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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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Enjoy Outdoor Music at Dunbar Community Garden

Dunbar Community Garden

Bring the family and a picnic supper to Music in the Garden, taking place from 5:30-7 p.m. today (May 5), May 12, 19 and 26 at Dunbar Community Garden, 1800 S. Chester St., Little Rock.

Entertainers include Liz Johnson and the Winston Family Orchestra today, Bonnie Montgomery and Rychy St. Vincent May 12, Mockingbird Band May 19 and Velvet Kente May 26.

Organizers will be selling baby chicks, fresh honey, worm tea, worm casting fertilizer and vegetable seedlings, including several varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children over 3 years of age. Proceeds benefit the Dunbar Community Garden, a two-acre project created 18 years ago that has grown into a complete urban garden with greenhouses, vegetable and herb plots and a windmill to create power.

The garden serves as an outdoor classroom for students from nearby Gibbs International Magnet Elementary School and Dunbar Magnet Middle School. Classes involve a full range of gardening tasks including composting, starting seeds in the greenhouse, sowing seeds in the plots, and care of plants, goats, chickens and bees.  

For more information call (501) 690-3944.

Where and How To Celebrate Mother's Day

Make your mom feel extra-special with a diamond-studded tennis bracelet from Stanley Jewelers Gemologist.

Looking for gifts, dining ideas and other suggestions on ways to tell your mom she's the best?You've come to the right place.


Dillard's is giving away a prettily feminine floral scarf with any $65 women's fragrance purchase, such as Yves Saint Laurent's Opium (three-ounce eau de toilette for $90), Estee Lauder's Beautiful gift set (with perfume, body lotion and shower gel for $72) and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, or No. 5 (3.4 ounces for $115).

The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating Moms and Motherhood, a collection of stories and tributes to mothers that includes an essay by Peg Roach Loyd of Little Rock, is available for $16.95 on Proceeds from national book sales benefit Women for Women International, which helps women survivors of war and conflict move toward economic self-sufficiency.

Massage Envy can help your mom relax with gift cards for stress-relieving massages and beautifying facials. Hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Call (501) 492-7721.

Stanley Jewelers Gemologist will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (May 7) with sterling and diamond jewelry with a vintage flair starting at $65 and two stunning diamond-studded tennis bracelets in 18k gold from House of Taylor by Elizabeth Taylor ($14,500 with nine carats of diamonds, $9,500 with six carats of diamonds). Mimosas and pastries will be served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (501) 753-1081.

Stein Mart is offering darling stretch pearl and crystal rings and bracelets for $9.99 and sparkly crystal rubber watches for $19.99. 

Tipton & Hurst has gorgeous floral arrangements -- with charming names such as Dizzy Daisy, Bold 'n' Beautiful, Lilies and Lemons, Summer Sherbet Bouquet, and Pretty in Pink -- starting at $39.95. Call (501) 666-3333.


Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, 27 Rahling Road, Little Rock: Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner 5-9 p.m. Call (501) 821-1838.

Boscos in the River Market is serving brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Each mom will receive a complimentary rose. For reservations call (501) 907-1881.

Gaucho's Grill, 3 Rahling Circle, Little Rock: Churrasco and a special Mother's Day menu 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Call (501) 821-1814.

Executive chef Jacob Peck of Forty Two at the Clinton Presidential Center is serving a special menu for Mother's Day brunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday) that includes carved-to-orderr rack of pork and prime rib, a seafood station with bay scallop ceviche and smoked Alaskan salmon, build-your-own stations for salads, pasta and omelets, and a pastry table. Cost is $23.99 for adults, $8.99 for children. Reservations are required. Call (501) 537-0042.

Mimi's Cafe is making Mother's Day extra special with a complimentary Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel bar to all moms who dine at Mimi’s after 4 p.m. Sunday (May 8). 

Through Sunday (May 8), P.F. Chang’s China Bistro will donate 10 percent of gift card purchases (up to $25,000) to CARE, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls. Gift cards are available in any amount from $25 to $500 online and in-store. Consumers who visit can utilize the site’s new eGift Card feature to send certificates directly via e-mail, write a personal message, choose from a variety of designs or upload a unique image. A special CARE template will also be available.


The Arkansas Arts Center will present Fete des meres from 1-3 p.m. May 8, a Mother’s Day family event in conjunction with the exhibition The Impressionists and Their Influence on view through June 26. Families can participate in fun free Impressionist-themed art activities. At 2 p.m., a docent-led tour of the exhibition will look at the role of women in the Impressionist movement. Admission to the exhibition is $10 for adults and $6 for youth (6-17). Children 5 and under are free. Call (501) 372-4000.

It's the last weekend to see the entertaining musical comedy Hairspray at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock. Performances are at 7 p.m. today (May 5), 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. For ticket information call (501) 378-0405 or click here


Arkansas Wedding Engagement: Beth Wiedower & Zack Edwards of Morrilton

Image by Melissa McCrotty Photography

Beth Wiedower and Zack Edwards of Morrilton, Ark. plan to wed on Sept. 9, 2011 in Morrilton.

Engagement photo by Melissa McCrotty Photography

Best wishes to the bride and groom!

Heifer Village Hosts Family Day

Garbage can be gross, but learning about it at Heifer Village can be cool. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday (May 7), families are invited to spend the day exploring where toys, food, clothes and more go once they're discarded. Learn how foods you eat and items you use every day affect people all over the planet.Children’s activities include mapping their trash, learning about worm bins, storytelling, fun photos with Heifer Ranch animals, discovering your carbon "hoof-print" and a presentation of the animated video, “The Story of Stuff.” The event is free.


Arkansas Arts Center Hosts Fete Des Meres Sunday May 8

Autumn on the Seine, Argenteuil (1873), oil on canvas by Claude Monet


Treat mom to a special Mother's Day with the family. Fun Impressionist-themed art-making activities will be held in the Atrium. At 2 p.m., a Docent-led tour of the exhibition "The Impressionists and Their Influence" will look at the role of women in the Impressionist movement. Admission is free.

Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Arkansas Arts Center, "The Impressionists and Their Influence" is a look into the 19th centruty group of artists that broke from long-standing tradition when they moved outdoors to paint. These artists, the Impressionists, captured the world around them in new ways creating colorful, light-filled scenes of carefree summer outings, riverbanks and seashores, private gardens, public parks, dance halls, cafés and the people who inhabited them.

This exhibition brings together beautiful master paintings and intimate works on paper by French artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, as well as works by major Post-Impressionist artists Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Signac and more. In addition, the show features works by American artists, such as Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Theodore Robinson, who fell full sway under the influence of the Impressionists. Featuring more than 100 works from the collections of the renowned High Museum of Art, the Arkansas Arts Center and private collections, The Impressionists and Their Influence is a unique opportunity to explore the movement that became Impressionism.

Enjoy Historic Quapaw Quarter at the Spring Tour of Homes

Rogers House (c. 1914), 400 West 18th St., Little Rock

The Quapaw Quarter Association’s Spring Tour of Historic Homes will be held from 1-5 p.m. Sunday (May 8) at houses within walking distance of each other near the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock. The event will have a festive, block-party feel, with games, live music, food vendors and activities for children of all ages.

The tour showcases architectural styles typical of historic neighborhoods in Little Rock -- Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival -- as well as one of the area's few examples of the Prairie style. Grand mansions and cozy cottages reflect the diversity of the Quapaw Quarter, both then and now.

The Sunday afternoon tour (1-5 p.m.) will include the Ragland House (c. 1890) at 1617 Center St., the Urquhart Cottage (c. 1880) at 1623 Center St., the Turner-Mann House (c. 1905) at 1711 Center St., the Rogers House (c. 1914) at 400 West 18th St. and the H.A. Bowman House (c. 1887) at 1415 South Broadway. Tickets are $20 per person.

The Evening Candlelight Tour will be held from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday (May 7), opening with a leisurely visit to featured homes with champagne, wine and savories provided at several locations. Guests will then gather in the Garth of Historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (310 W. 17th St.) for cocktails, followed by a dinner of Arkansas-sourced foods and dancing to the music of the Jellies. Tickets are $100 per person and should be purchased by today (May 4).

Tickets can be purchased at the Little Rock Visitor Information Center at Historic Curran Hall, 615 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock. Tickets will also be available Sunday at locations along the tour route. 

Proceeds benefit the historic preservation programs of the QQA. For more information call (501) 371-0075, ext. 3.

May Issue of Little Rock Soiree Is All About Food

Boulevard's new location features a grab-and-go gourmet deli case as well as cases with everyday staples like milk and eggs.

May's Little Rock Soiree, the third annual food issue available at newsstands and online, is stuffed full of amazing goodies. 

Chef Daniel Capello of Chenal Country Club is this month’s cover man. He is the reigning champion of Diamond Chef Arkansas and will soon defend his title in the Diamond Chef ARkansas Finale June 7 at Statehouse Convention Center. 

Sue Tull is a dedicated advocate for higher education and as a board member of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund (SPSF) she understands that having an education is a powerful tool, especially in the lives of single parents. On May 19 there will be a celebration dinner benefiting SPSF and honoring Governor Mike Beebe for his leadership in higher education, visit for more information.

Sandra Marbaise is the co-founder of SanLori, a high-end paper and invitation business, and is hosting a stylish Mad Hatter Mar–TEA-ni party in support of the Arkansas Festival Ballet’s performance of Alice in Wonderland. The storybook ballet will be performed at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre May 20-22. For more information visit

Native Floridian and Windstream executive Ric Crane shares about his involvement with the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas and its Red Hot Party. The new fundraising event will celebrate the Red Cross and the city of Little Rock with dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and libations For more information and to purchase tickets contact Brigette Williams at (501) 748-1030.

The food issue is filled with delicious stories about Boulevard Bakehouse & Market and buying locally and supporting local farmers. There is also a conversation with local foodie and food writer Louise Terzia.

Check out yummy summer cocktails and where to find them, food trucks and how to chase them down. And Hubbub has ideas for how to enhance your kitchen with cookery, grow a delicious home herb garden, and set up for a fun summer dinner with your friends and family.

As always Soiree is filled with fabulous party pictures, an in-the-know Datebook, and a Culture Calendar overflowing with fun activities to jump-start your summer, including several food festivals.

Click here to view the digital edition of May Soiree. 

Arkansas Women Bloggers Plan Statewide Conference

A mini-conference for women bloggers will be held June 10-12 in Huntsville. 

Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged -- a networking retreat and blogging conference -- is planned for June 10-12 by Arkansas Women Bloggers and the Ozark Natural Science Center in Huntsville. 

The conference offers an affordable and accessible way for attendees to unplug for the weekend, network with other Arkansas women bloggers, pick up tips, develop new skills and gain inspiration.

Guest speakers and panelists will offer sessions on topics such as personal branding, photography, PR tactics, blog/life balance and honing message and identity. While Internet access will be available, a “step away from the screen” theme paired with the idyllic setting and face-to-face connections will aim to fuel and refresh attendees.

Cost is $199 and includes two nights of lodging in ONSC's rustic lodges, all meals, speakers and activities. A limited number of attendee scholarships will be available via the Arkansas Women Bloggers website.

Early registration is encouraged; deadline is May 31.

Arkansas Women Bloggers, launched in 2010, features more than 300 women bloggers throughout the state on its blog directory. An Arkansas Women Bloggers meetup in Little Rock in December brought together 60 women from various communities and walks of life. Some women bloggers write for a living, others freelance or enjoy chronicling their lives and families.

For additional information contact Arkansas Women Bloggers founders Stephanie Buckley or Fawn Rechkemmer at or ONSC executive director Beth Stephens at (479) 633-7619.


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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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