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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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Eight Ingredients That Can Help You Drop Weight

Adding edamame to a menu can help you feel satisfied.

There will be lots of cookouts, graduation parties, family reunions and other opportunities to overeat this Memorial Day weekend. The June issue of ShopSmart suggests you outsmart calorie overload by adding these ingredients to your menus:

Edamame  -- These legumes contain a generous dose of protein and fiber for about 50 calories per quarter cup. The crunchy texture means you chew more slowly and allow your body extra time to feel full. Instead of croutons in a salad, add oven-roasted edamames. 

Fat-free Greek yogurt -- Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained, making it protein-dense and filling. Top it with fiber-rich fruit and a few nuts for a satisfying snack. It also works well as a substitute for for sour cream.

Flaky bran cereal -- Choose lighter flakes over dense granola types and you'll get twice as much volume for about the same number of calories. Use it instead of bread crumbs to bulk up dishes or coat fish filets.

Craving a sweet? Reach for grapes and other juicy fruits. For the same 100 calories you would get in a quarter cup of raisins, you can chow down on almost two cups of grapes. Dried fruit has very little water, so it isn't very filling. 

Low-sodium broth -- Broth-based soups make you less hungry, and their fragrance provides sensory pleasure. Load it with fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains to make it more satisfying.

Shredded greens bulk up sandwiches and salad bowls for very few calories. You'll get more vitamins if you skip the iceberg and stick to romaine, escarole and other darker greens.

Raspberries -- The seeds have lots of fiber, which fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. Sprinkle fresh raspberries onto a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt or drop a few into pancake batter, muffin batter, or fruit salad.

Watery vegetables -- Watery vegetables, which make you feel full, include broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Adding any of these to pizza, pasta and stir-fries provides nutrients and helps take care of your appetite.

Antique Alley Arkansas Coming to Conway Expo Center

Camark pottery expert David Gifford will be identifying pottery at Antique Alley Arkansas antique show Saturday.

Antique Alley Arkansas will host an antique show from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (May 28) and noon-5 p.m. Sunday (May 29) in Conway Expo Center at the Faulkner County Fairgrounds.

A wide variety of antique vendors from around the country will offer architectural salvage from New York, antique silver, furniture, estate jewelry, pottery, coins, paper items, old tools and more.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 12 and under. Parking is free.

David Gifford, author of the Collector's Guide to Camark Pottery and the Collector’s Encyclopedia of Niloak, will be identifying pottery from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. For each piece of pottery identified (limit of two), a $3 donation to the Faulkner County Humane Society is appreciated.

For more information call Jenifer Bradley at (479) 739-7171 or Ashley Norris at (501) 230-5728 or


Freedom Riders Celebration at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Saturday

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Get on the Bus: Commemorating 50 Years of Riding for Freedom will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock.

Speakers at the event -- a celebration of civil rights activists known as freedom riders who challenged racial segregation in the South in 1961 -- include William "Bill" Hansen, former director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Little Rock, John Kirk, author of Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, and freedom riders David Meyers and Winoah Beamer.

Admission is free. For more information click here. 

Riverfest, Through Sunday, Downtown Little Rock

Some of the cheery sights on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Riverfest 2010.

Performances by national acts such as Widespread Panic, Barenaked Ladies, Nelly, REO Speedwagon, Poison and the Charlie Daniels Band are among the attractions of this year's Riverfest, going on through Sunday along the banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock.

Bring a non-perishable food item to aid the AR Foodbank Network to the Riverfest Shuttle stops (east side of War Memorial Stadium/AT&T Field at Markham and Van Buren streets and North Little Rock High School's north parking lot) and get $1 off your ride, regularly $3 round trip.

If you've ever been to Riverfest you know that, along with entertainment by local and national artists, you'll find food (and plenty of it), kids' activities, a rock climbing wall, art displays, vendors selling jewelry, gifts, clothing, handbags, cookware, sunglasses and all sorts of other stuff, an incredible fireworks display at dark on Sunday (the best place to watch it will be from the Junction Bridge), and a lot of people you know.

Festival hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday (May 27), 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday (May 28) and 1-11 p.m. Sunday (May 29).

Admission at the gate is $30 (cash only) for a three-day pass ($20 on Sunday).  To learn more call (501) 255-3378 or click here. 

What to Do With Your Kids at Riverfest this Weekend

Image by Michael Pirnique
There's plenty for kids to enjoy at Riverfest this weekend.

If you're headed to River Fest with a family of youngsters, you're surely planning to stop by the Arkansas Select Buick GMC KidZone area. Here's what's in store for you this weekend:

The ”KidZone Playtime Promenade” will be located along the banks of the Arkansas River near the Peabody Playground & Water Park in the central area of Riverfront Park. Kids can stroll along the Riverwalk Promenade, which will feature lots of hands-on activites, exciting games, creative crafts and more.

Speaking of crafts, the KidZone Craft area, located in the Ozark Pavilion, will take the little ones on a trip “Under the Sea.” Crafts to be made include: a sun visor that will keep the kids cool and out of the sun’s rays, a jellyfish kids will be able to shake and make it look like it's swimming under the sea, and another fun craft will allow the kids to “catch” their very own Arkansas Catfish and take it home as a trophy. The kids can also create a fish puppet or make their very own origami paper boat.

Other playtime activities will include the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Dipping Station, where your kids will love decorating their very own chocolate-iced Krispy Kreme doughnut with a colorful sprinkle mix. You can also enjoy fun activities like Squirt Art on Canvas, Fanciful Face Painting and finger casts from Arkansas Children’s Hospital. And there’s more! Bean Bag Toss, Bubble Blowing, Chalk It Up Fun, and KidZone Hula Fun will provide hours of entertainment for your family. 

For older children and teens, there's also a Teen Extreme, a gaming area. Learn more about that, here.

Oh, and don't forget about the KidZone Stage; performances will take place there all weekend long. Here's the performance schedule:

Friday, May 27

  • 6:30 p.m. The Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 7:30 p.m. Monster Shop Bumpn’

  • 8:15 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

Saturday, May 28

  • 11:30 a.m. Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 12:30 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

  • 1:30 p.m. Wayne Francis, Ventriloquist

  • 2:30 p.m. Monster Shop Bumpn’

  • 3:30 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

  • 4:30 p.m. Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 5:30 p.m. Monster Shop Bumpn’

  • 6:30 p.m. Wayne Francis, Ventriloquist

  • 7:30 p.m. Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 8:00 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

Sunday, May 29

  • 1:15 p.m. Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 2:00 p.m. Monster Shop Bumpn’

  • 3:00 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

  • 4:00 p.m. Wayne Francis, Ventriloquist

  • 5:00 p.m. The Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard

  • 6:15 p.m. Sugar Free Allstars

  • 7:00 p.m. Monster Shop Bumpn’

  • 8:00 p.m. Trout Fishing in America


  • 9:30 p.m. Trout Fishing in America

Real Wedding: Tracy Jones & Brian Bowen of Little Rock

Gallery by Danielle Davis Art/Photography

Bride & groom: Tracy & Brian Bowen of Little Rock

Wedding date: April 30, 2011

Ceremony location: St. Andrew's Cathedral, Little Rock

Reception location: Lafayette Square, Little Rock

What was your overall inspiration? I just wanted a trendy-vintage look, a classy version of DIY.

What were the interesting personal touches/unique details? My mom made the table runners and toppers, she will reuse all of them to make a quilt—including the flags. The bridesmaids and I made all of the monogrammed flags by hand, and I baked all of cookies myself, including Snikerdoodles (my favorite) and Cowboy (Brian’s favorite). I also made all of the save-the-dates, invitations, programs, and banners for the wedding.

What one detail truly made the wedding yours? So many personalized details

How did you save money in planning your wedding? By doing so many things myself

Tell us a little bit more about the day, how did it go? My bridesmaid had a flat tire other than that it went pretty smooth. A highlight, I was shockingly calm.

The Details:


Huntington Learning Center Kicks Off Summer Reading Adventure Program

As area students head into summer break, Huntington Learning Center is launching Reading Adventure, Huntington's summer reading program.

As area students head into summer break, Huntington Learning Center is launching Reading Adventure, Huntington’s summer reading program. Building on the themes of discovery and exploration, Reading Adventure encourages students to immerse themselves in the books they read.

Students choose books from reading lists provided by Huntington, which offer suggestions by grade level. Each student receives a reading “passport” in which they record their book selections. Once the child finishes a book, he or she completes a journal entry and receives a postcard.

 “We launched Reading Adventure in 2010 to get students excited about reading for enjoyment and to think of books as opportunities to take a journey into another world, culture or area of interest,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “We find that students who pick up books for fun are far more engaged in reading than they might be when they are forced to read. We’ve selected high-interest, fun books that will appeal to children with a variety of interests—and those at a variety of reading levels.”

At the end of the summer, Huntington will host a celebration to honor students’ reading achievements. Each participant will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a Reading Adventure trophy.

“Reading truly is a skill that improves with frequent practice,” says Huntington. “Studies continue to prove that the more students read, the more they want to read because their reading, comprehension and critical thinking skills improve. This is the purpose of Reading Adventure—to get children interested in stories and topics that are new to them, to encourage them to explore and to help children develop a regular reading habit. That way, when the new school year begins, students have maintained their reading skill level.”

Get more info about Central Arkansas' Huntington Learning Center, here.

For more information, visit

Arts Center Offers Free Admission to Military May 28-29

All military with ID will receive FREE admission to the exhibition "The Impressionists and Their Influence" on May 28 & 29.

The Arkansas Arts Center will host Military Appreciation this weekend, May 28-29. All military with ID will receive free admission to the exhibition The Impressionists and Their Influence

“This is one way the Arkansas Arts Center can show appreciation and honor members of the military for their great service to our country on Memorial Day Weekend,” said Interim Director Joseph Lampo.

Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Arkansas Arts Center, The Impressionists and Their Influence will be on view through June 26. This exhibition brings together beautiful paintings and intimate works on paper by the French artists Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne, as well as works by major Post-Impressionists artists and the American artists who fell under the influence of the Impressionists.  Featuring more than 100 works from the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Arkansas Arts Center and private collections, The Impressionists and Their Influence is a splendid opportunity to explore this revolutionary art movement.

Admission to The Impressionists and Their Influence is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for youth (6-17). Children 5 and under are free.  Admission is $6 for military, fire, police, college students, teachers and groups of 10 or more. 

For more information, call 501-372-4000 or visit

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Closed Mondays & major holidays

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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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Tonight (Wednesday) is the last chance to enjoy a free movie outdoors in downtown Little Rock. "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" will be shown at Movies in the Park tonight at 8:30 at the Riverfront Park.

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