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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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7 Tips for Overcoming Separation Anxiety

Does separation anxiety rule your world? It’s hard to leave when your child is screaming and crying for you and wants you to stay by his side. These big feelings may be overwhelming for both parent and child, but separation anxiety is actually a normal part of child development.

It isn’t unusual for babies and toddlers to become tearful or clingy (or even have a full blown meltdown) when it’s time for Mommy or Daddy to leave—even if the child is being left in familiar surroundings. Unfortunately, many parents make the separation even harder without realizing. After spending decades in childcare settings, I’ve learned some ways to make drop-off easier.

1. Don’t throw children into new surroundings without warning. Visit a new childcare center or sitter several times with your child before leaving him for the first time. Sit in on circle time or stand nearby while your child’s future caregiver holds or plays with him. Building familiarity will make the transition easier.

2. Talk about what to expect. If he is starting preschool for the first time, read books featuring his favorite characters heading off to school. Tell him about all the fun things he’ll get to do—play, paint, play outside and so on. Go over the plan for drop-off, keeping it upbeat. For example, “I’m going to walk you to your classroom and help you put your backpack in your cubby. Then you are going to have so much fun while I go to work! I packed you peanut butter and jelly for lunch and I’ll be back after nap.” Model that it’s no big deal, and your child will pick up on that idea.

3. Don’t sneak out. I’ve seen many parents sneak out the door as soon as their child looks away. This makes the child more upset when he realizes Mom or Dad left without even a goodbye or reassurance that they’ll be back. These children were sometimes inconsolable all morning. Always let your child know you’re leaving and that you’ll be back.

4. Be quick. On the other hand, prolonging the goodbye is also traumatic. I’ve seen parents drag it out so long that both child and parent are emotionally exhausted—and the parent still hasn’t left! This doesn’t mean you should push them out of the car and drive off. Walk your child in; give him a cheerful hug, kiss, and goodbye; and head out.

5. And keep going. Returning to pick him up again if he cries just delays the process. Say goodbye and go. Call later to check on your child if it will make you feel better.

6. Be on time. Always return on time. This builds trust and will allow your child to become comfortable in knowing you’ll always come back.

7. Repeat. Separation anxiety is a phase. It will pass, but your child may deal with short bouts of it at different points of his development.

Rachael Moshman is a mom, freelance writer and blogger. She has a master’s education with a focus on infant and toddler development. Find her at

Arkansas Engagement: Ashley Bearden & Zachary Frans of Maumelle

Gallery by Stephanie Parsley Photography


Maumelle residents Ashley Bearden and Zach Frans are engaged to be married on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the Terry House in Little Rock.

Check out their engagement session from Stephanie Parsley Photography and their story told by Ashley!

Zach proposed to me after almost five years of dating the day after Thanksgiving. He tricked me by insisting I open an early Christmas present and was so nervous that he pretty much blurted "Will you marry me?" as soon as I opened the box. It wasn't grand or over the top, but it was adorable & perfect for us. I was completely surprised and he even made sure my sister, who lives in Washington D.C., would be in town so she could celebrate with us along with my family that evening.

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8 Hog-Wild Wedding Cakes to Get You Ready for Football Season


Listen ladies, we know swine aren’t a usual topic on most bridal blogs, but Arkansas Bride isn’t most blogs. We’re Razorback fans around here and we couldn’t be more excited about football season. (Hey, we’re not one-dimensional.)

So to celebrate the Hogs’ home opener tomorrow, we went through our archives and dug up our favorite cakes from the most devoted couples. From Razorback Stadium to War Memorial and everywhere in-between, we're big fans of these delicious devotee desserts.

What about you? Will your wedding be hog-wild? Let us know what teams you’re cheering on from the altar! Woo pig!




The Sprint Diaries: So I'm Running a Half Marathon

Image by Shutterstock


I have a big, fat mouth.

That’s the only explanation as to how I walked into Sandra McGrew’s office, our editor-in-chief, to talk about Little Rock Marathon coverage and how I’d never do it, not even a half, and then walked out with plans to run it.

Walking back to my desk having no idea what just happened, I started to panic, which in my world, means going directly to Slim Chickens and shoveling down a whole bird with a tub of bleu cheese.

Throughout this atrocious display of gluttony, I kept going through all the reasons why this race was a terrible idea: But I’m really bad at it. But I have a bum ankle, not to mention the meds I’m on to control my asthma. But I don't like to run. 

You know how you see that girl in the park who's on like her fifth mile, barely breaking a sweat, with a big grin across her face? Spoiler alert: That's not me.

Sandra knew I was simmering in a pot of terror and sent me into the arms of Erin and Gary Taylor of Go! Running in the Heights. Those two are walking pep talks. So I did it. I officially registered for the 2015 Little Rock Half Marathon. And now I've told the Internet and there's no turning back.

But that’s not until March 1st; why not go for a full marathon, you ask judgmentally. Because in case you forgot, the first guy who did it died on the spot, that’s why.

I’ve never done anything like this. The gear, the food, the stretches; I know nothing. I’m starting from the ground up and you lovely people get to come with me. What I learn, you'll learn. I’ll be chronicling every bit of the process, from the blisters to the breakthroughs. 

I’m chock-full of excitement and anxiety, and in way over my head here, folks. If you have any tips, tricks or motivation, send them my way. I need all the help I can get. I’ll also take motivational Slims chicken tenders, but don’t tell Erin and Gary.

You can follow the whole saga right here on the Soirée blog. If you're interested in all the behind-the-scenes magic (aka sweat), I'll be posting updates on Soirée's Instagram, as well as my own.

I have no idea how I got here, but you're coming with me.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop Announces Opening Date

Mark your calendars! 

Potbelly announces it will officially open on Sept. 30. 

Opening in midtown at Park Avenue, 314 South University, St. 160, the sandwich chain offers a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot. Aside from delicious sandwiches, the menu will also feature soup, shakes, malts and smoothies.  

With locations in more than 20 states, this will be the first Potbelly in Arkansas. 

Click here to take a look at the full menu. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest happenings on Potbelly's Facebook page here. 

Tagged > Potbelly, Midtown

Final Round: Crown the Winner in Cutest Dog Contest

Final round! 

Drum roll please! You voted and here are the top 10 cutest dogs in the metro. Now it's time to cast your final vote and bestow the winning title of cutest pup in all the land upon one lucky pooch. **Vote here. 

Voting for this final round will close on Sept. 10 at noon. 

Reminder: Only one vote will be accepted per person, per round. 

The winner will be announced on Sept. 11. 

The winning canine companion will not only be showered with serious online glory, but he or she will receive a Soirée pup prize package which includes two weeks of daycare and four nights of boarding courtesy of Le Traiteur Chien, treats from Just Dogs Gourmet and a portrait session with professional photographer Brittney Turner!

6 Bridal Registry Tips from a Lawfully Wedded Wife

Gallery by Leslyn Jacks

Now that I've been married for a few years, I've had the opportunity to think about things that I wish I would have done differently. As far as our wedding goes, I wouldn't change a darn thing. To me, it was the most special day, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be.
But I would change a few things about our registry choices- and I figured I would share them with you.
Let's compare the following two pictures... The same meal, two different bowls.
Now, I know that there are some Fiestaware-lovin' gals out there- and I totally respect that! But this is my personal opinion.... I think that food looks much more appetizing when it's served on a white dish. I wish I would have known that little tidbit of information when we were registering three years ago (Whoa! Has it really been that long?!). Also, I've read several studies about how people eat more when their food is served on colorful plates. Hmmm.... Maybe this explains why the hubby and I gained weight after the wedding? Or maybe it was the fact that I cooked some of the most delicious and fattening meals known to mankind on my Pinterest board... We'll never know. ;)

While I'm singing the praises of white dishes, I need to talk about white towels and how they're the best. No really.

We made the silly decision to register for white, brown, khaki and blue towels at several stores. Somehow, we ended with four different shades of blue towels. Y'all, we should have gone with all white. We can bleach them to get the nasty moldy towel smell out, and we obviously can't do that with the colored towels. We do the hot water/vinegar/baking soda trick with all of our towels (again, thanks Pinterest), but the moldy smell comes back pretty quickly with the colored towels. So I'm telling you- register for all white towels. You won't regret it.

Also- let me just say that there's no shame in registering for some decor. We didn't register for anything of that nature. We ended up with 8 lamps- all of which we have spray painted or thrown away because they didn't match our decor in our home. Also, we received more than 20 picture frames. Same scenario- we had to revamp them so they would work with the rest of the stuff in our house. So you know what? Go ahead and register for some home decor items at Target (my personal favorite)- it will save you time (seriously, who has time to spray paint lamps and picture frames?!), and it will help your friends out who don't feel like buying kitchen tongs as a wedding gift.

Speaking of kitchen utensils... Aren't my little segues fabulous?

Don't register for every kitchen item under the sun. We made that mistake. Y'all- we have never used our kitchen blow torch. But we have one. My dream of making creme brûlée hasn't come true, and let's keep it real- it probably won't. Ain't nobody got time for that. We don't need 30 casserole dishes- but we have them. I don't know why I thought I would feed an army. That immersion blender I knew I would use a million times? I can count on one hand how many times I've pulled that thing out of the cabinet. "But Giada uses one all the time on the Food Network- so surely I will, too!" That would be a negative. I used my bundt cake pan for the first time a couple of weeks ago. See where I'm going with this? Register for things that you KNOW you will use on a regular basis. We love our Ninja blender. We are OBSESSED with our KitchenAid. Baking sheets? Buy at least 3. I'm not kidding. Invest in some awesome kitchen knives. Think practically when you and your fiancé are walking through the store with that little handy dandy registry gun.

A couple of last thoughts:
1. Register for things that cover a variety of price ranges- while it's tempting to register for the most expensive thing in the store, think of those friends/family members who might be in a financial situation where they can't afford a huge gift. Be considerate!
2. Try to register for the same items at different stores. We received 4 crock pots, 3 Keurig machines, and over 100 (yes, you read that correctly) drinking glasses. This gave us the freedom to return our duplicates and purchase gift cards for date nights, Christmas gifts, and other items that we might not have received at wedding showers.

Have any other questions that I didn't cover? Feel free to shoot me an email at!

Happy Registering!



This blog was originally posted on Leslyn's blog, Leslyn's Lovely Life. Can't get enough? Click here for more info on Leslyn, including where to find her on social media.

Fast Families: Motorcycle Rally, Tractor Show and More

Image by Art Phaneuf - LostArts /

Zoom over to one of these events and please the vehicle lover in your family! Kids can explore antique tractors at the Plantation Agriculture Museum or marvel at classic cars on beautiful Petit Jean Mountain. Plus, this weekend, enjoy the family-friendly Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally!

17th Annual Fall Swap Meet at Petit Jean State Park: This annual event is hosted by the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain. Classic and vintage vehicles from all over the region will be on display. Sept. 24. For info: (501) 727-5427, FREE!

22nd Annual Antique Tractor & Engine Show at Plantation Agriculture Museum: Get your engines ready and join us for a fun nostalgic trip to the Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park. The museum invites all hit- and-miss engines and pre-1960s tractor exhibitors along with all visitors. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 6. For info: (501) 961-1409, FREE!

“Let's Ride Together” Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally & Trace Adkins Concert in Hot Springs: Rev up for this unique festival that includes a motorcycle parade, vendor mall, field events, poker runs, bingo, a bike show, and concerts! Kids have their own activities on Sept. 6: "Safer Streets," a kid-friendly motorcycle safety class from noon-1 p.m., and kid-approved activities galore from 1-3 p.m. Concert-lovers, mark your calendars to see Eliminator at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 and Trace Adkins at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 6. Sept. 4-7. Ticket price varies. For info: (501) 282-7076,

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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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