Arkansas tax-free shopping weekend

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Activities, family, fashion, Giveaways, Margarita Mama, school, shopping, The Promenade at Chenal, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Arkansas tax-free shopping weekend

Summer days are waning, although you sure wouldn’t know it from the heat. And this weekend is Arkansas’ sales tax holiday for clothes and classroom supplies, so it’s time to get out and get that back-to-school shopping done.

Not sure if what you have in mind will be tax free? Check out the list of exempt items HERE, then mark down the Promenade at Chenal on your list of places to hit.

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there’s a school supply scavenger hunt scheduled, where you can score a few free items and get entered to win a bike, and iPad or other prizes.

There will also be healthy snacks provided by Whole Foods, free vision screenings with James Eyecare and Optics Gallery, and a few tips on wellness from the folks at CHI St. Vincent West.

I’m personally rather excited to get some tax-free shopping done, so I’ve been plotting out some ideas this week.

Crazy 8 has some terribly cute outfits right now. Check out boys ideas HERE and girls ideas HERE.

Justice has a few ideas about what’s on trend for older girls HERE. There’s lots of accessories to top off an outfit or dress up a locker there, too.

The Children’s Place, HERE, is always a reliable place for basic T-shirts, pants and dresses. And shoes! I’ve been putting off the cries for new shoes for quite some time now, waiting for this weekend.

You may also want to think about hitting up the Nike store and lululemon athletica for those gym class and extracurricular activities needs.

See you out there at The Promenade — feel free to say hello! (I’ll be the one dragging around three girls who will very likely have Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt all over their faces and clothes.)


NOTE: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and statements are my own, of course.

The Promenade at Chenal

Letting kids quit

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Activities, Ava, drama, family, kid stuff, Margarita Mama | 1 comment

I was excited for Ava when she was asked to join the gymnastics team this spring after a few years of doing classes for fun. She always enjoyed it — especially the bars — and all that twisting around was an excellent use of her tiny frame’s abundant strength.

But after a few weeks passed of twice a week, multi-hour practices, she was more than over the whole thing all of a sudden.

Complaints about her body hurting grew. Complaints about being tired grew even louder. And more than a few times she burst into tears, desperately wanting to quit.

quitting gymnastics

She just wasn’t into it anymore.

At first, I tried to help her push forward. Afterall, starting anything new is tough for anyone. Even adults. And I didn’t want to let her give up so easily on something she had really liked doing.

I urged her to give it some time.

Shortly thereafter, her coach sent me a text about her complaining in practice about her legs hurting and happily heading back to summer camp instead of finishing the session. Coming exactly one day before we’d have to financially commit for the whole year, it was clear that was The End.

The next day, she quit.

Weeks have passed, and she’s shown no regret.

I still feel a slight nagging of mom guilt for not finding a way to convince her to give it a shot for just a bit longer.

But I have also come to realize that Ava never had Olympic dreams. And this is one thing I can let go.

She’s just 7 years old, and she’s still feeling out who she is as a person. She loves art and Legos. She loves swimming, except for when I make her wash her hair afterward. And overall, she’s a pretty darn good kid.

Maybe she’ll get re-interested in gymnastics at some point. Maybe not.

For now, she’s busy enjoying a happy childhood summer. And for that, I am grateful.


Ladies night out

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Activities, eating/food, fashion, lady stuff, Margarita Mama, shopping, The Promenade at Chenal | 1 comment

Even though it’s hard to pull away from the daily grind of work responsibilities, getting dinner on the table and getting kids ready to start it all over again the next day, a night out once in awhile can be purely restorative.

The Promenade at Chenal’s Ladies Night Out gave me a chance to spend some quality time with my good friend Candy, who I don’t get to see nearly enough. And we had an absolute blast, catching up on gossip, shopping and playing around.

Candy, me

Candy and me

A scavenger hunt kicked off the night, and we zipped from store to store, getting our cards punched and window shopping all the cool things we saw along the way. We strategized our stops for efficiency, and many of the stores had drinks or a little something to eat to help keep everyone going.

Gearhead Outfitters

Our last stop on the hunt, Gearhead Outfitters

After wrapping up the scavenger hunt, we were ready for dinner and headed to the fairly new Boneheads Grill restaurant to check it out.

I got the tilapia tacos, topped with a pineapple salsa that packed plenty of heat, and tasty grilled zucchini on the side. A dash of their medium piri piri sauce put it over the top for me. Spicy but absolutely delicious! Candy got the sweet honey Hawaiian chicken skewers and was kind enough to let me mooch a bite. That chicken and pineapple combo was amazing.

Dinner at Boneheads Grill

Dinner at Boneheads Grill

While we were there, we combed through the swag bag that the Promenade handed out to the first 100 shoppers on the scene. Candy was lucky enough to get one that had a $20 gift card inside! And I was impressed with the tokens for free cheese dip at Local Lime and a free shake at Big Orange, a sample from Saggio and some excellent coupons — all really good stuff.

Promenade at Chenal swag bag

The best goody bag ever

After clearing our plates, we headed back to Belle & Blush to experiment with the lipstick for awhile. At some point we set out on a mission to go wild — not something I’m generally known for — and I ended up with a tube of Lipstick Queen’s Hot Rose Sinner. Whaddya think?

Letting loose at Belle & Blush

Letting loose at Belle & Blush

We wrapped up the night at Charming Charlie, where it’s hard not to fall in love with everything. The color-coordinated bliss just speaks to me. And it’s all so … so pretty.

Charming Charlie

Charming Charlie, a place with everything

But shortly thereafter, it was getting close to closing time — and my bedtime — so we had to head home. I’m sure I’ll be back there pretty soon, as there’s always more to look at. But next time, I’ll likely have three little princesses in tow with shoppings agendas of their own.


NOTE: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions/statements/ideas included here are my own, of course.

The Promenade at Chenal

Disney on Ice review

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Activities, Ava, kid stuff, Margarita Mama, twins | Comments Off on Disney on Ice review

It was hard to tell who was more excited about the opening night of Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy at Verizon Arena — the kids or the parents.

Plenty of moms and dads at the show seemed just as jazzed to be there for the two-hour show, presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt.

Minnie, Mickey and Goofy kicked off the fun and served as hosts throughout the show, which my littlest girls, Kayla and Kendall, were super happy about. Seeing them was their favorite part!

sno cone

Kendall, heartily digging in to a sno cone via Tinkerbell cup

The vehicles from Cars exploded onto the scene to start the first story, complete with familiar voices for Mater, Lightning McQueen and other friends from the movie.

This was our third Disney on Ice show, and I’ve found the costumes and props to be spectacular each time. Ava was curious about if the cars out on the ice were “real.” They were pretty impressive.

Next up came Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, rallying the crowd to clap. But everyone really came alive when Ariel skated onto the scene. Ava was a big fan of the bubbles that dropped from the ceiling during “Under the Sea,” and the seahorses’ costumes really caught her eye. She loved watching their tails sway with the music.

Ava, with cotton candy and flower hat

Ava, with cotton candy and flower hat

The fairy segment showcased a dangling and glittery Queen Clarion, the motherly figure of Pixie Hollow who was a beautiful spectacle. Tinker Bell and the whole cast of nature fairies skated around quickly and things got crazy, especially with a little interference from Vidia, who’s not a fan of Tink.

After an intermission just long enough to make the necessary bathroom runs and treat refueling stops, the Toy Story gang took the ice for the final performance, from Toy Story 3. My favorite group of the night, the green Army men, got everyone grooving, as did a clever presentation of Ken’s fashion show for Barbie.

sno cone eating

Kayla, delicately gnawing on her sno cone

All in all, it was a wonderful family fun night, even if we were out fairly late for a school night. And I want you to know that if you go, it will be chilly because of the ice. (Especially so if you’re a small child eating a giant sno cone.) So bring sweaters and/or wear pants.

The shows at Verizon Arena run through Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10. Visit HERE for more information or to buy tickets in advance.


Note: The Angela Rogers Group provided us with tickets and parking in exchange for this review. However, all opinions are my own, of course!

Disney on Ice giveaway

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Activities, Margarita Mama | 12 comments

Disney on Ice’s Worlds of Fantasy show is rolling into town next week — and we want to give you a chance to experience the fun and excitement.

Thanks to our friends at the Angela Rogers Group, we have a family four pack of tickets to give away. 

Disney on Ice fairies

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

This year’s Disney on Ice presentation features four stories featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater from CarsThe Little Mermaid and her undersea world, Tinker Bell and her lovely, magical Pixie Hollow friends and the lively gang from Toy Story.

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

I’ve been to a couple of these shows now, and they’ve never disappointed. I love watching the kids ooh and ahh. And pretty often, they’ll pop up and dance along to the songs. It’s adorable. You can’t beat that for family fun!

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

To enter our giveaway, leave a comment about your favorite Disney character. I’ll pick a winner Monday, so we’ll have a chance to get you the ticket vouchers before the shows start Wednesday night at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Good luck!

Car show dreaming

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Activities, daddy, Margarita Mama, shopping, The Promenade at Chenal | 3 comments

My husband is one of those responsible, fatherly guys who, week after week, quietly pines away for what many might call a midlife crisis car — instead of running out to seize one on the spot in a frenzy of impulse like many others.

Our garage is filled with bikes, trikes and bouncy balls, lawn implements and spare chairs. There’s no room for our kid-hauling workhorse vehicles, let along something extra.

He casts about on Craigslist nightly, surveying the newly renovated manprizes and the rusty junk projects waiting for the spare time and cash that might be available in the days when daycare costs are long gone.


In the meantime, a man can look. Right? Yesterday, we did a little car show dreaming.

60s yellow Mustang

A bumblebee yellow Mustang

We spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Cruzin at Chenal Car Show at the Promenade at Chenal, and our herd of little ladies enjoyed it just as much as dad did. So many showpiece cars appeared that the area planned for the event couldn’t contain them all, and a second staging area was set up. Which means there was a lot to look at. And a lot of drooling.

70s Chevelle

Daddy’s favorite car

Daddy’s a muscle car kind of guy. His soul generally craves a 1967 Mustang fastback. But I was surprised to find that this 1970s Chevelle stole his heart.

Among the crowd of pretties, Kayla said she wanted to be a “race car girl” someday. She’s always enamored with whose car is going “fast.” (Hint: generally not mom’s swaggerwagon.) But Kendall apparently carries the same taste in speed that her mom does — shiny and new.

Kendall likes the newer speed demons, especially when they match her outfit

Kendall likes the newer speed demons, especially when they match her outfit

Now, a Corvette

Now, a Corvette

In order to be judged at the show, the hoods had to be open, so there was lots to look at. I’d have never imagined engines so clean and so colorful. And when it was time to show off that power, let’s just say there was a lot of loud going on.



vroom vroom!

vroom vroom!

I have to admit, I could barely stop looking at this tangerine Lamborghini. I’m sure it cost about as much as our house, so … yeah. Whoa.

Wow. Just wow. A lambo.

Wow. Just wow. A lambo.

I suppose I could settle for a much more reasonable set of wheels. In black, of course. The first car I ever bought brand new — a Honda Civic — was black. In the heat of summer in Arkansas, it was pretty much like driving an oven around. But when it was clean, it was beautiful.

Mine, please. A Shelby Cobra

Mine, please. A Shelby Cobra

Apparently, Ava’s a classic car kinda girl. Her very favorite was this 1950s Chevy. The aqua paint job blew her away.

1950s Chevy

Ava favors 50s flair

While we were there, we sampled a little of the food from the new Bonefish Grill, which had set up a station near the entrance to the show. And it was SO GOOD. I’m definitely going to head back soon to get a little more of their signature piri piri sauce, which was outstanding on the fish. And we finished off our day with a stop at the new Menchie’s frozen yogurt.  A perfect treat.

Got car love, too? Tell all!


Note: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own, of course.

The Promenade at Chenal

An introduction to roller skating

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Activities, Ava, kid stuff, Margarita Mama, sports, Uncategorized | 2 comments

This past weekend, Ava got to roller skate for the very first time.

She didn’t exactly fly on those wheels, but she sure had a lot of fun. She immediately wanted to get a pair of skates to call her own. And to go back to the roller skating rink as soon as possible.

roller skating

Ava, gaining confidence on wheels

Fortunately, the skating rink had a passel of contraptions built out of PVC pipe and rollerblade wheels to help little ones stay upright a bit more than they otherwise would. I’m pretty sure that considerably pumped up the fun level for the group of newby skaters at the birthday party we attended.

Most of them stuck with the guides, but Ava eventually gave it a whirl without them toward the end of the party. She was so proud of herself, and I have to note that I was, too.

roller skating contraption

Ava gets an assist on her first skate

Guess what? I even got out there!

Most of the time, I have to admit I’m a big stick in the mud. I get carsick and all other kinds of motion sickness — even just looking at action on big movie screens. So a lot of things that are full of family fun, like roller coasters and zipping across the lake on a boat are pretty miserable for me. I tend to stay in the habit of sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else have a good time.

But back when I was just a little bit older than Ava, skating was the thing to do! It’s one of those skills your body just remembers. And I’m pretty proud that I didn’t beef it and break anything like I had expected.

It was a good reminder to myself to push out of that comfort zone a little bit, just like I encourage Ava to do. I’m pretty sure we’ll be giving roller skating a shot again sometime soon.

Do something fun this week! You won’t regret it.

Margarita Mama



Marvel Universe LIVE giveaway

Posted by on Dec 27, 2014 in Activities, Giveaways, kid stuff, Margarita Mama | 16 comments

Marvel Universe LIVE is about to roll into the Little Rock area, and we’ve got a family four-pack of tickets to give away!


The original story brings together more than 25 Marvel characters on a quest to ensure the safety of the powerful Cosmic Cube, which Thor has shattered into pieces and which his villainous brother Loki covets.

The all-ages show promises to be action packed — featuring special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts and even motorcycles.

Captain America

It’ll be at Verizon Arena from Jan. 9-11. Times and ticket information are available HERE.

For a chance to win our family four-pack, provided courtesy of the Angela Rogers Group, leave the name of your favorite Marvel character below. I’ll draw a winner at 5 p.m. Jan. 2, so don’t wait!

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