Parties and Events

Last week I had the thrill of having an article published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette for the first time.  The article was about consignment sales and ran as the lead story in the family section on Wednesday, September 29th.  I’m not going to re-post the whole article here, but it ran with a sidebar that listed all the upcoming Fall sales across the state.  I thought that might be useful, so I’m posting it.

For those of you who have not experienced a children’s consignment sale, it’s a great way to score some excellent clothing, toys, and gear at great prices.  It’s also a good place to make some money on all the stuff your kids are growing out of.  It’s also very eco friendly, as you’re helping to recycle tons of products instead of consuming more new things.

Oct 7: 9am – 8pm
Oct 8: 9am – 5pm
Oct 9: 9am – 1pm
Northeast Arkansas District Fairgrounds
2731 East Highland Dr, Jonesboro

Duck Duck Goose
Oct 7-10 8am – 5pm
612 JP Wright Loop Rd, Jacksonville

Central Arkansas Mothers of Multiples
Oct 8th: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Oct 9th: 7am – 3pm
Trinity Lutheran Church
3802 N Olive Street, North Little Rock

Oct 14: 9am – 7pm
Oct 15&16: 9am – 5pm
2213 N. Reynolds Road, Bryant

NWA Mothers of Multiples
Oct 15: 7am – 2pm
Oct 16: 7am-Noon
Trinity Fellowship Church Gymnasium
1100 East Rolling Hills Dr., Fayetteville

Duck Duck Goose
Oct 14-16 7am-6pm
Crossgate Church
3100 East Grand Ave, Hot Springs

Just Between Friends
October 24-25 9am-6pm
NWA Convention Center
Hwy 540 & Hwy 412, Springdale

Duck Duck Goose
Nov 11-13 7am-6pm
Former Sonshine Academy at 803 Harkrider, Conway

Second Look Kids
Nov. 11&12:  8am – 7pm
Nov. 13: 7:30am – 3pm
Elm Springs United Methodist Church
Hwy 112, Elm Springs

If you know of any other upcoming consignment sales, please leave a comment and I will add it to the list.


This year's shirt design.

I got my Race for the Cure shirt in the mail yesterday, which means it’s almost time for the big event.  This year’s event is October 16th.  It is my third year to run in the Little Rock Race for the Cure, a race that I am absolutely in love with.  I’ve blogged about it before here and here. The big draw for me is the purpose of the event (fighting breast cancer via screenings and research), which creates an electricity in the crowd that is palpable.  Over 40,000 women came downtown last year to take part.   You’ll float from the race expo with tons of cool giveaways (and the fanciest port-a-potties you’ll ever see), to the stage with the bands, through the mass of estrogen at the starting line, past three miles of men (including firemen, bikers, shriners, musicians, and of course all those kids and daddies) cheering along the way, and on to the grand finale: the pink wave of the survivors’ parade moving down Broadway.

This year I’m running as part of the KTHV/ team.  It’s a great opportunity to join up with other moms for a great cause.  I’ll be running the race, but other team members will be jogging or walking the 3.1 mile course, and others will be doing the 2k family walk/run with their kiddos in strollers.  If you’d like to join the team, you can get more information here, and register for the event here.  If large events aren’t your thing, or you just can’t make it, you can also donate to the Komen Race for the Cure through my fundraising page.

There are tons of other fun events surrounding Little Rock’s Race for the Cure.  Here are a couple you might like to know about:

Wednesday, September 22nd 6:30-8:30 @ Go! Running: GET YOUR PINK ON! Ladies Night Out.  Come on out to the Go! Running store for a fun evening of fashion, food, and facts (about Race for the Cure)  Go! Running will be offering some great discounts on their apparel and shoes, and you’ll even have a chance to win a pair of New Balance shoes!  If you’re on Facebook, you can learn more and RSVP here.

So, maybe you’re not into running or walking, but we can all spit, right?  Spit for the Cure recruits females 18 years and older to contribute a DNA sample (by spitting into a tube) and answer a short questionnaire.  This will be used to create a “bank” of information for future studies.  You can Spit for the Cure at the race, or you can contact Dr. Martha Phillips if you would like to participate via phone at 501-526-6413 or via email at mmphillips at uams dot edu.

Dillards is hosting Fit for the Cure at various locations across the state.  A $2 donation  will be made for every Wacoal & b.tempt’d bra fitting, plus an additional $2 donation for every bra or shape wear sold.  Check with your local Dillards to see if they are participating.  In Central Arkansas, the McCain Mall Dillards’ event will be October 7th.  Park Plaza Dillards’ event will be October 8th.

As you might recall, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to complete  a triathlon this summer.  I’ve begun training, and have a couple potential races picked out, but I’ve been extremely underwhelmed by the presence of a triathlete “community” in Arkansas.  Luckily, I have found one great resource: Go! Running, a new local running store here in Little Rock.

Lauren modeling an Orca tri suit

I was surprised when I stopped in at Go! Running several weeks ago for a look-around. I found one corner of the store stocked with triathlon apparel, and tri racing shoes winked at me from the middle of the well-stocked shoe wall. Turns out that the owners, Gary and Erin Taylor, are both phenomenal runners who ran at the collegiate level for University of Arkansas.  Gary is a certified USA Triathlon coach, and is very passionate about the sport. Go! Running’s mission is to help people find success and happiness in a healthy lifestyle. They have great brands including Nike, Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony, K-Swiss, and my new favorite, Moving Comfort. More importantly, they have expertise, and truly strive to support all levels of runners, walkers, and triathletes.

Last weekend, LUNA Moms Club had a moms night out at Go! Running.  Owner Erin Taylor graciously hosted us with refreshments, a full-on fashion show, and great information on running and fitness gear.  In addition to showing us the latest fashions, gear, and technology for our workouts, Erin taught us how to pick out, put on, and properly fit our sports bras.  Afterward, there was a retail-therapy feeding frenzy, with moms hunting down the “perfect run skort” they had seen in the fashion show, getting fitted for shoes, overflowing the dressing room and two restrooms in the stock room, crowding one another at the full length mirror, and even a few brave ladies who tried on clothes right out in the middle of the store.

Ready for the Fashion Show

Last weekend was also Go! Running’s “Triathlon Weekend”, and Erin invited any LUNA Moms interested in triathlon to arrive early for the moms night out event so they could meet with Gary.  I thought that was super thoughtful of her, and also very generous of Gary to stay after hours for us.  I learned more about the different resources that Go! running offers runners and triathletes in addition to gear.  Gary coaches an open-water swim every Friday morning at Spring Valley Lake, as well as various seminars and workshops (he was teaching a workshop on transitions the morning following our moms night out).  Gary also promised to get me on the local “triathalon email list” which

Erin Taylor educating us on technical gear

apparently is an organic sort of thing, and the closest Little Rock gets to a triathlon club.  Go! Running also has a Tuesday night run that is open to all ages and paces (jog strollers welcome!).  With the two kiddos, it will be hard to fit in the Friday swims and the Tuesday runs on a regular basis, but I certainly do hope to get out for both every once in a while.

Erin, whose career background is in Marketing, likes to sponsor community fitness events.  I first met Erin at the Dino Dash, a huge 5K event benefiting the Museum of Discovery.  She told me how she remembers bringing her kids to the very first Dino Dash years ago when there were just 50-some participants.  Now, she’s happy to see the event has grown to 1200 participants, and proud that Go! Running is a part of that success.  I have a feeling that Go! Running is going to be part of many successful athletic endeavors (for both individuals and community-wide) in the coming years.

(to the tune of “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”)

Hello Mother,
Hello Father.
This Camp I’m at
Is like no other.

There are bloggers,
and there developers.
In order to learn CSS,
I’m going to need lots of helpers!

I need templates!
I need downloads!
I need something having to do
with smooshy marshmallows.

They’re all smart here
and I’m a dummy
they have ipads
and think my not-smart phone is so funny.

I can’t use analytics
or custom plugins
seems in  WordPress,
a self hosted blogs always wins.

But I met some ladies
who are also mommies
and write blog posts
about cooking, traveling, fitness, and potty.

At the technology,
they shake their heads.
So I’m not the only
blogger with SEO dread.

They don’t care about
vertical menus.
The just want to know
what kind of drinks will be at tonight’s venue!

So it’s time now
to get some dinner
then to the after party,
to see if I’m a swag winner.

Life is good now,
here at WordCamp.
And thanks to WordPress
I can send this note without having to use a stamp!

The 2010 Arkansas Women’s Show will be June 12-13 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.  Gather up all your girlfriends for a weekend of  shopping, food, entertainment, information, and fun! The event features a cooking show with celebrity chef Paula Deen on Saturday and a performance by American Idol finalist Mandisa on Sunday. Themed areas include the Home and Garden Pavillion sponsored by Champion Windows, Health and Wellness Lane sponsored by Baptist Health, Fashion Avenue sponsored by Dillards, Culinary Court, and The Marketplace.  A sampling of other cool goings-on include (click here for complete schedule):

  • Sat. 1pm: Jones New York “How to Wear It” Fashion Show
  • Sat. 2pm: “Clear the Clutter. Change Your Life” workshop
  • Sat. 3pm: Self Defense for Women
  • Sun. 1pm: Container Garden seminar
  • Sun. 2pm: Beauty Buzz seminar
  • Ongoing: Health Screenings from Baptist Health

I have attended a similar event in St. Louis, MO and am super excited to check this out.  I’m a little nervous about the Paula Deen cooking show though.  When I see her on TV, I can’t resist repeating everything she says just to try out her accent.  Hopefully I can keep myself stifled when I see her live!  For sure I’ll be sniffing around the vendor booths for all the freebies I can get my hot little hands on, and I’m hoping to score one of the 5 minute personal style consultations with Lloyd Boston.  I’m also curious about what will be available in The Marketplace: I’ll be toting some mad money in case I don’t win the $500 vendor spending spree giveaway.

Oh, what’s that?  You want to go to?  Well, it just so happens that I have a pair of weekend passes to give away. These passes have a value of $50 for the pair and get you all the fun stuff mentioned above, and then some! You can earn up to five entries in the ticket give-away by doing one or more of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post with your favorite event/feature of the Arkansas Women’s Show.

2. Subscribe to my blog via RSS or email.  You can use the links in the upper right side bar of the blog to do this.  Leave a separate comment saying how you subscribe.

3. “Like” the MOMcation page on Facebook (and look for another opportunity to win tickets on that page).  Leave a separate comment saying that you have “liked” MOMcation

4. Repost this give away on your blog or share it on Facebook (two possible entries here).  Post a comment with a link to where you promoted the contest.

Entry deadline is 12 midnight cst on Monday, May 31st. Winner will be determined using a random number generator.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 1st here on the blog. Tickets are also available for purchase online and at select locations.

WordCamp, that is.  I’m all signed up and anxiously awaiting my trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend WordCamp Fayetteville.  WordCamp is a small conference for people who use the WordPress platform to blog (and/or do other more techie stuff that I don’t understand). WordCamps are held all over the country, but this is the first one in Arkansas. Other than clues that the names of the conference sessions give me, I have no idea what to expect.  I won’t know anyone there. That really doesn’t bother me, except that I just hope I’m not the only one that doesn’t know how to code in HTML or why I get 20 hits a day on my blog for people searching for “fire ant”.  I also hope no one laughs when I ask about the “fire ant” search issue.

I’m really quite excited. I’m looking forward to learning more about blogging and WordPress, and for the prospect of connecting with other bloggers.  I am also pretty stoked about getting away for a couple days.  Hubby booked my hotel room for me, and got an upgrade to business class.  I don’t know what that means, but maybe I’ll get some free chocolate or something.  Either way, hopefully the end result is that I will come back from WordCamp Fayetteville with some new tricks up my sleeve to try out here on the blog.

These MOMs did:

Valerie Nguyen, Nicole Walberg, Liz Bram, and Me

And this one too:

Ashlee Bechdolt . . . . photo credit: Greg Benenati

I’ve said it over and over, and just in case you didn’t hear, MOMcation 2010 could not have happened without the planning committee.  These moms put in countless hours with no compensation, except for the rather pitiful snacks I supplied at our meetings.  They each applied their own special talents to MOMcation to make it special.

Valerie was the chief “getter of prizes”.  She wrangled more cool prizes and swag than any one person on any project I’ve ever seen. She also organized the jewelry making, deal finding, and cooking I workshops. V is for Versatility and V is for Valerie!

Nicole championed the t-shirts and the wine, showed off her charm at an early morning television promotion, and was “the woman behind the curtain” during the actual event, where she helped with anything I needed, and then some. And let’s not forget the book discussion.

Liz rounded up the yoga instructor, scored us some awesome spa gift certificates, and always, always gave me her open, honest opinion when I sent out frantic emails about some minor detail I was stressing over.

And Ashlee, who couldn’t join us the night of our group picture, was the logistical guru.  She asked the questions that needed asking (How far to the nearest hospital?  Don’t you think we should keep track of the potential sponsors we contact?) and she often found the solutions to those questions.  She set up our document-share site for us, and created the spreadsheets we needed to track everything.  She also created our flyer, and was brave enough to lead those 6:30am trail runs that most of us never even knew happened.

My “fun” in planning MOMcation was getting to work with these great women.  At some point, our committee meetings became a great excuse for us all to get together every few weeks.  Thank you, Valerie, Nicole, Liz, and Ashlee, for putting up with me, and for putting together a great event.  I hope these quotes from the MOMcation feedback forms let you know how appreciated you are.

“I cannot begin to express how recharged I feel after this weekend. … I am a better mother when I have more to give and in order to do that, I need time to recharge.  I could not have asked for a better experience to do just that.  Thank you a million times over for this weekend.”

“Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication.  I had a blast and got to meet and get to know better so many great moms – I can’t say enough!”

“I am so glad I came.  Thank you all for all your hard work to put this together for us.”

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