Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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February 7, 2016

Smarty Cooking School: Food Blogs

It just dawned on me that while I write for a blog and follow a ton of food blogs…I don’t think I’ve ever written about my favorite ones! The irony is that one of the questions I get asked the most (besides, “what’s your favorite recipe” or, “how do you keep from over cooking chicken breasts”) is probably “what are your favorite websites or blogs to find recipes”? Not gonna lie, there are a TON that I look at, but I definitely gravitate towards some more often than not. 1

Ok…so, can we be honest for a second? There are a million blogs that while the photography is gorgeous (white on Rice), and the premise is most awesome (I mean, who doesn’t want to eat all whole foods and serve their children homemade snacks with a smile), the recipes themselves (while I’m sure are great) don’t fit a lot of realistic lifestyles with busy schedules, kids, jobs, time constraints and lets face it…what everyone in the family will actually eat! That being said, blogs like 101 Cookbooks and My New Roots are worth a look – healthy eating never looked so beautiful!!! Read More →

February 5, 2016

Where to get the best QC takeout for your Super Bowl Party

Smarty Panthers

Whether you are hosting a party or attending one, you’re going to want to check out our Smarty Picks for the best place to get takeout for your Super Bowl party.


3 Been and Beef Chili

If you’re hosting, you need to read this recipe – Smarty Cheryl makes this 3 Been and Beef Chili recipe and it has the best mystery ingredient that is a game-changer, chipotle chili in adobo sauce. If you’re not up for cooking and want the best chili in the QC, head over to Lupie’s Cafe in Charlotte & Huntersville. Their chili mac in four different styles, Texas/Southern/Cincinnati/Vegetarian is the best I’ve ever had and will be sure to be a crowd pleaser. Read More →

Fitness Friday: Why I love Flywheel

Flywheel cycle studio

Flywheel Stadium Cycling is a super high-energy, fast-paced cycling cardio extravaganza. You will leave a sweaty, hot mess, but you’ll be on endorphin overload. Trust me.

I’ve been doing Flywheel since it first hit the QC three years ago. I had never been a cyclist, or super competitive in my workouts or the first to the latest workout scene. I just liked a good HARD workout. One that makes you feel a little whoozy when you leave and one that pushes you harder than you can push yourself. And that’s exactly what Flywheel was and still is for me.

I love Flywheel because I burn 750 calories on average in just 45 minutes. This is the best cardio workout in the QC, hands down. Read More →

Smarty Giveaway: Four tickets to WILD KRATTS live


Smarties, are you ready to get WILD with the WILD KRATTS? We have the perfect giveaway for you!!!

Here’s what they say about the show:

The wildly popular PBS KIDS® television show, WILD KRATTS, is coming to the LIVE stage. Animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, “Come to Real Life” in a classically Wild Kratts story. Off “To the Creature Rescue” the Emmy nominated Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain. Through HILARIOUS pratfalls and AMAZING animal ‘WOW FACTS’ the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once again.

Purchase tickets here. Read More →

Smarty Movie Review: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson

The People Vs. O.J. SimpsonMV5BMTc4Mzg0MzMwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzQ3NTY3NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_
American Crime Story TV Series
FX Channel

The truth is stranger than fiction. And true stories are all the rage these days. The Netflix series Making a Murderer was all anyone could talk about since it recently aired. The podcast Serial became an instant hit and has already released a second season. If you look at this year’s Oscar nominees for best film, half of the movies nominated are based on true stories. So it is no wonder that the unforgettable story of O.J. Simpson’s murder trial would eventually be featured on American Crime Story—a true crime series created by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story).

I vaguely remember watching the infamous Bronco chase back in 1994, but I will never forget the day the verdict was read after the long trial that consumed the nation. I was a meeting and event planner for a medical association in Washington DC, and we were holding a minority faculty seminar for medical professionals at a local hotel. When the conference attendees learned that the jury had reached a decision, they requested TV monitors so the verdict could be watched in meeting room during the keynote presentation (remember this was over 20 years ago when we still used 35 mm slides and overhead projectors!). While I was hesitant to interrupt the keynote speech, the attendees assured me that they would leave to watch elsewhere if I didn’t air the verdict. When O.J. was declared not guilty, the room of over 100 African-American medical professionals erupted in cheers. Nearby at the hotel lobby bar, white people shook their heads in shock, some even crying at the verdict. That moment of contrast was so sharply defined and it was clear that we were dealing with something so much larger than a murder trial.

I was hesitant to begin watching this series since I feel horrible for the families of the victims and can’t imagine what it must be like for their life’s tragedy to be played out on TV’s across America for entertainment. I also didn’t want to see some over-the-top salacious rehashing of this terrible tale. I realized though, that while I knew general information about the case (the bloody glove, Kato, Marcia Clark’s unfortunate hair) I never actually watched the trial that started our country’s obsession with reality TV. The series also promised to reveal previously unknown details from the case, including the perspectives of the lawyers from both the prosecution and defense. I figured that I would give the first episode a try. Read More →

February 4, 2016

From the Smarty Education Corner and Providence Day School: Parenting and the College Application Journey

Photo Credit: NELL REDMOND

Photo Credit: Nell Redmond

by Smarty Guest Blogger Jack Whelan, Providence Day School

Have you ever heard the parent of a high school junior or senior, perhaps even yourself, utter that fateful pronoun “we” while talking about the college search? It might start with an innocent slip up, “We’re really interested in Virginia Tech,” but can quickly morph into the ridiculous, “We really need to raise our GPA to make Georgetown a possibility.”

Of course, that one little word is not the determining factor in whether you are being a helpful and supportive parent through the college process, but if you do hear yourself saying or thinking “we” too much, then it’s time to start thinking more deeply about your role.

Am I suggesting that you should back off completely and let the chips fall where they may? Absolutely not. While one end of the spectrum — let’s say, writing your daughter’s essay — is clearly inappropriate, so is deciding that your child is old enough to handle this herself or asking “Isn’t that what her high school counselor is for?” Read More →

It’s Smarty Hug Your Girlfriends Day: Meet Moms in Training

CSP Girlfriends

Photo Creds: Abbe McCracken Photography

At CSP, we consider February 4th a national pink & green holiday in honor of our beloved Jen Bunich who we lost eight years ago today. Make sure you take some time out today to schedule a lunch, a wine night or a mani/pedi with the wonderful women in your life.

Helena Scott

On this day, we like to highlight amazing women doing wonderful things in our community. I can’t think of a better person to introduce you to than Helena Scott. I recently spent time with Helena, who is the Development Director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Charlotte and let me tell ya, she is one dedicated woman! Her passion is the Moms in Training Program, new to Charlotte, and something you will definitely want to learn more about.

Moms in Training (MIT) is a social, flexible 10-week fitness program that culminates with an optional 4-6 mile run or walk event. Since the program’s inception, 1,200 moms have raised over $1.5 million for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Read More →

February 3, 2016

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events: February 5-7

Discovery Place
Smarty Scoop is proudly sponsored by Discovery Place, Discovery Place KIDS – Huntersville and The Charlotte Nature Museum.

Hunstad Kortesis
Hunstad Kortesis SouthPark office
4625 Peidmont Row Drive, Ste. 135B, Charlotte, NC
Call for more information: 704-659-9000


The wildly popular PBS KIDS® television show, WILD KRATTS, is coming to the live stage – February 13 – one day only!!!
Buy your tickets now!!!

CMOMS Consignment Sale
The Park Expo and Conference Centrer
800 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte, NC
February 4-6, See website for details, All ages, Free
Summary: Please join us to shop the thousands of gently used items, including children’s and baby clothing, equipment, furniture, toys, games, and maternity wear.

First Friday Film & Food Trucks
Crews Rec Center
1201 Crews Road, Matthews, NC
February 5, 6:00pm – 10:30pm, All ages, Free
Summary: First Friday’s are back! Come join the fun, watch Groundhog Day and buy dinner form one of the delicious food trucks.

Face 2 Face – Elton John & Billy Joel Tribute
The Filmore Charlotte
1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., Charlotte, NC
February 5, 9:00pm, $10 and up
Summary: The Fillmore Charlotte is a general admission standing room only venue unless otherwise noted.

Read More →

February 2, 2016

Smarty Valentine’s Instagram Giveaway: Erin Condren’s Valetine’s Bundle

You might be busy celebrating Groundhog’s Day today, but team Smarty has you looking two short weeks ahead with our fun Valentine’s Day giveaway with Erin Condren! You know I’m 100% obsessed with Erin Condren – her Life Planner makes planning the lives of four kids, one dog, one husband, and one working mama actually fun (and pretty!). Her holiday bundles are SUCH a treat, so I am super excited about today’s giveaway.

Two (2 ) lucky Smarties will win an Erin Condren Valentine’s Bundle – these sweet bundles come with a set of compliment cards, scalloped heart labels, and super cute Valentine’s sticky notes. I’ve had so much fun packing these little compliment cards in my friend’s surcies and kids’ lunches (I’m still waiting on one of my kid’s behavior to warrant getting the “You are my fave” card – jury’s still out on that one). I even paper clipped one to my son’s homework folder for his TK teacher to get an extra bit of love last week. The sweet heart labels makes every gift – even just a bottle of wine for the book club hostess – a little prettier. And, shopping lists, bookmarks, and To-Do lists seem a little less gray on brightly colored sticky notes. It’s the little things, right? This bundle really is appropriate for making someone else’s day a little brighter all year long – not just on February 14. :-)

Erin Condren Valentine's Day Read More →

Smarty Steal: BOGO Summer Camp Combo from My Gym/Noah’s Art SouthPark

Act quickly, Smarties! From now through February 3 (that’s tomorrow), buy 1 summer combo camp and get 1 1/2 off at My Gym/Noah’s Art SouthPark! We LOVE the My Gym/Noah’s Art combo camps because it gives kids the best of both worlds with NO CARPOOLING involved. Kids get their creative juices flowing and their muscles moving. While this deal only applies to their SUMMER camp for thrifty moms who plan ahead…My Gym and Noah’s Art have combo camps scheduled every Friday morning as well as Spring Break 2016. Check out their camp schedule here.

Smarty Steal: My Gym/Noah’s Art Bundle

Summer 2016 (May-August)
Camp Time: 12:30-3:30pm (Mon-Thurs)
Regular Cost: $40/camp
*Register through Noah’s Art 704.521.6657
*Kids do NOT have to sign up for an entire week of camp. Can attend on a day by day basis
*Each family is limited to 10 total camps purchased in this deal.

My gym Smith Read More →

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