The Women Bloggers LLC community members (in eight states!) are natural megaphones and amplifiers, and their talent in curating and sharing content combined with life experiences and strong opinions as parents and consumers makes us the most unique talent agency our partners will encounter.  For more information on working with The Women Bloggers, email to Stephanie at The Women Bloggers.

Dear Arkansas

September 17, 2014

Dear Arkansas,

Please don’t tell Oklahoma, but I have a bit of a crush on you. I was lucky enough to attend AWBU in Rogers earlier this this month. Now, I’m not a newbie—I’ve been to Arkansas before. I’m no stranger to the Natural State, which is why I was so taken by surprise.

I headed north from I-40 on I-49 and the breath was stolen from my body. My jaw quite literally dropped and it was in that moment I became smitten. The views—nay, the panoramic vistas!—the unrelenting smell of pine that wafted through my car’s vents. I just wanted to pull over to the side of the road and write long, glowing tributes to the beauty of the steep, tree-covered mountainsides surrounding me, the beautiful seam created when the tips of the tree line kissed the blue sky, woven with puffy, soft taffy clouds. I could never do it justice.

When I arrived in Rogers and was met with the loving circle that is the Women Bloggers, it was the warm and welcoming embodiment of that welcoming scenery; a group of supportive and caring women surrounded me—but not just me, everyone—and together we assured one another of our inner strength. The group of us knit together in ways unseen, providing an incontrovertible connection that I could feel surrounding me when I took time to get quiet.

Over two days, I was shown the best that Arkansas has to offer—from the supportive bloggers to the amazing businesses sponsoring the conference, family-owned local businesses that stand as examples of what makes not only Arkansas but our country a wonderful place to live. I learned about the passion behind family farms, the importance of a strong work ethic. I was reminded of things important to me that sometimes get lost in the day to day overwhelming grind.

Upon heading back home a few days later—full of information, head spinning from the connections and lessons learned—I realized that I had been given a gift. The gift of Arkansas. I bonded with people and tapped into big ideas, but more than that, I was reminded of what a blessing it is to live in this world, in this time.

And for that, I am thankful. You’ve got my heart, Arkansas.

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Mari Farthing, Oklahoma Women Bloggers

Mari Farthing is the local administrator of Oklahoma Women Bloggers living in the Oklahoma City area with her husband, two tween children, and a pair of red-eared sliders (Gamera and Mud). Originally from Wisconsin, Mari arrived in Oklahoma courtesy of the United States Air Force and decided to put down roots in the red dirt when her husband retired from active duty service in 2011. Mari maintains two of her own blogs, www.MariFarthing.com and www.MariEdits.glogspot.com and contributes to several others (like www.BookyGoodness.com). She blogs about family, music, crafts and cooking, pop culture, writing, editing, books, and really just about anything that runs through her brain. Mari has a wealth of editing experience, including a five-year run as editor of a local parenting publication and two years as contract editor for a local small press. Mari finds inspiration in her children, well-crafted words, and a great glass of wine. Currently Mari continues to write and edit when not knitting and running.

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By Tammie of Chaos to Christ

back in my day

Recently I had an opportunity to share a personal story with my teenage daughter thinking it would help give her perspective on a current situation she was dealing with. She was so engaged while I was talking that I felt like I was making a difference. One of those rare moments where I felt like a great mom, a capable mom, one who could lead my teenager through this sometimes chaotic life journey. But that prideful feeling I experienced was short lived. After I was done talking, my daughter sat there for a minute. Then she said, “I love your stories, Mom, they’re so OLD.” Ouch!

And while I am really quite young (that term continues to apply to me even though the birthdays seem to come faster and faster) and determined to age gracefully, I understood what she meant. Sometimes stories and reflections from the past do not seem to be as applicable to our lives today. The world we live in is constantly shifting and changing. And what might have made sense “back in my day” may not seem as helpful today (definitely my hairstyles and clothing choices!).

What I find truly amazing is that every time I open my Bible and read from the pages filled with wisdom, grace, and encouragement is that it is just as applicable today even though it was written over 2000 years ago (speaking of aging gracefully!). My fears and struggles, my doubts and worries, my life of chaos are completely addressed through the scripture. Spending time with Christ in prayer and Bible study each day takes my sometimes weary and burdened heart and exchanges it for peace and soul rest.

matthew 11:28-30

Does this sound familiar – hectic schedules, overwhelming responsibilities, and massive to-do lists? Waking up in the night worrying about what you weren’t able to get done, what you did wrong, and what the future holds.

This is the chaos of our lives. But there is hope. It is found only in Christ. He is calling us to a life of peace and soul rest even among the chaos.

Consider joining me on this journey of keeping a focus on Christ. Open your Bible and discover that He wants to provide you with daily encouragement that is just as applicable today as ever.
Tammie Signature

TammieI’m a thankful mom of 2 kids and have been blessed with a very encouraging husband of 23 years. Just like many of you, my days are packed! During the day, I take care of bank customers and prospects. In the afternoons and evenings, I take care of my family and work on volunteer projects. But my favorite part of each day is first thing in the morning, where I spend dedicated time with my Savior. Consider subscribing to receive biweekly encouraging devotionals at http://www.chaostochrist.com.
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#AWBU 2014 Recap Link-Up

September 15, 2014

We hiked out of the woods, got all fancied up and went to a hotel for #AWBU 2014. DebbieSteph

Foodie Friday was nothing short of amazing(thanks to Debbie Arnold), there were information packed sessions, tons of laughs, much-needed direction from @alli, and so many Pinterest-worthy photos documenting it all (make sure you post them to the #AWBU 2014 board).  

When I tell people about ARWB and the #AWBU conference, they do not truly understand the impact until they walk in the door. It’s the kind of amazing, can’t-possibly-be-true stories and experiences that literally happen all the time because of the deep and lasting impact of the relationships of our bloggers.  These true relationships developed all because we built a community with a focused mission (Gather, Grow, Connect) and a commitment to doing the right thing. Then, that community grew into a passionate group of bloggers who “get it” and want to not only be a part of the gift, but to pass it on to others.

I am not ready for #AWBU 2014 to end quite yet, so please link-up your follow-up posts from your blogs so we can all read your take on the conference and re-live all the fun, your take-aways, and gratitude for our sponsors and your fellow bloggers. Thank you all for being part of our community and for always being the ones who lift others up.
Stephanie @The Park Wife



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Childhood Lessons {Blogger of the Month}

September 15, 2014

By Alicia Dowell, Miss September 2014 As I sit and write this post, it is the week of Arkansas Women Bloggers, and I am excited. If I had gone to something like this when I was younger I would have been scared out of my mind. I was the kid who sat alone, reading or [...]

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Sunday Link-Up {September 14, 2014}

September 14, 2014

We’re all excited for #ARWB #SundayLinkUp. Come join the party. Click To TweetPowered By CoSchedule

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Dishing It With Chef Matt McClure {Foodie Friday)

September 12, 2014

 By Debbie Arnold This year’s Foodie Friday preconference of #AWBU featured four outstanding speakers, including Chef Matthew McClure (@matthewrmcclure) of The Hive at 21CBentonville. He encouraged all of us  to eat seasonally and eat locally. Much of his menu at the restaurant is determined by the produce he procures from local vendors and farmers. We were treated to [...]

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Tragedy, Beauty, Mystery {Back in My Day}

September 11, 2014

by Paige Ray of Approaching Joy I’ve heard it said that September 11th is my generation’s “Where were you?” moment. Just like the generations of Americans before us who experienced horrific tragedy (the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr, the Challenger explosion) this was our first [...]

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Back in My Day… the cord was 20 feet long {Wordless Wednesday}

September 10, 2014

By Jeanetta Darley of So, I was saying… Crocheter & coffee addict. Chicken keeper & goat wrangler. Artist-Farmer girl & maker of drunk jellies. She loves Jesus but she drinks a little. Join her as she writes about her day to day victories and failures with family, farming, gardening, cooking, crafting, travel and life in [...]

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Living and Telling Great Stories: AWBU

September 9, 2014

  I’m flying home from Arkansas, completely filled up to the brim with all kinds of wonderful from a fabulous weekend in Rogers for AWBU! What a great conference with a wonderful group of folks! As usual, I learned a ton and got to connect lots of names with faces. I also had the opportunity [...]

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Fairs of Past and Present {Blogger of the Month}

September 8, 2014

By Alicia Dowell, Miss September 2014 September has always meant to me school that is back for another year. When I was younger, summer ending never really upset me. I looked forward to fall for two reasons: my birthday, and the Fair. As a kid, the fair (besides Christmas) was the big event of the [...]

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