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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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Arkansas Engagement: Emily Mantz & Bradley Williams

Gallery by Erin Kelleher Photography


Blytheville native Emily Mantz and Bradley Williams of Sykesville, MD, are tying the knot! Their nuptials will be on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at the Cadre Building in Memphis.

Check out this gorgeous engagement session in DC (!) from Erin Kelleher Photography and their sweet engagement story.

Emily was completely shocked when Brad proposed back home in Arkansas at her parents' house in Lake Village, AR next to the dock. Brad asked Emily to go watch the sunset after getting ready to eat at Doe's Eat Place in Greeneville across the river with the entire family, who were all home for her little sister's high school graduation. Emily agreed and they went down to the dock as they had multiple times that week to hang out and watch the sunset. The sun was in Emily's eyes and Brad was acting strange, so Emily tried to go back up to the house to see if everyone was ready to go eat and grab her sunglasses. Before she had a chance to walk away Brad said he needed to ask her something, grabbed her hand and got down on one knee. After he asked and she said YES, Emily's family ran down from the house. She had no idea they had watched the entire thing and her Dad had taken pictures of his daughter's engagement. As it turns out, the plan was never to go eat in Greeneville, so they all celebrated at the Lake Village Country Club.

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HomeGoods Opens Sunday at Promenade

Two days, shoppers. Two. 

The grand opening of the highly anticipated HomeGoods store at The Promenade at Chenal is set for 8 a.m. this Sunday. We may or may not have stalked the progress of development for the last several weeks. Hence, the photo above. 

In addition to being the very first to have dibs on the brand new merchandise Sunday morning, the first 1,000 customers will also receive a free reusable HomeGoods shopping bag.

Before the doors officially open, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony along with a check presentation to the local Arkansas Foodbank just before 8 a.m. The store will be open until 8 p.m. Sunday night. 

HomeGoods is a one-stop shopping destination that showcases an assortment of high-quality, unique home fashions and finest home basics from around the world. Shoppers can choose from brand and designer names, and distinctive, one-of-a-kind pieces in an easy-to-shop environment, all at great values-every day.

Happy shopping! 

KABF Movies in the Garden Returns to SoMa with 'Rosemary's Baby'

Image by Nancy Steenburgen


Ladies and gents, KABF Movies in the Garden is back, and with a hellish twist: Horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby” will be shown this Saturday, Oct. 25, on the South on Main back patio at 8 p.m.

A giant screen will be set up for viewing, with hay bales, tables and a garden bar at full force. South on Main will be open for their normal hours, so grab a delicious dinner and scoot on over for the show. 

Not enough of an incentive? How about this: The Rosemary’s Baby cocktail is making a comeback a la one of Little Rock’s favorite bartenders, David Burnette. If you remember it from the last time it made the rounds, you know you need one. If you missed it, then you definitely need one.

It’s only $3 for access to the patio and free popcorn will be provided by Fuller and Son Hardware. Check out the Facebook event page for more information.

Fall Porch Decorating Ideas from Chris H. Olsen

Gallery by Janet Warlick

To us, having too many pumpkins on a stoop simply isn't a thing. It's one of the many ways we embrace this glorious season. Home and garden guru Chris H. Olsen of Botanica Gardens is providing all lof the inspiration you need to give your porch a festive fall update. 


Add drama! Achieve this height visually by simply hanging three wreaths on your door instead of one. Rather than buying topiaries, create your own by filling up your urns or containers with potting soil, then place a contorted willow (we use 6-8 feet) along the rim of the pot. Simply tie the top of the topiary with twine. If needed, tie the middle for support. Then arrange an assortment of pumpkins and gourds to your liking. Tip: To hide the extra potting soil, we use moss. For this particular one, we used apple green reindeer moss. 


Do something different besides hanging a wreath on your door and create your own fall leaves. What you'll need: Coat hanger, nylon and spray paint. Take the coat hanger (it usually takes two) and intertwine them together to shape a leaf. Take the nylon (available at craft stores) and stretch it over the frame, then tie a small knot at the top. Spray the entire leaf one color and spray on a second color for dimension. Tip: Brown will allow you to create the veins of the leaf. To create that "falling" effect, simply stagger to your liking. 


If you have generous wall space on both sides of your door, accessorize with contorted willow branches (these are 8 feet long) along the wall. For added impact and drama, place assorted pumpkins, mums and battery operated candles to make your evening an enchanted one.  
Happy fall, y'all! 
For more tips on fall decorating, click here. 

1836 Club's Annual Halloween Party Oct. 28

Image by Shutterstock


It’s getting pretty difficult to focus on anything but Halloween, so we’ve just given in to it entirely. Luckily, the 1836 Club’s annual Halloween party is coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 28, so we can indulge in some spooky good (kid-free) times.

Hosted at the Old State House, this year’s theme is “Ghosts of Arkansas Past.” The event will include scary snacks, an open bar and entertainment from Little Rock-based band Amasa Hines and free palm readings.

If you’ve got an affinity for costumes like we have, the Capital Hotel is sponsoring a costume contest with a to-die-for prize package including dinner for two at One Eleven at the Capital Hotel, a one night stay in a junior suite, parking and welcome goodies (a total value of over $600).

The best part is that all proceeds will benefit the School Bus Fund, a local initiative that enables area schools to come visit the Old State House and learn about Arkansas history.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets online.

The party is from 7:30-9:30 p.m. We will most definitely be there.

Shop 'Til You Drop: Partners Card Week Begins Friday

Image by Shutterstock

It's time again for Partners Card week, the annual fundraising project of the volunteer auxiliary of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

More than 190 shops and restaurants in central and northwest Arkansas will offer discounts for Partners Card holders, valid from Oct. 24-Nov. 2. For those 10 days, shoppers and diners who purchase the $50 cards will receive a 20 percent discount at the participating locations.

You can view the full list of participating retailers and restaurants on their website here. A few of our favorites include The Toggery, Whippersnappers, Good Earth Garden Center, The Painted Pig, Wordsworth Books and Company, Damgoode Pies, Beyond Cotton II, Cynthia East Fabrics, Pigtails & Crewcuts and many more.

All proceeds from the sale of the Partners Card benefit the Cancer Institute auxiliary and are used to fund projects for cancer patients in Arkansas.

To purchase a card or to find out more info, call (501) 686-8286 or visit

Pinocchio Takes the Stage at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre

Image by David Hohn

From Oct. 24-Nov. 9, families can enjoy the classic tale of Pinocchio at the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre.

The wooden marionette, Pinocchio, simply wants to become a real boy, but he must learn an important lesson first. Families will recognize familiar characters, like the caring wood carver Geppetto, and everyone's favorite Talking Cricket.

Performance times are 7 p.m. Fri., and 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun. The production runs Oct. 24-Nov. 9. School performances will be Oct. 24-Nov. 7; to request reservations for a school group, click here.

Tickets are $12.50, members $10. Pay What You Can Night is Oct. 31. For more information, visit

10 Events for Weekend Fun: Cheese Dip, Hayrides and Jack-o-Lanterns

Image by Shutterstock

It's another big Halloween weekend with tons of festivals and family activities. Kiddos can dress in their Halloween best and head to the Little Rock Zoo's Boo at the Zoo or Magic Screams at Magic Springs Water & Theme Park. Plus, the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre stage comes to life -- it's the opening weekend for "Pinocchio," a musical based on the classic tale.

We've also found 10 fun events, including a festival observing National Bullying Awareness Month, a pumpkin-carving contest, a cheese dip extravaganza and more!

1. Stand Up to Bullying Arts and Film Festival at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: In observance of National Bullying Awareness Month, Songbird Multimedia and Central Arkansas Library System present a unique performing arts festival to feature music, plays, art show, free film screening, and essay contest about bullying. The award-winning documentary, “Bully,” directed by Lee Hirsch, begins at 1 p.m. Events at 11 a.m. for kids and 2 p.m. for teens include essay readings and performances. Pay what you can for admission to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. events. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 25. For info: (501) 612-0864, click here.

2. Annual Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at The Wonder Place: Little ones who aren't ready for all of the frights and thrills can hang out at this sweet soiree that includes goody bags, storytime, special crafts and a scavenger hunt. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged. As always, the second adult in the family receives free admission! $5, children under 1 free. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 24. For info: (501) 225-4050,

3. Mac-O-Lanterns at MacArthur Park: This pumpkin-carving contest and event features music, food trucks, face painting and libations at MacArthur Park. Pumpkin carving begins at 3 p.m. and the evening celebration goes from 5-8 p.m. The lighting of the lanterns begins at 6:24 p.m. Pumpkin carvers must pre-register by Oct. 22. 3 p.m. Oct. 25. $5, kids under 12 are free. For info: (501) 375-0121,

4. 4th Annual World Cheese Dip Championship at Bernice Gardens at South Main Street : Watch competitors from around the nation test their skills at creating the world's best cheese dip. Winners of the championship, which will be divided into Amateur and Professional divisions, will be determined by a panel of local celebrities, politicians, and food critics through a series of blind tastings. Your ticket lets you sample all the entries and cast a vote for the People's Choice Award. Proceeds go to Harmony Health Clinic. Advance tickets are $8, and tickets are $10 at the gate, children under 10 free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 25. For info:

5. 2014 Farmers’ Market Fall Festival at Farmers' Market Pavilions: Enjoy the Farmers’ Market fall decorations and “Trunk or Treat” where children can pick up candy from participating farmers. The whole family (pets, too!) is encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy face painting, pumpkin painting (small pumpkins provided), fall decorating demonstrations for adults, pumpkin carvings and more. 10 a.m.-noon. Oct. 25. For info, click here. FREE!

6. Halloween Hayride at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Experience a different kind of Halloween and enjoy a fun-filled evening hayride complete with a roaring campfire and treats. Advance payment and registration required. $12; children ages 6-12 are $6. 5-7 p.m. Oct. 26. For info: (501) 868-5806,

7. It's the Great Pumpkin Halloween at Bass Pro Shops in Little Rock: The Halloween fun is just getting started at Bass Pro Shops. Enjoy free crafts & pictures with the Peanuts gang 5-8 p.m. Mon-Fri.; noon-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Free glow-in-the dark glasses for first 100 kids who get their photo taken Mon-Fri. Scavenger hunts 1 & 3 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Special events will also be held the day of Halloween. Oct. 24-31. For info: (501) 954-4500, FREE!

8. 12th Annual Mud Run at Two Rivers Park: Participants run, walk, skip, trot, cavort through our 5K course, which winds through the scenic trails of Two Rivers Park. Participants must overcome an “obstacle” or two along the way. Then finish with a spectacular frolic through our world-renowned 300-foot mud pit, which is filled with rich Arkansas mud. $35 with shirt, $25 without shirt. 8 a.m. Oct. 25. For info: (501) 371-4639,

9. Family Fall Festival at Murray Park: Arkansas CureSearch presents an event for the whole family with 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit cancer research for children. Activities include inflatables, live music, hayrides, face painting, nail art, horseshoes, costume contest, and much, much more! Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 26. For info: FREE!

10. Family Fest at Arkansas Arts Center: An art-making festival for families will be held this Saturday with four engaging, hands-on stations in the Atrium and a scavenger hunt through the permanent collection. Two of the maker stations focus on Drawing and the 2-Dimensional elements of design, the other two activities are 3-Dimensional and focus on the elements involved in Sculpture. Refreshments will be provided. $5, free for members. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 25. For info: (501) 372-4000,

For more events, browse our full online calendar here.

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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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Our Sunday plans are secured. HomeGoods is set to open its doors at The Promenade at Chenal Sunday morning.

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