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A perfect gift for Mom

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Lucky Mama, shopping, The Promenade at Chenal | 1 comment

Sponsored Post

With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, the hunt for the perfect gift for mom is on. Well have no fear, Little Rock Mamas and The Promenade at Chenal are here to help with our annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

Whether your mom loves jewelry, candles, knickknacks, exotic cooking supplies or a sweet treat, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you make her feel appreciated.

Francesca’s

If you’ve never been to Francesca’s, you are missing out. This boutique is packed full of cute clothes, jewelry and accessories! Plus, they’ve got some great Mother’s Day gifts and cards to choose from right now. In fact, I found a great card for my mom while I was snapping these pictures. Shhh, don’t tell her. 😉

Just a few of the great items Francesca's has for mom.

These are just a few of the great gift items at Francesca’s. (Clockwise) statement necklace (prices on necklaces range from upper teens to mid-30s); frame ($18); assortment of cards ($3.50-4.50), card with necklace ($16) and “What I Love About Mom” book to personalize ($12); soy candle with reusable dish ($18); watch ($30) and “Home Is Where My Mom Is” candle ($10).

 Altar’d State

Altar’d State is one of those stores where you just feel good about shopping because the company is a big believer in giving back. On Mission Mondays, the company donates 10 percent of net proceeds to a local charity. And a portion of every purchase of their in-house clothing line goes to charity. Plus, they have the cutest stuff!

Altar'd State has great gifts for mom!

Altar’d State has lots of great gifts to tell mom how much you love her, including fun dish towels ($14-$16), Primitives By Kathy plaques ($12-$20), Voluspa candles ($10 small, $30 large), Grumpy Cat ($25), and decorative pillows ($36).

Saggio Olive Oils & Vinegars

If mom loves good food, then Saggio is a great place to look for her gift. Whether you opt for their wonderful oils, vinegars or spices or choose from their stylish table accessories, mom is sure to be pleased. Saggio also sells gorgeous gold bracelets by Ronaldo, which currently are 20 percent off for Mother’s Day!

Does mom love great food? Then check out Saggio Olive Oil & Vinegars.

If mom loves to cook — or if you want to cook mom a fantastic meal! — then check out Saggio! They have dozens of olive oils and vinegars to choose from (gift packs run from $17-35), Spice Lab collections ($38-62) and funky salt and pepper shakers from Pep Art ($56, $70). Then there are the beautiful gold bracelets by Ronaldo ($90-$205, before the Mother’s Day discount) that mom is sure to cherish for years to come.

Cafe Brunelle

Speaking of great food, have you discovered Cafe Brunelle yet? This charming, locally-owned coffee shop is located behind lululemon athletica at The Promenade. Want to surprise mom with some tasty treats on Mother’s Day? Cafe Brunelle has macaroons ($8.99) and toffee ($6.50) packaged in gift boxes and bags, ready to go home with you. Maybe you’re thinking you’d like to give mom a cake? Cafe Brunelle sells whole cakes (double layer) for $40 and whole cheesecakes for $45. They need about three days for a specialty order. Or maybe you think mom would love an afternoon to herself. A gift card to Cafe Brunelle will allow mom to relax and unwind in their warm and inviting space. You could pair it with a mani/pedi at Luxury Nails Spa for an afternoon of mom time!

Cafe Brunelle has plenty of treats to satisfy mom's sweet tooth!

Look at all this yumminess that Cafe Brunelle has to offer! Macaroons, toffee, caramel-covered brownies, cookies and cream cake are only a few of the delicious treats that mom can enjoy at Cafe Brunelle. And there are plenty of coffee options to choose from as well.

Kenneth Edwards Fine Jewelers

Are you looking to give mom something really special this year? Then check out Kenneth Edwards. The store’s helpful employees will help you find a beautiful piece of jewelry that is sure to take mom’s breath away and bring a smile to her face every time she puts it on.

Kenneth Edwards has jewelry sure to bring a smile to mom's face.

There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from at Kenneth Edwards! (Clockwise) Charles Krypell silver sterling necklace ($215), rings ($215, $325) earrings ($275); Kenneth Edwards amethyst necklace ($250) and rainbow moonstone necklace ($300); smoky Quartz earrings ($225); and Gabriel & Co. pearl necklace ($175).

I hope this has given you some great ideas for Mother’s Day. Whatever you pick up for mom, just give it with lots of love — and she will love it!


Note: This is a sponsored post. All items in this gift guide were selected by me, with the help of sales associates, and all opinions are mine.

The Promenade at Chenal

 

An MS-kind of Lucky

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Health, Lucky Mama, multiple sclerosis, musings | 2 comments

This week is MS Awareness Week (March 2-8) and I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about this disease that I haven’t said here before. Last year, I shared with you the story of my initial episode and diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

A year later, much of what I wrote about how MS is affecting me is still true. No relapses for me (yay!) and my MRI last month showed no changes in my brain (double yay!)

But even with that great news, MS still manages to take a toll. My fatigue these past few months has been the worst since my diagnosis. There are just some days that getting dressed and getting to work feels like the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest. And that just sucks.

Those are the days I don’t feel like a Lucky Mama. Those are the days where I want to curl up and cry and mourn the life I used to have. Those are the days I feel like a failure because I don’t have the energy to play with my daughter. Those are the days I allow myself a little pity party.

But then I remember that I am a Lucky Mama. I can still walk; I can still work; I can still see; I can still muster enough energy to take my child to the zoo on good days. I think of my friend Dawn who suffered a terrible MS relapse last summer, followed by a stroke. Those two events put her in a wheelchair and made it terribly difficult for her to speak. But she hasn’t given up — she is fighting to walk again and be able to again speak publicly about life with MS. And I believe that she will.

I think of other friends who fight MS every day — and never give up.

I remember that I have an incredible support system. My husband, my daughter, my parents and sisters and their families, my husband’s family and my friends — all have encouraged me every step of this journey. Thanks to a Facebook support group, I have met people who have no support from their family and friends. They are navigating MS on their own — I can’t imagine how difficult that must be.

I also remember that I have my faith — and that no matter how cruddy I feel, God is always there to listen to me and help pick me up.

So on those pity party days, I have to remind myself that I am one Lucky Mama. And I want to thank everyone who plays a part in reminding me of that.

Sometimes Lucky is Just a Matter of Perspective -- even with MS

UPDATE: Women’s SEC Tourney tickets

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Giveaways, Lucky Mama, sports | 13 comments

Congratulations to Patre Williams, you are the winner of two ticket books to the Women’s SEC Basketball Tournament! Check your inbox, an email from Little Rock Mamas should be waiting on you!

SEC Women's Basketball Tournament

The Women’s SEC Basketball Tournament kicks off Wednesday, March 4, at 6 p.m. at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock — and here at Little Rock Mamas, we have tickets.

In fact, we have tickets to all of the games, thanks to the Angela Rogers Group, which has provided us with 2 ticket books, worth $100 each, to give away to a very lucky basketball fan.

According to the tournament’s website, a ticket book contains seven tickets, one for each session, which allows 1 person to attend all 13 games. Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday will be all general admission seating. Each ticket book will include a general admission ticket for the Wednesday evening, Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening sessions and a reserved seat ticket for Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions.

Can you beat 5 days of Women’s SEC basketball?!?! This promises to be some great basketball — South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi State are all in the Top 25!

The tournament kicks off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with two games. (The second game in each of these sessions starts 25 minutes after the first game concludes.) On Thursday and Friday, four games will be played each day. The first session on both days will start at noon, while the second batch will start at 6 p.m. On Saturday, two games will be played, starting at 4 p.m. On Sunday, March 8, the championship game starts at 2:30 p.m.

Are you excited yet?

To enter to win, leave me a comment on this post (not our Facebook page) by MONDAY at NOON about why you’d like to attend the tournament and who you’d take with you. A winner will be randomly drawn Monday afternoon. You must be able to pick up the ticket books from downtown Little Rock.

Even if you aren’t our lucky winner, you can still go watch some great Women’s SEC basketball. Check out the info below on where to get tickets.

Women's SEC Tournament ticket info

Happy Birthday

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in birthday, family, Lucky Mama | 1 comment

Today is a MOMENTOUS birthday for my sister Sonda! I won’t reveal her age, but I will point out that this is a BIG birthday! A black balloon sort of birthday, even! 😉

And in one of those twists of fate that I have always loved, yesterday was her husband’s birthday! He is exactly one day older than Sonda. And they are both much, much older than me. *teehee*

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sonda and Kevin! Love you guys!

Birthday cats

Great Valentine’s Day gifts

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in fashion, Lucky Mama, The Promenade at Chenal | 7 comments

NOTE: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine and all items featured in this gift guide were chosen by Little Rock Mamas.

It is almost Valentine’s Day — the holiday that sends us all into a tizzy trying to find a gift that screams, “I love you!” Whew, that is a lot of pressure. But have no fear, the Little Rock Mamas’ gift guide is here. I have scouted the stores at The Promenade at Chenal to offer a few suggestions for awesome gifts for the man and the kids in your life.

The Kids and Valentine’s

For many younger children, dressing up for the holidays is fun. There is just something about a festive T-shirt that just brings out the smiles. That is why this outfit from The Children’s Place would make such a great gift. You can purchase the entire look OR select a piece or two. I can tell you that the T-shirt has a stamp of approval from my 5 year old. She looked at this picture and asked where hers was.

The Valentine's T-shirt pairs perfectly with leopard jeggings and a pink denim jacket. The silver glittered flats and the sequined hairband complete the look.

The Valentine’s T-shirt pairs perfectly with leopard jeggings and a pink denim jacket. The silver glittered flats and the sequined headband complete the look.

And Valentine’s Day attire isn’t just for the girls. Check out this great outfit from Crazy 8 for the little man who stole your heart — that Pirate T-shirt is just too cute.

The "I Steal Hearts" pirate T-shirt goes great with the plaid shirt and a pair of jeans.

The “I Steal Hearts” pirate T-shirt goes great with a red, black and white plaid shirt and a pair of matching jeans.

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the tweens. Justice has young girls in this age range covered. I thought the black cowboy boots and the white fringe purse were both great gift options for any mini-fashionista.

These black cowboy boots are so very stylish. They make a statement on their own or paired with this white fringed bag.

These black cowboy boots are so stylish. They make a statement on their own or paired with this white fringed purse.

We have one last suggestion for your kiddos — what about a special treat? Maggie Moo’s combines two of the best things in the whole world — ice cream and cake — into one delicious cupcake. Yum!

Delicious ice cream cupcakes from Maggie Moos

Maggie Moo’s sells ice cream cupcakes (pack of 4 for $9.29) that are absolutely delicious!

 

The Guys and Valentine’s

Guys think that we women are hard to shop for, but we ladies know that they’re just as difficult. So here are some ideas to help you find something great for your Valentine.

Gearhead Outfitters has great items for the outdoorsman (serious or casual) in your life. Would he like a new hat? No problem, Gearhead has tons to choose from. Does he complain that his travel mug never keeps his beverage hot or cold for long? If so, check out a Yeti rambler. It promises to keep hot beverages hot for hours and that it won’t sweat with cold drinks. And Gearhead always has plenty of Patagonia sweaters, vests and other gear to choose from. I’m loving this orange sweater they just got in.

Arkansas Nativ trucker hat, $28; Patagonia sweater, $99; Yeti 30 ounce stainless steel rambler, $34.99

Arkansas Nativ trucker hat, $28; Patagonia sweater, $99; Yeti 30 ounce stainless steel rambler, $34.99

Is the man in your life a runner or otherwise fitness buff? Maybe he could use a new pair of running shoes — or a new pair of sneakers in general. Nike has tons of shoes (and other workout gear) to choose from. I thought these Nike Free 5.0+ runners in charcoal gray were the prettiest men’s sneakers I have seen in a while.

Nike Free 5.0+ sneakers, $84.99

Nike Free 5.0+ sneakers, $84.99

Did you know that GNC has moved into the Promenade? Wouldn’t a gift card from there make a great gift for your health-conscious sweetie?

Don't know what to get for your health-conscious sweetie? A GNC gift card is a perfect solution!

You can’t go wrong with a GNC gift card!

The last stop on our shopping guide is J. Crew. The great thing about J. Crew is the variety of men’s clothing it offers. Whether you are wanting to get your husband a new dress shirt or tie or would prefer to go more casual with a polo-style top or cargo shorts, they’ve got you covered. They also sell some really cool (and sometimes quirky) accessories that might put a smile on your Valentine’s face.

Classic polo shirts, $42.50; Collection of men's ties, $59.50-$75, depending on fabric; mini-grooming kit, $14

Classic polo shirts, $42.50; Ties, $59.50-$75, depending on fabric; mini-grooming kit, $14

 

The Contest and Valentine’s

There is one more thing to know before you head out to The Promenade at Chenal to start your shopping. They’re sponsoring a photo contest on Instagram. So go take a picture with your Valentine in front of The Promenade’s LOVE sign (it is located by lululemon athletica) and then post your photo on Instagram for a chance to win dinner for two, Chenal 9 IMAX movie tickets, a rose bouquet and $100 Promenade Gift Card. Go here for all of the details!

#PromenadeLOVEGRAM photo contest on Instagram

#PromenadeLOVEGRAM photo contest

 

 

The Promenade at Chenal

I Hate You

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Alaina, family traits, Lucky Mama, Matt | 18 comments

“I hate you,” came out of Alaina’s mouth for the first time today. Unfortunately for Matt, he was on the receiving end of those hurtful words.

Words that Matt and I not even sure our usually kindhearted child knew the meaning of.

You see, we’ve been watching a lot of Finding Nemo at our house lately. Alaina is fascinated with marine life, so the movie is an obvious favorite of hers. Do you remember the scene where Nemo gets angry with Marlin and yells out, “I hate you,” just before being taken away by divers?

We think that is where Alaina picked up the phrase — a phrase I barely even noticed in the movie.

Matt’s theory is that Alaina didn’t know what the words meant — she just knew that Nemo said them to his father when he was mad. Well, she was mad, so she said the words to Matt. (Needless to say, she was sent to her room and now knows what those words mean and why we shouldn’t say them.)

I hate you -- three little words that pack such a punch.

Three little words

The whole incident brought back memories of my childhood. To outsiders, I was a perfect angel. I was polite to adults, I played nicely with other kids, I was a good student — just as sweet as I could be.

At home, I was less so. I had a smart mouth, which unfortunately, my mom found herself on the receiving end of far too often. I also had a temper — a wicked, nasty temper. And to my shame now, it wasn’t unusual for me to tell my mother in a fit of rage, “I hate you!” In fact, by the time I was 12 or so, it was probably my weapon of choice. (I was a really bratty preteen.)

Somehow my saint of a mother never strangled me and buried my body in the backyard, for which I am eternally grateful. I know I frustrated the heck of out of my parents — but they never stopped loving me. I think they knew that someday I would grow into a decent human being. Here’s hoping I succeeded on that front.

Now the tables are turned. I am the mom of a child whose moods can shift on a dime and at her angriest can lash out. Sigh, like mother, like daughter. Although, thankfully, my child is still mostly sweet and good-natured — I would just really like to keep her that way forever and ever.

So any suggestions on how to handle such tantrums? It seems odd to discipline my child for something I did so often as a child, but I know it must be done. I also know that if she is truly like me, the harder I push, the harder she will push back.

Have any of you ran into this issue? How did you manage to squelch the phrase, “I hate you”?

Who Wants to Read More?

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in Book Nook, Lucky Mama | 2 comments

A few friends of mine, plus a whole slew of people I only know from the resulting Facebook group, and I have banded together to read more and take on the 2015 Reading Challenge.

Put together by the website PopSugar, it challenges you to read books in specific categories — and not just romances, mysteries and graphic novels. Those categories are included, but you’re also asked to read a book your mom loves (Gone With the Wind is my mom’s fav); a Pulitzer Prize-winning book (working on The Age of Innocence); a play; a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit; a book at the bottom of your to-read list; a book turned into a movie; a book with bad reviews (you’d be surprised at some of the classics that got horrible reviews back in their day!); and a book written by an author with your initials (this is the impossible category for me — I’m pretty sure I’ll have to turn to the middle initial since YC or even YF are coming up empty).

In all, there are 50 categories. It has been so much fun looking at the categories and trying to decide which book to tackle. I’ve also been trying to read books that aren’t necessarily in my comfort zone. For instance, I probably would have never tackled The Age of Innocence if it wasn’t for this challenge. Literature set in high society in the late 1800s has never exactly been my cup of tea. But Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for the book in 1921, making her the first woman to win that prize. So I’m giving it a shot!

The book worm in me is so very excited about how much this challenge will give me an excuse to read!

As part of this challenge, I will be writing about some of my favorite (and maybe some of my least favorite) books that I read this year. I hope that you’ll be inspired to pick up a book and join me. And if you’re intrigued by the whole challenge — well it isn’t too late to start!
If you haven’t already, you can see the full list of categories here— which one would you most like to tackle?

Wordless Wednesday: My birthday

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in birthday, Lucky Mama, Wordless Wednesday | 6 comments

I celebrated my birthday on Saturday — Happy Birthday to me. :) Nope, there is no way I’m telling you how old I am. I will say that I had managed to subtract a year until my husband set me straight. *sigh*

As always, Matt and Alaina know just what to do to make me feel special. They sent me a beautiful flower arrangement at work on Friday and then baked me a very delicious carrot cake FROM SCRATCH! I’m a box mix kind of baker myself, so it blew my mind that they went to the extra effort for me. *sniff, sniff*

My birthday flowers

My flowers — I’m quite certain the pop of orange was Alaina’s doing

The candles on my birthday cake

The candles on my birthday cake — yummy carrot cake