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InArkansas Blog

Eat, Play, Shop, Live, Visit, Work. Your daily stop for the latest on all things Arkansas, including your comments. Send blog tips and feedback to Associate Editor Lauren James here.
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The Four C's: Clarity


The third of the Four C’s is clarity, the measure of the imperfections found in a diamond.

Now ladies, we’re going to be real for a second. Chances are you’re not going to find a completely flawless diamond. Lest we forget, it’s a rock that came out of the ground. The probability of a diamond making it through the crystallization period, mining and processing without a single imperfection is extremely low.

The good news is that internal and external imperfections, known as “inclusions” and “blemishes” respectively, won’t necessarily mean the ruin of your ring. 

To determine clarity, diamonds are scrutinized under 10x magnification to rank each imperfection’s characteristics, like size, color and position.

The GIA has an eleven grade scale: Flawless; Internally Flawless; Very, Very Slightly Included (levels 1 and 2); Very Slightly Included (1 and 2); Slightly Included (1 and 2) and Included (1, 2 and 3).



Wow. Don’t really roll off the tongue, do they? All you really need to know is that the closer a diamond is to flawless, the more rare and valuable (and costly) it is. 

So take a minute and process that alphabet soup of abbreviations we threw at you and you’ll be all the wiser. 

Is this all sinking in? Only one C left! Stay with us, we’re almost there!

5 Events for Weekend Fun: Lamanpalooza, Kids Triathlon and More

Image by Natalie Fraser

For the first weekend in August, our hearts still want summer fun, while our minds are thinking about getting ready for another school year! Get the best of both at one of these great events for families. The Laman Library's Lamanpalooza offers extravagant fun, while a Back-to-School Health Fair at St. Mark Baptist Church prepares families with free immunizations and school supplies.

And, of course, don't forget about the 2014 Arkansas Sales Tax Holiday this weekend, which can help your family save when you buy school uniforms, notebooks, calculators and much more.

1. Lamanpalooza at Laman Library Argenta Branch in North Little Rock: This year's Lamanpalooza will be held behind the Laman Library's Argenta Branch on North Little Rock's quaint Main St. Outdoor activities include inflatables, a 100-foot zipline, dunk tanks, games, music and crafts. Plus, kids can meet Marty Boone, the balloon-artist on stilts, sit for a caricature by Jim Tindall, and more. The first 2,000 people can snag a free hot dog, drink, chips and a cookie. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 2. For info: (501) 687-1061, FREE!

2. 17th Annual First Security Conway Kids Triathlon at Hendrix College: The Conway Running Club invites children ages 6-15 to swim, bike and run in a triathlon especially for youth athletes. The course is broken down for two age groups, and awards are given for 1st-5th place winners for each division. Kids can also participate in a post-race party with door prizes, bouncy castles, snow cones and more. Pre-registration required. $25. 8 a.m. Aug. 2. For info:

3. Hooray for Herps Weekend at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Spend the weekend at park interpreters learning about reptiles and amphibians in hikes, craft activities, games and programs where you'll meet live animals up-close. Aug. 2-3. For info: (501) 868-5806, FREE!

4. Dive-In Movie at Magic Springs Water & Theme Park: After a fun day of riding roller coasters and splashing in the water park, guests are invited to stay in the wave pool until dark when a movie is shown on a big screen. This week, movie-goers will see "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Free with park admission. Aug. 1. For info: (501) 624-0100,

5. Back-to-School Health Fair at St. Mark Baptist Church: Celebrate back-to-school with this event for students and parents! Students will receive a backpack full of school supplies (while supplies last); free immunizations; free health and wellness screenings for vision, dental and vitals; and free physicals for children ages 4 through college. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 2. For info: (501) 663-3955, FREE!

For more events, browse our full online calendar here.

Soirée's Cutest Dog Contest Begins Today

Image by Brittney Turner

Little Rock Soirée is looking for the most adorable pup in the metro! Is your canine companion the cutest in all the area? Make it known by snapping a photo, and your pup could win some lickable prizes in addition to being featured in Little Rock Soiree magazine and

Here's what we want from you: Submit the most adorable photo of your dog imaginable (sleeping, playing, in costume ... be creative), below OR submit on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SoireeCutestDog and the name of your dog. We'll take submissions now through noon on August 11.


Fill out my online form.


Here’s the full schedule:

August 18 – Top 50 Finalists (chosen by our editors) up for voting

August 27 – Top 25 Finalists announced, second voting round begins

September 5 – Top 10 Finalists announced, final voting round begins

September 11 – Winner announced!  

As mentioned, the winning canine companion will not only be showered with serious online glory, but he or she will receive a Soirée pup prize package including a portrait session with professional photographer Brittney Turner!

Now let's see those fur babies! 

Weekend To-Do List: 6 Events to Check Out

Image by Paul Barrows

Whether it's networking, learning about history, taking some photos or getting in a little exercise, you should be able to find something to your liking in the metro area this weekend. Here's a few events to watch for.

Thursday (July 31)

Business After Hours at Diamond Bear Brewing Company, 600 N. Broadway, North Little Rock: Come network with hundreds at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours at the new home of Diamond Bear Brewing Co. Sponsors include Allegra Print & Imaging, American Pie Pizza, Arkansas Ale House and Moe's Southwest Grill. Tickets are $10 in advance and available at the Chamber office. Admission includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, adult beverages and door prizes. Members and guests will be admitted at the door for $15. For more information, call the Chamber at 372-5959 or email

Friday (Aug. 1)

Sandwiching in History at old North Little Rock Post Office, 420 Main St., North Little Rock: The Arkansas Historic Preservation is hosting another event in its series Sandwiching in History. This one will take history lovers to the old North Little Rock Post Office on Main Street. The post office was built in the 1930s and was the city's first standalone post office. It closed in June 2012 and was purchased by the William F. Laman Public Library System. It reopened as a library in April. All tours are free and open to the public. There will be another Sandwiching in History tour at the Barney L. Elias House at 335 Goshen Ave. in North Little Rock. Both tours begin at noon and should last no longer than an hour. Guests are asked to bring their lunches. For more information, call 324-9880 or email

Saturday (Aug. 2)

Habitat for Humanity's Rock the Block at 13th and Pike streets, North Little Rock: The Pulaski County chapter of Habitat for Humanity is hosting a day of home repairs, landscaping, trimming and clean up from the 1100 block of Parker and Franklin streets to the 1500 block. While the repairs are going on, St. James United Methodist Church will host a fun zone with jump houses, carnival games, music, food and more. The clean up goes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. To sign up, click here.

Free Zumba at Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock: Carla Townsend is hosting a weekly, free Zumba class at Laman Library. The class started in April and runs through December. It's free and open to the public. The class starts at 11 a.m. For more information, call 758-1720.

Friday-Saturday (Aug. 1-2)

Little Rock Photo Expo at Embassy Suites Hotel, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock: The Little Rock Photo Expo will have classes, demos and some of the leaders of the industry. The showroom will have the latest technology, new equipment and the latest trends and styles. In addition, the expo will have several speakers like Hanson Fong and Joe McNally. Tickets to the expo are $99.99. To purchase, click here. For more information on the expo, click here.

Saturday-Sunday (Aug. 2-3)

Photography Weekend at Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, 202 La Harpe Blvd., Little Rock: Luke Ballard from Remember Forever Photography, is offering two days worth of sessions for photography lovers interested in learning more. The classes include an introduction to DSLR cameras, travel photography and night photography. To sign up for the classes, which range from $95-$129, click here. Use "weekend60" to save up to 60 percent on the class. For more information, check out our story.

Second Annual Biketoberfest to Hit River Market October 19

Cyclists, take your places for the second annual Biketoberfest event!

The event is again presented by the Little Rock River Market, Chainwheel and Recycle Bikes for Kids, and will be held at the River Market Pavilion on Sunday, October 19. 

Crowd favorites like the Southern BMX Stunt Show, Adult Trike Race and Rat Rod Build-Off/Silent Auction will return, where builders collect old bicycle pieces and construct custom, styled bikes. (The Adult Trike Race is exactly what it sounds like and every bit as hilarious as you’d imagine.)

New to Biketoberfest 2014 is the Swap & Shop for all things cycling. Vendors can register online to reserve a spot in the lineup. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

If you like to bike, then mark your calendars for a day full of “bikes, beer, music, art and fun.”

Tagged > Biketoberfest

Mixology Class at Savoy Tonight

Shake it up tonight with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 1620 Savoy! 

Tonight, 1620 Savoy will host a special night out offering a mixology class by Savoy bartender Courtney Cowing. In addition to the hands-on demonstration, guests will enjoy live music and be among the first to taste the restaurant's new summer menu. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 per person and will include one complimentary cocktail, delicious bites, live music and a goodie bag. The class is limited to 20 people. Call Savoy at 501-221-1620 to make your reservation.

We hope to see you there! Cheers!

Tagged > 1620 Savoy

Real Searcy Weddings: Tessa Brown & Jonathan Beavers

Gallery by Zoë Weddings by Kim

Tessa Brown & Jonathan Beavers
Jan. 4, 2014 · Downtown Church of Christ & Robbins-Sanford Grand Hall in Searcy

Tessa Brown & Jonathan Beavers
Jan. 4, 2014 · Downtown Church of Christ & Robbins-Sanford Grand Hall in Searcy

Photography by Zoë Weddings by Kim

Tessa Brown of Searcy met a lot of people coming in and out of the salon where she worked. She would often chat with them while checking them out before they left. One day one of those customers insisted Tessa come to dinner with her family because she had a son she wanted Tessa to meet. Tessa agreed, but the son didn’t. He made his stepmom call Tessa back and give her an excuse about why they couldn’t go out. Eventually, though, the son – Jonathan Beavers– came around and contacted Tessa himself, and the two were soon an item. After dating for a while, Jonathan, a Searcy farmer, put Tessa to work in his cornfields. One day while she was hoeing weeds and just about to get fed up with it, she turned to find her farmer boy down on one knee with a ring in his hand. It was a picturesque setting for a forever commitment, and Tessa – of course – said yes.


   Photographer Zoë Weddings By Kim
  Day-Of Coordinator Wendy Smith
  Florist Artistic Florist & Gifts And Carren’s Flowers & Gifts, Searcy
 ♥  Rentals/Lighting In Any Event, Searcy
  Cakes Mickey’s Cakes & Sweets, Little Rock
  Caterer/Drinks Alicia Wiedower
  Wedding Gown First Impressions, Jacksonville
 ♥  Bridesmaids Attire Low’s Bridal & Formal, Brinkley
 ♥  Groom/Groomsmen’s Attire Ann’s Bridal & Etcetera, Searcy
  Jeweler Tara & Co., Searcy
  Hair/Makeup Laura Mccabe, Bliss Salon & Day Spa, Searcy
 ♥  Wedding Vendor We Love

The Rep's Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior Session Presents Godspell This Weekend

Members of Arkansas Repertory Theatre's Summer Musical Theatre Intensive bring the audience along on an actor's journey to stardom.

The Summer Musical Theatre Intensive, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre's training program for young artists, will present a new production this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2-3.

The Junior Session of the SMTI have been hard at work during the two-week summer program, prepping for their performances of "Godspell." Daily rehearsals during training include instruction in musical theatre techniques, multi-media, costume and stage make-up, dance and vocal coaching. 

The talented young performers, all ages 13-15, will present the musical at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, and 1 & 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The performances are open to the public and cost $10 per ticket.

For ticket information, call the box office at (501) 378-0405 or visit

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About The Author
What’s new in shopping, the arts, music, travel, fun parties and delicious food in Arkansas? Let Lauren James of be your guide. An avid shopper, traveler and lover of everything-arts-related, she will show you the best of what Arkansas has to offer. Make your go-to spot every day to learn the latest in entertainment, dining, attractions, activities and more.
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Little Rock Soirée is looking for the cutest dog in the metro! Is your canine companion the cutest in all the area? Make it known by snapping a photo, and your pup could win some lickable prizes in addition to being featured in Little Rock Soiree magazine and Here are the details!

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