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THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM

Mom rs e k a M

DECEMBER 2017 · THESAVVYMOMS.COM

6 LOCAL NONPROFITS FOR YEAR-END GIVING

or tillo Car men P Work Balances eet and a Sw fe Family Li

plus

THE HOW-TO GUIDE

Build a DIY Snow Day Survival Kit


YOU KNEW US AS Little Rock Wastewater, but we are SO MUCH MORE. We’re not about wasting water. We’re about reclaiming, cleaning, and returning it to nature. In our treatment plants, we clean our city’s used water and return it to the environment seven times cleaner than what occurs naturally. After eight decades of fulfilling our promise to our community, we’re definitely industry leaders, and our new name, Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority, says it all. Learn more about our people and our process at LRWRA.com.

11 CLEARWATER DR. LITTLE ROCK, AR 72204

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DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

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LRWRA.COM

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501. 376. 2903


Come hang

with us!

littlerockzoo.com 501.666.2406

Slow pygmy loris photos by Karen Caster

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BECOME A ZOO MEMBER! Memberships come with free admission & parking, 15% off food & zoovenirs, discounts to reciprocal zoos, and Zoo ride tickets!

Newly Updated Arcade! Longer Play and Better Prizes For Your Money! OPEN EARLY ON SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!

Amazing Maze • Aerial Adventure Go-Karts•Mini Golf • Lazer Frenzy Batting Cages • Arcade•Bumper Boats Batting Cages • Parties

501-455-3750 • bigrockfunpark.com 11411 Baseline Road Little Rock (near Bass Pro Shops)

Holiday Gift Cards Available! THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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DECEMBER 2017 MODERN MOM 12 MAMA SAID MORE THAN PRESENTS UNDER A TREE

14 MIND, BODY & SOUL CHECK THIS LIST TWICE FOR YOUR END-OF-YEAR DONATIONS

21 SUGAR MAMA CHOCOLATE AND FAMILY MAKE UP CARMEN PORTILLO'S SWEET LIFE

24 KEEPING IT SIMPLE & STYLISH

50

MANDY OSBORNE IS RAISING THREE KIDS WHILE REINING IN HER POPULAR T-SHIRT COMPANY

SAVVY FAMILY 16 DIY SNOW DAY SURVIVAL KIT

32

16

CREATE THE PERFECT TEACHER HOLIDAY GIFT

27 HOW-TO WE ASK LOCAL EXPERTS TO ANSWERS PARENTS' IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

36 THE BASICS ON DIABETES THIS CHRONIC DISEASE AFFECTS MANY YOUTH, SO IT'S VITAL TO KNOW THE FACTS

14

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 NEWS & NOTES CALENDAR, CRAFTS & MORE!

38 MOM APPROVED EMILY ENGLISH

24 ON THE COVER: CARMEN PORTILLO OF COCOA BELLE HAS FOUND THE SWEET SPOT IN BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY. PHOTO BY KATIE CHILDS.

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DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Yes, recovery may take 12 steps… But The BridgeWay has always been the first. As the first psychiatric hospital in the state of Arkansas, The BridgeWay has helped thousands of Arkansans recover from addictions. From legal to illegal substances, we have treated them all.

Under the care of a certified addictionologist, The BridgeWay was the first to offer two treatment options: n Abstinence-based treatment n Medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone Whether you need inpatient care or outpatient treatment, The BridgeWay has always been the first place to call. We provide services that treat addictions for adults, ages 18 and older, within a medical setting: n Medical detoxification n Outpatient n Yoga n Crisis stabilization n Support by AA and Al-Anon n Nutritional guidance n Dual diagnosis n Pet-assisted therapy n Computer access n Rehabilitation n Art therapy n Visitation n Intensive Outpatient For over thirty years, The BridgeWay has been the first and only program with a dedicated program for the treatment of substance abuse. Let The BridgeWay be your first call.

The BridgeWay may be reached toll-free at 1-800-245-0011 Our assessment and referral staff is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Assessments are provided at no charge and are always confidential. The BridgeWay is an in-network provider for Medicaid, up to 21 years of age, and all other insurance companies in Arkansas including Medicare and Tricare.

www.TheBridgeWay.com |

#VisitArkansas

A R K A N SAS

TRAIL

OF

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Brochure available at these locations. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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MAKING A (TO-DO) LIST AND CHECKING IT TWICE December can be a stressful month if you let it get out of hand. We all have endless to-do lists: holiday shopping, cleaning for parties, organizing family pictures, teacher gifts, classroom Christmas parties, decorating, cooking, wrapping presents, finding ways to entertain the kids while they’re out of school or arranging day care, work, etc. You could drown in the list if you don’t stay motivated, delegate jobs and keep positive. But, if you don’t get everything marked off your list, remember that it’s OK. Just be sure to turn off the “taskmaster” at some point and enjoy your family, curl up with a good book and a glass of wine, escape for a yoga class or find a way to take a minute for yourself to say “Good job, you (pretty much) got it all done.” And don’t forget to say “thank you” before the holiday break to the person who co-parents your kid nine months out of the year. Teachers really are heroes and deserve a little pampering. Kerry Guice has a great idea for a “Snow Day Survival Kit” to shower your child’s teacher with fun winter gifts before the break. Check out her edibles, crafts and extras on page 16. We met two moms with some pretty unbelievable to-do lists this season. Mandy Osborne, owner of Milk & Honey apparel, and Carmen Portillo, chief chocolatier at Cocoa Belle are two Maker Moms who are building their businesses while raising families—and making it look pretty sweet. Get a glimpse inside their workspaces and hear how they launched their dream jobs while still making family their top priority. After making your lists—and checking them twice—you may still have room in your budget and heart to donate to local charities. Year-end giving is a great way to help nonprofits in the community and ease your tax burden a bit. We take a look at six nonprofits and ask their leaders where your money will go on page 14. The Savvy team wishes you and your family a merry Christmas and happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2018!

Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy amy@arktimes.com

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DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Bring hope to a child this season by volunteering. Call 866-284-8111 or visit www.speakforkids.org for more information.

Your Gift Matters

BE A CHAMPION FOR CHILDREN You can help children like Keagan get better today and be healthier tomorrow. A gift of $25, $50, $100 or more to Arkansas Children’s makes a huge difference in the life of a sick child.

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Visit giving.archildrens.org or call (800) 880-7491

WHY I GIVE Keagan ad Savvy.indd 1

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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11/9/17 10:13 AM


501-315-4414

PUBLISHER BLAKE HANNAHS | blake@arktimes.com

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

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

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

EDITOR AMY GORDY | amy@arktimes.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANDY KEENER | mandy@arktimes.com ART DIRECTOR KATIE HASSELL | katie@arktimes.com EDITOR AT LARGE REBEKAH LAWRENCE | rebekah@arktimes.com SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE LESA THOMAS | lesa@arktimes.com ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER ROLAND R. GLADDEN | roland@arktimes.com ADVERTISING COORDINATOR LARISSA GUDINO | larissa@arktimes.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS MIKE SPAIN | JASON HO PRODUCTION MANAGER | CONTROLLER WELDON WILSON IT DIRECTOR ROBERT CURFMAN ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/OFFICE MANAGER KELLY JONES BILLING/COLLECTIONS LINDA PHILLIPS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR ANITRA HICKMAN

FIND US ON

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NOW A FULL SERVICE SALON!

contributors

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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.

$20 OFF ANY COLOR SERVICE OR $10 OFF A BLOW OUT COUPON

ANGELA E. THOMAS is a proud University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate and a member of its Alumni Board. For 11 years, she served Central Arkansas as editor for a locally owned magazine. Thomas is founder and owner of the greeting card company GODsent Greetings.

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

KATIE CHILDS is a wedding, lifestyle and commercial photographer based in North Little Rock. When she's not behind the camera, Katie and her husband, Jon, can be found rock climbing with their two pups in Northwest Arkansas, and listening to embarrassing rap music.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM! BE THE FIRST TO FIND OUT ABOUT GIVEAWAYS & CONTESTS THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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December

Through Dec. 17

Mother Goose Christmas

Kids will love “Mother Goose Christmas” at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theater. It’s the story of a young girl named Memory who has never heard the stories of Mother Goose. Grandpa Andy makes it his mission to teach her all the tales, and the characters go on a Christmas Eve adventure in Mother Goose’s Realm of Romp and Rhyme. arkansasartscenter.org.

12-23

Through Dec. 30 Enchanted Forest Trail Of Lights The City of Sherwood hosts “Enchanted Forest Trail Of Lights,” a memorable, annual drive-through light display from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations and non-perishable food items are welcome. cityofsherwood.net.

A Christmas Carol

The whole family will love the timeless classic, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, adapted for the Argenta Community Theater by Judy Goss. argentacommunitytheater.org.

Dec. 8 to Jan. 14

Arkansas Chinese Lantern Festival

The Arkansas State Fairgrounds will be illuminated with brilliant light sculptures at the Arkansas Chinese Lantern Festival presented by Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. For the first time, this family-friendly Chinese cultural event comes to Little Rock. See the lights each night from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and enjoy live performances, crafts and traditional fair food and Chinese food available for purchase. Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 5-7; parking $5. arkansaslanternfest.com.

7-10 The Nutcracker

Ballet Arkansas performs the classic, beloved holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” at Robinson Center with live music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Audience members of all ages will enjoy a show filled with snowflakes, sugar plums and beautiful ballet. balletarkansas.org.

14

Sesame Street Live! Let's Party

Kids and adults can see all their favorite Sesame Street characters at Verizon Arena for “Sesame Street Live! Let's Party.” The production features favorite “Sesame Street” pals Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and more in a brand new sensory adventure live on stage. Catch performances at 2 or 6 p.m. Tickets: $16-52. verizonarena.com.

10 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


15-17 Home for the

Holidays

Indulge your love for holiday music at “Home for the Holidays,” a Christmas music extravaganza hosted by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson Center. arkansassymphony.org.

TAKING THE

Light

INTO THE WORLD Share the light this Christmas! Your gift to Methodist Family Health provides behavioral, emotional and spiritual care to thousands of children and families throughout Arkansas. Would you bring light to someone’s life and give to Methodist Family Health this holiday?

4 WAYS TO GIVE

Text Online Call Mail

16-17 Dinosaur Time Trek:

Text GIVE to 501-254-6048 Visit MethodistFamily.org and choose “Donate Now” 501-906-4209 to contribute by debit or credit card Send your contribution to Methodist Family Health Foundation P.O. Box 56050 • Little Rock, AR 72215-6050

Dragon Edition

This temporary exhibit at the Statehouse Convention Center is dino-mite! “Dinosaur Time Trek: Dragon Edition” helps you trek back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth to have a roaring, stomping, roam-through experience like no other. Enjoy hands-on exhibits, baby dinos, a live-action family game show and more. dinosaurtimetrek.com.

UALR TROJAN'S BASKETBALL HOME SCHEDULE

MethodistFamily.org

Dre ! am, W lore onder, and Exp

greaT BirThday oPTionS!

Men, Dec. 2 vs. Oral Roberts, 3 p.m. Women, Dec. 4 vs. Missouri State, 6:30 p.m. Women, Dec. 7 vs. Louisiana Tech, 6:30 p.m. Men, Dec. 18 vs. University of the Ozarks, 6:30 p.m. Women, Dec. 20 vs. LSU, 6:30 p.m. Men, Dec. 28 vs. Louisiana, 7 p.m. Women, Dec. 29 vs. Louisiana, 5 p.m. Men, Dec. 31 vs. ULM, 4 p.m. Women, Dec. 31 vs. ULM, 2 p.m.

All games held at the Jack Stephens Center on the UALR campus.

Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm 501.225.4050 | www.ThewonderPlace.com Breckenridge Village ShoPPing cenTer, 10301 norTh rodney Parham THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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mama said...

MORE THAN PRESENTS UNDER A TREE

W

hen you think of the holidays, what comes to mind? Is it family gathered around a table covered with casseroles and pies? Do you think of candlelight services or midnight mass? Beloved books and caroling? Road trips and time with family? Maybe your best holiday memories feature a twinkling tree or lazy afternoons of classic movies and leftovers. When I think of the holidays, it’s of Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house in rural Polk County. The world’s problems were solved in a wood-fired den, over coffee and filched bits of ham, while Granny prepared an enormous meal in the kitchen. As the warm scent of bread made its way into the den, the announcement that the yeast rolls were ready was the highlight of the day. Though she made pans and pans, there were never enough of Granny’s hot rolls. With full bellies, we would sometimes sing old hymns and carols. I loved watching my aunts and uncles tease each other, and inevitably a wrestling match would break out among young cousins—or old uncles. The memories I treasure are simple but joyous times of enjoying each other’s company, of decelerated schedules and of longstanding traditions. What I don’t remember are gifts. I don’t recall a single present from those family celebrations. In truth, I don’t remember many from Christmas mornings over the course of my childhood. Of course, this is all so easy to say now, as an adult. I’m sure if asked at the time what was the most important thing about Christmas, I’d have said presents—just like my kids would today. What about you? Is it presents that make up your holiday memories, or traditions? A little of both? If gifts aren’t the primary reason for the season, and they’re not what creates lasting memories, why do we stretch ourselves and our budgets so thin during the holidays? Besides Saint Nicholas’s legacy and the spirit of giving, it’s probably because we want to show the people we love just how much. And it’s fun to spoil our kids for one special day, to watch their little faces light up on Christmas morning. It brings us joy to give them everything their little hearts desire. But are mine the only kids who glaze over after the third or fourth gift? Last year felt like a Christmas present sugar rush, and when it

was over, the ultimate crash and burn. Would my time and money have been better spent on making memories, on holiday traditions—both old and new? How can I better teach my children what’s important: family and friends, gratitude, kindness and charity? Since my Granny’s passing two years ago, the Polk County Christmas Eve has come to an end. It’s sad, but these things happen. The cousins have their own families now; my aunts and uncles are the new grannies and papaws. At my house, the kids are still young and we’re working to form our own holiday traditions. In many ways, we’re letting them lead. They love the awe and atmosphere of a Christmas Eve candlelight service. They’re thrilled to bake cookies and build gingerbread houses. The whole family joins in when our beloved neighbors sing carols each year. The kids love to volunteer at the central Arkansas Angel Tree intake at the mall, and to cruise the Trail of Lights in the city of Sherwood. We’re sure to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Elf,” and “The Grinch” and to drink plenty of hot chocolate. I’m even going to try and make Granny’s famous hot rolls this year. Well. Would you look at that? Not one of those things pertained to presents. Maybe there’s hope for us after all. Hope your holidays are magical, filled with family and love—and the makings for memories.

GRANNY’S HOT ROLLS RECIPE Ingredients: 2 cups milk ¼ cup oil ½ cup sugar 3 ½ cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 2 packets rapid rise yeast Mix all dry ingredients in bowl. Heat milk and oil until hot to fingers. Beat in flour and eggs slowly using all flour. Let set in bowl until doubled. Roll out and make into rolls. Put into greased pan let rise 15 or 20 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees.

Jen Holman is determined to be a voice of reason amongst reality TV and momjudgment-gone-wild. Her newest novel (as yet unpublished) won the 2017 Rosemary award for excellence in young adult fiction. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and three (im)perfect children.

12 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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mind, body & soul

CHECK THIS LIST TWICE FOR YOUR END-OF-YEAR DONATIONS As the calendar year winds down, there's still time to support worthwhile organizations and get a little tax benefit in the process. BY DWAIN HEBDA

M

any Central Arkansas nonprofits depend heavily on grass roots support to run their programs during the course of the year. December is a great time to give these organizations a little boost. For those still looking to make a donation, please consider the following organizations, all of which are widely recognized for their good works in the community. We asked the leaders of each to let us know exactly how your donations help them achieve their goals.

THEA FOUNDATION

Providing support for art and young artists is the goal of the Thea Foundation, which augments existing arts programs in schools and forms partnerships to help seed classroom art programs where there are none. The organization fosters outreach such as Thea Paves The Way sidewalk art program, and exhibits to inspire and encourage art in beginners and experienced young artists alike. “When you donate to Thea Foundation, you help keep the arts alive in schools across Arkansas,” said Paul Leopoulos, executive director. “You help provide art supplies and other creative materials to underfunded classrooms. You help local schools afford advanced visual arts tools, musical instruments and instructors. You help 30 high school seniors each year earn scholarships for doing what they love and countless others find their confidence through the arts.”

Thea Foundation 401 Main St., Ste. 100 North Little Rock, AR 72114 501-379-9512 theafoundation.org

HAVEN

Haven is a residential group home for adolescent females in foster care, located in Conway. Residents come to Haven by referral from across the state—girls who come from a variety of harmful environments, all looking for a home free from abuse or neglect. Haven, which stands for Help for Abuse Victims in Emergency Need, can accommodate 12 girls at present but the 3,000-squarefoot location is stretched to the seams. “Contributions to Haven House will go to our Every Child Deserves a Home building campaign” said Marti Jones, director. “Haven is in the process of raising $2.4 million to construct a 9,000-square-foot commercial-grade home for the children in our care. This home will provide private bedrooms, a communal dining room, a commercial-grade kitchen to help teach independent living skills, a study room with computers and much more.”

14 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

Haven

THEA PAVES THE WAY PHOTO BY ALEX KENT

P.O. Box 10105 Conway, AR 72034 501-327-1701 havenconway.org

CENTERS FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES

Providing for the emotional and social well-being of children and families is the mission of Centers for Youth and Families. Founded in 1884, the organization has offices in Little Rock and Monticello serving thousands of Arkansas families annually with age-appropriate, emotional care for children from infancy to age 26. Programs address typical family issues along with serving specific areas such as socially and emotionally challenged and at-risk youth,


runaway and homeless youth, pregnant and parenting teens, foster families and victims of human trafficking. “A donation of $100 will help provide clothing and basic necessities to a child admitted to our residential care,” said Melissa Dawson, CFYF chief operations officer. “Many times, kids come in without any possessions except the clothes on their back. Your donation makes it possible for us to provide the items they need and deserve.”

Centers for Youth and Families P.O. Box 251970 Little Rock, AR 72225 501-666-8686 centersforyouthandfamilies.net

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Habitat for Humanity is a respected global organization dedicated to the fundamental premise that every person should have a durable place to live in dignity and safety. Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas lives this mission by working to eliminate substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes. It also serves as an advocate for fair and just housing policies and provides training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. “When people donate to Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas, 100 percent of their donations go directly to building homes for hardworking families right here in Central Arkansas,” said Bill Plunkett, chief executive officer. “ That’s because the Habitat ReStores fund the affiliate’s overhead. Our homeowners are grateful for Habitat donations and ReStore donations or purchases.”

runs a drop-in center in downtown Little Rock, where LGBTQ young adults receive assistance in a safe and supportive environment. Lucie’s Place also has a home for LGBTQ young adults experiencing homelessness. Residents live in this home free of charge and work on developing the skills necessary for future independence. “Your support will ensure that Lucie’s Place members have access to the support, services and items they need to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient members of our community,” said Penelope Poppers, executive director. “This includes counseling, housing, bus passes, toiletries, clothing, HIV testing, glasses, cell phones, et cetera.”

Lucie's Place 300 S. Spring St., Ste. 715, Little Rock, AR 72201 501-508-5005 luciesplace.org

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Providing children with strong, enduring one-no-one relationships is the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. The organization recruits volunteer mentors, known as ‘Bigs,” who spend two to three hours several times per month with their mentee in the community, or an hour a week in a school setting. In both scenarios, mentor-mentee relationships are one-on-one and give children a positive role model that they may otherwise be lacking. “Our program is a service to the community, implemented through

recruitment efforts as well as extensive interviewing and assessment of all potential Big Brothers and Big Sisters,’ said Chrissy Chatham, CEO. ‘Your donation will cover the expense of multi-layered background checks of potential mentors, thus ensuring child safety and providing the groundwork to match the right caring adult with a child in our community.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas 312 W. Pershing Blvd. North Little Rock, AR 72114 501-374-6661 bbbsca.org

Tips for Year-End Donations Charitable donations do a lot of good in the community and can also help the donor come tax time. Here are some tips from the IRS to keep in mind. • Deal only with a qualified charity. Organizations must apply for and receive formal status as a charity (most commonly, 501c3) before they are allowed to collect deductible donations. Houses of worship and government agencies are automatically allowed this privilege. • Watch the date. Contributions are deductible in the year they were made. Charging a credit card in 2017 counts for 2017 even if the statement is paid in 2018. Checks count for 2017 as long as they are postmarked this year. • Get a receipt for all donations and be prepared to produce a cancelled check or bank statement to document the donation. Remember special rules apply for donations over $250 or for donations of a car, boat or airplane to charity.

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas 6700 S. University Ave. Little Rock, AR 72209 501-376-4434 habitatcentralar.org

LUCIE'S PLACE

Lucie’s Place provides LGBTQ young adults experiencing homelessness in Central Arkansas with safe living environments, job training and counseling services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success. The organization

ARIANA WHATLEY AND SHANTERIA DAVIS ON A BBBS OUTING. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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good eats

DIY SNOW DAY SURVIVAL KIT

The holiday season is a great time to put together something special for the ones who are helping raise our kids. I can’t imagine how excited teachers are to get that well deserved winter break, so the kids and I thought a “Snow Day Survival Kit” would be a fun way to treat them to a day of relaxation (snow not required)! STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE

16 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


T

eachers are more than superheroes, they're coparents! They do so much more than teach our kids math and grammar. Think about your own memories of favorite teachers growing up and how they impacted your life well beyond childhood. In fourth grade, my teacher, Ms. Mallett, told me that I was her best English student and that was the day I realized I had a love for writing. The confidence she gave me with just one compliment helped to shape a big part of who I am today. There's no way to sufficiently thank teachers for what they do for the next generation, but it helps to sprinkle them with little “Happy Things” throughout the school year. I found the adorable buffalo check flannel basket at every mom's favorite place—Target. While I was there, I also grabbed some cozy socks, a scented candle and the cute little sled ornament to be used as the gift tag. At Whole Foods, I got a carton of my favorite chai tea latte and a sweet smelling gingerbread man bath bomb. I ordered some Peppermint lip conditioner from Beautycounter, and added a Netflix gift card. Just think of what would make the coziest snow day, and let your imagination go! I wanted to include a few homemade things as well, so the kids and I made a snow globe and some Apple Cobbler Popcorn! Anything apple is my favorite treat for a teacher, and popcorn is essential for a snow day Netflix binge, so this Apple Cobbler Popcorn is perfect! I toss old fashioned oats in melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, white chocolate and apple cider mix. All the flavors together make you think of apple cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just be warned, it's addicting! The snow globes were such a fun activity for the kids that I went back to Michael's craft store and bought a few more empty globes so we could keep some for ourselves, too. The best thing is that they're made of plastic, so I don't have to worry (as much) about my 6 year old dropping it and having to clean up the glitter water bomb, but you can certainly use a recycled jar or plastic juice bottle. To thicken the water a bit so the “snow flurries” float slowly, you'll need a bottle of glycerin. I found it in the pharmacy section of the grocery store. I love how simple these are to make, and how cute they turned out! To make sure the bottom stays completely sealed, I recommend using E6000 adhesive to ensure that no water will leak. I hope my kids' teachers know that we think they're sweeter than the apple cobbler popcorn, and we're wishing them (and all teachers) a cozy and relaxing holiday season!

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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APPLE COBBLER POPCORN

1 bag of popped popcorn (about 6 cups) ½ cup old-fashioned oats 1 tablespoon melted butter 1 teaspoon brown sugar Ÿ teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup Ghirardelli white chocolate melts (vanilla candy melts also work) 1 packet dry apple cider mix (I used Alpine, found at Kroger)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a microwave-proof bowl or mug for 20-30 seconds, then stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss the oats in the butter mixture, then spread onto a small cookie sheet. Toast in the oven for just a few minutes until lightly golden brown. Check often. It won't take more than 4-5 minutes. Set aside. Pop popcorn while waiting for the oats. Pour the popcorn onto a large tray or pan (be sure to remove all unpopped kernels). In another microwave-safe bowl or mug, melt the white chocolate in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. I used half red vanilla candy melts and half Ghiradelli white chocolate melts (in two different bowls), but you can use all white chocolate or all red candy melts. When chocolate is melted, add the pouch of apple cider mix and stir to combine (I split the pouch between the two colors). Drizzle the popcorn with half of the melted chocolate, and toss to coat. Sprinkle half of the oats and toss again. Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate, toss again, and then spread it out on the pan, sprinkling the remaining toasted oats onto the popcorn without tossing a final time (they'll still stick to the popcorn but you'll be able to see them more this way). When completely cooled and hardened, break apart and serve or pour into treat sacks or tins.

18 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Traveling over Spring Break? Start your trip with Laman Library's Passport Service

Convenient hours No appointment necessary Enjoy our Cafe or Children's area Free photos for first-time applicants $5 photos for renewals

Everything for your Perfect

Holiday Celebration

11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK 501.223.4929

4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501.978.3154

INVITATIONS • DECORATIONS • PARTY FAVORS • BALLOONS • PIÑATAS • CAKE SUPPLIES • INVITATIONS • DECORATIONS • PARTY THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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HOMEMADE SNOW GLOBES You'll Need: • Empty plastic or glass jars with a very tightly sealed lid (you can find the ones I used at Michael's) • Small bottle of glycerin (found in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores) • Glitter, sequins, fake snowflakes (anything you want to swirl around as the “snow”) • A small, waterproof figurine (make sure it fits through the container of the lid and isn't too tall) • Hot glue • E6000 waterproof craft adhesive

20 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

How To: 1. Generously apply hot glue to the bottom of the figurine and attach it to the underside of your lid. Let it dry completely. 2. Turn your jar or globe over, and fill it with the sequins and glitter. A little goes a long way; if you add too much, you won't be able to see the figurine. Also note that the different materials will float differently based on their weight. Glitter floats fast and easily, larger items may tend to clump or float slowly. 3. Fill globe about ¾ way up with water, then add about 2 teaspoons of glycerin. 4. Carefully start to submerge the figurine into the globe, adding more or less water depending on the size of your figurine. You want to have the smallest amount of air in your globe as possible. 5. Seal the lid, then apply the waterproof adhesive to prevent leaking. 6. Swirl and enjoy!


Mom Makers

Sugar Mama

Work and family make up Carmen Portillo's sweet life BY DWAIN HEBDA PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATIE CHILDS

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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I

t may only be 1,000 square feet in a tuckedaway strip mall on the edge of Bryant, but every square inch of Cocoa Belle is like a family photo album to owner Carmen Portillo. Over there is the industrial kitchen, reminiscent of the cooking she did as a child alongside her mother. Over here is the gleaming display case, where rows of hand-crafted bon-bons stand in rapt attention just as they did in the shops of Great Britain and Paris where she fell in love with the craft. And tucked onto a shelf, packages of gourmet divinity, at once just like, yet nothing close to, what she made with her late grandmother. “Is it too cliché to say this is my passion?” Portillo said, scanning the sleek, modern room. She shrugged. In fact, chocolate is passion; that's the whole point. Few foods engage the senses and disrupt the body's chemistry like the world's favorite candy, at least when it's done right. As the state's first licensed chocolatier, Portillo is the keeper of a very solitary flame in Arkansas. “Once people try us, they definitely know the difference,” Portillo said. “I have customers who were never really into chocolate, then once they found something that is this high quality they’re like, ‘Oh, I absolutely love it.’”    Portillo makes chocolates that defy description, or at least comparison to anything you can buy off the rack at your favorite convenience store. Made one at a time from premium, imported ingredients, her wares are more indigenous to Central Park than Central Arkansas. “People wonder why things cost so much sometimes,” she said. “Everything's handmade. There are not big conveyor belts running through here. It's very labor intensive.”

22 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Many a consumer’s sweet tooth is becoming more discerning now, especially among those who stopped by her humble booth in the Rivermarket where she first started her one-woman cocoa crusade. Since then, she's been featured in media from British Vogue to local TV and can be found in a growing number of retailers both locally and from as far away as Atlanta and New York. But there's still a long way to go. “I’m always trying to look at ways to include more people in my products,” she said. There are limits, of course. She’s developed a few vegan options, for instance, but hasn’t yet ventured into sugar-free. This isn’t because she doesn’t see a market there, or because she lacks empathy for people to have to watch their intake, but because she can’t find a formula that meets her strict standards. “I don’t want to do something just to satisfy a market if it’s something I would not eat and if it doesn’t stand up next to the integrity of my other products,” she said. “If it’s not good, I don’t want to sell it.” Portillo isn't the only one in the family with extremely high standards for her chocolates and related lines of chocolate sauces, butters and mixes. Daughter Isabel, age 4, is every inch a cocoa snob and much less diplomatic than her mother when confronted with commercial sweets. “My daughter is a huge chocoholic,” she said. “At 2 years old, she called it black chocolate, which is dark chocolate—the darker the better. At 2 years old where most kids don’t want anything if it’s not milk chocolate, she’s like, 'Gimme the good stuff.' “Even Halloween, we went trick-or-treating and I've got this huge bag of candy because she won't eat it. She doesn't like the cheap stuff at all.” Portillo's eyes light up when talking about her daughter and Robert, her husband of 11 years. Once she decided to make chocolate her livelihood, a decision that led her to Notter School for Confectionary and Chocolate Arts in Orlando, her only detour has been a brief period surrounding Isabel's birth. Today, she's more driven than ever, but she's also wiser to the demands of both family and framboise. “When I pick my daughter up from school or once I get home, that's family time,” she said. “My phone might be going off but [family members] are my priority. When I get home, it's about my husband and my daughter. That's important for us to have that time.” “Sometimes when one person is doing it all, it can cause a lot of tension. I try to find that balance. Even though I wanna check my phone and return that email, I have to respect that time and give it to my family.” She looks through the storefront windows and smiles out at the overcast afternoon sky. “You never work harder than when you work for yourself, but with the freedom of working for yourself, you have flexibility. You have choices,” she said. “And there is nothing in the chocolate business that cannot wait three or four hours at the end of the day.”

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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Mom Makers

Keeping It Simple & Stylish Milk & Honey owner Mandy Osborne is raising three kids while reining in her popular T-shirt company BY AMY GORDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATIE CHILDS

24 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


M

andy Osborne had no idea when she created a few shirts for herself and her young boys five years ago that a new career would be born. She had left a job in marketing to raise her sons with her husband, Josh, when friends began to take note of the designs Osborne was making for herself and her kids. “I always enjoyed making shirts did appliques and homemade stuff for my kids. I wouldn’t call myself crafty by any means, but I started making shirts and posted a pic of one I made for myself on my personal Instagram. Friends commented asking to buy them, so I was like, ‘yeah, I guess,’” Osborne said. At the time, her sons were ages 4 and 2, so her hands were pretty full at home already. But more orders were coming, so Osborne applied for a business license and decided to begin growing her brand, Milk & Honey—at her own pace. “It’s grown slowly by intention. I’m a stay-at-home mom. That’s my number one thing. Now all my kids are in school at least part of the day everyday, so as time has gone on, I’ve had time to grow it more.” Osborne is careful not to let Milk & Honey take too much of her time. She puts her role of Mom first, and will close up shop if she starts to feel like the business is overshadowing her home life. “When I started, Milk & Honey was something to do during naptime or early in the morning. I love that I’m able to do it at home, and I can shut it off when school is out. I’ll take a long break for the holidays. When our third son born, I took three months off and that was a little scary. I worried, ‘What if I come back and I can’t get the business going again?’ But, business was good and I’ve always come back and it’s been fine. I’ve had to learn how to keep it under control. Sometimes it gets busier than I want it to be. Sometimes I wish it would be busier. I’ve had to learn to balance it and keep it within the boundaries,” she said.

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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Osborne’s kids—Noah, 9; Sam, 7; and Silas, 4—think Mom’s job is pretty cool. They get to see the process first-hand as Osborne does all the work in a small studio near the family kitchen. She has one silk screen press and a baker’s rack of T-shirts and sweatshirts that are ready to go. She doesn’t keep a lot of inventory, because she doesn’t have the space or want the overhead, so each shirt is made-to-order. She aims to keep her business simple and designs stylish. “For the most part I take orders throughout the week. I shut the site down on the weekend so I can have family time and catch up on orders. On Fridays I’ll order shirts from suppliers, on Monday or Tuesday the shirts are here and I print them in the studio one at a time, then Jordan, my intern, ships them. There is such value in handmade things. We live in an Amazon Prime culture, but I think people value shopping small businesses. I think our stuff is really well made and people value that,” Osborne said. The Milk & Honey tagline is “Simply Stylish,” and each shirt begins with the design process, which is Osborne’s favorite part. “I always say that I don’t want to put anything out there I wouldn’t wear myself. A lot of the designs are faith-based, but I keep it subtle. And a lot of it is just fun stuff or inspirational. Right now ‘Homebody’ is a big seller. A lot of moms in my age group can relate to it—moms with little kids. When my kids were babies I wanted to get out and do stuff all the time, but we were stuck at home. Now that they are older, life is crazy and busy running from one thing to the next, and I just want to be home. It’s a popular design with moms like me.” Milk & Honey shirts can only be found on Osborne’s website, though she’s participated in a few local pop-up shops and some organized through connections in Austin and Dallas. She sells nationwide—though it all started selling to friends locally—and now that her kids are getting older she’s considering the next steps for her company. “Now that my youngest is 4 and in preschool, I have more time to devote to the business. I don’t wholesale now, but I get asked a lot about wholesaling. I don’t have the capacity to do that yet. Having a store is also something I dream about, but I’m not ready to take that big leap right now. This year is the first year I’ve not had at least one kid with me at all times. I’m giving myself this first semester to see how things are going and think about the future.”

26 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


It seems every day there are new questions that come up while raising kids. We lean on our parents, friends and the internet for solutions to everything from birthday party planning to choosing the right college for your child. Savvy reached out to a few local experts to weigh in on some of our readers’ burning questions. See what advice they offer in the Savvy How-To Guide.

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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HOWTO: TO: HOW Give the giftYear’s of science Celebrate New Eve with Kids Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season?

This holiday may be hands-down the hardest night of the year to find a babysitter. Everyone wants to go out and have a good time and ring in

Consider giving the gift of science with a Museum of Discovery membership. “A membership ensures your loved ones will experience science in a dynamic and interactive environment for one year,” said Kendall Thornton, chief marketing officer. With the museum’s recent renovation of its six and under space, Room to Grow to include a climbing structure; a vet clinic; an air cannon wall and more, now is the perfect time to become a member.  The benefits don’t end with enjoying exhibits, however. A Museum of Discovery membership allows you to attend museum programming for free. Programs such as Wiggle Worms which introduces children to science in a fun and hands-on environment. Each week, program attendees learn about a different topic through science demos and experiments. Wiggle Worms is held every Tuesday and Saturday at 10 a.m. for ages six and under. The program has also been expanded to include ages 10 and under every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. “We dive deeper into the Wiggle Worms topic that week with experiments more appropriate for elementary students,” said Thornton. “The Thursday program is perfect for homeschoolers.” Another popular program for members to attend free of charge is Science After Dark for adults 21 and up. Science After Dark is held the evening of the last Thursday of the month from January to September and explores different topics in science.  Past topics have included Stranger Things, CSI, pyro science and mixology. “The museum is not just for kids so Science After Dark allows adults to enjoy the museum to themselves with a beer in hand,” said Thornton. “It makes for a fun and unique date night or evening with friends.” The museum also hosts a variety of Saturday events that are free for members as well such as Messtival, a day of making messes in the name of science; Tinkerfest, their largest annual program; Star Wars Science and more.  If free admission to Museum of Discovery for one year is not enough, a membership includes discounts in the museum’s Explore Store, summer camps and birthday parties as well as private preview events of exhibits before they open to the public.  One of the most economical benefits of a membership is receiving free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums across the country through a nationwide reciprocal program. “I spoke to a member the other day who was able to visit the Field Museum in Chicago with their family for free because of their Museum of Discovery membership,” said Thornton. “That literally saved them hundreds of dollars – paying for the membership and then some.” Speaking of cost,  a family membership for five people is only $85. A contributing membership for seven people is $125. You are also able to add additional members such as babysitters or grandparents for $10 a person. 

the New Year—even kids! So, if your plans for the evening—which is centered around letting loose and reveling in new beginnings—involves a night in with the family, then rest easy knowing there are many ways to still throw the party of the year and incorporate the whole family. New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to help mark the passage of another year with your kids. Take some time to reflect on accomplishments and ways the family has grown and changed, then set goals for the year ahead. Even kids can make resolutions! Most importantly though, ring in the New Year with a bang by throwing your own family-oriented celebration. Kids love any reason to party and with events like the traditional countdown and ball drop, this night is sure to be one for the family photo album! Ted Mitchell, owner of Party City, looks to the party supply store’s ample shelves for his family’s New Year’s Eve events. “Kids at any age love to celebrate, and it’s great to be a part of that experience with them. Parents find themselves having just as much fun! Party City has a very large selection of New Year’s decorations, tableware, noisemakers and more. There’s something for any age,” he said. As an expert on how to plan the perfect party, Mitchell has tons of tips on how to keep the kids engaged and excited throughout the evening.

Here are a few ideas on how to ring in the New Year in kid-friendly style: 1. Decorations This holiday is filled with bright colors, fireworks displays and tons of glitter and shine. Nothing transforms a room like bold banners, streamers and balloons. Party City has 2017 decor all ready to go. The more bold colors you choose, the more your kids will love it. Let them help with the decorating process to really make the event their own! For an evening the kids will talk about for weeks to come, pick up a Pull String Disco Ball Piñata. Fill it with candy and as the countdown concludes, turn the kids loose on it!

2. Snacks and Drinks There’s nothing like a table of treats and drinks to keep kids busy through the night. Grab some themed New Year’s paper plates, cups and napkins from Party City for easy cleanup when the night is over. Think about simple finger foods like fruit, small sandwiches and chips and dip. And don’t forget the midnight toast! Snag a few plastic champagne flutes from Party City and fill them with a delicious mocktail. Try sparkling grape juice with a raspberry garnish!

3. Fun and Games Don’t forget to sprinkle in the fun and games! Kids love confetti, noisemakers and party poppers. Load them up and let them go wild. It’s just one night! Ready to sign up? Here’s how: Everyone likes to wear festive gear for the occasion. Party City has tons of hats, masks,at silly glasses and more to keep everyone giggling and reveling in Purchase from Museum of Discovery’stiaras, website the New Year’ s spirit until the ball drops—or the kids pass out! partycity.com | 501-223-4929

www.museumofdiscovery.org or from the museum’s admissions desk. 28 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


Give the gift of science (and fun)

with a museum membership purchase online or at our admissions desk

500 President Clinton Ave, Ste 150 www.museumofdiscovery.org

Little Rock, AR 72201 501.396.7050

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

29


HOWTO: TO: HOW Attend college affordably? Celebrate New Year’s Eve Families can significantly reduce the cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree by taking with Kids advantage of the Metro 2 + 2 Degree program, a new collaborative agreement between UA–Pulaski Tech and University of Arkansas Little Rock.

The Metro 2 + 2 Degree program is a re-engineered articulation agreement between the two institutions. Students complete their first two years at UA-PTC in one of four degree areas and then transfer to UA Little Rock for their final two years. They can choose among 44 bachelor’s degrees in the agreement. Tuition costs and fees are significantly lower at two-year colleges. Nearby commuter campuses allow students to continue to live at home, eliminating the added cost of dorm living. “The Metro Degree is specifically designed to help families and students streamline a quality, four-year degree,” UA-PTC Chancellor Margaret Ellibee said. “What’s new and exciting about this program is that we worked together with UA Little Rock to refine the transfer experience to be seamless and foolproof in very specific ways. That includes removing obstacles to success that also increase costs, like classes that don’t transfer.” College debt and college graduation is a concern for parents, students, and colleges alike. Another way for students to reduce college costs is to apply for scholarships, grants and financial aid. The UA-PTC office of financial aid works hard to ensure that students know what is available to them and what the ramifications of college debt are. The importance of not taking on unmanageable debt is given the highest priority. In 2016, UA Little Rock awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to students who transferred from UA-PTC. Private scholarships available through the UA–Pulaski Tech Foundation are another important source of aid. “The UA–Pulaski Tech Foundation administers numerous scholarships that are enormously helpful to students who qualify,” said Shannon Boshears, Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the UA-PTC Foundation. “Private scholarships are available as add-ons to other aid received, and of course every dollar helps.”

This holiday may be hands-down the hardest night of the year to find a babysitter. Everyone wants to go out and have a good time and ring in

the New Year—even kids! So, if your plans for the evening—which is centered around letting loose and reveling in new beginnings—involves a night in with the family, then rest easy knowing there are many ways to still throw the party of the year and incorporate the whole family. New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to help mark the passage of another year with your kids. Take some time to reflect on accomplishments and ways the family has grown and changed, then set goals for the year ahead. Even kids can make resolutions! Most importantly though, ring in the New Year with a bang by throwing your own family-oriented celebration. Kids love any reason to party and with events like the traditional countdown and ball drop, this night is sure to be one for the family photo album! Ted Mitchell, owner of Party City, looks to the party supply store’s ample shelves for his family’s New Year’s Eve events. “Kids at any age love to celebrate, and it’s great to be a part of that experience with them. Parents find themselves having just as much fun! Party City has a very large selection of New Year’s decorations, tableware, noisemakers and more. There’s something for any age,” he said. As an expert on how to plan the perfect party, Mitchell has tons of tips on how to keep the kids engaged and excited throughout the evening.

Here are a few ideas on how to ring in the New Year in kid-friendly style: 1. Decorations

This holiday is filled with bright colors, fireworks displays and tons of See the complete list of UA-PTC Foundation scholarship opportunities atglitter and shine. Nothing transforms a room like bold banners, streamers www.uaptc.edu/foundation/foundation-scholarship-opportunities. and balloons. Party City has 2017 decor all ready to go. The more bold colors you choose, the more your kids will love it. Let them help with the decorating process to really make the event their own! For an evening the kids will talk University of Arkansas–Pulaski Technical College provides access to highabout for weeks to come, pick up a Pull String Disco Ball Piñata. Fill it with candy quality education that promotes student learning and enables individuals to and as the countdown concludes, turn the kids loose on it! develop to their fullest potential. Through university-transfer curriculum, workforce training, and economic 2. Snacks and Drinks development initiatives in business and industry, UA–Pulaski Tech offers There’s nothing like a table of treats and drinks to keep kids busy through the many exciting opportunities to get a competitive edge in today’s job market. The college offers associate of arts and science degree options, including pro- night. Grab some themed New Year’s paper plates, cups and napkins from Party grams in allied health and human services, aerospace technology, business, City for easy cleanup when the night is over. Think about simple finger foods culinary arts, information technology, technical sciences, as well as continu- like fruit, small sandwiches and chips and dip. And don’t forget the midnight ing education and community services. The college awards Associate of Arts toast! Snag a few plastic champagne flutes from Party City and fill them with a and Associate of Science degrees to graduates of the university-transfer prodelicious mocktail. Try sparkling grape juice with a raspberry garnish! gram, as well as Associate of Applied Science degrees, technical certificates and certificates of proficiency. 3. Fun and Games With tuition priced at $130 per credit hour for in-state residents, Don’t forget to sprinkle in the fun and games! Kids love confetti, noisemakers UA–Pulaski Tech provides an affordable, student-focused path to success. and party poppers. Load them up and let them go wild. It’s just one night! Everyone likes to wear festive gear for the occasion. Party City has tons of hats, tiaras, masks, silly glasses and more to keep everyone giggling and reveling in the New Year’s spirit until the ball drops—or the kids pass out! partycity.com | 501-223-4929

For more information, see www.uaptc.edu.

30 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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HOW TO: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids Kids with

This holiday may be hands-down the hardest night of the year to find a babysitter. Everyone wants to go out and have a Thistime holiday mayin bethe hands-down the hardest night of the year good and ring New Year—even kids! So, if your plans for to Everyone wants to go out and have a good time and ring find a babysitter. the evening—which is centered around letting loose and reveling in in

the New Year—even kids! So, ifa your for the is centered new beginnings—involves nightplans in with theevening—which family, then rest easy around letting loose reveling a night with knowing there areand many ways in tonew stillbeginnings—involves throw the party of the yearin and incorporate the whole family. there are many ways to still throw the party the family, then rest easy knowing New Eve is a great opportunity of the yearYear’s and incorporate the whole family. to help mark the passage of another year with your kids. Take some timemark to reflect on accomplishNew Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to help the passage of another ments and ways the family has grown and changed, then set goals for year with your kids. Take some time to reflect on accomplishments and ways the year ahead. Even kids can make resolutions! the family has grown and changed, then set goals for the year ahead. Even kids Most importantly though, ring in the New Year with a bang by can make resolutions! throwing your own family-oriented celebration. Kids love any reason Most though,like ringthe in the New Year countdown with a bang by throwing your to partyimportantly and with events traditional and ball drop, own anyphoto reasonalbum! to party and with events thisfamily-oriented night is sure tocelebration. be one forKids thelove family like Ted the traditional countdown and ball drop, thistonight is suresupply to be one for the Mitchell, owner of Party City, looks the party store’s amplephoto shelves for his family’s New Year’s Eve events. “Kids at any age family album! love celebrate, andof it’sParty greatCity, to be a part of that with TedtoMitchell, owner looks to the partyexperience supply store’ s ample them. Parents find themselves having just as much fun! Party has shelves for his family’s New Year’s Eve events. “Kids at any age love to City celebrate, a very large selection of New Year’s decorations, tableware, noisemakand it’s great to be a part of that experience with them. Parents find themselves ers and more. There’s something for any age,” he said. As an expert on having just as much fun! Party City has a very large selection of New Year’s how to plan the perfect party, Mitchell has tons of tips on how to keep decorations, tableware, and more.the There’ s something for any age,” the kids engaged andnoisemakers excited throughout evening. he said. As an expert on how to plan the perfect party, Mitchell has tons of tips Here are a few ideas on how to ring in the New Year on how to keep the kids engaged and excited throughout the evening. in kid-friendly style:

1. Decorations Here areholiday a few is ideas how to ring in the New Year This filledon with bright colors, fireworks displays and tons of inglitter kid-friendly style: and shine. Nothing transforms a room like bold banners, streamers and balloons. Party City has 2017 decor all ready to go. The more bold colors you choose, the more your kids will love it. Let them help 1. Decorations with decorating process reallycolors, make fireworks the eventdisplays their own! an of Thisthe holiday is filled with to bright andFor tons evening the kids will talk about for weeks to come, pick up a Pull String glitter and shine. Nothing transforms a room like bold banners, streamers Disco Ball Piñata. Fill ithas with candy and the countdown concludes, and balloons. Party City 2017 decor allasready to go. The more bold colors turn the kids loose on it! you choose, the more your kids will love it. Let them help with the decorating 2. Snacks and Drinks process to really make the event their own! For an evening the kids will talk There’s nothing like a table of treats and drinks to keep kids busy about for weeks to come, pick up athemed Pull String Disco Ball paper Piñata.plates, Fill it with through the night. Grab some New Year’s cupscandy and as the countdown concludes, turn the kids loose on it! and napkins from Party City for easy cleanup when the night is over.

partycity.com | 501-223-4929

Think about simple finger foods like fruit, small sandwiches and chips 2. Snacks Drinks and dip. Andand don’t forget the midnight toast! Snag a few plastic champagne from Party City them with delicious mocktail. There’flutes s nothing like a table of and treatsfilland drinks to akeep kids busy throughTry the sparkling juice with a raspberry night. Grab grape some themed New Year’s papergarnish! plates, cups and napkins from Party Games City3.forFun easyand cleanup when the night is over. Think about simple finger foods Don’t forget to sprinkleand in the fun and games! Kids forget love confetti, like fruit, small sandwiches chips and dip. And don’t the midnight noisemakers and party poppers. Load them up and let them wild. toast! Snag a few plastic champagne flutes from Party City and fillgo them with a It’s just one night! Everyone likes to wear festive gear for the occasion. delicious mocktail. Try sparkling grape juice with a raspberry garnish! Party City has tons of hats, tiaras, masks, silly glasses and more to keep everyone giggling and reveling in the New Year’s spirit until the ball 3. Fun and drops—or theGames kids pass out! Don’t forget to sprinkle in the fun and games! Kids love confetti, noisemakers and party poppers. Load them up and let them go wild. It’s just one night! Everyone likes to wear festive gear for the occasion. Party City has tons of hats, tiaras, masks, silly glasses and more to keep everyone giggling and reveling in the New Year’s spirit until the ball drops—or the kids pass out! 11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK

501.223.4929

32 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501.978.3154


Everything you need for the perfect

New Year’s Eve

11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK 501.223.4929

4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501.978.3154

• I N V I TAT I O N S • D E C O R AT I O N S • P A R T Y FA V O R S • B A L L O O N S • P I Ñ ATA S • C A K E S U P P L I E S • THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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HOW HOWTO: TO: Celebrate New Year’s Eve The American Diabetes Associationwith offers a simple test Kids to assess diabetes risk factors

This holiday may be hands-down the hardest night of the year to find a babysitter. Everyone wants to go out and have a good time and ring in

the New Year—even kids! So, if your plans for the evening—which is centered around letting loose and reveling in new beginnings—involves a night in with the family, then rest easy knowing there are many ways to still throw the party of the year and incorporate the whole family. New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to help mark the passage of another year with your kids. Take some time to reflect on accomplishments and ways the family has grown and changed, then set goals for the year ahead. Even kids can make resolutions! Most importantly though, ring in the New Year with a bang by throwing your own family-oriented celebration. Kids love any reason to party and with events like the traditional countdown and ball drop, this night is sure to be one for the family photo album! Ted Mitchell, owner of Party City, looks to the party supply store’s ample shelves for his family’s New Year’s Eve events. “Kids at any age love to celebrate, and it’s great to be a part of that experience with them. Parents find themselves having just as much fun! Party City has a very large selection of New Year’s decorations, tableware, noisemakers and more. There’s something for any age,” he said. As an expert on how to plan the perfect party, Mitchell has tons of tips on how to keep the kids engaged and excited throughout the evening.

Here are a few ideas on how to ring in the New Year in kid-friendly style: 1. Decorations This holiday is filled with bright colors, fireworks displays and tons of help people get a better graspaon theirlike health risk for glitter To and shine. Nothing transforms room boldand banners, streamers developing diabetes, the ADA has developed a simple test, availand balloons. Party City has 2017 decor all ready to go. The more bold colors able on its website, to help people understand where they stand youbased choose, morehistory, your kids willlevel loveof it. activity Let themand help withfactors. the decorating onthe family diet, other It is a disease that process“The to really make the event their own! For an evening the kids will talk ADA is really pushing this test out to more and more strikes people of all ages, races, backgrounds and health and about for weeks to come, pick up a Pull String Disco Ball Piñata. Fill it with candy people because this is a great baseline for people to understand fitness levels and costs the state $3.1 billion annually in direct andthe as the countdown concludes, turn the kids loose on it! risk factors that are attributable, specifically to type 2 diabemedical costs and indirect costs from lost productivity. tes,” said Malorie Marrs, ADA Arkansas director of development. Perhaps even more shocking than that, experts with the The testand can Drinks be taken at home and doesn’t involve a blood 2. Snacks American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimate that 75,000 draw or a trip to the doctor. The and test drinks features easy-to-understand There’ s nothing like a table of treats to keep kids busy through the Arkansans have the disease and don’t even know it. And an even questions about current and family and assigns night. Grab some themed Newhealth Year’s paper plates,history cups and napkins from Party greater number, almost 800,000, have elevated glucose levels a 1 or a 0 to the answers. A total score of 5 or higher suggests a that put them at risk for developing the disease. City for easy cleanup when the night is over. Think about simple finger foods person is in a high-risk category. like fruit, small sandwiches and chips don’t forget thebut midnight Marrs is quick to point out thatand thedip. testAnd is not a diagnosis, toast! Snag a few plastic champagne flutes from Party City and fill them simply a useful snapshot of how a person stacks up against some with a delicious Try sparkling grape associated juice with awith raspberry garnish! of themocktail. most common risk factors the disease. “Your score on the test doesn’t mean that you have diabetes anything like that,” she said. “But it’s definitely worth keeping 3.orFun and Games in mind that there are certain factors where you confetti, are a little Don’t forget to if sprinkle in the fun and games! Kids love noisemakers heavy Load than others, a conversation andmore partytop poppers. them upthen andit’s let worth them go wild. It’s justwith one night! your doctor.” Everyone likes to wear festive gear for the occasion. Party City has tons of hats, tiaras, masks, silly glasses and more to keep everyone giggling and reveling in the New Year’s spirit until the ball drops—or the kids pass out! partycity.com | 501-223-4929

Of the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes, more than 360,000 live in Arkansas.

American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimate that 75,000 Arkansans have the disease and don’t even know it.

34 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM


With proper management people can live for years. While these risk factors can apply to any age group, there is particular importance placed on people in their 30s, a time of life that typically bridges an individual’s best heath period and the changes that come in middle age. “I’m not saying it’s not important for everybody, but we really start honing in on the middle age population,” Marrs said. “You’re at your peak prime in your 30s health-wise, so beyond that we want to make sure that people keep monitoring their body changes as they get older.” Diabetes is not a death sentence, and with proper management people can live for years with the disease. However, it does cause, at minimum, a disruption of life functions and at its worst, can result in serious complications such as blindness, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, stroke, heart disease and even death. At present, there is no cure. These potentially grave outcomes underscore the importance of understanding risk factors and taking the preventative steps necessary to head off the disease. “There is a level of what’s called prediabetes,” Marrs said. “If you’re in the prediabetes range, if you’ve been tested and you’ve gone to your physician, or if you’ve used this test and it shows you’re kind of on the borderline of potentially being at risk of diabetes, you can make lifestyle changes that can detour your potential prognosis of getting type 2 diabetes.” Among these lifestyle changes are paying strict attention to diet and upping physical activity, changes that must be maintained indefinitely to keep the disease at bay. But it all starts, Marrs said, with knowing your risk factors. “If people do understand what it means to be at risk and take ample steps before they actually get that type 2 diagnosis, such as regular checkups and keeping an eye on the risk factors, you can start early enough to where you can make progress in the right direction,” Marrs said. “Then, hopefully, we can start seeing a decline in type 2 patients.”

For more information, or to take the risk factors test, please visit diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk.

The test can be taken at home and doesn’t involve a blood draw or a trip to the doctor.

More information? Visit http://diabetes.org/thisisdiabetes American Diabetes Association of Arkansas

1732 Moberly Lane Suite B, Bentonville AR 72712 | 479-464-4121 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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THE BASICS ON DIABETES

It’s important to know the facts and myths about diabetes. This chronic disease affects all ages and can have very subtle symptoms. BY ANGELA E. THOMAS

O

f the more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes, about 208,000 are youth, 20 years and younger. The physicians at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) estimate that about 1,000 children in Arkansas are living with diabetes. Dr. Jon Oden, a pediatric endocrinologist and chief of endocrinology at the hospital, said the prevalence of children being diagnosed with the disease has increased by 10 percent every decade. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Our bodies break down the sugars and starches we eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which is then used for energy. Insulin is the hormone that our bodies use to move glucose from the bloodstream into the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, in type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. In individuals who have type 2 diabetes, the most common form, the body does not use the insulin properly which is referred to as being insulin resistant. “Children with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed at an average age of 6 to 7 or later at age 14 or so. Children with type 2, in mid-adolescence,” Oden said. “We diagnose 14 or 15 new cases per month of children with both types.” He’s diagnosed infants as young as 10 to 15 months. “The underlying cause of type 1 diabetes isn’t known; however, we do know that people with this form produce antibodies that ‘fight’ against specific cells, called beta cells. These beta cells are destroyed over months or years, so individuals eventually become unable to make insulin. We do not know where these antibodies originate, but they are located in the pancreas.” It’s important to understand, Oden said, that diabetes is a lifelong disease. “The antibodies may be around for years and slowly become active,” he said. Oden said they’ve seen several children who have been identified as high-risk. A child whose parents or siblings have diabetes is at risk. Parents will also bring their children in because they’ve noticed behavioral changes, such as bedwetting or unusual fatigue. These as well as weight loss and abnormal thirst and frequent urination can be symptoms of type 1 diabetes. “Occasionally, we’ll see children whose blood sugars are higher

36 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

than normal. So, we watch them over months and years as a part of a research program through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” About a quarter of the children who come into ACH are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “We have also seen a rise in the number of children with type 2 diabetes, which is concerning to our population,” Oden said. The public associates type 2 diabetes with obesity; however, Oden said they see a number of patients who are only a little overweight. “Certain populations are at a higher risk. Type 2 diabetes is a bit different. Half of the patients have no symptoms. Still others are picked up because they’re part of our weight maintenance program. And some come in due to an emergency or because they’ve gone in for physical exams.” No matter the type of diabetes, patients are treated with insulin. Often type 1 patients begin with insulin shots and later move to an insulin pump, Oden said. “The pump provides some semblance of convenience, and some patients’ families feel the pump provides better control,” he said. “Other children prefer shots because they’re not comfortable with being ‘attached’ to a machine. Managing diabetes is a 24-hour task as children must test their blood sugar several times per days, especially before eating when they must also count carbohydrates, and take six or more injections daily depending on their activity levels. Oden said it’s important that parents know there is nothing they could have done to prevent their children from become diabetic. “Parents often have an undertone of guilt. You cannot get diabetes because you’re eating too much sugar or too many carbohydrates. Children may become type 2 diabetics due to genetics or weight gain, but I must emphatically say: it’s not about diet or exercise. There is nothing parents can do to stop it.” They can, however, find assistance through one of the hospital’s resources. ACH has several classes to educate children and their parents in the management of their diabetes. There are one-on-one classes for those with type 2 and group classes for those with type 1. For more information, log on to archildrens.org and search for “diabetes clinic.”


ACT Prep Class

Open enrollment / free program for high school students who live in Pulaski County Pre-Test: 1-20-2018 February: 2-3-2018 March: 3-3-2018

April: 4-7-2018 May: 5-12-2018 5-18-2018: Post-Test

Contact Kaprese Warren at 501.340.8250 or email kwarren@pulaskicounty.net

Because your child’s ear, nose, and throat aren’t the same as yours. Fast-Track your child’s ENT needs with right-sized care. • Pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses with special training and experience • Specially-sized instruments • Anesthesia and facilities designed for children • Fast-Track service for common ENT procedures Our ENT specialists understand the importance of timely care so your child can get back to doing what they do best—being a kid! Ask your doctor for a referral.

archildrens.org/FastTrack

THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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photo credit: Amanda Potter Cole

mom approved

THIS STARPACK NYLON KITCHEN KNIFE SET IS WHAT I USE WITH MURRELL. THEY ARE GREAT FOR KIDS’ HANDS, CAN CUT FOOD OF ALL TYPES AND WON’T CUT SKIN. IT’S A GREAT WAY TO KEEP HIM ENGAGED AND ACTIVE IN THE KITCHEN WITH ME.

MY LATEST FAVORITE GIFTS ARE THESE INCREDIBLY LIFE-LIKE, HAND-FELTED ANIMALS BY MY FRIEND LAURA FOUT OF BRAMBLE AND TWIG.

EMILY ENGLISH Emily English is mom to Murrell, wife to Wes, and works in public health and local food systems across the state. With Arkansas roots and a background in small farming, she finds her comfort in campfires, overalls and a warm kitchen on a cold day.

I CERTAINLY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THE EVER-INSPIRING PRODUCE, MEAT AND CHEESE FROM OUR LOCAL FARM FAMILIES. I FIND MINE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER I CAN GET IT—FARMERS MARKETS, CSAS, LOCAL GARDENS, MY BACKYARD. THIS SEASON, THE BEETS ARE STEALING MY HEART.

SHARE.THE.LOVE KIDS CLUB IS SUCH A FUN PLACE TO TAKE KIDDOS TO PLAY. IT’S LOCATED IN CONWAY AND CONNECTED TO ZETEO COFFEE SHOP WITH A WINDOW AND SEATING AREA IN THE KIDS’ PLAY SPACE. I’M INCREDIBLY THANKFUL TO THOSE WHO OPEN THEIR GARDEN DOORS TO THE COMMUNITY, ADULTS AND LITTLES ALIKE INCLUDING DUNBAR GARDEN, HEIFER URBAN FARM IN LITTLE ROCK, HEIFER RANCH IN PERRYVILLE, NORTH LITTLE ROCK COMMUNITY FARM, URBAN FARM PROJECT AT THE FAULKNER COUNTY LIBRARY AND THE APPLE SEEDS TEACHING FARM IN FAYETTEVILLE.

38 DECEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

I DON’T LEAVE HOME FOR A DINNER WITH MY 4-YEAR-OLD WITHOUT PLUS PLUS BLOCKS IN MY BAG. THE LITTLE TUBE MAKES THEM EASY TO CARRY, THE BRIGHT COLORS ARE SUPER FUN, AND THE SIMPLE SHAPES MAKE THEM VERSATILE.


THESAVVYMOMS.COM | DECEMBER 2017

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SAVVY | December 2017