Category: 2017

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

 

The Best of Renee Birchfield

by Miss June 2017, Renee Birchfield

I am sad that this is the last time I will be sharing with you during my time as Blogger of the Month. I have enjoyed being Mrs. June! Today I am going to share some of my favorite posts. I do talk all about food so it will be a pretty recipe heavy, but I think you will enjoy it!

I do a lot of healthy recipes that follow a diet plan called the Trim Healthy Mama plan and really it is a lifestyle change not a diet. I and so many others have found easy success with it and I love sharing new recipes with followers. Healthy does not have to mean lacking in anything especially flavor!

Sugar-Free Strawberry Cheesecake is one of my favorite recipes. No one would know that it isn’t bad for you. If you really wanted to you could eat a slice for breakfast and have no guilt, not speaking from experience of course 😉

Dinner for Two Stuffed Chicken Breast and Green Beans I am proud of this recipe I didn’t have any source of inspiration except for what I wanted to eat. It turned out great on the first try too!  It is the perfect weeknight quick dinner for two.

10 Spices Every Kitchen Needs My top ten lists of spices you should have. I love giving kitchen tips on the blog too.  This was one of my more popular posts on Pinterest.

Grilled Veggies Perfect for summer. This couldn’t be a simpler process and they turn out great every time!

I have had so much fun hanging out this month and sharing with all you lovely ladies! I hope you have enjoyed too.  

A Day in the Life of Renee Birchfield

Miss June 2017, Renee Birchfield

As a teacher my days are always a little different, but now that it is summer a typical day is usually much more relaxing. I am now watching a 4-year-old, we’ll call him T, four days a week and he keeps every day exciting. Here are some pictures of how our day unfolds.

After getting Hubby off to work I take care of the animals and head off to T’s house. We start our morning playing with trains, train tracks, bow and arrows, cars, books and whatever else he can drag out of his playroom.

This was a favorite this week

Then I try to have some learning activities. Right now we are learning to recognize letters and to match them.

Followed by some fun arts and crafts.  This week we were talking about tractors, one of his favorites, so we were making

Some days we go to the library for story time and shows. After sitting still in the library for half an hour we head over to the park so he can run and get some (lots) of his energy out.

When we get back it’s time for lunch. Which is a little break for Mrs. Renee when we watch TV and chill.

We spent a lot of time going on walks. Which really means I walk behind him as he rides his “four-wheeler” all around the neighborhood. At least I am getting more exercise haha.  

After he is played out and it’s about 1:30 he gets to go take a nap. Then I read chapters and work on assignments for class.

After I get home I normally have some animals who are feeling neglected and need attention. Tesla shows this by laying on my feet so I can’t go anywhere.  

I work on more school work, pick up the house, and start dinner before Hubby gets home from work. After dinner we like to relax and watch Netflix or in the office, him playing games, me getting blog stuff finished.

Chester was tired of me not paying attention to him so he sat on my book and notebook while I was writing.

Summers are a fun break from the school year for me since I get to work one on one with one of my favorite kiddos. What do you do on these summer days?

Bye Bye Bye 24 by Renee Birchfield

by Miss June 2017, Renee Birchfield

I think that it is only fitting that I get an N’SYNC song while I am blogger of the month. I’m a 90s baby and of course love boy bands. There was never a contest for me N’SYNC always beat the Backstreet Boys. I mean look at them, they are so cute!  It is also my birthday month and Bye Bye Bye is perfect as I say bye to being 24 and moving on up to 25!

It’s funny how those ‘old’ ages don’t seem to be that old the closer you get to them. When I was a kid and in love with Lance from N’SYNC I was sure that 25 was like an old lady! Now though I’m still not sure it should count as an adult haha!

Some things have changed over the year and some have stayed the same. Let’s take a short look at the year.

We are still living in the same house. That may change in a year or so who knows. We did upgrade our carpet floors now we have nice wood floors. After some getting used to they are awesome. Maybe I am in the adult mind when I’m excited about new floors. Ha!

My blog hit new highs and reached more people than I could have ever hoped. I have had a few of those great emails saying that I inspired someone to start a new diet or that a recipe was their kids new favorite. If Spoons Could Talk has been more successful in many ways than my other blog ever dreamed of being.

We did lose my Grandpa on Easter. That is still hard to adjust too. That is one of the biggest things that has changed while I was 24. My grandma died when I was about 8 so life without her wasn’t such an adjustment for me. But Grandpa has been there for everything and since we moved to Conway I saw him most of the times I went home, so now knowing I can’t go see him is hard to get used to.

My little family is still Hubby, me, Tesla the dog and Chester the cat. I dred the day one of the fur babies isn’t in my life.

Somewhere around February, I decided it was time I go back to school. After almost 3 years of subbing, I was ready to have my own classroom. Since then I have studied for the first time in 3 years and took 2 standardized tests over content I haven’t seen in closer to 8 years. I passed the test better than I had imagined and got accepted into Grad school and the MAT program.  Within two years I will have my own class. Who would have thought my mom was right when she told everyone I would be a teacher when I was a kid. This is the most exciting and nerve-wracking thing that my 24th year held.

This year has been a year where doors have opened and dreams have begun to come to life. It has been great and while I don’t quite want to tell it bye I can’t wait to see what 25 has in store!

How do you feel about birthdays passing by?

 

Miss June 2017 – Renee Birchfield

Hi, ladies! I am so honored to be blogger of the month! I feel fancy and the need to make a sash to wear all month. I want to start by sharing a little about myself. I am a born and raised Arkansasan from Springdale now in Conway. I went to the University of Arkansas to study Food Science and was one of the first to graduate with a Food and Culinary Science degree. I am now going back to school to get my masters in teaching. I am a Harry Potter nerd, and really a nerd in general. I love Chinese food. I love just chilling and hanging out with my husband. Amazingly I have been blogging for three years next month, and I am so glad I started!

Many of you know I started out at Married and Hungry where I blogged about marriage and food. I started blogging because life was changing. I was getting married and moving for the first time ever 3 hours away from home and thought it would be a way to keep me connected to family and to find new friends. Luckily I found ARWB and the amazing community and didn’t feel so alone.

I started Married and Hungry because the whole time I was engaged and planning my wedding I couldn’t find resources for new wives who just didn’t want to mess it up. We were both fresh graduates and still kids and there weren’t blogs with tips, ideas, or thoughts on what to expect. So I decided I would be that place to share some marriage tips as I figured things out and if nothing else a place where new wives could come and know they weren’t alone in the tricky moments.

I blogged there for about a year and a half. I really enjoyed many of the posts that I did there but as I wrote more I started to feel like I wasn’t being authentic enough and I wasn’t ready to put concrete life examples for the world to see. So I switched to what I loved talking about the most, food. So in February of 2016 If Spoons Could Talk was born. This time I knew more about what I was doing and got it started better and made a site that I am so proud of. In a matter of months, it was doing better than Married and Hungry did the whole time it was up. I still love this site and talking about all things food.

Sadly, I have gotten more and more relaxed as far as posting because life has changed a lot for me and I can’t do all the things all the time. I started out with three days a week posting and stuck with it for a long time. Over the summer months, I got to a point where food was the very last thing I wanted to think about so I took a couple weeks off then went to twice a week. Over the last few months, I have been happy to get one post a week out. I have decided to go back to school and get my master of teaching so I can stop subbing and be a full-time teacher. But with food being one of my true loves I will never let If Spoons Could Talk fall off to the side.

Be sure to stop by this month as I get to share more with you. Don’t forget to leave me a comment and say hi! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as If Spoons Could Talk and on Twitter as Spoons Could Talk.  And of course over at If Spoons Could Talk.

Hangin’ Tough with Monika Rued

By Monika Rued, Miss May 2017

When Arkansas Women Bloggers asked me to be Miss May 2017, I was super stoked. And when I saw the theme is “Hangin’ Tough,” I thought it must be fate because this has been on my mind for some time now.

I’m a rock climber and immediately thought I could write about climbing and pushing through fear. I’d reluctantly admit that I’ve wept softly both during and after climbs as the adrenaline coursed through my body; that the fear of falling is much less than the fear of failing for me. I was going to be self-deprecating and relatable. I planned to make rock solid (see what I did there?) analogies about life, conquering fear, and finding your “climbing” partners you trust to help “get through this thing called life.”

 

I was going to show you this picture of me climbing a crazy hard 75-foot route, “Pepsi Challenge,” at Mount Magazine State Park; a route that is both mentally and physically challenging. OK, I’m still sharing this picture. Just give it to me y’all.

But, then I kept hearing this little voice in my head that wasn’t what I should share with this opportunity. That maybe I should dive deeper and share something more personal and outside of my comfort zone. I don’t know about you all but I hate it when that happens! I had a plan; a good plan that would be easy breezy for me to write. But instead, after prayer and asking several times, “Are you sure God? Really sure?” I’m going down and a different path.

Let’s think about this a minute. Answer these questions: What does a woman who “hangs tough” look like? What does she sound like? And most important, what does she act like?  Do you see yourself? We all know steel magnolias in the South. Women who get things done. Women who make herding cats daily look easy. Women who have Tim Gunn moments frequently and “make it work.” Women who seem to rally at all the right times.

My mother is one of these women. Someone you want in your corner. Someone who makes everything better. Someone who invited family to live with us when they needed a safe place to fall. Someone who—before my stepfather passed away—I had only seen cry a handful of times. She was always able to hide it from us, so we wouldn’t be burdened, afraid, or feel unsafe. If anyone was able to “hang tough” it was my mother.

Photo used with permission from Wren Bird Arts

Me on the other hand? Not so much when it comes to sucking it up. My tears will not be defeated! And I’m an ugly crier; you can tell I’ve been crying long after the tears have dried up. I found those hankies on Etsy and need that full pack. (Link’s in photo if you do too.) I’m a ginger and what starts as a pink rash spreading up my neck to my face and ears, ends up as red splotches all over my face for a good 30 minutes. It’s embarrassing. I actually feel disappointed in myself for not being able to control my emotions, a lack of “emotional intelligence.”

Grace is a funny thing. We seem to wrap everyone else in it but ourselves. I’m not sure what hangin’ tough looks like in the real world anymore. Maybe it’s doing the best you can in the moment. Maybe it’s cutting yourself some slack and letting go of guilt and regret. Maybe it’s knowing that if you’re granted a second chance with tomorrow, you have a chance to be better. Maybe it’s just finishing putting on your mascara after you poke yourself in the eye with the wand! Maybe it’s all of these things.

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.)

The Best of Rebekah Hearn

SO sad, today is my last post here for Miss April. Don’t worry though, be sure to visit my blog to see new posts as I write them 😉

Vegas NYE Recap: For New Year’s 2016, my BFF’s Ricci & Jenn and I, went to Las Vegas. We attended the Maroon 5 concert, which was a blast. Be sure to visit this post for restaurant recommendations!

Megaphone Summit 2016 Recap: Megaphone Summit is an influencer conference that is such a blessing to attend. This year’s summit is right around the corner, so be sure to sign up! I will be there again this year.

2017: The Year of Focus: I’m still working on my word of the year this year. Be sure to head over and see why I chose this as my word for 2017.

Three Girly Things to do in OKC: Since Oklahoma is so close to me; I headed to OKC for a weekend of pampering. I give you some good suggestions if you want to get away for the weekend, too.

Thank you so much for allowing me to present these posts on Arkansas Women Bloggers this month. Be sure to follow along on social media and my blog to keep up with me 😉