Giveaway: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Walton Arts Center

Beuaty and the beast, MotherlodeWe’re so happy the ‘tale as old as time’ is returning to Walton Arts Center.

We know from the last performance (in 2010) that this live production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is AMAZING. And we have FOUR opening night tickets to give away so you can experience the romance and enchantment, too! An added bonus: Dinner at Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese!

This smash hit Broadway musical is based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film. A classic musical love story, the show is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

If you don’t know the backstory, the show is about a young woman named Belle and a “Beast”, who is actually a prince trapped in a spell put on him by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the spell will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out, and if he doesn’t learn his lesson soon, he and his entire household will be doomed forever.

Here are the performance dates and times:

Friday, October 18 at 7 pm

Saturday, October 19 at 2 pm

Saturday, October 19 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 20 at 2 pm

Sunday, October 20 at 7:30 pm

ARTS + LITERACY: In the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, Belle teaches the Beast to read, highlighting the importance of literacy through the arts. In recognition of Belle’s commitment, Walton Arts Center and Ozark Literacy Council are partnering to promote “Arts + Literacy,” a campaign designed to raise money and awareness for literacy during National Information Literacy Awareness Month.For every ticket purchased to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast from October 1-14, Walton Arts Center will donate $1 toward Ozark Literacy Council. 

ABOUT THE FOOD: Hammontree’s is a cheese lover’s dream. Seriously, their grilled cheese sandwiches are downright addictive. They have names like Parmageddon, Bries Company, The Scarlet Cheddar and Cheebacca. They actually have 15 different grilled cheese options including build-your-own.

Hammontree’s also has gourmet hot dogs, soups, fabulous salads, classic melts — if you don’t like all that fancy stuff — and amazing desserts.

The atmosphere at Hammontree’s is really fun and they have outside seating. It’s on West Avenue, just around the corner from Dickson Street.


HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the hat for the 2 Beauty and the Beast show tickets + dinner at Hammontree’s, click on “post a comment” below and tell us which scene in the movie is your favorite. Do you love the library scene, the “Be Our Guest” musical number or perhaps the transformation from beast to prince?

red roseHOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: As always, we reward those mamas who help spread the word about giveaways. Send your friends an e-mail about this giveaway and we’ll give you an extra chance to win for every friend you tell. Just be sure to put on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

TO BUY TICKETS: If you don’t want to take a chance on not scoring tickets for this show, we encourage you to buy your tickets asap so you can get the best seats available. Call the box office at 479-443-5600 or click HERE to visit the website. Tell them you read about it here on nwaMotherlode!

Click the comment button below to get started. Good luck in the drawing. It’s random, as always, and we’ll choose a winner of Friday!

Freshair’s new Blowout Bar!

freshair blowout3There’s a new cure in town for bad hair days. Freshair Salon has opened a new “Blowout Bar!” Wildly popular in big cities, blowout bars offer a quick fix that takes your hair from ho-hum to amazing.

A blowout includes a wash, blow dry and finish by a professional stylist. And it doesn’t matter if your hair is curly, straight, long or thick, blowouts cost a flat fee of $30 at Freshair’s new Blowout Bar.

Some women get blowouts for special occasions, but they’re a treat any time you need your hair to look great  — big meeting, family photo, anniversary dinner, first date, fun girls’ night out, tailgate party, etc. Some women like to get a blowout service at the beginning of a busy weekend so that their hair will look good all weekend without lots of extra styling time.

If you’d like to know what tools and products you need to get a good blowout, click HERE to see the Blowout tutorial on the Freshair Facebook page. It lists tools and products used as well as step-by-step instructions for how the pro’s do blowouts.

To book an appointment at the Freshair Blowout Bar, call 479-251-1877 or swing by their location at 210 W. Sunbridge in Fayetteville to see the boutique nestled into the salon’s lobby. (It’s full of really cute, fun accessories, Razorback stuff, gift items and lots more.) Have a happy hair day!

freshair sign

Mamas on Magic 107.9: All about food!

Good Monday morning, mamas! Hope your week is off to a great start.

This week during the Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio chat, we’ll be talking about FOOD — a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts (and stomachs.)

We’ll talk about:

  • lunchbox tips
  • meal planning
  • picky eaters
  • after school snacks
  • favorite fall recipes

Listen to Magic 107.9 at 7:45 a.m. to hear the segments, or listen to them online by clicking the links below.

If you missed MONDAY’s segment, click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear it.

Click here to see “What’s in the box” segments at Roses Before Violets

All Recipes lunchbox ideas Eat Healthy Snacks

If you missed TUESDAY’s segment, click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear it.

If you missed WEDNESDAY’s segment, click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear it.

If you missed THURSDAY’s segment, click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear it.

If you missed FRIDAY’s segment, click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear it.

Click here for the Creamy Bowtie Pasta recipe

And here’s Gwen’s Mom’s Spiced Tea recipe we mentioned:

5 sticks cinnamon

1 large Minute Maid frozen orange juice with no pulp

1 frozen Minute Maid lemon juice concentrate (thawed)

2 teabags

1 46-ounce can pineapple juice

2 cups sugar

4 quarts water

Directions: Steep tea in a teapot. Heat 2 cups sugar in water along with the cinnamon sticks. Heat for about 30 minutes on low.

Remove cinnamon sticks and then pour sugar water mixture, tea, pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon juice in a 30-cup coffee maker (which I use only for this spiced punch. Just remove the coffee strainer part from the pot.) Heat until all ingredients are hot. Serve and enjoy.

Gwen’s Mom’s Spiced Tea

  • 5 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 large Minute Maid frozen orange juice with no pulp
  • 1 frozen Minute Maid lemon juice concentrate (thawed)
  • 2 teabags
  • 1 46-ounce can pineapple juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 quarts water

Steep tea in a teapot. Heat 2 cups sugar in water along with the cinnamon sticks. Heat for about 30 minutes on low.

Remove cinnamon sticks and then pour sugar water mixture, tea, pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon juice in a 30-cup coffee maker (which I use only for this spiced punch. Just remove the coffee strainer part from the pot.) Heat until all ingredients are hot. Serve and enjoy.

Devotion in Motion: Are you your brother’s keeper?

9 ¶ Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Genesis 4:9  (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I was walking past a television the other afternoon when I heard a talk-show host shout out a closing remark: “Remember! You, and only you, are responsible for your own life!”

I probably am over-thinking this thing, but I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what that’s supposed to mean. Does it mean I need to take responsibility for the things that fall under my jurisdiction? I agree with that. If I don’t pay my power bill, I deserve to get my lights shut off. That’s pretty obvious.

But I have a feeling that the host meant more than that. Unless I have it wrong, I think the idea is that if we don’t have the things and circumstances that we want in life, it’s because we haven’t been doing the right things and making the right decisions. Now, in my book, that’s only true to a certain extent.

Christians don’t always get to do what they want to do and they don’t always get to have things the way that they want them. The reasons are simple. First of all, God is sovereign and sends circumstances (sometimes pleasant and sometimes difficult) according to His holy and good will. And secondly, believers are not called to only think of themselves. We are called to do the will of our Heavenly Father, and to also be concerned with the burdens that others are carrying. In short, there are things in your life you’re responsible for. But, life isn’t all about you.

In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), Cain asks a question that echoes through all the ages: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Even though he didn’t want to hear it, the answer to that query is, “Yes, Cain, you ARE your brother’s keeper. And you are the ‘keeper’ of all the folks that you come in contact with in each and every day. This is the will of God, your Creator.”

So live to be a friend of God. And don’t forget to be your brother’s keeper.

We are all responsible TO our Lord.

We are all responsible FOR the well-being of those around us.

And we are all serving a God who keeps His servants in His constant care.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 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 until recently taught 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 got a note from Gwen’s momma that said she was glad to get the photographs.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).

The Rockwood Files: What to be when you grow up

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

There’s an ongoing conversation in our house about what we’re going to be when we grow up. Our three kids regularly revisit and revise their career plans – wondering aloud what the best or the coolest job might be.

We’ve told them many times that there’s no need to figure it out yet since they’re only in 6th, 4th and 1st grades. But I understand why they think about it as much as they do. They’re at the age when their life possibilities are as vast as their imaginations.

The boy’s collective career plans include things like historian, professor, investment banker, novelist, computer programmer, video game inventor and drummer. And our youngest, 6-year-old Kate, feels certain she can be a dancer, baton twirler, swim teacher, singer, doctor and veterinarian all at the same time.

As they get older, I won’t try to push them into one direction over the other. It’s important they figure it out for themselves. But I have to admit there’s a part of me that hopes one of the kids ends up being a computer whiz. Specifically, the kind of whiz who can fix what goes wrong.

As long as there are computers, there will also be computer problems. Today I’m having one of my own. Some strange, unintentional download has hijacked my Internet sick computerbrowsers and has slowed my computer operation to a speed comparable to an extra lethargic snail. Yesterday I spent nearly two hours searching online for cures. I found plenty of advice from people who had similar issues, and I tried each one of the recommended “fixes.” But none of them worked, and I was left banging my head against a cyber wall.

So I did what I always do in these situations. I sent an S.O.S. email to Don, a semi-retired computer whiz who has bailed us out of computer jams over the years. I imagine that Don might be fully retired by now were it not for the overwhelming demand for his expertise. In today’s digital age, you need a computer expert on speed dial as much as you need a good plumber. Because when things go wrong with either your toilet or your computer, things are bound to get messy and frustrating.

I threw open the door when Don arrived at my home office, so happy to see the computer cavalry ride up to save the day. I explained in detail about what I sensed were elaborate problems with my stricken laptop. Don nodded patiently and then went “clickety-click, click” on the keyboard, waited for a second or two and then said “Okay, that fixed it.”

Part of me rejoiced and the other part of me – the part who’d spent hours trying to fix those same problems – wanted to stomp around the room and wail, “How could it be that easy? Why didn’t it work for me when I tried to fix it?”

But I knew the answer already. I don’t speak “computer” the way Don does. He’s fluent in the language, and all I can say is “hola” and “gracias.” It’s no wonder the computer mocks my pathetic attempts to fix what goes wrong.

In the digital age, knowledge is power. And all the job skills in the world don’t count for much when your computer is down. So kids, please put “computer and software healer” on your list of possible careers because you’ll always be needed, appreciated and admired for what you do.

And to Don and the other IT geniuses who keep our society’s technological wonders in line, we all say “gracias.”

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.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography


October 2013 Calendar: Halloween (and other) events in Northwest Arkansas!

Halloween girlsFall Carnival at the Rodeo of the Ozarks

Pride of Texas will be bringing rides for all ages. Armbands will be available.

Date: Oct. 3-6

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Parsons Stadium, Springdale

More info: Click here

Benton County Sheriff’s Annual Haunted House

Free “Scare Free Zone” for the more timid. This is one of the best haunted houses in NWA! Do you dare to enter? $10 per person to support P.A.L.

Date: Oct. 4-31

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Frisco Station Mall, corner of Dixieland and Walnut

More info: Click here

Harvest Moon Festival Boutique Show

This is a family event. Come celebrate the Harvest 10 am-5 pm with a Vendor Boutique Show, Pumpkins|Gourds|Mums, Food, Kid Zone & Museum displays highlighting the history of Happy Hollow Farm. Exhibits from local farming and environmental groups, Entertainment and Demonstrations. Free Admission. Happy Hollow Elementary School.

Date: Oct. 5

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Happy Hollow Elementary, 2175 E. Peppervine Drive, Fayetteville

More info: Call 479-444-3085 or Click here

NWA Mercy Family YMCA Halloween Carnival/Thriller 5K (Carnival)

YMCA halloween eventHalloween Carnival/Thriller 5K on Thursday, October 10 from 4:30-7:30pm. A Carnival for kids that includes carnival booths with candy prizes, Mad Scientist Shows (4:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.), bouncy houses, a pumpkin patch, coloring contest, and a costume parade. Family activities include a silent auction, costume shop, Thriller 5K/Family Fun Walk (6:00pm), and Zombie Zumba. Food Available for Purchase, $2 Child Watch (Ages 2 and under). Free Admission ($1 Individual Activity Tickets for Sale). $15 Unlimited Activity Wristband (Per child, food purchase not included).

Date: Oct. 10

Time: 4:30-7:30 PM

Location: NWA Mercy Family YMCA

More info: Click here

Teen Fright Night at the Crystal Bridges Museum

Attention all high school students! Save the date for Fright at the Museum—a spooky, fun-filled evening at Crystal Bridges! Come dressed up in costume as your favorite artist, artwork, or any Halloween theme, and win prizes while enjoying the Twentieth-Century Art Gallery and fun activities including mask-making, a haunted hallway, live music, fortune-telling, horror film, and a community art project! Hope to see you there!  Free admission. Fright Night at the Museum is organized by Crystal Bridges’ Teen Council.

Date: Oct. 19

Time: 7-10 p.m.

Location: Eleven restaurant

More info: Click here

Zombie Walk

A great family event and alternative to Trick or Treating! Dress in your best Zombie or Zombie Hunter costume and come join the fun! This year’s event will be held at Arvest Ballpark. Information will be announced, closer to the event. Please follow the Rogers Public Library Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. All proceeds will go towards new programs and services at the Rogers Public Library. For ticket information, please call our office at 479-621-1152 x 34 or email

Date: Oct. 25

Time: 5-9 p.m.

Location: Arvest Ballpark

More info: Click here

Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

turpentine creekHalloween can be a hair-raising experience, especially when you throw over 100 big cats into the mix. TCWR’s annual Halloween party is the only time you can view our cats in the dark of night. The main compound is open for the whole family to experience the night habits of our lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats, and more. Games, food, and a children’s costume contest are all part of the one of a kind experience, and provides fun for all ages. The Spooktacular is the Saturday night before Halloween (Oct. 26th) from 7-9 PM.

Date: Oct. 26


Location: Turpentine Creek, Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Mall-O-Ween, NWA Mall 

Trick or treating at mall stores and annual costume contest at Center Court. Free Halloween goody bag for children while supplies last. Contest will be for ages 0-12, with cash prizes awarded for creativity and originality to the top 3 in each age group. 

Ages 0-2 at 6:00pm

Ages 3-4 at 6:20pm

Ages 5-6 at 6:40pm

Ages 7-9 at 7:00pm

Ages 10-12 at 7:15pm

Date: Oct. 31

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Location: NWA Mall

12th annual Trick-or-Treat on the Square, Fayetteville

Square merchants will pass out candy from their doorsteps and Dog Party USA will host a costume contest for pets.

Date: Oct. 31

Time: 3-5 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

Goblin Parade, Rogers

large-pumpkinThe annual Goblin Parade provides a safe, fun chance for children to trick o’ treat with our downtown businesses. A parade of ghosts, princesses, chefs, firefighters, cowboys, etc. parade through downtown and are greeted by our many downtown shop owners. It’s safe fun for the whole family! And did we mention there’s candy? The Goblin Parade runs from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Oct. 31 (Halloween … when else?). We line up in Frisco Park, at the corner of Poplar and First Streets.

Date: Oct. 31

Time: 3:30

Location: Downtown Rogers

More info: Click here

Downtown Trick or Treat, Siloam Springs

On October 31st, bring the family downtown to the best place for trick-or-treating! Downtown merchants welcome the community with candy, treats, and prizes from 3:30-5:30pm. We welcome crowds of three to four thousand or more to this annual event!

Date: Oct. 31

Time: 3:30-5:30 PM

Location: Downtown Siloam Springs

More info: Click here

Non-Halloween related events:

Bricks 4 Kidz has a variety of events coming up in October. This new business introduces kids to principles of science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities. Kids learn while simply playing and being creative. The classes are lab-focused and the theme-based classes are designed by engineers and architects. They have a variety of classes and even birthday parties. Here are some specific upcoming events:

  • Halloween Fun Night: Oct. 25 6-9 p.m.
  • Field day for our Home School Kidz: Oct. 9 and 23rd.
  • MineCraft Class: Oct. 19, 20 and 26th from 3-6 p.m.

More info: Click here

First Thursday Fayetteville

Fayetteville’s Downtown Square transforms into a hub of live music, artists, performers and children’s activities for one evening each month. There will be an outdoor walk and charity beer garden for visitors to enjoy. It’s family-friendly fun and free to the public!

Date: Oct. 3

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

Bentonville First Friday, Oktoberfest

One of our most popular First Fridays, this event includes traditional music and foods inspired by the Bavarian-based Oktoberfest. Included in the event is the PepsiCo Mug Root Biergarten, the brat-eating contest and the Community Chicken Dance.

Date: Oct. 4

Time: Lunch/5 p.m.

Location: Bentonville Square

More info: Click Here

Bentonville First Friday Flicks

Watch the movie Hotel Transylvania

Date: Oct. 4

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Lawrence Plaza

More info: Click here

Havenwood Havenride: Cycle to End the Cycle

50, 25, 6 mile, and family friendly rides. All proceeds benefit programs and resources for single parents and their children at Havenwood.

Date: October 12

Location: Starting at Lewis & Clark in Rogers, 2530 Pinnacle Hills Parkway

More info: Click here

Pea Ridge Mule Jump

Date: Oct. 12

Time: 9 a.m.

Location: Pea Ridge High School

More info: Click here

War Eagle Mill Fall Craft Fair

Professional craftsmen and women offer original, handmade work such as country decorative items, folk art, watercolor and oil painting, pottery, stoneware, wreaths, potpourris, dried arrangements, quilts, miniatures, country clothing, wearable art, candles, homemade soaps, country furnishings, antique broken china jewelry, white oak baskets, bird houses and feeders, collectables and much more. These juried participants come from across the United States.

Date: Oct. 17-20

Time: Varies

Location: War Eagle Mill, 11045 War Eagle Road, Rogers

More info: Click here

Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival

Since 1969, the Bella Vista Arts and Crafts festival has been steadily growing in size and reputation. The Festival is sponsored by the Village Art Club – a nonprofit organization that uses the profits from this endeavor to sponsor arts scholarships and the local arts club. The show offers: free admission, free parking, and shuttles to transport visitors from parking area to Festival. Special vendor parking and RV space with dry camping for vendors. There is a wide variety of food to appease any appetite for any meal.

Date: Oct. 17-19

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: 1991 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista Close to intersection of Hwy 279 & Hwy 340

More info: Click here

Okotoberfest, Rogers

A whole day of food, music and fun for the family. Enjoy the sounds of the Oom-pah-pah bands and Hammerschlagen, the scents of bratwurst and pretzels.

Date: Oct. 19

Location: Frisco Park, 200 S. First Street

More info: Click here

Beauty and the Beast

Date: Oct. 18


Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

The Wonder Bread Years

Date: Oct. 24


Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Healthy Mama: What you NEED to know about the flu shot

healthy mamaBy Dr. Matthew Steed, Mercy family practice doctor and obstetrician (and father of two)

Q: I’m pregnant and don’t want to risk getting the flu shot. Do I have to get it?

A: Yes and here’s why. Pregnant women with influenza are more likely to develop severe illness and die than the general population. Recent pandemics (including 2009-2010) proved deadly for pregnant women. In the United States, pregnant women accounted for 5 percent of all deaths, even though they were only 1 percent of the population. It is believed changes in cardiovascular, pulmonary and immune systems that are routine during pregnancy might limit the body’s immune response making it more difficult to fight the flu. If the mother is sick enough to die, what happens to the baby? Keep reading.

Q: My mother told me the flu vaccine is not safe during pregnancy because it is a “live virus.” Is it safe for me and my baby? Which vaccine should I ask for?

flu photo

Dr. Steed’s two kids, Glyn and Araceli, are all set to get their flu shots. When are you getting yours?

A:The flu vaccine comes in both a “live” vaccine and an inactivated vaccine. It’s recommended that pregnant women receive the inactivated influenza vaccine and that the vaccine be given regardless of the trimester. Pregnant women should not receive live, attenuated vaccine (nasal spray). The inactivated influenza vaccine provides protection to not only mother but also to the infant for up to six months after birth. Infants have an increased risk for severe influenza illness and are not eligible for vaccination until 6 months. That’s why it’s so important for mothers to get the flu vaccine and reduce their baby’s risk of flu.

Q: Should I wait until the second trimester and what if I want to breastfeed?

A: No, you should get the Influenza vaccine today. It’s considered safe in the first trimester and while breast feeding. Recent analysis have suggested those in their third trimester and within four weeks postpartum are at increased risk of serious infection, so waiting until your third trimester is not a good idea. A breastfeeding mother can get the vaccine and a vaccinated mother passes immunity to the baby in her breast milk. This is very important since the baby cannot get the vaccine until 6 months old.

Q: What symptoms should I be aware of? How do I know if I have the flu?

A: The symptoms among pregnant women are similar to the non-pregnant population: fever, cough, rhinorrhea (runny nose), sore throat, headache, shortness of breath and myalgia (muscle pain). Current rapid diagnosis of influenza is possible with a “flu swab” but the test is not perfect and not reliable enough to rule out influenza virus infection. Current recommendations are that influenza should be treated based on a clinical diagnosis in the pregnant patient.

Q:  What should I do if I was exposed to the flu or I think that I may have flu-like symptoms?

Antiviral prophylaxis is available and the decision to receive these medications must be made by a doctor, who will consider whether or not the exposure was significant. He or she will also factor in the risk to the mother and baby if they were to get a flu infection. If a pregnant women has been exposed to the flu or is having flu-like symptoms, she should call her doctor, the health department or the ER to discuss possible treatment.

Q: Why is getting the flu vaccine so important?

So what happens to the babies of mothers that are sick enough to die from the flu? During the H1N1 influenza season, a preterm mother with flu came to the hospital. It was not her first pregnancy. She was delivered by emergency c-section. After delivery she remained in critical condition and later was transferred to one of Arkansas’ best medical systems. The baby was transferred soon after delivery.

The mother lived for only a few more weeks after giving birth. The baby survived but suffered moderate permanent brain damage. The rest of her family and everyone else involved in her care are forever changed. Please get your Influenza shot today!

Dr. Steed’s number one passion is to care for the pregnancy and birthing needs of women. You may call him at the Mercy clinic at 479-338-5555 to begin your prenatal care and let him help you enjoy your pregnancy journey. His office is located in the Mercy Physician’s Plaza just off Interstate 540 in Rogers. 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.

5 Minutes with a Mom: Eileen Jennings


Name: Eileen Jennings

Daughter’s name and age: Scout Pepper, 4

Where are you from and what brought you to NWA? Grew up in St. Paul, Madison county. Moved away a few times (Berkeley, Kansas City, France), but came back in 2004 so my husband could join his father’s architecture firm.

If you went back to college what would you study? Medicine or engineering.

Tell us about your work: I’m a Commercial Banker for Arvest. I work with many businesses and help them be more successful by listening and getting to know their operations and goals and then provide solutions that get them back to doing what they do best; running their business.

When did you start blogging and why? December 2012 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I needed a place to park some thoughts and figured I could make some people chuckle…who doesn’t love a good boob story?

Can you tell us about your breast cancer journey? I was in a very high risk category due to family history and had routine screenings (MRIs and mammograms). I was diagnosed with an early stage cancer in one breast and then tested positive for the BRCA II gene.

Due to my high risk and early diagnosis, I opted for a more aggressive course of action and had a double mastectomy with reconstruction in the spring. This summer I had a bilateral salpingoopherectomy and hysterectomy to further reduce my chances of reoccurrence. I’m glad I chose the course I did since my pathology reports showed cancer in both breasts and a more aggressive mass on the original side that had not been detected on the tests.

Thankfully everything has comeback good and I haven’t need further treatment.

What local resources would you recommend for women going through breast cancer? I had tremendous care and support from the NWA Breast Center in Fayetteville (RN Morgan Ludwick is amazing!). The Cancer Support home also provided support and many options. I have since signed up to be a volunteer for Reach to Recovery through the American Cancer Society and their hotline is a great resource for any questions or problems.

What’s something your friends might not know about you? Ha! They know everything. I’m an open book.

Which actress would you want to play you if there was a movie made about your life? Probably Uma Thurman or Cate Blanchett. As a teenager people told me I looked like Kimmie Gibbler from Full House…I’m not sure that actress is around anymore.

If you had a whole day to yourself, what would you do? Wake up early (4), listen to NPR, organize my sewing room and do a little sewing, eat a big breakfast, crawl back into bed and watch British period romances for the rest of the day.

What are some of your favorite things to do with Scout in NWA? Farmer’s market, the library. Scout volunteers with me and my husband a lot, so attends lots of events with Junior League and Washington County Search and Rescue. We spend a lot of time at our farm.

What is the most unexpected thing about motherhood? How important it is to maintain a strong sense of self so I can be a better parent. It’s not all about the child, it’s about the family. Scout is going to need me to be a strong parent throughout her life and I can’t do that if I’m not happy with myself and doing things that lead to personal growth.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Out west, in the mountains, down a long, back road.

How do you relax at the end of the day? Grab a glass of wine and walk around our trail at the farm with the family and dogs.

One word to sum me up … Ready.

Below is a video of Eileen reading an essay about her double mastectomy at the Listen to Your Mother Show earlier this year. It’s called “Check out the size of her intangibles”:

Doc Talk: Preventing Type 2 diabetes


We hear so much in the news about the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and how many health complications it can trigger. So today’s Doc Talk is devoted to how we can prevent this health issue in our lives and in the lives of our kids or husband.

Click the video “play” button below to see nurse practitioner Megan Morgan talk about what causes Type 2 diabetes and the specific things we can do to lower the risk of developing it.

To schedule an appointment with Megan Morgan, A.P.N., call the Mercy Family Clinic at 479-338-5555. It’s located on Rife Medical Lane in Rogers, just off Interstate 540.

Doc Talk is a bi-monthly feature made possible by the doctors and nurses of Mercy Health, who are generous with their time and provide video answers to questions submitted by local mothers. 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.

Baby’s name honors corpsman who saved father’s life

Mercy baby, resized

All the babies born at Mercy Hospital are special, but the birth of Kellen Jason Kennedy caused an extra special flurry of excitement.

Baby Kellen was an honor to his family, of course, but he also honored the navy corpsman medic whom he was named after. Just two years prior Kellen’s father, Marine Sergeant Marshall Kennedy suffered a great tragedy when he lost both of his legs and suffered severe damage to his left arm after stepping on an IED in the Iraq War.

In 2011 Sergeant Kennedy was on his fourth deployment since joining the Marine’s at the age of 17, this time his destination—Sangin, Afghanistan. Five months later he was hospitalized after a near fatal accident involving a mine field.

Kennedy recalls the details of the accident. “It was June 13, a Monday,” he said.

Kennedy, a squad leader, was told by his lieutenant that a few locals knew where a cache of mines were located. Kennedy separated his squad of 11 into two groups to look for the cache. While one group was checking out the claim, his group decided to check the compound next to it. “I was 6’5”. I took a knee and was leaning up against a wall and my foot hit a pressure plate and I was blown up,” Kennedy said.

When Kennedy regained coherence, he was helped by the navy corpsman medic, Jason Martinez.  Jason helped save his life. “He was lucky to have Jason,” said Chelsea, Marshall’s wife. She was happy to have a son because it was a way to honor the man who helped bring her husband back home to her.  

Procter & Gamble partnered with Mercy Hospital to donate a year’s worth of diapers to the Kennedys. “Pampers believes every baby is a little miracle,”  said David Mullaly, Brand Manager, Baby Care P&G Walmart Global Customer Team. “We were very touched by the Kennedy’s story and felt this was the least we could do to give a little back to a family that has done so much to support all of us. We wish the Kennedy family the best, and congratulate them on the birth of little Kellen.”

mercy baby name, resized

Mercy’s staff truly appreciates the service of men like Marshall Kennedy and is happy to be able to contribute to his new son’s well being.

“I feel blessed to care for newborns in general, but taking care of a family who has sacrificed for all of our personal families, community and country is humbling,” said Laura Burns, the nurse who cared for the Kennedy family. 

Jumpzone’s back-to-school special discount

jumpzone frogIf you’re looking to book a birthday party (or maybe a fun Halloween party), you may want to take advantage of the back-to-school special going on at Jumpzone right now.

The special is a $40 discount off a regular package (excluding the 5-kid package and last-minute booking specials).

The $40 discount can be used to book a party this year OR next year, but the booking must be done by THIS WEEK. It expires on September 30, 2013 so “jump” on this deal while you can. :-)

If you need more info on party options at Jumpzone, call them at 479-202-4476 or click HERE to go to their website.

Good Gossip: Closet cat, best-dressed award and “under butt”?

good gossip celebrities

Love a little gossip but hate to do something you teach your kids not to do? Yep, we get it. That’s why we only spread around the “Good Gossip,” — celebrity news minus any mean stuff. So have as much as you want because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

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.
taylor swift cat photo

Taylor Swift recently tweeted a cute pic of her cat, Meredith, posing amidst a row of high heels in Taylor’s closet. We think this cat has awesome taste in shoes.

will and kate date nightNew parents Will and Kate finally got a date night. On September 12th, the couple attended a charity event in London. Onlookers said they didn’t even appear to be checking their mobile phones too much, which may be because they know the new nanny so well. The nanny is 71-year-old Jessie Webb, who was also nanny to Prince William. A formal royal chef at the palace said that Jessie really is like Mary Poppins and loved to play with the boys as they were growing up. “I would take food up to the nursery, and it wouldn’t be unusual to see Jess having a gunfight with William and Harry hiding behind the sofa. …There was always so much fun and laughter.” Jessie has never been married and is considered a very traditional nanny.

kerry washingtonThe recent edition of People magazine names Kerry Washington as “The Best Dressed Woman in the World.” We think it’s worth noting that this honor went to a celebrity who is NOT known for baring it all and avoids skintight clothes. “It just doesn’t really fit my personality. I’m not overexposed in my life, and I tend to not be overexposed on the red carpet. …It’s not dressing like a nun, and it’s also not dressing like I’m in a swimsuit competition. It’s finding the middle ground.” (Here’s wishing more celebrity women would find the middle ground as well as Kerry Washington does!)

emma stoneSome of the other People magazine fashion awards went to the following women: Jennifer Lawrence was noted for the “Best High Fashion Style.” Jessica Chastain was honored for the “Best Red Carpet Style.” Jenna Dewan-Tatum, wife of Channing Tatum and new mom, was given the award for “Best Pregnancy Style.” For “Best Classic Style,” the honoree is Emma Stone. And Nicole Richie was recognized for having the “Best Trendsetting Style.” For all the fashion awards, check out the September 30th issue of People magazine.

under buttKudos to People magazine for calling out some of the “worst trends” in fashion this year. The worst fashion offenses include: knee-high gladiator sandals; bralettes (bras as shirts); drop-crotch pants; exposed side-butt in dresses; and “under butt” (which is when a butt cheek falls out of way-too-short shorts.)

miss america 2013The newly crowned Miss America Nina Davuluri is the first Indian-American to win the title. In a recent interview, Nina said she once struggled with bulimia as a college student after gaining weight on junk food. Embarassed to go to the gym, she started losing weight by using Jillian Michaels DVDs and then later did cario classes and hired a personal trainer, who taught her about strength training. She has lost 53 pounds since college and has kept off the weight for more than a year.

Source: People magazine, September 30, 2013 edition

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.)

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Kids and sports

sports balls2Are you in the car or near a computer or smartphone around 7:45 a.m. weekday mornings? If so, we’d love it if you’d join us for our weekday radio chat on Magic 107.9 during morning drive time. It’s called “Mamas on Magic,” and this week we’re talking about kids and sports, since so many of us are busy driving kids to practices and attending games right now.

If you miss a radio segment, you can listen to it online.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear Monday’s segment.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear Tuesday’s segment.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear Wednesday’s segment.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear Thursday’s segment.

Click the LEFT side of the audio bar below to hear Friday’s segment.

Helpful links:

Stop Sports (Click here to get tips on preventing injuries for a wide range of sports.)

Mealtime Mama: Easy Chicken Soup


I ran across the recipe for “Paige’s Chicken Soup” over the weekend. I hadn’t seen it in several years, but when I pulled out a cookbook the  yellow, lined paper with the handwritten recipe fluttered to the kitchen floor.

It’s starting to feel like soup weather, so enjoy!

Paige’s Chicken Soup (Double Order)

veg-all2 cans Cream of Potato Soup

2 or 3 cans of Veg-All

4-6 ounces of Velveeta

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 1/2 cups of whipping cream

3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup onion (optional)

Directions: Add ingredients together and simmer in a large pot (or slow cooker) until Velveeta is melted and soup is heated throughout. Make sure it doesn’t burn!

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! New on the ONF website: The Fresh Flyer features products in the ONF Fresh departments weekly. These products are on sale or are seasonal. Click here to see the latest.


Devotion in Motion: 3 reasons NOT to be anonymous

2 “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

3 “Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Luke 12:2-3 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

My late father wasn’t a big talker. But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, he would share a piece of advice from his vast experience of living life in the real world. Today I want to share a nugget of truth he shared with me when I was a teenager. It has has served me well in my adult life: “Never send an unsigned letter.”

Have you ever been tempted to send an unsigned letter to someone or post an anonymous comment online? It has probably crossed your mind. It seems like a convenient way to get your opinion out there or try to change a situation that’s bothering you — without having to reveal your identity. Anonymity offers power and authority without the pesky downside of accountability. What’s not to love?

But there are at least three different ways an anonymous note can go wrong.

Reason 1: There’s a strong chance your anonymous note will be attributed or blamed on someone else who had nothing to do with it. I actually saw that happen back when I was a Bible college student. A minister was fired from his position because he was blamed for sending an unsigned letter. The tragic thing is that the letter anonymouswas written and mailed by someone else, and the minister knew nothing about it. The person who actually sent that letter now has to live with the consequences of what it did to the minister’s career.

Reason 2: Sending an anonymous message will tempt you to lie. Someone is bound to ask if you know anything about the unsigned letter. Then you have a dilemma. Either you have to own up to writing the anonymous letter, or you have to lie and say you know nothing about it. Remember what Revelation 21:8 says about liars:”But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (I don’t know about you, but a fiery lake kind of makes me want to tell the truth and avoid it.)

Reason 3: Sending an unsigned letter is cowardly. I’ve received anonymous notes before, but fortunately that was many years ago. In every case when I’ve received one, I’ve felt like I’ve been shot at by a sniper — a shooter who wants to inflict harm without being seen.

Don’t be a chicken. If you believe something enough to write it and send it, be bold enough to sign your name. If you aren’t willing to sign your name to it, you probably don’t need to be saying it.

In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), Jesus says that everything we speak in the dark will be one day be “proclaimed on the housetops.” Truth that is openly spoken will be the “standard operating procedure”of eternity.

But let’s not wait until then. Let’s begin to openly speak and live the truth today.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 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 until recently taught Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Good News is proclaimed freely and openly.) Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).