Lucky Mama

 

 

UPDATE: Women’s SEC Tourney tickets

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Featured, 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, Featured, 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

One word

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Arkansas Women Bloggers, Lucky Mama, priorities | 6 comments

Wonderful women who are part of the Arkansas Women Bloggers community have been talking in recent weeks about choosing a word — one word — for 2015 that will help guide them for the year.

I believe I first heard about this one word concept a couple of years ago from Jacqueline Wolven, a fantastic woman and blogger from Eureka Springs who really lives deliberately. She talked about how powerful choosing one word and then incorporating it into your life could be. To be perfectly honest, I dismissed the idea at first. I couldn’t see how committing to a word, to a concept, for an entire year would benefit me. Life changes too much and too quickly for such a thing to be valuable, right?

But then the next year at AWBU, a yearly blogging conference, bloggers who had listened to Jacqueline and found their word were talking about the benefits they saw from their one word experiment.

I was intrigued. But I still wasn’t ready to commit.

Then last month, members of the group started talking again about choosing a word. I started mentally thinking about WHAT word I would choose IF I decided to choose one word.

One word kept coming to mind — priorities.

Action Expresses Priorities -- Mahatma Gandhi

Like many people, I struggle with my priorities. Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea of what they are — my family, my faith, my friends, my job, my volunteer work with the National MS Society and my blog — but so often I get those priorities out of order. Or I let something that isn’t on the list at all eat up far too much valuable time or effort.

So this year I’m going to work on my priorities — or to be more accurate, I’m going to work on prioritizing my priorities. It will likely mean saying no to more things that just aren’t a priority for me. And I hope it will mean saying yes to the things that are.

So to kick things off, I’ve deleted a number of games off of my phone. I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve put off things that are important, like spending quality time with my husband and daughter, to play a stupid game. Oh I was just decompressing after a stressful day, I told myself. And maybe that was part of it. But ultimately, I was letting the trivial edge out the essential.

So Goodbye Farm Story 2, so long Treasure Run — my time is valuable and you simply don’t rate.

What about you? Are you choosing a word for 2015? If so, what did you pick?

Country Roads

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in family, Lucky Mama, Music/concerts, musings | 6 comments

Since as early as I can remember, music — especially singing — has been a part of my life. As a child, I remember sitting in the back seat of our ’77 Hornet station wagon singing songs with my mom and my sisters. My dad occasionally joined in, but usually it was just the female voices that could be heard as our car drove down the country roads of western Kentucky, particularly during the 30+ minute ride to church and back.

One favorite for us to sing, then and now, was John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Something about that song spoke to my family. To little 4-year-0ld me, that song was about my home in Kentucky. (Not really sure how I missed the line about West Virginia. I’m going to blame it on being 4.)

Even now, there is still something about that song that just resonates with me. I think that song is why I’ve long loved John Denver’s music — and probably what started me on the road to really preferring songs that tell a story and aren’t just a catchy hook.

The funny thing is I can’t actually remember when I first heard John Denver singing “Country Roads.” No, my memories are my mom and sisters singing the song. I’m pretty sure I learned the words during those singalongs and not from listening to one of his albums.

As my sisters and I grew up and started families of our own, somehow we still found time for a singalong at holiday gatherings. And it never took long before someone started “Country Roads.” Somehow it was just our song.

So when I saw that Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris had recorded “Country Roads” on a John Denver tribute album, The Music Is You, I asked Matt for the CD for Christmas. I just had a hunch it would be good.

I was right — it was good, really good. In fact it was so incredible that it took me back to my childhood. Listening to the song with tears running down my face was like being back in the ’77 Hornet singing with my mom and my sisters. It was like being home.

So I want to share it with you and I hope you enjoy it. While you’re listening to my childhood favorite, how about you? Are there any songs, from your childhood or even more recently, that speak to you?

 

 

Spreading holiday cheer

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Alaina, Christmas, holidays, Lucky Mama, video | 10 comments

So in Alaina’s first school performance, she rocked at spreading holiday cheer, Alaina style.

Alaina rocks out to one of their holiday tunes.

Alaina rocks out to one of their holiday tunes.

It was so adorable seeing all of the kids performing for the parents. Apparently, this was the first holiday performance that our school has done, at least in recent years. The principal seemed shocked at the turnout — we filled the sanctuary of an area church. And I don’t think you could have found a parking spot for a solid block and a half!

Lots of the children were grinning as they belted out the tunes. There were a few who were dancing. But no one was dancing like my child was dancing. If there was music, she was grooving. It was adorable!

Yup, Alaina definitely rocks at spreading holiday cheer. No, that isn’t mom bias. See for yourself — and then see if you’re smiling afterwards!