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Back to School Picture Parade!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Friday, August 22, 2014

We have been LOVING all the back-to-school photos you’ve shared with us this week. Thank you so much for allowing us to show off these beautiful faces here on Enjoy!




Funny Friday: Have you seen this one yet?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Friday, August 22, 2014

Okay, so most of us know what it’s like to have a crying baby in the backseat. And we also know that you’ll do almost anything to get that baby to calm down so you can drive the car without your head exploding from all that crying and whining, right?

Well, one mom discovered that a certain Katy Perry song (Dark Horse) worked like magic on her fussy daughter. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you’re going to be amazed. (And by the way, this baby girl is SO freaking CUTE!) Do your kids ever have instant reactions to songs on the radio? If so, leave us a comment below.

Happy Friday, mamas!

Life with Ladybug: Are you up for The Kissing Challenge?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014

the kissing challenge

By Shannon Magsam

A blogger over at the MOPS website issued a Be Brave 2014 Kissing Challenge yesterday, noting that some married couples who may have kissed passionately while dating – or when they first got married – have let those lip-smacking sessions go by the wayside.

I kiss my husband quite a bit, but lately we’ve been passing like ships (lips?) in the night. A peck on the way out the door, a kiss on the back of my neck when I’m at my computer, a brush of the cheek when one of us goes to bed first (I’m still having trouble adjusting my sleep schedule from summer mode to back-to-school mode). But we haven’t shared any real lip-lockers lately, to tell you the truth.

So I’m gonna do it. I’m taking the challenge. Who’s with me?

Here’s a paragraph from the post about The Kissing Challenge:

“The Be Brave 2014 Kissing Challenge is a commitment to kiss your husband passionately every day for a month. Yes, I said a month. Pecks don’t count. I’m talking about real kisses. The kind of kiss that leaves you breathless and makes onscreen kisses pale in comparison. It doesn’t have to be a make-out marathon, but it does have to be the kind of kiss that says, “Welcome home. I’m glad to see you, and just in case you’re wondering, I can’t get enough of you.”

I started the challenge yesterday. When my husband came home from work, I pulled him into our bedroom and laid one on him. His reaction was …. very positive.

After the kiss, he happily said, “That was a nice welcome home! I’ll take that every day.”

Mission accomplished.

I didn’t tell him about the challenge, although I don’t think secrecy is required. I want organic results plus I don’t want to feel like I “have” to kiss passionately every day (I’m rebellious like that).

If you’re joining me in this kissing challenge with your own honey, let’s meet back here in a month and discuss the results. I bet we’ll all see some changes (for the better) in our relationships.

If you need some convincing, here are some links to stories about why kissing it’s good for us (click to read):

Kissing as a way to fight the common cold?

And a way to burn calories?

People who kiss more often are more satisfied with their relationships.

Kiss more to live longer.

P.S. — If you don’t want to participate in the kissing challenge, what about a bear hug challenge with your kids? Give your kids an actual, full-on hug every day for a month.

Are you and your lips in? Let me know in comments or email me at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. 

shan, blue dress, circleShannon Magsam is mama to Ladybug (a salty/sweet tween girl who still likes things like superheroes and unicorns, thank goodness) is wife to newspaperman/entrepreneur John and is co-founder of

Abrakadoodle offers new art classes, including Pint-Sized Picassos

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Since Joy Davis and her mom, Cora, started Abrakadoodle in Northwest Arkansas, they’ve been spreading the joy of art all around the region.

They’ve helped kids create at First Thursday in Fayetteville, at First Friday in Bentonville, at summer camps at Fast Lane Entertainment and other local businesses/non-profits. Now that school is back in session, it’s time for a new format.

Abrakadoodle classes are great for schools, after-school kids, homeschooled kids and pre-k kids. This fall they’re offering The Abrakadoodle Express: 50-minute art lessons for a special fee. They specialize in art education for kids ages 2-12. Abrakadoodle also offer classes for adults. That could be FUN with the right group of girls! Joy and Cora bring the party to you.

Joy said they just started Pint-Sized Picasso Play Dates for Pre-K kids — or just plain Picasso Play Dates for older kids. Abrakadoodle can bring out the supplies on Saturday or after school. They also offer private lessons in homes or can meet in a public space like a library.

Here’s some of the art from a recent Picasso Play Date themed “Animal Doodles”:

animal doodles

Oh and we can’t forget that they can provide everything you need for an Arty Birthday Party. As artists, you can bet the face painting is AWESOME.

eventsAbrakadoodle Art Classes for kids are all about creativity. Kids use their imaginations while using a wide variety of materials, such as paints, wire, clays and more.  They explore artists, techniques, world cultures and more.

They offer a wide variety of art classes for kids of these age groups:

  • Toddler Art Classes called Twoosy Doodlers (ages 20 months – 3)
  • Preschool Art Classes called Mini Doodlers (ages 3-5)
  • Elementary School Art Classes called Doodlers (ages 6 and up)

Give Joy a call at 479-856-6651 to find out about options for your kids.

Click here to check out the Abrakadoodle website and click here to connect with them on Facebook.

Be sure to tell Joy that you heard about Abrakadoodle of NWA here on Motherlode!

Inside His Head: Too ‘friend’ly for Facebook?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

insidehishead, 500

OK, ladies, it’s time to travel back to the strange land called …  “Inside His Head”. This month’s question is quite timely for many of us. Check it out:

(Oh, and if you’ve got a question for our outspoken guys, just send it to and it may be featured in an upcoming installment.)

Q: I recently noticed my husband had friended an old girlfriend on Facebook. From conversations, I know they had a very passionate relationship. I’m not happy about this at all. What do you suggest I do?

johnthumbnail.jpgMAVERICK: I see Facebook sort of like a party.

I have a Facebook page but I use it to keep up with my pals and old friends but I rarely post. So in party terms, I’m the guy who sits over in the dark corner and sips his beer, who maybe goes outside to smoke for long periods or goes to the store for ice.

So, look  at this Facebook stuff like like him meeting an old flame at a party.

If she friended him first, she’s the one who walked up to him. If he friended her, well it’s the opposite.

Would that make you concerned at a party?

They might have regained contact through a mutual friend, so it’s sorta like they’re all huddled up in a group of old chums in the middle  of the room chatting.

Problem with that?

If she has a Facebook picture taken in soft focus that makes her look all glam or she’s wearing something revealing or you can otherwise tell she thinks she’s hot-stuff from her picture, — and let’s face it, you can tell — I’d consider that a variable. It’s something akin to her showing at the party all tarted up wearing a miniskirt and she’s chatting with your husband, standing close and with her hand on his arm.

Now what do you think?

While this might help sort out the interaction, the bottom line is , they are interacting.  She’s also not only an ex — but a significant ex that he had a smoking sexual relationship with. He might just be being friendly but the reality is, he’ll think about her, and if the sex was good he’ll likely think about her fondly and nostalgically, and likely without clothing.

If this is really bothering you, tell him you’re uncomfortable. Be direct.

If he says something about trust, tell him it’s nothing about trust, it simply is not prudent to put himself in those sorts of situations. If he listens fine. If he acts really, really defensive, or acts mad but then goes all easy-going like, I’d consider that  a red flag.

But, if you aren’t concerned about him talking to an ex-flame in plain sight at a party, I’d not sweat the Facebook issue too much. It’s pretty public.

In any event, if you’re really bugged and your husband is being a pain and not giving you satisfactory answers and you want to let her know you’re wise to what’s up,  just friend her yourself.

This is like you walking up and introducing yourself at a party. You can tell a lot by how she reacts.

Oh, and before you do, change your Facebook picture to the one where you’re breaking a board in your Karate class.

GRAY: I’d suggest you just get over it and move on. Their relationship ended badly once, so what are you afraid of? That he’s going to leave a presumably good relationship so he can pursue one he’s already had?

He/she may have wanted to make sure the other was doing ok after all these years, or perhaps they were hoping to find the other in the misery they’d wished on them upon breaking up. The point is, it’s doubtful they’re going to look at each other and say: “Man, you’re perfect. Why did we break up?” More realistically they’ll realize the decision they made to split was the right one and chatting a little on Facebook will only confirm their suspicions.

Facebook is an odd animal to begin with, filled with people who “friend” others to be better virtual farmers and all that. I’d be a lot more alarmed if he was doing that and potentially exposing strangers to your personal telephone number or street address. I think a lot of old flames tend to get in touch as a form of catharsis and because Facebook provides the perfect medium. After all, it means you don’t have an awkward social situation, you can still keep ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends in a controlled environment, and if they’re still as annoying as they were when you broke up there’s always that lovely “hide” button.

MAX: “I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think she’s having her own way. And second, let her have it.” ~ Lyndon Johnson

Who are these lugnuts, I mean husbands, the readers of nwaMotherlode are constantly complaining about? I show these questions to my wife so she realizes I’m not half as bad as the other turds in the diaper.

There is no justification nor acceptable rationale that any decent man could come up with to excuse continuing an elective friendship with a former flame that the current wife disproves of. It’s just that simple.

If your lugnut maintains his cluelessness, ask him how he would feel if you hooked back up with a former passion. This “friendship” serves no purpose, it should fill no emotional need (and if it does, there are bigger problems here) and is a huge show of disrespect to the wife.

Tell him this and if he disagrees, I would recommend counseling or, better, smashing his computer in with an iron skillet.

To read more Inside His Head questions and answers, click here.

Note from the mamas: This post first appeared on nwaMotherlode in 2010. We thought it was a Q&A worth publishing again.

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