday, May 11, 2013. (There are two other performances of the show later that same day. Tickets to this show are only $5!)

boats1ABOUT THE SHOW: Boats is a story about a man named Jof and his friend Nic. The two life-long friends are sailors who met through bizarre circumstances involving a chicken, a deserted island and a sombrero. They want to escape their past and find new adventure.

Boats is classic storytelling where the magic unfolds in front the audience. The sound effects are created live, a boat is cut from bread, a bird tied from rope, a circus hides in a jacket, and finally a storm is made with a teacup. Boats has acrobatics, object manipulation, a microphone that goes in water and enchanting story telling.

It’s a moving story that leaves a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat for these show tickets, click the “post a comment” link below and tell us where you’d sail away to if you could go anywhere for a day. A pure white beach in Hawaii? The waters of the French Riveria? Or maybe even a sandy spot around Beaver Lake?

You can also email your answer to giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

Remember that all giveaway winners are always chosen at random, so anyone can win.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: To increase your odds of winning the show tickets, email your friends and family to let them  know about this giveaway. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

imagesBE SOCIAL: 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 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.

If you don’t want to leave it up to the random number generator to make you the lucky winner, go ahead and get those tickets! Call the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600 or click here to see more about the show and buy them online. Tickets to see Boats are only $5 each! Good luck, mamas!

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Spring Fashion!

fashionIt’s fashion week! Okay, maybe it’s not THE fashion week in New York, but we’ll be talking spring fashion at the radio station this week during the Mamas on Magic segments. Just tune in to Magic 107.9 at 7:45 a.m. Monday through Friday to hear this week’s discussion on all things fashion. We’ll cover hot trends, maternity clothes, kids’ clothes, cute hair styles and we’ll even talk about some fashion trends we wish would DIE already.

If you miss one of this week’s segments, just click the links below to hear them:

Monday, April 29, 2013 radio segment

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 radio segment

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 radio segment

Thursday, May 2, 2013 radio segment

Friday, May 3, 2013 radio segment

Devotion in Motion: Riddle me this

15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

They say variety is the spice of life, so this week’s column is something  completely different. Today, instead of writing a story, I’m giving you some Bible riddles for you and your little ones to solve. Fulfill the words of today’s Scripture verse (at the top) and “study to show yourself approved.” You can use your Bibles, but NO GOOGLING ALLOWED! :-)

Riddle #1:

question mark2“Two died who were never born, and two were born who never died.” Who were these four people, and how do you explain them?

Riddle #2:

“The oldest man who ever lived, died before his father did.” Who were these two guys, and what’s their story?

Riddle #3:

“This great creature was created on the fifth day, and in earlier times helped to provide light where there was darkness. For a short time he had a soul within him, but he lost it.”

Name this creature.

Be sure to tune in for the answers in next week’s column!

Blessings (and happy riddling),

Brother John

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 folks still enjoy a good brain-teaser.)  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 countrypreacherdad@gaggle.net.

The Rockwood Files: Parenting the picky eater

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

I have what we moms call a “picky eater.” That doesn’t mean the kid won’t eat. He eats plenty of food when it’s served in the form of pizza, chicken nuggets, bologna and cheese sandwiches, yogurt, cereal bars and grilled cheese sandwiches. That’s the extent of his menu. Now and then he’ll eat a serving of green beans, when the stars line up just right and I’m able to cook them the exact same way I did last time with absolutely no variation. But that’s about the only green thing that passes his lips.

Our only saving grace is that he loves most kinds of fruit. If not for that, I’m certain the nutrition police would have already hauled me off to “bad mama” jail.

peasI’ve tried a whole host of “get him to try new things” tricks. I’ve tried logic. (If you eat those peas, they will make you healthy and strong.) I’ve tried rewards. (If you eat those peas, you’ll get some ice cream for dessert.) I’ve tried threatening. (If you don’t eat those peas, you’re not going outside to play after dinner.) I’ve tried bargaining and pay-offs. (I’ll give you a penny for every pea you eat.) And I’ve tried pitiful, desperate begging. (Please, please eat two bites of peas because it would make me so happy if you do.)

Yet my kid will not eat the peas or any other new thing – not for logic or rewards or play time or money or even his pitiful mother’s happiness. Oh, I can hear what you’re thinking. It’s so loud it’s nearly deafening: “If you’d let that kid get hungry enough, he’d eat peas or anything else you put in front of him.” Right? I know, I know. It makes perfect sense. To that argument I say this: Show me a mama who can let her kid get to that degree of hungry (and cranky), and I’ll show you a mama who is much, much tougher than me and 99 percent of other moms. At the end of the day, before we settle into our nests, we moms have a very strong need to know that we’ve poked food into the mouths of our baby birds. If the baby bird’s beak won’t open for anything other than a grilled cheese sandwich, then so be it.

Since my son is normal for height and weight, I’m certain his menu restrictions aren’t making him waste away. I worry more about the effect his pickiness will have on him socially.

I have this vision of my son as a twenty-something wearing a tuxedo and looking dashing at his wedding reception. In this vision, he is seated beside a banquet table full of chicken nuggets, bologna and cheese sandwiches, pepperoni pizza and yogurt cups, and all the wedding guests are staring at me in silent judgment wondering “Where did his mother go wrong?”

I’ve probably gone wrong at a number of different parenting crossroads, but I, like so many other parents of picky eaters, am doing my best. I’ll keep trying to win this food fight, and maybe one day he’ll begin to outgrow his choosiness. In the meantime, we’ll be one of those all American families preparing our Thanksgiving feast with a side of pepperoni pizza and fruit roll-ups. Bon appetite.

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

TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life, by Heather Davis

heather davis bookWe’ve all had those days when circumstances force us to decide — Are you gonna laugh or are you gonna cry?

Well, Heather Davis is going to laugh. And she’s going to make you laugh, too. Hard. And often. So do not drink a carbonated beverage while you read “TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life,” because I can promise you it’s going to come flying out your nose. You’ve been warned.

I met Heather  for the first time at a rehearsal for a show called “Listen To Your Mother,” which features women reading their own essays and stories about motherhood on stage for an audience (lclick here to get tickets to this year’s show at Walton Arts Center on May 30). Heather made a huge impression on me that day because I realized that, not only is she funny, she’s “ninja funny,” which means you won’t even see the funny coming until POW — it hits you from out of nowhere and suddenly Dr. Pepper is spewing out your nose before you even knew what was happening.

What starts out as a perfectly normal story about her daughter’s playdate swerves unexpectedly and suddenly Heather is cramped up in the closet waiting to be rescued from a game of hide-and-go-seek gone awry.

Heather is a master of finding the absurdity of everyday moments and turning day-to-day motherhood into something that reads more like adventure. This book will give you plenty of giggles and snorts and laughing-so-hard-that-my-eyes-are-watering moments. But you will also be touched by the fact that, at the core of it all is a mama who loves her babies and loves her husband. Through all the hilarity, that love shines through and resonates with fellow moms.

Pick this book up when you need a laugh, and tuck it into your travel bag for this summer’s vacation. The stories are short enough to let you snack on a few while you’re poolside with the kids and then again after your husband falls asleep watching Sportscenter.

Heather might be “oversharing” her life, but I along with so many other readers are finding that we just can’t get enough.

To read more reviews or to buy a copy of TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life, by Heather Davis, click HERE to skip over to Amazon. Happy reading!

Inside His Head: My husband hates it when my best friend calls

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As women, we often wonder: What was he thinking?! That’s why, every month, we ask our panel of husbands (whose identities will remain anonymous for their privacy and to keep them from getting into trouble with their wives) to help answer the tough questions and give us the straight scoop on how guys really think.

Here’s the newest dilemma:

Dear Inside His Head,

My husband has started asking me not to answer the phone if he notices that it’s my best friend calling. He knows I’ll probably be on the phone for at least an hour with her, talking about what’s going on in her life right now. I want to be supportive of my friend, but this is causing tension between my husband and me. He says she’s “too dramatic” and always has a problem. I’m not sure how to handle this one. Any advice?

GRAY: Ah, the friend who telephoned wolf. Who isn’t familiar with this story? I’d suggest starting by looking at their problems and considering whether they are or are not problems.

Though suffering is a relative concept, is your friend is the type whose day is ruined from a broken nail or is she seeking refuge from an abusive husband? Sometimes people simply need someone to complain to, which isn’t the same as having a problem. If she does have a problem, ask yourself if it’s something you can do anything about. If you can help, work toward a solution and don’t languish in the issue.

If you can’t help your friend then ask yourself what role you’re playing. We all need someone who will be a good ear or shoulder from time to time, but some people are seemingly never satisfied with a single day of their life. If your friend is in this final category then you might be able to help them more by not listening to them whine and encouraging them to find meaningful pursuits.

Rather than endure hours of complaints, make time to do something that will give you both a happy memory to talk about instead. I’m sure your husband be happier with a “girls’ night out” instead of hearing the din of “wolf….wolf” all the time.

Even if the two of you weren’t doing anything important, your husband may be offended if he feels like you’re dropping him because your friend’s crying over the cake she just burnt. I don’t recommend airing dirty laundry, but if your friend is dealing with serious issues then it might help your husband if he understood at least type of situation with which your friend is coping. Knowing he’s not being overlooked for a bad case of split ends will go a long way.

Finally, if your friend has problems that look more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing don’t be afraid to direct them to people who can make a difference. Friends sometimes feel like they can carry the weight of their friends’ problems even if they’re in way over their head. Whether it’s financial, psychological or situational, professionals are out there and able to assist. You can sometimes be a better friend by letting someone else help in ways you are unable.

generichead-1MICHAEL: The answer isn’t to not answer the phone. But you should set limits on how long you talk. Your friend is being rude an inconsiderate to monopolize your time. You can be supportive of your friend without disrupting your home life. Being supportive doesn’t mean listening to someone ramble for an hour about their problems.

If this happens on a regular basis you really have to let your friend know when you answer the phone that you can only talk for a few minutes.

You might also set up a certain time of week that you two talk so you can have a longer conversation.

You can take the call in another room so as not to make your husband listen in. Then when the call is over snuggle up with your husband and don’t complain about anything your friend has said ;)

MAVERICK: Since you say he just started, I have to assume he’s been pretty patient with the friend who calls for free psychiatric advice (Even Lucy charged 5 cents) and your need to be super-supportive for long, long, long blocks of time.

An hour is a long time, likely it’s even more because you likely lose track of time while she vents and you play shrink. Unless he’s a control freak your husband is simply trying to tell you he resents the time you spend with your friend at the expense of spending time together. For men, sitting and watching TV in the same room or pretty much doing anything is togetherness. You, in the other room playing Dr. Phil for hours on end, is not.

Let’s try some role reversal. You’d likely be pretty bugged if one of your husband’s buddies randomly came over in the evening, with great regularity, and your hubby got up to talk with him for over an hour while they tossed back some beers.

But wait you say, your situation is totally different …  Are you sure it is?

If your friend needs the help and you want to spend the time and think it’s important to let her talk and for you to listen the solution is simple: quit doing it on your husband’s time.

When your friend calls, unless she sounds like she’s about to jump off a bridge, tell her to call you back, say at lunch, or anytime it doesn’t interfere with your family life. If that bugs her, well tough. You can spend the next hour-long yack session discussing how, besides being dramatic and needy, she’s also way too selfish.

Fashion Mama: 4 fashion finds that should be in your closet

Maude, Fashion Fairy Godmother, resized

Dear Fashion Fairy Godmother,

What are three or four fashion finds I should definitely have in my closet right now? I like to have mostly timeless pieces with a few trendy items thrown in for fun.

fairy-godmotherDear Mama:

We (at Maude Boutique) think must-have items for every woman right now are a cotton maxi skirt, a neutral heel, a statement necklace, and a gorgeous maxi dress.

The Cotton Maxi Skirt: It’s perfect for a woman on the go who wants to be comfortable but still look cute. Tuck in your favorite tank or tee, throw on a flat sandal and you are ready to go! If you don’t love showing your arms, toss on a leopard cardie or an unbuttoned denim shirt. This is a great skirt, too, if you need to dress up but are wanting some comfort. To dress it up, pair it with a dressier tee or silk tank, a pretty statement necklace and a pair of wedges.

The Neutral Shoe: We loved Seychelles shoes, and our store is stocked with them. Not only are they fun, but they are as comfortable as a heel is going to get! Our staff has closets stocked with Seychelles from many seasons past, too. They last forever. We love the cognac heel (above) for a few reasons.

Pair it with your favorite jeans for a casual look, pair it with a flirty dress for a date, and pair it with your favorite pants or skirt for work. Better yet, we think it will look awesome in the winter with a pair of tights. This shoe is the epitome of versatile and will pair well with any color.

The Gorgeous Maxi: This is a must-have for every woman’s closet. Why? A well-made maxi helps you to feel confident no matter what kind of day you are having. When you are stuck in a rut for what to wear to an event, a dinner party, or a wedding — this is your go-to.

Maxis are great for all women regardless of height or body shape. Shorter women may have to get them hemmed, but they do lengthen the body, especially. Women with fuller figures should look for a maxi that cinches under the chest or can be worn with a belt around the waist.

The Statement Necklace: A statement necklace is an affordable way to spice up your wardrobe. They add interest to tees, button-ups, the LBD, you name it. Gold, silver or colored — they are a fun piece to play with.

Photos:

(All items available at shopmaude.com)

Lenore Open Arm Maxi by Line + Dot, $99

Face the Music Leather Heel by Seychelles, $95

Jewel Statement Necklace, $12

The Fold Over Maxi Skirt, $29

Jena at MaudeThanks to Jena, our Fashion Fairy Godmother this month! Jena is the gorgeous and ever-fashionable marketing manager at Maude Boutique. When she’s not uploading new arrivals to Facebook or blogging about fashion on Maude’s blog, she’s busy blogging with her gal pal Annye about navigating your 20s on their blog, Smith & Emma.

Giveaway: Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild show at Walton Arts Center!

Jack Hanna

America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack Hanna, is coming to Walton Arts Center for one night only — and we’ve got 2 tickets to give away!

The show is Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. and would make a great mom/kid “date night”.

us-pizzaWe’ll notify the winning mama on Monday, April 29, so be checking your inbox!

We’re pairing the two show tickets with a gift card to our favorite pizza place on Dickson Street — U.S. Pizza. It’s a crowd-pleaser with every member of the family, and past Motherlode giveaway winners always have rave reviews after having a meal there. Click HERE to see their menu.

ABOUT THE SHOW: Jack Hanna has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, CNN’s Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Fox News programs, and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Jungle Jack took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating two of his own nationally syndicated television programs Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures and most recently Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild. Into the Wild is unscripted and action-packed as Jack and his family explore the corners of the globe and discover amazing animals and cultures. In its first season, Into the Wild won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series.

Jungle Jack’s live show features many of his favorite animal friends, as well as fascinating and humorous stories and footage from his adventures around the world. Audiences give Jack rave reviews – everyone from the youngest child to the oldest adult is entertained and inspired.

Jack Hanna with cheetah

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win these two Jack Hanna show tickets, just click on the words “post a comment” below and tell us which “wild” animal your kid most resembles. Does your son love to laugh so much you’d call him a little hyena? Or maybe your daughter growls like a grumpy bear when you wake her up in the mornings (or is that just me?).

You can also email your answer to us at giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com. All giveaways winners are always chosen at random so anyone can win.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: To increase your odds of winning the show tickets, email your friends and family to let them  know about this giveaway. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

imagesBE SOCIAL: 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 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.

If you don’t to leave it up to the random number generator to make you the lucky winner, go ahead and get those tickets! Call the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600 or click here to see more about the show and buy them online. Good luck, mamas!

Great NWA Blogs: Sites We’re Surfing

Button 2013Our “Sites We’re Surfing” blogroll got so large, we decided to break it up by category.

The categories may not fit each blog perfectly (because they might cover various topics), but we tried to pick the best description for each. Our blogroll will live here now and we won’t have one running down the side of the page.

These are great Northwest Arkansas blogs (and a few from other areas) that we know you’ll love reading. If we missed your blog or website, let us know and we’ll add it!

We’d also love for us to add nwaMotherlode.com to your blogroll or place our new button on your site (There she is on the right. Isn’t she cute?). CLICK HERE to get the code.

So here’s our blogroll, broken up into more easily digestible bite-size pieces (just click on the name of the blog to go visit!):

Food Blogs

All Recipes

Enticing Healthy Eating

Fayetteville Farmers’ Market

Little Magpie

nwaFoodie

Our Everyday Dinners

Picky Tots

Recipe Doodle

Roses Before Violets

Family Blogs

365 Days with the Villars

Bramell, Party of Five

Coffeehouse Mom

Dancing in the Minefields

Family Bees

Granny Mountain

Instead of the Dishes

Jenna Blogs

Kelly’s Korner

The Browns

Kyler and Kady

Linda and the Boys

Magnificent Mayhem

Mommys Confidential

Mother’s Love

Musings of Motherhood

Ramblings of a Little Wife

Robinson Family Blog

Sweet Pea Emily

The Brewster Kids

The Chronicles of Wendy

The Hopkins Household

The Park Wife

The Shertzer Kids

The Sparacino Chronicles

The Stein Five

Fashion Blogs

A Blonde Ambition

Ashes of Laughter

Techie Moms

Evolved Mommy

The Techie Mommy

Crafty Moms

Bibs & Cribs

Ginger Snap Crafts

Idyll Hands

Junque Rethunque

mumsitmom.com

Our Daily Craft

Hilarious Moms

Lela Davidson

Minivan Momma

NWA Gossip Girl

The Brokins

To make you think

A Growing Season

Approaching Joy

Jacqueline Wolven

The Busy Nothings

Mom Resource Blogs

Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism

Arkansas Women Bloggers

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Experience Fayetteville

Flylady

Hope Cancer Resources

Mosaic of Moms

National Association of Mothers’ Centers

Recalls.gov

Saving Grace NWA

Like we said, if you know of a great blog that we should be sharing — or if you’d like us to include yours in the list — just zip us an email! mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com

Spring arrivals at Fleet Feet Sports

fleet feet collage

We love it when clothes can multitask as much as the busy women who wear them. These new Prana separates — which arrived recently at Fleet Feet Sports in Fayetteville  – can be worn at the pool, beach AND the gym. They double as swimwear and fitness gear. And we definitely approve of the cuteness factor and the ability to mix and match, as evidenced by the pics above.

If the Prana brand is new to you, it’s a high-quality line that really holds up even after lots of trip through the laundry room. (The pieces featured here cost between $49 and $70.) Their yoga pants and running clothes are awesome, too.

Speaking of awesome, I picked up a really cute JUNK headband at last year’s Northwest Arkansas Boutique Show and I was happy to find out that the company is based right here in Northwest Arkansas. I bought the wide headband and it really does stay in place, even with thick hair. The print is so cute that I even got a compliment on it from a teenage girl — and we all know how hard it is to impress one of them. :-)  The print shown below is called “Fire.” Love the colors. You can now buy JUNK headbands at Fleet Feet (which is also a nwaMotherlode sponsor).

junk headbands collage

The clothes and accessories are great, but it goes without saying that the shoe-buying experience at Fleet Feet is truly unique. If it’s been a while since a salesperson really tried to help you find exactly what you need and want, then you need to go check them out. Their staff is top-notch and never pushy. Happy shopping!

Mealtime Mama: Oatmeal cookies made by mom

mealtimemama-ONF

When my siblings and I go “home” to my parents’ house, we inevitably finish dinner and say we’re craving something sweet.

We often ask our mother to make oatmeal cookies, maybe because she always has the ingredients on hand. Or maybe because, when I bite into one, I seriously feel about 8 years old again. Especially when I eat them warm right out of the oven.

I’ve really been craving those cookies lately, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to ask for on Mother’s Day. I’ll have to bring her flowers to plant in her garden. Sweets for me, flowers for her, just like we like it.

Shannon’s Mom’s Oatmeal Cookies

quick oats1 stick butter

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Directions: Beat together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour, soda and salt. Mix well. Add oatmeal and mix. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet. Serve warm and start a new family tradition!

ozark-natural-foodsOzark Natural Foods is a locally owned consumer cooperative dedicated to participatory democracy. Its mission is to provide owners and the Northwest Arkansas community with natural and organic products that encourage healthful living and a sustainable planet. Click here to become an owner, which has all kinds of special benefits!

Top 5 Mom Prom Special Features

Facebook Mom Prom

Only 12 days to go until the Mom Prom! Do you have your ticket yet? If not, click HERE. Because you’re going to need that ticket to enjoy all the special things we’ve got planned for this EPIC girls’ night out.

1. Picture This

mom prom picsWe’re going to need lots of photographic evidence of just how epic this party really is. So we asked our friend Lisa Mac of Lisa Mac Photography to handle all the photography for the Mom Prom. Lisa is not only a fellow mama of 3, she also happens to be a crazy talented photographer with a thriving portrait business in Bentonville. She’ll be snapping pictures while you make your red carpet arrival, while you pose with Ryan Gosling and the other cute guys, and while you pose with friends in the photo booth. And no worries… these aren’t stuffy, overly serious pictures. You can grab a mustache on a stick or a feather boa and really ham it up in the photo booth with your friends.

The best part? ALL the pictures from Prom Night will be free for you to download a few days after the prom. We’ll put instructions on how to do that in the swag bag you’ll get at the end of the night.

2. Shoes glorious shoes

shoesWe love our sparkly high heels as much as the next girl. They are SO pretty. But we also know that those gorgeous heels can also make our feet hurt like crazy if we stand around or dance in them too long. That’s why we asked our friends at First Bank in Rogers to help us create a “Shoe Bank” just for the Mom Prom.

We’ll have cute white wooden cubbies set up at the Mom Prom, sponsored by First Bank, and when those awesome shoes start to make your feet tired, you can “deposit” them into the shoe bank, go dance with friends, and then “withdraw” them from the bank when you’re ready to slip back into them. Genius idea, right? Yes, we definitely think so, too. Our thanks to First Bank for helping us make it happen.

3. Celebrity Prom Dates

robert pattinsonAs you know, the Mom Prom is a women’s-only event. So leave your husbands or boyfriends at home to fold laundry or wrangle the kids into bed. But we do appreciate a good-looking guy, especially when we’re wearing our prom dresses. So we decided to invite a few celebrity “prom dates” to the Mom Prom so we can pose with them in pictures.

The only downside? These guys are two-dimensional life-size cardboard cut-outs, so they can’t exactly dance with us. But they CAN and WILL wait patiently all night while we dance, take photos, eat snacks, enjoy drinks and they will never once ask if we’re ready to go home early so they can watch ESPN. The celebrity prom dates include Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Adam Levine, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, Will Smith, George Clooney and David Beckham.

We plan to raffle off one of these hot prom dates at the end of the night. The winner gets to choose her favorite guy and take him home! Celebrity Prom Dates are sponsored by The Mustache Goods & Wears in Fayetteville and Bentonville.

4. The Posh Lounge

banquette seating roundOur plan for Prom Night is to play such good music that you will spend most of your time on the dance floor. But we know you’ll need a comfy place to sit while you catch your breath now and then. And you’ll need a place to snack on some some of the chocolate covered strawberries from Dojo’s Designs or one of the cute miniature cupcakes from Fancy Flours Cupcakery.

So we’re putting together an AWESOME lounge area, sponsored by Collective Bias, which will be a great spot to chill with your girlfriends and watch all the prom action. Of course, when you hear “Ice Ice Baby” come on, leave the lounge behind and join us on the dance floor for the Mom Prom Flash Mob. (Click here for more info on that.)

5.  The Prom Queen

crown2It wouldn’t truly be a prom without a Prom Queen, right? So we’ll be crowning the first NWA Mom Prom Queen before the end of the night. But no worries… we’re skipping all that teenage drama that comes along with the prom queen popularity contest.

Our prom queen will be chosen AT RANDOM among all ticket holders. So anyone who attends the prom can become the Prom Queen by the end of the night.

And the Queen will be treated like royalty and will receive an awesome Prom Queen package:

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