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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 Rings: Get Britney Spears' Bling

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Britney Spears' specially-designed Neil Lane engagement ring from beau Jason Trawick is a real stunner, and we don't know a single lady who wouldn't love to wear that beauty on her ring finger. But when it comes to the pricetag, this sparkler blows the budget.


Luckily though, if you love Britney's new bling, you can get a similar ring without breaking the bank. Several styles in the current Sylvie Collection by Sylvie Levine showcase similar designs with brilliant cut center stones surrounded by diamonds set in 18K gold.


The SY380, pictured, is our fave. It is simply gorgeous and so very sophisticated and timeless. Plus, it's available at two locations in Arkansas: Sissy's Log Cabin in Little Rock and Leslie Jewelers in Searcy. Thanks for the inspiration, Brit! 

Crystal Bridges: No Reservations Needed, So Do What We Did -- Just Go!

Image by Mike Pirnique

Crystal Bridges curator Kevin Murphy describes "Jeanne," a work by modernist painter Alfred Henry Maurer.

Timed tickets, which were in use through Jan. 2 at Bentonville's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, are no longer needed for admission (which is free, as is parking).

So just go. You'll be glad you did.

A recent visit to the museum, which opened Nov. 11, exceeded our expectations. The building is airy and spacious, with a graceful flow that allows visitors to move easily from one era of art to another without squeezing through doorways, walking up stairwells or turning corners.

We knew the museum offered an extensive display of colonial paintings (my husband and I refer to them as "guys with muskets") and 19th-century works, but were surprised by the depth and dazzle of the modern galleries (1900-1960 works that include cubism, surrealism and abstract expressionism) and contemporary exhibits -- representative, abstract, and conceptual works created in traditional media as well as collage, photography, mixed media, and digital technologies.

We saw everything within two hours, but could have spent much more time inside. Photography is permitted (no flash allowed).

And although we didn't pause for refreshments at the coffee bar, located off the main lobby (open Wednesdays-Mondays until 6 p.m.), plenty of others did. You could also spend a good deal of time in the well-stocked museum store. 

Then there's the outdoors. To say that there are trails threaded through the lovely woods that surround the facility doesn't come close to describing how magical they are. Six wide, well-lit trails, paved with crushed granite, wind past a natural spring, large trees, native plants, sculptures and the pine-beamed roof Tulip Tree Shelter.

Museum hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, closed Tuesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset.

Getting there: We got incorrect directions from Google Maps, which resulted in a greater exploration of Bentonville than we intended.

Use these directions from the Museum website: The Museum is located on Museum Way, just off NE J Street in Bentonville. If you are entering Bentonville from Interstate 540, take exit 88 and go west on Central Avenue. Travel .3 miles and turn right onto John DeShields Boulevard. After you cross Northeast J Street, DeShields will turn into Museum Way, which takes you to the Museum entrance and parking garage. For more details click here. 

For more information on the museum click here. If you go, let us know what you think. 

Want To Become a Volunteer? Find Opportunities Here

If you've resolved to do something for your community this year, a list of volunteer opportunities in Pulaski County is available from the United Way Volunteer Center.

Volunteers are needed in the areas of health education, animals, environment and outdoors, domestic violence and crime, tutoring/mentoring, government offices, arts and museums, substance abuse, recreation and sports, television and radio and much more.

To see the full list click here. 

Video: Soirée Previews the January Edition on 'Today's THV This Morning'

Image by Jason Masters

Tiffany Robinson is wearing a Halston Heritage gown, an Extasia vintage floral necklace, and a Mary Jane WWII Belgian Resistant Medallion all from Barbara/Jean Ltd.

The Little Rock Soiree team works hard to craft each edition, but that's only part of the effort. Now that the magazine is on the racks, featuring stunning cover subject Tiffany Robinson, it's time to get the word out. And our first monthly stop is always "Today's THV This Morning."

Below, Mandy Richardson talks to "Today's THV This Morning" co-anchor Ashley Blackstone about this month's edition, which you can read in full right here.

In addition to our cover story on Robinson and Wildwood Park for the Arts' Lanterns festival, we've got conversation with Nan Selz on the Museum of Discovery’s grand reopening, Linda Gleason and the Women and Children First organization, and Janell Mason, who's on a mission for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.

Click below to watch the complete segment.

Little Rock Themed Engagement: Stephanie Shepherd & Joseph Poverelli

Gallery by Christopher Nolan Photography

We couldn't pass up the chance to show you this adorable airport themed engagement!

Stephanie Shepherd and Joseph Poverelli were married in December of 2011 in Pine Bluff.

Having met at the airport a few years ago, they wanted to incorporate this into their engagement pictures and ended up with some amazing shots!

Christopher Nolan Phototgraphy took Stephanie and Joseph's engagement photos. You can click here to see more beautiful photos of the happy couple!

We cannot wait to see photos from their wedding!

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Poverelli!!

Eight Ways to Submit to Arkansas Bride Magazine,

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Ever wondered how to submit information on engagement announcementsReal Weddings, news about a sale or bridal event, or a giveaway through Arkansas Bride?

We've set up a new SUBMIT page that'll help you do all these things. And it's super-easy.

For instance, for Engagements, all you have to do is fill out THIS EASY FORM!

The other seven ways to submit for print or online are just as simple. Check out our new SUBMIT tab on the homepage or click here to see for yourself just how easy we've made it for you.

We can't wait to show you off!!


Lindsay Irvin, Editor, Arkansas Bride

    Small Works on Paper at Laman Library Through Jan. 29

    East 18th by Dennis McCann is part of this year's Small Works on Paper exhibit, starting its statewide tour at Laman Library in North Little Rock. 

    The 2012 Small Works on Paper art exhibition begins its statewide tour with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday (Jan. 6) at Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock.

    The evening will include talks by the artists. Admission is free.

    Presented by the Arkansas Arts Council, the exhibition will remain through Jan. 29. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

    The annual exhibition showcases artwork no larger than 24 x 24 inches by Arkansas artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry, an online art gallery coordinated by the Arts Council.

    The 40 works, which will be on display in 10 galleries throughout the state in a year-long tour, were selected from 246 submissions by juror Marcia Goldenstein, a professor of drawing and painting at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

    Six artists were selected to receive purchase awards totaling nearly $2,000: William Barksdale of Cotter, Ginger Grahn of Paragould, Neal Harrington of Russellville, Dennis McCann and Jason McCann, both of Maumelle, and Mike Means of El Dorado.

    For more information on Small Works on Paper click here or e-mail Cheri Leffew at

    Central Arkansas Library System Working to Found Music Festival in Little Rock

    The Central Arkansas Library System is seeking to found an annual music festival featuring Arkansas music and Arkansas artists with an eye toward launching it this fall in Little Rock, according to a post by Jan Cottingham on

    David Stricklin, who heads the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies housed at the Main Library downtown, would oversee the festival and the festival's coordinator, a job that CALS has started advertising. Stricklin said Wednesday he envisioned the festival lasting at least a couple of days.

    "We'll start small and see how big it gets," he said. It would be held downtown on library property both inside and outside.

    To read the full post click here. 

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    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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