Category: Blogger of the Month Feature

Hawksbill Crag

Heather Wilson, Miss August 2017

One of the most bittersweet experiences I’ve encountered; hiking has long had a special place in my life. Years ago, it was during a hike I got the first signs I was sick. I remember having to stop because I couldn’t breathe, yet the gift of the amazing surroundings kept me going. I wanted to see more. It was soon after that climb up a volcano in Hawaii I was later diagnosed with my first form of cancer. That hike reminded me that though the challenge of doing something that felt too hard to complete, the beauty of what awaited me was worth it. And since then I’ve known, every hike, just like every person, has a story. There’s definitely something special about those places where you stop to take an extra look, don’t you think? Read More…

Moss Mountain Farm

Heather Wilson, Miss August 2017

Have you ever thumbed through the pages of an interior design magazine or maybe drooled over some cover-page worthy images on Pinterest? When it comes to décor, I have always been one of those people who has an idea in my head, but I can’t quite execute it “just so”. Now that my husband and I are building a custom home on several acres of land, we want to step it up in the sustainability department. Lucky or me, inspiration doesn’t have to come from very far away. Arkansas boasts one of the most breathtaking estates in the country only outdone by the owner’s beautiful soul. Read More…

Visit Jasper

Heather Wilson, Miss August 2017

When you think Arkansas, what comes to mind? Be honest now. When we moved here from California I got an earful of pre-conceived notions and stereotypes from other people asking me silly things like, “Do they even have the internet there?” Or one of my favorites, “Where will go out to eat?” I don’t mind, though. It’s like I get to take part in this special secret. The people who live here can keep smiling to themselves about how great we’ve got it. And one place they have it really great? That’s Jasper. It’s got the stuff the perfect getaway is made of. Read More…

Miss August 2017 – Heather Wilson

When I moved to Arkansas, I wouldn’t quite say I did so kicking and screaming, but I would say it wasn’t exactly an easy transition. Previously, I had left my hometown of Miami, Florida for San Diego, California because the pace of life was slower. It was half the population and I thought people were just so laid back. Then I visited my husband’s hometown of Prairie Grove, Arkansas and soon learned what a slow pace really is (he’s heard that story about five-hundred times).

Sometimes in life, we don’t know what we need until the universe shows it to us. The truth is that my life was pretty wonderful, but it needed something greater. That led me to do something I said I’d never do; involve myself with a man who has children and re-marry. Famous last words…

Until then, I thought I had it all figured out. Life showed me that there are things out there greater than I. At first, Arkansas was hard on me. From mosquitos and bugs the size of my head to almost an offensive humidity in the summers and (what I consider to be) bitter cold in the winters, I found a reason to fight accepting my new life at just about every turn. There were things I hadn’t seen before that I encountered in Arkansas. There were things I hadn’t heard before. There was a period of culture shock and, at first, instead of embracing the good things I concentrated on what I didn’t like. I shunned advances from those trying to comfort and encourage me. I was embarrassed to tell people I lived in Arkansas. I would say, “I just moved from San Diego or I’m based out of San Diego.” Now THAT embarrasses me.

When we arrived, a few people told me to give it a year. I thought to myself, “I could give it a lifetime and this place just won’t be home.” I was wrong. I couldn’t tell you the exact time or day, but something in me finally clicked.

Humbled by the farming community in my own back yard, I soon learned about true organic foods and things like beekeeping. I set my eyes upon some of the most beautiful places I’d ever visited (and believe me, a military brat with a career that’s taken me around the world – I’ve visited a whole lot of places). I would travel for work and long to get back to the peace and quiet – and deer family on our land. I would go back to San Diego for meetings and found myself driving in the right lane instead of shaking my fist at people going too slow in the left lane. I changed.

I started blogging to tell the story of a wife who traveled for her career while married to a man in the military. I rebranded to tell the story of a city wife living the country life thinking I’d point out all the ways the country needed to be changed; instead I learned it was I who needed to change. I’ve stepped back to examine what that means and how to best share the story of Arkansas and those who live here. It’s quite a story to tell. This place is a gem (literally and figuratively).  I hope, in time, I can do it some justice. 

I now proudly call this place home and wherever I may wander off to next, I take solace and yes, even pride, in knowing I have such a beautiful place to come back to. I hope you enjoy this small slice of The Natural State and when you decide to stop by for your own Arkansas adventure, look me up!

Heather Wilson
Country Life, City Wife
Just a City Girl Living in a Country World….

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Studio Tour

Beth Macre, Miss July 2017

Just like my art, my studio is ever evolving. We moved into our current home in 2015. I am lucky enough to have an entire spare bedroom to use as my art studio. It is not huge, but it is a separate space just for my art. Since we moved here, I have rearranged it a few times in search of the perfect layout. I’m still looking.

My latest switch was just last week. I am still reorganizing some things, so I will be updating the Studio Tour as I go. More supplies, more projects, means more stuff. Managing that is always a challenge. When I become a ‘famous’ artist, or win the lottery, I will build my dream studio. I hope that is soon!

I hope you enjoy seeing it evolve.  Follow the links within the blog posts to see the updates. READ MORE…

War Eagle Fair

Beth Macre, Miss July 2017

After moving to Northwest Arkansas, I was very happy to be able to apply to be a vendor at War Eagle Craft Show. I had only participated in a few Art Festivals in Georgia, but none in Arkansas. Although I had never been to the War Eagle Craft Show, I had heard that it is a big show with great attendance, along with many other shows that same weekend in October each year. And it is.  

I set up shop there for 2 years and I loved it. The crowds are wonderful and the setting is just gorgeous in October. Last year I had to withdraw a few weeks before the Fair because my husband had to have unexpected heart surgery. While I enjoyed being a vendor at War Eagle, it is a long 4 day show. This year, any shows that I go to will be 1 or 2 day shows. Maybe we will go back to War Eagle again as a vendor, or as a customer and blog about the show. For now, you can read about our first year experience. READ MORE…

Flashback to 2014 – Reminder to Self…Simplify

Beth Macre, Miss July 2017

The Arkansas Women Blogger Conference in September 2014 was one of the first ‘events’ that I participated in after moving to Northwest Arkansas in the spring of that year. I was not able to attend the conference but I did participate in the Saturday Makers Market, where I met several bloggers in real life for the first time! It made an impression on me and I blogged about it.

I happened to be there when a news reporter from Channel 5 News was there. Fair warning…there is a reason why I do not talk on video. I was not prepared when she came up to me to ask a few questions.

“Bloggers are not normal”  What?

I’m sorry for my nonsensical blathering on camera. If you watch the video (Link on the blog) to see what I’m talking about. You will also see some other Arkansas Women Bloggers speaking very eloquently about the conference.

Clarification: By ‘normal friends’ I meant ‘friends who were not bloggers’.

In my defense, that year was a very stressful year. Which is why I was blogging about Simplifying my life! Talking to a reporter on camera is not that!  READ MORE…

Miss July 2017 – Beth Macre

Hello! My name is Beth Macre. Pronounced Mac (as in Mack truck) re (as in re-run). I tell you that because no one gets it right! I didn’t either when I met my husband. I wasn’t even close.

I am happy to be Blogger of the Month of July. I appreciate the opportunity to share a few things from my world. I am the artist behind the easel/screen of Beth S Macre Studio. I have lived most of my life in Arkansas. Everyone in my family was born in Arkansas, except me. I was born in Texas. But soon after, my family moved to Alabama and then back to Arkansas when I was 6. We lived in Pine Bluff, where I graduated from Pine Bluff High School. After graduation, I moved to Jonesboro to attend Arkansas State University. I graduated with a BSE in Art Education. My first teaching job took me to the Delta. I took a job with the Blytheville Public Schools, where I met my future husband, Sam. We worked and raised our two children in Blytheville.  After we both retired from teaching, we moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2014, where we are planning to stay. I have lived in Central Arkansas, Northeast Arkansas, and now Northwest Arkansas. Each part of Arkansas is beautiful in its own unique way. And I love that I have friends, family and acquaintances all over the state of Arkansas.  

Currently, I am a full-time artist, working in my home studio, and selling my art through my Etsy shop, BethSMacre.etsy.com, and at some shows a few times a year. I create colorful and whimsical drawings, paintings, and pottery to help brighten up your home. You can follow me on Instagram to see what I am currently working on, some behind the scenes photos, sneak peaks, or just stop by and say hello!

In May of 2007 I published my first post on my blog that I named Beth S Macre – Art Journal.  The title is not that creative, but blogging was very new to me and I didn’t even think about trying to come up with a clever name! I was thinking more about how to write about my art and myself without sounding too self-absorbed. After all, I am an artist, not a writer. My posts became more of a documentation of what I was doing creatively and served as motivation to continue to grow and create more. Holding myself accountable for my commitment to creating became easier as I shared more on the blog and followed along other creative bloggers along the way.

In 2010 I started a second blog about my adventures in teaching art. I called it Mrs. Macre’s Art Class.  As an Art teacher, I had so many interesting experiences that I loved sharing. I retired from teaching in 2012, but I occasionally add new content to Macre’s Art Class.  I plan to add some how to art lessons in the future. Let me know if there is an art project that you would like more information about and I will do some research for the blog!

I hope that you will come back later in July to see more of what I have been up to! Stop by the blog(s) and say Hi! Come follow me over on Instagram and Facebook too! Have a great July and the rest of your summer!

Links:

Etsy Shop:  BethSMacre.etsy.com

Instagram: BethMacre.instagram.com

Blog: BethMacre blogspot.com

Blog: Macresartroom.blogspot.com

Facebook: BethSMacreArt.facebook.com

 

Miss May 2017 – Monika Rued

Hi there! I am Monika Rued, your Miss May 2017. I’ve never really been into pageants but I must say, I like the sound of Miss May. In my mind, I’m wearing a dainty diamond tiara and a satin sash with “Miss May 2017” in a tasteful script font. I also am completely put together like so many of my glorious Southern girlfriends. You know what I’m talking about, right? Showered, shaved, lubed up, hair, make up, eyebrows waxed, eyelashes curled, mani and pedi, and form fitted dress over my Spanx power panty that shows off my curves without making me look like a sausage casing. ALL AT ONCE. Yeah, baby! I said that in my Austin Powers accent too. I’m really feeling this fantasy, y’all!

In reality though, I can’t remember the last time I was completely put together. If we’re being honest, ever really. I’m the kind of girl (yes, girl…it’s all about context) who paints her own nails last minute, runs a polish remover-soaked Q-Tip around the sloppy edges, and tries her best to hold them in front of the car AC vents on the way without hitting a bump and wrecking them before I get there. The kind of girl who has a personal relationship with dry shampoo.

I’m the kind of girl who loves sharing my imperfect life with others, who in return reassure me I’m not alone. That there are other Southern women living among us who have hairy legs and dry feet even into 80 degree hot, humid weather, hiding under pants and closed toe shoes, among other more critical things. Blogging connects us. And I’m happy to connect with all of you this month.

My personal blog is on hiatus right now, but professionally, I’m blogging for Arkansas State Parks. I’m the public information officer, manage our blog, ride herd over our websites, newsletters, and social media. I’ve been with State Parks two years, and am blown away daily by our team and incredible parks.

Our blog is an interesting mix of blogs written by a variety of people about everything from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) legacy to what life would really be like as Scarlett O’Hara. I enjoy graphic design, photography, and videography, and the creativity it allows in storytelling. One of my first vlogs for ASP is about one of my passions, rock climbing. And I shared my authentic experience. No edits to make me look like an unafraid badass! Check out the Arkansas State Parks blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can follow me personally @monikarued on social.

I grew up in my career at THV 11, the CBS affiliate in Little Rock, becoming the station’s first online producer and digital manager. I managed a community site for moms and started doing weekly on-air family segments. I stayed about a decade, which is like dog years in TV! But the connection this gave me to our communities and other moms changed my life forever. Not to mention I had my son, Pierce, during this time and loved having so many women in my tribe. Many thanks to Arkansas Women Bloggers for giving me the opportunity to connect to our community again in a personal way as Miss May. Yeah, baby! (I’m doing the pageant wave right now, with that elbow tucked so the only thing waving is my hand. Sorry, not sorry.)

Rebekah Hearn – Miss April 2017

Happy April, y’all! I’m Rebekah & I’m stoked to be your Miss April here on ARWB. I love me some April, because April showers bring May flowers 😉 More like, April is the time of thunderstorms in Arkansas, and I’m a wannabe storm chaser! But really, I thought I would introduce myself and let you get to know me a little bit.

I’m from Northwest Arkansas, and graduated from pharmacy school last year. I’m a nerd, and I love school. That’s probably why I chose to get an MBA as well. I joke that if I could, I would go back to school and study meteorology. You never know! I’m always working! I work in two adorable community pharmacies, and I feel that is where God knew I needed to work when I graduated. I have been blessed to move back to my hometown where I grew up and lived my entire life.

When I’m not working, I try to travel and see as much of the world as possible. I have visited Europe and Asia with my family. I have also traveled to Central & South America on mission trips with my church. While there are several places I want to visit in the US, I love getting to see other cultures in the world. I absolutely loved Germany when I visited. Since my ancestors were from Germany, I felt a tie to that country. It is always so interesting to watch other people and see how they live their everyday lives. I hope to visit all of the 7 continents one day; although, I think Antarctica might be a little difficult 😉

Why did I start blogging? I really don’t have an amazing story like many bloggers, but I knew that I wanted a place to share my life, travels, and obsession with beauty products. I wanted it to be a place where I could keep track of my favorite places I’d been and favorite products I’d been using. I would have never dreamed that I would meet one of my best friends, Ricci, through blogging. We joke all the time, because the second time we ever even saw each other, we were taking a cross-country road trip to see another one of our blogging friends who we had never even met in person. I think God works in mysterious ways. He knew that I would meet some of my best friends through blogging, and I talk to these girls every single day. We have taken several trips with our friend Jenn since then. We have been to Charlotte, Las Vegas, Memphis, and Nashville. And we aren’t done yet! We have several other trips in the works.

I’m super excited to be your Miss April around here 😉 I can’t wait to show you more about my life and how I balance a full-time job and blogging. Since I finally don’t have to study for hard tests anymore, I can’t wait to jump back into blogging more and more. I can’t wait to document my travels and share products from the beauty world that work for me.

As the month progresses, be sure to check back for more posts from me. In the mean time, be sure to follow me on social: Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m really trying to get into the Insta-story game, so be sure to watch those! For more trip reviews/recaps and beauty advice, head over to Rebekah Elizabeth. I’m also on BlogLovin’, so be sure to follow me there as well. Buckle up & enjoy the ride with me!