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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: Carat

Image by Shutterstock

Arkansas Engagement: Shelbi Raysor of Lonoke and Jordan Andrews of Pocahontas

Gallery by Lela&Lyla's Jessica Barksdale


Shelbi Raysor of Lonoke and Jordan Andrews of Pocahontas will exchange vows January 3, 2015, at the Skaggs Church of Christ in Pocahontas, Ark.

We love the laid-back feel of this session by Lela&Lyla's Jessica Barksdale, as well as the story of how this couple came together.

Jordan spotted Shelbi her freshmen year of college at Arkansas State University. After investigating, he asked one of his fraternity brothers and Shelbi's friend to invite her to a bonfire that night. When Shelbi jumped in her friend's truck, Jordan was sitting in the middle seat with a grin she'll never forget. She went from a freshmen to a junior, and Jordan from a senior to a D1 Dental Student at University of Tennessee in Memphis, all while being attached at the hip.

It didn't take long for Jordan to realize that Memphis just wasn't as fun without Shelbi right by his side. He spent hours at Sissy's Log Cabin before planning a romantic night in Dallas for the proposal. His plans quickly changed when their Dallas trip was canceled due to Shelbi's sick Pepa (who is strong as an ox now) .

Suddenly, that ring started to "burn a hole in his pocket." He proposed as the sun set on the Mississippi River across from their future home. A true southern proposal this down-to-Earth couple couldn't have planned out more perfectly.

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5 Nutrition Tips for Kids Eat Right Month

Image by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure kids eat right and get plenty of exercise is vital. Parents and caregivers play an important role in children’s nutrition and health by teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day.

August, which is Kids Eat Right Month, is a great time for families to focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages families to take the following steps:

Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.

Eat Right. Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.

Develop Healthy Habits. You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.

Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.

Getting kids to eat right can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. But experts say that a conversation can help. “Talk to your children. Learn the foods they like. Teach them about the foods they need for their growing bodies. Find ways together to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and tasty foods at every meal,” says Angela Lemond, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

For more healthful eating tips, recipes, videos and to learn more about Kids Eat Right Month, visit

Story provided by StatePoint.

The Five Best Recipes to Honor National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Image by Shutterstock


Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! We did some really important research, white lab coats and clipboards included, to help you heighten your ice cream sandwich skills.

Our results were frosty, delectable and sinfully delicious. Enough science talk. On to the recipes.


For the Fried Pastry-Lover: Caramel Cream Cheese Stuffed Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches 


8 oz. cream cheese

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 refrigerated pie crusts, defrosted

4 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup

2 1/2 cups sugar, divided

3 tablespoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 carton Vanilla Bean ice cream

Yields 12.

Find the full recipe at: Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

For the Martha: Brownie Mint-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich


1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 pints ice cream, softened

Yields 12.

Find the full recipe at: Martha

For the Minimalist: Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Sandwich


1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 Tbsp water)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp white vinegar

1/3 cup raw sugar (I used turbinado)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup oat flour (finely ground rolled oats)

scant 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch sea salt

1/4 cup dark/semisweet chocolate chips or chopped bar (non-dairy for vegan)

Yields 8.

Find the full recipe at: Minimalist Baker

For the Hesitant Sweet Tooth: Lemon Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches


1 cup whole milk

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided

2 cups heavy cream, divided

Pinch of salt

6 large egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

6 oz. fresh raspberries

30 (2-2½ inch square) graham crackers (or your choice of cookie – sables would also be great!)

Yields 15.

Find full recipe at: Annie's Eats

For the Innovator: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake


15 ice cream sandwiches

1 (12 ounce) container frozen Cool Whip, thawed

1 (10 ounce) bag M&M's (or chocolate candy of your choice)

fudge topping

Yields one delicious monster of a cake.

Find full recipe at: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Celebrate Stone's Throw Brewing Birthday This Weekend

Stone's Throw Brewing is throwing quite the party to celebrate its first year in business.

The Block on Rock Birthday Bash is set for 4-9 p.m. Aug. 2 in the 800 block of Rock Street. The block in the MacArthur Park Historic District will be closed to traffic.

Included in the birthday bash is live music, food trucks, local vendors and, of course, craft beer! Stone's Throw says it will have 12 beers on tap at the block party. Admission is $3. The event will benefit the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas.

"We had originally wanted to hold a block party for our grand opening last August, but decided we had our hands full just getting the brewery started," Theron Cash, co-owner, said in a news release. "Now that Stone's Throw beers have hit their stride, we can spend a little more time celebrating."

Flight Machine of Fayetteville and The Cane Hill Engagement of Little Rock will provide live music with showtimes at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will also be a vendor area for local merchants.

The Southern Gourmasian, Luncheria Mexican Alicia, The Waffle Wagon, Black Hound Bar-B-Q, Hot Rod Wieners, The Pie Hole and Loblolly Creamery have all committed to setting up for the birthday bash.

"This will kind of be a combined mini-version of the food truck fest and Rocktoberfest," Shawn Tobin, co-owner, said in the release. "It's the best of both worlds."

The birthday bash will cap off a month-long celebration. Stone's Throw marked a year of brewing July 4 with the release of its Anniversary Stout. On July 18, the brewing company released, in collaboration with other Little Rock brewers, the Ales for ALS Hoppy Wheat as a fundraiser for Lou Gehrig's disease. A beer dinner July 30 will benefit the Quapaw Quarter Association as part of their Summer Supper series.

Stone's Throw was founded by Theron Cash, Brad McLaurin, Shawn Tobin and Ian Beard. The four men began brewing operations July 4, 2013, and opened a tap room Aug. 1, 2013. The brewing company specializes in small-batch, artisanal beers.

Go-and-Do: Little Rock Photo Expo 2014

Image by

Photography enthusiasts have a great chance this weekend to catch up on the latest trends in the industry and learn from some of the professionals on various topics.

The Little Rock Photo Expo, the second annual, is set for Friday and Saturday at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 11301 Financial Centre Parkway. The expo is being hosted by Bedford Camera & Video.

The itinerary for the two-day expo includes two keynote speakers, a photography contest, several instructional classes and a trade show. 

The two keynote speakers are Hanson Fong and Joe McNally

Fong is known as one of the premier wedding and portrait photographers across the world. He has more than 30 years of experience.

"I had the pleasure of sitting in on one of Hanson Fong's seminars and I immediately knew we had to have him for our Photo Expo in Little Rock," John Rose, of Bedford Camera & Video, said in a statement. "Hanson demonstrated his successful posing and lighting techniques, which can be applied to both portrait and wedding photography."

McNally, whose career also spans more than 30 years, has been on assignment in more than 50 countries, including time spent as a Sports Illustrated contract photographer and Life staff photographer. He's currently a contributor for National Geographic.

First, second and third place prizes, in addition to honorable mention, will be awarded for the expo's photo contest, The Great Arkansas Scavenger Hunt. Contestants were to submit at least eight of 15 points of interest to qualify. The points of interest included the state Capitol, the Clinton Presidential Center, Pinnacle Mountain, Garvan Gardens, Mount Nebo and the Big Dam Bridge. The top ten finalists will have a 20-inch x 24-inch gallery wrap canvas on display at the expo. 

The first place winner will get a $200 gift card to Bedford, second place a $100 gift card, third place a $50 gift card and honorable mention a $25 gift card.

The expo's trade show will include the chance to try out the latest lighting equipment from Westcott, camera gear from KEH for purchase and much more. For more on the trade show, click here.

Below is a schedule for the expo, including instructional classes. Instructors for the class include Jason Crader, Ron Jackson, Judy Host, Michael Baxley, Dero Sanford, Denny Grandle, Gary and Kathy Meek, and Benjamin Krain. Access to everything is $99.99. To purchase tickets, click here.


Judy Host: The Secrets to Creating Beautiful Portraits; 5-6:15 p.m.

Hanson Fong: Canon Explorer of Light; 7-9 p.m.

•Trade show closes at 10 p.m.


•Registration/Trade show opens; 7-8 a.m.

Benjamin Krain: Journalism Photography; 8-9:15 a.m.

Judy Host: Art of Available Light - Sigma; 8:15-9:30 a.m.

Gary & Kathy Meek: Fundamentals of Photography; 9:45-11 a.m.

Dero Sanford: Photography Marketing "How to Sell Yourself;" 10-11:15 a.m. (SOLD OUT)

•Lunch; 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Ron Jackson: Demystifying HDR Photography; 12:15-1:30 p.m.

Jason Crader: The Basics of Portrait Composition; 12:30-1:45 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

•Alex Kent: Landscape Photography; 2-3:15 p.m.

Michael Baxley: Basic Portrait Lighting; 2:15-3:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

•Nikon Lighting Experience: Hands on Experience; 3:45-5:15 p.m.

Denny Grandle: Travel Photography from Around the World: The People & Culture; 4-5:15 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

Joe McNally: Keynote Address; 7-9 p.m.

•Trade show closes at 10 p.m.

Barefoot Studio West is Closing

Image by Rett Peek

Daughter of the late Jennings Osborne, Breezy Osborne-Wingfield began practicing yoga in high school as her dad was going through cardiac rehabilitation.

Owner Breezy Osborne announced the west Little Rock location of her yoga studio, Barefoot Studio, is closing on Aug. 31. 

This news comes just a few days shy of the studio's one year anniversary. Osborne opened the second location at 8501 Pinnacle Valley Road in west Little Rock Aug. 10, 2013. 

"To the students, my heart was torn making this decision as I did not want to take a class away from a teacher nor from your practice. Please know that your class packages will still be in place as usual and can be used at the Riverdale location," Osborne said in an email.

Osborne said the original location of Barefoot in Riverdale will remain open and some classes will be transferred. 

To see the complete announcement, click here. 



Instagram Fridays: This Week in Pictures


The amazing and talented Angela Alexander putting the final touches on Molly as we get ready for an all day shoot Monday morning. 


We could not have asked for better weather! Here's a peek at our venue. Can you guess where we are?


Oprah provided much needed inspo on a cup of java that saved our lives this week. #weareawakeweareawake


1620 Savoy hosted a mixology class Thursday night! We clearly had a great time. This is bartender Courtney's special summer beverage, "summer run." And she was kind enough to share the recipe with us: 

  • 2 oz Ketel One vodka
  • .5 oz peach schnapps
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz strawberry rhubarb simple syrup
  • 2 strawberries
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Splash of pineapple juice and ginger beer. 

Serve in tall glass with ginger sugar rim! YUM! 


THE rack as we pick and choose our looks for our fall spread. 

Give us a follow! You can find as here: @LittleRockSoiree

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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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