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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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Drop Off Expired or Unwanted Prescriptions on April 26

Every spring and fall, the Arkansas Take Back Initiative, in coordination with multiple government and national agencies, urges citizens to bring unwanted or unused medications to collection sites around the state. The 2014 spring event will occur from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. this Saturday, April 26.

Responsibly disposing of expired medications helps prevent youth prescription drug abuse. In fact, most prescription medication abusers, including teens, obtain drugs from a friend or relative, not from a drug dealer. Read more about teen prescription drug abuse and how to prevent it in our full article here.

Participating in the drug take back event also helps to control pollution and eliminate contamination of our drinking water.

There are more than 130 permanent drop off sites throughout Arkansas and even more temporary drop off sites during the Take Back event. To find collection sites around Little Rock and central Arkansas, click here.

Sleeping Beauty Opens April 25 at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre

Image by David Hohn

The Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre will close out its season with a fairytale favorite, "Sleeping Beauty." The musical will delight young princess lovers starting this Friday, April 25 and continue through May 11.

Written by Alan Keith Smith, the storyline will follow the Brothers Grimm classic: The king and queen finally have the child they've always wanted, and invite the entire kingdom to meet the newborn princess -- except one bad fairy. After a few trials and a little nap, the tale of love, courage and triumph will end happily ever after, of course!

Guests are also invited to experience a night full of merriment and magic at the Sleeping Beauty Ball (6-8 p.m. Sat., May 10; $20).

Performance times for "Sleeping Beauty" are 7 p.m. Fri., & 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun. April 25-May 11. Tickets are $12.50.

For more info and to buy tickets, visit

Here's Your Guide to the 2014 Arkansas Literary Festival

When the Central Arkansas Library System announced its lineup of distinguished authors and special programs for this year's Arkansas Literary Festival, we couldn't wait until April to get in on the action.

Well, the festival is almost here and we can't believe it!

If you're planning on making a stop at this year's festival, running from tomorrow to Sunday, we cover just about everything you need to know in our go-to guide below:


Festivities will take place at venues all over central Arkansas. Here is a rundown of where you'll be able to check out your favorite author:

Little Rock

  • Main Library, 100 Rock St.
  • CALS Ron Robinson Center, 100 River Market Ave.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center, 4800 West 10th St.
  • Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market Ave.
  • Arkansas Studies Institute Building, 401 President Clinton Ave.
  • Christ Episcopal Church, 509 Scott St.
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. Ninth St.
  • Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. 9th St.
  • Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Ave.
  • Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack, 107 River Market Ave.
  • Oxford American Annex, 1300 S. Main St.
  • Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. 3rd St.
  • South on Main, 1304 S. Main St.
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E. Ninth St.
  • Sturgis Hall, Choctaw Station, 1200 President Clinton Ave.
  • Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Ave.

North Little Rock

Pulaski Technical College, R.J. Wills Lecture Hall, 3000 West Scenic Drive


The 2014 Arkansas Literary Festival begins tomorrow (April 24) with an introspective on Johnny Cash and a look at the art of food, and ends Sunday (April 27) with the finale featuring famed poet Ellen Gilchrist. In between, there will be novelists, historians, filmmakers, illustrators, performers and books, books, books!

Here are a few highlights:

Thursday (April 24)

"Cash," 12 p.m. at Oxford American Annex: Veteran music journalist Robert Hilburn wrote the long-awaited, definitive biography, "Johnny Cash, The Life," about the legend whose posthumous album sales have totaled more than $130 million. Rhett Miller adds a bit of the Man in Black's music.

"True Gratitude," 6 p.m. at Sturgis Hall, Choctaw Station: Life after war for the men of Army Battalion 2-16 is depicted in Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Finkel's "Thank You For Your Service." This is one of the Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book of 2013. Read more about this program here!

"Art & Food I & II," 6 p.m. at Arkansas Arts Center: Distinguished art historian Mary Ann Caws speaks about "The Modern Art Cookbook." After her talk, taste dishes such as Cezanne's baked tomatoes and Robert Motherwell's whiskey cake. Then, wander the galleries to see art, possibly inspired by the dish just tasted. Free reservations can be made at (501) 372-4000.

Friday (April 25)

"Kill 'Em Clean," 12 p.m. at Main Library, Darragh Center: Bestselling author Catherine Coulter shows how to write sharp, fast, and deadly through her "Clean Writing" advice for writers of all genres. Tickets for the workshop are $20. Buy tickets here.

"Author! Author!," 8 p.m. at Main Library, 5th Floor: Toast the festival authors at this fête, featuring hors d'oeuvres and libations. Books will be available for purchase during this party geared for adults. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door. Get advance tickets here.

Saturday (Aprl 26)

"Eat, Prey, Love," 10 a.m. at Historic Arkansas Museum: Cindy Grisham and Kat Robinson define and refine the origins of food in the Natural State, and even dish about where Bill Clinton ate and a distinct recipe for Red's Barbecued Coon.

"Canal Voyage," 11:30 a.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? The inimitable Mary Roach leads a trip through the alimentary canal in her newest book, "Gulp."

"Conversing with Kadir," 1 p.m. at Hillary Rodham Children's Library & Learning Center: One of the best children's authors/illustrators working today, Kadir Nelson will speak about his award-winning books, his renowned art, and his life. Perfect for the family!

"The Fine Art of Suspense," 1 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: Join Catherine Coulter, one of the most popular authors on the planet, as she shares snippets from her story and talks about how she has mastered the fine art of suspense.

Sunday (April 27)

"March: Book One," 1:30 p.m. at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: This first-hand illustrated account of Congressman John Lewis's lifelong struggle for civil and human rights is a meditation "on the distance travelled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation." Join the trio of collaborators, Congressman Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell for this can't-miss panel.

Finale, 3 p.m. at Main Library, Darragh Center: In "Acts of God," Arkansas's legendary Ellen Gilchrist has crafted a story collection that takes us into eleven scenarios in which people dealing with forces beyond their control somehow manage to survive, persevere, and even triumph.

Check out the full schedule here.


Admission to most of the festival's events is free. However, some special programs will require advance tickets. Check the schedule to find out.


Need help finding where to park? Click here to get a map of the lots around the Main Library and downtown Little Rock. Have change and/or cash on hand. Get more information about parking here.


There is going to be plenty of opportunities to get that wallet out this weekend. During the festival, there will be a used book sale, offering $1 hardbacks and $.50 paperbacks from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday in the Main Library basement. Friends of Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL) members can enter Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. River Market Books & Gifts, 120 River Market Ave., Little Rock, will host a FOCAL book sale offering members 50 percent off all used books from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Memberships will be available at the door.


And if you're looking to get some grub before or after your preferred events and don't want to travel too far, downtown Little Rock has a few options to check out:

Little Rock

Boulevard Bread Co., 400 President Clinton Ave. (open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner)

Bosco's Restaurant & Brewing Company, 500 President Clinton Ave. (open for lunch and dinner)

Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro, 200 River Market Ave. (open for lunch and dinner)

Rumba-Revolution Music Room, 300 President Clinton Ave. (open for dinner)

Bookends Cafe, River Market Books & Gifts, 120 River Market Ave. (open for breakfast and lunch)

For more information on the 2014 Arkansas Literary Festival, click here.

Shop Talk: Trunk Shows and Special Sales Event Roundup

It's that time again! Here's your weekly roundup of sales events and trunk shows. Enjoy! 

Advanced Aesthetics of Arkansas, 9500 Kanis Rd. Ste 503, Little Rock: Today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the spa is hosting a spring makeup event showcasing the new spring line from Jane Iredale, “Magic Hour,” and the debut of Neotensil, a new treatment for under eye bags. Appointments are required for the event and a special introductory price of $30 is being offered for the Neotensil application. For more information, click here or call (501) 537-0130. 

Box Turtle, 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock: To celebrate this gorgeous weather, the Hillcrest boutique is hosting a Girls’ Night Out Thursday (April 24) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Exclusive discounts and treats will be offered. For more information, click here or call (501)-661-1167. 

Reinvented Vintage, 10301 North Rodney Parham Road, Suit E4, Little Rock: The shop, which specializes in repurposing furniture, is celebrating its first birthday Thursday (April 24) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Happy Birthday! Cupcakes, bubbly, special discounts, a paint bar and a photo booth will all be part of the celebration! Click here for more information or call (501) 350-4769. 

James Eyecare & Optics Gallery, located at The Promenade at Chenal, Little Rock: Today, the eyecare store is hosting its five year anniversary sale and offering savings ranging from 30% to 50% off all of its glasses and sunglasses. This event is happening today only. For more information, click here or call (501) 687-0826.

B.Barnett, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: This Thursday (April 24) through Saturday (April 26), don’t miss the Cynthia Rose Fall 2014 collection at B.Barnett. The trunk show will feature luxurious ready-to-wear apparel and accessories from the designer's fall collection. For more information, click here or call (501) 223-2514. 

Barbara/Jean, 7811 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: Today, get a peek at Escada’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection going on from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tomorrow (April 24) and Friday (April 25), the luxury boutique will host two events: Stephanie Kantis Jewelry Trunk Show and the Dennis Merotto Fall 2014 collection. Meretto’s trunk show will feature a presentation and an in-store appearance by the designer. For more information and to stay up-to-date on the latest shows, click here or call (501) 227-0054.

Fine Art Sculpture Show This Weekend

The 7th annual fine art sculpture show and sale will be held on the banks of the Arkansas River this weekend.

Friday, the Sculpture at the River Market Committee will be hosting a Show and Sale Preview Party benefiting the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden located in Riverfront Park. The evening will include more than 800 pieces of art by nearly 50 nationally recognized artists, gathered in the River Market Pavilions. This event serves as a fundraiser to enhance public art in our capital city. The funds raised have been used to commission more than 60 pieces of sculpture in Little Rock with a value of approximately $2 million.

The Preview Party starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature live music by Dizzy 7 band and a cocktail buffet. Party guests mix and mingle and have the opportunity to visit with the sculptors, who offer a variety of works, ranging in medium and price point.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Show and Sale is open to the public – a great opportunity for families to see these fantastic sculptures.

Show and Sale Preview Party:
Friday, April 25

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

River Market Pavilions

Tickets: $100

Bronze & Brewskis:
Immediately following the Preview Party

Friday, April 25

8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

River Market Pavilions

Tickets: $30

For additional information on the event and tickets, click here. 


Tips for "Great Looking" Brows

Enhancing the shape of your eyebrows has the power to change your entire look. Soirée editors wanted to know how to get that movie star quality brow. Tessa Wilman-Higgins, esthetician and owner of Beauty Geek Lash and Skincare Lounge, gave us a step-by-step tutortial on how to get great eyebrows. We're taking notes. 


First, you’ve gotta shape your brows.  You can do this a couple of ways.  If you’re a brow newbie, I suggest you go see your friendly neighborhood esthetician (*wink, wink*) for a brow design session.  Good estheticians will talk you through the process and ask you about your preferences, then suggest areas that might need help.  She’ll wax, tweeze, trim and tint if needed.  (By the by, be sure to tell her if you’re using Retin-A, because you can’t wax while using that stuff. Verrrrrry important!)  Or, if you’re confident in your plucking powers, go ahead and shape your own, like I did.  


Begin your shaping sesh by combing your brows up with a spooly (that’s the mascara-wand thingy) and trimming any long, stray hairs.  Don’t trim too much off the ends, you need to keep some length there for a long, sexy brow.  



Tweeze away any rogue fuzzy hairs under and between your brows. I don’t tweeze above the brows very much as it can look unnatural if you take too many from the top. (I’m a big fan of Tweezerman travel tweezers.)


One brow done. One brow to go. Next, I’m going to fill my brows in.  I have really thick, full brows to begin with, so I don’t need too much.  I'm a big fan of the Anastasia’s brow powder in Medium Brown, as it gives a really natural finish.  If you have sparse, thin brows, you might like to use a pencil, brow pen, or pomade.  I’m using a brow brush and the darker color in the palette to fill in my brows.  I use little short, hair strokes to fill them in.


After I fill in my brows, I always soften the color with a spooly. Next, set the brows with a clear brow gel. This is especially important if you have long brow hairs. To really bring out the brows (great for days when you mean business), I like to highlight them underneath. Take a light highlighting shadow or pencil and highlight and blend right underneath the bottom brow.



And we’re done! See how much my eyes stand out? That’s the magic of brows, baby!

Check out Tessa Wilman-Higgins Facebook page for more pretty tips, tricks and updates. 

7 Places to Enjoy Happy Hour This Month

Kiwi Infusion Martini at The Peabody Hotel Lounge.

We are a bunch who looks forward to enjoying Happy Hour during the week. Here are a few of our picks! 

ZIN Urban Wine & Beer Bar, 300 River Market Ave., Suite 1, Little Rock: This hip, modern bar has a relaxed feel and chill music to go with its extensive wine offering, in addition to a unique selection of premium beers. ZIN offers a happy hour from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. All house wines are $5 and all beer is $1 off. ZIN offers beers such as Leinenkugal, Diamond Bear, Goose Island and Stella Artois. Its long list of wines includes reserves, whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and bubbles) and reds (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabarnet Sauvignon and Ports). For a complete listing of drinks, click here. For more information on the bar, checkout its Facebook page or website.

Cantina Laredo, 207 North University Ave., Suite 130, Little Rock: This modern Mexican food restaurant has a sophisticated, vibrant atmosphere with a great drink choices, including an award-winning margarita. Cantina offers a Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m., and 9 p.m. to closing time, Monday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Domestic beers are $2, Casita 'Ritas & imported beers are $3, and well drinks and house wine is $4. For a look at the Happy Hour menu, including daily specials, click here. Check out their Facebook page here.

Graffiti's, 7811 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: Graffiti's is a modern, Italian bistro with a classic Happy Hour offering. The specials include $10 martinis, $5.50 for a glass of wine and $2.50 for bottles of beer. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Graffiti's. For more information, check out their website and Facebook page.

Local Lime, 17815 Chenal Parkway, Suite F-105, Little Rock: We know you like the food at Local Lime, but have you tried their Happy Hour? We think you'll like that, too. It runs from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and features house margaritas for $5, and the beer of the week for $3. Come in to check out all the other Happy Hour specials, including $3 guacamole. For more information, check out their website and Facebook page.

South on Main, 1304 S. Main St., Little Rock: You won't find a traditional Happy Hour schedule at South on Main, but don't think you find drink specials. The folks at South on Main like to say "every hour is happy at South on Main." The restaurant and performance venue offers drink specials, rotating weekly, on cocktails, beer and wine. The week's specials are displayed on chalkboards around the bar. The drink specials are available for both lunch and dinner service. One of the new additions to the Southern Beers on Draft rotation is Abita Strawberry. For more on South on Main, check out the restaurant's website and Facebook page.

Crush Wine Bar, 318 N. Main St., North Little Rock: In the heart of Argenta on Main Street, Crush Wine Bar offers a variety of Happy Hour specials from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Specials include $5 house wine and $1 off beer. On Tuesdays, all bottles of wine $40 and under are $20 all night. On Wednesdays, it's $2 off all tapas plates from 4 p.m. until close. On Thursdays, Happy Hour goes from 4 p.m. to close. For more information, check out their Facebook page.

Reno's Argenta Cafe, 312 Main St., North Little Rock: Reno's is another popular drinking hole placed right in the middle of the Argenta District with nightly drink specials. On Mondays, enjoy $10 domestic buckets of beer and $7 domestic pitchers. On Tuesdays, all well drinks are $2. Enjoy $3 Dos Equis, $4 margaritas, $5 Sangria and $12 Corona buckets on Wednesday. On Thursdays, it's $6 Big Ass Beers. For more information, check out Reno's website and Facebook page.

Have any recommendations? Share in the comment section below! 

David Finkel at Clinton School of Public Service on Thursday

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will be at the Clinton School of Public Service on Thursday to talk about his recent book that follows a group of American soldiers and tells the story of the challenges they and their families face after soldiers return home from war.

For the critically-acclaimed "Thank You for Your Service," David Finkel followed the story of soldiers from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion after returning from the Iraq War. Finkel followed the same soldiers for his previous book, "The Good Soldiers," while they were entrenched in the front lines of battle.

Finkel's appearance is in partnership with the Arkansas Literary Festival, set for Thursday through Sunday.

The event is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Sturgis Hall of the Clinton School of Public Service. A book signing will follow. To reserve seats, email or call 683-5239.

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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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From makeup events to a girls' night out, here's your weekly roundup of special sales events and trunk shows!

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