The end of this month marks the midpoint of 2019, which is a good time to slow down, evaluate your frame of mind, and approach the rest of the year with a fresh outlook. We often busy ourselves so much that the passage of time takes us by surprise—you look up and realize, where did the week go? The month? The year? Don’t forget to take a break and re-focus your energy this month. A yoga class or guided meditation can help you center your mind, body, and spirit, and get you ready to face what’s next with clarity.
While bird-watching—or birding, as it’s called by serious enthusiasts—can be done all over the country, there are several reasons The Natural State is an especially good place to spot specific fowl: Our central location gives a new meaning to the term “flyover country,” as species from other parts of the nation tend to stop along the way on migration routes. Plus, the state’s varied geographic regions offer habitats for diverse species, from hummingbirds to egrets and all manner of shapes and sizes in between. The great thing about this hobby, though, is you can enjoy the songs and sights of many fine-feathered friends (like the female house finch, pictured here) from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a pair of binoculars, a window, and a little patience.
In a world of texts, emails, Facebook messages, Instagram comments, and the myriad other ways we communicate these days, nothing gives you that warm fuzzy feeling quite like receiving a piece of personal snail mail. Such correspondence has become so scarce it has started to feel like a relic of the past—but why should it? You make a loved one’s day when you send a birthday card, thank-you note, or simple “hello” by mail. In April—which happens to be National Letter Writing Month—take the time to pen a handwritten note to a pal. We promise it will be appreciated.
Calligraphy and materials courtesy of Quill & Curl Calligraphy
Ah, the great outdoors. No matter how much you love the inside of your house (we’re an interiors magazine, we get it!), it’s a relief to finally get outside and stretch your legs after being cooped up for the winter months. Will you lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails? Or drop a canoe in one of the state’s hundreds of lakes, like Lake Maumelle, pictured here? In the Natural State, there are countless opportunities for fresh air. Make the most of them this spring.
There’s no time like a new year to try a new skill. And with many local shops and organizations offering hands-on learning—not to mention endless resources online—now is a wonderful time for first-timers to pick up a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. Knit one, purl one; knit one, purl one; knit one… Master these two stitches and you’ll soon find yourself longing to curl up on the sofa and fall into the easy rhythm of this centuries-old craft after a long winter day.
Founded in 2011 by Sally Mengal, Little Rock’s Loblolly Creamery has grown steadily over the years. While its first residence was in The Green Corner Store on South Main Street, the brand soon opened an ice cream truck available for special events, and then, in 2017, set down some more permanent roots with the opening of a Scoop Shop at 1423 S. Main St. According to creative director Christen Byrd, that addition has allowed the brand to extend their hours, expand their flavor offerings (they have about 30 options available at any given time), serve coffee and beer, and even rent out a party room. “It’s allowed us to grow like crazy, and we love it,” Christen says.
Erin Wood, Director of Et Alia Press
After a short career in law, Erin earned her masters in writing. Soon after, she helped found Little Rock-based Et Alia Press, which publishes books about emerging artists, health and wellness, and local histories. “These shelves are filled with books that I used more in years past—researching for college or grad school papers, heavy case books for law school, and high school favorites that have my notes in the margins.”…
When Kelly Lovell and Walt Todd started barbecuing together over a decade ago, they didn’t necessarily see it turning into a full-time gig. “They started out at tailgates, barbecuing whole hogs, serving at weddings and competitions—it was just a hobby with a little bit of pocket change,” says Walt’s wife, Brett, who also handles the business’s marketing and sales. “If you would’ve asked us then if we’d be here now, having a food truck and doing this full time for two years, we’d be like, ‘What?’” This year marks 10 years for the Count Porkula food truck. In September, the business hit another milestone when it opened a permanent location at The Rail Yard, the newest addition to Little Rock’s budding East Village.
Lindsey Gray, owner of Eggshells Kitchen Co.
HER ’HOOD Chenal. “I’ve lived in west Little Rock for my entire life. I’m a Little Rock native, born and raised.”
HER KITCHEN MUST-HAVE “My red KitchenAid mixer. I got it as a wedding gift 15 years ago, and it’s been the most used and loved item in my kitchen!”
HER HOME’S STYLE “With three rowdy boys at home, our home has to be mostly function over form. I tend to favor neutral decor with a pop of color, but everyone has their own flair in their space.”
COOKING OR BAKING? Baking!
FAMILY RECIPE “My favorite thing to bake is my grandmother’s pound cake. I love it plain, but every family member tops it their own way to make it their favorite, whether with chocolate sauce, strawberries, or whipped cream.”
Pure Joy owners Meghan and Matt Feyerabend seem to thrive on community and authenticity. Since opening the Siloam Springs scoop shop (as they often refer to it) in June of 2017, they’ve adhered to their commitment to bring customers real, homemade ice cream without artificial ingredients and to bring their community a bit of hope in the form of championing children. The spirit and the shops tasty treats are catching on: Later this summer they’ll open a new location in Bentonville’s 8th Street Market and add a mobile cart to their catering options.