On a Bloggy Good Time

This past weekend I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference in Mountain View at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.  

If you know me (or read my blog) you know how much my family loves Mountain View and the folk center.   It isn’t unheard of for us to get an urge and drive the 2 1/2 hrs for some Tommy’s cheese pizza and music in the square.

If we were closer I would beg to work at the folk center.  (As a kid I liked to dream that I was transported back to the pioneer days.)   We did get a few breaks where we got to roam the center to shop and explore.  So I pretended I was the only female blacksmith in the village- but then remembered how easily I get hot and just bought some windchimes.  Maybe an herbalist or glass blower instead? 

Beautiful colored beads and glass items at the Ozark Folk Center
Magical Glass

Three ladies looking into window at glassware
Bloggy Buds (Kyran, Alison, Whitney) Shoppin’

I hadn’t been on a girls’ only trip in over ten years- and this was an amazing experience.  I got to room with some fun and feisty ladies (Alison, Sarabeth, and Whitney) and hang out with others (esp. Melissa, Jerusalem, Brittany, Kyran, and Natalie!) We got to be nutty and smart- my favorite!  I learned how to “tweet” properly, Instagram, and how to get Klout in some strange things.   If you live in Arkansas please check out Arkansas Women Blogger’s– a great community of fantastic ladies willing to help you with anything.

On Friday had an Iron chef AWBU contest and got awesome aprons with our blog names embroidered on them! 

Goat cheese spread, fruit salsa, and white bean dip
Team Savory’s Contribution!

And swag?  Wow.  The AWBU team outdid themselves.  The sponsors went all out and I came home with bags and bags of goodies (Ziploc Versa-glass containers, All You magazines, Mrs. Meyers goodies, boot polish, Happy Birthday baby books, Field notes, Duck Tape that my daughter confiscated, handmade lotion from Tommy Sue’s Critters AND an amazing pair of Ariat boots from Country Outfitter!)

(Be reading for a chance to win a gift certificate for your own pair of boots from Country Outfitter in the next month!)

At our BBQ on Saturday night we even were witnesses to one of the sweetest things…
A fellow blogger, Gina was asked to tell her tale of how she started blogging.  Unbeknownst to her, her boyfriend Thom walked up behind her during her talk and proposed!  Such a sweet love story- read more about it on her blog

Gina & Thom’s Engagement!

A big “Thank You!” to the AWBU team, the great sponsors,  and all the folks at the Ozark Folk Center State Park for all of your hard work! 

On Getting Away (or These Boots Were Made For Walking)

This coming weekend I’m heading to the hills!

Arkansas Women Bloggers is having an “Unplugged” Conference in Mountain View, Arkansas at the lovely Ozark Folk Center! 

Reasons why I’m so excited?

  • I can’t even remember when I ever went on a girls’ only weekend!
  • Mountain View is such a neat town!
  • I get to learn how to photograph food better (something I really need!)
  • Getting to hang out with old and new friends! 
  • Needle Felting, beadmaking classes! 
  • Dancing a jig!
  • Great blogging tips from the pros!
  • Watching the craftsmen at work in the Ozark Folk Center!
  • and…  FREE BOOTS from the conference’s sponsor, Country Outfitter!   


Aren’t these beautiful!

I’ve wanted a good pair of cowboy boots since my hubby got his Ariat’s a couple of years ago. 

He adores his boots and wears them well, I must say.  Country Outfitter has so many beautiful boots and at very reasonable prices.  I think I’m going to get my youngest a new pair for Christmas- he’s outgrown his poor boots several times over and still tries to shove his feet into them!

Mountain View is a wonderful place for a mini-vacation right here in Arkansas.  My family begs to go several times a year.  Besides the Ozark folk center you have floating and fishing on the White River, great camping, Tommy’s Pizza, Blanchard Springs Caverns, Loco Ropes zipline center, free music on the square every night, horseback riding and so much more. 

On Quick Trips

We ran to Dallas this past weekend-
Sort of a last minute mini-summer vacation for the boys
(who start back to school on Monday!)
Jac’s request- Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe
Whappin’ Mon?

Max’s Request- Lego Discovery Center

Boys in Heaven
We also got to visit with my family and some dear friends.  
(And fulfill mom’s request- IKEA!)
Summer will be gone much too soon.

On Digging It

We went to the Crater of Diamond State Park with our Cub Scouts this weekend to camp and try our luck at mining diamonds.   It’s a two hour drive there from Little Rock, and a beautiful drive. We ended up with just three families camping on Friday, but had four more join us to dig on Saturday.  For those of you who don’t know, the park is the only place IN THE WORLD where diamond digging is open the the general public. 

 Searching for Diamonds

 Digging is much harder than you’d think.  There is a lot of mica,
quartz, jasper, and calcite that confuses you and makes you think you’ve
struck it rich.  I found some pretty green rocks I thought might be
jade, but were volcanic ash!  It makes for great geology lessons and Cub
can earn lots of goodies like: Geology beltloop and pin,
family travel requirements,  Webelos Geology pin requirements, and lots

Sifting and Washing

The boys loved getting dirty (but not so much getting hot) so we treated them with a trip to the little water park right outside the digging field.  I think that was the highlight for them!

Cooling Off in the Waterpark

Some hints:  If you go with a large group they give great rates.  We only paid $1.81 for the kids and $3 for adults to dig.  You can take wagons, tools, screens, coolers, from home.  If you don’t want to cart all that they also rent everything you can hope for there and have a restaurant where you can rest.  Take swimsuits if you want to get the kids clean before going home!

On Day Trippin’

Sunday we drove up to N.W. Arkansas to check out Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.   It’s a pretty drive through the Boston Mountains so no one complained about the 3 hrs each way in the car…(not too much anyway.)

Crystal Bridges Museum

We planned on meeting my grandpa (aka Popie), mom, and aunt there but were really late getting on the road so we imagined they would be done by the time we got there.   Funny thing was as I was calling them to see where in the museum they were we happened to look across the pond and see them looking out the window of another gallery! 

Ceiling is a work of art
My “artsy” guys

The grounds and building alone are enough to warrant a trip to
Bentonville to see the museum.  But the collection inside is also
amazing.  One of the most comprehensive American art collections in the
world.   Here are some highlights:

Can you imagine the dinner conversations with this family? 

Hi, George!

Mary Cassatt is my favorite

This reminded us of Scott’s grandma

Maxfield Parrish’s “The Lantern Bearers” is so dreamy

We met up with some friends for dinner in Fayetteville and drove the kids around on a mini- tour that sounded like this: 

“See that- that’s where I had geography.” (Dad)
“That’s the dorm I used to live in.” (Mom)
“That’s the dorm I used to live in.” (Dad)
“They didn’t have this cool stuff when we went here.” (both of us)
“That’s where Grammy and your grandpa lived” (mom)
“That’s where mom and dad met.”  (Mom)
“That’s where I took your mom on our first date.” (Dad)
“That’s where I used to eat tacos.” (Dad)

Don’t know if they heard us but it was fun anyway!