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THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM

JULY 2016 · THESAVVYMOMS.COM

meet our

A BUDDING ENGINEER, ASTROPHYSICIST AND POET WITH BIG DREAMS AND BRIGHT FUTURES

MINDSET FOR FITNESS BEACHY FASHION

BIRTHDAY PARTY CRAFTS, DECOR, RECIPES & MORE

FIND OUT WHY KENNETH CARPER IS AMAZING ON PAGE 22.


There are many amazing teenagers throughout Arkansas accomplishing incredible things, and we applaud their efforts. Each year, dozens of these promising young scholars choose to become students at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. As a high school junior, you can become a member of ASMSA’s community of learning. Join a group of peers from across Arkansas who are dreamers, thinkers and doers at the state’s premier public high school, recently named as one of 27 “Public Elite” U.S. high schools by The Washington Post. Engage in courses designed to challenge bright minds. Grow as a student while earning more than a year of college credit. Discover who you can become at asmsa.org.

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

A Campus of the University of Arkansas System 200 Whittington Ave. • Hot Springs, AR 71901

#ASMSA


LET’S PLAY!

AGES 2-12

• Birthdays • Playgroups • Summer Care Programs

NEW LOCAL OWNERS

call for special group rates!

Summer Hours: Tues-Thur 10AM-7PM Fri & Sat 10AM-9PM Sun 1-7PM Closed Monday

FREE ADULT ADMISSION & WIFI

www.JumpZoneParty.com 9250 Commerce Cove • Maumelle/NLR • 501-907-5867


JULY 2016 MODERN MOM 16 MAMA SAID

BIRTHDAY PARTY-PALOOZA

18 MIND, BODY & SOUL A MINDSET FOR FITNESS

SAVVY FAMILY 20 SAVVY STYLE BEACHY FASHION

22 AMAZING TEENS

THREE ARKANSAS TEENS WHO ARE MAKING WAVES

29 UNDER THE SEA PARTY

POOL PARTY CRAFTS, RECIPES, DECOR AND MORE

36 GET INTO THE CYCLE THE BENEFITS OF FAMILY BIKING

PACK YOUR POOL BAG WITH THESE NECESSITIES!

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITOR’S NOTE 12 NEWS & NOTES

CALENDAR, BALLPARK GRUB & ENTERTAINMENT

15 ROAD TRIP

THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM

SALINE COUNTY

meet our

Amazing teens A BUDDING ENGINEER, ASTROPHYSICIST AND POET WITH BIG DREAMS AND BRIGHT FUTURES

38 BAG CHECK

ANGELA ALEXANDER

4

JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

JULY 2016 · THESAVVYMOMS.COM

ON THE COVER: KENNETH CARPER FULLY RESTORED A 1976 FIAT SPIDER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY CARPER

MINDSET FOR FITNESS BEACHY FASHION

BIRTHDAY PARTY CRAFTS, DECOR, RECIPES & MORE

FIND OUT WHY KENNETH CARPER IS AMAZING ON PAGE 22.


High quality child care looks like

ADVENTURE.

In the right environment, every day can be an adventure.

Children are encouraged to act out stories of their own. Learning is fun!

Children in quality child care learn new things every day. Their teachers use stories and play as tools.

Visit our website to find child care where learning is an adventure.

www.ARBetterBeginnings.com • 1-800-445-3316 Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education


Darth Vader piñata (and cooler)!

Our July issue is packed full of summer fun and great birthday party ideas. I love hosting parties, especially when there’s a theme. Halloween, luau, Fourth of July—just say the word and I’ll start Pinning recipes, color schemes and crafty décor ideas. There’s nothing better than inviting people into your home, treating them to delicious foods and drinks, and having actual real, live conversations until the wee hours. Kid parties open up a whole new world of themes. Any self-respecting grown-up can’t throw themselves a Basketball/"Star Wars" Pool Party—but we can make it happen for our kids! Last month, my husband and I hung the Darth Vader piñata, filled goody bags with "Star Wars" trinkets, aired up the basketball, put candles on a voice-activated talking Darth Vader sheet cake and hauled out a cooler full of Kool-Aid Bursts and beer (I’ll defend this shortly). A house full of 6-year-olds ran rampant, led by my blue icingmouthed stepson. It was absolutely perfect. The first year we hosted his birthday party at our house, I way over-thought it. We had just moved into our new house that was supposed to have a swimming pool in the back yard, but in reality was a swamp. Murky swamp or not, Ike had his heart set on a pool party in our new home and I set to the task of getting that body of water back in working order. And so we hurriedly assembled party favors and decorations, set out serving trays of finger foods, cleaned the house from top to bottom (I even mopped!), planted flowers in the flowerbeds, finished painting the dining room and finally hung curtains. All this pressure I put on myself was not about whether or not the kids would have fun (there was cake, of course they were going to have fun), but about having all the parents over. Would they notice the bare walls or the hideous fiesta tiling in the kitchen? Would there be enough chairs for everyone? Did I remember to clean the bathtub? I completed my checklist just as all the guests were arriving, politely commenting on the house, delivering gifts and introducing themselves, I did what any desperate, stressed-out hostess with a limp and a broken toe (happened while planting the flowerbeds) would do and reached for a Miller Lite, and hoped to not be immediately judged. I sipped my light beer, and chilled out. After about 20 minutes I looked around and realized that all the parents had found their way to the fridge and were sipping light beers, too. We were all in this birthday party stress ball together. They didn’t care at all about my curtains or bare walls. They just wanted to hang out, talk to grown-ups and enjoy the beautiful afternoon by the pool. All we needed was cake, conversation and a little libation. If you have an upcoming party to plan, then this is just the issue for you! The hilarious Jen Holman makes a desperate plea to put an end to goody bags in her column, Mama Said. The crafty and talented Kerry Guice throws her son and daughter a joint Shark/Mermaid-themed pool party complete with amazing decorations and recipe ideas. And Leisure Arts lends us some DIY ideas from its latest partythemed publication, Celebrate Birthdays. Whether you are hosting or just attending the birthday party circuit this summer, we encourage everyone to take a deep breath, enjoy the party and don’t forget to toast to your stressed-out host— they deserve it. Party on, Moms!

Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR

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JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH

ANY EXCUSE TO PARTY!


Community Based Care T H E L AT E S T I N T E C H N O L O G Y. T H E B E S T I N C A R E . Snell Laboratory's network of nine offices located throughout the state is especially important for individuals like Preston Breshears. As a cattle rancher living in rural Missouri, Preston can visit Snell’s community-based facility in Mountain Home for adjustments and maintenance so that he rarely has to travel to the main office in Little Rock.

Statewide Toll-Free:

1-800-342-5541

www.snellpando.com

Accredited Facility

Offices located in Little Rock, Russellville, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Conway.

presents

Zoovies Thursday Nights in July!

Great family movies at the Zoo’s Civitan Amphitheater

Admission $7 Gates open at $5 for members Children under 2 years FREE.

July 7 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip July 14 Kung Fu Panda 3 July 21 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip

7:30PM

July 28 Kung Fu Panda 3

Light concession snacks available for purchase.

Carousel Rides

$2

Meet our animal ambassadors. Have your face painted and make a craft before the movie starts! THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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501-315-4414 PUBLISHER BLAKE HANNAHS | blake@arktimes.com EDITOR AMY GORDY | amy@arktimes.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANDY KEENER | mandy@arktimes.com

Visit our website for information on services, upcoming events, and access to our resources! Kidsourcetherapy.com Services We Provide: •Early Intervention Services •Therapy Evaluations •Speech/Language Therapy •Occupational Therapy •Physical Therapy

Supportive Programs: •Sensory Integration •Feeding & Swallowing •Hippotherapy •Aquatics •Special Olympics

Benton• Hot Springs • Little Rock• North Little Rock• Arkadelphia• Malvern

SEE YOUR KID IN

EDITOR AT LARGE REBEKAH LAWRENCE | rebekah@arktimes.com MANAGING DIRECTOR PHYLLIS BRITTON | phyllis@arktimes.com SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE LESA THOMAS | lesa@arktimes.com ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER ROLAND R. GLADDEN | roland@arktimes.com ADVERTISING COORDINATOR JIM HUNNICUTT | jimhunnicutt@arktimes.com SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR LAUREN BUCHER | lauren@arktimes.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS BRYAN MOATS | MIKE SPAIN | KEVIN WALTERMIRE PRODUCTION MANAGER | CONTROLLER WELDON WILSON IT DIRECTOR ROBERT CURFMAN

SAVVY IS LAUNCHING ITS FIRST READER NOMINATION-BASED FEATURE HIGHLIGHTING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ARKANSAS’S YOUTH.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/OFFICE MANAGER KELLY JONES

DOES YOUR CHILD EXCEL IN SCHOOL?

BILLING/COLLECTIONS LINDA PHILLIPS

IS YOUR TROPHY CASE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS?

CIRCULATION DIRECTOR ANITRA HICKMAN

DOES HE OR SHE ALWAYS DO CHORES THE FIRST TIME YOU ASK? DID YOUR BABY FINALLY START SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT? ALL THESE THINGS MAKE YOUR KIDS EXCEPTIONAL, AND WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT! NOMINATE YOUR CHILD OR GRANDCHILD TO BE HIGHLIGHTED IN THE PAGES OF SAVVY’S “18 UNDER 18,” “10 UNDER 10” OR “5 UNDER 5” FEATURES. GUIDELINES AND SUBMISSION FORM CAN BE FOUND AT THESAVVYMOMS.COM.

ARKANSAS TIMES PUBLISHING ALL MATERIALS ARE HANDLED WITH DUE CARE; HOWEVER, THE PUBLISHER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARE AND SAFE RETURN OF UNSOLICITED MATERIALS. ALL LETTERS AND PHOTOS SENT TO SAVVY™ WILL BE TREATED AS INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION AND ARE SUBJECT TO SAVVY'S™ UNRESTRICTED RIGHT TO EDIT OR TO COMMENT EDITORIALLY. 201 E. MARKHAM ST. SUITE 200, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 501-375-2985. ALL CONTENTS ©2016 SAVVY™

@SAVVY_AR 8

JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Trust the children’s hospital

that’s touched more hearts. There’s no substitute for our expert heart care. With over 35 years of caring for the littlest hearts, we’re where Arkansas goes for unmatched heart care. Discover the experienced, compassionate cardiac expertise you need at Arkansas Children’s Heart Center. Learn more at ArkansasHeart.org

ACH160011_HeartAD_Savvy_MECH_v1.indd 1

6/9/16 11:31 AM

2016 LRSD Academic Signing Day

PUBLICATION: Savvy Kids INSERTION: July 2016 MATERIALS DUE: 06-09-16, Thursday Congratulations to the 74Heart LRSD who were recognized for outstanding academic LATITUDE JOB NUMBER: ACH-16-0011 CLIENT: Arkansas ChilHospital JOB NAME: Centergraduates Ad LIVE: n/a SIZE: 8" x 4.875" BLEED: NONE COLORS: 4cp; SWOP280 achievement at133ls; the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion on May 23, 2016. FORMAT: Press Ready PDFX, TRG Link to to Pub. QUESTIONS CALL: Pat Hartman @ 214-696-7913

Nathaniel Abraham Kerlisa Adams Diana Basnakian Chloe Berjot Sarah Brandon Erica Braswell Faith Brown Daniel Chan Rodshnelle Cole Nikita Das Rafael Del Carmen Gabriel Del Carmen Hanna Detar Jeffrey ‘Ethan’ Dial Mason English Anna Grace Estes Nathaniel Felan Samantha Fish Natalie Fortner Emi Gillum Elisabeth Graf

Rachel Green Raymond Harris Taylar Hasberry Alexander Herndon Kristin Howard Caroline James Norah Jones Charles Jones SooJeong Jung Ryan Kaufmann Andrew Labay Casey Labbate Eamon Lauster Anastasia Lendel Yupeng Liu Oussama Makhoul Malcolm McSwain Whitleigh Montgomery Emma Moore Nikhil Nair Sarah Nicholson

Anna Norman Mounusha Nunna Sophia Ordaz Foster Perry Anirudh Pidugu Kyra Rattler Nicholas Rose Shahnur Fatima Said Paloma Salazar Riley Sangster Burhan Sarwar Daniel Seo Brittany Seymore Nemi Shah Rebecca Sherman Taylor Smith Worthie Springer, III Nivetha Srinivasan Chuang Tang Dejah Taylor

Time to Check in for 2016-17! Aug. 1-2, 10 am - 7 pm

Zoe Tollette Courtnei Toney Terri Tran Ashley Tran Michael Tran Sarah Turner Tony Wang Angela Wang Jiaqi Wang Abigail Wikoff David Xiang Kevin Yuen Emy Zapata

Little Rock School District PERFORMANCE WORKPLAN CE FOR TOMORRO lrsd.org

LLEN CREATING EXCE

W

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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For over 30 years, e BridgeWay has been caring for Arkansans of all ages. Now, e BridgeWay offers Senior Care to adults, 55 and older, struggling with mental health concerns. In honor of those who raised us, we provide the following: • New, state-of-the-art facility • 24-hour nursing care • Medication management and physician care • Discharge and aercare planning • Neuropsychological testing • Safe, serene environment in central Arkansas Here we treat each patient with dignity and care that may bring hope, help and healing to those seeking a sense of wellness.

If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulties, it is important to find out if a serious problem exists. To schedule a confidential, no-cost assessment, call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

www.eBridgeWay.com

1-800-245-0011

contributors J U LY 2 0 1 6

DWAIN HEBDA is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife, Darlene, are the parents of four grown children. The empty nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.

KERRY GUICE is a food blogger and photographer living in Little Rock with her husband, two kids and their dog. When she’s not sharing her latest meal on Instagram, Kerry is planning her family’s next Arkansas adventure or crafting with her creative tots.

AMY CARPER is going on her18th year as a photographer. She works in the commercial market as well as the private sector from her downtown Little Rock studio right in the middle of an exciting area. Her clientele consists of some of Arkansas’s most elite families and companies.

FOLLOW US FOR A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE SCENES @SAVVY_AR 10 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


PUBLIC EDUCATION: PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES

Pulaski County Special School District

Visit your school’s website and get ready for a great school year! The 2016-2017 school year starts Monday, August 15, but it’s not too early to prepare. Visit your school’s website for school supply lists, uniform information and all of your back-to-school-needs!

501.234.2000

pcssd.org

Our STORY

Our DOCTORS

Leap Kids Pediatric Dental started in 2015 with a group of pediatric dentists and general dentists who joined together in the development of a group of high-end, trustworthy, reliable pediatric dental offices for infants, children and adolescents. Our doctors and staff use a multitude of experiences and treatment cases to learn best practices and are able to share their education with each other in order to offer comprehensive, advanced care.

Our LOCATIONS

Lowell Williams, DDS, MS, Pediatric Dentist Blake H. Chandler, DMD, Pediatric Dentist Robert C. Goldtrap, DDS Jennifer H. Hill, DDS

Rodney Parham 501.224.5548 Geyer Springs 501.565.0444 Bryant 501.315.7800 Hot Springs 501.321.2211

James L. Bevans, DDS, MS

Bryan K. Angel, DDS

PEDIATRIC DENTISTS

Visit

LEAPKIDSDENTAL.COM

Pine Bluff 870.534.1200 Searcy 501.588.3144 Cabot 501.843.0200 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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4 Watch the fireworks in the best seats in town at Easter Seals Arkansas Fireworks Frenzy at the Little Rock Marriott Grand Ballroom Terrance. $25 for adults; $10 for children ages 12 and under. eastersealsar.com/ fireworksfrenzy.

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july

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NATIONAL FRIED CHICKEN DAY

The Outlets of Little Rock is hosting the free Summer Story Time Series each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through Aug. 3 at Book Warehouse. outletsoflittlerock.com.

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Take the family out to the ballgame at Dickey-Stephens Park when the Arkansas Travelers play Tulsa. Look for $3 off Family Night coupons at AT&T stores and $1 hot dogs all night. travs.com. The Internet Cat Video Festival is a screening of short cat videos at the Arkansas Arts Center that is free to members or those bringing a donation for the Humane Society of Pulaski County. $5 for nonmembers. arkarts.com.

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Tweens and Teens yoga class is just for girls ages 11-16. Class meets each Tuesday during the summer at 10 a.m. $15 drop-in fee. bigrockyoga.com.

12 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

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Get some fresh produce and treats at the Argenta Farmers Market. Every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. Head south a couple of blocks to the Dogtown Farmers Market, too! argentaartsdistrict.org.

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Guests can meet animal ambassadors, have their faces painted, make crafts or ride the carousel before watching a featurelength film at the Little Rock Zoo. $5 for members and children ages 2-12; $7 for nonmembers; littlerockzoo.com.

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NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY

27 Movies in the Park will show crowdfavorite “Captain America.� Get a good dose of superheroes at this free family event at Riverfront Park. Film begins at sundown. moviesintheparklr.net.

PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF VENDORS

news & notes


BALLPARK GRUB

AN EVENING AT THE BALLPARK IS A GUARANTEED GOOD TIME. CHEERING ON THE ARKANSAS TRAVELERS AND SAMPLING ALL THE DELICIOUS FOODS FROM THE VENDORS JUST CAN’T BE BEAT. THERE ARE TONS OF KID-FRIENDLY DINING OPTIONS AT DICKEY-STEPHENS PARK, AND WE SENT 7-YEAR-OLD MARGIE GILL TO SAMPLE THE CREAM OF THE CROP.

CHEESEBURGER from the TRAVELERS BACON STATION When asked for three words to describe the burger, Margie said “Good. Fabulous. Great. And those all mean the same thing.” This thing got devoured. BACON NACHOS from the TRAVELERS BACON STATION “It was a little hard to scoop the bacon on the chip with the cheese, but it tasted pretty good.” Margie’s dad, Joel, had to help polish these off. From a parent’s perspective, it seemed like the chip-to-cheese ratio was too high, and there wasn’t quite enough bacon in the equation to really live up to the name “Bacon Nachos.” COOKIE DOUGH ICE CREAM (served in a Travelers novelty batter’s helmet)

Margie’s verdict: “The ice cream was the best thing I had all night!” It was an exceedingly hot evening, so the ice cream did melt (despite Margie’s enthusiasm), but the helmet-shaped bowl created a convenient sipping spout for the melted ice cream. Also, the kid is gaga for souvenirs and had hers washed out in the restroom as soon as the treat was gone. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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news & notes

APP ALERT

DOWNLOAD IT!

EWG’s Healthy Living App makes choosing safe products and foods for your family a breeze. From cereal to shampoo, we are exposed to chemicals every day, yet we know very little about them. With this app, simply scan a barcode and view safety ratings for more than 200,000 food and cosmetics products.

TRACK IT!

Keep track of your calories with this Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker app by MyFitnessPal. Fitness coach Chris Black (see page 18) recommends this app to clients wanting to learn more about what they put in their bodies. This app has nutritional information on more than 5 million foods. Just enter in what you eat and let it do its magic. Learn more at myfitnesspal.com.

READ IT! SEE IT!

HE'S BACK!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One & Two J.K. Rowling releases the latest in the "Harry Potter" series July 31. It is the eighth story in the series, and the first official "Harry Potter" story to be presented on stage.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY PERFECT FOR BEDTIME!

A NEW BEDTIME STORY!

This local take on a bedtime story classic is hot off the presses this month. "Goodnight Little Rock," written by Emily Wyatt and illustrated by Nathaniel Dailey, takes kids on a journey through the Capital City as we say goodnight to all the historic structures and favorite landmarks like the Little Rock Zoo, Dickey-Stephens Park, the Museum of Discovery and many more. It’s a great way to learn about Little Rock and recall all the family fun that’s been had as little ones drift off to sleep. Find it at goodnightlittlerock.com.

14 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

Movies are a great way to stay cool and entertained in the heat of summer. These new releases are sure to please the whole family. Don’t forget the popcorn! July 1, Disney’s "BFG" July 8, "The Secret Life of Pets" July 22, "Ice Age Collision Course"

GIRLS NIGHT

These new releases are for moms only, so rally the girls and make it a night with dinner, drinks and laughs. July 22, "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" July 29, "Bad Moms"


road trip

SALINE COUNTY

You don’t have to travel for hours to find a family-friendly float trip. The Saline River, running through the heart of Saline County, is a short drive from the Little Rock area and has tons to offer.

SALINE RIVER CANOE

PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF VENUES/CITY OF BENTON

This clean, gentle river runs 202 miles through gorgeous forests, fields and farmlands. It’s comparable to the Buffalo River on water quality, and a canoe or kayak trip with Saline River Canoe in Benton is a great adventure for family members 5 years and older. Visit salinerivercanoe.com.

SHOPPACH HOUSE HISTORIC PARK

DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA! THIS ROAD LEADS TO SNACKS!

Take a walk through history at the oldest standing structure in town (it’s rumored to be haunted!), built in 1852. The Shoppach House Historic Park is also home to Pilgrims Rest Church, which has its origins in the 1860s; the DeTonti Post Office, built in 1940; and a covered well. Visit benton.ar.gov/about-benton.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

SUGARDUMPLIN’S CUPCAKES

Treat the family to mouthwatering cupcakes in flavors like wedding cake and cherry limeade at this popular Bryant bakery. Choose from more than 12 cupcake flavors, cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries and more. Visit sugardumplinscupcakes.com.

TYNDALL PARK

Pack up a picnic and enjoy an afternoon at Tyndall Park at 913 E. Sevier St. There are endless opportunities for fun at this 24-acre city park. Look for softball fields, gazebos, pavilions, tennis courts, basketball courts, skate park, splash pad and more. Visit benton.ar.gov/parks-recreation. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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mama said...

BIRTHDAY PARTY-PALOOZA: HOW DID WE GET HERE?

F

or my 14th birthday, my parents threw a surprise party in our church’s fellowship hall. That’s the one and only birthday “blowout” I recall having. No, no—I don’t want your pity. I tell you this to make the comparison of just how far we’ve come in one generation. Remember when kids’ birthday parties were family affairs with cake and ice cream and nothing else? We were thrilled if our parents got crazy and agreed to a slumber party. I remember in the sixth grade, a friend’s birthday was at the KOA pool. We talked about that party for months afterward. But these days, a party isn’t a party unless someone’s rented War Memorial Stadium, invited everyone from school, church and the neighborhood, and shelled out a mortgage payment on a DJ, gourmet cupcakes and $10 party favors. Remember the MTV show "My Super Sweet 16" that documented over-the-top birthday-zillas? The world watched in awe as kids barely old enough to drive were showered with extravagant gifts and enormous parties that cost as much as weddings. Well, extravagant parties aren’t just for teens anymore. How did we get here? Is the trend a result of keeping up with the Joneses? Is it guilt? Is it our crazed obsession with providing “cushiony perfectionism” for our precious children? I really don’t know—I’m asking. The extravagant and expensive party trend isn’t limited to the U.S., either. Last year, a 5-year-old in England made international news when he received an invoice by school backpack express for $24. He was a no-show for his classmate’s ski-themed party and the “hosting” mother sent him a bill! I’ll be the first to admit I’ve fallen into the over-the-top party trap. Just last year I hosted a spa party in our home that nearly caused me to have a nervous breakdown. Wait, no. Not “nearly.” What used to be small affairs with cookies, lemonade and family have morphed in a very short time into gobbling party machines that take far too much time and energy to plan, and far too much money from both the organizers and the parents expected to buy gifts. Like we don’t already have enough stress in our lives, now to prove we love our children we must research, plan, execute and bankroll the perfect, completely original birthday extravaganza. Sadly, the value of using our own two hands to DIY at least some of a party seems to be a dying art—and what a money saver! I know I’m not alone in asking, “But where would I find time to craft something?”

While I’m offending everyone I know, and my children may never be invited to another party, ever, let’s go ahead and talk about party favors and goody bags. I just don’t get them. I know they used to be thank-you’s for attending parties and bringing gifts. But now, with so many event-type parties, aren’t they redundant? My kids are thrilled to attend a bounce house or swim party and to get their grubby hands on juice boxes, cake and ice cream. Receiving parting gifts on top of all the fun really isn’t necessary. And, for me at least, the toys and candy in goody bags only serve to add to the burgeoning piles of crap that my hoard-y family has already accumulated. I’m a conservationist at heart, and every time I see a plastic "Thomas the Train" adjustable ring I die a little inside. Just to put this into perspective, let’s recap: Parents are providing a destination party and/or entertainment, cake, snacks, ice cream, drinks and goody bags for 30 children? Stop the madness! Pretty please, can we make a practical parent pact to end goody bags forever? Maybe birthdays are the new dinner parties, and that’s how we rationalize them. Maybe celebrating our children’s births are how we get to know their friends’ parents outside of school. It’s not a bad way to spend more time with the people who’ll be in our lives for the next 10 years. There’s more time to talk when we’re not in a mad rush to work or to remain unseen in our workout gear. But parenting is relentless—and often thankless—work. Adulting is stressful and expensive. Partying should be none of those. Now that I’ve made my point, you’re all invited to Dickey-Stephens Park this fall for an African safari-themed petting zoo featuring real, live tigers! Snow cone and food trucks will be on hand, as will pumpkin-shaped horse-drawn carriages and Uber drivers who’ll give free rides home after the local craft beer tasting (parents only!). Prior to the fireworks display, Meghan Trainor will perform her hit song “No.” Sounds great, right? I know. We’re all doomed.

SPA PARTY COMPLETE WITH CUCUMBER MASKS!

Jen Holman is often irreverent and frequently imperfect. But she’s happy, by God, and that’s what matters. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration. Jen has published three novels under the pen name Jen Crane, the second of which was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy sci-fi.

16 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


ADVERTORIAL

EMBODY A WORLD OF POSSIBILITY When a friend invited Katie Kasten to her first yoga class at Big Rock Yoga in 2015, she could not imagine what benefit yoga would provide other than another avenue for her body to fail her. After giving birth to two children then beating cancer at 35, embracing her body and learning to love it seemed unattainable. Baptiste Yoga is grounded in teaching integration to the physical body and mind to rejuvenate one’s spirit. Integration is the process of becoming whole. A world of new possibilities is available for your body when integration is present. We live in a society that has taught many of us to judge and criticize our bodies to a point of disintegration. We see our body as individual pieces and label many of those pieces as “not good enough” in some form or another. Yet, we expect our body to respond with the strength and vitality to live a happy, healthy life. “I learned true integration in Tadasana,” says Katie. When we become whole in our body on a yoga mat all is possible including trust, acceptance, love, patience, joy, and some fun! Through a new, whole view of her body, Katie accessed going upside down. This new possibility on her mat gave her new possibilities in her daily life with her children, spouse, friends, and recently as a new yoga teacher. “Yoga has taught me to appreciate my body and all the life it gives me.”

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TRY THESE 2 POSES 1. TADASANA (equal standing) GET EARTHY: Push through the mound of your big toe, outer edges of your feet, and center of your heals.Tighten your leg muscles. FLOW LIKE WATER: Micro bend your knee joints. BUILD A FIRE: Pull your navel in towards your spine and up towards your chest. SOFTEN UP LIKE AIR: Pull your upper arm bones back. Squeeze your shoulder blades to your spine. CREATE SPACE: Breath in and express a new possibility

2. HEADSTAND*

Place your elbows at shoulder width distance while interlacing your fingers as if you were holding an orange in your hands. Place the top of your head on the mat with your hands at the back of your head. Create Tadasana from the ground up as you press your forearms down to rise up into a new physical possibility!

*headstand should not be practiced by anyone with injuries or issues in the neck area.

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10700 N Rodney Parham Rd. | Little Rock 501-436-9689 | BIGROCKYOGA.COM


mind, body & soul Using hand weights while doing lunges is a great way to increase intensity.

the things to focus on to make the most impact are intensity and variation. “You must work to increase the intensity of your workouts. Get your heart rate up for 20 minutes, but take short breaks if you need to, and change up your workout. If you do the same workout video each time, all you’ll do is just get good at that video. Mix it up, and challenge yourself each time.”

Setting aside time to go to the gym is great, but even if you are just working out at home, Black recommends a few essentials to squeeze into your routine for maximum results.

A MINDSET FOR FITNESS We are in the throes of summer swimsuit season, which always seems to be the perfect time to re-examine our fitness routines and get in a proactive mindset

F

BY AMY GORDY

irst of all, there’s no such thing as having a “swimsuit body”—we all have bodies and they look amazing in our swimsuits just the way they are. But it’s important to feel good and be happy with your health and fitness. We all take great care of our families, but we have to take care of ourselves as well. Chris Black, fitness coach at Anytime Fitness, knows the importance of getting to that mental state where we feel great about our bodies. “Seventy percent of the people I train are women over the age of 30, and I always emphasize the importance of setting realistic fitness goals. Fitness shouldn’t be about getting back to a certain weight, it should be about getting back to a certain feeling,” he said. When he sits down to access a new client, he likes to talk through a few important points to help get the client in the right state of mind to tackle a fitness goal. First, he dispels the notion that it’s going to be easy. “You see a lot of reality TV shows that make it look easy so people set these unrealistic, wildly-high goals.” Black encourages clients to think about a time in their lives when they felt great about the way they looked. “I tell clients

18 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

to focus on those positive feelings about your body during that time, to remember what activities you were doing, how you were eating, and work toward getting back to that. When people say they want to lose 25 pounds, well, numbers are easy to put aside or get discouraged by. A feeling is something that’s much easier to hold on to and work toward.” After a goal is set, Black moves on to the hard conversation. What keeps you from working out? Defining and being aware of the obstacles in the way of achieving your goal is very important. You have to identify the obstacles in order to make the extra effort to overcome or work around them. “I hear a lot of the same obstacles from my clients. They are usually: family, money, time, motivation and accountability. Family is the biggest one, and it’s not a bad thing. Family is great—and you earned that family—but those responsibilities do often get in the way of fitness goals, so you have to make an extra effort to work with it,” Black said. Finding just an hour and a half in an entire week is enough to start, and you can break that up and do 20 minutes four or five times a week. Black emphasized that

SQUATS • Stand upright • Feet just slightly wider than your hips, and turned out no more than 30 degrees • Send your hips back, keeping your torso upright • Squat until your knees come to a right angle, be careful not to let your knees move past your ankles. •Drive the heels into the ground to pull yourself back up •Repeat Hint: if you need to check your form, try your squat standing with your shins against the coffee table.

LUNGES • Start upright and take a long step forward • The heel of your front foot comes down first • Keep your feet hip-width apart—you aren’t walking a tightrope • Lower down keeping your torso upright • It’s not necessary to put your back knee down, but you can • Repeat on the other side Increase the intensity by holding hand weights straight up overhead.

TRICEPS EXTENSIONS • Sit in a chair upright • Holding a weight, extend one arm straight up • Keeping the elbow stationary, slowly lower the weight behind you close to the shoulder • Use the triceps muscles to straighten the arm overhead again • Complete a set of 15, then repeat on the other arm


T

Room to Grow

he Museum of Discovery’s Room to Grow is growing more popular with parents after a recent remodel. The room, formerly a circular area aimed at kids ages 6 and under, has lost its center wall and opened up, increasing the ability of parents to keep an eye on their children as they play in the area. A soft opening was held during spring break, said chief marketing officer Kendall Thornton, and museum staff received a positive response from parents. “We closed down in January and reopened the area for spring,” she said. “The old Room to Grow was sectioned off, and this is really opened up. Parents feel better about having multiple kids in different places because they can see them. Overall we’ve gotten a really positive reception.” The remodel is nearly finished, but Thornton said new things will be added and installed this summer. Among the revamped exhibits, the dino dig and the veterinarian station seemed to be most popular with children. “Kids are able to put on a lab coat and have a clipboard and a form they fill out. They can put Band-Aids on the stuffed animals and cones on their heads,” she said. In the dino area, they can put on an archeologist hat; dig in the ‘dirt,’ which is bits of cork material that is easily brushed off; and look at things under the magnifying glass. We also have an enlarged velociraptor.” Thornton said most children aren’t scared of the raptor replica. “Most want to crawl on it, touch it and pretend like it’s real,” she said.

museum ofdiscovery

For a further sensory experience, the room also has a “Noodle Farm,” a bunch of pool noodles hanging from the ceiling that kids can run through. “It’s almost like a human car wash,” she said. “Kids can touch them and run through and that’s very popular.” In addition, the room has an art station, a construction area where kids can build with large foam blocks, and light tables for color and light play. The room also has a toddler space with trains, puzzles and activity tables more appropriate for 2 and 3 year olds. Parents particularly liked the private family room for nursing mothers. “A lot of moms appreciate having that space,” she said. “It has room for a stroller, a table for younger kids to look at books or do a puzzle while the mom feeds or pumps.” During the summer, the Room to Grow will play host to special programming, which will incorporate the veterinarian station. “We will bring in live animals and do some meet-the-animals type of programming. Things like bunnies, chinchillas, and slimy creepy crawly critters as well,” she said. For older kids, a new exhibit called “Imaginate,” is in house all summer, and focuses on innovation and engineering. Thornton also noted this renovation is temporary, and a large-scale renovation of the area will tentatively be completed within a few years. The museum closed in 2011 and reopened in 2012, and the Room to Grow space was not part of that renovation. These recent changes are only the exciting first stage of the complete Room to Grow renovation.

500 President Clinton Ave. | Little Rock | museumofdiscovery.org | 501.396.7050 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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Beachy Fashion

Whether you’re planning a family beach trip, romantic resort getaway or just loading up the kids and heading to the neighborhood pool—you want to look the part. Here are a few local boutique essentials to turn up the heat the next time you are waterside.

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1

ANTI-AGING & PROTECTION!

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6 BE BOLD WITH BRIGHT COLORS!

5 20 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

THE PERFECT BEACH BAG!

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PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN CHILSON

savvy style


1. Mistaken Lyrics pint glasses are a great glass-free alternative for a poolside party. These metal tumblers feature hilarious mistaken song lyrics. Available at Maddox, North Little Rock. 2. This bold, black and white one-piece is sure to make a splash at the beach, lake or pool. The paprika design by Marimekko is eye-catching, and the suit features light padding and adjustable straps. Available at Target.

habitatcentralar.org/ReStore

habitatcentralar.org/ReStore 501.771.9494

501.771.9494

3. SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF not only protects against harmful UV rays, it’s also an anti-aging product proven to restore your skin. For a more polished poolside look, grab a tinted 2.3-ounce tube to use as a light concealer. Available at Dr. Suzanne Yee Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Center, Little Rock. 4. Tote your towel, best-selling novel, sunscreen and more in this 2 Chic Luxe pink Aztec tote bag. It’s made of sturdy jute, acrylic and cotton to stand up to any beach or lake adventure. It has a snap button closure and inside zipper pocket. Available at Box Turtle, Little Rock. 5. Mix and match swimsuit pieces with bright colors and bold patterns. This retro-inspired All For Color high neck bikini top has cross back ties and removable padding. Match it with this peachy Love the Journey bottom with mix-and-match decorative hip ties. Available at Advanced SunSystems, Little Rock. 6. These retro-inspired, trendy cat-eye sunglasses go with any beachy attire. Get them in gold or silver tone. Available at Maddox.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Esse Purse Museum in the South Main neighborhood is hosting the temporary exhibit “Changing Tides: 100 Years of Iconic Swimwear” through Aug. 7. Discover the interesting transformation of women’s swimwear throughout the last 100 years. Find swimsuits from homemade to haute couture as well as select suits on loan from the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Visit essepursemuseum.com for more information.

Every mother needs to know her children have a safe place to call home, and your donations and purchases will make that happen for other moms in need. • DONATE TO AND BUY FROM ReSTORE AND HELP HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS BUILD HOMES FOR FAMILIES IN NEED! AND, PICK UP ITEMS FOR YOUR OWN CRAFTING AND SUMMER DIY FUN! • HABITAT ReSTORES ARE FULL OF DIY PROJECTS FOR CREATIVE FAMILIES IN THE CENTRAL ARKANSAS AREAS. • NEED TO MAKE A DONATION BUT DON’T HAVE TIME TO DROP IT OFF? CALL 771-9494 TO SCHEDULE A PICK UP! WE’LL PICK IT UP! • YOU’LL ALSO RECEIVE A TAX DEDUCTION FOR YOUR DONATION.

Visit habitatcentralar.org/ReStore for a list of acceptable donation items. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY CARPER

ARKANSAS'S YOUTH CONTINUES TO AMAZE AND INSPIRE. THIS MONTH, WE HIGHLIGHT THE IMPRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THREE TEENS—KENNETH CARPER, TARYN IMAMURA AND DAVID XIANG—WHO ARE REDEFINING THE WORD 'AMBITION.'

Kenneth Carper raised money to rebuild a 1976 Fiat Spider and caught the eye of Fiat Chrysler's COO.

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A

A PASSION FOR CARS AND ENGINEERING DRIVES KENNETH CARPER BY DWAIN HEBDA

t 16, it’s not particularly noteworthy that Kenneth Carper is nuts about cars. But Carper is not your typical 16-year-old, and his is not your run-of-the-mill car obsession. “I’ve always been mechanically inclined as far as being able to work on dirt bikes or cars, and I’ve always been fascinated by cars as a little kid,” he said. “A big part of my family is being able to work on your own car and not pay a lot of money to take it to a shop.” At age 7 he got his first dirt bike and learned basic mechanics. At age 9 he built his first gokart from the ground up, and at 12 he spotted a neighbor’s dormant 1976 Fiat Spider convertible in a field about a quarter-mile from his house where it had sat dormant and nonfunctional for more than a decade. “I used to ride my bike over there and sit in it and didn’t really think that much about it except that it was a cool car,” he said. “I decided to take a closer look at it and I found the make and model and looked it up. The thing that really caught my eye was, it was designed by Battista 'Pinin' Farina, the same designer who designed most of Ferrari's cars. “I figured that was the perfect opportunity to start a project and … for me to learn everything because everything needed to be done to it.” Carper became obsessed with getting the car running, and his passion so impressed the neighbor he gifted the car to the seventhgrader, fueling his desire to restore it from the wheels up. “When I look at a car, I can break down each part and what its function is and how that contributes to the whole thing. I see it as a whole system of different objects and processes that all work together to create a final goal,” he said. “I did a lot of research and just took it step by step.” From drivetrain to suspension, transmission to body work, Carper educated himself online and with the help of every craftsman who’d listen to him and offer advice. He also mowed

lawns and launched a pet feeding service to earn money for parts to get the car back on the road. “I’m pretty much the handyman as far as cars at our house,” he said with a chuckle. Carper’s experience landed him more than just a trade-quality skillset and a cool ride for getting to and from eStem High School in downtown Little Rock, where he is a rising junior. Six months after he started working on it, his English teacher handed out an assignment that would change his life. “My teacher wanted us to hand-write a letter and send it to any company, criticizing one of its products,” he said. Being knee-deep in the Spider and seeing nothing out of Fiat lately but minicars, he decided to send a letter and lobby for the company to bring back the Fiat 124 sports car. To his amazement, he not only got a reply, but from the desk of COO Alfredo Altavilla, who extended an invitation to the Carper family to visit Fiat headquarters in Turin, Italy, a tour that included Altavilla giving an eyes-only peek at the company’s top-secret project. “It was an extremely rough metal design of the Fiat 124; he then explained to me that they used my idea and they were bringing back the 124 and were currently in the process of designing it,” he said. “I was just absolutely touched by that.” The visit concluded with Altavilla offering Carper a scholarship to Polytechnic University of Turin and an internship at the company following graduation from the school’s mechanical engineering program there. He’s considering that, along with other schools’ engineering programs in the U.S. This summer, Carper was also Little Rock’s representative at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, an honorsonly program for high school eSTEM students from across the country. There, he heard Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading scientific research, and got advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities.

(From top) Kenneth at age 12 the day he acquired the treasured Fiat; and at age 16 still hard at work.

Age:16 School:

eStem High Public Charter School

Favorite Subject: Mathematics Favorite Club: Engineering Number of Siblings: 2 Favorite Movie: "The Italian Job" Favorite Song: "Free Bird" Dream Job: Automotive Mechanical Engineer

What I Do For Fun: Hang out with friends, work on my car, and play basketball and ping pong at home.

Favorite Food: Lasagna THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY TARYN IMAMURA

Taryn Imamura with the Stanford University mascot during the Stanford Admitted Students Weekend.

24 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


TARYN IMAMURA IS BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS AND INSPIRING OTHER YOUNG WOMEN IN THE SCIENCES

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BY DWAIN HEBDA

aryn Imamura of Conway, 18, never really thought of herself as an anomaly. She just knew that she loved science. “Some of my earliest memories were of my grandpa and my uncle sitting me on their knee when I was 4 and telling me how if you take a teaspoon of matter from a black hole it would be so dense it would fall through the center of the earth,” she said. “I don’t see how I could’ve grown up wanting to be anything other than a scientist.” So when a male delegate to a prestigious science camp made a disparaging comment about women in the science fields, it was the first time she had encountered such academic sexism. The shock of it opened her eyes and lent a new facet to her future plans: Becoming a world class scientist was suddenly more than what she would do for herself, it was something by which she would inspire other young women. A self-proclaimed “STEMinist,” Imamura is looking forward to this new challenge as much to pave the way for others even as she completes her own education in the sciences. She hopes to one day create a scholarship program to help promising scientists pursue their dreams; for now she’ll just have to settle for being an inspiration, even if it meant hearing something hurtful to bring it out. “On the one hand, I had received a negative reaction from that one male peer,” she said. “But other women in the program who were my same age came up to me, a couple of the other girls who hadn’t had prior experience in robotics, and told me that I was an inspiration for speaking up for myself. That’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.” Imamura credits mentors of her own in helping her understand the difficulties of being a woman in the male-dominated sciences, particularly during the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES), an intensive six-week summer academic enrichment program at MIT. “When I went to the MITES program, one of my design teaching assistants there was studying to be a mechanical engineer,” Imamura said. “She understood where I was coming from because it’s a predominantly male field of study. Sometimes

I would go to her dorm room and we’d hang out and talk about stuff and she would show me different stuff she was doing for class. “One night I remember I was really discouraged and she was like, ‘Taryn, you know that you know what you’re talking about. You need to have confidence in what you say.’ She really helped me.” Imamura’s crowning achievement of her time at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs was her win at the state science fair where she demonstrated how to ferment rice hulls with genetically engineered bacteria to create surfactant, an element that when added to a liquid, decreases that liquid’s surface tension, thereby increasing its spreading and wetting properties. Surfactant is used in the manufacture of a wide range of products as well as the pharmaceutical, mining and petroleum industries. Her specific molecules hold two important distinctions. Rice hulls are an agricultural byproduct and so creating something so useful from them represents an ingenious and eco-friendly advancement. Second, she subsequently discovered that her surfactant could be converted into bio-diesel, something a Massachusetts company is currently looking to bring to scale. Not surprisingly, Imamura’s scientific chops have landed her on some pretty impressive watch lists—she was invited to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix in May, and next fall she’ll report to Stanford where she’ll pursue a degree in either mechanical, aerospace or macro-molecular engineering. Such fields continue a family tradition: Her parents are in medical careers, her grandfather held an associate’s degree in chemistry and her uncle holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and genetics and owns his own genetics company. They laid the groundwork for her interest in the sciences. “I can probably attribute my love of space and astrophysics to my grandfather,” Imamura said. “My uncle has supported and mentored me in my research, and encourages me to do what I love in science and engineering.”

(From top) Taryn at ASMSA graduation with her uncle, Dr. Kevin Jarrell, and mentor, Dr. Brian Monson; and Taryn with one of the winning robots from the regional BEST robotics competition.

Age:18 School: The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts/Stanford University

Favorite Subject: Physics Favorite club: Toss up between swing dance and robotics

Favorite Movie: "The Martian" Favorite Song: "Love Train" by The O'Jays

Number of Siblings: One younger brother

Dream Job: Engineer, physicist or writer

What I Do For Fun: I play my guitar and visit and laugh with friends and family

Favorite Food: Indian THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY DAVID XIANG

David Xiang read his original work at the National Student Poet appointment ceremony at the White House.

26 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


MULTI-GIFTED DAVID XIANG EXCELS IN SCIENCES AND THE ARTS BY DWAIN HEBDA

M

ost of us don’t see anything particularly poetic about mitochondrial DNA, but it’s a perfect example of the unique duality that is David Xiang’s life, a life where science and arts are allowed to peacefully coexist. “I’m not really that good at memorizing stuff; like when people think of biology or something, they think of memorizing facts,” he said. “I like research and the scientific method, and there’s a creative part of that that’s solely up to what you think is right. That’s similar to making your own poetry and using your own words to get something onto paper. Both involve really creative aspects.” Xiang’s life is full of such seemingly contradictory elements. He’s the science prodigy who’s been a featured presenter at Harvard’s junior science institute and the National Student Poet whose recent reading at the White House earned a hug from first lady Michelle Obama. “When I think about [the White House] experience, it was really surreal,” he said. “I don’t even remember being there, and when it was my turn to read I couldn’t talk normally. It was just really cool to be there, and see everything, and be in that moment.” He’s a kid who doesn’t like public speaking, yet who’s taught poetry in three Oklahoma high schools and a veteran’s center all before graduating Central High School in Little Rock. He’s an all-American boy born in China; a U.S. citizen who draws deeply from Chinese cultural tradition in his writing; the bilingual son of medical professionals who wants to one day write Hollywood movie scripts and TV show fodder. With Xiang’s natural aptitude for the sciences, it was assumed he would follow in mom and dad’s professional footsteps. But for all the genetics that were on his side for that career, writing and poetry stirred his soul. Even though his earliest efforts four years ago didn’t produce the kind of writing that gets you into Harvard’s arts and humanities program, that’s where he’s headed next fall.

“I look back at my older writings and I’m like, ‘Wow that’s terrible; I can’t believe I wrote this,’” he said with a laugh. “I started writing just because it was just a good personal release, something where I could vent and put my experiences and stuff onto paper. And I just grew more comfortable with it over time.” Xiang, 18, lends texture to his poems through cultural references. He’s visited China on a number of occasions with his family and in doing so became inspired by the culture, history and landmarks there. These elements now appear regularly in his work. “I’ve been back four times now and twice in the last three or four years,” he said. “It’s just really cool to see the difference in cultures and see the perceptions of people and how we look at each other. Everyday stuff is so different in America and in China. It’s interesting to write about that and mix it in because not everybody can write about that.” After the White House and Harvard gigs, you’d think teaching a poetry class to three Lawton, Okla., high school classes would be a breeze, but Xiang remembers it as one of the more initially nerve-racking experiences of his life. “I was very apprehensive before that; I just tried to picture myself sitting there back at Central High and imagine some teenager coming in and trying to teach me poetry. I’d be like, who the heck is this guy?” he said. “I taught three classes my first day and I remember in the first class saying, ‘OK, who wants to tell me about poetry?’ Everyone just looked at me stone-faced, no expression. I thought, oh boy, this is going to be a long class.” Things thawed out quickly, however and he came away with a spark for teaching he didn’t know he had, particularly when he got the chance to spend a day at a veterans center in Norman, Okla. “That was really awesome,” he said. “Teaching, for me, is different from public speaking because it’s a lot easier for me to say what it means to write a poem, how to write a poem. It’s something I’m a lot more comfortable with.”

David Xiang is honored at the National Student Poets Program.

Age:18 School: Little Rock Central High/Harvard University

Favorite Subject: Art History Favorite Sport: Soccer Favorite Movie: "Midnight in Paris"

Favorite Song: "I Lived" by OneRepublic

Dream Job: NBA player What I Do For Fun: Basketball, hanging out with friends, being outdoors

Favorite Food: Anything Chinese

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

27


How to throw a summer birthday bash... lots of balloOns & lanterns

pineapple bowling!

luau photo booth piÑatas!

find everything you need at

11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK

501.223.4929

4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK

501.978.3154


savvy family

Birthdwaityh Fun& Tails Fins

Under the Sea Party THIS MERMAIDS AND SHARKS PARTY THEME IS A HIT FOR BOYS AND GIRLS! STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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savvy family savvy family *BALLOONS ARE A FUN, EASY AND COLORFUL WAY TO CREATE AN OCEANIC ATMOSPHERE.

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y kids’ birthdays fall within the same week in July. They’re still at the age where they share a lot of their friends, so until they beg to do otherwise, we throw them a joint birthday party every year. I’ve found that pool parties are the easiest unisex party to throw, and it’s so much fun to build around that theme each year. We love the Leawood Pool, where you can book a private pool party for a very reasonable price, and this year they have an extended patio with a great new built-in brick grill. Violet is turning 7 and is convinced she’s part mermaid, and Archer is turning 5 and has a shark tooth necklace that he can’t leave the house without, so it was an obvious choice to use the ocean as our inspiration. There are so many whimsical treats that are easy to make and so fun for the kids. Party City has all the supplies you’ll need to set up the party of the year. Walking up and down the Party City aisles always inspires me when planning any kind of party. I’m a fan of making all my party treats, but this year I decided to turn to the pros for the cake. In my head I’m a baker, but in reality, the finished product rarely turns out like I imagined, so I’m glad I trusted Blue Cake Company. They blew us away with the Mermaid and Shark Fin cake they made. It was the centerpiece of the whole party and I couldn’t stop looking at it! However stressful it is to pull off a successful party, I always try to take a minute to really notice my kids’ faces as they see the treats and the cake all set up, as they greet their friends with wrapped presents just for them, as they blush while their loved ones sing them the birthday song, and as they look another year older. I’m scared to blink, because when I do, the year will pass and we’ll be doing it all over again.

30 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

VIOLET AND ARCHER LOVE SWIMMING! POOL PARTIES ARE PERFECT FOR BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS.


OYSTERS & PEARLS: OPEN UP OREOS (I USED BIRTHDAY CAKE FLAVOR), AND PLACE A LARGE WHITE SIXLET CANDY INSIDE.

MAKE OCEAN WATER WITH BLUE RASPBERRY LEMONADE.

VIOLET AND ARCHER HOSTED A JOINT POOL BIRTHDAY PARTY WITH FUN THEMEORIENTED SNACKS LIKE OYSTER & PEARLS, BOAT PADDLES, BUBBLES AND CORAL AND SERVED GUESTS A CUP OF OCEAN WATER TO WASH IT ALL DOWN.

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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USE SEA-THEMED COOKIE CUTTERS TO CREATE FUN SEA LIFE COOKIES. SHARK FINS: CUT PB&J'S INTO TRIANGLES AND SET UPRIGHT LIKE SHARK FINS.

MERMAID AND SHARK CAKE FROM BLUE CAKE COMPANY.

*MAKE YOUR PARTY FAVORS!

Get the birthday boy or girl involved by making homemade party favors. For the boys, we wrapped packages of oceancolored Play-Doh with sea creature toys. For the girls, Violet made beautiful blue and green beaded bracelets. They loved passing out their homemade gifts to the guests!

*WET AND WILD PLAYLIST Give these songs a spin at your pool party!

“UNDER THE SEA,” Samuel E. Wright “BEYOND THE SEA,” Bobby Darin "SURFIN' SAFARI," The Beach Boys "SUMMERTIME BLUES," Eddie Cochran "SUMMER GIRLS," LFO "THE BOYS OF SUMMER," Don Henley "WIPE OUT," The Surfaris “HERE COMES THE SUN,” The Beatles

32 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


2016 FAMILY FUN FEST August 6th 8-10 PM. Benefiting Centers For Youth & Families!

FOUR-ACTIVITY WRISTBAND $26! Contact Candace Carr for more information: CCarr@cfyf.org or 501.666.9436 ext. 1105

501-455-3750 • www.bigrockfunpark.com • 11411 Baseline Rd., LR (near Bass Pro Shops)

CUSTOM CAKES FOR WEDDINGS, BIRTHDAYS, AND MORE! Scratch baking since 2005 Cookies Cupcakes Petit Fours Cake Pops Brownies

BIRTHDAY CAKE POPCORN Makes 12 servings

2 bags popped popcorn (salted, but not buttered) ½ cup boxed dry vanilla cake mix (just the dry mix alone) 1 12-ounce bag Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melts, melted ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles (or any color to match the occasion!)

ASK ABOUT CUSTOM PETIT FOURS

Remove unpopped kernels from popcorn bags, then toss the hot popcorn with dry cake mix. Drizzle the whole bag of melted white chocolate over the popcorn, and carefully fold to combine until you no longer see dry cake mix at the bottom of the bowl, and each kernel is covered. Pour the popcorn onto a sheet of wax paper in a single layer, and cover with sprinkles. Let cool and dry completely, then separate the popcorn and serve within 48 hours.

WATERMELON SHARK

Makes 12 servings (see page 29) Slice a watermelon in half diagonally. Reserve one half for another day. Scoop out the melon in one half using a melon baller, and save the melon balls in the refrigerator. Set the hollowed melon cut side down, on a cutting board. Cut a triangle out of the top, making sure to cut out the stem so you don’t see it. This will be the mouth. Then using a thin, sharp knife, make the teeth by cutting triangles out of the mouth as you would a jack-o'-lantern. Expose the white pith of the melon to make the teeth stand out more by cutting off the layer of green peel from each tooth. I like to leave a rough edge for a more realistic look. Next, cut a triangle on each side, above the mouth, and use a grape to create the eyes. Using part of the triangle cutout to create the mouth, cut a triangle for the fin. Secure toward the bottom of the shark melon using toothpicks pushed in until you can’t see them anymore. Place the shark melon on a platter and fill with the melon balls and other fruit. Serve cold and within 48 hours.

Mon - Fri: 10am-6pm • Sat: 10am - 3pm • Closed Sunday 6800 Cantrell Rd. Little Rock, AR • (501) 868-7771 • thebluecakecompany.com

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savvy family

DIY PARTY CRAFTS

TIN CAN ALLEY

Ramp up the festivities with these colorful upcycled containers! Just cover clean soup or vegetable cans with scrapbook paper and you’ve got an instant ball toss game.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY LEISURE ARTS

Get crafty to save on your next party and get the kids involved! Leisure Arts' Celebrate Birthdays is a publication dedicated to the art of the DIY party. Here's a taste of what you'll find within its pages:

FROM SUPERHEROES TO SWEET 16... 34 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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PHOTOGRAPHY: NOVO STUDIO COURTESY OF BIKE ARKANSAS

savvy family

GET INTO THE CYCLE

BICYCLING IS A GREAT SPORT TO ENCOURAGE FAMILY BONDING AND DEVELOP LIFELONG FITNESS GOALS. THE NATURAL STATE IS FULL OF GREAT RESOURCES TO HELP GET YOUR FAMILY INTO THE CYCLE.

M

BY DWAIN HEBDA

isty Murphy, executive director of the Downtown Springdale Alliance, has been a cyclist as long as she can remember, is a former cycling racer and even worked in a job that built and maintained cycling trails in northwest Arkansas. A self-described mountain bike junkie, she’s also discovered the sport is a great bonding activity with her son, Crey. “I love it because it’s a lifelong sport,” she said. “You can do it when you’re a kid, and it’s not like basketball or football where you stop once you graduate high school because you don’t have the talent to continuing doing it. This is a fitness activity that I know Crey can take with him for the rest of his life.” Cycling is big business in Arkansas, so big in fact that the Arkansas Department of Tourism devotes an entire section of its website to cycling adventures in an attempt to lure natives and out-of-staters alike to the Natural State bike trails. The site highlights 22 mountain bike and 10 road bike routes and links to a calendar of cycling events throughout Arkansas. Murphy said organized events merely scratch the surface of the cycling culture that’s grown up in recent years. Residents can find an abundance of local biking trails in virtually every part of the state, with a growing number of communities even reshaping their street system to include bike lanes. “[Cycling] is a huge quality-of-life component around the state,” she said. “Arkansas as a whole is just a wonderful natural environment, we are so blessed with the natural beauty that we have here and all the green spaces. It’s really gratifying to see that a lot of our cities are taking advantage of that now, and recognizing that they can provide this quality-of-life amenity for residents. “It’s also an equitable activity; you don’t have to pay to use the trails, everybody has the opportunity to get out there and experience the natural environment while doing something fun and family-friendly.”

36 JULY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


RESIDENTS CAN FIND AN ABUNDANCE OF LOCAL BIKING TRAILS IN VIRTUALLY EVERY PART OF THE STATE, WITH A GROWING NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES EVEN RESHAPING THEIR STREET SYSTEM TO INCLUDE BIKE LANES. A particular benefit that Murphy experienced when she started biking with her son, now 10, was the way the activity helped him improve his development. “Specifically for him, it’s been really good because he had some motor skill delays,” she said. “He came to cycling a little bit later than some people did because it was difficult for him to learn, but since then it’s been really helpful to him with his motor skills issues. It also helps with his attention because cycling is something you really have to focus on.” Her advice to other parents who want to incorporate a family cycling regimen is to tailor the ride to fit the child and let it build from there. When she and Crey started riding together, Misty was still a gung-ho competitive mountain biker and she quickly learned she had to scale back to match his ability and gradually increase the ride from there. “Most kids can bike better than their parents, but you do have to kinda go with their pace until they get used to it,” she said. “I was used to mountain biking 15 or 20 miles at a time, and there was no ‘Hey we’re going to go five miles and then we need to go home.’ So you do have to slow down. “But that was really one of the great things about cycling with him, too. That became our time to just kinda hang out and remember why I enjoyed cycling in the first place. Because it’s fun, right, it’s not all training and work.” Murphy also recommends seeking out the expertise of local cycling advocacy organizations to find beginners training before heading out on a family bike ride. These groups, such as Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas in Little Rock and the statewide Bike/Walk Arkansas, among others, provide trails etiquette and cycling safety courses to help youngsters learn proper rules of the road and off-road. And, depending on where you live, there may be other resources for the beginning cyclist as well. “Many schools in northwest Arkansas now have a fleet of bikes that were donated in part by the Walton Family Foundation and they’re integrated into the local P.E. system,” she said. “Our schools are actually teaching our kids how to ride as part of their P.E. curriculum and are teaching them best practices on the bike like where you need to stop, these are the signs you have to obey, here’s your trail etiquette. We’re lucky that’s coming through the school system and we also have great advocacy organizations to help fill in the gaps.”

SAFE CYCLING IN THE NATURAL STATE As the number of bicyclists in Arkansas continues to grow, it’s essential that riders learn basic bicycle safety and rules of the road, whether on public roads, trails or just riding around the neighborhood. Most bike accidents don’t include a motor vehicle, the majority involve falls or hitting fixed objects. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department have compiled these into a handy booklet, Bicycle Safety in Arkansas, available at arkansashighways.com. The manual details various guidelines and regulations broken into basic principles, which become even more important when riding with children or beginners: • Maintain control of your bicycle, starting with having a bike that’s the right size and going the correct speed for the conditions. Adults should never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. • Ride on the right, with traffic. Signal your intentions when riding and don’t change lanes, turn or enter intersections suddenly. You don’t have the luxury of electronic turn signals to let motorists know where you are going next. • Be visible and ride alertly at all times. Plan a route that avoids road construction whenever possible and when on main thoroughfares, pick your times for recreational rides when traffic volume is lower where feasible. Take special precautions during early morning or evening rides before it’s fully light out. • Protect yourself: ALWAYS wear a helmet to reduce the risk of head injury in the event of a crash or fall. Keep your bike in good working order. • When riding on paths, ride on the right and yield to pedestrians, using caution when passing other path users. Pass on the left and announce your intentions or alert them with a bike bell. Be especially careful crossing a road, driveway or street by slowing down to be sure drivers see you. LEARN MORE: Bike/Walk Arkansas bikewalkar.org Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas, Little Rock bicycleadvocacy.com Bike Bentonville bikebentonville.com Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks Fayetteville bconwa.com

Conway Advocates for Bicycling cycleconway.com Hot Springs Bicycle Association bikehotsprings.org Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition Jonesboro neabicyclecoalition.org

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JULY 2016

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bag check

ANGELA ALEXANDER

ANGELA ALEXANDER IS A FREELANCE HAIR/MAKEUP STYLIST AND PHOTO STYLIST. WHEN SHE’S NOT PAINTING FACES, SHE CAN BE FOUND HANGING WITH HER ART DIRECTOR HUSBAND, ISAAC, GETTING SNACKS FOR HER TWO FLOWER CHILDREN, VIOLET AND POSEY, OR WALKING HER SOULFUL DOG, OTIS.

Angela w ith he (left) & P r girls Violet osey (rig ht).

I LOVE MOUNTAIN VALLEY SPRING WATER AND I TRAVEL TO HOT SPRINGS MONTHLY TO FILL UP MY BOTTLES.

POSEY IS LEARNING TO WRITE, AND IS CONSTANTLY WRITING NOTES. THIS ONE SAYS, “MOM, I REALLY WANT TO GET A PUPPY.”

THIS BAG IS HANDCRAFTED BY JACK SHERMAN LLOYD, A LOCAL ARTIST, AND WAS A BIRTHDAY GIFT FROM MY HUSBAND.

PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH/STYLING: MANDY KEENER

WITH THESE GIRLS, I NEED TO CARRY BAND-AIDS EVERY DAY.

THIS NATIVE UNION HANDSET ATTACHMENT ELIMINATES 99% OF RADIATION COMPARED TO DIRECT USE OF A MOBILE PHONE. I ALWAYS MAKE MY GIRLS USE IT WHEN THEY TALK.

JULY 2016 THESAVVYMOMS.COM 38 2016| | THESAVVYMOMS.COM 38 JULY

I MADE THIS HAND SANITIZER MYSELF FROM GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT AND WATER.


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